Butterfly Ninja (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||To become one with the butterfly is to free one’s spirit to flutter in freedom...and one’s hands, if need be.||”|
|—Sesimii, Human Ninja, High-Hall Monastery Mirudia, Masters musings.|
Butterfly Ninjas are masters of soft-touch combat and fluid motion. The first Butterfly Ninjas were shinobi left clanless through strife, abandoning the cities they found themselves hiding from bandits and highwaymen for days, motionless, in fields of tall grass. Through time the lost shinobi learned to harness their surroundings and first used the butterflies as scouts, and eventually their practice lead to a much stronger bond with their new insect allies. The shinobi used the butterflies to distract and assassinate their adversaries and were able to carve out a stable home for themselves, which now is the site of the only known school that teaches this technique.
The process to become a Butterfly Ninja is not as simple as finding a field of butterflies, one must prove they are worthy and learn the process to create a special pheromone only known to the Butterfly Ninjas of High-Hall on the west-crescent of Mirudia. There the Butterfly Masters teach a reverence for their given swarm, teaching that these insect have no bias and that only the truly worthy can attract them, which leads to a strong urge to protect ones given swarm. The Butterfly Masters also teach that combat is unavoidable and that it is only a shameful waste to loose swarm members to accident and neglect.
The key component of the pheromone the Butterfly Ninja employs to attract and gain the loyalty of the butterflies is harvested from the butterflies themselves, the rest of the process requires only a small amount of water and herbs and a sunny day. Butterfly Ninjas are almost never without their swarm nearby.
Becoming a Butterfly Ninja
Butterfly Ninjas are often rogues, ninjas and scouts who find themselves traveling long distances alone and seek companionship, albeit with a bug, though that isn't to say Butterfly Ninjas aren't found in parties of adventurers though often they find issue with traveling in subterranean or populated city environments due to the close bond they have with each member of their swarm. Butterfly Ninjas rely on their agility, speed and guile over strength.
|Skills:||Hide 9 ranks, Move Silently 9 ranks, Escape Artist 4 ranks.|
|Special:||Training from a Butterfly Ninja for a minimum of 2 months.|
Balance, Bluff, Climb, Escape Artist Hide, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Spot, Swim, Tumble.
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+0||Butterfly Swarm, Swarm Distract|
|3rd||+2||+1||+3||+1||Swarm Teleport (2xday)|
|5th||+3||+1||+4||+1||Swarm Teleport (3xday)|
Butterfly Swarm (Ex): The Butterfly Ninja can summon a swarm of butterflies that follow the commands of the ninja, the swarm does so not because of a spell but because of a pheromone the ninja employs. The pheromone requires at least two dead butterflies, a cup of water and common herbs worth 50 gp, the container with these items must be brewed and left sitting in daylight for at least 8 hours, the specifics of the process are only known to Butterfly Ninjas. Swarms attract new members on their own (they heal their Hit Die + Con modifier with 8 hours of rest), new swarms arrive over the course of a day and reach full capacity (fighting strength) 24 hours after application of the pheromone (Total time from fresh brew to full swarm is 36 hours). The pheromone stays viable for up to a month, allowing the ninja to not be without his swarm for more than a day.
Swarm Distract (Ex): If the Butterfly Ninja uses a move equivalent action to command his swarm the DC on its next Distraction increases by 4.
Swarm Delivery (Ex): The Swarm may be commanded to carry and deliver contact or inhaled poisons, as a move equivalent action the Butterfly Ninja applies the poison to the swarm. The next Distract the swarm uses delivers the poison. Contact poisons may ignore needing to wound the target and the DC of inhaled poisons is increased by 4.
Swarm Teleport (Sp): Twice per day and once more at level five the Butterfly Ninja can command his swarm as a move action to replicate the effect of a Dimension Door spell with a caster level equal to its Butterfly Ninja level. The ninja is swept up by a steam of butterflies and seems to become one with the swarm, it ends its turn at the nearest above ground location closest to the aimed destination within range of the spell.
