Battle Bound

By Greg Ducker

 

Adventures: The battle bound live a life set somewhat apart from others. Because they always travel together as both a warrior and a monstrous creature they are often times not welcomed to settle in a single place for too long. Many battle bound adventure solely searching for a home where they are accepted. Others have quests or goals determined by their creature, a warrior bound to a dragon may seek to acquire great wealth for a horde, while one  with a mysterious and unique construct may search for information as to its origins.

 
Characteristics:  The battle bound are warriors to their core. They engage in combat toe to toe with monsters of all kinds, both mortal and otherwise. As a team there are few threats that will not succumb to the combined martial and magical power that the battle bound can wield. They are expected to engage their opponents directly more often than not and very frequently one bound will offer potent support to the other, although this dynamic can change from combat to combat.

Alignment:  Battle bound can be of any alignment but both member always share the same alignment. Differences as strong as disagreements on the fundamentals of morals and ethics prevent the true understanding required to form a battle bound team. All battle bound work together; no matter how chaotic their actions or how dark their hearts become.  Good aligned battle bound are often comrades in arms and close friends sharing a connection few can rival. Chaotic ones however view their bond as a promise of freedom, if one is ever captured or slain they know they will be liberated by the other. They know they will always have a partner no matter what wild antics they get involved in. Lawful battle bound often times have set rules regarding their partnerships and some go so far as to swear oaths or sign contracts promising aid. Just as many though merely keep such pledges unspoken but feel them no less deeply. Evil battle bound are blessed with a partner who understands the truest depths of their depravity, a warrior as strong as them who will never been driven away no matter how debase or vile their actions become. They treat their partner as they treat themselves.

Religion:  A battle bound's connection to the supernatural can vary widely based on their companion. A warrior paired with an angelic eidolon from the celestial plane likely has a very different outlook on gods than one paired with a construct or dragon.  What is perhaps more important is the way divine forces recognize the battle bound; They view the pair as a single entity. Gods and arch evils alike know better than to try and split such a pair apart or to attempt to drive only one towards a certain outlook or action. Even gods can recognize a futile endeavour.

Background: The key element of a battle bounds back story is the incident that united the two. What even brought the beast and warrior together? Was it a single moment where one rushed to the aid of another? Did the warrior nurse their beast back to health? Were the two of them enemies who united to stand against a far darker force? A great deal of back story can hinge on this pivotal question.

Races:  The battle bound is a team of two creatures of very different physiologies and that dynamic can be dramatically influenced by race. Common combinations include things like a Tiefling working with a demonic outsider, a Kobold working with a draconic partner, or an Orc working with a beast based on a Worg. Playing against type can be just as interesting if not more so however. There are no races that survive entirely on their own, no matter how big or small their communities are. Everyone needs help sometimes. Often times race can make certain types of pairings more common, for example small sized creatures more often select battle beasts quite large and often use them as mounts.  And lastly consider how a characters race alters how they view other creatures. A dwarf may look at an elemental based creature in a different light than a sylph might for example.

Other Classes:  Although the battle bound together are already a team, they understand the value of having allies better than most. Since both battle bound are very inclined towards martial pursuits they can still benefit greatly from skilled characters or those with greater magic than their own. Fellow warriors however are often their closest friends. The only thing better than two characters working in perfect martial concert is three and often times the bond forged with the other party member can be nearly as strong as the battle bound share.

Role: Anyone who has met a battle bound, either of them, can recognize them as warriors first and foremost. Though they possess enough spells to serve as adequate support or fill a small part of other roles their primary focus is melee or ranged combat and they serve best when dishing out and taking damage.

Abilities:  The battle bound  has some basic spellcasting abilities based on charisma, but the core of their martial prowess will vary based on the choice of companion, style, and weaponry they choose to employ. It should be noted though that most battle bound have less of a need for constitution than other classes since their lives are tied to each other they can enter tough fights with fewer hp and still survive provided they fight smart.

