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Acolyte of the Scythe (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Fantasy woman w- scyth
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Summary: Those who realize the skill required to wield a scythe and wishing to learn its true potential seek out the path of the Acolyte of the Scythe.

Length: 5 levels; minimum level: 6.


Acolyte of the ScytheEdit

The scythe is a weapon forged in chaos and must be used with order. It is perfection.
The Way of the Scythe, Atlatan, Founder and First Acolyte of the Scythe

Those who can appreciate and understand the skill that is required to wield a scythe with grace and perfection realize its potential and often seek out ways to improve their skill. These few people become Acolytes of the Scythe, learning how to wield their chosen weapon with finesse, learning how to control the battlefield with their abilties and making sure that all realize the power of the weapon they wield.

Becoming an Acolyte of the ScytheEdit

Any character who wields a scythe as a main combat weapon can be drawn into the ways of the scythe, willing to learn the skills and abilities that the Acolytes of the Scythe wield with finesse. Becoming an Acolyte of the Scythe can require a willing teacher, but there are those of such a passionate dispoisiton on the innate abilities of the scythe and it's beckoning power that they teach themselves the powers that a scythe delivers. Having such an expertise, intuition, and innate ability to wield these powerful weapons the Apostles of the Scythe have learned to truly work with the blade as if it were a living partner.

Entry Requirements
Alignment: Any
Base Attack Bonus: +6 (Improved Critical only +6 Base Attack Bonus Requirement)
Feats: Weapon Focus (scythe), Improved Critical (scythe), Two-Weapon Fighting




Table: The Acolyte of the Scythe

Hit Die: d8

 
Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Shaft Fighting -2, Shaft Defense +1, Weighted Shaft, Scythe Aptitude, Bound with the soul(s), Scythe Mastery
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Scythe Expertise, Scythe Mastery
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Scythe Expertise
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Scythe Expertise, Scythe Mastery
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Shaft Fighting +0, Shaft Defense +2

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level)
Bluff (Cha), Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Profession (Wis), Tumble (Dex), Swim (Str), and Knowledge (Psionics, Int)

Class FeaturesEdit

All the following are class features of the Acolyte of the Scythe

Bound with the soul(s): The Acolyte of the Scythe binds a single scythe to their call. That scythe becomes tied to their very soul, becoming a conduit for their purpose and their weapon of destruction. The Acolyte of the Scythe adds the scythe's HP to his own, and they share this pool of HP. If the Apostle of the Scythe is brought to -1, the scythe is broken (if it is held and participates in the battle) and the Apostle of the Scythe gets -2 life each round until he dies to -11 if he or she does not get stabilized. The scythe cannot be broken with a single Strength check, but rather must be sundered from it's Scythe Master to destroy it or when the Scythe Master dies. The Acolyte of the Scythe may do this ritual as a check with his craft skill with any scythe normally. (Initially, or if the Scythe is broken and the master didn't die, he or she can connect with any scythe when he or she regains all HP  and waits for one month with 24 hours of meditating and 100 xp per class level if it is normal Scythe 300 xp per class level if it's a battle Scythe, and 500 xp per class level if it's magic. If he or she doesn't want to repair it he or she must destroy it so the bond breaks.)Using this in tune telepathic connection the scythe and the Acolyte of the Scythe both communicate and function as one and therefore are able to have a heightened combat awareness, awarding bonus AC based on the Acolyte's intellect ability modifier. In addition to being connected as one entity and soul, they are able to function as capable individuals, giving the ability of separate attacks of opportunity (Giving a total of 2 attacks of opportunity on any given individual per chance). Finally, as a supernatural action, he or she may call the scythe to hand with a move action as long as he or she and the scythe are on the same plane. He can communicate with it as if it was a servant and give to it commands. The Scythe gets Intelligence score equal to each master only when they are binded together. It can understand his master commands, respond and do as he says with a telepathic bond. It obeys only him or her. And cannot speak to anyone else except the Scythe Master and only by telepathic bond. By meditating for 12 hours and expending 100 xp per class level, the Apostle of the Scythe may bind himself to a different scythe, breaking all ties with his former weapon.

