Gladiator

"I have no quarrel with you, friend, but circumstances make us enemies. Only one of us will leave the arena this day, and it’s going to be me."

Life under the sorcerer-kings is hard. Water, food, and shelter are never guaranteed, and one misstep can result in a public flogging by an overambitious templar or a swift execution to serve as warning to others who might overstep their bounds. But the sorcerer-kings know that even with loyal templars and vast armies at their command, they rule with their subjects’ consent. To distract the masses from their misery, to divert public attention from oppressive laws and heavy taxes, the sorcerer-kings decree the incessant spectacle of gladiatorial games.
    Each city-state boasts an impressive arena, with enough seating to hold most of its citizens. Each week, or more often depending on weather or political conditions, nobles and commoners gather to watch the drama unfold, cheering madly as their favorite warriors duel with other gladiators, work in teams to claim the contest’s great prize, or fight en masse to defeat whatever new horror the arena masters have plucked, no doubt at great expense and loss of life, from the desert wastes.
    Naturally, most gladiators are slaves. Chosen for this fate because of their strength or skill, they live and die at the crowd’s favor, pitting what training they acquire against myriad foes, never knowing when they will face an insurmountable foe, never sure when their opponent will be their equal. Arena masters understand that their warriors fight with passion when they have something to fight for, and so they offer freedom, wealth, pleasure, or some other incentive to stoke the fires and keep their captive warriors eager for victory. Freedom is the greatest prize, of course—but the games are so violent that few gladiators live long enough to earn the victories they need to escape.
    The life of a gladiator is brutish and brief, but it is the one occupation a slave can hold that also brings respect. Gladiators are heroes to the common people. Their trials and victories are the stuff of legend, and many slaves grow comfortable from the accolades their conquests bring.

Gladiator Feature Disrupting Advance

With an attack followed by a violent shove, your enemy flies backward. As it flails for balance, it loses its footing and stumbles into the creatures around it.

Encounter        Martial, Weapon
Standard Action      Melee weapon

Target: One creature

Attack: Primary ability vs. AC

Hit: 2[W] + ability modifier damage, and you push the target 2 squares. The target and each enemy adjacent to the target at the end of the push are slowed until the end of your next turn.
Level 11: 3[W] + ability modifier damage.
Level 21: 4[W] + ability modifier damage.


Gladiator Utility 2Go with the Flow

You adjust to the shifting battlefield to position yourself where you can resume your bloody work.

Encounter        Martial
Immediate Reaction      Personal

Trigger: An enemy within 5 squares of you that you can see moves willingly.

Target: The triggering enemy

Effect: You shift half your speed and gain combat advantage against the target until the end of your next turn.


Gladiator Attack 3Savage Sweep

You whip your weapon around you, cutting a swath of bloody carnage.

Encounter        Martial, Weapon
Standard Action      Close burst 1

Target: Each creature you can see in the burst

Attack: Primary ability vs. AC

Hit: 1[W] + ability modifier damage, and the target takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls until the end of your next turn.

Level 13:

  Hit: As above, but 2[W] + ability modifier damage.

Level 23:

  Hit: As above, but 3[W] + ability modifier damage.


Gladiator Attack 5Infuriating Challenge

With one precise strike you find your foe’s weak spot, both physically and mentally, and put it off guard for the rest of the battle.

Daily        Martial, Reliable, Weapon
Standard Action      Melee weapon

Target: One creature

Attack: Primary ability vs. AC

Hit: 3[W] + ability modifier damage, and the target grants combat advantage to you until the end of the encounter.

Level 15:

  Hit: As above, but 4[W] + ability modifier damage.

Level 25:

  Hit: As above, but 5[W] + ability modifier damage.


Gladiator Utility 6Bloodborn Menace

Your skill at the kill gives your enemies pause.

Encounter        Martial
Free Action      Personal

Trigger: You bloody an enemy or reduce an enemy to 0 hit points with a melee attack.

Effect: Each enemy within 10 squares of you that can see you grants combat advantage to you until the end of your next turn.


Gladiator Attack 7Murderous Rampage

The path to victory lies through your opponent. With a devastating strike, you take a step toward that goal.

Encounter        Martial, Weapon
Standard Action      Melee weapon

Target: One creature

Attack: Primary ability vs. AC

Hit: 2[W] + ability modifier damage.

Effect: Until the end of your next turn, whenever any enemy starts its turn adjacent to the target, that enemy takes damage equal to your primary ability modifier.

Level 17:

  Hit: 3[W] + ability modifier damage.

Level 27:

  Hit: 4[W] + ability modifier damage.


Gladiator Attack 9Bloody Blades

You whip your weapons around you to keep your enemies from blocking your progress to a swift victory.

Daily        Martial, Stance, Weapon
Standard Action      Close burst 1

Effect: Before the attack, you move your speed. Each enemy that makes an opportunity attack against you during this movement takes damage equal to your primary ability modifier and is pushed 1 square after its attack.

Target: Each enemy you can see in the burst

Attack: Primary ability vs. AC

Hit: 2[W] + ability modifier damage.

Effect: You can assume the stance of the bloody blades. Until the stance ends, as a free action you can deal damage equal to your primary ability modifier to any enemy that starts its turn adjacent to you. Any enemy you deal damage to cannot shift until the end of your next turn.

Level 19:

  Hit: 3[W] + ability modifier damage.

Level 29:

  Hit: 4[W] + ability modifier damage.


Gladiator Utility 10Perceive Weakness

You spot the flaws in your foe’s technique and can bring this knowledge to bear during your next attack.

Encounter        Martial
Immediate Reaction      Personal

Trigger: An enemy you can see misses with a melee attack.

Target: The triggering enemy

Effect: Your next melee weapon attack against the target before the end of your next turn gains a +2 power bonus to the attack roll and deals 1[W] extra damage.

Special: If your next attack against the target misses, you regain the use of this power.


Published in Dark Sun Campaign Setting, page(s) 50.