General Prestige Class : Exemplar

An exemplar is someone who believes that most individuals and creatures possess a wellspring of untapped talent and capability, and that the multiverse would be a better place if only they would all try to live up to their potential. To her mind, the best way to encourage this behavior in others is to exemplify it herself. An exemplar focuses her energy on improving the skills she possesses until she is able to perform them with fluidity, grace, and art. She believes that even the simplest action (such as climbing a tree or building a chair) can be done with such skill and flair as to inspire awe and stimulate a desire for self-betterment. No matter what area a particular exemplar excels in, be it walking a tightrope, deciphering forgotten languages, or remembering the names of every archfiend in the Abyss, she performs it with passion and joy.

Bards are the characters most likely to become exemplars, but wizards, rogues, rangers, and druids sometimes choose this path as well. All of these classes have a fair number of people who believe that their actions can be viewed as art, and like most artists they want to inspire others with their abilities. Clerics, paladins, and monks also choose this prestige class on rare occasions, but their dedication to promoting a philosophy or a higher power sometimes conflicts with the exemplar's belief that the best way to inspire others is simply to be a good role model.

NPC exemplars often are eccentric characters who travel the multiverse, stopping anywhere that catches their interest. Some might be nobles or members of rich merchant families who use their reputations to open doors at the courts of powerful and influential individuals, hoping that their example will help their hosts become wiser rulers. Other exemplars are mendicants or wandering sages, traveling among the common folk in the hopes of inspiring the people to improve their lots in life. The great majority of exemplars are just ordinary characters making livings as bakers, blacksmiths, merchants or even adventurers. No matter what their jobs, though, at their hearts they are all educators, hoping to improve the multiverse by setting a good example.

Adaptation: The easiest way to customize the exemplar prestige class is to choose one skill that several exemplars specialize in and describe them as a separate class or organization. The exemplars of the Spot skill, for example, might become the Watchers of Ordoanai, a group of mercenary scouts and bodyguards. The exemplars of the Tumble skill could be described as the Blue Circle Acrobats, a troupe of performers who work secretly as assassins and use their performance as a front.


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

Class Skills

All skills are class skills for an exemplar.

Skill Points at Each Level: 8 + Int modifier.

Class Features

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

Skill Artistry (Ex): An exemplar is particularly talented in the use of one of her skills. Choose one skill in which the exemplar has at least 13 ranks. She gains a 4 competence bonus on all checks involving that skill.

At 4th, 7th, and 10th levels, an exemplar gains this ability again. Each time she selects a different skill to receive the +4 competence bonus, provided she has at least 13 ranks in a skill that she has not yet chosen to benefit from this ability. If not, she gains no benefit from the ability until she has 13 ranks in another skill. She can then immediately apply the benefit of skill artistry to that skill.

Skill Mastery (Ex): An exemplar is so confident in the use of certain skills that she can use them reliably even under adverse conditions. She selects a number of skills equal to 1 + her Int modifier. When making a check with one of these skills, she can take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so. Each time an exemplar gains a class level, she can add another skill to the list of skills with which she has mastery.

Lend Talent (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, an exemplar can lend some of her skill artistry to allies, allowing them to exceed their normal talents. By accepting a penalty on checks using a skill for which she has selected skill artistry, an exemplar grants a competence bonus on checks with that skill to all allies within 30 feet. The penalty can be any number that does not exceed the exemplar's class level, and the competence bonus is equal to one-half the penalty Activating this ability is a full-round action, and the effect lasts for as long as the exemplar remains conscious and within range.

For example, a 4th-level exemplar who has selected skill artistry with Craft (armor-smithing) can accept a -4 penalty on Craft (armor-smithing) checks to grant all allies within 30 feet a +2 competence bonus on Craft (armor-smithing) checks for as long as she remains nearby

At 8th level, the competence bonus granted by this ability becomes equal to the penalty accepted by the exemplar.

Bonus Feat: At 3rd, 6th, and 9th levels, an exemplar gains a bonus feat, which must be selected from the following list: Acrobatic, Agile, Alertness, Animal Affinity, Athletic, Blind-Fight, Combat Casting, Combat Expertise, Deceitful, Deft Hands, Diligent, Improved Initiative, Improved Swimming, Investigator, Magical Aptitude, Negotiator, Nimble Fingers, Open Minded, Persuasive, Self-Sufficient, Skill Focus, Stealthy, Track, or Versatile Performer. The exemplar must meet all the prerequisites for the chosen feat.

Sustaining Presence (Su): Starting at 4th level, an exemplar knows how to call upon her force of personality to help keep herself alive in tense or dangerous situations. She adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to her Concentration checks and Fortitude saves.

Persuasive Performance (Ex): Starting at 5th level, an exemplar can use her skill artistry to improve the attitudes of NPCs. To do this, the NPCs must observe her using one of the skills to which she has applied skill artistry. Treat this as a Diplomacy check made to influence NPC altitudes, but replace the Diplomacy check with a check using the chosen skill.

The demonstration must be nonthreatening and intended to entertain and amuse the onlookers. Viewers must be within 30 feet of the exemplar, must be able to see her clearly, and must willingly pay attention to her actions. This ability requires at least 1 minute to perform, and it can affect a particular creature only once every 24 hours.

Intellectual Agility (Su): Starting at 8th level, an exemplar can channel her intellect to more physical needs. She adds her Intelligence bonus (if any) to her initiative checks and Reflex saves.

Perfect Self: A 10th-level exemplar has tuned her body with skill to the point that she becomes a magical creature. Her type changes to outsider (native). See the monk class feature.

ExemplarHit Die: d6
1st+0+0+0+2Skill artistry, skill mastery
2nd+1+0+0+3Lend talent (one-half penalty)
3rd+2+1+1+3Bonus feat
4th+3+1+1+4Skill artistry, sustaining presence
5th+3+1+1+4Persuasive performance
6th+4+2+2+5Bonus feat
7th+5+2+2+5Skill artistry
8th+6+2+2+6Intellectual agility, lend talent (equal to penalty)
9th+6+3+3+6Bonus feat
10th+7+3+3+7Perfect self, skill artistry

Source: Complete Adventurer

General Prestige Classes