Elven Noble Warrior

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ELVEN NOBLE WARRIOR

‘If you cannot conduct yourself like a gentleman around the dinner table, then we must unfortunately call upon you to defend yourself like a gentleman upon the field of honour. Butler, kindly attend us upon the front lawn. We will require rapiers for two and coffee for one.’

Those highborn elven families who have retained their wealth and status with the passage of time are able to choose the occupations their children will adopt. Whatever station in life they may be destined for, their training will be the best available. Accordingly, those elven youths whose path is a military one are not trained in the use of weapons or in strategy and tactics alone but in diplomacy, etiquette, statecraft and all the other necessary skills that a commander must learn. They grow up surrounded by the ebb and flow of familial power, learning who is allied to whom and what is given and what received with each new treaty and transaction.

They are not, however, mere ambassadors. They fight when the occasion calls for fighting, not fearing to accompany their troops into the thick of the fray. Their noble blood lends them confidence and bearing, attributes that often inspire those around them, since courage is contagious. They are not bluffers; they how their own strength and one can be certain that any threat they make, they are quite capable of carrying out.

It is undeniable that they enjoy their calling. Some prefer intrigue, some warfare, but all elven nobles seek to distinguish themselves and make themselves indispensable in the service of their family or their nation.

Hit Die: d6.

Requirements

To qualify for the elven noble warrior class, a character must fulfil all the following requirements:
Base Attack Bonus: +5.
Alignment: Any.
Skills: Diplomacy 8 ranks, Knowledge (nobility & royalty) 8 ranks, Innuendo 5 ranks, Sense Motive 5 ranks, Gather Information 5 ranks, Listen 3 ranks, Spot 3 ranks.
Feats: Leadership, Armour Proficiency (medium or heavy), Weapon Finesse (any).
Special: To qualify for the noble warrior prestige class, the elf in question must be a member of a noble family, either by birth or adoption.

Class Skills

Noble Warrior Class Skills (and the key ability for each skill) are as follows: Bluff (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Innuendo (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (nobility & royalty) (Int), Listen (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spot (Wis). See the SRD for skill descriptions.

Skill points at each level: 6 + Int modifier.

The Elven Noble Warrior

Class Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1 +1 +2 +2 +0 +3 to Diplomacy checks
2 +2 +3 +3 +0 Authority
3 +3 +3 +3 +1 +2 to Sense Motive checks
4 +4 +4 +4 +1 Nobility
5 +5 +4 +4 +1 +2 to Listen checks
6 +6 +5 +5 +2 +5 to Diplomacy checks
7 +7 +5 +5 +2 Inspire Heroics
8 +8 +6 +6 +2 +4 to Sense Motive checks
9 +9 +6 +6 +3 +4 to Listen checks
10 +10 +7 +7 +3

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the noble warrior prestige class.

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: The elven noble warrior is proficient in the use of all simple and martial weapons, all forms of armour and shields. He may also take proficiency in one exotic weapon of his choice. Note that armour check penalties for armour heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Sleight of Hand and Tumble.

+3 to all Diplomacy checks: The first lesson any politician must learn is the art of successful negotiation. Here the noble warrior learns that the spoken word can be more effective than a swung sword. They can be masters of persuasion, capable of changing the most stubborn individuals with a few smooth sentences and a carefully-chosen mode of delivery. No matter who they set their sights on, whether their target is a peasant, merchant or king, they are able to pick the best approach and can cement the most unlikely of deals. The noble warrior gains a +3 competence bonus to all Diplomacy skill checks.

Authority (Ex): As an elf of high rank who has been raised to command and direct others, a noble warrior is at his most confident when in a leadership role. They believe everyone is better off when they are in charge, so they will never pass on an opportunity to take command of a situation. If the party accepts them as leader, the noble warrior gains a +2 morale bonus to saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 morale bonus to attack and weapon damage rolls, due to their vast self-confidence. The noble warrior only receives these bonuses while he is leader of a group. He will not lightly give up that position once he is in it.

+2 to all Sense Motive checks: As the Noble Warrior associates with more people, he spends an increasing amount of time making mental notes on how these people act and react to different situations. Attitudes, personality, body language, characteristics, all manner of psychological hints may now be read. At their best, they could almost be telepathic. At the very least, they stand a good chance of deciding what kind of person they are looking at, or of uncovering a crafty deception. Politicians are renowned for "expanding upon the truth" and it always pays to know the trustworthy from the traitorous. The noble warrior receives a +2 Insight bonus to all Sense Motive checks.

