Excerpts 01/05/2007

Complete Scoundrel Excerpts
By Mike McArtor and F. Wesley Schneider

Gain an upper hand in many situations by perusing the options and suggestions found within Complete Scoundrel. Whether your character defies gravity with acrobatic movements, has the right words for every occasion, or even moves behind the scenes with aplomb, you're sure to find something useful for your character. Check out some excerpts that give you a taste of what's in store for you. You'll find some information about making a scoundrel, some ideas for those acrobatic scoundrels out there, the master of mask prestige class, a list of new feats along with three feat you use in your game, information about skill tricks, and details about the organization called the Blind Tower.

Skill Tricks

Skill tricks are an exciting new way of customizing your scoundrel, allowing her to perform such cinematic effects as swinging across a chasm hanging from a whip, leaping off a warhorse while swinging a sword, jumping and running up a wall, and other similar actions popular in movies but until now unsupported in the D&D rules. Because they require the expenditure of skill points, skill tricks appeal most strongly to members of those character classes that focus on skills.

The four types of skill tricks are interaction, manipulation, mental, and movement. Each type focuses on a different subset of skills. While any character can learn tricks of any type, members of certain classes favor particular types of tricks (whether due to the class's skill list, the character's areas of expertise, or both).

Interaction: These skill tricks influence social interaction between PCs and NPCs. They typically rely on skills used in those situations, such as Bluff, Diplomacy, and Sense Motive. Bards are the most common masters of these skill tricks, but anyone who relies on social interaction to achieve their goals -- from bold paladins to boisterous sorcerers -- can benefit from them.

Manipulation: A manipulation skill trick depends on the character's manual dexterity to perform some act of legerdemain. Such tricks use skills that employ similar talents, including Disable Device, Open Lock, and Sleight of Hand. Rogues and ninjas often boast a few manipulation tricks in their repertoire.

Mental: These tricks pit the mind and senses of the character against an opponent. Mental tricks focus on skills such as Concentration, Knowledge, and Spot. Since this category includes a wide range of skills, many different characters dabble in such tricks.

Movement: As the name suggests, movement tricks typically involve the character physically moving from one location to another. They use skills that come into play during movement, such as Balance, Jump, Move Silently, and Tumble. Monks, barbarians, and scouts are most likely to learn such tricks, but anyone looking for an edge on the battlefield has something to gain from them.

Learning Skill Tricks

Learning a skill trick costs 2 skill points. Whenever you acquire skill points, you can choose to spend skill points to acquire a skill trick instead of purchasing ranks in skills.

You can learn any skill trick, as long as you meet the prerequisite and can afford to expend 2 skill points. If you later no longer meet the prerequisite for a skill trick, you can't use it again until you once more qualify.

You can't learn more than one skill trick at any given level, and your total skill tricks cannot exceed one-half your character level (rounded up). Certain feats and prestige class features allow a character to exceed these limits. If you use the retraining rules in Player's Handbook II, you can choose to unlearn any one skill trick when you attain a new level, assigning the reclaimed skill points as you wish (either to buy skill ranks or to learn a different skill trick).

You can learn a skill trick only once; you either know it or you don't.

Table 3-2: Skill Tricks

Interaction Prerequisites Benefit
Assume Quirk Disguise 5 ranks Familiar viewers get no bonus to see through your disguise
Group Fake-Out Bluff 8 ranks Feint against multiple foes simultaneously
Never Outnumbered Intimidate 8 ranks Demoralize multiple foes in combat simultaneously
Second Impression Bluff 5 ranks, Disguise 5 ranks Make Bluff check to reestablish blown disguise
Social Recovery Bluff 8 ranks, Diplomacy 5 ranks Make Bluff check to replace a failed Diplomacy check
Timely Misdirection Bluff 8 ranks Successful feint allows you to avoid attacks of opportunity
Manipulation Prerequisites Benefit
Clever Improviser Disable Device 5 ranks, Open Lock 5 ranks Ignore penalty for Disable Device and Open Lock checks made without tools
Conceal Spellcasting Concentration 1 rank, Sleight of Hand 5 ranks, Spellcraft 1 rank Conceal your spellcasting from onlookers
Easy Escape Medium or smaller size, Escape Artist 8 ranks Gain bonus on check to escape grapple or pin
False Theurgy Bluff or Sleight of Hand 8 ranks, Spellcraft 8 ranks Your spell appears to be another spell of the same level
Healing Hands Heal 5 ranks Heal 1d6 damage when you stabilize a dying character
Hidden Blade Sleight of Hand 5 ranks, Quick Draw Draw hidden weapon as move action; treat foe as flat-footed
Mosquito's Bite Sleight of Hand 12 ranks Flat-footed target does not notice damage you deal with a light weapon
Opening Tap Open Lock 12 ranks Open a lock as a swift action
Quick Escape Escape Artist 12 ranks Escape from grapple or restraints more quickly than normal
Shrouded Dance Hide 8 ranks, Perform (dance) 5 ranks Use move action to gain concealment for 1 round
Sudden Draw Sleight of Hand 8 ranks, Quick Draw Draw hidden weapon as part of attack of opportunity
Whip Climber Use Rope 5 ranks, proficiency with whip Use a whip as a grappling hook
Mental Prerequisites Benefit
Clarity of Vision Spot 12 ranks Notice invisible enemies for 1 round
Collector of Stories Knowledge (any) 5 ranks Gain +5 bonus on Knowledge checks to identify monsters
Listen to This Listen 5 ranks Perfectly repeat what you've recently heard
Magical Appraisal Appraise 5 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 5 ranks, Spellcraft 12 ranks Determine properties of magic items
Point it Out Spot 8 ranks Grant ally a free Spot check to see something you've spotted
Spot the Weak Point Spot 12 ranks Make your next attack a touch attack
Swift Concentration Concentration 12 ranks Maintain concentration on spell as swift action
Movement Prerequisites Benefit
Acrobatic Backstab Tumble 12 ranks Move through foe's space to render it flat-footed
Back on Your Feet Tumble 12 ranks React immediately to stand up from prone
Corner Perch Climb 8 ranks Perch in chimney or corner to leave hands free
Dismount Attack Ride 5 ranks Make a fast dismount from moving mount to charge a foe
Escape Attack Escape Artist 8 ranks Make an attack the same round you escape a grapple
Extreme Leap Jump 5 ranks Horizontal jump of at least 10 feet allows 10 extra feet of movement that round
Leaping Climber Climb 5 ranks, Jump 5 ranks Add jump distance to start of climb
Nimble Charge Balance 5 ranks Run or charge across difficult surface without Balance check
Nimble Stand Tumble 8 ranks Stand from prone safely
Quick Swimmer Swim 5 ranks Swim 10 additional feet with successful check
Slipping Past Escape Artist 5 ranks, Tumble 5 ranks Move into tight space without penalties
Speedy Ascent Climb 5 ranks Climb 10 additional feet with successful check
Tumbling Crawl Tumble 5 ranks Crawl 5 feet without provoking attacks of opportunity
Twisted Charge Balance 5 ranks, Tumble 5 ranks Make one direction change during a charge
Up the Hill Balance 5 ranks, Jump 5 ranks Move up slope or stairs at normal speed
Walk the Walls Climb 12 ranks, Tumble 5 ranks Run straight up wall for 1 round
Wall Jumper Climb 5 ranks, Jump 5 ranks Leap from wall as if making a running jump

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