The Walking Hill

The Walking Hill is a first-level sample character for Spheres of Might, suitable for use as a PC or as an NPC. Information on its build rules, and how to adjust for different rules, is included below. This character was created by the community.

The Walking Hill (Strong Man Striker)
Half-orc striker 1
LG Medium humanoid (human, orc)
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +1


AC 11, touch 11, flat-footed 11 (+1 Constitution)
hp 12 (1d10+2)
Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +1. +4 on Fort vs. nonlethal damage from hot or cold environments, or damage from suffocation
Defensive Abilities orc ferocity


Speed 30 ft.
Melee unarmed strike +5 (1d4+3, 19-20, +1 damage on a critical hit)
Ranged Tiny rocks +1 (1d6+3)
Special Attacks orc ferocity, tension techniques


Tradition Giant (Equipment: Rock Toss, Critical Genius; Brute sphere: Muscular Surge); PAM Con
Beastmastery sphere - DC 12, Talents none, Drawbacks none
- handle animal (tame: train an animal to readily obey your commands in and out of combat)
Brute sphere - DC 12, Talents Muscular Surge, Unstoppable, Drawbacks none
- shove (inflict the battered condition and bludgeoning damage through impact)
- muscular surge (bonus +1 to jump and on Strength checks)
- unstoppable (push your way through obstacles blocking your charging path)
Equipment sphere - DC 12, Talents Rock Toss, Critical Genius
- rock toss (catch and hurl rocks)
- critical genius (deal additional damage with a critical hit with selected weapon)


Str 17, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 13
Base Atk +1; CMB +4; CMD 15
Traits Iron Control, Steel Body
Feats Endurance, Weapon Focus (unarmed strike)
Skills Craft (wood) +5, Handle Animal +2, Intimidate +5, Knowledge (nature) +5, Ride +4, Survival +5
Languages Common, Orc, Sylvan
SQ orc blood, shaman’s apprentice, tension (2 points)
Gear beast-training kit (15 gp), brawler’s kit (9 gp), horse (75 gp), masterwork survival kit (50 gp), 1 gp

Special Abilities

AC Bonus (Ex) When wearing light armor or no armor, not carrying a shield, and unencumbered, the striker adds her Constitution bonus (if any) to her AC and her CMD; this bonus cannot exceed her class level. (A 1st level striker with 16 Constitution still gains only a +1 bonus to her armor class from this class feature.) This AC bonus does not stack with any class features which share the same name as it.

This bonus to AC applies even against touch attacks or when the striker is flat-footed. She loses these bonuses when she is immobilized or helpless, when she wears medium or heavy armor, uses a shield, or when she carries a medium or heavy load.

Beastmastery Sphere The Beastmastery sphere focuses on all forms of animal handling. Unlike most other spheres which rest squarely on the related core rules, talents and abilities granted by the Beastmastery sphere override certain skill functions (particularly Handle Animal and Ride). No additional checks are required outside of those listed in the associated ability. Some abilities call out joint actions. These actions require both the user and his animal ally to pay the requisite action cost.

Animal Allies: Some talents and abilities reference animal allies; your animal companions, familiars, tame creatures, and any creature actively serving as your mount with an Intelligence score of 2 or less are considered your animal allies. Animal allies always act on your initiative.

Special: Animal companions, Conjuration sphere companions, drake companions, eidolons, and familiars cannot gain this sphere or talents from this sphere.

When you first take the Beastmastery sphere, choose one of the following packages: Handle Animal or Ride.

Beastmastery: Handle Animal You gain 5 ranks in the Handle Animal skill, plus 5 ranks per talent spent in the Beastmastery sphere (maximum equal to your total Hit Dice). If you possess skill ranks in Handle Animal, you may choose to retrain them, but you do not gain ranks when only temporarily gaining this package, such as through the armiger’s customized weapons class feature.

You also gain the following ability: Tame.

Beastmastery: Tame (Handle Animal) You may attempt to train an animal to readily obey your commands in and out of combat. This requires 8 hours and a creature of the animal type that has an attitude toward you of indifferent or better. This time may be divided as per the magic item crafting rules. You may only train one creature at a time with this ability. At the end of this period, make a Handle Animal check with a DC of 10 + the creature’s Hit Dice. If successful, the creature is now considered tame.

You may not tame a creature with more Hit Dice than you have ranks in Handle Animal. You may have multiple tame creatures under your control, but their total Hit Dice cannot exceed your ranks in Handle Animal. If you attempt to tame a creature that would exceed your Hit Dice cap, you must choose which other creatures to release. Animal companions and familiars, such as from class features, the Animal Companion talent, or the Pet talent, never count against this Hit Dice cap.

