Wizards and priests, as they advance into the higher levels, have the advantage of their magic to rely on for their progression. Beyond level 20, they can even delve into the highest spheres, attaining the highest skill at ritual magic or even mastering the godlike power that True Dweomers can confer. Warriors and rogues, on the other hand, receive weapon proficiencies and more points to put into their thief skills.
However, from level 10 to 20, warriors and can find that there is a lack of things to spend these resources on. Warriors can pursue mastery in a weapon, but only if they are single-classed fighters - and often only one or two of the fighting styles will appeal to a character. Warriors receive proficiency slots every four levels, however. In the interest of giving more options to these classes, this page gives new abilities that weapon proficiency points can be spent on.
Unless otherwise noted, all of the fighter abilities have a minimum level of 10.
New Warrior Abilities
This ability can only be taken by paladins, and can only be taken once. It allows them to "switch out" their aura of protection; instead, they gain one of the following effects, chosen when the ability is taken:
- Guidance: Friendly creatures within 10 feet have no penalty to attack enemies in the dark, and are aware of their general position and movements. Invisible or hidden creatures within 60 feet can also be detected with a saving throw vs. spell.
- Purity: Friendly creatures within 10 feet gain a +2 bonus to saving throws against poison, disease and magical mortifications of the flesh. Poison is slowed while within 10 feet of the paladin.
- Stability: Friendly creatures within 10 feet gain a +2 bonus to saving throws against mind-affecting enchantments and charms. Charmed (but not dominated) creatures that come within 10 feet receive an additional saving throw.
- Valor: Friendly creatures within 10 feet gain a +2 bonus to morale and are immune to the effects of magical fear.
- Vigilance: Friendly creatures within 10 feet gain a +2 bonus to surprise rolls, and are never deprived of their AC bonuses for shields or Dexterity.
This ability grants a warrior the ability to enter a violent rage, such as those entered by Norse berserkers or Battleguards of Tempus. This ability is available at the DM's discretion; it will not be appropriate for all characters.
This ability can only be taken by rangers. The ranger may select an additional type of favored enemy; this must be justifiable in-game, i.e. it must be a type of enemy that the ranger has fought (or at least studied extensively), and they must have reason to show this type of enemy particular enmity. In all other ways, this ability functions identically to the favored enemy a ranger receives at level 1; they receive a +4 bonus on attack rolls against that type of enemy, and a -4 penalty on reaction rolls.
This ability can only be taken by warriors with a Wisdom of 12 or higher. It is effectively the opposite of a berserk rage; if they are in combat and suspect that some form of mental attack is likely, they may enter a martial trance. Entering a martial trance takes no time, although they must wait for their initiative to do so. While in a martial trance, the warrior is focused utterly on the dance of steel and can be distracted only with great difficulty. As long as they continue to fight each round, any saving throws against attempts to influence the warrior's mind - such as charm, domination or confusion - may be rerolled if failed.
While a warrior who has entered a martial trance is fully aware of the world around them, their focus on the world of the blade and blow requires their full concentration. They can hear and act on the words of those around them, but holding up their end of a conversation will bring them out of their trance. Likewise, complex or non-combat tasks such as drinking a potion, reading a scroll or manipulating a lever will end the martial trance.
The warrior who takes this ability is the master of the one-on-one duel. Although not restricted to swords, it can only be used when engaged in single combat at melee range, with no threatening combatants within 5 feet. However, if enemies come within threatening range after the duel has begun, their presence does not end it. Finally, the target must be wielding some kind of weapon; it cannot be a monster unless it relies on some kind of physical finesse. A sword spider would qualify, a dragon or a beholder would not.
The warrior focuses the entirety of their attention on their chosen opponent. Starting from the round on which the duel begains, the warrior gains a +1 cumulative bonus to their attack and damage rolls, maxing out at +5. However, this is accompanied by a corresponding penalty to their AC when attacked by anyone but their chosen target. The duel continues for as long as the warrior continuously attacks their target; disengaging, attacking another target, or taking a non-combat action ends the duel.
