Friday, March 14, 2014

System Shock - The Exalt

The Advanced Class Guide playtest.
Today's Encounter Table is the second look into custom hybrid classes, the likes of which will be featured in the Advanced Class Guide. The exalt, featured below the break, is a class dedicated to mastering a single weapon that its wielder forges a strong bond to and blends elements of the fighter and monk core classes to achieve this effect.

The Advanced Class Guide will feature the duelist, a hybrid class that combines the fighter and gunslinger into a light armored front-line combatant and shares similar design space with the exalt. You can get a preview of the swashbuckler in the Advanced Class Guide Playtest, available for free at Paizo.com.

Next week the Encounter Table breaks out the pop creature articles once more!

Speak your mind about the exalt in the comments below, or join the Encounter Table at its discussion thread on the official Paizo forums!




The Exalt (Fighter/Monk)

Paragons of combat with a singular focus on one weapon, exalts represent an extreme specialization in the art of war that hones skill to deadly precision. Part soldier and part ascetic, the exalt blends traditional concepts of weapon combat with mysticism and meditation, percieving their weapon as both an extension of their body and soul. Exalts forge a profound bond with their weapons, allowing them to perform superhuman feats of martial prowess and utilize their chosen weapon with a level of skill and efficacy that stands far beyond what an ordinary warrior can achieve. Becoming an exalt is a rigorous process requiring years of practice and study under dilligent masters and requires a very strict discipline and ordered mind.

Role: Exalts are focused combatants that excel at taking down a single opponent and leveraging combat maneuvers to greater advantage than most other classes. They are not focused on defensive combat and tend to work well with heavier armored or more agile classes that can take the focus off of themselves long enough to deliver a killing blow.

Alignment: Any lawful.

Hit Die: d10.

Starting Wealth: 1d6 × 10 gp (average 35 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills

The exalt's class skills are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks Per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: The Exalt
Level
Base Attack Bonus
Fort Save
Ref Save
Will Save
Special
1st
+1
+2
+0
+2
Bonus feat, exalt’s flurry, weapon bond (weapon)
2nd
+2
+3
+0
+3
Weapon bond (maneuvers)
3rd
+3
+3
+1
+3
Still mind, weapon training +1
4th
+4
+4
+1
+4
Bonus feat, ki pool
5th
+5
+4
+1
+4
Executions, gouge, hobble, hurl, slam, shatter
6th
+6/+1
+5
+2
+5
Weapon bond (magic)
7th
+7/+2
+5
+2
+5
Bonus feat, weapon training +2
8th
+8/+3
+6
+2
+6
Penetrating strike
9th
+9/+4
+6
+3
+6
Weapon bond (silver/cold iron)
10th
+10/+5
+7
+3
+7
Bonus feat
11th
+11/+6/+1
+7
+3
+7
Eviscerate, Weapon training +3
12th
+12/+7/+2
+8
+4
+8
Weapon bond (lawful)
13th
+13/+8/+3
+8
+4
+8
Bonus feat
14th
+14/+9/+4
+9
+4
+9
Hurricane strike
15th
+15/+10/+5
+9
+5
+9
Weapon bond (adamantine), weapon training +4
16th
+16/+11/+6/+1
+10
+5
+10
Bonus feat
17th
+17/+12/+7/+2
+10
+5
+10
Deathblow
18th
+18/+13/+8/+3
+11
+6
+11
Weapon bond (epic)
19th
+19/+14/+9/+4
+11
+6
+11
Bonus feat, weapon mastery
20th
+20/+15/+10/+5
+12
+6
+12
Master of executions

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An exalt is proficient with all martial weapons, medium armor, and shields (except tower shields.)

Bonus Feat: At 1st level and every 3rd level thereafter an exalt gains a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement. These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as Combat Feats, sometimes also called “fighter bonus feats.”

