Acolyte of the Scythe (3.5e Prestige Class)
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Acolyte of the Scythe
|“||The scythe is a weapon forged in chaos and must be used with order. It is perfection.||”|
|—The Way of the Scythe, Jerrod Polt, Human Acolyte of the Scythe|
Those who can appreciate and understand the skill that is required to wield a scythe with grace and perfection realize its potential and often seek out ways to improved their skill. These few people become Acolytes of the Scythe, learning how to wield their chosen weapon with finesse, learning how to control the battlefield with their abilities and making sure that all realize the power of their weapon.
Becoming an Acolyte of the Scythe
Any character who wields a scythe as a main combat weapon can be drawn into the Ways of the Scythe, willing to learn the tricks and abilities that the Acolytes of the Scythe wield with finesse. Becoming an Acolyte of the Scythe can require a willing teacher, but there are those of such a passionate disposition on Scythes that they teach themselves the powers that a Scythe delivers.
|Base Attack Bonus:||+5.|
|Feats:||Weapon Focus (scythe), Improved Trip (scythe), Power Attack|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+1||Shaft Fighting(-1), Shaft Defense +1, Weighted Shaft, Scythe Aptitude, Bonus feat|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+1||Scythe Trick, Shaft Defense +2|
|3rd||+3||+3||+3||+2||Shaft Defense +3, Bonus feat|
|4th||+4||+4||+4||+2||Scythe Trick, Shaft Defense +4|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+3||Shaft Fighting(+0), Shaft Defense +5, Bonus feat|
|Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level)|
Bluff (Cha), Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Profession (Wis), Tumble (Dex) and Swim (Str).
All the following are class features of the Acolyte of the Scythe
Shaft Fighting (Ex): At 1st level, the Acolyte of the Scythe is capable of using the shaft of his scythe as an offensive weapon, gaining an off-hand attack as though wielding two light weapons, but the penalty is reduced by 1 (For -1/-1 on attack rolls). The shaft of the scythe is a bludgeoning weapon that deals 1d4 damage with a x2 critical and it cannot be magical. It has no additional weight. If the shaft has a Weighted Shaft, then it uses the properties for a Weighted Shaft and can be magical. This only applies when wielding the scythe in two hands. At 5th level, the penalty is reduced by an additional 1 point, for no penalty.
Shaft Defense (Ex): While wielding a scythe, the Acolyte of the Scythe is capable of blocking incoming attacks with the shaft. He gains a +1 shield bonus to Armor Class while wielding a scythe. This increases by +1 each level.
Weighted Shaft: An Acolyte of the Scythe is so trained in the use of a scythe, he is able to wield the scythe with finesse even with a weighted shaft. While fighting with a Weighted Shaft in his scythe, the Acolyte of the Scythe forgoes the associated -2 penalty.
Scythe Aptitude: An Acolyte of the Scythe may stack his levels with any fighter levels to determine his fighter level for bonus feats and fighter feats (such as Weapon Specialization). An Acolyte of the Scythe gains a bonus feat at first, second and fourth level. These feats must be used to enhance the lethality with a scythe, take this ruling with the DM's discretion.
Scythe Trick (Ex): At 2nd and 4th level, the Acolyte of the Scythe is capable of performing extraordinary feats of expertise while wielding a scythe.
- Palm Balance Reach: The Acolyte of the Scythe is capable of doubling his normal reach with his scythe for one attack per round by thrusting it out and briefly keeping the shaft held in his open palm, and then grabbing it and pulling it back sharply. For one attack per round, the range of the Acolyte is doubled and he takes a -2 on the attack roll. This only works when wielding a scythe designed for the Acolyte's size category. During a round in which the Acolyte used this trick, he is not capable of using the shaft as an off-hand weapon.
- Leg Sweep: As a full round action, the Acolyte of the Scythe can spin his scythe around in a full circle, jumping over the shaft as it spins around to make a trip attack against every creature in an adjacent square. This trip attempt cannot be countered. The opponents cannot attempt a counter-trip attempt.
