Scoundrel (3.5e Class)
Rate this article |
Discuss this article
Masters of deceit and skillful ruffians, scoundrels are tricky combatants who use their abilities to never engage in a fair fight when given the chance. You may call it dishonorable, but one can never say their tactics aren't effective. Sometimes, when a direct sword to the face isn't the answer it is the scoundrel who can sneak behind enemy lines and backstab their opponents before they even knew what hit them, with less casualties than one would face in direct battle. Even in the midst of more obvious combat, sometimes a good shiv in the back is just what is needed to finish the fight. Whatever their methods, the scoundrel is more than mere thug, her techniques are honed and tested as any martial warrior. They are to rogues and bards to what warblades are to fighters, awesome.
Making a Scoundrel
Abilities: With light armor and a focus on skills which require agility, Dexterity often becomes more important than Strength, using the Weapon Finesse feat to cover their combative ability. And being those who move into combat, Constitution serves them well. A high Charisma is important for any social builds such as spys or investigators, while Intelligence helps give them additional skills from their wide list. Wisdom is not entirely a dump stat, for while they hold a good will save they must still be aware of their surroundings to be on their toes. Battles are won by who gets the upper hand, after all.
Races: Any race who may produce rogues will undoubtly produce a few scoundrels as well.
Alignment: Any nonlawful.
Starting Gold: 5d4×10 gp (125 gp).
Starting Age: Moderate.
|Saving Throws||Special||Maneuvers Known||Maneuvers Readied||Stances Known|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+2||Eager Strike, Trapfinding, Use Poison, Weapon Finesse||6||4||1|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+3||Disturb Detection, Sneak Attack +1d6||7||4||2|
|3rd||+2||+1||+3||+3||Improvised Proficiency, Specialized Maneuver||8||5||2|
|5th||+3||+1||+4||+4||Sneak Attack +2d6||10||6||3|
|6th||+4||+2||+5||+5||Analyze Surroundings, Specialized Maneuver||11||6||3|
|7th||+5||+2||+5||+5||Death Attack, Swift Death 1||12||6||3|
|8th||+6/+1||+2||+6||+6||Sneak Attack +3d6, Improved Evasion||13||7||3|
|10th||+7/+2||+3||+7||+7||Hidden Chameleon Stance||15||8||4|
|11th||+8/+3||+3||+7||+7||Sneak Attack +4d6||16||8||4|
|12th||+9/+4||+4||+8||+8||Continent Maneuver, Specialized Maneuver||17||8||4|
|14th||+10/+5||+4||+9||+9||Sneak Attack +5d6||19||9||5|
|16th||+12/+7/+2||+5||+10||+10||Swift Death 2||21||10||5|
|17th||+12/+7/+2||+5||+10||+10||Sneak Attack +6d6||22||10||5|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+6||+12||+12||Doppleganger Stance, Sneak Attack +7d6||25||12||6|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the scoundrel.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: As a scoundrel, you are proficient with simple weapons, martial melee weapons (including those that can be used as thrown weapons), and light armor, but not with shields.
Maneuvers: You begin your career with knowledge of six martial maneuvers. The disciplines available to you are Eloquent Speech, Ravenous Succubi, Setting Sun, Shadow Hand, and Surreptitious Bandit disciplines.
Once you know a maneuver, you must ready it before you can use it (see Maneuvers Readied below). A maneuver usable of the scoundrel is considered an extraordinary ability unless otherwise noted in its description. Your maneuvers are not affected by spell resistance, and you do not provoke attacks of opportunity when you initiate one. You learn additional maneuvers at higher levels, as shown on Table: Scoundrel. You must meet a maneuver's prerequisite to learn it. See the table to determine the highest level maneuver you can learn.
