Melee Specialist (3.5e Class)

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Melee Specialist[edit]

Some people like to carry around a cart full of weapons for each occasion. I need only one. -Unnamed melee specialist

A melee specialist is a front line combatant who focuses on the use of only a single type of weapon for his entire career. As a result he gains more insight than even a fighter who chooses to specialize with a weapon.

Making a Melee Specialist[edit]

Melee specialists are good on the front lines but lack the ability to contribute much at range. In a party they serve the same role as other front line attackers.

Abilities: Strength is the most important ability score for a melee specialist as it is with many front line combatants. A close second is constitution as it allows him to take as well as he gives.

Races: Any race is capable of becoming a melee specialists but elves have an affinity for it as they value swordsmanship very highly and have a long time to devote to learning.

Alignment: Any.

Starting Gold: 6d4×10 gp (150 gp).

Starting Age: Complex.

Table: The Melee Specialist

Hit Die: d10

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Chosen Weapon
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Anti-Armor Strikes 1
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Versatile Weapon Handling
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Bonus Feat
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Momentum (x2)
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Shatterpoint 1/day
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Improved Weapon Handling
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Bonus Feat
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Iron Grip
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Anti-Armor Strikes 2
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Shatterpoint 2/day
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 Bonus Feat
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 Greater Weapon Handling
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 Sunderguard
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 Momentum (x3)
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 Bonus Feat, Shatterpoint 3/day
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Improved Shatterpoint
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 Anti-Armor Strikes 3
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Steel As Water
20th +20/+18/+16/+14 +12 +6 +6 Bonus Feat, Perfect Weapon Handling

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)

The melee specialists class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the melee specialist.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A melee specialist is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields (except tower shields).

Chosen Weapon (Ex): At 1st level, the melee specialist picks a 1 handed melee weapon which he has proficiency with (this choice may not be changed thereafter). He gains the weapon focus feat for that weapon and may treat it as a light weapon when beneficial.

Anti-Armor Strikes (Ex): At 2nd level, a melee specialist ignores 1 point of natural armor, armor bonus, or shield bonus to armor class an opponent has while making an attack with his chosen weapon. This amount increases at 10th level and every 8 levels thereafter. Example: an opponent has a natural armor class of +1 and is wearing leather armor with an armor bonus of +2 while you are 10th level, the result is that you treat his armor class as 11 instead of 13.

Versatile Weapon Handling (Ex): At 3rd level, a melee specialist can use his chosen weapon to deal other types of damage than what it normally deals. As a swift action, the melee specialist may choose to deal bludgeoning, piercing, slashing, or some combination of these types of damage with his weapon (the player must justify how he is dealing this damage such as hitting with the flat of the blade of a sword for bludgeoning). The damage dice of the weapon is reduced by 1 step as though it was 1 size smaller while using this ability due to reduced effectiveness.

Bonus Feats (Ex): At 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter the melee specialist may take a fighter bonus feat. He is treated as a fighter of level equal to his melee specialist level - 2 for the purpose of feats that require fighter levels. In the case of feats that require fighter levels with respect to a particular weapon (such as weapon specialization) he is treated as a fighter of level equal to his melee specialist level for the purpose of his chosen weapon.

Momentum (Ex): At 5th level, while employing only his chosen weapon in combat, with only his primary hand (not 2 handed or two weapon fighting), and while not wearing heavier than medium armor a melee specialist may add twice his strength modifier to damage rolls with his chosen weapon (this overlaps the normal addition of strength modifier). At 15th level and every 10 levels after the amount of damage from the melee specialist's strength modifier added is increased by 1 multiple (x3 at 15th, x4 at 25th, etc.).

Shatterpoint (Ex): At 6th level, a melee specialist can enter a focused state, known as shatterpoint, as a free action once per day which allows him to sense and exploit weaknesses in otherwise unassailable targets. When the melee specialist first enters shatterpoint he makes an unmodified concentration check (ranks+con modifier only) and uses the result of this check to determine the effectiveness of his attacks against certain defenses. If the melee specialist attacks a target, while using his chosen weapon, with damage reduction or hardness he ignores 1/4 of the result of his concentration check (rounded down) worth of hardness and damage reduction (if the target somehow has both it applies to each separately). Shatterpoint lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + Con Modifier, can only be used once per encounter, and fatigues the melee specialist afterwards. A melee specialist cannot use this ability and rage (or any similar ability) at the same time and attacks gained from sources other than base attack bonus (such as haste) do not benefit from this ability. At 11th level and every 5 levels thereafter the melee specialist gains an additional use of this ability per day.

