"Any last words before I send you to your maker?"

The questing knight, the conquering overlord, the king's champion, the elite foot soldier, the hardened mercenary, and the bandit king—all are fighters. Fighters can be stalwart defenders of those in need, cruel marauders, or gutsy adventurers. Some are among the land's best souls, willing to face death for the greater good. Others are among the worst, those who have no qualms about killing for private gain, or even for sport. Fighters who are not actively adventuring may be soldiers, guards, bodyguards, champions, or criminal enforcers. An adventuring fighter might call himself a warrior, a mercenary, a thug, or simply an adventurer.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d10

Class Skills: (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Swim (Str).

Level BAB Fort Save Reflex Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Bonus Feat
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Bonus Feat, bravery
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Armor training
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Bonus Feat
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Weapon Training
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Bonus Feat
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Armor training
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Bonus Feat
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Weapon training
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Bonus Feat
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Armor training
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 Bonus Feat
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 Weapon training
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 Bonus Feat
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 Armor training
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 Bonus Feat
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Weapon training
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 Bonus Feat
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Armor Mastery
20th +20/15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Bonus Feat, Weapon Mastery

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the fighter.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A fighter is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with all armor (heavy, medium, and light) and shields (including tower shields).

Bonus Feats: At 1st level, a fighter gets a bonus combat-oriented feat in addition to the feat that any 1st-level character gets and the bonus feat granted to a human character. The fighter gains an additional bonus feat at 2nd level and every two fighter levels thereafter (4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 16th, 18th, and 20th). These bonus feats must be drawn from the feats noted as fighter bonus feats (Found here, although others exist: ). A fighter 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 feat that a character of any class gets from advancing levels. A fighter is not limited to the list of fighter bonus feats when choosing these feats.

Bravery (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a fighter gains a +1 bonus on Will saves against fear. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 2nd.

Armor Training (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a fighter learns to be more maneuverable while wearing armor. Whenever he is wearing armor, he reduces the armor check penalty by 1 (to a minimum of 0) and increases the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed by his armor by 1. Every four levels thereafter (7th, 11th, and 15th), these bonuses increase by +1 each time, to a maximum –4 reduction of the armor check penalty and a +4 increase of the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed.

In addition, a fighter can also move at his normal speed while wearing medium armor. At 7th level, a fighter can move at his normal speed while wearing heavy armor.

Weapon Training (Ex): Starting at 5th level, a fighter can select one group of weapons, as noted below. Whenever he attacks with a weapon from this group, he gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls.

Every four levels thereafter (9th, 13th, and 17th), a fighter becomes further trained in another group of weapons. He gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls when using a weapon from this group. In addition, the bonuses granted by previous weapon groups increase by +1 each. For example, when a fighter reaches 9th level, he receives a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with one weapon group and a +2 bonus on attack and damage rolls with the weapon group selected at 5th level. Bonuses granted from overlapping groups do not stack. Take the highest bonus granted for a weapon if it resides in two or more groups.

A fighter also adds this bonus to any combat maneuver checks made with weapons from this group. This bonus also applies to the fighter's rolls when defending against disarm and sunder attempts made against weapons from this group.

Weapon groups are defined as follows (GMs may add other weapons to these groups, or add entirely new groups):

  • Axes: battleaxe, dwarven waraxe, greataxe, handaxe, heavy pick, light pick, orc double axe, and throwing axe.
  • Blades, Heavy: bastard sword, elven curve blade, falchion, greatsword, longsword, scimitar, scythe, and two-bladed sword.
  • Blades, Light: dagger, kama, kukri, rapier, sickle, starknife, and short sword.
  • Bows: composite longbow, composite shortbow, longbow, and shortbow.
  • Close: gauntlet, heavy shield, light shield, punching dagger, sap, spiked armor, spiked gauntlet, spiked shield, and unarmed strike.
  • Crossbows: hand crossbow, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, heavy repeating crossbow, and light repeating crossbow.
  • Double: dire flail, dwarven urgrosh, gnome hooked hammer, orc double axe, quarterstaff, and two-bladed sword.
  • Flails: dire flail, flail, heavy flail, morningstar, nunchaku, spiked chain, and whip.
  • Hammers: club, greatclub, heavy mace, light hammer, light mace, and warhammer.
  • Monk: kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, siangham, and unarmed strike.
  • Natural: unarmed strike and all natural weapons, such as bite, claw, gore, tail, and wing.
  • Pole Arms: glaive, guisarme, halberd, and ranseur.
  • Spears: javelin, lance, longspear, shortspear, spear, and trident.
  • Thrown: blowgun, bolas, club, dagger, dart, halfling sling staff, javelin, light hammer, net, shortspear, shuriken, sling, spear, starknife, throwing axe, and trident.

