Battle Scholar (3.5e Class)

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Author: MisterSinister (talk)
Date Created: April 21st, 2011
Status: Finished
Editing: Clarity edits only please
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A learned individual, who studies the Sublime Way as an academic as much as a warrior. 20 1 Poor Good Good Good Martial Maneuvers Full

Lawful Good Lawful Neutral Lawful Evil Neutral Good Neutral Neutral Evil Chaotic Good Chaotic Neutral Chaotic Evil

Battle Scholar[edit]

To all modern practitioners of the Sublime Way, Reshar was a genius. His systematic approach to teaching the Sublime Way's practices, as well as his unique insights into what was common to all forms of martial training allowed for a never-before-seen explosion of individuals who could use many schools. However, at the same time, Reshar was an intensely practical man, little interested in academic theory or esoteric thought. This often led him to ignore certain aspects of the Sublime Way that did not fit with his vision of the way it 'should' be practiced. This was a view inherited by many of his students, and prior to the fall of the Temple of the Nine Swords, its success was not questioned.

However, once the Temple fell, many believed that further understanding of the underlying connections and similarities of the Sublime Way, as well as a more inclusive approach to other disciplines not 'approved of' by Reshar may be able to create a greater vision, allowing for much greater freedom and better understanding. These individuals quickly began to focus more on the scholarly pursuits of the Sublime Way, travelling far and wide to learn as much as they could about the things Reshar forgot about or didn't seek to mention. While not as martially and practically focused as other martial adepts, these individuals (who became known as 'battle scholars') nonetheless could hold their own against their enemies quite successfully, and were in no small part responsible for bringing knowledge of more obscure disciplines and fighting practices to the forefront.

Making a Battle Scholar[edit]

Battle scholars do not have the raw capabilities of other martial adepts, but make up for this by their sheer range of options. They can fulfill a wide range of combat roles, and are also knowledgeable and aware of their environment.

Abilities: Intelligence is probably the most important ability score that a battle scholar can have. Additionally, Strength, Dexterity and Constitution are also very important.

Races: Due to their adaptive and curious nature, humans often become battle scholars. Half-elf and half-orc battle scholars are also fairly common, due to their unique position on the fringes of both races. Hobgoblins also frequently become battle scholars. However, any race can feel the call of the learning of war.

Alignment: Any

Starting Gold: 6d4×10 gp (150 gp).

Starting Age: Complex

Table: The Battle Scholar

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Maneuvers and Stances Known Maximum Maneuvers Called
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +2 +2 +2 Esoteric martial training, knowledge of war 10 4
2nd +1 +3 +3 +3 Combat expertise 12 4
3rd +1 +3 +3 +3 Master of adaptation 14 5
4th +2 +4 +4 +4 Perfect strike 16 5
5th +2 +4 +4 +4 Uncanny dodge 18 6
6th +3 +5 +5 +5 Intuition 20 6
7th +3 +5 +5 +5 Improved uncanny dodge 22 7
8th +4 +6 +6 +6 Improved perfect strike 24 7
9th +4 +6 +6 +6 Skill mastery 26 8
10th +5 +7 +7 +7 Intelligent defence 28 8
11th +5 +7 +7 +7 A warrior immortal 30 9
12th +6 +8 +8 +8 Wanderer of the planes 32 9
13th +6 +8 +8 +8 Have no fear, feel no pain 34 10
14th +7 +9 +9 +9 Knower of the truth 36 10
15th +7 +9 +9 +9 Skill mastery 38 11
16th +8 +10 +10 +10 Demigod of war 40 11
17th +8 +10 +10 +10 Fortified 42 12
18th +9 +11 +11 +11 Knowledge restoration 44 12
19th +9 +11 +11 +11 There is nothing I don't know 46 13
20th +10 +12 +12 +12 Ascension 48 13

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Appraise (Int), Autohypnosis (Wis), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Int), Listen (Wis), Martial Lore (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the battle scholar.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Battle scholars are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, plus one exotic weapon of their choice. They are proficient with light and medium, but not shields.

