General Prestige Class : Gladiator
Some are mere slaves, sent into a squalid pit to fight against insurmountable odds. Others are wealthy professionals with an entourage of managers, agents, and trainers. Rich or poor, all gladiators face death whenever they step into the arena.
Gladiators are trained warriors who fight in front of spectators in arenas large and small. Usually they face other gladiators in single combat, but larger arenas sometimes offer group battles. Some even feature man vs. monster matches, pitting one or more gladiators against a beast captured from the wilderness. The spectators cheer wildly for their favorite gladiators, and many bet vast sums on a combat's outcome. No one wagers more than the gladiator herself does, for often a match ends only when the loser dies.
Most gladiators were once fighters or barbarians, but rogues and monks sometimes find their way to the arena floor (much to the chagrin of their surprised opponents). In some rare cases, arenas feature "spellcaster duels" or pit a warrior against a wizard, making sure that the spellcaster's repertoire is suitably flashy and unlikely to harm the spectators. Becoming a gladiator is a simple matter, say the veterans of the pits. "Survive your first match, and you can call yourself a gladiator. Lot of good it will do you."
NPC gladiators usually ply their trade in caravans that travel from arena to arena, although some are employed as regulars in the vast coliseums of large cities. Sometimes more famous gladiators are hired to act as bodyguards for aristocrats, and veteran gladiators assess new prospects and train would-be gladiators for their first fights in the ring.
To qualify to become a Gladiator, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Skills: Perform or Intimidate 4 ranks. (Crowds respond best to the most attractive and most menacing combatants.)
- Feats: Must have at least two feats from the list of fighter bonus feats. You do not have to earn them as a fighter, but they must appear on that list.
- Base Attack Bonus: +5.
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
Improved Feint: The gladiator has learned sneaky tactics such as kicking dirt in a foe's face, pretending to be badly wounded, or forcing an opponent to stare into the sun. You can use the feinting in combat Bluff technique on page 64 of the Player's Handbook as a move-equivalent action.
Study Opponent: You are adept at spotting weaknesses in your foes' fighting styles. If you take a all-out defense action, you gain a dodge bonus to your AC against any opponent who attacks you in melee combat that round. The dodge bonus begins the round after that opponent attacks you and lasts for the duration of the fight.
Exhaust Opponent: As combat continues, you can tire out your foe. You must attack the same opponent for at least 3 consecutive rounds. After your third set of attacks, your opponent must make a Fortitude save to avoid taking 1d6 subdual damage from exhaustion. The DC for this save starts at 15 and increases by 1 for every round beyond the third you continue to attack the same foe. Many gladiators fight defensively while employing this attack. If you do not attack for one round, the count resets to zero.
Roar of the Crowd: You can appeal to spectators with flourishes, trash-talking, and fancy moves. As a move-equivalent action, make a Perform check (DC 15). If you succeed, you get a +1 morale bonus to attacks and damage for the duration of the fight. Spectators must be noncombatants, and there must be at least a half-dozen of them.
Improved Coup de Grace: You dispatch fallen foes quickly, or with great flair. You may use a melee weapon to deliver a coup de grace attack as a standard action. If you are being showy, you take a full-round action to deliver the coup de grace attack, but gain a +2 morale bonus to attack for the rest of the combat.
Poison Use: You are trained in the use of poison just as assassins are. (See poisons.)
Make Them Bleed: You are skilled at dealing wounds that cause extra blood loss. When you deal damage with a slashing weapon, the wound bleeds for one point of damage per round thereafter until a Heal check (DC 15) is made, any cure spell is applied, or 10 rounds minus the opponent's Constitution modifier elapse. Multiple wounds are cumulative, but creatures without discernible anatomies such as constructs, undead, and plants are immune to this effect.
The Crowd Goes Wild: With each blow you strike, the spectators cheer more loudly If you have already engaged the spectators with roar of the crowd, you gain a +2 morale bonus to damage on your first successful blow. This bonus increases by +2 for each successive consecutive blow that deals damage to your opponent. The bonus resets to +2 if you miss.
|Gladiator||Hit Die: d10|
|2nd||+2||+3||+0||+0||Study opponent +1|
|4th||+4||+4||+1||+1||Roar of the crowd|
|5th||+5||+4||+1||+1||Study opponent +2|
|6th||+6||+5||+2||+2||Improved coup de grace|
|8th||+8||+6||+2||+2||Study opponent +3|
|9th||+9||+6||+3||+3||Make them bleed|
|10th||+10||+7||+3||+3||The crowd goes wild|
Source: Sword and Fist