Airship Pilot (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Airship Pilot
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Airship Pilot[edit]

What do you mean? She's the fastest ship in the realms! This baby can outrun a gold dragon.
—Han Duo, human Airship Pilot

Become king of the skies. With your airship at your command, you stride through the heavens.

Becoming an Airship Pilot[edit]

Those who acquire an airship may dedicate themselves to piloting their craft and improving it. The aircraft is another tool in their inventory which allows them to succeed.

Entry Requirements
Base Attack Bonus: +3.
Skills: Knowledge (Engineering) 8 ranks, Profession (Pilot) 6 ranks, Use Rope 4 ranks.
Special: Must possess an airship worth at least 10,000 gp. The means of acquisition are irrelevant. You may also require levels in certain classes depending on your Captain style chosen.

Table: The Airship Pilot

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spellcasting
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +0 +0 Captain Style, Piloting Skill, Upgrade Special Class Advancement
2nd +1 +0 +0 +0 Shipbound, Upgrade
3rd +2 +1 +1 +1 Upgrade Special Class Advancement
4th +3 +1 +1 +1 Home Turf, Upgrade
5th +3 +1 +1 +1 Awaken Airship, Upgrade Special Class Advancement

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level)
Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (architecture and engineering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Speak Language, Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Tumble (Dex), and Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Airship Pilot.

Captain Style: When you first take levels in airship pilot, you choose a captain style. The choice you make determines the aspect of your saving throws, and special class advancement. Once you select a style you cannot change it.

Inspirational Style: You obtain a good Reflex and Will save progression. At each special class advancement (1st, 3rd, and 5th) you gain an effective level in determining the number of bardic musics per day and types of bard songs you know. If you do not possess any levels in bard or another class which grants bardic music, this provides no benefit.

Military Style: You obtain a good Fortitude save progression and full BAB. At each special class advancement (1st, 3rd, and 5th) you gain an effective level in fighter for the purpose of meeting feat pre-requisites. Unlike most styles, you do not require fighter levels to benefit from this.

Sky Pirate Style: You obtain a good Reflex save progression. At each special class advancement (1st, 3rd, and 5th) you gain +1d6 sneak attack, If you do not possess any levels in rogue or another class which grants sneak attack or similar, this provides no benefit.

Spellwrought Style: You obtain a good Will save progression. At each special class advancement (1st, 3rd, and 5th) you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a Airship Pilot, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known. If you do not have a spellcasting class, this provides no benefits.

Piloting Skill: An airship pilot may add his class level as a competence bonus to all Profession (Pilot) and Knowledge (Engineering) checks.

Upgrade: At 1st level and every level beyond, the airship pilot receives an upgrade to his ship of choice. Upgrades are applied to the ship free of charge. If the ship is ever lost or destroyed, the airship pilot may apply his upgrades to a new ship after 1 week of use. Upgrades have no material value, and often fall into disrepair after 1 month of the ship being out of an airship pilot's hands.

Afterburner (Su): The airship's speed increases by 10 ft. You may select this benefit several times.

Control Flaps (Su): The airship's maneuverability rises by 1 step. You may select this benefit several times, to a maximum of perfect.

Greater Awakening (Su): The airship is smarter and more talented than others of its kind. The benefits from Awaken Airship gain to two 18s and one 10, telepathy out to 120 ft. away, and 120 ft. darkvision, blindsense, and hearing. This can only be taken at 5th level.

Hardening (Su): The airship becomes more difficult to damage. The airship's hardness increases by 5. This ability may be selected up to 2 times, to a maximum of +10 hardness.

Home Defense (Su): The bonus provided by Home Turf rises to +2. This ability can only be taken once at 4th level or beyond.

Planar Sailor (Su): The airship no longer is in any danger from a selected plane's effects, such as the fires of the Elemental Plane of Fire. This does not protect the airship from a fireball spell or an open flame, only from the effects generated by the plane itself. So long as its occupants remain inside and not on open deck, its passengers are likewise protected. You may select this ability multiple times, each time it applies to a different plane. Alternatively, you may apply it to a specific dangerous environment, such as outer space (although depending on your method of transport such as wind power, you may not be able to navigate outer space once you reach there).

Radar (Su): A map is displayed within the control room of the ship, detailing the basic surroundings out to 1 mile. The map does not pick up details smaller than a tree and does not detect creatures, only terrain. This ability may only be taken once.

