Sublime Master (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Andraos the Seeker, a sublime master of the Desert Wind martial discipline.

The Sublime Master is a devout scholar of the Sublime Way.  They dedicate their entire life to the study of martial combat, typically focusing on one particular discipline above all others.

Making a Sublime Master[edit]

Abilities:  Intelligence is by far the most crucial to a sublime master.  While he begins his career little different from a traditional warrior, as a sublime master progresses, they begin to rely more and more on their intuition and tactical awareness rather than their physical strength.  That said, a high Constitution is helpful due to their relatively low Hit Dice compared to other martial characters, and a good Wisdom bonus can be helpful with many of their more cerebral skills and their saving throws.

Races:  Humans and elves are, by far, the most common races to take up the ways of the sublime master.  It is not, however, uncommon for other races to do the same, though halflings rarely do due to their lack of focus and dedication to the rigors required of those who master the Sublime Ways.

Alignment:  A sublime master must be at least partially neutral. The study of the Sublime Way is its own end, but one must have an open enough mind to accept the philosophical principles inherent to any of the nine disciplines.  Whether any particular student chooses to employ what he has learned in the service of good, evil, law, or chaos is not considered significant by most who follow this path. Good sublime masters tend to be errant champions of the weak and downtrodden.  The less commonplace evil masters believe that their martial mastery has made them superior to everyone around them.

Becoming a Sublime Master[edit]

Entry Requirements
Skills: Balance 5 ranks, Martial Lore 8 ranks, Sense Motive 5 ranks.
Feats: Adaptive Style and Weapon Focus.
Alignment: You must be at least partially neutral.
Special: You must known at least five maneuvers and/or stances from a single discipline.

Table: The Sublime Master

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Maneuvers
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Brains Over Brawn, Favored Discipline 0 0 0
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Focused Training 1 0 1
3rd +1 +1 +3 +3 Evasion 1 1 0
4th +2 +1 +4 +4 Focused Training 1 0 0
5th +2 +1 +4 +4 Brains Over Brawn, Sublime Bond 1 0 0
6th +3 +2 +5 +5 Focused Training 0 1 1
7th +3 +2 +5 +5 Mettle 1 0 0
8th +4 +2 +6 +6 Focused Training 1 0 0
9th +4 +3 +6 +6 Improved Evasion 1 1 0
10th +5 +3 +7 +7 Brains Over Brawn, Focused Training, Sublime Bond 1 0 1

Class Skills: Autohypnosis, Balance, Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Gather Information, Handle Animal, Heal,
Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (any, taken individually), Listen, Martial Lore, Move Silently, Perform, Profession, Ride, Search,
Sense Motive, Speak Language, Spot, Survival, Swim, Tumble, Use Magic Device, and Use Rope
Skill Points per Level: 6 + Int modifier per level

Class Features[edit]

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies:  You do not gain any additional weapon or armor proficiencies upon becoming a sublime master.

Maneuvers Known:  At each of the indicated class levels, you gain a new maneuver known from any of the nine disciplines, but at least half of them must come from your Favored Discipline (see below).  You must meet a maneuver’s prerequisite to learn it.  You add your full sublime master levels to your initiator level to determine your total initiator level and your highest-level maneuvers known.

Maneuvers Readied:  At the indicated levels, you may ready one additional maneuver at one time.

Stances Known:  At the indicated levels, you learn a new martial stance from any of the nine disciplines. You must meet a stance’s prerequisite to learn it.

Brains Over Brawn (Ex):  Sublime masters favorite cunning and tactics over brute force in everything they do.  As such, they may use their Intelligence modifier in place of their Strength or Dexterity modifier when making ability checks, skill checks.  At 5th level, their reliance on their intellect increases even more, allowing them to do the same with attack and rolls whilst wielding a weapon from their Favored Discipline.  Finally at 10th level, they may use their Intelligence modifier in place of Dexterity when determining their AC and Reflex saving throws.

Favored Discipline (Ex):  You gain proficiency with all weapons, including exotic variations as determined by the DM, associated with one martial discipline of choice.  When wielding any of these weapons, you gain an insight bonus equal to your Intelligence modifier with the skill associated with that discipline.

Once chosen, not even a wish or miracle spell will allow you to change your favored discipline.  Only direct divine intervention has any hope of allowing you to do so.

Focused Training:  At the indicated class levels, you gain a bonus feat selected from the following list of feats as long as you otherwise meet the prerequisites.  These bonus feats may only be used in conjunction with your favored disciplined.

The list of available feats are:  Blade Meditation, Combat Expertise¹, Combat Reflexes¹, Desert Wind, Desert Wind Dodge, Devoted Bulwark, Evasive Reflexes, Extra Readied Maneuver, Falling Sun Attack, Improved Critical¹, Power Attack¹, Ironheart Aura, Quick Draw, Rapid Assault, Second Weapon Bond, Shadow Blade, Snap Kick, Stone Power, Sudden Recovery, Superior Unarmed Strike, Two-Weapon Fighting¹, Unnerving Calm, Vital Recovery, Weapon Focus¹, Weapon Specialization¹, and White Raven Defense.

