Prime Requisites: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma
Races Allowed: All
The Death Machine is a munchkin of the highest order. His primary aim in life is killing monsters and amassing gold pieces in order to acquire more and more experience points. Many of the characters in The Intercontinental Union of Disgusting Characters are examples of Death Machines — or at least, they would be, if this character class had been available to them.
Any race may become a death machine. He must have minimum ability scores of 18 straight across the board. This ensures that only the true munchkin, the one who is willing to cheat on his dice rolls when he rolls up the character, can become a death machine. A death machine may be of any alignment. He can use any weapon and wear any type of armor.
A death machine who has Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores of 16 or more — in other words, any death machine — gains a 10% bonus to the experience points he earns.
A death machine is considered to be a member of the Warrior, Priest, Wizard, and Rogue class groups, using whichever class group is the most advantageous to the task at hand. He can use any magic item, including those usable only by members of a specific class or class group, as he essentially belongs to all character classes.
Exceptional Strength: A death machine with a Strength of 18 — in other words, any death machine — is entitled to roll for Exceptional Strength, just as any other Warrior is.
THAC0: A death machine uses the THAC0 progression of Warriors. His THAC0 is 20 at first level, and decreases by 1 for each level thereafter.
Saving Throws: A death machine uses whichever class group's saving throw table is most advantageous to each type of saving throw he is attempting to make. That is:
|For saving throws against||Use the table for|
|Paralyzation, Poison, or Death Magic||Priests|
|Rod, Staff, or Wand||Wizards|
|Petrification or Polymorph||Rogues|
|Breath Weapon||Wizards below 5th level
Warriors at 5th level or above
Experience Level progression: From 1st through 6th level, and from 13th level onward, a death machine uses the experience level progression table of Rogues (Table 25 in the PHB). From 7th through 12th level, a death machine uses the experience level progression table of druids (Table 23 in the PHB.)
Hit dice: A death machine uses 12-sided hit dice for accumulated hit points, just as the barbarian class in Unearthed Arcana does. He starts out with two 12-sided hit dice at first level, like the monk or the 1st Edition ranger. He earns one additional hit die every time he gains an experience level, up to a maximum of 18 total hit dice at 17th level (like the monk). Once he surpasses 17th level, he earns an additional 4 hit points per level (like the barbarian).
Constitution bonus to hit dice: A death machine gets the same Constitution bonus to his hit dice that a barbarian does. Namely, he gains +2 hit points per point of Constitution over 14, per hit die.
Dexterity bonus to armor class: A death machine gets the most advantageous dexterity bonus to his armor class available to a barbarian, regardless of the type or weight of armor worn. Namely, he gets a bonus to his armor class of 2 steps for every point of dexterity over 14. (This replaces the Defensive Adjustment for dexterity given to other classes.)
Other Dexterity bonuses: A death machine gets the same bonus to his attack rolls with missiles, and to saving throws that are modified by Dexterity, as all other character classes.
Proficiencies: As with the barbarian class from Unearthed Arcana, a death machine begins with 6 weapon proficiency slots and gains a new weapon proficiency slot every 2 experience levels, with a non-proficiency penalty of -1. As with Wizards and Priests, a death machine begins with 4 nonweapon proficiency slots (in addition to the 7 proficiencies he gets from having an 18 intelligence) and gains an additional nonweapon proficiency slot every 3 experience levels.
Weapon specialization and mastery: A death machine is allowed to partake in the full weapon specialization/mastery system available in Player's Option: Combat & Tactics. Since a death machine uses a different table than Warriors do to determine the number of melee attacks he may make per round, the attacks-per-round table given for melee weapon specialization is supplanted by the following rule: A death machine who specializes in a melee weapon gets a number of attacks per round with that specialized weapon equal to the next higher category on his chart, with a minimum of 3/2.
Starting money and equipment: As with a cavalier of the upper upper class, a death machine begins with 130-180 gold pieces (1d6 + 12, times 10), in addition to a shield, full plate armor, a dagger, a broad or long sword, a mace, a lance, and a heavy warhorse with leather barding. Note that nothing in the "starting money and equipment for cavaliers" section of Unearthed Arcana said that the weapons and armor a cavalier starts out with are necessarily non-magical, and so no such restriction should apply to a death machine's starting equipment, either.