  • The Acolyte of the Scythe at level 5, can bind his soul with two Scythes, only if one is a normal Scythe and the other a Battle Scythe. If so each time he calls the specific Scythe his life changes to the one he holds. If in a battle he doesn't have his Scythe then his life is at normal hit points.

Shaft Fighting (Ex): At 1st level, the Acolyte of the Scythe is capable of using the shaft, or the opposite end of the shaft if a blade is present, of his Scythe as an offensive weapon, gaining an offhand attack as though wielding two light weapons, but the penalty is reduced to be treated as if the scythe was a light weapon (For -2/-2 on attack rolls). The shaft of the scythe is a bludgeoning weapon that deals 1d4 damage with a x2 critical and it cannot be magical. It has no additional weight. If the shaft has a Weighted Shaft, then it uses the properties for a Weighted Shaft and can be magical. This only applies when wielding the scythe in two hands. At 5th level, the penalty is reduced by an additional 2 points, for no penalty.

Shaft Defense (Ex): While wileding a scythe, the Apostle of the Scythe is capable of blocking incoming attacks with the shaft, controlling the enemy's movements, and channeling their attacks to specific locations around the blade of the weapon. He gains a +1 shield bonus to Armour Class while wielding a Scythe (Stacking with any other AC modifiers). This increases to +2 at 5th level.

Weighted Shaft: An Acolyte of the Scythe is so trained in the use of a scythe, he is able to wield the scythe with finesse even with a weighted shaft. While fighting with a Weighted Shaft in his scythe, the Apostle of the Scythe forgoes the -2 penalty associated with it.

Scythe Aptitude: An Acolyte of the Scythe may stack his levels with any fighter levels to determine his fighter level for fighter feats (such as Weapon Specialization). This only affects feats used for a scythe.

Scythe Expertise (Ex): At 2nd and 4th level, the Acolyte of the Scythe is capable of performing extraordinary feats of expertise while wielding a Scythe.

  • Hook Blade Reach: The Acolyte of the Scythe is capable of doubling their normal reach with the Scythe for one attack per round by thrusting it out and keeping the shaft held in an open palm for a short amount of time, before grabbing it and pulling it back sharply. For one attack per round, the range of the Acolyte is doubled (5 feet to 10 feet, 10 feet to 20 feet) and the Acolyte takes a -2 on the attack roll. This only works when wielding a scythe designed for the Acolyte's size catergory. While using this expertise, the Acolyte is not capable of using the shaft as an offhand weapon for the round it is used on.
  • Leg Slice: As a full round action, the Acolyte of the Scythe can spin his scythe around in a full circle, jumping over the shaft as it spins around to make a trip attack against every creature in any threatened square to the Acolyte. This trip attempt cannot be countered and can only be dodged by those it's made against. The opponents cannot attempt a counter-trip attempt.
  • Repelling Slash: The Acolyte of the Scythe is capable of pushing away his opponent with the shaft of his weapon and then immediatly slice the enemy with the blade. The initial strike from the shaft acts as though a bull rush attempt to push the opponent back 5 feet, except there are not Attacks of Opportunity and the Acolyte does not gain any bonuses due to relevant bull rush feats. If the check is successful, then the Acolyte immediatly gains an attack with the scythe's blade against a flatfooted opponent, as he stumbles back. The opponent cannot be targetted by any Attacks of Opportunities from the Acolyte for this movement. This action is a standard action.
  • Guillotine Edge: (Only at 4th level) The Acolyte moves with uncanny speed and precision to decapitate his foes if he is directly behind them. Making an attack roll, with all the normal applied bonuses as well as +2 for every level in the prestige class, to match or beat the current HP of the target. If the Acolyte of the Scythe matches or exceeds the current HP of the target then the target will be decapitated (Instant death for most enemies with a few exceptions stated in the Monster Manual).

