Wordsman (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Wordsman
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The Wordsman[edit]

They thought me a simple swordsman until I teleported up to them and lit them on fire.
—Hurk Vristik, Human Wordsman, The Complete Guide to Killing Everything

The Wordsman sacrifices a large portion of her wordcasting power in order to become a more dangerous physical combatant.

Becoming a Wordsman[edit]

Characters pursue this class in order to wreak havoc in a more up close and personal manner. Words of Life, Words of Undeath, and Inanomancers get particular bonuses for entering this class.

Entry Requirements
Base Attack Bonus: +3.
Proficiencies: Proficient with all martial weapons.
Feats: Combat Casting.
Spellcasting: Know either the Hand or Orb spell shape word, caster level 2 in a wordcasting class.

Table: The Wordsman

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Words per Day/Words Known
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Smite, Stick to the Text, Editing Shot, No Free Hands
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 +1 level of existing class
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Swift Justice
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 +1 level of existing class
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Blade of Hand, Bow of Orb
6th +6 +5 +2 +2 +1 level of existing class
7th +7 +5 +2 +2 Improved Stick to the Text, Improved Editing Shot, Armor of Realism
8th +8 +6 +2 +2 +1 level of existing class
9th +9 +6 +3 +3 Words of Focus, Heart of Literacy
10th +10 +7 +3 +3 +1 level of existing class

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Concentration (Con), Craft (Any word-related) (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Listen (Wis), Speak Language (None), Spellcraft (Int).

Class Features[edit]

Spellcasting: At every even-numbered level, you gain new words per day, words known, and an increase in caster level as if you had also gained a level in a wordcasting 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 wordcasting class before becoming a Wordsman, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining words per day, caster level, and words known.

Smite (Su): At level 1, the Wordsman gains the ability to spend 5 words before making any melee or ranged attack. If she does so, that attack gets a +3 bonus to hit. If the Wordsman has any Word of Life class levels, the attack deals an additional 1d6 damage to evil targets. If the Wordsman has any Word of Undeath class levels, the attack deals an additional 1d6 damage to good targets. If the Wordsman has any Inanomancer class levels, the attack deals an additional 1d6 damage to lawful targets.

Stick to the Text (Su): At level 1, the Wordsman regains words whenever she successfully reduces an opponent to 0 or fewer hit points with a melee attack. She regains a number of words equal to the opponent's Hit Dice divided by 2. At level 7, she regains a number of words equal to the opponent's Hit Dice instead.

Editing Shot (Su): At level 1, the Wordsman regains 1d6 words whenever she successfully gets a critical hit against an opponent with a ranged attack. At level 7, the Wordsman regains 2d6 + her Intelligence modifier words instead.

No Free Hands (Ex): At level 1, word spells the Wordsman casts no longer have a somatic component. However, they are still affected by arcane spell failure.

Swift Justice (Ex): At level 3, the Wordsman may use her attacks of opportunity to cast immediate action-length spells. If she does so, she must use a single-target spell shape that targets only the character provoking the attack of opportunity.

Blade of Hand, Bow of Orb (Ex): At level 5, the Wordsman gains the ability to deliver melee touch attacks with a melee weapon and ranged touch attacks with a ranged weapon.

Armor of Realism (Ex): At level 7, the Wordsman's word spells are no longer affected by arcane spell failure.

Words of Focus (Ex): At level 9, the Wordsman may spend any multiple of 10 words as a standard action to get a +4 bonus to Deflection AC, attack rolls, Strength, Dexterity, saves, and skills for one round per 10 words spent. If the Wordsman has any Word of Life class levels, she also gains fast healing 4. If the Wordsman has any Word of Undeath class levels, she also gains Damage Reduction 4/Good. If the Wordsman has any Inanomancer class levels, she also gets a +10' bonus to her move speed.

Heart of Literacy (Su): At level 9, the Wordsman may inflict any amount of damage upon herself to regain that many words. Damage dealt in this way cannot be healed for 24 hours.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Wordsman[edit]

Combat: Wordsmen function much like Paladins.

Advancement: Wordsmen should probably gain levels in Inanomancer, Word of Life, and Word of Undeath, if they haven't already.

Resources: There are definitely forms of Wordsmen who organize.

Wordsmen in the World[edit]

You know what's great? Beating people to within an inch of their lives, and then turning them into skeletons when they try to run away.

Characters of the Wordsmanly persuasion are likely to work as mercenaries, adventurers, brave heroes, and paragons of pure evil.

NPC Reactions: That really depends, now doesn't it?

Wordsman Lore[edit]

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

Knowledge (Arcana)
DC Result
11 Wordsmen can effectively wield a greataxe while casting spells.
16 Wordsmen usually have levels in other wordcasting prestige classes.
21 Wordsmen can sometimes deliver spells with their weapons.
26 Truly powerful wordsmen can convert their health into word magic, and use that word magic to directly boost their combat capabilities.

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