A death machine has all of the advantages of every character class in the books, and none of the drawbacks. A death machine also has some extra advantages in addition to those found in normal character classes.
Free nonweapon proficiencies:
Since a death machine is considered to belong to all the class kits listed in the various Complete Handbooks, he receives a number of nonweapon proficiencies for free. There are as follows:
Riding (Land-based), Animal Training, Endurance, Etiquette, Charioteering, Tumbling, Ancient History, Fire Building, Heraldry, Agriculture, Fishing, Weather Sense, Animal Lore, Rope Use, Seamanship, Direction Sense, Survival (all terrain types), Reading/Writing, Astrology, Religion, Herbalism, Spellcraft, Artistic Ability (Painting, Calligraphy, or Origami), Jousting, Diagnostics, Airborne Riding, Falconry, Hunting, Mountaineering, Distance Sense, Trail Marking, Boating, Swimming, Alertness, Camouflage, Tracking, Local History, Set Snares, Healing, Fire-Building, Singing, Musical Instrument, Bling-fighting, Juggling, Acting, Disguise, Forgery, Gaming, Dancing, Languages (Ancient), Poetry, Languages (modern-Gypsy), Jumping, Tightrope Walking, Navigation, Artistic Ability (riddles), any 4 modern Languages, Running, Appraising, Engineering, Information Gathering, Observation, Local Dwarf History, Dwarven Runes, 2 nonweapon proficiency slots in any one craft, Intimidation, Bowyer/Fletcher, Slow Respiration, Ventriloquism, Carpentry, Locksmithing, Pest Control, Underground Navigation, Underground Survival, and any one other nonweapon proficiency.
A death machine can detect evil at up to 60 feet, continuously emanates protection from evil in a 10-foot radius (as do the paladins in 1st Edition), can heal up to twice his experience level in damage points per day by laying on hands, can call for a warhorse starting at 4th level, can cure disease once per week per 5 experience levels, is immune to all disease, gets +2 to all saving throws, and can take full advantage of all the powers of a holy sword. These powers persist regardless of the death machine's alignment.
A death machine automatically gets the first slot of the Two-Weapon Style (c.f. Player's Option: Combat and Tactics) for free — that is, he is at no penalty in either hand for fighting with two weapons. A death machine of 2nd level or higher gets +4 on all attack rolls against whichever "species enemy" he chooses before advancing to 2nd level. He automatically gets the tracking proficiency for free, and gains an additional +1 to this skill for every 3 levels. These capabilities persist regardless of the type of armor worn, shield carried, or alignment.
From Unearthed Arcana cavaliers:
A death machine is immune to fear, as are all allies of the death machine within 10 feet of him. He is will be totally unaffected by mind magic 90% of the time, and additionally gets +2 on all saving throws versus illusion spells. When mounted, his THAC0 and attacks per round are calculated as though he were one experience level higher. He does +1 damage point with a lance when dismounted, and + his experience level in damage points with a lance when mounted. He is +1 to-hit with a mounted lance at 1st level, +1 to-hit with either a broadsword, longsword, or scimitar at 3rd level, and +1 to-hit with either a horseman's mace, a horseman's flail, or a horseman's military pick at 5th level; these to-hit bonuses increase by +1 for every 6 experience levels gained after the bonus was first acquired. He also gets a number of attacks per melee round with these 3 "weapons of choice" equal to what he would otherwise get if he were 5 experience levels higher than he actually is. (Note that he still has to spend a weapon proficiency slot to become proficient with his weapons of choice in the first place.) He may forego attacking and parry as a cavalier does, subtracting all of his to-hit bonuses from one attacker's die rolls.
A death machine gets to add 2d10 to his exceptional Strength score every time he gains a level, up to a maximum Strength of 18/00. He also gets to roll percentile dice for "exceptional Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma" when he is first created, and add 2d10 to these values every time he gains a level, up to a maximum of 18/00, as well. The number after the slash for Dexterity, Constitution, or Charisma has no game effect on the ability score, however; a Dexterity of 18/91 is still treated as Dexterity 18, for example. It does, however, have an effect if and when the death machine uses a wish spell to raise his Dexterity, Constitution, or Charisma. It takes 10 wish spells to raise ones Dexterity from 18 to 19, but it only takes one wish spell to raise ones Dexterity from 18/00 to 19. A wish spell used to raise a death munchkin's Dexterity, Constitution, or Charisma while it's below 18/00 increases the "exceptional" part of the ability score by 10, so a death machine with a Charisma of 18/56 who uses a wish to raise his Charisma gains a Charisma of 18/66.
