View Full Version : The Grammaton Cleric PrC (3.5E)

2008-12-06, 11:24 PM
The Grammaton Cleric
"Martial arts are designed to be progressive. Take for example, the Grammaton Clerics. Misguided, they may be, but implementing the newest weapon alongside the first weapon, and doing it well? There, my apprentices, is an example of the martial artist's spirit." -Dal Seon, master earthbender speaking to his pupils.

Some ascetics eschew emotion in order to hone their perceptions, while wicked undead are devoid of feeling as a consequence of their lifeless form. However, in the city-state of Libria, the populace as a whole has discarded emotion in order to obtain stability and freedom from conflict. When citizens attempt to flee this static regime, either by attempting to leave the state or by embracing their feelings, the government intercedes in the form of a Grammaton Cleric.

The Grammaton Clerics are specialized martial artists who use firearms in conjunction with their hand-to-hand attacks, maximizing their damage while minimizing ranged harm to themselves.

Becoming a Grammaton Cleric

Most simply lack the dedication and talent to become a Grammaton Cleric. It requires a select few skills, but once entered in the class, it produces dramatic results in both offense and defense.

The class itself possesses several difficult requirements, including a few levels in the monk class. From a gameplay standpoint, this produces a curve as the standard monk is generally regarded as highly weak. As such, in my campaign I use Eighth_Seraph's Avatar Monk. Found here. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3629354#post3629354) used without permission, sorry. If there's an issue, I'll remove it. After some playtesting, I decided to implement some Wanted-esque features for the players who pick up feats like Ranged Threat and the like.

Entry Requirements:
Alignment: Any lawful.
Base Attack Bonus: +7
Skills: Sense Motive 10 Ranks, Tumble 10 Ranks
Feats: Combat Expertise*, Deflect Arrows, Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Any Firearm, Improved Unarmed Strike
Special: Still Mind class feature, must be accepted and trained in a Grammaton Monastery.

*In my game, I consider Combat Expertise to be a bit more flexible, and have INT OR WIS 13+ as a requirement to take the feat. This helps if you don't want to use the Carmendine Monk feat, or don't want to stretch your monk levels thinner.

Hit Die: d8
Skills: (4+INT/level) Autohypnosis, Balance, Climb, Concentration, Gather Information, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge: Local, Knowledge: Religion, Listen, Move Silently, Spot, Swim, Tumble

Grammaton Cleric
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

+2|Pistol Whip, Martial Arts Abilities

+3|Gun Kata: Offensive

+3|Gun Kata: Defensive

+4|Gun Kata: Modular, Discern Feeling


Class Features
As a Grammaton Cleric, you become more specialized in synergysing your firearms and melee attacks. When faced with a ranged foe, you can easily nullify their effectiveness by battling it out in melee, and against melee foes, you are by no means exposed due to your choice of weapons.

Martial Artist Abilities:

Note, this ability applies only to the highest level class to which this ability would apply. EX: An Airbender 3/Monk 10/Grammaton Cleric 5 applies this feature to his Monk levels only.

A character with levels in monk adds his Grammaton Cleric levels to his monk levels for determining his values of unarmed strike damage, flurry of blows attacks, decisive strike attacks, and unarmored AC bonus.

Any bender with levels in this class adds his Grammaton Cleric level to his bending level for purposes of forms known.

Pistol Whip (ex): At first level, when using a firearm as a melee weapon, you do not risk a misfire or causing damage to the weapon. In addition, at third level, you may treat any firearm you wield in this way as if you were making an unarmed strike with it.

Gun Kata (Offensive) (ex): At second level, you truly begin to become defined as a Grammaton Cleric through the use of Gun Kata. You may use your firearm (provided it contains enough ammo) as part of a flurry of blows or a decisive strike, (DnD physics, for decisive strike monks to get the love) however, when declaring such an attack with a firearm, you may not use unarmed strikes with your flurry of blows, although you may use multi-weapon fighting as normal, in the case of wielding two firearms. You lose the ability of this class feature if you wear armor or a shield.

