Fandom month continues with a review of The Speedster by Grod_The_Giant. The Speedster is the classic comic book super speed hero turned into a beautiful 20 level package. It's designed to allow you the experience of being intensely fast and reflexive while at the same time keeping pace, so to speak, with powerful classes likewizards and druids. So how does it all work?
For starters the basic framework is exactly what it should be. Full base attack, 4+Int skills, good reflex save, and a D8 for hit points, less than most martial classes get but the idea is to try to not take damage. The chassis is perfectly suited for a fast striking melee or ranged class. One major thing to note is that they gain no proficiency with armor or shields and lose all class features if wearing any armor. At second level they gain some ability to mitigate this but at level one they are extremely fragile.
I would recommend anyone, from professionals to first time homebrewers, to look at this class as a guide. This class has a perfect and precise understanding of how it should be played and it gives you all the tools you need for playing it right. Being a fast hard hitting skirmisher is the clear goal with this class and everything they get works perfectly towards this end. At first level you're already faster than a normal person and you can throw a huge attack once per fight, and first level is the only level I'd say could use a bit of improvement. The major critical features of the class come online at second level and from there everything is perfect.
At second level the class gives you everything you need to excel. First off, the speed armor ability gives you an AC bonus based on how far you move. Automatically this class is telling you to keep moving constantly, and it doubles this bonus against attacks of opportunity. This is brilliant for a lot of reasons. Firstly the main reason no one moves in many combats is because there's no benefit but a major drawback in the form of attacks of opportunity. This power rewards you for moving and helps protect you against the downside. At the same time though this is in some ways better than not provoking because it still causes foes to waste their attacks, and it means that the enemy still has a chance so the class feels less unbeatable while still having a big advantage in its chosen area.
"But hold on, can you only play one way? Just run around and hit things? No finesse?" You theoretically ask because I told you to. Think again. At the same level the speedster gives you another ability, "Speed Stealth", allowing you to move quickly and stay hidden better but it doesn't function at the same time as speed armor, so you have two different approaches to any situation. "Alright, that's pretty good, but what about difficult terrain? That would make this class choke on its red and yellow cowl." You argue, for sake of literary flow. Nope, wrong again o'fictitious strawman. At this same glorious second level you ignore difficult terrain. So calculating movement is easy and no puddle of mud is going to shut down your class.
The rest of the class follows suit, continuing to provide even but steady increases. Since many abilities are based on speed they naturally improve at a controlled rate as your land speed increases and each new ability provides more and more amazing options. With abilities called "Faster than space" and "Gravitic strike" it's very clear a lot of hard work went into emulating that "comic book feel" without completely breaking the game to accomplish it. Without going into detail over every single ability, suffice to say I spent two paragraphs just talking about how brilliant second level is. The rest of the class is just as clever and it all comes together beautifully to provide a plethora of thematic options that gives you versatility and power while keeping on the strong but not too strong side.
All in all this class wound up as one of my absolute favourites and immediately made my bucket list of homebrew I have to use for a long running game. Truly outstanding work that is flavourful, fun, and strong enough to run with the best of them.