The Hand of Gruumsh

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By Proven Paradox at Divided by Zero.

The god of the orcs is a cruel, brutal master, and expects his followers to follow his examples or face terrible consequences. His clerics and favored souls are few and far between, as most of his followers choose to follow the path of the barbarian. A notable and feared few of those followers choose to instead become crusaders, masters of enduring brutality more than distributing it. To the very few crusaders to whom he also grants spontaneous spells, a unique path is open: That of the Hand of Gruumsh, masters of both enduring and distributing suffering.

((Thanks to Swooper for help with ideas and advice on the class.))

The Hand of Gruumsh

Hit Dice d12

Requirements To become a Hand of Gruumsh, you must fulfill all the following criteria.
Race: Orc
Deity: Gruumsh
Feats: Power Attack
Spellcasting: Must be able to cast spontaneous Divine spells of 2nd level or above. Maneuvers: Two Devoted Spirit maneuvers, one Devoted Spirit stance
Special: Steely Resolve 10 class feature

Class skills The Hand of Gruumsh’s class skills (and the key ability for each skills) are: Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Ride (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Points per Level 2 + int modifier


LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveManeuvers KnownManeuvers ReadiedStances KnownSpecialSpellcasting
1st+1+2+0+2+1+0+0Steely Resolve +5, Suffering Spellcaster-
2nd+2+3+0+3+0+0+0Brutal Resolve+1 level of existing spellcasting class
3rd+3+3+1+3+1+1+0+1 level of existing spellcasting class
4th+4+4+1+4+0+0+0Savage Rage+1 level of existing spellcasting class
5th+5+4+1+4+1+0+1Steely Resolve +10-
6th+6+5+2+5+0+1+0Favor of One-Eye+1 level of existing spellcasting class
7th+7+5+2+5+1+0+0Endure the Pain+1 level of existing spellcasting class
8th+8+6+2+6+0+0+0Improved Furious Conterstrike+1 level of existing spellcasting class
9th+9+6+3+6+1+1+0Steely Resolve +15-
10th+10+7+3+7+0+0+1Supremacy through Pain+1 level of existing spellcasting class

Class Features The following are the class features of the Hand of Gruumsh.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency A Hand of Gruumsh gains no new armor proficiencies. If she was not already, she gains proficiency in all orcish racial weapons, such as the orc double axe.

Maneuvers At each even numbered level, a Hand of Gruumsh gains a new maneuver from the Devoted Spirit or Iron Heart disciplines. You must meet a maneuver's prerequisite to learn it. You add your full Hand of Gruumsh levels to your Initiator Level to determine your total Initiator Level and your highest-level maneuvers known.

At third, sixth, and ninth levels, you gain an additional readied maneuver.

Stances At fifth and tenth levels, you gain access to a stance from the Devoted Spirit or Iron Heart disciplines. You must meet a stance's prerequisites to learn it.

Steely Resolve (Ex) The capacity of a Hand of Gruumsh’s Steely Resolve damage pool continues to improve. At first level, and every four levels thereafter (levels 5 and 9), her Steely Resolve capacity improves by five (to +5 at 1st, +10 at 5th, and +15 at 9th). This stacks with any other effects that improve the capacity of the Steely Resolve pool.

Suffering Spellcaster (Su) One of the first lessons a new Hand of Gruumsh learns is how to channel fury normally reserved for her physical attacks to her spells. Beginning at first level, any time she casts a spell with damage in her damage pool, she may add the bonus granted by Furious Counterstrike to the spell’s caster level. She may add half that amount to the spell’s save DCs (if any, rounded down). The bonus to spell DCs may not exceed half of her Hand of Gruumsh levels + 1.

Brutal Resolve (Ex) As a Hand of Gruumsh walks further down the path, she learns to use her fury to strengthen her defenses as well as power her offense and spells. Beginning at 2nd level, she may add the bonus provided by her Furious Counterstrike to one of her saves. Which save it applies to is chosen each round during the Hand of Gruumsh’s turn as a free action.

Savage Rage (Ex) As a Hand of Gruumsh continues to train, she learns to channel her fury into a rage similar to that of her barbarian peers. Beginning at 4th level, any time the Hand of Gruumsh’s Steely Resolve damage pool becomes full, she may enter the Savage Rage stance. While in the Savage Rage stance, the capacity of her Steely Resolve damage pool doubles. She temporarily gains a +4 bonus to strength, a +4 bonus to constitution, and takes a -2 penalty to AC. The increase in Constitution increases the Hand of Gruumsh’s hit points by 2 points per level, but these hit points go away when she exits the Savage Rage stance and her constitution score to drops back to normal. While in this stance, a Hand of Gruumsh cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except for Balance, Escape Artist, Intimidate, and Ride), the Concentration skill, or any abilities that require patience or concentration, nor can she cast spells or activate magic items that require a command word, a spell trigger (such as a wand), or spell completion (such as a scroll) to function. She can use any feat she has except Combat Expertise, item creation feats, and metamagic feats. She may remain in the Savage Rage stance as long as she begins her turn with at least 10 points in her damage pool. At the beginning of any turn that she begins with less damage in her pool, she automatically exits the Savage Rage stance. She may shift out of this stance and into another as normal for martial adepts.

Favor of One-Eye (Su) Gruumsh rewards those few who live up to his expectations, and any Hand of Gruumsh who had made it this far without dying has suffered enough to earn a small boon from the One-Eyed god. Beginning at 6th level, a Hand of Gruumsh may use her constitution modifier to determine the save DCs of any spells she casts.

Endure the Pain (Ex) As her focus on her fury continues, a Hand of Gruumsh learns to endure pain in order to strengthen herself. Beginning at 7th level, at the end of her turn when her damage pool normally empties, she may choose to delay taking any amount of damage from it for another round. If she chooses to retain any amount of damage in the pool, that amount immediately doubles. She cannot retain more than half the maximum capacity of her damage pool in this way.

For example, Janna the Hand of Gruumsh has a Steely Resolve pool with a capacity of 20 damage. It is the end of her turn, and it currently holds 7 damage. She may choose to retain that damage in her pool, in which case her damage pool has 14 damage stored. She may choose to take 3 damage now, and retain 4 damage, in which case she loses 3 hit points, and her damage pool has 8 damage stored. If she has 14 damage in her damage pool, she must lose 4 hit points at the end of her turn, but may choose to retain 10 of that damage if she wishes.

Improved Furious Counterstrike (Ex) The Hand of Gruumsh learns to tap into her fury better than other crusaders. Beginning at 8th level, every 4 points of damage in her damage pool increases the bonus provided by her Furious Counterstrike by 1, rather than every 5 points of damage.

Supremacy through Pain (Ex) The greatest of the Hands of Gruumsh gain his greatest power: not only does she become immune to pain, but its presence empowers her and fuels her brutal assaults. At 10th level, The Hand of Gruumsh becomes immune to effects related to pain, such as the effects of a Symbol of Pain. In addition, at any time she would normally take more damage than she can put into her Steely Resolve damage pool, she may enter the Supremacy through Pain stance as an immediate action. While in this stance, the capacity of her Steely Resolve pool becomes infinite. When the pool is automatically emptied at the end of her turn, she takes half of the damage (rounded down). At the end of an encounter, she automatically exits the Supremacy through Pain stance. While in the Supremacy through Pain stance, she cannot retain damage in her damage pool through Endure the Pain.

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