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The Way of the Iron Lion
The lion hunts and does not regret its savagery. Iron kills and sheds no tears for blood and misery. So it is for those who choose the way of the iron lion. Men are stronger than they permit themselves to be. In choosing civilisation, in choosing compromise and peace and accommodation, they willingly chain themselves to weakness. Those who follow this path reject these chains, they burst them and revel in the freedom that merciless strength brings. Those who choose this path do not kill or brutalise needlessly, for that is counter to the notion of instinctive strength; instead, they act as they must, without regret and without thought, as the lion does. As iron does.
Adventuring: The iron lion is an enthusiastic participant in any adventure which has the potential to involve heavy amounts of combat, or which will allow him to pit his Strength against imposing physical barriers. So, for example, the iron lion would jump at the chance to tear
the doors of the City of Brass off their hinges, so long as he was able to do it with his bare hands. Iron lions enjoy promoting the virtues of Strength and demonstrating what can be accomplished by a man who does not allow hesitation to impede him. In an adventuring party, the iron lion will be at the forefront of any battle, directing his allies in the use of their physical gifts so that they can achieve maximum results. The iron lion is always the first to enter a battle and the last to retreat, covering his friend’s escape even as he berates them for their weakness.
Roleplaying: The iron lion is confident in his abilities and boisterous in their use, a dangerous predator who will not hide his power no matter how uncomfortable it makes those around him. Despite this, he is not one for needless killing and violence, nor does he ever back down from delivering a thrashing to one who has earned it and will not restrain himself because of any sense of social niceties. The iron lion is vigorous and unrestrained in his passions, even more than other barbarians, and lives life to its fullest, for that is a form of strength as well.
Advancement Options: A barbarian follows the way of the iron lion by choosing from the following advancement options: Minimum Strength 13; Climb 5 ranks, Craft (armour or weaponsmith) 5 ranks, Jump 5 ranks, Swim 5 ranks; Athletic, Improved Critical, Improved Unarmed Strike, Power Attack (Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Overrun, Improved Sunder, Savage Cleave).
Benefits: A follower of the way of the iron lion can choose from one of the following benefits (and corresponding disadvantages):
- Tireless Lion: Once a day, the iron lion can enter a rage and determine its duration in rounds using his rage-modified Strength score, rather than his Constitution score.
- Devastating Charge: When the lion pounces, it strikes with the fury of lightning. When performing the charge action, the iron lion gains a +2 bonus to damage, in addition to the normal +2 bonus to attack rolls.
- Deadly Force: The lion’s claws rarely fail to meet their target, nor does the iron lion’s blade. Once a day, the iron lion can reroll any one attack roll. The decision to reroll must be made immediately and the second roll is binding, whatever its result.
Disadvantages: A follower of the way of the iron lion suffers from one of the following disadvantages, depending on the benefit he chose.
- Battered Iron: Following a rage in which the iron lion used his Strength, rather than his Constitution to determine duration, the iron lion is exhausted for the duration of the encounter and fatigued for one hour after. This disadvantage corresponds to the Tireless Lion benefit.
- Reckless Predator: The lion charges forward, heedless of danger. The iron lion suffers a –3 penalty to his armour class when charging, rather than a –2. This disadvantage corresponds to the Devastating Charge benefit.
- The Blade That Cannot Be Blunted: The lion does not attack to wound, it strikes to kill. While on this path, the iron lion cannot attack to deal nonlethal damage, either with weapons or with unarmed attacks. This disadvantage corresponds to the Deadly Force benefit.
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System Reference Document Copyright 2000-2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Rich Baker, Andy Collins, David Noonan, Rich Redman, Bruce R. Cordell, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
Open game content from The Quintessential Barbarian II: Advanced Tactics copyright 2004, Mongoose Publishing Ltd.
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