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  1. #1
    I'm going to present a set of prestige classes which I was supposed to have been writing in late january... Sadly, exams and other concerns have held me away, and I began to doubt I'd even make this post before the deadline (I've just stepped back into the Birthright message boards, so I'm not even completely sure the deadline's still far off). Before I present these classes, the envoy and bodyguard, I need to ask you all one thing: has there been a submission for a priest of Nesirie yet? Since I haven't been reading the forums at all lately, any new posts (and some of the older ones) might have completely escaped me.

    The envoy seeks to be played a bit like a magician: with extraordinary powers that take true finesse to use. He's mostly unsuited for combat, but enjoys a vast array of highly impressive abilities that place him in the thick of any verbal battle. Rogues, bards and perhaps even rangers can successfully pursue the role, though I suppose even mages might appreciate it.

    The bodyguard
    Those regents who believe themselves immune to treachery and envy, or suitably guarded by the gods themselves, will no doubt have disloyal soldiers or assassins prove them wrong. They may soon find their safety shattered by a longknife or an arrow, sent in too late to allow regret to take its course. Others, who strive to be more prudent on the matter, have developed personal solutions to such threats: the warning system of a wizard, or a well-armed castle guard, or perhaps even large networks of spies to counter plots. Many, however, seek defenders specially trained for the task, equipped exclusively to face immediate threats to the regent. Such persons are humbly known as bodyguards, but may derive from all layers of courtly life: the regent's honorary mage and his most trusted soldier are both valuable candidates for the role.

    Requirements: The character must undergo a ceremony of investiture, as though she were preparing to become a full-fledged vassal. Following this ritual, she becomes bonded with the regent by magical means, which can only be broken when the regent dies.

    As an optional rule, the bodyguard may gain special abilities as medals rather than receiving them at level-up. When any medal becomes absent from her body, the ability related to it fades, becoming temporarily unuseable. This makes the class seem less divine and noble as a consequence, but introduces an intriguing aspect (symbol worship) to its role. Much like a paladin might wield his holy symbol, bearing it defiantly against the heathen hordes, so does a bodyguard present her gleaming medals on the field.

    Class skills: concentration, craft, diplomacy, disguise, heal, intimidate, knowledge (nobility and royality), listen, profession, ride, search, sense motive, spot, tumble

    Skills/level: 4 + intelligence modifier
    Hit die: d8
    Level; [Base attack bonus]; fortitude save; reflex save; will save; special abilities
    1: [+1] +1 +1 +1 Devotion; Sacrifice
    2: [+2] +2 +2 +1 Integrity; Pride; Courage
    3: [+3] +3 +3 +2 Strength; Agility
    4: [+4] +4 +4 +2 Vigilence
    5: [+5] +5 +5 +3 Honor; Ingenuity

    Devotion: The ceremony that transforms the character into a bodyguard projects a link between her and the regent, a link so steadfast and secure that no magic can cleave it off. The bodyguard becomes unable to consciously harm the regent, or even so much as think of harming him, and thus becomes partly immune to mind control. Besides this, she receives +12 to recognizing the regent under a disguise, as well as to identifying anyone who might impersonate him. The bond functions at its strongest while the bodyguard remains next to the regent, up to 10 feet away; distances between 10 and 30 feet are considered short; between 30 and 60 feet - medium; between 60 and 100 feet - long. When the bond perishes together with the regent, the bodyguard must make a successful fortitude save or lose one point of constitution permanently. The same happens when the regent suffers the loss of a bodyguard, though he receives a +5 bonus to his own save.

    Finally, a more subtle effect arises in the bodyguard. Regardless of where she is, a subtle pull informs her of her regent's vague location, and grows ever stronger the more distant she becomes.

    Sacrifice: Three times a day per level of bodyguard, the character may make a sacrifice of her vitality, taking a wound the liege lord suffers in his stead. This takes place even while the bodyguard remains at a medium range; she collects the wound by magic, letting it appear exactly where it might have been on the regent's own body. This occours without consuming any actions, though the bodyguard can only retrieve wounds the moment they have been delivered. She may also use this power to collect poisons, diseases, or refract a healing spell and send it towards the regent, so that he receives the benefit instead.

    Integrity: The adamant attachment of a guard's life to her regent's, manifested in both thoughts and daring actions, has slowly promoted the developement of tactics meant to help them both survive and depend on each other's help. Either the regent or the bodyguard may, while the other strikes, spend a full action to provide a bonus to the attack roll, essentially transferring his or her total attack bonus. Like many bodyguard abilities, integrity may be applied regardless of the character's location, though the full effect applies only within 10 feet of a regent. At short distances, a malus of 1 is applied; at medium, a malus of 2; while long distances impose a malus of 3. Moreover, the bodyguard must be able to see the attack taking place, unless she feels it in some other way (such as by magic) or has the blind-fight feat.

    Pride: All intimidation rolls against the bodyguard experience a DC bonus of +5. In addition to this, her charisma modifier goes up by +1. Being well among the most prestigious soldiers in her faction, she receives a certain gleam about her features, though some claim this is because of her connection with the regent rather than any expression of her inner glory. Whether sparkles of divinity or mere scraps of a magic bond, such troves of beauty nonetheless inspire those around her.

    Courage: At moments of unyielding tension on a clustered battlefront, when any single blade might stroll into a king's unguarded flesh and thus propel his nation into anarchy, brisk reflexes and even brisker thoughts are needed to protect the domain's future. Ever careful not to leave her liege lord under threat, the bodyguard may use the tumble skill to rapidly switch places with him. Adding the regent's size difference to the DC of 10, she either forces her way through and triggers an attack of opportunity, or (should she succeed by 10 or more) slip in without inviting any strike from those fighting the regent. If a regent is about to suffer an attack that leaves him below zero hit points, the bodyguard must make an opposed check against the attacker's dexterity; should she win, she automatically uses her courage ability, displacing the regent and claiming the attack herself. The attack may or may not hit her, based on her own AC.

    Strength: Practicing alongside the regent, or simply knowing his talents thanks to their magical link, allows the bodyguard to pick two of his fighter-feats and carry them herself, regardless of whether or not she passes most requirements. However, if one feat has an "ancestor" as a prerequisite (the way mobility has dodge, for instance), she may not select that feat unless the "ancestor" has already been taken. If no new feats exist for the bodyguard to take, she may always do so at a later point.

    Agility: Thanks to the more subtle aspects of her magic bond, the bodyguard can easily respond to threats while near her liege lord. While within 10 feet of him, she runs at double speed and gets +3 to reflex saving throws; at short range, she still benefits from 1.5 times her normal speed, as well as +2 to her reflex saving throws, while at medium range, she only receives the minor advantage of +1 to reflex saves.

    Vigilence: All objects noticed by the regent -even if perfectly invisble- are made apparent to the bodyguard if they rest in her line of sight, and vice versa. While she's standing at long range or closer, she may scan her whereabouts with greater accuracy, due to her persistent need to seek out hidden threats. This results in a +4 to spot and listen checks so long as she remains immediately near the regent, +3 at short range, and so on.

    Honor: The bodyguard has finally attained her highest level, fated to arrive amidst the true elite. Her prize - complete immunity to mind-affecting spells - reflects her soul's boundless vitality, her sheer unwillingness to slide into the throes of fear. Having endured not simply threats to her own life, but also challenges towards her very duty, she maintains a rigid and well-guarded mind, which not even the most intense of spells can crumble.

