Warrior Engineer (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||And then at the apex of the parabolic arch, as the center of mass pulls the tip downward, the projectile's downward acceleration increases at a rate nearly equal to the pull of gravity. But due to the air resistance about the aerodynamic body, it will go further this way.||”|
|—Bigglewort Numbercruncher, Gnomish Warrior Engineer, Archery: Simplified for the Mathematical Mind|
Many warriors make war-craft a topic of formal study. However, the Warrior Engineer takes a slightly different approach: instead of learning new techniques, instead of learning magic and the defiance of physics, the Warrior Engineer focuses on understanding the hows and whys, the physics behind an arrow's flight or the splintering of a door as an axe strikes it. The Warrior Engineer knows precisely how that armor works, which means that he knows precisely how to make it not work.
Becoming a Warrior Engineer
Some professional craftsmen become Warrior Engineers in order to apply their knowledge to war. Some warriors, on the other hand, become Warrior Engineers in order to apply their knowledge to crafting. Occasionally, a spellcaster might study the ways of the Warrior Engineer in order to gain specific knowledge about weapons and armor, granting the knowledge of how to use it and use it well. Being a Warrior Engineer, however, involves a powerful body capable of the demands of the warrior, as well as a sharp and agile mind and a body that can react to the split-second observations made during a battle, so it is certainly not for everyone.
|Base Attack Bonus:||+5|
|Skills:||Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering): 4|
|Special:||Int 13, Wis 13, Dex 13|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level)
Appraise, Balance, Climb, Concentration, Craft (any), Diplomacy, Disable Device, Disguise, Escape Artist, Forgery, Heal, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering), Knowledge (Dungeoneering), Knowledge (Geography), Knowledge (Nature), Knowledge (The Planes), Open Lock, Search, Spellcraft, Survival, Swim, Use Magic Device
Crossbow Proficiency (Ex): - A Warrior Engineer has full understanding of the math and science behind a crossbow, and understands immediately how to use any crossbow (including exotic crossbows such as the hand-crossbow) the moment he sets eyes on it.
Armor/Shield Proficiency (Ex): - A Warrior Engineer has full understanding of the math and science behind all armors and shields (including tower shields), and is immediately capable of using them all to their fullest potential the instant he hefts a shield or dons a suit of armor.
Armor Exploitation (Ex): A Warrior Engineer understands the materials and composition of all armors, and understands how to strike it such that the armor provides less protection. Eventually his knowledge develops into an understanding of the mobility limitations of armor, eventually striking an armored opponent as easily as an unarmored one. An opponent is never easier to hit because of his armor however, and this bonus will never exceed the armor's bonus to AC (before any enchantments or other magical effects) of the armor worn by his target. A Warrior Engineer gets bonuses to hit enemies wearing armor that increase as he gains in level. For Heavy Armor, the maximum is +1 at level 1, +2 at level 2, +3 at level 4, +4 at level 5, +5 at level 7, +6 at level 8, and +7 at level 9. For Medium Armor, the maximum is +1 at level 2, +2 at level 4, +3 at level 6, +4 at level 8, and +5 at level 10. For Light Armor, the maximum is +1 at level 3, +2 at level 6, and +3 at level 9.
Bow Proficiency (Ex): At level 2, a Warrior Engineer understands the materials and science used in the construction and use of bows, and the moment he takes up any given bow is able to immediately put it to excellent use, however exotic or complicated the bow may be.
Thrown Weapon Proficiency (Ex): A Warrior Engineer of 3rd level or higher can pick up any object and, with a powerful understanding of physics and materials science, can immediately discern how to best throw it. This gains him proficiency in all thrown weapons, including exotic weapons (such as bolas, nets, and shuriken).
Projectile Evasion (Ex): After mastering all projectile weapons, a 3rd-level Warrior Engineer fully grasps the strengths and weaknesses of projectiles in general, becoming very difficult to hit with any of them. Able to project the firing arc before the weapon has even left its launcher, such a Warrior Engineer gains a dodge bonus to AC, presuming that he is not in a situation that would deny him any applicable Dexterity bonus to his AC. This bonus is +1 at level 3, +2 at level 4, +3 at level 6, +4 at level 7, +5 at level 9, and +6 at level 10.
Improved Sunder Feat (Ex): At 3rd level, a Warrior Engineer sees the weaknesses in an item being held by an opponent quickly and is able to strike at the item gracefully and quickly, granting him the effects of the Improved Sunder feat. If he already has Improved Sunder, he may take a new feat.
Two-Handed Weapon Proficiency (Ex): A Warrior Engineer's skill with weapons begins to extend to the melee realm at level 4. His knowledge of the materials and the large but simple opposing forces involved in using large weapons grant him immediate proficiency with all two-handed weapons, including exotic ones such as the spiked chain. He is not, however, given any double-weapon proficiency at this point.
Projectile Optimization (Ex): A Warrior Engineer has such a strong understanding of projectiles by level 4 that he becomes capable of launching them further than most. His range for any projectile attack, launched or thrown, increases by 10% at level 4, 20% at level 5, 30% at level 7, 40% at level 8, and 50% at level 10.
One-Handed Weapon Proficiency (Ex): By the time he reaches Level 5, a Warrior Engineer has full understanding of the subtler forces involved in using one-handed and light weapons, and upon lifting a single-handed weapon and feeling its center of mass, can immediately use it to its fullest potential.