Scythe Mastery (Ma): At 1st, 2nd, and 4th level, the Acolyte of the Scythe hones their ability to fluidly and precisely wield their unique weapon, allowing them to gain innate combat ability without performing any special physical action.

  • 1 Strike, 2 cuts: The Weapon Master strikes the target once, but two wounds appear on the victim. Apply the damage of the attack twice. Despite the name this ability can be used with any weapon no matter its damage type. The player must declare he is using this ability before the attack roll is made. May be used up to class level times per day.
  • Parry Master: The Weapon Master is well trained in the art of using his weapon to turn aside incoming attacks. While wielding his favored weapon, the Weapon Master gains a +3 shield bonus to AC. This bonus stacks with any other shield bonus to AC, including those granted by Two-Weapon Defense. A Weapon Master dual-wielding his favored weapon does not gain this bonus twice. If the Weapon Master's favored weapon is ranged, this AC bonus is instead a dodge bonus.
  • Riposte: If a melee attack misses the Weapon Master by an amount equal to or less than his shield bonus to AC, he may make an immediate counterattack at his highest attack bonus. This attack MUST be performed with his favored weapon. Using Riposte incurs a -2 penalty to AC until the beginning of the Weapon Master's next turn. Riposte attacks count as attacks of opportunity, the AC penalty is cumulative and cannot exceed the Weapon Master's base attack bonus. If the Weapon Master's favored weapon is ranged, he may Riposte any melee attack that misses by an amount equal to or less than his Parry Master bonus plus his Dex bonus to AC. Prerequisites: Parry Master
  • Deadly Precision: The Weapon Master has such great control over his weapon that his attack have become devastatingly precise. He now adds his Dexterity modifier into his attack damage, as well as Strength. However, the way in which the bonus is added differs from the method used for Strength. If the Weapon Master's favored weapon is one-handed and he either wields it in two hands, alone, or with a shield, he adds his his Dex modifier and a half (round down). If he dual wields his favored weapon he adds half his Dex modifier (round down) to attacks made with both. If his favored weapon is two-handed he adds his Dex modifier. If the favored weapon is ranged, add the Weapon Master's Dexterity bonus x2 to damage. Creatures not subject to damage from critical hits or sneak attacks are immune to this damage. This damage is applied after extra damage for critical hits.
  • Excessive Force: The Weapon Master has learned how to put extra force behind attacks using his favored weapon. When wielding a weapon in both hands, he does 2x Strength modifier damage rather than 1.5x. When wielding one of his favored weapon in each hand, he now adds his full Strength modifier to his off hand damage rather than half. If wielding his favored weapon in one hand and either a shield, or nothing in his off hand, the Weapon Master adds 1.5x Strength. Prerequisites: Power Attack
  • Superior Cleave: When using his favored weapon, the Weapon Master may take a 5-foot step before performing an attack granted by Great Cleave. The Weapon Master may only take enough 5-foot steps to move half of his base speed (round down) while using this ability. Prerequisites: Cleave, Great Cleave
  • Superior Weapon Specialization: The Weapon Master's damage with his favored weapon increases 1 die step. This ability stacks with any other abilities which increase the weapon's damage die.

Campaign InformationEdit

Playing an Acolyte of the ScytheEdit

Adventure: Acolytes of the Scythe adventure to improve their skill and even find those that are capable of besting them in combat; as to become stronger and gain closer understanding of the Way of the Scythe and how to develop Order from Chaos or Chaos from Order. An Acolyte of the Scythe will not normally travel with any other Acolytes; but may find companions with other adventurers. Furthermore, an Acolyte of the Scythe may travel with a companion student who is learning the Way of the Scythe; acting as a mentor to teach the secrets of the weapon to their pupils. An Acolyte of the Scythe does not require exceptional reasons to travel out, normally only doing so to advance their own abilities.