- Push Back Slice: The Acolyte of the Scythe is capable of pushing away his opponent with the shaft of his weapon and then immediately slicing the enemy with the blade. The initial strike from the shaft acts as a bull rush attempt to push the opponent back 5 feet, except there are no attacks of opportunity and the Acolyte does not gain any bonuses from bull rush feats. If the attempt is successful, the Acolyte immediately gains an attack with the scythe's blade against the flat-footed opponent as he stumbles back. The opponent cannot be targeted by any attacks of opportunities from the Acolyte for this movement. This action is a standard action.
Playing an Acolyte of the Scythe
Acolytes of the Scythe in the World
|“||The scythe can become an extension of oneself much like a sword, however, the scythe presents a much more threatening presence.||”|
Acolyte of the Scythe Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (religion) can research the Acolyte of the Scythe to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||The Way of the Scythe is a series of martial scripts that explain how to wield a scythe|
|16||An Acolyte of the Scythe is a follower of the Way of the Scythe.|
|21||The Way of the Scythe is actually a secret that is not written down, but passed down between Acolytes of the Scythe.|
|26||An Acolyte of the Scythe wields their weapon with a precision sought by many, capable of various tricks and abilities in order to conquer their foes.|
Acolyte of the Scythe in the Game
|Male Human Fighter 8 / Acolyte of the Scythe 4|
|Lawful Evil Medium Humanoid(Human)|
|Init/Senses||+10/Listen +8, Spot +8|
|AC||27, touch 18, flat-footed 21|
|hp||84 (12 HD)|
|Speed||30ft (6 Squares)|
|Melee||+2 Frost Scythe +20/+15/+10 (2d4+12+1d6, 19-20/x4) or|
|Melee||+2 Frost Scythe +19/+14/+9 (2d4+10+1d6, 19-20/x4) & +1 Weighted Shaft +18 (1d6+2, x2)|
|Special Actions||Scythe Trick(Leg Sweep), Scythe Trick(Palm Balance Reach)|
|Abilities||Str 18, Dex 22, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 10|
|SQ||Shaft Fighting(-1), Shaft Defense +2, Weighted Shaft, Scythe Aptitutde|
|Feats||Weapon Focus(Scythe), Combat ExpertiseB, Improved TripH, Power AttackB, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiativeb,Weapon Specialization(Scythe), Two-Weapon Fightingb, Improved Critical(Scythe)b, Greater Weapon Focus(Scythe), Greater Weapon Specialization(Scythe)|
|Skills||Climb +15, Intimidate +11, Jump +15, Listen +16, Spot +7, Tumble +18|
|Possessions||Gloves of Dexterity +4, Belt of Giant Strength +4, +2 Frost Scythe, +3 Mithral Shirt, Handy Haversack, Ring of Protection +2|
|Scythe Trick (Ex)
|As a full-round action, Jerrod can spin his scythe around in a full circle beneath his feet. This attack affects every creature adjacent to the Acolyte. All affected creatures are subject to a trip attempt which cannot be countered. Jerrod cannot be counter tripped when using this ability.|
|Scythe Trick (Ex)
(Palm Balance reach)
|By utilizing the palm and a delicate ability to balance the scythe's shaft on the palm of his hand, Jerrod is able to extend his reach with the scythe for one attack per round. Doing this enables him to double his reach to a total of 10ft by taking a -2 penalty on the attack roll. By doing this, he forfeits the ability to make an attack with the shaft of his weapon. This only works while he wields a weapon that is created for a medium size category.|
|Date Adopted:||August 25, 2009|
Jerrod Polt is the only son of a farmer and his wife, a happy union with little to no domestic disputes. He grew up on the farmstead and in the small community village they were part of. In such, there was little darkness in his life. However, when maturing in his teenage years, it soon became obvious that Jerrod was not what was called an "average" child. He grew at an exponetial rate in all aspects, learning quickly, working at the farmstead and becoming tall. Very tall. Infact, Jerrod grew to a total of 7 feet and 3 inches tall, dwarfing others around him, an unnatural height for humans. He grew to be athletic and lithe, becoming strong from his daily routine on the farm. However, the more he learnt from various books, gossip and other sources, the more his mind festered on darkness; he soon became convinced that the world was not as it seemed, that it was corrupt. With these thoughts, Jerrod's mind slipped into evil.
