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Pilot

Pilots are born to the fly. Thinking in more 3-dimensional terms than the rest of us, intuitively attuned to navigation, and possessing preternatural reflexes, they are especially suited to adventures in space and sky. But being a Pilot is more than just where you’re from or where you belong. Pilots are hotshots behind the stick or in the cockpit of a vessel. They live for the thrill of the open sky.

They thrive at high velocity because they have a burning desire for the chill of twisting, naked danger.

Pilots come from all walks of life. Some are merchants or colonists, native to non-terrestrial environments. Others are military brats or second generation pirates. A few are lowlife criminals with just enough scratch to put together a smuggling freighter.

Space is full of unusual beings with strange backgrounds, a small few of whom have what it takes to dominate the skies.

The Pilot is based largely on the sorcerer class but uses Dexterity to accomplish gambits. The Pilot twists these gambits to suit the moment, using their own unique combination of rote maneuvers and intuitive improvisation.

Class Features

As a Pilot, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d6 per Pilot level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 6 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d6 (or 4) + your Constitution modifier per Pilot level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: Light
Weapons: Knives, noble swords, pistols, vehicle weapons
Tools: Repair tools, flying vehicles (both air and space)
Saving Throws: Constitution, Dexterity
Skills: Choose two from Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Persuasion, Science, and Stealth

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a pistol or (b) any simple weapon
  • a flightsuit
  • a starting vehicle appropriate to your setting (GM’s choice)
  • (a) a criminal’s pack, (b) a military pack, or (c) a spacer’s pack
  • Repair tools
Table: The Pilot
Level Proficiency Bonus Maneuver Points Features Tricks Known Gambits Known Gambit Slots per Gambit Level
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +2 Pulling Gambits, Pilot Archetype 4 2 2
2nd +2 2 Creative Flying 4 3 3
3rd +2 3 Maneuvering 4 4 4 2
4th +2 4 Ability Score Improvement 5 5 4 3
5th +3 5 5 6 4 3 2
6th +3 6 Pilot Archetype feature 5 7 4 3 3
7th +3 7 5 8 4 3 3 1
8th +3 8 Ability Score Improvement 5 9 4 3 3 2
9th +4 9 5 10 4 3 3 3 1
10th +4 10 Maneuvering 6 11 4 3 3 3 2
11th +4 11 6 12 4 3 3 3 2 1
12th +4 12 Ability Score Improvement 6 12 4 3 3 3 2 1
13th +5 13 6 13 4 3 3 3 2 1 1
14th +5 14 Pilot Archetype feature 6 13 4 3 3 3 2 1 1
15th +5 15 6 14 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
16th +5 16 Ability Score Improvement 6 14 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
17th +6 17 Maneuvering 6 15 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 1
18th +6 18 Pilot Archetype feature 6 15 4 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 1
19th +6 19 Ability Score Improvement 6 15 4 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
20th +6 20 Space Age Restoration 6 15 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1

Expert Pilot

At 1st level your proficiency bonus is doubled on tool use rolls for vehicles.

Pulling Gambits

Your life among the stars and unending desire for adventure has given you the capacity for unusually effective maneuvers and weapon shots in space, as well other gambits dependent on which archetype you select.

Tricks. At 1st level, you know four tricks of your choice from the gambit schools determined by your Pilot Archetype. You learn additional Pilot tricks of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Tricks Known column of the Pilot table.

Gambit Slots. The Pilot table shows how many gambit slots you have to pull gambits of 1st level and higher. To employ one of these Pilot gambits, you must expend a slot of the gambit’s level or higher.

You regain all expended gambit slots when you finish a long rest.

For example, if you know the 1st-level gambit Breakaway and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level gambit slot available, you can cast Breakaway using either slot.

Gambits Known of 1st Level and Higher. You know two 1st-level gambits of your choice from the gambit schools determined by your Pilot Archetype. The Gambits Known column of the Pilot table shows when you learn more Pilot gambits of your choice. Each of these gambits must be of a level for which you have gambit slots. For instance, when you reach 3rd level in this class, you can learn one new gambit of 1st or 2nd level. Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the Pilot gambits you know and replace it with another gambit you have access to, which also must be of a level for which you have gambit slots.

Gambit Pulling Ability. Dexterity is your gambit pulling ability for your Pilot gambits, since your incredible reflexes are the foundation of your talents.

You use your Dexterity whenever a gambit refers to your gambit pulling ability. In addition, you use your Dexterity modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a Pilot gambit you pull and when making an attack roll with one.