 LevelBABFortRefWillSpecial 1st2nd3rd4th
1st+1+2+0+0Battle beast, Battle bound, Ties that bind
2nd+2+3+0+0Team tactics
3rd+3+3+1+1
4th+4+4+1+1Spellcasting, Team tactics0
5th+5+4+1+1Spell bound1
6th+6/+1+5+2+2Team tactics1
7th+7/+2+5+2+22
8th+8/+3+6+2+2Team tactics20
9th+9/+4+6+3+321
10th+10/+5+7+3+3Bloodbound, Team tactics31
11th+11/+6/+1+7+3+3320
12th+12/+7/+2+8+4+4Team tactics321
13th+13/+8/+3+8+4+4321
14th+14/+9/+4+9+4+4Team tactics4320
15th+15/+10/+5+9+5+5Heartbound4321
16th+16/+11/+6/+1+10+5+5Team tactics4321
17th+17/+12/+7/+2+10+5+54332
18th+18/+13/+8/+3+11+6+6Team tactics4432
19th+19/+14/+9/+4+11+6+64432
20th+20/+15/+10/+5+12+6+6Soulbound, Team tactics4433

 

Weapon and Armor Proficiency:

Battle bound are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor (heavy, medium, and light), and with all shields.

 

Battle beast:

At first level the battle bound gains a companion that functions as an Eidolon with a few major changes.

Firstly the battle-beast as it's known is not a summoned creature, and indeed may not even be an outsider at all. The battle beast is not called or summoned, it is always present, as such it is not subject to effects such as banishment or dismissal, although it can be affected by spells that specifically target eidolons such as devolution. The battle bound does not gain the link, share spells, evasion or improved evasion abilities and it's attitude is always treated as helpful towards it's battle bound since they are literally of one mind.  The battle beast can be one of several different creature types and the type chosen grants it different abilities and qualities and may restrict the base forms that can be chosen. Once selected, the Eidolon's type cannot be changed unless the class feature is changed using the retraining rules. The options for creature type are as follows:

Construct:  A construct battle-beast may be of any base form. It loses the devotion ability that other eidolons possess, uses the bad save progression for all three saves, acquires only a single skill rank per HD and does not possess any class skills. Finally a battle-beast construct has no constitution or intelligence score. In exchange for these drawbacks however it gains bonus hit points as a construct of its size as well as all construct immunities (Mind affecting, Compulsions, morale effects, patterns, phantasms,  bleed, disease, death effects, necromancy effects, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, and stunning) and is not subject to ability damage, ability drain, fatigue, exhaustion, energy drain, or nonlethal damage. The risks that come with such a powerful form are significant however as the construct is rendered non-functional at 0 hp (See the battle bound ability). It may only be healed magically by spells specifically designed to repair objects. The battle bound companion to such a beast may also help to repair it but doing so takes 1 hour and 100 gp worth of raw materials and heals 1d6 points of damage. This does not require any special skill on the battle bound's part but they must be present for the whole hour.

Dragon- A Dragon battle-beast is a powerful ally indeed and they may be of any base form other than bipedal.  The benefits to a dragon companion are many, they feature a d12 for their hit die instead of a D10, and all of their saving throws use the good progression. Beyond that they are immune to magical sleep and paralysis effects. While this can make for a powerful and appealing companion there are some notable downsides. Firstly the companion looses the devotion ability, and furthermore its attitude is not locked at helpful as other companions are, nor is it's alignment and both can change based on the actions of their bound companion. Lastly, to keep such a potent creature operating in sync with a smaller weaker ally it must be kept closer. The tether length between the battle bound is halved. (See ties that bind). 

Magical beast- A magical beast battle-beast may have any base form. Such a creature uses the good save progression for both fortitude and reflex saves but it has only 1 skill rank per level.  It's class skills are Acrobatics, Climb, Fly, Perception, Stealth, Swim.  Magical beasts are easier to train than other types of companions and as such at first level and every 4 levels thereafter they gain an extra team tactic ability (See team tactics below). Additionally the length of their tether is doubled.

