Fighter

Fighters are the quintessential martial student. They have dedicated their lives to perfecting the arts of battle. Nearly every day of every week of every month of every year they spend training, working out, and generally honing their skills of combat.

To represent this, in Threads fighters gain Martial Styles as a new class feature – as shown on the table below. For more information on Martial Styles, see the entry below the table. Other than what is shown here, the fighter class is unchanged from standard D&D 3.5

Fighter Class Features
Level Features
1 Martial Style
2
3 Bonus Feat
4
5 Martial Style
6
7 Bonus Feat
8
9 Bonus Feat
10 Martial Style
11
12 Bonus Feat
13
14 Bonus Feat
15 Martial Style
16
17 Bonus Feat
18
19 Bonus Feat
20 Martial Style

Martial Styles
Martial Styles are those ways in which fighters hone and focus their combative prowess above and beyond the abilities of other warriors. Martial styles each have five levels of mastery, Initiate, Novice, Apprentice, Master, and Expert. In order to achieve each level of mastery, a fighter must first have the preceding level of mastery in the same style.

At first level and every multiple of five a fighter may gain a new level of mastery in a martial style. This can be the initiate level of a new martial style, or a higher level of a martial style they have already begun learning. Furthermore, the Initiate’s Prowess, Novice’s Prowess, Apprentice’s Prowess, and Master’s Prowess feats can provide access to martial style mastery as detailed below.

Initiate’s Prowess
Prerequisite: Fighter Level 3

Benefit: You gain the benefits of the Initiate level of a Martial Style.

Special: You may take this feat multiple times. Each time its effects apply to a different Martial Style. This feat may be selected as a fighter bonus feat.

Novice’s Prowess
Prerequisite: Fighter Level 8; Initiate level of chosen Martial Style

Benefits: You gain the benefits of the Novice level of a Martial Style.

Special: You may take this feat multiple times. Each time its effects apply to a different Martial Style. This feat may be selected as a fighter bonus feat.

Apprentice’s Prowess
Prerequisite: Fighter Level 13; Novice level of chosen Martial Style

Benefits: You gain the benefits of the Apprentice level of a Martial Style.

Special: You may take this feat multiple times. Each time its effects apply to a different Martial Style. This feat may be selected as a fighter bonus feat.

Master’s Prowess
Prerequisite: Fighter Level 18; Apprentice level of chosen Martial Style

Benefits: You gain the benefits of the Master level of a Martial Style.

Special: You may take this feat multiple times. Each time its effects apply to a different Martial Style. This feat may be selected as a fighter bonus feat.

The Styles

Bowman
The benefits of this martial style apply to the use of a drawn bow (longbow, shortbow, etc.). They do not apply to the use of any melee weapon, any other type of ranged weapon, or any sort of natural weapon.

Initiate: You have learned that a calm bowman is an accurate bowman. Whenever you make a single standard-action attack with your bow you receive a + 2 bonus on your attack roll and an extra + 2 for every level of mastery of this style you have above initiate for a maximum of + 10 at expert level. This means that the use of a full-attack action, the rapid shot feat, or the multi-shot feat negates this bonus.

Novice: You have learned to loose arrows much faster than most. You gain the Rapid Shot feat. If you already possess the Rapid Shot feat, the penalty to your attack rolls when using this feat decreases by 1.

Apprentice: You have learned to keep your wits about you even when threatened in melee combat when wielding your bow. You no longer provoke attacks of opportunity when making bow attacks, and may take attacks of opportunity on opponents moving through or out of your normal melee threat range (your natural reach) with your bow. This does not allow you to make any more attacks of opportunity than normal in a round and does not allow you to use any special attacks or maneuvers in conjunction with your attack of opportunity.

Master: You have become a marksman beyond compare. You reduce all range penalties to attack rolls made with a bow by 1 point and treat any bow as if its base range were 5 feet further than normal. If you have the Far Shot feat apply this 5 foot range increase after applying the increase from the Far Shot feat.

Expert: You have reached skill with a bow that is beyond compare. You gain a + 2 bonus to attack rolls and a + 2 bonus to damage with any bow you wield. These bonuses stack with any other bonuses provided by this style as well as any weapon focus and weapon specialization feats you may have. The bonus damage is considered normal weapon damage for the weapon.

Clenching Jaw
The benefits of this martial style apply only to the use of bite attacks, they do not apply to any other type of natural weapon, melee weapon, or ranged weapon.

Initiate: Whenever you attempt a trip or disarm attack using your bite attack you do not provoke attacks of opportunity. If you have the Improved Trip or Improved Disarm feats you gain an extra + 1 bonus to your trip or disarm attempts (as appropriate) when using your bite attack.

Novice: You may choose to deal bite damage automatically on your turn every turn you maintain the grapple. You also gain the Improved Grab special ability related to your bite attack. If you had this ability as a racial feature you gain a + 1 bonus to grapple checks made after a successful bite attack.

Apprentice: You deal 1.5x strength damage on bite attacks. Furthermore when attempting to sunder items or deal damage to inanimate objects with your bite attack you deal double your strength damage. This bonus damage stacks with the effects of Improved Sunder to deal a total of x3 strength damage on sunder attempts with your bite attack if you have both benefits.

