Expert (3.5e Class)

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Experts are the craftsman, diplomats, crafty thieves, or even athletes of the world, very few experts are exactly alike in their talents, some and though they often have some skills in common, it's rare that they'll share the same array.

Making an Expert[edit]

Experts vary heavily, some times they might be quite rogue-like, others they might be fighter-esque, but no matter the style of expert, they benefit from wizards, and clerics, warrior classes often work well with experts depending on their abilities, the same can be said for rogues and bards.

Abilities: Intelligence is the only common trait that all experts share, aside from that, and a high Constitution, abilities should be decided in respect to class skills.

Races: Experts are everywhere, though their skills differ, Dwarven experts are most likely craftsman, where as Goblin experts might be thieves with skills like hide, move silently and bluff.

Alignment: Any, though dependent on their skills they might be influenced one way or another, for example a diplomat expert might be more lawful, as he could well be in the employ of his country, or a noble. A character with Profession(Executioner) is likely to be lawful evil. One with Lucid Dreaming is more likely to be chaotic while Autohypnosis tends to lawful.

Starting Gold: starting gold; 5d4 × 10gp (100 gp).

Starting Age: Moderate

Table: The Expert

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Expertise, Bonus Feat.
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Skill Ability.
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Bonus Feat.
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Skill Ability.
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Bonus Feat.
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Skill Ability, Skilled Assistant
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Bonus Feat.
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 Skill Ability.
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 Bonus Feat.
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 Skill Ability, Specialization
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +7 Bonus Feat.
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Skill Ability, Skill Mastery
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Bonus Feat.
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 Skill Ability.
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 Bonus Feat, Flawless Skill
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Skill Ability
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Bonus Feat.
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Skill Ability.
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Bonus Feat.
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Secondary Specialization, Skill Ability.

Class Skills (8 + Int modifier per level, ×6 at 1st level)
Any Skills the players choice must be chosen at level one, these are the class skills for the expert and cannot be changed at a later point.

Class Features[edit]

The Expert's Class Features are heavily based on his skills. All of the following are class features of the Expert.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Experts are proficient with simple weapons and with light armor. Experts are not proficent with shields of any kind.

Bonus Feat: An Expert gains a bonus feat at every odd level. These feats must relate to skills or a skill ability of the expert.

Expertise: An Expert is a master of his craft, and gains a competence bonus to all class skills equal to one third of his total level(minimum 1).

Skilled Assistant: When an Expert of 6th level or higher uses the aid other action, to aid someone using one of his class skills, instead of a +2 Bonus, the Expert adds her ranks in that skill to the other character's roll.

Skill Mastery: At level 10 an Expert is so confident in the use of certain skills that she can use them reliably even under adverse conditions. She selects a number of skills equal to 1 + her Int modifier. When making a check with one of these skills, she can take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so.

Flawless Skill: At 15th Level, an Expert is no longer subject to penalties on class skills caused by mundane means, for example, armor check penalties would not apply, nor would penalties involving a naturally low ability score. However, penalties caused by magic, negative levels, or other supernatural effects continue to affect the Expert.

Specialization: The expert may choose one of the following to be applied. The same specialization cannot be chosen twice.

