Skill-based Special Attacks
We know'em, we love'em. The whole I'm-charging-mah-lazor when the heroic fighter get's ready to unleash an unholy load of kick-ass on his enemy. Well, this is a variant to go for it, but meant for those that want to take a page out of an anime's book and give it something to mimic it.
So, this variant says that, the more time and skill a fighter puts into mastering certain aspects of fighting, the better he's gonna be at them. To signify this, a fighter, or any similar class that does NOT have a full casting ability may create a skill specifically for this purpose. This skill is always considered a class skill for non full-casting classes and levels as normal. Once the fighter then takes a new attack due to his attack bonus (and yes, that includes first level), he gains the first ability of that skill 'tree' as it were. To learn these attacks however, he must always maintain max ranks. If he doesn't, then he doesn't gain any new attacks until he get's down to it.
Such skill names are up to the player and meant to give some flavour. It's not that the fighter can't stab someone in the eye, but if he's focused a lot on it, then he can do it better. The key score for the skill is always physical related, usually Strength or Dexterity. The DC is almost always up to the opponent's Attack Bonus, perhaps with a modifier.
Such a skill can offer new attack options and should be discussed extensively with the DM for alterations. Below is a single skill tree I created as an example, though it was specifically made to be on the highest echelons or power available. Anything above it is considered too much. It may not ruin a Wizard campaign on its own, but it could make a fighter 'too much' for the rest of the party (if they stick to the same balance point that is, which I assume to be somewhere around rogue).
Combat Style Attacks:
Akatsuki Ryuu is a speed-based elegant fighting style, promoting the use of one weapon only, even all attacks can be adapted to two-weapon fighting. It is Dexterity based.
Requires: Single handed finessable bladed weapon, Quick Draw, Iaido Feat (or similar ability that allows to draw and attack), Single Weapon Specialist (also Two-weapon Specialist if going for two weapons).
Shingetsu (New Moon): Targeted strike at the enemy's eyes or throat. Starts at sheathed and needs Quick Draw to perform and surprise (or stun) he enemy. Make roll at normal AC+8 to hit. Make a check at DC 10+target's AB+4 if he's wearing a helmet, Success and every points over give +2 to the attack (no limit).
Mangetsu (Full Moon): A follow up from Asatsuki. Takes an attack slot. By spinning while raising the blade, it allows for a very powerful downwards slash at the reeling enemy. Requires that the enemy be affected by at least one form of impairment such as daze or knockdown. If successful, it adds a +2 to damage, adding another +2 per five points your check result surpasses your enemy's, You may exchange ten such points for a +1 to threat range or multiplier for that attack. DC 10+target's AB+ Armor Bonus-2 per physical impediment.
Hanshatsuki (Reflective Moon): The sole defencive technique of the Akatsuki Ryuu style, and even then, it's a counter attack. You may select a number of attacks up to your Dexterity modifier to be reflective. You do not use them on your turn. Instead, if an opponent attacks, you roll a check DC equal to 10+Base Attack Bonus. If you pass, the attack is cancelled and you may immidiately make a counter attack against that opponent adding his strength (or dexterity if he used Weapon Finesse) modifier to both your attack roll and your damage. For every five points of additional success, you gain a +2 bonus on one Nisshoku attempt for your next round. If used to deflect ranged attacks, it gives +10 feet to speed for charge attacks for success and every five poits of additional success.
Nisshoku (Eclipse): Final attack of the Akatsuki Ryuu style. As opposed to the rest attacks, this one is in fact a high speed thrust delivered from point blank range, after a half-twistof the upper body, supported by the pointer and thumb while throwing the entire body behind the attack. If successful, it ignores two points of armor or shield AC. For every four points of success, you can ignore an additional 2 points of armor or shield bonus. For every four points ignored, the attack gains a +1 to critical range or multiplier. If the check fails and/or the attack misses, it draws an Attack of Opportunity from the target. The DC is 10+the opponent's Attack Bonus.