Monstrous humanoid- A monstrous humanoidmust use either the quadruped or bipedal base form. A battle-beast of this type uses the good progression for reflex and will saves and gains only 2 skill ranks per level.  A monstrous humanoid is a powerful companion and always ready for battle. As such they gain proficiency with all simple and martial weapons and all armor and shields. Additionally at 1st level and every 5 levels after the battle-beast gains a bonus combat feat.

Outsider-  An outsider companion can be of any base form. An outsider eidolon can pick any 2 saves to be their good saves. The outsider Battle-beast is treated as a native outsider and as such still cannot be banished or dismissed. When the Battle-beast is moved or allowed to move using any of its companion's team tactics abilities it may choose to teleport the distance it would have been allowed to move.

 

Ties that bind:  The battle bound are connected by a powerful energy known as a tether.  While some jump to the conclusion that this functions like a leash and chain it would be more correct to consider it a representation of the bond the two battle bound share. Neither is in control of the other, but instead they work as a whole. Many abilities, particularly the team tactics make reference to the tether. This is simply a maximum distance in which these abilities can be used. The tether has a length of 10 ft per class level. There is no penalty for a battle bound moving outside of this apart from certain abilities no longer functioning until they return. The tether cannot be detect by magic and it is merely conceptual, it is not a physical or magical effect.  Lastly, the tether always guides a battle bound towards their partner. No matter the distance a battle bound always knows in what direction their companion is so long as they remain on the same plane. If the battle bound are ever separated on a planar level they can both sense the direction of the nearest open portal leading to the plane the other resides on.  

 

Battle bound:  The lives of the battle bound are, as the name suggests, bound together.  As long as either the battle bound or battle beast lives the other cannot be slain. No matter how much damage is taken a battle bound whose companion still lives is not dead. They are instead rendered unconscious. If a battle bound cannot be rendered unconscious they are instead simply unable to take any kind of action, even purely mental ones until their condition is improved.  No matter how much damage is taken a battle bound may not reach more negative hit points than their full normal hp, and any effect that would render them dead without dealing damage, such as an instant death effect brings them to this amount. Even if a the battle bound is completely destroyed or annihilated and not a speck remains they are still set to this negative hp value and can be returned.  Any effect that would trap or affect a battle bound's soul is negated as long as the other battle bound still lives. As such a battle bound cannot be possessed or have their soul trapped. The only exception to this are effects the battle bound chooses to activate such as willingly being subjected to an effect rendering them ethereal or permitting their soul to be trapped.

Natural healing continues to occur for the incapacitated battle bound. If the body is completely destroyed and there are no remains this healing is still tracked but there is no obvious physical manifestation of the battle bound. During this time they are always considered within tether distance. Once the incapacitated battle bound reaches full health they seem to magically appear out of their companion, intact and alive.

If both battle bound are dead at the same time this ability does not activate and they are treated as normal dead creatures. However any effect that returns one to life also returns the other at no extra cost. They are considered one creature for the purpose of such effects.  Additionally both battle bound take all of their actions during the same point in the initiative order, only the bound with the higher bonus rolls, and if one chooses to delay the other must also delay until the same time.

 

Team tactics: The connection between battle bound is very powerful and through it many great abilities stem. At second level and every 2 levels thereafter the battle bound gain an ability from the list below. Some team tactics must be activated while others are passive and always in effect. Unless otherwise noted team tactics require the battle bound to be within tether range. Activated tactics can be used by either member of the battle bound but only one activated tactic can be used per turn, regardless of which initiated it.

Advance:  The activating battle bound allows their companion to gain an extra move action this turn. If this action is used to allow an outsider type battle-beast to move it may instead teleport up to its move speed.

Attack!: The battle bound allows their companion to immediately make a ranged or melee attack at its highest bonus with any type of attack it possesses. This only allows an attack and does not allow other standard actions or the use of vital strike but it does allow the use of a combat manuever instead.

