Crow Assassin (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Author: Leziad (talk)
Contributors: Eiji-kun
Date Created: 6th February 2016
Status: Finished
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A rebuild of the assassin class, made to be good and fun to use.

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Sneak Attack, Spontaneous Arcane Spellcasting, Other Other

Crow Assassin[edit]

I'd say "Nothing personal, it just business." but I'd be lying.
—Daniel Occhipinti, Human Crow Assassin

There are many traditions when it come to killing people, some new, some ancients. The Way of the Crow is said to be derived from an ancient assassin whom history forgot the name. All in all, the Way of the Crow is fairly standard sneak and kill stuff, although some ingenious Crow Assassins manage to do something unique and original with it.

Crow Assassins are usually evil, but people kill for a variety of reason and even genuinely good people can use the methods of the crow assassins.

Becoming a Crow Assassin[edit]

Entry Requirements  
Skills: Disguise 4 Ranks, Hide 8 Ranks, Move Silently 8 Ranks. 
Feats: Born Thief or DarkstalkerLoM
Special: Must kill someone as part of your initiation in the Crow Assassin

Table: The Crow Assassin

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells
Fort Ref Will 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Death Attack, Poison Mastery, Stance of the Crow 2
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Sneak Attack +1d6, Stance of the Crow 3
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 Hide in Plain Sight 4 2
4th +3 +1 +4 +1 Slip Away, Sneak Attack +2d6 5 3
5th +3 +1 +4 +1 Special Death Attack, Stance of the Crow 6 4 2
6th +4 +2 +5 +2 Evade Detection, Sneak Attack +3d6 6 5 3
7th +5 +2 +5 +2 Stance of the Crow 6 6 4 2
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +2 Soulcatcher, Sneak Attack +4d6 6 6 5 3
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +3 No Witness, Stance of the Crow 6 6 6 4
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +3 Master Assassin, Special Death Attack, Sneak Attack +5d6 6 6 6 5

Class Skills (8 + Int modifier per level)
Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Control Shape (Wis), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (None), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Crow Assassin.

Spells: Beginning at 1st level, an crow assassin gains the ability to cast a number of arcane spells. To cast a spell, an assassin must have an Intelligence or Charisma score (whichever is higher) of at least 10 + the spell’s level, so an crow assassin with an Intelligence/Charisma of 10 or lower cannot cast these spells. Crow Assassin bonus spells are based on Intelligence or Charisma, and saving throws against these spells have a DC of 10 + spell level + the assassin’s Intelligence or Charisma bonus. When the assassin gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Intelligence or Charisma score for that spell level. A Crow Assassin's caster level is equal to it character level.

The crow assassin’s spell list appears below and on this page (and any spell on the Assassin list). A crow assassin casts spells just as a bard does.

1st Level: charm monster, disguise self, detect poison, feather fall, ghost sound, jump, obscuring mist, sleep, true strike.

2nd Level: alter self, cat’s grace, clairaudience/clairvoyance, darkness, fox’s cunning, illusory script, invisibility, pass without trace, poison, spider climb, suggestion, undetectable alignment.

3rd Level: deep slumber, deeper darkness, dimension door, false life, insidious suggestion, magic circle against good, misdirection, nondetection.

4th Level: discern location, freedom of movement, glibness, greater invisibility, locate creature, mind blank (self only), modify memory, teleport.

Upon reaching 6th level, at every even-numbered level after that (8th and 10th), a crow assassin can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least two levels lower than the highest-level assassin spell the assassin can cast. A crow assassin may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for that level.

Table: Crow Assassin Spells Known
Level Spells Known
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1st 21
2nd 3
3rd 3 2
4th 4 3
5th 4 3 2
6th 4 4 3
7th 4 4 3 2
8th 4 4 4 3
9th 4 4 4 3
10th 4 4 4 4

Death Attack: If a crow assassin studies his victim for 3 rounds and then makes a sneak attack with a melee weapon or with a ranged attack within the range she can applies sneak attack that successfully deals damage, the sneak attack has the additional effect of possibly either paralyzing or killing the target (assassin’s choice). While studying the victim, the assassin can undertake other actions so long as her attention stays focused on the target and the target does not detect the crow assassin or recognize the assassin as an enemy. If the victim of such an attack fails a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the 1/2 HD + the assassin’s Dexterity or Intelligence modifier, whichever is higher) against the kill effect, she dies. If the saving throw fails against the paralysis effect, the victim is rendered helpless and unable to act for 3 hours plus 1 hour per level of the assassin. If the victim’s saving throw succeeds, the attack is just a normal sneak attack. Once the assassin has completed the 3 rounds of study, he must make the death attack within the next 3 rounds.

