Gear (3.5e Class)

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" Well we're not here to sell cookies… so they know something's up."
—Sergeant Marcus Fenix, human gear

A gear is a highly specialized form of soldier. Trained in the arts of warfare, a gear is typically representative of his nation’s elite tactical commandos. While generally heavily armed and armored, a gear is more than a mass of muscles to be flexed against an enemy.

Making a Gear[edit]

A gear specializes in utilizing cover and as such will be most effective in environments with lots of it. This is not to say a gear cannot fight adeptly in an area with minimal cover, but many of the gear’s strengths will be minimized to the point where a pure fighter might be of more use to the party. A gear will rarely find combat situations in which he cannot help the party given his ability to fight in all different types of situations, but when the party isn’t fighting his usefulness declines. A gear’s combat utility makes him a capable compliment to most classes with which he could be paired with.

Abilities: Dexterity and Intelligence are the two most important abilities for a gear. Strength and Constitution are important to gears who want to be more adept in hand-to-hand combat. Wisdom and Charisma are valuable to all gears, but less so than Dexterity and Intelligence.

Races: A member of any race may become a gear and no race is notably more likely to become a gear than any other. Logic dictates that elves, dwarves, and gnomes are more prevalent given the amount of cover available in their home environments, although elves are somewhat less common given their inclination for traditional bows.

Alignment: Any, although tending toward Lawful. Gears typically come from military backgrounds where swift compliance to orders is not just an option, but often necessary for survival.

Starting Gold: 4d4×10 gp (100 gp)

Starting Age: Simple.

Table: The Gear

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Active Reload, Basic Training, Kick ‘Em When They’re Down
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Down But Not Out, Blind-fire: Green as Grass
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Tourist of Duty, Zen and the Art of Reloading
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Close Quarters Combat, Crowd Control
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Field Mod, Tactical Warrior
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Guerilla Tactician, Clusterluck, Dead or Alive
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 Advanced Infantry Training; Dirty, Dirty Horde; Soldier of Fortune
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 Capital Punishment; Perfect Active Reload; Pistolero
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 Pound of Flesh,
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 Commando; Seriously…; TAC/COM
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 Grizzled Veteran; Takes a Licking
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4 Warrior's Intuition
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 I Spy With My Little Eye, Stopping Power
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4 Fight through the Pain; Once More, With Feeling
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 Hammer of Dawn, Hoard the Horde
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 It’s a Massacre, Variety is the Spice of Death, Don’t You Die on Me
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Walk it Off, Pussy
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 The Money Shot
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 Seriously 2.0
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 You Go Ahead, I’ll Be Fine

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)

Balance (Dex), Craft: (Int), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Profession: Soldier (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the gear.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A gear becomes proficient with a wider array of weapons and armor as he gains more experience. Consult the class features section for more details.

Active Reload (Ex):

Something's wrong with this thing, it keeps jamming! See?”
—last words of Private Anthony Carmine, human gear

Then enemy isn’t going to wait for you to reload; in fact he’d just as soon shoot you in the head. No one is more cognizant of this than a gear, so he trains to eliminate this weakness. When a gear chooses to reload, he may declare an Active Reload attempt. If the gear succeeds on an Active Reload check (d20 + ½ gear level [rounded down] + Dexterity modifier – Armor Check Penalty) against DC 13, he may reload his repeating crossbow as a swift action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Failing to meet the requisite difficulty means the gear mistimed the reload. He now must spend one round removing the jammed cartridge and one round loading the new cartridge before he can fire the weapon again.

If the gear opts to preemptively change magazines before the cartridge in use is empty, he may choose to do one of two things. First, he may simply allow the ejected cartridge to hit the ground. This has no adjustment on the Active Reload DC. The second option that the Gear may choose is attempting to catch the partially loaded magazine out of the air to save for future use. This adjusts the Active Reload DC to 18. If the gear fails this check, consult the following table:

Table: Failed Active Reload vs DC 18

Check Quote Result
17-15 "Oh, not good!" Active Reload succeeds, ejected cartridge dropped.
14-12 "Aargh! Damn!" Ejected cartridge caught after bobble, no reload made.
11-9 "SHIT!" Ejected cartridge dropped, no reload made.
8-2 “Come on! Don’t do that to me NOW!” Ejected cartridge dropped, reload jammed (requires one round to remove, one round to reload).
1*; "Goddamn son of a bitch!" EPIC Failure; on a natural one: ejected cartridge dropped and destroyed along with all

remaining ammo, reload jammed (requires one round to remove, one round to reload).