Bait and switch: The battle bound use the power of their tether to transpose places with each other. As an immediate action initiated by either of the battle bound the two instantly switch places. This is considered a supernatural teleportation effect. If performed in response to an attack this causes the newly teleported battle bound to be the subject of the attack. if for some reason this makes them an invalid target for the attacker's attack, the action is not wasted and the attacker may choose a new action.  If used at any point other than during the battle bounds turn this uses expends the use of team tactics for the following turn, unless they chose to forgo using a team tactic on their previous turn.

Crossfire: If both battle bound make ranged or melee attacks on the same opponent they are considered flanking for those attacks, regardless of positioning. This ability is always active and does not require the battle bound to be within tether range.

Converge and destroy:  The battle bound converge on a target between them and launch a devastating assault. This tactic can only be used if a foe stands between the two battle bound. Both battle bound immediately move or charge towards each other until they are both within melee range of their target and then full attack. During this full attack the bonus for flanking increases by +2. Activating this tactic is a full round action for both Battle bound.

Companion cast: A battle bound with this ability allows the battle-beast to channel its own energy allowing the companion to cast spells. These spells are taken from the same pool of spells per day and are at the same DC as the humanoid partners. This ability is always active even if the battle bound are outside of tether distance

Covering assault: When this ability is activated any foe attacked by a battle bound may not direct an attack or targeted spell at the other-battle bound until the end of their next turn. This does not apply if both battle bound attack the same target. This ability can be activated if the battle bound attacks with an effect such as a targeted spell, breath weapon, area of effect spell or any other harmful effect, it does not have to be just a melee or ranged attack.

Distraction tactics: When this ability is activated both battle bound are able to draw attention of foes while at the same time avoiding their attacks. The battle bound both  gain a dodge bonus to armor class against attacks of opportunity equal to 4+1/2 their level, and furthermore when the battle bound provokesan opponent they must choose to make their attack of opportunity if they can.

Encouraging shout: This ability may be activated as an immediate action when a battle bound makes any roll, they may immediately reroll the result. This must be activated before the result is declared.

Hand off: When this ability is activated the battle bound chooses any one item they are holding or wearing, that item is instantly moved to their partner. This must be an item the partner is capable of holding or wearing.  This ability can be activated as an immediate action instead of swift but in that case it expends the use of team tactics for the following round unless they chose to forgo using a team tactic on their previous turn.

Last stand: This ability can only be activated if the battle bound are adjacent to each other. Both battle bound gain improved uncanny dodge and a +1 dodge bonus to armor class for every enemy threatening either of them. This bonus lasts until the beginning of their next turn. If the battle bound cease being adjacent they lose this bonus immediately.

Over and under: If both battle bound perform a different combat manuever on the same target this round they each receive a +4 bonus to their CMB. If they both perform the same combat maneuver they add their bonuses together and then make a single roll.

Pack tactics: If both battle bound attack the same opponent on the turn this ability is activated they gain a bonus to all attack rolls equal to the total number of attacks that will be rolled. so for example if the battle beast attacks with 2 claws and a bite and its companion makes 3 axe attacks all of those attacks get a +6 bonus.  This bonus is calculated when the battle bound declare their attacks and is not recalculated if the number of attacks changes after that point..

Perfect harmony: The battle bound are now capable of entering each other's spaces and fighting as one without penalty. This does not count as squeezing or apply any of the normal penalties for occupying the same space. As long as they occupy the same space they are considered to be flanking with each other against any foe they can both reach. Additionally any attack directed at them must beat the higher of their two armor classes, though a success still damages the original target. Likewise any combat maneuver must defeat the higher of the two CMD's but still affects the initial target.  This also functions if one battle bound is using the other as a mount, and in such a case the rider may still use mounted combat to replace the mounts AC with a ride check.

