Author Topic: Prestige Classes  (Read 408 times)

Offline sirpercival

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Prestige Classes
« on: December 05, 2016, 07:57:54 AM »
Bladecraft and Existing Prestige Classes
Characters who take levels in some published prestige classes gain abilities which synergize or otherwise interact with Bladecraft in useful ways. This section describes these interactions in detail. Author's note: this list will be expanded as I find interactions which need clarification.

Bear Warrior
The Raging Bladeform feat may be used in place of Power Attack to qualify for the Bear Warrior prestige class. In addition, whenever a character is in Bear form, their claw natural attacks count as wielding a weapon in their off-hand, and their bite natural attack counts as wielding a weapon in two hands.

Cavalier
A student of Bladecraft may use the Cavalier's Bladeform feat in place of Ride-By Attack, Spirited Charge, or Weapon Focus (Lance) to qualify for the Cavalier prestige class. In addition, the following class features have additional rules:
  • A Cavalier's Ride Bonus ability also applies to Bladecraft checks made while mounted.
  • If a character with the Full Mounted Attack class feature is riding a mount that moves more than 5 feet in a round, but no farther than a single move action could carry it, they may use an Assault which requires a full-round action instead of making a full attack.
Dervish
A character with levels in Dervish qualifies for the Blade Dance of the Forgotten One feat even if they cannot bind the vestige Paimon. If the character takes the feat, they instead gain the following benefits, provided they have the appropriate class features:
  • The character's Movement Mastery ability applies to Bladecraft checks.
  • Whenever the character begins a Dervish Dance, they choose one tag at the start of the dance. That tag is granted to them, without altering any of the tags they already have. When they enter a new Form, or use an Assault or Parry technique, the tag they are granted changes as normal.
  • If the character wields a slashing weapon in each hand (or a double slashing weapon), they count as wielding a shield in their off-hand for the purposes of using blade techniques, and can use an attack with one of their slashing weapons in place of any granted or required shield bash attacks. The shield bonus granted by their virtual shield is equal to the bonus granted by their AC Bonus class feature.
Exotic Weapon Master
Exotic Weapon Masters gain the Exotic Weapon Stunt class feature. Most of the options need no clarification, but a few have abilities which impact such a character's use of Bladecraft.
  • A character with Double Weapon Defense counts as wielding a shield in their off-hand for the purposes of using blade techniques, and can use an attack with one end of the double weapon in place of any required or granted shield bash attacks.
  • If a character chooses the Trip Attack option, they gain the +2 bonus to any trip attempt made as part of using a technique. This only counts for trip attempts explicitly required or granted by the technique, not when making a trip attempt in place of an attack when using a technique.
  • The Uncanny Blow option grants its benefit whenever a character uses a technique which requires or grants the [Cleave] tag, even if they are not actually wielding their weapon in two hands.
Kensai
A character may use any [Bladecraft] feat in place of Combat Expertise, and ranks in Bladecraft in place of ranks in Concentration, to qualify for the Kensai prestige class. In addition, the following class features have additional rules:
  • A Kensai may make Bladecraft checks in place of Concentration checks for their Power Surge, Withstand, and Instill class features.
  • Bladecraft checks receive the bonus from the character's Ki Projection ability.
Knight Protector
A Knight Protector with access to techniques of at least Advanced complexity can learn techniques from the Husk Style (see the Warden prestige class).

Occult Slayer
A student of Bladecraft who gains levels in the Occult Slayer prestige class gains the following benefit. Any attacks a character makes with their Weapon Bond weapon deal one Bladecraft die of additional damage in place of the normal +1d6 bonus.

Ravager
A Ravager with access to techniques of at least Advanced complexity can learn techniques from the Thorn Style (see the Reaver prestige class).

Ronin
Students of Bladecraft with levels in the Ronin prestige class can select [Bladecraft] feats as Ronin bonus feats.
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Offline sirpercival

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Re: Prestige Classes
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2016, 08:01:34 AM »
BLADEMASTER
   
If a sword had memory, it might be grateful to the forge fire, but never fond of it.
-Rand al'Thor

A Blademaster is a true student of Bladecraft, wielding a heron-marked sword.

