Manual of Puissant Skill at Arms

Manual of Puissant Skill at Arms

Author Iain Fyffe
Publisher Fifth Element Games
Publish date 2007
OGL Section 15 mopsaa

The material below is designated as Open Game Content


The sword is generally thought of as the "standard" melee weapon, but throughout history, the spear has been king of the battlefield. With its simple design, versatility, utility and damage potential, the spear is truly a fearsome weapon in the hands of an expert. In the hands of such a warrior, a spear is deadly, delivering powerful thrusts or flying through the air to find its target. Such a true expert is the garthrist.

A garthrist (“spear fighter”) in battle is one with his spear, which becomes an extension of his arm rather than a discrete object. His tactics are unpredictable; he mixes thrusts, strikes, swings, charges, trips and throws to great effect. Some garthrists are heavily armoured, while others protect themselves with nothing but their spear and a shield. The one thing all garthrists have in common is their dynamism in combat. A garthrist is not content to be a passive participant in melee, allowing the enemy to dictate the terms of battle. He closes with the enemy and engages them with fervor. Most garthrists are bold and daring in a fight, taking pride in being the most deadly combatant in the field.


To qualify to become a garthrist, a character must fulfill the following criteria.
Base Attack Bonus: +5.
Feats: Weapon Focus (spear), Weapon Proficiency (longspear, spear, and shortspear).

Hit Die: d10.

Class Skills: The garthrist’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Ride (Dex) and Swim (Str).
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Level Base Attack Fort Save Ref Save Wil Save Special
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 One-handed wield, quick throw
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Quick draw
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Skewer
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Greater critical
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Precise thrust

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: A garthrist gains no proficiency in any weapon or armour.
Fighter Feat Advancement: At each garthrist level the character is considered to have gained one level of fighter for the purposes of qualifying for specific fighter feats, such as Weapon Specialization. The garthrist does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of the fighter class would have gained. For example, 7th-level fighter/5th-level garthrist is considered to be a 12th-level fighter for the purpose of qualifying for feats, and could take the Greater Weapon Specialization feat. This applies only if the character has at least one fighter level. If a feat that applies only to a specific weapon is gained in this way, it must be chosen to apply to the spear, shortspear or longspear.

One-Handed Wield (Ex): A garthrist's skill with the spear allows him to treat it as a one-handed weapon.
This does not apply when wielding a longspear.

Quick Throw (Ex): A garthrist is able to prepare and throw a spear with incredible speed. He does not provoke attacks of opportunity when throwing a spear.

Quick Draw (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a garthrist can draw a spear or shortspear as a swift action. The Garthrist allows him to throw more than one spear in a round with the same hand, though he can only use this ability once per round (since it is a swift action). A garthrist can also use a move action in the same round to draw another spear if desired.

Skewer (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, when a garthrist scores a critical hit with a spear, his opponent must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC = 10 + garthrist's level + garthrist's Strength modifier) or be impaled. The garthrist can choose to leave his weapon in the body of his opponent, or he can attempt to rip the weapon free as a free action, which requires a DC 10 Strength check and deals full weapon damage plus Strength modifier to the impaled foe.

If the garthrist chooses to leave his weapon in the body of the foe (or if he is unable to remove it) the impaled target suffers 1d6 points of damage for each round the weapon remains in his body. In addition, an impaled target of up to one size category larger than the garthrist may only move at half speed and suffers a –2 to all attacks rolls, saving throws, ability checks, and skill checks. An impaled foe can attempt to remove a spear from his body with a DC 10 Strength check, which requires a full round action.

Removing a spear in this fashion inflicts full weapon damage. Alternatively, a successful Heal check (DC 15) allows the removal of the impaling spear without inflicting the extra damage.

Greater Critical (Ex): At 4th level, a garthrist gains the benefits of Improved Critical feat when using a spear, shortspear or longspear. This ability stacks with the effects of the Improved Critical feat, if the garthrist has this feat for any of these weapons.

Precise Thrust (Ex): At 5th level, a garthrist is able to focus all his strength, effort and skill into a single, powerful, nigh-unstoppable thrust. He must use the full attack option in the round he uses a precise thrust, but he makes only a single melee attack at his highest attack bonus. When making a precise thrust, the threat range of the spear, shortspear or longspear increases by one. In addition, the garthrist is able to aim his strike so precisely that he ignores any armour bonus that the opponent may have (including natural armour and shield bonuses).

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