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    Default Slice at the Shadows (3.5, ToB, PrC)

    Phantom Slash

    The Phantom Slash is the combination of a rogue and a martial adept, as a gish PrC. It focuses on both stealth and damage. Most Phantom Slashes start as rogue/swordsage, and then enter this class. Phantom Slashes do not have any truly organized form of communication or organizations, and it is very hard for a Phantom Slash to recognize another member of their class, short of fighting them, and even then, most of the abilities are not very obvious or flashy in nature.




    I have spoken with shadow. I have heard its roar, and the silence that follows. Do you wish to hear it?

    The Phantom Slash is a supreme assassin or thief. He is able to hide in most any circumstance, and is incredibly good at it. The Phantom Slash focuses more on stealth than damage, but has several abilities that increase his ability to deal damage.

    BECOMING A Phantom Slash
    How you would normally become a member of this prestige class.

    ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
    Base Attack Bonus: +4
    Skills: Move Silently 9 ranks, Hide 9 ranks
    Feats: Shadow Blade
    Class Ability: +3d6 Sneak Attack
    Maneuvers: A Shadow Hand maneuver of at least 2nd level

    Class Skills
    A Phantom Slash’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).
    Skills Points at Each Level: 4 + int

    Hit Dice: d6
    Phantom Slash
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |In the Shadow (Invisible)

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Slink, +1d6 Sneak Attack

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Strike in the Shadows

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |In the Shadows (Incorporeal), +2d6 Sneak Attack

    5th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Phantasm Stance

    6th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |+3d6 Sneak Attack

    7th|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Out of the Shadows (Invisible)

    8th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |Penumbra Slice, +4d6 Sneak Attack

    9th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Hide in Plain Sight

    10th|
    +7/+2
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |Out of the Shadows (Incorporeal), +5d6 Sneak Attack[/table]

    Maneuvers
    {table=head]Level|Known|Readied|Stance
    1st|1|1|0
    2nd|0|0|0
    3rd|0|0|0
    4th|1|0|0
    5th|0|0|0
    6th|0|0|0
    7th|1|0|0
    8th|0|0|1
    9th|0|0|0
    10th|1|1|0[/table]

    Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: The Phantom Slash is proficient with all Simple Weapons, Dagger, Short Sword, Sai, Siangham, Spiked Chain, and Kukri, and light armor.

    Maneuvers: At 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th levels, a Phantom Slash gains new maneuvers known from the Shadow Hand discipline. He must meet a maneuver's prerequisite to learn it. He adds his full Phantom Slash levels to his initiator level to determine his total initiator level and his highest-level maneuvers known.
    At levels 1st, and 10th, he gains an additional maneuver readied per day.
    At 8th level, he learns a new martial stance from the Shadow Hand disciplines. He must meet the stances prerequisites to learn it.

    In the Shadows (Su): As long as the Phantom Slash is in shadowy illumination, or complete or magical darkness, he is invisible, as the Greater Invisibility spell. If the Phantom Slash leaves the shadows or darkness, he remains visible for a number of rounds equal to his dexterity modifier. At fourth level, the Phantom Slash becomes Incorporeal as well, when they enter the shadows or darkness, but only in the shadows or darkness. While incorporeal, the Phantom Slash may freely attack other incorporeal creatures, and any Shadow Hand maneuver affects non-incorporeal creatures normally. Any weapons or equipment that the Phantom Slash carries are also incorporeal, but the Phantom Slash may attack with them and hit corporeal foes normally a number of times per encounter equal to his dexterity modifier plus his Phantom Slash levels.

    Slink (Ex): The Phantom Slash adds his Phantom Slash levels as a competency bonus to all Move Silently and Hide checks.

    Sneak Attack (Ex): Beginning at 2rd level, a Phantom Slash deals an extra 1d6 points of damage when flanking an opponent or at any time when the target would be denied its Dexterity bonus. This extra damage applies to ranged attacks only if the target is within 30 feet. It increases to 2d6 points at 4th level and every two levels after that. See the rogue class feature, page 50 of the Player’s Handbook. If a Phantom Slash gets a sneak attack bonus from another source (such as levels of rogue), the bonuses on damage stack. When making a sneak attack, the Phantom Slash may add twice his dexterity modifier as a bonus to damage rolls made on a sneak attack. This is not precision damage.

    Strike In the Shadows: Starting at third level, the Phantom Slash may lose a readied maneuver as a swift action, and immediately gain a free attack against a flat footed opponent that he is able to attack. He must make a Hide check greater than, or equal to, the opponents' Armor Class, in addition to making the attack, in order for this ability to take effect. He deals double damage on this attack. Any maneuver sacrificed in this way does not recover until the Phantom Slash rests for at least eight hours. After the attack, the opponent is not aware of the Phantom Slash unless he makes a Spot check higher than the roll that the Phantom Slash made for his Hide check.