  • Metaphysical Knowledge: Requires the Spells skill ability, one of Knowledge Arcana, Engineering, Nature or Religion skill abilities one of Eidetic Memory or Spell Reading and maximum ranks in the corresponding skills and concentration. You gain the same number of spells per day as a Bard of your Expert level.
  • Martial Combatant: Requires the Martial Knowledge skill ability, both Artisan's Fit, and Blacksmith's Knowledge skill abilities and maximum ranks in the corresponding skills. Your expert base attack bonus increases to match your class level. You may now refresh all of your maneuvers as a single full round action.
  • Of Shadow and Guile: Requires three skill abilities from any of the following Bluff, Diplomacy, Hide, Perform, and maximum ranks in the corresponding skills and move silently. Expertise now increases to one half of your Expert level and the bonuses are treated as ranks. Your critical strikes hit critically immune creatures for half of the bonus damage. You may ignore a creature's immunity to mind altering, compulsion and charm effects so long as it is not mindless. You are also able to shadow step a distance equal to your hide check as a move action.
  • Step of the Wind: Requires the any three skill abilities from Autohypnosis, Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Jump, or Tumble as well as maximum ranks in the corresponding skills. You gain evasion(improved if already present), uncanny dodge(improved if already present), mettle, and add your wisdom modifier to your armor class in light or nor armor. You also gain 5ft climb speed, swim speed, and fly speed(poor) per 5 ranks of climb, swim, and jump respectively up to your land speed. You must land in any round that you use this fly speed or fall. You also gain 5ft land speed for every 5 ranks you have in all three skills.
  • Just a Craftsman: Requires maximum ranks in at least one craft skill, appraise, and profession. You gain twice the funds from your profession and can produce items at half of the cost. You may sell items at 75% market value instead of 50%. All items you create are of extraordinary quality, with a 50% greater market value when sold and gaining one of the following: +1 bonus to armor, +1 attack, +2 hardness.
  • Beast Master: Requires the Druidic Readings(with animal domain), Spells, and Animal Companion skill abilities and maximum ranks in the corresponding skills. You may shapeshift into the form of an animal you are familiar with up to your size or one size smaller. While shapeshifted you gain the animal type, natural armor equal to your constitution, a bonus to either strength or dexterity equal to your casting stat modifier and half of that bonus to the other stat, the effects of either weapon finesse or power attack, and three appropriate natural attacks dealing 1d8(1d6 if small) damage each. You may forego access to a natural attack when you shapeshift to increase the number of die of another. You may forego the natural armor, ability bonus, feat, or natural attacks to gain average flight equal to your land speed.
  • Dreamer: Requires the Oh! I Get It, Meditation and Eidetic Memory skill abilities and maximum ranks in the corresponding skills, Lucid Dreaming, and Knowledge(Planes). You may add your Lucid Dreaming skill to the DC to enter your dreamscape without your permission. You are always considered dreaming. You are highly inattentive while using any of the following abilities and get a -4 to listen, spot and initiative while they are active. You can experience both planes simultaneously, however can take only partial actions and the dreamscape loses the time quality while you are awake. You may now also change an aspect of the material plane within close range DC 30, this effect is supernatural and ends when out of range but may be made mundane and permanent with a DC 50. You may also create the effects of dancing lights(DC 15), prestidigitation(DC 15), disguise self(DC 20), and levitate(DC 20) as standard actions supernatural abilities.
  • Stalwart: Requires any three of Meditation, Threatening Drill, Threatening Stance, Cause Flinch, Two for Flinching, or Still Standing skill abilities and maximum ranks in the corresponding skills. You gain immunity to non-lethal damage. You gain the effects of the endurance, improved toughness, and die hard feats. You gain damage reduction equal to your constitution modifier. You gain steely resolve equal to twice your constitution modifier.

Skill Ability[edit]

Every second level, an expert selects from the following list, any skill from the list of skill he have chosen at lvl 1 to gain the ability it's give.


  • Meditation As a move action, you may calm your mind and prepare your body for impact. You convert damage equal to your Wisdom modifier taken this round to non-lethal damage. You may meditate for half of your normal resting time to be considered fully rested. You are considered awake and alert during this time.
  • Eidetic Memory You may memorize magical and exotic text with autohypnosis. The DC to memorize, forget or recall spells is 15+spell level. You may only memorize a number of spell levels up to your wisdom modifier(zero level spells count as half). This does not give you spell casting ability nor does it increase the number of spells per day. It does, however, add to spells known and forego the requirement of a spell book for a select few spells so long as you make the check to recall the spell.


  • Determine Properties Once per round as a free action, you may make an appraise check to determine the properties of an item or object in sight, for example, if you use this ability on an ordinary suit of full plate, you would learn it's armor bonus, Maximum Dex bonus, and it's value, as well as any magical or psionic effects affecting it, this check's DC is equal to 15, +1 for each special property on the item, and each point of an enchantment bonus, so a +3 flaming longsword's DC would be 19.


  • Avoid Fall When you would be tripped, or fall from a height such as a building roof, (but not when you are dropped by a flying creature, or in a similar situation) you can make a (possibly extra) Balance check, to avoid the fall, The DC for this ability is equal to the attack roll made to trip you, or in the case of falls, it is 15, this DC increases by +2 for slippery surfaces.
  • Flat-Foot Evasion When you would be Flat-Footed, you can make a DC 15 Balance check to retain your dexterity bonus to armor, and not be treated as being flat-footed.
  • Still Standing When you would pass out, due to acting whilst on 0 hit points, you may make a DC 20 Balance check to stay standing, this ability can only be used for a number of consecutive turns equal to your Constitution modifier.


