Age of Heroes
The Pankrationist, also referred to as Pankratiast. The first martial artists of the Ancient World. Pankration is the first Martial Art ever invented, and as such, grants an extraordinary advantage in hand to hand combat against those not trained in it’s forms. Invented by the Spartans as a way to continue fighting even if weapons and armor had been rendered useless, the art of Pankration is a very deadly weapon on the battle field as well as in the Olympic Arena.
In mythology it said that the heroes Heracles and Theseus invented pankration as a result of using both wrestling and boxing in their confrontations with opponents. Theseus was said to have utilized his extraordinary pankration skills to defeat the dreaded Minotaur in the Labyrinth. Heracles was said to have subdued the Nemean lion using pankration, and was often depicted in ancient artwork doing that. Pankration is an athletic event that combines techniques of both boxing (pygmē/pygmachia – πυγμή/πυγμαχία) and wrestling (palē – πάλη), as well as additional elements, such as the use of strikes with the lower extremities, to create a broad Martial Art very similar to today’s mixed martial arts competitions. Although knockouts were common, most pankration competitions were decided on the ground where both striking and submission techniques would freely come into play. Pankratiasts were highly skilled grapplers and were extremely effective in applying a variety of takedowns, chokes and joint locks. In extreme cases a pankration competition could even result in the death of one of the opponents, which was considered a win for the deceased due to their unwavering courage. As such, the goal was to force your opponent to submit without killing them.
Dioxippus was an Athenian who had won the Olympic Games in 336 BC, and was serving in Alexander the Great’s Macedonian army in its expedition into the Middle East and India. As an admired champion, he naturally became part of the circle of Alexander the Great and the conquering Macedonians. In that context, he accepted a challenge from one of Alexander’s most skilled soldiers named Coragus to fight in front of Alexander and the troops in armed combat. While Coragus fought with weapons and full armour, Dioxippus showed up armed only with a club and defeated Coragus without killing him, making use of his pankration skills.
In an odd turn of events, a pankration fighter named Arrhichion (Ἀρριχίων) of Phigalia won the pankration competition at the Olympic Games despite being dead. His opponent had locked him in a chokehold and Arrhichion, desperate to loosen it, broke his opponent’s toe (some records say his ankle). The opponent nearly passed out from pain and submitted. As the referee raised Arrhichion’s hand, it was discovered that he had died from the chokehold. His body was crowned with the olive wreath and taken back to Phigaleia as a hero.
Pankrationists excel at overcoming even the most daunting perils, striking where it’s least expected, and taking advantage of enemy vulnerabilities. Fleet of foot and skilled in combat, Pankrationists are extremely skilled and grappling their opponent into submission and taking advantage of their art to utilize joint locks, pins, throws, and other martial maneuvers.
Usually Zeus, Apollo, Ares, or Athena
Skill Points at 1st Level:
4 + Int x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level:
4 + Int
The class skills for the Pankrationist are:
- Acrobatics (Dex)
- Climb (Str)
- Craft (Int)
- Escape Artist (Dex)
- Knowledge (art) (Int)
- Knowledge (rel) (Int)
- Perform (Cha)
- Perception (Wis)
- Presence (Cha)
- Profession (Wis)
- Rhetoric (Cha)
- Stealth (Dex)
- Swim (Str)
Weapon and Armor Proficiency
The Pankrationist is proficient with all simple weapons and light armor, but not with shields.
As the Pankrationist masters his art he gains Andreia, or Manly Virtue. Damage caused by his unarmed strikes goes up to the amount indicated as he levels.
Flurry of Blows:
Starting at 1st level, a Pankrationist can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action. When doing so, he may make on additional attack, taking a -2 penalty on all of his attack rolls, as if using the Two-Weapon Fighting feat. For the purpose of these attacks, the Pankrationist’s base attack bonus from his Pankrationist class levels is equal to his Pankrationist level. For all other purposes, such as qualifying for a feat or a prestige class, the pankrationist uses his normal base attack bonus. At 8th level, the Pankrationist can make two additional attacks when he uses flurry of blows, as if using Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (even if the Pankrationist does not meet the prerequisites for the feat). A Pankrationist applies his full Strength bonus to his damage rolls for all successful attacks made with flurry of blows. A Pankrationist may substitute disarm, sunder, and trip combat maneuvers for unarmed attacks as part of a flurry of blows. A Pankrationist cannot use any weapon other than an unarmed strike. A Pankrationist with natural weapons cannot use such weapons as part of a flurry of blows, nor can he make natural attacks in addition to his flurry of blows attacks
You must declare that you are using this feat before you make your attack roll (thus, a failed attack roll ruins the attempt). Stunning Fist forces a foe damaged by your unarmed attack to make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 your character level + your Wis modifier), in addition to dealing damage normally. A defender who fails this saving throw is stunned for 1 round (until just before your next turn). A stunned character drops everything held, can’t take actions, loses any Dexterity bonus to defense, and takes a –2 penalty to defense. A pankrationist may attempt a stunning attack a number of times per day equal to his pankrationist level, plus one more time per day for every four levels he has in classes other than pankrationist. Stunning Fist can be used no more than once per round. Constructs, oozes, plants, undead, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to critical hits cannot be stunned.
