Prestige Classes


Halflings have dwelt within the Northern Marches since well before the area's first histories were recorded. Once they were like other halflings - short and stout, always ready with a jest or a jack of ale, and as happy to see a stranger as a friend. They had occasional problems with orc raiders and hobgoblin slavers, but they fought hard when the need was upon them, and they never faced a foe that they could not eventually turn back.

Then humanity came to the North in the form of the militant Thonian Empire. Where the hobgoblins had been few, the Thonian legions were many, and where the orcs had been chaotic and disorganized, the soldiers of Thonia were rigid, disciplined strategists. The halflings had seen no incursion like this one before, and they were ill-prepared to stand up to it. They fell swiftly, and their land soon became just another subject province of the empire.

It was then, according to the legends, that the little folk first began developing the weaponless combat style known as omatu. Barred by the law of the empire from carrying substantial weaponry, and heavily overmatched in strength by their oppressors, the haflings focused on their key advantages: swiftness and mobility. Cloaked as an intricate dance, omatu was a surprisingly deadly system of combat techniques that combined unarmed attacks with weaponry improvised from available tools.

As it happened, the halflings had only limited use for omatu for many years. Then came the Afridhi hordes, and once again the halflings' way of fife was seriously threatened. Some halflings chose to remain behind in their ancestral home of Booh, but one enormous clan moved north to the nearby peaks. These balflings named themselves the Docrae, a halfling term that translates roughly as "warrior-born," to reflect their willingness to fight for the land they had claimed. The militant Docrae made their new homes in sheltered villages and in the easily defensible caves nearby. They live there to this day, always on guard against Afridhi incursions, humanoid raiders, and even human soldiers - anything that might threaten their security.

Now almost unknown in other lands, the art of omatu has developed and thrived here. The omatu masters of the Docrae stand as the last unbreachalde bastion of their community's defenses. Any who would harm the halflings must overcome these short yet determined sentinels, and the peaks of Booh are littered with the bones of those who thought that task would be easy.

The Docrae are smaller and weaker than the humanoids who would oppress them. These warrior halflings have nonetheless found ways to ensure the safety of their community. By combining their natural speed with unexpected movements and the principles of leverage, the Docrae have developed and perfected the art of omatu, a remarkably effective style of martial arts unlike any practiced by humans.

Most Docrae learn the basics of omatu from childhood. The art is taught in schools, and its most basic movements are ingrained in the children through traditional dances that involve acrobatics as well as rhythmic footwork. Only later the young halfings learn that each and every movement, stance, and shift of the traditional dance has a greater and more dangerous application.

The majority of Docrae never advance beyond this basic knowledge. Those who show promise and a willingness to fight for their clans, however, might be invited to join a revered elite: the omatu masters, whose expertise with the art is unrivaled. More than just martial artists, these highly skilled warriors are the heart and soul of the Docrae community. Because everyone knows that they consider their people's safety first, omatu masters are consulted on all matters of import. Furthermore, they constitute the community's final line of defense should a foe win past the lookouts and enter the clan's holdings. All omatu masters have sworn to lay down their lives to protect their brethren, and they take this oath very seriously.

Most omatu masters were once fighters or monks, since the necessary martial skills come easily to characters of those classes. Rangers are less common, but they make up a significant minority of omatu masters. Few other characters find it worthwhile to pursue the path of omatu mastery because it draws so much focus away from their other abilities.

Hit Die: d8.


To qualify to become an omatu master, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Race: Halfling.

Base Attack Bonus: +4.

Skills: Perform (dance) 2 ranks.

Feats: Improved Trip, Improved Unarmed Strike, Skill Focus (Tumble), Stunning Fist.

Special: The candidate must have fought at least one battle against a Medium or larger opponent using only unarmed strikes. Furthermore, she must take a solemn oath to protect the Docrae community, even unto death.

Class Skills

The omatu master's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: The Omatu Master

Level Base
1st +0 +2 +2 +2 Assisted trip, Mobility, monk abilities, ki strike (magic)
2nd +1 +3 +3 +3 Master of chains
3rd +2 +3 +3 +3 Shoulder throw, ki strike (silver)
4th +3 +4 +4 +4 Leverage expert
5th +3 +4 +4 +4 Evasion
6th +4 +5 +5 +5 Acrobatic strike
7th +5 +5 +5 +5 Ki strike (cold iron)
8th +6 +6 +6 +6 Determined defense
9th +6 +6 +6 +6 Acrobatic dodge
10th +7 +7 +7 +7 Nerve strike
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the omatu master prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Omatu masters are proficient with club, dagger, dart, handaxe, javelin, kama, light flail, light hammer, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, siangham, and sling. Omatu masters are not proficient ith any armor or shields.

Assisted Trip (Ex): A 1st-level omatu master learns how to use leverage to take down her foes. When making a trip attack against an opponent of her size or up to two size categories larger, she may use either her Dexterity modifier or her Strength modifier, whichever is better, for the required check. She also gains a +4 competence bonus on the check.

