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Umbral Assassin (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Eiji-kun (talk)
Date Created: 3-21-10
Status: Complete
Editing: Mechanical changes on Talk please.
Balance: Rogue

{{#set:Summary=Part shadowdancer, part assassin, they cloak themselves in false reality to strike out at their prey. |Length=10 |Minimum Level=5 |Base Attack Bonus Progression=Moderate |Fortitude Save Progression=Poor |Reflex Save Progression=Good |Will Save Progression=Poor |Class Ability= |Class Ability Progression= }} {{#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}}

Watch your shadow...
Eiji-kunAdded by Eiji-kun

Umbral AssassinEdit

He could be in this very room right now. He could be you! He could be me! He could even b-HURK!
—LeFortune, recently deceased intelligence officer, Deadman's Notes

Umbral assassins are assassins who draw energy from the plane of shadow, and in doing so can cover themselves in a false reality, allowing them to infiltrate the enemy and get all too close, before lashing out suddenly, slaying their target, and vanishing into the shadow as they pick off their opposition one by one...

Becoming a Umbral AssassinEdit

Assassins with a touch for the magical, they can come in all shapes and flavors. Though their association with darkness makes them seem evil, even the rare lawful good assassin who works within the shadows exists, aiding the populace under cloak and disguise.

Entry Requirements
Skills: Disguise 4 ranks, Hide 8 ranks, Move Silently 8 ranks.
Spellcasting: Must have some manner of spellcasting, manifesting, or spell-like abilities.
Special: Must have been the target for some manner of [Shadow] magic.

Table: The Umbral Assassin

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Death Attack, Poison Use, Shadow Disguise Self, Shadow Pool, Sneak Attack +1d6
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Shadow Pocket, Uncanny Dodge
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 Mirror Mode, Shadow Weapon, Sneak Attack +2d6
4th +3 +1 +4 +1 Blurstrike, Darkvision 30 ft.
5th +3 +1 +4 +1 Dimension Leap, Improved Uncanny Dodge, Sneak Attack +3d6
6th +4 +2 +5 +2 Afterimage
7th +5 +2 +5 +2 Hide in Plain Sight, Sneak Attack +4d6
8th +6 +2 +6 +2 Phantom Reality
9th +6 +3 +6 +3 Improved Dimension Leap, Sneak Attack +5d6
10th +7 +3 +7 +3 Shadow Body, Shadow Travel

Class Skills (Skill Points::8 + Int modifier per level.
Appraise (Int), Autohypnosis (Wis), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Architecture and engineering) (Int), Knowledge (History) (Int), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Knowledge (Nobility and royalty) (Int), Knowledge (The Planes) (Int), Listen (Wis) Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (None), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha) or Use Psionic Device (Cha) (choose one), Use Rope (Dex).

Table: The Epic Umbral Assassin
Level Special
11th Bonus Feat
12th Sneak Attack +6d6
14th Bonus Feat, Sneak Attack +7d6
16th Sneak Attack +8d6
17th Bonus Feat
18th Sneak Attack +9d6
20th Bonus Feat, Sneak Attack +10d6

Class FeaturesEdit

All of the following are class features of the Umbral Assassin.

Death Attack: If an umbral assassin studies his victim for 3 rounds and then makes a sneak attack with a melee weapon that successfully deals damage, the sneak attack has the additional effect of possibly either paralyzing or killing the target (umbral assassin’s choice). While studying the victim, the umbral assassin can undertake other actions so long as his attention stays focused on the target and the target does not detect the umbral assassin or recognize the umbral assassin as an enemy. If the victim of such an attack fails a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the umbral assassin’s class level + the umbral assassin’s Int modifier) against the kill effect, she dies. If the saving throw fails against the paralysis effect, the victim is rendered helpless and unable to act for 1d6 rounds plus 1 round per level of the umbral assassin. If the victim’s saving throw succeeds, the attack is just a normal sneak attack. Once the umbral assassin has completed the 3 rounds of study, he must make the death attack within the next 3 rounds.

If a death attack is attempted and fails (the victim makes her save) or if the umbral assassin does not launch the attack within 3 rounds of completing the study, 3 new rounds of study are required before he can attempt another death attack.

Poison Use (Ex): Umbral Assassins are trained in the use of poison and never risk accidentally poisoning themselves when applying poison to a blade.

Shadow Disguise Self (Sp): Able to wrap themselves in illusions, the umbral assassin can infiltrate anyone caught unaware. The umbral assassin may use disguise self as a spell-like ability for the cost of 1 point from his shadow pool (see below), with a caster level equal to his character level. Unlike the spell, this ability is a [Shadow] effect and is partly real, granting tactile and audiable changes as well as visual. However, it can still be breached by methods which can bypass disguise self.

Shadow Pool: The Umbral Assassin gets access to a variety of class features and spell-like abilities which are activated by pulling shadow energy from the shadow plane. The Umbral Assassin gains a pool of this energy equal to his class level + his Intelligence modifier per day.

Sneak Attack: This is exactly like the rogue ability of the same name. The extra damage dealt increases by +1d6 every other level (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th). If an umbral assassin gets a sneak attack bonus from another source the bonuses on damage stack.

Shadow Pocket (Su): At 2nd level an umbral assassin is able to breath into the shadow plane to store his weapons, out of sight to those who would disarm him. He may sheathe a weapon into the darkness, and may draw it out of his shadow as if drawing a weapon normally "from thin air". He may keep up to his Intelligence modifier in stored weapons at one time. For example, an umbral assassin with Int 18 can store two daggers, a greatsword, and a longbow. Up to 50 ammunition may be stored as a single weapon. Every time he retrieves a weapon from his shadow pocket, it costs 1 shadow pool point.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, an umbral assassin retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) regardless of being caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. (He still loses any Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.)