    Ingenuity: The bodyguard's connection with her regent has matured, gaining empathic qualities. The two may now freely exchange emotions with each other, able to manifest distress and present simple orders. For this, the will saving throw of either bodyguard or regent (whichever is higher) becomes alloted to both, and any spell effect that takes hit points into account will disregard their individual HPs, instead using their sum. Should either bodyguard or regent have fewer ranks in a skill, he or she receives a competence bonus of +1 to the skill involved, as a token of experiences shared.


    The Envoy
    The splendid courts of Anuire have given rise to a variety of warrior unkown to most other arenas, a rank of combatants so deadly they can strike with but a word. In a regent's wavering grasp, they can prove equally powerful as allies and betrayers, able to draw realms into war and sunder the most firm alliances. They operate most often in the presence of their enemies, hiding behind tapestries and titles to protect themselves, and snatch the most shameful of secrets to exploit for their own gain. They might wear jewels and silks, or garb as loathesome as a beggar's, though their purpose is the same: to plunder lips and parchment-blocks for compromising information, either to be ferried back towards their ever-plotting masters or abused by their own selves through blackmail and extortion. Conspiring behind dark curtains or rousing the council chambers, they bear the most loathesome of secrets behind their jewelled facade. To control them is impossible, save through the promise of riches far beyond their masters' offers, although a well-placed suggestion or assassination tip-off can often their trust, at least temporarily.

    Requisites:
    Foremost, the envoy must know how to write. Literacy is a must for this profession. He also requires 8 ranks in knowledge (nobility and royality), along with a combination of the following skills that ammounts to a total of 30 points: bluff, diplomacy, disguise, hide, intimidate, listen, move silently, profession (anything related to spycraft or courtly affairs - this includes harlots as well as ambassadors), sense motive, speak language, spot. Skills alone cannot impose an envoy's power, for a geas of sorts is needed: a connection with one's master, which ensures the envoy's ties are always well-known to diviners and surpasses any form of mundane heraldry. A symbol of a leader's power, which the envoy summons forth onto his brow when needed, endorses his claim of service to one of Anuire's regents. Only a ceremony of investiture, much like the one performed for vassals, can produce this "envoy crest", which may take any shape the regent pleases, but often contains his coat of arms or other such marking. See the "envoy crest" ability for information on this symbol, its typical meanings and the powers needed to detect or hide it.

    Envoys, by their very nature, tend to be neutral or evil. A strict lawful alignment tends to suit the envoy's role, for it demands, on some occassions, compromising private virtues to better pursue one's duties, but all things considered, neutral and even chaotic envoys have been known, mostly recruited for their cunning rather than obedience.

    Should the envoy lose his liege lord without an heir to reclaim him, he becomes unable to advance in this class, though his skills and class abilities remain available for use. He may start taking new levels as soon as a new liege lord is chosen, either through a coronation ceremony, or by an investiture into a new lord's leadership. This new investiture cannot occour while the liege lord is still alive, as the bond between him and the envoy forbids it.

    Hit die: d6
    Skills per level: 10 + int modifier
    Class skills: Appraise, balance, bluff, climb, concentration, craft, decypher script, diplomacy, disable device, disguise, escape artist, forgery, gather information, hide, intimidate, jump, knowledge (all), listen, move silently, open lock, perform (all), profession, search, sense motive, sleight of hand, speak language, spot, swim, tumble, use magic device, use rope

    (I could split this list between three sublists, one basic, the other two available only by using a special ability at first-level. This special ability would be skillset[thief or diplomat], and allow either a more gentle evolution for pampered negociators, or a rugged, streetwise affair. I personally like it when both are mixed in, letting the otherwise elegant envoy run around with a dark cloak and set of lockpicks)
    Level; [Base attack bonus]; fortitude save; reflex save; will save; special abilities
    1: [+1] +0 +0 +1 Signal; Memorize Text; Envoy Crest; Art Of Delivery
    2: [+2] +0 +1 +2 Aura; Deft hearing; Improved agitate
    3: [+3] +1 +1 +2 Scry mannerisms; Perfect lie; Disguise motive
    4: [+3] +1 +2 +3 Aura; Trace object; Intuition
    5: [+4] +1 +2 +4 Compel; Improved signal; Humiliate
    6: [+5] +2 +3 +4 Aura; Improved memorize text; Secrecy
    7: [+6/+1] +2 +3 +5 Assume mannerisms; Enshroud words; Regalia
    8: [+6/+1] +3 +4 +6 Aura; Enthralling conversation; Fast-talk
    9: [+7/+2] +3 +4 +6 Ultimate signal; Power word stun; Counter-incantation
    0: [+8/+3] +3 +4 +7 Aura; Indomitable voice; Eternal echo
    ("0" means 10... I just thought I'd use it to keep things at the same level without having to tinker with the font)


    Signal: Some gestures may be performed in such delicate ways that they specifically target a person, ensuring he alone can perceive them. As part of his repertoire of minor treacheries, the envoy can dispatch small hand gestures, smiles and others trinkets of motion at precisely the right times to avoid notice. While visible, he must make a hide or spot check with a DC of 15, plus 2 if he symultaneously tries to consciously perform another simple gesture, such as lifting a rock or placing a piece on a chessboard. Alternatively, if he wishes to attempt a complex gesture at the same time, such as picking a lock or dodging an arrow, the DC is increased by 5 instead of 2; attempting to perform two or more signals at once (within the span of two seconds) further increases the DC by 5 per extra signal. Signals that involve lightly touching the target only require a base DC of 10. A higher DC should be given, at the DM's discretion, if the envoy is occupied (duelling, horseback riding or watching a scene intensely) while performing the signal, and if a good number of people are keeping him under watch. If successful, the envoy has passed his signal without anybody from the general crowd recognizing it. If the roll fails by less than 10, the signal has been passed and seen by everyone paying attention. A failure by 10 or more implies the signal was distorted, or shown to the wrong persons, or completely overlooked and skipped. In this last case, the envoy simply couldn't execute the proper motions, either because of a distraction or some other reason.

    While hiding, envoys require a DC of 20, and may only perform a hide check; they will be exposed by a major failure (10 or more), but minor failures (less than 10) simply prevent them from passing their message successfully - the target doesn't see them. Characters to whom the envoy is still visible (but who are not directly studying his movements) may or may not notice the whole thing: in order to decide, the DM must have each of them perform a spot check at a DC equal to the envoy's roll. The DC is lowered by 5 if the target is currently watching the envoy.

    Once the first roll has proven successful, each character specifically observing the envoy (i.e. staring at him) must perform a spot check with a DC equal to the envoy's first roll. This happens both while the envoy is hiding and while he remains visible to all.

    A signal may be given to any number of people at once, provided they stand close to one another or remain within a generally similar direction, but should the envoy desire to address multiple people in turn, he must make separate rolls. Note that magical invisibity, or anything else that prevents the target from seeing the gesture, makes signalling more difficult in some ways, although by no means impossible. The envoy may still touch the target; interfering with a torch to stretch a subtle shadow, shifting objects on a table and the like are still considered fit for use as signals. Both hide and spot rolls may be used while magical invisibility is in effect. Furthermore, no one may spot the motions of an envoy in this state unless the viewer has some means of ignoring invisibility, though he might see the effects of these motions (such as the shadow of the torch in the example given). Also note that, if he wishes, the envoy may substitute hide with move silently, and his opponents' spot with listen, by using minor grunts, sighs or other innocuous sounds.

