Specialist PC Class

Michael O. Varhola

Following is the Specialist, a new core character class that suitable for the d20 and Pathfinder RPG systems that Skirmisher Publishing introduced in its best-selling d20/OGL sourcebook Experts. As compelling as the Expert is, it is clearly intended as an NPC class and has trouble competing with more traditional classes in an adventuring setting. That motivated the developers at Skirmisher to create an "adventuring Expert" that was balanced with other PC classes and allowed for creation of a tremendous range of colorful skill- and ability-based characters.   

Specialists are craftsmen, entertainers, professionals, scholars, and tradesmen who have combined their vocations with an inclination toward adventure. The skilled Blacksmith who tries out his newest creations in the field, the astute Barrister who undertakes investigations on behalf of his clients, the canny Merchant who assumes the risk of leading trade caravans, the educated Sage who seeks forgotten knowledge in equally forgotten ruins, and the master Shipwright who personally delivers vessels to customers in faraway ports are all examples of Specialists.

The primary purpose of this class is to allow players to create Expert-like characters that are viable as adventurers. It can also be used by Game Masters who wish to include in their campaigns exceptional non-player character “adventuring Experts.”

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d6.

Class Skills
A Specialist may choose any 10 skills as class skills. 
Skill Points at 1st Level: (8 + Int modifier) x4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 8 + Int modifier.
Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Specialist.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Specialist is proficient with all Simple weapons and Light armor.
Bonus Feats: At 1st level, a Specialist receives a bonus feat. He gains an additional bonus feat at 2nd level and every two Specialist levels thereafter (i.e., 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 16th, 18th, and 20th). These bonus feats must be drawn from the following (new feats described in Experts are marked with an asterisk): Acrobatic, Agile, Alertness, Alternate Key Ability*, Animal Affinity, Armor Proficiency (Heavy), Armor Proficiency (Medium), Athletic, Creative Efficiency*, Creative Touch*, Cross-Class Proficiency*, Deceitful, Deft Hands, Diligent, Eclectic Mentality*, Endurance, Famine Survivor*, Great Fortitude, Intellectual Synergy*, Investigator, Iron Will, Keen Intellect*, Knowledge Correlation*, Leadership, Lightning Reflexes, Magical Aptitude, Negotiator, Nimble Fingers, Paranoid*, Persuasive, Run, Renaissance Man*, Self-Sufficient, Sensory Awareness*, Shield Proficiency, Skill Focus, Stealthy, Toughness, Track, True Faith*, and Windfall*. 

If a Specialist opts to advance in one of the specialized Expert types described in this book, he must take any mandatory class skills associated with it (shown under “Class Skills” in italics). If desired, however, he may substitute any one other class skill for any other skill of his choice.

A Specialist advancing as one of the Expert types presented in this book must also expend his regular or Specialist bonus feats to acquire any level-based class features associated with a particular type. A Specialist who wishes to advance as an Alchemist, for example, must expend feats at 1st, 3rd, 7th, and 11th level in order to gain the Distil Elixir, Brew Potion, Create Homonculus, and Transmute Base Metal class features, respectively.

If a Specialist does not have a feat available to spend upon reaching a level when a class ability is gained, he cannot gain it until such a time as he acquires a new feat. He can, however, allocate an available feat to a class ability one level prior to receiving it, acquiring its benefits upon reaching the level with which it is associated. 

Class features for a particular Expert type are considered to be on the same “track,” and each must be taken in the order given before a higher level one can be taken (e.g., an Alchemist must take Create Homonculus before he can acquire Transmute Base Metal). In any case, Specialists must meet all of the prerequisites for a particular class ability in order to take it. 

Note that Specialist bonus feats are in addition to the feat that any starting character gets, the bonus feat accruing to a Human character, and the feats gained at every third level of experience.

Saving Throw Bonuses: At 1st level, a Specialist receives a +1 bonus on Fortitude saving throws. This bonus increase to +2 at 7th level and to +3 at 15th level. At 3rd level, a Specialist receives a +1 bonus on Reflex saving throws. This bonus increase to +2 at 11th level and to +3 at 19th level. Note that these saving throw bonuses are reflected on Table S-1: The Specialist.

New Skill: At 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th level, the Specialist may choose any additional skill as a class skill.

Note that Specialists can use the Starting Packages provided in Chapters 1-5 of Experts. Any that do so, however, need to increase base Skill Selection to 8 + Int modifier—rather than the 6+ Int modifier accorded to Experts — and select an appropriate Specialist bonus feat in addition to those listed.