Master Adventurer (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Master Adventurer
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Master Adventurer[edit]

Hardy and resourceful, a Master Adventurer is a seasoned adventurer with fairly good physical skills and high initiative who trains to improve his/her general usefulness in typical adventuring situations. Typically, Master Adventurers strive to be as versatile as possible, to cope effectively with unforeseen emergencies. All physical skills (based on Strength or Dexterity) that can be used untrained (i.e. all except Open Lock, Sleight Of Hand and Tumble) are class skills for the Master Adventurer, plus all Craft skills and the Heal, Listen, Search, Spot and Survival skills. However, the class doesn't give a large number of skill points, relying instead on the "General Competence" class feature, which guarantees a degree of basic competence in many different skills: they are all-rounders, rather than skill specialists like the Rogue. They also gain a great deal of versatility in the use of adventuring equipment. Though the class is not specifically combat-oriented, armour and weapons qualify as "adventuring equipment" and can be used competently. Their physical conditioning also makes them fairly tough, able to cope with the hazards of adventuring life.

Most Master Adventurers are Rogues or Fighters. Rogues gain more robustness and combat options (plus a few other special abilities not granted by the Rogue class). Fighters lose out on some hitpoints and Base Attack Bonus, but can eventually use any weapon competently and gain a greatly improved skill set. Professional explorers may take this class after qualifying as Rangers or Scouts. Some orders of Monk may allow multiclassing with Master Adventurer, if the order emphasises improvisation and resourcefulness as virtues to pursue. Characters with a Vow of Poverty cannot take this class, as the emphasis on use of equipment is incompatible with the desire to reduce dependency on material possessions.


  • Skills: 6 ranks in any 3 physical skills (skills based on Strength or Dexterity).
  • Feat: Improved Initiative. Must not have Vow Of Poverty.
  • Special: Character must have at least one class level (i.e. characters with racial hitdice can't qualify with no class levels).

Hit Die: d8
Table: The Master Adventurer

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Special Abilities
1. +0 +2 +2 +0 Advanced Packing, Skill Advancement, Useful Item, Weapon Improvisation (-3)
2. +1 +3 +3 +0 General Competence 1, Shield Proficiency
3. +2 +3 +3 +1 Martial Weapons, Sneak Attack (+1d6), Weapon Improvisation (-2)
4. +3 +4 +4 +1 Armour Proficiency (Medium), General Competence 2, Skill Mastery
5. +3 +4 +4 +1 Bonus Feat, Exotic Weapons, Weapon Improvisation (-1)

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level)
Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), and Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Master Adventurer:

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Master Adventurers are proficient with all weapons usable by Bards, and with light armour.

Advanced Packing: All equipment that is properly stowed on the character's person (in a backpack, belt pouches, scabbards etc: but not worn armour or clothing, hand-held items and so forth) has its total encumbrance reduced to 80% of normal (in both volume and weight) due to the character's skill in packing such items efficiently. This ability can also be used to pack equipment carried by others, and the benefit lasts until that character has a meal-break or camps for the night (which will involve unpacking much of his/her stowed equipment).

Skill Advancement: If the character has one or more Skill Focus feats, those skills may be advanced as if they were Master Adventurer class skills. This also applies to Skill Focus feats gained partway through the character's Master Adventurer progression: thus, Skill Focus (Diplomacy) gained at the 3rd level of the class would allow Diplomacy to be treated as a class skill at 3rd, 4th and 5th level.

Useful Item: A Master Adventurer who finds himself/herself in need of a specific piece of equipment that's not listed in his/her inventory can make an Intelligence check with a bonus equal to his/her Master Adventurer level: success indicates that the character "just happens to have" the item in question. The DC for the check varies: DC 5 if the item is something the character really ought to have anyhow (basic adventuring equipment such as rations, water, rope, a torch, flint and steel etc), DC 10 for more obscure items that a well-equipped adventurer might plausibly have (grappling hook, man-sized net, snare wire, bullseye lantern, oil flask, chalk), DC 15 for holy water or alchemical items (tanglefoot bag, sunrod etc), DC 20 for a magical potion or oil (any standard item from the "potions and oils" table, worth up to 100 gp per character level). As the character is assumed to have had the item all along, it is retroactively added to the character's inventory and must fit within his/her encumbrance allowance (i.e. it must not push the character up into a higher encumbrance category than he/she began the adventure with), and the cost is deducted from the character's pre-adventure cash supply (the character must have been able to afford it). Failure indicates that the character just doesn't have that item, and retries are not possible until the character has had an opportunity to re-stock. This ability cannot be used to acquire non-stowable items (such as a ladder) regardless of encumbrance (unless the character has a suitable means of storage), or items that aren't plausible as part of adventuring equipment (livestock, luxury goods other than trade goods, and so forth). Temporary boosts to Intelligence do not affect the roll, nor do bonuses gained since the character last went shopping.

Weapon Improvisation: A Master Adventurer has a reduced penalty for using improvised weapons, -3 rather than the usual -4. This goes down to -2 at 3rd level and -1 at 5th level. This reduction also applies to actual weapons in which the character is not proficient.

General Competence: This ability bestows 1 skill rank on every standard Master Adventurer class skill (but not on any additional class skills gained via the Skill Advancement ability or any similar ability that bestows additional class skills), on attaining 2nd level. The Master Adventurer gains an additional skill rank for all these skills on attaining 4th level. Note that this includes all Craft skills: they become moderately competent at making or repairing equipment of all kinds, regardless of the specific craft skill needed. These skill ranks are added before allocating actual skill points, and the character is not permitted to exceed normal skill maximums. As these are actual skill ranks rather than a bonus to skill rolls, they can be used to help meet feat and prestige-class skill requirements.

Shield Proficiency: At 2nd level, the Master Adventurer becomes proficient in the use of shields.

Martial Weapons: At 3rd level, a Master Adventurer becomes proficient with all martial weapons.

Sneak Attack: This is exactly like the rogue ability of the same name. If a Master Adventurer gets a sneak attack bonus from another source the bonuses on damage stack.

Armour Proficiency (Medium): At 4th level, the Master Adventurer becomes proficient in the use of medium armour.

Skill Mastery: At 4th level, the Master Adventurer gains the ability to "take 10" on various skills even in stressful situations. This is similar to the Rogue ability of the same name, except that a Master Adventurer doesn't get to choose the skills: the ability applies only to Balance, Climb, Jump, Swim and Use Rope.

Bonus Feat: At 5th level, the Master Adventurer gains a bonus feat: this can be any feat that the character meets the requirements for, with the exception of Epic feats (which can't be used here even if the character is of sufficient level).

Exotic Weapons: Also at 5th level, a Master Adventurer becomes proficient with all exotic weapons. Note that the Weapon Improvisation penalty also reaches -1 at this level: for a 5th level Master Adventurer, the only distinction between an "exotic weapon" and an "improvised weapon" is that the latter is not designed to be a weapon (hence the residual -1 penalty). If the weapon is highly unusual in its operation, the referee might impose a temporary non-proficiency penalty, but this will rapidly disappear once the character is familiar with the "feel" of the weapon (a few minutes of target practice or sparring is sufficient for this). It should also be noted, however, that the Master Adventurer's inferior Base Attack Bonus means that he/she is still less accurate with exotic weapons than a Fighter with the appropriate feat.

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