Gambit save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Dexterity modifier

Gambit attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Dexterity modifier

Pilot Archetype

Choose a Pilot archetype that describes the style and substance of your Pilot abilities: Ace, Racer, or Smuggler. All three are detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features when you choose it at 1st level, and again at 6th, 14th, and 18th level.

Creative Flying

At 2nd level, you tap into a deep wellspring of creativity and flight instinct within yourself. This wellspring is represented by maneuver points, which allow you to modify your gambits on the fly.

Maneuver Points

You have 2 maneuver points. You gain more as you reach higher levels, as shown in the Maneuver Points column of the Pilot table. You can never have more maneuver points than shown on the table for your level. You regain all spent maneuver points when you finish a long rest.

Flexible Piloting

You can use your maneuver points to gain additional gambit slots, or sacrifice gambit slots to gain additional maneuver points.

You learn other ways to use your maneuver points as you reach higher levels.

Creating Gambit Slots. You can transform unexpended maneuver points into one gambit slot as a bonus action on your turn. The Creating Gambit Slots table shows the cost of creating a gambit slot of a given level. You cannot create gambit slots higher in level than 5th. Any gambit slot you create with this feature vanishes when you finish a long rest.

Table: Creating Gambit Slots
Gambit Slot Level Maneuver Point Cost
1st 2
2nd 3
3rd 5
4th 6
5th 7

Converting a Gambit Slot to Maneuver Points. As a bonus action on your turn, you can expend one gambit slot and gain a number of maneuver points equal to the slot’s level.

Maneuvers

At 3rd level, you gain the ability to twist your gambits to suit your needs. You gain two of the following Maneuver options of your choice. You gain another one at 10th and 17th level.

You can use only one Maneuver option on a gambit when you cast it, unless otherwise noted.

Careful Gambit

When you pull a gambit that places your vehicle in the path of danger, you can pull Maneuvers to avoid taking too much damage. To do so, you spend 1 maneuver point after using a Vehicles school gambit.

All damage to the vehicle you are piloting this round from sources other than weapon attacks is halved, as though it has resistance to the damage type.

Combo Gambit

Upon gaining this Maneuver, select one Vehicles school gambit you know of 3rd level or lower. Whenever you pull another gambit you may pay 1 maneuver point to pull the gambit you’ve selected for this Maneuver as a bonus action. You must still spend Pilot gambit slots to pull the additional gambit. You may select this Maneuver more than once, choosing a different Vehicles gambit each time.

Distant Gambit

When you employ a gambit that has a range of 5 feet or greater (or 1 square in vehicles scale), you can spend 1 maneuver point to double the range of the gambit. When you utilize a gambit that has a range of touch, you can spend 1 maneuver point to make the range of the gambit 30 feet.

Empowered Gambit

When you roll damage for a gambit, you can spend 1 maneuver point to reroll a number of the damage dice up to your Dexterity modifier (minimum of one). You must use the new rolls. You can use Empowered Gambit even if you have already used a different Maneuvering option during the pull of the gambit.

Quickened Gambit

When you pull a gambit that has a pull time of 1 action, you can spend 2 maneuver points to change the pull time to 1 bonus action for this pull.

Ability Score Improvement

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Space Age Restoration

At 20th level, you regain 4 expended maneuver points whenever you finish a short rest.

Pilot Archetypes

Ace

An Ace is a Pilot with particular skills in the cockpit of a starfighter.

They are masters of quick maneuvers, dogfights, and hit-and-run tactics. While they may seem arrogant and hotheaded, Aces can learn to serve as capable squadron leaders, putting their hard-earned reputations to the test.

Aces are known to develop a deep attachment to their starfighters and a superstitious nature when it comes to heading out into dangerous situations. Some have lucky flight suits, lucky meals, or even lucky socks. They kiss their ships goodbye when they land, and hello when they get ready to take off. Aces grab whatever luck they can to get them through the often lonely experience of screaming across the sky in one of the galaxy’s most feared vehicles.

Gambit Selection

You select your gambits from the schools of Arsenal, Tactics, and Vehicles.

Cockpit Awareness

At 1st level you are accustomed to the three-dimensional nature of battles in flight. You have advantage on perception rolls when operating the sensors of a ship and looking out the viewport of a cockpit. You cannot be surprised in vehicular combat so long as you are at a piloting or sensors Battle Station.

Space Life

Starting at 1st level, you do not suffer disadvantage on attacks due to being in a zero-gravity environment.

Steely Eyed

It is difficult to distract or dissuade you from your chosen course.

Upon reaching 6th level you may choose to use your Constitution save when defending against Deception and Influence school gambits and similar mental tricks. Your proficiency bonus is doubled on these saves regardless of which save you use.