Gun Kata (Defensive) (ex): At third level, when a foe you threaten attempts to attack you with a ranged weapon, you may make an attack of opportunity against them, and you may execute special maneuvers (such as disarm, or a special combat maneuver if you're using Book of Iron Might) in conjunction with this attack with a -4 penalty on the attack roll. This ability does not grant you extra attacks of opportunity. In addition, when using the combat expertise feat or fighting defensively, you gain a bonus to AC against ranged attacks equal to your Grammaton Cleric level. You lose the ability of this class feature if you wear armor or a shield.

Gun Kata (Modular) (ex): At fourth level, when making a flurry of blows or a decisive strike, you may interchange firearm attacks and unarmed strikes at will. In addition, as long as you threaten a foe with your unarmed strike, you do not provoke an attack of opportunity for making a ranged attack. You lose the ability of this class feature if you wear armor or a shield.

Discern Feeling (su): At fourth level, you gain a supernatural sense of when people are feeling emotions. At will, as a standard action, you can assess a number of targets in a 30ft cone up to your Grammaton Cleric level. If your targets fail a Will save equal to DC10+Your ranks in Sense Motive, you instantly become aware of their state of mind. (But not exactly what they are thinking, so, for example, you can determine if someone is happy, angry, etc. Useful for fulfilling their role in Libria, but also useful for discovering assassins and the like in a crowd.) If they save, you believe that they are not feeling any emotion.

Equilibrium (ex): A number of times per day equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum once) but no more than once per encounter, you may enter a state of perfect, emotionless harmony, lasting for a number of rounds equal to one half your wisdom modifier. When activated, you may make a saving throw against each ongoing mind-affecting ability, including fear, morale effects, and if you save, you remove the effect.

While in Equilibrium, you add your Wisdom modifier to all attack and damage rolls, gain a +20 competence bonus to speed, may charge over difficult terrain, gain a +4 bonus against mind-affecting abilities, and gain 20% concealment as you statistically predict the pattern of attacks heading your way.

Playing a Grammaton Cleric
For whatever reason you adventure, you act calm and collected. Your training is too ingrained in your mind to let your facade drop, and even if you're one of the few Clerics who for some reason are outside Libria, you are too indoctrinated to act else wise.

To you, each task is something to be completed to the best possible ability. You're unlikely to compromise, although you are by no means incapable of modifying the plan to best achieve the goal.


Your gun katas allow you to be effective both in melee and at range. As such, you should support allies where you are most needed, or cripple foes by using your techniques to expose their weakness or strip away their strengths. You should obtain a high-capacity weapon as soon as possible, and defensive items will help your armor class as you can't wear armor and use your gun katas.


As a Grammaton Cleric, it is your duty to enforce the law. Your specialized entry requirements mean that to only dip into this class is to minimize your potential, so after advancing your levels entirely, it is recommended to continue increasing your base classes to maximize the augmentation received by your Grammaton levels. Continue investing skill points into Sense Motive, as it increases the efficiency of your Detect Feeling skill. A high dexterity and wisdom also make you a feared foe on the battlefield, while Intimidate is vital for uncovering more suspects.


As a citizen of Libria, you may obtain prozium, as mandatory. In addition, your order can supply you with ammunition and weaponry, if necessary. However, they are loath to be exploited and will terminate abusive clerics. Furthermore, you can use the organization's information to track down citizens and such.

Grammaton Clerics in the World
"The price? I pay it gladly." -John Preston, former Senior Grammaton Cleric.

The few Grammaton Clerics seen abroad are most often defectors, or hunters of citizens who escape with vital resources or are near to the Librian border. They present an alternative martial arts style and a high-octane set of combatants, as well as an order of efficient killing machines.

