It's a bug, get it!. . . Good luck with that.
Quote Originally Posted by The Cockroach
The Cockroach


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CN Dark Skulk Factotum/Rogue/Nightsong Inflitrator/Hellbreaker


Stat Array:
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Str 10; Con 10; Dex 17; Int 17; Wis 10; Cha 8
(Total racial bonus: Dex +4, Wis -2, Cha -4)
(Level increases in order: Int, Int, Int, Dex)
Final total: Str 10; Con 10; Dex 22; Int 20; Wis 8; Cha 4


The Story:
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Armand dePlouffe cut off the sentence on his lips when he heard the door open. He glanced off to the side and watched as the rest of the Guild elders came in. With a nod to Doctor Wistorff, he moved to the table and took his seat at the head.

“Nightsong Guild meeting #1543, call to order. Guildmaster dePlouffe overseeing.” He smacked the small gavel in front of him against the table top and turned to his itinerary. “To open with, we’d all like to offer congratulations to Frederick Byman for his forty year anniversary with the Guild. Cake has been provided in celebration.”

The Guildmaster nodded appreciation as a plate with a slice of cake came his way and settled on the table at his elbow. He flipped through his files. “The first order of business is, in fact, business. We have an offer from the Mercenaries of Moonlight to acquire an artifact – a crystal dagger, pommel as thorns, hilt as a rose, the whole of the crystal blackened from within. They are offering a sizable payment. Also, the Children of Pelor has shown interest in the same dagger. We have been informed that the dagger is, in fact, the phylactery of a dracolich named Anphilious the Black.”

Armand glanced around the room, judging the reactions of the elders gathered. There were a few looks of stoic resolve, a few looks of mild concern. Doctor Wistorff’s face was pale. Madam Whisp made to reply, addressing the council. But the Guildmaster had just noticed something that drew his attention from her.

His cake was missing. His plate, untouched, had vanished from the table. All of the elders’ plates were still in front of each of them, most partially nibbled. But his own plate was nowhere to be seen.

Madame Whisp had finished her thought; everyone’s attentions turned back to him. Armand cleared his throat. “Yes, well, let’s all keep the project in mind and we’ll have a special session to devise a plan of action.” He glanced to his right, wondering at the space where his plate had been. “For the next order of business, new applications for guildship.” He shuffled the papers in front of him. “Just…uhm…one?”

He glanced left to right around the table. Many of the elders looked surprised. Madam Whisp’s eyebrows were crinkled in wonder; Doctor Wistorff’s eyes bulged; Frederick Byman rifled through his papers trying to confirm that there was, actually, only one applicant. Sitting immediately to Armand’s right, Winmore Henders sat slack-jawed. Armand, himself, was confused by the lack of applicants, but he had just noticed something he found far more confusing.

Sitting on the table, near his right elbow, sat his plate. There were a few crumbs scattered across it, surrounding the frosting-smeared fork. But of his slice of cake, there were no other signs.

DePlouffe turned back to the file in front of him. “The applicant is…” He scanned the page in front of him. “…someone by the name of ‘The Cockroach’.” The elders broke into chatter.

“Didn’t he break into the Iron Worn Vault a few years ago?”

“It would be more impressive if we could verify that.”

“Actually, I’d be less impressed if we could.”

“Rumor has it that a man by that name stole the seat-pillow of King Peltus II right off of his throne. Left all the jewels behind.”

The chatter continued, the room abuzz with rumor and speculation of wild and unusual exploits. Armand ignored it all. He looked over the application in front of him -- an application that was, mostly blank. Nothing definitive except that this ‘Cockroach’ had served no time incarcerated. Either he hadn’t done much, or he was good enough to not get caught.

The chatter around the room had devolved from a group-wide discussion to myriad conversations all happening around the table at the once. Armand reached for his gavel – but found it missing! He let out a sigh and reached for his fork instead. He banged the tines against his plate (thoughts of his missing cake bringing sorrow to his stomach) and called for order.

“I call for the vote,” he called out to the assembled. “You all know the drill – hold up your green card to accept the new initiate, or your red card to deny him entry.” Armand had his fingers curled around the red card in front of him when the vote was interrupted before it could begin.

With a whoosh and a soft thud, a blur fell from the ceiling and landed on the table top in front of them. The man standing, now, in the center of the table swept low in a bow. He was hard to describe; difficult, actually, to see clearly. Armand did note, however, that this man had cake crumbs around his mouth and a smear of frosting across his lip.

The Guildmaster took an instant disliking to him.

“If I may just interject something before you vote on me,” the intruder said as he reached into his pocket. His hand drew free with a flick of the wrist – and there, planted into the table in front of Armand, was a quivering dagger, blade tip buried in the wood.

