Student of War (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

To hear most warriors talk, battles are won by heart and grit, by sharp iron and mighty thews. Yet the student of war knows that the key to victory is the mind behind the mettle, the training that guides the blade, and the knowledge of when and where to strike.

Class Information

This is a prestige archetype. The student of war is an analytical warrior.

Publisher: Purple Duck Games.

Prestige Class: Student of war from Pathfinder Chronicles Seekers of Secrets.

Build Classes: Fighter.

Role: Armed with knowledge and hardened by constant drill and practice, the student of war fills her repertoire with tricks and techniques designed to exploit every weakness and negate every advantage of her studied foes.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d10.

Class Skills

The student of war's class skills (and the key ability for each) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks Per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

The following are class features of the student of war prestige archetype.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A student of war is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with all armor (heavy, light, and medium) and shields (including tower shields).

Bonus Feats

At 1st level, 2nd level, and every four levels thereafter, a student of war gains a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement. These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as Combat Feats or tactical feats. A student of war can select fighter-only feats, counting her student of war levels as fighter levels.

Upon reaching 6th level, and every eight levels thereafter (14th, 20th), a student of war can choose to learn a new bonus feat in place of a bonus feat she has already learned. In effect, the student of war 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. A student of war can only change one feat at any given level and must choose whether or not to swap the feat at the time she gains a new bonus feat for the level.

Mind Over Metal (Ex)

A 2nd-level student of war is skilled at taking blows such that her armor or shield deflects them harmlessly. When using armor or a shield, she can use her Intelligence modifier in place of her Dexterity modifier for determining her Armor Class. The armor’s normal maximum Dexterity bonus still applies (limiting how much of the character’s Intelligence bonus she can apply to her AC) and she loses this bonus if flat-footed or denied her dexterity bonus to armor class. The student of war can use Intelligence instead of Dexterity for feat prerequisites. This replaces bravery.

Armor Training (Ex)

Starting at 3rd level, a student of war learns to be more maneuverable while wearing armor. Whenever she is wearing armor, she reduces the armor check penalty by 1 (to a minimum of 0) and increases the maximum Dexterity (or Intelligence, see mind over metal) bonus allowed by her armor by 1. Every four levels thereafter (7th, 11th, and 15th), these bonuses increase by +1 each time, to a maximum –4 reduction of the armor check penalty and a +4 increase of the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed.

In addition, a student of war can also move at her normal speed while wearing medium armor. At 7th level, a student of war can move at her normal speed while wearing heavy armor.

Anticipate (Ex)

A 4th-level student of war can anticipate her enemy’s moves. She can ignore any and effects of a spell or ability she successfully saved against, such as the entangling effect of a web spell or the half damage from an inflict serious wounds spell. This ability has no effect against effects that do not allow saving throws (such as darkness). The student of war can use this ability a number of times per day equal to her Intelligence bonus (minimum 1).

Know Your Enemy (Ex)

A 5th level student of war can study her foes to gain insight into their weaknesses. When she makes a Knowledge check appropriate to the creature’s type (DC 10 + the target’s CR, but might vary for certain monsters, see the Knowledge skill). Note that a student of war can use the Knowledge (local) skill to apply this ability to humanoids. A student of war can retry a check to identify enemies by taking a move action to do so. At 13th level, the student can reroll a failed identification roll as a swift action. If an ally successfully identifies a creature and informs the student of war, he can make a Knowledge roll to identify that creature as a free action.

Success grants her a +1 insight bonus against her enemy. This is in addition to the normal results of a knowledge roll. The bonus increases to +2 at 9th level, +3 at 13th level, and +4 at 17th level and applies against all enemies the student has identified.

This insight bonus may be applied to one of the following stances, chosen when the first check is made. A student of war that has simultaneously identified several creatures has the same stance against all of them. The A student of war may change her stance as a move action. At 9th level, the student can change stance as a swift action.

Martial stance: Attack and damage rolls against the target. The student is treated as having the Critical Focus feat for the purpose of attacks against a studied foe.

Defensive stance: Armor Class and saving throws against the target’s attacks. The student is treated as having the Mobility feat when provoking attacks of opportunity from a studied foe.

Tactical stance: Combat maneuver bonus (CMB) and combat maneuver defense (CMD). The student using this stance gains uncanny dodge, the ability to react to danger from studied enemies before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She cannot be caught flat-footed, nor does she lose her Dex bonus to AC if the attacker is invisible. She still loses her Dexterity bonus to Armor Class if immobilized. A student of war with this ability can still lose her Dexterity bonus to Armor Class if an opponent successfully uses the feint action against her.

This replaces weapon training.

Telling Blow (Ex)

At 8th level, a student of war can aim her blows at the weakest point in a studied foe’s defense, ignoring up to 3 points of damage reduction. This does not apply to damage reduction without a type (such as DR 10/—). This ability cannot be used against creatures that are immune to critical hits or otherwise lack discernible weak points. This ability stacks with the Penetrating Strike feat. This replaces the bonus feat at 8th level.

Nemesis (Su)

Once per day at 12th level, a student of war can focus upon a held weapon as a swift action, rendering it anathema to one of her studied creatures. The weapon gains the bane property against the creature for one minute. This replaces the bonus feat at 12th level.

Deadly Blow (Su)

At 16th level, the student’s awareness of her studied foe allows her to find weak spots where none should exist. A student of war who uses her know your enemy ability may ignore the target’s natural damage reduction and immunity to critical hits and sneak attacks. This replaces the bonus feat at 16th level.

Armor Mastery (Ex)

At 19th level, a student of war gains Damage Reduction 5/— whenever she is wearing armor or using a shield.

Target Mastery (Ex)

At 20th level, a student of war striking a studied enemy gains several advantages. Any attacks made against an identified target automatically confirm all critical threats and have their critical damage multiplier increased by 1 (×2 becomes ×3, for example).

Favored Class Bonuses

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever he gains a level of student of war, the following races have the option of choosing the following alternate favored class bonuses based on their race.

Dwarf: Add +1/2 to the student of war’s know thy enemy bonus against creatures with the giant, goblinoid, or orc subtypes.

Elf: Add +1/4 to the student of war’s Knowledge checks to identify enemies.

Gnome: Add +1/4 to the student of war’s combat maneuver defense against creatures of the giant subtype.

Goblin: Add +1/4 to the student of war’s combat maneuver defense against trip combat maneuver attempts.

Half-Elf: The student of war gains 1/6 of a combat or teamwork feat.

Half-Orc: Add +1/2 to the student of war’s Intimidate skill checks against creatures while in a martial stance.

Halfling: Add +1/4 AC bonus to her armor class when not flat-footed.

Human: Select a type of creature (or subtype in the case of humanoids or outsider, as the ranger favored enemies ability). The student of war automatically recognizes such creatures as a member of this (sub)type and gains a bonus on Knowledge checks to identify such creature equal to half her class level (minimum +1). He must select a new type of creature each time he takes this ability.

Table: Student of War

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Bonus feat
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Bonus feat, mind over metal
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Armor training
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Anticipate
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Know your enemy +1
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Bonus feat
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Armor training
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Telling blow
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Know your enemy +2 (swift stance)
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Bonus feat
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Armor training
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 Nemesis
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 Know your enemy +3 (swift identify)
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 Bonus feat
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 Armor training
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 Deadly blow
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Know your enemy +4
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 Bonus feat
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Armor mastery
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Target Mastery

Summary of Changed Class Abilities

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

  • Bravery (all)
  • Bonus feats at level 4, 8, 12, 16, 20.
  • Weapon Training (all)
  • Weapon Mastery
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