The following materials background is derived from the works of Vrylakos on
Eric Noah’s Unofficial 3e News Board. All else is the work of Ed Hastings, aka the Killer Shrike

Tantavosani Crossbone-Mantis Blademaster Prestige Class

It is said that in Tantavos, death is but a shadow away. Tantavos is a corrupt city peopled by slaves of vice and decadence. Thieves are more common than craftsmen and criminal syndicates rule in all but name. Among the resident cutthroats, pirates, slavers, and assorted scum living isn’t a right, it’s a privilege revocable at will by any more skillful or stealthy with a blade. A person must watch their own back and beware of strangers and ‘friends’ both. Due to the prevalence of criminal syndicates and guilds, it is also often unwise to outright kill an opponent even if they are intent on killing you or else risk blood feud with the opponents fellows. Therefore it is unsurprising that many take up weapons training, and those that survive a certain while are likely good at it.

Though there are many styles and techniques taught in the city, the Tantavosani Crossbone-Mantis style is both native to the city and predominant amongst its residents. A two-sword style, it is most recognizable by its hard bitten practicality and distinct lack of flair. In the deadly streets of Tantavos, fancywork will avail you little. Practitioners take up the style for survival, not to impress or for leisure. It is a simple art designed to constrain the opponent and disable them.

The style is popular amongst Rogues, but it is certainly practiced by members of many other professions.

Base Attack Bonus +3
Feats: Ambidexterity, Expertise, Improved Disarm, Two Weapon Fighting, Proficiency with at least one 1 Martial Weapon Sword
Skills: Sense Motive: 4 Ranks
Abilities: Dex 13+ and Int 13+

Lvl    BAB    Fortitude    Reflex    Will    Abilities
1    +1    +2    +2    +0    Off Hand Parry
2    +2    +3    +3    +0    Pin Shield
3    +3    +3    +3    +1    Close Quarters Fighting
4    +4    +4    +4    +1    The Crossbone
5    +5    +4    +4    +1    The Mantis

Hit Die: D8
Skill Points: Int Bonus + 4 / level
Skill List: Bluff, Gather Information, Hide, Move Silent, Sense Motive, Spot, Tumbling

Class Abilities
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: This prestige class grants no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.

The Crossbone-Mantis Style: All special Class Abilities listed below are dependent on the practitioner wielding 2 swords that he is proficient with. If the practitioner does not meet this requirement for any reason, he may not use these abilities until such a time as he acquires 2 swords with which he is proficient. The Two-bladed Sword may not be used with this style.

Off Hand Parry: At 1st level the Crossbone-Mantis Blademaster has learned to use his off hand sword to ward off attacks. The practitioner gains Off Hand Parry (Sword & Fist pg 7) as a virtual Feat when fighting with 2 swords that he is proficient with.

Pin Shield: At 2nd level the Crossbone-Mantis Blademaster has learned the basics of the style and may use his off hand sword to interfere with his opponents shield use. The practitioner gains Pin Shield (Sword & Fist pg 8) as a virtual Feat when fighting with 2 swords that he is proficient with

Close Quarters Fighting: At 3rd level the Crossbone-Mantis Blademaster has learned to interpose his off hand sword between himself and would be grapplers. The practitioner gains Close Quarters Fighting (Sword & Fist pg 5) as a virtual Feat when fighting with 2 swords that he is proficient with, but must hit and inflict damage with his off-hand (i.e. secondary) weapon when doing so.

The Crossbone: At 4th level the Crossbone-Mantis Blademaster has learned to use his 2 swords to deflect incoming melee attacks, lightly striking the incoming weapons to nudge them out of the way. The practitioner gains Counterattack as a virtual Feat (listed below) when fighting with 2 swords that he is proficient with.


New Feat by Ed Hastings aka Killer Shrike
Counterattack [Fighting Style]
You are skilled at parrying your opponents’ blows.
Prerequisites: Expertise, Base Attack +6
Benefit: On his action the practitioner of this type of style may choose to forgo attacking and instead attempt to block incoming melee attacks as a full round action. The practitioner may apply each of his attack bonuses to his AC against a single incoming melee attack in succession until he runs out of iterative attack bonuses. Once he is out of iterative attack bonuses the practitioner’s AC reverts to normal. Should the practitioner have attacks left over after all opponents have tried to strike then he may opt to hold onto his remaining attacks to block any further attacks before his next turn in the following round, or take his remaining attacks as he pleases. This may be used in conjunction with Expertise. Example: if a practitioner had an AC of 20 and his attack bonuses were +15/+10/+5 then versus the first incoming melee attack he would have an AC 35, versus the second and AC 30, versus the third an AC 25 and versus all other incoming attacks (additional melee and all ranged) his normal AC 20.

The Mantis: At 5th level the Crossbone-Mantis Blademaster has mastered the ability to trap his opponents blades with his own. The practitioner gains Weapon Binding as a virtual Feat (listed below) even if he lacks the prerequisite Improved Unarmed Combat, when fighting with 2 swords that he is proficient with.


New Feat by Ed Hastings aka Killer Shrike
Weapon Binding [Fighting Style]
You are able to restrict your opponents weapon.
Prerequisites: Improved Disarm, Improved Unarmed Strike
Benefit: As a full action the practitioner may attempt to bind a melee opponents weapon. To do this the practitioner makes an opposed attack roll against his opponents highest attack bonus. If successful, the practitioner has locked blades with his opponents weapon and must make an immediate grapple check with a competence bonus equal to the difference between the opposed attack rolls. If the practitioner wins, he has effectively grappled his opponent by the expedient of trapping his weapon. If the practitioner fails either roll, nothing further happens and the action is over. If grappled or thereafter pinned in following rounds the opponent has the option of releasing his weapon, which breaks the hold but also leaves the opponent disarmed. The practitioner may do any of the things normally allowed in a grapple. The practitioner does not draw an Attack of Opportunity from his opponent when engaging in a Weapon Binding attempt.