Ruins of Adventure
Martial proficiencies can be purchased using either Weapon or Non-weapon proficiency slots, as the player chooses. If the characters class or kit does not grant access to the Martial Proficiencies group, he must still spend an extra slot to acquire the proficiency, regardless of which type of proficiency slots are being spent.
Unlike most other proficiencies, many Martial Proficiencies have specific prerequisites that must be met before taking them.
In combat, a character may attempt to use one Martial Proficiency which requires a proficiency check each round, in addition to his normal attacks. Some Martial Proficiencies have effects which extend over time after making a successful check and can provide stacking benefits if used in succession.
Proficiencies which list the ability as N/A do not require checks to activate, and always provide their benefits when the situation allows.
|Arcane Order (specify)||2||N/A||0||See below.|
|Avalanche Style||1||N/A||0||Two-Hander Style.|
|Bladesong||1||N/A||0||Single Weapon Style.|
|Display Weapons Prowess||1||Balance||0||Proficiency with weapon used.|
|Jousting||1||Balance||+2||Land-based Riding and Lances Tight Group.|
|Raise Army||2||Leadership||-2||See below.|
|Single Weapon Style||1||N/A||0|
|Shield Smite||1||Muscle||-3||Weapon and Shield style.|
|Two Weapon Style||1||N/A||0|
|Weapon and Shield Style||1||N/A||0||Able to use shields.|
|Weapon and Shield Mastery||1||N/A||0||Weapon and Shield Style.|
Arcane Order: Given the prevalence of magic in the Realms, numerous military orders and fighting schools have arisen through the years that teach spellcraft alongside swordplay. A character taking the Arcane Order proficiency must select one of the following Orders from which he has learned his craft:
You gain limited spellcasting ability (see Table: Arcane Order Spells per Day). Your caster level is equal to your character level, and you must prepare your spells from your Order’s spell list.
The base cost of this proficiency is two slots. You start with an effective caster level of 1st when you first take the proficiency, and your caster level increases by 1 each time you gain an experience level. In order to maintain this advancement, you must spend 1 additional proficiency slot (weapon or non-weapon) on Arcane Order any time you would gain access to a new level of spells (every 3 levels after 1st). Failure to pay this additional proficiency cost means your advancement (both of Caster Level and Spells per day) halts at the level below where the cost is due.
A character may spend 2 additional proficiency slots to learn a new Arcane Order. This does not increase the number of daily spell slots available to the character, but does add that order’s spells to his Arcane Order spell list.
Table: Arcane Order Spells per Day
|Caster Level||Cost in Slots||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||6th|
Armor Optimization: This proficiency allows a character to use his armor to best advantage against a particular opponent. A successful proficiency check in the first round of any encounter gives a +1 bonus to the character’s Armor Class for the encounter. An encounter is defined here as a series of rounds in which a particular character engages in combat. Once the character goes two full rounds without combat, the encounter ends. The character must be wearing some type of armor or employing a shield in order to use the armor optimization proficiency.
Avalanche Style: This brutal variant of the two-handed style allows for an additional risky attack with the back, pommel, or handle of the weapon. This style may only be used with a two-handed weapon. A character proficient in the avalanche style may make one additional melee attack over his normal allotment. This attack is made with the pommel or shaft of the weapon, requiring the character must approach closer to the enemy than his weapon comfortably allows, thus thus extra attack always occurs at the end of the round (last in initiative). This bonus attack deals 1d3 points of damage (plus any Muscle bonus, but no bonuses for specialization or magic weapons).
Battle Command: A character with this proficiency can spend a round giving a rousing speech to his allies. On a successful check, all allies within 20 feet gain a +2 bonus on attack rolls, damage rolls, and Armor Class for 1d4 +2 rounds. Once this ability has been used successfully, it cannot be attempted again for 8 hours.
Bladesong: Originally an elven martial art, Bladesinging can be done with any one-handed melee weapon, although the majority of practitioners practice their art with the sword. Each round, a character proficient in Bladesong may perform one Parry maneuver, with a +1 bonus on the roll, in addition to any other attacks he might be able to make.
