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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    The Dark Fiddler's Avatar

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    Default It's Not Fighting Dirty, It's Fighting Smart! [3.5 PrC, PEACH]

    Combat Pragmatist

    "Why would I limit myself in battle to what you consider 'honorable'? In a true fight, where it's a matter of life or death, you do what you need to win, use whatever advantage you can get. It doesn't matter if your opponent thinks you're cheating; better dishonest than dead." -Quinn Adora, combat pragmatist

    Hit Die: d8

    Requirements: To qualify to become a combat pragmatic, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
    • Feats: Improved Unarmed Strike and Combat Expertise
    • Base Attack Bonus +5 or Sneak Attack +3d6 or Tumble, 8 ranks


    Class Skills: The Combat Pragmatist's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex)

    Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

    Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Ref Will Special
    1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Pragmatic Weapon Choice
    2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Pragmatic Flanking
    3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Pragmatic Feint
    4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Pragmatic Maneuver
    5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Pragmatic Dodge

    Pragmatic Weapon Choice: Although many traditional warriors swear by their sword and would never use anything else, you are smart enough and skilled enough to use whatever you have on hand. A combat pragmatist deals damage with her unarmed strike as a monk with a level equal to twice her class level. If she has levels in other classes that progress unarmed strike damage, this stacks with them, but her effective monk level may not exceed her effective character level due to this ability. Additionally, she may use improvised weapons without penalty, and deals damage equal to her unarmed strike with them if that would be greater than their normal damage.

    Pragmatic Flanking: There are many warriors who consider one-on-one duels to be the pinnacle of combat, but you respectfully disagree. Starting at second level, a combat pragmatist may apply the bonus from flanking to damage rolls, and benefits fully from flanking with more than one ally. Additionally, she may give up the benefits of flanking with one ally in place of a die of sneak attack damage for the purpose of ambush feats (including the Hamstring and Arterial Strike feats from Complete Warrior).

    Pragmatic Feint: You are particularly skilled at misleading your opponent in combat. Starting at third level, a combat pragmatist may feint as a move action (or a swift action, with the Improved Feint feat) and may use skills other than bluff to feint. Your DM may decide that certain skills are opposed by skills other than sense motive (e.g. sleight of hand by spot) or that certain skills are unsuitable for feinting (e.g. search).

    Pragmatic Maneuver: You are no stranger to manipulating your foe for an advantage in combat. At fourth level, a combat pragmatist gains a +2 bonus on all combat maneuvers (that is, all bull rushes, disarms, feints, grapples, sunders, and trips, as well as all rolls made to resist these maneuvers). If the target is flat-footed when she makes the attempt, this bonus improves to +4 and she may make an immediate attack at her full base attack bonus if she succeeds (this attack is in addition to the extra attack granted by Improved Trip). Additionally, she may trip with any weapon; any weapon that could normally be used by tripping grants her an additional +2 circumstance modifier to the check.

    Pragmatic Dodge: You duck and dodge in such a way that you can trick your opponent into hitting his own ally. Starting at fifth level, any enemy that misses the combat pragmatist while flanking has a 50% chance of hitting his ally instead. If the enemy is flanking with multiple creatures, choose one at random. The attack uses the same attack roll, it is simply compared against the armor class of its new target.
    Last edited by The Dark Fiddler; 2014-04-12 at 01:05 PM.
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    TheWombatOfDoom's Avatar

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    Default Re: It's Not Fighting Dirty, It's Fighting Smart! [3.5 PrC, PEACH]

    Before I go farther, I'd say lawful would be out of the question for this alignment. Might want to put that in the prereqs.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    The Dark Fiddler's Avatar

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    Default Re: It's Not Fighting Dirty, It's Fighting Smart! [3.5 PrC, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWombatOfDoom View Post
    Before I go farther, I'd say lawful would be out of the question for this class. Might want to put that in the prereqs.
    I disagree. Although some of the ability descriptions imply otherwise, this class doesn't have a single ability that necessarily precludes anybody who takes it from being lawful. There's a few with options that might, maybe, but then you just don't use those options. It might be less common among lawful fighters, I'll grant you that, but what's non-lawful about disarming your opponent (pragmatic maneuver), or making them drop their guard because you're ducking and diving around them (pragmatic feint)?
    Homebrew: The Guardian | Combat Pragmatist
    Animorphs-styled morphing rules for the Fate Core system!
    Coming Soon(?): WarMunchies, a candy-based wargame | Pokemon Four Suits

