Str, Dex, Con
HP @ Lvl 1
Your Con Modifier + 1d14 Or 8.
HP @ Higher Lvls
Your Con Modifier + 1d14 / Level After 1st
In the world, there are some people who do not know how to bend the knee, or bow before others, or lie down and stay down when all others would confess that is the best thing, the right thing, the brave thing, the smart thing, the thing to do.
They love the fight itself, they love the roar of the crowds, the taste of blood and sweat and the sheer joy of overcoming, of besting oneself, or moving ever further on, and of shrugging off that damn fool stuff they call magic.
They are the ones who will charge ahead, the ones who will welcome a challenge, who have such faith in themselves that it becomes a force in its own right, and so powerful that it defies even the possibility of death itself.
Each of the Seven Cities, and most large towns has a cast area set aside for contest and sports that are extremely popular among the general populace. Although many different activities take place here, the most popular are the artistic efforts of Bards, and the glory of the martial tournaments.
The martial tournaments often have folks showing off their particular skill sets or dueling, wizards and other mages engaging in presentations of power and showmanship, but the heroes, the people’s whose names reside on the lips of their greatest fans, are the showmen and the performers whose pure power stuns all.
They are called the Vanguard. They are also called other things: rage monsters, berserkers, barbarians, among others, but most will call them The Forlorn Hopes, for they are not merely entertaining, they are people for whom battle is a sport, and strength is the deciding factor. Vanguards are the brawlers, the muscle, the purest expression of force of arms that Wyrlde has to offer.
And when they should be dead, they get back up and keep fighting.
Because they aren’t always interested in strategies and tactics, in sneaking around or subtlety. They are blunt instruments, and they are the best at what they do.
Skills (Pick 2)
Affray, Athletics, Brawl, Evasion, Block, Stress, Endure, Intimidate, Tumbling, Perform
Standard, Light, Medium, Shield
Simple, Common, Adept, Specialist
Spectator sports are a huge business within the Empire. The Circuit of Seven is cause for gambling in the thousands of Sovereigns and Crowns. Every City and every major Town has an Arena, a stadium of a set and proscribed size that is a marvel of architecture and wonder of clockworking, designed to provide the ultimate show and the grandest spectacle to those who pay a seeming pittance to crowd the highest seats, who spend a small fortune for a special box seat. The events in these arenas include entertainment, oration contests, displays of magical wonder and artifice, and many other diversions, but the real reason that anyone ever goes to the Grand games, held constantly in greater and lesser events, are the Vanguards. People who have sworn away their very lives for the chance to earn glory, gold, and adulation from the crowds in displays and feats of sorts that are always the creation of some wicked and cruel mind bent on giving the best and bloodiest show possible.
They could not happen without the Vanguards, whose tenacity endurance, will, and skill are all that stands between them and vast renown. Life expectancy in these events is measured in Games, in bouts, in challenges, not in days, or weeks, or months, or years. They typical lifespan of a new Vanguard undergoing training is about 6 Games.
Vanguards who have graduated and struck out on their own are famous, are well known, and can begin the process of forging a new path – which most do by becoming Adventurer’s and putting what they learned in the five years of their apprenticeship to good use.
At 1st Level, when you make a weapon attack, you can make another attack with the same weapon against a different creature that is within 5 feet of the original target and within range of your weapon. Once used, you cannot do it again until after a short rest.
At 5th Level, you gain a second attack.
At 9th Level, when you make a weapon attack, you can make another attack with the same weapon against a different creature that is within 5 feet of the original target and within range of your weapon. You can do this twice. You can recover one use after a short rest, or all uses after a long rest.
At 13th Level, you gain a third attack.
At 17th Level, when you make a weapon attack, you can make another attack with the same weapon against a different creature that is within 5 feet of the original target and within range of your weapon. You can do this three times. You can recover one use after a short rest, or all uses after a long rest.
At 1st Level, you can reroll a saving throw that you fail. If you do so, you must use the new roll, and you can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.
At 5th Level, you can use your action to frighten someone with your menacing presence. When you do so, choose one creature that you can see within 30 feet of you. If the creature can see or hear you, it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw (DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier) or be frightened of you until the end of your next turn. On subsequent turns, you can use your action to extend the duration of this effect on the frightened creature until the end of your next turn. This effect ends if the creature ends its turn out of line of sight or more than 60 feet away from you.
If the creature succeeds on its saving throw, you can’t use this feature on that creature again for 24 hours.
At 9th Level, having 0 hit points doesn’t knock you unconscious. You still must make death saving throws, and you suffer the normal effects of taking damage while at 0 hit points. However, if you would die due to failing death saving throws, you don’t die until your turn ends, and you die then only if you still have less than 0 hit points.
At 13th Level, you attain the pinnacle of resilience in battle. At the start of each of your turns, you regain hit points equal to 5 + your Constitution modifier if you have no more than half of your hit points left. You gain this benefit even if you have 0 hit points.
At 17th Level, you can go into a frenzy. If you do so, for the duration of your frenzy you can make a single melee weapon attack as a bonus action on each of your turns after this one. When your frenzy ends, you suffer one level of fatigue.
At 1st Level, you have advantage on saving throws against being frightened.
At 5th Level, you have advantage on saving throws against being stunned.
At 9th Level, you have advantage on saving throws against being stilled.
At 13th Level, you have advantage on saving throws against being fatigued.
At 17th Level, you have advantage on saving throws against being incapacitated.
At 1st Level, when you hit a creature with an opportunity attack, you can move up to half your speed immediately after the attack and as part of the same reaction. This movement doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks.