It was a crystalline dagger with a hilt shaped like thorns, the pommel crafted to resemble a rosebud just beginning to bloom. The whole of it seemed to be filled with a swirling, smoky residue that blackened it from within.

Armand glanced around the table. Each elder gathered was dropping their red card in favor of the green. The Guildmaster sighed. “It would appear that the elders have voted ‘the Cockroach’ into the guild.”


The Build:
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The Cockroach
{table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills Points spent this level (Total ranks)|Feats|Class Features

1st|Dark Template (LA+1)|
--
|
--
|
--
|
--
|Racial Mods: Hide +8, Move Silently +6|--|Darkvision 60', +10' movement, HiPs (in darkness), Resist cold 10, Superior low-light vision

2nd|Skulk Racial Level|
+0
|
+0
|
+2
|
+0
|Hide 4(4), Move Silently 4(4), Climb 4(2), P:Dance 4(2), Spot 2(1), Speak Language: Drow Sign Language 2(Learned)|1st:Darkstalker|Racial bonus: +5 Hide, +4 Move Silently

3rd|Skulk 2|
+1
|
+0
|
+3
|
+0
|Hide 1(5), Move Silently 1(5), Spot 2(2), Autohypnosis 1(.5) |--|Trackless path; Racial bonus: Hide +5, Move Silently +2

4th|Skulk 3|
+1
|
+0
|
+3
|
+0
|--|--|Innate Non-detection, Peerless camoflauge, Racial bonus: Hide +5, Move Silently +2

5th|Factotum|
+1
|
+0
|
+5
|
+0
|K:Planes 2(2), Open Locks 5(5), Climb 1(3), Speak Language: Infernal 1(Learned)|2nd:Combat Expertise|Inspiration, Cunning insight, Cunning knowledge, Trapfinding

6th|Factotum 2|
+2
|
+0
|
+6
|
+0
|Hide 2(7), K:Planes 2(4), P: Dance 3(5), Disable Device 3(3)|--|Arcane dilettante

7th|Factotum 3|
+3
|
+1
|
+6
|
+1
|Hide 1(8), Move Silently 1(6), Spot 3(5), Listen 1(1), Climb 2(5), Skill Trick: Shrouded Dance|--|Brains over brawn, Cunning defense

8th|Rogue|
+3
|
+1
|
+8
|
+1
|Sense Motive 8(8), Disable Device 2(5), Climb 2(7)|3rd:Alertness|Trapfinding, Sneak attack

9th|Rogue 2|
+4
|
+1
|
+9
|
+1
|Hide 1(9), Move Silently 1(7), Climb 3(10), Search 1(1), Spot 2(7), Listen 2(3), Skill Trick: Speedy Ascent|--|Evasion

10th|Nightsong Infiltrator|
+4
|
+1
|
+11
|
+1
|Hide 1(10), Move Silently 1(8), Disable Device 2(7), Open Locks 2(7), Spot 2(9), Listen 2(5), Search 2(3)|--|Teamwork trapsense +1, Trapfinding

11th|Nightsong Infiltrator 2|
+5
|
+1
|
+12
|
+1
|Hide 2(12), Move Silently 2(10), Disable Device 2(9), Open Locks 2(9), Spot 2(11), Search 2(5)|4th:Undo Resistance|Steady stance, Teamwork infiltration

12th|Nightsong Infiltrator 3|
+6/1
|
+2
|
+12
|
+2
|Hide 1(13), Move Silently 1(11), Disable Device 2(11), Open Locks 2(11), Spot 2(13), Listen 2(7), Search 2(7)|--|Break away, Trackless step (self)

13th|Nightsong Infiltrator 4|
+7/2
|
+2
|
+13
|
+2
|Hide 1(14), Move Silently 2(13), Disable Device 2(13), Open Locks 2(13), Spot 1(14), Listen 1(8), Search 3(10)|--|Detect Magic, Teamwork sneak attack, Teamwork trapsense +2

14th|Nightsong Infiltrator 5|
+7/2
|
+2
|
+13
|
+2
|Bluff 8(8), Hide 1(15), Move Silently 1(14), Disable Device 1(14), Open Locks 1(14), Listen 1(9)|5th:Improved Feint|Defensive roll, Grant move action 1/day

15th|Hellbreaker 1|
+7/2
|
+2
|
+15
|
+4
|Hide 1(16), Move Silently 2(16), Listen 3(12), Search 3(13), Spot 2(16)|--|Mantle of Darkness, Telepathic static

16th|Nightsong Infiltrator 6|
+8/3
|
+3
|
+16
|
+5
|Hide 1(17), Move Silently 1(17), Listen 5(17), Search 4(17), Spot 1(17), Open Locks 1(15)|--|Improved Evasion, Skill mastery, Specialized tools