BECOMING A BLADEMASTER
The fastest entry into Blademaster is through the Fighter class, though many other paths are possible.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Base Attack Bonus: +8
Feats: Any one [Bladecraft] feat.
Skills: Bladecraft 11 ranks
Special: Must know 11 Blade techniques, including at least 3 of Moderate complexity, and at least one each of Assault, Form, and Parry.

Class Skills
The Blademaster's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bladecraft (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skills Points at Each Level 4 + Int modifier

Hit Dice: d10

Blademaster
Level
Base Attack
Bonus
Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
SpecialTechniques
1st
+1
+2
+2
+0
Blade techniques, heron-marked blade, the flame and the void
3
2nd
+2
+3
+3
+0
Advanced studies, bonus Bladecraft feat
6
3rd
+3
+3
+3
+1
Death is lighter than a feather
9
4th
+4
+4
+4
+1
Battle is not glory, bonus Bladecraft feat
12
5th
+5
+4
+4
+1
Duty is heavier than a mountain, expert studies
15

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: A Blademaster is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and one exotic weapon, chosen when entering the class.

Blade Techniques: A Blademaster learns three blade techniques of a complexity to which she has access at each level, as shown on the table above. These are in addition to the technique she may learn through increases to her Base Attack Bonus.

Heron-marked Blade (Ex): By making a DC 10 Craft (Weaponsmithing) check, a Blademaster can inscribe a heron insignia onto any melee weapon of at least masterwork quality, which serves as a sign that its wielder is a Blademaster. That weapon is forevermore considered a "heron-marked" weapon. Whenever the Blademaster is in a Form and wielding a heron-marked weapon, she gains a circumstance bonus on Bladecraft, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks equal to her Blademaster level.

The Flame and the Void (Ex): One of the first things a blademaster learns is to wipe away all emotion and distractions from battle by feeding them into a mental construction called "The Flame". When she has done this, she occupies "The Void", free of complications, and she can concentrate solely on destroying her opponents. Whenever she is in a Form and wielding a heron-marked weapon, a Blademaster may substitute a Bladecraft check for any Will save against an effect which would alter her emotions (including fear effects, or effects from the Charm subschool), or cause her to become confused, dazed, or fascinated.

Advanced Studies: Beginning at 2nd level, a Blademaster's training has surpassed that of other students of Bladecraft. She can learn blade techniques of Advanced complexity, even if she otherwise does not meet the prerequisites.

Bonus Bladecraft feat: At 2nd level, and again at 4th level, a Blademaster learns a bonus [Bladecraft] feat for which she meets the prerequisites.

Death is lighter than a feather (Ex): Death is a freedom that Blademaster does not fear, though she does not seek it, either. Starting at 3rd level, whenever a Blademaster is in a Form and wielding a heron-marked weapon, she can act without penalty while disabled or dying. She automatically stabilizes between -1 and -9 hit points, and does not need to roll. She still dies when reaching -10 hit points, as normal.

Battle is not glory (Ex): A Blademaster understands that while one may achieve glory during combat, it is not the battle itself which has glory. Whenever a Blademaster of 4th level or higher uses a Parry technique while wielding a heron-marked weapon, she gains damage reduction equal to one-third of her ranks in Bladecraft (rounded down, minimum 1), which is only bypassed by a Power-wrought weapon (see the Bladecraft Items section for details). This damage reduction lasts until the end of her next turn.

Duty is heavier than a mountain (Ex): A Blademaster feels the weight of responsibility rest on her shoulders like a well-worn cloak, and does not stray from her path under any circumstances. At 5th level, the Blademaster becomes extremely resilient. Whenever she is subject to a spell or effect that has a partial or half effect on a successful save, she suffers no adverse effect on a successful save. The Blademaster may only use this ability while in a Form, and wielding a heron-marked weapon.

Expert Studies: Upon reaching 5th level, the Blademaster is a true virtuoso of the art. She can learn blade techniques of Expert complexity, even if she does not meet the prerequisites.
 
