General Prestige Class : Ghost-Faced Killer

From out of nothing the specter of death appears, an armored shadow with a brilliant blade held high. In a flash the katana falls, severing life from limb in a bloody arc. All around, screams of terror and shouts of fear erupt, as quaking hands draw blades to fight the masked murderer. His target dead, the ghost-faced killer walks calmly away as swords and fists pass harmlessly through his nearly transparent body.

Long ago, a persecuted clan of dangerous warriors sought a way to take revenge against their oppressors. Through sorcery, the spellcasters of the clan beseeched dark spirits to reveal a way that their clan might survive the coming strife and take revenge on the emperor who sought to crush them. The clan members struck a dark bargain, and the demon-spirits they had contacted provided the clan with a means to the bloody ends they desired. Donning terrifying masks to hide their identities, warriors of the clan crept into the imperial palace, and through the evil power of the pact they had made, passed invisibly and intangibly into the imperial household and murdered the entire imperial family, plunging the country into bloody civil war once again. No one ever discovered the clan's honor-less actions, and to this day, no one knows what clan the ghost-faced killers came from.

Today ghost-faced killers act as assassins and spies for hire, a mercenary clan that hides behind a guise of open and honorable conduct. When on a mission, they wear porcelain demon-masks of ghostly white to hide their identities and as a symbol of the pact their clan made with the demon-spirits. Through training and discipline, ghost-faced killers learn the deadliest and most terrifying ways to attack foes, and through their mystic connection with spirits, ghost-faced killers learn to turn invisible, walk through walls, and even see with the eyes of the spirits themselves.

Most ghost-faced killers begin their careers as rangers or rogues, though ninjas are also common. Fighters are only slightly less common. Few monks, barbarians, or members of spell-casting classes choose to become ghost-faced killers, but such characters are not unknown.

NPC ghost-faced killers are members of the Ghost-Faced Killer clan of ninjas. This clan disguises itself as a normal samurai clan, loyal to the empire but unworthy of notice. Most of the time a ghost-faced killer simply pursues his responsibilities to the clan and the emperor, but when called by money or the clan daimyo the ghost-faced killer dons the mask that means death for his enemies.

Adaptation: Although the ghost-faced killers are described as a clan of samurai and ninjas, the class can easily lose these aspects of its flavor and become a group of assassins. When introduced as a force for good, the ghost-faced killer prestige class could be used to represent a clan of investigators or spies serving a good-aligned nation or faction.


To qualify to become a Ghost-Faced Killer, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:

Class Skills

The ghost-faced killer's class skills are Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Open Lock, Search, Spot, Swim, and Tumble.

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Ghost-faced killers are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with light armor.

Ghost Step (Su): A ghost-faced killer can become invisible for 1 round once per day. Using this ability is a swift action (see Swift Actions and Immediate Actions, page 137) that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. A ghost-faced killer can use this ability one additional time per day for every three class levels gained above 1st (2/day at 4th level, 3/day at 7th level, and 4/day at 10th level).

At 6th level, a ghost-faced killer can become ethereal when using ghost step instead of becoming invisible.

Sudden Strike (Ex): If a ghost-faced killer of 2nd level or higher can catch an opponent when she is unable to defend herself effectively from his attack, he can strike a vital spot for extra damage. Whenever a ghost-faced killer's target is denied her Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) against his attack, the ghost-laced killer deals an extra 1d6 points of damage with his attack. The bonus damage increases by 1d6 every three levels (+2d6 at 5th level, +3d6 at 8th level). This ability otherwise works like the ninja ability.

Frightful Attack (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, a ghost-faced killer can panic onlookers and even frighten his victim to death by making a sudden strike attack. Once per day, a ghost-faced killer can designate a melee sudden strike attack as a frightful attack. The ghost-faced killer must use his Power Attack feat on the attack and must take a penalty of at least -1 to his attack roll. If the attack deals damage to the target, the victim must make a Will save (DC 10 + ghost-faced killer's class level + ghost-faced killer's Cha modifier). If the victim succeeds, she is shaken for 1 round per class level of the ghost-faced killer; if she fails, she instantly dies of fear. Creatures immune to mind-affecting effects, immune to fear, or with Hit Dice that exceed the ghost-faced killer's character level are immune to this frightful attack. In addition, all creatures within 30 feet who see the frightful attack (not including the victim, the ghost-faced killer, or the ghost-faced killer's allies) become panicked (if their Hit Dice are less than the ghost-laced killer's class level + his Cha modifier) or shaken (if their Hit Dice equal or exceed the ghost-faced killer's class level + Cha modifier) for 1 round per class level of the ghost-raced killer. A successful Will save (DC 10 +ghost-faced killer's class level + ghost-faced killer's Cha modifier + damage bonus from Power Attack on the frightful attack) negates this effect.

A ghost-faced killer can use this ability one additional time per day for every three levels gained above 3rd (2/day at 6th level, 3/day at 9th level).

Ghost Sight (Su): Starting at 7th level, a ghost-raced killer can see ethereal and invisible creatures and objects as easily as he sees material creatures and objects.

Frightful Cleave (Su): If a 10th-level ghost-faced killer slays a foe with his frightful attack (either from the damage dealt or because of a failed save against its fear effect), he gets an immediate extra melee attack against another target within reach. If the new target is flat-footed, this extra attack is also a frightful attack, though it doesn't count against the ghost-faced killer's daily limit of frightful attacks. This ability otherwise functions exactly as the Cleave

Ghost-Faced KillerHit Die: d8
1+1+2+0+0Ghost step 1 /day
2+2+3+0+0Sudden strike +1d6
3+3+3+1+1Frightful attack 1/day
4+4+4+1+1Ghost step 2/day
5+5+4+1+1Sudden strike +2d6
6+6+5+2+2Frightful attack 2/day, ghost step (ethereal)
7+7+5+2+2Ghost sight, ghost step 3/day
8+8+6+2+2Sudden strike +3d6
9+9+6+3+3Frightful attack 3/day
10+10+7+3+3Frightful cleave, ghost step 4/day

Source: Complete Adventurer

General Prestige Classes