Basic Training (Ex): The process by which civilians are indoctrinated into an order of elite soldiers, basic training teaches gears to perform the following maneuvers:

  • SWAT Turn: A gear may move up to 10 ft from one piece of cover to another without provoking an attack of opportunity from creatures who threaten the squares he moves through.
  • Roadie Run: When a gear runs he is treated as one size smaller than his normal size for Armor Class calculations only.
  • Mantle: If a gear is behind cover that is less than his height tall and wide, he may choose to mantle it as a standard action. If he does this, re-roll initiative for any enemies that threaten the square the gear will move into. If the enemy’s initiative is greater, all the enemies who rolled higher than the gear gain an attack of opportunity against him. If the gear’s roll is higher, he is treated as catching any opponent in a square he threatens as unaware and may make an attack of opportunity on any enemy that had a lower initiative check, although his number of attacks he may make is limited by his total number of attacks.

If a gear is wearing armor or carrying a load that would prevent him from running at full speed he cannot perform any of these abilities.

Furthermore, the gear becomes proficient with bucklers, light armors, simple weapons, and light repeating crossbows. He also gains the Point Blank Shot feat.

Kick 'Em When They're Down (Ex):

"That saved some ammo."
—Dominic Santiago, human gear

When a gear chooses to perform a coup de grace against an opponent who is on the ground, he may choose to perform a curb stomp. A curb stomp performed be a Medium-sized creatures deals 1d6 damage if executed barefoot, 1d8 if the Gear has footwear (Small - 1d4, 1d6; Large - 1d8, 1d10). A gear adds his strength bonus to this damage. A curb stomp always deals lethal damage without penalizing the gear for attacking unarmed.

Blind-fire: Green as Grass (Ex): When a gear is behind cover, when a line of sight does not exist between him and an opponent, he may choose to blind-fire at his opponent by exposing only his weapon. When he does this, he replaces his Dexterity modifier with his Intelligence modifier when rolling to hit. While an opponent targeted by this ability is considered to have total concealment, a Gear’s specialized training reduces the miss chance granted by total concealment to 40% and the miss chance granted by partial concealment is reduced to 15%. This applies to all forms of concealment, not just when the gear is using blind-fire.

Down But Not Out (Ex): A gear’s instincts for battle have become so ingrained into his being that even when in a semi-conscious state he will instinctively move in accordance with the tide of battle. When reduced to 0 hit points the gear becomes disabled rather than unconscious. He still loses hit points as normal until he stabilizes. In this state a gear is considered helpless if an enemy attempts a coup de grace against him.

Tourist of Duty (Ex): The gear has been around the block a few times and picked up a few tricks to show for it.

Evasive Manuevers: The Gear now has Evasion. If the gear would be subject to an attack or ability that offers a Reflex save for partial effect, a successful Reflex save cancels the damage or effect entirely. A gear who is otherwise unable to move (disabled, unconscious, asleep, bound) gains no benefit from this ability.

A gear also gains the following feats:

In addition to these feats, further training has made the gear proficient with all shields except tower shields.

Zen and the Art of Reloading (Ex): A gear now adds his Wisdom modifier to Active Reload checks.

Close Quarters Combat (Ex):

"The defining characteristic of a warrior is the willingness to close with the enemy."
—"The Father of Modern Combatives", Matt Larsen, human combatives instructor

The gear gains the Close Combat Shot and Improved Unarmed Strike feats.

Crowd Control (Ex): When a gear performs a coup de grace it can be performed as a standard action or as a move action, rather than a full-round action. The coup de grace attempt still provokes an attack of opportunity.

Field Mod (Ex): Let’s face it, life doesn’t always give you lemons, or rather sometimes it does. A gear has learned how to take the equipment given to him and, with a little bit of ingenuity and a little bit of sweat, modify it for better usage. If he has access to a knife (or dagger or similar tool, including a crossbow bolt), a gear may make a Craft: Weaponsmithing check to forcefully modify the clip of a repeating crossbow to carry more ammunition. Consult the following table to determine the outcome. A Gear may not take 10 or take 20 on this check. Working with a masterwork clip grants a +1 circumstance bonus to this check. It is important to note than a Gear may choose to modify his clip less than the degree of success he rolls for, as it may be advantageous for him to reload more often. If the gear attempts to use a crossbow bolt to do this, he suffers a -4 penalty to the check.

