Academic Soldier (3.5e Class)

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Academic Soldier[edit]

One can train the body to fight, when you incorporate the mind into the battle, you increase your edge
—Melvin van Wilde, professor of preparedness

Making an Academic Soldier[edit]

Academic Soldiers have decided to train for combat in the academy rather than on the streets. As such, she is an educated soldier, relying on her wits and speed to stay alive, unlike the brutes that rely primarily strength.

Abilities: Intelligence is most important. Dexterity a bit less so, constitution and strength are about equal.

Races: Any race that values education and has the tuition fees can become an Academic Soldier. Races like orcs, half-orcs, dwarves or other brutal races almost never train as an academic soldier, even if they have the means.

Alignment: Any

Starting Gold:15d6×10 gp These are generally trust fund babies

Starting Age: "Moderate" or "As fighter".

Table: The Academic Soldier

Hit Die: d10

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +0 +2 +0 Cram for Finals 1d6, Weapon Finesse
2nd +2 +0 +3 +0 AC bonus
3rd +3 +1 +3 +1 Elective Study
4th +4 +1 +4 +1 Scholarly Preparedness 101
5th +5 +1 +4 +1 Awareness Training,Cram for Finals 2d6
6th +6/+1 +2 +5 +2 Elective Study
7th +7/+2 +2 +5 +2 Intramurals
8th +8/+3 +2 +6 +2 Scholarly Preparedness 201
9th +9/+4 +3 +6 +3 Elective Study,Cram for Finals 3d6
10th +10/+5 +3 +7 +3 Phys Ed
11th +11/+6/+1 +3 +7 +3 Know Your Surroundings
12th +12/+7/+2 +4 +8 +4 Elective Study
13th +13/+8/+3 +4 +8 +4 Cram for Finals 4d6
14th +14/+9/+4 +4 +9 +4
15th +15/+10/+5 +5 +9 +5 Elective Study
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +5 +10 +5
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Cram for Finals 5d6
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6 Elective Study
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6 I Know Your Weakness
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Master's Thesis

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
The Academic Soldier’s class skills are as follows: Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (All), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex). (taken from the base skills on D&D wiki)

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Academic Soldier.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency:.An academic soldier is proficient with all simple and martial finessable weapons, light armor and no shields

Cram for Finals (Ex): An academic soldier learns very early, that sometimes you have to put in more effort in order to get the best marks. When attacking with a finesse weapon, an academic soldier can deal an extra 1d6 damage once per day for every Academic Soldier level she has attained. The extra damage increases by 1d6 every 4 levels thereafter (as seen on the academic soldier table above). The opponent need not be flatfooted, and this does not count as a sneak attack or skirmish. This damage does not affect creatures immune to critical hits. Cram for Finals damage is not multiplied by a critical hit. Cram for Finals can only be used if the academic soldier wears light or no armor.

Weapon Finesse: Academic soldiers are taught that strength isn't always the only tool a person has in a fight. At 1st level an academic soldier gains the weapon finesse feat.

AC Bonus (Ex): Coursework involving personal safety, as well as basic anatomy, help an academic soldier understand how to plan a proper defense. At second level an academic soldier adds her intelligence modifier to her AC, as a dodge bonus. An academic soldier does not get this bonus when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load.

Elective Study: "Why limit yourself only to what is necessary for your degree" At third level and every 3 level thereafter, an academic soldier may choose from the special abilities on the list below. Unless otherwise noted, each ability can only be chosen once.

Anticipate (Ex): Once per round as a swift action. An academic soldier can negate one attack of opportunity of her foe against her. The attack is treated as a failure.

Insight Attack (Ex): An academic soldier becomes able to place her finesse attacks where they deal greater damage. She applies her Intelligence bonus (if any) as a bonus on damage rolls (in addition to any Strength bonus she may have) with any finesse weapon. Targets immune to sneak attacks or critical hits are immune to the academic soldier’s insight attack. An academic soldier cannot use this ability when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load.

Precision Strike (Ex): Once per academic soldier level per day, an academic soldier can add her Intelligence bonus to her attack roll, in addition to all other bonuses. An academic soldier cannot use this ability when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load. This ability can be used once per round.

Intense Study: Once per round, an academic soldier may sacrifice one of her attacks, to treat another one in the same round as a touch attack.

Educated Feint (Ex): An academic soldier may add her intelligence modifier to feint check. Additionally if you successfully feint you may automatically make an attack of opportunity against the feinted opponent.

Bonus Feat: You gain a bonus feat from the list of fighter bonus feats.

Scholarly Preparedness 101 (Ex): Hours of reading and study have given the academic scholar new defenses against magical attacks. At 4th level and higher, an academic soldier can resist magical and unusual attacks with great willpower or fortitude. If she makes a successful Will or Fortitude save against an attack that normally would have a lesser effect on a successful save (such as any spell with a saving throw entry of Will half or Fortitude partial), she instead completely negates the effect. An unconscious or sleeping academic soldier does not gain the benefit of Scholarly Preparedness.

