Prestige classes are a group of advanced routes Faerûnian characters may take in their professional advancement which have nearly limitless options for their gaining in power and prestige. From secret societies such as the Harpers and the Shadow Thieves to military orders such as the Purple Dragons and the Aglarondan Griffonriders, there are many paths for characters of every class to follow. Fighters and other combat-focused characters can continue advancing in their basic training or sign up with a mercenary guild or national army. Arcane spellcasters must choose between dozens of mystical schools and philosophies, each devoted to understanding the Weave in its own unique way. Clerics have more than a hundred different deities and their attendant churches from which to select, and when one includes the numerous options available only to members of specific races, the possibilities are endless.
Prestige classes are specific to the 3rd edition rules.