    Considered of immeasurable value to the courtly spy, the signalling ability receives a +1 bonus for each level of envoy. Simply making a bluff check, while more convenient in some cases, would override the complexity of the action, and has little to do with the actual purpose of the signal: that of attracting the attention of a person, and communicating with it, through extremely subtle means that would have to overcome bluff checks of DC 20 to succeed.


    Memorize text: A true envoy, even when tasked with simply ferrying a message from his master, must commit his whole mind to the task. While his attention shifts across the opportunities ahead, his memory must always keep his goals alight. By focusing on a single text, spoken or written, the envoy may record its unadulterated form, which he must then display again in order to make sense of it. This might mean copying the text from memory into a scroll, or speaking it aloud. Regardless, the envoy cannot discern its true contents before this - he's aware of how the text looks or sounds like, but cannot read or hear it in his mind. Whenever a new text must be recorded, a wisdom check is made at a DC of 5 + the square of the number of texts already memorized, with the envoy level added to the roll. Should he fail badly (by 10 or more), the envoy will not even be informed of his failure, and might assume the garbled message he will later spill is, in fact, the original. In this case, the worthless copy remains in the envoy's mind until he chooses to forget it, and still counts as a memorized text for the DC.

    No more than a two-square-foot page or a one-hundred-word speech may constitute a single text: for the remainder, if the envoy seeks to memorize it, he must make another memorize attempt, with the DC properly adjusted.


    Envoy crest: The magics needed to entrust an envoy with his role must be performed within a ceremony of investiture, whether the target has already been made a lieutenant, heir or vassal to the regent. Upon the completion of this ceremony, which involves numerous vows of loyality and service, the envoy stands and quietly receives the regent's touch along his brow. By magics woven only for this purpose, a tender halo of light imbibes the envoy's face, wherein the immaterial symbol of his liege becomes enshrined. A mere thought can retract this symbol, into whatever part of his mind best describes his loyality, to proivde a more humane note to the envoy: while he may present it at all times and in all places, boasting his attachment to a powerful domain, he might often find others rejecting him because of it, regarding him as no more than his leader's stolid pawn. Thus, during negotiations, envoys rarely garnish themselves with their gleaming symbols, unless a formality demands it. Even while hidden, however, it provides a +1 to will saving throws and a complete immunity to all enchantment spells that specifically demand of him to act against his liege lord, or the liege lord's stated will. Aside from this, while present next to the liege lord, both he and the liege lord receive +5 to their sense motive checks against each other, as they share a nearly empathic link.

    The symbol may also function as a divination tool, for when the liege lord finds himself near-death or sealed within a prison that negates all magic, its typically powerful gleam dims or disperses in odd ways, usually telling of his lord's precarious state. Extending the crest provides the envoy with a bonus or a malus, to his charisma-based skills, depending on how appropriate it is to use it, how strong his master's domain is, how noble a reputation it has and so on. The DM would do best to choose the results by his own intuition, rather than relying on complex schematics and tables. Divining the crest requires superior skills, which typically means a +10 to all magical detection DCs.

    As a twist, the DM may choose to allow regents to become envoys as well, declaring the land or the sum of their holdings as their "liege lord". Normal envoys may do this as well, thus bypassing all issues related to succession, but becoming loyal to the domain instead of its leader (and thus leaving themselves open to some measure of rebellion).


    Art of delivery: At will, the envoy may enlarge or shorten the range of his voice (up to four extra feet per envoy level) without actually changing any of its properties. A storyteller may enclose large audiences in his whispers, while even less talented orators can reduce their voices, thereby making themselves seem more distant from their listeners.


    Deft hearing: The ongoing affairs of courts provide a wonderful occasion for spies, sneaks and servants of all kinds to mingle in, anxious for a new discovery that might help bolster their careers. Those forged in such a heated realm of lies and deep conspiracies have learned to not only survive it, but exploit it in all ways. The deft hearing of an envoy lets him pick apart lies from the truth with casual grace, applying his listen skill when his sense motive checks fail. In addition, the envoy gains the capability to overhear important words without so much as trying: any conversation that he might wish to attend reaches his ears automatically, albeit he must make a listen check to distinguish the words being spoken.


    The auras: Guile can protect the worthy diplomat as well as trounce the undeserving. In the confines of a court, shadows engage each other for their bearers' honor, whipping relentlessly with subtle, terrifying blows. Such battles turn appearance into a destructive force, which only appearance itself can deflect, demanding perfer rigor and decorum from all combatants. As they develop their appearance over years of verbal battle, envoys nearly become what they're perceived as, bearing auras of illusion that affect those nearby. The auras are meant to reflect this fabulous power, as they provide key abilities to not simply the envoy himself, but also those fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to remain near him in moments of distress. An aura may be chosen more than once, each "level" granting increases to certain numeric values. While the envoy may choose any aura for himself, it's recommended that he take only those which reflect his personality, as behaving in a way that contradicts the aura will completely nullify its power, though there is some leeway as to when that happens. For example, vicious fighting contradicts the principles behind the aura of benevolence, which emphasizes grace and peace. However, a more subtle and artistic form of combat (such as fencing) might not hinder the auta at all. Take note that even if a group of envoys sits together, sharing auras, only those of highest level manifest - the effects of two envoys' auras never stack.

    Aura of Inspiration: Soldiers and peasants alike often need something to revere, a focus of their aspirations and an anchor to their courage. By attuning his own body to accomodate their faith, the envoy can become their living icon. His features, no matter how plain, host glimmers of nobility, which may or may not suit the mind that lurks behind their gilded frame. So gloriously does this feeling of divine attention soar that it extends to every friendly creature in a six-foot-per-level radius, granting a +2 to their will saving throws for every level of the trait. Even the most disheartened soldiers may reclaim their fallen hopes, dipping their souls into the envoy's mighty presence.

    Aura of Secrecy: Secrets attract a magic of their own, as some might claim, investing their collectors with a subtle nuance of mysticism. A patchwork of inner shadows cowls their minds, and from its threads, the graceful motions of a thief sometimes take form. By harvesting the secrets he possesses, the envoy can place himself more easily in hiding, and grants all allies nearby a more acute sense of discretion. This implies +2 to both hide and move silently checks for every level of the trait, which stretches to a full three feet, plus two per extra levels of the trait. A band of thieves concealed in an envoy's cloak of mysteries, or merely a clumsy informant in an alleyway, can benefit enormously from this.

    Aura of Benevolence: The envoy's graceful manner and appearance strengthen him, both against rivalling courtiers and his private doubts. His every spoken word and gesture bears a certain innate peace that softens the resolve of his opponents, a peace so powerful that it sometimes borders on magic. This power flowing from his actions, magnified by training and the envoy's ingenuity, grows almost supernatural in its ability to stifle threats, discouraging his enemies from openly assaulting him. While within four feet of the envoy, plus two for each subsequent level of this trait, all sentient creatures must make an opposing charisma check whenever they seek to engage in open hostility. The diplomat's mere presence can effectively disarm them, draining their desire to cause immediate harm.

    Defying such enemies, by passing through a gate they guard or throwing an insult against them, dispels this effect and lets them act on their hostility. It is impossbile to, say, dash towards a guardsman's noble lord with long knives in one's hands without soliciting some sort of violent response. The aura of benevolence cannot prevent thoughts of aggression - all it does is hinder them from coalescing into actions. Moreover, the enemies involved may be compelled by circumstances to attack, as well as instigated by their leaders or companions. For each attempt made to replenish their hostility, the enemies must each make the opposing charisma check again.