Characteristics: Coming in many shapes, sizes and races, the Acolytes of the Scythe have only one obvious thing in common; their choice of weapon (that of the scythe), otherwise they are usually indistinguishable from other melee combatants or adventurers. It is only in battle an Acolyte of the Scythe becomes exceptionally notable; wielding their weapon with grace and skill normally unmatched. They use scythe tricks in order to trick opponents and make sudden attacks with their specially modified weapons that may surprise opponents. They often talk of the Scythe highly; regarding it as a near perfect weapon and they focus on the dichotomy of Order and Chaos, rather than Good and Evil. Two ideologies come from the Way of the Scythe; Order from Chaos and Chaos from Order. The former is usually upheld by the lawful Acolytes, while the chaotic acolytes follow the latter.

Races: Any race can become an Acolyte of the Scythe; the scythe's subtle ways call to all and only those that are entranced by it's ways become an Acolyte.

Combat: The Acolyte of the Scythe is a front line combatant, wielding his Scythe with expertise and vigor against his opponents. The Acolyte uses his tricks to put enemies off guard and cripple them, before quickly finishing them with cuts of his blade and the blunt force of his shaft. In single combat, it is a general tactic to quickly overwhelm an opponent with a series of 'chaotic'-like attacks that are, otherwise, formed with perfect order. They usually seek out the most skilled of enemies; to test their own might against an enemy's skill.

Advancement: An Acolyte of the Scythe would most likely seek to advance in any class that would aid them in combat prowess. Through training and skill, they can achieve anything.

Resources: The Acolytes of the Scythe are not an organization and they only have a loose network between themselves. Acolytes are trained by other Acolytes or even just learn themselves. Those that are trained by others may have a network of other Acolytes, but often they are alone in such a resource.

Acolytes of the Scythe in the WorldEdit

All I saw in the frosted air was a spinning vortex of a scythe's blade, cutting and maiming all those in it's path.
—Tim, the Cowardly Monk, High Time at the Sign of Rime

NPC Reactions: At first glance, an Acolyte of the Scythe may appear to be just a simple warrior with an odd weapon choice or even just a farmer wearing a bit too much. However, their combat prowess usually might leave people in awe at their fantastic tricks and displays of finesse with such an unruly weapon.

Acolyte of the Scythe LoreEdit

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (religion) can research the Acolyte of the Scythe to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (Religion)
DC Result
11 The Way of the Scythe is a series of martial scripts that explain how to wield a scythe
16 An Acolyte of the Scythe is a follower of the Way of the Scythe.
21 The Way of the Scythe is actually a secret that is not written down, but passed down between Acolytes of the Scythe.
26 An Acolyte of the Scythe wields their weapon with a precision saught by many, capable of various tricks and abilities in order to conquer their foes.

Acolyte of the Scythe Martial Variant Edit

Entry Requirements
Alignment: Any
Base Attack Bonus: +6
Feats: Weapon Focus (scythe), Improved Critical (scythe), Two-Weapon Fighting




Table: The Acolyte of the Scythe

Hit Die: d8

 
Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Martial Maneuvers
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Shaft Fighting -1, Shaft Defense +1, Weighted Shaft, Scythe Aptitude +1 of previous initiator class.
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Scythe Trick +1 of previous initiator class.
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Shaft Defense +2 +1 of previous initiator class.
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Scythe Trick +1 of previous initiator class.
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Shaft Fighting +0, Shaft Defense +3 +1 of previous initiator class.

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level)
Bluff (Cha), Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Profession (Wis), Tumble (Dex) and Swim (Str).


Acolyte of the Scythe in the GameEdit

Adaptation: As the Acolyte of the Scythe is nothing new or sensational in it's powers and they have little to no organization between each other, they can slot right in as though always there.

