Hand of the Natural Elements (3.5e Prestige Class)
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Hand of Nature
Those who seek to perfect their martial skills often look to their surroundings for inspiration. Some find power in magic, some in weaponry; a Hand of the Natural Elements is someone who has been inspired by the force of the four elements (Fire, Water, Air, and Earth), and has adapted their combat style to resemble them.
This class is designed with the SRD:Monk class in mind.
Becoming a Hand of Nature
Most people who pursue this path are monks who have a deep connection with nature; very rarely, druids or fighters will seek to become Hands of Nature, but many lose interest because they prefer other means of combat.
|Alignment:||The natural world is diverse in its climates and inhabitants; lawful and chaotic characters may pursue this class equally. Evil characters have no love of nature, and would sooner warp or bend nature to their will than wield it.|
|Base Attack Bonus:||+7|
|Skills:||Concentration 5 ranks, Balance 5 ranks.|
|Feats:||Improved Unarmed Strike, Combat Expertise|
|Special:||Must have meditated for at least four hours in four places imbued with the power of the natural elements; for example, Earth could be in a subterranean cavern or in the center of a circle of ancient standing stones, Fire could be on the hardened lava of an active volcano or in a supernaturally hot desert, Water could be under a great waterfall or an underwater grotto, and Air could be on the peak of a mountain above the clouds or in the eye of a storm.|
|Saving Throws||Special||Ability Boost|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+2||Monk Abilities, Four Paths of Nature||+0|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+3||Nature's Empowerment (Ex)||+1|
|4th||+4||+4||+4||+4||Improved Four Paths of Nature||+2|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+4||Element Body (Ex)||+2|
|7th||+7||+5||+5||+5||Elemental Empathy (Su)||+3|
|8th||+8||+6||+6||+6||Greater Four Paths of Nature||+4|
|10th||+10||+7||+7||+7||Embodiment of Nature (Su)||+5|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level)
All of the following are class features of the Hand of Nature.
Weapon and Armor Proficiecny: A Hand of Nature gains no proficiency with any weapons or armor.
Four Paths of Nature: A Hand of Nature has learned to imitate the four elements while fighting. At the beginning of a combat, provided that he is unarmored and using only unarmed or natural attacks, he may use one of the four stances listed here and gain its benefits. Only one stance can be active at a time, and switching between stances in combat is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity. The effects of a stance fade at the end of combat.
Fire Stance (Ex): Fire is volatile and burns anything it can reach. When in Fire Stance, any enemy hit by a Hand's unarmed or natural attacks must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + class level + Str modifier) or take 1d4 points of Con damage.
Water Stance (Ex): Water flows around objects, and constantly changes shape to match its environment. When in Water Stance, a Hand of Nature making a full-round attack action may take a 5-foot step between each attack, provided that the distance covered this way in a round does not exceed 1/2 of his base movement speed.
Earth Stance (Ex): Earth is sturdy and able to withstand a great amount of damage. When in Earth Stance, a Hand of Nature may add his Con modifier as a bonus to rolls against being charged, grappled, bull rushed, or tripped.
Air Stance (Ex): Air is everywhere, and can gather to become sharp wind that tears into anything in its path. When in Air Stance, a Hand of Nature's unarmed attacks become Slashing weapons, and the critical range is extended by 1. This bonus does not stack with feats and other effects that increase critical range, such as Improved Critical and Keen Strike. If the Hand of Nature has one of these feats already, use whichever one gives the greater bonus.
Nature's Empowerment (Ex): In combat, a Hand of Nature becomes a conduit of the forces of nature. Beginning at second level, while using any of the four stances, he gains an inherent bonus to one ability score equal to 1/2 his class level. Each stance gives one score a bonus: Fire enhances Strength, Water enhances Wisdom, Earth enhances Constitution, and Air enhances Dexterity. The resulting ability modifiers apply to attack bonuses, damage rolls, armor class, skill checks, and grant temporary hit points, wherever applicable.
Bonus Feats: At every third level, a Hand of Nature gains a bonus feat. These feats must be drawn from those noted as fighter bonus feats; additionally, they must apply only to melee combat, and if selecting a feat that requires a single weapon to be chosen, use unarmed or natural attacks in place of other weapons.
Improved Four Paths of Nature: At fourth level, a Hand of Nature deepens his connection with the natural elements. Each of his four stances gain additional benefits, on top of the ones they already provide.