Blind-fighting: A character with blind-fighting is skilled at fighting in conditions of poor or no light. In total darkness, the character suffers only a -2 penalty to his attack roll (as compared to a -4 penalty without this proficiency). Under starlight or moonlight, the character incurs only a -1 penalty. The character suffers no penalties to his AC because of darkness.
Furthermore, the character retains special abilities that would normally be lost in darkness, although the effectiveness of these are reduced by one-half (proficiency checks are made at half the normal score, etc.). While moving in darkness, the character suffers only half the normal movement penalty of those without this proficiency.
This proficiency is effective only against opponents or threats within melee distance of the character. Blind-fighting does not grant any special protection from missile fire or anything outside the immediate range of the character’s melee weapon. Thus, AC and attack penalties remain for missile fire.
Furthermore, this skill aids the character when dealing with invisible creatures, reducing the attack penalty to -2. However, it does not enable the character to discover invisible creatures; he has only a general idea of their location and cannot target them exactly.
Charge: When charging, a character with this proficiency can, with a successful check, receive a +3 bonus on his attack and damage rolls (instead of the normal +2 on attacks), but suffers a -2 penalty to his AC (instead of the normal -1 penalty).
The other effects of charging remain unchanged. The character gains a +50% increase to his speed and loses his Balance bonus to Armor Class, and the charged target gains a -2 bonus to initiative.
Charioteering: A character with proficiency in this skill is able to safely guide a chariot, over any type of terrain that can normally be negotiated, at a rate 1/3 faster than the normal movement rate for a chariot driven by a character without this proficiency. Note that this proficiency does not impart the ability to move a chariot over terrain that it cannot traverse; even the best charioteer in the world cannot take such a vehicle into the mountains.
Close-quarter Fighting: Characters with this proficiency have learned to fight in the cramped confines of dungeons and underground lairs. In such locations, or in other extremely close fighting conditions, characters armed with bludgeoning or piercing weapons, or with their own natural weapons or unarmed strikes, receive a +2 bonus to attack rolls. Slashing weapons cannot be used in close-quarters fighting.
A successful proficiency check at the start of combat yields this bonus. Failure means the character fights normally for the duration of the encounter. In order for the bonus to apply, both the character and his opponent must be in confines that allow no more than 5 feet to maneuver in any given direction.
Dirty Fighting: A character with this proficiency is familiar with a number of cheap shots and tricks that can be used in combat.
Whenever the player wants his character to use this ability, he must describe what his character is attempting to do, then make a proficiency check. Success means the trick worked, and the character gains an extra attack (above and beyond his normal number of attacks in a round) at a +2 to hit and damage. Failure means the move was noticed or anticipated, and the intended victim gains an extra attack against the character, who gains no Balance bonus to his armor class for that attack.
After the first attempt, a cumulative -2 penalty is applied to any further attempts made against the same opponent.
Display Weapon Prowess: Characters who have this proficiency can put on an impressive display of weapon prowess without fighting at all; swords whooshing in a blur, daggers flashing, arrows splitting melons in two. An individual must use a weapon with which he or she is already proficient. If the character has specialization or mastery with the weapon being used, the attack bonus from specialization is added to his proficiency score.
The “show” takes at least a round. Not everyone is swayed by weapon prowess. Characters must pay attention before this proficiency has an impact. For example, this skill might be useful in staring down a guard at the city gate, but would do nothing against a screaming mob or a charging band of desert raiders. Against targets of higher level than the character attempting the display, a penalty equal to the difference in their level and the user’s level is applied to the proficiency check. If the check is successful, all observers must make an immediate Morale check.
Targets that fail their Morale check will typically attempt to flee, bargain, back down, or even surrender as the situation warrants and allows. If forced into combat, they suffer a -1 penalty on attack rolls against the character who performed the display.
Dodge: Once per round, on a successful check, a character with this proficiency can jump aside to avoid one melee attack that would otherwise hit her. A special attack form (hug, constrict, smothering, etc.) can be evaded at an additional -2 penalty on the check. The character must have at least one open adjacent space in order to Dodge an attack, and will shift into that space as part of the act of dodging (this may place them in the way of other harm if they are not careful). If multiple spaces are open around the character, the one he dodges into is determined randomly, as he is more concerned with avoiding the blow than where he lands.