PLAYING A BLADEMASTER
A Blademaster may be a champion or bodyguard of an important political figure; the general of a rebel army; or simply an adventurer who has mastered her weapon completely. The pinnacle of melee combat in the world, Blademasters carry swords marked by herons to proclaim their skill. Any who have seen them fight, however, do not need the mark to know that they are among the most dangerous men and women to walk the lands.

 The rigorous training and experience required to reach this level of skill leaves only a handful of people in the known world skilled enough to even consider claiming the Heron. To become a Blademaster and earn a heron-marked blade requires either that the prospect defeat a Blademaster in single combat, or that they be proclaimed to possess the skill of a Blademaster by a council of their future peers. Most Blademasters train for decades before they claim the rank, although there are rumors of some who have attained it in as few as five years.
 Combat: A Blademaster is a melee combatant first and foremost. She wields her heron-marked weapon like a surgeon's scalpel, slicing through enemy ranks and leaving a trail of dead in her wake. She uses a continuous flow of Forms, Assaults, and Parries, each action seeming inevitable from her positioning and stance. However, depending on the Blade Styles, chosen weapons, and feat choices, the individual tactics of a Blademaster can vary widely.
 Advancement: A Blademaster might seek command of a group of warriors, taking levels in Marshal; or, she might focus on honing her craft with an unusual weapon, by taking levels in Exotic Weapon Master.
Resources: Blasemasters are always in high demand, as their reputation and unparalleled skills can prove effective at quelling any number of social or physical conflicts. Many Blademasters are noble, either by birth, or gifted lands through exemplary actions; others have noble patrons.

BLADEMASTER IN THE WORLD
"Unwise to try separating a man from his sword."
-Al'Lan Mandragoran
Most common folk step very carefully around a visiting Blademaster. Even if they don't recognized the Heron mark, it's obvious from a Blademaster's carriage and demeanor that she isn't someone to trifle with. Others might fawn over a Blademaster, trying to curry favor, or convince her to teach them.
 Daily Life: A Blademaster begins every day with some sort of warm-up to keep the muscles strong and joints limber. Then, endurance training - usually running, but could also be swimming or something similar. A small breakfast follows - usually water, and some cured meats for salt and protein. The remainder of the day is spent on the training grounds, teaching or sparring, or taking care of other duties (diplomatic missions, guard duty, etc.).
 Notables: Many of the most famous swordsmen in history are Blademasters. Tales are told of the legendary Durendal - champion, chancellor, and slayer of immortals - and his blade Harvest. Bards sing songs of Al'Lan Mandragoran, the throneless king of fallen Malkier. New stories of High Prince Dalinar of House Kholin, the infamous Blackthorn, are being written even now.
 Organizations: The swordsman's school at Ironhall trains Blademasters from a young age, most of whom enter the service as bodyguards of the King. Many armies prize Blademasters as officers and champions.

NPC Reaction
 Once they see the Heron on a Blademaster's weapon, most NPCs will tread very carefully. No one wants to provoke a Blademaster to rash action, though such things happen very rarely in truth - Blademasters are disciplined to a fault.

BLADEMASTER IN THE GAME
 A Blademaster is primarily a front-line melee attacker. However, the individual tactics can take many forms. Some Blademasters excel at wading into large masses of enemies and mowing them down. Others identify the most powerful opponents and single them out for individual attention. Still others will wreak havoc with trips, disarms, and bull-rushes, attempting to lock down the battlefield.
 Adaptation: The easiest way to adapt the Blademaster is to associate the class with a particular organization or group, using thematic elements appropriate to the setting but keeping the mechanics mostly intact. It would be difficult to adapt Blademaster into something other than a melee combatant, due to the focus and cohesion of the Bladecraft subsystem upon which it is built.
 Encounters: An NPC Blademaster might be the bodyguard of a powerful noble, a captain in a rebel army, or a skeletal champion bound beyond death to guard a forgotten tomb.

Sample Encounter
Time ends all things, and the glory of a Blademaster is no exception. Once the most celebrated warrior of his generation, the decades have not been kind to Gillan Thyne, Heron-Blessed, Lord of the Mandrake Wilds. He has vanished into obscurity, alone save for a pair of equally-decrepit servants in the echoing, mouldered halls of his manor house.

