Fang of the Four Winds (3.5e Prestige Class)
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Fang of the Four Winds
|“||It's hard to believe the desert's hot arid winds are the same air of the frigid north, yet they are. All winds are one in the same. As winds from different directions blow different weather, so too shall We shift like the wind.||”|
|—Baro, Om Fang of the Four Winds|
The desert's wind is not the only wind in the world which blows with harsh power. Students of the Desert Wind learn to expand their horizons and master the elements in their supernatural stances and strikes.
Becoming a Fang of the Four Winds
Fangs of the Four Winds are typically Swordsages, who have access to the school. Rarely someone with enough martial study feats also joins the ranks.
|Base Attack Bonus:||+3.|
|Skills:||Knowledge Nature 8 ranks, Tumble 8 ranks.|
|Special:||3rd level initiator level, including two maneuvers and one stance from the Desert Wind discipline.|
|Saving Throws||Special||Maneuvers Known||Maneuvers Readied||Stances Known|
|2nd||+1||+3||+3||+3||Howling Wind Stance||0||0||0|
|3rd||+2||+3||+3||+3||Elemental Defense +1||1||1||0|
|6th||+4||+5||+5||+5||Elemental Defense +2||0||1||0|
|8th||+6||+6||+6||+6||Howling Storm Stance||0||0||0|
|9th||+6||+6||+6||+6||Elemental Defense +3||1||1||0|
|10th||+7||+7||+7||+7||Elemental Body, Breath of Four Winds||0||0||1|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level)
|11th||Bonus Feat, +1 maneuver known|
|12th||Elemental Defense +4, +1 maneuver readied|
|13th||+1 maneuver known|
|15th||Elemental Defense +5, +1 maneuver known, +1 maneuver readied, +1 stance known|
|17th||Bonus Feat, +1 maneuver known|
|18th||Elemental Defense +6, +1 maneuver readied|
|19th||+1 maneuver known|
|20th||Bonus Feat, +1 stance known|
All of the following are class features of the Fang of the Four Winds.
Maneuvers Known: At each odd numbered level, you gain a new maneuver known from the Desert Wind, Setting Sun, Stone Dragon, or Tiger Claw disciplines. You must meet a maneuver's prerequisites to learn it. You add your full fang of the four winds level to your initiator level to determine your highest level maneuvers known. At 3rd and every three levels, you gain an additional maneuver readied.
Maneuvers Known: At 5th level and every five levels after, you gain an additional stance known from the Desert Wind, Setting Sun, Stone Dragon, or Tiger Claw disciplines. You must meet a stance's prerequisites to learn it.
Another Wind: Students learning the path of the Four Winds discover there is more than just the Desert Wind's burning heat. It is one of four, comprising the art of shocking lightning, freezing cold, and scalding acid. They are called the Arctic Wind (north), the Desert Wind (south), the Tempest Wind (east), and the Jungle Wind (west).
All students already know the desert wind, but at 1st, 4th, and 7th level a fang of the four winds chooses one of these new disciplines. It augments the pre-existing desert wind maneuvers and stances to deal with cold (for arctic), electric (for tempest), or acid (for jungle) damage. Whenever you employ a desert wind stance or maneuver you may change it to one of these new elements you know.
Howling Wind Stance (Su): At 2nd level you learn how to cloak yourself in swirling winds tainted with the appropriate element of your current wind. Whenever you are in a Wind stance, be it Desert Wind or another, you may forgo its normal benefit to gain the effects of the Howling Wind stance. This ability lasts as long as you maintain the Howling Wind stance or as described below. You gain a constant 20% miss chance from all ranged attacks from the swirling winds around your body, and all those who attack you in melee take 2 points of the appropriate elemental damage as the stinging motes of energy scour at them.
In addition you may end your stance as an immediate action when someone attacks you in melee. The winds burst outward in an explosion dealing 1d6 damage per class level of the appropriate element in a 10 ft. radius burst away from yourself. The attacker gets no save, all others in the area may make a Reflex save for half, DC 10 + class level + Wis. This stance is considered a 4th level stance for martial lore checks.
Elemental Defense (Ex): A fang of the four winds understands the elemental forces in this world and knows how to move to avoid or reduce their effect. At 3rd level and every 3 levels you gain a +1 bonus on saving throws against any effect which deals fire, cold, electrical, or acid damage, so long as you know the appropriate wind for that type of damage (see Another Wind). For example, a 6th level fang of the four winds who knows the Desert, Arctic, and Tempest Wind styles gains a +2 bonus on saves against fire, cold, and electrical damaging effects.
Empowered Wind (Su): At 5th level, the mastery over the elements can be used to augment existing abilities from the Desert Wind discipline (and the subsequent Arctic, Tempest, and Jungle variants). The maneuver may be empowered dealing 150% of its dice in damage. To employ this the fang of the four winds must expend an additional maneuver readied, and he may only perform this once every 1d4 rounds.