Swarm Travel (Su): The Butterfly Ninja can command its swarm as a free action to assume one of two shapes. The swarm either takes the shape and specifics of a Floating Disc that can support up to 450 pounds or the swarm can engulf the lower half of the Ninja's body granting the ninja a fly speed of 20' with perfect maneuverability, while engulfing the swarm can support only 300 pounds.
|Size/Type:||Diminutive Vermin (Swarm)|
|Hit Dice:||6d8–6 (21 hp)|
|Speed:||10 ft. (2 squares), fly 30 ft. (poor)|
|Armor Class:||18 (+4 size, +4 Dex), touch 18, flat-footed 14|
|Full Attack:||Swarm (1d6)|
|Space/Reach:||10 ft./0 ft.|
|Special Qualities:||Darkvision 60 ft., immune to weapon damage, swarm traits, vermin traits|
|Saves:||Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +2|
|Abilities:||Str 1, Dex 19, Con 8, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 2|
|Skills:||Listen +4, Spot +4|
|Organization:||Solitary, cloud (2–7 swarms), or plague (11–20 swarms)|
A butterfly swarm is a cloud of hundreds of fluttering vermin that defend their charge and server their masters loyaly.
COMBAT: A butterfly swarm surrounds and attacks any living prey it is ordered to. A swarm deals 1d6 points of damage to any creature whose space it occupies at the end of its move.
Butterfly Ninjas who abuse their swarm can and have been abandoned by their swarms, the Butterfly Masters in High-Hall become aware of such abuses and can remotely curse the offending ninja to be unable to brew potent pheromones and thus unable to use their class features. The Butterfly Masters will often curse offending Butterfly Ninjas so that their next summoned swarm is of moths instead of butterflies as a warning to those who have not transgressed too grievously.
Butterfly Ninjas that offend their swarms and are cursed can only remove the curse through a pilgrimage to the monastery in High-Hall.
Playing a Butterfly Ninja
Combat: In combat the Butterfly Ninja is at home both in melee combat taking advantage of distracted opponents as well as silently assassinating foes after gaining an advantageous vantage point.
Advancement: The Butterfly Ninja training only bestows a reverence for their swarm so those looking to advance beyond the Butterfly Ninja find their horizons full of potential, furthering their base class or advancing in other prestige classes that don't interfere with their swarm are equally as common.
Resources: Butterfly Ninjas in High-Hall can find respite at the monastery there as long as they are still in good standing with their swarm. Butterfly Ninjas in the world often give other Butterfly Ninjas a wide birth, what brings a ninja to the monastery varies greatly and more often than not discussion of such matters never occur.
Butterfly Ninjas in the World
|“||Small window at the top of a tower leading to a room full of gold...yeah no problem||”|
Butterfly Ninjas often find themselves as advanced scouts for a group of adventurers or working as an assassin/mercenary for hire, they find themselves at home with groups when their goals are more than one man and his bugs can handle as well as at home in the wilderness alone with their insect companions.
NPC Reactions: Some people find the horde of butterflies offputting however most people assume the butterflies aren't dangerous and are further enamored by the graceful movements of the Butterfly Ninja.
Butterfly Ninja Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge History can research the origins of the Butterfly Technique to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||This is a Butterfly Ninja, they use their swarm to aid them.|
|16||Butterfly Ninjas are from High-Hall and are from a school there.|
|21||Butterfly Ninjas have been known to use their swarm to fly them far up then release the swarm, allowing them to act in free fall until they use their Swarm Teleport moments before impact.|
|26||Some Butterfly Ninjas abuse their swarms, the swarms have been known to wait until they are most needed then simply leave the ninja.|
Butterfly Ninjas in the Game
Butterfly Ninja NPCs are often excellent mercenaries and experts, they also have been known to sell their services. Butterfly Ninja PCs find themselves a valuable member of a group though sometimes their zeal in protecting their swarm can leave them at odds with their allies.
Adaptation: The Butterfly Ninja was developed due to the area in the campaign setting. Its abilities aren't necessarily unique to butterflies, a Bat Lord for example could be made with basically the same concept, any critter that flies and could be put in a swarm could fit in place of butterflies.
The Butterfly Ninja learns its technique from a monastery in High-Hall in the Sarosian Campaign Setting but this can be adapted easily by either changing the location and/or back story to fit your campaign. The only special considerations that need to be taken into account are: Does the way a Butterfly Ninja attracts his swarm change and does that change also change how the ninja loses his swarm? As those are mostly flavor components you could remove the 'abuse' parts of the swarm behavior with little effect to the class function as well you could change their Butterfly Swarm to a supernatural ability instead of an extraordinary ability and remove the pheromone component.