Hoodwink (3.5e Class)

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McTavish, an elfish hoodwink on the prowl...

Hoodwinks are mischievous thieves, bandits, and burglars who skulk about in the shadows so that they can redistribute the wealth of the world for the benefit of all (but mostly themselves). Oh, do they ever do the gods of luck, mischief, and whimsy proud!

Some centuries ago, one of their numbers stumbled upon a monastery of the Sublime Way, where they remained hidden and observed the strange warriors practicing their mysterious fighting styles. Of particular interest to this hoodwink was the monks of so-called Shadow Hand, who seemed to be kindred spirits. Studying their ways by day, and practicing what he learned at night alone at his campsite away from the monastery, he eventually came to master thier unusual martial art. Eventually, he began teaching these methods to other hoodwinks, and they to others still, until finally it spread like wildfire across the known world.

Today, every hoodwink practices a hodgepodge of the so-called Sublime Ways intermingled with lessons learned from Beguilers and Rogues, but all are treated as a sort of specialist in the way of the Shadow Hand. This, of course, has not slowed them down from their true path as knights of the cross trade, but at least they're able to hold their own on those rare situations when they find themselves cornered and unable to get out of trouble! Sure, it's often trouble they themselves created, but let's not get bogged down in details...

Making a Hoodwink[edit]

Abilities: Dexterity and Intelligence are by far the most crucial abilities for a hoodwink. While they begin their career little different from a traditional thief, as a hoodwink progresses, they begin to rely more and more on their charm, wit, and dumb luck rather than their physical prowess. That said, a high Constitution is helpful due to their relatively low Hit Dice compared to other martial characters, and a good Charisma and Wisdom bonus can be helpful with many of their skills and saving throws.

Races: Elves, gnomes, and halflings are, by far, the most common races to take up the mantle of the hoodwink. It is not, however, uncommon for other races to do the same, though dwarves and half-orcs rarely do so due to their lack of a sparkling personality, let alone a willingness to rely on Lady Luck to help them get out of trouble.

Alignment: A hoodwink can be of any non-lawful alignment, but chaotic good is easily the most common personality trait amongst them, as hoodwinks have a natural tendency to be errant champions of the weak and downtrodden. The much less commonplace evil hoodwink has the misguided belief that the world somehow owes them something, and that whatever they can take, they deserve to take. A very unfortunate view, indeed.

Odd as it may seem to outsiders who are familiar with the more traditional roguish type of thief, neutral hoodwinks are perhaps the most rare of all, as their talents and outlook on life doesn't lend itself to a selfish or neutral way of life at all.

Starting Gold: 5d4×10gp (125gp).

Starting Age: As a rogue.

Table: The Hoodwink

Hit Die: d6

Level BAB Saving Throws Special Maneuvers
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Hoodwinking, Trapfinding, Underhanded Attack 4+2 3+1 1+1
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Cunning Ruse, Evasion 5+2 4+1 1+1
3rd +1 +1 +3 +1 Fortune Favors the Bold, Skillful Thief 6+3 4+1 1+1
4th +2 +1 +4 +1 Uncanny Dodge 6+3 5+1 2+1
5th +2 +1 +4 +1 7+3 5+1 2+1
6th +3 +2 +5 +2 Bamboozle 8+4 6+1 2+1
7th +3 +2 +5 +2 Clever Trick 9+4 6+2 2+1
8th +4 +2 +6 +2 Improved Evasion 9+4 6+2 3+2
9th +4 +3 +6 +3 10+5 6+2 3+2
10th +5 +3 +7 +3 Improved Uncanny Dodge 11+5 7+2 3+2
11th +5 +3 +7 +3 12+6 7+2 3+2
12th +6/+1 +4 +8 +4 Slippery Mind 12+6 7+2 4+2
13th +6/+1 +4 +8 +4 13+6 8+3 4+2
14th +7/+2 +4 +9 +4 Mettle 14+7 8+3 4+2
15th +7/+2 +5 +9 +5 15+7 8+3 4+2
16th +8/+3 +5 +10 +5 Sly Strike 15+7 9+3 5+3
17th +8/+3 +5 +10 +5 16+8 9+3 5+3
18th +9/+4 +6 +11 +6 Flourish of Blades 17+8 9+3 5+3
19th +9/+4 +6 +11 +6 18+9 10+4 5+3
20th +10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Crafty Riposte 18+9 10+4 6+3

Class Skills (8 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
The following are class skills for the hoodwink: Appraise, Balance, Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Disable Device, Disguise, Escape Artist, Forgery, Gather Information,
Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nobility and royalty), Listen, Martial Lore, Move Silently, Open Lock, Perform, Profession, Search,
Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Speak Language, Spellcraft, Spot, Swim, Tumble, and Use Magic Device.