    Phantasm Stance (Su): Starting at fifth level, the Phantom Slash may, as a swift action, get rid of his current stance, and gain the Phantasm Stance. While using this stance, the Phantom Slash may use Dimension Door as a move action as long as he is within a shadow, or in total or magical darkness. He may only Dimension Door to another shadow. His caster level for this effect is his class level. He may only use this effect a number of rounds equal to his class level plus his dexterity modifier. After that period, he is unable to move, speak, or attack for a number of rounds equal to his class level. After that period, he repeats the cycle. He may not leave this stance until the encounter is over, and cannot use it outside of combat.

    Out of the Shadows (Su): Starting at seventh level, the Phantom Slash remains invisible even when not in shadows, or total or magical darkness. Only those who he allows to see him are able too, or those who are under the effect of a True Seeing spell (He still gains a +15 bonus to hide checks.) At tenth level, the Phantom Slash remains Incorporeal even when not in the shadows. He may become corporeal any number of times per day as a swift action, but only may stay corporeal for a number of rounds equal to his class level consecutively. All of the other benefits and restriction from In the Shadows apply to him as well. His weapons may affect corporeal enemies as if they had the Ghost Touch ability. When the Phantom Slash is not in combat, he may choose to be Corporeal or not at will, without needing to use his swift action once per minute.

    Penumbra Slice At eighth level, as a swift action during his turn, the Phantom Slash may choose to lose a maneuver. If he does so, all attacks made in the next two rounds against that opponent count as if the recipient were flat footed, and all damage ignores Damage Reduction. This ability allows the Phantom Slash to Sneak Attack undead and other creatures that are normally immune to sneak attack or precision damage. The maneuver sacrificed in this way must be of the Shadow Hand discipline.

    PLAYING A PHANTOM SLASH
    Most Phantom Slashes stick to the shadows, staying away from a life of style. A large number work as assassins, and are very good at their work. Pretty much all of the rest work for various thieves guilds, as freelance or contracted burglars, or professional thieves.
    Combat: The first round of combat for Phantom Slashes is VERY important. The first thing any Phantom Slash does is find a patch of shadow, or some sort of darkness. If none exists, he may attempt to create some, usually via flash grenades. As soon as shadow has been found and entered, the Phantom Slash can go to town. He has incredibly high hide scores, and is able to pretty much just walk around and do whatever it is he wants. This could include escape, thievery, Sneak Attacks, kidnapping, you name it.
    Advancement: Most Phantom Slashes are comfortable just going back to rogue, or swordsage, or whatever classes they had entered before this one. If, they wanted to specialize more, there are many options, Assassin for those more focused on the killing aspect of the Phantom Slash’s abilities, or Thief Acrobat, for those more interested in thievery.
    Resources: Most members of the Phantom Slash class are trained in solitude by a single master. As such, they do not receive many benefits at all from being a Phantom Slash.

    PHANTOM SLASH IN THE WORLD
    “I have been sleeping in fear every night since I received the death threat from the owner of the shop across the street from mine. I can hear the shadows whisper at me. I am scared. I am so scared. When will it come? Protect me, save me. Pl--”
    - Last words of one Killian Sommers.


    Most Phantom Slashes, if known about at all, are taken to be assassins and are treated very badly. Those who do not kill for profit and are members of this class take it very badly when they are mistaken for someone who does, and go out of their way to not kill. If they meet up with Phantom Slashes who do kill, they tend to be more aggressive, and pick fights. Those who are members of this class who do kill for money, tend to view those who do not as weak, and not very skilled.
    Daily Life: Most Phantom Slashes tend to work very late hours, when the shadows and darkness have more prevalence, and as such tend to sleep late into the morning, and stay up very late. Most practice some form of combat, and the lifestyles past this point vary widely depending on the Phantom Slash’s work.
    Notables: Very few members of this class stick out far enough to be recognized commonly, and those that do tend to be very flamboyant, and looked down upon by others in the class. One notable who is not known publicly, but is infamous in the world of assassins, is Karssin. He will do pretty much anything for money, if you can contact him, and pay his price.
    Organizations: Since most Phantom Slashes train in secret, with only one master, they rarely created organizations purely focused on their class. They often join other guilds, be it thieves, or assassins, but there is not one for Phantom Slashes. They tend to be isolationist and uncooperative, and are barely able to deal with those guilds that they do join, let alone of others of the same class. They would likely kill each other within the fist two weeks.