Mobility (Ex): At 1st level, an omatu master gains Mobility as a bonus feat if she did not already have it. She need not meet the prerequisites for this feat. If she already has Mobility or gains it later, the dodge bonus to AC that it grants her against attacks of opportunity increases to +6.

Monk Abilities: An omatu master has the flurry of blows ability, unarmed damage, AC bonus, and unarmored speed bonus of a monk whose level is equal to her omatu master level. If she also has monk levels, her levels in the two classes stack for the purpose of determining these abilities.

Ki Strike (Su): At 1st level, an omatu master's unarmed attacks are empowered with ki similar to that wielded by monks. Her unarmed attacks are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction. Ki strike improves with the character's omatu master levels. At 3rd level, her unarmed attacks are also treated as silver, and at 7th level, they are also treated as cold iron.

Master of Chains (Ex): At 2nd level, an omatu master gains Exotic Weapon Proficiency (spiked chain) as a bonus feat if she did not already have it. If she already has proficiency with the spiked chain, she gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with all chains.

Shoulder Throw (Ex): If a 3rd-level or higher omatu master has readied an unarmed strike against an opponent's charge or makes an attack of opportunity against a foe attempting to bull rush her, she may attempt a shoulder throw as her attack. To use this ability, she must make a successful melee touch attack, then make a successful Tumble check opposed by her foe's Tumble or Dexterity check. Because of the omatu master's momentum, great size is not an advantage in this situation. The omatu master and her opponent gain a bonus or take a penalty on this check based on size category, as follows: Colossal -16, Gargantuan -12, Huge -8, Large -4, Medium +0, Small +4, Tiny +8, Diminutive +12, Fine +16. A quadruped defender gains an additional +4 bonus on this check. An omatu master may not throw a creature more than two size categories larger than herself.

If the omatu master succeeds on the Tumbte check, she pivots and tosses the foe over her shoulder. The opponent takes damage as though struck by the omatu master's unarmed strike and lands prone in the square behind (based on the direction of the charge or bull rush) and adjacent to her. If that space is not open or cannot otherwise accommodate the opponent, the opponent lands prone in the adjacent square in front of the omatu master. If either the touch attack or the Tumble check fails, the shoulder throw attack also fails, and the foe may complete the intended attack against the omatu master as normal.

Leverage Expert (Ex): At 4th level, an omatu master gains a +4 bonus on disarm checks, grapple checks, and Escape Artist checks to escape a grapple.

Evasion (Ex): At 5th level, an omatu master gains the evasion special quality if she does not already have it. If she does have evasion, she gains improved evasion instead. If the omatu master already has improved evasion, she gains no further benefit. Both abilities function exactly like the monk abilities of the same names.

Acrobatic Strike (Ex): At 6th level, the omatu master learns to tumble around her foes and even leap off walls to strike from an unexpected direction. As a standard action, she may feint in combat (as described in the Bluff skill description) but substitute a Tumble check for the normal Bluff check. If the omatu master's Tumble check succeeds, and she chooses to use a stunning attack as her next attack, the opponent takes a -4 penalty on the Fortitude save.

Determined Defense (Ex): Twice per day, an 8th-level or higher omatu master can invoke this ability to gain a +2 bonus to Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution. She also gains the benefit of the Diehard feat, even if she does not meet the prerequisites for it. If she already has the Diehard feat, she gains no further benefit.

These effects last for a number of rounds equal to the omatu master's Wisdom bonus (minimum 1). The additional hit points she gains for her increased Constitution disappear when the effect ends. Thus, many omatu masters succeed in saving their countrymen only to fall unconscious or die immediately afterward.

Acrobatic Dodge (Ex): Beginning at 9th level, the omatu master may avoid attacks that would otherwise strike her. Once per round, if an opponent at least one size category larger than the omatu master successfully strikes her she may attempt a Tumble check with a DC equal to her opponent's attack roll. If the check succeeds, she has successfully avoided that attack. Declare the use of this ability after a successful hit but before damage is rolled or the result of any touch effect is determined. Using this ability puts the omatu master in a poor position for continuing the fight. If she attacks during that round or the round after using her acrobatic dodge ability, she takes a -6 penalty on her attack rolls. The omatu master cannot use acrobatic dodge when denied her Dexterity bonus to Armor Class, nor can she use it to dodge an attack that hit with a natural 20.

Nerve Strike (Ex): At 10th level, the omatu master may attempt to kill an opponent with a single, well-placed unarmed strike. Like a rogue making a sneak attack, the omatu master must be able to see well enough to pick out and reach a vital spot. Creatures that are not subject to critical hits are immune to this attack. She must declare that she is using this ability for a particular attack before making the attack roll. If the attack misses, the use of nerve strike is wasted for the day. If her attack deals damage to the foe, the subject must immediately make a successful Fortitude save (DC 10 + omatu master's class level + omatu master's Wisdom modifier) or die. Even on a successful save, the target still takes normal damage from the attack. This ability is usable once per day.