At 1st level, a Pankrationist gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A Pankrationist’s attacks may be with fist, elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a Pankrationist may make unarmed strikes with his hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a Pankrationist striking unarmed. A Pankrationist may thus apply his full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all his unarmed strikes. Usually a Pankrationist’s unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but he can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on his attack roll. He has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling. A Pankrationist’s unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.
The Pankrationist learns to stay out of the way of trouble. As he is not a armed combatant by nature, he has to make sure that he can survive if combat should find him. He receives a bonus of the degree indicated to all Active Defense checks.
These feats must either be Combat or Formation feats as listed in their title. A Pankrationist must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including ability score and base attack bonus minimums. These bonus feats are in addition to the feats gained through character advancement. A Pankrationist is not limited to this list of bonus feats when choosing those feats.
If a Pankrationist makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a Pankrationist is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless Pankrationist does not gain the benefit of evasion.
You gain the benefits of the Improved Grapple Feat. You do not provoke an attack of opportunity when you make a touch attack to start a grapple. You also gain a +4 bonus on all grapple checks, regardless of whether you started the grapple.
You are skilled in the no-holds-barred style of unarmed combat that is Pankraton (“all-powerful”). Pankraton focuses on holds and joint locks as well as strikes. You gain a +2 bonus on all checks made to grapple a foe, as well as a +2 bonus whenever an opponent tries to grapple you. In addition, any time you successfully attack an opponent who is wearing light or no armor and no shield with your unarmed attack, you may immediately make a grapple attempt as a free action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. No initial touch attack is required.
At this point, the Pankratonist’s blows fall with remarkable force. When striking to inflict nonlethal damage, the Pankraton Master adds a bonus equal to half his class level to all damage inflicted with unarmed strikes and grapples. He may also apply half this bonus when inflicting lethal damage with his unarmed strikes and grapples. Further, the Pankration Master receives a +1 circumstance bonus to attack with unarmed attacks on any living creature of size large or smaller who is wearing medium or heavy armor.
As the Pankrationist levels, they further their mastery of the martial art. Below are forms that the Pankrationist unlocks at the level indicated. Only one may be used per round of combat.
- Heel Kick (1st level):
The Pankrationist may attempt a devastating Heel Kick. As a full round action, the Pankrationist may make a single heel kick at their full base attack bonus. The attack deals unarmed strike damage as normal, in addition, if the target is wearing anything other than heavy armor they must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 your character level + your Wis modifier) or be stunned for 1 round (until just before your next turn) and knocked back 5ft. If this attack hits an opponent’s armor or shield, the damage the armor or shield takes increases by 50%. This attack counts as one of your stunning fist attempts, and if the attack fails it uses one of your stunning fist attempts for the day.
- Shoulder Throw (2nd Level):
A Pankrationist must make a prepared action to use Shoulder Throw as part of an Active Defense check against an attack made from within 5ft. When you have prepared an action to use shoulder throw and an opponent attacks you, resolve an active defense check as normal. If you fail the check and the opponents attack is successful, you fail to use the form. If you successfully dodge the attack, you may immediately make a grapple attempt that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If successful, you throw your opponent to the ground. You and your opponent switch places, in addition your opponent takes your unarmed strike damage and is prone. An opponent who is hit by this attack must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 your character level + your Wis modifier). A defender who fails this saving throw is stunned for 1 round (until just before your next turn) in addition to the other effects. This attack counts as one of your stunning fist attempts, and if the grapple attempt fails it uses one of your stunning fist attempts for the day.