Howling Storm Stance (Su): At 8th level you learn how to channel the elemental energies so well as to have it pummel through your enemies defenses. Whenever you are in a Wind stance, be it Desert Wind or another, you may forgo its normal benefit to gain the effects of the Howling Storm stance. This ability lasts as long as you maintain the Howling Storm stance or as described below. You gain a constant 20% miss chance from all ranged attacks from the swirling energies around your body, and it empowers you with offensive might. You may ignore the elemental resistances of the selected element, and even harm those immune to your damage, though your attacks only deal half damage.
For example, a fang of the four winds shifts from Frost's Blessing (Arctic Wind's version of Flame's Blessing) into the Howling Storm stance. He then attacks with a maneuver dealing cold damage. Cold Resistance is outright ignored, and a creature with cold immunity instead takes half damage. This stance is considered a 6th level stance for martial lore checks.
Breath of Four Winds (Su): At 10th level a fang of the four winds may expend a maneuver readied and instead produce a powerful windstorm of multiple elements. The fang of the four winds breaths out in a 60 ft. cone, dealing 1d6 damage per initiator level from each element (fire, cold, electricity, and acid). For example with an initiator level of 15, you deal 15d6 fire, 15d6 cold, 15d6 electrical, and 15d6 acid damage. As a result of such powerful energies, you are dealt a quarter of the damage as non-lethal backlash damage. The DC is 10 + 1/2 initiator level + Wis with a Reflex save for half and you may perform this ability 1/encounter. This is considered a 9th level maneuver for martial lore checks.
Elemental Body: The fang of the four winds has become elementally balanced in all ways. At 10th level the fang of the four winds becomes an elemental, with the augmented subtype, and no elemental subtype for he is an elemental of balance. He gains immunity to critical hits, poison, sleep effects, paralysis, and stunning. He no longer needs to breath, eat, or sleep, and gains darkvision out to 60 ft. Unlike other elementals he may be raised and resurrected as a member of his original type. When observed up close, and more noticeable in motion or combat, the fang of the four winds is surrounded by a constant stormy aura which ripples with tongues of flame, daggers of lightning, flakes of ice, and acidic mist.
The epic Fang of the Four Winds gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Fang of the Four Winds feats) every 3 levels after 10th.
Epic Fang of the Four Winds Bonus Feat List: Blinding Speed, Devastating Critical, Dire Charge, Energy Resistance, Epic Fortitude, Epic Prowess, Epic Reflexes, Epic Skill Focus, Epic Speed, Epic Will, Great Constitution, Great Dexterity, Great Strength, Great Wisdom, Improved Darkvision, Legendary Climber, Legendary Leaper, Overwhelming Critical, Penetrate Damage Reduction.
Playing a Fang of the Four Winds
Combat: A fang of the four winds is at heart a swordsage, a martial adept who excels at quick strikes, skills, and mobility. The mastery over elements accessable on the fly means they are versatile when facing foes who are resistant to their powers, or weak against certain elements.
Advancement: Any option good for a swordsage is good for a fang of the four winds.
Resources: gs of the Four Wings have a loose cabal of students who consist of Desert Wind masters who have gone into the world to travel and explore all the winds of the world. They come off as rather druidic, and are always nomadic, so no set school exists. They come and go as the wind.
Fang of the Four Winds in the World
|“||I am a storm moving over the land, you cannot stop a force of nature...||”|
|—Rhe, Wild Elf Fang of the Four Winds|
Martial nomads, they wander the world in search for enlightnment, adventure, or trouble.
NPC Reactions: Few NPCs know of what the Fangs of the Four Winds are. Depending on how they are first scene they may be confused with druids, mystical monks, or spellcasting gish.
Fang of the Four Winds Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge Nature can research Fang of the Four Winds to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||Fangs of the Four Winds are masters of the Desert Wind discipline, but are not limited to simple fire.|
|15||Fire, Acid, Cold, and Electrical power are all at their beck and call. They can even cloak themselves in a protective shield of it.|
|20||Powerful fangs of the four winds can breath out a chaotic maelstrom of energies, and burst through elemental resistances like they were paper.|
|30||Someone who gains this level of success can gain insight on a specific fang of the forest, their motives and legends, location, and other details.|
Fang of the Four Winds in the Game
Adaptation: Perhaps Sonic and Force damage should be accessible, at one lower die of damage. They can be gained at 10th and 13th (epic) respectively (Pandemonic Wind and Astral Wind disciplines). If so, increase the requirements to include 8 ranks in Knowledge The Planes to represent the boost in power with these outer planar winds.
Sample Encounter: A Fang of the Four Winds is among a party of evil druids and clerics in service to the Eye of the Elemental Evil.