Craft: Weaponsmithing
Check Result
< 10 Failure; the clip is now ruined and useless. Maybe you can throw it at the enemy.
10-15 Neutral; the modification failed but the clip is salvageable. A second attempt at modification will ruin the clip, regardless of the check.
16-20 Success; clip size increased to six.
21-25 Success; clip size increased to seven.
26-30 Success; clip size increased to eight.
31-35 Success; clip size increased to nine.
36+ Success; clip size increased to ten.

Tactical Warrior (Ex): Through a mixture of instincts and experience, a gear knows how to use cover and conceal himself better than your average warrior. The cover being utilized by a gear is considered being one step up from what it actually is (e.g. one-fourth becomes one-half, one-half becomes three-quarters, etc). This has no effect on anyone other than the gear himself. If the gear already has total cover, this ability grants him no additional bonus. Furthermore, a gear adds his Intelligence modifier to his Armor Class.

Clusterluck (Ex): The burst radius for an explosive or splash weapon is 150% of its normal value when thrown by a gear.

Dead or Alive (Ex): A gear may choose to deal non-lethal damage with a weapon that would normally deal lethal damage without taking the normal -4 penalty to attack rolls.

Guerilla Tactician (Ex): The gear is now proficient with all martial weapons.

Advanced Infantry Training (Ex): A gear gains Weapon Specialization: Light Repeating Crossbow, as well the ability to use all improvised weapons without penalty.

Soldier of Fortune (Ex): When using the Blind-fire class ability, a Gear now add his Charisma bonus, in addition to his Intelligence bonus, to his attack rolls. The miss chance for total concealment is now 30%, while the miss chance for partial concealment becomes 10%.

Dirty, Dirty Horde (Ex): The gear has fought battles against ridiculous odds and is no longer so easily scared of intimidated by daunting situations. The Gear gains a +4 modifier on all saves to resist fear effects. This applies to saves against Intimidate checks, too.

Capital Punishment (Ex): All enemies within a 10' radius of a gear who performs a coup de grace must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 Gear level + Charisma modifier) or be shaken for 1d4 rounds.

Perfect Active Reload (Ex): Maybe it’s psychological, maybe your maneuver caught the foe by surprise. You don’t know exactly which it is, but you know that you like it. Consult the following table after a successful Active Reload check. Every bolt fired from the new clip will have an enhancement bonus, but only for the combat round in which the Active Reload was made. These enhancements are in addition to any enhancements already on the weapon or ammo.

d20 Result (Active Reload Check)
d20 Value Enhancement Bonus
1-3 +1
4-6 +2
7-10 +2, Speed
11-13 +3, Speed
14-17 +4, Speed
18-20 +5, Speed

The properties granted by a perfect active reload are non-magical in nature, and are not subject to dispel magic, antimagic fields, or other abilities that would dispel or negate magic. The speed property granted by a Perfect Active Reload stacks with haste effects, be they from Boots of Speed, the spell, or another source.

Pistolero (Ex): As part of his rigors, the gear undergoes extensive training with the hand crossbow. He earns the following feats:

Pound of Flesh (Ex): As a standard action a gear may take a helpless, disabled, or staggered enemy as a shield, provided that creature is the gear's size or smaller and humanoid in shape. A gear may also attempt to win a grapple check and take a normal (unaffected in terms of status) enemy hostage. This is treated as pinning an opponent. If the gear wins this grapple he may restrain the enemy with one hand and fire a crossbow (hand or light) with his free hand. When using a meat shield of his size or one size smaller, a gear may move forward at one-third base speed, sideways at one-half base speed, or backwards at two-thirds base speed. The gear's hold on a conscious opponent is still subject to his meat shield's attempts to break free. A gear cannot use a dead character as a meat shield. A gear cannot run while using a meat shield of his size or one size smaller. If using a meat shield exactly one size smaller than himself, a gear may jog or hustle, although this reduces the cover offered by the shield by one degree. If using a meat shield at least two sizes smaller than himself, a gear has no movement penalties.

Commando (Ex): The gear gains the Opportunity Shot feat.