Upon reaching 6th level, and every six levels thereafter, an exalt can choose to learn a new bonus feat in place of a bonus feat he has already learned. In effect, the exalt loses the bonus feat in exchange for the new one. The old feat cannot be one that was used as a prerequisite for another feat, prestige class, or other ability. an exalt can only change one feat at any given level and must choose whether or not to swap the feat at the time he gains a new bonus feat for the level.

Exalt's Flurry (Ex): Starting at 1st level, an exalt can make an exalt's flurry as a full-attack action. When doing so, he may make one additional attack with his bonded weapon, taking a –2 penalty on all of his attack rolls.

At 8th level, the exalt can make two additional attacks with his bonded weapon when he uses exalt's flurry.

At 15th level, the exalt can make three additional attacks with his bonded weapon using exalt's flurry.

The exalt may not make natural weapon attacks, unarmed strikes, or use two-weapon fighting or multiweapon fighting while using exalt's flurry.

Weapon Bond: At 1st level the exalt gains one free masterwork weapon that he is proficient with (this weapon may be of a special material, but the additional cost of this material must be paid for out of the exalt's starting gold). This weapon is the exalt's bonded weapon, a focus for many of his class abilities.

The magic properties of a bonded weapon, including any magic abilities added to the object, only function for the exalt who owns it. If a bonded object's owner dies, or the item is replaced, the object reverts to being an ordinary masterwork weapon.

If a bonded weapon is damaged, the exalt may restore it to full hit points once per day by meditating with his blade for 4 hours. If the bonded weapon is lost or destroyed, it can be replaced after 1 week in a special ritual that costs 200 gp per exalt level plus the cost of the masterwork item. This ritual takes 8 hours to complete. A weapon replaced in this way do not possess any of the additional enchantments of the previous bonded item. an exalt can designate an existing magic item as his bonded item. This functions in the same way as replacing a lost or destroyed item except that the new magic item retains its abilities while gaining the benefits and drawbacks of becoming a bonded weapon.

At 2nd level the exalt gains a bonus on all combat maneuver checks made with his bonded weapon equal to his Wisdom modifier.

At 6th level as long as the exalt has 1 point in his ki pool, his bonded weapon penetrates damage reduction as if it were a magic weapon. Additionally, he may improve his bonded weapon as if he possessed the Master Craftsman feat.

At 9th level the exalt's bonded weapon penetrates damage reduction as if it were a silver and cold iron weapon, so long as he has at least 1 point in his ki pool.

At 12th level, as long as the exalt has 1 point in his ki pool his bonded weapon penetrates damage reduction as if it were lawful-aligned.

At 15th level the exalt's bonded weapon penetrates damage reduction as if it were adamantine, so long as he has at least 1 point in his ki pool.

At 18th level the exalt's bonded weapon penetrates damage reduction as if it had a total enhancement bonus higher than +6, allowing it to bypass epic damage reduction as long as he has 1 point in his ki pool.

Weapon Training (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, an exalt gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with his bonded weapon. Every four levels thereafter (7th, 11th, and 15th) this bonus increases by +1.

An exalt also adds this bonus to any combat maneuver checks made with his bonded weapon. This bonus also applies to the exalt's Combat Maneuver Defense when defending against disarm and sunder attempts made against his bonded weapon.

Still mind (Ex): An exalt of 3rd level or higher gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against enchantment spells and effects.

Ki Pool (Ex): At 4th level, an exalt gains a pool of ki points, supernatural energy he can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in an exalt's ki pool is equal to 1/2 his exalt level + his Wisdom modifier.

By spending 1 point from his ki pool, an exalt can do one of the following:

  • Make one additional attack at his highest attack bonus when making a flurry of blows attack, or
  • Increase his speed by 20 feet for 1 round, or
  • Give himself a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 round.

Each of these powers is activated as a swift action.

The ki pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation; these hours do not need to be consecutive.

