This section includes several new prestige classes based on the new martial combat options of the Path of War. All of these prestige classes require the character to have the ability to use maneuvers, although some, like the battle templar, require the ability to use maneuvers of a specific discipline.
Some of these prestige classes learn specialized maneuvers and stances from their class features (such as the phoenix champion’s phoenix wing strike). Though these are considered maneuvers for the purposes of feats, effects, and abilities, they are exclusive to the prestige classes in question, and cannot be learned through the Advanced Study feat or similar effects. In addition, a character who unlocks these maneuvers can always ready and initiate them, even if their initiator level would not be high enough to use a maneuver of that level or if they do not have access to the disciplines in question. A member of these prestige classes does not lose access to these maneuvers if they trade away a discipline when they join a martial tradition, and cannot trade them for new maneuvers when doing so.
When a character enters a prestige class that progresses maneuvers, they gain the following benefits:
Initiator Level: A character adds their levels in a martial disciple prestige class to each of their initiator levels to determine their total initiator level for a maneuver progression (from a class or the Martial Training feats). For example, a character with 7 stalker levels and 8 umbral blade levels would have a stalker initiator level of 15. If that character instead had 6 stalker levels, 4 warlord levels, and 5 umbral blade levels, their stalker initiator level would be 13 (6 from stalker + 2 from the 4 non-stalker levels + 5 from umbral blade levels) and their warlord initiator level would be 12 (4 from warlord levels + 3 from 6 non-warlord levels + 5 from umbral blade levels).
Maneuvers and Stances Known: When a prestige class adds a maneuver or stance to a character, they choose which of their maneuver progressions to add it to. If the character only has one maneuver progression, they automatically add it to that progression’s maneuvers and stances known. If the initiator has multiple maneuver progressions, they choose which progression to add to. They can only add a maneuver or stance up to the maximum level they have available for that progression when they do so in this way. For example, a stalker 6/ warlord 4/umbral blade 5 could add their new maneuver known to their stalker maneuvers, with a maximum level of 7th. If they wanted to add the maneuver to their warlord maneuvers, the maximum level would be 6th. The same goes for stances. When determining whether or not a character meets a maneuver’s prerequisites, they count all of their maneuvers and stances known, regardless of which maneuver progression they come from.
Maneuvers Readied: When a prestige class adds a maneuver readied to a character, they choose which of their maneuver progressions to add it to, exactly as with maneuvers known.
Prestige Classes and Granted Maneuvers: When characters with granted maneuvers (such as mystics) gain additional readied maneuvers from a prestige class, they also gain additional granted maneuvers at the same rate. If the character has multiple prestige classes that give readied maneuvers, they may add the maneuvers readied from each to determine the number of maneuvers granted.
For example, if you were currently readying 7 maneuvers and gained 4 of them granted to you at the start of the combat round and a prestige class added an additional readied maneuver, you would also gain a granted maneuver, bringing you to 8 maneuvers readied and 5 maneuvers granted. If you possess multiple prestige classes, then each time you are granted an additional readied maneuver, you gain a granted maneuver as well.
- Animus Adept: The animus adept takes the new animus system with its use of martial glyphs to a new level of party support.
- Awakened Blade: Awakened blades, as they are called, learn to use their precognitive mastery as both offense and defense in pursuit of greater psionic knowledge and personal glory or power.
- Battle Templar: Battle templars serve the role of both divine agent and warrior in times when the state of their religion or church is in danger.
- Bladecaster: By fortifying the body with arcane might, the bladecaster can force his magic to augment his physical abilities and increase his martial capabilities to supernatural levels.
- Dragon Fury: By devoting one’s self to the Thrashing Dragon discipline, the dragon fury learns many things on how best to emulate the dragon and its fighting style, and a dragon’s deep well of wrath lives within their hearts and pumps its fury to every inch of their body.
- Landskneckt: The landskneckt brings a powerful boost to einhander combat styles and defensive abilities.
- Mage Hunter: The path of the mage hunter is a dangerous one, combining skill at arms and stealth with a brand of sorcery that serves a singular purpose: slaying mages.
- Phoenix Champion: The phoenix champion brings the fires of purity by way of Solar Wind and Silver Crane to ranged combat.
- Umbral Blade: Every moon has a dark side, and in that darkness there is something waiting for those who are daring enough to tread upon that perilous path. By entering the shadow of the Veiled Moon, the so-called Umbral Blades find that this darkness possesses power at a price, and by making a deal with it, that power can be bought.