Improved Weapon Handling (Ex): At 7th level, a melee specialist can make nonlethal attacks and attacks while prone with his chosen weapon without taking a -4 penalty on the attack roll.

Iron Grip (Ex): At 9th level, a melee specialist becomes difficult to disarm of his chosen weapon. The melee specialist may make 2 rolls and take the higher result when resisting a disarming attempt with his chosen weapon. Furthermore, the opponent gains no benefit from differences in size and the melee specialist gains a +10 bonus on resisting disarming attempts as though he was wearing a locked gauntlet (this does not stack with the bonus a locked gauntlet would provide).

Greater Weapon Handling (Ex): At 13th level, a melee specialist using his chosen weapon can make a opposed concentration check against an enemy attempting to tumble through an area that would provoke an attack of opportunity by him. If the melee specialist is successful he may take that attack of opportunity as normal. Furthermore, the melee specialist takes no penalties to attack and damage rolls while fighting underwater with his chosen weapon.

Sunderguard (Ex): At 14th level, a melee specialists chosen weapon becomes difficult to sunder or otherwise damage. The melee specialist may make 2 rolls and take the higher result against any sunder attempt or on any save to protect his chosen weapon and these rolls are made at a +5 bonus. The melee specialists weapon also gains a +5 bonus to armor class against being targeted by attacks that would affect it.

Improved Shatterpoint (Su): At 17th level, while in shatterpoint a melee specialist wielding his chosen weapon may make an unmodified concentration check (ranks + con modifier) when attacking a creature with a special quality other than damage reduction (regeneration, swarm traits, incorporeal, etc.) that would negatively modify his attack with respect to hitting or dealing damage (the DM may adjudicate this ability to not be effective in rare cases such as the tarrasque). If the result of his check exceeds the targets CR + 11 he can attack and deal damage normally to the target. The result of this check lasts only for 1 round and only for the target the check was made for (thus he must make new checks in subsequent rounds or against new targets).

Steel As Water (Ex): At 19th level, a melee specialist wielding his chosen weapon may strike his opponents as though their defenses (or steel) were no more effective at preventing his attacks than a thin layer of water. Once per day, the melee specialist may resolves his attacks with his chosen weapon as touch attacks for one round.

Perfect Weapon Handling (Ex): At 20th level, a melee specialist gains a mastery of his chosen weapon that most others cannot even understand. Iterative attacks with his chosen weapon are made at -2 increments rather than -5, he rerolls all natural 1's for attack rolls while using his chosen weapon (if the result of a reroll is a 1 he rerolls until he does not recieve a 1), he does not suffer penalties from the effects of fatigue or exhaustion with respect to his weapon attack and damage rolls, any miss chances he would suffer are reduced by 20% (to a minimum of 0%), and improved shatterpoint becomes an extraordinary ability.

Epic Melee Specialist[edit]

Table: The Epic Melee Specialist

Hit Die: d10

Level Special
21st Shatterpoint 4/day
24th Bonus Feat
25th Momentum (x4)
26th Anti-Armor Strikes 4, Shatterpoint5/day
28th Bonus Feat

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Anti-Armor Strikes: The amount of armor bonus, shield bonus, or natural armor bonus ignored increases by 1 at 26th level and every 8 levels thereafter.

Momentum: The multiplier on strength modifier for damage rolls with your chosen weapon increases by 1 at 25th level and every 10 levels thereafter.

Shatterpoint: The melee specialist gains an extra use of shatterpoint per day at 21st level and every 5 levels thereafter as normal.

Bonus Feats: The epic melee specialist gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic melee specialist bonus feats) every 4 levels after 20th.

Epic Melee Specialist Bonus Feat List: As fighter list plus Great Strength and Shattered Steel (New epic feat).

Shattered Steel [Epic]

Prerequisites: Steel As Water class feature, Shatterpoint class feature, Character level 24th, Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Base Attack Bonus +20.

Benefit: You may sacrifice a use per day of your Shatterpoint ability to use Steel As Water an additional time per day for each use per day of Shatterpoint sacrificed. This sacrifice is made as a free action and lasts until the beginning of the next day.

Normal: You can only use Steel As Water once per day.

Special: You can only sacrifice uses of Shatterpoint that you gain from class levels and not from other sources.

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