{{#set:Name=Jerrod "Scythe" Polt|CR=12|Size=Medium|Summary=An extremely tall Acolyte of the Scythe devoted to the use of his weapon; so much that he has even gained the pseudonym "Scythe".|Type=Humanoid(Human)}} {{#set:Race=Human}}

Jerrod "Scythe" Polt

CR 12

Male Human Fighter 8 / Acolyte of the Scythe 4
Lawful Evil Medium Humanoid(Human)
Init/Senses +10/Listen +8, Spot +8
AC 27, touch 18, flat-footed 21
hp 84 (12 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +12/+12/+4
Speed 30ft (6 Squares)
Melee +2 Frost Scythe +20/+15/+10 (2d4+12+1d6, 19-20/x4) or
Melee +2 Frost Scythe +19/+14/+9 (2d4+10+1d6, 19-20/x4) & +1 Weighted Shaft +18 (1d6+2, x2)
Base Atk/Grp +12/+14
Special Actions Scythe Trick(Leg Sweep), Scythe Trick(Palm Balance Reach)
Abilities Str 18, Dex 22, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 10
SQ Shaft Fighting(-1), Shaft Defense +2, Weighted Shaft, Scythe Aptitutde
Feats Weapon Focus(Scythe), Combat ExpertiseB, Improved TripH, Power AttackB, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiativeb,Weapon Specialization(Scythe), Two-Weapon Fightingb, Improved Critical(Scythe)b, Greater Weapon Focus(Scythe), Greater Weapon Specialization(Scythe)
Skills Climb +15, Intimidate +11, Jump +15, Listen +16, Spot +7, Tumble +18
Possessions Gloves of Dexterity +4, Belt of Giant Strength +4, +2 Frost Scythe, +3 Mithral Shirt, Handy Haversack, Ring of Protection +2
Scythe Trick (Ex)

(Leg Sweep)

As a full-round action, Jerrod can spin his scythe around in a full circle beneath his feet. This attack affects every creature adjacent to the Acolyte. All affected creatures are subject to a trip attempt which cannot be countered. Jerrod cannot be counter tripped when using this ability.
Scythe Trick (Ex)

(Palm Balance reach)

By utilizing the palm and a delicate ability to balance the scythe's shaft on the palm of his hand, Jerrod is able to extend his reach with the scythe for one attack per round. Doing this enables him to double his reach to a total of 10ft by taking a -2 penalty on the attack roll. By doing this, he forfeits the ability to make an attack with the shaft of his weapon. This only works while he wields a weapon that is created for a medium size category.
Created By
TK-Squared (talk)
Date Created: 25th March 2008
Status: Complete
Editing: Please feel free to edit constructively!


HistoryEdit

Jerrod Polt is the only son of a farmer and his wife, a happy union with little to no domestic disputes. He grew up on the farmstead and in the small community village they were part of. In such, there was little darkness in his life. However, when maturing in his teenage years, it soon became obvious that Jerrod was not what was called an "average" child. He grew at an exponetial rate in all aspects, learning quickly, working at the farmstead and becoming tall. Very tall. Infact, Jerrod grew to a total of 7 feet and 3 inches tall, dwarfing others around him, an unnatural height for humans. He grew to be athletic and lithe, becoming strong from his daily routine on the farm. However, the more he learnt from various books, gossip and other sources, the more his mind festered on darkness; he soon became convinced that the world was not as it seemed, that it was corrupt. With these thoughts, Jerrod's mind slipped into evil.

When he was 19, Jerrod left the farmstead to become stronger and better. He travelled to near-by villages, towns and cities and began to learn the way of the fighter, drawing on his specilalization with the scythe. After a few years of training, learning how to turn combat situations to his advantage through the use of his mind, speed and strength, Jerrod began adventuring with some of his fellows, but the adventures he embarked on had a heavy toll on Jerrod's mind. He soon became obsessed with being stronger. Being better. Being the best. He simply had to beat anyone who could challange him, he had to prove to the world that he could win, coming from such a background; he knew it. With such a mind, Jerrod killed his team, insisiting they were weak. They were the reason he wasn't going anywhere. He slaughtered them; yet not in their sleep, but rather turning on them in the middle of a battle. After this, he embarked on his quest to become the best there is. He learnt of the Way of the Scythe, a way to achieve the perfection of such a weapon through various abilities and skills. He sought out one of the Acolytes to teach him how to become a master of his chosen weapon.

