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Smart Hero

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 4 months ago

Smart Hero

Sometimes the best way to win a fight or overcome a challenge is by using one’s wits rather than brute force. The Smart hero chooses to live that way all of the time, preferring to use his superior intellect to build an authoritative reputation, defeat adversaries, and make a mark on the world.

That’s not to say that a Smart hero won’t sling a rifle over his shoulder without knowing how to use it. But most of the time, he would rather it stay cleanly oiled in his holster, using it only when his education, power of reason and clever plans don’t figure—for instance, you just can’t reason with a mountain lion springing from the rock ledge above you.

Smart heroes take many forms, and they gain their mental prowess by different means. Some might be bookish types from fancy universities, getting their smarts from formal education and passing it on to others by living as a teacher or advisor. Others might be born geniuses and inventors, applying their incredible powers of deduction in industry or a government run laboratory. Still others might be plain folks that have learned through experience, like the clever lawman who gets inside the heads of the outlaws to solve crimes, entrap the guilty or hunt down a runaway. Yet another might be a high-ranking military officer (perhaps retired) known for resourceful battlefield tactics and strategy.

Smart heroes are often travelers because they crave new intellectual challenges. Adventure beckons even those who tend toward a sedentary lifestyle. A character that chooses a level in Smart hero can benefit in many ways, no matter what their profession—knowing how to figure out a puzzle or gathering the knowledge needed to accomplish a goal comes in handy even if your only ambition in life is to find that elusive lost diamond mine.

Smart Hero Composition

Ability: As someone’s pappy once said, it’s hard to be smart if you don’t have some Intelligence. A Smart hero needs an impressive score in this ability to build a reputation as a great thinker. And, as someone else’s pappy once said, being smart won’t stop a bullet that’s aiming for your melon, so Smart heroes will often back up their intellect with a respectable Dexterity or Wisdom.

To wit: if you can’t think your way out of a gunfight, maybe you should dodge your way out of it, or have the sense to stay clear of it in the first place. Additionally, a high Charisma or Constitution may aid the Smart hero in dealing with potential clients and partners, or enduring the long hours of planning the latest rescue or caper without eating or sleeping.

Hit Die: 1d4+2

Action Points: Smart heroes gain a number of action points equal to 5 + one-half their character level, rounded down, at 1st level and every time they attain a new level in this class.

Class Skill Groups: The Smart hero’s class skill groups are Academic, Builder, Business, Computer, Crafter, Destruction, Educated, Investigator, Linguist, Searcher, Technician.

Skill Points: 11 + Intelligence modifier

Starting Feats: Smart heroes gain the feats Armor Proficiency (light), Simple Weapons Proficiency, Combat Expertise and one of the following: Builder, Cautious, Educated, Endurance, Gearhead or Meticulous. For starting feats and starting feats only, a character does not have to meet any ability score prerequisites of the feat. Characters that multi-classes into Smart hero do not gain these feats.

LevelBase Attack BonusSpecialDefense
1st +0 Talent +0
2nd +1 Bonus Feat +1
3rd +1 Talent +1
4th +2 Bonus Feat +2
5th +2 Talent +2
6th +3 Bonus Feat +3
7th +3 Talent +3
8th +4 Bonus Feat +4
9th +4 Talent +4
10th +5 Bonus Feat +5

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the Smart hero.


At 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th level, the Smart hero selects a talent from the following talent trees. Some trees have a set order that the hero must follow, while others provide a list from which to choose. As long as the hero qualifies, he can select freely from any of the Smart talent trees. The hero may not select a talent more than once unless expressly indicated in the talent description.

Research Talent Tree

The Smart hero has a natural aptitude for study and fact-finding. The hero can select these talents in any order.

Savant: Select one of the skills listed in the following paragraph. The Smart hero receives a bonus equal to his Smart level when making checks with that skill. A Smart hero may select this talent multiple times; each time it applies to a different skill.

Craft (any single skill), Decipher Script, Demolitions, Disable Device, Forgery, Investigate, Knowledge (any single skill), Navigate, Repair, Research, Search.

Linguist: With this talent, the Smart hero becomes a master linguist. Whenever the hero encounters a new language, either spoken or written, he can make an Intelligence check to determine if he can understand it. The check is made with a bonus equal to the hero’s Smart level. For a written language, the bonus applies to a Decipher Script check instead.