    NPC REACTION
    Most NPCs have a relatively negative reaction to Phantom Slashes, if they even know that the class exists. Most Phantom Slashes work very hard to make sure that they are not noticed, and often silence those who are too over the top and well known.

    PHANTOM SLASH IN THE GAME
    The Phantom Slash is a relatively solo-esque class, but can work very well with others, mechanically and character wise. However a lot of the abilities are fairly powerful, and as soon as the Phantom Slash hits level eight, he becomes a damage powerhouse, that can pretty much deal large amounts of damage to anything, especially Ethereal monsters. This could be a problem for DMs who like to challenge Sneak Attackers and other precision damage dealers with enemies that are immune to Sneak Attack.
    Adaptation: This class could work just as easily for the ninja, or any other precision based class. The scout could have some interesting synergy with this classes abilities.
    Encounters: Most encounters with a Phantom Slash will be only the Phantom Slash. They will be more guerilla style tactics, seeing as the Phantom Slash has a relatively small health point total. Most of the encounter will have the Phantom Slash invisible, and depending on level, ethereal. If a Phantom Slash is attacking the party however, it will almost always be in the hire of someone, or for personal revenge. The Phantom Slash will be usually very methodical about how he approaches the party, ready to run away at any point. Usually the Phantom Slash will take out any casters first, especially those who might have true seeing.

    Sample Encounter
    A nobleman has hired the PCs in order to protect himself against what he thinks is an assassin.
    EL 8: a Man with a skin tight cotton body suit made out of some sort of black fabric saunters slowly towards the nobleman’s room. As he passes through a shadow in from a curtain in front of a window, he disappears. Your eyes try to adjust and find him, and you hear shouts. As you look behind, the nobleman has a knife in his throat.

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    Karssin
    Neutral Evil/Male/Human
    Rogue 3/Swordsage 3/ Phantom Slash 4
    Init +12, Senses: Listen +16, Spot +16
    Languages Common, Dwarven
    ------------------------------------------------
    AC AC 18, touch 16, flat-footed 12 (10+6(Dex)+2(Leather Armor))
    hp 48 (3d6+3d8+4d6+10)
    Fort +4, Ref +17, Will +8
    ------------------------------------------------
    Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
    Melee +18/+13 (1d6+10) (1d6+10+5d6+10 if Sneak Attacking)
    Base Atk +7/+2, Grp +6
    Atk Options Sneak Attack +5d6+10 (+2d6 if in Assassin’s Stance)
    Combat Gear +3 Deadly Precision Short Sword x 2
    -----------------------------------------------
    Abilities Str 8, Dex 24, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 8
    SQIn the Shadows (Invisible & Incorporeal)
    Feats Weapon Finesse, Shadow Blade, Improved Initiative, Craven, Extra Granted Maneuver.
    Skills Hide +23, Move Silently +23, Spot +16, Listen +16, Tumble +19, Intimidate +11, Search +14, Escape Artist +19, Balance +14
    Possessions +4 Gloves of Dexterity

    Maneuvers:

    Known: Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Mighty Throw, Counter Charge, Wind Stride, Clinging Shadow Strike, Shadow Blade Technique, Emerald Razor, Shadow Jaunt, Shadow Garrote, and Strength Draining Strike.

    Readied: Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Counter Charge, Wind Stride, Emerald Razor x 2, Shadow Jaunt, Shadow Garrote, and Shadow Blade Technique.

    Stances: Island of Blades, Child of Shadow, and Assassin’s Stance.



    So. My main concern here is for the strength of class. Obviously, they are not as powerful as Tier One classes, but compared to Rogues and Swordsages, they seem a little strong. Any thoughts on that end?
    Last edited by unosarta; 2010-10-21 at 04:28 PM.
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    Default Re: Slice at the Shadows (3.5, ToB, PrC)

    You can currently enter this without any rogue levels thanks to Assassin's Stance. Might want to up the required Sneak Attack to +3d6.

    I'll look over the rest now.

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    Default Re: Slice at the Shadows (3.5, ToB, PrC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Edge View Post
    You can currently enter this without any rogue levels thanks to Assassin's Stance. Might want to up the required Sneak Attack to +3d6.