Awareness Training (Ex): Be alert! Pay attention! Her professors have drilled these into her throughout her education. At 5th level once per round as an immediate action, an academic soldier may make a 5 ft step, even if she is flatfooted or flanked. This ability cannot be used if the academic soldier has already moved that round.

Intramurals (Ex): Intramural sports and extracurricular activities are required. At 7th level, an academic soldier gains the ability to charge in situations where others cannot. She may charge over difficult terrain that normally slows movement. Depending on the circumstance, she may still need to make appropriate checks to successfully move over the terrain.

Scholarly Preparedness 201 (Ex): At 8th level and higher, an academic soldier can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. If the academic soldier has evasion from another class, it upgrades to improved evasion. Evasion can be used only if the academic soldier is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless academic soldier does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Phys Ed (Ex): At 10th level an academic soldier chooses one physical skill, anytime she uses that skill, she adds her intelligence modifier to it as well as the corresponding physical attribute modifier. An academic soldier cannot use this ability when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load.

Know Your Surroundings (Ex): At 11th level an academic soldier may make one direction change while using the charge action.

I Know Your Weakness (Ex): At 19th an academic soldier has been studying combat for so long, that she has learned how to deal extra damage where she otherwise wouldn't. She may ignore any critical hit immunity or resistance for the purpose of landing a critical hit while using a finesse weapon. An academic soldier loses this ability when wearing medium or heavy armor or while carrying a medium or heavy load.

Master's Thesis (Ex): At 20th level, the academic soldier has graduated the academy. She can choose one of the following effects:

  • Take 10 on any one attack during a full-attack action.
  • Double critical hit threat range of one chosen finesse weapon (stacks with keen and/or improved critical). Ex. if wielding a keen short sword, she would threaten a critical on a roll of 15-20
  • Increase the critical multiplier of one chosen finesse weapon by one step. (x2-x3 -4-x5)





Epic Academic Soldier[edit]

Table: The Epic Academic Soldier

Hit Die: d<-Die size for Hit Die->

Level Special
21st <-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->
22nd <-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->
23rd <-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->
24th <-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->
25th <-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->
26th <-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->
27th <-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->
28th <-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->
29th <-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->
30th <-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->

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

<-existing class feature->: <-how this class feature increases or accumulates at epic levels->

<-another existing class feature->: <-how this class feature increases or accumulates at epic levels->

<-Lather, rinse...->

<-... repeat.->

Bonus Feats: The epic <-class name-> gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic <-class name-> bonus feats) every <-number of feats per level-> levels after 20th.

Epic <-class name-> Bonus Feat List: <-list of bonus epic feats->.

Human Academic Soldier Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: <-Weapon selection for starting at 1st level with this class.->.

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

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Check
Penalty
<-Skill name-> <-4 for class skills and 2 for cross-class skills-> <-Abbrieviated key ability-> <-armor check penalty based on starting armor. If innapplicable put "—"->
<-Skill name-> <-4 for class skills and 2 for cross-class skills-> <-Abbrieviated key ability-> <-armor check penalty based on starting armor. If innapplicable put "—"->

<-copy and paste the rows as necessary.->

Feat: Epic hugging.

Bonus Feats: <-1st-level feat bonus feats due to class or sample race. remove this section if this sample doesn't get any bonus feats at 1st level. ->.

Gear: <-Starting armor and other equipment outside of weapons.->.

Gold: <-Starting gold using this package.->.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing an Academic Soldier[edit]

Religion: Religion and university are not usually synonymous. However, even Theological schools need warriors. Generally an academic warrior from a religious institution would worship a deity with the knowledge domain

Other Classes: The academic warrior can go a couple of ways here. She can be a quintessential know-it-all and a general pain in the butt to other fighter types. Conversely, she could realize, that all warriors have knowledge, possible that she didn't learn, and that she has knowledge that can be shared back, in essence using her time adventuring, to continue her studies and learn different styles of combat.

Combat: She is not going to be a tank, or a cannon. But should fit in nicely with a party that needs a versatile fighter that can be used in many different situations

Advancement: The academic soldier is a class that can be a good stand alone, and would pair well with any intelligence based caster. A multi-class Wizard/Academic Soldier would make sense, considering that they generally train in the same academies.

Academic Soldiers in the World[edit]

If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.
—Benjamin Franklin, <Human> <Polymath>

After starting their education, many academic soldiers venture, in an effort to apply their knowledge. These fighters are prized for their general knowledge in many areas not related to combat. They are generally children of nobles and rich merchants, therefore have knowledge of things most fighter types, and many other classes for that matter, don't have.

Organizations: Academic soldiers will generally seek out other scholars to socialize with when they can. They will spend spare time reading, in fact when on an adventure, it is rare to find one without a text of some sort. They may be prone to join various fighting guilds.

NPC Reactions: Academic soldiers are viewed as educated people and are treated as such. Powerful people will likely respect the fact that they are more refined and can carry on a discussion in an educated manner. Lower class people can be intimidated and possibly stand-offish, as the academic soldier can be prone to talking down to the less educated.



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