The DC for the check depends on the situation: DC 15 if the language is in the same group as a language the hero has as a Read/Write Language or Speak Language skill; DC 20 if the language is unrelated to any other languages the hero knows; and DC 25 if the language is ancient or unique. With this special ability, a Smart hero can glean enough meaning from a conversation or document to ascertain the basic message. However, this ability does not allow a Smart hero to fluently converse or read and write in a language in which he has not invested a skill rank.

Prerequisite: A rank in either Read/Write Language or Speak Language for each of three different languages.

Well Informed: The Smart Hero is exceptionally well informed. When encountering an individual, group, or organization for the first time, he can make an immediate Intelligence check as a reaction to see if he has heard something about the subject. This takes the place of a normal Knowledge check (if any), though the difficulty for information is 5 for well known groups and individuals to 25 for secretive cabals. The Smart hero gains a bonus on this check equal to his Smart hero level. He receives only one check per subject, although the game master may allow another upon encountering the subject again after significant time has passed.

Prerequisite: Four ranks in Knowledge (current events) and at least three ranks in three other Knowledge skills.

Strategy Talent Tree

The Smart hero has the brainpower to see solutions in most situations. The hero can select these talents in any order. However, before the hero can select a talent from this tree, he must have previously selected at least one talent from the Research Talent Tree.

Exploit Weakness: After 1 round of combat, the Smart hero can try to find ways to gain an advantage by using brains over brawn.

The Smart hero uses a move action to make an Intelligence check (DC 15) with a bonus equal to his Smart level. If the check succeeds, in addition to his Strength or Dexterity bonus, the Smart hero uses his Intelligence bonus on attack rolls for the rest of the combat. The Smart hero can always find a way to outthink opponents and notice weaknesses in their fighting style.

Prerequisite: One talent from the Research Talent Tree

Create Weakness: After 1 round of combat, the Smart hero can try to find ways to gain an advantage by using brains and brawn.

The Smart hero uses a move action to make an Intelligence check (DC 15) with a bonus equal to his Smart level. If the check succeeds then the Smart hero adds his Intelligence bonus to all damage rolls for the rest of the combat. The Smart hero can always find a way to outthink opponents and notice weaknesses in their fighting style.

Note that the check to activate Exploit Weakness is seperate from the check to activate Create Weakness. Both can be activated in the same round but doing so requires two move actions.

Prerequisite: One talent from the Research Talent Tree, Exploit Weakness

Plan: Prior to a dramatic situation, either combat- or skill-related, the Smart hero can develop a plan of action. Using this talent requires preparation; a Smart hero cannot use this talent when surprised or otherwise unprepared for a particular situation.

The Smart hero makes an Intelligence check (DC 10) with a bonus equal to his Smart level. The result of the check provides the Smart hero and allies with a circumstance bonus. A Smart hero cannot take 10 or 20 when making this check.

Check Result Bonus
9 or lower +0 (check failed)
10–14 +1
15–24 +2
25-29 +3
30-34 +4
35 or higher +5

This bonus can be applied to all skill checks and attack rolls made by the Smart hero and his allies, but the bonus only lasts for the first 3 rounds. After that time, reduce the bonus by 1 point (to a minimum of +0) for every additional round the situation continues, as the vagaries of circumstance begin to unravel even the best laid plans.

Prerequisite: One talent from the Research Talent Tree.

Trick: Using ploy and deception, a Smart hero can cause a target to become temporarily confused. To be susceptible to a trick, the target must have an Intelligence score of 3 or higher, be within 30 feet of the hero, and be able to hear and understand the hero.

To play a trick on a target, the hero uses a full-round action to make an Intelligence check (DC 15), adding his

Smart level as a bonus. If the Intelligence check succeeds, the target can still try to think quickly and ignore the trick.

The target resists the trick by making a Will saving throw (DC 10 + Smart hero’s class level + Smart hero’s Int bonus). If the saving throw fails, the target becomes dazed (unable to act, but can defend normally) until he suceeds at the save.

A Smart hero can only play a trick on a particular target once per encounter. After the first trick in an encounter, whether the attempt succeeds or not, that target becomes wary and immune to such ploys.

Prerequisite: One talent from the Research Talent Tree.

Bonus Feats

At 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th level, the Smart hero gains a bonus feat. The hero must select the feat from the following list, and some feats may not be eligible for selection until the hero meets certain prerequisites.

Builder, Cautious, Combat Expertise, Educated, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Indian Lore, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Mechanical, Meticulous, Studious, Trail Lore, Vehicle Proficiency, Weapon Focus.


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