Vehicle Bond

At 14th level you develop an almost supernatural bond with your vehicle. After a long rest, you may designate one vehicle as your current “favorite.” While piloting your favorite, that vehicle has resistance to all damage and you have advantage on tool use rolls to pilot her.

Squad Leader

Upon attaining 18th level, you have learned to easily share your lessons with others in your squadron. Whenever you employ a Vehicles gambit, you may spend 1 maneuver point to allow every member of your vehicle squadron to perform that gambit immediately as well.

Racer

While some Pilots ply the space lanes, a breed of planet-bound extreme racing fanatics develop incredible racing and combat maneuvers. Racers excel at piloting smaller vehicles. They leverage the added control of a terrestrial vehicle to perform feats that seem impossible.

Racers can be athletes and celebrities on their home worlds, but some are even military scouts with a need for speed and excitement.

On the fringes of the galaxy, many Racers are involved in crime, either through rigged races or as members of skybike gangs.

Racers are the adrenaline-pumped daredevils of the Pilot class.

Though they usually hail from planetary origins, they make excellent space Pilots as they can adapt their control at high speed to the incredible velocities achieved outside of atmosphere.

Gambit Selection

You select your gambits from the schools of Arsenal, Engineering, and Vehicles.

Crash and Burn

Even at 1st level, you are accustomed to the burns and scrapes that come from hard flying. You have resistance to all damage incurred from crashing and smashing while riding a vehicle. This resistance does not apply to other passengers or your vehicle itself, but does apply even when you are not at a piloting Battle Station.

Gun It

At 1st level you learn to push your vehicle to the limit to win.

Whenever you take the Dash action with a vehicle, your speed is tripled rather than doubled. For example, a skybike with a speed of 5, when gunned in this way, could go 15 squares rather than just 10.

Fearless

By 6th level you’ve looked death in the face enough times that you no longer fear it. You gain proficiency in Wisdom saves and are now immune to the frightened condition.

Tight Maneuvers

Starting at 14th level you have come to master the controls of your vehicles, allowing you to ignore the usual rule that a vehicle’s movement may never double back during a round. You can, in effect, pull incredibly tight turns and sequences of swerves, even during a Dash action.

The Zone

At 18th level, when you have your vehicle move at its full speed during a Dash action, you have advantage on all tool use rolls for piloting vehicles and on any saves you make on behalf of your vehicle. This advantage lasts until the start of your next turn.

Smuggler

Smugglers are just trying to make a buck here and there. What’s the harm? They move things from one place to another without the authorities noticing. They fill a niche in the market by supplying goods to those willing to pay a little extra. It’s dangerous work, but somebody’s got to do it.

Smugglers can be reluctant adventurers, often forced into helping one side or another due to their proximity to important moments.

They side with one group only to later find that the other group hates their guts. That’s life in space.

Smugglers have abilities similar to those of the Outlaw class, but are particularly adept at space confrontations. They’ve got a ship full of hidden compartments and know when and where to lay low. They’ve developed a few tricks to get them out of trouble, though maybe not enough for all the trouble they’re in.

Gambit Selection

You select your gambits from the schools of Engineering, Deception, and Vehicles.

Smuggling

At 1st level you are able to hide and produce from hiding handheld items you possess as a bonus action. You may draw a weapon you’ve hidden in this way as a bonus action. You are proficient in the Sleight of Hand skill.

Additionally, the rolls of anyone attempting to find something you have hidden are at disadvantage, including those made by authorities inspecting your ship for contraband.

Intimate Fighting

As of 1st level you have begun growing accustomed to struggles aboard the tight corridors of starships and outposts. You do not suffer disadvantage when attacking a target within 5 feet using a ranged weapon.

Usual Tricks

Upon reaching 6th level, select one Deception gambit you know of 3rd level or lower. Whenever you pull a Vehicles school gambit you may pay 1 maneuver point to also pull your chosen Deception gambit as a bonus action. You must still spend gambit slots to pull the additional gambit.

You may select a different gambit to use with this feature whenever you learn a new Deception gambit.

Stealth Flyer

Starting at 14th level, whenever you pilot a vehicle in space you may choose to move at half your maximum speed to fly stealthily, taking advantage of the lack of light in the void. Another Pilot or sensor operator attempting to see you must succeed in a Perception roll against a difficulty of your gambit save. Until they succeed, you count as invisible until you once again move at your full speed or otherwise make your presence known (through attack, gambits, etc.).

Secret Passages

By 18th level you have become adept at finding the hidden areas of starships and ports of call. When you are in a vessel or building with more than one floor, as an action you may spend a gambit slot of any level to simply happen upon an obscured passage or room (GM’s choice). This can be an excellent way to make your getaway or stow a large piece of contraband for later.