From Unearthed Arcana barbarians:
A death machine inflicts a -1 penalty on the surprise rolls of all opponents, and gets +1 to his own surprise rolls. Any attempt to attack a death machine from behind has a 5% chance per level of being detected and treated as a normal frontal attack, and the death machine may attack the former back-attacker even if he could not normally attack again on that round. A death machine is +4 on saving throws against poison; +3 on saves vs. paralyzation, death magic, petrification, and polymorph; +2 on saves vs. rod, staff, wand, and breath weapon; and +1 per 4 experience levels (rounded down) on saves vs. spell.
A death machine has all of the other powers of a barbarian listed in Unearthed Arcana, too, but they're more boring to talk about.
From the fighter class kits:
A death machine may Go Berserk, as a Berserker does. He gets a weapon specialization for free, as a Gladiator or Myrmidon does (although a weapon proficiency slot still must be spent to get proficiency with that weapon in the first place). He gets a +3 reaction adjustment bonus in all situations.
A death machine gets a number of open hand attacks per melee round equal to the number of open hand attacks per round a monk of the same level is entitled to. For this purpose, the formula in the monk's table is extended beyond 17th level as follows:
At 18th level, a death machine gets 4 open hand attacks per melee round.All open hand attacks do the same damage as a monk's of the same level; however, unlike a monk, Strength bonuses to-hit and to damage are added to all such attacks. (The relevant columns of the monk's table from the 1st Edition PHB are reproduced in the appendix to this article for convenience). Any successful open hand attack will stun its target for 1d6 melee rounds if the attack roll was made by 5 or more, and if the target is successfully stunned thereby, the same attack has a percentage chance to kill its target equal to the target's AC plus the number of experience levels the death machine is above 7th level. He may add +1/2 damage point per level to all attacks with a weapon, in addition to his damage bonus from Strength (which monks do not get), and unlike the monk this +1/2 damage point per level bonus can also be applied to open hand attacks.
At 19th or 20th level, a death machine gets 5 open hand attacks per round.
At 21st-23rd level, a death machine gets 6 open hand attacks per round.
At 24th or 25th level, a death machine gets 7 open hand attacks per round.
At 26th-28th level, a death machine gets 8 open hand attacks per round.
At 29th or 30th level, a death machine gets 9 open hand attacks per round.
This pattern continues indefinitely, with the next 3 levels getting 1 more attack per round, then the next 2 levels getting 1 more attack, etc.
The resulting final formula is this:
open hand attacks per round = [(level – 2) x 2] ÷ 5, rounded off, – 2
A death machine gets the monk's effective armor class based on his level, but is allowed to add his Dexterity armor class bonus to this. This effective armor class is allowed to "stack" with whatever armor and shield he is wearing; that is, a third-level death machine (effective AC 8) wearing +1 chainmail (AC 4) with a Dexterity of 18 (AC bonus +8) would have an Armor Class of -6 (before counting any other bonuses he gets). For this purpose, the formula in the monk's table is extended beyond 17th level as follows:
At 18th level, a death machine has a base armor class of -4.A death machine has the same movement base as a monk of the same level. Beyond 17th level, a death machine gains an additional +2 to his movement base move per level, i.e. his movement base is 34 at 18th level, 36 at 19th level, etc., and at an arbitrarily high level his movement base would be (level – 1) x 2. Note that this is only the death machine's base movement rate. Don't forget that, since a death machine has all of a barbarian's capabilities, he can sustain twice this rate without tiring.
At 19th or 20th level, a death machine has a base armor class of -5.
At 21st level, a death machine has a base armor class of -6.
At 22nd level, a death machine has a base armor class of -7.
At 23rd level, a death machine has a base armor class of -8.
At 24th or 25th level, a death machine has a base armor class of -9.
This pattern continues indefinitely, with every level than doesn't end in a 5 or a 0 improving its base armor class by 1.
