Fighters are Fighters. Nobody fights quite like they do. They’re the hardened guys who know how to keep cool under pressure. They don’t need to stick to their training because at this point that training is more natural to them than breathing or fucking. War is where they’re at home.
Action Heroes aren’t Fighters. They’re still really good at fighting, but it doesn’t come from skill or training or even talent. Action heroes are, in a word, lucky. Whether it’s the favor of some god of war, or simply an unfair amount of fortune, Action Heroes somehow break all the rules and manage to look good doing it.
The Action Hero’s hit dice, saving throws, and experience gain is identical to the Fighter’s.
In any case where a Charisma check or modifier is called for, an Action Hero may choose to substitute their Strength score in its place.
Action Heroes cannot wear any armor, but damage dice rolled against them are stepped down. A d8 becomes a d6, a d6 becomes a d4, a d4 becomes a d2, etc. Any damage suffered by an Action Hero causes torn clothing or a visible wound. Because of this, Action Heroes are required to purchase new clothing after each adventure, as they will no doubt end up wearing little more than rags by the end of any outing. Albeit, rags that heroically expose their impressive physiques.
Any ranged weapon fired at the Action Hero from a distance greater than 15′ must roll a natural 20 on its attack roll in order to hit. These are not affected by the step-down damage rule, and if your game uses critical hits, these natural 20s should be critt’d normally.
If an Action Hero has a hireling, they can be sacrificed to avoid incoming damage. Whether or not the damage exceeds the hirelings current hit points, using them to absorb damage in this way kills them. If the action hero cries out their fallen hireling’s name in anguish, then they will not suffer any loss of reputation which might lead to them having difficulty finding hirelings in the future. If the Action Hero fails to do this, then they are a bad person who doesn’t understand the spirit of the class. The referee should glare at them.
Like most non-Fighter classes, Action Heroes receive only a +1 to their attack rolls. However, if the player makes a clever one-liner in conjunction with their attack, that attack receives the same bonus a that Fighter’s would at the Action Hero’s level. The game’s referee is fully empowered and encouraged to dismiss low-effort witticisms. Bad puns are encouraged here, but repetition or simplistic variations on a theme should not be rewarded. Players have only one chance per attack to make a qualifying quip.
Note: Yes, I read Order of the Stick. I’m not some kind of non-OotS-reading monster. I swear I came up with fully half of this before I remembered that Elan’s pun-based prestige class existed. I briefly considered just making this an homage to OotS, but I think it’s distinct enough to stand on its own.