It took three years of duels and challenges for Jerrod to finally discover an Acolyte. One that was willing to teach him the Way of the Scythe, but only if he would make any sacrifice that was worthy. Jerrod fulfilled this condition by returning to his village and severing all ties with anyone close to him; he slaughtered his own family. For such a great sacrifice, the Acolyte taught Jerrod the Way of the Scythe, acknowledging his devotion and tenacity. Jerrod left after learning everything he needed to learn from the Acolyte and continued his quest to become the best.

InteractionEdit

While evil, Jerrod still adheres to his own code of conduct and recognizes duelling standards, but refuses to adhere to authority figures. This has given him quite a notorious reputation, as well as his reputation for killing those that he deems too weak to survive. Jerrod believes in a law of equals; if a problem arises, a battle shall settle the dispute. To death if necessary. Jerrod has a distinct lack of morals and has a flagrant disregard for anyone that is not a worthy battle.

In interaction, Jerrod attempts to size up the PCs and figure out which one is the strongest. If he figures them as a suitable challenge for him, he will challenge them to a duel. Without a show of strength, Jerrod generally refuses to aid others. If they persist, he will attack, if the situation is not in high favour of the PCs. If Jerrod issues a duel, it will be taken as a great insult if he is refused a duel without a proper reason.

Duelling Outcomes

If Jerrod wins the duel without any real challenge (easily defeating his opponent, retaining more than half his total hit points), then he leaves without aiding the characters in any way, claiming them as weak and beneath him.
If Jerrod wins the duel but with a decent challenge (losing over half his total hit points), then he will congratulate his opponent on a well fought duel and provide useful information.
If Jerrod loses the duel but with a decent challenge (his opponent loses over half his total hit points), then he will provide his opponents with semi-useful information and leave to become stronger. He will then attempt to duel the opponent again. He will also garner respect for the one that defeated him.
If Jerrod loses the duel without any real challenge (his opponent retains half of his total hit points), then Jerrod will leave immediatly and brashly to become stronger. He will attempt to kill the one that defeated him, if necessary, at a later point in time.

While duelling, Jerrod will not kill an opponent and will accept defeat when he reaches less than 10 hitpoints. If his opponent attempts to kill him, then Jerrod will retaliate in kind, taking this as a breach of Duelling Etiquette and Rules.

CombatEdit

In a combat situation, Jerrod's tactics differ between group fighting and one-on-one fighting. If fighting a single opponent, then Jerrod will use the first few rounds to realize his opponents strengths. He will start off by using his Palm Balance Reach attack if he wins initiative, letting his opponent come to him instead and trying to deny them a full attack. When fully engaged in combat, Jerrod will assess the situation with his cunning tactical mind; if he can easily hit his opponent, he will either use Power Attack or Combat Expertise. If he is getting hit, he will boost his armor with the latter, otherwise he will use the former. If he drops beneath quarter hit points, he will adopt a defensive stance, maxing out his Combat Expertise and Fighting Defensively. If this doesn't help, he'll use his Power Attack to hopefully do serious damage. Other than the tactics noted, Jerrod will make use of his tripping abilities and use the Attacks of Opportunities they give him.

While fighting against groups, Jerrod will attempt to surrond himself with enemies, use his Combat Expertise skill and then his Leg Sweep scyhte trick in order to trip all those around him. He'll use his two-weapon fighting to make more attacks per round. Jerrod realizes the power that spellcasters can bring to a battle and will attempt to shut them down as quickly as possibly, utilizing his Palm Balance Reach in order to get past defenses, if necessary.



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