  • Misleading Strike When you miss a melee attack, you can make a bluff check, opposed by your opponents AC, if you beat your opponent's AC the attack hits, and you deal extra damage equal to your ranks in bluff.
  • I'm Dead When you are hit by an opponent, you may choose to fall prone and act as if the attack killed you, make a bluff check, any creature that comes within 10 feet of you may make a sense motive to determine that you are actually alive, any creature who doesn't know you're alive and is attacked by you is treated as being helpless, however, the creature then knows that you are alive, and gains a +5 bonus to all future sense motive checks to determine if you are alive when you use this ability.
  • Seduce You may mimic the effects of a charm person spell with a bluff check versus the targets sense motive. This ability lasts Cha+1 rounds and ends with the target having a slightly higher disposition toward you. This cannot be used against hostile targets and attacking or threatening the target nulls the effect. This ability is usable Cha+HD/2 times per day. A target gains a cumulative +2 to their save against this ability each time they resist.


  • Climbing Strike You can attempt to climb onto an opponent of a larger size then yourself as a move action, make a climb check, opposed by a strength check from your opponent, if you succeed, then all attacks you make against that opponent are treated as touch attacks, and all critical threats against them automatically confirm for the remainder of the turn, afterward, you drop from the opponent and return to your original square.


  • Oh, I get it! When a creature within 10 feet of you uses an extraordinary ability (for example a Barbarian rages) you gain understanding of how to use that ability if you succeed on concentration check opposed by a level check by the creature using the ability. If you succeed, you may use that ability once during the day. You must have the proper anatomy to use the ability.
  • Focused Assault When you make multiple attacks, after the first attack, you may declare that you are using a focused assault, meaning all of your attacks automatically are treated as having rolled the same amount to hit, if these are criticals, confirmation rolls must be taken separately, the DC for this ability to be successful is equal to, 15 +5 per attack.


  • Know the Breakpoints When making a sunder attempt, make a DC (DC to craft that item) craft (appropriate check to make the item) if you are successful, then your sunder attempt isn't affected by hardness.
  • (Weaponsmith)Blacksmith's Knowledge You gain proficiency with a number of weapons that you can craft equal to your ranks in Craft(Weaponsmith)and Weapon Focus with one of those weapons. Furthermore, all of your crafted weapons are considered Superior and gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage.
  • (Fletching)Craftsmen's Knowledge You gain proficiency with a number of ranged weapons that you can craft equal to your ranks in Craft(Fletching) and Weapon Focus with one of those weapons. Furthermore, all of your crafted weapons are considered Superior and gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage.
  • (Leather-working)Artisan's Fit You gain proficiency with medium armor that you can craft. Your armor check penalty for wearing light or medium armor is reduced by 2 to a minimum of 0 and arcane spell failure in light or medium armor is reduced by 10%. Furthermore, all of your crafted medium and light armor is considered Superior and gains a +1 bonus to armor class.
  • (Armor)Artisan's Fit You gain proficiency with heavy armor that you can craft. Your armor check penalty for wearing heavy armor is reduced by 2 to a minimum of 0 and arcane spell failure in heavy armor is reduced by 10%. Furthermore, all of your crafted heavy armor is considered Superior and gains a +1 bonus to armor class.


  • Persuasive Speaker You may mimic the effects of a suggestion spell as a standard action extraordinary ability with a DC equal to your diplomacy check. This ability is usable Cha times per day.

Disable Device

  • Disable Mechanism When in melee combat with a creature you can attempt to disable any weapon, or gear the target has that works with a system that is entirely manual, for example a crossbow, or a locked gauntlet, the DC for this check is 15, +1 for each point of enchantment bonus on the item, if you succeed, that item becomes useless until it is repaired.

Escape Artist

  • Escape Flanking When you are being flanked, and you successfully attack one of your flankers, you can switch places with them by making an escape artist check opposed to their strength check.

Handle Animal

  • Animal Companion You may win the loyalty of an animal. The ability functions only if you actually wish to be the animal's friend. If the you are not willing to treat the animal as a friend, this ability fails. An animal's loyalty is natural and lasting. You may teach the befriended animal three simple, specific tricks or tasks for each point of Intelligence it possesses. At most, you can have animal friends whose Hit Dice total no more than your character level. You may dismiss animal friends to enable the befriending of new ones.
  • Familiar You may gain a familiar as a sorcerer. Use your expert class levels to determine advancement. You must have the Spells class feature to take this ability.


