I love the idea of playing a kroot, they are the perfect mercenaries. But I also like the options alternate classes give a player. So i was a mad when the only alternate class for a kroot player involved becoming a squad leader, which is a lot of extra work that i didn't want to deal with. So i made my own kroot class based on thier strengths. Rather than focus on combat it tried to make his stand out from human characters by making him the ultimate tracker. I tried not to make the class to broken and honestly i ripped a lot of it from the Cyber-Mastif Handler class from The Book of Judgement. I based the stats and description of the kroot hound on every canon source i could find.
So please use this class as you see fit and tell me what you think, please, be as brutally honest as you want.
The Kroot are survivors, they are hunters. There are few things that they like relish more than stalking a strong prey, running it to ground and killing it. While the Kroot value their kindred greatly they very much enjoy the solitude of the pursuit aswell. Thus, they find the perfect hunting companion in their evolutionary cousins, the the kroot hounds. These are not the dumb pack hunters one usually finds on feral worlds, not long ago these creatures shared a common ancestry with the mercenary Kroot. They possess a narrow intelligence and a lust for pray and are not easily brought to heel. There are none so skilled in the art of tracking as a Kroot Hound Master and his pack. Unlike the beast tamers of other races he will never fully dominate his hounds, he must establish himself as the alpha constantly. This does not mean his hounds are not loyal to him, for he is family, he is pack, but if he is to command them he must prove himself often.
When a Kroot wishes to become a Hound Master he just has to pass a single test. His is covered in blood and then thrown into a pit or locked room with three untrained kroot hounds for one full day. If both he and all three hounds are alive and uncrippled after this time then he will be instructed by the senior Hound Masters of the kindred. He learns to understand his hounds as he would one of his brothers and how to be understood by them.
Hound Masters spend years with their hounds, training them for the hunt and the kill. They spend countless hours running their charges through drills and following scent trails, curbing their natural aggressiveness until they are commanded to unleash it. He will teach young hounds how to be patient for the ambush and how to stalk in silence. He learns to tend to his charges without codling or patronization, and how to tend to the woulds they receive in combat with strong prey. All of this training is culminated on the beasts' first actual hunt, in which the handler takes his charges into the field to be put to the test. The aspirant master will take a single hound on a hunt with a truly dangerous pray armed only with a bladed fighting staff. This could be some terrible monster or a skilled killer who has managed to impress other Kroot with his skill. He is set far from his pray and must track it for however many days or weeks it takes to bring it down. Once he brings proof of his kill back to the kindred he is considered a Master of Hounds.
When Kroot go to war the Hound Masters play an important roll for it is often the hounds that lead the charge. It is rare for a Kroot kindred to be without several hound masters.
Becoming a Hound Master
Required Careers: Kroot
Alternate Rank: Rank 1 or higher (5000 xp) If this class is not taken at character creation then any hound received from this class must be trained before use (see below)
Benefits: Upon taking this career the Acolyte automatically receives one kroot hound at the earliest, plausible opportunity. He also receives the Alpha if the Pack Talent.
Requirements: Must have Wrangling as a trained skill, or must take it immidiately upon becoming a Hound Master.
Hound Master Advances
Advance Cost Type Prerequisites
Awareness 100 Skill —
Climb 100 Skill —
Dodge 100 Skill —
Tracking 100 Skill —
Search 100 Skill —
Shadowing 100 Skill —
Survival 100 Skill —
Wrangling 100 Skill —
Wrangling+10 200 Skill Wrangling
Wrangling+20 200 Skill Wrangling+10
Scholastic Lore (Beasts) 200 Skill —
Scholastic Lore (Beasts)+10 200 Skill Scholastic Lore (Beasts)
Scholastic Lore (Beasts)+20 200 Skill Scholastic Lore (Beasts)+10
Pack Hunter 100 Talent Tracking
Exotic Weapon (Pick One) 200 Talent —
Talented (Wrangling) 200 Talent —
Practiced Veterinarian 200 Talent —
Bloodtracker 300 Talent —
Wolf Pack Tactics 300 Talent Wrangling
Thrown Weapon (Universal) 500 Talent —
TALENT: ALPHA OF THE PACK
Hound Masters spend years learning the task of training their hounds, balancing command discipline with their natural savagery. He may use his Wrangling skill with his hounds in the same way he would use the Command skill with other sentients and is treated as having the Iron Discipline talent for those tests. When making a Wrangling Test with his hounds he gets to add both his Intelligence and his Willpower bonuses to the test. He may maintain control over a number of hound equal to his unmodified Intelligence bonus of character level, whichever is lower. He may apply the Iron Discipline talent to making his hounds resist those Willpower tests imposed by the Bestial trait in addition to normal Fear and Pinning tests. The Alpha of the Pack Talent only works with the the Hound Master's chosen hound species and only with those he has tamed using extended Wrangling tests (taming a new hound takes at least one month). During combat, hounds should always act immediately after their master regardless of their Initiative, unless GM takes control.
