Tactician (3.5e Class)

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A combatant whose power does not lie in physical or magical strength, but in mental prowess. Using his exceptional stratagems, a tactician alters the flow of a battle from the rear by providing expertly crafted instructions for his team that ensure maximum efficiency on the battleground.

Making a Tactician[edit]

A tactician by himself will not last very long in battle. They rely on their allies to do the heavy lifting while they provide support from the rear, ensuring that their allies are capable of handling any threat they might encounter. He is often an unsung hero in a fight, not playing an integral part in the fight itself but often making a difference behind the scenes. If a tactician is good at what they do, they earn the respect and trust of the entire party.

Abilities: Intelligence is incredibly important for tacticians as the majority of their skills rely on it, as do several of their class features. Charisma is also very important for a tacticians skill set and for rallying his troops around him. Strength is usually an ignored ability score for a tactician but some insist on fighting alongside the knights, fighters, and paladins of their troop, these few tacticians either develop Strength or inevitably lose their lives. Dexterity can be important to a tactician who focuses on the use of ranged weapons to support his companions while remaining in the back line, and it's also a huge boon to be able to act first in combat. Constitution can be useful, but is far from essential for a good tactician; without it, remaining healthy may be more difficult for them if they enjoy assisting their friends on the front-line. Wisdom is the least useful skill for a tactician.

Races: All races have a need and a use for tacticians, although it takes keen intelligence and impressive charisma to become a truly accomplished tactician

Alignment: Any, usually Lawful if they have a military background.

Starting Gold: 6d4×10 gp (150 gp)

Starting Age: Simple. Some tacticians begin learning under an apprenticeship at a very young age, as human tacticians have been seen on the battlefield giving orders at as young as 14.

Table: The Tactician

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Tactics
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Study n/a
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Mind over Matter n/a
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Battle Focus n/a
4th +3 +1 +1 +4 Improved Study (+1 to hit) n/a
5th +3 +1 +1 +4 Rally, Bonus Feat n/a
6th +4 +2 +2 +5 Battlefield Inspiration, Improved Study (+2 to hit), Tactics +2/DC 10
7th +5 +2 +2 +5 Tactical Style, Improvise +2/DC 10
8th +6/+1 +2 +2 +6 Quick Study, Improved Study (+1d6 damage) +2/DC 10
9th +6/+1 +3 +3 +6 Tactical Withdrawal +2/DC 10
10th +7/+2 +3 +3 +7 Improved Study (+3 to hit), Bonus Feat +3/DC 12
11th +8/+3 +3 +3 +7 Speech, Press the Advantage +3/DC 12
12th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Enhanced Tactical Style, Improved Study (+4 to hit), Combat Bonus Feat +3/DC 12
13th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Drive +3/DC 12
14th +10/+5 +4 +4 +9 Improved Study (+2d6 damage) +4/DC 14
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +9 Swift Study, Bonus Feat +4/DC 14
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Improved Study (+5 to hit), Combat Bonus Feat +4/DC 14
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Heroic Inspiration +4/DC 14
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +11 Improved Study (+6 to hit) +5/DC 16
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +11 +5/DC 16
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Greater Study, Ultimate Tactical Style, Bonus Feat +5/DC 16

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Bluff (Cha), Concentrate (Con), Craft[Trapmaking] (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Knowledge[Any] (Int), Listen (Wis), Martial Study (Int), Profession[Cartography] (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis).

Class Features[edit]

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: All tacticians are proficient with the following weapons and armor: dagger, shortspear, longspear, quarterstaff, spear, heavy and light crossbow, short sword, longsword, trident, longbow and shortbow (including composite), as well as any martial polearm, all light armor and with all shields save tower shields.

