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Shubosha (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Azya (talk)
Date Created: 30 August, 2010
Status: Complete except for sample encounter + NPC
Editing: Please feel free to edit constructively!

{{#set:Summary=The shubosha is neither a martial adept nor a spellthrowing dude. Instead, he focuses on politics and amassing a crapload of followers. |Length=10 |Minimum Level=9 |Base Attack Bonus Progression=Poor |Fortitude Save Progression=Good |Reflex Save Progression=Poor |Will Save Progression=Good |Class Ability=Other |Class Ability Progression=Full }} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Lawful Good}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Lawful Neutral}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Lawful Evil}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Neutral Good}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Neutral}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Neutral Evil}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Chaotic Good}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Chaotic Neutral}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Chaotic Evil}}


Why don't we stop the fighting? If you join my army, you can gain more power than you've ever dreamed.
—Ota Nobuyuki, human shubosha, addressing a group of samurai.

A powerful lord can make aristocrats tremble with a mere whisper. All live only to serve the king, and the one who wields the king's favor can bring even the mightiest warrior under his dominion. These are the shubosha, lords of great political influence. Not only can they manipulate the courts to their advantage, but they can also influence others with their powerful charisma. These powerful people usually reside close to whatever your nation's capital is and apply their political leverage from affair.

Masters of psychology and emotion, these individuals are forces to be reckoned with even outside the castles of the king, where they concoct their schemes. Their strings extend everywhere, and many would leap to their defense. A shubosha is never far from someone who owes him a favor. There is always a friend nearby, or at least an indebted pawn who can be coerced into doing his bidding.

Becoming a ShuboshaEdit

Characters pursue this class to gain political power, and high level shubosha often go on to create their own empires. Anyone who has a high Charisma makes a deadly shubosha, as that is the ability from which all their powers flow. Most classes can see the advantages of having others at their beck and call all the time, though not all of them have the influence, training, or inclination to become a master of leading others.

Entry Requirements
Skills: Bluff 12 ranks, Diplomacy 12 ranks, Sense Motive 12 ranks.
Feats: Iron Will, Natural Empath OR Persuasive, Leadership OR Master of Terror.
Special: The character must have some political affiliation (i.e. Must be part of a noble house or something functionally similar to one) and possesse a cohort.

Table: The Shubosha

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Leadership Bonus, Improved Cohort
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Favors
3rd +1 +3 +1 +3 Shubosha Ability
4th +2 +4 +1 +4 Follower Upgrade I
5th +2 +4 +1 +4 Shubosha Ability
6th +3 +5 +2 +5 The Heart Speaks
7th +3 +5 +2 +5 Shubosha Ability
8th +4 +6 +2 +6 Follower Ability II
9th +4 +6 +3 +6 Shubosha Ability
10th +5 +7 +3 +7 Hand of Peace

Class Skills (Skill Points::6 + Int modifier per level.
Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Int), Listen (Wis) Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis),

Class FeaturesEdit

All of the following are class features of the shubosha.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Shubosha gain no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.

Leadership Bonus: The shubosha gains a bonus to his his Leadership score equal to half his class level. This bonus stacks with any other sort of Leadership Bonus the shubosha has. Most followers of the shubosha are warriors or experts serving as guards, informants, or sycophants.

Improved Cohort: At 1st level, the shubosha gains the ability to arrange for an improved cohort. If, at any time, he wants a cohort of a different class (or one that's a different creature) than his current cohort, he may choose to dismiss his cohort and summon one of the desired class or type without any detrimental effect to his Leadership score. Additionally, all the shubosha's cohorts gain a Bonus Feat and +2 to any ability score (assuming that you are using the Elite Array) that the shubosha wishes.

An improved cohort can only be summoned if the shubosha submits a formal request to his political affiliation, and the cohort arrives in a reasonable amount of time.

Favors (Ex): The shubosha operates an extensive web of favor exchange, and starting at 2nd level he may begin to take full advantage of this network. A bureaucrat in one city may owe a samurai in another city a favor, who owes the shubosha in turn. By taking some time to acclimate himself to the political climate in a large city, the shubosha may pull the strings and learn what favors are owed to him in that area. Use of this ability requires at least 6 hours in a large city and a Charisma check. The result of the check determines what sort of favors he can gain, as shown on the table below.

