Collateral Diehard

A tragic number of enslaved younglings are forced into hazardous occupations where their status as living assets means that their deaths are considered a cost of business by their heartless captors. Nowhere are these expendable youths more valued than within the ranks of illicit mercenary companies looking to use purchased or captured collaterals as expendable warriors. From a young age, collateral mercenaries are taught that their lives are worth less than the weapons and armor they wield or the vehicles and starships that carry them into battle. Knowing full-well that they’ll be left for dead if they’re seriously injured and often sacrificed on the field of battle like pawns, these younglings quickly learn to lose themselves in a haze of gore and adrenaline in desperate hopes of surviving until their next meal, but ultimately content in the knowledge that they might not.

Nowhere is this more apparent than among the collateral diehards, those youths who have managed to survive long enough to see dozens of conflicts and ultimately steel themselves against the tragedy that surrounds them. Even long after they gain their freedom, collateral diehards have been trained all too well that their lives are expendable; in fact, they revel in it. Storming the battlefield in a haze of gore amidst a field of corpses, make the knowledge of their expendability their armor and clad themselves into it, wading into battle with an unbreakable will and determination that unnerves even the most seasoned of soldiers. For as many question, how does one break a soul who exists only in the revel of battle, who has nothing to live for outside of the death and carnage that war brings? The answer, most find, is that they cannot.

The Collateral Diehard is an archetype for characters who are (or were) children or adolescents taken as slaves. PCs with this archetype are always assumed to have found freedom, but NPCs might still be enslaved at the GM’s decision.

Alternate Class Features

The collateral diehard gains alternate class features at 2nd, 6th, and 9th levels.

Iron Flower (Ex) - 2nd Level

When you spend a Resolve point to stay in the fight after stabilizing, you can heal an amount of Hit Points equal to 1d8 + your Constitution modifier as a reaction. The amount of healing that you receive increases to 3d8 Hit Points at 4th level, 5d8 Hit Points at 7th level, 12d8 Hit Points at 10th level, 16d8 Hit Points at 14th level, and 20d8 Hit Points at 17th level. After using this ability, you must spend 1 Resolve Point to regain Stamina during a 10-minute rest before using it again.

Bloodied Frenzy (Ex) - 6th Level

You gain a +2 bonus on saving throws against fear effects. Whenever you have 0 Stamina Points, you gain a morale bonus on weapon damage rolls equal to ¼ your level. If you have 0 Stamina Points and less than half of your total Hit Points remaining, this morale bonus increases to half your level. If you have the collateral theme, these morale bonuses stack with those from the cornered rat theme ability.

Firm Against the Tide (Ex) - 9th Level

Whenever you have 0 Stamina Points remaining, you can grant yourself temporary Hit Points as a move action. The amount of temporary Hit Points that you gain from using this ability is equal to the amount of healing that you gain from using the Iron Flower alternate class feature (5d8 + your Constitution modifier at 9th level, 12d8 + your Constitution modifier at 10th level, and so on). After using this ability, you must spend 1 Resolve Point to regain Stamina during a 10-minute rest before using it again.

Star Log.EM-003: Collateral Characters from Everyman Gaming
Archetype Collateral Diehard
Theme Collateral
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