Armor Mastery (Ex): At 19th level, a fighter gains Damage Reduction 5/— whenever he is wearing armor or using a shield.

Weapon Mastery (Ex): At 20th level, a fighter chooses one weapon, such as the longsword, greataxe, or longbow. Any attacks made with that weapon automatically confirm all critical threats and have their damage multiplier increased by 1 (×2 becomes ×3, for example). In addition, he cannot be disarmed while wielding a weapon of this type.

Hit-and-Run Tactics

The drow specialize in guerrilla warfare, picking off their foes with poisoned bolts and slipping away into the darkness. Each attack wears their opponents down, until their numbers are so reduced that the drow can sweep in and capture them. If you select the hit-and-run tactics class feature, you sacrifice some AC, but make up for the loss with improved reflexes and accuracy when attacking unsuspecting foes.

Level: 1st.
Replaces: By selecting the hit-and-run alternative class feature, you give up proficiency with medium, heavy armor, shields and tower shields, even if you already have those proficiencies from another class. You can’t gain either of these proficiencies by multiclassing later, but you can gain them by selecting the appropriate feats.
Benefit: At 1st level, you gain a +2 bonus on initiative checks. In addition, when attacking a flat-footed opponent within 30 feet, you can add your Dexterity bonus (if any) as a competence bonus on all ranged weapon damage rolls.


Rather than any particular group of set of beliefs, Zhentarim is the word used to denote a mindset of warrior. A combatant that focuses on the use of intimidation, and values the use of fear as just an effective tool of war as physical force is. Although there is a preconceived notion that Zhentarim are 'evil,' and it is likely that they would be found to be callous or mercenary, there is no hard and fast rule about who can become a Zhentarim even though many 'evil' warlords may use fear to inspire loyalty. Intimidation is just another weapon to a Zhentarim, it's how you use it that counts.

Famous Zhentarim often gain great notoriety in the realms for their use of fear tactics, but as with most things it tends to be the bad apples that gain the attention of the masses. Warlords and criminals mix intimidation with torture and other nefarious means to get their way, and so the general view of using fear tactics is less than friendly. Of course, it's just a tool, and being one tactic amongst many means that although some may throw around the word 'Zhentarim' it doesn't really mean anything beyond a description of its base parts.

Few truly follow the path of breaking men for whatever purpose it is that draws them to the call, but those that do would be unlikely to refer to themselves with the label. It is a title that is earnt and given, not one which a person claims. Just as a person cannot claim to be a champion, so must the mantle of 'breaker of men' be forged out of sweat and blood.

To take a Zhentarim substitution level, a character must be about to take his 3rd, 5th, or 9th level of fighter. The features listed below replace any features that the fighter might normally have gained at the levels that the substitution is taken for.

Class Skills:
A Zhentarim fighter has the same selection of class skills as a standard fighter does, plus Bluff and Diplomacy.

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Bonus feat
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Extended intimidation
9th +9 +6 +3 +3 Swift demoralization

Class Features:

Bonus Feat : A Zhentarim gains Skill Focus (Intimidation) as a bonus feat at 3rd level.

Extended Intimidation (Ex): A target successfully intimidated by a 5th-level Zhentarim Soldier suffers lasting effects. Instead of ending when the Zhentarim leaves, as is normal for the Intimidate skill, the intimidation effect lasts for 24 hours after his departure. Thereafter, the target’s attitude toward the Zhentarim shifts to unfriendly, but a lingering fear remains. Whenever the Zhentarim returns to someone he has previously intimidated, he gains a +4 bonus on his Intimidate check to re-establish the effect.

Swift Demoralization (Ex): A 9th-level Zhentarim can use the demoralize opponent aspect of the Intimidate skill as a swift action rather than as a standard action.