Weapon Specialist (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Weapon Specialist[edit]

Some fight with many weapons. We kill, with one.
—Raquel, Elven Assassin/Weapon Specialist

Weapon specialists are the masters of their art, the top of their class, easily defeating foes and making it look easy. Some of them use their combative skills in a more professional context, either as trainers in their chosen weapon or in dazzling displays of martial prowess. They train their skills with a single weapon, often developing an empathy with a particular weapon (or set of weapons, for non-two-handed weapons) of that variety.

Becoming a Weapon Specialist[edit]

Characters take this class to focus on absolute mastery of a single weapon to the exclusion of all others. They give up the versatility provided by other classes in exchange for the weapon specialist's powerful, accurate attacks. Monks often become weapon specialists, selecting their Unarmed Strike as their chosen weapon, although it is not uncommon for weapon specialists to have backgrounds in other classes, such as Fighter or Barbarian.

Entry Requirements
Base Attack Bonus: 10.
Feats: Melee Weapon Mastery (PHB II); also Greater Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Focus, and proficiency in chosen weapon.
Special: Taking this class results in loss of proficiency in all other weapons.

Table: The Weapon Specialist

Hit Die: d10

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +1 +1 +1 Dodge, Combat Reflexes
2nd +2 +1 +2 +2 Mobility, Spring Attack
3rd +3 +2 +2 +3 Superior Training
4th +4 +2 +3 +3 Improved Critical
5th +5 +3 +3 +4 Soulbound Weapon

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level)
As Fighter. Also add perform (martial) to your list of class skills, with an added +2 bonus to all Perform checks involving your chosen weapon.

Class Features[edit]

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

Level 1: Awareness Training[edit]

Dodge: Weapon specialists can focus on defending themselves from a particular opponant, giving them +1 to AC against that opponant.

Combat Reflexes: A weapon specialist can keep a close watch on the surroundings, granting the ability to make additional attacks of opportunity and make attacks of opportunity while flatfooted, as per the feat.

Level 2: Agility Training[edit]

Mobility: Weapon Specialists must be agile to evade enemy attacks, even while moving. They gain a +4 bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity caused by movement.

Spring Attack: A true weapon specialist can dash past an enemy, only stopping for a moment to attack. This agility grants the capability to move both before and after attacking, provided the total distance moved is not greater than the specialist's movement speed.

Levels 3 & 4: The Way of the Weapon[edit]

Superior Training: The weapon specialist has now mastered their chosen weapon, leading to improvement in their fighting techniques. The ability gained depends on the weapon type. (Please reference the feat for details)

Improved Critical: The specialist's mastery of their weapon grants them confidence in their strikes, doubling their critical threat range.

Level 5: Forging the Bond[edit]

Soulbound Weapon: The weapon specialist begins to form a bond with a particular weapon (or pair of weapons, for dual-wielders) that cannot be broken. While wielding this bonded weapon, the specialist gains a +4 bonus to attack rolls and a +3 bonus to damage caused by the soulbound weapon.

If the soulbound weapon is destroyed, you immediately take damage equal to 20% of your current hit points from the backlash, and after recovering for one week, you may either may take a second week to bond with a new weapon, or attempt to repair the one you have, restoring the bond immediately. The bond can be voluntarily broken, but the specialist immediately takes damage equal to 30% of current hit points, and the weapon explosively shatters, dealing damage to anyone near it. (A one-handed weapon deals 3d8 damage in a 5-foot radius, and a two-handed weapon deals 5d8 damage in a 5-food radius. Add an additional 5 feet to the radius of the explosion and double the damage for each size category of the weapon beyond medium.)

Ex-Weapon Specialists[edit]

Any weapon specialist who gains proficiency in a weapon other than their chosen weapon lose all benefits gained from this class. The soulbound weapon shatters, as the ex-weapon specialist turns his back on it and all it stands for.

It should also be noted that such individuals are almost invariably characterized by notable weakness of will and a general lack of character. It is considered cowardly by most weapon specialists to abandon the path once it has been taken.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Weapon Specialist[edit]

Combat: Weapon specialists are the front-line fighters, the heavy-hitters, the half-orcs with Int 6. They use a single weapon (although they may actually wield any number of that weapon, as applicable) to inflict heavy amounts of damage.

Advancement: Weapon specialists typically advance in classes that take advantage of their highly specialized nature. Monk weapon specialists have an advantage in this regard, as taking levels in Weapon Specialist does not activate the multiclass restrictions included in the monk class.

Resources: Weapon specialists are usually unique, or at least very rare. It would be unlikely that two such would ever meet, though if they did, they would probably feel a shared bond. In any case, there are no special resources available to weapon specialists.

Weapon Specialists in the World[edit]

<-Some quote from a character of this class->

Weapon specialists are the ultimate fighters, paragons of destruction with their chosen weapons (though helpless without them). An enemy weapon specialist might be a high-level boss (the Big Bad Evil Guy) at the end of a campaign. A friendly weapon specialist might teach the PCs some special combat skill or send an apprentice along with them. Monstrous weapon specialists are wonders to behold (although they are by virtue of their requirements not beholders), often specializing in their natural weapons.

NPC Reactions: Most NPCs will not recognize a weapon specialist from an ordinary fighter until the specialist uses one of his abilities.

Weapon Specialists Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in knowledge (history) can research Weapon Specialists to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (history)
DC Result
11 Weapon specialists focus on a single kind of weapon.
16 Weapon specialists can perform outstanding feats with their chosen weapons, but refuse to use any other kind of weapon.
21 Some weapon specialists develop a powerful empathic bond with particular weapons used over time.
26 Detailed information about a particular weapon specialist.

Weapon Specialists in the Game[edit]

Weapon specialists are fighters trained to an incredible level of skill, but only in a single weapon. They trade versatility for power. They can often be found at weapon schools as trainers, although some prefer to follow a more mercenary path.

Adaptation: None.

Sample Encounter: Raquel is a weapon specialist who specializes in longswords. He teaches his skills at a combat school which he also helps to run, taking on young (and wealthy) individuals who wish to learn the way of the sword. He is nonaggressive, but if PCs attack, he may decide to use them to provide living demonstrations of various techniques to his students.

EL whatever: <-Encounter scenario and character info on sample NPC including stat block. The CR of the NPC is typically the same as the EL for the encounter->

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