Word Warrior (3.5e Class)
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Upon the discovery and subsequent spread of wordcasting, martial warriors wondered how saying words of power could enhance their practice. Those delving into the mysteries of wordcasting were at first dismayed by the necessity of using body language to convey the dimensions and locations of Shape Words. This made the wearing of armor problematic, and required at least one hand free to cast spells. However, after some historically bad attempts at warriors using both wordcasting and swordplay, those pursuing the combination realized that they could do away with shape words by directing the magic of Effect Words with their blows. They could hit people while saying certain Effect Words, and then watch the target suffer the effects of those Words. The practice of the modern word warrior was born.
Making a Word Warrior
Word warriors enjoy a relatively diverse range of effects, including most elemental damage types, magical distruption abilities, and other effects. While not as generally effective in straight melee as some other classes, the word warrior can provide solutions where other members fail, and still manage a fairly strong offense.
Abilities: Strength is generally the most important for melee specialists, as it improves the all-important to-hit and can add a little bit of damage as well. For ranged specialists, or those using weapon finesse, Dexterity is the most important instead. Intelligence comes second, improving the saves of your magical effects, and Constitution comes third, providing much-needed hit-points. While Dexterity can be useful for melee word warrior's AC, any word warrior has little use for Charisma and Wisdom.
Races: Any race can learn the theory behind the practice, and become a word warrior, but Humans, Half-Elves, and Halflings are most noted for combining martial and magical techniques, due to their adaptability.
Alignment: The art of a word warrior is not inherently good, nor evil. Chaotic characters enjoy the ability to modify effects on the fly, but constant martial drilling rests well with souls of a lawful bent.
Starting Gold: 4d4×10 gp (100 gp).
|Saving Throws||Special Abilities||Magic Mantras||Effect Words Known|
|1st||+1||+0||+2||+2||Combative Wordcasting, Word Magicked Weapons||0||2|
|3rd||+3||+1||+3||+3||Swords and Books Bonus Feat||1||3|
|4th||+4||+1||+4||+4||Magic Mantras, Study Books||2||3|
|5th||+5||+1||+4||+4||Word Magicked Weapons, Swords and Books Bonus Skill||2||4|
|6th||+6 / +1||+2||+5||+5||Magic Mantras||3||4|
|7th||+7 / +2||+2||+5||+5||Swords and Books Bonus Feat||3||5|
|8th||+8 / +3||+2||+6||+6||Magic Mantras||4||5|
|9th||+9 / +4||+3||+6||+6||Swords and Books: Bonus Skill||4||6|
|10th||+10 / +5||+3||+7||+7||Magic Mantra: "Lift"||5||6|
|11th||+11 / +6 / +1||+3||+7||+7||Swords and Books Bonus Feat||5||7|
|12th||+12 / +7 / +2||+4||+8||+8||Magic Mantras||6||7|
|13th||+13 / +8 / +3||+4||+8||+8||Swords and Books Bonus Skill||6||8|
|14th||+14 / +9 / +4||+4||+9||+9||Magic Mantras||7||8|
|15th||+15 / +10 / +5||+5||+9||+9||Word Magicked Weapons, Swords and Books Bonus Feat||7||9|
|16th||+16 / +11 / +6 / +1||+5||+10||+10||Magic Mantras||8||9|
|17th||+17 / +12 / +7 / +2||+5||+10||+10||Swords and Books Bonus Skill||8||10|
|18th||+18 / +13 / +8 / +3||+6||+11||+11||Magic Mantra: "Port"||9||10|
|19th||+19 / +14 / +9 / +4||+6||+11||+11||Pooled Mantras, Swords and Books Bonus Skill||9||11|
|20th||+20 / +15 / +10 / +5||+6||+12||+12||Magic Mantras, Word Magicked Weapons||10||All|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the word warrior.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A word warrior is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with light and medium armor, and shields (excluding tower shields).
Combative Wordcasting (Su): A word warrior preforms a variant on Wordcasting, using most of the same rules. However, instead of wordcasting spells as actions using shape words, a word warrior is able to utter effect words while swinging with a weapon or a projectile, hopefully conveying his choice of target with the solid hit. Without a solid hit, the magic is not released, and the word warrior does not exhaust her capacity. While a word warrior is only trained in this method for casting effects, directing magic using weapon swings lends to simplicity, and the word warrior does not need to make Wordcasting Checks when her uses Word Magic this way. (The word warrior uses his Intelligence stat to determine the save DCs for his wordcasting - the save DCs for her effects are 10 + BAB/2 + Intelligence modifier.)