You may not use this ability on a creature with the swarm subtype. A creature with a template adds the challenge rating adjustment of the template to its HD (minimum increase +0) for determining if you may tame it and for how many creatures you can have tame. Variant creatures with increased challenge ratings (such as a pyrohydra compared to a normal hydra, if using the Broad Skills talent), treats the challenge rating increase of the variant as if it were a template for this purpose. A creature whose permanent Intelligence score is raised above 2 is no longer a valid target for this ability and is automatically released. This effect ends if you go two full days without spending at least 1 hour training your tame creatures.

This is treated as an extraordinary mind-affecting compulsion effect for the purposes of opposed control checks, such as another compulsion effect affecting your tame creature. Use your ranks in Handle Animal in place of your caster level for the opposed check.

Brute Sphere Brutes like to throw their weight around, jostling and battering foes to move them about the battlefield. Brute practitioners are unarmed fighters who deal additional damage with their unarmed strikes as described in the unarmed strike practitioner table. Associated Feat: Improved Unarmed Strike.

All practitioners of the Brute sphere gain the following ability: Shove.

Brute: Shove As a move action, you may move up to half your speed and make a melee touch attack against a creature. If successful, the target takes bludgeoning damage equal to your Strength modifier (or whichever attribute was used to make the check) and gains the battered condition until the end of your next turn.

You may perform a shove in place of the attack granted by a charge, although this does not grant the extra movement. When you successfully perform a bull rush, drag, reposition, or overrun combat maneuver (assuming the target decided to block you and did not simply move out of the way), you may apply the effect of one (manhandle) talent you know to that creature. (Manhandle) talents cannot be applied to maneuvers performed as a free action.

Brute: Muscular Surge As a move action, you gain a bonus equal to ½ your base attack bonus (minimum 1) on Acrobatics checks made to jump, to all Strength checks and Strength-based skill checks, as well as to your Strength for determining your carrying capacity, for a number of rounds equal to your Constitution modifier. This does not apply to combat maneuver checks nor attack and damage rolls. You are fatigued for 1d4 rounds after the duration ends, even if you would normally be immune to fatigue. If you are fatigued when you begin or end this effect, you are instead exhausted. If you are already exhausted, you cannot use this ability.

If you expend your martial focus, this bonus increases to become equal to your full base attack bonus, but automatically leaves you exhausted for 1d4 rounds afterward.

Brute: Unstoppable When making a charge, you can push your way through obstacles blocking your path, be they creatures, objects, or others.

You may charge over difficult terrain. This movement still costs twice as much as normal. Additionally, when making a charge, you may attempt to overrun a creature in the path of the charge, or to make a Strength check to break an unattended object such as a door or wall that is in your way, as a free action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If the check is successful, you may complete the charge. If the check is unsuccessful, the charge ends in the space directly in front of that creature or object.

For every 5 base attack bonus you possess you may attempt to break or overrun an additional target, but suffer a cumulative -2 penalty on each additional check made.

This can allow you to initiate a charge through squares that you do not have line of sight to. You may resolve your charge attack against any valid target within reach of the charge’s path after passing through the barriers (creature or object) blocking your line of sight. Associated Feat: Charge Through.

Equipment: Critical Genius You may select 1 weapon with which you are proficient (including unarmed strike), treating that weapon as though its critical threat range was 19-20 (unless it would be higher) and its critical multiplier as though it was x2 (even if it would normally be higher). In addition, when you confirm a critical hit with the chosen weapon while using the attack action, you deal additional damage equal to your base attack bonus; this additional damage is applied after other modifiers and is not multiplied by the critical hit. At +10 base attack bonus, the chosen weapon’s critical threat range is instead treated as 18-20.

Equipment: Rock Toss (discipline) As long as you have martial focus, you can catch thrown or falling rocks (or projectiles of similar shape) that are no larger than your current size. Once per round, when you would normally be hit by a rock, you can make a Reflex save to catch it as a free action. The DC is 25 for a rock of your current size, -5 for each size category it is smaller than you. If the projectile has a magical bonus on attack rolls, the DC increases by that amount. You must be aware of the attack in order to make a rock catching attempt.

Additionally, you are considered proficient with thrown rocks. You can hurl rocks of up to two size categories smaller than you. A “rock” is any large, bulky, and relatively regularly shaped object made of any material with a hardness of at least 5.

You can hurl the rock as a thrown weapon with a range increment of 10 ft. +10 per size category it is smaller than you. Tiny rocks deal 1d6 bludgeoning damage, Small 1d8, Medium 2d6, and Large 3d6. As long as you have martial focus and a suitable rock is within your reach, you may pick them up as part of your attack. At 7th and 14th base attack bonus, increase the maximum size rock you may throw by one size category, to a maximum equal to your current size.

Iron Control Whenever you’re confused and roll to determine behavior in a given round, subtract 10 from the result.

Steel Body Your physique is far more difficult to damage than others. You gain +1 hit point; for every two additional hit dice you possess, you gain +1 hit point.