Battle Scholars and Prestige Classes
Battle scholars respond to prestige classes that advance maneuvers a little differently to other martial adepts. Each time they would advance their maneuvers known or maneuvers readied, they learn two new maneuvers (as if they were gaining a level in battle scholar). However, this can happen at most once per level (so if they advance both known and readied maneuvers, they only get two new maneuvers, not four).

Maneuvers and Stances Known: 1st level battle scholars know ten maneuvers, which can be of any type (including stances), chosen as they want. These can be chosen from any discipline. At each subsequent battle scholar level, they learn an additional two maneuvers of any type from any discipline.

Additionally, a battle scholar can add a maneuver or stance to their maneuvers and stances known by reading it off a martial script and memorizing it. This requires 1 hour, during which the battle scholar must have an environment conducive to study and practice, free from stress and distractions. At the end of the hour, the martial script becomes expended, and the battle scholar must make a Martial Lore check (DC 12 + double the maneuver's level). If this is successful, the maneuver is added to their maneuvers and stances known.

Maximum Maneuvers Called: While battle scholars know a significant number of maneuvers, they cannot use them at all times, as recalling them requires time and preparation. The battle scholar must first spend 10 minutes exercising and recalling their training, which allows them to call maneuvers at all, at the beginning of each day. Once this has been done, it cannot be repeated for 24 hours, due to the highly-esoteric methods of the battle scholars that allow them to remember this much. If the battle scholar had any called maneuvers when this is done, they are no longer called.

At any time, a battle scholar can spend a free action to attempt to call a maneuver that they know. This requires a Martial Lore check (DC 10 + double the maneuver's level). If this is successful, the maneuver is 'called', and can be used. You can only attempt to call a maneuver once per round, but you can try to call the same maneuver more than once if you wish.

Once a maneuver has been called, it can be used once by the battle scholar, after which it becomes expended and cannot be used unless refreshed. To refresh all of their expended called maneuvers, a battle scholar must spend a move action and make a Martial Lore check (DC 10 + twice the number of currently expended called maneuvers).

A battle scholar can call a limited number of maneuvers each day, as indicated on Table: The Battle Scholar. Once this many maneuvers have been called, no more maneuvers can be called, although maneuvers called already can be re-used as many times as desired (subject to the rules about them becoming expended described above).

Note that stances can be freely used if known - they do not have to be called.

Esoteric Martial Training (Ex): While battle scholars are not as martially-focused as other martial adepts, they make up for this by their unusual ability to adapt the training of others to suit their more academic approach to warfare. Firstly, all battle scholars automatically receive 3 + their class level in ranks in Martial Lore. These are considered identical to normal skill ranks purchased with skill points. The total number of ranks in Martial Lore that a battle scholar can have cannot be higher than the normal skill rank maximum.

Secondly, battle scholars can treat their class level as an equivalent level of fighter for any feats that require fighter levels to select. They can treat their BAB as being equal to their class level for the purposes of meeting feat prerequisites. If they later multiclass, then add any BAB acquired from other classes to their class level to determine what their BAB is treated as for prerequisite purposes.

Lastly, if the battle scholar learns a maneuver or stance from a discipline whose discipline skill is not on their list of class skills, they gain that skill as a class skill. Note that they lose this skill as a class skill if they ever no longer know any maneuvers or stances from that discipline (unless that skill would normally be a class skill anyway).

Note: If you use some kind of retraining to get rid of maneuvers from which you gained class skills, your investment into that skill must be recalculated as if that were always a cross-class skill. Since this is highly annoying to both you and your GM, please don't do that.

Knowledge of War (Ex): The studies of a battle scholar frequently take them down unusual avenues of research and to strange lands. At the same time, it often yields curious insights that make them quite capable in combat. Any maneuver or stance used by a battle scholar always has a DC of 10 + 1/2 the battle scholar's character level + the battle scholar's Intelligence modifier.

