Weapon Grand Master

Weapon Grand Master
(a.k.a. Combat Master a.k.a. Weapon Master)
“I am one with my weapon…”

Class Lvl – Att. Bon. – Fort – Ref – Will – Special
1 – + 1 – + 0 – + 1 – + 0 – Weapon Appreciation. Precise Combat
2 – + 2 – + 0 – + 2 – + 0 – Dual Combat Mastery. Mercy Strike.
3 – + 3 – + 1 – + 3 – + 1 – Defensive Mastery. Strength of Blow. Weapon Family 1
4 – + 4 – + 1 – + 4 – + 1 – Offensive Mastery. Quick Draw. Damage Penetration.
5 – + 5 – + 1 – + 5 – + 1 – Parrying Mastery. One with the weapon. Smash Attack. Weapon Family 2

The Combat Master is a master of a single type of weapon. He lives and dies by it. The Combat Master tends to be a solitary figure more devoted to his “toys” than his comrades. He uses much of his time practicing the martial arts and taking care of his weapon and getting better with his weapon proficiency. The Combat Master must choose to be a Master of a specific weapon but learns enough about the weapon to be able to do extraordinary feats with other similar weapons of the same type. The Combat Master learns everything he can about how to use his weapon to the maximum. He is a deadly foe unless you’re able to take him apart from his trusty friend. The Combat Master must choose the weapon he’s going to master and stick to it. The weapon can be a melee, thrown or range weapon. Depending on the type some class features will be different.

Hit Dice: d10
To qualify to become a Combat Master a character must fulfill the following criteria.
Base Attack Bonus: + 8
Skill Name: Craft (Weaponsmithing) 5 Ranks.
Feat: Weapon Focus with specific Weapon. Expertise, Power Attack.
Special: The character most be proficiency and own the weapon chosen to master.

Class Skills
The Combat Master’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are:
Balance (Dex), Climb(Str), Craft (Weaponsmithing) (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Tumble(Dex), Swim (Str).
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int Modifier.

Class Features
All the following are class features of the Combat Master prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Combat Master gains no special armor or weapon proficiencies.

Weapon Appreciation – At first level the Combat Master gains such an insight in the use of his weapon that she has a confidence bonus on Craft checks to repair or made the same kind of weapon. Also in Appraise, Forgery and Knowledge checks to recognize the value and origin of the weapon. This bonus is equal to his class level.

Precise Combat – At first level the Combat Master gains an insight bonus of + 1 in both the attack bonus and damage when attacking a foe with the same weapon that he has chosen. These bonuses stack with other feats like Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Point Blank Shot etc.

Dual Combat Mastery – At second level the character gains this feature that allows the character to use his weapon in different ways for combat. It can be used in this different ways depending on the type of weapon:

  • In melee combat the Combat Master can fight with two of the same weapons as having the Ambidexterity feat and counting the off-hand weapon as been a size category lower than the main weapon. The weapons used must be her weapon of choice. Strength adjustments to damage still apply normally and even if the character has the feat Two-Weapon Fighting, he still receives the – 2 penalty to all rolls.
  • With weapons that aren’t design to be thrown (like swords) the combat master can actually throw his weapon with the usual 10 feet range increments without the – 4 penalty of non proficiency.
  • With weapons that can only be thrown or use as range weapons, the combat master learns how to use them effectively as melee weapons that do bludgeoning damage in close combat. He can use the weapon as a melee weapon (hitting someone with it) of the appropriate size. The penalty of – 4 for no proficiency is canceled for him. He can use other feats in this attack that are usually applied to the weapon attack and damage like Improved Critical, Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization. The weapon is still doing damage depending on size. An arrow used as a melee weapon do 1d2 of damage. Bows and Crossbows are being medium size do 1d4 and have a critical of 20/x2. As stated above you can modify this by the feats that apply to the weapon. The combat master can use this attack as a melee attacks the number of times he needs and the weapon would not break (unless a fumble is rolled, etc.).
    This is an extraordinary ability.

Mercy Strike – At second level the Combat Master can choose to do subdual damage with his weapon of choice without the -4 penalty in attack rolls. If she does, he has an additional d6 bonus on damage. This is an extraordinary ability.

Defensive Mastery – At third level the Combat Master gains a + 2 confidence bonus in checks made against Disarm, Trip and Sunder if he’s wielding his weapon of choice at that moment. If the attack is made with the same type of weapon that he is master, the bonus increases to + 3.

Strength of Blow – At third level when in melee combat the Combat Master is an expert doing damage with the Power Attack feat. For each level of the class the Combat Master can add a bonus to the damage using that feat. For example: a 3rd level Combat Master can reduce the BAB by 2 points and gain a + 4 in damage (instead of the usual + 2), 3 points gains a + 6 in damage (instead of the usual + 3). If he uses power attack for 4 points or more he receives the normal bonuses (+ 6 for the first 3 and + 1 for the 4th). The feat only stack up to the number of levels of the Combat Master.
In Thrown and Range weapons, the class feature allows the character to use the Power Attack feat up to one point per level of the class (max of + 5). This damage is added just like Power Attack to the thrown or range attack. This is an Extraordinary ability.