Study: At 1st level, as a standard action, a tactician can study a single enemy. Only one enemy may be studied at a time, but the tactician can retain a maximum of 3 studies against prior enemies. If there are multiple of the same creature, the study bonuses would apply against all of them, unless their intelligence score is 3 or higher, in which case a separate study is required for each individual. The tactician increases the critical threat range of his attacks against the studied creature by 2 (20 would now be 18-20) until the end of the encounter. He can also spend a full-round action communicating his studies to a friendly creature that can hear him, such that they are also granted this benefit; however, for them, it only lasts 6 rounds after which they must be reminded of the study via the tactician using another full-round action. The tactician may only study an enemy he can see. Study can be used before an encounter begins, but blatantly studying someone (i.e studying someone who can see you studying them) will require a opposed bluff check against the enemies sense motive; failure will indicate you are studying them, which may hint at the tacticians intentions depending on the situation.

Mind over Matter: At 2nd level, a tactician may add his Intelligence modifier to his Fortitude saving throws and Concentration skill checks (minimum +1).

Battle Focus: At 3rd level, the tactician may attempt to enter a state of extreme focus using a move action. He must make a Concentration check (DC 10) and it lasts 3 + Intelligence modifier of rounds. There are two different states, Barricade and Onslaught. Each round he is attacked he must make a Concentration check at the end to maintain his focus (+2 to check DC for every 5 damage sustained that round). After losing Battle Focus you can not re-enter it for 2 rounds.

Barricade: Upon entering this state, the tactician turns his mind into an impenetrable wall, focusing on carefully calculated defenses. They gain +4 to Will saves and 1 + Intelligence modifier bonus to AC (minimum + 2). You cannot enter this state while in medium or heavy armor.

Onslaught: Upon entering this state, the tactician focuses his body into a deadly weapon, ready to strike quickly and with deadly precision. They gain 1 + Intelligence modifier bonus to damage with all attacks. You can not enter this state while holding a shield.

Improved Study: At 4th level and every two levels beyond that, add a +1 circumstance bonus to hit or a +1 circumstance bonus to overcome spell resistance. At 8th and 14th level, instead add 1d6 damage die to a characters attack or spell that has been given knowledge from the tactician. These bonuses stop scaling after 18th level.

Bonus Feat: At 5th and every 5 levels thereafter the tactician may gain a bonus feat, which must be related to leadership, tactical fighting, Intelligence or Charisma. A few examples would be Leadership, Expert Tactician, Knowledge Devotion, or Skill Focus (Diplomacy).

Rally: At 5th level, as a move action, 2 times per day (+1 every 2 tactician levels after 5th) the tactician can call for their party to rally around them. All of the tacticians allies can choose to make an immediate action to move up to half their base movement speed towards the tactician. A tactician may then share any knowledge gained through Study during that fight with his allies as a free action (even if they chose to not move). Any movement made through this immediate action still provokes attacks of opportunity if moving through a threatened square. This ability can only be used once per encounter.

Battlefield Inspiration: At 6th level a tactician becomes immune to fear effects and acquires Battlefield Inspiration as a bonus feat. Whenever a tactician or one of his allies defeats an opponent (not kills) he can inspire confidence in his allies as an immediate action. Each ally within 30 ft. that can hear him gains a circumstance bonus equal to the Tactician's charisma modifier (minimum +1) on saving throws against fear effects for 4 minutes. If a second enemy is defeated while allies are still under the effects of a previous Battlefield Inspiration the duration stacks.

Tactics: At 6th level, a tactician and his teammate's have begun to grasp the fundamentals of tactical warfare. As a swift action, whenever two of his allies or the tactician and an ally are standing adjacent to one another and one is engaged in melee combat, the tactician may give the order to perform Tactics. Tactics may be used 4 times an encounter. Tactics acts as Aid Another except no standard action is required, the tactician decides whether the bonus applies to AB or AC, and it uses the bonus and DC from the Tactics table. The bonuses provided increase by +1 and the DC by +2 at each fourth level after this one (see Tactics table. Any bonus the tactician has that may increase the bonus to Aid Another also applies to Tactics even if he is not the one rolling. The bonus from Tactics can not stack with Aid Another. Only allies who who have been instructed by the tactician for half a day may perform Tactics.