A character who possesses both the Dodge and Evade proficiencies may attempt to either Dodge or Evade attacks in a given round, but not both.
Evade: Once per round, on a successful check, a character with this proficiency can jump aside to avoid one ranged attack that would otherwise hit her. A magic missile or similar missile-like spell can be evaded at an additional -2 penalty on the check. The character must have at least one open adjacent space in order to Evade an attack, and will shift into that space as part of the act of dodging (this may place them in the way of other harm if they are not careful). If multiple spaces are open around the character, the one he dodges into is determined randomly, as he is more concerned with avoiding the blow than where he lands.
A character who possesses both the Dodge and Evade proficiencies may attempt to either Dodge or Evade attacks in a given round, but not both.
Jousting: This proficiency includes the combat skills necessary for a successful joust, as well as the manners, behavior, and flair needed to impress an audience. To take this proficiency, a character must first have a weapon specialization in the jousting lance.
A character with this proficiency modifies his attack rolls in a jousting match by +2. The use of this proficiency presumes that the character has an adequate lance, shield, and mount.
Should a character win a match, his stylish performance favorably impresses the audience. Audience members with a special interest in the match (such as royalty, gamblers, or potential paramours) who later encounter the jouster modify their reaction rolls by +2. If he wins several matches in a tournament, the bonus doesn’t rise above +2. If he later loses a match or two in the same tournament, he still earns the bonus. However, if the jouster has an especially disastrous day—say, if he follows a winning joust with a long string of losses—the audience may dismiss the win as a fluke, and the DM may cancel the bonus.
Natural Fighting: This proficiency allows humanoids with natural weaponry (claws, fangs, tails, etc.) or a character fighting unarmed, a +1 damage bonus on all natural weapon attacks. In addition, they receive a free natural or unarmed attack each round, beyond normal attacks they are allowed. A successful proficiency check must be made at the beginning of combat to gain the benefits of this skill. Failure indicates that the benefits cannot be used for the duration of the battle.
Naval Combat: Characters who possess this skill are able to direct the fire of ship-mounted siege engines and respond quickly to the rapidly changing demands of ship-to-ship combat. In addition to the many uses a thorough knowledge of this skill grants the character in any given situation, it has specific uses.
When the character assumes command of a shipboard weapon like a catapult or ballista, he should make a proficiency check. If the check passes, the accuracy of that weapon substantially improves. The weapon always makes attack rolls using the Warrior table, no matter what class of character is operating it. The weapon also receives an additional +2 bonus applied to the attack roll.
If the character is called upon to lead a boarding party or to repel such a force for his own ship, he is entitled to make a proficiency check whenever his side is called upon to make a Morale check. If he passes the check, the morale of his forces increases by 2 points.
Raise Army: Though a character may spend the slots to acquire this proficiency at any point in his career, he may only use it when he reaches 10th level. The profiaency enables him to raise an army of like-minded characters to carry out a specific mission. The character may only raise an army in his homeland. To raise an army, the character must meet the following conditions:
- He must state a clear and specific mission for the army, such as ”Defend our homeland from invasion,” “Gather food for our starving neighbors,” or ”Drive the ogres from the forest.”
- He must designate a staging area in his homeland where the army will gather.
- He must remain in his homeland for a week to spread the word of his intentions.
At the end of the week, he makes a proficiency check If the check fails, the army fails to respond. He may spend another week attempting to rally a army, making a second proficiency check at the end of this period, this time at a -3 penalty. If the check fails a second time, he cannot raise a army for a period of one month.
If the check succeeds, the army begins to assemble in the staging area at the rate of 500 men and women per week. The total number of members is equal to the summoner’s experience point level divided by 2,000. (If the summoner has 1,500,000 experience points, the army consists of 750 members; 500 arrive the first week, 250 the second week.) The number of members can’t exceed the eligible population of the summoner’s homeland. All members of the army will be within one step of the summoner’s alignment.