At 5th Level, your intensity in battle can shield you and help you strike true. As a bonus action on your turn, you can give yourself advantage on weapon attack rolls until the end of the current turn. When you do so, you also gain 5 temporary hit points. The number of temporary hit points increases when you reach certain levels in this class, increasing to 10 at 9th level and 15 at 13th level, and 20 at 17th Level.
You can use this feature three times, and you regain one use after a short rest, or all expended uses of it when you finish a long rest.
At 9th Level, when a creature makes a Melee Weapon attack on you and misses, you can use your reaction to make a Persuasion(Charisma) check, countered by the creature’s Intelligence score, to have it hit you again. If he misses yet again, you can kick the creature. It then takes 2d4+(Dexterity/Strength modifier) Bludgeoning damage. If it’s Large or smaller the target must make a DC 17 Dexterity saving throw or be knocked prone. You automatically gain the bonus of Crowd Favorite if there is a non-hostile creature that can see you using this ability.
At 13th Level, you can use your Null as an anti-magic field. You can only do this once between long rsts, but you can expand your Null out to a number of feet equal to your level, and spell effects which are active and cast by someone of a lower level than you will be stopped. Those things of an equal level must make a Mana saving throw or suffer the same fate, Anything of greater level than you is unaffected. This also applies to any magical items that are not Vestiges, Mythicals, Relics, or Artifacts (Type 0 to 3 magical items).
Medium Backpack, Tinderbox,
Tools or Kit
Choice of 1: Leather, Hide, or Buckskin Armor
(a) One allowable Melee Weapon Type, or 1 short sword
(a) One allowable Ranged Weapon Type, or 1 hand axes
All vanguard are trained in a special school, or tanjin, called a Campus. Because the Grand games include fights to the death regularly and routinely, all who apprentice and train with them operate under a formal agreement called a familia Vanguardia, which makes them the legal property of the Campus during their training. Because of this, Volunteers require a magistrate’s permission to join a Campus as an Apprentice. If this is granted, the Campus’ physician assesses their suitability. Their contract stipulates how often they are to perform, their fighting style and earnings. A bankrupt or debtor accepted as an Apprentice can negotiate with his Familia Vanguardia for the partial or complete payment of his debt.
All prospective Vanguards, whether volunteer or condemned, are bound to service by a sacred oath. Apprentices train under teachers of fighting styles, normally retired Vanguards. Each Campus is owned by someone who is wealthy enough to do so, and there are a lot of bets and wagers and bargaining that goes on around them – something that if a Vanguard is caught participating in, can get their hands removed. As a result, however, there are an endless number of Campuses, which generally provide housing, training, feeding, and using the Vanguards to the greatest possible profit.
Socially, new Vanguard are on the same level as pimps and butchers and as despised as price gougers. This lasts until they win, and to become free and able to move on one’s own in the wider world requires at least 12 victories in the Grand games – though many will opt for slightly longer in order to build up a winnings purse of their own, since they don’t even own the clothes on their backs or the weapons in their hands.
This also means that Vanguards start with a Renown of 12. They are, to use the metaphor of dear Rafael, the “rock starts” of the Empire.
Vanguard can specialize in any one Adept or any two Specialist weapons.
At 1st Level, you gain 1 First Order.
At 5th Level, you gain 1 Second Order, or 1 First Order.
At 9th Level, you gain 1 Third Order, or 1 Second Order, or 1 First Order.
At 13th Level, you gain 1 Fourth Order, or 1 Third Order, or 1 Second Order, or 2 First Order.
At 17th Level, you gain 1 Fifth Order, or Fourth Order, or 1 Third Order, or 2 Second Orders, or 2 First Orders.
At 3rd Level, you can add your proficiency bonus to any Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution check you make that doesn’t already use your proficiency bonus.
In addition, when you make a jump, the distance you can cover increases by a number of feet equal to your Strength modifier.
At 7th Level, you can choose one aspect from the Postulant list.
At 11th Level, you can choose one aspect from the Initiate list, or one aspect from the Postulant list.
At 15th Level you can choose one aspect from the Member list, or one aspect from the Initiate list, or one aspect from the Postulant list.
At 19th Level you can choose one aspect from the Hieros list, or one aspect from the Member list, or one aspect from the Initiate list, or one aspect from the Postulant list.
At 4th Level, you can choose one Dedicated Maxim.
At 8th Level you can choose one Persistent Maxim or one Dedicated Maxim.
At 12th Level you can choose one Zealous Maxim or one Persistent Maxim or one Dedicated Maxim.
At 16th Level you can choose one Unyielding Maxim or one Zealous Maxim or one Persistent Maxim or one Dedicated Maxim.
At 20th Level you can choose one Absolutist Maxim or one Unyielding Maxim or one Zealous Maxim or one Persistent Maxim or one Dedicated Maxim.
At 2nd Level, you can choose one aspect from the Postulant list.
At 6th Level, you can choose one aspect from the Initiate list, or one aspect from the Postulant list.
At 10th Level, you can choose one aspect from the Member list, or one aspect from the Initiate list, or one aspect from the Postulant list.
At 14th Level, you can choose one aspect from the Hieros list, or one aspect from the Member list, or one aspect from the Initiate list, or one aspect from the Postulant list.
At 18th Level, you can choose one aspect from the Alumni list, or one aspect from the Hieros list, or one aspect from the Member list, or one aspect from the Initiate list, or one aspect from the Postulant list.
Yeoman / Doyen