Pull to safety: As an immediate action one battle bound may draw the other closer to them, pulling them out of harm's way and moving them up to1/2 the maximum tether length in a straight line towards the activator. If this is done in response to an attack, the moved battle bound does not provoke an attack from their attacker and their initial attack fails unless the target is still within range after moving. This does not waste the action used to make the initial attack, so the attacker may instead choose a new use for their action. The battle bound must be within tether distance and movement may be made using any movement method the moved creature possesses, though at the speed listed above. If used at any point other than during the battle bounds turn this uses expends the use of team tactics for the following turn, unless they chose to forgo using a team tactic on their previous turn.

Soul support: As a full round action one battle bound may channel all their will and spirit into aiding their companion. They make a special check using the battle bound class level+charisma modifier vs a DC of 10. This functions like aid another but applies to every attack, save, skill check and action the other battle bound takes even if they cannot normally be aided.  The same value is also added to their armor class. Additionally the bonus increases by 1 for every 5 the base DC is exceeded by.

Snap out of it: The battle bound who activates this ability immediately grants their companion a new saving throw against one ongoing effect it is currently exposed to. A success allows the companion to end the effect if an initial successful savewould have prevented the effect in the first place. This must be used within 1 minute of the condition being inflicted.

Synchronized attack: On a turn when this ability is activated any foe forced to make a reflex save due to an effect generated by one battle bound is flat footed against the attacks of the other battle bound. This applies regardless of how the effect was generated, even if it was caused by an item.

Tandem training: The battle bound both receive the same combat feat that they both qualify for. This ability is passive and does not need to be activated. This may be taken multiple times, each time granting another combat feat.

Teamwork training: The battle bound both receive the same 2 teamwork feats they both qualify for. This ability may be taken multiple times, each time granting another 2 teamwork feats. This ability is passive and does not need to be activated.

 

Spellcasting: Beginning at 4th level the battle bound, but not their battle-beast, is able to draw on a small number of spells. These spells are magical abilities that they derive from their bond with their companion and as such are spontaneous. At 4th level the Battle bound chooses two spells that they learn, and each level after that they learn one new spell. The spell list they draw on is based on the type of companion they have.  A construct or dragon companion grants the battle bound wizard/sorcerer spells, a magical beast or monstrous humanoid grants access to druid spells, and an outsider companion grants access to cleric spells. Bonus spells per day and the save dc's for them are charisma based.

Spell bound: Upon reaching 5th level the tether between battle bound grows even stronger. When one of the battle bound is subject to a harmless or beneficial magical effect and is within tether range of their partner they may choose to pass the effect to their partner instead. This means for example a battle bound could cast a personal range spell on them self and give the effect to their companion instead.

Blood bound: Upon reaching 10th level if the battle bound are within tether distance they may choose which partner takes damage when one is harmed. This is decided after the targeted member applies damage reduction or energy resistance and can also be applied to bleed and ability damage but not to other non-damaging effects. The entire amount of damage must be taken by one, it cannot be divvied up amongst them both. If the partner is immune to ability damage this effectively makes the other immune as long as they are within tether distance.  Further, even if they are not within tether distance a battle bound always knows when their partner takes damage no matter where they are.

Heart bound: Upon reaching 15th level the battle bound are now connected on a deep and intuitive level. Firstly, the two of them are always telepathically linked across any distance and even planar boundaries. Secondly, as long as the two remain within tether distance their presence soothes and re-enforces each other's minds. If one of the battle bound is subject to a mind affecting ability they use the higher will save bonuses of the two battle bound for the purpose of resisting the effect. If either of the battle bound has immunity to mind affecting abilities then their partner is also immune as long as they remain within tether distance.

Soul bound: Upon reaching 20th level the battle bound are inseparable, quite literally.  As long as the battle bound remain within tether distance they are nearly impossible to move away from eachother. Any attempt to move one from the other is opposed by both. A bullrush must overcome the higher CMD of the two, a teleportation spell allows one will save for each partner and if either succeeds it is negated and so on. Furthermore no effect can force a battle bound to declare an attack on their partner. Even if mind controlled they will never harm their partner. Additionally both partners may now activate a team tactic ability in the same turn.