    I'll look over the rest now.
    Hm. You would think that ToB would say that you cannot use Maneuvers in order to qualify for prestige classes or feats. I will change that.
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    Default Re: Slice at the Shadows (3.5, ToB, PrC)

    Quote Originally Posted by unosarta View Post
    In the Shadows (Su): As long as the Phantom Slash is in shadow, or complete or magical darkness, he is invisible, as the Greater Invisibility spell. If the Phantom Slash leaves the shadows or darkness, he remains visible for a number of rounds equal to his dexterity modifier. At fourth level, the Phantom Slash becomes Incorporeal as well, when they enter the shadows or darkness, but only in the shadows or darkness. While incorporeal, the Phantom Slash may freely attack other incorporeal creatures, and any Shadow Hand maneuver affects non-incorporeal creatures normally. Any weapons that the Phantom Slash carries are also incorporeal, but the Phantom Slash may attack with them and hit a number of times per encounter equal to his dexterity modifier.
    Might want to clarify 'shadow' as 'shadowy illumination' or 'dim illumination', which are defined under the rules.

    Strike In the Shadows: Starting at third level, the Phantom Slash may lose a readied maneuver as a swift action, and immediately gain a free attack against a flat footed opponent that he is able to attack. He deals double damage on this attack. Any maneuver sacrificed in this way does not recover until the Phantom Slash rests for at least eight hours.
    Roughly equivalent Ruby Nightmare Blade from the Diamond Mind school, IIRC, except that doesn't have this ridiculous frequency limitation. I'd change this to a strike that requires you to make a Hide check alongside your attack roll. If both exceed your target's AC, double damage for you. But then, that's basically a refluffed Ruby Nightmare Blade. Might want to do something else.

    Phantasm Stance (Su): Starting at fifth level, the Phantom Slash may, as a swift action, get rid of his current stance, and gain the Phantasm Stance. While using this stance, the Phantom Slash may use Dimension Door as long as he is within a shadow, or in total or magical darkness. He may only Dimension Door to another shadow. His caster level for this effect is his class level. He may only use this effect a number of rounds equal to his class level plus his dexterity modifier. After that period, he is unable to move, speak, or attack for a number of rounds equal to his class level. After that period, he is able to use his Dimension Door ability again. He may not leave this stance until the encounter is over, and cannot use it outside of combat.
    Urgh... I love mobility for sneaky characters, but loathe it taking up their standard actions. If you have access to Magic of Eberron, I'd recommend changing this stance to allow you to use dimension step as a move action.

    Out of the Shadows (Su): Starting at seventh level, the Phantom Slice remains invisible even when not in shadows, or total or magical darkness. Only those who he allows to see him are able too, or those who are under the effect of a True Seeing spell (He still gains a +15 bonus to hide checks.) At tenth level, the Phantom Slice remains Incorporeal even when not in the shadows. He may become corporeal any number of times per day, but only may stay corporeal for a number of rounds equal to his class level. All of the other benefits and restriction from In the Shadows apply to him as well.
    Might want to specify the effects on their equipment. Does it go incorporeal with them? Does it become ghost touch so they can continue to use it on corporeal targets?

    Penumbra Slice At eighth level, as a swift action during his turn, the Phantom Slice may choose to lose a maneuver. If he does so, all attacks made in the next two rounds count as if the recipient were flat footed, and all damage ignores Damage Reduction. This ability allows the Phantom Slice to Sneak Attack undead and other creatures that are normally immune to sneak attack. Any maneuver sacrificed in this way does not recover until the Phantom Slash rests for at least eight hours.
    Get rid of the eight hour sacrifice. This basically just Foehammer/Mountain Hammer's benefit for an extra round and given to your allies as well, plus a truedeath and demolition crystal. It's not worth it.

    Also, slow down maneuver known/readied progression. It's effectively as good as a swordsage's, but this class gets extra class features. Not sure how much of a hit it should take, but it should take a hit.

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    Default Re: Slice at the Shadows (3.5, ToB, PrC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Edge View Post
    Might want to clarify 'shadow' as 'shadowy illumination' or 'dim illumination', which are defined under the rules.
    Good idea, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edge View Post
    Roughly equivalent Ruby Nightmare Blade from the Diamond Mind school, IIRC, except that doesn't have this ridiculous frequency limitation. I'd change this to a strike that requires you to make a Hide check alongside your attack roll. If both exceed your target's AC, double damage for you. But then, that's basically a refluffed Ruby Nightmare Blade. Might want to do something else.
    Maybe he gains a bonus to the hide check equal to the Maneuver sacrificed? This would work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edge View Post
    Urgh... I love mobility for sneaky characters, but loathe it taking up their standard actions. If you have access to Magic of Eberron, I'd recommend changing this stance to allow you to use dimension step as a move action.
    That sounds pretty good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edge View Post
    Might want to specify the effects on their equipment. Does it go incorporeal with them? Does it become ghost touch so they can continue to use it on corporeal targets?
    Everything become incorporeal. His weapons also become incorporeal, and he may attack corporeal targets as normal. I will add that in. Also, I need to clarify the last sentence of In the Shadows. The wording is ghastly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edge View Post
    Get rid of the eight hour sacrifice. This basically just Foehammer/Mountain Hammer's benefit for an extra round and given to your allies as well, plus a truedeath and demolition crystal. It's not worth it.
    OK, I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edge View Post
    Also, slow down maneuver known/readied progression. It's effectively as good as a swordsage's, but this class gets extra class features. Not sure how much of a hit it should take, but it should take a hit.
    Actually, this sounds pretty good.