Master: Whenever making a bite attack at the end of a charge you may make a free trip attempt as well. If you successfully trip your opponent you may choose to end your movement in the same square in which they have fallen prone.

Expert: Whenever you successfully trip an opponent you may attempt a grapple check as well. If the grapple check is successful, you apply your bite damage as part of the same action.

Double Weapon
The benefits of this martial style apply only to wielding a double-ended melee weapon such as a double-sword, an orcish double-axe, or a quarterstaff. The benefits of this style do not apply to any other melee weapons, ranged weapons, or natural weapons.

Initiate: You have learned use the leverage and momentum of double weapons to great effect. When attempting a disarm, trip, or bull rush while wielding a double weapon you gain a + 2 bonus to your roll.

Novice: You have learned how to parry without sacrificing accuracy. When fighting defensively or using the Combat Expertise feat while wielding a double-weapon you may reduce the penalty to your attack rolls by 1 point per level of mastery in this martial style to a minimum penalty of 0.

Apprentice: You have learned to use both ends of your double weapon almost as quickly as others use a single weapon. When making a standard attack action you may attack with one or both of the ends of your double weapon. You must declare that you are making two attacks instead of one before rolling either attack roll, and each attack takes a – 2 penalty to the roll. These attacks do not have to be against the same target, but they must be made at the same time without taking any action in between.

Master: You have learned to use an active offense as a good defense. Whenever you are wielding a double-ended weapon you may make an attack of opportunity against opponents who enter your threatened area. This does not increase your number of attacks of opportunity per round.

Expert: You have learned to use double-weapons with incredible skill. You gain a + 2 bonus to all attack and damage rolls you make with double weapons.

Duelist
The benefits of this martial style apply only when wearing light armor. Mithril armor which is normally considered Medium armor counts for the purposes of this style. Furthermore, MIthiril armor which is normally considered light armor also still counts for the purposes of this style.

Initiate: You wear light armor like a second skin. You may choose when gaining this level of mastery whether its effects apply to maximum dexterity bonus or check penalty. If you choose maximum dexterity bonus then you treat all light armors as having 1 point higher maximum dexterity bonus per level of mastery you have in this martial style. If you choose check penalties then you reduce check penalties by the number of mastery levels you have achieved instead (to a minimum of 0).

Novice: You have learned the true key to wearing light armor in combat, rolling with the blows – or out of their way to be more accurate. Whenever you are hit by an attack in combat you may spend an attack of opportunity for the round to attempt an acrobatics check or a reflex save (your choice, declared before you roll) to avoid the attack. If your check or save exceeds the total attack roll made against you then you successfully avoid the attack. This does not allow you to take more attacks of opportunity in a round than normal and cannot be used if you are flat-footed, immobilized, or unaware of the attacker before the attack occurs.

Apprentice: You have learned to use the thin protections of light armor to their maximum advantage. You gain an extra + 1 bonus to armor class whenever you are wearing light armor plus an extra 1 for each level of mastery in this style beyond Apprentice. This bonus applies so long as you are not flat-footed. Furthermore you gain the benefits of Uncanny Dodge. If you already had Uncanny Dodge from some other source, it improves to Improved Uncanny Dodge.

Master: You gain the benefits of Improved Uncanny Dodge. I you already have Improved Uncanny Dodge from some other source (including the Apprentice level of this martial style) you instead gain a + 2 dodge bonus to armor class whenever you are wearing Light armor.

Expert: Your ability to roll with blows to increase the effectiveness of your armor is superb. So long as you are not flat footed or immobilized you gain a dodge bonus to your armor class equal to half again the armor bonus of your light armor.

Executioner
The benefits of this Martial Style apply to wielding melee weapons in two hands. Only melee weapons which can normally be wielded in two hands may be used with this style. This style may not apply its benefits to any natural weapons or ranged weapons, nor used in conjunction with the Shield Slamming Style.

Initiate: You have gained exceptional skill with two-handed weapons. When wielding a two-handed weapon you deal an extra + 1 damage. This damage is considered standard weapon damage and is multiplied normally during critical hits.

Novice: You have developed excellent skills of weapon retention. You gain a + 4 bonus against disarm attempts when wielding a two-handed weapon and can take 10 on checks to resist disarm.

Apprentice: You have learned to be surprisingly swift with two handed weapons. You may quick draw any two-handed weapon on your person and gain a + 2 bonus on initiative whenever you are equipped with a two-handed weapon before initiative is rolled. If you already have the quick draw feat the bonus to initiative increases to + 4 when applicable.

Master: You have learned to preserve the momentum of your strikes with two-handed weapons. When making a full attack action with a two-handed weapon, for each subsequent miss during the same full-attack add a + 2 bonus to attack on the next attack. For example, if you are making a full attack of 4 swings and miss the first, the second one will have + 2, if that misses the third one will have + 4, if that misses the fourth one will have + 6. Alternatively if the first misses, but the second hits, then the third would be made at its normal attack bonus, and the fourth would be made at a + 2 bonus only if the third attack missed. These attacks do not all need to be at the same target, but they must all be with the same weapon.

