Combat School (3.5e Variant Rule)

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Combat School was an attempt to implement feats as deep trees, giving greater amounts of power than normal feats due to their substantial requirements. This experiment produced many interesting feats, but was ultimately a failure. There are two primary reasons for these failures:

These feats trees were confusing. Long lists of required feats required a great deal of mental energy to assess correctly. They required a great deal of effort to coordinate in the writing process. Administering these feats was a burden compared to their payoff.
Other classes gained their great abilities without needing complex trees. Gaining appropriate abilities at appropriate levels works far better than listing many requirements.

In playtesting, these feats helped give fighters appropriate numbers without resorting to magic equipment. In this respect, the system worked terrific. It worked well enough that it begged generalization. In a low magic setting, all characters need protection, not just the fighter, so leaving this system only to fighters did not correctly address the issue. This lead to the development of a virtual magic bonus system.

Many feats developed for this system were generalized. They did not need vast requirements to work correctly. These can be found in the Feat section. Some abilities were rewritten as Alternate Class Abilities for the fighter.

I've left this page here as a reference for those who may be interesting in developing the game further into this direction.

Going to Combat School[edit]

Learning on your own is one thing. Being trained by a master is an entirely different thing. When a character goes to combat school, they gain knowledge and discipline that only a true master of melee can offer.

Schooled fighters are proud of their course of study and will proudly state who they studied under. Each master usually teach some variation of a certain style. These styles may be fanciful, such as "Flying Wind style," or more mundane, such as "Berlin" style.

Combat School feats build more strongly than regular feats. These feats may not be suitable for all games.

Combat School feats bring a uniqueness to melee characters that is not based on magic or supernatural abilities. These feats help a fighter in a low-magic or no-magic environment to perform closer to the default power curve.

These feats are not "fair". They are heavily weighted towards the fighter. This is an exploration of deep feat trees.

Combat School [Combat][edit]

You are a member of a completely arbitrary fighting school that has a number of recognizable signature fighting moves.

Benefits: This is a combat feat that scales with your Base Attack Bonus.

  • +0: First, name your fighting style (such as "Hammer and Anvil Technique" or "Crescent Moon Style", or "Way of the Lightning Mace"). This fighting style only works with a small list of melee weapons that you have to describe the connectedness to the DM in a half-way believable way. Now, whenever you are using that technique in melee combat, you gain a +2 bonus on attack rolls.
  • +1: Your immersion in your technique gives you great martial prowess, you gain a +2 to damage rolls in melee combat.
  • +6: When you strike your opponent with the signature moves of your fighting school in melee, they must make a Fortitude Save (DC 10 + ½ your level + your Strength bonus) or become dazed for one round.
  • +11: You may take 10 on attack rolls while using your special techniques. The DC to disarm you of a school appropriate weapon is increased by 4.
  • +16: You may add +5 to-hit on any one attack you make after the first each turn. If you hit an opponent twice in one round, all further attacks this round against that opponent are made with The Edge.
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Trained Stance [General][edit]


base attack bonus +1


You can enter a Trained Stance as a swift action. During this stance, you may substitute your BAB for ranks in Balance. You lose your Trained Stance if you fail a Balance check.


A fighter may select this feat as one of his fighter bonus feats.

Least Combat School Feats[edit]

Each of the following feats requires the Trained Stance feat. When you have all four least combat school feats, you gain the Combat Expertise and Power Attack as synergy feats. You must have all four Least Combat School feats to take any Lesser Combat School feats.

Expert Strike (DnD Feat)

{{3.5e Feat |name=Grounded Stance |types=General |summary= |prereqs= |prereq_feat1=Trained Stance |benefit=As an immediate action you enter a Grounded Stance. Treat your size category as one larger for defensive purposes (such as defending against bull rush, disarming, grappling, and tripping). This feat stacks with any feat or ability that grants a similar bonus. |normal= |special=A fighter may select this feat as one of his fighter bonus feats.

Trained Defense (DnD Feat) Warding Hand (DnD Feat)

Lesser Combat School Feat[edit]

These feats require all four least Combat School feats and a BAB +6 or better.

Astonishing Leap [General][edit]

Prerequisite: Jump 4 ranks, Skill Focus (Jump), base attack bonus +6
Benefit: When attempting a long jump, subtract 1/2 of your running start from the total feet attempted when determining the Jump DC. Only count one move action before the jump. For example, a character who moves 30 feet before jumping a 20 foot gap treats that gap as if it were five feet across. When attempting a high jump, subtract your Strength bonus from the vertical feet attempted when determining the Jump DC.

Back to Dungeons and Dragons -> Feats

Balance Drills [General][edit]

Prerequisite: Dex 13, Lightning Reflexes
Benefit: While lightly or unencumbered, your base Reflex save is equal to 1/2 your character level. You lose this bonus when denied your Dexterity bonus.
Special: A fighter may select this feat as one of his fighter bonus feats

</div> Battlefield Awareness (3.5e Feat)

Bodyguard [General][edit]

Prerequisite: Mobility, Con 15, Dex 15
Benefit: You may assign some or all of your armor class points to one ally inside your reach.
Special: A fighter may select this feat as one of his fighter bonus feats.
Commando Training (3.5e Feat)

{{3.5e Feat |name=Deflecting Move |types=General |summary= |prereqs=Dex 13, Dodge, Mobility |benefit=You can safely move through threatened squares. As part of a move action, you may avoid one attack of opportunity directed at you caused by your movement. This is increased to two attacks of opportunity at BAB +10, three at BAB +15, and four at BAB +20. These attacks may be from the same or different opponents. |normal= |special=A fighter may select this feat as one of his fighter bonus feats.