Tension (Ex) A striker is at home in battle, thriving on the raw energy of combat to fuel her attacks. A striker begins the day with no tension, but can gain tension in the following ways (a striker cannot gain tension from each of these more than once per round and a striker must be in combat to gain tension):

  • Offensive Pressure: Whenever the striker successfully damages a creature with an unarmed strike or makes successful combat maneuver check against a creature to initiate a combat maneuver, she gains 1 tension.
  • Defensive Determination: Whenever the striker takes damage from an attack originating from a creature (including spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities), she gains 1 tension. A striker does not gain tension from attacks made against her while she is flat-footed or unaware.
  • Maneuvering Momentum: Whenever the striker moves 10 ft. or more during her turn (this cannot be forced movement), she gains 1 tension.

Her tension goes up or down throughout the day, but usually cannot go higher than her Constitution modifier (minimum 1), though some feats, abilities, and magic items may affect this maximum. At 3rd level and every three levels afterward, her maximum tension increases by 1. If a striker spends 1 minute or longer outside of combat, she loses all tension she possesses.

Tension Techniques (Ex) A striker can spend tension in order to accomplish incredible feats and each tension technique can only be used once per round (if an ability does not have an associated action listed, using it is a free action which can be done during anyone’s turn):

1 Tension

  • Expert Guard: For each tension a striker spends on this tension technique, she gains a +1 circumstance bonus on all saves until the beginning of her next turn.
  • Fiery Offense: For each tension a striker spends on this tension technique, she gains a +1 circumstance bonus to attack and damage rolls made with unarmed strikes until the beginning of her next turn.
  • Light Step: The striker spends a swift action and selects a single creature, all movement she makes until the beginning of her next turn does not provoke attacks of opportunity from that creature.
  • Stalwart Form: For each tension a striker spends on this tension technique, she gains DR 1/- until the beginning of her next turn; this damage reduction stacks with similar damage reduction.
  • Timely Dodge: For each tension a striker spends on this tension technique, she gains a +1 dodge bonus to her armor class until the beginning of her next turn.

2 Tension

  • Critical Knuckle: The striker increases the critical threat range of her unarmed strikes by 1 until the beginning of her next turn; this bonus stacks with other increases to the striker’s unarmed strikes critical threat range, but is applied last.
  • Perfect Offensive: The striker automatically confirms a critical threat made with an unarmed strike.
  • Swift Focus: The striker spends a swift action to regain martial focus.

3 Tension

  • Rapid Pummel: Whenever a striker makes an attack action with an unarmed strike or attempts a combat maneuver check as a standard action, she can spend a swift action to make an additional attack with an unarmed strike with a -2 penalty (she can wait until the results of the attack roll before deciding to use this tension technique) once per turn.
  • Second Chance: The striker can reroll a saving throw after the result has been revealed, although she must accept the result of the reroll, even if it is worse.
  • Speed Step: The striker can spend a swift action to move up to her speed with whatever methods of moment she possesses.


The Walking Hill is built with a 20-point buy and 175 gp starting wealth. Favored Class Bonus is +⅓ virtual talent in an unarmed sphere for the purposes of determining the damage of unarmed strikes (orc FCB). If using a lower point buy, you can lower Dexterity, Intelligence, and Charisma. If using a higher point buy (or rolling really well), your most important attributes are Constitution and Strength. Constitution is your primary statistic and affects the save DCs of all your martial talents; it also raises your hit points and Fortitude saves and increases your AC, thanks to the striker’s AC bonus feature. Strength makes you a fearful combat machine. A high Wisdom is recommended too, to increase your Will save and many useful skill checks.

How to Play a Walking Hill

Proud of your origins and tribal traditions, you nevertheless strive for a lasting peace between orcs and humans. Gentle and reflexive, you would rather continue your shamanic training or work with horses and other animals than fight, but any threat to your friends or your people raises a great rage in you. You are fiercely loyal to those you love, and try to defeat your enemies without killing them.

Future Abilities

Martial Talents Animal Empathy, Beast Tamer, Berserker Sphere, Bronco Buster, Choke Hold, Crushing Thrower, Deathless, Earthquake Stomp, Extra Beastmastery Package, Focusing Connection, Greater Sunder, Inescapable Grasp, Iron Grip, Power Bomb, Smash, Stampede, Throw, Wild Speaker, Wrestling Sphere
Striker Arts Adrenaline Surge, Critical Tension, Enduring Critical, Iron Body, Piercing Fist, Unarmored Striker, Wild Charge
Feats Friend to Animals, Giantslayer, Great Fortitude, Heroic Reserve, Intimidating Prowess, Nature Soul, Power Attack, Titan Breaker, Toughness
Skills Handle Animal, Knowledge (nature), Ride, and Survival are the most useful skills for this character. Put some ranks in Intimidate and Craft (wood) too.

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