Air Cutter (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||You're too slow!||”|
|—Blue, Spined Nezumi Air Cutter|
Air Cutters are warriors whose souls are tied to the element of air, and their personal growth has given them enlightment to the vast elemental power they possess. Rather than turn to spellcasting, they maintain their martial background and meld air magic into raw physical might. Fast as the wind, nothing can keep the air cutter bound.
Becoming an Air Cutter
|Base Attack Bonus:||+5|
|Skills:||Tumble 5 ranks.|
|Feats:||Elemental Blood with the Air Benefit|
|Special:||Cannot possess the [Earth] subtype.|
|11th||Air Cutter 5/encounter|
|13th||Air Cutter 6/encounter, Shockwave 4/day|
|15th||Air Cutter 7/encounter|
|16th||Bonus Feat, Shockwave 5/day|
|17th||Air Cutter 8/encounter|
|19th||Air Cutter 9/encounter|
|20th||Bonus Feat, Shockwave 6/day|
All of the following are class features of the Air Cutter.
Air Cutter (Su): The air itself is a weapon. Invisible and calm normally, the Air Cutter can strike at the air in such a way to turn it into a solid wall of translucent sonic energy. As a free action as part of an attack, an Air Cutter may project the range of their melee attack to Close range (25 ft. + 5 ft./two HD). They still use their normal score for a melee attack (usually strength), and deals damage as if you struck in melee, but all damage (from weapon, strength, and any other effects) is sonic damage and thus not subject to damage reduction (but is subject to sonic resistance or immunity). If the attack misses, the use is wasted. The air cutter can use this ability once per encounter at 1st level, and one additional time every two levels after.
Featherlight (Sp): The air cutter is a natural in the air, and falling poses no threat to her. As an immediate action she may employ the use of feather fall as a spell-like ability, with a caster level equal to her class level. You may use to once per class level per day.
Run: The air cutter always has the wind at her back. She gains the Run feat.
Wind Dash (Su): The wind pushes the air cutter to greater and greater speeds. The air cutter gains a +10 enhancement bonus to their land speed per class level. As an enhancement bonus, it does not stack with other enhancement bonuses with one exception; if you have levels in monk, the monk speed bonus stacks with the bonus from air cutter.
Least Cloak of Air (Su): The wind seems to always whip up around an air cutter, even indoors where there is no wind. At 2nd level, a thin barrier of wind surrounds the air cutter's body, providing the effects of a entropic shield with a caster level equal to her class level. It may be dispelled, but the air cutter may bring it back up as a free action on her turn.
Sonic Bull Rush (Ex): With a dramatic punch in the air, a shockwave ripples out throwing the foe across the room! At 3rd level, an air cutter may opt to not follow their opponent when performing a bull rush, letting the shockwave carry them away. This otherwise functions as a normal bull rush (including provoking attacks of opportunity if you lack the appropriate feat). Many air cutters attempt to bull rush at range (thus avoiding attacks of opportunity) by using their air cutter class ability.
Wings of Air (Su): The wind swirls around you and lifts you into the sky after your flying foe. At 4th level, the air cutter gains a fly speed equal to their land speed with average maneuverability. The maneuverability improves to good at 7th level, and perfect at 10th level. From this point on you barely, but certainly, never quite touch the ground. From now on, she can float a foot above the ground. Instead of walking she glides along, unconcerned with the hard earth or difficult terrain. For this reason, air cutters almost never bother to use their land speed, always floating or flying where they wish.
Evasion (Ex): At 5th level, an air cutter can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the air cutter is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless air cutter does not gain the benefit of evasion. If the air cutter already possesses evasion, the ability becomes improved evasion.
Shockwave (Sp): At 5th level, an air cutter can dash foward with such speed as to break the sound barrier, and leave a trail of destruction in his wake. As a standard action, she may effectively teleport 60 ft. in a direction, provided she has line of sight and line of effect, her body briefly transforming into nothing but a vibration. When she reaches her destination, she leaves a shockwave which effectively sends a 60 ft. cone backwards at her point of origin. All targets within the area take 1d6 points of sonic damage per class level with a Fortitude save for half, DC 10 + 1/2 HD + charisma modifier. She may employ this 2/day at 5th level, and one additional time per day every four class levels.
Lesser Cloak of Air (Su): At 6th level the cloak of air ability of the air cutter improves. In addition to previous effects, cloak of air now provides a sheathe of fresh air which continuously refreshes. This provides immunity to harmful gaseous attacks, such as poisonous gas, the cloudkill spell, the breath of a green dragon, smoke, and similar. It does not prevent indirect hazards such as the slowing effect of unusually thick mist, or the opacity of any particular mists. This can be used to breath safely underwater, though you are quite obvious, emiting a massive column of bubbles at all times.
