Specialist (3.5e Class)

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Specialist
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Specialist[edit]

A specialist is a powerful assassin, hailing from the Abyss, where various evil creatures live and constantly assault them. They are good warriors, have enough abilities to do almost everything that other classes know, and can use arcane spells. However, they can specialize in certain fields of experience, giving them heightened abilities in those fields. Powerful specialists usually can take down several enemies at once, sneak into a heavily-guarded fortress , or assassinate a government agent surrounded by balors.

Making a Specialist[edit]

Specialists are very strong when they fight either from the shadows or from surprise, and weak in front-line combat. Most lawful classes distrust specialists and rogues view them as unnecessary competition. All other classes tend to work well with specialists, especially after seeing their combat skills.

Abilities: Dexterity is needed for a specialist to avoid blows because of their armor restrictions, Intelligence helps them cast more powerful spells, and Strength makes their attacks more powerful.

Races: Any race

Alignment: Any.

Starting Gold: 3d6 * 10

Starting Age: Moderate

Table: The Specialist

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1st +1 +0 +2 +2 1st Favored Enemy, Sneak Attack +1d6, Trapfinding 2
2nd +2 +0 +3 +3 Weapon Finesse, Fast Movement 3 -
3rd +3 +1 +3 +3 Specialization 4 -
4th +4 +1 +4 +4 Eschew Materials 5 0
5th +5 +1 +4 +4 Evasion, Sneak Attack +2d6 6 0
6th +6/+1 +2 +5 +5 Uncanny Dodge 6 1
7th +7/+2 +2 +5 +5 Trap Sense +1, 6 1
8th +8/+3 +2 +6 +6 2nd Favored Enemy, Improved Specialization 6 1 0
9th +9/+4 +3 +6 +6 Sneak Attack +3d6, Improved Uncanny Dodge 6 1 0
10th +10/+5 +3 +7 +7 Skilled Preparation, Spell Resistance 6 1 1
11th +11/+6/+1 +3 +7 +7 Trap Sense +2, Combat Reflexes 6 1 1 0
12th +12/+7/+2 +4 +8 +8 Terrain Proficiency 7 1 1 1
13th +13/+8/+3 +4 +8 +8 Specialist Experience, Greater Specialization 7 1 1 1
14th +14/+9/+4 +4 +9 +9 Sneak Attack +4d6, Slippery Mind 7 2 1 1 0
15th +15/+10/+5 +5 +9 +9 Resist Psionics, Trap Sense +3 7 2 1 1 1
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +5 +10 +10 3rd Favored Enemy 7 2 2 2 1
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Sneak Attack +5d6 8 3 2 2 2
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Improved Evasion, Mastered Specialization 8 3 3 2 2
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Incapitation, Trap Sense +4 8 4 4 3 3
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Spell Perfection 8 4 4 4 4

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Autohypnosis (Wis), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Decipher Script (Int), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) Listen (Wis) Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (None), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Specialist.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A specialist is proficient with simple and martial weapons and light armor (although not shields). A specialist can cast specialist spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. However, like any other arcane spellcaster, a specialist wearing medium or heavy armor or using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component (most do). A multiclass specialist still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.

Spells: Beginning at 4th level, a specialist gains the ability to cast a small number of arcane spells, which are drawn from the following spell list. A specialist must choose and prepare his spells in advance (see below).

0—Resistance, Detect Poison, Detect Magic, Read Magic, Daze, Dancing Lights, Flare, Light, Ray of Frost, Disrupt Undead, Touch of Fatigue, Mage Hand, Mending, Message, Open/Close, Arcane Mark

1st—Endure Elements, Hold Portal, Shield, Mage Armor, Obscuring Mist, Summon Monster I, Comprehend Languages, Detect Secret Doors, Identify, True Strike, Charm Person, Magic Missile, Burning Hands, Shocking Grasp, Disguise Self, Magic Aura, Cause Fear, Chill Touch, Ray of Enfeeblement, Animate Rope, Erase, Expeditious Retreat, Feather Fall, Jump

