Servants of the twisted and perverse deities of evil, nightcloaks delve into forbidden secrets and study evil lore. They are beings of iron will and determination, although that determination is perverse. Nightcloaks weave webs of intrigue, mental domination, blackmail, and control through the use of illusion, necromancy, and enchantment, yet they are not afraid to smash their toys if doing so suits their purposes. Cruel and intelligent, they do not fear slipping away from battle only to return and grind their foes to dust at a later time. Honor is of no consequence to nightcloaks; they do as they please, as long as their actions further their own power and, by extension, that of their divine patrons.
Clerics become nightcloaks more often than characters of any other class. Many have levels of wizard, sorcerer, bard, or rogue in addition to the class that granted them divine spellcasting ability. The path of the nightcloak rarely appeals to rangers, even though they too can cast divine spells.
Nightcloaks dwell in communities large and small, often worshiping their evil deities in secret. Many work to overthrow governments, organize secret cabals, and create false cults to further their ends.
Adaptation: While this prestige class isn't specific to Vecna, it certainly could be tied to a secret organization that supports him, since it's a perfect match in terms of alignment and purpose. Nightcloaks are also good matches for assassins' guilds, thieves' guilds, secret cults, and conspiracies that rule from the shadows.
Hit Die: d8.
To qualify to become a nightcloak, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Alignment: Neutral evil.
Base Attack Bonus: +3.
Skills: Bluff 2 ranks, Hide 4 ranks, Move Silently 2 ranks, Perform (any) 4 ranks.
Feats: Iron Will, Spell Focus (Enchantment, Illusion, or Necromancy).
Spells: Ability to cast 3rd-level divine spells. A cleric candidate must have access to the Evil domain.
The nightcloak's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int). See Chapter 4 of the Player's Handbook for skill descriptions.
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All the following are features of the nightcloak prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Nightcloaks gain no proficiency with any weapon, armor, or shield.
Spells per Day/Spells Known: When a new level of nightcloak is gained, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which she belonged before she added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (improved chance of turning or rebuking undead, metamagic or item creation feats, and so on). The level of nightcloak is added to the level of whatever other spellcasting class the character has, then spells per day, spells known, and caster level are determined accordingly.
If the character had more than one spellcasting class before she became a nightcloak, the player must decide to which class to add each level of nightcloak for the purpose of determining spells per day and spells known.
Might ofDarkness (Ex): At 1st level, a nightcloak casts any spell with the darkness descriptor at +2 caster level.
Eyes of Night (Ex): When the nightcloak reaches 2nd level, her eyes become totally black, granting her darkvision to a 60-foot range. She can also see through magical darkness to a range of 10 feet with the same black-and-white vision that darkvision provides. The nightcloak also cannot be blinded by magical effects.
Shadow Talk (Su): At 4th level, a nightcloak gains the ability to communicate mystically through the shadows of the mind. As a free action, she can whisper short messages to other worshipers of her patron deity, and each such creature within 500 feet hears the message as a whisper in its mind. Observers can also hear the words if they are close enough to hear the nightcloak's actual whispers (a DC 15 Listen check if the listener is within 10 feet of the nightcloak, +1 per 5 feet beyond that). Shadow talk is a sonic, language-dependent effect.
True Lies (Sp): Beginning at 5th level, a nightcloak can reach into a creature's mind and modify its memories as if using the 4th-level bard spell modify memory (caster level equals nightcloak's character level; save DC 10 + 1/2 nightcloak's character level + nightcloak's Charisma modifier). This ability is usable once per day.
Grace of the Dark (Ex): Beginning at 7th level, the nightcloak can use the power of her mind to protect herself. She adds her Intelligence bonus (if any) to all saving throws.
Minions of Night (Sp): Once per week as a standard action, an 8th-level or higher nightcloak can summon one shadow per nightcloak level she possesses. The summoned shadows do her bidding for a number of rounds equal to her nightcloak level. Any shadows they create by draining Strength are likewise under the control of the nightcloak, but they vanish along with the originals when the duration of the effect expires. The nightcloak can verbally communicate with the shadows as if she knew their language or use her shadow talk ability to communicate with them.
Voice of Ineffable Evil (Sp): At 10th level, a nightcloak can command a creature as though using the dominate monster spell (caster level equals nightcloak's character level). This ability is usable once per day and lasts for 24 hours unless ended earlier. Unlike most spell-like abilities, voice of ineffable evil has a verbal component.