¹ You may also select the improved or greater versions of these feats, such as Improved Combat Reflexes or Greater Two-Weapon Fighting.

Evasion (Ex):  If you are subjected to an attack that allows a Reflex save for half damage, you take no damage on a successful save.  If you are flat-footed or otherwise unable to dodge out of the way, you do not gain any benefit from evasion.

If you possess evasion from another source, such as from levels in the rogue class, you instead gain Improved Evasion.

Sublime Bond (Su):  Choose a specific weapon of at least masterwork quality.  You develop a supernatural bond with this weapon after imbuing it with a small portion of your very essence.

Forging this bond requires a DC 25 Martial Lore check and one hour of quiet contemplation.  You may not take 10 on this check, but you may take 20 if you spend the requisite amount of time meditating.  If you attempt to forge a bond with another weapon while currently bound to another one, the bond is instantly broken and you take 1d4 points of non-lethal damage for each initiator level you possess.  You retain your bond even if your weapon is lost or sundered, though an antimagic field or similar magic can temporarily suppress the link.  In such cases you do not suffer damage, but instead lose all benefits of the bond.  Only a mage's disjunction, miracle, or wish spell can truly break your link, causing you to suffer damage just as if you had voluntarily broken your bond.

You may only forge a sublime bond to a single weapon at any given time unless you possess the Second Weapon Bond feat.

Upon successfully forging the bond, you can sense the general direction and distance of your bound weapon if separated from it, and can call it to your hand as a move-equivalent action if it is within 30 feet of you and you have direct line of sight.  If the weapon is in the possession of another, they can attempt a Will saving throw (DC 10 + ½ your effective initiator level + your Intelligence modifier) in order to retain possession of it.  If they succeed, you cannot attempt to call the weapon from them again for 24 hours.

At 10th level, distance is no longer a barrier to your bond and you may call your weapon to you as long as both you and your bound weapon are on the same plane.  If your bound weapon is on another plane, you will have an innate sense of where it is, but no means of obtaining it without outside assistance.

Additionally, you may now treat your bound weapon as if you were wielding it as a light weapon or two-handed weapon, whichever benefits you the most in any given situation (even at the same time).  For example, you could treat a longsword as a light weapon for purposes of the Weapon Finesse feat, while simultaneously treating it as a two-handed weapon when determining how much of your Strength modifier applies to damage rolls or how difficult it is to disarm you of it.

Mettle (Ex):  You can resist magical and unusual attacks with great willpower or fortitude.  If you make 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), you instead completely negates the effect.  If you are unconscious or sleeping, you do not gain the benefit of mettle.

Improved Evasion (Ex):  Improved evasion is like evasion, except that even on a failed saving throw you takes only half damage.

Epic Progression[edit]

Table: Epic Sublime Master

Level Special
22nd      Bonus Feat     
24th Bonus Feat
26th Bonus Feat
28th Bonus Feat
30th Bonus Feat

Hit Dice: d6

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier

Bonus Feats: The epic sublime master gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic fighter bonus feats or sublime master focused training) every two levels after 20th.

Epic Battle Scholar Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Damage Reduction, Devastating Critical, Dire Charge, Distant Shot, Energy Resistance, Epic Endurance, Epic Leadership, Epic Maneuvers, Epic Prowess, Epic Toughness, Epic Weapon Focus, Epic Weapon Specialization, Exceptional Deflection, Improved Combat Reflexes, Improved Stunning Fist, Improved Whirlwind Attack, Infinite Deflection, Legendary Commander, Legendary Rider, Legendary Wrestler, Overwhelming Critical, Penetrate Damage Reduction, Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting, Reflect Arrows, Spellcasting Harrier, Superior Initiative, Two-Weapon Rend, and Uncanny Accuracy.  In addition to the feats on this list, the epic sublime master may treat any feat designated as a fighter bonus feat, but not listed here, as being on his or her bonus feat list.

Epic Maneuvers (Epic Feat)[edit]

Prerequisites: Martial Lore 24 ranks, ability to initiate 9th-level maneuvers.

Benefit: You may develop and initiate epic maneuvers. These are designed and used much the same way as epic spells are for a Wizard, except they must be martial in nature. You may initiate a number of epic maneuvers per day equal to your ranks in Martial Lore divided by 10, and doing so does not count against your normal number of readied maneuvers.

In addition, you may also develop one epic stance equal to your ranks in Martial Lore divided by 20. Using an epic stance is identical to using a normal stance in all ways (you may normally only assume one stance at a time, and this is true whether the stance is normal or epic).

Special: Normally this feat is only available to epic sublime masters. However, if your DM allows it, other martial classes can learn this feat as described.

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