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The Order of Zar-Tis: A Daryen Prestige Class for Traveller T20

The background details behind the Order of Zar-Tis are in a separate article. This article specifically addresses the game mechanics for introducing the Order of Zar-Tis into your Traveller T20 campaign.

Open Game Content Note

Material appearing in a box like this is to be considered Open Game Content governed by the Open Game License.

Knight of the Order of Zar-Tis Prestige Class


Feats: Iron Will;
Base Attack Bonus: +4;
Skills: Any psionic sphere skill (5 ranks);
Roleplaying: In order to become a perspective Knight in the Order of Zar-Tis, a character must have received psionic training.
In addition, the character must be of Daryen descent, or have received special dispensation from the Council of Elders.
Finally, the character must be recognized by members of the Order of Zar-Tis as having contributed to its cause in some form or other. (Members of the Black Hand of the Maghiz are recruited in a similar manner.)


Stamina Die: d8 + Con modifier.

Class Skills: The Knight of the Order of Zar-Tis's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Leadership (Cha), Liaison (Cha), Listen (Wis), Move Silent (Dex), Pilot (Dex/Int), Psionic Sphere Skills/Any (Int), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Technical/Any (Edu).
Skill Points Per Level: 4 + Int modifier


Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1 +0 +2 +0 +0 Starting Feats + Bonus Feat
2 +1 +3 +0 +0 Bonus Feat
3 +2 +3 +1 +1 Danger Sense
4 +3 +4 +1 +1 Rapid Recovery
5 +3 +4 +1 +1 Bonus Feat
6 +4 +5 +2 +2 Opening The Mind
7 +5 +5 +2 +2 Bonus Feat
8 +6 +6 +2 +2 Danger Sense +1
9 +6 +6 +3 +3 Evasion
10 +7 +7 +3 +3 Bonus Feat


Starting Feats: At first level, Knights of the Order of Zar-Tis receive the feat Weapon Proficiency/Energy Blades to reflect their training in the Brand of Zar-Tis.

Bonus Feats: At first, second, fifth, seventh and tenth level, the Knight of the Order of Zar-Tis gains a bonus feat. These feats may be chosen from the list below. If the character already has all of the listed feats, they may select any other feat for which they are qualified:

  • Armed Deflection
  • Dodge
  • Expertise
  • Improved Critical/Brand of Zar-Tis
  • Improved Initiative
  • Mobility
  • Psionic Talent Feat (any that the Knight is qualified for)
  • Quick Draw
  • Weapon Focus/Brand of Zar-Tis
  • Weapon Specialization/Brand of Zar-Tis

Emphasized feats are specialized class feats detailed below.

Armed Deflection: The character must be wielding a Brand of Zar-Tis to use this feat. Once per round when the character would normally be hit with a ranged energy weapon, the character may make a Reflex saving throw against a DC of 20. If the character succeeds, the character deflects the attack. The character must be aware of the attack and not flat-footed. Attempting to deflect a ranged weapon doesn’t count as an action. Energy attacks that affect an area, as opposed to targeting an individual, cannot be deflected.

Weapon Specialization: The Knight adds +2 to all damage inflicted with the weapon the character has specialized with (in this case, the Brand of Zar-Tis). This feat may not be selected until the character has the Weapon Focus/Brand of Zar-Tis feat.

Danger Sense: At third level, Knights of the Order of Zar-Tis gains a near-precognitive ability to avoid being hit in combat, even if caught by surprise. The Knight adds their Wisdom bonus (if any) to AC, in addition to their normal Dexterity modifier. (Only add this extra AC bonus if the Knight's Wisdom modifier is a positive number.) The Wisdom bonus represents a preternatural awareness of danger, and a Knight of the Order of Zar-Tis does not lose this bonus even in situations when he or she loses her Dexterity modifier due to being unprepared, ambushed, stunned, and so on. (Knights do lose this AC bonus when immobilized.) This only applies to Knights that are unarmored. When wearing armor, a Knight loses their AC bonus for Wisdom.

At eighth level, Knights of the Order of Zar-Tis receive an additional +1 to their Wisdom modifer to determine the AC bonus for their Danger Sense. As above, only add this extra AC bonus if the Knight's Wisdom modifier, plus one, is a positive number.

Rapid Recovery: At fourth level, a Knight of the Order of Zar-Tis recovers Psionic strength twice as quickly, but only when meditating and making a Concentration check of DC 10 to resist distractions. (This DC may be modified, based on the circumstances under which the character is attempting to engage in meditation.)

Opening The Mind: At sixth level, a Knight of the Order of Zar-Tis has developed enough insight to potentially awake a new psionic sphere affinity within himself. Thus, the Knight receives rank 0 in a psionic sphere skill they did not currently possess. If a Knight has already mastered all five psionic sphere affinities, then the Knight gains no further benefit from this ability.

Evasion: At ninth level, a Knight of the Order of Zar-Tis masters training in the art of Evasion. When the Knight makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can only be used if the Knight is wearing light armor or no armor.

The Brand of Zar-Tis: Combat and Construction

The use of the Brand effectively in combat requires the Weapon Proficiency/Energy Blades feat. Only members of the Order with ranks in C/Energy Blades can construct a Brand of Zar-Tis (note: five ranks in either T/Electronics or T/Gravitics bestows a +2 synergy bonus to C/Energy Blades skill checks). Without the appropriate training, a member of the Order must depend on his/her Master for a Brand.

Combat Statistics:
Plasma Sword/Brand of Zar-Tis: Damage 6d6 energy (Crit 18), Size M.

Author's Note: The smallest PGMP damage in T20 is 6d12 (Crit 18), so I chose to reduce the die size by half to reflect the smaller, more contained area of destruction. Also, this allows the Brand of Zar-Tis to still inflict damage on a vehicle after five dice are subtracted due to differences between personal and vehicular damage. For those that feel this level of damage is too extreme, feel free to adjust it to 6d4, or perhaps the 3d10 of a laser rifle.