Rather, I think I might have found a solution to another problem.
Basic, expert, and master paths are all reasonably gelled in my mind, but champion paths have eluded me a bit.
I was looking through the Dawnforge core rulebook from Fantasy Flight for racial traits and talents, and overshot the section I was looking for. I landed directly in the ‘legendary classes’ section.
Fantasy Flight introduced the idea of legendary classes in the Legends & Lairs line (D&D 3e). A legendary class is something like a prestige class, but with somewhat more difficult prerequisites and stricter rules about how a character qualifies and progresses in the class (including the requirement that the character not take levels in any other class until taking all five levels of the legendary class).
At each level in the legendary class, the character gains an ability from a list specific to the class. These abilities scale by ‘power level’ (level in the legendary class). Many are just numbers (usually including two or three “+1 legendary bonus to ability score per power level”, so +1..+5 to an ability score depending on which level you take it), but there are other options.
Looking at the Adamantine Warrior, there are some options that I could adapt.
- Adamantine Attack doubles base strength for one round per power level per day. Wording suggests it’s usable only for attacks, but I would not so limit it.
- Cheat Death completely negates one attack per power level (ever… this is an expensive ability to use) that would kill the adamantine warrior.
- War Chant is usable once per day and extends rage duration of all allies by two rounds per power level.
- Sorcery Overpower allows the adamantine warrior to ignore up to three spell levels per power level per day.
- Life of Rage grants the adamantine warrior fast healing equal to power level while raging.
- Granite Body can cause weapons damaging the adamantine warrior to shatter against their body, up to once per day per power level.
- Unstoppable lets the adamantine warrior to fight while dying (below 0 hit points) and extends the dying limit by 10 hit points per power level (that is, instead of dying at -10 hit points, having this ability at power level 2 means the character doesn’t die until reading -30 hit points).
I don’t need to apply all abilities to a single champion path, but I can easily mine these for ideas for tiered abilities. If I do decide to apply such abilities (which may be drawn from more than one legendary class) to a champion path I expect I’d have each path level give one ability, and that they all scale at each level.
That is, a Dread Knight might gain the following abilities in order.
- Aura of Terror is an aura of fear up to 10-foot radius per power level, everyone affected will be panicked (Will save to be shaken), lasting for one minute per power level.
- Granite Body as the Adamantine Warrior.
- Aura of Command As aura of terror, but of being panicked, creatures that fail the save are dominated.
At the first champion level, the character gains the first ability at ‘power level 1’. At the second champion level, the character gains the second ability and both are at ‘power level 2’. At the third champion level, the character gins the third ability and all three are at ‘power level 3’.
The numbers might change. I can see using power levels (2, 3, 4), or (1, 3, 5), or perhaps something else.
I will need to rewrite many of these because mechanics have changed, but the ideas are generally often on the level of grandeur I envision for champion classes. Some won’t be, they might be more suitable for lower tier… still useful to me.