Daily Life

Grammaton Clerics, both standard and defector, all live lives of discipline and rigor. They endeavor to complete their goals with efficiency and simplicity, while keeping themselves in keen shape. To them, practices makes perfect isn't a motto; it's a lifestyle.


In Libria, few bother to get to know their supervisors. However, the most notable Grammaton Cleric was once known as John Preston (LG Male Human Monk 15/Grammaton Cleric 5). With some support of a resistance group, he nearly shattered the hold of prozium on Libria, but ultimately failed. However, he did escape with a large number of now non-addled civilians to parts unknown.


Grammaton Clerics are trained from an early age in a Grammaton monastery. While they typically are first trained in the monk class with the necessary feats to enter the Grammaton Cleric, most are gradually phased out through grueling testing and disciplinary tests.

The Grammaton serves as primarily a police force, but all are capable soldiers. The few defectors in the order often become gradually self-aware and do their part to undermine the stale regime of Libria, although a handful of the already rare few attempt to escape. Most fail.

Grammaton Cleric Lore
Any character with Knowledge: Religion can attempt to learn more about Grammaton Clerics.

DC20: Grammaton Clerics are enforcers of law in a distant country.
DC25: They combine firearms with hand-to-hand martial arts to create an effective, distinct style.
DC30: Rarely do Clerics leave this land, and they are brutally effective about enforcing an emotional-free environment.

The Grammaton Cleric can be adapted in several ways. For one, you can change the firearm requirement to another ranged weapon of your choosing. For two, you can simply state that members of this class have lived secluded lives in an isolated region.

In my campaign, Specan're, Grammaton Clerics are the enforcers of a great walled country called Ursait. Within, they're less inclined to enforce people not experiencing emotion and taking their drugs on time, but more of a new profession representing the secluded region's martial arts and maximizing the efficiency of new technology. For that reason, in my campaign, most Grammaton are kalashtar, human, half-orc, or warforged. However, it's all basically how you choose to use the class.


Ranged Threat is a feat in Dragon 350. However, it is somewhat prerequisite intensive (Three prereq feats, and the feat itself) so I didn't have it as a class requirement. If you pursue the path of a Grammaton Cleric, I highly recommend you obtain it as soon as possible, as it will make your katas much more effective.

If a bender can apply bending forms to an unarmed strike, he may do so in accordance with pistol whip and the like. However, he may not substitute bending blasts or bending as a standard action in place of firearm or unarmed attacks.

With Defensive Gun Kata, you can interrupt a foe before their attack is complete, such as if you react with a ranged disarm or in the case of an enemy spellcaster, you force a concentration check if you damage them.

If you and an opponent both threaten each other and both have Defensive Gun Kata, you can, theoretically, keep exchanging shots, but the circumstances in which you threaten each other (Ranged Threat)

At third level with pistol whip, you can choose to substitute unarmed strike damage and other effects in place of using the gun as an improvised weapon.

With Defensive and Modular Gun Katas, if two Grammaton Clerics are in melee against each other, [SPOILERS] like in the final fight scene of Equilibrium, [End SPOILERS] the defending cleric doesn't receive an AoO for the attacker using a ranged weapon in melee, he gets one as virtue of his defensive gun kata.

Modular Gun Kata means that any foe you can hit with an unarmed strike does not receive AoOs whenever you fire your weapon, but foes at range who threaten you do, but they face your defensive gun kata. Foes with reach weapons are safest here, as they don't risk a defensive gun kata counter, and aren't threatened by your melee attacks unless you are large or bigger.

Zeta Kai
2008-12-06, 11:25 PM
Wow, somebody liked Equilibrium, eh? Nice class, m4x0r.

2008-12-06, 11:27 PM
Hehe. At one point, I had considered putting my whole campaign setting up, but it seemed like a waste and I'd bore people.

2008-12-07, 01:23 AM
Quite awesome. I loved that movie, and was actually planning on writing this class up myself.

I just skimmed it, but it looks pretty cool, and I really like what you did with some of the abilities, like concealment to represent the combat lines movement.