Lion BladeSource Taldor, Echoes of Glory pg. 22 (Amazon)
Trained in hidden Shadow Schools beneath the streets of Cassomir and Oppara, the Lion Blades of Taldor come from the empire’s most secretive school of fighting arts. They scoff at the assassins of Qadira, laughing at their poisons and blow guns—and they’re equally derisive of the knights of Taldor, stomping about the battlefield in burdensome armor and wielding huge, slow weapons. Lion Blades prefer crowded urban areas and are masters of motion, controlling both their own movement and those around them. With the flick of a blade, they can slow their enemy to a crawl and then step into a crowd and disappear from sight. They are quick, agile, knowledgeable, and masters of disguise. A Lion Blade could easily infiltrate a Taldan Phalanx, disguise herself as a spearman, gain access to the Phalanx’s corrupt commander, strike quickly, and then blend quietly back into the ranks, her appearance completely different than just moments before.
Lion Blades are typically recruited out of the famous bardic colleges of Oppara, as the Shadow Schools want intelligent, flexible trainees to whom they can pass their arts. A Lion Blade usually spends at least a year in training before taking on missions for the Taldan Empire and other non-governmental organizations. Lion Blade PCs are often on extended loan for a specific purpose or are given permission to adventure in order to perfect their art in real world settings. A rare few Lion Blades shirk their responsibilities and work independently or even serve the enemies of Taldor, with Cheliax especially eager for these turncoats.
RequirementsTo qualify to become a Lion Blade, a character must fulfill the following criteria:
Alignment: Any neutral
Feats: Deceitful, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Perform)
Skills: Bluff 6 ranks, Disguise 8 ranks, Gather Information 6 ranks, Hide 8 ranks, Move Silently 6 ranks, either Perform (singing) or Perform (acting) 6 ranks
Special: Inspire competence, Taldor affinity, sneak attack +2d6
Class SkillsThe Lion Blade's class skills are Balance, Bluff, Climb, Disguise, Gather Information, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Open Lock, Perform, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, Tumble.
Skill Points at each Level: 6 + Int modifier.
Hit Die: d6.
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+2||Master of disguise, move with crowd, inspire self +2|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+3||Slowing strike, sneak attack +1d6|
|3rd||+2||+1||+3||+3||Hide in plain sight, unexpected suggestion|
|5th||+3||+1||+4||+4||Inspire self +4, glean information|
|6th||+4||+2||+5||+5||Sneak attack +2d6|
|7th||+5||+2||+5||+5||Cloud the mind, secret step|
|9th||+6||+3||+6||+6||Grandmaster of disguise, inspire self +6|
|10th||+7||+3||+7||+7||Silent soul, sneak attack +3d6|
The following are class features of the Lion Blade prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Lion Blades gain no additional proficiency in weapons or armor.
Master of Disguise (Ex): The first skill a Lion Blade learns is to perfectly alter her appearance in order to blend in to any crowd and any environment. A Lion Blade no longer suffers penalties to Disguise checks made to change her gender, race, or age.
Move with Crowd (Ex): Lion Blades are masters of moving in crowds. When moving through groups of humanoids that would normally count as rough terrain, the Lion Blade instead moves normally.
Inspire Self (Su): A Lion Blade learns a quiet, throaty chanting that puts her in a light trance, increasing her focus on the task at hand. The Lion Blade gains a +2 competence bonus on skill checks with a particular skill as long as she is able to continue her chant. The bonus increases to +4 at 5th level and +6 at 9th level. The GM may rule that certain uses of this ability are infeasible— chanting to make the Lion Blade move more quietly, for example, is self-defeating. The effect lasts as long as the Lion Blade concentrates, up to a maximum of 2 minutes. Inspire self is a mind-affecting ability.
Slowing Strike (Su): Once per round on a successful sneak attack, a Lion Blade may choose to deal 1 less die of sneak attack damage and instead reduce the target’s ground speed by 5 feet. Once an opponent’s speed has been reduced to 0 feet, he is immobilized (but not helpless). If the target uses wings to fly, the Lion Blade can choose to reduce the creature’s flying speed instead of its ground speed. The movement penalties imposed by slow strike are removed once the creature fully heals or it receives a lesser restoration spell.
Sneak Attack (Ex): This is exactly like the rogue ability of the same name. Sneak attack bonuses from other classes stack.
Unexpected Suggestion (Su): At 3rd level, once per day a Lion Blade can use suggestion on a target she catches flatfooted. Her caster level is equal to her class level.
Hide in Plain Sight (Su): At 3rd level, a Lion Blade can use the Hide skill even while being observed. As long as she is within 10 feet of some sort of shadow, a Lion Blade can hide herself from view in the open without having anything to actually hide behind. She cannot, however, hide in her own shadow.
Expeditious Advance (Ex): At 4th level, a Lion Blade’s land speed is faster than the norm for her race by +10 feet. This benefit applies only when she is wearing no armor or light armor and not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus before modifying the Lion Blade’s speed because of any load carried or armor worn.
Glean Information (Ex): At 5th level, a Lion Blade’s study of body language gives her an advantage when observing or manipulating others. A Lion Blade gains a +2 bonus to Bluff, Intimidate, Gather Information, and Sense Motive checks. Once per day per character level, a Lion Blade can add a +2 circumstance bonus to any Knowledge skill check (including bardic knowledge) relating to humanoids in her presence.
Secret Step (Su): A Lion Blade can slip through crowds with supernatural ease. Once per day per two class levels, a Lion Blade can take a move action to move up to double her speed through a crowd without provoking attacks of opportunity for this movement. For example, if a Lion Blade has a movement speed of 40, she can use secret step to move 80 feet as a move action. She can only use this ability to move through humanoid crowds that would otherwise count as difficult terrain. This is fast, agile movement, not teleportation, so she must physically traverse the intervening space (for example, she cannot use this ability to bypass a trapped floor or wall of fire, even if surrounded by crowds).
Cloud the Mind (Su): At 7th level, a Lion Blade becomes incredibly difficult to find. Whenever a Lion Blade is using Hide or Move Silently, observers suffer a –5 on their Listen or Spot checks. The Lion Blade gains SR equal to 10 + her class level against divination spells.
Narrow Miss (Su): At 8th level, a Lion Blade can dodge swiftly and erratically as a swift action, gaining 20% concealment until her next turn. She may use this ability once per day per two class levels.
Grandmaster of Disguise (Ex): At 9th level, a Lion Blade is able to improvise materials for a disguise that are as effective as an actual disguise kit. She gains a +2 circumstance bonus to disguise checks (this overlaps with the bonus from an actual disguise kit). Once per day per class level she can make a Disguise check at a –20 penalty to create a disguise as a full-round action.
Silent Soul (Ex): At 10th level, a Lion Blade has mastered the ability to still her thoughts, her movement, and her sounds to such a point that she becomes harder to dominate, harder to see, and harder to hear. All Hide or Move Silently checks made by the Lion Blade gain a +10 circumstance bonus (this is in addition to the –5 penalty imposed by cloud the mind) and the Lion Blade gains SR 20 against mind-affecting effects.