Certain hand-to-hand combatants have a heritage of magic coursing through their veins, but are unable to control it. However, those that can control it commonly do so by way of a sorcerous rhythm, keeping in time with every thump of their heart and every surge of adrenaline. The sole purpose of the heartbeat assailant is to strike her enemies with mystic energies and battle in cadence to the beat of her own drum. (Original Concept by Lindley Court)
Primary Class: Brawler.
Secondary Class: Sorcerer.
Hit Dice: d8.
Bonus Skills and Ranks: The heartbeat assailant may select three sorcerer skills to add to her class skills in addition to the normal brawler class skills. The heartbeat assailant gains a number of ranks at each level equal to 4 + Int modifier.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The heartbeat assailant is proficient with all simple weapons plus the handaxe, short sword, and weapons from the close fighter weapon groups. She is also proficient with light armor, but not with shields.
Spellcasting: A heartbeat assailant casts arcane spells drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. Only sorcerer spells of 6th level and lower are considered to be part of the heartbeat assailant spell list. She can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a heartbeat assailant must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class (DC) for a saving throw against a heartbeat assailant’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the heartbeat assailant’s Charisma modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a heartbeat assailant can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: heartbeat assailant. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Charisma score.
The heartbeat assailant’s selection of spells is extremely limited. A heartbeat assailant begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of the heartbeat assailant’s choice. At each new heartbeat assailant level, she gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Heartbeat assailant Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a heartbeat assailant knows is not affected by her Charisma score.
Upon reaching 5th level, and at every third heartbeat assailant level after that (8th, 11th, and so on), a heartbeat assailant can choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows. In effect, the heartbeat assailant “loses” the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least one level lower than the highest-level heartbeat assailant spell the heartbeat assailant can cast. A heartbeat assailant may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that she gains new spells known for the level.
A heartbeat assailant need not prepare her spells in advance. She can cast any spell she knows at any time, assuming she has not yet used up her allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level. This ability and cantrips replace bonus feats.
Bloodline (Su): At 1st level, a heartbeat assailant awakens the magic flowing through her veins. She gains the sorcerer’s bloodline ability and may select a bloodline normally granted to the sorcerer. Once chosen, it cannot be changed. She gains her bloodline arcana and adds her bloodline skills to her list of class skills.
Starting at 3rd level, through the stress of combat, a heartbeat assailant begins to manifest her chosen bloodline more prominently and gains her first bloodline power. At 7th level, and again at 14th and 19th level, she gains each subsequent bloodline power, up to her fourth bloodline power.
At 6th level, a heartbeat assailant gains bonus feat. Every six levels thereafter (12th and 18th), she gains another bonus feat. These feats must be chosen from her bloodline feats. This ability replacesmartial flexibility and maneuver training.
Cantrips: A heartbeat assailant learns a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, as noted on Table: Heartbeat Assailant Spells Known under “Spells Known.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they do not consume any slots and may be used again.
Pulsing Dissonance (Su): At 4th level, a heartbeat assailant can unleash a devastating unarmed attack that can instantly disrupt a target’s actions and deal bleed damage. She must announce this intent before making her attack roll. As a swift action, the hearbeat assailant can expend a one spell slot as part of the attack (a standard action). If the heartbeat assailant hits and the target takes damage from the blow, the target takes an amount of bleed damage equal to the level of the expended spell for 1d4+1 rounds. Creatures immune to critical hits or bleed damage are immune to this ability. At 10th level, whenever the heartbeat assailant makes a successful pulsing dissonance attack, the target is also staggered. At 16th level, the duration of the bleed damage and staggered condition increases by a number of rounds equal to the heartbeat assailant’s Charisma modifier. This ability replaces knockout.
Table: Heartbeat Assailant
Table: Heartbeat Assailant Spells Known