Kagetsuki (Shadow Moon) (Epic): This attack is so fast it can hide in its own shadow. As a full-round action, you may make a single extremely high-speed attack. Roll against DC 10+target's Attack Bonus. If successfull, you make a guaranteed critical strike as a full-round action. For everty 5ive points of success over the DC, you deal an additional 2 base damage.
Chidzuki (Blood Moon) (Epic): The second epic-level attack of Akatsuki Ryuu, and the reason behind its name. Can only be used after a round where the user has dealt the maximum possible damage with his sword (not calculating magic or class abilities) after a critical hit, therefore covering the entire length of the blade by the enemy's lifeblood. Additionally, he must be below 25% hp. Chidzuki is used from charge attack. Roll a check and mark down the degree of success (one for normal success, plus one every five points) with a DC equal to 10+ the opponent's Attack Bonus. You roll a number of attacks equal to your dexterity bonus, but no greater than your degrees of success at your highest attack bonus. Every successfull check allows you to unleash your entire full attack rotation on your target, hitting automatically. Upon performing, you are paralyzed for at least two weeks due to torn muscles and ligaments (Heal check reduces it to no less than a week) which cannot be sped up except via regeneration magic and even then no less than one week.
Sick of seeing people underestimate the power of SCYTHE!!! So, inspired in part by the Acolyte of the Scythe PrC and having seen Soul Eater recently (good scythe use there, especially the first episodes), I decided to make one.
The scythe is a peculiar and oft underestimated weapon. Seen as a peasant's solution to war or as a necromancer's tool, it's combat efficiency is always forgone for a more iconic longsword, or even a katana in case of an exotic weapon. But, the scythe is a very dangerous weapon and can be extremely lethal to the proper hands. Some fighters choose to learn and master the scythe
Note: Specialist feats were given to Eiji-kun to publish because there is no way in freakin' hell I'm going to go through publishing all that stuff. Heck, I even tried publishing one thing and it's not in the index nor on search D:
Requirements: BAB: +6 Feats: Weapon Focus (Scythe or Double Scythe), Polearm Specialist or Two-handed Weapon Specialist
CL AB Fort Ref Will Special
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Scythe Mastery, Modifications
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Scythe Mastery, Rend Defences
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Scythe Mastery, Reaper of Souls
Weapons and Armor Proficiency: A scythe master gains no added weapon or armor proficiency.
Scythe Mastery: At every new level, you may add one to either base critical threat range or to the critical modifier. Additionally, you may consider double your class levels and consider them as fighter when determining if you can purchase a Combat Prowess feat, however that only occurs for Combat Prowess feats that have to do with scythes in any form (two-weapon specialist wouldn't apply, but a two-handed specialist would).
Modifications: You learn to perform several modifications on your scythe. Choose one modification per area of the scythe to apply to your weapon. You do know all of them and may very well own several scythes and switch between them. Each takes about 2 days of work to finish, no check or additional cost required. Chain Link: Increase threat range to 10ft. Scythe haft modification. Spear Tip: You can treat the scythe as a double weapon with one end being the scythe's usual blade and the other acting like a shortspear, with all benefits thereof. Scythe haft modification. Wicked Blade: Increase the damage of your scythe by one step. Scythe head modification. Pick Top: You have placed a pick-axe looking tip at the other side of the blade. It allows you to deal half-again your damage in sunder attempts.
Rend Defences: Your scythe not only tears through flesh and bone, but through leather and steel as well. You ignore the hardness of armor and shields in sunder attempts. Moreover, you may attempt to sunder a target's armor as an attack action. Make a standard attack. If it lands, deal your strength modifier as damage to your target's Armor Bonus, adding the same amount to the armor's Armor Check Penalty. Similar to shields.
