Lion blades come from the most secretive school of fighting arts and espionage. They prefer to fight in crowded urban areas and are masters of motion, controlling both their own movement and those around them. With the flick of a blade, they can slow their enemies to a crawl and then step into a crowd and disappear from sight.
Lion blades are typically recruited out of bardic colleges. A lion blade usually spends at least a year in training before taking on missions. Lion blade PCs are often on extended loan for a specific purpose or given permission to adventure in order to perfect their art in real-world settings. A rare few lion blades shirk their responsibilities and work independently.
Hit Die: d8.
To qualify to become a lion blade, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.
- Alignment: Any neutral.
- Feats: Deceitful, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Perform).
- Skills: Bluff 3 ranks, Disguise 5 ranks, Stealth 5 ranks, either Perform (sing) or Perform (act) 3 ranks.
- Special: Inspire competence bardic performance, servant of a specific nation or court affiliation, sneak attack +2d6.
The lion blade’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis).
Skill Ranks at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special|
|1st||+0||+0||+1||+1||Bardic performance, inspiring poise +2, master of disguise, move with the crowd|
|2nd||+1||+1||+1||+1||Slowing strike, sneak attack +1d6|
|3rd||+2||+1||+2||+2||Hide in the crowd, unexpected suggestion|
|4th||+3||+1||+2||+2||Expeditious advance, perfect surprise|
|5th||+3||+2||+3||+3||Dirge of misfortune, inspiring poise +4|
|6th||+4||+2||+3||+3||Crowd strike, sneak attack +2d6|
|7th||+5||+2||+4||+4||Cloud the mind, secret step|
|9th||+6||+3||+5||+5||Grandmaster of disguise, inspiring poise +6|
|10th||+7||+3||+5||+5||Silent soul, sneak attack +3d6|
The following are the class features of the lion blade prestige class.
A lion blade gains no proficiency with any weapons or armor.
The lion blade adds her class level to any other levels in classes that grant the bardic performance ability to determine the effects of her bardic performance but not for the purpose of gaining access to new bardic performances. She also learns the following performances.
A lion blade gains a +2 competence bonus on checks with a skill of her choice for as long as she maintains the performance. The bonus increases to +4 at 5th level and +6 at 9th level. The performance is ended by any condition that imposes a penalty to her Dexterity score or immobilizes her.
A lion blade of 5th level or higher can use her performance to break the concentration of her enemies, causing them to fail even at simple tasks. Once per round as an immediate action, as long as the lion blade continues performing, she can force a creature within 30 feet to reroll any d20 roll it just made before the effects are applied. The opponent must use the result of the reroll, which has a –2 penalty. Dirge of misfortune is a mind-affecting ability that relies on audible and visual components.
A lion blade takes no penalties on Disguise checks to change her gender, race, or age.
When moving through groups of intelligent Small, Medium, or Large creatures that would normally count as difficult terrain, the lion blade instead moves normally. In addition, she gains a +5 competence bonus on Acrobatics checks to avoid attacks of opportunity or move through an enemy’s square when moving faster than half speed.
At 2nd level, once per round upon successfully hitting a target with a sneak attack, a lion blade can choose to deal 1 fewer die of sneak attack damage and instead reduce one of the target’s speeds by 5 feet. Once a target’s speed has been reduced to 0 feet, it is immobilized (but not helpless). A target’s fly speed can be reduced this way only if it uses wings to fly. The movement penalties imposed by slowing strike can be removed by healing the affected target to full hit points or a lesser restoration spell.
At 2nd level, a lion blade gains sneak attack +1d6, as the rogue ability. This extra damage increases by 1d6 at both 6th level and 10th level. These increases stack with sneak attack damage granted by other sources.
At 3rd level, once per day, a lion blade can use suggestion on a flat-footed target. Her caster level is equal to her lion blade level. The save DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 the lion blade’s ranks in Bluff + her Intelligence modifier.
At 4th level, a lion blade’s land speed is faster than normal for her race by 10 feet.
This benefit applies only when she is wearing no armor or light armor and not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus before modifying the lion blade’s speed because of any load carried or armor worn.
At 4th level, a lion blade can deliver a devastating blow to anyone she catches unaware.
Whenever she hits a foe with a sneak attack at the end of a charge or while using Spring Attack, she can make the blow a perfect surprise as an immediate action. The target must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw (DC = 10 + the lion blade’s class level + her Intelligence modifier) or fall unconscious for 1 round per lion blade level. Once targeted by this ability, a victim is immune to perfect surprise for 24 hours.
When a lion blade reaches 6th level, all crowd squares count as enemies threatening adjacent squares for the purpose of determining whether the lion blade is flanking an opponent. In addition, she can use the Stealth skill to snipe at foes even when making melee attacks as long as she attacks from a square containing at least one other creature within one size category of her.
At 7th level, a lion blade’s movement through crowds that would normally be difficult terrain costs only half as many squares of movement as normal.
In addition, the Acrobatics bonus she gains from move with the crowd increases to +10.
At 7th level, whenever a lion blade’s opposed Disguise or Stealth check is exceeded by one or more observers’ Perception checks, she can trick the observers into thinking they imagined noticing anything wrong as an immediate action. She attempts a Bluff check opposed by the targets’ Sense Motive checks.
Each target who fails this opposed check ignores the fact that he saw her. The lion blade also gains an amount of spell resistance equal to 10 + her class level against divination spells. If a spell is foiled by her spell resistance, she learns the spell’s normal effect and can choose a substitute result for the divination rather than causing it to obviously fail.
At 9th level, a lion blade can improvise a disguise using materials on hand that is as effective as one crafted using an actual disguise kit. She gains a +2 circumstance bonus on Disguise checks (this does not stack with the bonus from an actual disguise kit). She can attempt a Disguise check at a –20 penalty to create a disguise as a full-round action.
At 10th level, a lion blade has mastered the ability to still her thoughts and her movements to an amazing degree. The lion blade gains a +10 circumstance bonus on Stealth checks. She also gains spell resistance 20 against mind-affecting effects. If a spell is foiled by her spell resistance, she learns the spell’s normal effect and can make it appear as if she were affected by it rather than causing it to obviously fail. If the spell provides a telepathic link, it functions normally, but she can disregard whichever commands she desires.