The process for using Tactics looks something like this; if Ally(1) is adjacent to Ally(2) and Ally(2) is engaged in melee combat the tactician may order Ally(1) to use Tactics (here the tactician chooses whether it's an AC or AB bonus), Ally(1) makes an attack roll (including all bonuses) if he makes the DC check listed on Tactics table Ally(2) gains the bonus from that same table (not the normal Aid Another bonus), if he fails nothing happens and one use of Tactics is consumed.

Improvise: At 7th level, a tactician becomes more adept at unorthodox tactics, and can use strange ideas to his advantage. He can take advantage of his environment using anything around him as a weapon, building materials, or any other conceivable battle or survival aid. He gains no penalties that would normally be attached with using random items as weapons.

Tactical Style:At 7th level, a tactician advances his tactical acumen and adapts quickly to situations. A tactician upon entering combat can choose a tactical style offensive, defensive, or specialist tactics. He may change his choice once per encounter as a standard action. Bonuses provided through Tactical Style affect all allies which can hear the tactician, including the tactician himself.

Offensive: +1 bonus on attack rolls or +1 bonus versus spell resistance. Once per encounter, a tactician can enable one ally within range of Tactical Style to reroll their initiative. If the new roll is higher than the original roll they now act on that new count. If it is lower, the ally may choose which roll they wish to act on.

Defensive: +1 bonus to AC, +1 bonus on all saving throws.

Specialist: +2 bonus to all Bull Rush, Disarm, Feint, Overrun, Sunder, and Trip attempts.

Quick Study: At 9th level a tactician has become adept at studying his enemies. He can now use his Study ability as a move action. This ability can be used in the same turn as a Rally (treated as a double move). Also his Study can now be shared as a move action.

Tactical Withdrawal: At 9th level, a tactician as a full action may call to his allies to do a tactical withdrawal to a certain position chosen by him. The Tactician gains a X2 move and the first square he leaves he does not provoke an attack of opportunity. All allies within hearing range may also move at 2x their base speed as an immediate action, they may only move towards the point called by the tactician (Use DMs discretion but this should not force the wizard to run through 3 orcs instead of circling around another direction). This ability may only be used once per encounter and twice per day.

To withdraw isn't a sign of weakness... It is a sign that a man knows the limits of his capabilities and the most probable outcome of the future. One who retreats to fight another day isn't running away, but looking for another road towards the same destination.
—Lionel Suggs, tactician

Speech: At 11th level, before an encounter a tactician may spend up to five minutes giving their group a pep talk or rallying speech. All soldiers hearing this speech can gain a morale bonus equal to the tacticians Charisma modifier to any stat of their choosing and are under the effects of Battlefield Inspiration, this lasts 20 minutes. The tactician may only make a speech about an enemy he has knowledge of, and must speak for at least 2 minutes. He can only make a speech 2 times a week.

Press the Advantage: Upon reaching 11th level the tactician imparts some of his knowledge to his trusted allies, they now know that its important to put their all into a fight whilst they have the upper-hand. The Tactician and his allies gain +2 damage to a single attack every round that an enemy is flat-footed, prone, or flanked. Additionally allies and the tactician both can make a full round of actions when they surprise an enemy.

Combat Bonus Feat: Spending so much time around deadly combat, you tend to pick up on a thing or two, at 12th level and every 4 levels after gain a combat-oriented feat of your choosing, including those of which are fighter only such as Weapon Specialization.

Enhanced Tactical Style: At 12th level the tactician adds a bonus to his already existing style as stated below. All Abilities stack with the above, for example +2 to AC stacks with the above and becomes +3.

Offensive: +2 to damage, a +2 bonus against spell resistance and +10 to speed of all charge attempts.

Defensive: a +2 bonus to AC and a +1 bonus to saving throws (stacks with above).

Specialist: +2 to skill checks and +2 to Initiative.

Drive: At 13th level the tactician can now enter a 3rd state of focus: Drive, or may use Barricade and Onslaught as one state of focus (Both restrictions still apply).

Drive: Upon entering this state the tactician focuses entirely on overcoming the obstacle at hand. He gains an additional move action (which may be used perform an additional Study action). He may also share his Study as a swift action to anyone able to hear him. If he is reduced to -1 to -9 hp make the DC 10 (+2 for every 5 damage you took) check to see if the tactician remains focused, if he succeeds he automatically stabilizes and is capable of making 1 standard or 1 move action every turn until healed.