    Aura of Importance: Stern, hardened eyes and a collosal frame, the markings of impenetrable majesty, can hide more weakness and incompetence than history could ever bear. The grandiose illusion of a flawless character, smoothed out and chipped in such a way that its gleams burst at every angle, can at some points overpower strong hearts and even strong minds, forcing them into an almost hypnotic submission. With the aura of importance, the envoy and all his allies in a four-foot-per-level radius receive a +2 to their intimidate and diplomacy checks, which helps the general affairs of any emissary. Delegations find an envoy's presence more rewarding, as their words seemingly glow upon their lips, while symbols of station flare with an intrinsic power and treaties appear more alluring to the eye. Such is the unquestionable worth of false importance.

    Aura of Fraternity: Persistent friendly contract with a certain race or culture has given the envoy insight on their habits and beliefs. No longer a stranger among them, he receives a +2 circumstance bonus to bluff, diplomacy, disguise, intimidate, sense motive, gather information and all other skills that might pertain to dealing with this culture. Although the envoy may select a single target every time he picks this aura, the same target cannot receive the aura twice - the bonus does not stack. This is the envoy's equivalent of "favored enemy".

    Aura of Humility: Some diplomats, amply trained in the arts of boot-licking, have developed their techniques to such a powerful extent that they directly channel their spinelessness as a force. Submissive beyond reason, they may inspire such pity that guards lend them passage out of guilt, while nobles, pressed by their own generosity, become more willing to adopt a sensible position, even when they'd otherwise be hostile to the envoy. Able to preserve their diginity while secretly appealing to one's mercy, they can beset enemy minds from all possible sides, demanding and beseeching at the same time. The aura of humility provides them and their allies with +2 to bluff, as well as lowering the bluff rolls of their enemies by 2. Each level of the trait raises these bonuses by 2. The effects hold consistently across a four-foot radius, plus two per every extra level of the trait.


    Improved agitate: When performing an agitate action, a regent may also take a character action from the envoy (if present within any of the provinces affected) to receive a bonus equal to his perform skill, which counts as unspent regency.


    Scry mannerisms: When studying a character directly, the envoy may notice slight motions and facial expressions that relate a person's background and beliefs. Thoughts often emanate from minor indiscretions, gestures too subtle for others to observe, yet through his rigorous experience, the cunning courtier may silently collect them all. Forming a profile of the target over a few days, he then becomes able to notice his characteristic gestures. Each disguise or bluff check made against the envoy must topple a strengthened DC, which gets a bonus of +1 for every two days largely spent within the target's company. This bonus may not go beyond 4, however, and drops by 1 (down to 0) for every month spent away from the target.

    In addition, the ability allows the envoy to identify a person's upringing and culture with more ease, gaining a bonus of +3 for this specific purpose. He also substitutes spot checks for sense motive checks when the latter fail, essentially gaining three chances of perceiving treachery (as he already benefits from his deft hearing).


    Perfect lie: When tact and deflection fail to guard a servant's secrets, he must sometimes coat them in the filth of raw deceit. Once a day, the adept envoy may tell a lie that withstands all forms of detection - not even magical means can sunder its compelling nature. Though the listener may recognize the falsehood by logical means, he fails to perceive any physical signs of it. No trembling on the envoy's lips or quiver in his eye suggests that he presents anything more than an innocent truth.


    Disguise motive: Rather than contend with the more brutal forms of secrecy, the envoy chooses to explore its full complexity, learning not simply to conceal his true intent, but also make it seem as though he's lying when he's not. With this powerful talent, edified by his exposure to all sorts of gritty lies, he may alter the nature of his bluffs in exchange for a +2 to the DC, as well as feign a hidden motive when none truly exists. While a loss by 10 or more simply exposes the bluff in the way the envoy intended, should he lose by 15 or more, the envoy will also unveil the double subterfuge. Essentially, if the bluff's target would normally get the feeling that the envoy has been lying about an assassination in order to protect the victim, and the envoy would rather have the target believe he's been lying merely to protect himself and his own interests, a loss by 10 or more still fools the target into believing the latter. This helps to minimize the threat of a failed bluff, protecting him from greater forms of punishment.


    Trace object: Keys, baroque patterns, traps and similarly complex objects can deflect the eyes and memories of ordinary men, who might find it impossible to copy them by hand without having the objects clearly in front of them. Envoys, by contrast, have developed such attention that they might attempt to imitate an object, either crafting it themselves or drawing sketches of its shape, without needing the object to be present. If the DC for crafting a replica for an item increases because of its absence, reduce the DC bonus by 2 + the envoy's wisdom modifier, until that DC bonus has been nullified.


    Intuition: When pondering over problems that involve a human element, such as the location of a hidden key inside a noble's bedchamber, the envoy may place himself in a specific person's role (the noble, in this case), even without having met the person itself, and thus attempt to solve the problem by using this new perspective. While an ordinary person's intuition might not let him scry the actual solution, to the envoy, guessing has become a serviceable art, which manifests through the sense motive skill. The DC for performing acts of intuition varies, typically being 20, and a failure of 10 or more gives the envoy a false answer.

    For knowing the person he attempts to second-guess, the envoy receives a bonus - the same bonus he were to receive for spot checks against a disguise. For example, being an associate of the person grants the envoy a +6 to his roll. In addition, the presence of telltale signs and traces of the person's character, grant between a +1 and +3 to the roll, based on the DM's discretion.


    Compel: By the fifth level, the envoy has already gained a nearly magical experience, able to exploit the subtleties of human nature. He may twist allegiances with no more than a well-placed comment, toss a lie into a throng of careful minds without their notice, and profit from even the mildest actions of his peers. The power of controlling minds, at least to an extent, becomes inherent to the able courtier, who may now slip hidden suggestions into his maelstrom of words. By using his perform or intimidate skill, which the target counters with a will saving throw, he may successfully compel the target to perform an action or engage in some affair immediately. This effect only lasts one round, and may not counter the target's deeply-held beliefs, or make him act against his own self-preservation. Following the round in which he is affected, the target may choose to continue the action or abandon it completely, based on circumstances. This ability may only be used twice a day per envoy level.


    Improved signal: Perfecting his fine motions to a fault, the character has slowly built his signalling into a skill. As a result, he may now execute two signals at once with an increase of only 2 to his DC, though further signals performed at the same time impose an extra of 5 to the DC as normal. Minor actions no longer impede the envoy - the DC does not increase because of such disturbances.


    Humiliate: The ability to jest, mock and harass with accusations, no matter how base the humour or how wanton its expression, makes powerful men of envoys. When attempting to humiliate someone, the envoy uses his perform or intimidate skill while engaged in debate, a heckling round or another form of public confrontation, including the repartee exchanged during a duel. Without the target's awareness, a will saving throw is made against the envoy's chosen skill, and should it fail, the target will become demoralized, gaining a penality to his will saving throws. This penality lasts for two rounds per envoy level, and equals the difference between the DC and the roll. In some cases, it can render enemies completely open to all forms of mind control.

    Multiple uses of "Humiliate" on the same creature don't stack; for obvious reasons, creatures with zero charisma may not be intimidated, though any creature with which the envoy can communicate (including animals) is open to humiliation.


