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Master at Arms: Halberdier $1.75
Average Rating:4.7 / 5
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Master at Arms: Halberdier
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Master at Arms: Halberdier
Publisher: Blackdirge Publishing
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/30/2007 00:00:00

This 4 page PDF (7 with front & back cover & OGC declaration) details the Halberdier Prestige Class. The PDF includes a brief historical overview of the Halberd, including an interesting note that it was a single blow from a halberd that slew Charles the Bold, last Duke of Burgundy, at the Battle of Nancy. Also included is the write-up of an NPC, Sir Rinard Whitehart, a class overview, and a brief designer note in which he points out that he focused on defensive feats for the Halberdier PrC instead of the more traditional formation combat feats, so it would be more desirable to PCs.

The Halberdier is a five level Prestige Class. The entry requirements for the class include a Base Attack Bonus of +5, the weapon focus (halberd) and power attack feats, and five ranks in the Profession (soldier) skill. Being that all the Halberdier?s requirements are combat based the fighter class is the quickest way to qualify for the class. Rangers and Barbarians are the only other classes likely to pursue the Halberdier PrC. The Halberdier is a combat centered class with a d10 hit-die. The majority of Halberdier?s are Human, with various half-races comprising the rest, almost unheard of in the class are other demi-human classes.

Class members gain a number of special Feats enhancing their use of the Halberd. At first level the gain the Expert Defender and Footman?s Revenge Feats. Expert Defender allows a character to gain a +2 shield bonus to AC when fighting defensively, or using total defense, he can also provide another character with this defensive bonus by using the Aid Another action. Footman?s Revenge allows the Halberdier, on a successful attack, to immediately make a trip attack against a mounted opponent which, if successful, pulls the rider from his seat, leaving him prone. He also has 2 trip related Feats, Improved Trip at 2nd level, and Thorny Trip at 5th, which allows him to make an additional attack with the hooked spike on the reverse of the halberd. He also has the Pointed Reach feat available at 3rd level, which allows him to use the halberd as a reach weapon and threaten a 10-foot area. He also gains bonus feats at 2nd and 4th level, chosen from the Fighter?s feat list. The NPC write-up is Sir Rinard Whitehart (Commoner 1/Warrior 3/Fighter 3/Halberdier 5), who is a peasant conscript Halberdier made a knight after slaying a renegade Duke, much like the peasant who slew the Duke of Burgundy.

The PDF is laid out in a two columns with dense text in a smallish font with only bold text used to indicate section heads. The PDF has a small line-art header with two swords flanking the product title. The interior art is limited to one well-drawn 1/2 page illustration of the Sir Rinard Whitehart character, and a few clip-art decorations. The cover is a colorful affair with a green marbled background and featuring the character illustration set against a gold (with lots of gradient goodness) frame with bars for flourishes. The Title text is in gold with some slick gold gradients and a stroke applied to it, with the sub-title in silver/gray gradient goodness. It looks good.

Overall, this is a great product, providing a good write-up of the halberd and a good treatment of a Halberd wielding PrC that isn?t saddled with largely useless mass combat/formation fighting feats. I recommend it to anyone who is looking to pull some upstart nobles from they?re high horse and, with one mighty blow, end a war and become a hero.
<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Duke of Burgundy historical note<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Text size/density<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Master at Arms: Halberdier
Publisher: Blackdirge Publishing
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/23/2007 00:00:00

Master of Arms: Halberdier is part of the Master of Arms series that brings historical fighting styles to D20 fantasy by Blackdirge Publishing/Skeleton Key Games written by Aeryn ?Blackdirge? Rudel. It is a seven-page product (five after cover and OGL) with a clean layout. The only art is the cover piece which is also used as the character art and some nice weapons on the title page.

The work starts with a short history of the halberd as a weapon and why it is an important and interesting weapon. Like many pole arms the halberd has been neglected in high fantasy, one of the aim of this product is to help rescue the halberd from this unjust obscurity.

The centerpiece is, of course, the Halberdier prestige class, an expert with their weapon of choice. A solid fighter-based class with trick based on the abilities of the weapon: defense trick using the shaft to parry with, the ability to dismount enemy riders, and a few bonus feats as well as the ability to count level in Halberdier as level in Fighter for purposes of qualifying for fighter bonus feats. A very nicely done prestige class.

An example Halberdier character, Sir Rinard Whitehart, is provided along with a nice background for him. A very neat character who worked his way from commoner, survived long enough to gain levels in warrior than fighter and finally halberdier. The only complaint is that his CR is probably too high, counting his commoner level for CR is probably overestimating its ability to help it in any useful way.

The Halberdier is a solid addition to the available fighting prestige classes that it is based on a solid historical concepts is just a bonus.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks for the great review! <br> <br> You're right about Rinard's CR. By the book he's CR 11, but with the commoner level, he's probably closer to CR 10. <br> <br> Aeryn "Blackdirge" Rudel
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