All warriors understand the need for focus and commitment in combat, but none more so than the Dedicate. These highly skilled combatants hone their mental discipline to gain an edge over those opponents who concentrate solely on weapons drills or physical conditioning.
Wisdom is important for a Dedicate, for mental discipline and strength of will play an important part in her combat technique. All the physical ability scores are also important, but especially Dexterity, which allows her to avoid being hit, since she has a relatively low hit point total.
A Dedicate relies on mental discipline and the sudden and focused application of force. She learns to outmaneuver her opponents and strike them where they are weakest in order to achieve her objectives as quickly as possible. A Dedicate gains access to her choice of any two of the Agility, Athletics, and Mysticism skill groups; this choice must be made at her first Dedicate class level and may not subsequently be changed. She may purchase skills from other groups as normal.
A Dedicate needs a high Concentration skill in order to best use her powerful mental focus. Agility and Athletics give her the ability to move wherever she needs to on the battlefield.
Leveling the Class
Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Intelligence modifier) × 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Intelligence modifier
Hit Die: 1d4+4 + Constitution
A Dedicate’s preference for outmaneuvering her opponents lends itself to Defense feats. Her training in self-hypnosis and other forms of mental discipline often includes an introduction to unusual forms of knowledge, granting her some access to Lore feats. Finally, all Dedicates are highly trained warriors, and may choose advanced mastery of either Finesse or Power feats (one or the other, not both).
The Dedicate’s class abilities revolve around her formidable powers of self-discipline and the near superhuman focus she brings to every task she undertakes. A Dedicate never approaches a task with anything less than total commitment. This level of dedication doesn’t override her tactical senses; she still recognizes that sometimes the best way to achieve her goals is to fall back and come at a task from a new direction, but her whole-hearted commitment to her task certainly does give her a significant edge against many opponents.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dedicates are proficient with all simple weapons and with all
martial melee weapons. They are proficient with light armor, medium armor, and shields, but
not tower shields. Dedicates favor hand-to-hand combat over ranged attacks, but have a grounding in a broad variety of weapons. Their fast-moving combat style is not well-suited to the use of heavy, bulky forms of armor.
Dedication Pool: Dedicates spend years studying and honing their abilities in pursuit of martial excellence. This immense effort endows them with uncommon powers of mental focus and dedication, which they can apply to any task they encounter. Any other character’s focus might falter from time to time, causing them to miss an opening in their enemies’ defense or to expose an opening in their own, but not so with the dedicate: her focus never wavers, and every advantage is pursued to its fullest.
As a Dedicate, you gain access to a dedication token pool. Your extreme mental discipline is the first way you earn these tokens. At the start of an encounter, you automatically gain a number of dedication tokens based on your level (see table, below). These tokens represent your unwavering focus and dedication, which allow you to exploit any momentary lapse by your enemies.
|Dedicate Level||Starting Tokens|
You use dedication tokens to power your dedication abilities, as described below. If a dedication ability has a target other than yourself, you may use your tokens against any opponent. At the end of the encounter, you lose any remaining tokens. Your pool of unspent dedication tokens cannot exceed 10 + your Dedicate level.
Dedicated Focus: In addition to earning tokens as described above, you may earn them by consciously calming your mind and focusing on the task at hand. To do so, you make a Concentration check as a free, move, standard, or full-round action. Your check gains modifiers based on how long you spend on it.
|Action Spent||Concentration Modifier|
You gain a number of dedication tokens based on the result of your Concentration check, as shown on the table below. As with dedication tokens gained from other sources, you can spend tokens earned through this ability against any opponent.
|Concentration Check||Dedicate Tokens Gained|
|Check less than 15||0|
Dedication Ability: Dedication abilities are special combat options available only to Dedicates, who may spend tokens to activate these abilities in battle. They represent the advantages the Dedicate gains because of her exceptional focus and drive.