    Improved memorize text: Though powerful in its own right, the envoy's memory began as no more than a dusty archive, an unseemly pit of knowledge that confined the things he learned. Thanks to his persistent progress in the ways of his own mind, the envoy may directly study any text he memorized, without having to project it into speech or writing. He may make adjustments to it as he wishes, and create entirely new documents if he so wishes. When giving a speech thus prepared, or forging a document in such a way, he receives a competence bonus equal to his wisdom modifier. Also, the envoy is automatically informed of when a memorized text becomes "garbled".


    Secrecy: Once information has been gained, preserving it becomes of fundamental value. As the envoy will attempt to hide his stolen secrets, his mind naturally becomes prone to secrecy, unwilling to divest itself of any modicum of knowledge. To reflect this, his mind may enclose some thoughts in utter secrecy, unable to even express them to anyone but his liege lord. Once a thought (which may be anything from a mere sentence to a paragraph, or a single visual image, or a song) has been secluded thus, the envoy cannot share it in any conceivable way - not even through a clever metaphor - nor may he restore it from seclusion. Only the liege lord may do this with a direct order, at which point the envoy's mind becomes free of all secrecy. As number of secrets equal to the envoy's will saving throw may be stored.


    Assume mannerisms: One who spends many of his days in pleasant conversation, or debates common affairs with members of another culture, tends to learn the subtleties of that culture's behavior and ultimately claim it as his own. With his developed skill at studying a person's gestures, the envoy becomes more able to assimilate them, and ultimately sink unnoticed into the role of that person. For every day spent at least partially in someone's company, up to a total of 8 days, the envoy adds +1 to his disguise checks when seeking to imitate that person. Spending a whole month without devoting any significant time to that person causes the bonus to fall by -1, all the way down to a full zero, and another day must be spent to regain that bonus. The liege lord is exempt from this effect; the envoy may imitate him with a +8 bonus at all times.

    In addition to this, nationality no longer carries any influence over disguises, and neither does the envoy's race, provided he's endowed himself with a certain familiarity regarding those he seeks to emulate. He may behave as any member of that race or nationality... His mannerisms never bother him as an ambassador.


    Enshroud words: When the envoy's tone conveys the proper attitude, speaking exactly as the audience expects, the words themselves find little purpose, being no more than the seams across his curtain of deceit. He may, as such, obscure his messages completely, letting their ideas fall submerged within his eloquence. Up to three times a day, his words slip past the ears of his audience, so that for five full minutes (or less, if he so desires), they lose their essence completely, and take on whatever meaning listeners might place upon them. This depends entirely on what they may expect from a certain tone: they might even attack the envoy when confronted with hostility. When addressed with enshrouded words, a torturer may feel he has acquired infromation from the envoy (though he might not even know what this information is); a merchant might feel that he's robbing the man blind, when the reverse could be true; and an explorer who felt sure east was the proper way to go would thank the envoy after receiving "directions", then head east as he originally intended.

    If a guard happens to wait beside a gate, and he expects a password to be stated by all newcomers, the envoy need only approach him and speak confidently; using "enshroud words", his confidence becomes his only message, and the guard takes this confidence as clear proof that the envoy knows the password. Should he attempt to speak deceitfully, however, enshrouding his words will only make the envoy seem more dubious, and the guard may believe he heard him utter the wrong password. Unless the audience decides to consciously remember what the envoy spoke of, it never truly understands that it's been told essential nonsense. When it does, it still fails to remember what the envoy said, remembering his tone, but nothing else. Those following the conversation must succeed making a concentration check, with a DC of 20, to discover the ruse immediately. The envoy may sacrifice one of his three uses a day to add +10 to the DC of "enshroud words", essentially allowing him to reach as high a DC as 40. When trying to bluff a guard this way, half the bluff skill is added to the DC; same for disguise, intimidate, diplomacy or perform (in the case of poetry, orations, storytelling and the like).

    To better understand this powerful ability, the following examples are provided:
    -A goblin gate guard expects his master to boss him around, always shouting at him to lower the drawbridge he guards. Disguised as the master, but lacking any knowledge of the goblin tongue, the envoy may address the goblin violently, and thus make him understand that he needs to lower the drawbridge.
    -A timid merchant, always frightened by the slightest aggravation, would immediately run when spoken to aggressively.
    -An ordinary soldier might stand up straight, laugh and chortle or spit on the ground upon hearing a barbaric tone, based on the speaker's rank and appearance. He might assume his leader's ordering him to assume the position of attention, his friend just made a crude attempt at humour, or an ordinary fellow has just mentioned that the army of some rival will arrive soon. Naturally, the target's beliefs have plenty to do with what he chooses to hear.
    Note that it's practically impossible to get a soldier to follow specific orders, or promote an exact course of conversation, while enshrouding words. All one can suggest is what the target may already want to hear, if approached with the proper tone.


    Regalia: Wealth and prestige await the world's most capable of thieves, those who can snatch the wealth of realms with only their words to assist them. As their renown needs not be hidden under simple cloth and leather, they select garments and tools in honor of their station, to best represent their honor in their homeland's council chambers. Stuffed in the exquisite glamor of a fine fur coat, with gallant tufts of bright embroidery along its neckline, the envoy feels more at ease than in ordinary attire, gaining a dexterity bonus to his armor's AC: +1 for each 1,000 GP of the armor's base cost (that is, the cost it would have if it weren't enchanted), rounded down. Likewise, he may find himself able to wield a jewelled weapon with incredible ability, experiencing a +1 to his attack rolls per 1,000 GP of the weapon's base cost, rounded down. Elaborate, expensive tools provide skill bonuses in the same manner: +1 for each 1,000 GP in their cost.

    None of these bonuses may stack with plain magical boosts - a +1 weapon that would cost 2000 GP without its enchantment will still only be wielded as though it had +2 attack in the hands of an envoy. Nonetheless, the weapon will still inflict +1 damage.


    Enthralling conversation: Hour-long discussions are a hallmark of the envoy, whether they involve great plans or minor slips of friendly chatter. He may, when proficient enough in the art of conversation, enrapture his counterparts so deeply that they lose awareness of all outside concerns. While in this state, times seems to slow, and the target receives no compulsion to stop chatting, even when confronted with other potential sources of enjoyment. Only by losing his interest in the conversation itself, or finding an urgent need to stop, does he defy its power and unconsciously attempt to free himself. It takes a concentration roll (with a DC equal to the envoy's charisma) to do this; succeeding by 10 or more makes the victim aware of the enthrallment, while 9 or less makes him depart from conversation seamlessly. The roll must be repeated every minute if it fails, until the target's boredom or other reason expires. In addition, a new, separate roll is made each hour, with a cumulative bonus of +1 to all subsequent hourly rolls. While enthralled, the target suffers -5 to spot and listen checks, as well as -2 to his will saving throws and -4 to his sense motive checks. Though an entire conversation may last for quite long in some cases, the envoy may only perform one such conversation each day.


    Fast-talk: Words are no longer required for the envoy, who may now disclose whole sagas in a single moment: after much training and practice in the mundane arts of speech, he has finally detached himself from their pointless limitations. By unfathomable means, he may speak sixty times as fast as normal, essentially covering a whole minute's worth of arguments and comments into a second. Should he try to do this more than once an hour, every extra second spent talking this way will cause 1 point of subdual damage. Rather than a strange and frightening barrage of letters, the audience simply receives a wordless whisper or light hum, which contains the ideas he wishes to express. No magic may be attached to these ideas, nor can other envoy talents be combined with fast-talk, though typical skills, like bluff and intimidate, may still take effect as normal.


