Kilsek Prestige Classes Nightshade

by Chris Pramas, Dragon #298

Once Venrit, leader of the House of Kilsek, decided to enter the Godwar, she knew she would need intelligence about her new foes. Getting information about the dwarves and gnolls was easy enough, but the factions that made their homes aboveground posed a few difficulties. What Venrit needed was a group of skilled infiltrators who could operate in the bright sunlight of the surface world. Each must be a master of disguise and stealth, and a friend of the shadows.

It was the sorceress Ildred who gave Venrit the instrument she craved. Ildred perfected the lost art of "arachthel," a path of stealth that relied on powers granted from the venom of spiders. The only problem: The spider venom killed as often as not. Venrit was willing to pay the price, and so the Nightshades were born. This secretive group spies on the surface nations, gathering information, spreading panic and fear, and bringing the silent blade to Kilsek's foes.

Class Requirements

To qualify to become a Nightshade, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:

Class Skills

The nightshade's class skills are Bluff, Decipher Script, Disable Device, Disguise, Escape Artist, Gather Information, Hide, Intimidate, Listen, Move Silently, Open Lock, Search, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Spot, Tumble, and Use Magic Device.

Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the nightshade prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Nightshades are proficient with all simple weapons, as well as the sap, rapier, and short bow. Nightshades are proficient with light armor but not with shields.

Light Adjusted (Ex): Nightshades are specially trained to operate above ground, and this includes a brutal regimen to forcibly adjust their eyes to bright light. A nightshade does not suffer from light blindness as other drow do.

Web Walker (Ex): A nightshade can move through webs (both natural and those of the web spell) without hindrance.

Wall Runner (Su): Nightshades learn to harness the spider blood in their veins as time goes by. Starting at 2nd level, a nightshade can walk on walls and ceilings as if wearing slippers of spider climbing. At 5th level, a nightshade's speed when wall running increases to 30 ft.

Sneak Attack (Ex): At 3rd level, a nightshade gains a +1d6 sneak attack. Any time the nightshade's target would be denied her Dexterity bonus to AC (whether she actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), the nightshade's attack deals +1d6 points of damage. The extra damage increases to +2d6 at 6th level and +3d6 at 9th level. Should the nightshade score a critical hit with a sneak attack, his extra damage is not multiplied.

It takes precision and penetration to hit a vital spot, so ranged attacks can only count as sneak attacks if the target is 30 feet away or less.

With a sap or an unarmed strike, the nightshade can make a sneak attack that deals subdual damage instead of normal damage. He cannot use a weapon that deals normal damage to deal subdual damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual -4 penalty, because he must make optimal use of his weapon in order to execute the sneak attack.

A nightshade can only sneak attack living creatures with discernible anatomies - undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Additionally, any creature immune to critical hits is similarly immune to sneak attacks. Also, the nightshade must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach a vital spot. The nightshade cannot sneak attack while striking at a creature with concealment or by striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.

If a nightshade gets a sneak attack bonus from another source (such as rogue levels), the bonuses to damage stack.

Change Self (Sp): At 4th level, a nightshade can cast the change self spell three times per day, with a caster level equal to his character level.

Poison immunity (Ex): At 5th level, a nightshade becomes immune to poison of all types.

Poison Spittle (Ex): At 7th level, a nightshade can secrete poison-like saliva (injury, DC 14; 1d4 Strength initial and secondary damage). A nightshade can coat a bladed weapon with this poison spittle as a move-equivalent action.

Web (Sp): At 8th level, a nightshade can cast the web spell three times per day at a caster level equal to his character level.

Shadow Walk (Sp): At 10th level, a nightshade can cast the shadow walk spell once per day at a caster level equal to his character level.

NightshadeHit Die: d8
1st++0+2+0Light adjusted, web walker
2nd++0+3+0Wall runner
3rd+2+1+3+1Sneak attack +1d6
4th+3+1+4+1Change self 3/day
5th+3+1+4+1Poison immunity
6th+4+2+5+2Sneak attack +2d6
7th+5+2+5+2Poison spittle
8th+6+2+6+2Web 3/day
9th+6+3+6+3Sneak attack +3d6
10th+7+3+7+3Shadow walk 1/day

Source: Dragon #298

General Prestige Classes