Sometimes it is not enough to be a conquering warrior, a champion of all that's right, an experienced sellsword, or an elite foot soldier. Sometimes the circumstances require a solid commander of soldiers and situations. Sometimes the circumstances demand a marshal.

Marshals inspire trust in those they lead. They earn that trust by slogging through harsh landscapes, dangerous battlefields, and haunted catacombs along with those under their command. With a look, they can see where to best deploy their resources or come up with a sneaky ruse to fool their enemies. A marshal has a tactician's mind, a cartographer's overview of the disputed landscape (or dungeon warren), and a way with words that can inspire battle-hardened fighters to give it their all when melee breaks out.

Adventures: Whether leading troops or a company of adventurers, marshals accept commissions in return for their service. Once a commission is accepted, most marshals feel honor bound to see the contract through to its end. If the choice is between honoring the commission and the survival of his company, though, many a marshal will break the commission and lead his forces to a new patron in distant lands.

Characteristics: Trained in the basics of fighting, marshals possess a general knowledge of weapons and armor. Their real strength is their ability to lead those who follow them to success they might not otherwise reach in combat. Marshals make passable warriors themselves, when personal danger finds them.

Alignment Marshals may be of any alignment. Good-aligned marshals are often crusading leaders who seek out and fight evil. Lawful-aligned marshals accept commissions from people who face invasion by foreign aggressors. Chaotic-aligned marshals lead mercenaries to wherever the pay is best. Evil-aligned marshals tend to lead forces of foreign aggressors set on invasion and plunder.

Religion: Marshals often worship Heironeous (god of valor) or Kord (god of strength). Some worship St. Cuthbert (god of retribution), Hextor (god of tyranny), or Erythnul (god of slaughter).

Background: Marshals come to their profession through study and desire. Most have had formal training in a noble's army, where they were given positions of authority. Others have trained in formal academies, preparing themselves for careers as a military officers. Marshals see others of their class as part of a special group, especially those they have studied with. Even enemy marshals can be afforded some respect, though the enemy's forces must be crushed all the same.

Races: Human marshals often follow in the footsteps of their parents, who served as officers in earlier wars, conflicts, or mercenary companies. Dwarf marshals are trained to lead strike teams that protect the underground dwarven kingdoms. Elf marshals rarely enroll in military academies, though half-elves often do. Half-orc marshals fight an uphill battle in trying to garner respect in mixed-race units.

Among the brutal humanoids, few manage to enroll in the academies where the elite skills of command are taught. Other Classes: The marshal relies on the other classes in all ways – it is his job to support a team, magnifying the strengths of each member for success in battles or forays into dangerous cavern complexes.

Role: In most adventuring parties, the marshal serves as the lead tactician, while his comrades support him with spells, ranged attacks, and other effects. However, once a plan is in motion, most marshals enter the melee to assure victory.

Game Rule Information

Marshals have the following game statistics.

Abilities: Charisma is especially important for marshals because it improves their standing with those they lead, as well as permitting them to magnify the efforts of the group. Constitution is important for a marshal's staying power. Intelligence is important for the many skills required by marshals to complete their commissions.

Alignment Any.

Hit Die: d8.

Class Skills: The marshal's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all skills, taken separately) (Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (n/a), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) ×4.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the marshal.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Marshals are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor (heavy, medium, and light), and with shields (except tower shields).

Auras (Ex): The marshal exerts an effect on allies in his vicinity. He can learn to produce different effects, or auras, over the course of his career. The marshal may project one minor aura and (starting at 2nd level) one major aura at a time.

Projecting an aura is a swift action. The aura remains in effect until the marshal uses a free action to dismiss it or activates another aura of the same kind (major or minor). A marshal can have an aura active continually; thus, an aura can be in effect at the start of a combat encounter even before the marshal takes his first turn.

Activating an aura involves haranguing, ordering, directing, encouraging, cajoling, or calming allies. A marshal sizes up the enemy, allies, and the terrain, then gives allies the direction that they can use to do their best.

Unless otherwise noted, a marshal's aura affects all allies within 60 feet (including himself ) who can hear the marshal. An ally must have an Intelligence score of 3 or higher and be able to understand the marshal's language to gain the bonus. A marshal's aura is dismissed if he is dazed, unconscious, stunned, paralyzed, or otherwise unable to be heard or understood by his allies.

A marshal begins play knowing one minor aura of his choice. As his marshal level increases, he gains access to new auras, as indicated on the accompanying table. All bonuses granted by a marshal's auras are circumstance bonuses that do not stack with each other.

Minor Aura: A minor aura lets allies add the marshal's Charisma bonus (if any) to certain rolls.

