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Cha Faile ] Court Bard ] Cuebiyar’al’shar ] Eagle-Eyed Archer ] Knifeman ] Scout ] [ Shen al Calhar ] Way-Maker ]

The pointy end of Mat's ashandareiShen al Calhar: the Band of the Red Hand (by Daniel S. Crankshaw)

(1) A legendary group of heroes who had many exploits, finally dying in the defense of Manetheren when that land was destroyed during the Trolloc Wars. (2) A military formation put together almost by accident by Matrim Cauthon and organized along the lines of military forces during what is considered the height of the military arts, the days of Artur Hawkwing and the centuries immediately preceding.

Mat Cauthon founded the Band more or less accidentally during the battle of Cairhien. They have since become his personal army, in spite of his numerous attempts to escape them. Mat's extensive knowledge of tactics, strategy, and military structure has led him to train and organize the band in ways superior to that of any other army in the world. Alone, any fully-trained member of the Band is a skilled fighter, but it is when they fight together that they truly shine.

Hit Die: d10

Requirements: Anyone may join the Band, even city boys who've never left their hometown. They must meet the following requirements before they can gain the benefits associated with veteran Bandsmen:

  • Base Attack Bonus: +5

  • Feats: When joining the Band, each recruit must select a branch. This requires certain additional feats.

    • Foot soldier - Combat Expertise, Weapon Proficiency (Pike), Weapon Proficiency (Longsword), Armor Proficiency (Medium)

    • Horseman - Mounted Combat, Weapon Proficiency (Lance), Weapon Proficiency (Longsword), Armor Proficiency (Heavy), must own a warhorse

    • Archer - Point Blank Shot, Weapon Proficiency (Crossbow), Weapon Proficiency (Shortsword), Armor Proficiency (Light)

  • Special: Must have served with the Band for at least three months (heroes may run special missions for the Band rather than just marching with them). Alternatively, the Hero may serve for a month less for each additional feat they have in their branch's distinctive feat tree.

    • Foot soldier - Improved Trip, Improved Disarm, Whirlwind

    • Horseman - Mounted Archery, Trample, Ride-By Attack, Spirited Charge

    • Archer - Far Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, and Shot on the Run

Class Skills: The class skills of the Band are Climb, Craft, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Jump, Ride, Swim, and Profession (siege works).

Skill points at each level: 4 + (Intelligence bonus)

Equipment: The Band equips each soldier according to his position. These items are loaned, not given, and must be kept in good condition and returned when discharged. In addition, each soldier is guaranteed food and board, and is paid one silver mark per ten day week.

Foot soldier: Longsword, Brigandine shirt, Pike
Horseman: Heavy lance, Longsword, Plate-and-mail, Military saddle
Archer: Studded leather, Heavy crossbow, Short sword

Class Features: The following are class features for Shen al Calhar.

Carai an Caldazar!Weapon and Armor Proficiency: All Bandsmen are proficient with simple and martial weapons and light, medium, and heavy armors.

Morale: Bandsmen always gain a morale bonus when fighting together, which increases with more men or with the presence of Mat or the Lord Dragon. Additionally, Mat counts as a Bandsman when determining the total number, though he does not receive these bonuses. Morale bonuses from Mat's Commander abilities stack with this.

Number Attack Damage Will Saves Defense
2-5 Bandsmen +1 +1 +1 +0
6-10 Bandsmen +2 +2 +2 +0
11-20 Bandsmen +2 +2 +3 +0
21+ Bandsmen +2 +2 +4 +0
Rand present +0 +1 +1 +0
Mat present +0 +0 +1 +2

Luck Feat: Some of Mat's luck has rubbed off on the Band. They may take either Luck of Heroes or Dark One's Own Luck as a feat at 2nd level. Luck of Heroes is thereafter available as a regular feat.

Armor Compatibility: At 2nd level, Bandsmen gain Armor Compatibility,  just like Armsmen, and it stacks with other Armor Compatibility Defenses. If a Bandsman does not have Armor Compatibility from Armsman, he may add an additional +2 to his class Defense Bonus while wearing Armor. (This comes from the standard hero bonus which does not appear in Prestige Classes.)

Seine sovya caba'donde ain dovienya.Endurance: By 3rd level, long marches and intense training have toughened the Bandsmen, so they receive a +4 bonus whenever required to make a check for any physical action extending over long periods of time.

Synergy: At 4th level, Bandsmen gain several abilities when they work together. For any ability that requires simultaneous action, the Bandsmen must have the same initiative, which means one or more may have to change initiative. All Bandsmen must have the Synergy feat in order to participate in these actions.

Improved Flanking (simultaneous):
  • When two Bandsmen attack simultaneously, they can flank a target even when approaching him from 90 degrees rather than 180 degree separation. For an opponent normally immune to flanking, the Bandsmen may gain flanking anyway if the sum of the number of class levels they have exceed his class level by four or more. (E.g., If a sixth level Algai'd'siswai faces two eighth class level Bandsmen, they can flank him. So could a fifth level and a tenth level Bandsman. Two seventh level Bandsmen could not. A fifth, an seventh, and a ninth level Bandsman could (as negatives are not added in). All three must be positioned at least 90 degree from both others.) One of the attacking Bandsmen must be a foot soldier.

