Battle Master (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||One warrior broke apart from the rest silently charging toward our ranks, we thought him a fool...until we had no more ranks.||”|
|—Shirslk, Goblin Skirmisher, Sentence from Shirslk's journal|
The Battle Master is the first person into battle and the last one out. Instead of inspiring allies and demoralizing foes with shouts and commands, the Battle Master does this through his pure combat prowess.
Becoming a Battle Master
Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, and Intelligence are all important abilities for a Battle Master.
|Special:||Must have at least 5 levels in Fighter or one of the Martial Adepts|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+0||Bonus feat, Combat Initiative, Selective Donning|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+0||Armor Familiarity -1, Battle Stride, Combat Observation +1|
|3rd||+3||+3||+3||+1||Bonus feat, Battle Prowess, Fluid Strikes -1|
|4th||+4||+4||+4||+1||Armor Familiarity -2, Combat Observation +2|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+1||Best Defense, Good Offense, Best Offense Good Defense|
|6th||+6||+5||+5||+2||Armor Familiarity -3, Combat Observation +3, Fluid Strikes -2|
|7th||+7||+5||+5||+2||Bonus feat, Battle Master's Presence|
|8th||+8||+6||+6||+2||Armor Familiarity -4, Combat Observation +4|
|9th||+9||+6||+6||+3||Bonus feat, Fluid Strikes -3|
|10th||+10||+7||+7||+3||Armor Familiarity -5, Combat Observation +5|
All of the following are class features of the Battle Master.
Combat Initiative (Ex): A Battle Master is always the first into combat. The Battle Master always has the highest initiative (The Battle Master never needs to roll for initiative, however if there are two Battle Masters in combat have them roll initiative relative only to each other with the winner taking the first action).
Selective Donning (Ex): By only putting on necessary parts of his armor the Battle Master no longer takes armor check penalties or speed penalties, can use all of his Dexterity modifier, reduces the armor's weight by one fourth, and retains all of the armor's armor bonus. (The Battle Master still takes penalties involving shields. The Battle Master must be proficient with the armor or he loses this bonus.)
Armor Familiarity (Ex): While wearing selectively donned armor a Battle Master knows how to move so that an attack does the least amount of damage. The Battle Master gets damage reduction 1/- every two levels (1/- at 2nd, 2/- at 4th, 3/- at 6th, and so on).
Battle Stride (Ex): When using a full-attack action the Battle Master can move before and/or after strikes as long as the total distance moved is not more than his base speed.
Combat Observation (Ex): After years of experiencing battle a Battle Master can predict an enemy's next move with just a glance. The Battle Master gains a +1 insight bonus to armor class against every enemy in his line-of-sight he is aware of every second level (+1 at 2nd, +2 at 4th, +3 at 6th, and so on).
Fluid Strikes (Ex): The Battlemaster uses one attack to flow into the other, reducing his iterative attack penalty by 1 every level that is a multiple of three (-4 at 3rd, -3 at 6th, and -2 at 9th). For example a 3rd level Battle Master has a base attack bonus of +23/+18/+13/+8/+3 (without the Fluid Strikes ability) which is often just referred to as a base attack bonus of +23 (the iterative attack penalty currently being -5). With the Fluid Strikes ability the iterative attack penalty become -4 making his base attack bonus +23/+19/+15/+11/+7/+3 allowing him to make one more attack using a full-attack action (The Battlemaster must be proficient with the wielded weapon or he loses this bonus.)
Best Offense, Good Defense (Ex): The Battle Master knows the best offense is a good defense. The Battle Master can still make attacks of opportunity if he uses a total defense action.
Best Defense, Good Offense (Ex): The Battle Master knows the best defense is a good offense. When using a full-attack action the Battle Master can also apply his strength modifier to his AC. This lasts until the beginning of the next round.
Battle Master's Presence (Ex): For every foe past the first that another foe sees slain by the Battle Master gains a -1 cumulative morale penalty to all rolls and all allies who see it recieve a +1 cumulative moral bonus to all rolls. Every foe has his total morale penalty from this effect reduced by one while every ally has his total morale bonus reduced by one for every round the Battle Master does not fight. If the Battle Master should become asleep, immobilized, disabled, or killed the penalties and bonuses disappear. (Foes cannot get a morale bonus due to this effect and allies cannot get a morale penalty due to this effect.)