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the hoodwink.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: You are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the blade boot, hand crossbow, kukri, lightblade, quickrazor, rapier, sap, shortbow, short sword, thinblade, and whip. You are also proficient with light armor and with light shields and bucklers.

Maneuvers: You begin your career with knowledge of only four general martial maneuvers, plus two from the Shadow Hand discipline. The disciplines available to you are Coin's Edge, Desert Wind, Falling Star, Shadow Hand, Thrashing Dragon, and Tiger Claw. If you are not using the third-party disciplines in your campaign, you may replace all of them with access to Diamond Mind and Iron Heart instead.

Unlike other martial classes, hoodwinks are not bound by the Sublime Ways, and are free to mix and match weapon styles with the various disciplines (as long as they are physically able to do so; trying to use a blade boot with a ranged attack from the Falling Star discipline is a fool's errand, for example).

Differing from most martial practitioners, however, hoodwinks are specialists in the Shadow Hand discipline. This means that they must always have a certain number of maneuvers and stances (indicated by the number listed after the plus sign in the above table) known and chosen as their readied maneuvers from that discipline, as detailed below. As a specialist, you gain the Weapon Finesse and Shadow Blade feats as bonus feats.

Once you know a maneuver, you must ready it before you can use it. A maneuver usable by hoodwinks is considered an extraordinary ability unless otherwise noted in its description. Your maneuvers are not affected by spell resistance, and you do not provoke attacks of opportunity when you initiate one.

You learn additional maneuvers at higher levels, as shown on the above table. You must meet a maneuver's prerequisite to learn it. The highest level maneuver you can learn is equal to one-half your initiator level, rounded up. Thus a 9th level hoodwink can learn up to 5th-level maneuvers.

Upon reaching 2th level, and at every level thereafter, you can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one you already know. In effect, you lose the old maneuver in exchange for the new one. You can choose a new maneuver of any level you like, as long as you observe your restriction on the highest-level maneuvers you know; you need not replace the old maneuver with a maneuver of the same level. For example, upon reaching 9th level, you could trade in a single 1st-, 2nd-, 3rd- or 4th-level maneuver for a maneuver of 5th level or lower, as long as you meet the prerequisite of the new maneuver. You can swap only a single maneuver at any given level, however. You must always retain the listed number of maneuvers and stances from the Shadow Hand discipline.

Maneuvers Readied: You can ready two maneuvers known plus one maneuver from the Shadow Hand discipline at 1st level, and as you advance in level and learn more maneuvers, you are able to ready more, but you must still choose which maneuvers to ready. Unlike other martial characters, you spend five minutes flipping a coin, drinking some ale, telling a joke, or otherwise just goofing off and impressing lady luck with your wily ways for a good 5 minutes. At the end of that time, you find that you have a handful of tricks ready and rearing to go for when next you find yourself in trouble! You need not sleep or rest for any long period of time to ready your maneuvers; any time you spend 5 minutes goofing around, you can change your readied maneuvers.

You begin an encounter with all your readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times you might have already used them since you chose them. When you initiate a maneuver, you expend it for the current encounter, so each of your readied maneuvers can be used once per encounter (unless you recover them, as described below).

You can recover all of your expended maneuvers with a single swift action, which must be immediately followed in the same round with either a full attack or a hoodwinking attempt to disappear for one round. Regardless of success of failure, you cannot initiate a maneuver or change your stance while you are recovering your expended maneuvers, but you can remain in a stance in which you began your turn.

Spells as Maneuvers: Like the Arcane Swordsage variant presented on page 20 of the Tome of Battle, in place of learning a new maneuver a hoodwink can learn a spell of equal or lower level chosen from the Hoodwink spell list (see below). When attempting to initiate a spell as a maneuver, they rely on their Intelligence score for purposes of determining the saving throw DC and any other effects, just as if they were a wizard of the same class level.

When initiating a spell as a maneuver, it is treated as a spell-like ability. The only major difference is that any experience point costs or expensive material components must still be supplied.