Expert: You wield two-handed weapons with exceptional skill and power. You gain a + 2 bonus on all attack and damage rolls (a total of + 3 damage after the initiate level) with all two-handed weapons.

Free-Hand
The benefits of this Martial Style apply to wielding one-handed or light melee weapons single-handed with a free or unoccupied off-hand. It does not apply to the use of natural weapons under any circumstances and does not apply to the use of one-handed ranged weapons.

Initiate: You have learned to maintain exceptional balance and poise in combat. While fighting with a one-handed weapon and a free hand you gain a + 2 bonus to all dexterity checks to resist trip attempts, and all acrobatics checks to avoid attacks of opportunity.

Novice: You have learned to defend yourself with balance and agility. While wielding a weapon in one hand with another hand free you gain a + 2 dodge bonus to your armor class.

Apprentice: You have learned to utilize the balance and agility provided by one-handed fighting to become more mobile in combat. Once per turn when an enemy moves out of your threatened area you may take a 5 foot step in the direction the enemy retreated from. If the enemy provokes an attack of opportunity, take the attack of opportunity before the 5 foot step. This 5 foot step occurs immediately after the enemy vacates the space, meaning that the same enemy has a chance to provoke a second attack of opportunity if they continue moving through or out of your new – moved – threatened area.

Master: You have learned to defend your flank much more effectively. Whenever you are wielding a weapon in one hand with a free off-hand you gain the benefits of Improved Uncanny Dodge and cannot be flanked. If you gained Improved Uncanny Dodge from another source you gain a + 1 bonus on attack rolls against targets who you are flanking.

Expert: You have honed your skills at one-handed fighting to an astounding degree. When wielding a weapon in one hand with a free off-hand you gain a + 2 bonus to all rolls to resist grapple, disarm, trip, bull-rush, feint, and overrun attempts (a total of + 4 against trip when combined with the initiate level ability). Furthermore you gain a + 2 bonus to attack and damage on the first attack roll you make during each of your turns as you exploit the speed and precision of your fighting style – this bonus can only apply to attacks made during your turn and cannot apply to attacks of opportunity.

Gunman
The benefits of this martial style apply only when wielding a firearm. They do not apply to any other ranged weapon, melee weapon, or natural weapon.

Initiate: You have learned the careful difficulties of aiming firearms. You gain a + 1 bonus on all attack rolls with firearms per level of mastery in this style.

Novice: You have learned to use firearms to their maximum effectiveness. You treat all firearms as though their base range was 5ft longer than normal. If you have the Far Shot feat apply this 5ft increase after applying the effects of Far Shot.

Apprentice: You have learned to lead targets expertly with your firearms. You receive a + 2 bonus on any attack roll with a firearm that occurs as the result of a readied action or during a surprise round against a target who is not participating in the surprise round.

Master: You have learned to reload firearms much faster than normal. Reduce all reload times for firearms as though you had the Rapid Reload feat. If you already have the Rapid Reload feat you have learned to prepare your ammunition such that you may reload any firearm you are proficient with as a move action.

Expert: Your aim with firearms is impeccable. You gain a further + 2 bonus on all attack rolls with firearms.

Hurler
The benefits of this martial style apply to the use of thrown weapons only and do not confer bonuses to any melee attacks, natural weapons, or other types of ranged attacks.

Initiate: You have learned to draw and throw ranged weapons as a single, smooth motion. You may draw and throw ranged weapons as part of the same action as if you had the Quick Draw feat. You may not, however, draw any weapon as a free action except if you are immediately throwing that weapon in the same round – unless, of course, you also have the Quick Draw feat. If you have this ability and the Quick Draw feat you receive a + 2 bonus on initiative if you are equipped with a throwing weapon when initiative is rolled.

Novice: Your skill with thrown weapons allows you to hurl them farther than normal. You consider the base range of any thrown weapon to be 5ft longer than normal. If you also have the Far Shot feat apply the 5ft bonus after application of the Far Shot feat.

Apprentice: You have learned to be exceptionally precise with thrown weapons. You gain a + 1 bonus on all attack and damage rolls with thrown weapons.

Master: You have learned to use thrown weapons to distract opponents in combat. So long as you have two hands available to throw weapons at the same time you may use two throwing weapons in any single attack action in order to try to catch your opponent off-guard with your attack. Before making any rolls you must specify which weapons you are throwing as well as which is meant to distract and which is meant to actually hit the target. Then you may make a combat feint against the target using your attack bonus with the distraction weapon instead of your bluff modifier. If the feint is successful the target is considered flat-footed only for the accompanying attack roll which you make immediately afterwards. If the target is already flat-footed against you or is incapable of being caught flat-footed this maneuver provides no benefit.

Expert: You have learned to throw weapons with incredible power. You deal an extra 2 points of damage with all thrown weapons.

Juggernaut
The benefits of this martial style apply only when wearing heavy armor. Mithril Armor which is normally considered heavy does not count for the purposes of this style as it is no longer truly “heavy” armor even if it is designed to cover a similar portion of the body.