Upon reaching 4th level and every even-numbered scoundrel level after that (6th, 8th, 10th, and so on) you can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one you already know. In effect, you lose the old maneuver and exchange for the new one. You can choose a maneuver of any level you like, as long as you observe your restriction on the highest level maneuvers you know; you need not replace the old maneuver with a new maneuver of the same level. For example, upon reaching 10th level, you could trade in a single 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th level maneuver for a maneuver of 5th level or lower, as long as you meet the prerequisite of the new maneuver. You can swap only a single maneuver at any given level.
Maneuvers Readied: You can ready all four maneuvers you know at 1st level, but as you advance in level and learn more maneuvers you must choose which maneuvers to ready. You ready maneuvers by focusing for 5 minutes. The maneuvers you choose remain readied until you decide to focus again and change them. You need not sleep or rest for any long period of time in order to ready your maneuvers; any time you spend five minutes in thought, you can change your readied maneuvers.
You begin an encounter with all your readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times you might have already used them since you chose them. When you initiate a maneuver, you expend it for the current encounter, so each of your readied maneuvers can be used once per encounter (unless you recover them, as described below).
Scoundrels share their maneuver methods with swordsagesToB, relying on many martial maneuvers but being unable to recover them easily mid-battle.
You can recover an expended maneuver by using a full round action to quickly refocus. Doing this does not provoke attacks of opportunity. If you complete your focus, you can choose one expended maneuver to refresh. It is now available for use in a subsequent round.
Stances Known: You begin play with knowledge of one 1st-level stance from any discipline open to you. At 2nd, 5th, 9th, 14th, and 20th level, you can choose additional stances. Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended, and you do not have to ready them. All the stances you know are available to you at all times, and you can change the stance you currently use as a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated in the stance description.
Unlike with maneuvers, you cannot learn a new stance at higher levels in place of one you already know.
Eager Strike (Ex): The first round of action can make or break an encounter, and scoundrels know to make the first strike count. In the first round of combat against a flatfooted opponent, a scoundrel deals additional damage equal to its class level. For that reason, going first is always a good thing.
Finding a nonmagical traps has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic traps has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.
As a rogue, a scoundrel can use the Disable Device skill to disarm magic traps. A magic traps generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.
A scoundrel who beats a trap’s DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (with her party) without disarming it.
Use Poison (Ex): Scoundrels are skilled in the use of poison and never risk accidentally poisoning themselves when applying poison to a blade.
Weapon Finesse: At 1st level, a scoundrel receive Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat. If the Scoundrel already possess Weapon Finesse or another ability which allow it to use it Dexterity instead of Strength to attack, it may take another feat it meet the prerequisites of instead.
Disrupt Detection (Su): At 2nd level, a scoundrel becomes difficult to detect from various divination spells which would reveal her. She gains half her class level as a bonus on saves against divination spells, and she gains a Will negates save against divination spells which offer no save (however she does not get half her class level as a bonus against these effects). It is overwritten at 19th level by the Undetectable ability.
Sneak Attack (Ex): At 2nd level, if a scoundrel can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.
The scoundrel's attack deals extra damage any time her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the scoundrel flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 2nd level, and it increases by 1d6 every three scoundrel levels thereafter. Should the scoundrel score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.
With a sap (blackjack) or an unarmed strike, a scoundrel can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty.
A scoundrel can sneak attack only living creatures with discernible anatomies—undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to sneak attacks. The scoundrel must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A scoundrel cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.
Improvised Proficiency (Ex): At 3rd level, a scoundrel knows that anything can be a weapon in the right circumstances. She becomes proficient in improvised weapons, no longer taking the -4 penalty for wielding random objects.
Specialized Maneuver: At 3rd level and every three levels beyond (6th, 9th, and so forth) a scoundrel learns a special sort of maneuver. They are prepared and used just like her normal martial maneuvers, but belong to no discipline. Their DC scales with level (10 + 1/2 class level + relevant modifier) and they are considered to be a maneuver level half your initiator level (maximum 9th), specialized maneuvers cannot be made into martial script. Select from the list below:
Close Call (Ex): (Counter) You manage to avoid disaster with some quick thinking to reverse the damage. Whenever you fail a skill check which has negative consequences for failure (such as setting off a trap), you may use this maneuver to reroll the skill check. You must take the results of the second roll, even if it is worse than the original. Unlike most maneuvers, this maneuver can only be used 1/encounter regardless of how many times you refresh your maneuvers.
