Knowledge is power. For those who truly seek knowledge in all its forms, knowledge of martial maneuvers is no different than knowledge of magic or science, and all are equally worthy of study. Sometimes geniuses, sometimes madmen, these seekers of knowledge hunger for new skills and abilities with an addiction and obsessiveness that can often be off putting, but is exceptionally useful. Polymaths are alchemists or investigators who learn to combine their intellect and extracts with the training and discipline of the Path of War. These cunning warriors learn to use any and all tools available to them to master any challenge set before them.
- The alchemist gives up the poison resistance, poison use, and poison immunity class features.
- The alchemist prepares one fewer extract per day of each level of extract he knows. If this would reduce his extracts prepared to 0, he may only prepare bonus extracts that he received of that level due to a high Intelligence score.
- The investigator gives up the poison lore, poison resistance, and poison immunity class features.
- The investigator prepares one fewer extract per day of each level of extract he knows. If this would reduce his extracts prepared to 0, he may only prepare bonus extracts that he received of that level due to a high Intelligence score.
A polymath gains proficiency with martial weapons in addition to his base class’ standard weapon proficiencies.
A polymath begins his career with knowledge of three martial maneuvers. If the polymath does not have these discipline’s associated skills as class skills, he gains them as class skills. The disciplines available to him are Primal Fury, Solar Wind, and Steel Serpent.
Once the polymath knows a maneuver, he must ready it before he can use it (see Maneuvers Readied, below). A maneuver usable by polymaths is considered an extraordinary ability unless otherwise noted in it or its discipline’s description. A polymath’s maneuvers are not affected by spell resistance, and he does not provoke attacks of opportunity when he initiates one.
The polymath learns additional maneuvers at higher levels, as indicated on Table: Archetype Maneuver Progression. The maximum level of maneuvers gained through polymath levels is limited by those listed in that table as well, although this restriction does not apply to maneuvers added to his maneuvers known through other methods, such as prestige classes or the Advanced Study feat. A polymath must meet a maneuver’s prerequisite to learn it. See Systems and Use for more details on how maneuvers are used.
Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even numbered initiator level thereafter (6th, 8th, 10th, and so on), the polymath can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one he already knows. In effect, he loses the old maneuver in exchange for the new one. He can choose a new maneuver of any level he likes, as long as he observes the restriction on the highest-level maneuvers he knows; the polymath need not replace the old maneuver with a maneuver of the same level. He can swap only a single maneuver at any given level. A polymath’s initiation modifier is Intelligence, and each polymath level is counted as a full initiator level.
A polymath can ready all three of his maneuvers known at 1st level, and as he advances in level and learns more maneuvers, he is able to ready more, but must still choose which maneuvers to ready. A polymath must always ready his maximum number of maneuvers readied. He readies his maneuvers by meditating or performing martial katas for ten minutes. The maneuvers he chooses remain readied until he decides to practice again and change them. The polymath does not need to sleep or rest for any long period of time in order to ready his maneuvers; any time he spends ten minutes study or meditation, he can change his readied maneuvers.
A polymath begins an encounter with all his readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times he might have already used them since he chose them. When he initiates a maneuver, he expends it for the current encounter, so each of his readied maneuvers can be used once per encounter (unless he recovers them, as described below).
In order for the polymath to recover maneuvers, he must re-evaluate his opponents and their abilities as a full-round action. When he does, he replaces a number of expended maneuvers equal to his polymath initiation modifier (minimum 2) with new readied polymath maneuvers he knows. If he wishes, he may replace these maneuvers with themselves, effectively recovering them. In addition, whenever the polymath recovers maneuvers in this way, he may drink one extract he has prepared as a swift action. Alternately, the polymath may take a brief moment to collect his thoughts to recover a single maneuver as a standard action.
A polymath begins his career with knowledge of one stance from any discipline open to polymaths. At 4th, 7th, 11th, and 13th levels, he can select an additional stance to learn. The maximum level of stances gained through polymath levels is limited by those listed in Table 2-1: Archetype Maneuver Progression. Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended and the polymath does not have to ready them. All the stances he knows are available to him at all times, and he can change the stance he is currently maintaining as a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated in the stance or discipline description.
Unlike with maneuvers, a polymath cannot learn a new stance at higher levels in place of one he already knows.
Path of War – Expanded, © 2016, Dreamscarred Press.