    Thanks for the response!

    [Edit]: Just checked Magic of Eberron. Do you mean Dimension Leap? I guess I could do that as well, with a caster level equal to one half of the Phantom Slash's Initiator level.
    Last edited by unosarta; 2010-10-20 at 04:59 PM.
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    Default Re: Slice at the Shadows (3.5, ToB, PrC)

    Quote Originally Posted by unosarta View Post
    Hm. You would think that ToB would say that you cannot use Maneuvers in order to qualify for prestige classes or feats. I will change that.
    You can't. Gaining the ability to do Sneak Attack damage through a Stance is the same as gaining the ability to fly from casting a spell; just like you can't use Spell Effects to qualify for Prestige Classes, you can't use the effects of maneuvers or stances to qualify for Prestige Classes.

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    Default Re: Slice at the Shadows (3.5, ToB, PrC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden-Esque View Post
    You can't. Gaining the ability to do Sneak Attack damage through a Stance is the same as gaining the ability to fly from casting a spell; just like you can't use Spell Effects to qualify for Prestige Classes, you can't use the effects of maneuvers or stances to qualify for Prestige Classes.
    Does it say it outright, though?
    Often times, for people who care only for RAW, unless it says it outright, it does not matter. Still, it is updated, so you have to have at least level 6 either way (level 5 for the Stance, level 1 for the extra SA die).
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    Default Re: Slice at the Shadows (3.5, ToB, PrC)

    The text includes both "Phantom Slash" and "Phantom Slice" - you might want to settle on one.

    I'm not sure the permanent incorporealness effects are a good idea. Since Sneak Attackers want to get lots of attacks per round, only being able to make (Dex mod + 4) attacks per encounter at 4th level and then being stuck incorporeal and unable to affect anything could be a major pain. Sure he can normally leave the darkness to be able to attack again, but it seems a bit against the fluff for a class like this to be less effective at night or in completely darkened areas. You can bypass this using projectile weapons, but having to invest in throwing or use a bow when most maneuvers are melee-only just to make sure you can always attack is a bit annoying.

    There's also potential for abuse; there certainly isn't any light inside a wall or in solid rock, so a Phantom Slash could just go inside every obstacle he comes across and burrow along, sleep a few feet underground to avoid risk, etc.

    Being incorporeal is very powerful by its own. As noted in the ToB, incorporeal creatures ignore armor, shields, and natural armor, get a 50% miss chance against attacks and spells, can't be tripped or grappled, are perfectly silent (and certainly can't be seen if they're inside a wall or the ground, making for near-perfect stealth), are immune to a lot of traps, get Cha to AC, get their Dex bonus to all melee attacks like free Weapon Finesse, and are immune to Blindsight, Scent, and other typical ways of detecting invisible creatures.

    Out of the Shadows could also be very inconvenient. Only being corporeal for one minute a day could have all kinds of drawbacks depending on how the DM rules incorporealness works, such as not being able to eat or drink and plenty of RP issues. The Psion Uncarnate has the same issues, but the "being of pure mind" clause suggests that it probably doesn't need to eat or drink, while this doesn't have such a clause.

    Moving past that, Penumbra Slice is good. Really good. Take one level in Crusader, and you've always got a maneuver to expend, so you can permanently sneak attack everything, even normally immune things, plus ignore all DR, at the cost of a swift action every other round. And since you'll be incorporeal whenever in darkness, that effectively means all your attacks are made against flat-footed touch AC and get full sneak attack. whenever you're in darkness. You might want to specify that he has to give up a Shadow Hand maneuver, which would prevent this trick.

    Alternately, Martial Study and Martial Stance (Devoted Spirit), a level in Cleric, and then into Ruby Knight Vindicator to get Divine Impetus would allow for serious shenanigans with Strike in the Shadows, like making several dozen attacks in one round that the target doesn't even notice if they survive. But Divine Impetus enables lots of other silliness too, so that's not really a point against this class.