Countersound Step (Ex): (Rush) As a move action you can move much more carefully than normal, silencing your armor check penalty to hide and move silently checks while you move. As long as you move at least 10 feet every round the benefit of the maneuver persists until you cease movement.
Focus Strike (Ex): (Boost) As a move action you focus your gaze onto the opponent's vitals, knowing where to strike. Make a spot check against the opponent's AC. If successful, your next sneak attack will deal an extra +1 points of damage per HD. The benefit is lost when you make a successful sneak attack, or 1 minute passes.
Forget Me Knot (Ex): (Strike) When you are able to make a sneak attack against your opponent, you may instead use this maneuver to tie them up. To use this maneuver you need rope or a rope-like object on hand (such as a whip). Make a melee attack, instead of the normal damage make a Use Rope check to bind your opponent rapidly. Those bound by rope are immobile but not helpless, and are effectively pinned until they can free themselves.
Heroic Leap (Ex): (Rush) As a move action you can use this maneuver to make your jumps more effective. You are treated as having a running start, and you may make a jump check. In addition if you purposefully jump down and attempt to reduce fall damage, you can ignore 20 feet of fall damage with a DC 15 jump check, instead of 10 feet.
Hit and Run (Ex): (Strike) When you are able to make a sneak attack against your opponent you may use this maneuver to put some distance between you and the inevitable counterattack. Make a melee attack, dealing normal sneak attack damage. Then make a tumble check, you may withdraw away from the enemy a number of feet equal to your tumble check, round down to the nearest amount divisible by 5 (5 ft, 10 ft, etc), round down (minimum 5 feet). This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity and is part of your standard action.
Ineffable Charmer (Ex): (Boost) You know how to sweet talk your way into a situation. As a swift action you can roll twice for a diplomacy check, taking the better of the two results. Unlike most maneuvers, this maneuver can only be used 1/encounter regardless of how many times you refresh your maneuvers.
I Went That Way! (Ex): (Strike) You can do more than just make false documents with forgery. With this maneuver you can make a false trail which can mislead those attempting to track you. Make a forgery check, it is opposed by the opponent's survival check made to track you. You can cover a 100 ft. area of tracks as a full-round action, the total time this maneuver takes based on how much ground you must cover.
King Cobra Strike (Ex): (Counter) You know just where to place the poisons for maximum effect. When you attempt to poison a target you may make a craft alchemy or craft poison check as an immediate action, The DC equal to the normal DC of the poison. If successful, the DC of the poison becomes 10 + 1/2 HD + Charisma, or the original poison's DC +2, whicever is better.
Look Over There! (Ex): (Boost) As a swift action the scoundrel may make a feint attempt to all creatures in 30 feet. You get a +4 bonus to your check.
Loose Lips (Ex): (Strike) With careful wording you manage to get the information you need while asking about seemingly unrelated subjects. When you make a gather information check you can use this maneuver, and you do not take the penalty for attempting to avoid suspicion, and the attempt only takes 1d4 minutes. At the end of the attempt, you can force a Will save DC 10 + 1/2 HD + Charisma, and get them to reveal one secret on a failed save, if they know it at all. The maneuver is part of the gather information check.
Parting Shot (Ex): (Strike) When you are grappled you may use this maneuver to strike at your grappler as you slip from their grasp. As a standard action you can make an Escape Artist check with a +4 bonus. If you are successful in your escape, you are freed as normal and make make an immediate sneak attack against them, they are flatfooted against your attack.