Initiate: You have learned to wear your Heavy Armor under any circumstances. Not even heavy armor will impede your ability to get a night’s rest. If you have the endurance feat you also gain an extra + 1 (total + 5 with the feat) bonus on all endurance checks.

Novice: You have learned to use the basic principles of momentum to your advantage. Whenever you charge, bull rush, or overrun an opponent while wearing heavy armor you gain a bonus equal to + 1 per 10 lbs of weight of your armor rounded down, but suffer the same amount as extra penalty to your armor class until the beginning of your next turn.

Apprentice: You have learned which parts of your armor are most important in a pinch. You may spend one or two minutes removing select pieces of your armor in order to reduce its encumbrance while preserving as much protection as possible. For each minute (maximum two) you spend in this way you may reduce your armor bonus by 1 and your armor check penalty by 2. You may only do this with heavy armor. Re-equipping the removed pieces takes as long as un-equipping them did. Neither process requires any help like full donning does.

Master: Your have learned how to become an almost immovable object in heavy armor. You gain a + 4 bonus to resist trip, bull-rush, and pin attempts whenever you are wearing heavy armor.

Expert: You have learned how to use tiny adjustments of your positioning to deflect blows. When wearing heavy armor you gain a + 2 dodge bonus to your armor class so long as you are not flat-footed or immobilized.

Lone Wolf
The benefits of this style can apply to any method of fighting, but are specifically tailored to benefit fighters who are used to fighting solo.

Initiate: You have learned never to depend on allies to hold your back. Enemies only receive a + 1 bonus (instead of + 2) to attack rolls against you when flanking you, and you receive an extra + 1 to armor class whenever using Combat Expertise or Fighting Defensively. If taking a Full Defense action this extra bonus improves to + 2.

Novice: You have learned to become a one-person army. Whenever you successfully trip, disarm, or bull-rush a foe in combat you may make a free Feint attempt to leave them flat-footed against all of your attacks until the end of your next turn.

Apprentice: You have learned to focus your mind in combat. Except when you are flat-footed or unconscious you receive a + 2 bonus to all will saves to resist compulsion, fear, charm, and other emotion-based effects (if harmful). This includes a + 2 bonus to resist intimidate checks versus demoralization.

Master: You have trained yourself to work better alone than some people work in groups. Whenever you catch an opponent flat-footed you also gain a + 2 bonus to attack against them as if they were flanked. If they are actually flanked this does not provide any extra benefit.

Expert: Your have learned to maintain an active personal defense in combat far beyond that of most warriors. You receive an extra + 2 dodge bonus to armor class.

Open Palm
The benefits of this martial style apply only to the use of unarmed attacks by humanoid creatures, they do not apply to any other sort of melee attack or natural weapon attack and apply to no ranged attacks what-so-ever.

Initiate: You have learned to strike with your fists as well as most people strike with their weapons. You gain the Improved Unarmed Strike feat. If you already have the Improved Unarmed Strike feat you instead increase the die size of your unarmed strike damage by one step per the chart below.

Old New
1d2 1d3
1d3 1d4
1d4 1d6
1d6 1d8
1d8 1d10
1d10 1d12

Novice: You have learned to issue a flurry of blows against your opponents. As part of a full attack action you may choose to make up to three extra attacks, however for each extra attack you make the power and speed of your attacks dwindles. For each extra attack you choose to make (declared at the beginning of your full-attack action) every attack in the full-attack action (including normal attacks) takes a – 2 penalty to attack. The extra flurry attacks are made at your maximum base attack bonus before applying any other modifiers.

  • For Example: Edward “Scissor Fist” the 6th level, Open Palm novice fighter makes a full attack action with a 3 extra attack flurry. His normal unarmed attack bonus is + 9 / + 4. Because of his 3 flurry attacks, he makes a full attack at +3 / + 3 / + 3 / + 3 / – 2. The following round, he makes a full-attack with only one extra attack for a full attack of + 7 / + 7 / + 2.

Apprentice: You have honed your skills to combine unarmed strikes with fluid battlefield movement. When making a full attack action you may take a protected 5 foot step between each successful attack. A successful attack for these purposes is an attack which hits the target – exceeds their armor class – whether or not it does damage.

Master: You have learned to use your body and momentum in unarmed strikes to incredible effectiveness. Except when grappling, any unarmed strike you make is treated like an attack with a two-handed melee weapon for the purposes of calculating strength bonus to damage.

Expert: You have learned to strike with incredible precision when unarmed. You gain a + 2 bonus on all unarmed attack and damage rolls.

Polearm
The benefits of this martial style apply only when wielding weapons with a longer reach than your natural reach. They do not apply to the use of any other melee weapons, ranged weapons, or natural weapons.

Initiate: You have learned that the key to using a reach weapon is to get the enemy the first time, no matter the circumstances. You receive a + 2 bonus on attack rolls made as part of any attack of opportunity with a reach weapon. Furthermore you may make one extra attack of opportunity per round than normal. This bonus stacks with the benefits of Combat Reflexes if you have that feat.