    Also, I don't think you list what schools he can gain maneuvers from. Just Shadow Hand?

    Finally, 6+Int skill points and full Sneak Attack progression seems a bit excessive given the other awesomeness this class gets. A Rogue with a level in Swordsage (or SS with a level in Rogue, Sneak Attack Fighter, Psychic Rogue, Spellthief, etc.) to meet the prereqs really wouldn't lose anything by entering, and would gain a ton.

    In conclusion, Phantom Slice is less powerful than a fullcaster, but it's still very powerful. It'd be hard to bring it down to a more reasonable level without fundamental reworking, but if you want a stealthy character that'll be effective in a high-powered game without casting or a convoluted build, it'll do nicely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden-Esque View Post
    You can't. Gaining the ability to do Sneak Attack damage through a Stance is the same as gaining the ability to fly from casting a spell; just like you can't use Spell Effects to qualify for Prestige Classes, you can't use the effects of maneuvers or stances to qualify for Prestige Classes.
    Citation? I've seen plenty of builds that rely on spells to meet prereqs (such as Hunter's Eye for sneak attack prereqs, Fly to take Flyby Attack, or Heroics for lots of things), with the caveat that they don't meet the prereqs when they don't have that ability active (and thus arguably might lose the benefits of the class since they no longer qualify, though what exactly that entails is another very debatable issue).
    Quote Originally Posted by Thespianus View Post
    I fail to see how "No, that guy is too fat to be hurt by your fire" would make sense.

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    Default Re: Slice at the Shadows (3.5, ToB, PrC)

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    The text includes both "Phantom Slash" and "Phantom Slice" - you might want to settle on one.
    Shoot, thanks for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    I'm not sure the permanent incorporealness effects are a good idea. Since Sneak Attackers want to get lots of attacks per round, only being able to make (Dex mod + 4) attacks per encounter at 4th level and then being stuck incorporeal and unable to affect anything could be a major pain. Sure he can normally leave the darkness to be able to attack again, but it seems a bit against the fluff for a class like this to be less effective at night or in completely darkened areas. You can bypass this using projectile weapons, but having to invest in throwing or use a bow when most maneuvers are melee-only just to make sure you can always attack is a bit annoying.
    I guess. However, if you are talking about the "Out of the Shadows" ability, they have an unlimited number of attacks. If you are talking about "In the Shadows," it actually has a duration, a number of rounds equal to the Phantom Slash's Dexterity modifier. And the Incorporeality is only permanent in shadows. If the Phantom Slash leaves the area that is granting him the ability, he only has a number of rounds equal to his dexterity modifier that he is still incorporeal.

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    There's also potential for abuse; there certainly isn't any light inside a wall or in solid rock, so a Phantom Slash could just go inside every obstacle he comes across and burrow along, sleep a few feet underground to avoid risk, etc.
    Ah, this is because I forgot to add a suggestion that Edge made earlier; it is supposed to be Shadowy Illumination and Dim Illumination.

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    Out of the Shadows could also be very inconvenient. Only being corporeal for one minute a day could have all kinds of drawbacks depending on how the DM rules incorporealness works, such as not being able to eat or drink and plenty of RP issues. The Psion Uncarnate has the same issues, but the "being of pure mind" clause suggests that it probably doesn't need to eat or drink, while this doesn't have such a clause.
    It is one minute consecutively. After that period, you can use it again, but you have to sacrifice an action. I might add that the Phantom Slash can become corporeal at will outside of combat.

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    Moving past that, Penumbra Slice is good. Really good. Take one level in Crusader, and you've always got a maneuver to expend, so you can permanently sneak attack everything, even normally immune things, plus ignore all DR, at the cost of a swift action every other round. And since you'll be incorporeal whenever in darkness, that effectively means all your attacks are made against flat-footed touch AC and get full sneak attack. whenever you're in darkness. You might want to specify that he has to give up a Shadow Hand maneuver, which would prevent this trick.
    In the first version, the maneuver sacrificed did not recover until the Phantom Slash rested for eight hours. Do you think this would help? Also, making it Shadow Hand maneuvers only would work well too.

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    Also, I don't think you list what schools he can gain maneuvers from. Just Shadow Hand?
    Ah, yes, just Shadow Hand. I will add that in.

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    Finally, 6+Int skill points and full Sneak Attack progression seems a bit excessive given the other awesomeness this class gets. A Rogue with a level in Swordsage (or SS with a level in Rogue, Sneak Attack Fighter, Psychic Rogue, Spellthief, etc.) to meet the prereqs really wouldn't lose anything by entering, and would gain a ton.
    I guess I could lower it. The sneak attack is roughly on par with what a rogue gets at his levels, which is sort of how I wanted it. I could lower the skill points, I suppose.