This material is published under the OGL

Deflecting Shield [General][edit]

You can use a shield to deflect touch attacks.
Prerequisite: Dex 13, Dodge, Improved Shield Bash, Shield Proficiency.
Benefit: You can add your shield bonus to AC to your Touch AC. You can also add it as a cover bonus to your Reflex saving throws, but only against effects which it is possible to acquire a cover bonus against. You must be aware of the attack and not flat-footed.

Back to Main Page3.5e HomebrewCharacter OptionsFeatsGeneral

Exercise Regime [General][edit]

Prerequisite: Con 13, Great Fortitude
Benefit: While wearing medium or heavy armor, your base Fortitude save is equal to 1/2 your character level.
Special: A fighter may select this feat as one of his fighter bonus feats.

</div> Exotic Protection (3.5e Feat)

Exotic Weapon Training [General][edit]

Benefit: You gain proficiency in all exotic weapons.
Special: A fighter may select this feat as one of his fighter bonus feats.

Note: This feat may not be appropriate for all campaigns. It should only be used with DM cooperation. </div>

{{3.5e Feat |name=Grounded Push |types=General |summary= |prereqs=BAB +8 |prereq_feat1=Grounded Stance |benefit=While in a Grounded Stance, treat your size category as one larger for offensive advantages (such as attempting bull rushes, grappling, and tripping). This feat stacks with any feat or ability that grants a similar bonus. |normal= |special=A fighter may select this feat as one of his fighter bonus feats. </div> Improved Astonishing Leap (3.5e Feat) Improved Expert Strike (3.5e Feat) Improved Warding (3.5e Feat)

{{3.5e Feat |name=Keep Focused |types=General |summary= |prereqs=Wis 13, Iron Will |benefit=When in combat, you may add your Constitution modifier to your Will save. |normal= |special=A fighter may select this feat as one of his fighter bonus feats. </div> Magic Device Specialist (3.5e Feat) Sure Shot (3.5e Feat) Trained Observer (3.5e Feat)

Fill in the name parameter[edit]

You can sacrifice accuracy for power with composite bows.
Benefit: On you action, before making attack rolls for a round, you may choose to subtract a number from all ranged attacks made a composite bow and add the same number to all damage rolls made with that weapon. This number may not exceed your base attack number or the Strength modifier rating of the bow. A fighter may select Power Bow as one of his fighter bonus feats.

Back to Main Page3.5e HomebrewCharacter OptionsFeatsFighter

Greater Combat School Feats[edit]

These feats require at least seven Combat School feats and a BAB +10 or more.

Improved Trained Stance (3.5e Feat)

Slayer Of [General]


Favored Enemy, BAB +9.

You are now a master at destroying you favored enemy. When attacking any favored enemy, increase your critical threat range by +1, and each hit does +2d6 additional damage. The addition damage factors into critical hits. See ranger for a list of creatures. If that creature type is immune to critical hits, you may now inflict critical hits upon that creature, but you lose the threat range bonus.

This bonus does not stack with "slayer" crystals. </div>

{{3.5e Feat |name=Energy Deflection |types=General Feat |summary= |prereqs=Shield Proficiency |benefit=While using a shield, you subtract your shield and shield enhancement bonus from energy damage. |normal= |special=A fighter may select this feat as one of his fighter bonus feats. </div>

Energy Strike [General][edit]

Prerequisite: Combat Expertise, Weapon Focus, BAB +6 or better
Benefit: As a swift action, you may replace the dodge bonus from Combat Expertise for an energy damage bonus to attacks(acid, cold, electricity, fire) of +1d6, or an energy bonus (sonic) for +1d4. This bonus lasts until the encounter ends, or you cease the effect as a free action.

</div> Improved Deflecting Shield (3.5e Feat) Trained Evasion (3.5e Feat) Flying Leap (3.5e Feat)

Hard Knock Life [General][edit]

Prerequisite: Diehard, Great Fortitude, Con 13
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus to your Constitution for purposes of determining your hit points. When below 0 hit points at any time for any reason, you may apply some or all the damage that you take to your Constitution as temporary ability damage. When your Constitution reaches 0 or your hit points reach -10, you are dead.

Back to Dungeons and Dragons -> Feats </noinclude> </div>

Force Against Force [General Feat][edit]

Improve your attacks against inanimate objects and possibly destroy force effects.
Prerequisite: Power Attack, BAB +12
Benefit: When striking an an inanimate object while using power attack, add an additional two points of damage for each point of BAB that you sacrifice.

As a standard action or part of a full attack action, you may attempt to destroy a force effect. It the attack hits, treat this blow as if it were a disintegrate cast by a caster of level equal to your BAB.

This ability may be used with a hurled weapon up to a distance of thirty feet.

</div> Improved Sureshot (3.5e Feat) One With Steel (3.5e Feat) Vertically Grounded (3.5e Feat)

Grandmaster Combat School Feats[edit]

This section will detail feats for characters above 15th+ level.

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