If a death attack is attempted and fails (the victim makes her save) or if the assassin does not launch the attack within 3 rounds of completing the study, 3 new rounds of study are required before he can attempt another death attack.

If a Crow Assassin already possess Death Attack from another source, she gain Improved Death Attack as a bonus feat.

Poison Mastery: Crow Assassins are trained in the use of poison and never risk accidentally poisoning themselves when applying poison to a blade. Additionally a crow assassin may apply a poison to her weapon as a swift action, or both of her weapons if she possess the Two-Weapon Fighting feat.

Stance of the Crow: At 1st, 2nd, 5th, 7th and 9th level a crow assassin learn one of the secret stance of the crow. A stance in the crow is activated as a swift action and last until she activate another stance or when the crow assassin dies or become helpless. The crow assassin choose her stances of the crow from the following list:

Cloak of Shadow (Su): When in this stance, the crow assassin become invisibility (as the spell) for 1 round whenever she deliver a successful death attack or sneak attack.

Dark Ambusher (Ex): When in this stance, any creature flanked by the crow assassin is flat-footed against her.

Evil Eye (Ex): When in this stance, the crow assassin can attack or otherwise act normally when observing a creature for a death attack, even if the creature can detect her or recognize her as an enemy. If the crow assassin possesses Improved Death Attack-CE she can deliver her death attack even if her attack would not be a sneak attack, however in order to do so she must study her target an additional round.

Haunting Shadows (Su): When in this stance, the crow assassin can use any creature in order to flank, by example she may use a creature that do not threaten the creature she wishes to flank or even one of the creature's own allies.

Presence of the Stalker (Su): When the crow assassin enter this stance, she must designate a single creature within 120 ft. of her she can see. As long as she stay in this stance she gain the benefits of find the path to the designated creature. However the creature will feel an extreme sense of unease and the feeling it is being followed, which may alter it behavior and attitude.

Shadowcasting (Su): When in this stance, the crow assassin can cast any of her crow assassin spells which take a standard action or less to cast as a swift action as long as she is not being observed.

Stance of the Scorpion (Ex): When in this stance, the crow assassin gain the benefits of the Quick Counter.

Stance of the Serpent (Ex): When in this stance, the crow assassin do not take any penalties from being prone (including moving at her land speed) and gain the ability to apply a poison to her weapon as a free action part of a feint.

Stance of the Spider (Ex): When in this stance, the crow assassins always under the effect of spider climb.

Sneak Attack: This is exactly like the rogue ability of the same name. The extra damage dealt increases by +1d6 every other level (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th). If an assassin gets a sneak attack bonus from another source, the bonuses on damage stack.

Hide in Plain Sight(Su): At 3rd level, a crow assassin can use the Hide skill even while being observed. As long as he is within 10 feet of some sort of shadows or in total darkness a crow assassin can hide himself from view in the open without having anything to actually hide behind.

Slip Away: After successfully killing or paralyzing a creature with your death attack, a 4th level crow assassin can immediately make a hide check against all creature within the vicinity of the victim, each creature who fail to beat the crow assassin with a spot check will only realize the target is dead 1 round later and will not have detected the crow assassin dealing the killing blow.

Special Death Attack (Ex): At 5th and 10th level the crow assassin gain a special modification to her death attack chosen from the list below:

Crimson Moon Strike (Ex): When delivering a death attack if the target succeed on it saving throw, it still take 2d6 Constitution damage.

Featherflight Attack (Ex): When you are about to make a Death Attack you may as a free action make a single Jump, moving up to the full distance allowed by the check. After you deliver the Death Attack, whether it succeed or not you may make another Jump checks, again moving up to the full distance allowed by the check. If you jump over your target and make an attack from above, your target is flat-footed against the attack and the DC of your Death Attack increase by 2.