Fire Stance: Searing Impact (Ex): The friction generated by a Hand of Nature's furious attacks sear his enemies. The base DC to resist Con damage grows to 15 from 10, and the damage increases to 1d6. Additionally, each attack deals a bonus 1d6 fire damage.
Water Stance: Flowing Defense (Ex): The movements of a Hand of Nature flow around a battle, allowing him to avoid attacks. If an attack would hit him, he may choose to make an opposing roll (1d20 + Armor Class − 10 + Wis modifier), similar to grappling. If his roll is greater than the enemy's attack roll, the attack misses. This cannot apply to a natural 20.
Earth Stance: Fracturing Blow (Ex): A Hand of Nature stands firm as a mountain, and his blows are heavy as boulders. He is counted as one size larger when rolling against grapples, bull rushes, charges, and trips (a +4 bonus). In addition, he is counted as one size larger when attempting to sunder, and adds his Con modifier to the opposed attack and item damage rolls.
Air Stance: Resounding Strike (Ex): A Hand of Nature's rapid strikes crease the air they travel through, creating shockwaves. When he successfully hits with an attack, the target and all enemies within 10 feet of the target take 1d4 sonic damage. Additionally, he adds his Dex modifier as a bonus to rolls for confirming critical strikes.
Element Body (Ex): A Hand of Nature becomes familiar enough with the elements to realize that all four exist within all natural life. At fifth level, he gains 10 resistance to acid, cold, fire, and sonic damage.
Elemental Empathy (Su): At seventh level, a Hand of Nature begins to hear each of the element's individual voices. He is treated as being able to speak Auran, Aquan, Ignan, and Terran, and gains +2 on Diplomacy, Gather Information, and Sense Motive rolls against creatures with the Air, Earth, Fire, or Water subtypes. If a creature has two or more of these subtypes, the bonuses stack. For instance, a Hand of Nature making a Sense Motive check on a thoqqua gains a +4 bonus.
Greater Four Paths of Nature: The true powers of the elements are immeasurable. At eighth level, a Hand of Nature learns primal secrets of each element, and reflects them in his fighting style. Each of his four stances gain additional benefits, on top of the ones they already provide.
Fire Stance: Blazing Palm (Ex): The Hand of Nature is unrelenting, and can feel the adrenaline burst through his veins like wildfire. The base DC to resist Con damage increases from 15 to 20, and the damage increases to 1d8. The fire damage each attack deals is now equal to 1d6 per point of Str modifier (maximum 10d6). Additionally, anyone attacking the Hand of Nature with a melee attack takes 5d6 fire damage; a Reflex save (DC 20 + class level + Str modifier) halves.
Water Stance: Tide Walker (Ex): The ebb and flow of the ocean is reflected in the Hand of Nature's actions. He may walk on the surface of bodies of liquid, as if under the effects of a water walk spell, and all enemies he attacks are considered flat-footed for his attack roll. Additionally, he adds his Wis modifier to attack and damage rolls.
Earth Stance: Stone Form (Ex): A Hand of Nature can feel the power of the entire world pulsing beneath his feet. He gains tremorsense 60 ft., and gains damage reduction (Ex) equal to twice his Con modifier. For example, if he has a Constitution score of 21 (after including the bonus from Nature's Empowerment), he gains damage reduction 10/—.
Air Stance: Typhoon Claw (Ex): The Hand of Nature has felt the most powerful storms of the world, winds that rip apart everything they touch. He may choose to have his unarmed attacks deal either slashing or piercing damage, the critical threat range is increased again by 2 (for a total bonus of 3), and critical multiplier triples (from x2 to x5). This does not stack with other feats or effects that increase critical multiplier. Additionally, the sonic damage dealt to targets and surrounding enemies increases to 1d4 per point of Dex modifier (maximum 10d4), and the range increases to 20 feet.
Embodiment of Nature (Su): In nature, the elements mix and intertwine in fantastic ways; at 10th level, a Hand of Nature has learned to emulate this. He may have two stances active at the same time, and gain all of their benefits. However, this puts extreme stress on his body; each round that both stances are active, he must make a Fortitude save (DC 30) or become fatigued. A Hand of Nature who becomes fatigued in this way may not use any of his stances until he fully recovers.
The epic gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic feats) every levels after .
Epic Bonus Feat List:
Ex-Hands of the Natural Elements
Playing a Hand of the Natural Elements
Hands of the Natural Elements in the World
Hand of the Natural Elements Lore
Characters with ranks in can research to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
Hands of the Natural Elements in the Game