Shrouded Warrior (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||They spring out of nowhere, destroy an enemy then vanish back into nothingness. Faster than I can drink a tankard, I swear.||”|
|—Hroth, dwarf fighter|
Most illusionists and enchanters are content with casting their spells; however, some take up the sword and become fighter-mages. The shrouded warrior is the name given to this latter type. Most learn the abilities through experimentation, trial and error, and sheer luck; others seek out known shrouded warriors to learn the abilities from an expert. However, there are no formal organizations the shrouded warriors have formed.
Becoming a Shrouded Warrior
The abjurant champion represents martial abjurers, however many illusionist and enchanters feel awkward chasing down that path. These casters meld illusions and enchantments with the blade to outwit and defeat their opponents. Most shrouded warriors are wizards and beguilers, because of the synergy with intelligence. Some sorcerers are known to follow the path but are generally rare to find among the ranks of shrouded warrior; however, when a sorcerer does become a shrouded warrior, he is certainly a leader of his people.
|Base Attack Bonus:||+5||Skills:||Hide 4 ranks, Bluff 4 ranks|
|Feats:||Spell Focus (Illusion) or Spell Focus (Enchantment)|
|Spellcasting:||Must be able to cast 2nd level illusion and enchantment spells.|
|Special:||Must be proficient with all martial weapons and light armor.|
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Spells per Day/Spells Known|
|1st||+1||+0||+2||+2||Illusionary hand, advanced learning, armored mage (light)||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|2nd||+2||+0||+3||+3||Enchanted Blade, Greater Spell Focus||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|3rd||+3||+1||+3||+3||Dark Spell, advanced learning||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|4th||+4||+1||+4||+4||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|5th||+5||+1||+4||+4||Illusion Shroud, advanced learning||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level): Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Disguise (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (All taken individually) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str).|}
Spellcasting: At each level, 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 arcane spellcasting class before becoming a shrouded warrior, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.
Illusionary Hand (Ex): In combat, you weave your sword and spells together in such a fashion it seems as if you have a third hand to cast with. Whenever you wield a weapon in two hands or are using weapons in both hands, you may cast a spell with somatic components. You still need to meet the other component requirements of the spell (such as material, vocal, et cetera).
Advanced Learning (Ex): You may learn one additional illusion or enchantment spell from any spell-list up to your highest level spell known. If a spell appears on multiple spell-lists, use the lowest level version. You learn additional spells at odd levels.
Armored Mage (Ex): Shrouded warriors excel at spell and combat, even learning how to wear armor in a fashion that doesn't hinder casting. You may wear light armor without suffering arcane spell failure. This only extends to the arcane casting class you advance with the shrouded warrior and to no other class. Armor heavier than light and shield still apply arcane spell failure to your spells.
Enchanted Blade (Su): At 2nd level you mesmirize the mind of your opponent with enchantment magic. A number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier you may cast an enchantment spell as a swift action as part of an attack. Your opponent suffers a -2 insight penalty to his will saves against this spell.
Greater Spell Focus: You gain Greater Spell Focus (Illusion) or Greater Spell Focus (Enchantment) as a bonus feat at 2nd level, depending on which spell focus feat you have.
Dark Spell (Ex): You may add the darkness descriptor to any illusion spell you cast.
Illusion Shroud (Sp): At 5th level you learn to produce a shroud of illusion magic around you. As a swift action, you may sacrifice an illusion spell no greater than your shrouded warrior level to gain a miss chance equal to 10 x the spell level. This effect lasts a number of rounds equal to twice the spell's level and does not stack with the miss chance granted by spells such as blur and displacement. You may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier.
Playing a shrouded warrior
Shrouded warriors are stealthy. Prefering to remain in the shadows during combat, springing forth when the moment is right and attacking their enemy with illusions and enchantments. Their illusion shroud provides you with cover and your enchanted blade provides your enemy with death.
Combat: Shrouded warriors are hit-and-run warriors. They supplement the front line but refrain from standing in it. They may also serve as scouts -- augmenting their stealth skills with magic.
Advancement: Shrouded warriors are typically wizard/fighter, wizard/swashbuckler, or beguiler/swashbuckler, seeking to maximize the return on their intelligence modifer. After completing the shrouded master class, many typically advance to spellswords and eldritch knights, seeking to continue their meld of might and magic. Gnome shrouded warriors typically take levels in shadowcraft mage in order to advance their illusion magic beyond the normal boundaries.
Resources: Since there is no formal shrouded warrior organization, members of this class are left to their own devices. Upon meeting, two shrouded warriors may exchange information about spells, trade items, and share stories but there is no obligation to do so. Shrouded warriors typically join stealth oriented organizations, fighter-mage organizations, and guerilla warfare groups.
Shrouded warriors in the World
Shrouded warriors fill in the niche of stealthy fighter-mage. They are clandestine and xenophobic when presented with those that know what they are. While they accept students, they generally exterminate those that attempt to spread their secrets maliciously.
Shrouded warrior Lore
Characters with ranks in gather information, knowledge (history), or knowledge(arcana) can research <-insert prestige class name-> to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
Shrouded warriors in the Game
Adaptation: Since the shrouded warriors have no ties to an organization, it is a simple matter to place a few in the campaign world for the PCs to encounter. However, it would not be a difficult task to form a central organization around the shrouded warriors.
EL 10: Artaxes is a gnome shrouded warrior/shadowcraft mage seeking to reform his clan after it was razed by orcs. He learned the secret gnomish arts of shadowcrafting from an elder and trained as a warrior until he managed to combine his illusion magic and warrior talents in one.