Battle Scholar (3.5e Class)

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Andraos the Seeker, a battle scholar and resplendent master of the Desert Wind

Making a Battle Scholar[edit]

Abilities: Intelligence is by far the most crucial to a battle scholar. While he begins his career little different from a traditional warrior, as a battle scholar progresses, they begin to rely more and more on their intuition and tactical awareness rather than their physical strength. It begins with their Armor Class and attack rolls, and eventually grows to cover nearly every aspect of their combat prowess. That said, a high Constitution is helpful due to their relatively low Hit Dice compared to other martial characters, and a good Dexterity and Wisdom bonus can be helpful with many of their skills and their saving throws.

Races: Humans and elves are, by far, the most common races to take up the ways of the battle scholar. It is not, however, uncommon for other races to do the same, though halflings rarely do due to their lack of focus and dedication to the rigors required of those who master the Sublime Ways.

Alignment: A battle scholar can be of any alignment. The study of the Sublime Way is its own end, and whether any particular student chooses to employ what he has learned in the service of good, evil, law, or chaos is not considered significant by most who follow this path. Good battle scholars tend to be errant champions of the weak and downtrodden. The less commonplace evil battle scholars believe that their martial mastery has made them superior to everyone around them.

Starting Gold: 5d6×10gp (175gp).

Starting Age: As wizard.

Table: The Battle Scholar

Hit Die: d6

Level BAB Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +1 +0 +2 Favored Weapon, Bonus Feat
2nd +1 +1 +0 +3 Evasion
3rd +2 +2 +1 +3 Intuitive Combat (attack and AC)
4th +3 +2 +1 +4 Uncanny Dodge, Weapon Bond
5th +3 +2 +1 +4 Bonus Feat
6th +4 +3 +2 +5 Intuitive Combat (damage and initiative)
7th +5 +3 +2 +5 Mettle
8th +6/+1 +3 +2 +6 Improved Uncanny Dodge
9th +6/+1 +4 +3 +6 Intuitive Combat (AoOs and combat skills)
10th +7/+2 +4 +3 +7 Bonus Feat
11th +8/+3 +4 +3 +7 Improved Evasion
12th +9/+4 +5 +4 +8 Intuitive Combat (Reflex and threat)
13th +9/+4 +5 +4 +8
14th +10/+5 +5 +4 +9
15th +11/+6/+1 +6 +5 +9 Bonus Feat, Intuitive Combat (confirmation)
16th +12/+7/+2 +6 +5 +10
17th +12/+7/+2 +6 +5 +10
18th +13/+8/+3 +7 +6 +11 Intuitive Combat (iterative attacks)
19th +14/+9/+4 +7 +6 +11
20th +15/+10/+5 +7 +6 +12 Bonus Feat

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (weaponsmithing) (Int), Decipher Script (Int),
Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Iaijutsu Focus (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (any, taken
individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (dancing or weapon drill) (Cha), Ride (Dex), Search
(Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex)

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Battle Scholar.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: You are proficient with all simple and martial melee weapons and with all light and medium armors and shields. Finally, you gain the Improved Unarmed Strike feat as a bonus feat.

Favored Weapon: You gain the Weapon Focus feat as a bonus feat, and you gain an insight bonus equal to your Intelligence modifier with your favored weapon's associated skill (if any). This includes any exotic variations of a weapon..

Evasion (Ex): You can avoid magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If you make a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, you instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if you are wearing light armor or no armor. If you are helpless, you do not gain the benefit of evasion.

Intuitive Combat: As you progress as a battle scholar, you begin relying more and more on your intellect.

At 3rd level, you may choose to use your Intelligence modifier in place of your Strength or Dexterity modifier when making attack rolls. Additionally, when you are wearing light armor or no armor, you may add your Intelligence bonus (if any) to your AC. This bonus applies even against touch attacks or when you are flat-footed. You lose this bonus when you are immobilized or helpless, when you carry a shield, or when you carry a medium or heavy load.
At 6th level, you may add your Intelligence modifier to initiative checks, and to all melee damage rolls made with your bound weapon (see below).
At 9th level, you may add your Intelligence modifier a second time to the damage roll of any attacks of opportunity made with a weapon with which you have forged a bond. You may also add your Intelligence modifier to any opposed rolls made to disarm, sunder, or trip with your bound weapon, as well as Bluff checks made to feint, Intimidate checks to demoralize, or Sense Motive checks to counter feints in combat.
At 12th level, you add your Intelligence modifier as an insight bonus to your Reflex saving throws. You also increase the threat range of your bound weapon by your Intelligence modifier. This increase to the threat range is not multiplied by things such as Improved Critical or keen edge, applying this bonus after multiplying the base range. For example, if your bound weapon is a +2 keen battleaxe and you have an Intelligence of 17, your critical threat range would normally be 18-20, but with this ability it would improve by your Intelligence modifier (+3) to 15-20.
At 15th level, you add your Intelligence modifier to the roll made to confirm any critical hits you make with your bound weapon.
At 18th level, you lower the penalty for each additional iterative attack you make with your bound weapon during a full-attack action by your Intelligence modifier (to a minimum of -0). This does not change how many iterative attacks you can make, only the modifier to your base attack bonus when making them, nor does it affect the rules for fighting with two weapons or similar abilities. For example, at 19th level your BAB for iterative attacks is +14/+9/+4. With this ability, and assuming an Intelligence of 17 (+3), your BAB would instead be +14/+12/+10. In addition, you no longer suffer the normal -2 penalty when making additional attacks with feats such as Two-Weapon Fighting or Snap Kick.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): You retain your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, you still lose your Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.