When he was 19, Jerrod left the farmstead to become stronger and better. He travelled to near-by villages, towns and cities and began to learn the way of the fighter, drawing on his specilalization with the scythe. After a few years of training, learning how to turn combat situations to his advantage through the use of his mind, speed and strength, Jerrod began adventuring with some of his fellows, but the adventures he embarked on had a heavy toll on Jerrod's mind. He soon became obsessed with being stronger. Being better. Being the best. He simply had to beat anyone who could challange him, he had to prove to the world that he could win, coming from such a background; he knew it. With such a mind, Jerrod killed his team, insisiting they were weak. They were the reason he wasn't going anywhere. He slaughtered them; yet not in their sleep, but rather turning on them in the middle of a battle. After this, he embarked on his quest to become the best there is. He learnt of the Way of the Scythe, a way to achieve the perfection of such a weapon through various abilities and skills. He sought out one of the Acolytes to teach him how to become a master of his chosen weapon.
It took three years of duels and challenges for Jerrod to finally discover an Acolyte. One that was willing to teach him the Way of the Scythe, but only if he would make any sacrifice that was worthy. Jerrod fulfilled this condition by returning to his village and severing all ties with anyone close to him; he slaughtered his own family. For such a great sacrifice, the Acolyte taught Jerrod the Way of the Scythe, acknowledging his devotion and tenacity. Jerrod left after learning everything he needed to learn from the Acolyte and continued his quest to become the best.
While evil, Jerrod still adheres to his own code of conduct and recognizes duelling standards, but refuses to adhere to authority figures. This has given him quite a notorious reputation, as well as his reputation for killing those that he deems to weak to survive. Jerrod believes in a law of equals; if a problem arises, a battle shall settle the dispute. To death if necessary. Jerrod has a distinct lack of morals and has a flagrant disregard for anyone that is not a worthy battle.
In interaction, Jerrod attempts to size up the PCs and figure out which one is the strongest. If he figures them as a suitable challenge for him, he will challenge them to a duel. Without a show of strength, Jerrod generally refuses to aid others. If they persist, he will attack, if the situation is not in high favour of the PCs. If Jerrod issues a duel, it will be taken as a great insult if he is refused a duel without a proper reason.
- If Jerrod wins the duel without any real challenge (easily defeating his opponent, retaining more than half his total hit points), then he leaves without aiding the characters in any way, claiming them as weak and beneath him.
- If Jerrod wins the duel but with a decent challenge (losing over half his total hit points), then he will congratulate his opponent on a well fought duel and provide useful information.
- If Jerrod loses the duel but with a decent challenge (his opponent loses over half his total hit points), then he will provide his opponents with semi-useful information and leave to become stronger. He will then attempt to duel the opponent again. He will also garner respect for the one that defeated him.
- If Jerrod loses the duel without any real challenge (his opponent retains half of his total hit points), then Jerrod will leave immediatly and brashly to become stronger. He will attempt to kill the one that defeated him, if necessary, at a later point in time.
While duelling, Jerrod will not kill an opponent and will accept defeat when he reaches less than 10 hitpoints. If his opponent attempts to kill him, then Jerrod will retaliate in kind, taking this as a breach of Duelling Etiquette and Rules.
In a combat situation, Jerrod's tactics differ between group fighting and one-on-one fighting. If fighting a single opponent, then Jerrod will use the first few rounds to realize his opponents strengths. He will start off by using his Palm Balance Reach attack if he wins initiative, letting his opponent come to him instead and trying to deny them a full attack. When fully engaged in combat, Jerrod will assess the situation with his cunning tactical mind; if he can easily hit his opponent, he will either use Power Attack or Combat Expertise. If he is getting hit, he will boost his armor with the latter, otherwise he will use the former. If he drops beneath quarter hit points, he will adopt a defensive stance, maxing out his Combat Expertise and Fighting Defensively. If this doesn't help, he'll use his Power Attack to hopefully do serious damage. Other than the tactics noted, Jerrod will make use of his tripping abilities and use the Attacks of Opportunities they give him.
While fighting against groups, Jerrod will attempt to surrond himself with enemies, use his Combat Expertise skill and then his Leg Sweep scyhte trick in order to trip all those around him. He'll use his two-weapon fighting to make more attacks per round. Jerrod realizes the power that spellcasters can bring to a battle and will attempt to shut them down as quickly as possibly, utilizing his Palm Balance Reach in order to get past defenses, if necessary.