DC Type of Favor Goods/Services Retainer
Less than 20 None Available up to 100 gp 1d3 levels
20 Minor up to 500 gp 1d4 + 1 levels
25 Standard up to 1,500 gp 1d6 + 3 levels
30 Great up to 5,000 gp 1d8 + 4 levels
35 Exceptional up to 15,000 gp 1d10 + 6 levels

The table above describes favors accumulated in terms of goods and services and retainers, the two most common types of favors demanded. Goods and services represents the maximum value of a gift or service performed to pay off the favor (the gift is the choice of the give; if the shubosha demands a specific gift, divide the maximum value by one third).

Retainer indicates the loan of a retainer in the employ of one of the shubosha's allies. This retainer joins the shubosha as an additionall cohort for the duration of his time in the area (how far "the area" extends is up to the DM). Unlike normal cohorts, this loanded cohort may have a CR equal to the shubosha's own, but no greater than that (even when the retainer roll would suggest different). If the cohort dies while in the shubosha's service, the usual penalties for losing a cohort applies. The exact nature of the cohort is determined by the DM. If the shubosha demands a retainer of a specific class, race, or gender, reduce the cohort's level by one per demand, to a minimum of 1.

The shubosha gains a bonus to this check equal to his half his shubosha (round down). You may also add a community modifier to the favor roll as follows:

Community Modifiers
Community Size Population Modifier
Thorp 20-80 -1
Hamlet 81-400 +0
Village 401-900 +1
Small Town 901-2,000 +2
Large Town 2,001-5,000 +3
Small City 5,001-12,000 +4
Large City 12,001-25,000 +5
Metropolis 25,001 +6

The shubosha may not demand a favor from a given location more than once per month, and may not demand more favors per year than his Charisma modifier.

Shubosha Ability: At every other level beginning at 3rd, the shubosha gains a new ability, often connected to politics and the like. This ability can be any from the list below.

Skillful: The shubosha gains a Skill Feat for free. This feat can be any that scales with a Charisma-based skill.

The Better Part of Valor: A wise shubosha knows that is place is sending his followers out to the fields of battle, not actually risking his own life, and can escape quickly when combat ensues. He receives a dodge bonus to his AC equal to his Intelligence modifier. Like all AC modifiers, this bonus disappears when he is flat-footed.

The Eyes See the Heart (Ex): The shubosha has developed a keen awareness for falsehood. Anyone attempting to lie in his presence must make a Will save (DC 10 + the shubosha's Charisma modifier + the shubosha's shubosha level). If this save fails, the shubosha immediately knows that the subject is lying.

The Eyes Betray the Heart: The DC of all Will saves required to resist the shubosha's special abilities is increased by 2. This ability may be chosen twice; its effects stack.

Taunt and Rally (Ex): As a full round action, the shubosha can openly taunt his opponents, deriding their weakness and lauding the virtues of his allies. Taunt and Rally has two effects: allies within a 50 foot radius are affected as if by a bless spell. One enemy per three of the shubosha's hit dice is affected as if it had fallen under a doom spell. Both of these spell-like effects are treated as if cast by a sorcerer of equal class level, and rely on the target's ability to hear and understand the shubosha to be effective. If the shubosha is attacked while using this ability, he must make a Concentration check (DC 10 + damage dealt) or the effect is ruined.

Voice: Once per shubosha ability per day, when make a Diplomacy of Bluff check, the shubosha gains a special circumstance bonus to his skill check equal to his class level.

Weakness is My Strength: The shubosha is skilled at relying upon his enemy's frailties. When making an opposed Charisma, Intelligence, or Wisdom-based check, the opponent must use the lowest of these abilities as his modifier.

Example: Yokokiyo Akira is attempting to Bluff Ota Gohei. Gohei has 5 ranks of Sense Motive, 16 Wisdom (+3 modifier), 10 Intelligence (+0), and 8 Charisma (-1 modifier). Instead of adding his +3 Wisdom modifier to his Sense Motive skill, Gohei must add his -1 Charisma modifier when attempting to oppose Akira.

Whisper from the Soul (Ex): The shubosha is adept at manipulating the emotions of any target who can understand him. Once per shubosha level per day, the subosha may play upon the emotions of any target who can understand him. This functions as a bless, good hope, rage, cause fear, or confusion spell cast by a sorcerer of the same class level as the shubosha's total class level. Only the duration is altered: the effect lasts for one round per level of shubosha. The shubosha could extend this duration by using Diplomacy or Bluff to encourage a true emotional state ot replace the false one he has manufactured.