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    In conclusion, Phantom Slice is less powerful than a fullcaster, but it's still very powerful. It'd be hard to bring it down to a more reasonable level without fundamental reworking, but if you want a stealthy character that'll be effective in a high-powered game without casting or a convoluted build, it'll do nicely.
    OK. Yeah, it was a while ago that I first wrote this class, but in an Epic Gestalt game that will be running soon, this fits my character perfectly, and he might be able to enter it later on in his levels, which is also why I posted it up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn View Post
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    Default Re: Slice at the Shadows (3.5, ToB, PrC)

    Quote Originally Posted by unosarta View Post
    I guess. However, if you are talking about the "Out of the Shadows" ability, they have an unlimited number of attacks. If you are talking about "In the Shadows," it actually has a duration, a number of rounds equal to the Phantom Slash's Dexterity modifier. And the Incorporeality is only permanent in shadows. If the Phantom Slash leaves the area that is granting him the ability, he only has a number of rounds equal to his dexterity modifier that he is still incorporeal.
    Hang on. I thought In the Shadows made him permanently incorporeal when in shadows, but when incorporeal he can only make attacks that hit corporeal creatures Dex mod + class level times per encounter. So if he wanted to make more attacks than that, he'd have to enter an illuminated area, which would instantly make him become corporeal again. If I understand what you're saying here, that was incorrect; instead, he can make any number of attacks that hit corporeal creatures when corporeal, and the duration is how long he stays incorporeal after leaving the shadows.

    It is one minute consecutively. After that period, you can use it again, but you have to sacrifice an action. I might add that the Phantom Slash can become corporeal at will outside of combat.
    Ah, that's no problem then.

    In the first version, the maneuver sacrificed did not recover until the Phantom Slash rested for eight hours. Do you think this would help? Also, making it Shadow Hand maneuvers only would work well too.
    Eight hours would be excessive.Just make it be Shadow Hand maneuvers so it's an actual sacrifice on his part.

    I guess I could lower it. The sneak attack is roughly on par with what a rogue gets at his levels, which is sort of how I wanted it. I could lower the skill points, I suppose.
    That's the issue. It's like a rogue but better in every respect but skill points, especially since being incorporeal whenever in shadowy or dim illumination (UMD + wands of Darkness means this can be pretty much always) allows him to bypass lots of things that rogues would have trouble with. Walls, for example.

    But if it's for an epic gestalt game, go for it. The whole point of epic gestalt is awesome power.
    Last edited by SurlySeraph; 2010-10-21 at 09:20 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thespianus View Post
    I fail to see how "No, that guy is too fat to be hurt by your fire" would make sense.

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    Default Re: Slice at the Shadows (3.5, ToB, PrC)

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    Hang on. I thought In the Shadows made him permanently incorporeal when in shadows, but when incorporeal he can only make attacks that hit corporeal creatures Dex mod + class level times per encounter. So if he wanted to make more attacks than that, he'd have to enter an illuminated area, which would instantly make him become corporeal again. If I understand what you're saying here, that was incorrect; instead, he can make any number of attacks that hit corporeal creatures when corporeal, and the duration is how long he stays incorporeal after leaving the shadows.
    Basically, from what the ability description says: The Phantom Slash enters an area of shadowy illumination. He is invisible. When he leaves, he remains invisible for a number of rounds equal to his dexterity modifier. At higher levels, he turns incorporeal, as well as invisible. While incorporeal, he may only make a number of attacks per encounter equal to his class level plus his Dexterity modifier. When he becomes corporeal again, he can make any number of attacks. At higher levels, he remains invisible even when not in the shadows. At level 10, he remains incorporeal even when not in shadows. Because he has greater control of his incorporeality, having access to it for ten levels, he can treat his weapons as Ghost Touch.

    If he truly needs to bypass the Dexterity modifier + class level attacks in an encounter, he can enchant his weapon with Ghost Touch.


    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    Ah, that's no problem then.
    I added in a clause that it does need actions when not in combat, just in case.


    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    Eight hours would be excessive.Just make it be Shadow Hand maneuvers so it's an actual sacrifice on his part.
    OK, it is done.


    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    That's the issue. It's like a rogue but better in every respect but skill points, especially since being incorporeal whenever in shadowy or dim illumination (UMD + wands of Darkness means this can be pretty much always) allows him to bypass lots of things that rogues would have trouble with. Walls, for example.
    Hm. I see your point. Unfortunately, I am not sure how to work the class otherwise so as that it would retain the same overall "feel" of the class features, but without dead levels and making the power level lower.