    Ultimate signal: Through arduous hand-wiggling and fingers aloft, the envoy has finally mastered the art of body language. Any slight shiver of his eyebrow, any tired breath of his might speak legends unto itself, if the right ears have been attuned to it. The ultimate signal is considered a spell-like ability, which enables the envoy to send a short message of no more than one sentence to any target, if she expects to receive such an Ultimate Signal (and only if she expects it). This message may retain the shape of a hand motion or whisper, which magically carries the envoy's intent. Its presence may well be divined by magical means, or by performing a successful spellcraft check (DC 20), but to an ordinary listener or viewer, only its physical shape remains seen. It takes a successful scrying check of DC 30, or the appropriate scrying magic, to discern the signal's contents - and this can happen only if the signal has already been detected by the person scrying. While the target must see or hear the message's physical shroud, she need not pay special attention to receive it. As a rule, no more than one such message may be sent each day, as it requires extreme effort on the envoy's part.


    Power word stun: As per the wizard spell, the envoy may render a creature motionless with a mere word. Though the ability can only be used once a day, its very presence can dramatically affect the envoy's dealings.


    Counter-incantation: Though his powers as an envoy fail to include using magic, an extremely able person may manipulate the spells of his opponents. Every sound has its antithesis; when the two meet, both find themselves absorbed in one another and immediately nullified. Thus, three times a day, the envoy may combine his listen and spellcraft skills against a DC of 30, plus one per level of the spell being affected, to immediately neutralize that spell as it is being cast. Spells that require no verbal components are immune to this.


    Indomitable voice: The envoy's power culminates in his ability to speak at any time, in any context, undaunted by most conditions. Only by actually removing his tongue, throat or jaw can he be quelled, as gags and magical effects (like silence) have no use. Even sewing his lips shut cannot restrain him. Furthermore, his voice may travel freely through all obstacles, including solid ground, and land unhindered in the ears of all those within hearing range. Other loud noises, such as those created by large crowds and thunderstorms, find it impossible to weaken or obscure his words. Commanders naturally receive a +2 bonus to their warcraft checks, and automatically improve the morale of all allied soldiers within hearing range by 1, while frightening his enemies to the same extent. He no longer requires verbal components for his spells, and endures no increased DC for so-called adverse conditions.


    Eternal echo: Intimate with the true magic nestled in his grand orations, the envoy may align mebhaighl with his own intent, embroidering a single statement with its cosmic threads. Any who pass nearby, man or beast, overhear it, and find it etched in their minds until they leave the area. The message spans up to a two-hundred-foot radius, based on the envoy's choice, and may only be dispelled by wizards acting on its core (treat it as a 10th level spell for the purpose of dispelling it). Every envoy that possesses the ability may use it to perform a decree action as a character action (or a free action, if used specifically within a province of level 3 or less). In addition, the presence of envoys that can place eternal echoes allows a regent to perform rule, agitate and create holding actions with a +2 bonus. Only one eternal echo may exist at any time for any single envoy, and only one may be placed each day. It perishes as soon as its master creates a new one or dies.

  2. #2
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    A bodyguard of sometype is a good target for a PrC.
    Let me address each ability seperately:

    Devotion is a bit odd. The bonus to identify your liege in disquise or an imposter seems to be made obsolete by the ability to always know the location of your liege. Always knowing location is a powerful ability, maybe you could bump that up to higher level ability.

    Sacrifice should perhaps only work in one direction. There are many benifical spells which might be sent from bodyguard to liege. This would include any spell with the personal target. Maybe too good to work in both directions?

    Integrity...hmmm.... I dont know that I buy into many of the bodyguards abilities working even at a distance. That bespeakes a very powerful magical ability which might not fit with BR so much. And anyway shouldnt your bodyguard be right next to you? Giving over your entire attack bonus minus 3 from 100 feet away is very powerful. I could imagine many regents spending lots of gold to recruit high level fighters to become bodyguards just to abuse this ability. I dont think I have ever seen an ability to give over your entire attack bonus like this. The regular aid other gives only a +2. Maybe something along the lines of the +2 becomes a +4 might be more in scale with the power of a level ability. By giving the entire attack bonus you make it very hard for the DM to find a proper challenge for the lord/guard combo. The regents attack bonus could pretty much double and make his hit automatic, while the rest of the party struggles to hit. The combo would steal the show.

    Pride basically just gives a bonus on intimidate and +1 CHA, right? Im not sure the magical tone of the abilites description hits the bodyguard mold well. The secret service guys on the president intimidate for sure and dont need magic. Are all the magical / mystical aspect of this PrC needed for the prototypical bodyguard? If you do want to keep them perhaps a name change of the PrC might be in order. Bonded Bodyguard, Guard of the Blood, or the name of some special link or order of guards...

    Courage is exactly the kind of ability I would expect a bodyguard to have. Step in and take the bullet..umm knife....Only would comment that the name might need a fix up... In the Line of Duty or somesuch might be better...

    Strength again needs a name fix up. I havent thought about the ramifications sharing feats this way. Anyone else have some comments as to if this could be a bit broken? Might need to add the fact that you have to meet all the prerequistes for the feat. Some non-core feats get strange, but are okay because they have ability, racial, or BAB prerequisites.

    Agility also needs a better name. I am not sure giving this at the same level as strenght is kosher. Two free feats and this? hmmm Nothing in this ability really jumps out as being cool or needed for the PrC.

    Vigilence is a good abilitiy, although you might consider switching this with sacrifice. A spot bonus is something any guard could use. The magical power of sacrifice should require some sacrifice to gain (like taking several levels of this PrC). Dont want to encourage people to dip into this PrC only for the first level ability.

    The requirements for this PrC are also light. Im not sure I agree with it, but it seems to be a general rule that PrCs should have requirements high enough that they cant be taken before fifth level. As fighters will be taking this, skill req's probably wont be a good match. BAB +5 and some feat maybe?...Alertness?

    -----
    It seems you are bubbling with ideas for the Envoy. Have you played this PrC or is this a rough draft? There are thirty one abilities! Im not going to note my ideas on each and every one, but Ill make some general comments.

    Perhaps you need to decide on a focus or direction of this PrC. The list of abilites should pop out and make the reader say "yes! thats a [PrC Name] exactly." I myself am a bit confused as to why an envoy, a represenatative of a regent, who can be easily know by his token and any divination spell, might disguise himself as a beggar and have so many hiding abilities. A good spy cant be traced back to their boss.

    Also you should be careful when crafting a class for a predominately social not combat game. Having all social and no combat abilites is actually not as weakening or balancing as it might seem. Compared to a fighter in a dungeon only campaign he is weak, but a player in that campaign would never pick up this PrC. Apples and oranges. You need to compare utility to other social builds (bards, rogues, spymasters etc) In a mostly social campaign this PrC might kick so much ass that he outshines everyone. Yes even if the party was all bards!



    Anyway, you seem to be bubbling with ideas. I hope you can find some useful criticism to mold these into workable ideas.

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    Danip schrieb:



    >This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.

    > You can view the entire thread at:

    > http://www.birthright.net/forums/ind...ST&f=24&t=3025

    >

    > Danip wrote:

    > A bodyguard of sometype is a good target for a PrC.

