Whirling Reaper (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Whirling Reaper

The scythe. A tool designed for reaping the grain of the fields, but also a weapon for gathering the bountiful harvest of life. To those who favour this weapon, the comparison is beautifully apt, and the whirling reaper takes it even further, developing a style of endless spinning strokes that mows his opponents down in a deadly dance.

While fighters can qualify easily for this class, it is particularly popular with barbarians, who already favour lighter armours, and clerics with the Death domain, due to the imagery of harvesting life. The class is particularly well-suited for fighting sizable groups of opponents, where the whirling reaper can cut through large numbers of opponents in a single round without exposing himself to additional danger. Because the revolving style of attack requires a good sense of balance along with the main force to cut through foes, the best whirling reapers have a fine combination of power and agility, rather than being merely brutish thugs.

The most common type of whirling reaper NPC is a lone expert of his art; an individual focused on his personal endeavours as the world turns about him. Following the grim aspect often associated with the scythe, many care little for the value of life or are bloodthirsty killers deluded by their own ability, though this evil nature is not required for the class. Working in pairs or larger teams, whirling reapers use their knack for flanking opponents to good effect, and have less of a selfish nature than iscommon for their solitary counterparts.


  • To qualify to become a whirling reaper, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
  • Base Attack Bonus: +4
  • Skills: Balance 5 ranks
  • Feats: Power Attack, Cleave, Weapon Focus (scythe)

Table: The Whirling Reaper
Hit Die: d8

Base Attack
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Critical cleave, deft scythe
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Whirling defense +1
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Spinning attack
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Whirling defense +2
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Improved Critical (scythe)
6th +6 +5 +5 +2 Whirling defense +3
7th +7 +5 +5 +2 Gyre cleave
8th +8 +6 +6 +2 Whirling defense +4
9th +9 +6 +6 +3 Scything trip
10th +10 +7 +7 +3 Whirling defense +5, whirling onslaught

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level)
Balance, Craft, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Move Silently, Profession, Tumble.

Class Features

All the following are class features of the whirling reaper prestige class.

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Whirling reapers gain no additional proficiency with any weapons, armour, or shields. Many of a whirling reaper's abilities require freedom of movement. When wearing armour heavier than light or carrying more than a light load, he cannot use the critical cleave, whirling defense, spinning attack, gyre cleave, or whirling onslaught abilities.

Critical Cleave (Ex): When a whirling reaper makes a successful critical hit with a scythe, he can use the Cleave feat to immediately make an extra attack as if he had felled a creature. This ability does not allow the reaper to cleave more than once per round; if he makes a critical hit and fells a creature in the same blow, he gets a single extra attack.

Deft Scythe (Ex): A whirling reaper is treated as having the Combat Reflexes and Weapon Finesse feats while wielding a scythe. He adds the scythe to the list of weapons he can use with Weapon Finesse.

Whirling Defense (Ex): A whirling reaper of 2nd level or higher employs a spinning form of defense to block blows with his scythe. In any round that he wields a scythe and moves no more than 5 feet, he gains a +1 shield bonus to AC for every 2 levels of whirling reaper. Extra 5-foot steps from the gyre cleave or whirling onslaught abilities do not count against his total movement for the purpose of using whirling defense.

Spinning Attack (Ex): At 3rd level, a whirling reaper learns to use his momentum to make progressively more dangerous attacks. While wielding a scythe, he gains a +2 bonus to damage rolls for each successful attack he has made that round. The bonuses for multiple attacks in a round stack.

Improved Critical: At 5th level, a whirling reaper gains the Improved Critical feat for the scythe. He does not need to meet the normal prerequisites. If he already has this feat he can choose another one.

Gyre Cleave (Ex): At 7th level, a whirling reaper's ability to cleave with a scythe improves. He can make extra attacks from a critical cleave as though using the Great Cleave feat, and may take a 5-foot step (without provoking an attack of opportunity) whenever he makes a critical cleave or normal cleave with a scythe. The 5-foot step must be taken before he makes his extra attack. It is in addition to any other movement he may make in the round (including a normal 5-foot step).

Scything Trip (Ex): A whirling reaper of 9th level or higher that hits with a scythe can attempt to trip the opponent without making a touch attack or provoking an attack of opportunity. If the reaper is tripped during his own trip attempt, he can drop the scythe to avoid being tripped.

Whirling Onslaught (Ex): At 10th level, a whirling reaper learns to blend multiple attacks into a veritable cyclone of death. Whenever he makes a full attack with a scythe, he may take a 5-foot step (without provoking an attack of opportunity) between each attack. These 5-foot steps are in addition to any other movement he may make in the round (including a normal 5-foot step, or extra 5-foot steps from gyre cleave).

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