Nomad Knight (3.5e Class)
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Nomad Knights are the Fighter of the 'Spellcaster - Rogue - Fighter' trinity for a nature themed classes (The others being Druid and Ranger of course).
Making a Nomad Knight
Nomad Knights make rather good natural fighters, something similar to a monk in their fighting ability. Nomad Knights don't fight with nor do they need weapons, as their abilities offer a nice variety of abilities on their own.
Abilities: Strength or Dexterity would be the most important. Dexterity would be best fit along with Weapon Finesse would make for excellent use of BAB, and Dexterity alone for Armor Class and Initiative. Charisma is second in importance as it affects the Smite and Wild Empathy class skills.
Races: Any race that would have ties to nature or any sort of nature theme would best fit for this class.
Starting Gold: 4d4×10 gp (Average: 100 gp).
|1st||+1||+0||+0||+0||1st Favored Enemy, Wild Empathy, Wild Shape (Natural Weapon and Armor)|
|2nd||+1||+0||+0||+0||Smite 1/day, Wild Shape (1/day), Woodland Stride|
|4th||+2||+1||+1||+1||Animal Companion, Wild Shape (Large)|
|5th||+3||+2||+2||+2||2nd Favored Enemy, Smite 2/day, Wild Shape (2/day)|
|6th||+3||+2||+2||+2||Companion Mount, Wild Shape (3/day)|
|7th||+4||+3||+3||+2||Wild Shape (Tiny)|
|8th||+4||+3||+3||+3||Wild Shape (Plant), Venom Immunity|
|9th||+5||+4||+4||+3||Smite 3/day, Wild Shape (4/day)|
|10th||+5||+4||+4||+3||3rd Favored Enemy, Wild Shape (5/day)|
|11th||+6/+1||+5||+5||+3||Wild Shape (Huge)|
|12th||+6/+1||+5||+5||+4||Wild Shape (Extra Limbs)|
|14th||+7/+2||+6||+6||+4||Wild Shape (6/day)|
|15th||+8/+3||+7||+7||+5||4th Favored Enemy|
|20th||+10/+5||+10||+10||+6||5th Favored Enemy, Wild Shape (Aspects)|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Nomad Knights rely on their natural and divine abilities for combat. All of the following are class features of the Nomad Knight.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Nomad Knights have no manufactured weapon, armor, or shield proficiencies. Such things get in the way of their Wild Shape class feature and they have even sworn to never wear armor or wield weapons made by modern man.
Favored Enemy (Ex): At 1st level, a Nomad Knight may select a type of creature from among those given on Table: Nomad Knight Favored Enemies. The Nomad Knight gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against creatures of this type. Likewise, he/she gets a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls against such creatures.
At 5th level and every five levels thereafter (10th, 15th, and 20th level), the Nomad Knight may select an additional favored enemy from those given on the table. In addition, at each such interval, the bonus against any one favored enemy (including the one just selected, if so desired) increases by 2.
If the Nomad Knight chooses humanoids or outsiders as a favored enemy, he/she must also choose an associated subtype, as indicated on the table. If a specific creature falls into more than one category of favored enemy, the Nomad Knight’s bonuses stack.
Wild Empathy (Ex): A Nomad Knight can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person. The Nomad Knight rolls 1d20 and adds his/her Nomad Knight level and his/her Charisma modifier to determine the wild empathy check result.
To use wild empathy, the Nomad Knight and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.
Wild Shape (Su): At 1st level, a Nomad Knight is able to alter their arms and skin to that of natural weapons and armor. The creature in which these features are 'copied' must be of a creature whose Challenge Rating does not exceed Nomad Knight Levels (Ask DM for help on this one). Natural Weapons are treated as light weapons in determination for how Weapon Finesse affects the Nomad Knight. At 12th level, the Nomad Knight can in base form can also sprout an extra pair of arms if he/she so chooses. At 20th level, a Nomad Knight is able to use wild shape individually on aspects of pre-existing body parts (For example: A pair of Human Nomad Knight Eyes can be swapped out with eyes of a creature of appropriate size with darkvision, and gain that special quality while it is maintained). This is an at will ability that does not affect full Wild Shape uses. These alterations to the Nomad Knight's base form remain in effect until either the Nomad Knight chooses to alter it again or until he/she is knocked out. If knocked out, the Nomad Knight is entitled to a Control Shape check (DC 10 + Nomad Knight Level) to maintain the current form.
At 2nd level, a Nomad Knight gains the ability to turn himself/herself into any Small or Medium animal and back again once per day. His/Her options for new forms include all creatures with the animal type. This ability functions like the alternate form special ability, except as noted here. The effect lasts for 1 hour per Nomad Knight level, or until he/she changes back. Changing form (to animal or back) is a standard action and doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity. Each time you use wild shape, you regain lost hit points as if you had rested for a night.
Any gear worn or carried by the Nomad Knight melds into the new form and becomes nonfunctional. When the Nomad Knight reverts to his/her true form, any objects previously melded into the new form reappear in the same location on his/her body that they previously occupied and are once again functional. Any new items worn in the assumed form fall off and land at the Nomad Knight's feet.
The form chosen must be that of an animal the Nomad Knight is familiar with.
