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    Bugbear in the Playground
    dspeyer's Avatar

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    Mar 2008

    Default The War-Rat [formerly The Pragmatist, ToB PRC PEACH]

    I posted this ages ago, got some good feedback but couldn't assimilate it quickly. So here's version 2, on a new thread.

    The War Rat
    Lion of war? Hah! How many lions do you see today? Follow the way of the rat. Forget glory. Forget art. Go out there and kill someone. And come back alive.

    War rats despise no weapon or technique so long as it works. They take a very hard-headed approach to battle, caring little for the ninefold path's beauty or mystery but much for its effectiveness. Crusaders, swordsages and warblades look down on them as cynical, crude and cowardly, respectively. War rats look down on them right back as crazy fanatics, naive theorists and foolish glory-hounds destined for early graves. Even so, most war rats were once warblades or swordsages (much more rarely crusaders) themselves, and often see those who remained in those classes as children who have not yet learned how harsh the real world is. War rats are almost always veterans, and can be found in the armies of all nations where the sublime way is well known.

    It is not to say that war rats do not believe in causes worth dying for: some do and some don't. But those that do prefer causes worth living for, and none believe in dying stupidly.

    • Base Attack: 5
    • Feat: Combat Expertise
    • Maneuvers: 1 counter and 1 strike

    BAB Fort Ref Will Special
    1 2 2 0 Martial Continuance; Endurance
    2 3 3 0 Evasion; Mettle; Rational Fear
    3 3 3 1 Bonus Feat; Weapon Swap
    4 4 4 1 Prerequisite Flexibility; Bonus Stance
    5 4 4 1 Superior Combat Expertise
    6 5 5 2 Bonus Feat; Poison Use
    7 5 5 2 Eternal Counters
    8 6 6 2 Paranoia; Improved Evasion
    9 6 6 3 Bonus Feat; Armor Skill
    10 7 7 3 Strike at Will

    HP: d10
    Skills: 6+int
    Class skills: Balance, Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Craft (any), Diplomacy, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge(local), Knowledge(nature), Listen, Martial Lore, Move Silently, Search, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Spot, Swim, Tumble

    Proficiencies: War rats are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, armor, and shields, including tower shields.

    Martial Continuance(ex): A war rat does not gain manuevers known, but his war rat level does count fully toward his initiator level, and he can swap out a known maneuver for a new one (possibly of higher level) at every even initiator level. The new maneuver may be from the Diamond Mind, Falcon's Eye, Iron Heart, Iron Rain, Setting Sun or Shadow Hand school, but can not be supernatural.

    Endurance(ex): A war rat gains this as a bonus feat. If he already has it, he gains any other feat for which he qualifies.

    Evasion(ex): As rogue

    Mettle(ex): When a war rat succeeds on a fort or will save with a "partial" desegnation, the effect is negated instead.

    Rational Fear(ex): A war rat is accustomed to fear, and channels it into things that will actually provide safety:
    • If he would normally become Shaken, he is instead forced to use combat expertise for at least 2 points on every attack.
    • If he would normally become frightened or panicked, he instead has the choice of fleeing (by whatever means he judges safest), hiding, surrendering, or some combination thereof.
    • If he would become cowering, he may instead hide.

    Bonus Feat(ex): Any feat from the Fighter Bonus list for which he qualifies. A war rat may count his war rat levels as fighter levels for purposes of feat prerequisites.

    Weapon Swap(ex): A war rat knows the value of the right weapon for the right situation. He can sheath a weapon or pair of weapons and draw a new one or ones as a single swift action. Since this drawing is focused purely on speed, it cannot be combined with any other effects related to drawing a weapon (such as iajutsu focus).

    Prerequisite Flexibility(ex): When learning new martial maneuvers, a war rat can use related feats in the place of maneuvers. A feat is related to a school if it is specific to the school's key skill or its signiture weapons. For example, Rapid Shot does not relate to Iron Rain because it applies to ordinary crossbows, which are not Iron Rain weapons, but Multishot is related because it is specific to bows.

    Bonus Stance(ex): The war rat gains a new stance for which he qualifies. The stance may be from the Diamond Mind, Falcon's Eye, Iron Heart, Iron Rain, Setting Sun or Shadow Hand school, but can not be supernatural.

    Superior Combat Expertise(ex): The war rat may take any combat expertise penalty up to his BAB and receive double that as an AC bonus. Normally Combat Expertise is limited to 5 and the bonus is not doubled.

    Poison Use(ex): A war rat never poisons himself when applying poison to a weapon.

    Eternal Counters(ex): When a war rat executes a counter, the maneuver is not expended.

    Paranoia(ex): A war rat always expects to be attacked. As such, he can act in surprise rounds and is never flat-footed. Also, he gains a +4 distrust bonus on will saves (or skill checks replacing will saves) against charm and domination effects.

    Improved Evasion(ex): As rogue

    Armor Skill(ex): A war rat spends so much time in armor that he gets good at it. Any armor check penalty is halved, rounding down.

    Strike at Will(ex): A war rat knows how to combine sublime and mundane techniques. Once per round, when the war rat makes an attack that is not part of a maneuver, he may instead make a strike as part of which he makes a single attack.
    Last edited by dspeyer; 2015-06-03 at 10:47 PM.

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