The Marauder, in Path of Exile, is a strength-oriented class. In terms of the game lore, a Marauder is a warrior from the barbarian Karui tribes, captured by the people of Oriath to be enslaved and then sent into exile, fetching up on the coast of Wraeclast. Tempering raw physical power with magic of the blood and ancestral power, there’s little more directly fearsome among mortals than one of these warriors rushing at a person, bellowing a war cry.
In order to create a Marauder using the Fate Core system, we have to look at what makes the Karui barbarian differ from a simple sellsword. People with a deeply spiritual core, the Karui engage in worship of their ancestors, relying on the blessings and power of those who came before them to augment their formidable strength and stamina. Most Marauder character concepts will fall in one of three formats – a raw physical warrior, blessed with incredible strength (Physique), combat prowess (Fighting), and mental fortitude (Will); a shamanistic warrior-priest of the ancestors, whose strength and combat ability are augmented by wisdom from the ancestors (Lore) and the ability to call upon their power (Virtue-based stunts); and a berserk warrior who draws upon their own lifeblood to drive them beyond simple mortal capabilities (reflected best by Aspects and Stunts).
A Marauder knows death intimately; raised from a young age to be a warrior, they’ve fought wild beasts, hostile tribes, and the soldiers of the civilized parts of Oriath to hone their skills. They know that death always walks at their side, and they’re not afraid to feed it the lives of others if the situation makes it necessary. Many refer to death as their dark brother, who will one day take them to meet the ancestors.
Most Marauders will tend to specialize in a particular kind of weapon, focusing on perfecting their ability to fight and kill with that implement, but some take a more general approach, preferring to rely on raw strength and speed to turn whatever they hold into a deadly implement. A few – mostly the most shamanistic of them – might even turn to the more magical forms of weaponry like wands to help augment the powers given to them by the ancestors.
Priority skills if building a Marauder will always be Physique and Fighting; the Karui have had a long time to get good at warfare and killing, after all. Most will also have a good Will, representative of the mental fortitude and personal discipline they have. The shamanistic type of Marauder who relies on the blessings of the ancestors will tend to be good with Lore, Virtue, and Notice. Those who rely heavily on the powers they can wield will need a high Virtue, as well.
Aspects will tend to reflect the savage nature of the Marauder; high concepts might include things such as Death’s Dark Brother, Herald of the Ancestors, or Outcast Champion, depending on what flavor you want to give the character. Troubles can include things like Ruin Follows In My Footsteps, I Hear the Whispers Of The Dead, or Fire Fills My Blood.
Other Aspects should be shaped to fit what you want the Marauder to be. A savage berserker who has Death’s Dark Brother and Ruin Follows In My Footsteps might also have Doors Or Bones All Break, I’ll Rest When I’m Dead, and Even The Dead Fear Me as additional Aspects. A shamanistic Marauder whose High Concept is Herald of the Ancestors and whose Trouble is I Hear The Whispers Of The Dead might have Descendant of Kaom the Lost, Guide of Lost Souls, and I Bear the Burden of the Forgotten as added Aspects.
Some sample stunts might include things built off of Fighting or Physique for any Marauder; other stunts might be built off of Lore (for shamanistic Stunts that call upon ancestral totems) or Virtue. The Outcast Champion might have a Virtue stunt that permits them to create an Aspect of Burning on opponents they strike in melee combat, or Death’s Dark Brother might have one for raising the dead as temporary allies.
Ultimately, Marauders should be physical powerhouses who know little of the meaning of fear, at least when they first wash up on Wraeclast’s cursed shores. Whether empowered by brute fury, ancestral blessings, or the dark power of the Virtue Gems, they’re a force to be reckoned with, able to bring the fight to almost anyone.
Next class conversion: The Ranger, a class built around agility, ranged combat, and animal cunning.