Quick Disguise (Ex): (Boost) You can quickly pull together a disguise in a rapid amount of time. Make a disguise check as part of this maneuver. You can make minor details as a swift action, or more serious changes as a full-round action or longer. You can change your apparent gender, race, age category, or size category. The times are cumulative, so if a female human scoundrel wanted to disguise herself as a male elf, it would take 2 rounds.
Quicken Skills (Ex): (Counter) You manage to work quickly in spite of pressure by applying your full focus. If you are performing a skill check which takes more than 1 round to finish you can make a DC 20 Concentration check, and if successful you cut the time it takes to make the check in half (minimum 1 round). If you make DC 40 the time is cut in thirds, and DC 60 cuts the time in quarters, and so forth for each additional +20 to the DC.
Stealing Strike (Ex): (Strike) In order to use this maneuver you must have at least one hand free. Make an attack roll, if successful you deal normal damage and you can make a sleight of hand against their spot check as you steal away any one loose or held item that can be held one handed, such as a ring, an amulet, or even a light or one-handed weapon. A successful spot check negates the thieft, but not the damage.
Up The Walls (Ex): (Rush) With a burst of speed you go running up a vertical wall as if it were the floor. Make a climb check. The result is how many feet you can run up a wall, or up to your move speed (whichever is shorter). Regardless of the distance traveled vertically, you must end your turn on a horitonzal surface or successfully gripped onto the wall with a climb check, or you will fall.
Walk the Blade (Ex): (Counter) When someone attacks you in melee you may make an immediate action to attempt a jump check with a DC equal to the attack roll, and a DC 10 balance check. If successful the attack misses and you jump onto the enemy's weapon, balancing in an impossible manner. Besides showing off, it renders the opponent flatfooted against your next attack if it is made within 1 round.
Evasion (Ex): At 4th level and higher, a scoundrel can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the scoundrel is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless scoundrel does not gain the benefit of evasion.
Analyze Surroundings (Ex): At 6th level, a scoundrel can turn the environment against their opponents. If a scoundrel studies her surroundings for 3 rounds and then engages in combat in this area within 10 minutes, she gains a +2 bonus on attack and AC as she uses the surrounding items for blockades, and knowing where she can kick up dirt to harass the opponent and give her the upper edge. It behooves her to ensure the battles occur at her time and choosing rather than simply random encounters. The area she can study is a radius of 100 ft. + 10 ft. per level. She can only have one studied area in her mind at once, studying a new place for 3 rounds removes the benefits of fighting in the original area and applies it to the new area.
At 12th level and every 6 levels beyond (18th, 24th, etc.) the bonus for fighting in their analyzed area increases by +1.
Death Attack (Ex): At 7th level, if a scoundrel studies her victim for 3 rounds and then makes a sneak attack with a melee weapon that successfully deals damage, the sneak attack has the additional effect of possibly either paralyzing or killing the target (scoundrel's choice). While studying the victim, the scoundrel can undertake other actions so long as her attention stays focused on the target and the target does not detect the scoundrel or recognize the scoundrel as an enemy. If the victim of such an attack fails a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 class level + the scoundrel's Cha modifier) against the kill effect, they die. If the saving throw fails against the paralysis effect, the victim is rendered helpless and unable to act for 1d6 rounds plus 1 round per level of the scoundrel. If the victim’s saving throw succeeds, the attack is just a normal sneak attack. Once the scoundrel has completed the 3 rounds of study, she 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 scoundrel does not launch the attack within 3 rounds of completing the study, 3 new rounds of study are required before she can attempt another death attack.
Swift Death (Ex): At 7th level, a scoundrel has become exceedingly good at removing helpless opponents from the battle, dispatching them with all the ease of an executioner. She may coup de grace as a standard action. At 16th level, she may coup de grace as an attack action which no longer provokes an attack of oppotunity. Alternatively she can attempt to coup de grace stunned creatures, but this takes a full-round action and provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.
Improved Evasion (Ex): At 8th level, a scoundrel can avoid attacks with even greater ease. This ability works like evasion, except that while the scoundrel still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks henceforth she takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless scoundrel does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.