The resulting final formula is this:
base armor class = 11 – [(level x 4) ÷ 5, rounded up]
A death machine has the Evasion power of monks. If an attack form allows a saving throw, and he makes his saving throw, he takes no damage from the attack form, even if the attack is a fireball or other attack that normally deals out "reduced" damage on a successful save. At 9th level or higher, he only takes half damage from an attack form that allows a saving throw, even if he misses his save, provided the attack form is such that its effects could be cut in half. Non-magical missiles that would normally hit can be dodged or knocked aside if the death machine is able to make his saving throw against Petrification for each such potential hit (saving throw bonus due to Dexterity applies).
A death machine also has the monk's power to periodically slow his descent when falling near a wall or similar surface, and thereby escape taking damage. At 4th level, he can fall up to 20' if he is within 1' of a wall; at 6th level, he can fall up to 30' if he is within 4' of a wall; and at 13th level, he can fall any distance if he is within 8' of a wall. Finally, a death machine also gets all monk powers A-K listed on the monk's table, at the same experience level that a monk gets them.
From Oriental Adventures monks:
A death machine has access to the same martial arts fighting styles, with the same level-based bonuses to his attacks per melee round and damage per attack, that an Oriental Adventures monk does. This is completely separate and distinct from his ability to make open-hand attacks. As with all Oriental Adventures monks, a death machine gets proficiency in one martial arts style for free, without having to spend a weapon proficiency slot on it.
As with open hand attacks, a death machine gets to use his Strength to-hit and damage bonuses with martial arts attacks, and gets to add his +1/2 damage point bonus per level to his martial arts attack damage. The armor class gained from using his martial arts style is cumulative with all other base armor classes and armor class bonuses the death machine gets. Martial arts may be used while wearing armor and otherwise encumbered.
A death machine has the same Thieving Skills that a thief does, with the same base scores, racial adjustments, and dexterity adjustments of a thief. He does not, however, receive any penalties to these skills for weaing armor — he is just as capable of moving silently in full plate mail as he is in leather armor. He also has the same backstab capability as a thief of the same level, with the same damage multiplier, and has full use of the Thieves' Cant language for free. In addition to thief abilities, a death machine has an assassin's ability to roll on the Assassinations Table to cause instant death under near optimum conditions of surprise, to disguise himself, and to earn experience points from an assassination equal to the typical payment for it. Finally, a death machine has the same ability to influence reactions; use music, poetry, and stories; counter the effects of song and poetry used as magical attacks; and identify the general purpose and function of a magic item that a bard of the same level does.
A death machine can cast Priest spells just as a cleric of the same experience level can, although he can choose his spells from any spheres. He does not have to have access to a deity, directly or indirectly, to acquire these spells. He gets the same Wisdom bonus to the number of Priest spells he can cast per day that a cleric does, and can work with Priest scrolls as a cleric of the same level. He can turn undead as a cleric of the same level does.
A death machine has the powers of a druid of the same level, regardless of his alignment or what kind of armor he is wearing. This includes, but is not limited to, a +2 on all saving throws vs. fire or electrical attacks, knowledge of the Druidic language for free, the ability to identify plants, animals, and pure water at 3rd level, the ability to pass through overgrown areas without leaving a trail at 3rd level, immunity to charm spells cast by woodland creatures at 7th level, the ability to shapechange at 7th level, and the elemetal plane-travelling abilities and other powers of hierophant druids acquired at 16th-20th levels.
From specialist Wizards:
A death machine can cast Wizard spells just as a specialty Wizard of the same experience level can. He is considered to be a specialist in all schools of magic, thus he is not forbidden from casting spells from any school(s) of magic, and the bonus spell of each level entitled to a specialist Wizard can belong to any school. He has the same ability to work with Wizard scrolls as a specialist Wizard of any school does. His ability to cast Wizard spells is not hindered in the least by any armor or shield he is wearing.
A death machine has the same psionic powers as a psionicist of the same level (c.f. The Complete Psionics Handbook). NOTE: This does not mean that a death machine cannot also have psionic Wild Talents. If he does, he gains the PSPs for having his Wild Talents, and the 4 PSPs per level entitled to a Wild Talent, in addition to the PSPs a psionicist gains.