A dedication ability must be active in order for you to spend tokens upon it. You may have only one dedication ability active at any one time. At the beginning of your first action during any encounter, you may choose a dedication ability as a free action. In subsequent rounds, you may change your active dedication ability as a swift action during your turn. You may make only one such change per round. You cannot make this change while still resolving another action. For example, you could change your dedication ability before making any attacks from a full attack action, or after all the attacks of that action were resolved, but you could not change your dedication ability between two attacks within the full attack.
You can spend tokens on two different dedication abilities in one turn, if you have the opportunity to do so. For example, you might spend 2 tokens on focused speed to allow you to reach an opponent as a move action, then use a swift action to change your dedication ability to insightful blow before making your attack roll. Unless otherwise stated in an ability, you can
only spend tokens on your dedication abilities during your own turn. Spending the tokens is a free action.
Every time you gain a dedication ability (at 1st, 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th levels), select a new ability from those listed below.
Combat Dedication: Your disciplined and focused mind allows you to recognize your enemies’ ploys and overcome them. Whenever an opponent uses an ability against you that you can oppose with a base attack check, you may spend 2 dedication tokens as a reaction in order to use a Concentration check in place of that base attack check. Remember that this ability must be active in order for you to spend tokens on it. You must decide whether or not to spend these tokens before making the check. This benefit lasts for only one check.
Composure: Your strength of concentration means you can work effectively even under the greatest pressure. Spend 2 dedication tokens and choose a skill. You may take 10 on all checks with this skill, even if threatened or distracted, until the beginning of your next turn.
Dedicated Attack: Your ability to dedicate yourself completely to your current task gives you an advantage whenever you focus solely on attacking your enemies. When you make a full attack action, you can spend 2 dedication tokens to gain an additional attack against your opponent at your highest base attack bonus. This additional attack and all others you attempt until your next turn suffer a –4 penalty. The additional attack and penalties of this ability stack with all other feats and class abilities that provide similar benefits, such as Two-Weapon Fighting or Razor Fiend.
Dedicated Blow: Just as you can focus your mind on a single objective or purpose, you can also focus your physical strength. Each dedication token you spend grants you a +2 bonus to your damage roll for one attack. You must choose whether or not to spend these tokens before making the attack roll. The number of tokens you can spend on one dedicated blow cannot exceed your Dedicate class level.
Dedicated Defense: You focus all your attention on avoiding the blows of your enemy. You may activate this ability as a reaction to an enemy’s attacks, but remember that this ability must be active in order for you to use it. For every 2 dedication tokens you spend, you gain a +1 active bonus to Defense against that opponent’s attacks until the beginning of your next turn. You can spend tokens on multiple enemies if you wish. You gain benefits against each enemy based on the number of tokens you spend against them.
Dedicated Speed: Your single-minded pursuit of a material goal allows you to reach it with exceptional speed. You can spend dedication tokens to increase your movement. Each token you spend grants you +5-foot bonus to your base speed, on foot only, until the beginning of your next turn. You can increase your base speed up to a limit of double its normal value.
Feat of Dedication: Your dedication to your task allows you to achieve feats that would normally exceed your capabilities. If you spend 4 dedication tokens, you may choose one Defense, Finesse, or Power feat for which you meet the prerequisites, but which you do not currently possess. You gain the benefits of the chosen feat until the beginning of your next turn. Remember that in order to get any expanded mastery feat, you must have the base mastery feat.
You can use this ability as often as you have tokens to do so, but you can gain the benefits of only one feat at a time. For example, you could spend 4 tokens to get Sudden Strike, allowing you to Quick Draw your weapon as a free action, then spend 4 more tokens to get the benefits of Improved Disarm (note that you would lose the +1 attack and damage bonus provided by Sudden Strike, for you would no longer have this feat once you choose a new one), make your attacks for the round, and then spend 4 tokens to gain Deflect Missiles to protect you from a nearby archer.