Weapon Family I – At third level the Combat Master can use any non specialized weapon of the same family as her chosen weapon with a penalty of – 2 instead of the – 4. For example: A Combat Master of Longswords can pick a Rapier (even if he’s non proficient in that weapon) and use it only – 2 of penalty.

Offensive Mastery – At fourth level the Combat Master gains a + 2 confidence bonus in checks during Disarm, Trip and Sunder attempts when wielding his weapon of choice. If the target is using the same type of weapon that he is master, the bonus increased to + 3.

Quick Draw – At fourth level the Combat Master gains the feat Quick Draw but only with her chosen weapon. If she has the feat she has an additional Quick Draw attempt per combat round, but still only with the chosen weapon. The normal quick draw free action can be made with any weapon he wants.

Damage Penetration – At fourth level the Combat Master gains the ability to attack with more precision using her weapon of choice and can reduce the effectiveness of Damage Reduction by one point per class level regardless of the type of damage reduction. This is an extraordinary ability.

Parrying Mastery – At fifth level, when in melee combat and using his chosen weapon, the Combat Master can dodge and parry with extreme ability reducing the effectiveness of his foes blows. When the Combat Master uses Expertise (up to 5 points) he receives the normal bonus to AC but also reduces a number of points from every physical attack (weapon blows, range weapons, natural weapons, etc. but not magic) made against him equal to the ones assigned using the Expertise feat. The Combat Master must be wielding his weapon and using it to attack. For Example: a Combat Master can reduce his Attack Bonus by 5 points and increase his defense by the same amount (Expertise feat) but also gains a Damage Reduction of 5/- for that round. This class feature allows the character to use the Expertise feat with efficiency against range and thrown attacks even when using thrown or range weapons. This is an extraordinary ability.

One with the Weapon – At fifth level the Combat Master is one with his weapon, she can use it to help in other tasks. She gains and additional bonus of + 2 in the use of one skill for that combat turn.
What she needs to do is to declare how he is using the weapon. If the character uses it in some inventive way when doing Strength and Dexterity checks, skills checks of Balance, Climb, Disable Device, Intimidate, Jump, Tumble, Use Rope and Swim; she gains that bonus. The player can come with different and unusual ways of using the weapon in checks of Ride, Craft or Profession and the DM has the last word in what works or what doesn’t depend on the skill, type of weapon and situation. This feat gives and additional equipment bonus of + 2 in every normal check that involves the weapon like Intimidation and also in the use of the class feature Weapon Appreciation. This is an extraordinary ability.

Smash Attack – At fifth level and up to three times a day the Combat Master can choose to make a very powerful special attack. This attack is a full round attack that provokes an attack of opportunity. If the attack misses the attempt is lost.
In melee combat the Combat Master can add his full Strength score to the damage roll of the next attack.
In Thrown weapons the damage is still full the strength score at the first range increment and half at the second. At the third range increment or more there is no damage adjustment.
In Range weapons is half the damage but they can choose to use the strength or dexterity score to calculate it. They still cannot use it after the first range increment. The extra benefit for the range weapons is that they can still use this ability when fighting melee with the weapon (still at half the score) when using the Dual Combat Mastery feature.
The extra damage from this special feature is not multiplied when a critical attack is made. This is an Extraordinary ability.

Weapon Family II – At fifth level the Combat Master can use the feats he has for his chosen weapon on any weapon of the same family with a penalty of – 4. These penalties stack with the ones in Weapon Family I if the character is non-specialized with the weapon. Example of Feats that apply are: Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Weapon Finesse, Power Critical and Improved Critical.

The penalty of – 4 also works with the features of this class like weapon appreciation and one with the weapon.
Example: A combat master of longswords loses his weapon in battle and picks a rapier from the floor. A rapier is a type of sword that he isn’t proficient with. He can fight at -6 with that rapier and still use the feats that he knows with his longsword like weapon focus, weapon specialization and improved critical. The damage, critical range, range increments and all other attributes of the rapier are just modified by the feats the character has when he fights with the penalty from this feature.

“The fighter raises his eyes from the ground, the taste of sweat running all over his flesh. Cuts and splashes of blood are all over his body. His clothes are dirty and he’s standing on a pile of bodies. At both sides of the corridor, the guards of Baron Black Eagle pause. The captain looks at his’ men hesitation and also at the amount of bodies all around the corridor, down the stairs, up to the tower…. He looks back to the fighter and yells again to his men:
- “I told you to take away his sword!”
The fighter smiles and prepares again for combat with a tighter grip of both his hands on the hilt of his trusty longsword. A single soldier finds the words and answers the captain in a trembling voice:
- “Is not that we haven’t been trying. Sir…”

Prestige Class created by the Master of the Game for Games & Ideas in 2004.05.10 in honor of the Old D&D and our 18 years campaigning. Revised on 2016.09.02.

Weapon Grand Master

D&D 3.0: Tales from Mystara Galero