From the elven class kits:
A death machine has the ability to parry with one hand and cast his spells with the other, as a Bladesinger does, as well as the Bladesinger's +1 to his attack rolls and +1 for damage.
From the dwarven class kits:
A death machine can go into a Killing Rage just as a Battlerager does.
From Oriental Adventures kensais:
In addition to all of his other to-hit bonuses, a death machine also gets +1 on all attack rolls at 3rd level, which increases to +2 at 5th level, +3 at 8th level, +4 at 10th level, and +5 at 12th level. This bonus also allows him to hit creatures struck only by magical weapons, even if he is not using a magical weapon. Once per day per level, a death machine can declare that his next attack will be a "maximum damage attack" which, if it hits, will treat all dice rolled for damage as having rolled their highest possible number. Once per day, a death machine of 11th or higher level may engage in a "whirlwind attack" in which he is entitled to attack all targets within 10 feet of him once in the same round; this may not be combined with a maximum damage attack. When not engaging in a whirlwind attack, he has +1 on all initiative rolls, which rises to +2 at 5th level and +3 at 9th level.
In addition to the monk's base armor class and the barbarian's dexterity adjustment to armor class, a death machine gets to add the kensai's base armor class of (23 – Dexterity score – level/3) to whatever armor he is wearing.
From Oriental Adventures bushis:
Once per day, a death machine may make a fierce kiai (shout), which increases his experience level by 2 for one turn. This is in addition to the cavalier's ability to fight as though one experience level higher while mounted. Damage sustained during the turn that this kiai power is in effect is taken from the temporarily-gained hit points first, without harming the character.
From Oriental Adventures shukenjas:
A death machine can enter a state of meditation, during which he is oblivious to hunger, thirst, heat, and cold (but is still aware of his surroundings and does not suffer any surprise or initiative penalties). Each uninterrupted hour of such meditation is as restful as two hours of sleep. Once per day per level, a death machine can choose to make one saving throw at +3. This bonus is in addition to all other saving throw bonuses he is entitled to.
A death machine can perform a purification ritual, which has a 5% chance per level of removing any curse. He can also use this ritual to "purify" an area 5 feet in radius; so long as he stands in the area, everyone who was within the area when the ritual was performed gains a +1 bonus to all to-hit rolls and saving throws against evil spirits.
From Oriental Adventures samurais: A death machine gets +1 to damage at 2nd level, and an additional +1 to damage for every 3 experience levels beyond 2nd. This is in addition to the monk's +1/2 point of weapon damage per level he is entitled to. Once per day per level, he can make a kiai (shout) which increases his Strength score to 18/00 for one round. At 6th level or higher, a death machine causes fear in all creatures with 1 hit die or less (save vs. breath weapon negates); he may turn this power on and off at will.
From no other classes at all:
A death machine gets to add his Dexterity Missile Attack Adjustment to attack rolls with melee weapons as well as his attack rolls with missiles; this is in addition to his Hit Probability adjustment from Strength.
He is entitled to a number of attacks per melee round with each weapon in each hand (or with a two-handed weapon wielded in both hands) equal to the number of open hand attacks per melee round a monk would get. Note that specialization increases this figure to the next higher category (minimum 3/2); thus, a first-level death machine who specialized in broadsword would get 3/2 attacks per round with a broadsword in either hand, and at 7th level death machine who specialized in broadsword would get 2 attacks per round with a broadsword in either hand. If he specialized in broadsword and broadswords were also among his cavalier "weapons of choice," he would get 2 attacks per round with a broadsword in either hand at 1st level, 5/2 attacks per round per hand at 4th level, and 3 attacks per round per hand at 6th level; these attacks-per-round allowances would, of course, all happen one level earlier when the death machine is mounted, and two levels earlier than that during the effect of a bushi-style kiai.
Against 0-level targets or targets with less than one hit die, however, a death machine is instead entitled to a number of attacks per round equal to his experience level, as all 1st edition fighters are. This applies per weapon in each hand. In addition, the cavalier's ability to get a number of attacks with a "weapon of choice" as though he were 5 levels higher applies, as does the improvement by one step due to weapon specialization, the additional attack per round from grand mastery, the 1-level increase in fighting ability while mounted, etc..