If you gain tokens from your chosen feat of dedication, then use this ability again to select another feat, you lose the tokens, unless you possess another feat that provides access to the same token pool. You also lose such tokens at the beginning of your next turn, unless you immediately spend 4 tokens to continue using the same feat, or you possess another feat that provides access to the same token pool.
Tireless Dedication: You can use force of will to overcome the effects of mental and physical shock or fatigue, spending dedication tokens to suppress the effects of certain conditions. The number of tokens required depends on the condition to be suppressed:
The condition remains suppressed until the beginning of your next turn.
Insightful Blow: Your keenly focused mind allows you to exploit any weakness in your opponent’s defense, no matter how small. Each dedication token you spend grants you a +1 bonus to your attack roll for one attack. You must choose whether or not to spend these tokens before making the attack roll. Your attack bonus from insightful blow cannot exceed your Dedicate class level.
To the Bitter End: Your focus on the task at hand keeps you on your feet when all others would fall. If your hit points are below 0, you may spend 1 dedication token to remain conscious. (You may spend this token as a reaction, but remember that this ability must be active in order for you to use it.) You are treated as staggered, rather than dying or at death’s door, until the end of your next turn. At the end of that turn, you may spend another token to remain conscious if you wish. If you do not spend a token, you immediately fall unconscious. You must still make Fortitude saving throws for being at death’s door as normal, even if you are using this ability to remain conscious. You make these saving throws at the end of your turn each round.
Dedicated Skill: A Dedicate’s powers of concentration make her capable of great feats of skill. Each time you gain this ability, choose one skill. If you spend 1 full round concentrating before attempting a check with this skill, you gain a +4 bonus on the skill check.
You may also spend dedication tokens to improve skill checks with this skill. Each token grants you a +2 bonus for one check only. You must announce how many tokens you are spending before you make the check. You can spend as many tokens as you wish on a single check, up to the number currently in your pool. You do not have to concentrate for one round before spending these tokens. The bonuses from concentrating and from spending tokens stack.
Dedicated skill is not one of your dedication abilities. You can spend tokens to gain your dedicated skill bonus at any time, regardless of what dedication ability you currently have active.
Iron Will: A Dedicate’s mental discipline grants her Iron Will as a bonus feat at 3rd level. This feat is in addition to the feats normally gained at every even level.
Mind over Matter: A Dedicate’s disciplined mind is not easily distracted. At 5th, 11th, and 17th levels, you gain your Wisdom bonus, if any, as a bonus to all Concentration checks. These bonuses stack.
Defiant Dedication: Not even abject terror can make you flee from your chosen task. From 7th level onwards, you ignore any result that would leave you frightened or panicked. You are considered to be shaken instead. The duration of the effect is not changed.
The Twofold Path: At 13th level, the Dedicate learns how to balance two competing needs. As a free action at the beginning of your first turn during any encounter, you may choose two dedication abilities to be active, rather than just one. In subsequent rounds, you may change one of your active dedication abilities as a swift action during your turn. You still may make only one such change per round.
Strength in Adversity: Seemingly hopeless odds simply make you more determined to succeed. Starting at 15th level, if you have been successfully attacked since your last turn, you gain a +2 morale bonus to attack and damage rolls until the end of your next turn. You are considered to have been successfully attacked if any spell, ability, or blow caused you at least 1 point of damage, or if you were the unwilling target of any effect for which you failed your saving throw.
Greater Dedication Ability: As Dedicates become more experienced, they develop ever more sophisticated applications of their dedication abilities. Each time you gain this class ability (at 9th and 19th levels) you may choose one of the following abilities. To choose a greater dedication ability, you must already have the standard dedication ability to which it corresponds. For example, to choose greater insightful blow, you must possess the insightful blow ability. Except as noted in their descriptions below, each greater dedication ability functions exactly like the corresponding dedication ability.
