The berserker, who uses the same experience table as rangers and paladins, is a specific subclass of fighters. Reckless in combat and unwilling to concede in the face of defeat, they are most common in the savage wastes of Nordmaar. Wherever there is savagery and ruthlessness, however, there are berserkers to be found: those who laugh at death and are the first in at the kill, fighting without regard for their own lives.
Berserkers are a warrior subclass, and in most ways conform to the standard attributes (saving throws, THAC0, etc). They must have a minimum Strength and Constitution of 14 in order to survive the taxing ordeals by which a berserker is born, however. Furthermore, they begin with only two weapon proficiency slots; they may specialise, but this means they begin knowing the use of only a single weapon. Although they may use missile weapons if they wish, they may not spend proficiency slots on them.
All berserkers have the power to "go berserk". They must spend one full round working themselves into a frenzy: the manner in which this takes place varies, but it always loud and intimidating. There are reports of berserkers biting their shields, howling like wolves, tearing at their clothes or skin, or even pummeling themselves in the head. The berserk state can be maintained for a number of rounds equal to his Constitution score, and can be ended voluntarily only if there are no enemies left to fight. While berserk, he receives the following benefits:
- Strength. His STR increases by 2 points to a maximum of 19. Over 18, percentile strength increases by one category per point.
- Hit Points. He gains 2 temporary hit points per level. They do not heal wounds, but they do absorb any damage taken before the "regular" hit points are reached. It's not possible to lose your temporary hit points and instantly die, for example.
- Armor Class. The berserker's base AC improves by 1 per level, to a maximum of AC 0. They do not receive this bonus if they are wearing armor.
- Mental Fortitude. While berserk, the berserker receives a +2 bonus to saving throws against charms or other mind effects.
However, the berserker state bears with it some negative side effects. You must immediately enter melee combat; you can pick and choose your targets, but you must fight. When engaged with an enemy, you cannot stop fighting them until they are slain or flee beyond pursuit. You may not retreat, even if it means your own death. At the end of your rage, you must immediately save vs. death. If you succeed, you are unaffected and can continue to berserk today. Otherwise, you are exhausted by your efforts: you gain no bonuses to-hit or damage from your Strength, and cannot go berserk until you have rested.
At fourth level, the berserker gains the power to shapechange as a druid - but only once per week. They may assume the form of a wolf: their hit points, THAC0, bonus attacks and saving throws stay the same. Their AC, movement speed and damage do change, however. While shapechanged, no bonuses for Strength are applied.
At seventh level, the berserker gains an additional transformation per week - allowing them to become a cave bear. As with the wolf, they gain the AC, movement speed and damage of a cave bear.
At twelfth level, the berserker gains the power to enter a spirit-journey. To do.