Reaper of Souls: You reach the pinnacle of Scythe combat and gain several advantages. First of all, you may resolve a coup de grace action as a standard attack. Also, once per round, you may make a trip attempt as a full-round action to everyone inside your threat range. Additionally, you consider tripped and stunned creatures to be helpless against your coup de grace. Finally, your scythe's damage increases by one step as you have mastered the ability to strike both with point and with the full edge of the blade, dealing truly grievous wounds. Finally, you may make trip attempts during Whirlwind Attack and attack twice if using it.
Pugilist: Introducing your fist to people's faces
Pugilist Pugilist are people focused on becoming the best unarmed fighters they can be. Unlike monks however they do not care about some foolishness called chi or balance. They care and focus only on beating the enemy as fast and efficiently as possible. While monks certainly have a lot of power few can stand up to a capable pugilist in terms of raw fighting strength.
- Adventures: Pugilists adventure mostly in order to improve themselves. They may or may not care about riches or doing good deeds but their main focus is always self improvement by fighting strong enemies and pushing themselves to their limits so they can become even better.
- Characteristics Pugilists are martial artists and very good at what they do. They focus on unarmed attacks mostly since its a more 'personal' way of fighting and one that depends solely on one's strength, even though they learn to use at least a few basic weapons. While all pugilists focus on unarmed attacks their styles might differ greatly, so it is not easy to predict what your enemy might do. Also many pugilists learn, and later master more than one fighting style so they can have more options in combat as well as make their attacks even more difficult to predict.
- Alignment: Pugilists do not tend to any specific alignement as a total. However since most care about their martial prowess first and foremost it is rare to see one on an extreme alignment such as chaotic evil or lawful good.
- Religion: Pugilists don't care much about religion. While this doesn't mean they worship no gods or that they despise them, they simply believe true power and perfection doesn't come from an outside power but rather you have to work for it with your own two hands.
- Background: Most pugilists come from martial schools where they learned to fight. Others yet come from monk temples where they learned the basics and then set out to perfect their styles. Others still are self-taught people who learned to fight on the street or in tournaments. As such it is difficult to say exactly where a pugilist's training stems from unless you see him/her in action.
- Races: All races can learn martial arts if they spend the time and effort to do so. As such it is common amongst humans and some dwarves and elves but quite rare amongst halflings and the bestial races.
- Other Classes: Pugilists get along well with fighters and barbarians while they have mixed feelings about monks. They see spellcasters as being weak and needing to call on outside forces because they don't have the power to get the job done on their own.
- Role: Pugilists can easily fill the place of any melee combatant but tend not to be as good in ranged combat. However they are quite fast on their feet and that means they can catch up with their enemies fast enough to beat them to a pulp.
- Vital Stats: A Pugilist needs great physical prowess, but some of them can be quite quick on their wit as well. Still, Strength is their most vital stat, followed by Constitution and Dexterity, as they need a lot of physical strength to use some of their most powerful abilities.
CL BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1st 1 2 2 0 Stunning Fist, Flurry of Blows, Expert Defence
2nd 2 3 3 1 Expose Weakness, Exploit Weakness
3rd 3 3 3 1 Fast Movement (10ft), Evasion
4th 4 4 4 2 Inner Strength, Ki Strike
5th 5 4 4 2 Stone Palm
6th 6\1 5 5 3 Poison Resistance, Fast Movement (20ft)
7th 7\2 5 5 3 Earthshaker
8th 8\3 6 6 4 Deadened Nerves (1/-)
9th 9\4 6 6 4 Deflect Arrows, Improved Evasion, Fast Movement (30ft)
10th 10\5 7 7 5 Iron Palm
11th 11\6\1 7 7 5 Greater Flurry, Deadened Nerves (2/-), Sweat It Out
12th 12\7\2 8 8 6 Fast Movement (40ft)
13th 13\8\3 8 8 6 Aftershock
14th 14\9\4 9 9 7 Deadened Nerves (3/-)
15th 15\10\5 9 9 7 Steel Palm, Fast Movement (50ft)
16th 16\11\6\1 10 10 8
17th 17\12\7\2 10 10 8 Deadened Nerves (4/-), Timeless Body
18th 18\13\8\3 11 11 9 Fast Movement (60ft)
19th 19\14\9\4 11 11 9
20th 20\15\10\5 12 12 10 Deadened Nerves (5/-), Second Wind
Skill Points: 4+Intelligence Modifier (x4 at first level) Class Skills: Craft, Jump, Balance, Climb, Swim, Profession, Ride, Tumble, Concentration, Escape Artist, Intimidation, Survival
Weapons and Armor Proficiency: A pugilist gains proficiency with no armors or shield and the following weapons: all simple weapons, Jian (treat as longsword), butterfly knives, kama, Kwan Dao, Hero Lei-Kwei Axe, Sai, Siangham, Nunchaku and Cestus (punch knives). Weapons marked as 'monk' are also on the proficiency list and can be used with Flurry of Blows.