Seriously... (Ex): The aura of a warrior is not something easily acquired. People take note. The gear gains a permanent +2 bonus on Intimidate checks as well as a +2 bonus on Charisma-based skills pertaining to interactions with individuals with martial-oriented classes (classes with a good Base Attack Bonus progression: fighter, ranger, paladin, barbarian, etc).

TAC/COM (Sp): A gear may enact telepathic bond as per a wizard of his level once per day.

Grizzled Veteran (Ex): If the gear would normally be affected by an ability that would allow a Fortitude or Will save for reduced effect, a successful save negates the effect entirely.

Takes a Licking (Ex): A gear has acquired extensive knowledge of explosives. The hard way. The gear has fire resistance 5.

Warrior's Intuition (Ex): When using the Blind-fire class ability, a gear now add his Wisdom modifier, in addition to his Intelligence and Charisma modifiers, to his attack rolls. The miss chance for total concealment is now 20%, while the miss chance for partial concealment becomes 5%.

Curb Appeal (Ex): All allies within a 10' radius of a gear who performs a coup de grace gain a +2 circumstance bonus to saving throws, Armor Class, and attack rolls for the next two rounds. This stacks with Capital Punishment, but does not stack with itself if the gear kills multiple enemies or multiple gears kill multiple enemies in this manner.

I Spy With My Little Eye (Ex): The range increment for any ranged weapon a gear wield is considered to be 150% of its normal value.

Stopping Power (Ex): The gear gains the ability to deliver stunning attacks a number of times per day dependent on his level. These must be deliver by ranged weapon.

Fight Through the Pain (Ex): The gear gains damage reduction of 2/-.

Zen and the Art 2 (Ex): A gear may take 10 on an Active Reload check. If he does so, he gains no benefit from having a Perfect Active Reload. This cannot be utilized with a preemptive reload.

Hammer of Dawn: At the DM's discretion, the Gear is granted access to a Hammer of Dawn.

Horde the Hoard (Ex): The gear is now immune to fear effects.

It's a Massacre (Ex): All enemies within a 10' radius of a gear who performs a coup de grace must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 Gear level + Charisma modifier) or be nauseated for 1d4 rounds. This stacks with Curb Appeal and Capital Punishment.

Don't You Die on Me (Ex): Downed allies of a gear within 50' of him are treated as disabled rather than unconscious upon being reduced to zero hit points. These allies still lose hit points as normal until they stabilize. Allies in the state are considered helpless if an enemy attempts to coup de grace them.

Variety is the Spice of Death (Ex): The gear is now proficient with all exotic weapons, all heavy armors, and tower shields. He gains Use Magic Device as a class skill.

Walk it Off, Pussy (Ex): The gear's damage reduction improves to 4/-.

Once More, With Feeling (Ex): When a gear choose to take 10 on an Active Reload check, he is treated as having rolled a 10 for the purposes of determining the effects of a Perfect Active Reload.

The Money Shot (Ex): A gear may sacrifice all of his attacks in a round to make one attack at double his highest base attack bonus. This counts as a full-round action and may not be combined with Blind-Fire. There is a refractory period of 1d4 rounds before the gear can use this ability again.

Seriously 2.0 (Ex): The gear has become a legend amongst fighters of his own ilk and others as well. The gear gains a permanent +4 bonus on Intimidate and checks as well as a +8 bonus on Charisma-based skills pertaining to interactions with individuals with martial-oriented classes (classes with a good Base Attack Bonus progression: fighter, ranger, paladin, barbarian, etc). This ability overrules (does not stack with) Seriously...

You Go Ahead, I'll Be Fine (Ex): The gear gains fast healing 1.


Once a gear, always a gear. Nothing short of a traumatic event (e.g. death, memory loss, lost limbs) can strip a gear of the skills he acquired through years of combat.

At the DM’s option, however, if the gear gains the Hammer of Dawn by virtue of being an agent of his organization, leaving that organization results in a loss of that ability.

Epic Gear[edit]

See Suicide Missionary (3.5e Prestige Class)

Human Gear Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Light Repeating Crossbow, dagger

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Craft: Weaponsmithing 4 Int
Heal 4 Wis
Hide 4 Dex -1
Intimidate 4 Cha
Search 4 Int
Sense Motive 4 Wis
Tumble 4 Dex -1


Bonus Feats: Improved Initiative

Gear: Studded leather

Gold: 74 gp

Campaign Information[edit]

See Campaign Information (Gear: 3.5e Class)

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