Swift Study: At 15th level, perform a study as an immediate action. This can only be done once per encounter, any further study actions will require a move action.

Heroic Inspiration: At 17th level, the tactician can push one party member per week to perform a near impossible feat. This is primarily used to turn the tide of a battle. The tactician cannot, however, use this on himself. As an immediate action target gains haste, the benefit of his study, adds X1 to the weapons multiplier, gains temporary HP equal to 20 + 1d10 + Charisma modifier and gains Freedom of Movement for 4 + Charisma modifier of rounds. (Can only be used once a week)

Masters Tactical Style: at 20th level, the tactician can gain another bonus to his previously existing tactical style, as shown below.

Offensive: +1D8 to damage rolls

Defensive: Spell Resistance 5 + tacticians Intelligence modifier

Specialist: Grant each character one Re-Roll per encounter.

Greater Study: The tactician gains all information about the selected enemy, and the next 3 attacks he makes against that enemy are +10 to hit and add 1 to his critical modifier (Ex. if it's times X2 it's now X3).



Epic Tactician[edit]

Table: The Epic Tactician

Hit Die: d8

Level Special Tactics
21st +5/DC 16
22nd +6/DC 18
23rd +6/DC 18
24th Combat Bonus Feat +6/DC 18
25th Bonus Feat +6/DC 18
26th +7/DC 20
27th Great Renown +7/DC 20
28th Combat Bonus Feat +7/DC 20
29th +7/DC 20
30th Bonus Feat +8/DC 22

6 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Great Renown: At 27th level, anyone capable of making a DC 5 Knowledge[history] check will recall your name and appearance when confronted with you. If they are enemies they will then think twice about surrendering (50% chance).

Human Tactician Starting Package[edit]

Armor: Studded Leather

Weapons: Halberd or Longsword and Heavy Shield are both safe choices. Longbow for ranged combat.

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 6 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Bluff 4 Cha
Concentration 2 Con
Diplomacy 4 Cha
Gather Information 4 Cha
Knowledge (Local) 2 Int
Knowledge (History) 4 Int
Sense Motive 4 Wis
Spot 4 Wis

Feat: Improved Initiative

Bonus Feats: Alertness

Gear: Standard Adventurer's Backpack, Bedroll, Common Lamp, Oil (4 pints), Waterskin, Flint and Steel, Signal Whistle, Map Case, Three Pages of Parchment, Ink, Inkpen, Quiver with Twenty Arrows

Gold: 3d4 gp.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Tactician[edit]

Religion: Tacticians worship deities of their choice, but will often turn towards combat and good-fortune oriented gods.

Other Classes: Tacticians tend to look down upon less intelligent classes, but they respect anyone who will listen to their ideas and has the ability to bring their plans to fruition.

Combat: Tacticians are usually back-line supporters who can influence the battle by instructing their comrades. Sometimes they choose to fight alongside their pals which is fine as long as they play things carefully and think things out. At first glance playing a tactician may seem complicated, and you would be right, there are a lot of things to keep track of and many ways to influence combat, which is why I enjoy this class so much, it represents itself so well and is really different than what you usually get from a support role.

Tacticians in the World[edit]

Our path of retreat has been cut off. If you think you can win without me then kill me. Someone, anyone? No takers? Then lets get this done.
—Lelouch Lamperouge, tactician

Daily Life: Tacticians generally spend their time expanding their knowledge. If they know big battles are coming up, they will ceaselessly research their upcoming enemies with a fervor that the illiterate may find unnerving.

Tactician Lore[edit]

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

Knowledge (History
DC Result
5 Very famous Tactician, known for aiding aspiring world conquerors by the dozens.
10 Information about the nature of Tacticians in general (For example; A party's greatest strength but also their greatest weakness, without him they will crumble).
15 The name and location, of the Kingdom(Country) which produces the most successful Tacticians.
20 The first Tactician.

Tacticians in the Game[edit]

Adaptation: .

Sample Encounter: .

EL : .

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