Approximately 90% of the army consists of 1st-level fighters. The remaining 10% consists of 2nd-level fighters. The army also includes one aide for every 500 members, rounded up; the aides have one-half the level of the character (rounded up) and should be the same class as the character. Additionally, each aide has two assistants; the assistants have one-half the level of the aides (rounded up) and may be any class of the DM’s choice. Finally, the DM may include one wizard or priest per 1,000 members (rounded up); these characters have half the level of the summoner. (Example: A 14th-level Fighter with 1,500,000 experience points summons a 750-member army. The army consists of 675 1st-level fighters, 75 2nd-level fighters, two 7th-level aides, four 4th-level assistants, and one 7th-level priest.)
The army tries to fulfill its mission to the best of their ability. The summoner may not change the mission. If he attempts to do so, the army immediately disbands and the members return home; the original mission fails. Likewise, if the army remains inactive for more than two weeks, the members desert; again, the mission is a failure.
Otherwise, the summoner can hold the army together for a period of weeks equal to his level. Controlling the army is a full-time job. During this time, the summoner is constantly required to settle disputes, assign duties, and punish the disobedient. Though his aides can handle many of these chores, the ultimate responsibility belongs to the summoner. In any given week that the summoner fails to devote his full attention to his army, he must make a proficiency check. If the check fails, the army disbands and the mission is a failure.
If the mission hasn’t been completed in a number of weeks equal to the summoner’s level, and the army is still intact, the summoner may appeal to the army to stay together longer. The summoner must make a proficiency check; if the army is on the verge of success or they’ve managed to accumulate substantial treasure, the DM may modify the check by as much as +4. If the proficiency check succeeds, the army remains intact for another week. If the check fails, the army disbands and the mission fails. No army may stay together for more weeks than 150% of the summoner’s level, rounded up. (Theoretically, a 13th-level summoner could keep a army together for 20 weeks. Note, however, that this would require successful proficiency checks for seven weeks in a row.)
If the army disbands after a successful mission, the summoner will have a better chance of rallying them again; for the next year, he receives a +2 bonus when raising an army. But if the mission fails, his reputation suffers; he must wait a full year before he can attempt to raise an army again.
Rowing: Separate from general seamanship, rowing is an important skill among sailors on certain kinds of vessels. Both biremes and triremes depend upon the strength, stamina, and coordination of their rowers. The character with this skill knows how to use the oars of a vessel, how to pull in concert with other oarsmen, the special maneuvers for ramming other ships, and how to avoid over-extending and tiring while rowing. Those without this proficiency tire more quickly and acquire blisters and muscle pulls while trying to learn to row properly.
Signaling: This proficiency gives the character the ability to send messages over long distances. The character must designate his preferred method for signaling. Typical methods include smoke signals, whistling, waving flags, drums, or reflecting mirrors. For each additional slot spent, the character may choose an additional method.
Because signaling is essentially a language, messages of reasonable complexity can be communicated. A practiced signaller can transmit as many as 10 words per combat round.
To interpret the signal, the recipient must be able to see or hear it. He must also have the signaling proficiency and know the same signaling method as the sender. To send a message and have it understood, both the signaler and the recipient must make successful proficiency checks. If one fails his roll, the message is distorted; the message can be sent again in the following round, and proficiency checks may be attempted again. If both checks fail, or if either character rolls a natural 20, an incorrect message was sent and received; the message has the opposite of the intended meaning. Characters without the signaling proficiency, as well as characters who have the proficiency but use a different signaling method, can’t understand the signals.
Single Weapon Style: When wielding a one-handed weapon with which he is proficient in his primary hand, and nothing in his off hand, the character gains a +1 bonus to AC. The off hand must be empty in order to gain this bonus.
Shield Smite: A character with this proficiency who hits a target with a Shield-Punch or Shield-Rush maneuver can also attempt to Stun the target. On a successful hit, the character can make a Shield Smite check. If successful, the target is stunned for 1d4 rounds, in addition to the normal damage dealt by the shield attack.
As with a normal Shield-Punch or Shield-Rush, once you have performed a shield-smite, you lose the AC bonus of the shield until the start of initiative the next round. A character with Weapon and Shield Mastery retains his shield’s AC bonus when performing a shield smite attack.