Weapon Bond (Su): Choose a specific weapon that is of at least masterwork quality. Using this ability, you forge a mystical bond with that weapon by imbuing it with a small portion of your very essence.

Once the bond is complete, you gain the equivalence of the following feats, but only when wielding that specific weapon, even if you don't normally meet the prerequisites: Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Power Attack, Quick Draw, and Weapon Specialization. These quasi-feats can be used to fulfill the prerequisites of other feats, but those feats become similarly linked to your bound weapon unless you have also selected them as standard feats.

Additionally, you can sense the general direction and distance of your bound weapon if separated from it, and can call it to your hand as a move-equivalent action if it is within 30 feet of you and you have direct line of sight. If the weapon is in the possession of another, they can attempt a Will saving throw (DC 10 + your Intelligence modifier + ½ your class level) in order to retain possession of it. If they succeed at the Will save, you cannot attempt to call the weapon from them again for 24 hours. At 20th level, you may call your weapon to you regardless of distance as long as you and your bound weapon are on the same plane.

You may only forge a bond with a single weapon at any given time unless you possess the Second Weapon Bond feat. If you attempt to forge a bond with another weapon while currently bound to another one, the bond is instantly broken and you take 1d4 points of non-lethal damage for each initiator level you possess. You retain your bond even if your weapon is lost or sundered, though an antimagic field or similar magic can temporarily suppress the link. In such cases you do not suffer damage, but instead lose all benefits of the bond. Only a limited wish, mage's disjunction, or wish spell can truly break your link, causing you to suffer damage just as if you had voluntarily broken your bond.

Additionally, your bound weapon is always treated as a two-handed weapon if doing so is beneficial to you. This includes determining how much bonus damage you do based on your Strength (or, later, Intelligence) modifier, uses of the Power Attack feat, defending against a disarm attempt, and other similar actions.

Bonus Feat: You gain a bonus feat from the list of [Fighter] or [Tactical] feats.

Mettle (Ex): You can resist magical and unusual attacks with great willpower or fortitude. If you make a successful Will or Fortitude save against an attack that normally would have a lesser effect on a successful save (such as any spell with a saving throw entry of Will half or Fortitude partial), you instead completely negates the effect. If you are unconscious or sleeping, you do not gain the benefit of mettle.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): You can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack you through flanking, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than you have class levels. If you already have uncanny dodge from a second class, you automatically gain improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level a rogue must be to flank the character.

Improved Evasion (Ex): This ability works like evasion, except that while you still take no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks henceforth you take only half damage on a failed save. If you are helpless, you do not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Epic Progression[edit]

Table: Epic Battle Scholar
Level Special
22nd      Bonus Feat     
24th Bonus Feat
26th Bonus Feat
28th Bonus Feat
30th Bonus Feat

Hit Dice: d6

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier

Bonus Feats: The epic battle scholar gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic fighter bonus feats) every two levels after 20th.

Epic Battle Scholar Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Damage Reduction, Devastating Critical, Dire Charge, Distant Shot, Epic Endurance, Epic Leadership, Epic Prowess, Energy Resistance, Epic Maneuvers, Epic Toughness, Epic Weapon Focus, Epic Weapon Specialization, Exceptional Deflection, Improved Combat Reflexes, Improved Stunning Fist, Improved Whirlwind Attack, Infinite Deflection, Legendary Commander, Legendary Rider, Legendary Wrestler, Overwhelming Critical, Penetrate Damage Reduction, Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting, Reflect Arrows, Spellcasting Harrier, Superior Initiative, Two-Weapon Rend, and Uncanny Accuracy. In addition to the feats on this list, the epic battle scholar may treat any feat designated as a fighter bonus feat, but not listed here, as being on his or her bonus feat list.

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