General Prestige Class : Master Siege Engineer

by Andy Collins, Dragon #295

As long as there is war, the master siege engineer will have a place in society. In small battles, the master siege engineer operates a ballista himself, but in larger struggles, he commands several teams of siege weapon operators.

Most master siege engineers are drawn from the ranks of fighters, experts, or warriors. Occasionally, a paladin or cleric dedicated to a god of war might train as a master siege engineer, but such characters are rare. Barbarians, monks, and rangers find the life of a master siege engineer unappealing, and few spellcasters are interested in its rewards.

Master siege engineers generally receive their training from military academies and often find employment with military forces. Those who leave formal service often become mercenaries, hiring themselves out to the highest bidder.


To qualify to become a Master Siege Engineer, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:

Class Skills

The master siege engineer's class skills are Climb, Craft, Disable Device, Handle Animal, Jump, Knowledge (architecture and engineering), Profession, Spot, Swim, and Use Rope.

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the master siege engineer prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A master siege engineer gains no weapon or armor proficiency.

Siege Accuracy (Ex): As a result of his specialized training, a master siege engineer is highly accurate when firing siege weapons. When firing a siege weapon such as a catapult, a master siege engineer makes a Profession (siege engineer) check (DC 20) as normal. Success, however, indicates that the master siege engineer consults the Deviation Diagram (6 feet to 10 feet)

At 4th level, the master siege engineer's skills are so finely tuned that he rarely misses his target when firing a siege weapon and uses the Deviation Diagram (1 feet to 5 feet) after making a successful Profession (siege engineer) check.

Increased Range (Ex): When operating a siege weapon, the master siege engineer may add 10% to the weapon's range increment. This has no effect on the weapon's minimum range (such as for catapults).

Siege Weapon Specialization (Ex): At 2nd level, a master siege engineer selects a specific siege engine (such as a heavy catapult, light catapult, ballista, or ram). Whenever the master siege engineer operates that type of siege weapon, he adds an additional 1d6 to the damage it inflicts.

Siege Guidance (Ex): At 3rd level, the master siege engineer can spend a standard action to guide nearby siege teams. This grants a +2 morale bonus to all Profession (siege engineer) checks made by any allied siege weapon operators within 100 feet (and within sight) of the master siege engineer. This is a language-dependent ability.

Command Siege (Ex): At 5th level, the master siege engineer can oversee other troops conducting a siege. By spending a standard action, he can extend his siege accuracy to a number of siege weapon teams equal to his master siege engineer class level plus his Charisma bonus. Siege weapon teams are groups of characters who are responsible for operating and firing a siege weapon. All commanded siege weapon teams must be within 120 feet (and within sight) of the master siege engineer for this ability to have an effect. This is a language-dependent ability. ~

Master Siege EngineerHit Die: d10
1st+1+2+0+0Siege accuracy, increased range
2nd+2+3+0+0Siege weapon specialization
3rd+3+3+1+1Siege guidance
4th+4+4+1+1Siege accuracy (improved)
5th+5+4+1+1Command siege

Source: Dragon #295

General Prestige Classes