Additionally, a battle scholar can attempt to size up their enemies based on their fighting experience. This requires a swift action and a Martial Lore check, with the same DC as identifying the creature would normally require. Multiple creatures that the battle scholar can see can be sized up in a single swift action in this way if desired. This gives the battle scholar the same information an identical result on an appropriate Knowledge check would give, and provides an additional insight bonus to attack and damage rolls based on the result relative the DC, as described on the following table.

Knowledge of War Class Feature
A Martial Lore check result of... Gives a bonus of...
DC or below +1
DC +1 to DC +5 +2
DC +6 to DC +10 +3
DC +11 to DC +15 +4
DC +16 or above +5

These bonuses last for 10 rounds.

Combat Expertise: At 2nd level, a battle scholar gains Combat Expertise as a bonus feat. Its prerequisites don't need to be met.

Master of Adaptation (Ex): By 3rd level, a battle scholar has seen much of the world, and probably knows the solution to almost any problem, given enough time to prepare. By spending 8 hours studying, practicing and contemplating, a battle scholar can replace one feat they know with another feat (or a different option of the same feat), provided they could have selected the new feat at the time they selected the old one. This process can also be applied to a maneuver or stance at the same time if desired.

You cannot replace a bonus feat, maneuver or stance using this ability, nor one granted by an item.

Perfect Strike (Su): A 4th level or higher battle scholar has fought a range of enemies with a range of resistances, and has learned ways to avoid this problem. Firstly, this allows them to ignore a certain kind of DR based on their ranks in Martial Lore, as described on the following table.

Perfect Strike Class Feature
This number of ranks in Martial Lore... Lets you ignore this DR...
7 or fewer Magic1
8 to 11 One kind of material2
12 to 15 All kinds of materials
16 to 19 One kind of alignment2
20 or more All kinds of DR except DR/epic and DR/-

1 At this number of ranks, all of the battle scholar's attacks are considered to have the ghost touch property as well.

2 When the battle scholar first gains this many ranks in Martial Lore, choose one material or alignment. This can be changed with 1 hour's practice in an environment free from stress and distractions.

Secondly, choose an energy type (from among acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic). The battle scholar also ignores an amount of energy resistance of that type equal to their ranks in Martial Lore. This can be changed with 1 hour's practice in an environment free from stress and distractions.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): 5th level battle scholars have learned through experience to be highly-aware of their environment. They retain their Dexterity bonus to AC if caught flat-footed or attacked by something invisible, but not when immobilized.

If a battle scholar later gains uncanny dodge again, or already had uncanny dodge when they reach this level, they gain improved uncanny dodge instead.

Intuition (Su): Battle scholars who reach 6th level gain an unusual foresight and ability to reason far beyond what could normally be expected, mostly due to the highly unusual way they study. This functions similarly to commune, except that no deity is contacted (as this relies entirely on the intuition and experience of the battle scholar), the battle scholar's Martial Lore ranks are used in place of caster level, and the ability only requires 1 round to use. As a supernatural ability, this does not have a material component or an XP cost. This ability can be used at-will.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): By 7th level, a battle scholar's uncanny dodge ability improves. The battle scholar can no longer be flanked, except by a creature whose Intelligence is higher than his own, or that has a CR or character level three or more higher than his own.

Improved Perfect Strike (Su): At 8th level, a battle scholar's perfect strike ability becomes more capable. The battle scholar now ignores an amount of energy resistance equal to one-half of their ranks in Martial Lore. This overlaps (does not stack with) the benefit of perfect strike. Additionally, for the energy type chosen for their perfect strike class feature, they treat immunity to this energy type as resistance equal to 1/2 of the damage that any ability would deal.

Skill Mastery (Ex): At 9th level, and again at 15th level, battle scholars become so confident in the use of one of their skills that they can do it almost effortlessly. Choose one class skill when this class feature is gained. From this point forward, the battle scholar can take 10 on checks with this skill, even if stress or distractions would normally prevent this.

