Polymath (Apath)

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"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love (1973).

Polymath is a spellsword archetype that is a generalist, striving to master all aspects of life. Combining learning with arcane magic and fencing tricks, the polymath is truly universal in his interests. This is a martial artist of the way of the mind.

Class Information

This is a martial arts archetype.

Class: Spellsword.

Starting Money: 2d6 × 10 gp (average 70 gp)

Hit Die: d10.

Class Features

The polymath has all the standard spellsword's class features, except as noted below.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Polymaths are proficient with all simple and martial weapons. A polymath is also proficient with light armor and with shields (excluding tower shields). He can cast spellsword spells while wearing light armor and using a buckler or light shield without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a polymath wearing medium armor, heavy armor, or a heavy or tower shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. A multiclass spellsword still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.

Canny Defense (Ex)

When wearing light or no armor and not using a large or tower shield, a polymath adds his Intelligence bonus as a dodge bonus to CMD and Armor Class while wielding a melee weapon. If a polymath is caught unarmed or is flat-footed or otherwise denied his Dexterity bonus to armor class, he loses this bonus.

Fencing Block (Ex)

When wielding a light or one-handed weapon in one hand, the polymath adds a +1 dodge bonus to armor class. This improves by +1 at level 6 and every 4 levels afterwards (+1 at levels up to 5, +2 at levels 6-9, +3 at levels 10-13 and so on). The polymath must have one hand free, he cannot carry a shield or two weapons when using this ability, not can he use a weapon in two hands. He may momentarily use the off hand for things like somatic components or drawing and throwing a weapon in the same round.

Jack Of All Trades (Ex)

The polymath learns a little bit of everything. At 6th level, the polymath can use any skill, even if the skill normally requires him to be trained. At 10th level, the polymath considers all skills to be class skills. At 19th level, the polymath can take 10 on any skill check, even if it is not normally allowed.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

Starting at 14th level, a polymath can react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. He retains her Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.

Table: Polymath

Base Attack
Special Spells per Day
0 1 2 3 4
11st +1 +2 +0 +2 Canny defense, cantrips, fencing block, magic theorist 2
2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Scribe scroll, spellbook mastery 3
3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Bonus feat 3
4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Somatic weapon 3 0
5th +5 +4 +1 +4 Arcane pool +1 3 1
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +5 Jack of all trades (skilled use) 4 1
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +5 Spellsword special 4 1 0
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +6 Spellstrike 4 1 1
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +6 Arcane pool +2, spellbook mastery (1 minute) 4 2 1
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +7 Jack of all trades (class skills) 4 2 1 0
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +7 Bonus feat 4 2 1 1
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +8 Spellsword shift 4 2 2 1
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +8 Arcane pool +3, quick casting 4 3 2 1 0
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +9 Uncanny dodge 4 3 2 1 1
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +9 Spellsword special 4 3 2 2 1
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +10 Spellbook mastery (round) 4 3 3 2 1
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Arcane pool +4, spellsword jaunt 4 4 3 2 1
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Jack of all trades (take 10) 4 4 3 2 2
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Bonus feat 4 4 3 3 2
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Master spellsword 4 4 4 3 3

Summary of Changed Class Abilities

These abilities of the original class are lost or modified in this archetype:

  • Armor Proficiency
  • Lighten armor (Lvl 6, 10, 14, 18)
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