A Nomad Knight loses his/her ability to speak while in animal form because she is limited to the sounds that a normal, untrained animal can make, but he/she can communicate normally with other animals of the same general grouping as his/her new form. (The normal sound a wild parrot makes is a squawk, so changing to this form does not permit speech.)
A Nomad Knight can use this ability more times per day at 5th, 6th, 9th, and 14th level, as noted on Table: The Nomad Knight. In addition, he/she gains the ability to take the shape of a Large animal at 4th level, a Tiny animal at 7th level, and a Huge animal at 11th level.
The new form’s Hit Dice can’t exceed the character’s Nomad Knight level.
At 8th level, a Nomad Knight becomes able to use wild shape to change into a plant creature with the same size restrictions as for animal forms. (A Nomad Knight can’t use this ability to take the form of a plant that isn’t a creature.)
Smite (Su): Starting at 2nd level, a Nomad Knight may attempt to smite with one normal melee attack once per day. He/She adds his/her Charisma bonus (if any) to his/her attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per Nomad Knight level.
At 5th level, and at every five levels thereafter, the Nomad Knight may smite one additional time per day, as indicated on Table: The Nomad Knight, to a maximum of five times per day at 20th level.
Woodland Stride (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a Nomad Knight may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at his/her normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion still affect him/her.
Trackless Step (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a Nomad Knight leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. He/She may choose to leave a trail if so desired.
Animal Companion (Ex): At 4th level, a Nomad Knight gains an animal companion of a(n) Wolf, or horse (light or heavy). If the campaign takes place wholly or partly in an aquatic environment, the following creatures are also available: crocodile, and medium shark. This animal is a loyal companion that accompanies the Nomad Knight on his/her adventures as appropriate for its kind.
This ability functions like the druid ability of the same name, except that the Nomad Knight’s effective druid level is one-half his/her Nomad Knight level. A Nomad Knight may select from the alternative lists of animal companions just as a druid can, though again his/her effective druid level is half his/her Nomad Knight level. Like a druid, a Nomad Knight cannot select an alternative animal if the choice would reduce his/her effective druid level below 1st. Other classes granting effective druid or actual druid levels in this respect stack.
Companion Mount (Su): At 6th level, the Nomad Knight's Companion can be altered 1/day. The alteration is a temporary increase in size category to Large (Or Medium for Small Nomad Knights). This ability lasts 1 hour/Nomad Knight Level.
Venom Immunity (Ex): At 8th level, a Nomad Knight gains immunity to all poisons.
This class does not come with Epic Levels.
Nomad Knights that forsake their natural ways by wearing armor made by any race or wielding a weapon (also made by any race) lose access to this class in its entirety: All class features are revoked. If a Nomad Knight does not atone within 24 hours of the incident, they are stripped of their levels in this class and instead have to invest levels into other classes.
Human Nomad Knight Starting Package
Weapons: Wolf Claw (Wild Shape Natural Weapon, list in weapon section, use stats of creature entry).
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 5 + Int modifier.
Feat: Weapon Finesse.
Bonus Feats: Toughness.
Gear: Medium Viper Scales (Wild Shape Natural Armor, +3 AC, list in armor section), Backpack with waterskin, one day’s trail rations, bedroll, sack, flint and steel, and Three torches.
Gold: 5d4 gp.
Playing a Nomad Knight
Religion: Nature based Deities or Deities closely aligned to their own alignment tend to be the ones that Nomadic Knights follow.
Other Classes: Nomadic clans of other classes welcome Nomadic Knights very well. Most especially Druids and Rangers as another of the natural ways. Civilized variants of races and classes tend to look at Nomadic Knights like Druids or Rangers. Not hard to imagine why.
Combat: As Monk.
Advancement: Typically the Nomad Knight advances as is or takes levels in prestige classes to improve on the class features mentioned above.
Nomad Knights in the World
|“||Though we not carry steel, wear iron, or use energy no seen, we fight in ways that they not fight.||”|
|—Hauaghn, Human Nomad Knight|
This character class, as the name implies, fits best in nomadic or otherwise not so civilized settings. It makes for a nice choice for those who like the Druid or Ranger classes but are in a setting where little to no magic exists.
Daily Life: Nomadic Knights live their lives mostly in forests and traveling through dungeons in search of animals yet seen by them. Their Wild Shape feature leaves much to be desired in finding animals to study.
Organizations: Nomadic Knights have organizations of fellow nature dwellers. As such they may very well organize with Druids or Rangers.
NPC Reactions: NPCs and PCs look at Nomadic Knights as they would Druids or Monks.
Nomad Knight Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Nature) can research Nomad Knights to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||"Nomad Knights fight very similar to a monk"|
|10||"Nomad Knights have a handful of abilities from a Druid, a Ranger, and a Paladin."|
|15||"Nomad Knights are actually capable of being able to fight favorably against the very animals they can change into."|
|20||A particular Nomad Knight, including last known deed and location.|
Nomad Knights in the Game
The title gives a good idea where they would fit. They could also be an alternative to Druids and Rangers for campaigns with low to no Magic.
Adaptation: Not much for variations, what was mentioned above would explain where they best fit.