When a death machine chooses to use open hand attacks, he only needs one free hand to make such an attack. If both hands are free, he may make a separate open hand attack with each hand for each open hand attack he is entitled to that melee round. Furthermore, a death machine may specialize in open hand attacks, in which case the number of open hand attacks per round is increased to the next category on the chart (minimum 3/2), just as with melee weapon specialization. Finally, against 0-level targets or targets with less than one hit die, he can make one open hand attack per level per free hand, also subject to the increases from specialization and grand mastery. Note that a hand wearing a gauntlet is considered "free."
Martial arts styles whose principal body part is the foot (e.g. Tae Kwon Do, or combination styles that include Tae Kwon Do) can be used by a death machine in the same melee round that he is attacking with weapons and/or making open hand attacks. Just because the death machine's hands and arms are occupied doesn't mean that his feet are. Furthermore, all martial arts special maneuvers in the "kick" category may be used when using foot-based martial arts in the same round as hand-and-arm based regular attacks. Finally, a death machine may specialize in his martial arts style(s) in the same manner that he may specialize in open hand attacks. The number of additional attacks per melee round with a specialized martial arts style is increased to the next category on the monk chart (minimum +1/2). Against 0-level targets or targets with less than one hit die, he can make one martial arts attack per level, subject to the increases for specialization and grand mastery. Note that, unlike open hand attacks, a death machine does not get to make his allotment of martial arts attacks per melee round per foot, as tempting as this suggestion might be.
A death machine does not have to memorize or prepare any of his spells ahead of time. He has access to every Wizard spell he knows, and all Priest spells of every sphere, and may cast any of them at any time provided he has not already cast all the spells of that level he's allowed earlier that same day. When he learns a Wizard spell, he learns it for good. Forthermore, he does not need to have the material components for any spell that would otherwise require material components. Thus, he never has to decide ahead of time which spells he intends to use, as he has immediate access to all of them. However, the casting times for his spells are as listed in the spell descriptions.
Name: Tim the Death Machine
Alignment: chaotic neutral
Free weapon specialization: longsword (they're the most plentiful magic weapon)
Free martial arts style: Tae Kwon Do
Cavalier weapons of choice: mounted lance, longsword, horseman's mace
Total weapon proficiency slots: 6
How the weapon proficiency slots were spent: proficiency in longsword, mastery in longsword, high mastery in longsword, grand mastery in longsword, proficiency in horseman's mace, second slot of two-weapon fighting style.
Starting equipment: +5 full plate armor of blending, +5 shield, +5 holy avenger longsword, +5 horseman's mace, +5 heavy lance, +5 dagger, warhorse with +5 leather barding, and 180 gold pieces.
Attacks per melee round:
Damage per attack:
Hit points: 40 (80 during a bushi kiai)
Spells castable per day:
Wizard spells: 2 1st-level
Priest spells: 3 1st-level
Spells castable per day during a bushi kiai:
Wizard spells: 3 1st-level, 2 2nd-level
Priest spells: 4 1st-level, 3 2nd-level
Psionics (including Wild Talent):
Primary Discipline: telepathy
Disciplines accessible to learning: telepathy
Psionic Strength Points: 3598 (3632 during a bushi kiai)
Devotions: (all at base PS except as indicated)
Total weapon proficiency slots: 8
How the weapon proficiency slots were spent: proficiency in longsword, mastery in longsword, high mastery in longsword, grand mastery in longsword, proficiency in horseman's mace, second slot of two-weapon fighting style, proficiency in heavy lance, proficiency in the karate martial arts style.
Attacks per melee round:
Damage per attack:
Hit points: 100 (140 during a bushi kiai)
Spells castable per day:
Wizard spells: 4 1st-level, 3 2nd-level
Priest spells: 5 1st-level, 4 2nd-level
Spells castable per day during a bushi kiai:
Wizard spells: 5 1st-level, 3 2nd-level, 3 3rd-level
Priest spells: 5 1st-level, 5 2nd-level, 3 3rd-level
Psionics (including Wild Talent):
Primary Discipline: telepathy
Disciplines accessible to learning: telepathy, psychokinesis
Psionic Strength Points: 3649 (3683 during a bushi kiai)
Devotions: (all at base PS except as indicated)
Each special ability is designated by a capital letter.
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