Airship Pilot (3.5e Prestige Class)
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Control the skies in your own airship. You may be a army commander or a pirate captain, but you own the air! 5 8 Good Good Good Poor Other Other
|“||What do you mean? She's the fastest ship in the realms! This baby can outrun a gold dragon.||”|
|—Han Duo, human Airship Pilot, Episode 4 of the play the War of the Stars.|
Become king of the skies. With your airship at your command, you stride through the heavens.
Becoming a Airship Pilot
Those who acquire an airship may dedicate themselves to piloting their craft and improving it. The aircraft is another tool in their inventory which allows them to succeed.
|Skills:||Knowledge (Engineering) 8 ranks, Profession (Pilot) or Pilot 11 ranks, Use Rope 4 ranks.|
|Special:||10,000 gp for the purchase of an Elemental Airship, or ownership of said ship previously.|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+0||Airship Advancement, Home Turf Advantage, Partial Class Advancement, Ship Improvement|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+0||Insurance, Restore Ship, Ship Improvement|
|3rd||+3||+3||+3||+1||Call Ship, Ship Improvement|
|4th||+4||+4||+4||+1||Spell Share, Ship Improvement|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+1||Air Strike, Improved Airship Advancement, Ship Improvement|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level.)
All of the following are class features of the Airship Pilot.
Elemental Airship: The airship pilot uses an Elemental Airship as their ship of choice.
Airship Advancement: The airship pilot owns an airship known as an Elemental Airship, a partially animated vehicle with its own hit dice. Add twice your class level as bonus hit dice to your elemental airship. These bonus HD work much like an animal companion's bonus HD, and do not affect changes in size.
Home Turf Advantage (Ex): The airship pilot should know and protect his airship, as should his allies. The airship pilot gains a morale bonus to attack rolls, damage, saves, skill checks, and ability checks equal to 1 + their class level, but only when fighting on their ship or fighting something that directly threatens their ship rather than themselves (such as a turret currently aimed on their airship). All allies and crew members receive half this bonus as long as the airship pilot is within 1000 ft.
Partial Class Advancement: The airship pilot levels stack with levels in one other pre-existing class of your choice (determined each time you take a level of airship pilot) for the purpose of determining abilities based off class level. For example, you can advance caster level, initiator level, sneak attack, rages per day, and other abilities. You do not gain new abilities granted by your class (including greater and mighty rage), nor do you learn any new maneuvers known or spells known.
Ship Improvement: At each level of this class, the airship pilot gains a unique augment to their elemental airship. Each time they level they can choose to alter their ship improvements known as long as they spend 24 hours of work and a DC 20 Craft check to make the changes occur. Select from the list below, you cannot choose the same option multiple times unless said otherwise.
Additional Storage (Ex): Either because it is bigger on the inside than the outside, or simply due to effective use of space, it doubles its carrying capacity, crew limit, and storage limit.
Automatic Arms (Su): All siege weapons equipped are automatically staffed and manned by a number of unseen servants equal to the pilot's highest mental ability score or class level, whichever is higher, whose only purpose is reloading and firing siege weapons. They use the airship pilot's statistics to determine their actions. Requires Enhanced Arms.
Awakened Airship: The ship gains a Intelligence and Charisma score of 10, though it still does not gain skill points or feats. Instead, it can use the airship pilot's skills and feats, and the pilot's alignment. It remains loyal to the pilot but can think intelligently and perform complex actions. Must be 5th level.
Enhanced Durability (Ex): The elemental airship's hardness increases to 10, and its natural armor increases by +4 points.
Environmental Protection (Su): The ship and all creatures upon it benefit from endure elements and airtight architecture. Creatures gain a +4 bonus on any saving throws and ability checks or skill checks against the weather. Its caster level is equal to the airship pilot's character level.
Greater Environmental Protection (Su): The ship and all creatures upon it benefit from adapt body, and allows the ship to use its fly speed in any environment it is capable of passing through, such as underwater or in outer space. Its caster level is equal to the airship pilot's character level. Requires Environmental Protection.
Improved Maneuverability (Su): The elemental airship's maneuverability rises to perfect.
Improved Speed (Ex): The elemental airship's speed increases by 50 ft, and its overland speed increases by doubles (120 mph). This can be taken multiple times, each time adding +50 ft to its speed and doubling its maximum overland speed.
Invisible Ship (Sp): The ship can turn invisible as per the invisibility spell as a standard action. Creatures within the ship are also invisible, but creatures on deck are visible. The illusion is only on the outside, creatures inside the ship see normally. If the ship attacks, it becomes visible. Once the invisibility goes away for any reason, it cannot turn its invisibility back on until 1 minute passes. Its caster level is equal to the airship pilot's character level. Requires Obscure Ship.
Jump Drive (Su): Once per hour, the elemental airship can teleport as a 3 round action, taking itself and all of its crew and contents with it. Its caster level is equal to the airship pilot's character level. Requires Improved Speed.
Madar (Su): The ship gains a special form of blindsense out to 1 mile, but it can only detect objects and creatures of Huge size or larger. It provides no information on what these creatures actually are, but displays the information on a silent image somewhere in the ship.
Safety (Su): All creatures upon the airship benefit from the following effects: If they fall off the edge by accident they gain feather fall. They benefit from a constant zone of OSHA-compliance. Once per day per creature allies which fall to 0 hp benefit from a cure moderate wounds (or inflict, if undead). Its caster level is equal to the airship pilot's character level.
Scrying Beacon (Su): As a standard action, the airship pilot can scrying on their own ship and any place within it (they automatically succeed on any spell resistance checks against it). This lasts for Concentration, and the airship pilot cannot see or hear their own surroundings while concentrating.