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    But if it's for an epic gestalt game, go for it. The whole point of epic gestalt is awesome power.
    Yeah. Fortunately, my character took levels of Ninja, Monk, Shadow Sun Ninja, and Master of Masks (which isn't too bad). His next ten levels are going to be this and Ghost Faced Killer.

    He might need the powerboost.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn View Post
    NOTHING is simple. NO EXCEPTIONS. No, not even that.

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    Default Re: Slice at the Shadows (3.5, ToB, PrC)

    That's clearer, thanks. Seems good, then.

    And now, build advice:
    You're at least stacking the Monk and Ninja AC bonuses, right? Tell me you're stacking them. Or taking Carmendine Monk or Ascetic Mage to stack Wis and Int or Cha.
    Master of Masks is just fine for at least a level. It's nice in "Let's see how many classes that get +1d6 Sneak Attack at first level we can fit in" builds, and it's nice for exotic weapons.
    But yeah, if there are epic casters around you'll want Phantom Slash to even the playing field a little. Not sure why you're taking GfK and Ninja, since when you can be perma-invisible and perma-incorporeal Ghost Step is pointless, and GfK's Cha-based abilities aren't great given that you want Int for skill points and Wis for most of your class features.
    A level in Shiba Protector (from Oriental Adventurers) would be nice. Wis to attack and damage, stacks with everything. Shadow Blade, 3 levels in Swashbuckler, Shiba Protector, and any of the various Cha to damage abilities can let you add every stat but Con to damage. Which isn't particularly useful, but is fun.
    3 or more levels in Factotum are great for any skill-person, because you get your Int to all Dex and Str-based checks. Like most rogue skills, and INITIATIVE. 8 levels in Factotum are awesome because you can get extra standard actions, if you can fit them in.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thespianus View Post
    I fail to see how "No, that guy is too fat to be hurt by your fire" would make sense.

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    Default Re: Slice at the Shadows (3.5, ToB, PrC)

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    That's clearer, thanks. Seems good, then.
    Cool.

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    And now, build advice:
    You're at least stacking the Monk and Ninja AC bonuses, right? Tell me you're stacking them. Or taking Carmendine Monk or Ascetic Mage to stack Wis and Int or Cha.
    Actually, I get it from three sources in total, since the build also has Swordsage. I will go ask my DM.

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    Master of Masks is just fine for at least a level. It's nice in "Let's see how many classes that get +1d6 Sneak Attack at first level we can fit in" builds, and it's nice for exotic weapons.
    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    But yeah, if there are epic casters around you'll want Phantom Slash to even the playing field a little. Not sure why you're taking GfK and Ninja, since when you can be perma-invisible and perma-incorporeal Ghost Step is pointless, and GfK's Cha-based abilities aren't great given that you want Int for skill points and Wis for most of your class features.
    Ah, there are no epic casters. Only 6th level spells. And the full build is as so: Swordsage20/Shadow Sun Ninja10//Monk1/Ninja9/Avenging Executioner5/Master of Masks10/Rogue5. Avenging Excecutioner allows me to consider those who are shaken as if they were flatfooted, and I have like 8d6 sudden strike dice, so that is sort of nice. If I use GFK, I can a couple of times per day, cause any target to be shaken, as long as they are not immune to mind affecting spells and abilities, without a save. If they fail their save, they die. Win-win.

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    A level in Shiba Protector (from Oriental Adventurers) would be nice. Wis to attack and damage, stacks with everything. Shadow Blade, 3 levels in Swashbuckler, Shiba Protector, and any of the various Cha to damage abilities can let you add every stat but Con to damage. Which isn't particularly useful, but is fun.
    Shiba protector looks good, if I can get my DM to allow me to ignore the Race requirements. Well, I mean, the character is already human anyway, so it might work. Also, the only statistics really maxed out are Wisdom and Dexterity. We cannot really buy stuff, since the wealth by level has been removed, so my characters intelligence and Charisma are 17 and 15, respectively.

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    3 or more levels in Factotum are great for any skill-person, because you get your Int to all Dex and Str-based checks. Like most rogue skills, and INITIATIVE. 8 levels in Factotum are awesome because you can get extra standard actions, if you can fit them in.
    I don't think I could fit in any more levels than 3, which is already pushing it. Unfortunately, the character's Intelligence is rather subpar.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn View Post
    NOTHING is simple. NO EXCEPTIONS. No, not even that.

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