- Joint Pop (3rd level):
When the pankratiast is grappling an opponent, he may attempt a joint pop as an action in place of an attack. The pankratiast must make an opposed grapple check; success indicates that he deals damage as if choosing the “damage your opponent” option. In addition, the opponent must make a Fortitude save at a DC equal to the hit points of damage dealt, or take 1d4 points of temporary Dexterity damage. The pankratiast may attempt a joint pop maneuver a number of times per day equal to his levels in the pankratiast class. Failure to win the opposed grapple check ruins the attempt, and counts as one of the uses for the day.
- Bone Crack (4th level):
When the pankratiast is grappling an opponent, he may attempt a bone crack as an action in place of an attack. The pankratiast must make an opposed grapple check; success indicates that he deals damage as if choosing the “damage your opponent” option. In addition, the opponent must make a Fortitude save at a DC equal to the hit points of damage dealt, or take 1d4 points of temporary Constitution damage. The pankratiast may attempt a bone crack maneuver a number of times per day equal to his levels in the master pankratiast class. Failure to win the opposed grapple check ruins the attempt, and counts as one of the uses for the day.
- Tendon Rip (5th level):
When the pankratiast is grappling an opponent, he may attempt a tendon rip as an action in place of an attack. The pankratiast must make an opposed grapple check; success indicates that he deals damage as if choosing the “damage your opponent” option. In addition, the opponent must make a Fortitude save at a DC equal to the hit points of damage dealt, or take 1d4 points of temporary Strength damage from torn or strained muscles or tendons. The pankratiast may attempt a tendon rip maneuver a number of times per day equal to his levels in the pankratiast class. Failure to win the opposed grapple check ruins the attempt, and counts as one of the uses for the day.
- Power Lock (6th level):
At 6th level, a Pankrationist learns how to render an opponent unconcious with an amazing amount of pressure to the neck. A Power Lock may be used in plIf the character applies the Power Lock for 1 full round the opponent must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + Grappler’s class level + Strength Modifier) at the end of the round or fall unconscious for 1d3 rounds. A creature that has no discernable anatomy has immunity to this effect.
- Deflect Blow (7th level):
At 7th level, a Pankrationist learns how to deflect the successful melee attacks of his Martial Focus target, so that they deal no damage. This ability can be used only once per round, and takes the place of an Attack of Opportunity. To use this ability, the Pankrationist must have one hand free to deflect one-handed attacks, and both hands free to deflect two handed, and other more powerful attacks. Against unusually powerful attacks, such as a Dragon’s Tail Swipe, or a Minotaur’s Charge, a Strength check (DC = Damage Dealt) must be made to successfully deflect the attack.
- Pinned Furry (8th level):
The Pankrationist can hold a Pinned opponent, that they have targeted with Martial Focus, using their knees. This grants a Reflex Save (DC = 10 + Pankrationist’s Strength Modifier + 1/2 Pankrationist’s Class level) to the Pinned target to escape from the Pin. If the escape is unsuccessful, the Pankrationist Pins the target with their knees, leaving their hands free to attack their now prone target. Each turn beyond the first that the pin is held, the Reflex Save DC lessens by 2.
When grappling an opponent, the Pankrationist does not lose his dexterity bonus to Active Defense against opponents he is not grappling. However, if pinned, he loses his dexterity bonus as usual, in addition to the other penalties.
The Pankrationist may begin to master one of two different combat styles, Rush or Takedown. If he chooses to master the Rush combat style, he gains Improved Bullrush as a bonus feat. If he chooses to master the Takedown combat style, he gains Improved Trip as a bonus feat. These bonus feats can be learned even if the prerequisites are not fulfilled.
The Pankrationist has refined his body into a lethal weapon of combat. The base critical threat range for his unarmed attacks and grapples is increased to 19-20. This includes any damage caused by use of Pankration Forms (see above).
The Pankrationist is known throughout Hellas for his combat skills. He receives a +2 reputation bonus to all Presence checks used to influence someone who knows about him.
The Pankrationist learns to focus his attention on a single opponent, similar to a predator stalking it’s prey. Once per round, the user designates a target to focus on. This grants a +2 Dodge bonus to Active Defense against the target, but brings with it a -1 Active Defense penalty against all other enemies.
As the pankratiast advances in his art, he becomes capable of controlling an opponent’s movements by controlling only a single limb. The pankratiast may ignore up to one size category of his opponent’s size modifier during grapple checks. Thus, a Huge cyclops wrestling a pankratiast would be treated as Large, although only for purposes of grapple checks. Medium sized opponents are considered small for the purposes of grappling. If two characters who both have this ability engage in a grapple, they are both treated as their regular size as normal.