Intelligent Defence (Ex): 10th level battle scholars are very difficult to predict and fight for those of lesser intellects. Against the attacks of any creature whose Intelligence score is lower than their own, battle scholars have a 20% miss chance (similar to the blur spell). Note that this cannot be bypassed by something like true seeing - it's a representation of how good the battle scholar is, not some trick of the eyes or mind.

A Warrior Immortal (Su): At 11th level, a battle scholar is a true legend among those who fight. At this time, many choose to spend some time writing up a treatise of their knowledge. This requires a combined total of 20 hours of writing (which can be distributed as the battle scholar sees fit). Once this is done, as long as even one copy of the treatise exists, the battle scholar cannot be permanently killed (except by dying of old age). Returning them to life causes no loss of level, and requires no material, XP or focus components from those performing the task as long as a copy of their treatise is on hand.

Wanderer of the Planes (Sp): The journeys of a 12th level battle scholar can truly take them far and wide, as by this point, their own universe has likely exhausted useful possibilities. They may use plane shift up to three times per day, with a caster level equal to their ranks in Martial Lore. Only the battle scholar can be affected by this ability.

Have no Fear, Feel no Pain (Ex): 13th level battle scholars are truly exceptional individuals, and have survived much that would terrify or cripple lesser beings. They are immune to any fear effect, as well as any effect based on pain. Note that the latter doesn't make them immune to damage - you can ignore the fact you've lost your limbs all you like, but they're still gone!

Knower of the Truth (Ex): Nothing gets past a 14th level battle scholar. They are always considered to have a detect thoughts and a true seeing effect active on them, with a caster level equal to their ranks in Martial Lore.

Demigod of War (Sp): 16th level battle scholars become close to deities in their martial capabilities. They gain the granted power of the War domain, and can also use any spell-like ability from the War domain up to 3 times per day each. They cannot use spell-like abilities from the War domain if their character level is less than twice the spell's level. Their caster level is considered to be their character level, and any save DCs for these spell-like abilities are considered to be the same as those for maneuvers.

Fortified (Ex): The body of a 17th level battle scholar is no mortal thing. Whenever the battle scholar is struck by a critical hit or sneak attack, they have a 50% chance of treating it as a normal attack instead. If you have another ability with a percentage chance to negate critical hits and sneak attacks, only the better one applies.

Knowledge Restoration (Su): Such is the power of an 18th level battle scholar that their words alone can bring them back from the dead. Their treatise, and any copies of that treatise that exist, gain a special introductory paragraph. If this paragraph is read out loud while the battle scholar is dead, they will return to life within 1 minute, adjacent to the reader. Note that their equipment will not come with them - they will return completely naked.

There is Nothing I Don't Know (Ex): 19th level battle scholars have truly grasped the secrets of the universe. They automatically pass all Knowledge checks, even if they aren't trained in the skill, and only the direct intervention of a deity, or deliberate efforts on the part of a creature whose character level or CR is at least 19, can keep the battle scholar from knowing something in this manner.

Ascension: At 20th level, a battle scholar cracks the ultimate secret of the universe, and the universe rewards them with their own planar home. This is considered identical to the genesis spell, except it is used only once on behalf of the battle scholar by the universe.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Battle Scholar[edit]

Religion: Worship and religion are varied across different battle scholars. Some are extremely pious, while others don't really care either way.

Other Classes: Battle scholars obviously have much in common with other intellectual classes (such as wizards) and other martial adepts (such as warblades). However, many martial adepts consider battle scholars to be insufferable know-it-alls, while battle scholars tend to regard non-battle scholars as monkey-like imitators. However, this doesn't stop them working together with anyone - martial adept or none.

Combat: A battle scholar is a very diverse combatant, capable of taking on many different roles, whether frontliner, ranged support or something else.

Advancement: Battle scholars gain relatively little benefit from multiclassing - unlike other martial adepts, their broad school access gives them no reason to want to diversify any further.

