Battle knaves are rogues who look to fighters as exemplars of a more reliable and effective fighting style. The battle knave trades study of traps and roguish ways for expertise with deadly combat tricks. More heavily armed, and eventually more heavily armored than the run-of-the-mill rogue, the battle knave taunts and confuses his foes before delivering the deathblow.
Primary Class: Rogue.
Secondary Class: Fighter.
Hit Dice: d8.
Saves: good Fortitude and Reflex, poor Will.
Bonus Skills and Ranks: The battle knave may select three fighter skills to add to his class skills in addition to the normal rogue class skills. The battle knave gains a number of ranks at each level equal to 6 + Int modifier.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The battle knave is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, plus the hand crossbow. He is also proficient with light armor and the buckler.
Critical Sneak (Ex): When a battle knave successfully strikes with a sneak attack, he may treat his attack as a critical threat instead. If he does, he deals no precision damage from the sneak attack ability, and must instead confirm the critical hit. He receives a –5 penalty on this attack. If he confirms the critical, he deals double damage as normal. If he was modifying his sneak attack with a rogue talent (such as Bleeding Attack), the extra effect conveyed by that talent only applies if the critical hit is confirmed. If the battle knave fails to confirm the critical, his attack still hits, but is neither a critical hit nor a sneak attack. This ability replaces trapfinding.
Rogue Talents: A battle knave may take the combat trick rogue talent any number of times.
Vulnerability Sense (Ex): The battle knave notices the gaps in his opponents' guards, and strikes harder when they are most vulnerable. Beginning at 3rd level, the battle knave uses his level in place of his base attack bonus when flanking or any other time he could normally perform a sneak attack. This ability functions against creatures normally immune to sneak attack, but not against those without Intelligence scores (such as most constructs), nor those with all-around vision. This increase in his effective base attack bonus does not grant the rogue more iterative attacks than he could normally make, but it affects the bonus on his attack rolls and the calculations of feats like Power Attack and Combat Expertise. Base attack bonuses from levels in other classes are calculated normally. This ability replaces trap sense.
Dirty Combat Expertise (Ex): Starting at 4th level, a battle knave treats any weapon he wields as though it had the distracting special quality (see Ultimate Combat). Additionally, he gains Improved Feint and Improved Dirty Trick as bonus feats, even if he doesn't meet their prerequisites. This ability replaces uncanny dodge.
Fighter Training (Ex): The battle knave trails behind pure fighters in combat prowess, but is a dedicated warrior in his own right. At 5th level, a battle knave’s fighter level is equal to his battle knave level –3 for the purposes of qualifying for fighter-only feats. This ability replaces sneak attack +3d6.
Armor Training (Ex): The battle knave counts among their talents a comfort in armor far surpassing that of the ordinary rogue. Starting at 6th level, whenever the battle knave 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. These bonuses increase by +1 at 12th and 18th level. At 12th level, the battle knave gains proficiency in medium armor and can move at his normal speed while wearing medium armor. At 18th level, the battle knave can benefit from evasion while wearing medium armor. This ability replaces the rogue talents normally gained at 6th, 12th, and 18th levels.
Dirty Combat Mastery (Ex): At 8th level, the battle knave gains Greater Feint and Greater Dirty Trick as bonus feats, even if he doesn't meet their prerequisites. This ability replaces improved uncanny dodge.
Critical Focus: At 11th level, the battle knave gains Critical Focus as a bonus feat, even if he doesn't meet its prerequisites. When qualifying for critical feats, the battle knave uses his level in place of his base attack bonus. Base attack bonuses from other classes are calculated normally. This ability replaces sneak attack +6d6.
Improved Critical Sneak: At 17th level, the battle knave no longer takes the –5 penalty when confirming critical threats generated by his critical sneak ability. This ability replaces sneak attack +9d6.
Master Strike: This ability functions in conjunction with both normal sneak attacks and the battle knave's critical sneak ability. This ability otherwise functions as the rogue’s master strike ability.