Find Weak Spot (Ex): An experienced Warrior Engineer understands the composition of nearly every object around him, and when striking an object with Hardness begins ignoring the first few points of said Hardness value. He is also able to avoid the first few points of Damage Reduction that is not created by a spell or magical item. He reduces the effective non-magical DR and Hardness by 1 at level 5, 2 at level 6, 3 at level 8, and 4 at level 9. Additionally, at level 8, he gains such a strong understanding of the application of forces to the world around him that Find Weak Spot begins to apply to magical Damage Reduction as well.
Guided Strike (Ex): At level 6, a Warrior Engineer understands how to adjust his most precise attacks to deal even more damage. Critical Hits caused by his melee attacks gain a +1 to their multiplier.
Crafting Mastery (Ex): Warrior Engineers make excellent craftsmen, particularly given their active lifestyles that allows them to grasp forces more extreme than many artisans will ever see in their lives. After having mastered all of the forces involved in the most common weapons and all armors, their crafting skills improve. Specifically, they gain a bonus to ALL Craft skills of +2 at level 6, +4 at level 8, and +6 at level 10.
Force Optimization (Ex): Upon mastering every conventional weapon, and many unconventional ones, a Warrior Engineer has gained a deeper understanding of his own muscular system and how to use it to apply greater forces, dealing more damage with his melee strikes. His melee damage increases by +1 at level 5, +2 at level 7, and +3 at level 10.
Double-Weapon Proficiency (Ex): At Level 7, a Warrior Engineer is comfortable enough with his understanding of the laws of physics and dynamics to wield any weapon, including the complicated double-weapons, with a cursory examination and a twirl of the implement in question. The Warrior Engineer is now comfortable with absolutely any weapon that he can get his hands on.
Find Magical Weak Spot (Ex): A Warrior Engineer is so accustomed to finding weaknesses in the world around him that at level 8 he can find magical weaknesses as well. His Find Weak Spot ability now applies to damage reduction and hardness caused by magic and magical items.
Armor Optimization (Ex): With his full understanding of all armor types and all weapon types, a Warrior Engineer understands how to move to optimize his armor to best suit his opponent's weapon and fighting style, gaining extra AC in the form of a dodge bonus from wearing armor. At level 9, he gains +1 for any shield, and +2 for Light armor, +3 for Medium armor, and +4 for heavy armor. He loses this bonus if any Dexterity bonus to AC would be lost.
Guided Shot (Ex): A 9th-level Warrior Engineer has such fine control over the forces exerted upon a projectile that his best shots strike critical zones of the target's body more directly, adding +1 to his critical multiplier.
Dual Exploitation (Ex): With a full understanding of single-handed and double weapons, a 9th-level Warrior Engineer understands the angles that a dual-wielding opponent must rely upon to attack him without tangling itself in its own weapons and is better able to avoid such attacks, granting him a +2 dodge bonus to AC against a dual-wielding opponent's primary-hand attacks and +1 dodge bonus to AC against a dual-wielding opponent's off-hand attacks. He loses this bonus if any Dexterity bonus to AC would be lost.
Single Exploitation (Ex): A master Warrior Engineer observes the forces driving the weapons of his opponents, and with his understanding of each of them at gains a +2 dodge bonus to AC against foes wielding single weapons (either one- or two-handed) at level 10.
Playing a Warrior Engineer
Combat: A Warrior Engineer engages his opponents very similar to many other warriors. He makes a better archer than many, especially if he also has the Far Shot feat.
Advancement: Warrior Engineers make excellent Fighters and Rangers. They may also become potent combat-oriented rogues.
Resources: Warrior Engineers are a fairly close-knit group, due to the difficulty of obtaining the physical and mental skills involved. A more experienced Warrior Engineer will often try to assist a less experienced one advance, and there is some degree of professional courtesy.
Warrior Engineers in the World
|“||This is, as you can see, full plate. Dwarven-made, so you know it was designed by a master. Adamantine mail over a mithril chain suit. Who among you can point out its flaws?||”|
|—Slundr Gloinbaen, Dwarf Warrior Engineer instructor, Combat for Engineers, Class Lecture, Day 2|
Warrior Engineers are frequently found in some crafting, scientific, or engineering field; siege engineers, blacksmiths, mathematicians. Many of them are warriors who have an academic tutor, or spend much of their time around academics.
NPC Reactions: Warrior Engineers are fairly few and far between due to the difficulty of their modus operandi. They are known to many craftsmen and engineers, however, and these people offer them utmost respect.
Warrior Engineer Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge(Architecture and Engineering) can research Warrior Engineers to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||Warrior Engineers are not simply warriors who are also engineers. They can apply their academic knowledge to combat.|
|16||Warrior Engineers can use a great variety of equipment to great effect.|
|21||Warrior Engineers can launch projectiles further than most people think is possible.|
|26||When fighting an experienced Warrior Engineer, you might as well be naked for all the good your armor will do you.|
Warrior Engineers in the Game
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<-How characters of this class fit in the game (PC and NPC) and what roles they play->
Adaptation: Warrior Engineers should fit cleanly into any campaign setting that involves academies or schools of platonic, mundane topics. If a world does not include formal engineering, a Warrior Engineer can simply be one who has great intuitive knowledge of physics and the like.