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S-Class Fighter

What Are S-Class Characters?

S-class characters are built using the summoner class, as originally presented, as the basis against which all other classes are balanced. The “S” in this case stands for both summoner and, as a more appropriate in-world reference, superior. If you have played—or GM’d for—a summoner and felt it was fine as is, you should have no problem running with an s-class character.

S-class fighters are champions of battle, entering combat against other warriors, spellcasters, and supernatural beings with the same level of confidence in their talents. They are the ultimate weapon masters, unafraid of death so long as it is glorious and with purpose.

Role: The s-class fighter can act as a defender for his allies with the right shield in hand, or he could destroy enemies with a deadly, two-handed blade. Some take archery and other methods of combat to new levels. Whatever their role, the s-class fighter makes it work for them.

Note: The s-class fighter is an alternate, superior version of the fighter class. They retain all of the standard fighter progressions and options, and as such should qualify to select fighter archetypes without specific adjustments.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d10.

Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gp (average 175 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills

The s-class fighter’s class skills are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (engineering) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: S-Class Fighter
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Bonus feat, formal training
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Bonus feat, bravery +1, soldier’s awareness
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Armor Training
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Bonus feat
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Weapon Training
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Bonus feat
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Armor Training, bravery +2, soldier’s awareness
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Bonus feat, superior defense 1/—
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Weapon Training
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Bonus feat, superior defense 2/—
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Armor Training
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 Bonus feat, bravery +3
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 Superior defense 3/—, weapon training
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 Bonus feat, soldier’s awareness
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 Armor Training
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 Bonus feat, superior defense 4/—
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Bravery +4, weapon training
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 Bonus feat
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Superior defense 5/—
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Bonus feat, Weapon Mastery

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the s-class fighter.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

An s-class fighter is proficient with all weapons (improvised, simple, martial, exotic), armor (light, medium and heavy), and shields (including tower shields). They also begin play with Improved Unarmed Strike.

Bonus Feats

At 1st level, and at every even level thereafter, an s-class fighter gains a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement (meaning that the fighter gains a feat at every level). These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as Combat Feats, sometimes also called “fighter bonus feats.” Upon reaching 4th level, and every four levels thereafter (8th, 12th, and so on), an s-class fighter can choose to learn a new bonus feat in place of a bonus feat he has already learned. In effect, the fighter loses the bonus feat in exchange for the new one. The old feat cannot be one that was used as a prerequisite for another feat, prestige class, or other ability. An s-class fighter can only change one feat at any given level and must choose whether or not to swap the feat at the time he gains a new bonus feat for the level.

Formal Training (Ex)

Every s-class fighter is a formally-trained soldier, which requires a greater education than the typical adventurer or mercenary. At 1st level, choose one of the following class skills. The s-class fighter gains 1 skill rank in that skill per s-class fighter level. Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, any Knowledge class skill, or Profession.

Bravery (Ex)

Starting at 2nd level, an s-class fighter gains a +1 bonus on Will saves against fear. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 2nd.

Soldier’s Awareness (Ex)

Also at 2nd level, an s-class fighter becomes more aware of his surroundings and can better distinguish the effects of some magic. Choose Reflex or Will. The s-class fighter gains a +2 bonus on saves of that type. He can choose again at 7th and 14th level.

Armor Training (Ex)

Starting at 3rd level, an s-class fighter learns to be more maneuverable while wearing armor. Whenever he is wearing armor, he reduces the armor check penalty by 1 (to a minimum of 0) and increases the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed by his armor by 1. Every four levels thereafter (7th, 11th, and 15th), these bonuses increase by +1 each time, to a maximum –4 reduction of the armor check penalty and a +4 increase of the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed.

In addition, an s-class fighter can also move at his normal speed while wearing medium armor. At 7th level, an s-class fighter can move at his normal speed while wearing heavy armor.

Advanced Armor Training: Beginning at 7th level, instead of increasing the benefits provided by armor training, an s-class fighter can choose an advanced armor training option (see Advanced Armor Training below) . If the fighter does so, he still gains the ability to move at his normal speed while wearing medium armor at 3rd level, and while wearing heavy armor at 7th level.

A sample of advanced armor training options can be found at the end of this section.

Weapon Training (Ex)

Starting at 5th level, an s-class fighter can select one group of weapons, as noted below. Whenever he attacks with a weapon from this group, he gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls.