While the inability of the word warrior to use apply shape words like Burs or Bang or even Ayl severely hampers her power--and this is worsened by limitations on which effect words the word warrior can use--the word warrior's constant practice and drilling using both word and blade leaves her with the ability to use effect words every turn - up to her level worth of words, in fact. She starts with knowing two effect words at first level, and gains another word of her choice each odd level (3rd, 5th, etc.) until learning all the words at level 20.
Additionally, the maximum number of words the word warrior can use in a single attack is limited to the length of the action of that attack: 1+(level/3) (bonus) effect words for an Attack of Opportunity hit, 1+(level/2) effect words on any strike stemming from an Immediate or Swift action, and no restriction on standard action attacks or attacks as part of a full-attack action. Note that while the word warrior's maximum effect words per turn is equal to her level, this is per turn, not per round - she can use up to her level of words on someone else's turn, if she can manage the attacks.
The words the word warrior can use in this physical manner from are limited to Pyr, Lek, Forch, Saun, Aci, Deth, Vyl, Min, Terr, Path, Scan, Thro, and Disp. (Summarized on the Combative Wordcasting Effect Words List.)
Word Magicked Weapons (Su): The combination of Word Magic and weapons has a few direct implications for the word warrior. First, whenever she empowers an attack with Word Magic, the weapon in question is considered a magic weapon until the start of her next turn - this may bypass damage reduction, protect the weapon, etc. Caster level of the magic weapon is based on how many words used since the start of her last turn.
Second, whenever she makes a critical hit, the target automatically fails all saves against that attack's effect words.
Third, at level 5, whenever the word warrior rolls a natural 20 on a melee attack, she may hit and instead of the target automatically failing all saves or equivalent, she may lash out with the magic as if she had used the shape word "Con" in the direction of the critically hit target, and applying her effect words to everyone targeted by the "Con" shape word, rather than just the target. This lucky shape-effect does not require a Wordcasting check, as it is by chance, and not by wordcasting skill.
Also at level 5, whenever the word warrior rolls a natural 20 on a ranged attack, she may hit and instead of the target automatically failing all saves or equivalent, she may lash out with the magic as if she had used the shape word "Bang" centered on the critically hit target, and applying her effect words to everyone targeted by the "Bang" shape word, rather than just the target. This lucky shape-effect does not require a Wordcasting check, as it is by chance, and not by wordcasting skill.
Fourth, at level 15, when the word warrior gets a critical hit, instead of causing the target to fail all saves or equivalent, she may maximize all dice rolled by the effect words.
Lastly, at level 20, when the word warrior gets a critical hit, instead of causing the target to fail all saves or equivalent, the word warrior may cause each effect word to count as if she had uttered it twice. If this critical hit confirmed from the roll of a natural 20, she may additionally cause the target to fail all saves, or any other previous effect from Word Magicked Weapons.
Magic Mantras (Su): First discovered by grumbling about insufficiencies during combat, word warriors have found that saying effect-words with a self-concerned thought can allow them to apply effect words to themselves - this practice as since become slightly more formalized, and is now a mainstay of most word warriors. At level 2, the word warrior gains the ability to use specific effect words on herself: The word warrior may pick one of: Avis, Lyf, Arm, Inv, Excel, Sir, Al. (Summarized on Magic Mantras Effect Words List.) The word warrior gains uses of that effect word equal to her level per day, increasing every level, and can only cast them on herself (no shape word needed). Casting these words on herself does, however, require as much time as normal word-casting.
At level 4, level 6, and all other even levels, the word warrior can gain another Mantra. She may choose a different word, and gain level-per-day usage of that new word, or she can choose an already-known word, gaining an extra level-per-day number of usages in that word.
Swords and Books (Ex): The nature of a word warrior includes both martial prowess (with more than just swords) and preternatural literacy.
As a consequence, at levels 5, 9, 13, and 17, the word warrior learns natural competency at a new skill from all the books she has read on the topic. According to the word warrior's interests (which are reflected in his reading material), a non-class skill becomes a class skill at these levels.
Additionally, the word warrior's fighting prowess means that she may qualify for feats requiring fighter levels, with every two levels of word warrior counting for one fighter level. In addition, at levels 3, 7, 11, 15, and 19, the word warrior learns specialized fighting tactics and skills from her experience and expertise in weapons. She may choose a bonus fighter feat at each of these levels.