Battle Scholars in the World[edit]

Reshar didn't solve the problem of warriors getting good things - he just made it possible for this to happen.
—Arminius, human battle scholar

Battle scholars are wanderers, often seeking new knowledge and new experiences to add to their philosophical and logical views of the world. It is not uncommon to see them in all kinds of unusual places, acting as military advisers, instructors or leaders, but at the same time, just as many choose lives of greater adventure - or even alternate between the two as it suits them.

Daily Life: A typical day in the life of a battle scholar involves weapons practice, reading and unusual mental exercises in equal measure. When out adventuring, battle scholars usually still try to take the time to learn more - even doing crazy stunts like reading a book in mid-combat or trying to analyze a monster that's about to eat them.

Notables: Many claim that Reshar was the first battle scholar, something which most battle scholars are quick to deny, citing his inability to incorporate a wider range of disciplines into his school. Due to battle scholars being a more unusual combination of might and mind, there aren't yet enough notable ones to warrant mention.

Organizations: Battle scholars tend to see other battle scholars as fellow academics - there to be learned from and disagreed with in equal measure. This means that while organizations of battle scholars do exist, they generally don't tend to be very large. At the same time, battle scholars can be found in almost any organization of sufficient size that deals with matters of a martial nature - and quite often tend to lead such organizations.

NPC Reactions: To most individuals, a battle scholar is like any other martial adept (just don't say that to their faces). Those that would respond well to military men and women would probably find the battle scholar to be someone they like, and those who don't respond well to military people will likely not respond well to a battle scholar either. Non-battle scholar martial adepts seem to have a love-hate relationship with battle scholars, although this is far from universal.

Battle Scholar Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Martial Lore can research battle scholars to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Martial Lore
DC Result
5 Battle scholars are warrior-academics of the Sublime Way.
10 There is no discipline, rare or common, that a battle scholar cannot learn.
15 Battle scholars can perform other remarkable feats, such as insights based on absolutely nothing, the ability to wander between planes, and even return from the dead with remarkable ease.
20 Battle scholars eventually convince the universe to give them a demiplane.

Battle Scholars in the Game[edit]

A battle scholar can be found in any place where a mixture of mind and might are called for. Many become military advisers, generals and similar positions, but just as many prefer a life of wandering and adventure. In their element, no two battle scholars are alike, as they bring their unique insights and expertise to the same fight in different ways.

Adaptation: The battle scholar is a fairly broad concept, designed to offer maximum flexibility in their selection of maneuvers. This could be made very different by choosing a limited selection of disciplines, and adjusting their class features accordingly.


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MisterSinister's Homebrew (321 Articles)
MisterSinisterv
Allowed AlignmentsLawful Good +, Lawful Neutral +, Lawful Evil +, Neutral Good +, Neutral +, Neutral Evil +, Chaotic Good +, Chaotic Neutral + and Chaotic Evil +
Article BalanceHigh +
AuthorMisterSinister +
Base Attack Bonus ProgressionPoor +
Class AbilityMartial Maneuvers +
Class Ability ProgressionFull +
Fortitude Save ProgressionGood +
Identifier3.5e Class +
Length20 +
Minimum Level1 +
Rated ByLeziad + and DanielDraco +
RatingRating Pending +
Reflex Save ProgressionGood +
SkillAppraise +, Autohypnosis +, Balance +, Bluff +, Climb +, Concentration +, Craft +, Diplomacy +, Escape Artist +, Handle Animal +, Hide +, Intimidate +, Jump +, Knowledge +, Listen +, Martial Lore +, Perform +, Profession +, Ride +, Search +, Sense Motive +, Sleight of Hand +, Spot +, Survival +, Swim +, Tumble + and Use Rope +
Skill Points6 +
SummaryA learned individual, who studies the Sublime Way as an academic as much as a warrior. +
TitleBattle Scholar +
Will Save ProgressionGood +