Stances: You begin play with knowledge of one 1st-level stance from any discipline open to you, plus one stance selected from the Shadow Hand discipline. At the indicated levels you can choose additional stances. Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended, and you do not have to ready them. All the stances you know are available to you at all times, and you can change the stance you currently use as a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated in the stance description.

Also unlike other martial characters, you can choose to learn a stance of a higher level at any level in which you would have gained a new stance, using the same method as learning a new maneuver.

Hoodwinking (Ex): The special knack for which your class is named, this ability allows you to make a Bluff check to feint or to create a diversion to Hide as a move action. At 4th level, you can do this as a swift action, and at 8th level it becomes a free action that you can perform only on your turn. At 15th level, this ability evolves to an extraordinary Hide in Plain Sight ability that you can continue to use as a free action, but you no longer require any special terrain or lighting conditions to use it; you're simply that good.

In addition, while hiding, you can move at your normal land speed without suffering the normal penalties to your Hide or Move Silently checks.

Furthermore, starting at 8th level, you can run up to ×2 your base land speed with no penalty while hidden, or ×3 at 16th level. However, this speed boost is treated as a (Su) supernatural ability as you subconsciously tap into the same magicks used to shadow walk, thus you lose this increase to your speed when you're in an antimagic zones or other similar situations.

Trapfinding: You can use the Search skill to locate traps when the task has a Difficulty Class higher than 20. Finding a nonmagical trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic trap has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.

You can also use the Disable Device skill to disarm magic traps. A magic trap generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it. If you beat a trap’s DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, you figure out how it works and can bypass it without disarming it.

Underhanded Attack: You can sacrifice one of your readied maneuvers to inflict precision damage as a swift action. If you are flanking your opponent, or your opponent is denied their Dexterity bonus to AC, you can burn a readied maneuver to do 1d6 points of damage for each level of the maneuver, +1 per initiator level. Doing so effects every attack you make until the start of your next turn as long as your target continues to qualify for the underhanded attack. This includes attacks of opportunity.

Creatures immune to sneak attack damage or critical strikes are also immune to underhanded attacks.

Spells, powers, feats, and other abilities that improve, stack, or augment precision damage also improve, stack, and augment your underhanded attacks, as long as all necessary conditions are met.

Cunning Ruse (Ex): As long as you are unencumbered and not wearing heavy armor, you may add your Intelligence modifier as a dodge bonus to your AC. This bonus applies even against touch attacks or when you are flat-footed, but you lose this bonus when you are immobilized or helpless. In addition, you are treated as if you have the Dodge and Mobility feats for the purposes of prerequisites, but only as long as you remain unencumbered.

Evasion (Ex): If you make a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, you instead takes no damage. You only gain this ability if you are unencumbered.

Fortune Favors the Bold (Ex): Someone up above is definitely keeping an eye on you. Starting at this level, you gain your Intelligence modifier as a bonus to your saving throws, up to a bonus equal to one-half your initiator level. In addition, you may make a number of attacks of opportunity each round equal to the higher of your Dexterity or Intelligence modifier. This does not stack with Combat Reflexes, but it does count as that feat for the purposes of meeting prerequisites.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): You retain your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, you still lose your Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If you already have uncanny dodge from another source, you automatically gain improved uncanny dodge instead.

Skillful Thief: As a professional thief, you have mastered the art of burglary. You may use your Dexterity modifier in place of Strength when making Climb or Jump checks, your Intelligence modifier in place of Wisdom when making Listen, Sense Motive, or Spot checks, and you may add your Dexterity modifier as a luck bonus to Disable Device, Open Locks, and Search checks. In addition, you may take 10 even under pressure when using any of these skills plus Tumbling while in the line of thievery (as determined by the DM).

Bamboozle: You gain your Intelligence modifier as a luck bonus to Initiative checks. When making underhanded attacks, you also gain your Intelligence modifier as a luck bonus to your attack and damage rolls.

Clever Trick: You have become quite savvy in combat, anticipating your opponents tricksy maneuvers. You can apply your Intelligence modifier as a luck bonus to opposed rolls made to disarm, feint, overrun, sunder, or trip in combat, and you are always treated as if you were one size category larger, wielding a two-handed weapon, possessing four legs, and always use your Dexterity score in place of Strength for purposes of these rolls. You get to roll 2d20 whenever making any of these rolls, using the better of the two dice.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): You can no longer be flanked.

This defense denies another character the ability to use precision damage against you by flanking you, unless the attacker has at least four more levels than you do.

