Saturday, March 28, 2009

Introducing the Ghost...Faced...Killer

Now, the Ghost-Faced Killer is a prestige class that I can get into. Unlike a lot of prestige classes it actually makes sense and does what you want it to. It just takes a simple character idea, a stealthy yet still powerful in melee character, and progresses it by throwing in a couple of neat tricks. The requirements work nicely with the flavor and all of the abilities work well together. And it is named after a member of the Wu-Tang Clan.

The requirements are Base Attack of +5, evil, Improved Initiative, Power Attack, 6 ranks Hide, 4 ranks concentration, 8 ranks Intimidate, and 6 ranks Move Silently. Really, concentration is the only loser here. And it’s actually a pretty good build, we’ve had many characters in our campaigns who would qualify for it just in the natural progression of the character. Except for the concentration. The best way seems to be Rogue 2/Fighter 2/Ranger 2. At least that’s what I would go with. As a class it gets d8 Hit Die, 4 skill points, full Base Attack, and one good save (Fort, which I think is a little odd). All in all I would say it’s vitals are average, maybe a little better.

The abilities are cool and for a character that wants to be sneaking around and killing things they offer some options that would otherwise not be available. The signature ability is Ghost Step, which allows the G-FK to turn invisible for one round as a swift action. Being invisible works well with the Sudden Strike they get and whatever Sneak Attack they may have, but its duration really only makes it useful for combat. 6 seconds of invisibility doesn’t have a ton of utility uses. Frightful Attack is cool, but not much better than the Assassin’s Death Attack, and has the added advantage of panicking onlookers unfortunate enough to see the Killer in action. The fact that it is Charisma based seriously weakens it though, I don’t see many characters with this build having a high Charisma. Being able to see ethereal and invisible creatures at will is very nice, even if it does take 7 levels to get Ghost Sight.

The Ghost-Faced Killer is by no means an uber-powerful class, but it does what I think a prestige class should. It’s power level is on par with the base classes, but it allows a more narrow field of specialization at the cost of some of the more general class abilities. It also makes for a pretty fearsome villain for the PC’s to run into.


Matt said...

This actually reminds me of a cross between two NPCs I had in a 3rd edition campaign I ran in DC. The first was a very high level rogue/bard who was essentially a spymaster. The second was an assassin/con-man. Unfortunately, I didn't have access to this prestige class at the time, so I had to use custom-made magical items to achieve similar results.

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