Every four levels thereafter (9th*, 13th, and 17th), an s-class fighter becomes further trained in another group of weapons. He gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls when using a weapon from this group. In addition, the bonuses granted by previous weapon groups increase by +1 each. For example, when an s-class fighter reaches 9th level, he receives a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with one weapon group and a +2 bonus on attack and damage rolls with the weapon group selected at 5th level. Bonuses granted from overlapping groups do not stack. Take the highest bonus granted for a weapon if it resides in two or more groups.

An s-class fighter also adds this bonus to any combat maneuver checks made with weapons from his group. This bonus also applies to the s-class fighter’s Combat Maneuver Defense when defending against disarm and sunder attempts made against weapons from this group.

Advanced Weapon Training: Beginning at 9th level, instead of selecting an additional fighter weapon group, an s-class fighter can choose an advanced weapon training option for one fighter weapon group that he previously selected with the weapon training class feature. A sample of advanced weapon training options can be found at the end of this section.

Superior Defense (Ex)

At 7th level, an s-class fighter wearing armor or using a shield gains Damage Reduction. Subtract 1 from the damage the fighter takes each time he is dealt damage from a weapon or a natural attack. At 10th level, and every three s-class fighter levels thereafter (13th, 16th, and 19th level), this Damage Reduction rises by 1 point. Damage Reduction can reduce damage to 0 but not below 0.

Weapon Mastery (Ex)

At 20th level, an s-class fighter chooses one weapon, such as the longsword, greataxe, or longbow. Any attacks made with that weapon automatically confirm all critical threats and have their damage multiplier increased by 1 (×2 becomes ×3, for example). In addition, he cannot be disarmed while wielding a weapon of this type.

Advanced Armor Training

The following advanced armor training options are available to all fighters.

Bodyguard (Ex)

You gain Bodyguard as a bonus feat. When an adjacent ally is attacked, you may use an attack of opportunity to attempt the aid another action to improve your ally’s AC by 2 + 1 per four s-class fighter levels you possess.

You do not need to meet this feat’s prerequisites.

Critical Block (Ex)

When a creature hits you with an attack while you have a shield bonus to your AC, roll 1d20. On a natural 19 or 20, reduce the damage dealt to you by twice your shield bonus (including any enhancement bonuses).

Defensive Instinct (Ex)

When unarmored, not using a shield, unencumbered, and conscious, You add your Wisdom bonus (if any) to your AC and CMD. If you are wearing light or medium armor or using a shield, you instead add half your Wisdom bonus to your AC (minimum 0). These bonuses never apply when wearing heavy armor or when you are encumbered. If you select this advanced armor training again, your defensive instinct grants you an additional +1 bonus to your AC and CMD for every 4 s-class fighter levels you possess (up to +5 at 20th level).

These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks and when you are flat-footed. You lose these bonuses when you are immobilized or helpless. These bonuses do not stack with the monk AC bonus class feature.

Fearless (Ex)

While wearing armor or using a shield, your bravery bonus applies to allies within 30 feet of you who can see you, and you are immune to the shaken and frightened conditions (but not the panicked condition).

Mobile Fortress (Ex)

While using a tower shield, you add half of the shield’s bonus (including its enhancement bonus) to your touch AC and take only a –1 penalty on attack rolls because of the shield’s encumbrance. Whenever you would use a tower shield to gain total cover, you also grant total cover against attacks passing through the selected edge of your space to any adjacent ally on your side of that edge.

Mobile Stronghold (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): 6th level, mobile fortress.

While using mobile fortress, you suffer no penalty on attack rolls because of the shield’s encumbrance. Whenever you use your tower shield to gain total cover, you gain partial cover against spells passing through the selected edge of your space, and grant that same cover to allies benefiting from your mobile fortress. You can also gain total cover against a single attack made against you as an immediate or swift action.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

When wearing no armor, light armor, or medium armor and not carrying a heavy load, you gain the benefits of uncanny dodge as a barbarian of your s-class fighter level. At 10th level, or If you already have uncanny dodge from another class, this becomes improved uncanny dodge.

Advanced Weapon Training

The following advanced weapon training options are available to all fighters.