Hidden Chameleon Stance (Ex): At 10th level, a scoundrel learns a unique martial stance which she can use as any normal stance. While in the hidden chameleon stance she gains the ability to change her appearance at will, as if using the disguise self spell. This affects the scoundrel's body but not her possessions. It is not an illusory effect, but a minor physical alteration of the scoundrel's appearance, within the limits described for the spell. This is a supernatural ability, and is effectively a 5th level maneuver.
Contingent Maneuver (Su): At 12th level, a scoundrel needs to be prepared for anything. She can expend a maneuver and make it a contingent maneuver which she will immediately initiate unconciously given certain circumstances. This functions identically to the contingency spell, except you can store a maneuver up to 1/3rd your initiator level (so an initiator level 18 could have a contingent 6th level maneuver). You may only have one contingent maneuver at a time.
Delay Maneuver (Su): At 13th level, a scoundrel can make their maneuvers have subtle effects on the body which do not fully blossom until the time is right. When she uses a maneuver which affects another creature besides herself she can declare it to be a delayed maneuver. She completes the maneuver as normal, but its effects do not occur right away and for all purposes it would appear to have been a failed attack. Thereafter the scoundrel can activate the maneuver's effects at any later time, as long as the attempt is made within a number of days equal to her initiator level. To make such an attempt, the scoundrel merely wills the maneuver to take effect (a free action), in which case the target is subject to the full consequences as if they had been hit with the maneuver then. A scoundrel can only have one instance of a delayed maneuver active at any one time.
Undetectable (Su): At 19th level, a scoundrel is most difficult to pin down and analyze. The scoundrel becomes completely immune to any attempts to detect or read emotions or thought. It protects her from any information gathering by divination spells or effects, foiling even limited wish, miracle, or wish when they are used in such a way as to gain information about the scoundrel. Spells which have different functions based on some aspect of yourself, such as alignment, do not recognize the scoundrel and she always takes the best possible result from such effects. In the case of scrying that scans an area the creature is in, such as arcane eye, the spell works but the scoundrel, simply isn’t detected. Scrying attempts that are targeted specifically at the subject do not work at all. Unlike the similar mind blank it does not protect against mind-affecting effects which control or influence, it simply prevents them from gaining information about them.
Doppleganger Stance (Su): At 20th level, a scoundrel learns a unique martial stance which she can use as any normal stance. While in the doppleganger stance she can assume the form of any creature she kills as if using polymorph. There is no cap on the number of HD of the creature you can duplicate, but you cannot assume a form of a creature with more HD than your initiator level. Unlike polymorph you do not gain the strength, dexterity, and constitution of your new form, but you do gain any extraordinary special attacks and any gross physical changes such as extra arms, wings, or movement speeds. She may dismiss the form as a swift action to change to another stance, assume a new form by killing a new creature, or have the duration expire. The form can be maintained for up to 1 hour per initiator level. You may choose not to assume the form of a creature you have killed if you so wish. This is a supernatural ability, and is effectively a 9th level maneuver.
A scoundrel who becomes lawful cannot gain more levels as a scoundrel.
|23rd||Sneak Attack +8d6|
|26th||Sneak Attack +9d6|
|29th||Sneak Attack +10d6|
6 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Sneak Attack: An epic scoundrel gains an additional +1d6 sneak attack at 23rd and every 3 levels beyond.
Specialized Maneuver: An epic scoundrel gains an additional specialized maneuver at 21st and every 3 levels beyond.
Human Scoundrel Starting Package
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 7 + Int modifier.
Feat: Improved Initiative.
Bonus Feats: Dodge.
Gear: Chain Shirt
Gold: 15 gp.
Playing a Scoundrel
Religion: Scoundrels are simultaneously the most and least religious persons ever. While never quite as openly zealous as a cleric or paladin, any scoundrel can admit they've prayed to their god (or many gods) in dire times when they need a little luck. Seek opportunity in everything, after all. Of course any gods of thieves and pranksters enjoy scoundrels as their hand on earth.