 

 

Archetypes:

Deadly Duo: Battle bound archetype

A deadly duo is not a warrior paired with a powerful beast, but rather a pair of deadly warriors working in perfect harmony to bring down all who would oppose them.

Deadly duo : In place of a powerful monster, this battle bound has a strong dedicated partner, a fellow warrior whom they are closely tied to. The deadly duo's partner is another humanoid of any race with levels in this class equal to the battle bound's level and with this same archetype. This partner is built using the same rules as their partner and must have the same team tactics as them. Unlike with a battle-beast both members of the duo may possess magical items on all of their item slots. This ability replaces beast bound and spellcasting.

 

The Consumed: Battle bound archetype

Most battle bound find peace and harmony and a wholeness of self in finding their perfect battle companion. Others however lust for more. Some are driven towards a connection that is more than any bond between two creatures, a union of the two. Others only hunger for power and are willing to devour their own bound beast to gain that might.

Two as one: The consumed has become one with their battle bound, making them a single entity. The consumed gains evolution points as an eidolon of their level. Their body also shifts and changes to replicate an eidolon base form. This grants the speed, evolutions and natural armor granted by that form but does not change the ability scores or base saves of the consumed. If the consumed was of a race that was not medium size their size immediately changes to medium (This does not adjust their ability scores). The consumed may spend their evolution points as they wish but they may not exceed the listed number of natural attacks for an eidolon of their level. This ability replaces both the beast boundand spellcasting abilities and removes all armor proficency.

Inhuman: At first level the consumed may choose to change its creature type to native outsider, magical beast, monstrous humanoid, dragon, or they may gain the traits of a half construct. Regardless of which type is chosen the consumed gains 60 ft darkvision and at 9th level gains multiattack as a bonus feat. This replaces battle bound.

Bound hide: Beginning at second level the Consumed gains either a +2 bonus armor bonus or natural armor bonus to their armor class. At levels 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 17 and 20 this bonus increases by another+2. The bonus can be divided between armor and natural armor as the consumed sees fit but once chosen it cannot be changed. This ability replaces ties that bind.

Great power: Beginning at level 2 the Consumed gains a permanent +1 to strength and dexterity. At levels 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 17 and 20 this bonus increases by another+1 each. This ability replaces team tactics

Redirect magic: Beginning at 5th level the consumed gains the ability to shift debilitating conditions onto the remnants of their companion. As an immediate action when affected by any condition with a duration longer than instantaneous the consumed may instead choose to lose all abilities and bonuses granted to it by evolutions in order to ignore the condition. These points cannot be regained until they meet the normal criteria for removing the effect they avoided. This ability replaces spellbound.

Bodily deterioration: Beginning at 10th level the consumed may shed the power granted to them in order to ensure their own survival. As an immediate action the consumed may lose any number of abilities granted by evolution points to heal 1 hp per level for every evolution point worth of abilities they lost. This may even be done in response to taking enough damage to kill them. If the consumed would be subject to an effect that would strip them of evolution points they may instead lose 1 hp per level for each evolution point they choose to retain. This ability replaces blood bound.

Remake self: At 15th level the consumed may remake themselves anew each day. They gain the spell Transmogrify as a spell like ability useable once per day. Using this ability takes one hour and does not require the normal costly material components. This ability replaces heart bound.

Rebirth: At 20th level the consumed may put survival above all else. As a free immediate action the consumed may completely restore themselves. This fully heals them of all damage, including ability damage and drain, removes any ongoing conditions, even those of a permanent duration, and pushes all adjacent creatures 5 ft back with no save. This ability may be used even if the consumed was exposed to an effect that would render it dead, incapacitated, or unable to take actions. In exchange for this huge swell of power the consumed looses all evolutions for the remainder of the day and is unable to restore them until they have had a full nights rest. This ability replaces soulbound.