Colossus Smash (Ex)

When you confirm a critical hit against a creature with a weapon from the associated fighter weapon group, you can halve the critical damage and reduce the creature’s AC by 1 + your weapon training bonus with that weapon, up to its armor, shield, or natural armor bonus. If your weapon has a x3 multiplier, reduce the creature’s armor by an additional +2, and if your weapon has a x4 multiplier, reduce it by an another +2 (+4 total additional reduction). Multiple hits from colossus smash reduce the creature’s AC further.

A penalty to natural armor can be removed with a successful DC 15 Heal check or through the application of any spell that cures hit point damage.

A penalty to manufactured armor or shield can be removed with a successful DC 15 Craft (armor) check or through the application of a mending or similar spell.

Deep Wounds (Ex)

Weapons you wield in the associated fighter weapon group gain the wounding weapon property. This does not count against any magical enhancement a weapon may possess.

Execute (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): 13th level.

When you use a full-attack action to make multiple attacks with weapons in the associated fighter weapon group against the same opponent, total the damage from all hits when determining if the opponent must save versus massive damage (half its total hit points, minimum 50), and the DC is increased by your weapon training bonus with that weapon group.

If a single attack would force the target to save versus massive damage, ignore that attack when calculating the remaining damage dealt by your other attacks made during the full-attack action.

Heroic Throw (Ex)

Weapons you wield in the associated fighter weapon group gain the throwing weapon property. This does not count against any magical enhancement a weapon may possess.

The distance you can throw a weapon with heroic throw increases by 5 feet for every +1 weapon training bonus you have with the weapon, and if you throw the weapon at a creature within 1 range increment, it gains the returning property as well.

Overpower (Ex)

As a swift action at the start of your turn, you can declare that you are going to overpower your target. The next attack you make with a weapon in the associated fighter weapon group against the target before the end of your turn targets its touch AC instead. If your attack would hit the target’s normal AC anyway, it is a critical threat. If it would be a critical threat, you automatically confirm it.

Overpower does not stack with effects and feats such as Vital Strike unless you have All-Consuming Swing or Devastating Strike, and it replaces the benefit of those feats 4 when used.

Revenge (Ex)

When an enemy critically hits you, you can use an attack of opportunity to attack that enemy with a weapon in the associated fighter weapon group, increasing the weapon’s critical threat range by your weapon training bonus with that weapon group.

Revenge can be used with ranged or thrown weapons against an enemy that critically hits you from range. It counts as, and does not stack with, other bonuses to critical threat range, such as Improved Critical or the keen weapon property.

Shattering Throw (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): 9th level, heroic throw.

As a standard action, you can throw a weapon with heroic throw and ignore an amount of the target’s Damage Reduction (even DR /–) equal to 5 x your weapon training bonus with the weapon.

At 13th-level and higher, you can do this once per full-attack action instead.

Shield Slam (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): Improved Shield Bash, Shield Proficiency, weapon training +1 with close weapons.

You can treat your shield as your main-hand weapon. Your shield deals damage as a monk’s unarmed strike of your s-class fighter level.

Slam (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): Improved Unarmed Strike, weapon training +1 with natural weapons.

Your unarmed strike deals damage as a monk of your s-class fighter level.

Unrelenting Strikes (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): 17th level.

As a full-attack action, you can make four attacks with a weapon in the associated fighter weapon group. Each attack suffers a –7 penalty to the attack roll.

Victory Rush (Ex)

When you confirm a critical hit against a creature with a weapon from the associated fighter weapon group, you can forego the critical damage and instead regain that many hit points. When you reduce a creature to 0 hit points or fewer, and that creature had no fewer Hit Dice than half your s-class fighter level, you can roll your associated weapon’s critical damage and regain that many hit points.

You can use victory rush and colossus smash as part of the same critical hit, regaining half the critical damage and reducing the target’s AC accordingly.

Whirlwind (Ex)

You gain Whirlwind Attack as a bonus feat that you can only use when wielding a weapon in the associated fighter weapon group. You do not need to meet this feat’s prerequisites.

Fighter Proficiency Alternative

In place of proficiency with all martial weapons, an s-class fighter can gain his choice of the shield slam or slam advanced weapon training options, as if he met the prerequisites for that option (s-class fighters can trade their exotic weapon proficiency instead). At 5th level, the fighter must select either close (for shields) or natural weapons (for unarmed attacks) as his first weapon training.

This alters the s-class fighter’s proficiencies and the weapon training gained at 5th level.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

S-Class Characters: The Fighter. Copyright 2022, Samurai Sheepdog. Author: Kevin Glusing 9

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