17th|Nightsong Infiltrator 7|
+9/4
|
+3
|
+16
|
+5
|Hide 1(18), Move Silently 1(18), Listen 1(18), Search 1(18), Spot 1(18), Open Locks 3(18), Tumble 5(5)|6th:Quick Reconnoiter|Teamwork trapsense +3, Trackless step (allies)

18th|Nightsong Infiltrator 8|
+9/4
|
+3
|
+17
|
+5
|Hide 1(19), Move Silently 1(19), Listen 1(19), Search 1(19), Spot 1(19), Open Locks 1(19), Decipher Script 7(7)|--|Teamwork infiltration +4, Teamwork sneak attack

19th|Nightsong Infiltrator 9|
+9/4
|
+4
|
+18
|
+6
|Hide 1(20), Move Silently 1(20), Listen 1(20), Search 1(20), Spot 1(20), Open Locks 1(20), Slight of Hand 7(7)|--|Grant move action 2/day

20th|Nightsong Infiltrator 10|
+10/5
|
+4
|
+19
|
+6
|Hide 1(21), Move Silently 1(21), Listen 1(21), Search 1(21), Spot 1(21), Open Locks 1(21), Escape Artist 6(6), Autohypnosis 1(1)|7th:Martial Study (Shadow Stride)|HiPS (nature), Teamwork trapsense +4[/table]


Life as 'The Cockroach':
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ECL 5:

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Hide (5ranks +5Dex +8Dark +15Skulk) = 33
Move Silently (5ranks +5Dex +6Dark +8Skulk) = 24
HiPS except in natural light or daylight spell
Darkstalker feat
Innate Non-detection
Peerless Camoflauge
Trackless Path

The job here is to stay in the shadows. Scout ahead, pick a lock or two, and try to keep your blood inside your body.

Darkvision is your enemy as it takes away concealment in shadows. Hide behind a bush or a tree or a rock or, preferably, the BSF. "Borrow" a ring of the darkhidden if/when you can find one. Or carry a Dark Lantern (ToM). Or hope your party caster is willing to cast Darkness now and then to help you out.

When it comes to combat, hide somewhere and fling a dagger or a dart around. Snipe, snipe, snipe! It'll be slow, but effective. (Assuming, of course, that the BSF isn't big and stupid enough to get in the way.) If you can maintain concealment against your enemy, draw your dagger and snipe from ten feet away, stay hidden, then get a grip on your long spear. Even though your enemy can't find you, you still flank with a reach weapon. (And using that reach weapon keeps you out of the range of the Blind-Fight feat.) According to the rules for using the Hide skill, you can continue to hide while attacking (at -20 to the check). Stay in a flanking position and take those AoOs while you're hidden. Otherwise, just maintain your flanking position to give the BSF an easier time. You're not there to clean up in combat, but you can still help out.



ECL 10:

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Hide (10ranks + 5Dex +4Int +8Dark +15Skulk) = 42
Move Silently (8ranks +5Dex +4Int +6Dark +8Skulk) = 31
HiPS except in natural light or daylight spell
Darkstalker feat
Innate Non-detection (is losing some value by this point)
Peerless Camoflauge
Trackless Path
Skill Trick: Shrouded Dance

You've joined the Nightsong Guild! Which means you're a member of a team. And you know what that means? Yup, Teamwork Benefits!! You qualify to lead a Climbing Squad (DMGII) and (if a Nightsong Enforcer on your team can lead) you can be a member of teams using Superior Flank (DMGII), Search (Dungeonscape), Circle of Blades (PHBII), Scouting (HoB), Awareness (PHBII), Door Procedures (DMGII).... Also of interest would be a Spirit Companion (DMGII). I'd suggest Transference and Lens, but of course, your party may vary. (Though, with your stealth and sign language, the 3rd and 5th tiers of Lens look very attractive!)

Your job in this group is, of course, to stay in the shadows. Your ability to climb (a Brains Over Brawn skill) using Speedy Ascent gives you another option for scouting. Stick to the darkness as you literally climb the walls (you OCD freak, you!) and eavesdrop on all sorts of conversations. (No one ever looks up! You'd think they'd learn by now.) Pick a lock or twelve. Find and disable a trap or two.

Darkvision is still your enemy and the same tricks apply. When in trouble, use your Shrouded Dance to gain concealment, HiPS to disappear, and Peerless Camoflauge to move quickly to safety!

As for combat, the drill remains the same. Stay hidden and keep a flanking position (something that becomes all the more valuble if your team has the Superior Flank benefit!) A companion spirit with transference will allow you to take a penalty to attack to give a bonus to another team member. Be the guy to take the penalty! Any help you can give the team is appreciated, of course, but do remember two important things: 1.stay in the shadows and 2. keep your blood inside your body!