Fast Load Crossbow (simultaneous):
  • One Bandsman may take a full-round action to load as many crossbows as he has attacks from his Base Attack Bonus and hand them to another Bandsman, who can fire as many crossbows as he has attacks in a full-round action. This requires as many crossbows as attacks. The Bandsman who fires the crossbows must be an archer.

Calvary Charge (simultaneous):
  • When two or more Bandsmen launch a cavalry charge, any enemy on foot within ten feet of the line of charging horses must make a Will save or immediately break and run. The charge must be in the same direction and the horses must start within twenty feet of another horse in the charge. A target for the charge is not required. The DC of the save is 5 + Ride bonus of the charging Bandsman who passes within 10 feet. If more than one Bandsman passes within ten feet, the enemy soldier must make the higher Will save. Anyone who has a weapon set against charge may use his Base Attack Bonus rather than his Will save bonus if that is higher. Anyone who breaks and runs loses his attacks of opportunity. He travels in a straight line in the same direction as the charge, overrunning anyone, ally or enemy, who gets in his way. Avoiding being overrun requires moving ten feet (forcing the moving opponent to sacrifice the move part of his next round).

  • Since they start running as soon as the charge begins, move all enemy foot soldiers who fail their saving throw the distance they would travel at a full-round hustle (rather than a run) before moving the charging Bandsmen. The charging horsemen may attack any foot soldier whom they overtake. The Bandsman leading the charge must be a horseman. For the next three rounds, the fleeing opponents must make a Will save against the Bandsman's Ride bonus, or they will run at full speed (x4) those rounds as well. Once they stop, they may return to their usual actions.

Mat's Call: A bond has formed between Mat and the veteran members of the Band. At 5th level, Bandsmen can hear Mat's Call. At any distance, they have a vague sense of which direction he's in. Not so much as being able to point in a straight line to him, but enough to get closer. At ten miles, while they'll also know when he's in urgent need, the sense of direction is blurry. They'll know he's within ten miles, but not where exactly. Once within a mile, however, they'll be able to find him, although it always seems to happen more by chance than by will.

 

Reduced Cover: When a Bandsman provides cover for an enemy whom another Bandsman is attacking (e.g., a melee attacker standing between an archer and his target), he only provides half the usual cover. This does not apply when he covers an ally. Only the Bandsman providing cover needs this feat.

Weapon Bonus: At 3rd and 5th level, a Bandsman can gain a free weapon feat with any of the Band's signature weapons, meaning crossbow, short bow, lance, any sword, pike, or ashandarei. He may take Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, or Improved Critical. He must have the prerequisites before doing so.

Limited Weapon Specialization: At 3rd level, Weapon Specialization becomes available as a regular feat, a Weapon Bonus, or Bonus feat. It can only be applied to the Band's signature weapons: crossbow, short bow, lance, any sword, pike, or ashandarei.

Limited Superior Weapon Focus: At 8th level, Superior Weapon Focus becomes available as a regular or Bonus feat. It can only be applied to the Band's signature weapons: crossbow, short bow, lance, any sword, pike, or ashandarei.

Bonus Feats: At 7th and 9th level, Bandsmen may take as Bonus Feats Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Improved Critical*, Improved Initiative, Mounted Archer, Trample, Ride-By Attack, Spirited Charge, Far Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Shot on the Run, Weapon Focus*, Weapon Specialization*, Superior Weapon Focus*.

* Must be in one of the Band's signature weapons: crossbow, short bow, lance, any sword, a pike, or an ashandarei. Must be at least 8th level before taking Superior Weapon Focus.

Jak o' the Shadows: At 10th level, a Bandsman can sing Jak o' the Shadows. This song of courage in the face of death will lift the spirits of all Bandsmen hearing it, and they'll receive a +2 bonus to all saving throws. Any Bandsmen currently under the continuing ill effects of a failed saving throw within the last ten minutes may make a free roll the moment the singing starts in order to shake it off. (This includes bleeding to death or a compulsion weave, but he can't try again to dodge a fireball that's already burned him.) The singer can continue his song for a turn until he runs out of verses, but he can only use the song once per day.

 

Level BAB Fort Ref Will Def Rep Special
1st +1 +1 +1 +1 +0 +1 Morale
2nd +2 +2 +2 +2 +1 +0 Luck Feat; Armor Compatibility
3rd +3 +2 +2 +2 +1 +0 Weapon Bonus; Endurance; Limited Weapon Specialization
4th +4 +2 +2 +2 +1 +0 Synergy
5th +5 +3 +3 +3 +2 +1 Mat's Call; Weapon Bonus
6th +6 +3 +3 +3 +2 +0 Reduced Cover
7th +7 +4 +4 +4 +2 +0 Bonus Feat
8th +8 +4 +4 +4 +3 +0 Limited Superior Weapon Focus
9th +9 +4 +4 +4 +3 +1 Bonus Feat
10th +10 +5 +5 +5 +3 +0 Jak o' the Shadows

Mat takes a bow


 

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