Study Books (Ex): A bookworm by nature, the word warrior's excessive studies and extraordinary literacy allow her to gleam information from books far better than most people. At level 4, the word warrior can spend a day reading (and eating and sleeping, but nothing else) to gain a competency bonus equal to half her level on any topic of the Knowledge skill. To use this ability, the word warrior requires a roughly a day's worth of reading material related to the topic (her abilities of analysis and synthesis help her glean knowledge from even semi-related books). The word warrior then gains a (semi-)permanent competency bonus on Knowledge checks concerning the topic in question. This bonus is half of her level when she did the study, and while it does not improve as she becomes more experienced, if she completes another study on the same topic later on, the bonus is updated to reflect half of whatever her level is then.
Pooled Mantras (Su): At level 19, the word warrior discovers something that most Wordmasters and Word Wizards know intuitively: That wordcasting really doesn't care which words you focus on. Subsequently, the word warrior no longer has uses per day for her Magic Mantras, but rather a total pool of uses of each level-per-day set of uses combined. Note that this does not increase the number of words known.
|Combative Wordcasting Effect Words List|
|Pyr||1d6 fire, burn things|
|Saun||1d4 sonic, deafen things|
|Aci||1d4 acid, 1d4 acid over time|
|Deth||1d6 negative energy, raise skeletons|
|Vyl||1d8 Vile damage, hurt yourself|
|Path||Read minds somewhat|
|Scan||Detect properties of the target|
|Thro||Throw things around|
|Disp||Dispel magical effects|
|Magic Mantras Effect Words List|
|Avis||Turn things invisible|
|Lyf||1d6 positive energy, raise people|
|Arm||+2/+1 per 4 Armor bonus|
|Excel||Boost skills, saves, and attack rolls|
|Port||Grant targets the opportunity to teleport (Only for level 18+)|
|Al||Make Port more precise|
|Lift||Provide the power of flight (Only for level 10+)|
Playing a Word Warrior
Religion: Word warriors who associate more with other Wordcasting classes tend to deride faith and faith-based magic as strange and lawless. Alternatively, they may try to "figure out" divine spellcasting, as if it were a matter of doing the right actions and having the appropriate effect occur. They may, however, have an interest in gods of secrets, mysteries or spellcraft. Word warriors who associate more with the martial aspect of their skill-set often have a strong allegiance to gods of war, justice, carnage, etc. Most word warriors are somewhere in between.
Other Classes: The word warrior has a foot in both martial practice and intellectual wizardry, and tends to get along well with martial and arcane classes, often discussing or training together. Gods and especially the natural world tend to be outside of the word warrior's purview, though a lack of interest or comprehension does not generally result in antipathy.
Combat: The word warrior is, in many ways, a jack-of-all-trades and a trouble-shooter. He is not as tough or strong in melee as pure martial classes, not as flexible in magic as true spell-casters. However, his suprisingly diverse spread of offensive powers let him take advantage of his foes' weaknesses, and between supplemental word-casting and his relatively wide skill-set, he can solve many other problems. This often results in him specializing into whatever gap the party might contain, or playing second-best back-up to any particular role.
Advancement: As fitting with their dual natures, a word warrior may wish to specialize into more martial prestige classes, or seek out word-casting pursuits. As the word warrior is considered a Wordcaster, his levels in word warrior help him in other wordcasting classes. However, this is primarily a benefit for multi-classing, as many of the prestige classes benefit him in ways that he could not easily apply. Some wordcasting feats are effective, but against, due to the peculiarity of the word warrior's abilities, not all of them can be applied. Most, if not all, forms of martial advancement apply well to the word warrior, of course.
|Allowed Alignments||Lawful Good +, Lawful Neutral +, Lawful Evil +, Neutral Good +, Neutral +, Neutral Evil +, Chaotic Good +, Chaotic Neutral + and Chaotic Evil +|
|Article Balance||High +|
|Base Attack Bonus Progression||Good +|
|Class Ability||Alternate Magic +|
|Class Ability Progression||Other +|
|Fortitude Save Progression||Poor +|
|Identifier||3.5e Class +|
|Reflex Save Progression||Good +|
|Skill||Balance +, Bluff +, Climb +, Concentration +, Craft +, Decipher Script +, Diplomacy +, Handle Animal +, Heal +, Intimidate +, Jump +, Listen +, Profession +, Ride +, Speak Language +, Spellcraft +, Spot +, Swim +, Tumble + and Use Rope +|
|Skill Points||6 +|
|Summary||An otherwise martial warrior whose strikes are empowered by wordcasting effects. +|
|Title||Word Warrior +|
|Will Save Progression||Good +|