Novice: You have learned to use the leverage of your reach weapon to your benefit. You gain a + 2 bonus on all rolls relating to tripping or disarming opponents while wielding a reach weapon.

Apprentice: You have learned how to choke up on your reach weapon in a pinch. You threaten both your normal reach and your reach weapon’s reach simultaneously, however attacks against any opponents inside your normal reach you make at a – 2 penalty.

Master: You have learned to lunge with your reach weapon, achieving even greater reach. You threaten an extra 5 feet with reach weapons than normally allowed. However all attack rolls made at this extreme reach are made at a – 4 penalty because of the extreme movement involved with hitting such a distant target and returning to a safe location quickly.

Expert: You have learned how to control your weapon more expertly and only suffer 50% of the penalties to attack rolls described in the Apprentice and Master levels of this style.

Razor Claw
The benefits of this martial style apply only to the use of claw attacks or claw-like equipped weapons, they do not apply to any other type of natural weapon, melee weapon, or ranged weapon.

Initiate: You have learned to use claws in a myriad of styles of attack. You may use any claws and claw-like weapons as either piercing or slashing weapons and receive a + 1 bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls with such weapons.

Novice: You have learned to use precision to maximize the effectiveness of your claws. Any opponent you strike with a claw attack who is not immune to critical hits takes 1 point of bleed damage per round for 3 rounds after your attack. This bleed damage can stack from multiple wounds, but can never be more than 3 bleed damage in one round. This bleed damage can be stopped prematurely with a DC 20 heal check – which stops all current bleed effects on the subject if successful. Furthermore any magical healing immediately stops all such bleed effects on a target.

Apprentice: Your study of precise claw attacks has granted you the ability to bypass a certain amount of your enemy’s armor. When making a claw or claw-like attack you may consider your opponent’s armor class to be 1 point lower per level of mastery you have in this style, but not to be reduced by more points than they have Armor Bonus and Shield Bonus. Thus if you catch your opponent without any armor or shield on this provides no net benefit.

Master: You treat your claws as trip weapons. Furthermore you have learned to trip and disarm opponents through pain and may always choose to deal your claw damage (so long as your claws are available) upon a successful trip or disarm attempt.

Expert: Your have learned to impart an exceptional amount of power to your claw strikes. You may choose to treat any claw attacks as though they were two-handed weapons for the purposes of computing your strength bonus to damage rolls (x1.5 rounded down). However you must declare that you are doing so before making the attack roll and the attack roll subsequently suffers a penalty equal to half the extra damage (rounded up).

  • For example, if you have a strength modifier of + 4 and decide to use this ability your attack will suffer a – 1 penalty but you will get an extra + 2 damage if the attack is successful.

Shield Slammer
The benefits of this Martial Style apply to using a shield as a melee weapon. Its benefits do not apply to any use of natural or ranged weapons.

Initiate: The Shield slam is your preferred method of attack. You add + 1 to attack rolls and damage rolls with a shield slam.

Novice: You have learned to combine offense and defense when it comes to shield slams. When making a full attack action that includes at least 1 shield slam you gain a + 1 bonus to armor class against the target of every attack in your full attack action until the beginning of your next turn.

Apprentice: You have learned to use shields to their greatest effect in attacks. Increase the die-size of damage for any shield slam or shield spike attack that you make as shown below. Furthermore, if your second hand is free, you may treat heavy shields as two-handed weapons for the purposes of strength bonuses to damage on a shield slam.

Old New
1 1d2
1d2 1d3
1d3 1d4
1d4 1d6
1d6 1d8
1d8 2d6
2d6 2d8
2d8 3d6

Master: Your shield slam attacks are so powerful they can knock enemies backwards. Upon making a successful shield slam attack you may make a free bull rush attempt against the opponent, however you can only move them back a distance equal to your reach (minimum 5 feet). This bull rush attempt does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Expert: You have made shield slamming into an art. Whenever you make a shield slam attack you make the attack with a + 2 attack bonus (total plus three including the initiate level). Furthermore you gain a + 2 bonus on any bull rush attempt made while wielding any shield you are proficient with.

Shield Wall
The benefits of this Martial Style apply to wielding a shield as a defensive tool. If you lose your ability to apply your shield bonus for any reason the benefits of this style are suspended. This style does not apply its benefits to any natural defenses or to the effects of the shield spell, only a wielded shield.

Initiate: Your shield is like an extension of your arm. Reduce the armor check penalty by 1 for any shield you are proficient with and increase the bonus armor class provided by any shield you are proficient with by 1 point.

Novice: You have learned to stop projectiles with your shield reflexively. When calculating your armor class against a missile attack (arrows, crossbow bolts, sling bullets, thrown weapons, firearms, etc.) multiply your shield bonus by 1.5 (rounding up) before adding it to your total armor class. This does not effect cover bonuses that may be provided by a tower shield, only the shield bonus itself.

Apprentice: You have learned to defend against more than traditional striking attacks with your shield. You gain the Shield Ward feat as a free bonus feat. If you already have the Shield Ward feat you gain an extra + 1 bonus on resisting grapple, trip, disarm, bull-rush, and overrun attempts while wielding a shield.