If a character gains uncanny dodge from a second class the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below).

Mirror Mode (Sp): At 3rd level an umbral assassin can cause the shadow plane to emit warped reflections of himself into reality to confuse his attackers. By burning 3 shadow pool points the umbral assassin duplicates the effects of mirror image with a caster level equal to his character level.

Shadow Weapon (Sp): At 3rd level an umbral assassin can pull shadowstuff into reality and forge a weapon, in the event he is disarmed. He may forge a shadowy copy of any masterwork melee weapon he is proficient in as a full-round action that costs 3 shadow pool points. The weapon lasts for 10 minutes, and vanishes into smoke if ever dropped or disarmed. For every 3 additional shadow pool points, he may grant a +1 enhancement to attack and damage on the conjured weapon.

Blurstrike (Sp): At 4th level an umbral assassin's weapons partly phase into the shadow and catch the enemy off guard. As a swift action, you may burn 3 shadow pool points and treat your opponent as flatfooted for a single attack.

Darkvision 30 ft (Ex): Being surrounded by shadows makes one grow acustomed to their lack of light. At 4th level an umbral assassin gains darkvision out to 30 feet. If the umbral assassin already has darkvision, he instead improves his darkvision by +30 feet.

Dimension Leap (Sp): At 5th level an umbral assassin can step into the shadows briefly to move. He gains the use of dimension door with a caster level equal to his character level. It consumes 5 shadow pool points, and may only be used once every 1d4 rounds.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 5th level, an umbral assassin can no longer be flanked, since he can react to opponents on opposite sides of him as easily as he can react to a single attacker. This defense denies rogues the ability to use flank attacks to sneak attack the umbral assassin. The exception to this defense is that a rogue at least four levels higher than the assassin can flank him (and thus sneak attack him).

If a character gains uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge, and the levels from those classes stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.

Afterimage (Sp): At 6th level the umbral assassin's shadow "footprint" can trail behind him, rendering him difficult to hit when in motion. As a swift action an umbral assassin may cloak himself in twisting shadows for 1 minute. For every 10 feet of movement made in the round, the umbral assassin gains a 10% miss chance against attacks, to a maximum of 50% miss chance at 50 feet. This miss change does not stack with illusion based miss chances such as blur or displacement. Use of this ability costs 5 shadow pool points.

Hide in Plain Sight (Su): At 7h level, an umbral assassin can use the Hide skill even while being observed. As long as he is within 10 feet of some sort of shadow, an umbral assassin can hide himself from view in the open without having anything to actually hide behind. He cannot, however, hide in his own shadow.

Phantom Reality (Ex): So lost in the currents of shadow, the umbral assassin becomes difficult to find by spells which would divine or detect information about him. At 7th level whenever an umbral assassin is subject to divination which either detects or divines something about him, the information comes out as erronous unless the diviner succeeds on a caster level check of the umbral assassin's HD + 10. Failing to do this results in the divination being redirected to some random, false result, such as showing up as a random false alignment, or a scrying attempt picking up the wrong person.

Improved Dimension Leap (Sp): At 8th level the Dimension Leap ability of the umbral assassin improves. It no longer costs any points from his shadow pool to use dimension door, though it still can only be used once every 1d4 rounds.

Shadow Body: One with the shadow plane, the umbral assassin changes on a biological level. He is considered native to both the material and shadow planes, and suffers no environmental effects from the plane of shadow. He gains the ability to see in darkness as a devil, bypassing both mundane and magical darkness as if it wasn't there, and his body becomes infused with shadow, granting him immunity to critical hits and sneak attack as his vital organs are never entirely there.

Shadow Travel (Sp): At 10th level the umbral assassin can duplicate the effects of shadow walk by burning 7 shadow pool points, with a caster level equal to his character level.

Campaign InformationEdit

Playing an Umbral AssassinEdit

Combat: Hide, strike hard, end it fast. If an umbral assassin cannot enjoy the benefit of death strike, not all is lost, as he holds both potent defenses, and a means to employ his sneak attack, even if alone.

Advancement: Any class functional for rogues also works well with umbral assassins.

Resources: As assassins they often form guilds out of need, for employers to find them and so they can hold a safe alter ego when elsewhere. Every so often a rogue assassin will appear, working for no one and for his own purposes, good or ill.

Umbral Assassins in the WorldEdit

You have commited crimes against nature, and for that you die.
—The Red Mantis, Thri-Kreen Umbral Assassin

NPC Reactions: No assassin worth his salt would let his profession be well known. Even those with kind hearts and noble deeds would be shunned if it were known that their prey were other men, matter how evil. As such, umbral assassins keep alternate egos, for the times when the sword is not the answer.

Umbral Assassin LoreEdit

Characters with ranks in Knowledge The Planes can research umbral assassins to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge The Planes
DC Result
10 Umbral assassins are assassins by trade, and thus know how to kill a man instantly, and worth with all manner of venom.
15 Umbral assassins use shadow magic to cloak their appearance, hide their weapons, or even obscure their position.
20 High level umbral assassins can even travel to the shadow plane easy, popping in and out of reality as if it were a footstep away.
30 Those who reach this level of success can research particular umbral assassins, their whereabouts, lore, and missions they have completed.

Umbral Assassins in the GameEdit

Adaptation: With a simple flavor twist, this becomes an Ethereal Assassin, cloaked in the ghostly fogs of the ethreal plane.

Sample Encounter: An assassin is after the king, and you must guard him. But as the night drags on, it starts getting dark... too dark. Something wicked this way comes...

EL 15:

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