2nd—Protection from Arrows, Resist Energy, Acid Arrow, Fog Cloud, Summon Monster II, Web, Detect Thoughts, Locate Object, See Invisibility, Daze Monster, Touch of Idiocy, Flaming Sphere, Gust of Wind, Scorching Ray, Shatter, Blur, Invisibility, Blindness/Deafness, Command Undead, Ghoul Touch, Scare, Spectral Hand, Alter Self, Bear's Endurance, Bull's Strength, Cat's Grace, Darkvision, Eagle's Splendor, Pyrotechnics, Rope Trick, Spider Climb

3rd—Dispel Magic, Explosive Runes, Sepia Snake Sigil, Sleet Storm, Stinking Cloud, Summon Monster III, Arcane Sight, Tongues, Deep Slumber, Rage, Suggestion, Hold Person, Blacklight, Daylight, Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Wind Wall, Displacement, Illusory Script, Invisibility Sphere, Halt Undead V, Ray of Exhaustion, Vampiric Touch, Blink, Flame Arrow, Fly, Gaseous Form, Haste, Keen Edge, Magic Weapon, Greater, Secret Page, Shrink Item, Slow, Water Breathing

4th—Dimensional Anchor, Fire Trap, Globe of Invulnerability, Lesser, Remove Curse, Stoneskin, Black Tentacles, Dimension Door, Solid Fog, Summon Monster IV, Arcane Eye, Locate Creature, Confusion, Geas, Lesser, Fire Shield, Ice Storm, Resilient Sphere, Shout, Wall of Fire, Wall of Ice, Invisibility, Greater, Phantasmal Killer, Bestow Curse, Contagion, Enervation, Polymorph, Stone Shape


To prepare or cast a spell, a specialist must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a specialist’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the specialist’s Intelligence modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a specialist can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Intelligence score. When the table indicates that the ranger gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his intelligence score for that spell level.

A specialist prepares and casts spells the way a wizard does, only he may not specialize in a school. Through 3rd level, a specialist has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, his caster level is three-fourths his specialist level.


Favored Enemy (Ex): At 1st level, a specialist may select a type of creature from among those given on Table: Specialist Favored Enemies. The specialist gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against creatures of this type. Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls against such creatures.

At 8st level and every 8 levels thereafter (16th, 24th, and 32nd level), the specialist may select an additional favored enemy from those given on the table. In addition, at each such interval, the bonus against any one favored enemy (including the one just selected, if so desired) increases by 2.

If the specialist chooses humanoids or outsiders as a favored enemy, he must also choose an associated subtype, as indicated on the table. If a specific creature falls into more than one category of favored enemy, the ranger’s bonuses do not stack; he simply uses whichever bonus is higher.

Table: Specialist Favored Enemies
Type (Subtype) Type (Subtype)
Aberration Humanoid (reptilian)
Animal Magical beast
Construct Monstrous humanoid
Dragon Ooze
Elemental Outsider (air)
Fey Outsider (chaotic)
Giant Outsider (earth)
Humanoid (aquatic) Outsider (evil)
Humanoid (dwarf) Outsider (fire)
Humanoid (elf) Outsider (good)
Humanoid (goblinoid) Outsider (lawful)
Humanoid (gnoll) Outsider (native)
Humanoid (gnome) Outsider (water)
Humanoid (halfling) Plant
Humanoid (human) Undead
Humanoid (orc) Vermin

Sneak Attack (Ex): If a specialist can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, he can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

The specialist’s attack deals extra damage any time her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the specialist flanks his target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and it increases by 1d6 at levels 5, 9, 14, and 17. Should the specialist score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

With a sap (blackjack) or an unarmed strike, a specialist can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. He cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty.

A specialist can sneak attack only living creatures with discernible anatomies—undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to sneak attacks. The specialist must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A specialist cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.

Trapfinding (Ex): Specialists can use the Search skill to locate traps when the task has a Difficulty Class higher than 20.

Finding a nonmagical trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic trap has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.

Specialists can use the Disable Device skill to disarm magic traps. A magic traps generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.

A specialist who beats a trap’s DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (with his party) without disarming it.

Weapon Finesse: At 2nd level, a specialist gets Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat, even if he doesn’t meet the prerequisites for it.

Fast Movement (Ex): A specialist’s land speed is faster than the norm for his race by +5 feet. This benefit applies only when he is wearing no armor or light armor and not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus before modifying the specialist’s speed because of any load carried or armor worn.