  • Doctor You may convert lethal damage into non-lethal damage with a successful heal check equal to 10+ the damage done as a standard action. You may also add your heal ranks to healing done by items you make and items you use or apply.


  • Hide in Plain Sight You gain the ability to hide in plain sight.
  • Surprise Attack When you make an attack of opportunity while hidden or on an opponent who doesn't gain his Dex Bonus to AC, you deal extra damage equal to 1D4 per skill ability you have. This ability is treated as Sneak attack for the purpose of qualifying for feats, prestige classes, et cetera.


  • Threatening Stance You assume a stance that one foe of your choice finds intimidating, make an intimidate check, if you succeed, then the opponent is effected as though by the fear spell.
  • Cause Flinch When you threaten an opponent who attempts to make an action other then attacking you, you can make an intimidate check to cause him to flinch and automatically fail that action.
  • Two for Flinching When you attack your opponent with a melee weapon and miss, make an intimidate check, if you succeed, then you may make another attack on the target. You can not use this ability more than once per round.
  • Domination You may create the effects of command spell as a standard action extraordinary ability with a DC equal to your intimidation check. This ability is usable Cha times per day.


  • Jump Blow When an opponent hits you, you may make a jump check, if the result is higher then the result of the opponents attack roll, then you jump and avoid the attack however get -2 to AC for all other attacks against you that round. You cannot use this ability when you are flat footed and may only use it once per round.
  • Leaping Charge You can charge an opponent, even if a creature blocks your way, but, you must make a Jump check to jump over that creature DC 15 for a creature of your size(generally medium), this decreases by 5 for each size below your size, and increases for each size above your size.


  • (Religion)Theology MajorYou add one domain to your spells known in addition to the granted power. Furthermore you are now able to turn/rebuke undead charisma modifier times per day. You cannot retake this ability.
  • (Arcana)Arcane Studies You may add spells from the universal school and from one additional school of magic to your spells known totaling your intellect modifier in spells per spell level. You cannot retake this ability.
  • (Nature)Druidic Readings You add three of the following domains to your spells known, but not the granted powers. Animal, Plant, Earth, Fire, Water, Air, Healing, Sun. You cannot retake this ability.
  • (Engineering)Scientific Research You may replicate any spell you know as an Extraordinary ability as long as you have a power source and make a scientific knowlege check equal to 10+spell level(power sources are in Ravenloft Legacy of the Blood,scientific knowledge is just an intelligence check unless you become a scientist).

Martial Lore

  • Martial Knowledge You gain one martial maneuver from any one discipline per skill ability. You may ready your intelligence modifier in maneuvers(minimum 1). You may recharge a single maneuver as a full round action. You no longer have a limit on the number of times you can take Martial Study.


  • Distract Foe Any time you would get an attack of opportunity, you may instead attempt to distract the foe and end his turn immediately, by making a perform check, opposed by his concentration.
  • Threatening Drill Select one target, make a perform check, the result of this check becomes the DC for the will save the opponent must now take, if it fails it sees you as it's greatest threat and must attack you during it's next turn.
  • (Any Music)Bardic Song If you beat a DC 20 perform check, you may choose one 0 level bard spell to be cast at the beginning of your next turn after one full round action. The spell shape is essentially considered a blast(radiating 30 ft from the caster reflex DC 10+Cha+1/2Caster Level for voided or halved effect). You may not take any further actions while performing apart from a 5 ft step. This uses your charisma as your primary spellcasting stat and you are considered caster level one unless altered by the Spells class feature.

Speak High Draconic

  • Draconic Emulation You are considered a sorcerer and a dragon for the purposes of this skill. If you already had sorcerer spellcasting or are a dragon, increase your caster level by one half of your Expert level.


  • Spells You may spontaneously cast spells you know. You are considered to be half of your Expert level for the purposes of caster level and use your highest mental stat for Expert spellcasting. You may cast spells of a level equal to a Bard of your Expert level. You do not get base spells per day but do gain bonus spells from your highest mental stat. You gain a number of zero level bonus spells per day equal to two times the number of bonus first level spells. All spells cast are considered arcane and thus subject to spell failure from armor.


  • Nimble Step You can cross difficult terrain without penalty and may use the run action to cross liquids.
  • Evasive Maneuvers You gain evasion and uncanny dodge.

Use Magic Device

  • Spell Reading You may take a full round action to cast a spell from a readily available source material(spell book, scroll etc.) with a use magic device DC of 20+Spell level^2. This does not consume the source material and is cast as though with the eschew materials feat though all other components must be provided including any time in excess of a full round action that the spell normally requires.

