Ebon Hand (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||"You know, I bet you really wish I hadn't swiped your dagger now, don't you?"||”|
|—Caldriel Talon, Elven Rogue|
The Circle of the Ebon Hand is an organization of some of the most creative and talented criminals the world has ever seen. The Circle is based on Blackrock Island, where one of the world's greatest prisons now stands. After the prisoners rioted and took over, they claimed the island and its natural defenses for their own. Many generations have passed, and the population of the island is divided into twelve smaller factions called "clans." The best and brightest members of each clan compete for initiation into the Circle of the Ebon Hand, and once they achieve that status, they are regarded as a member of a legendary thieves' organization. Daring tales of adventurous Ebon Hands are often told in the shadowy corners of a poorly lit tavern, as ruffians and thugs drink their tankards dry.
Becoming a Ebon Hand
Candidates aspire to the rank of Ebon Hand as a way to prove their worth and skill. It brings notoriety and renown, and does for a thief what titles and estates do for pompous aristocrats.
|Skills:||Perform(Oratory): 6 ranks, Open Lock: 6 ranks, Slight of Hand: 6 ranks.|
|Special:||Character must be a born member of a Blackrock Isle clan, or be personally escorted to the island by a member and live there for 6 months or more to become a clan member. Once a clan member, the character must participate in the "All Fools' Day" celebration which is held every year, and at sunrise the following day must have the golden key in his possession. This is quite the challenge, as every year they key is brought by the previous year's winner, whose goal it is to make sure that the key stays in his possession as long as possible. Any given year, there could be any number of possible contestants, all secretly trying to steal the key from one another.|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+0||Bravado +2, Detect Law 2/day|
|4th||+3||+1||+4||+1||Detect Law 3/day|
|5th||+3||+1||+4||+1||Bravado +4, Reckless Resolve +2|
|7th||+5||+2||+5||+2||Detect Law 4/day|
|8th||+6||+2||+6||+2||Reckless Resolve +4|
|10th||+7||+3||+7||+3||Detect Law 5/day, Display of Courage|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level)
All of the following are class features of the Ebon Hand.
Bravado (Ex): The Ebon Hand has accomplished much in his life, and his talent at bragging makes it easier for him to sway audiences. With a successful perform(oratory) check (DC 10 + number of people in audience) he can add a +2 circumstance bonus to all his bluff, diplomacy, gather information, and intimidate checks for the rest of the encounter. This bonus applies only to the audience which heard his Performance, and increases to +4 at 5th level and +6 at 9th.
Detect Law (Ex): The Ebon Hand has spent most of his life around criminals, and he's learned to quickly spot people who would oppose them. He gains an extraordinary ability to sense lawful-aligned characters. This ability functions almost exactly like the spell of the same name, and is a standard action that can be used twice per day at first level, and one additional time each day for every three levels beyond that. The maximum duration he can detect law is 4 rounds, or 1 minute, but he perceives it in a 60 ft radius instead of a cone.
Barely Missed (Ex): When the Ebon Hand moves through a threatened square and must tumble to avoid being hit, he may choose before rolling to do so at a -2 penalty. If he does, and was still not hit, he may immediately taunt the opponent who missed him. The opponent must make a will save (DC 15 + Ebon Hand's charisma modifier) or be provoked for 1d4 rounds. A provoked opponent gets -4 on all attack rolls, but only -2 against the character who provoked him. The Ebon Hand may use this ability at will, but it only affects humanoids capable of understanding language. When an opponent successfully becomes provoked, they become immune to this ability for the duration of the provoke, and for two rounds afterward.
Improved Disarm: At third level, the Ebon Hand gains the Improved Disarm feat, if he did not already have it. Otherwise, he gains a +2 insight bonus when attempting to disarm an opponent.
Reckless Resolve (Ex): At fifth level, the Ebon Hand's unpredictable attitude give him increased resistance to lawful characters and spells, as well as increased initiative rolls. He gains a +2 bonus to all saves against spells or abilities from lawful opponents, a further +2 morale bonus to saves and AC against spells with the Lawful descriptor, and +2 to his initiative rolls. At eighth level, these bonuses increase to +4.
Snatch (Ex): Beginning at sixth level, the Ebon Hand can pick pockets and grab items at blinding speed. Any time the Ebon Hand would be allowed to make an attack of opportunity, he may choose to make an unarmed touch attack at a -2 penalty. This attack deals no damage, but if this attack succeeds, he may make a slight of hand check to steal an unsecured item just as he would if both he and the victim were calmly seated at a bar. Increase the difficulty for the slight of hand check by 5 unless the victim is restrained or otherwise denied his dexterity bonus to AC.
Display of Courage (Ex): At tenth level, the Ebon Hand can perform a Display of Courage a number of times a day equal to his charisma modifier (minimum once). To make such a display, the character must perform some dangerous and courageous deed in battle, such as charging a larger enemy or attacking a powerful foe without help. He then makes a DC 20 intimidate check that doesn't affect his enemy. Instead, if the intimidate is successful, all of the Ebon Hand's allies within 60 ft of him gain the benefits of the Inspire Courage bardic music feature for the next 5 rounds, as if used by a level 10 bard.
If an Ebon Hand becomes non-chaotic in any way, he can no longer gain levels as an Ebon Hand. If an Ebon Hand becomes lawful in any way, he immediately loses all of his class features and does not get them back until he has an appropriate alignment.
Ebon Hands in the World
Members of the Circle of the Ebon Hand are often brash, outspoken criminals who like to flaunt their prowess in front of an audience. They are easily hired rogues, but are unpredictable, often choosing to follow a path that will bring them fame and infamy rather than gold or wealth.
NPC Reactions: NPC Law-enforcement officials do not associate with Ebon Hands. However, the criminals' reputation and renown cause one of two reactions: Either an aspiring hero will try to bring one to justice, or the NPC will avoid confrontation entirely, in an attempt to avoid angering the other members of the Island
Ebon Hand Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge(Local) can research Ebon Hands to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||Famous heists rumored to have been done by members of the Ebon Hands.|
|16||Nicknames of several popular legendary Ebon Hands, and exaggerated legends of their criminal history.|
|21||Approximate location of Blackrock Isle, a rough idea of its inhabitants and clans, approximate date for the "All Fools' Day" celebration.|