ECL 15:

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Hide (16ranks + 5Dex +5Int +8Dark +15Skulk) = 49
Move Silently (16ranks +5Dex +5Int +6Dark +8Skulk) = 40
HiPS except in natural light or daylight spell
Darkstalker feat
Innate Non-detection (has lost most of its value by this point, still...if someone's using a wand or scroll to scry on you, it could be handy.)
Peerless Camoflauge
Trackless Path
Skill Trick: Shrouded Dance
Trackless Step (self)
Mantle of Darkness
Telepathic Static

Your role hasn't changed, you're just getting better at doing it! With Detect Magic at will, you'll find those magical traps with ease. Combine that with three sources of trapfinding (yes, three!) and your search and disable device skills (with your bonuses), and you'll be laughing as you dismantle those traps. (Well, you would be laughing, anyway, if your move silently skill wasn't so good.) Locks tend to fall apart when you look at them. (Or, they would, if they could see you through the shadows.) You are the party scout, the sneak, the infiltrator, the...dare I say it?...skulk!

Darkvision can kiss Mantle of Darkness's ass! With MoD and HiPS, you no longer need fear those who can see in the dark. Scent, tremorsense, blindsense, blindsight, darkvision, seeing in magical darkness, mindsight (within 20')...pfff! All worthless against you! Hahahahahaha.... Just stay away from necropolitan psions and you should be just fine. (And even then, lifesight creates normal light, so a darkness spell from your friendly neighborhood caster should stop that...and touchsight need line of effect, so hide behind something solid -- like the BSF.)

Combat is still not your thing. Never was, never was meant to be, never gonna be. Live with it. (And you can, in the shadows. Keep your blood in your body and things should be just fine!) You're using cold iron weapons now to undo a bit of your enemies' SR (if you hit). But you're still doing the same things -- hide in the shadows, snipe from ten feet away, threaten with a reach weapon. If someone on the team leads Superior Flank (probably, by now), your teammates love that you're standing there providing the flanking bonuses to everyone -- especially now that you're granting them teamwork sneak attack damage.


ECL 20:

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Hide (21ranks + 6Dex +5Int +8Dark +15Skulk) = 55
Move Silently (21ranks +6Dex +5Int +6Dark +8Skulk) = 46
HiPS except in natural light or daylight spell
Darkstalker feat
Innate Non-detection (practically worthless by this point, still...if someone's using a wand or scroll to scry on you, it could be handy.)
Peerless Camoflauge
Trackless Path
Skill Trick: Shrouded Dance
Trackless Step (self)
Mantle of Darkness
Telepathic Static
Trackless Step (allies)
HiPS (nature)

You know what you do now? You go wherever you want to go (dragons' lairs, kings' treasure rooms, women's showers) and you take anything that you want to take (the shiniest bauble in the hoard, last month's taxes, a long leering look). Added to your list of where you can go undetected (sewers, castle dungeons, the Underdark, Hell...) is now the wide world of the natural realm. Spy on nymphs bathing in a mountain stream a daybreak, run unseen with a pack of unicorns through a forest glade at noon, dance through an orgy of delights with sprites and satres in a garden field. And if a drunken goat-boy doesn't notice that his pan-pipes are missing, who's to say it was you that took them?

You have become quite the scout and sneak. When there's a mission to undertake, you get the group in quietly and safely, and find the mcguffin. Let the BSF carry it back out.

Combat is as it always was. Hide where you can (just about anywhere, now), fling a sharp object when you've got a clear shot, poke 'em with a long stick if you don't.
Just keep that blood of yours on the inside of that body you have, and you'll be able to retire at a ripe old age.


Notes:
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It should be noted that, with the exception of Telepathic Static (only needed agains telepathy, which tends to be (Su)) and Innate Non-detection (only needed against magic, which is (Su)), all the abilities here are (Ex). This character operates perfectly well in anti-magic areas and dead magic zones. If you can comission an anti-magic item to be made, take it and don't look back. Otherwise, there are several magic items that can be of use to increase skills (Hide and Move Silently, certainly) and stats (which will help to increase skills) -- feel free to add them in.

If LA buy-off is allowed at your table, use it. The Dark template adjusted by one level and Skulks give another +1LA. The two levels could be used for dips into Exemplar, Tactical Soldier, Dread Commando, Nightsong Enforcer.... Feats and skill point allotment may have to be adjusted accordingly.



Sources:
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Dark Template -- Tome of Magic
Skulk -- Races of Destiny
Darkstalker feat -- Lords of Madness
Factotum -- Dungeonscape
Skill Tricks -- Complete Scoundrel
Undo Resistance feat -- Fiendish Codex II
Hellbreaker -- Fiendish Codex II
Quick Reconnoiter feat -- Complete Adventurer
Shadow Stride -- Tome of Battle (Bo9S)