Master: You have learned to take cover behind a shield reflexively. So long as you are holding a heavy shield or tower shield you may – upon a successful reflex saving throw for half-damage from an area of effect damage source – allocate any amount of the remaining damage of the effect to your shield. Your shield takes damage equal to half the amount allocated to it, and you take what is left. If your shield is destroyed by the amount of damage you allocate to it you take the remainder.

  • Example: Nadia the Master Shield Defender is battling a dragon and is included in the area of a breath weapon. She successfully saves for half damage and then says that she wishes to block as much of the remaining damage as possible with her shield. The remaining damage (half of the original 67) is 38. Nadia decides to allocate as much damage to her shield as it can bear. Nadia’s non-magical heavy wooden shield has total hitpoints of 15, so it absorbs 30 of the remaining 38 damage, leaving only 8 damage for Nadia to take. However Nadia’s shield is destroyed.

Expert: You have learned to use a shield in such a spectacular way. Reduce the check penalty of any shield you are proficient with by 2 (a total of 3 when combined with the Initiate level – minimum check penalty of 0) and increase the shield bonus to armor class of any shield you are proficient with by 2 (to a total of 3 extra when combined with the initiate level).

Sniper
The benefits of this Martial Style apply to the use of two-handed, non-thrown, ranged weapons only. They do not apply to any melee weapon and do not apply to the use of any one-handed ranged weapons, thrown weapons, or natural weapons of any sort.

Initiate: You have learned the most basic and fundamental aspect of sniping, attacking from cover and stealth. Whenever you attack from hiding and attempt to re-hide reduce the penalty to your hide check for hiding just after an attack by 5 points per level of mastery in this style. So – 15 for an initiate, – 10 for a novice, – 5 for an apprentice, and – 0 for a master or an expert. In addition, you receive an extra + 2 bonus on any hide check if you are behind cover or concealment in addition to any normal cover or concealment bonus.

  • For example, Val, the apprentice level sniper attacks Birik with his bow. Whether his attack hits or not, he wants to stay hidden and rolls his hide check. He takes a – 5 penalty to his hide check because he just attacked (down from the normal – 20 since he is an apprentice sniper) and gains a total of + 6 bonus from the three he is partly covered by and the bush that he is partly concealed by. Over-all his check is at a + 1 bonus.

Novice: You have learned that the most important thing about sniping is that you don’t have to take more than one shot at the same target. If you spend three rounds focusing on a target prior to making your attack, and the target is flat-footed against your attack, and the attack hits, the attack is treated as a coup-de-grace. The target takes maximum damage from your attack as though you rolled a critical hit and the highest possible damage amount on each damage die, and must make a Fortitude save DC 10 + damage dealt vs death.

Aiming in the fashion described is a full-round action and during this time you cannot lose sight of your target. If you wish to switch targets you must begin aiming all anew at your new target.

Apprentice: Your long training at hitting vital points has made you an expert at scoring critical hits. Upon gaining this level of mastery choose one type of ranged projectile weapon which can be used with this style. You gain the Improved Critical feat with this type of weapon. If you already had the Improved Critical feat with this type of weapon, you treat its base threat range (before the improved critical feat) as being one point larger.

  • For example, if you selected this with Long Bow and already had Improved Critical (Long Bow) your long bow critical threat range would be 17 – 20 / x 3. If you selected this with a Crossbow and already had Improved Critical (Crossbow) your threat range with a Crossbow would be 15 – 20 / x 2.

Master: You have learned how to mitigate the difficulties of firing at a distance. You treat the penalty to attack rolls for range increments as – 1 per increment rather than – 2. Furthermore, whenever you take turns aiming at a target you may reduce the total range penalty for your next attack on a target by 1 point per turn aiming, maximum three. The minimum range penalty is always 0. Aiming in this way is a full-round action, and can be done as part of the same aiming actions described in the Novice level of this style.

Expert: You have learned to take aim with incredible speed. Instead of spending 3 rounds to accrue the maximum benefits from the Novice and Master levels of this style you only need to spend one full round action aiming at a target.

Soldier
The benefits of this martial style apply only when wearing medium armor. Mithril Armor which is normally considered Medium does not count for the purposes of this style. Mithril Armor which is normally considered Heavy does count for the purposes of this style.

Initiate: You know that mobility on the battlefield is paramount. You may move your normal speed while in medium armor. However any round on which you do this you must make an endurance check DC 10 plus the number of times you have already used this ability since your last 1 hour rest. If you fail the endurance check you become fatigued at the end of the round. If you fail the check while fatigued you become exhausted instead. If you fail this check while already exhausted you fall unconscious at the end of the round.

If you fall unconscious in this way you remain unconscious for 1d4 + 1 rounds. You cannot be roused except by magical means which cure exhaustion. When you wake up you are exhausted and must recover from that condition normally.