Five-Point-Palm-Exploding-Heart Technique (Ex): When you make your death attack using an unarmed attack, if the target fail it saving throw instead of dying or becoming paralyzed instantly. You may instead delay the effect of the death attack indefinitely, triggering the effect of the death attack as a free action usable outside of your turn. The death may be subtle, or gory at your choice. You may choose to have the target explode in a explosion of gore, replicating the effect of superexplosion with a caster level equal to the victim's CR (minimum 1). It deal slashing and piercing damage instead of fire damage, all creatures who fail their saving throw are also Nauseated for 1 round and then Sickened for 1 minute.

Mindbender (Su): When the crow assassin successfully use her death attack, she may force a will save instead of a fortitude save. If she does and the target fail it become dominated for 1 minute per class level. After the domination the assassin may have the target make a fortitude save against the death or paralysis effect as normal.

Wraith Assault (Su): When the crow assassin make her death attack she can project a specter of herself up to 60 ft, effectively making an incorporeal touch attack at that range against her target instead of a normal attack.

Evade Detection (Ex): A 6th level crow assassin is always under the effect of nondetection with a caster level equal to your character level. If she already possess a similar ability count her caster level as 8 higher for the purpose of breaching her nondetection.

Soulcatcher (Su): Whenever a 8th level crow assassin kill a creature with her death attack she immediately seize it soul as per soul bind, she does need to carry the necessary material component but do not need it on hand. Additionally the black sapphire component involved in soul bind does not shatter and can be used to trap the soul of multiple creature (it value must still be high enough to contain a creature).

No Witness (Ex): At 9th level a crow assassin can observe a whole room full of people... and murder everyone forever. The crow assassin can observe any number of creature in a 30 foot radius, taking 3 rounds of observation per person to be targeted in the area. Once observations are complete, they may make a single death attack attempt against one of the targets in range, and all marked creatures in the 30 foot radius are subject to the death attack as if you had rolled the attack roll against them. In a flash, a mere six seconds, dozens of people can be executed in a single fell swoop.

Master Assassin: A 10th level Crow Assassin can deliver her death attack and sneak attack against any creatures, even those who would normally be immune to them (such as a creature with Improved Uncanny Dodge or an Undead creature), however such creature gain a +8 bonus on it saving throw. Whenever she deliver a death attack and the creature succeed it saving throw she deal triple sneak attack damage on that attack.

Alternate Class Features[edit]

Spellcasting Advancement: Instead of granting it own spellcasting, the crow assassin grant spellcasting advancement every level (if your class grant partial spellcasting like a Bard or Paladin) or spell casting advancement at every level except the first and last if your class grant full spellcasting (such as a wizard or cleric). Additionally you add the spells on the Assassin list (not crow assassin) to your spell list.

Prerequisites Change: Must be able to cast 2nd level spells.

Sublime Crow Assassin: Instead of granting it own spellcasting, the crow assassin instead add fully to your initiator level. At 1st level and each odd level thereafter you gain another maneuver known chosen from Diamond Mind, Shadow Hand or Tiger Claw. At 3rd level, 6th and 9th level you gain an additional maneuver readied. Finally at 5th and 10th level you gain another stance known, chosen from the same disciplines as the maneuvers.

Prerequisites Change: Must be able to use 2nd level maneuvers.

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Leziad's Homebrew (3401 Articles)
Article BalanceHigh +
AuthorLeziad +
Base Attack Bonus ProgressionModerate +
Class AbilitySneak Attack +, Spontaneous Arcane Spellcasting + and Other +
Class Ability ProgressionOther +
Fortitude Save ProgressionPoor +
Identifier3.5e Prestige Class +
Length10 +
Minimum Level5 +
RatingUndiscussed +
Reflex Save ProgressionGood +
SkillAppraise +, Balance +, Bluff +, Climb +, Concentration +, Control Shape +, Craft +, Decipher Script +, Diplomacy +, Disable Device +, Disguise +, Escape Artist +, Forgery +, Gather Information +, Heal +, Hide +, Intimidate +, Jump +, Knowledge +, Listen +, Move Silently +, Open Lock +, Perform +, Profession +, Search +, Sense Motive +, Sleight of Hand +, Speak Language +, Spellcraft +, Spot +, Survival +, Swim +, Tumble +, Use Magic Device + and Use Rope +
Skill Points8 +
SummaryA rebuild of the assassin class, made to be good and fun to use. +
TitleCrow Assassin +
Will Save ProgressionPoor +