Faerûnian Prestige Class : Strifeleader
The Prince of Lies demands control by any means necessary. Strifeleaders are the chief instruments of the Dark Sun, charged with spreading the One True Way of Cyric (as least the Prince of Lies whispers it in their minds) through force and deception. They spread strife and work murder everywhere in order to make folk fear and believe in Cyric.
Most strifeleaders are clerics, rogues, or bards. Particularly crafty fighters and barbarians may become strifeleaders, but characters of other classes rarely pursue this path.
Strifeleaders are often found supporting rulers with a taste for cruelty and empire-building. They indulge in intrigue in every land so as to spread strife everywhere without plunging realms into widespread war and thus give worship to Tempus the war deity. Most also spend their time scheming against each other in an endless struggle of cabal against cabal, with each strifeleader seeking to increase his personal power.
To qualify to become a Strifeleader, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Skills: Disguise 8 ranks, Bluff 4 ranks, Intimidate 4 ranks, Speak Language (Abyssal).
- Feats: Iron Will, Spell Focus (Illusion), Weapon Focus (longsword).
- Spells: Ability to cast 3rd-level divine spells.
- Patron: Cyric
- Special: The character must have single-handedly slain an illusionist, a cleric of Cyric, or someone with the Spell Focus (Illusion) feat.
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
The following are Class Features of the strifeleader prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A strifeleader gains no weapon or armor proficiencies.
Spells per Day/Spells Known: At each indicated strifeleader level, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if he had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which he belonged before adding the prestige class level. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (improved chance of turning or destroying undead, additional favored enemies, and so on). If the character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a strifeleader, the player must decide to which class to add each strifeleader level for the purpose of determining spells per day and spells known.
Dominating Aura (Su): A strifeleader is immune to fear (magical or otherwise). Enemies within 20 feet of a strifeleader suffer a -2 morale penalty on saving throws against fear effects. The radius of this aura increases at 4th and 7th levels.
Poison Use: Strifeleaders are skilled in the use of poison and never risk accidentally poisoning themselves when applying poison to a blade.
Skilled Prevarication (Ex): At 2nd level, strifeleaders become skilled in the art of telling lies. They get a +2 bonus on Bluff and Intimidate checks. Moreover, strifeleaders gain a +4 bonus on saving throws against the spells discern lies and zone of truth.
Sneak Attack: Starting at 3rd level, if a strifeleader can catch an opponent when she is unable to defend herself effectively from his attack, he can strike a vital spot for extra damage. Basically, any time the strifeleader's target would be denied her Dexterity bonus to AC (whether she actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), the strifeleader's attack deals +1d6 points of damage. This extra damage increases by +1d6 points at 6th and 9th level. Should the strifeleader score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this 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 strifeleader 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 strifeleader 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 strifeleader must also be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach a vital spot. The strifeleader 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 strifeleader gets a sneak attack bonus from another source (such as rogue levels), the bonuses to damage stack.
Illusions: Beginning at 5th level, the strifeleader adds the spells ghost sound, invisibility, minor image, mirror image, major image, phantasmal killer, and silent image to his spell list. The spells become clerical spells at the same levels they are on the Sor/Wiz list (so the strifeleader may prepare invisibility as a 2nd-level cleric spell).
Death Attack (Ex): Starting at 8th level, if the strifeleader 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 (strifeleader's choice). While studying the victim, the strifeleader can undertake other actions as long as his attention stays focused on the target and the target does not detect the strifeleader or recognize him as an enemy. If the victim of such an attack fails her Fort saving throw (DC 10 + the strifeleader's class level + the strifeleader's Intelligence modifier) against the kill effect, she dies. If the saving throw fails against the paralysis effect, the victim's mind and body become enervated, rendering her completely helpless and unable to act for 1d6 rounds plus 1 round per level of the strifeleader. If the victim's saving throw succeeds, the attack is just a normal sneak attack. Once the strifeleader 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 strifeleader 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.
Greater Death Attack (Ex): At 10th level, the DC for the strifeleader's death attack (whether to kill or paralyze) increases by 4.
|Strifeleader||Hit Die: d6|
|CL||BAB||Fort||Ref||Will||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+2||+0||+2||Dominating aura 20 feet, poison use||+1 level of existing class|
|2nd||+1||+3||+0||+3||Skilled prevarication||+1 level of existing class|
|3rd||+2||+3||+1||+3||Sneak attack +1d6||-|
|4th||+3||+4||+1||+4||Dominating aura 30 feet||+1 level of existing class|
|5th||+3||+4||+1||+4||Illusions||+1 level of existing class|
|6th||+4||+5||+2||+5||Sneak attack +2d6||-|
|7th||+5||+5||+2||+5||Dominating aura 40 feet||+1 level of existing class|
|8th||+6||+6||+2||+6||Death attack||+1 level of existing class|
|9th||+6||+6||+3||+6||Sneak attack +3d6||-|
|10th||+7||+7||+3||+7||Greater death attack||+1 level of existing class|
Source: Faiths & Pantheons