Epic Expert[edit]

Table: The Expert

Hit Die: d6

Level Special
21st Bonus Feat, Improved Skill Mastery.
22nd Skill Ability.
23rd Bonus Feat, Improved Skill Mastery.
24th Skill Ability.
25th Intelligent Expert
26th Bonus Feat, Skill Ability
27th Improved Skill Mastery
28th Skill Ability.
29th Bonus Feat.
30th Skill Ability, Secondary Specialization.

8 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Improved Skill Mastery: An Expert may master a single class skill she already has skill mastery in allowing her to take 20 even when under duress.

Intelligent Expert: Beginning at 25th level an Expert gains a bonus on class skill checks equal to her Int modifier.

Bonus Feats: The bonus feats are no longer limited to skill feats and may now include epic feats from any of the classes the expert might emulate.

Secondary Specialization: You may choose a second Masterful Specialization

Human Expert Starting Package[edit]

This is a caster setup for the Expert, mix and match skills to better suit your play style.

Weapons: Quarterstaff (1d4, crit 20/×2, 2 lb., two-handed, bludgeoning).

Skill Selection: No specific skill limit other than the skill point limit.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Autohypnosis 4 Wis
Balance 4 Dex
Concentration 4 Con
Escape Artist 4 Dex
Jump 4 Str
Knowledge(Religion) 4 Int
Knowledge(Nature) 4 Int
Spellcraft 4 Int
Speak High Draconic 4 Int
Use Magic Device 4 Cha

Feat: Combat Casting.

Bonus Feats: Magical Talent, Scholarly.

Gear: Explorers Outfit, Backpack with waterskin, one week's trail rations, bedroll, sack, flint and steel, three torches, spell component pouch, spellbook.


Campaign Information[edit]

Playing an Expert[edit]

Religion: Experts are a mix lot of many different walks of life and equally varied religious outlooks. However as experts are the most common class to be craftsmen, a large portion of experts worship gods with the creation, fabrication and artifice domains.

Other Classes: Again, because of the variety present with experts, it is difficult to pin point exactly how each combination would react with other classes. For the most part, the regular spellcasters do not like spellcasting experts, wizards see them as undisciplined, sorcerers see them as weak and clerics see them as heritics for twisting divine spells to arcane ends. The secondary casters have much better relations with expert casters, especially bards. Stealth combat experts have similar relations as rogues do and crafters are fairly well liked by all, however their combat ability might be somewhat lacking.

Combat: Experts can fill several different roles, but are mostly support.

Advancement: An Expert cross classing into Witch(AEG) can become a particularly potent spellcaster.

Some of the utility features of a shadow dancer may appeal to the more stealth minded Experts.

Gifted Makers are a good choice for any craftsman Expert.

Exemplars are a decent all around good choice for an expert prestige class.

Experts in the World[edit]

I can do everything
—Anonymous, Human Expert

Experts are the craftsmen and professionals in the world. They normally do not have the inclination or training to be adventurers, preferring to set up a shop or business related to their skill set. However some may be called to the adventurer's life, or forced into it by conflict, where in they often display excellent versatility and adaptability.

Daily Life: Typically and expert will spend the day performing and soliciting his craft, selling arms, performing on the street, shipping cargo across the seas or selling potions and spells. It all depends upon what the expert's focus is.

Organizations: Due to their wide array of professions and skill sets, experts as a whole do not have a common organization, however many of them are a part of merchant's guild if available in their town.

NPC Reactions: NPC rections to Expert PCs varies depending on the class or profession they most emulate. Stealthy combat experts are treated as rogues, assassins or otherwise criminal. Spellcasting experts are treated as wizards or sorcerers are. And of course the various craftsmen are treated as any other merchant would be treated.

Expert Lore[edit]

Each expert has different lore.

Characters with ranks in Knowledge(?) can research Expert to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

<-the appropriate skills->
DC Result
5 common knowledge.
10 not so common knowledge.
15 rare information.
20 very rare information.

Experts in the Game[edit]

Adaptation: This dose not currently cover all skills and easily has massive potential for expansion.

Sample Encounter: This player variant of the expert should be an uncommon sight in towns. There may be one in a small village, or a small handful in a decent sized town, but for the most part the original version found in the Dungeon Master's Guise should be used for NPC creation. If, however you want to make a grand master of a profession for the players to learn from, by all means use this variant and put him in a major city or as a hermit on a distant mountain top.

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