1958. Steve Reeves plays Hercules and not only is a legend born, but a new genre of action/adventure – Sword & Sandals: the heroic adventures of oiled bodybuilders strangling things with their bare hands, bending bars and lifting gates.
We have lots of interesting characters running around fantasy roleplaying games, and plenty have 18’s in Strength, but none of them are true musclemen. Until now …
Requirements & Restrictions
Strength 15+, at least 6’ tall
Musclemen wear no armor, only the hides of the animals and monsters that have slain. They can use shields
Musclemen can wield any weapon, but double-handed weapons are preferred
Hit Dice: d12
Skills: Bend Bars/Lift Gates, Climb Sheer Surfaces, Jump, Swimming
Advance As: Fighter
Musclemen are capable of using their muscles to influence reactions, either through charm and awe, or sheer intimidation. Musclemen can modify reaction checks with their Strength score rather than Charisma score if the TK deems the situation appropriate.
Musclemen add 1.5 their strength bonus to attacks and damage when armed with double-handed weapons.
Musclemen treat creatures as one size category smaller for grapple and bull rush attacks.
Once per day, a muscleman can call on an adrenaline rush and either re roll a failed strength check with a +2 bonus or double their strength bonus on a single melee attack and damage. They can also make sundering attacks with their bare hands.
A muscleman spends a great deal of time in training. Every four levels, beginning with fourth level, they can deduct one point from intelligence, wisdom or charisma and add it to their strength score.
Musclemen gain additional skills as they advance in level if their strength score is high enough.
Burst Chains and Iron Bands (Level 3, Strength 16) – A muscleman can burst chains and iron bands simply by flexing their chest muscles or biceps.
Toss Dwarf (Level 5, Strength 17) – Musclemen can toss gnomes (Str 17), halflings (Str 19) and dwarfs (Str 21) at opponents. Treat this as a ranged attack with a range of 10 feet. If the muscleman misses, the tossed character gets no attack, loses their turn and suffers 1d4 points of damage. If their attack hits, the tossed character makes an attack as though charging, and the mere act of throwing them scores 1d6 points of damage for gnomes, 1d8 for halflings and 1d10 for dwarves, plus the muscleman’s strength bonus.
Hammer Nails (Level 7, Strength 18) – A muscleman’s sinews are iron hard, allowing him to hammer nails with their bare fists. Difficulties include hammering sharp items larger than nails, or hammering into materials harder than wood.
Bite Through Chains (Level 9, Strength 20) – A muscleman’s jaws are such that he can bite through metal. In addition, he can bite characters that he grapples (treat as an additional unarmed attack).