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Gamester Fighter Archetype

Conventional fighters hone their combat skills through constant sparring. The gamester takes the opposite approach by running countless battle simulations on several different mediums. Some take place in his compartmentalized mind, others transpire in plain sight on a game board, and the remainder fills his hand in the form of playing cards. Unlike most archetypes, the gamester developed serendipitously rather than through deliberate design. Forced indoors by the brutal weather raging outside his door, these fighters initially wiled their days away playing strategy games to fend off boredom. Over time though, the friendly, carefree contests morphed into fierce tactical struggles between shrewd military rivals. From there, the fighting discipline evolved as the participants applied the lessons they learned in their facsimiles to the real world. Their revolutionary insights drastically changed their perspectives toward combat. They emphasized intelligence over physical might. Gamesters certainly fail to look the part as well as their brawnier and more heavily armored cohorts. Swinging a massive club with tremendous power wows onlookers when it pulverizes flesh and bone into dust, but it proves less effective than replaying a battle scenario from a past gaming experience and knowing how to achieve the desired outcome. Their keen awareness of every situation allows them to react quickly to every possible contingency while formulating a new battle plan on the fly. Despite their sharp, intuitive minds, gamesters can be creatures of habit. Unlike most polar adventurers, gamesters prefer the comforts of home over life in the great outdoors. They also tend to stick with the tried and true, limiting their choices of weapons and armor.

Nonetheless, when darkness and cold grip the land, the gamester is better prepared than anyone else to handle whatever comes next.

Poker Face (Ex)

A gamester gains 4 skill ranks plus a number of skill ranks equal to his Intelligence modifier at each level, instead of the normal 2 skill ranks + his Intelligence modifier at each level. Furthermore, he adds Bluff, Perform, and Sense Motive to his list of class skills and removes Climb, Ride, and Swim from his list of class skills.

This alters the fighter’s skill points and class skills.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A gamester is not proficient with martial weapons, heavy and medium armor, or tower shields.

This alters the fighter’s weapon and armor proficiency.

Combat Expertise (Ex)

At 1st level, a gamester gains the Combat Expertise feat as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the feat’s prerequisites. In addition, if a feat’s prerequisite lists both Combat Expertise and a minimum Intelligence score, the gamester is treated as meeting the minimum Intelligence score requirement regardless of his actual Intelligence score.

This ability replaces the fighter’s 1st-level bonus feat.

Knight’s Leap (Ex)

At 2nd level, a gamester gains the evasion ability, as defined in the rogue class feature.

This ability replaces bravery.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

At 3rd level, a gamester gains uncanny dodge as the barbarian ability of the same name.

This ability replaces armor training 1.

Simulation Drill (Su)

Once per day at 5th level, a gamester may rescind a single standard or move action taken during his turn, treating the action as if it never happened. The action is not lost. Instead, the gamester may take no action at all; take a different standard or move action; or repeat the same standard or move action hoping for a different result. He must announce his intention to use this ability after determining the results of his action, but before either taking another action or ending his turn, whichever comes first. He may use this ability one additional time per day at 9th level and every four levels thereafter. He cannot use this ability more than once per round, nor can he combine it with abilities allowing him to reroll dice or use the better result on two or more dice.

This ability replaces weapon training 1 and 3 as well as weapon mastery (see virtual reality).

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

At 7th level, a gamester gains improved uncanny dodge as the barbarian ability of the same name.

This ability replaces armor training 2.

King Me (Ex)

At 9th level, when a gamester attacks an opponent after successfully feinting that opponent during his turn or attacks during another creature’s turn, such as when making an attack of opportunity, a gamester adds his Intelligence modifier (minimum 1) to damage rolls.

This ability replaces weapon training 2.

Castle (Ex)

At 11th level, a gamester receives a +2 cover bonus to his AC against ranged attacks whenever he is adjacent to another creature or a solid object, regardless of his actual positioning. This bonus does not supersede or stack with the bonuses normally gained from cover.

This ability replaces armor training 3.

En Passe (Ex)

At 15th level, a gamester may move through threatened squares without provoking an attack of opportunity caused by moving through such an area if the square is adjacent to an ally who is also adjacent to the opponent threatening that square.

This ability replaces armor training 4.

Check (Ex)

At 17th level, when a gamester confirms a critical hit, his blow is so precise it hobbles the creature hit as the slow spell for 1 round unless the opponent succeeds on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 his fighter level + his Intelligence modifier).

This ability replaces weapon training 4.

Check and Mate (Ex)

At 19th level, allies moving through a square the gamester occupies or threatens do not provoke an attack of opportunity caused by moving through a threatened area, if the opponent threatening the square is also adjacent to the gamester.

This ability replaces armor mastery.

Virtual Reality (Ex)

At 20th level, a gamester may rescind a full-round action taken during his turn, treating the action is if it never happened. This ability otherwise functions as his simulation drill ability. Rescinding a full-round action, standard action, or move action counts as a daily usage of his simulation drill ability.

This ability replaces weapon mastery.