View Full Version : Assassin Brotherhood Initiate [PrC] [3.X/PF]

The Stormrunner
2013-02-15, 05:32 PM
We work in the dark to serve the light.

"I will not die today. The same cannot be said for you."
~Ratonhnhaké:ton, Assassin Brotherhood Initiate

Throughout history, those who misuse power are often killed in the name of a great cause -- that of freedom and liberation, casting down agents of oppression and deposing seemingly invincible tyrants with a whisper and a quick blade. The men and women who carry out these assassinations are the brethren of the Assassin Brotherhood: silent killers in white from all walks of life, commonly sworn against tyranny and evil everywhere, working together to achieve freedom for all peoples. When the glory is passed around for their victories, however, the Assassins disappear as quickly as they rose to action, on to the next target-- the next kill in the name of liberty. Their membership is secret, their means enigmatic, and their philosophy starkly black-and-white, unforgiving of those who misuse the law to their own ends.

They work in the dark to serve the light. They are the Assassins.

To qualify to become an Assassin Brotherhood Initiate, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
Alignment: Any non-evil.
Skills: Climb 4 ranks, Jump 4 ranks, Tumble 4 ranks.
Feats: Weapon Focus (Any).
Special: Must be approached by the Brotherhood for membership and swear to follow the Assassin's Creed.
Special II:
o Base Attack Bonus +5.
o OR Sneak Attack +2d6.
o OR Ability to use 3rd-level arcane or divine spells.
o OR Ability to initiate 3rd-level martial maneuvers.

Hit Die: d8
{TABLE=HEAD]Class Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special
+2|Assassin's Creed, Freerunning, Hidden Blade I
+3|Leap of Faith, Ancestral Synchronization I
+3|Blend, Hidden Blade II
+4|Ancestral Synchronization II
+4|Poison Use, Hidden Blade III
+5|Ancestral Synchronization III
+5|Hidden Blade IV
+6|Ancestral Synchronization IV
+6|Master of the Hidden Blade
+7|The Bleeding Effect, Full Synchronization[/TABLE]

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier):
The Assassin Brotherhood Initiate's class skills are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery(Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex).

Armor and Weapon Proficiencies:
Assassin Brotherhood Initiates are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, plus the Hidden Blade. They are proficient with light and medium armor, but not shields.

Assassin’s Creed
Assassin Brotherhood Initiates lose access to all benefits granted by their class features if they ever intentionally cause the deaths of innocent civilians, switch to an evil alignment, or intentionally betray fellow Initiates’ identities or lives without express orders to do so.

Severity of punishment and restoration of class features is dependent upon the consensus of the rest of the Brotherhood. An ex-Assassin retains his save bonuses, skill ranks, and base attack bonus, however.

If an ex-Assassin is a Templar Agent of the Infiltrator type, he retains his class features even after exile from the Brotherhood. Likewise, ex-Templars in the Assassin Brotherhood retain their Templar abilities.*

Freerunning (Ex)
Assassin Brotherhood Initiates are adept at moving across the roofs of buildings, treetops, and similar locations with plenty of footholds. Provided he is wearing light armor, the Assassin Brotherhood Initiate can move across such locations at his full movement speed without need for Jump checks, and takes no penalties on any Dexterity-based skill checks or Reflex saves incurred by such terrain.

In addition, he adds his Assassin Brotherhood Initiate level to all Climb checks, and does not take a penalty to his Climb check when engaging in accelerated climbing.

Hidden Blade
The weapon most often utilized by the Assassin Brotherhood Initiate is the Hidden Blade – a retractable, spring-loaded dagger roughly as long as the wielder’s forearm, usually concealed inside a protective bracer when not in use. Upon induction into the Brotherhood, new assassins are provided with a personalized Hidden Blade, each weapon a unique piece of art. If the Blade breaks or is lost, a new one can be acquired from the Brotherhood after a week.

While retracted, the blade can be easily concealed beneath a sleeve or cloak, and gives a +10 bonus to Sleight of Hand checks made to do so. The blade may be either extended or retracted as a free action once per round, and extending and retracting the blade are likewise considered drawing and sheathing it, respectively.

The blade otherwise functions as a masterwork dagger of appropriate size for its wielder; however, it loses its ten-foot range. It may be enchanted and enhanced as with any other weapon. Additionally, at 3rd, 5th, and 7th levels, the Assassin Brotherhood Initiate chooses an upgrade for his Hidden Blade from the following:

• Dual Blades – The Assassin Brotherhood Initiate gains a second Hidden Blade made for his non-dominant arm, functionally identical to the first. Upgrades to the first Hidden Blade do not transfer to the second, and if he selects Dual Blades prior to 7th level, the Assassin Brotherhood Initiate must choose which of his two blades subsequent upgrades apply to. If the Assassin Brotherhood Initiate has more than two arms, he may select the Dual Blades upgrade more than once to gain additional Blades.