Executions: At 4th level an exalt gains access to a group of special attacks called executions. Executions require the expenditure of 1 point of ki from the exalt's ki pool to use. Unless otherwise noted, executions are performed as a standard action and have a save DC equal to 10 + 1/2 exalt level + exalt's Wis modifier. An exalt must be wielding his bonded weapon in order to perform executions.

List of Executions

Hobble (Ex): At 5th level the exalt performs a trip combat maneuver on an opponent within reach. If the combat maneuver is successful, the target halves their land speed for 1 round in addition to becoming prone. At 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter the duration of hobble increases by 1 round.

Gouge (Ex): At 5th level the exalt performs a dirty trick combat maneuver to inflict the blinded status on a foe and may also attempt to deliver bleed damage. If the combat maneuver is successful the exalt blinds the target for 1 round and also inflicts 1 point of bleed damage. At 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter the duration of blindness increases by 1 round.

Slam (Ex): At 5th level The exalt may perform a bull-rush combat maneuver on a target which, if successful, moves the opponent back an additional 5 feet beyond the result of the combat maneuver and additionally knocks them prone. The exalt does not need to move with the target of this combat maneuver in order to move them back further than 5 feet. At 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter the exalt adds an additional 5 feet to the distance his opponent is moved with slam.

Hurl (Ex): At 5th level the exalt may make a drag combat maneuver on an opponent and can instead throw them half the distance that they would have normally been dragged as a result of the combat maneuver check (minimum distance of 5 feet). The exalt does not need to move with the target of hurl. This movement can move the exalt's opponent into an intrinsically dangerous location, such as off a cliff or into a trap. At 6th level and every 6 levels thereafter the exalt can throw his opponent an additional 5 feet beyond the result of the combat maneuver. 
Shatter (Ex): At 5th level the exalt performs a sunder combat maneuver with his bonded weapon on an opponent's weapon which, if successful, deals double damage to the opponent's weapon and also disarms them as if the exalt succeeded on a disarm combat maneuver. At 10th level the exalt deals triple damage to his opponent's weapon instead of double.
Penetrating Strike (Su): At 8th level the exalt may make one melee or ranged attack with his bonded weapon that ignores his opponent's armor bonus or natural armor bonus to AC (chosen before the attack roll is made). 
Eviscerate (Ex): At 11th level the exalt makes one melee or ranged attack with his bonded weapon that inflicts double damage and causes 1 point of Constitution damage. A successful Fortitude save negates the Constitution damage. 
Hurricane Strike (Su): At 14th level the exalt may make one melee attack with his bonded weapon at his highest base attack bonus against every opponent in reach. Alternately, if the exalt's bonded weapon is a ranged weapon he may make one ranged attack at his highest base attack bonus against every opponent within 20 feet. 
Deathblow (Ex): At 17th level the exalt may make a single melee attack (or a ranged attack on a target within 30 feet) with his bonded weapon. If the attack hits, the target must succeed on a Fortitude save or die instantly. If the save is successful, the target instead takes an additional 50 points of damage. Once a creature has been the target of deathblow, regardless of whether or not the save is made, that creature is immune to that exalt's deathblow for 24 hours.
Weapon Mastery (Ex): At 19th level any attacks made with the exalt's bonded weapon automatically confirm all critical threats and have their damage multiplier increased by 1 (×2 becomes ×3, for example). In addition, he cannot be disarmed while wielding a weapon of this type.

Master of Executions (Ex): At 20th level the exalt does not need to use points from his ki pool to perform executions.


Open Content: The game mechanics of this game product are Open Game Content, as defined in the Open Gaming License version 1.0a Section 1(d).

1 comment:

  1. This is an excellent alternative to the brawler hybrid class, combining monk and fighter in a different way. It is almost too bad the Samurai name is taken, but Exalt is fine. I'm a little wary of the epic damage reduction penetration as I think such a feature belongs with 20+ level or mythic characters. Everything else looks good and sound.

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