Street Fighting: This proficiency is extremely beneficial to a character who is engaged in unarmed combat. An individual knowledgeable in street fighting may add his Muscle score to the % chance to KO a target, when a successful unarmed attack is made. Thus, a fighter with 15 Muscle thus adds +15% to his chance of knocking out his opponent with any attack.
Furthermore, if the character makes a successful proficiency check on the same round, he is allowed an additional bonus unarmed attack, but this time without the Muscle bonus to his KO chance.
Style Analysis: This specialized proficiency gives the character knowledge about (not skill in) numerous styles of armed and unarmed combat. After watching someone fight for at least one round, a character with this proficiency can make a Style Analysis check to learn some facts about his subject‘s fighting style. If the character makes his check by the given amount, he learns the facts following that number.
|0||The general style being used (kenjutsu, fencing, blade singing, etc.)|
|2||How good the practitioner is (student, expert, master, etc.)|
|4||Which school of the style is being used|
|6||Superficial or transitory weakness that the practitioner is exhibiting (such as favoring an injured leg). The character making the Style Analysis check receives a +2 bonus on all attack rolls against the practitioner for one day.|
|8||Who the practitioner’s likely teacher was|
|10+||General weaknesses in the practitioner’s learning. The character making the Style Analysis check receives a +2 bonus on all attack rolls against the practitioner for one year.|
Naturally, there are limits to what the character can learn even at the best levels of success. For example, he cannot learn the true identity of a teacher who is not commonly known, though he might be able to identify a style as being the same as another character’s, thus inferring a common teacher.
Tactics, Defensive: Those with the Defensive Tactics proficiency are able to assess situations and determine the best course of action to maintain a defensive posture. Although this allows those who are about to enter combat or who are already engaged to figure out the best defensive strategy or the most useful strategy for withdrawing from the fight with the least damage, the proficiency is useful in other areas as well.
More than just a combat skill, Defensive Tactics allows the character to assess any situation in terms of its defensive needs. This could be used to determine the most readily defensible campsite, to choose lodgings where spellcasters (or other wanted party members) are unlikely to be noticed, or to determine from interacting with an individual or a group the most likely course of action that will prevent trouble from erupting. The latter may call for the character to offer a bribe, to humble himself so as to be left alone, or conversely to stand up for himself and try to intimidate a bully. Other uses of the skill involve planning the defenses for a city or caravan under attack and analyzing other’s defenses for possible weak points.
Tactics, Offensive: The character knows about successful tactics used in past military operations and has a grounding in current tactics and formations. This applies to both land and sea military operations and includes knowledge of famous battles and passages of epic poetry.
A successful tactics check gives some insight into planning a strategy, highlights problems in a strategy being planned, or shows some weakness in the enemy lines. A successful roll at a -5 penalty, can enable the character’s side to add +1 to their attack rolls, damage rolls, initiative, or morale (character’s choice) for the duration of a battle. There is no limit to the number of allies who can be bolstered by the tactician.
Tactics, Magical: For many spellcasters, the principal use of their art is on the battlefield. Knowing which spell to employ at any given time and creating the greatest effect for one’s effort is a skill that can be learned with practice and experience. A character proficient in Magical Tactics can attempt a proficiency check to gauge the range to a target, estimate how many enemies will be caught in a given area of effect, or determine whether or not he may be in danger of a rebounding lightning bolt or a fireball cast in too small a space.
In addition, a character with this skill may recall subtle effects or interactions that are not immediately apparent. For example, if a party member is about to cast magic missile at an enemy wizard protected by a shield spell, the DM may allow the character a proficiency check to see if he suddenly recalls that the magic missile will fail. However, if there’s no way the character could know of a special immunity or property of a monster, spell, or magical item, this proficiency will not be of any help.
Throwing: A character with the Throwing proficiency can launch objects much further and with greater accuracy than normal. The character must make a Throwing check each time they make an attack roll with a thrown weapon. If successful, the character increases the effective range of the weapon by 50% and gains a +1 bonus on his attack roll. The range increase applies to each range increment of the weapon, thus with a successful check a Javelin could be thrown with range increments of 30, 60, and 90 yards, respectively.
On a failed check the attack is made normally and does not gain the range increase (and thus may automatically miss if the Thrower is aiming at a target beyond his weapon’s normal maximum range).