• Hookblade – The Hidden Blade is reshaped and becomes curved at the tip, like a fisherman’s hook. With the hookblade, the Assassin Brotherhood Initiate takes no penalty to standing Jump checks made without a running start, and he counts his hookblade as a masterwork tool for Climb checks. In addition, if he establishes a pin in a grapple, the Assassin Brotherhood Initiate can maintain the pin with his off hand, and engage the rest of the combat with his main hand. He still suffers the normal penalties for grappling (he loses his Dexterity bonus to AC and may not threaten squares for the purposes of attacks of opportunity), but can freely attack other spaces as if he were not in a grapple.

• Hidden Pistol – The bracer housing the Hidden Blade is fitted with a concealed, one-shot masterwork pistol. This pistol has a range of 20 ft. and deals 1d8 damage on a successful hit, with a x4 multiplier on a successful critical hit. If a successful critical hit is scored with the Hidden Blade in melee, the Assassin Brotherhood Initiate may also make a free attack against the target with his Hidden Pistol without incurring an attack of opportunity.

NOTE: Firearms are not for every campaign. If the presence of guns in your campaign is not clearly established, consult your DM and the optional firearm rules in the Dungeon Master’s Guide before selecting this upgrade.
• Fast-Acting Poison – The Hidden Blade is hollowed and augmented with a poison-delivery channel. Successful critical hits with a Blade upgraded with Fast-Acting Poison deal 1d8 damage to Constitution, Dexterity, or Strength at the Assassin Brotherhood Initiate’s discretion, with an additional 1 point of Constitution damage every following round for a number of rounds equal to the wielder’s Assassin Brotherhood Initiate level. If selected at 3rd or 5th level, this upgrade may be selected again to increase the damage die to 1d12. This poison is stored separately from – and takes effect independently of – any other poisons the Assassin Brotherhood Initiate has applied to his Hidden Blade.

• Mageblade – If not already enchanted, a Hidden Blade with the Mageblade upgrade becomes a magic weapon for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction. In addition, the Assassin Brotherhood Initiate may channel arcane and divine touch spells he knows through his Hidden Blade as if he had the Arcane Channeling feature from the Duskblade base class (Player’s Handbook II).

• Switchblade – The structure of the Hidden Blade is altered from a forward-thrusting mechanism, splitting the blade down the middle, folding forward into a complete shape when in use. This lighter structure allows the Assassin Brotherhood Initiate to add his Dexterity bonus to damage on attacks made with the Hidden Blade.

• Pivot Blade – A swivel is added to the base of the blade along with a leather grip, enabling it to rotate and be removed from its housing in the bracer altogether to be wielded as a normal dagger. While wielding a Blade so removed, the Assassin Brotherhood Initiate gains a +1 shield bonus to his AC by blocking with the metal bracer. In addition, attacking with a Pivot Blade while grappling does not incur the normal -4 penalty, and deals 1d6 bonus damage for every size category difference between the target and wielder. An ogre striking a halfling with a Pivot Blade while grappling with him, for example, would deal 2d6 bonus damage – and vice versa. Due to the demands of its structure, a Blade upgraded with Switchblade cannot also be made a Pivot Blade.
Non-Assassin Brotherhood Initiates may use the Hidden Blade, but must take Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Hidden Blade) in order to utilize it without the associated -4 penalty to attack. In addition, non-Assassin Brotherhood Initiates cannot access the Blade’s upgrades (if any), even if they are proficient in the weapon’s use – every Hidden Blade is unique in its construction and engineering in ways known only to the Brotherhood.

Leap of Faith (Ex)
Oftentimes, retreating from an assassination requires vertical descent. Fast vertical descent. To effect this style of getaway, one of the first techniques taught to Assassin Brotherhood Initiates is the execution of a Leap of Faith, plummeting from fatal heights and reaching the ground unscathed.

Assassin Brotherhood Initiates may make a Tumble check to negate falling damage from any height, with a DC of 10 + 5 per ten feet fallen. This additional per-ten-feet modifier is reduced by half if the fall is cushioned by a soft material like straw, cloth, leaves, and so on (whether a material cushions a fall is up to the DM’s discretion).

