Other Exclusive Prestige Class : Berserk
Berserks are warriors who dress themselves in bearskins ("berserk" comes from "bear sark," or "bear shirt"), taking advantage of the fear most people have for wild animals and simultaneously inviting the wild rage of the animal into the warrior's body. Berserks whip themselves into a battle frenzy, biting their shields and howling like animals. They are ferocious fighters and seemingly insensitive to pain while this madness lasts. Berserks make formidable enemies. In their rage they have even been known to attack the boulders and trees of the forest, and it is not uncommon for them to kill their own people.
Barbarians generally disdain berserks, whose lack of control in battle goes beyond even barbarians' legendary rages. The Asgardian gods are often arcane spellcasters themselves, so even wizards and sorcerers may find themselves "blessed" with battle fury.
As nonplayer characters, berserks are indistinguishable from other fighters and warriors until their madness overtakes them. They rarely travel together, knowing firsthand how dangerous they can be to their own allies.
To qualify to become a Berserk, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Alignment: Any nonlawful.
- Feats: Armor Proficiency (medium), Martial Weapon Proficiency (battleaxe, longsword, or warhammer), Shield Proficiency,
- Base Attack Bonus: +5.
- Patron: Worships in the Asgardian pantheon
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All the following are class features of the berserk prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Berserks gain proficiency with light armor as well as all simple and martial melee weapons, if they did not have these proficiencies from a previous class.
Battle Fury (Ex): Starting at 1st level, berserks can enter battle fury as a standard action. They gain +6 to Strength, +6 to Constitution, and a +3 morale bonus on Will saves, but suffer a -2 penalty to AC while in battle fury. The increase in Constitution increases the berserk's hit points by 3 points per level, but these hit points go away at the end of the fury when the Constitution score drops back to normal. (These extra hit points are not lost first the way temporary hit points are; see Temporary Hit Points.) While in his fury, a berserk cannot use skills or abilities that require patience and concentration, such as moving silently or casting spells (the only class skill he can't use is Survival). He cannot use ranged weapons. He can use any feat he might have except for Expertise, item creation feats, metamagic feats, and Skill Focus (if it's tied to a skill that requires patience or concentration). While in a fury, berserks attack every being they can see. When a berserk begins attacking a foe, she continues until that foe dies, the berserk dies or becomes incapacitated, or the fury ends.
In order to avoid attacking a friend or innocent bystander, the berserk must make a Will save (DC 15 + the number of rounds already spent in a fury). A fit of battle fury lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character's (newly improved) Constitution modifier. The berserk may nor prematurely end the battle fury voluntarily if there are no longer any beings in sight, the berserk randomly attacks walls, rocks, trees, doors, or anything else she can see. At the end of a fury, the berserk is fatigued (-2 to Strength, -2 to Dexterity, can't charge or run) for the duration of that encounter.
The berserk can only fly into a fury once per encounter and only a certain number of times per day (determined by level).
Movement Bonus (Ex): At 1st level, berserks increase their movement rate by 10 feet. This bonus only applies to the berserk's hum an and hybrid forms.
Beast Shape (Su): At 3rd level, the berserk selects a totem animal from the following list: bear (brown), boar, eagle, raven, whale (cachalot), or wolf. A number of times per day determined by level, the berserk may change shape into a hybrid creature with features that combine human and animal, or into the animal itself. A hybrid retains the use of human arms, hands, and intelligence, but loses the power of speech. A hybrid cannot use skills or abilities that require patience and concentration, such as moving silently or casting spells (the only class skill he can't use is Survival). He can use any feat he might have except for Expertise, item creation feats, metamagic feats, and Skill Focus (if it's tied to a skill that requires patience or concentration). Hybrids also gain +2 Strength and +2 Constitution. The increase in Constitution increases the berserk's hit points by 1 point per level, but these hit points go away at the end of the fury when the Constitution score drops back to normal. (These extra hit points are not lost first the way temporary hit points are; see Temporary Hit Points.)
While in animal form, the berserk gains the abilities and movement speeds of the animal and retains her human intelligence. A berserk cannot use battle fury while in either hybrid or animal form, nor can she use beast shape while in battle fury. A berserk can always change back to human form. No equipment or clothing transforms with the berserk.
Damage Reduction (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, the berserk gains the ability to shrug off some amount of injury from each blow or attack. Subtract 1 from the damage the berserk takes each time she is dealt damage. At 4th level, this damage reduction rises to 2. At 6th level it rises to 3. At 8th level it rises to 4. Damage reduction can reduce damage to 0 but not below 0.
|Berserk||Hit Die: d12|
|1st||+0||+2||+0||+0||Battle fury 1/day, +10 ft. movement|
|2nd||+1||+3||+0||+0||Damage reduction 1/-|
|3rd||+2||+3||+1||+1||Beast shape 1/day|
|4th||+3||+4||+1||+1||Battle fury 2/day, damage reduction 2/-|
|6th||+4||+5||+2||+2||Beast shape 2/day, damage reduction 3/-|
|8th||+6||+6||+2||+2||Battle fury 3/day, damage reduction 4/-|
|9th||+6||+6||+3||+3||Beast shape 3/day|
The epic berserk is a paragon of battle frenzy who lays waste to all those who would stand in their way.
You can take advantage of your battle fury's similarity to rage by picking up feats such as Chaotic Rage or Thundering Rage. Alternatively, improve your defensive capabilities with Armor Skin, Damage Reduction, or Epic Toughness. Strength is your best friend, so you should put most of your ability increases there, but improving your Dexterity and/or Constitution every now and then is a good idea, too.
Other Options: To put an extra dose of terror in your opponents, pick up Wield Oversized Weapon, Terrifying Rage, and Overwhelming Critical, then watch your foes flee with their tails tucked between their legs!
Hit Die: d12.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.
Battle Fury (Ex): The berserk can enter a battle fury one additional time per day for every 4 levels gained after 8th (4/day at 12th, 5/day at 16th, and so on). For the purpose of qualifying for or using epic feats, treat the berserk's battle fury as interchangeable with rage.
Beast Shape (Su): The berserk can change to his beast shape one additional time per day for every 3 levels above 9th (4/day at 12th, 5/day at 15th, and so on).
Bonus Feats: The epic berserk gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic berserk feats) every 3 levels after 10th.
Epic Berserk Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Chaotic Rage*, Damage Reduction, Devastating Critical, Epic Prowess, Epic Toughness, Epic Weapon Focus, Fast Healing, Mighty Rage*, Overwhelming Critical, Ruinous Rage*, Terrifying Rage*, Thundering Rage*, Wield Oversized Weapon.
*For the purpose of these feats, the berserk's battle fury is treated as rage.
|12th||Beast shape 4/day, battle fury 4/day|
|15th||Beast shape 5/day|
|16th||Battle fury 5/day, bonus feat|
|18th||Beast shape 6/day|
|20th||Battle fury 6/day|
Source: Deities and Demigods
Older Prestige class adapted to 3.5