With this ability, a warrior can combine sheer skill and strength to destroy his enemies' equipment. Normally this only possible with a trap-and-break maneuver using special weapons like the sai or swordbreaker, but a skilled warrior can make do with only his weapons. You must have a strength of at least 16 to take and use this ability; furthermore, you must be using a large or heavy weapon such as a longsword or warhammer. Only "hard" pieces of equipment that are suitably sized can be sundered; you cannot sunder a ring or a cloak, but you can sunder a sword, shield or piece of armor.
In order to make a sundering attempt, the warrior must make a called shot against something worn or wielded by their opponent, attacking at a -4 penalty. If they hit, the piece of equipment in question must make a saving throw vs. crushing blow. The normal rules for item saving throws apply; for example, magical equipment receives a bonus to its saving throw equal to its plus value. If the item fails its saving throw, it is damaged or destroyed. Weapons and shields are shattered, whereas pieces of armor lose 1d4 points of AC value as they are torn and broken. Any piece of magical equipment that is sundered immediately loses its enchantment.
When attempting to sunder an object, the weapon being used to sunder is important. As a general rule, wooden weapons cannot be used to sunder. Ordinary metal weapons can be used to sunder, but must make an item saving throw themselves to avoid destruction; masterwork weapons receive a +2 bonus. Enchanted weapons never break when sundering. Furthermore, the weapon's plus rating is applied as a penalty to the sundered item's saving throw.
Finally, it should be noted that a warrior who has learned to sunder can do this outside of combat. Although likely to ruin your weapons unless they are enchanted, sundering can be used to deal damage to objects such as iron bars or a stone pillar. The attack is automatically successful on inanimate objects; the object must then make a saving throw vs. crushing blow or take normal damage from the attack. For a guideline on the hit point values of common items, see Table 28 of the DMG.
Wall of Steel
A warrior with this skill is capable of weaving a net of steel, preventing any attack that comes their way. This is similar to whirlwind attack (see below), but is defensive rather than offensive. In order to use this ability, they must declare that they are doing so. They will only be able to take one attack in that round, no matter how many they would normally receive per round. No other actions may be taken that round.
If the warrior is attacked during the round they are weaving the wall of steel, they may attempt a Block/Parry maneuver. If they successfully parry, they may also try to parry a second attack at a -1 penalty to-hit, a third at a -2 penalty, and so on. When the fighter misses a parry or runs out of attacks to block, the wall of steel ends and they must make a saving throw vs. death. If they fail, they become fatigued (-1 penalty to all dice rolls) for the duration of the battle, and may not attempt to perform another wall of steel (or whirlwind attack).
With this ability, a warrior can make use of his trusty shield to guard him against dangerous effects, especially those that are usually difficult to evade. While wielding and protected by their shield, the warrior gains a +1 bonus to any saving throw against a single-target, direct spell - such as Disintegrate or Lightning Bolt. Furthermore, spells that normally deal half damage on a successful save instead deal minimum damage - i.e. a 10d6 lightning bolt would deal 10 damage. If, after rolling, half damage would be lower than minimum damage, they deal no damage at all.
There is a downside to this, of course - minimising the damage of a spell or breath weapon in this way causes the blocked attack to count as a direct attack on the warrior's shield. Shields not made of fire-resistant materials are likely to be destroyed by dragonfire, and wooden shields will almost certainly be sundered by lightning.
A warrior with this skill is capable of launching a massive blow that can be extended into a whirlwind physical attack that damages every enemy within reach. This ability must be declared beforehand; only one attack will be taken in that round, no matter how many attacks the warrior would normally receive per round. No other actions may be taken that round.
If the warrior successfully hits their opponent, they may immediately take a series of attacks on each enemy within 5 feet. These attacks are made with a cumulative -1 penalty to-hit - so the first extra attack is made at a -1, the second at a -2, and so on. When the fighter either misses an attack or runs out of enemies to hit, the whirlwind attack ends and they must make a saving throw vs. death. If they fail, they become fatigued (-1 penalty to all dice rolls) for the duration of the battle, and may not attempt to perform another whirlwind attack (or wall of steel).