General Prestige Class : Acolyte of the Fist
by James Wyatt, Dragon #283
While some monks focus inward in a contemplative life of seeking enlightenment, members of the order of the fist focus outward. The central premise of the order's philosophy is "see what you want and take it." While that might seem selfish and greedy at first glance, that's because members of the order - who are called acolytes of the fist - do not focus on the "take," but on the "want." Members of the order believe that to want something that you cannot or should not have is insane, and to want something that could bring harm (in having it or taking it) to yourself or others is foolish. Thus, the order preaches the importance of goal getting - but in doing so carefully. When an acolyte of the fist sets a goal, he does not allow himself to be deterred from achieving it.
The order of the fist draws upon this single-minded resolve for its power. Members are able to channel their commitment and determination into their fists, granting them extraordinary and even supernatural powers.
Most acolytes of the fist are monks - usually those without leanings toward evil or good. Occasionally, a rogue or fighter joins their ranks. Any who can pass the required entry tests (and therefore achieve that goal) are welcome.
Acolytes of the fist rarely work together. They often practice and train in common monasteries, and they even live together in those spartanly appointed facilities, but their goals are individual and rarely coincide.
To qualify to become an Acolyte of the Fist, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Alignment: Any lawful
- Skills: Tumble 8 Ranks, Jump 8 Ranks
- Feats: Improved Unarmed Strike, Iron Will, Stunning Fist.
- Special: Once a character begins taking levels as an acolyte of the fist, he cannot go back to another class until he has gained all ten levels of the class. Once he does this, however, he can go back to his original class - even if that class was monk.
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the acolyte of the fist prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Acolytes of the fist are proficient with all simple weapons. They do not gain proficiency with armor or shields.
Unarmed Damage: Acolytes of the fist are able to make unarmed attacks as a monk, gaining a second attack when their base attack bonus is +3, a third when it is +6, and so on (see the monk class description in the Player's Handbook for more details). Further, at 4th and 8th level, the type of die used for damage increases by one step. Thus, a character who makes unarmed strikes and inflicts 1d6 damage begins to inflict 1d8 damage upon reaching 4th level.
Fast Movement (Ex): Acolytes of the fist are faster than normal. At 3rd level, as long as he wears no armor and carries only a light load, the speed of an acolyte of the fist increases by 10 feet. His speed increases by another 10 feet at 6th level, and again at 9th level. This bonus to speed is inherent and is not affected by character size.
Fist of Speed (Ex): Once per day for each level of order of the fist he has achieved, an acolyte of the fist is able to take an extra partial action on his turn. He may take this partial action either before or after his regular action.
Leap of the Clouds (Ex): At 2nd level, an acolyte of the fist's jumping distance (vertical or horizontal) is not limited according to his height. If he already has the leap of the clouds ability from another class, he gains a +5 competence bonus to Jump checks instead.
Fists of Iron (Su): At 2nd-level, an acolyte of the fist gains the Fists of Iron feat for free, regardless of whether or not he meets all of the prerequisites.
Ki Strike (Su): At 3rd level, an acolyte of the fist's unarmed attack is empowered with ki. The unarmed strike damage from such an attack can deal damage to a creature with damage reduction, such as a wight, as if the blow were made with a weapon with a +1 enhancement bonus. Ki strike improves as the acolyte of the fist gains experience, allowing his unarmed strike at 6th level to deal damage against creatures with damage reduction as if the blow were made with a weapon with a +2 enhancement bonus, and at 8th level to deal damage against creatures with damage reduction as if the blow were made with a weapon with a +3 enhancement bonus. If the character already has ki strike from a different class ability, the two bonuses stack.
Fist of Destruction (Ex): At 4th level, an acolyte of the fist gains the ability to destroy non-living objects with ease. When attacking an object, he subtracts his acolyte of the first class levels from the hardness of the object. Thus, if a 4th-level acolyte of the fist strikes an iron door (hardness 10), he treats that door as if it had hardness 6.
Fist of Mercy (Su): By focusing his a 5th-level acolyte of the fist can heal rather than harm with his strikes. Once per day for every two acolyte of the fist class levels he has, he can strike a foe (or himself) and heal the amount of damage he would normally inflict, using his Wisdom modifier instead of his Strength modifier to determine the amount of damage healed. Fists of Iron and magical enhancements that normally add to damage cannot be used to modify this amount.
Acolyte of the Fist: A 6th-level acolyte of the fist can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save (such as a red dragon's fiery breath or a fireball), he instead takes no damage. Evasion can only be used if the acolyte of the fist is wearing light armor or no armor.
If the character already has the evasion ability from another class feature, he gains improved evasion. He still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks such as a dragon's breath weapon or a fireball, but henceforth he only takes half damage on a failed save. If the acolyte of the fist already has improved evasion from another class feature, he gains no benefit from this ability.
Improved Critical (Ex): At 7th level, an acolyte of the fist gains the Improved Critical (unarmed strike) feat for free, regardless of whether or not he meets all of the prerequisites.
Fist of Fury (Su): Beginning at 7th-level, an acolyte of the fist can injure creatures normally immune to blunt weapons. At the start of each turn, he must choose whether his unarmed strikes will deal piercing, slashing, or bludgeoning damage.
Fist of Power (Su): Three times per day, a 9th-level acolyte of the fist can summon supernatural energy to add to one of his unarmed attacks. He can choose from one of the following three effects (declared before he makes his attack roll):
- Unconsciousness: The foe must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the acolyte of the fist's Wisdom modifier + class level) or fall unconscious for 1d10 rounds.
- Forceblast: The foe suffers an additional 2d6 points of force damage.
- Confusion: The foe must make a Will save (DC 10 + the acolyte of the fist's Charisma modifier + class level) or become confused (as per the spell) for 1d10 rounds.
Fist of Energy (Su): Upon command, a 10th-level acolyte of the fist can enshroud his fists with an energy type of his choosing (acid, cold, fire, electricity, or sonic). He must choose the energy type before his attack roll. His blows then deal +1d6 bonus damage from the chosen type of energy on a successful hit. The acolyte of the fist is immune to his own fist of energy.
|Acolyte of the Fist||Hit Die: d10|
|1||+0||+2||+2||+2||Fist of speed|
|2||+1||+3||+3||+3||Leap of the clouds, Fist of Iron|
|3||+2||+3||+3||+3||Ki strike (+1) +10 ft.|
|4||+3||+4||+4||+4||Fist of destruction +1 die type|
|5||+3||+4||+4||+4||Fist of mercy|
|6||+4||+5||+5||+5||Ki strike (+2), +10 ft., evasion/improved evasion|
|7||+5||+5||+5||+5||Fist of fury, Improved Critical (unarmed strike)|
|8||+6||+6||+6||+6||Ki strike (+3) +1 die type|
|9||+6||+6||+6||+6||Fist of power +10 ft.|
|10||+7||+7||+7||+7||Fist of energy|
Source: Dragon #283