About Me

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Seattle, Washington, United States
I'm an old time roleplayer who became a soldier who became a veteran who became a developer who became a dba who became a manager who never gave up his dream of a better world. Even if I have to create it myself.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Mortal Conquestor

Conquestors were the first class I started design on in Phoenix, and they show it.  Having been through the most iterations, they are the class I feel most comfortable with.

I know that much of the OSR audience abhors complex mechanics for fighters, but I confess to liking some of that sort of thing, with the fundamental requirement that it is both fun to play and adds to the flavor of the class.

I don't much buy into the concept of encounter or daily types of powers for fighters, so don't be worried that I'm going all new-age.  My reasoning for not liking these is simple - I have yet to hear an associated explanation for it.  It seems 100% game-balancey to me and that's not a good enough reason, especially since I'm a big fan of not over-prioritizing balance in a co-op game.

So, what is a Conquestor in Phoenix?

A Conquestor is a martial-oriented class that can unleash physical force unmatched by any other class.  They don’t have patience for fine-tuned training – they mostly just practice hitting things harder.  At the mortal tier, Conquestors might be barbarians, strongmen, gladiators, thugs, or similar archetypes.

The basic approach for a Conquestor is to attack as brutally as possible, without much regard for finesse.  Doing so builds up Rage, which can then be used for special attacks or abilities.


Yes, I'm aware of the prevalence of Rage concepts in video games.  Oddly enough, this came about in a different direction (one of mathematical modeling) and I only decided to name it Rage because so many players could instantly comprehend it.  Sometimes embracing the jargon is ok, if it makes a concept easier to discuss.

Conquestors need a decent Soul score - the combination of Faith and Discipline - because they fight with raw aggression, which is an emotional or possibly spiritual force depending on the character.  The Conquestor's ability to focus this intangible concept into tangible force is important.


A Conquestor gains proficiency in Striking (1-H and 2-H), Thrown, and Unarmed attacks.  In previous drafts, the Conquestor got to pick from a list of weapons, but as weapon design grew more mature, this "choice" ended up having very little point to it, and choices without meaning aren't really choices at all.

Instead, Conquestors can select one of their proficient groups as a mastery, which increases the size of the damage die.  This is a much more meaningful choice.


Conquestors gain a point of rage whenever they damage an enemy, and this increases with level.  I've had a few iterations on this mechanic, and in one playtest they earned rage taking damage as well - but for now I'm focusing on aggressive returns only.  I don't want to encourage a Conquestor to take damage as that takes away the fun of their (small) selection of defensive abilities.

Rage can only be earned or spent on an attack - in other words, expending rage on a special power to damage an enemy can't also earn Rage.  That would be rude.

Conquestors have a special ability called First Blood - I couldn't resist - where they earn bonus rage for the first damaging attack in a combat.  Mechanically, this kick starts the Conquestor's damage cycle to help prevent the "Conquestors suck the first 5 rounds of every combat" problem.

Rage Strike

All Conquestors have this - simply put, it lets a Conquestor convert Rage into a bonus die of damage on an attack.  Spending more rage can grant more dice, which isn't so likely at first level when rage generation is low, but is more likely at higher levels.

Some other Powers

Conquestors gain a limited selection of other powers, chosen as they level.  Here's a few examples.

Cleave (Attack)
Weapons    Striking
Costs    Rage 0
Attack    Arc 3
Damage    Half

You have practiced swinging your weapon with powerful force in a wide arc.

If you do not spend any Rage on this attack, it generates rage if the targets are damaged.

Rage +1
Attack does regular damage (instead of half damage).

Rage +1
Attack becomes an Arc 4.

Leaping Sprint (Sprint)
Costs    Rage 1

You may make one long-jump up to your Combat Speed in distance, without check or penalty, at any time during your sprint.  The jump counts as movement for the Sprint – for example, if you have a Sprint speed of 6 and a Combat speed of 4, then you may jump up to 4m during the Sprint, and still have 2m of movement left over for normal running.

Rage +1 (repeatable)
Gain an extra 1m of distance on your jump.  However, you cannot exceed your normal Sprint speed through this boost.

Power Block (Reactive Support)
Weapons    Striking
Costs    Rage 1

You strike out at your opponent’s weapon with brute force.  Add STR’ to your Martial Defense against a single attack, prior to damage being announced.

Rage +1 (repeatable)
Gain an extra +2 to your Martial Defense against this attack.

Smash (Attack)
Costs    Rage 1
Attack    Object
Damage    +1d8

Make an attack against any object (doors, vases, etc.) and gain bonus damage.  Animated creatures count as objects for this power.

Rage +1 (repeatable)
Gain Damage +1d8.

If you know this Rage Power, then you gain Rage 1 anytime you destroy an object during combat.

A Picture

I went to great efforts to find a high quality Conquestor image, especially for the fans of the Manor who have made my article on tabletop roleplaying top out the hit list.  Enjoy.

© Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons

1 comment:

  1. A companion for your Conquestor


    I want one.


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