Hidden Adept (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||"The cause of your demise is often the last thing you see. For someone killed by a graduate of this school, that is never the case"||”|
|—Ahrman Grimm, Human Hidden Adept, Speech to his pupils|
The Hidden Adept melds martial study with rogue-ish skill. Both knowledge and intuition are needed to truly unlock the martial power that resides within. A Hidden Adept uses whatever weapon comes to hand to do their job, not focusing on a single style. In exchange for this combat focus, Hidden Adepts never truly match up to a pure rogue in terms of skill, or to a swordsage's mastery of certain weapons.
Becoming a Hidden Adept
The majority of Hidden Adepts start out as Rogues or Swordsages, though other classes with access to Shadow Blade maneuvers or Sneak Attack can apply.
|Base Attack Bonus:||+5|
|Skills:||Hide 10, Move Silently 10.|
|Maneuvers:||Assassins Stance, one other Shadow Hand maneuver|
|Special:||Sneak Attack +3d6.|
|1st||+1||+0||+2||+2||+1d6 Sneak Attack, Hide in Plain Sight|
|3rd||+3||+1||+3||+3||+1d6 Sneak Attack, Stance Mastery +1|
|4th||+4||+1||+4||+4||Improved Evasion, Bonus Feat|
|5th||+5||+1||+4||+4||Trade Sneak Attack 1d6, +1d6 Sneak Attack, Stance Mastery +2|
|7th||+7||+2||+5||+5||+1d6 Sneak Attack|
|8th||+8||+2||+6||+6||Incorporate Single Maneuver, Stance Mastery +3, Bonus Feat|
|9th||+9||+3||+6||+6||+1d6 Sneak Attack|
|10th||+10||+3||+7||+7||Incorporate Second Maneuver|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level)
All of the following are class features of the Hidden Adept
Maneuvers: At each level you gain new maneuvers and intiator level (and maneuvers known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in an adept class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one such class before becoming a Hidden Adept, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining maneuvers readied, stances known, and maneuvers known.
Hide in Plain Sight (Su): A Hidden Adept can use the Hide skill even while being observed, but only while using Assassins Stance.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At level 2, a Hidden Adept gains Uncanny Dodge. If the Hidden Adept already gained Uncanny Dodge from an existing class, they instead get Improved Uncanny Dodge. As the Rogue class feature.
Stance Mastery: At 3rd level, a Hidden Adept deals an extra point of damage per sneak attack die while in Assassins Stance. At level 5 this improves to an extra 2 points of damage per die, and at level 8, 3 points of damage per die rolled.
Improved Evasion (Ex): At level 4, a Hidden Adept's reflexes become faster than lightning. As the Rogue class feature.
Bonus Feats: At every 4th level (4, 8), a Hidden Adept can choose any one feat from the list of Fighter bonus feats, as long as they meet all other pre-requisites. In addition, any feat that has the Sneak Attack class feature as a pre-requisite may be chosen.
Trade Sneak Attack: As part of an attack or full attack action, a Hidden Adept of 5th level or above may chose to trade 1d6 damage from their sneak attack ability to refresh any one maneuver they know. At 7th level, a second die of damage can be traded to refresh two maneuvers, and at 10th level a Hidden Adept may trade 3d6 sneak attack damage in this way. Any sneak attack die removed in this manner are removed for the whole attack, so each attack that turn would deal the lowered damage. In order to use this ability, the Sneak Attack ability must be viable and the Hidden Blade must be in Assassins Stance.
Sneak Attack: At every other level (1, 3, 5, 7 and 9), a Hidden Adept gains an extra d6 sneak attack damage.
Bloody Blade: From 6th level onwards whenever a Hidden Adept kills a foe, they may choose to make an intimidate check affecting all enemies within 30ft who can see the corpse of their ally. This is treated as a normal use of the skill except that it takes no action to use.
Incorporate Maneuver: From 8th level onwards a Hidden Adept in Assassins Stance may choose to initiate any one Maneuver they know as part of a full attack action, trading one of their attacks to do so. At level 10, the Hidden Adept may chose to use a second Maneuver in this way. For all intents and purposes this counts as a use of the maneuver and as such removes it from the list of available maneuvers until the Hidden Adept choses to refresh. This ability may be used in concert with Trade Sneak Attack, but it costs twice as many sneak attack dice as usual. For example, a Hidden Adept of 8th level may use Obscuring Shadow Veil as part of a full attack action, trading one of their attacks to do so. However, the maneuver counts as being spent. If the Hidden Adept chose to use the Trade Sneak Attack ability, then they could refresh Obscuring Shdow Veil at the same time, but it would cost 2d6 sneak attack for every attack that round.
Playing a Hidden Adept
Hidden Adepts in the World
Hidden Adept Lore
Characters with ranks in can research to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
Hidden Adepts in the Game
Hidden Adept PC's, while capable of dealing quite a lot of damage, rely on support from other classes. Without the aid of a front line fighter, Sneak Attack and other abilities will be harder to use. Also, Hidden Adepts lose out on skill points, making them less capable than pure rogues at dealing with out of combat challenges. While much of the class seems front loaded, the Incorporate Maneuver ability (Possibly the most powerful ability of the class) is only gained at level 8.
Adaptation: This class could be adpated to fit the Scout or Ninja, or even Iaijutsu Master, by having the Sneak Attack progression replaced by the appropriate bonus damage ability.