Shielding (Su): The ship generates a field which slows and disrupts incoming projectiles. While the shields are up, the ship itself and all crew aboard gain a +2 deflection bonus, and +2 temporary hp against ranged attacks originating from outside the ship. Every round the temporary hp regenerates to absorb damage again. These bonuses stack with any current deflection bonus or temporary hp the crew has. This bonus does not apply to attacks made from the ship or melee attacks as the shield is a bubble which surrounds the craft. In addition, any ranged attacks made by the crew to targets outside of the ship run into and deplete their own shields, so use of the shields is a purely defensive measure. This ability may be taken multiple times, increasing the bonus to a maximum of +10 deflection and +10 temporary hp. Raising or lowering the shields is a standard action for either the airship pilot, or the ship itself if sentient.

Self-Repair (Su): A damaged ship will begin to repair any damage done to it. The airship repairs 1 hp an hour to its entire frame. This may be selected several times, each time the repair done rises by +1.

Weapons System (Su): The airship generates a magical field which empowers any siege weapons current on board. All siege weapons gain a +1 enchantment bonus, which does not stack with any current enchantment bonus they may possess. This ability may only be taken once.

Shipbound (Ex): An airship pilot is used to the waves and motions of his craft. At 2nd level and beyond, an airship pilot can take 10 on Balance, Climb, Concentration, Jump, and Tumble checks while on board their ship, even under stress. This benefit is only available on their own ship, not any ship.

Home Turf (Ex): An airship pilot is right at home on his ship and fights to defend it. At 4th level and beyond, and airship pilot receives a +1 morale bonus on attack, damage, and saving throws while aboard their ship. This benefit is only available on their own ship, not any ship.

Awaken Airship (Su): The bond between airship pilot and ship causes his airship to manifest its own spirit. At 5th level, an airship pilot's chosen airship gains sentience as if it were an intelligent magical weapon. It gains two mental ability scores at 16 and one at 10, speech, 60 ft. darkvision and hearing, and its own ego score and alignment. The ship technically no longer requires a crew to operate, as the sails, engines, or flaps can be animated. Siege weapons cannot be fired or reloaded by the craft. The ship has a mind of its own but its alignment and beliefs are generally in line with its captain. The captain has an empathetic connection with his ship up to 1 mile.

If the airship pilot's craft already is host to an intelligent spirit (such as is the case with some Eberron airships), the airship pilot may use either the mental ability scores granted by the class or its current spirit. The alignment and personality ship may mean he no longer needs to make any opposed charisma checks to pilot such ships.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Airship Pilot[edit]

Combat: An airship pilot does not define their role in the party. Indeed they remain a wizard, a bard, a rogue, or whatever they may have been to enter. However, they may choose to take the airship into combat before ground operations begin, and in that respect they have an edge over the competition.

Advancement: Advancement varies on class, as all classes can potentially qualify to be an airship pilot.

Resources: Airships are not cheap, and airship crafters often are organized, creating fleets under a single banner.

Airship Pilots in the World[edit]

They're in range, prepare to fire!
—J. Der, Peregrine Airship Pilot

Airship Pilots provide transport to and fro upon great flying ships, for transport, for war, for exploration, and more.

NPC Reactions: Depending on the setting, the airship pilot may be crackpot tinker flying some wild device, the owner of a rare and exotic ship, or a respected member of civilized society. Few can dismiss the awe of seeing a behemoth floating in the skies overhead.

Airship Pilot Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge Local can research airship pilots to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge Local
DC Result
10 Airship Pilots own and pilot airships. They are known to making several modifications to them.
15 An airship pilot is strong defending his own ship, gaining several benefits aboard.
20 They say airship pilot's ships are alive themselves, and the two minds working together is devesating.
30 Those who reach this level of success can obtain information in specific airship pilots, their airship they fly, and last known location or deeds.

Airship Pilots in the Game[edit]

Airship Pilots provide transportation with their great airships, perfect for world-spanning PCs on their adventurers.

Adaptation: Don't have airships, but do have sailing ships? This class can be tweaked to be an alternative Dread Pirate (Complete Adventurer) style class.

Sample Encounter: The PCs need to get to the flying city of Paletuna, but dragons threaten the skies. Protect the airship on its voyage, or die as you crash and burn miles to the ground.

EL whatever: 10



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