Almost two weeks ago, I was inspired to begin work on a class I’ve wanted to make for a long time — how it is that every class seems to be something I’ve wanted to make for a long time? — a Martial hero that uses a spear and shield together.

“Commonplace Weapons” on Dice Monkey (Aug 29, 2013)

The resulting first-level design previewed on my Patreon feed last Thursday as the Spearman, though that was (clearly) before I designed the level advancement for the class — I knew at that point the Spearman would be a Defender-Striker.

The class itself is designed around a particular combination of features and powers — many of my classes are, but this one is particular — a new iteration of the Fighter’s “Combat Superiority” and “Weapon Talent” features and a pair of new shield-based powers — “Shield Ally” and “Shield Block.”

Now, the Battlerager Fighter gains temporary hit points whenever he hits or misses with a melee attack while the moon is full every second Tuesday — actually, it’s convoluted enough that building a Battlerager necessitates taking almost every single Invigorating attack available.

The end result is the same — you gain temporary hit points enough to blunt part of the first attack to hit you before the next time you’re attacked.

I decided to make things easier for the poor Fighter:

Shield Block [Martial, Interrupt]
Opportunity action * At-will * Personal
Requirement: You must be using a shield.
Trigger: An enemy hits you with an attack.
Effect: You reduce the damage you take from the triggering attack by an amount equal to your Wisdom modifier.

At first, this power might seem a tad redundant — why not just give the Fighter damage reduction while he has a shield equipped? Well, this power does two things — it reduces damage, and it costs an Opportunity action.

This means it only reduces damage from the first attack to hit the Fighter per turn — it will only stop half of a Ranger’s “Twin Strike,” for example. It also means a Fighter must choose between taking an Opportunity Attack or reducing damage from a hit. There’s a subtle strategy in choosing when to use the power.

Finally, the Opportunity action restriction means that a Fighter who is Stunned or Dazed cannot block with his shield — which makes more sense than I think I can fully articulate — look, I’m trying to articulate it right now and it isn’t working.

It just makes so much sense.

Anyway, I’ll be sharing the Dragoon later today on Patreon — if you want to see all my classes before they show up on my blog, go subscribe now!