TALENT: PRACTISED VETERINARIAN
A Hound Master depends on his hounds just as they depend on him and so he must keep them in good health.
The character gains Medicea as a basic skill but when using medicae on any of his hounds he gains +20 to the roll.
TALENT: PACK HUNTER
By training his hounds to take advantage of their pack hunting instincts the Hound Master is able to combine their efforts into a single hunting party far more capable than any individual within the group. For every hound controlled by the Hound Master participating in the hunt, the Handler receives a +10 bonus to Tracking Tests. In addition, he may gain bonuses from Heightened Senses talents possessed by one of his controlled hounds.
TALENT: WOLF PACK TACTICS
Some Hound Masters are adept at working alongside their charges, even in the thick of battle. These front-line Hound Masters often fight beside their hounds as trusted and familiar allies. When ganging up on an opponent with his hound, a Hound Masters imposes a -20 penalty to all Dodge or Parry Skill Tests made by his target.
(GM's NOTE: This Alternate Career is intend for Kroot characters, but may be modified for human characters. Rogue Traders, Arch Militants, and Senechals are the most likely candidates for this class. However a different form of xenos 'hound' should be used as it is unlikely that anyone other than a kroot would be able to tame a kroot hound. You may use the Kroot Hound profile below but you should replace the Kroot centric Traits with more appropriate ones. Alternatively you may allow Explorator characters to take the Cyber-Mastiff Handler class from The Book of Judgment, Dark Heresy supplemental for use in you game.)
(GM's NOTE: A Hound Master's hounds are under his nominal control and in game terms the player should be able to decide what they do, though as GM you may take control of the hound when you deem it appropriate, like after a failed Wrangling test. However, hounds should be prohibited from doing task that would require any real degree of sentience or dexterity like opening a door nob or navigating a complex vent system without his handler. Commands from the handler should be simple like 'attack that target', 'fetch', 'stay', 'come here' and so on. With your permission the character may teach his hounds very specific, complex commands such as training them to seek out and guard specially prepared scent markers. Also, these are animals, however tame, and anytime you as GM feel is necessary you may require the character to make Wrangling tests to prevent his hound from chasing small animals, biting smelly NPCs, peeing on the planetary governor’s shoes, etc.)
Kroot Hounds are an evolutionary dead end of the Kroot species. They are a canine-like Kroots subspecies who excel at tracking and running down prey and are capable enough to fight enemies larger and stronger than themselves. They are often used in packs as dogs of war on the battlefield and scent hounds during a hunt by their Kroot masters. Using their agility, sharp claws and powerful jaws, they are able to wound or kill almost any opponent, even foes in power armour in certain instances. This, coupled with the fact that Kroot Hounds can take an incredible amount of punishment before being killed, means that Kroot Hounds can survive and deal terrible damage during prolonged melees, and will often survive long enough to run down the enemy should they try to flee. Kroot Hounds are ferocious in battle and are notoriously bad-tempered as beasts. Even when not in battle, it is not unheard of for a Kroot Hound to turn on its Kroot handler if that handler is foolish enough to mistreat it or let his guard down. Like their more evolved cousins, Kroot Hounds will ravenously consume the flesh of their kills, and that of anyone trying to stop their feeding, though their ability to absorb new genetic traits seems to be much more limited.
These relentless hunters a match for any Imperial cyber-mastiff in terms of tracking and combat ability. Kroot Hounds are intelligent if bad-tempered, though it is unknown if they still retain the sentience of their original Kroot forebears.
Though no kroot would willingly trade his hounds to anyone other than a kroot, kroot hounds are sometimes sold in the gray markets as blood sport pit animals. Availability: Near Unique (Extremely rare for Kroot trading with other Kroot)
WS 38 BS – S (60)30 T 40 Ag 40 Int 22 Per 40 WP 30 Fel -
Movement: 4/8/12/24 Wounds: 19
Skills: Awareness (Per) +20, Concealment (Ag), Dodge (Ag), Tracking (Int) +20, Silent Move (Ag), Swim (S)
Talents: Berserk Charge, Hard Target, Leap Up, Swift Attack, Takedown, Hyperactive Nymune Organ*, Kroot Leap*,
Traits: Bestial, Dark Sight, Enhanced Senses (Smell), Improved Natural Weapons, Quadruped, Unnatural Strength (x2), Eaters of the Dead*,
Weapons: Beak and Claws 1d10+6R
*see Kroot chapter of Into The Storm supplemental
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OK I am seriously fishing for comments and reviews here. I came up with this idea after by rpg group broke up so i haven't had a chance to use it. Would anyone use this class? I could realy use some critiqueing. Please be as brutal as you want. I can take it.
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