Mach Speed (Sp): An air cutter can break the speed limits when properly prepared. At 6th level, an air cutter may travel at the speed of sound, moving from place to place almost as fast as a teleportation. As a spell-like ability with a casting time of 1 round, the air cutter rises to a minimum of 1000 ft. into the air, and then blasts off at supersonic speeds, leaving a rumbling trail of thunder in her wake. She travels at 800 miles an hour, and may maintain this speed for up to 1 hour per class level. Traveling at such intense speeds turns the world into a blur, making travel inaccurate at best. When travel ends, you are shunted 1d10×100 feet in a random direction from your desired endpoint. You cannot enter or pass impassable barriers, but few barriers exist so high in the air. The strain of this activity renders you fatigued.
At 10th level, you may take up to one medium creature/class level with you on your journey, lifting up allies (and gently placing them on the ground) during the spell's effects. Only your are subject to the effects of fatigue. Using this ability draws out of your uses of the shockwave ability, if you lack at least 1 use of shockwave, you cannot use mach speed.
Greater Cloak of Air (Su): At 8th level the cloak of air ability of the air cutter improves again. In addition to previous effects, cloak of air's miss chance against ranged attacks increases to 50%.
One With The Wind (Ex): At 10th level, an air cutter binds with the elemental plane of air and becomes something more than human. They become an outsider with the [Air] subtype, gain damage reduction 10/magic, and gain an air elemental's air mastery. Airborne creatures take a -1 penalty on attack and damage rolls against an air cutter. The air cutter may ignore any wind effects, such as from poor weather or a gust of wind spell. They often have a minor physical change associated with their ascension, such as sky blue eyes or an unusually light body.
The epic Air Cutter gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Air Cutter feats) every 2 levels after 12th.
Epic Air Cutter Bonus Feat List: Blinding Speed, Dire Charge, Energy Resistance, Epic Fortitude, Epic Prowess, Epic Reflexes, Epic Skill Focus, Epic Speed, Epic Toughness, Epic Will, Exceptional Deflection, Fast Healing, Great Charisma, Great Constitution, Great Dexterity, Great Intelligence, Great Strength, Great Wisdom, Improved Combat Reflexes (Epic version), Improved Darkvision, Improved Low-Light Vision, Improved Whirlwind Attack, Infinite Deflection, Perfect Health, Reflect Arrows, Self-Concealment, Spellcasting Harrier, Superior Initiative
Playing an Air Cutter
Combat: With such a high speed, the air cutter makes an excellent skirmisher and scout. They also can take on the role of battlefield control if focused on bull rushes, transportation with mach speed, or area effects with shockwave for things they cannot hit due to high armor class or concealment. Monks work well with air cutters, and it removes their weakness from their inability to fly.
Advancement: Classes which function well with spring attackers, monks, or skirmishers do well with the air cutter. Classes which also provide potent melee attacks but lack range also benefit as it allows them to perform their melee strikes from a distance.
Resources: Air Cutters are not universally organized, but can and do recognize others of their kin, and any elemental focused class. Out of the various elemental focused classes they find those which are focused on earth to be slow, plodding, and uninteresting. Air cutters as a whole tend to be a capricious lot.
Air Cutters in the World
|—Skit, Tibbit Air Cutter|
NPC Reactions: Air Cutters do not appear to be an abnormal member of their race or previous class until late, and thus are treated no differently, but even a commoner can identify a mysterious quality to a high level air cutter. It is not baneful or beneficial, but certainly something which may give you a reputation and make you easy to identify in a crowd.
Air Cutter Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge The Planes can research air cutters to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||Air cutters are martial warriors tied to the powers of air. They can attack you even from a distance.|
|15||Air cutters are blindingly fast and constantly protected by a swirling skin of wind which protects them from ranged attacks.|
|20||Born of the sky, air cutters can even travel at supersonic speeds when the time calls, or leave massive shockwaves in their wake. There is rarely a thing such as outrunning a persistant air cutter.|
|30||Those that reach this level of success can learn about specific air cutters, their whereabouts, behavior, and lore.|
Air Cutters in the Game
Sample Encounter: A spy has been spotted in the castle performing recon every night. In spite of all efforts and a relative lack of subtlety on their part, no one has yet caught this mysterious airborne threat. Who is this spy?
|Allowed Alignments||Lawful Good +, Lawful Neutral +, Lawful Evil +, Neutral Good +, Neutral +, Neutral Evil +, Chaotic Good +, Chaotic Neutral + and Chaotic Evil +|
|Article Balance||High +|
|Base Attack Bonus Progression||Moderate +|
|Fortitude Save Progression||Poor +|
|Identifier||3.5e Prestige Class +|
|Minimum Level||6 +|
|Reflex Save Progression||Good +|
|Skill||Balance +, Concentration +, Craft +, Escape Artist +, Gather Information +, Hide +, Intimidate +, Jump +, Knowledge +, Listen +, Move Silently +, Perform +, Profession +, Sense Motive +, Sleight of Hand +, Speak Language +, Spot +, Survival + and Tumble +|
|Skill Points||4 +|
|Summary||Martial warriors who have linked themselves with the power of air, they dash at great speed unbound by earth's grip. +|
|Title||Air Cutter +|
|Will Save Progression||Poor +|