Nobility (Ex): The noble warrior's confidence only grows as time passes; by now, it is catching. Their very presence and sense of self-worth inspires those they lead, granting valour and courage in the face of danger. They are so sure of themselves, of their abilities and of their noble blood, that the noble warrior becomes immune to fear effects, both mundane and magical. So long as the noble warrior is in a position of leadership authority (see above), any allies within 20 feet gain a morale bonus equal to the noble warrior's Charisma modifier to saving throws against all fear effects.

+2 to all Listen checks: The road to political power is not all flowery words and having a "way with people". It also involves paying attention to what is going on around you. Opportunity comes to those who are aware and knowledge comes to those who listen. Although they prefer to be in the thick of debates, using their diplomatic charm and wit to its full potential, noble warriors know that some things you can only gain by listening instead of talking. Many crucial events take place at the courts and palaces that one might easily miss if one were not on the "need to know" list. Who knows what you might pick up just by listening in? The noble warrior gains a +2 competence bonus to all Listen checks.

+5 to all Diplomacy checks: Some people just do not want to co-operate. No matter what you say, they flatly refuse to change their mind. If you press the issue, they tend to get angry. This is where a diplomatic approach may work miracles. Noble warriors are always striving to learn from their interactions and negotiations with others, seeking always to improve their techniques of persuasion. Talking a swordsmith into discounting his wares by ten per cent is one thing; convincing a hostile troll that it would do better smashing rocks in a quarry than breaking heads along the public highway is a true feat of diplomacy. The noble warrior's competence bonus to Diplomacy checks increases to +5.

Inspire Heroics (Ex): Noble Warriors occasionally feel the need to give their followers inspiring little speeches. It comes with being a leader. If they can talk their enemies into making alliances, they can definitely find the right words to encourage their friends into doing something suitably heroic (or stupid!). A Diplomacy skill check with a DC of 15 (+1 for each extra person if using this ability on a group) can inspire heroics in a follower, which temporarily allows them to fight on when reduced to fewer than 0 hit points and gives them a morale bonus of +2 to attack rolls and +1 to saving throws.

Inspire Heroics may only be used once a day, regardless of how many people the noble warrior uses it on. It takes some time to prepare a stirring speech.

+4 to all Sense Motive checks: Intuition is a wonderful thing. Noble warriors are excellent judges of character. They have to be, as they spend so much time in the rich arena of the nobility, where the air is thick with empty promises, veiled threats and treacherous intent. When an alliance is sealed, they have to be sure it is with someone they can trust. When help is offered, they must be certain it is not a trap. When dinner is served, it is always useful to have a nagging suspicion that the host may be handing you death on a gold-rimmed platter. The noble warrior's Insight bonus to all Sense Motive checks increases to +4.

+4 to all Listen checks: Noble warriors eventually attain such status that caution becomes their byword. Every highborn family has its enemies and every enemy wants a good target. A target that has risen in power and prestige, such as the character, is particularly apt; his death will send a clear statement to his remaining relatives. The noble warrior's skills are with words and weapons. In a battle of wills or swords, they are supremely confident. However, the deadly games of politics, rife with the foul undercurrents of nobles' jealousy, are rarely obvious and seldom played with honour. If noble warriors fail to listen to all that goes on around them, they may find an enemy moving to checkmate them before it is even their turn to move. The noble warrior's competence bonus to Listen checks increases to +4.

Classic Play

Half the time, elven noble warriors will be fighting alongside the other military leaders of their lands, defending the realm from foes both foreign and local. 'The other half, they will be fighting each other. The rivalry existing between elven dynasties is spectacular, intricate and intense. If ordinary human families can maintain dynastic grudges over decades, how much more true that is for families of elves who have such an extended lifespan. The Games Master should bear all this in mind when dealing with elven noble warrior characters. There will always be someone out there waiting to trip them up. Some noble warriors escape their family background and become adventurers, associating with rowdy types of which their parents would definitely not approve. A Games Master wanting an entertaining session should have a noble warrior's family suggest he bring his 'new friends' home. Barbarians drinking tea out of dainty china cups (or trylng to) is a sight that lingers long in the memory.

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