    >Let me address each ability seperately:

    >...

    >Courage is exactly the kind of ability I would expect a bodyguard to have. Step in and take the bullet..umm knife....Only would comment that the name might need a fix up... In the Line of Duty or somesuch might be better...

    >

    Mongoose published a "Bodyguard of the Crimson Shield" Prestige Class in

    it´s Quintessential Wizard which could take feats like "Draw Attack":

    You watch for melee attacks against an ally you defen, leaping to

    deflect them as they are made. Prereq. Bodyguard, Benefit: When using

    your bodyguard feat to defend an ally, you may actively defend your ally

    by intercepting melee attacks made against him. This feat works two

    ways. You may choose the ready action to defend the ally you protect

    with your bodyguard feat on his action. When you ally makes his next

    turn, you automatically become the target of any melee attacks made

    against your defended ally so long as he is within the area you threaten

    without a reach weapon. This includes any readied attacks made against

    your ally and attacks of opportunity triggered by his actions, such as

    casting spells or firing a missile weapon. If you drop before resolving

    all the attacks against your ally, the remaining attacks may target him

    as normal...". There were several others like "Absorb Blast" (leap on

    ally to protect him from spells), "Arrow Shield" (take arrow instead

    ally), "Bodyguard". One of them was "Selfless Sacrifice" with the

    prereq. of "Absorb Blast" and "Lightning Reflexes" with which you could

    grant your ally an automatic save on his turn - but had to suffer an

    automatic failed reflex save yourself.



    >The requirements for this PrC are also light. Im not sure I agree with it, but it seems to be a general rule that PrCs should have requirements high enough that they cant be taken before fifth level. As fighters will be taking this, skill req`s probably wont be a good match. BAB +5 and some feat maybe?...Alertness?

    >

    >

    The Crimson Shield Bodyguard had BAB +3, Hitpoints 30 or more, feats:

    Absorb Blast, Bodyguard, Iron will, Skills: Heal 4 ranks and special:

    You must protect a Wizard or Sorceror from harm for at least 3

    consecutive month. During this time the wizard may never drop below 1

    hit point due to damage from any source...

    The prestige class had 5 levels and if one replaces the requirement to

    protect a wizard with a regent it could work well.

    ...



    >Perhaps you need to decide on a focus or direction of this PrC. The list of abilites should pop out and make the reader say "yes! thats a [PrC Name] exactly." I myself am a bit confused as to why an envoy, a represenatative of a regent, who can be easily know by his token and any divination spell, might disguise himself as a beggar and have so many hiding abilities. A good spy cant be traced back to their boss.

    >

    And the "Spymaster" prestige class already fits that niche IMO.

    bye

    Michael

  4. #4
    I myself am a bit confused as to why an envoy, a represenatative of a regent, who can be easily know by his token and any divination spell, might disguise himself as a beggar and have so many hiding abilities. A good spy cant be traced back to their boss.
    Every diplomat might need to take part in a secret meeting, venture through enemy regions or have a private talk with those good spies you mentioned. I remember from my history classes that even my country's first king (Charles the first, a prussian prince) had to slip aboard a steam ferry and sail along the danube, through a portion of the river owned by Austria (which was Prussia's traditional rival), before reaching Romania and going through the coronation ceremony. He had to disguise himself and change his mannerisms, but none thought him a worse ruler because of it. I tend to imagine typical ambassadors as being gentlemen by day and cunning thieves by night, who might have an equal chance of getting an important document if they persuaded the right people or opened the proper locks; if they engaged in a conspiracy or eavesdropped on it. I suppose it just struck me as "right" to make an ambassador-style class with plenty of rogue talents to back it up.

    I also thought I made the envoy less vulnerable to divination spells... It seems this wasn't the case.

    I designed the envoy as something with almost no combat ability to speak of (before I did a few adjustments to the class, he started out with almost no attack bonus and ended up with +4), who had to rely almost exclusively on his skills and special abilities. Some of them, I realized, wouldn't fit in well with each other, or might make him too magical for the setting... But I thought I'd go ahead with them all anyway, since some could have been chopped away after the draft, or even split to form a different prestige class entirely.

    One of the problems I have with the envoys, to be honest, is the way they seem to become almost too powerful by 10th level - it feels strange that a regent would get none of those abilities, such as being able to speak through a storm, while his ambassador had no problem leaving permanent someplace. However, if I simply loped off the last three levels and allowed him to enjoy some semi-magical abilities (as well as that huge 10 skill points/level), or thin out the list of his special abilities, he might become playable as a "mundane" class. It should also be kept in mind that by the time the envoy reaches level 10 in this class, he'll have already gotten to at least 15 overall, which makes him very powerful in Cerilian terms, so I don't think "enthralling conversation" and the like aren't entirely justified.

    As for the bodyguard, which did, perhaps, over-emphasize the mystic link... I wanted it to be something akin to the divine connection between the regent and his vassals, but more resolute in some ways - the bodyguard doesn't, after all, just head off to a fief and start tending his own duties away from the regent's authority. Instead, like the templars of Darksun, he/she decides to devote his/her whole life to the regent, who, thanks to his bloodline, possesses nearly divine abilities. The bodyguard would be, essentially, a paladin of his/her lord.

    Hmm... I ~could~ make the regent's bloodline affect the bodyguard in some ways, like getting a hit point bonus of half the regent's bloodline score, but that might be a bit too much.

    On Integrity, I can't see it being more advantageous for ten bodyguards to focus on helping the regent hit, as opposed to doing the hitting themselves. Spending a full round means giving up two-three attacks as a fighter, to my knowledge, in exchange for boosting a single attack. That attack might have a bigger chance to hit, but .
    I agree, though, that it might have been too "high-magic" to allow the ability to function at long ranges. I'd rather edit it to work only at very close ranges (zero-ten feet), but also provide a free move action for the bodyguard, which always sends her straight towards the regent. That way, she can charge and basically leap in.

    I'd also add one more ability: Cohesion (or perhaps Valor? Technique? Finesse]?), which enables the bodyguard to parry attacks on the regent as though she had the expertise trait and was using it freely; she could expend several of her attacks, adding their bonus partially or fully to the regent's AC. Only one such bonus would apply for any attack he received, after which the bonus would perish, regardless of whether the attack was parried or not.

    I'm still fidgeting with the idea of a spell bonus, which acted like a metamagic feat for all spells cast on the bodyguard by the (priest or wizard) regent. I'm thinking about "extend spell", or perhaps "maximize spell", to make healing magic more fruitful. This would provide a powerful advantage for these regents, though it could be counterbalanced by a few other abilities which they would be exempt from (guild regents might give +2 skillpoints/level; law regents might give extra fighter feats).

    Most of the other abilities (like vigilence) aren't so much magic as the bodyguard's reaction, more or less instinctive, to the fact that the regent is somewhere nearby. If you're within 100 feet of the person who employed you as a guardian for life, the person whose survival determines your honor, you're going to be vigilent. Pride is a bit like that as well, except it's meant to impose a certain mystical feeling about the bodyguard. Consider how impressive the elite guards of a kingdom must have been in real life, particularly when they formed the highest non-noble ranks in the army: young boys would aspire to approach their skill and honor, as would many ordinary soldiers. Now, if these royal guards possessed a sorcerous link to their regent, wouldn't stories of high magic likely be attached to them?