Specialization (Ex): At 3rd level, a specialist can choose to specialize in a type of battle style. His chosen specialization grows more powerful at levels 8, 13, and 18. The bonuses only apply if the specialist is wearing light or no armor.

Dual Blade Fighting[edit]

Some specialists use storms of strikes with swords to take their enemies down. These kinds specialize in this field. A Dual Blade Fighting Specialist automatically gets a +1 bonus to Dexterity and the Two-Weapon Fighting feat.

3rd: Two-Weapon Defence feat.

8th: Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat

13th: Greater Two-Weapon Fighting feat

18th: Two-Weapon Rend feat

Bowman[edit]

Bowmen are specialists who use their bow to take enemies down with volleys of arrows. A Bowman automatically gets a +1 bonus to Dexterity and the Point-Blank Shot feat

3rd: Rapid Shot feat.

8th: Manyshot feat, +1 to bow attack rolls

13th: Improved Precise Shot feat, +3 to bow attack rolls

18th: Improved Manyshot feat, +5 to bow attack rolls

Sniper[edit]

Snipers are specialists who use crossbows instead of bows, sacrificing volleys of arrows for precision. Such specialists get proficiency with all types of crossbows and get the Rapid Reload feat.

3rd: +3 to attack rolls using a crossbow, +3 damage

8th: Weapon Specialization (crossbow), Snipe (see bottom)

13th: Deadly Snipe (see below)

18th: Instant Reload feat


Snipe: If you study a target for 3 rounds, your next crossbow attack automatically hits and deals 1d6 more damage. The target cannot be closer than 15 feet, nor can the specialist be distracted while using this ability.


Deadly Snipe: If you study a target for 5 rounds, then after the bolt hits, the target must make a Fort save or die instantly (DC 10 + 1/2 specialist level). If the bolt misses, then that target is immune to deadly snipe attemps for 1d3 days.

Versatilist[edit]

A versatilist is a unique type of specialist who knows a lot more special abilities than the other types. He also is a lot more adept with his skills.

3rd: Bonus feat, +3 on all skill checks.

8th: Bonus feat, +5 on all skill checks

13th: Bonus feat, +7 on all skill checks

18th: Bonus feat (can be epic), +9 on all skill checks

Soulblade[edit]

A soulblade is a specialist who started treading into psionics. Such specialists can materialize a mind blade, although not cast powers.

3rd: Mind Blade, Throw Mind Blade, Wild Talent.

8th: Shape Mind Blade

13th: Bladewind, bonus feat

18th: Knife to the Soul, bonus feat

Brutal[edit]

A brutal is a specialist who inflicts a lot of pain in one blow. Such specialists get a +2 on their Strength scores, but a -2 on their Intelligence and can rage once a day.

3rd: Rage (as barbarian), +2 on damage with melee weapons

8th: +3 on damage with melee weapons, Rage 2/day

13th: Greater Rage

18th: Ruinous Rage(only for one rage/3 days) , Rage 3/Day

A versatilist must also qualify for all the bonus feats he chooses.

Eschew Materials: At 4th level, a specialist gets the Eschew Materials feat, even if he doesn’t meet the prerequisites.

Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level and higher, a specialist can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the specialist is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless specialist does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 6th level, a specialist can react to danger before her senses would normally allow him to do so. He retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a specialist already has uncanny dodge from a different class he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex):A specialist of 8th level or higher can no longer be flanked. This defense denies another specialist the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least four more levels than the target does.

If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum specialist level required to flank the character.

Skilled Preparation (Su): At level 10, the specialist reached a level of arcane mastery. When a specialist prepares spells, he may choose 3 of them to be either silent, still, or quickened. The number of spells increases every 2 levels after 10th. This ability only works when the specialist is in light or no armor.

Trap Sense (Ex): At 7th level, a specialist gains an intuitive sense that alerts him to danger from traps, giving him a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps. These bonuses rise to +2 when the specialist reaches 11th level, to +3 when he reaches 15th level, and to +4 when he reaches 19th level. Trap sense bonuses gained from multiple classes stack.

Spell Resistance (Ex): At 10th level, a specialist gains the ability to resist magic shot at him. He now has SR10 for any spells targeted at him.

Combat Reflexes: A specialist gets the Combat Reflexes feat at 11th level, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. If he already has the feat, substitute it for a feat of his choice.