    The best answer is always to ask your DM.
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    Default Re: It's Not Fighting Dirty, It's Fighting Smart! [3.5 PrC, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dark Fiddler View Post
    I disagree. Although some of the ability descriptions imply otherwise, this class doesn't have a single ability that necessarily precludes anybody who takes it from being lawful. There's a few with options that might, maybe, but then you just don't use those options. It might be less common among lawful fighters, I'll grant you that, but what's non-lawful about disarming your opponent (pragmatic maneuver), or making them drop their guard because you're ducking and diving around them (pragmatic feint)?
    Its the way you present the class that does it for me. Doing what needs to be done in order to get the job done, or to save your hide doesn't strike me as lawful. The rest of it doesn't seem to echo this intro as much, however. I mean, if you encounter a duel where an ally is dueling on a dueling field with another lord, and you interupt, maybe that's not lawful, but that seems to be more in the heat of battle, not in a duel setting.

    In otherwords, first impression struck me as one thing, but everything else doesn't seem to me that it's fighting dirty at all. Sorry for the jump to conclusions. Serves me right for leaping before looking, I guess. ^-^;;
    Scientific Name: Wombous apocolypticus | Diet: Apocolypse Pie | Cuddly: Yes

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: It's Not Fighting Dirty, It's Fighting Smart! [3.5 PrC, PEACH]

    I think an argument can be made for both sides, but personally I lean on the side of fewer alignment restrictions unless it's for a really cool, thematic reason.

    I definitely would agree that certain alignment-restricted classes shouldn't use this prestige class at all. A Paladin might be able to squeak by, but a Knight probably wouldn't; even if she qualified, she might not be able to use some of the class features (I know that Knights are mechanically barred from using a lot of the manuevers that this class improves upon).

    As far as lawful goes, I can definitely see a monk martial artist using and enjoying this prestige class. (In fact, reading the class descriptions bring to my mind the image of a monk defeating enemies with this -- especially Pragmatic Dodge, which just sounds awesome). This class seems as focused on flexibility in combat (Pragmatic Feint, Pragmatic Weapons) as it is on deception/trickery (Pragmatic Dodge, Pragmatic Manuever).

    I also really like the three different paths to entry into the class given in the prerequisites.

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    Default Re: It's Not Fighting Dirty, It's Fighting Smart! [3.5 PrC, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWombatOfDoom View Post
    Its the way you present the class that does it for me. Doing what needs to be done in order to get the job done, or to save your hide doesn't strike me as lawful.
    Ehh not really. Figuring out how to fight most efficiently isn't particularly lawful. It was extremely rare for even otherwise honorable knights to follow chivalry in real combat anyway.
    Last edited by Jade Dragon; 2012-07-19 at 09:07 PM.

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    Default Re: It's Not Fighting Dirty, It's Fighting Smart! [3.5 PrC, PEACH]

    I'm against an alignment restriction.

    Character concepts and alignments are a lot more flexible than they're given credit for fluff-wise. Let the campaign and the lawful character's situation speak for whether willingness to fight dirty is compatible with their alignment. I personally think it often can be, for the simple fact being lawful is not the same as being lawful stupid. Even a paladin knows the value of being tactical, which is often at odds with the notion of 'fairness'. Fights to the death are rarely fair, even with pretenses of honor.

    If it truly is incompatible fluffwise, however, we can let a lack of lawful characters taking the class and staying lawful speak for it, rather than a potentially arbitrary mechanical restriction.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: It's Not Fighting Dirty, It's Fighting Smart! [3.5 PrC, PEACH]

    Yes, alignment restrictions are, in general, something I would like to avoid. I think that, except in extreme cases, they're pretty awful. Furthermore, this is a pretty fluff-light class, so I feel like it should be open to a wide variety of builds (hence the relatively simple, and customizable, entry requirements), which an alignment restriction would... well, restrict. Now, if a DM wanted to tell a lawful character they couldn't take this PrC, that'd be their prerogative. As has been mentioned, it might not be appropriate for some flavors of lawful characters, but aren't all PrCs like that; just because a character can take it doesn't mean it fits their fluff.
    Homebrew: The Guardian | Combat Pragmatist
    Animorphs-styled morphing rules for the Fate Core system!
    Coming Soon(?): WarMunchies, a candy-based wargame | Pokemon Four Suits

    The best answer is always to ask your DM.
    Unless you're the DM, in which case you should talk to your players.

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