    Only would comment that the name might need a fix up...
    I wanted to make the names into something of a "bodyguard" creed, with each title being a specific virtue. I *had* to put courage someplace, though I could make it so bodyguards don't suffer losses of morale, and bind this small trait to the title. I agree, it's not the perfect choice (and sacrifice had already been taken), but I'm all out of ideas...

    Agility (which, in hindsight, I might have called expediency or celerity) is something I see as valuable for assassination attempts, where you never know the enemy's position or plan of approach. I originally planned to make it so the bodyguard could always run at double speed towards the regent, if she saw him or knew his location precisely (as opposed to "feeling" it vaguely through the ingenuity ability), but decided against it, as it would have been a very weak ability, even with reflex save bonuses thrown in. Another possibility would be to let it increase both the bodyguard's and regent's speeds, ref. saving throws and protection from missiles when they perform a special sprint, essentially moving together under the bodyguard's lead. The regent would also receive half the bodyguard's tumble skill for the duration of this sprint, if he had less, and get the obvious "cohesion" bonus to any attacks of opportunity that came his way (within the pre-established limits), as well as the bonus from his own "expertise" feat. The downside? Neither the regent nor the bodyguard may attack for the whole round. It's basically a way to help retreats or more complicated maneouvers, which might be necessary to get the regent to safety.

    I'd do the following revision:
    -introduce "cohesion".
    -throw in some real requirements, which I forgot about entirely when I was making the class.

    4 ranks in two of the following: spot, listen, intimidate, sense motive
    At least 25 hit points
    4 feats that meet either of the following criteria:
    -can be taken as bonus feats by fighters
    -increase any of the above four skills
    -improve the character's saving throws
    -directly provide some form of protection to another character, acting specifically upon him (I'd like to leave it open for house rules)
    Fighters need to get to level 5 before they may select this class, as they lack spot, listen and sense motive as class skills; anyone without bonus fighter feats is excluded by the feat requirements, which are (I believe) too high for humans level 4 or below (I'll need to check the SRD). This leaves only monks, which aren't anywhere to be found in Cerilia. Perhaps the feat requirement might be a bit too high, but I'd really like to allow anyone level 5 or above to take this prestige class, regardless of their primary class. Rangers and rogues would make interesting bodyguards, as would clerics and paladins, who all stand to gain something out of this class, even if it restricts access to some higher-level spells.

    I do need to emphasize the real requirement: A long and faithful service spent in full submission to the regent. Perhaps, if the bodyguard-to-be isn't entirely devoted, the ceremony of establishing the magical link fails - and fails in utter devastation, causing both the regent and the bodyguard to suffer as though the other had died. Such a failure would bring shame to everyone involved, enough that choosing a bodyguard would be considered both extremely valuable and extremely risky.

    Perhaps there could be a single requirement, much more elegant than all of the above: getting at least 15,000 experience while under the regent's command. This excludes anyone 5th level or below, and renders the whole "long and faithful service" thing fairly objective.

    -Change "agility" into "expediency", and perhaps alter it to provide a better bonus.
    -shift the order of abilities to make the levels balanced - level 4 was really weak before, admittedly.

    Devotion; vigilence; cohesion
    Pride; courage
    Strength; integrity
    Expediency; ingenuity
    Honor; sacrifice

    This way, the most powerful ability by far (Honor) remains at level 5. The class starts with a host of relatively mundane talents, steadily becoming more "high-magic" and eventually attaining the ability to share life with the regent.


    The prestige class had 5 levels and if one replaces the requirement to
    protect a wizard with a regent it could work well.
    Except it wouldn't be much different from playing a mercenary who just happened to be hired for defensive work. There are no talents (like devotion) to ensure he wouldn't double-cross, nor any skills specifically related to the regent. It's also mainly a fighter-type that needs lots of hit points, whereas the bodyguard here also features other talents (tumble, for example). I'm not sure which of these classes would work better for the role, but they don't really overlap.

    What do you think of these additions/changes? I'd discuss the envoy class in more detail as well, but it seems no one has the time to ponder it specifically.

  5. #5
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    Demonizer schrieb:



    >This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.

    > You can view the entire thread at:

    > http://www.birthright.net/forums/ind...ST&f=24&t=3025

    >

    > Demonizer wrote:

    >...

    >------------ QUOTE ----------

    >The prestige class had 5 levels and if one replaces the requirement to

    >protect a wizard with a regent it could work well.

    >-----------------------------

    >

    >Except it wouldn`t be much different from playing a mercenary who just happened to be hired for defensive work. There are no talents (like devotion) to ensure he wouldn`t double-cross, nor any skills specifically related to the regent. It`s also mainly a fighter-type that needs lots of hit points, whereas the bodyguard here also features other talents (tumble, for example). I`m not sure which of these classes would work better for the role, but they don`t really overlap.

    >

    There is "Crimson Shield Conditioning". The Bodyguard of the Crimson

    Shield gets it at first level of the Prestige Class and it´s:

    "The stalwart warriors of the crimson shield value the life of their

    charge almost more than their own. The thought of intentionally harming

    the mages they defend is akin to considering suicide in the bodyguard´s

    mind. Magical enchantments, such as suggestion or charm person, may

    never be used to cause a bodyguard to harm his the spellcaster he

    protects either through his actions or lack of intervention. This

    protection does not extend to the spellcaster´s friends and allies."



    The "considering suicide part" reminded me of Dune where the Harkonnens

    only with considerable effort were able to get through the imperial

    conditioning of Dr. Yueh.

    bye

    Michael

  6. #6
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ConjurerDragon@Mar 7 2005, 01:30 PM
    >The requirements for this PrC are also light. Im not sure I agree with it, but it seems to be a general rule that PrCs should have requirements high enough that they cant be taken before fifth level. As fighters will be taking this, skill req`s probably wont be a good match. BAB +5 and some feat maybe?...Alertness?

    >

    >

    The Crimson Shield Bodyguard had BAB +3, Hitpoints 30 or more, feats:

    Absorb Blast, Bodyguard, Iron will, Skills: Heal 4 ranks and special:

    You must protect a Wizard or Sorceror from harm for at least 3

    consecutive month. During this time the wizard may never drop below 1

    hit point due to damage from any source...

    The prestige class had 5 levels and if one replaces the requirement to

    protect a wizard with a regent it could work well.

    ...

    Now unless this came from a non-3.5 updated version of the prestige class (I know Mongoose was updating their complete books to 3.5 but don't know where this PR came from) it violates the following:

    From 3.5 DMG (pg 197) Designing Prestige Classes “When you design a prestige class, make sure that characters must be at least 5th level before they can meet the entry requirements. Specific feats, skill ranks, and base attack bonuses make good entry requirements. . . .Don’t require levels in a specific class, minimum ability scores, or minimum hit points to qualify for a prestige class.”

    In 3.0 the requisites for designing prestige classes were pretty vague with only a recommendation concerning character level and there was a lot of inconsitency in how WotC designed them. With the advent of 3.5, WotC is much more consistent in how they build PR classes - a good thing IMO.

    Regardless, there are now requirements for designing prestige classes contained in the DMG and we should be consistent with them.
    Duane Eggert

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    aha
    -how about a 2s-stable orbit in case of alchemy ( )? or something wrong with it??
    don´t ever try to think about having horns atop your heads as well as i do as a bloody anduirean ( )
    Question: "ever heared about "Ainur"? Please answer Percy! I´m not very popular here -ithink
    besides: "the northmen wear helmets with horns on it"

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