Al-Qadim Prestige Class : Corsair

Those new to AL-QADIM often mistake corsairs for common pirates, but nothing could be farther from the truth. The corsairs of AL-QADIM are adventurers, traders, thieves, messengers, and explorers - and more than a few are pirates as well. Corsairs are freebooters who uphold honesty, honor, and bravery while plying their trades at sea.

The peoples of AL-QADIM and the surrounding lands hail the corsairs for their daring and ruthless efficiency, as well as their gallantry and hospitality. Their trademark, however, is their swordplay. Many master swordsmen come from the ranks of the corsairs of the Great Gulf and the Corsair Domains, where the use of twin scimitars is common.

Most corsairs were previously fighters or rangers, although the occasional bard finds the swashbuckling life to his liking. Bards who don't focus on their spellcasting ability occasionally become corsairs, but all other spellcasters avoid the class.

NPC corsairs can be found on the high seas or in nearly any port city. They sometimes join forces with adventurers who have goals in common with theirs.


To qualify to become a Corsair, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:

Class Skills

The corsair's class skills are Balance, Bluff, Climb, Craft, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Jump, Move Silently, Profession, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, Swim, Tumble, and Use Rope.

Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the corsair prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Corsairs gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Skill Bonus: A corsair receives an insight bonus on all Profession (sailor), Swim, and Use Rope checks equal to his corsair level.

Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level, a corsair gains the evasion special ability. If he has evasion already, he gains improved evasion instead. Both abilities function exactly like the rogue abilities

World Traveler: Corsairs travel the world's seas and visit countless ports of call. As a result, they pick up bits of useful lingo from everyone they meet. At 3rd level, a corsair learns Aquan and one other language he doesn't already know as if he had put ranks into the Speak Language skill. If the corsair already knows how to speak Aquan, he still gains the other language.

At 7th level, the corsair learns two new languages as if he had put ranks in the Speak Language skill.

Combat Expertise: At 4th level, a corsair gains the Combat Expertise feat as a bonus feat, even if he doesn't meet its requirements.

Swells Rider (Ex): Beginning at 5th level, the corsair is so attuned with the way a ship moves that he may confidently move around aboard a ship, even during adverse conditions. When making a Balance, Climb, or Jump skill check while aboard a ship, the corsair may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent him from doing so.

Intrepid Move (Ex): Part weapon mastery, part daring, and part dirty fighting, this ability grants a 6th-level corsair a +1 competence bonus that he can apply to either offense or defense during combat. The corsair decides at the beginning of his turn during each round of combat whether he adds the bonus to his Armor Class or to his attack rolls, and he can change its allocation from round to round at will (he may only change its allocation once per round and only on his turn). For example, during the first round of combat, a 6th-level corsair may add a +1 competence bonus to his AC, and the next round, he may choose to have a +1 competence bonus on his attack roll instead.

Balanced Blades (Ex): Because of the dangerous life he leads, a corsair is well versed in using weapons with either hand. By 8th level, he may treat any one-handed weapon for which he has the Weapon Focus feat as a light weapon. The corsair cannot use this ability while wearing medium or heavy armor.

Roiling Sea (Ex): As they gain experience upon the high seas, corsairs begin to learn from the rhythm of the waves. Beginning at 9th level, they are able to emulate the subtle power of the seas, using leverage to deal additional damage. A corsair wielding a light weapon may use his Dexterity modifier to determine bonus damage, instead of Strength. A weapon wielded in an off-hand still gains only half the ability score modifier as a bonus to damage.

Corsair Retreat (Ex): Corsairs are notorious for their pursuit of vengeance. At 10th level, whenever a foe makes an attack of opportunity against the corsair for moving out of or through a threatened square and misses, the corsair may immediately make an attack of opportunity against his attacker. The corsair's attack of opportunity counts against the number of such attacks the corsair may make in a round. If he has Combat Reflexes, he may make multiple such counterattacks, but only one per opportunity.

CorsairHit Die: d8
1st+1+0+2+0Skill bonus
3rd+3+1+3+1World traveler
4th+4+1+4+1Combat Expertise
5th+5+1+4+1Swells rider
6th+6+2+5+2Intrepid move
7th+7+2+5+2World traveler
8th+8+2+6+2Balanced blades
9th+9+3+6+3Roiling sea
10th+10+3+7+3Corsair retreat

Source: Dragon #321

General Prestige Classes