Other Classes: Like rogues, scoundrels are both loved and hated. None can deny the usefulness of the trap springing, sneak attacking, skillful party face. But when the gold goes missing and the cleric turns up assassinated in his sleep, everyone looks at the scoundrel first.
Combat: A scoundrel is much like a rogue or swordsage, a skirmisher. It uses maneuvers when full attacking is not an option, and the power of sneak attack when the opportunity arises to bring the pain. With maneuvers tailored towards stealth, they make excellent scouts, spies, and assassins.
Advancement: Try an initiator prestige class, or even simply a rogue-like one.
Scoundrels in the World
|“||Actually both the cups were poisoned, I just spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder.||”|
|—The Man in Black, Human Scoundrel|
Daily Life: A scoundrel enjoys his life and lives as he wishes. By following his own laws, he finds happiness.
Notables: Indigo Chartruse, a elven scoundrel, is a well known and much wanted thief with a high bounty on her head. She's stolen countless items including things which rightfully should be impossible steal, like entire buildings, peoples memories, and abstract concepts. And yet she seems to treat her thievery as a game, sometimes returning the items if her puzzles are solves and her crime traced, and always escaping at the last second.
Organizations: Scoundrels, being scoundrels, do not often work together but when they do they are often impossible to tell from thieves guilds and other places rogues might be found.
NPC Reactions: The concept of a rogue with martial maneuvers is lost on many. All they see is a rogue, and for such reasons do not trust them. But like any good scoundrel, one does not advertise what they are, only what they want others to hear.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge Local can research scoundrels to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||Scoundrels are skillful combatants similar to rogues, but with martial maneuvers.|
|15||Scoundrels have unique maneuvers which aid in their sneak attacks and skills. They can use their surroundings to plan an ambush to great effect.|
|20||High level scoundrels are prepared for anything. They can pull off maneuvers when the time is right, or when they choose to. They're very hard to detect and find. Don't let your eyes off them!|
|30||Those who reach this level of success can research particular scoundrels, their whereabouts, lore, motives, and abilities.|
Scoundrels in the Game
Adaptation: Instead of sneak attack, consider bardic music progression to turn this into a sublime bard.
In addition if you're like me and never really liked the swordsage recovery mechanic, slow as it is, I recommend the recovery mechanic recover ALL maneuvers as a full-round action rather than one maneuver. Alternatively, give it the Adaptive StyleToB feat at first level.
Sample Encounter: There's a plot to assassinate the king on the boat cruise, but who could it be? Find the scoundrel assassin before its too late.
EL 15: PENDING
|Allowed Alignments||Neutral Good +, Neutral +, Neutral Evil +, Chaotic Good +, Chaotic Neutral + and Chaotic Evil +|
|Article Balance||High +|
|Base Attack Bonus Progression||Moderate +|
|Class Ability||Martial Maneuvers + and Sneak Attack +|
|Fortitude Save Progression||Poor +|
|Identifier||3.5e Class +|
|Minimum Level||0 +|
|Rated By||Leziad + and Ganteka Future +|
|Rating||Rating Pending +|
|Reflex Save Progression||Good +|
|Skill||Appraise +, Balance +, Bluff +, Climb +, Concentration +, Craft +, Decipher Script +, Diplomacy +, Disable Device +, Disguise +, Escape Artist +, Forgery +, Gather Information +, Handle Animal +, Hide +, Intimidate +, Jump +, Knowledge +, Listen +, Martial Lore +, Move Silently +, Open Lock +, Perform +, Profession +, Search +, Sense Motive +, Sleight of Hand +, Speak Language +, Spot +, Swim +, Tumble + and Use Rope +|
|Skill Points||6 +|
|Summary||A skillful initiator who uses deceit and backstabbing to get the job done unnoticed. +|
|Will Save Progression||Good +|