Your Life is Mine (Ex): This ability is ver popular with shubosha who prefer to make allies out of enemies rather than defeating them outright. Oncer per day per point of Charisma modifier, the shubosha may attempt to sway a weak-willed individual's mental state to his own way of thinking. This has the effects of a charm person spell cast by a sorcerer of equal level, but cannot be used on characters of higher level than the shubosha. This ability depends on the target's ability to see and hear the shubosha. This ability may be taken a second time, upgrading the effect to that of a charm monster spell and granting him an addtional number of uses per day equal to his Charisma modifier.

Improved Follower I: At 4th levthe shubosha gains a higher quality level of follower than the usual provided by any sort of [Leadership] feat. He may dismiss a number of his followers equal to his Charisma modifer. These followers are replaced by an equal number of new followers from the shubosha's political affiliation, but these new followers may be from any race and/or character class allowed in your campaign. These new followers are of equal level to those dismissed, and are henceforth treated as lesser cohorts rather than followers (though they still count against the shubosha's maximum number of followers). These lesser cohorts gain half an class level when the shubosha levels up, so they increase in a level every other level the shubosha gains.

The Heart Speaks (Ex): At 6th level and beyond, the shubosha's ability to read other people is so ingrained that it becomes second nature. The shubosha may take 20 on Sense Motive checks as a free action.

Follower Upgrade II: At 8th level, the mastermind's lesser cohorts gain the full share of experience, going up in level everytime the shubosha gains a level, like a normal cohort. In addition, any cohort, lesser cohort, or follower of the shubosha of 6th level or above automatically learns the Leadership or Master of Terror (3.5e Class) (they gain the one that their shubosha master had in order to qualify for this prestige class) feat, adding their own cohorts and followers to the shubosha's already impressive following.

Hand of Peace (Ex): A shubosha of 10th level gains this impressive ability. If he is holding no visible weapons and has not yet attacked an opponent during combat, he may force any opponent seeking to harm him (whether by an attack, a spell, or special ability) to make a Will save (DC 10 + half the shubosha's class level + the shubosha's Charisma modifier). Anyone who fails this save cannot harm the shubosha that round. Opponents are still free to capture and harass the shubosha as long as they do no real damage. This ability is ineffective against nonintelligent opponents.

Campaign InformationEdit

Playing a ShuboshaEdit

Combat: A shubosha is not exactly the best combatant. Most of his abilities are most potent out of combat, and even those abilities used in combat have to deal with keeping their opponents from attacking them. But a shubosha does not need to be a skilled combatant, since he has amassed a ridiculously large following. Not only are his cohorts stronger than normal, at later levels he gains lesser cohorts, which increase his versatality in combat. At 8th level, the shubosha's number entourage is very impressive, since he controls a branching tree of followers and cohorts.

Advancement: Shubosha are inclined to take levels of legendary strategist, learning how to better use their minions in battle. Some expand their power by taking levels in a spellcasting class, but this is often senseless, since they can have replace their cohort with one that's a spellcaster at any time.

Resources: The shubosha has a great amount of resources, in the form of his Favors ability and large amount of minions.

Shubosha in the WorldEdit

You owe me.
—Shubosha maxim

Shubosha are the extremely powerful and influential people in the world. Most kings and nobles with PC class levels often have a level or two of shubosha. Some shubosha turn their leadership skills to honorable purposes, directing their followers to combat banditry and evil or work for the common good. Others use their allies for more shady purposes, creating compact organized crime syndicates.

NPC Reactions: NPCs respect the shubosha's ability with people and their massive entourage, whether or not they agree with his goals. A following that large demands respect.

Shubosha LoreEdit

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) can research shubosha to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty)
DC Result
11 Some lords of influence are masters of leadership.
16 Often called shubosha, these powerful lords gradually amass a larger and larger following.
21 A shubosha can control the emotions of others and easily discerns when someone else is lying.
26 Very powerful shubosha have thousands of followers under their command, controlled by their masses of cohorts.

Shubosha in the GameEdit

Shubosha are the guys lounging around in court, directing their armies and followers to do everything for them. PC shubosha may not always actually get into a combat situation, simply sending their hundreds of tiny men at the opponents. NPC shubosha are often well groomed, overweight, and very, very overconfident. They're the guys who shrivel up when faced alone.

Adaptation: To have a more Western name, the shubosha could be renamed the Mastermind. None of his abilities would change, though.

Sample Encounter: Nope.

EL --: Nada.

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