The Pankrationist learns how to quickly recover from a missed grapple. Once per round, whenever a Grapple attempt fails, he may attempt another Grapple attempt, albeit at a -4 penalty. If this Grapple attempt fails, the Pankrationist lands Prone on the ground.
The Pankrationist’s evasion ability improves. He still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth he takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless Pankrationist does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.
Being able to shrug off more punishment than most, the Pankrationist gains Physical Damage Reduction/1. This Damage reduction increases by /1 every level thereafter to a maximum of +4 at level 10.
Improved Combat Mastery:
The Pankrationist achieves greater mastery over their chosen combat style. If he further masters the Rush combat style, he gains Powerful Lunge. If a he chooses to master the Takedown combat style, he gains Lockdown.
- Powerful Lunge:
As a Full Round action, the Pankrationist may perform a Bullrush of a different technique. A Powerful Lunge is executed like a normal Bullrush, but the intention is different. The Powerful Lunge charges straight into the enemy, dealing an additional +1d8 points of damage, knocks the enemy back 5 feet, and initiates a Grapple with a +2 circumstance bonus, as the target is off balance. Standard procedures apply to the Bullrush attempt, pushback attempt, and Grapple attempt. If any check fails, the Powerful Lunge attempt ends immediately.
As a Full Round action, the Pankrationist may perform a Trip attempt of a different technique. A Lockdown is executed like a normal Trip, but the intention is different. A Lockdown trips the enemy, pushing them into the ground, dealing an additional +1d8 points of damage, and initiates a Grapple with a +2 circumstance bonus, as the target is nearly defenseless. Standard procedures apply to the Trip attempt, and Grapple attempt. If any check fails, the Lockdown attempt ends immediately.
The Pankrationist adds his level to all Acrobatics checks made to jump. In addition, he always counts as having a running start when making a jump.
The Pankrationist maintains their full movement speed while engaged in a grapple.
Greater Combat Mastery:
The Pankrationist achieves mastery over their chosen combat styles. If he further masters the Rush combat style, the Grappler gains Powerful Throw. If he further masters the Takedown combat style, the Grappler gains Death Lock.
- Powerful Throw:
As a Full Round action, the Pankrationist may perform a Grapple, in an attempt to throw an enemy to the ground. A Strength check is required for targets of an equal or larger size category(DC 15 for Medium, DC 25 for Large, DC 35 for Huge, DC 45 for Gargantuan, and DC 55 for Colossal) and the target must be within the his range (Powerful Throw Weight Range = Pankrationist’s Lift Off Ground +10 Lbs per Pankrationist class level). The Powerful Throw maneuver throws the target 5 feet in the chosen direction, dealing +1d12 points of impact damage upon landing. If thrown into an occupied square, the current occupant is dealt +1d4 points of impact damage, and knocked back into the nearest unoccupied square. Any thrown target lands Prone. A Powerful Throw may be performed as a standard action, if done after a successful Powerful Lunge.
- Death Lock:
As a Full Round action, the Pankrationist may perform a Grapple on a Prone target, in an attempt to apply severe pressure therby causing life-threatening damage. Each round the Death Lock is applied, the target must make a Strength check (DC 10 + Pankrationist’s Strength Modifier + Pankrationist’s Class Level) or suffer +1d8 points of damage, and lose their next action. Each round the Death Lock is applied beyond the first it deals an additional +2 points of damage, but the Save DC suffers a -4 penalty. A Death Lock may be performed as a standard action, if done after a successful Lockdown.
If the Pankrationist pins his opponent while grappling and maintains the pin for 3 consecutive rounds, the opponent must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the Pankrationist’s class level + the Pankrationist’s Wis modifier) at the end of the third round or die. A creature with no discernible anatomy is immune to the effect of this ability
The Pankrationist learns how to better recover from a missed grapple. Whenever using Quick Grapple, the penalty on the new Grapple attempt is removed. If this Grapple attempt fails, the user doesn’t fall Prone, instead the Pankrationist becomes Flat-Footed.
The Pankration master has achieved such a level of physical and martial perfection that he receives the blessings of the Gods in his actions. Once he achieves 10th level, the Pankration Master’s hands and body are now treated as a magical weapon with an enhancement bonus equal to the Pankration Master’s Charisma bonus (minimum of +1) this bonus is also added to any grapple checks the Pankration Master may make. The Pankration Master’s Charisma modifier (minimum +0) is used as a bonus to his active defense when he is wearing light or no armor. Lastly, the Pankration Master receives a +3 circumstance bonus to all presence checks (in addition to those gained from Glorious Fame)