  • Accurate Strike: Bonus on rolls made to confirm critical hits.
  • Art of War: Bonus on disarm, trip, bull rush, and sunder attempts.
  • Demand Fortitude: Bonus on Fortitude saves.
  • Determined Caster: Bonus on rolls to overcome spell resistance.
  • Force of Will: Bonus on Will saves.
  • Master of Opportunity: Bonus to Armor Class against attacks of opportunity.
  • Master of Tactics: Bonus on damage rolls when flanking.
  • Motivate Charisma: Bonus on Charisma checks and Charisma-based skill checks.
  • Motivate Constitution: Bonus on Constitution checks and Constitution-based skill checks.
  • Motivate Dexterity: Bonus on Dexterity checks, Dexterity-based skill checks, and initiative checks.
  • Motivate Intelligence: Bonus on Intelligence checks and Intelligence-based skill checks.
  • Motivate Strength: Bonus on Strength checks and Strength-based skill checks.
  • Motivate Wisdom: Bonus on Wisdom checks and Wisdom-based skill checks.
  • Over the Top: Bonus on damage rolls when charging.
  • Watchful Eye: Bonus on Reflex saves.

Major Aura: Beginning at 2nd level, a marshal can project a major aura in addition to his minor aura. A major aura lets allies add +1 to certain rolls. This bonus improves by +1 at 7th, 14th, and 20th level.

  • Hardy Soldiers: The marshal's allies gain damage reduction equal to the amount of bonus the aura provides. For example, if the marshal is 10th level, everyone affected gains DR 2/–.
  • Motivate Ardor: Bonus on damage rolls.
  • Motivate Attack: Bonus on melee attack rolls.
  • Motivate Care: Bonus to Armor Class.
  • Motivate Urgency: Allies' base land speed is increased by a number of feet equal to 5× the amount of bonus the aura provides. For example, the allies of a 10th-level marshal (+2 major aura) add 10 feet to their base land speed.
  • Resilient Troops: Bonus on all saves.
  • Steady Hand: Bonus on ranged attack rolls.

Skill Focus (Diplomacy): Because a marshal has a way with people, he gains this feat as a bonus feat. If the marshal already has the feat, he can choose a different one.

Grant Move Action (Ex): Starting at 4th level, a marshal can direct and motivate his allies to act immediately. Once per day, as a standard action, he may grant an extra move action to any or all of his allies within 30 feet (but not to himself ). Each of the affected allies takes this extra move action immediately, acting in their current initiative order. This extra action does not affect the allies' initiative count; the round continues normally after the marshal's turn is over. (This may mean, for example, that an ally whose initiative count immediately follows the marshal's may get an extra move action from the marshal, followed directly by a full round worth of actions on the ally's turn.)

At 8th level, a marshal gains the ability to grant an extra move action to his allies twice per day. The frequency increases to three times per day at 12th level, four times per day at 16th level, and five times per day at 20th level.

A character can take only one extra move action per round. (In other words, two marshals can't use this ability on the same ally in the same round.) If an ally chooses not to take the extra move action, it is lost.

Level Progression

Level Base Attack Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1 +0 +2 +0 +2 Skill focus (Diplomacy), minor aura
2 +1 +3 +0 +3 Major aura +1
3 +2 +3 +1 +3
4 +3 +4 +1 +4 Grant move action 1/day
5 +3 +4 +1 +4
6 +4 +5 +2 +5
7 +5 +5 +2 +5 Major aura +2
8 +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 Grant move action 2/day
9 +6/+1 +6 +3 +6
10 +7/+2 +7 +3 +7
11 +8/+3 +7 +3 +7
12 +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Grant move action 3/day
13 +9/+4 +8 +4 +8
14 +10/+5 +9 +4 +9 Major aura +3
15 +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +9
16 +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Grant move action 4/day
17 +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10
18 +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11
19 +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11
20 +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Grant move action 5/day, major aura +4

Auras Known

Level Minor Auras Major Auras
1 1 0
2 1 1
3 2 1
4 2 1
5 3 2
6 3 2
7 4 2
8 4 2
9 5 3
10 5 3
11 5 3
12 6 3
13 6 3
14 6 4
15 7 4
16 7 4
17 7 4
18 7 4
19 8 4
20 8 5

Starting Packages

Race: Half-elf.
Armor: Scale mail (+4 AC, armor check penalty –4, speed 20 ft., 30 lb.).
Heavy wooden shield (+2 AC, armor check penalty –2, 10 lb.).
Weapons: Longsword (1d8, crit 19–20/×2, 4 lb., one-handed, slashing).
Shortbow (1d6, crit ×3, range inc. 60 ft., 2 lb., piercing).
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 2 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor Check Penalty
Diplomacy 4 Cha
Intimidate 4 Cha
Listen 4 Wis
Ride 4 Dex
Spot 4 Wis
Swim 4 Str –12
Gather Information (cc) 2 Cha
Climb (cc) 2 Str –6
Jump (cc) 2 Str –6

Feat: Weapon Focus (longsword).
Gear: Backpack with waterskin, one day's trail rations, bedroll, sack, and flint and steel. Quiver with 20 arrows. Bullseye lantern, 5 pints of oil.
Gold: 2d4 gp.

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