Greater Combat Dedication: When you activate your combat dedication ability, the effects last until the beginning of your next turn, rather than for only the next check you make.
Great Composure: When you activate your composure ability, you do not need to choose a specific skill. You can take 10 on any skill check you make before the beginning of your next action.
Greater Dedicated Attack: You no longer suffer a –4 penalty to your attacks when using your dedicated attack ability.
Greater Dedicated Blow: You may choose whether or not to spend tokens on your dedicated blow ability after resolving your attack roll. The number of tokens you can spend on this ability still cannot exceed your Dedicate class level.
Greater Dedicated Defense: If you activate your dedicated defense ability against an enemy during your own turn, rather than as a reaction to his attacking you, each token you spend grants you a +1 active bonus to Defense against that opponent’s attacks until the beginning of your next turn. You can still spend tokens as a reaction if you wish, at the normal rate of 2 tokens per +1 bonus.
Greater Dedicated Speed: Each token you spend grants you a +10-foot bonus to your base speed, instead of +5-foot. The maximum bonus you can attain remains unchanged.
Greater Feat of Dedication: You may choose any feat for which you meet the prerequisites when you use your feat of dedication ability, not just Defense, Finesse, or Power feats.
Greater Insightful Blow: When you use your insightful blow ability, each token you spend grants you a +2 bonus to your attack roll for one attack.
Greater Tireless Dedication: When you spend tokens to suppress a condition’s effects, the condition remains suppressed for the remainder of the encounter.
To the Greater End: If you are at death’s door and fail your Fortitude save against dying, you may spend 2 tokens to re-roll the save. You may make as many re-rolls as you have tokens to pay for. You can spend tokens on this ability only if you are conscious.
PLAYING A DEDICATE
Dedicates can appear in almost any culture. Their defining trait is their combination of both physical training and mental discipline. Followers of real-world tenets such as the Japanese code of bushido, with its emphasis on discipline, honor, and virtue, could readily become Dedicates. Dervishes, zealots, and other holy warriors (even that fantasy role-playing staple, the paladin) are also a good fit for the Dedicate’s focus and abilities.
The place of Dedicates in a society can vary widely according to the culture and the individual. As noted previously, many dedicates have a lifelong goal or firmly held belief system that motivates them in their constant physical and mental training. Society’s perception of the Dedicate’s goals, methods, or beliefs often play a major part in how well the Dedicate herself is accepted. Motivations that might inspire a Dedicate include altruism, hatred, justice, love, power, pride, religion, revenge, shame, and wealth, but this is by no means an exhaustive list.
Although Dedicates gain their abilities due to mental discipline and intense dedication to their task, they should not be thought of as humorless or emotionless people. In fact, emotion may be a key part of what drives them. A Dedicate’s mental intensity could be driven by fury and rage as much as any Berserker: however, where a Berserker’s fury is a raging bonfire, that of the Dedicate is the controlled, intensely hot flame of a cutting torch.
Aggressively collecting and spending dedication tokens is a key part of successful Dedicate strategy. At lower levels, the Dedicate is well-advised to use a move action to gather tokens in any round where she does not need to move more than 5 ft. to make an attack. If she must move and attack or take full attacks, she should still be sure to use a free action to gather tokens every round.
Spending tokens is just as important as gathering them. Having a dozen tokens won’t do you any good if you’re knocked out of the fight before you can use them. You should be gathering tokens every time it’s your turn in any case, and replenishing your pool won’t take long. Particularly at low levels, you should be as aggressive as possible in spending tokens. You should rarely if ever finish your turn with unspent tokens, unless you have an active dedication ability that you can use as a reaction.
Appropriately enough, it’s generally wise for Dedicates to be focused when selecting their feats. Many of the Defense feats are not that strong at their base mastery, but can become very effective as you start to get expanded masteries. You’re better off pursuing fewer different masteries pursued to higher levels than taking a wider number of base masteries.