Stunning Fist: A pugilist gains the Stunning Fist feat for free at first level.
Flurry of Blows: As per monk ability of the same name. The pugilist may make an extra attack by taking a -2 penalty to his attack bonus. At 9th level, the penalty is reduced to -1 and he may make a second extra attack by adding a -5 to the attack bonus of all attacks that round. At level 11, he gains greater flurry, removing the penalties. Unlike a monk, these attacks can be applied even in actions that would normally only allow a single attack, such as a charge attack or attack of opportunity.
Unarmed Strike: The pugilist gains the Improved Unarmed Strike for free at first level and improves upon it. At first level it deals 1D6 points of damage (for normal size pugilists) which improves by one step at level 3 and every third level above it.
Expert Defence: The pugilist is a master of avoiding blows that would otherwise take him down. He may add his Wisdome modifier (if positive) to his AC as an insight bonus. Alternatively (chosen at first level and may not change thereafter), he may double his dexterity bonus to AC, but it would not affect him if he is caught flatfooted. Wearing armor (even light) removes these benefits.
Expose Weakness: The pugilist knows that, to draw out a fight is to learn more about your enemy. He may choose to deal half damage with an unarmed strike, in order to expose a weakness of his enemy. An exposed weakness gives the enemy a -2 to attack bonus or armor class, at the user's choice. Additionally, the pugilist receives a +2 on all DCs he forces upon his exposed target per weakness. He may only expose a number of weakness upon his target equal to his class level divided by 4, or wisdom modifier, whichever is less. You may only expose weaknesses to one opponent. If you switch to another, you loose the exposed weaknesses on the first target.
Exploit Weakness: The pugilist may strike down his enemy with little trouble if he has learned of his weaknesses. By expending all expose weakness 'tokens', he may initiate a brutal and devastating assault on his enemy. It is a free action that affects the pugilist until his next turn. In that duration, he may not use Expose Weakness and looses all the bonuses it grants. However, the pugilist gains a +3 to Attack Bonus and +1D6 damage per exposed weakness to all the attacks he makes to his opponent. Penalties that were placed before using Expose Weakness (such as stuns that would have failed were it not for the increase in DC) remain even though the tokens themselves do not. Additionally, he gains an additional +2 per exposed weakness spent to all strength-related checks against his opponent.
Fast Movement: It is imperative for a fighter to close in on his enemies, lest they strike him down from afar. The pugilist gains the listed amount of speed to his base land speed (which may translate to flight speed of course).
Evasion: The Pugilist has long since learned the best way to not receive damage in combat; to simply dodge the heck out of there. Henceforth, in any effect that would call for a reflex save for half damage, the pugilist completely ignores the effect if he succeeds the save.