Novice: You have learned to use what mobility you have in your armor to your defensive advantage. While wearing medium armor you get 2x your applicable dexterity bonus to your armor class. This extra bonus is lost whenever you are flat-footed or immobilized. This ability always provides a minimum of + 1 dodge bonus to armor class, even if the armor provides for 0 maximum dexterity bonus or the character has no dexterity bonus to armor class, or a negative dexterity modifier.

  • For example if Davin the Soldier has a + 3 dexterity modifier and is wearing a breastplate he gains a + 6 AC bonus from that dexterity modifier instead of only + 3. If he wears a suit of chainmail instead that would be a total of + 4 dexterity bounus to armor class (2 × 2 since the maximum dexterity bonus of chainmail is 2). If, then, he suffers a Bestow Curse that lowers his dexterity to a + 0 modifier, he still gets a + 1 dodge bonus to armor class.

Apprentice: You wear medium armor like most people wear a shirt. You gain the benefits of the Endurance feat. If you already had the Endurance feat, you gain an extra + 2 bonus on all Endurance checks for a total of a + 6 with the feat. Unlike most other mastery benefits, these benefits are applicable whether or not you are wearing medium armor.

Master: You have learned to maneuver in Medium armor with incredible effectiveness. You suffer 1 less point of check penalty than usual from Medium armors, and treat them as if they have 1 point more of maximum dexterity bonus.

Expert: Your skill at using your medium armor to your advantage are exceptional. You gain an extra + 2 armor bonus from any Medium armor you wear.

Swarmer
The benefits of this martial style are not limited to specific weapons or armor, but are tailored to benefit a combatant used to fighting with multiple allies.

Initiate: You have learned that positioning is the key to group fighting. Once per round as a move action you may make a 2nd protected 5 foot step.

Novice: You have learned to keep your opponents attention where it belongs, on you and off of your allies. Whenever you attack an opponent in melee combat on your turn you provide a + 1 bonus to the attack rolls of any of your allies against that opponent until the beginning of your next round. This bonus cannot be conferred through attacks of opportunity and can only apply to a single opponent at a time. If you strike multiple enemies in your round, declare which opponent this ability applies to. You may only make this declaration once each round, regardless of how many attacks you make.

Apprentice: You have learned how to aid your allies in special maneuvers reflexively. Once per round, if an ally attempts a trip, disarm, grapple, or bull rush against an enemy who you threaten in melee combat you may spend an attack of opportunity to take an aid another action (DC 10) to provide a bonus on their check. This does not give you any more attacks of opportunity in a given round.

Master: You have learned how to make the most of flanking situations. Whenever you flank with an ally that ally receives an extra + 2 bonus to attack rolls against the flanked opponent.

Expert: You have become so adept at fighting in groups that you can effectively multi-task in combat. You treat all levels of mastery in this martial style with the words “once per round” or “once each round” in them as if they no longer contained that phrase. Furthermore, you may confer the effects of the Novice level of this martial style to any number of targets in a round.

Synergist
This martial style is applicable to any fighting circumstances, but is tailored to benefit a fighter who also has spell casting abilities. Furthermore, in order to take this style one must be able to cast spells as a class feature or a class-like feature. A fighter with an innate spell-like ability cannot take this martial style, but a fighter whose race can innately cast spells as if they had class levels can.

Initiate: You have begun studying long and hard to synergize your spell-casting abilities with your martial abilities, and it is beginning to pay off. You gain the Practiced Spellcaster feat. Furthermore, you treat the arcane spell failure of any armor you wear as 5% less than it actually is.

Novice: You have managed to advance in your magical studies significantly alongside your martial studies. You gain spell casting abilities as if you were 1 level higher in your spell casting class than you actually are. This includes spells per day, spells known, and caster level. If you are a wizard it also includes adding spells to your spell book. It does not include any other benefits of that class. If you have more than one source of spell casting abilities, you must select which one you have advanced in upon gaining this mastery.

Apprentice: You have managed to advance in your magical studies significantly alongside your martial studies. You gain spell casting abilities as if you were 1 level higher in your spell casting class than you actually are. This includes spells per day, spells known, and caster level. If you are a wizard it also includes adding spells to your spell book. It does not include any other benefits of that class. If you have more than one source of spell casting abilities, you must select which one you have advanced in upon gaining this mastery.

Master: You have managed to advance in your magical studies significantly alongside your martial studies. You gain spell casting abilities as if you were 1 level higher in your spell casting class than you actually are. This includes spells per day, spells known, and caster level. If you are a wizard it also includes adding spells to your spell book. It does not include any other benefits of that class. If you have more than one source of spell casting abilities, you must select which one you have advanced in upon gaining this mastery.

Expert: You have managed to advance in your magical studies significantly alongside your martial studies. You gain spell casting abilities as if you were 2 levels higher in your spell casting class than you actually are. This includes spells per day, spells known, and caster level. If you are a wizard it also includes adding spells to your spell book. It does not include any other benefits of that class. If you have more than one source of spell casting abilities, you must select which one you have advanced in upon gaining this mastery.

Tactician
The benefits of this martial style can be used by anyone, but all rely on intelligence modifiers.