Terrain Proficiency (Ex): At 12th level, a specialist has mastered all types of terrain. He is no longer hampered by rough or difficult terrain, gets a +6 bonus on skill checks made to climb over obstacles, and gets a +8 bonus on saves caused by any type of harmful terrain.

Specialist Experience (Ex): At 13th level, a specialist had gained experience from his missions and adventures. He now gets a +3 bonus to all skill checks and a +2 bonus on all saves.

Slippery Mind (Ex):This ability represents the specialist’s ability to wriggle free from magical effects that would otherwise control or compel him. If a specialist with slippery mind is affected by an enchantment spell or effect and fails his saving throw, he can attempt it again 1 round later at the same DC. He gets only this one extra chance to succeed on his saving throw.

Resist Psionics (Su): At 15th level, a specialist gains an affinity for psionic powers. He now has a +6 bonus on all Will saves concerning psionics.

Improved Evasion (Ex):This ability works like evasion, except that while the specialist still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks; henceforth he takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless specialist does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Incapitation (Ex): At 19th level, a specialist's critical strikes deal damage that severely weakens their foe. On a successful critical, a specialist may choose one of these effects (none are permanent):

Spell Perfection (Su): At level 20, a specialist had perfected all of his spells. When preparing spells, all of the specialist's spells are either silent, still, or quickened, and 5 are either heightened, widened or maximized, and 1 (3rd level or lower) is intensified. This ability only functions if the specialist is wearing light or no armor.

Epic Specialist[edit]

Table: The Epic Specialist

Hit Die: d8

Level Special
21st Bonus Feat
22nd
23rd Bonus Feat
24th
25th Bonus Feat
26th
27th Bonus Feat
28th
29th Bonus Feat
30th

<-number of skill points-> + Int modifier skill points per level.

Bonus Feats: The epic Specialist gains a bonus feat every 2 levels after 21st. He may choose any feat he wants and is eligible for.

Half-Elf Specialist Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Longsword (1d8 19-20/x2), Shortbow (1d6/x3), Dagger (1d4 19-20/x2)

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

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Check
Penalty
Bluff 4 Cha
Diplomacy 4 Cha
Disable Device 4 Int
Move Silently 4 Dex -1
Open Lock 4 Dex
Use Magic Device 4 Cha

Feat: Dodge.

Gear: Studded Leather Armor, Backpack, Flask (empty), Hooded Lantern, Crowbar, Torch, 50 arrows.

Gold: 120 gp.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Specialist[edit]

Religion: Doesn't really matter for the specialist, although he may choose a god that aids him in his skills.

Other Classes: Specialists usually get along with most classes, especially with classes that use stealth often, such as Rogue or Ranger. Many clerics don't feel comfortable with specialists, because they usually sneak away from the group.

Combat: Specialists usually sneak into the shadows, then take the enemies down with their knowledge.

Advancement: A specialist is very versatile, and very well-suited to multiclassing. Those that desire for more power might take levels in Fighter, Assassin, or any other fighting class. Some specialists become Druids as well, but that usually is very rare.

Specialists in the World[edit]

Those specialists don't allow ANY security in this fortress!
—Lord Acheron, human Soulknife

Specialists usually fit in any task. In the Abyss, there are many of them, but when they leave, their skills are long sought after.

Daily Life: Specialists usually spend all of their time guarding the Abyss from intruders, but in other cities, they have a lot more free time. Usually, they go around the town they live in, killing all sorts of monsters (depends on alignment). Specialists who lean more toward chaos repeatedly change towns or live a nomadic life.

Notables: Lethus, the current leader of the Abyss.

Organizations: Specialists are usually alone, unless they have

NPC Reactions: Many think of them as either elite fighters or sneaky backstabbers. Evil specialists are feared most of all due to their intentions.

Specialist Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (local) can research specialists to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (local)
DC Result
5 Specialists are the guards of the Abyss.
10 Those that leave are some of the most powerful in their fields.
15 Their abilities range many from arcane spells to assassinations.
20 Information on a specific specialist.

Specialists in the Game[edit]

Adaptation: Any kind works. Specialists can be either good or bad guys.

Sample Encounter: An Elan specialist is terrorizing a small town. Make sure that he stops and leaves.

EL 10:


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