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Master of the Hand Axe

“In the right hands, this weapon is the meaning of the word ‘skullsplitter.’”

The master of the hand axe is a warrior completely dedicated to mastering the hand and throwing axes. He learns to wield them just as skillfully single-handed or dually, with great accuracy, power, and distance.

Hit Die: d10

Requirements

To qualify to become a master of the hand axe, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Class Skills

The class skills for this class (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (dungeoneering, engineering) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier

Table: The Master of the Hand Axe
Class Level BAB Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +1 +0 +0 Throwing Axe Discipline, Powerful Axe, Sundering Throw
2nd +1 +2 +0 +0 Dual Axe Wielder, Deadly Throw
3rd +2 +2 +1 +1 Daze Attack, Throwing Axe Mental Focus (cold iron, alchemical silver, or magic)
4th +3 +3 +1 +1 Powerful Off-Hand
5th +4 +3 +1 +1 Throwing Axe Mental Focus (cold iron, alchemical silver, or magic)
6th +5 +4 +2 +2 Stunning Blow
7th +6 +4 +2 +2 Axe Speed
8th +7 +5 +2 +2 Axe Whirlwind
9th +8 +5 +3 +3 Distance Throwing
10th +9 +6 +3 +3 Throwing Axe Mental Focus (cold iron, alchemical silver, magic, or adamantine)

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the master of the hand axe prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A master of the hand axe does not gain any additional weapon or armor proficiencies. However, they disdain the use of weapons other than the throwing axe and suffer penalties when using them (see below).

Throwing Axe Discipline (Ex)

Due to the time and discipline required to master the hand and throwing axes to such a high level, the master of the hand axe must neglect practice with other weapons and with shields. Because of this, his skill with them decays and he suffers a –2 penalty to attack rolls with all other weapons and suffers an additional –1 armor check penalty to attack rolls when using shields. These penalties apply even if the master of the hand axe is proficient with these other weapons or shields. Furthermore, masters of the hand axe are forbidden from ever taking the Weapon Focus feat for any type of weapon other than the hand or throwing axe or they lose all their prestige class abilities. Masters of the hand axe consider this a small price to pay for the incredible skill they gain with their weapons.

Powerful Axe (Ex)

Through extensive training, the master of the hand axe gains a +1 damage bonus when using a hand or throwing axe. In addition, he may use the Power Attack feat when making melee attacks with these weapons, even though they are light weapons. He gains no special damage bonuses from wielding them with a two-handed grip, however.

Sundering Throw (Ex)

The master of the throwing axe is particularly skilled at sundering with his axes. As a full attack, he may make a single ranged throw attack with his throwing axe as if using the Improved Sunder feat, even if he does not have the feat. In addition, he adds +2 to the damage to the object.

Dual Axe Wielder (Ex)

At 2nd level, the master of the hand axe’s penalties for fighting with two throwing or hand axes (or one of each) are reduced by one point. This means that if the master of the throwing axe has the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, he suffers only -1 to hit with the primary hand and -1 to hit with the off-hand, instead of the normal -2/-2.

Deadly Throw (Ex)

At 2nd level, the master of the hand axe’s throwing skill becomes even greater. When making a full attack to throw one or more throwing axes, he may apply the deadly throw ability to one of the attacks. This ability functions the same as the Deadly Aim feat.

Daze Attack (Ex)

At 3rd level, the master of the hand axe’s can attempt to daze nearby opponents with mighty blows from his axes. To use this ability, he must hit a target no more than 30 ft. away with at least two axe attacks in the same round. These can be melee attacks or ranged attacks. If successful, the target must make a Fortitude save, DC 10 + 1/2 the master of the hand axe’s character level, or be dazed for one round. However, if the master of the throwing axe uses daze attack for two consecutive rounds, he becomes fatigued. If he attempts to use it again while fatigued, he becomes exhausted.

Throwing Axe Mental Focus (Su)

At 3rd level, the master of the hand axe’s mental focus with hand and throwing axes reaches a supernatural level and he gains the ability to bypass certain types of damage reduction. He may choose one of the following types of damage reduction: cold iron, alchemical silver, or magic. Once chosen, the type cannot be changed. From this point on, any hand or throwing axe used by the master of the hand axe counts as if it were made of that type of material whenever he uses it against opponents with that type of damage reduction. Furthermore, if the master of the hand axe obtains a hand or throwing axe actually made out of a special material different than his mental focus choice, the weapon is considered to have both types. Thus, a master of the hand axe with the supernatural ability to bypass alchemical silver and who is wielding a magic axe can bypass both silver and magic damage reduction.

At 10th level, his mental focus increases and he may choose another type of damage reduction to bypass from the previous list, or he may choose adamantine.

Powerful Off-Hand (Ex)

At 4th level, the master of the hand axe’s off hand damage is no longer halved when using a hand or throwing axe.

Flurry of Axes (Ex)

At 5th level, the master of the hand may strike with a flurry of hand axe blows, while sacrificing accuracy. When doing so, he may make one extra attack in a round at his highest base attack bonus, but this attack takes a –2 penalty, as does each other attack made that round. This penalty applies for 1 round, so it also affects attacks of opportunity the master of the hand axe might make before his next action. This ability requires a full attack action.

Stunning Blow (Ex)

At 6th level, the master of the hand axe gains the ability to use his hand or throwing axe to deliver a stunning blow to his opponents. This functions identically to the Stunning Fist feat. The master of the hand axe may attempt a stunning attack once per day for every four levels of the prestige class he has attained, but may make only one stunning attack per round. Thus, a character with eight master of the hand axe prestige class levels could use the ability twice per day. This ability may not be combined with power attacks, Daze Attack, Deadly Throw, or Flurry of Axes.

Axe Speed (Ex)

At 7th level, the master of the hand axe’s disciplined training gives him even greater speed with his weapon and he gains a +2 enhancement bonus to his initiative when using a hand or throwing axe. This stacks with the Improved Initiative feat.

Axe Whirlwind (Ex)

At 8th level, the master of the hand axe can make a whirlwind melee attack with his hand axe. This functions identically to the Whirlwind Attack feat. If the master of the hand axe already has the Whirlwind Attack feat, he gains a +1 enhancement bonus on whirlwind attack rolls. However, if the master of the throwing axe uses this ability for two consecutive rounds, he becomes fatigued.

Distance Throwing (Ex)

At 9h level, the master of the hand axe’s range increment with throwing axes increases by 5ft. Apply this range increment increase before applying other abilities that increase range, such as the Far Shot feat.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Grimoire Viperian: A Tome of Exotic Lore Copyright 2021 Magic Skull Games Author: Steven F. Johnson