Mandrake Manor is tucked away in a hollow, deep in the Wilds. It is approached via a single, rutted road, 20 miles from the nearest village. The walls are ancient, cracked stone, held together by a thick carpet of ivy, and a vegetable garden sprawls, lush and untamed, across the rolling hills behind.

Lord Thyne will answer the door himself, after a significant wait. His back is unbowed, but he moves with a slow, difficult gait born of arthritis and old scars. He speaks in a deep, rattling voice, and will welcome travelers to his halls, offering refreshments both modest and nourishing. Thyne does not ask for news of the outside world - he left it behind by choice, and tales of current events do nothing for him but stir up painful memories best left forgotten.

If plied with praise and enough strong drink, the Heron-Blessed will reminisce about his youth and training, and might be convinced to take his famous blade Glimmerguard down from the mantle to display. He has only a little pride left, but if it is stung in the right way, he will draw the sword and demonstrate a Form. When he does so, his body seems to grow lighter, his joints loosen, and muscles grow taut with some of their former strength. Haunted though his eyes might be, Gillan Thyne was born - and still lives - to wield a blade.

EL 14: Gillan Thyne is an old male human, dressed in a worn but richly-made uniform. His two-bladed sword Glimmerguard is Power-wrought and immaculate, marked with a stylized heron just above the crosspiece.

Gillan Thyne
LN Old Human Ranger 2/Fighter 6/Blademaster 5/Exotic Weapon Master 1
Init +2 (+1 Bladecraft die)
Senses Listen, Spot
Languages Common
------------------------------------------------
AC 21 (+2 Dex, +6 dodge, +3 shield), touch 18, flat-footed 13
hp 90 (14 HD)
Fort +15, Ref +11, Will +5
------------------------------------------------
Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee Glimmerguard +18/+13/+8 or +16/+16/+11/+6 (1d8+10, 19-20/x2)
Base Atk +14/+9/+4, Grapple +14
Atk Options Blade techniques
Combat Gear Glimmerguard (Power-wrought heron-marked two bladed sword)
Blade techniques known: Black Lance's Last Strike, Bundling Straw, Cat on Hot Sand, Cutting the Clouds, Cutting the Wind, The Cyclone Rages, Dawn Breaches the Horizon, The Falcon Stoops, The Field Opens to the Plow, Folding the Fan, Grandmother Weaves a Basket, Holding Rain in Open Hands, Kissing the Adder, Leopard's Caress, The Lizard Snaps the Cricket, Low Wind Rising, The Millstone Grinds Flour, The Ox Lowers its Horns, Pressing Apples to Cider, Red Hawk Takes a Dove, Scuttling Crab, The Serpent Strikes, Six Wolves Among the Trees, Stone Falls from the Mountain, The Swallow Glides to the Branch, The Swallow Rides the Air, The Tide Climbs the Shore, Twisting Weasel, Unfolding the Fan, The Vultures Feast on the Dead, Waxing Moon, Waning Moon, Whirlwind on the Mountain
-----------------------------------------------
Abilities Str 11, Dex 15, Con 11, Int 15, Wis 12, Cha 10
SQ Double weapon defense, combat style (TWF), favored enemy (magical beast), heron-marked blade, the flame and the void, advanced studies, expert studies, death is lighter than a feather, battle is not glory, duty is heavier than a mountain
Feats Blade Focus, Combat Reflexes, Deft Opportunist, Dodge, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Two-Bladed Sword), Hunter's Bladeform, Mobility, Seize the Moment, Sidestep, Trained Opportunist, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (Two-Bladed Sword)
Skills Bladecraft +21 (17 ranks), Knowledge (History) +10, Listen +18, Spot +18
Possessions Glimmerguard
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Offline sirpercival

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Re: Prestige Classes
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2016, 08:02:01 AM »
Reaver PrC forthcoming
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Offline sirpercival

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Re: Prestige Classes
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2016, 08:02:13 AM »
Warden PrC forthcoming
I am the assassin of productivity

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It's begun — my things have overgrown the previous sig.