True Aim: A character with this proficiency is mindful of vectors, trajectories, and stray bolts. On a successful check, her ranged attacks, whether normal or enchanted, will not strike her allies, even if the attack roll would indicate otherwise. True Aim is checked whenever the character makes a ranged attack roll, and can be made after the results of the shot are otherwise known.
Two-Hander Style: When a character with this proficiency uses a weapon two-handed, that weapon’s Speed Factor is reduced by 3. This is because when a character wields such a weapon with both hands on the hilt, he has more leverage on the blade and can move it faster. Additionally, the character can choose to use a one-handed weapon with both hands, gaining a +1 bonus to damage with the weapon.
Two-Weapon Style: A character proficient in the Two-Weapon Style, gets two important benefits when wielding a weapon in each hand. First, the attack penalty drops to 0 with the weapon held in the primary hand, and a –2 with the secondary weapon. Second, the character is allowed to use weapons of the same length in each hand (so long as they are one-handed weapons, obviously), so he could, for example, wield two long swords.
Weapon Improvisation: Virtually anything can be (and has been) used as a weapon. A character with this proficiency rolls against Intuition to spot a useable weapon just about anywhere. A successful check means the found object functions as a weapon that does 1d6+1 damage to man-sized and smaller creatures, or 1d3+1 to larger opponents. Found objects typically deal bludgeoning damage, but the type of damage inflicted may vary depending on the exact nature of the object (for example a broken bottle might deal piercing damage).
The DM may assign modifiers for the ease or difficulty of finding such a weapon: a marketplace might warrant a +2, a barren grassland a -2, and a sandy desert might annul the proficiency altogether.
Weapon Sharpening: A character with this proficiency is adept at honing a blade to its finest possible edge. This works on any slashing or piercing weapon. The character must spend half an hour sharpening the edged weapon with a fine quality whetstone (1 sp). At the end of this time, the character must make a proficiency check. Failure means that the character hasn’t done quite right and must devote another half-hour (followed by another check). Success means that the blade is at its sharpest and functions with a +1 bonus to hit and damage for the next three attacks, after which time it loses its fine edge and needs resharpening. A character with the Weaponsmithing proficiency may also sharpen weapons and is capable of achieving this same effect without having to make a proficiency check.
Weapon and Shield Style: A character proficient with the Weapon and Shield Style can make one extra attack per round using a shield on the shield-hand, in addition to his normal weapon attacks. You can use that extra attack only for the Shield-Rush, Shield-Punch, and Parry maneuvers.
As with the normal “Attacking with Two Weapons” rules, when striking with both hands in a single combat round, the character suffers a –2 to attack rolls with his weapon and a –4 to attack rolls with the shield.
Weapon and Shield Mastery: A character with Weapon and Shield Mastery reduces the penalties for attacks rolls to 0 with the weapon and –2 with the shield when fighting with a weapon and shield. In addition, he retains the shield’s bonus to his AC after performing a Shield-Bash, Shield-Rush, or Shield-Smite maneuver.
Wild Fighting: Characters with this proficiency employ an extremely unorthodox and unpredictable fighting style. Wild fighting is ferocious and deadly, without any grace or discipline. It is also extremely tiring, as part of its nature is that it focuses every bit of energy a character has into the attack. To use wild fighting, a character must make a successful proficiency check at the start of combat. A failure means that the character fights normally for that encounter.
The benefits are in the number of attacks the character gets and in the amount of damage attacks inflict. A wild-fighting character gets one more attack per round than normally entitled to. All damage rolls for attacks that hit receive a +3 bonus. However, when wild fighting, a character’s attack rolls also are reduced by 3. Also the attacker’s armor class is penalized by 3, making it easier to hit him.
After a battle ends, the wild fighter must rest for one hour before he can again call on the proficiency. Resting means doing nothing but resting or engaging in light travel (riding a slow-moving horse, etc,). If the character must walk, he cannot use the proficiency until four hours have passed.
Without this rest, a tired character suffers a -3 penalty to all proficiency checks, attack rolls, damage rolls, and to armor class. These penalties are in effect until the full resting period has elapsed.