Cutthroat (3.5e Prestige Class)
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A Cutthroat is essentially an Assassin without magical abilities (and who doesn't necessarily kill for hire), who relies less on stealth and more on downright ruthlessness.
Cutthroats are found in almost all social settings from inside prisons to royal court. They are both highway men, and smiling sociopaths, they are the blackest villains and sometimes even the dark hero. Cutthroats are not over looked in a crowd, for their willingness to carry through in action shows up as a glimmer in the eye, or a tone in their voice which demands attention. Sadly most are only remembered for the trail of bodies they leave behind.
They systematically exploit to achieve their goals, if that means leveraging opponents weaknesses or bad luck it’s all the same. Although not a rule, Cutthroats usually are open with their intentions, as result most people know when a Cutthroat has them marked. Assassins and Cutthroats part company in motivations, a Cutthroat is driven by personal matters verse an Assassin service of an Organization or desire for profit. Ultimately, one man’s Cutthroat is another man’s freedom fighter and they can cut their own path.
All classes might have elements of being a Cutthroat but they need at least 1 level of Rogue in order to enter the class due to the Sneak Attack requirement for it is only a Rogue which thinks like a Cutthroat. There are 10 levels of this prestige class.
These two classes can coexist. Characters can be multiclassed Cutthroat/Assassins, and these levels stack for determining the success of the Death Attack ability but the character must pick the governing attribute charisma or intelligence (subject to the rules for Epic progression: beyond 10 levels of combined Cutthroat and Assassin, the save DC rises by 1 per 2 levels).
Alignment: any non-Good.
Feats: Improved Initiative, Quickdraw, Combat Reflexes
Base Attack Bonus: +4 and Sneak Attack damage 1d6.
Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex).
Skill points at each level: 2 + Int modifier
Hit Die: d8
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Cutthroats are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with light armor, but not shields.
|1.||+1||+0||+2||+0||Sneak Attack +1d6, Ruthless|
|3.||+3||+1||+3||+1||Sneak Attack +2d6, Death Attack|
|5.||+5||+1||+4||+1||Sneak Attack +3d6|
|7.||+7||+2||+5||+2||Sneak Attack +4d6|
|9.||+9||+3||+6||+3||Sneak Attack +5d6|
All of the following are class features of the Cutthroat:
Sneak Attack: This is exactly like the rogue ability of the same name. The extra damage dealt increases by +1d6 every odd level (1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th). If a Cutthroat gets a sneak attack bonus from another source the bonuses on damage stack.
Ruthless: A Cutthroat can add sneak attack damage to any attack of opportunity that hits. Additionally, any target that critically misses (rolls a natural 1 on an attack roll) in melee range of the Cutthroat provokes an attack of opportunity.
Death Attack: If a Cutthroat studies his 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 (Cutthroat’s choice). While studying the victim, the Cutthroat can undertake other actions so long as his attention stays focused on the target and the target does not detect the Cutthroat or recognize the Cutthroat as an enemy. If the victim of such an attack fails a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the Cutthroat’s class level + the Cutthroat’s Chr modifier) 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 1d6 rounds plus 1 round per level of the Cutthroat. If the victim’s saving throw succeeds, the attack is just a normal sneak attack. Once the Cutthroat 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 Cutthroat 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.
Marked: Cutthroats mark targets who have wronged them. Cutthroat’s gains the use of Locate Creature spell once per day as a Supernatural ability but only for marked creatures only. This functions at the Cutthroats character level. Marked targets do not benefit from Uncanny Dodge or Improved Uncanny Dodge ability against a Cutthroat and suffer an additional +1 to the DC verse a Cutthroat’s Death Attack. A cutthroat can mark only 1 individual per class level. They can not remove a marked target from the list unless that target is dead.
Sense Weakness: A Cutthroat has innate ability to determine a target’s weakness after 3 rounds of studying a target. They can determine a targets lowest attribute, lowest save and possibly any other quality which could be defined as a weakness by the DM, such as a tendency to over drink. This ability to profile is not supernatural but is very insightful.
Exploit Weakness: A Cutthroat can choose to oppose roll verse a target’s weakest attribute instead of the standard attribute used in a given situation, or negate an attribute bonus to an opposed skill roll. Also Cutthroat can pick the save type the target uses against his next death attack, making it Fortitude, Reflex, or Will.
Execute: The 10th level Cutthroat can make a Death Attack as a full round attack action against an opponent who is flat-footed (or unaware of the Cutthroat's presence, or unaware that the Cutthroat is an enemy), without the need to study the opponent for 3 rounds. This can only be done to a 'Marked' target.
The Epic Cutthroat
Skill points at each additional level: 4 + Int modifier
Hit Die: d8
All the following are class features of the Epic Cutthroat:
Sneak Attack: This continues to improve by a d6 on every odd-numbered level.
Death Attack: The save DC continues to rise, but at the rate of 1 per 2 Cutthroat levels above 10th.
Bonus Feats: The Epic Cutthroat gains a bonus feat every four levels above 10th, from the Assassin feat list.