Improved Evasion (Ex): This ability works like evasion, except that while you still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, henceforth you takes only half damage on a failed save. If you are helpless, you do not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Slippery Mind (Ex): This ability represents your ability to wriggle free from magical effects that would otherwise control or compel you. If you are affected by an enchantment spell or effect and fail your saving throw, you can attempt it again 1 round later at the same DC. You get only this one extra chance to succeed on your saving throw.

Mettle (Ex): You can resist magical and unusual attacks with great willpower or fortitude. If you makes a successful Will or Fortitude save against an attack that normally would have a lesser effect on a successful save (such as any spell with a saving throw entry of Will half or Fortitude partial), you instead completely negates the effect. If you are unconscious or sleeping, you do not gain the benefit of mettle.

Sly Strike: You may add your Intelligence modifier to the critical threat range of any weapon(s) you wield. This stacks with Improved Critical, keen weapon, and similar effects. In addition, the critical multiplier of your weapons increase by one, such as ×3 becoming ×4.

Flourish of Blades (Ex): You lower the penalty for each additional iterative attack you make with your weapons during a full-attack action by your Intelligence modifier (to a minimum of -0). This does not change how many iterative attacks you can make, only the modifier to your base attack bonus when making them, nor does it affect the rules for fighting with two weapons or similar abilities. For example, at 19th level your BAB for iterative attacks is +14/+9/+4. With this ability, and assuming an Intelligence of 17 (+3), your BAB would instead be +14/+12/+10.

Crafty Riposte (Ex): When initiating a counterstrike in response to a melee attack, you can also initiate a prepared maneuver of choice against your attacker. Doing so does not take an action; it is treated as part of the counterstrike. If both the maneuver and the counterstrike successfully land, the attack is also treated as an underhanded attack, doing additional damage even if the target is invalid or otherwise immune to such an attack.

Hoodwink Spell List[edit]

0th: Dancing Lights, Daze, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Mage Hand, Mending, and Prestidigitation

1st: Charm Person, Color Spray, Disguise Self, Expeditious Retreat, Grease, Hypnotism, Jump, Mage Armor, Magic Weapon, Obscuring Mist, Protection from Evil, Shield, Silent Image, Sleep, and Ventriloquism

2nd: Alter Self, Blur, Cat's Grace, Daze Monster, Eagle's Splendor, Fog Cloud, Glibness, Glitterdust, Hideous Laughter, Hypnotic Pattern, Invisibility, Levitate, Minor Image, Mirror Image, Protection From Arrows, and See Invisibility

3rd: Blink, Dispel Magic, Displacement, Fireball, Fly, Gaseous Form, Greater Magic Weapon, Haste, Heroism, Hold Person, Invisibility Sphere, Keen Edge, Lightning Bolt, Major Image, Protection From Energy, Rage, Slow, Stinking Cloud, Suggestion, and Wind Wall

4th: Charm Monster, Confusion, Dimensional Anchor, Dimension Door, Fire Shield, Greater Blink, Greater Invisibility, Hallucinatory Terrain, Ice Storm, Illusory Wall, Lesser Globe of Invulnerability, Rainbow Pattern, Shout, Solid Fog, Stoneskin, Wall of Fire, and Wall of Ice

5th: Baleful Polymorph, Cloudkill, Cone of Cold, Dismissal, Feeblemind, Hold Monster, Mirage Arcana, Passwall, Persistent Image, Seeming, Shadow Evocation, Telekinesis, Teleport, Wall of Force, and Wall of Stone

6th: Antimagic Field, Chain Lightning, Disintegrate, Globe of Invulnerability, Greater Dispel Magic, Greater Heroism, Mass Suggestion, Mislead, Permanent Image, Programmed Image, Shadow Walk, True Seeing, Veil, and Wall of Iron

7th: Banishment, Delayed Blast Fireball, Ethereal Jaunt, Forcecage, Greater Teleport, Mass Hold Person, Mass Invisibility, Phase Door, Phase Shift, Prismatic Spray, Project Image, and Spell Turning

8th: Dimensional Lock, Greater Shadow Evocation, Greater Shout, Iron Body, Mass Charm Monster, Irresistible Dance, Mind Blank, Prismatic Wall, Screen, and Superior Invisibility

9th: Dominate Monster, Etherealness, Mage's Disjunction, Mass Hold Monster, Meteor Swarm, Prismatic Sphere, Shapechange, and Time Stop

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