The Smart Hero

Ability: Intelligence

Hit Die: 1d6

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 Skills: The Smart hero’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Computer Use (Int), Craft (chemical, electronic, mechanical, pharmaceutical, structural, visual art, writing) (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Demolitions (Int), Disable Device (Int), Forgery (Int), Investigate (Int), Knowledge (arcane lore, art, behavioral sciences, business, civics, current events, earth and life sciences, history, physical sciences, popular culture, streetwise, tactics, technology, theology and philosophy) (Int), Navigate (Int), Profession (Wis), Read/Write Language (none), Repair (Int), Research (Int), Search (Int), and Speak Language (none).

Also, the starting occupation the hero selects can provide additional class skills to choose from.

Skill Points at 1st Level: (9 + Int modifier) x4.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 9 + Int modifier.

Table: The Smart Hero
Class LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveClass FeaturesDefense BonusReputation Bonus
2nd+1+0+0+2Bonus feat+1+1
4th+2+1+1+2Bonus feat+1+2
6th+3+2+2+3Bonus feat+2+2
8th+4+2+2+4Bonus feat+3+3
10th+5+3+3+5Bonus feat+3+4

Starting Feats

In addition to the two feats all characters get at 1st level, a Smart hero begins play with the Simple Weapons Proficiency feat.

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 must be followed, while others provide a list to choose from. As long as the hero qualifies, he or she can select freely from any and all talent trees. No talent can be selected more than once unless expressly indicated.

Research Talent Tree

The Smart hero has a natural aptitude for study and fact-finding. These talents can be selected in any order.

Savant: Select one of the skills listed in the following paragraph. The hero must have ranks in the skill if it is Trained Only. The Smart hero gets to add a bonus equal to his or her Smart level when making checks with that skill. A Smart hero can take this talent multiple times; each time it applies to a different skill.

Computer Use, 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, that he or she does not know the Smart hero can make an Intelligence check to determine if he or she 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, but this ability in no way simulates actually being able to converse or fluently read and write in a given language.

A single check covers roughly one minute of a spoken language or one page of a written language.

Prerequisite: At least 1 rank in either Read/Write Language or Speak Language for each of three different languages.

Strategy Talent Tree

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

Exploit Weakness: After 1 round of combat, the Smart hero can designate one opponent and try to find ways to gain an advantage by using brains over brawn. The Smart hero uses a move action and makes an Intelligence check (DC 15) with a bonus equal to his or her Smart level. If the check succeeds, for the rest of the combat the Smart hero uses his or her Intelligence bonus instead of either Strength or Dexterity bonus on attack rolls as the hero finds ways to outthink his opponent and notices weaknesses in his opponent’s fighting style.

Prerequisite: One talent from the Research Talent Tree.

Plan: Prior to an encounter the Smart hero can develop a plan of action to handle the situation. Using this talent requires preparation; a Smart hero can’t use this talent when surprised or otherwise unprepared for a particular situation. Creating a plan requires 1 minute.

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

Check ResultBonus
9 or lower+0 (check failed)
25 or higher+3

This bonus can be applied to all skill checks and attack rolls made by the Smart hero and his or her allies, but the bonus only lasts for the first 3 rounds after making the plan. 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: The Smart hero has the ability to temporarily confuse a target through the use of ploy and deception. The target must have an Intelligence score of 3 or higher to be susceptible to a trick, must be within 30 feet of the hero, and must be able to hear and understand the hero.

To play a trick on a target, the hero must use a full-round action and make an Intelligence check (DC 15), adding his or her Smart level as a bonus. If the Intelligence check succeeds, the target can 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) for 1 round.

A trick can only be played 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. This is a mind-affecting ability.

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. This feat must be selected from the following list, and the Smart hero must meet any prerequisites.

Builder, Cautious, Combat Expertise, Educated, Gearhead, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Meticulous, Studious, Vehicle Expert, Weapon Focus.

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