Initiate: You have learned to direct your allies in combat to the point of providing serious tactical benefits. As a standard action you can bark out orders and tactical advice to any allies within 30 feet of you. Until the beginning of your next turn all allies who heard your orders and advice gain a bonus to any one of the following rolls or scores – chosen by you at the time you activate this ability. Attack rolls; Armor Class; Trip Attempts; Disarm Attempts; Grapple Attempts. The bonus is equal to your intelligence modifier and counts as an insight bonus.

Novice: You have studied combat tactics closely enough to recognize battlefield deception when you see it. You may add your intelligence modifier to all checks made to resist a combat feint, detect an ambush, or recognize battlefield tricks (such as spotting hidden trenches or false retreats).

Apprentice: You have learned how to implement all manner of battlefield tactics with studied precision. You may use your intelligence modifier in place of any other relevant ability score when executing a combat feint, trip attempt, disarm attempt, intimidate check to demoralize an opponent, and initiative checks.

Master: You have learned exceptional skills of strategy that exceed expectations. Whenever you take a standard action to direct your allies in combat as described in the Initiate level of this style you may choose two of the listed categories to apply your bonus to instead of just one. Also, you may grant a bonus to damage rolls in this manner as if it was a part of the previous list.

Expert: You have such experience at battlefield tactics that if you get at least 1 hour of time to examine a battlefield before a battle begins you may take 20 on any Warfare* roll made on that battlefield within the next 24 hours. In order to gain this benefit you must spend the entire hour on the battlefield without interruption and must be able to examine the surroundings normally (cannot be blind, or must otherwise be able to accurately perceive the entire area). Taking 20 in this way does not take any extra time when the roll is made.

  • Warfare is a new Skill which is used as both a representation of a character’s knowledge and ability with regards to war making and battlefield tactics.

Untouchable
The benefits of this martial style apply only when wearing no armor of any kind and not encumbered by anything more than a light load.

Initiate: You have learned that the most important thing in combat is never to let the enemy touch you. Whenever you are unarmored you receive a bonus to armor class and to acrobatics checks to avoid attacks of opportunity equal to your wisdom modifier. The bonus to armor class is considered a Dodge bonus and thus is lost when flat footed or immobilized.

Novice: You have learned to use your martial training to its full capacities in keeping yourself safe while unarmored. You calculate your Base Defense Bonus as equal to 1/2 your Base Attack Bonus (rounded down) instead of 1/3. This only applies when you are unarmored and no more than lightly encumbered.

Apprentice: You have learned to react instantaneously and to always be wary of your flank. You gain the benefits of Uncanny Dodge and Improved Uncanny Dodge. If you already had these benefits from another source you gain an additional + 1 dodge bonus to Armor class.

Master: You have learned to keep your own weapons between you and your opponents at all times. Whenever you are unarmored and fight defensively you receive an extra + 2 bonus to armor class, and an extra + 4 if taking a full defensive action. If you have Combat Expertise, you gain + 2 armor class for every – 1 to attack rolls when using that feat along with this martial style.

Expert: You have learned to stay away from enemies as much as possible. Once per round when you are attacked in melee combat you may take a protected 5 foot step away from your attacker and prevent the attack from hitting you. If the same attacker advances to attack you again in the same round by any means you receive a + 2 dodge bonus to armor class against all attacks by that opponent until the beginning of your next turn.

Wrestler
The benefits of this martial style apply only to use of unarmed grapple checks and grappling-related bonuses. Its benefits do not apply to any other sort of melee attack, nor to ranged attacks of any sort or attacks with natural weapons that are not involved in grappling.

Initiate: You have learned to maintain your personal defenses while in a grapple. Except when pinned you are not considered flat-footed while in a grapple and maintain all dodge modifiers to armor class.

Novice: You have learned to use all size differences to your advantage. You gain a + 2 bonus on all grapple checks per size category different between you and your opponent.

  • For example a human with this mastery would gain an extra + 2 to their grapple checks when attempting to grapple an ogre, whereas a halfling with this mastery who was attempting to grapple an ogre would gain a + 4 bonus to their check. In the case of the human this means rolling at + 2 compared to the ogre’s + 4 size bonus, but for the halfling it means rolling at + 0 (instead of – 4) compared to the ogre’s + 4 bonus.

Apprentice: You have learned to pull grappled creatures with you quite fluidly. Whenever you are in a grapple and are not pinned you may make a grapple check as a move action to move at your normal speed (instead of half speed). On a successful check you may move your grapple opponent with you, even if the distance is normally further than they could move in a single move action. This does not impede your opponents options on their turn except by transposing them. While moving in this way you and your grapple opponent provoke attacks of opportunity as normal.

Master: You have learned to make grapple checks as part of any normal attack action. You may replace any normal attack, including attacks made as part of a full attack action, with grapple checks. Your grapple check suffers any penalties that would have applied to the standard attack roll. If successful you may only make any remaining attack rolls against the grappled creature.

Expert: You have learned to grapple with expert precision. You gain a + 2 bonus on all grapple – related checks including checks to deal damage in a grapple, rolls to pin, and rolls to escape a grapple.

Fighter

Atop the Shoulders of Giants Ghandi