Ancestral Synchronization
Assassins often join the Brotherhood because of an influential ancestor in their lineage. Assassin Brotherhood Initiates descended from previous great Assassins have access to their ancestors’ “genetic memory,” learning combat and stealth techniques from their forebears through deep meditation, magic, or even heirlooms like the ancestor’s personal writings.

At 2nd level, the Assassin Brotherhood Initiate learns basic assassination techniques from their ancestor, gaining a death attack. After spending three rounds of studying a subject, if the Assassin Brotherhood Initiate makes an attack with his Hidden Blade in which the target is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC, the target must make a Fortitude save (10 + Assassin Brotherhood Initiate’s class level + Assassin Brotherhod Initiate’s WIS modifier) or be killed. If they pass the Fortitude save, the attack is resolved as normal.

At 4th, 6th, and 8th levels, an Assassin Brotherhood Initiate gains knowledge of a new Synchronization Technique from the following:
• 1 Rogue Talent or Advanced Rogue Talent for which he qualifies.
• 1 Ambush Feat or Fighter Bonus Feat for which he qualifies.
• 1 Skill Trick for which he need not qualify.
• 1 Martial Maneuver or Stance (consider Assassin Brotherhood Initiate a sublime class for the purposes of initiator level).

Blend (Ex)
At 3rd level, an Assassin Brotherhood Initiate gains Hide in Plain Sight as an extraordinary ability while adjacent to two or more creatures (of his size category or larger) who do not consider him an enemy.

Poison Use
At 5th level, Assassin Brotherhood Initiates are trained in the use of poisons, and never risk accidentally poisoning themselves when applying poison to a blade.

Master of the Hidden Blade (Ex)
At 9th level, Assassin Brotherhood Initiates become legendarily skilled in the use of the Hidden Blade for quick, lethal strikes. The Hidden Blade is considered a discipline weapon for all martial maneuvers initiated by the Assassin Brotherhood Initiate, and he gains Weapon Specialization (Hidden Blade) as a bonus feat if he does not already have it. If he already has Weapon Specialization (Hidden Blade), he gains Weapon Mastery with both piercing and slashing weapons. In addition, his Hidden Blade – or Blades, if he has selected the Dual Blades upgrade – is ceremonially augmented with adamantine, and is treated as being made of adamantine for the purposes of damage reduction.

The Bleeding Effect (Ex)
At 10th level, Assassin Brotherhood Initiates begin to have vivid hallucinations about their past lives and ancestors. While mostly distracting, sometimes the ghostly figures can have great insight – once per day, he may use Find The Path (as the spell) as an extraordinary ability.

Full Synchronization (Ex)
When he reaches the height of his power, the Assassin unlocks the secrets to his ancestor’s lethal prowess. An Assassin Brotherhood Initiate of 10th level may engage Full Synchronization as a swift action a number of times per day up to his Wis bonus, acting purely on the basis of his ancestors’ accumulated skills and guidance. While Fully Synchronized, the Initiate gains +4 to all ability scores and increases all damage dice rolled by one step. Full Synchronization ends when the Initiate takes damage.

Unabashed fan-homebrewing! I'm planning for a trio of Assassin's Creed faction classes when I have time to work on them: Assassin Brotherhood Initiate, Assassin Courtesan, and Assassin Mentor. The first -- presented here -- is designed to be widely customizable beyond the classic rogue archetype, while the second is a social/skillmonkey party face, and the third a "leadership class" in the vein of thrallherd (possibly with elements of marshal).

*On the other side of things, ideally, would be the mirror Templar Agents -- I haven't really fleshed the ideas for these out too much, but there's enough precedent for an Infiltrator class given the amount of faction-switching and betrayal that goes on in the games' stories.

A note on the prerequisites for entering the prestige class: I reason that a non-evil alignment is a better choice than non-lawful, despite the pretty clear law-vs.-chaos presentation of the Assassins and Templars, considering Machiavelli was a high-ranking member of the Brotherhood in the games. Similarly, I realize the final "Special" requirement opens things up to quite a few paths of entry-- the cast of Assassins in the games, however, was wide and varied, and many members of the Brotherhood weren't particularly stealthy. If you wanted to replicate Bartolomeo or another brawny Assassin with this class, it's entirely possible, as is making a fantasy-tailored "mage-sassin" gish.

2013-03-05, 12:26 PM
I don't post here enough to know if this is thread necromancy, but I had to encourage you to keep up the good work here! I love the Assassin's Creed series and there's precious little homebrew that strives to maintain a feel for the series over adapting it to D&D. I can't wait to see the other classes you have!