Inner Strength: Once per day per five levels, the Pugilist may call on his tremendous inner strength to help him fight. For one round he is considered to be hasted and receives a +2 to all physical-related checks or saves. Additionally, he may substitute his Fortitude for his Will save if struck by a mind-affecting spell and may roll another save to break free of any such effects he was under before he used his inner strength. Doing so is tiring however and after the fight is over, he is fatigued. If used twice in a combat, he is fatigued right after the second use and exhausted at the end. If used three times, he is considered to be exhausted at the end of the third round and must roll a fortitude save DC 20+ the rounds of combat or fall unconscious for as long as it would take for him to recover from exhaustion to fatigue. Even then he is considered exhausted. If, for whatever reason, he uses that ability a fourth time in a single combat or similar encounter, he must immidiately roll after the end of the round or die of heart failure. Even if he succeeds, he will fall unconscious at the end of the round (not combat) until such a time he could recover. If the pugilist possesses Deadened Nerves, he doubles the amount of damage reduction from that ability but not any other form of damage reduction for the duration of his Inner Strength.
Ki Strike: The Pugilist's attacks are so terrifyingly effective that they count against a creature's damage reduction. At fourth level, his attacks with all weapons he is proficient with are considered to be magical for purposes of damage reduction. At 8th level, this increases to alignment and at 12th his attacks are considered to be made of adamantine.
Stone Palm: The Pugilist deals half-again his damage in sundering attempts and ignores half the hardness.
Poison Resistance: The Pugilist gains his class level in fortitude saves to resist poisons and infections.
Earth Shaker: The Pugilist may stomp the earth with such strength, it can literally knock everyone around him down by spending a Stunning Fist use. Treat this as a trip attempt against all in a 5ft radius. Alternatively, the Pugilist may ignore the Armor, Natural Armor and Shield bonuses of his target (but not enhancement bonuses that exist because of magical shields or armor).
Break Through: The pugilist may roll his Strength score to remain unaffected by otherwise limiting conditions, such as a web spell or even a wall.
Deadened Nerves: The Pugilist becomes tougher than nails, having long since learned to ignore pain and damage. He gains Damage Reduction 1/- or increases his already existing damage reduction by that amount. Every time he receives this ability, he gains an extra 1/- to his damage reduction.
Deflect Arrows: The Pugilist gains the Deflect Arrows feat for free, even if he doesn't meet the prerequisites.
Iron Palm: The pugilist deals two times his normal damage in sundering attempts and ignores the hardness.
Flash Step: The Pugilist learns that to close in on his opponent is imperative. He may perform an effect similar to the Dimension Slip power once per hour, with the exception that it is movement and not teleportation, meaning that he can't go through wall except via his Break Through ability.
Improved Evasion: The Pugilist seems to faze out of reality when things get rough, allowing him to receive half damage from effects even if he fails his reflex save and ignore them completely if he succeeds.
Sweat It Out: If something ever gets past the Pugilist's immunization system, he can simply sweat it out with a single round of strenuous activity (such as combat). He completely resists any nonmagical poison or disease and gains a second roll to resist magical ones. He can re-roll every round he is in strenuous activity. Additionally, if the poison or disease was tranferred by touch, he is instantly considered to have coated his unarmed attack with said poison or infection.
Aftershock: When using the Earth Shaker ability, the Pugilist may make an opposed strength check to push those affected five feet away from him for every three points he surpasses his target's roll. For every five feet travelled this way, he deals an extra 1D6 points of damage. Size modifiers to the strength check are halved as far as Aftershock is concerned.
Steel Palm: The Pugilist may simply make a strength check if he wishes to sunder an item even in combat. Also, his unarmed attacks can now deal piercing or slashing damage.
Timeless Body: The pugilist's single-minded pursuit of martial capability has led him to a great discovery; It's the mind that controls the body. Therefore, he no longer accrues penalties when aging, though unlike other classes, he will look his true age. He still dies when his time is up however.
Second Wind: Once per day, if the Pugilist would be knocked unconscious but not dead or under 25% of his hit points, he receives his second wind. He is restored to full health and healed of all non-magical effects (both beneficial and not). He is granted another save for each magical effect affecting him (he may choose whether to roll or not, skipping beneficial effects).