Self Maintenance (Su): The ship handles cleaning and general maintenance with unseen forces similar to unseen servant. In addition when damaged it self repairs, effectively giving the ship fast healing 1. Must be 3rd level.
Spell Durability (Ex): The elemental airship gains spell resistance equal to the airship pilot's character level + 10. Any ally creatures with spell resistance gain a +2 bonus to their resistance while on board the ship. Requires Enhanced Durability.
Transporter (Su): A specific 5 ft magic circle is placed somewhere in the ship. Those standing on it can activate it as a standard action, to teleport as per dimension door off the ship. A creature can also teleport another willing creature within dimension door's range to the circle. The destination must have line of sight to the ship and vice versa. Its caster level is equal to the airship pilot's character level.
Universal Motion (Ex): Choose a movement mode, such as swim, burrow, or climb. The ship gains the appropriate speed equal to its fly speed.
Insurance: When you have an expensive ship and crew, you'll need some insurance. At 2nd level if your airship is ever destroyed, you can return it back to normal at half cost (5000 gp for the ship, plus half cost of any equipment installed upon it). In addition, any allies which are registered as crew have their revival cost cut in half, but only if they perished in an airship-related disaster.
Restore Ship (Ex): The 2nd level airship pilot can repair their own airship with random raw materials harvested from an area. As long as some basic raw materials are about (generally wood, stone, and fabric) the airship pilot can spend 8 hours to restore 25% of the ship's maximum hp. He can also cut down the repair time to 2 hours, but in this case the hp gained is temporary hp which only lasts for 24 hours before fading. Temporary hp from this ability stacks with itself to 100% maximum hp, and cannot bring the total hp above the ship's normal maximum hp.
Call Ship (Su): A 3rd level airship pilot has a empathic connection to the ship they own, allowing them to call for it from any distance as a standard action. The ship begins to pilot itself towards the location it was last called, as fast as it can.
: At 4th level the airship pilot can ignore the elemental airship's "Massive Object" feature, allowing them to cast spells on the airship as if it were a creature.
Air Strike (Ex): The 5th level airship pilot can call down death from the heavens by having their airship fire upon the ground of its own violation. As long as the airship is within 1 mile and has at least one functioning siege weapon, it will launch a barrage of attacks in a wide area. Calling for an air strike is a standard action which does not go into effect until the beginning of your next turn. An area up to a 40 ft radius is dealt 1d6 points of damage/level, with a Reflex save DC 10 + 1/2 HD + your highest mental ability modifier or Dex modifier for half damage. At your choice, the ground can be pounded or littered with debris, turning it into difficult terrain. This attack is considered a magic siege weapon for the purpose of interacting with spells and abilities.
While the airship pilot can call this at will, there is a 1 minute cooldown between attacks. The airship itself may still be able to attack with its normal weaponry.
Improved Airship Advancement: At 5th level the airship pilot is unbound from the class itself when determining the power of his airship. The bonus HD granted to your airship is equal to your total character level instead of twice your class level (if higher).
Playing a Airship Pilot
Combat: An airship pilot does not define their role in the party. Indeed they remain a wizard, a bard, a rogue, or whatever they may have been to enter. However, they may choose to take the airship into combat before ground operations begin, and in that respect they have an edge over the competition.
Advancement: Advancement varies on class, as all classes can potentially qualify to be an airship pilot.
Resources: Airships are not cheap, and airship crafters often are organized, creating fleets under a single banner.
Airship Pilots in the World
|“||They're in range, prepare to fire!||”|
|—J. Der, Peregrine Airship Pilot|
Airship Pilots provide transport to and fro upon great flying ships, for transport, for war, for exploration, and more.
NPC Reactions: Depending on the setting, the airship pilot may be crackpot tinker flying some wild device, the owner of a rare and exotic ship, or a respected member of civilized society. Few can dismiss the awe of seeing a behemoth floating in the skies overhead.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge Local can research airship pilots to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||Airship Pilots own and pilot airships. They are known to making several modifications to them.|
|15||An airship pilot is strong defending his own ship, gaining several benefits aboard.|
|20||They say airship pilot's ships have a mind of their own, and the two minds working together is devastating.|
|30||Those who reach this level of success can obtain information in specific airship pilots, their airship they fly, and last known location or deeds.|
Airship Pilots in the Game
Airship Pilots provide transportation with their great airships, perfect for world-spanning PCs on their adventurers.
Adaptation: Don't have airships, but do have sailing ships? This class can be tweaked to be an alternative Dread Pirate (Complete Adventurer) style class.
Sample Encounter: The PCs need to get to the flying city of Paletuna, but dragons threaten the skies. Protect the airship on its voyage, or die as you crash and burn miles to the ground.
EL whatever: 10
|Article Balance||High +|
|Base Attack Bonus Progression||Good +|
|Class Ability||Other +|
|Class Ability Progression||Other +|
|Fortitude Save Progression||Good +|
|Identifier||3.5e Prestige Class +|
|Minimum Level||8 +|
|Reflex Save Progression||Good +|
|Skill||Appraise +, Balance +, Bluff +, Climb +, Concentration +, Craft +, Diplomacy +, Disable Device +, Gather Information +, Intimidate +, Jump +, Knowledge +, Listen +, Perform +, Profession +, Ride +, Speak Language +, Spot +, Survival +, Tumble + and Use Rope +|
|Skill Points||6 +|
|Summary||Control the skies in your own airship. You may be a army commander or a pirate captain, but you own the air! +|
|Title||Airship Pilot +|
|Will Save Progression||Poor +|