General Prestige Class : Cipher Adept
When one action follows the next seamlessly and smoothly without hesitation and without anxiety, oneness with the multiverse is touched upon, however briefly. When eloquence flows from the pen without effort, solutions to problems bubble up from untapped mental reservoirs without strain. When the blade or spell passes from one enemy to the next in perfect seamless integration, the cipher adept knows bliss - no, the cipher adept is bliss.
Barbarians, sorcerers, fighters, and rogues are most likely to choose this class. Their goal-oriented nature makes them open to the notion that there is a "best way" to perform a particular task and a "path of least resistance" for them to follow. Wizards, druids, bards, clerics, and paladins generally do nor make good cipher adepts. They spend their lives acquiring knowledge, learning the "proper" way to perform certain acts, and believing that personal advancement comes from strictly following a particular code or system of behavior.
As NPCs, cipher adepts can be found everywhere, even in the most unlikely places. Their belief in the power of serendipity often leads them to wander into locations that most people would consider too dangerous or unprofitable.
To qualify to become a Cipher Adept, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Alignment: Neutral
- Skills: Balance 5 ranks, listen 10 ranks, Survival 5 ranks.
- Feats: Agile, Dodge, Improved Initiative.
The cipher adept's class skills are Balance, Bluff, Concentration, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Handle Animal, Hide, Move Silently, Ride, Sense Motive, Spot, Survival, Swim, Tumble, and Use Magic Device.
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the cipher adept prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Cipher adepts gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.
Improved Unarmed Strike: A cipher adept instinctively knows how to use her body as a weapon. At 1st level, she gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat.
Strike the Weak Spot (Ex): As a standard action, a cipher adept can attack an unattended object at what she perceives to be its weakest point. If she hits, she may attempt a Concentration check (DC 10 + object's hardness). If this check succeeds, she can ignore the object's hardness when calculating damage for this attack.
Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level, a cipher adept gains evasion. If exposed to any effect that normally allows her to attempt a Reflex saving throw for half damage, she takes no damage with a successful saving throw. The evasion ability can be used only if the cipher is wearing light armor or no armor.
Combat Instinct (Ex): At 3rd level, a cipher adept gains a +1 insight bonus to her Armor Class and on initiative checks. This bonus increases to +2 at 6th level and to +3 at 9th level.
Bonus Feat: At 4th level and 8th level, a cipher adept gets a bonus feat. Each bonus feat must be selected from the following list, and the cipher adept must meet all the prerequisites of the feat to select it:
Acrobatic, Alertness, Animal Affinity, Combat Reflexes, Deft Hands, Improved Critical, Improved Disarm, Improved Sunder, lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Nimble Fingers, Precise Shot, Self-Sufficient, Spring Attack.
Combination Strike (Ex): At 5th level, a cipher adept's speed and reflexes in combat allow her to follow up a devastating attack with a secondary maneuver. If she confirms a critical hit on a melee attack, she may immediately attempt a disarm or sunder attempt against the same opponent as a free action. This disarm or sunder attempt provokes attacks of opportunity as normal unless the cipher adept has the appropriate feat.
Improved Evasion (Ex): At 7th level, a cipher adept gains improved evasion. This ability works like evasion, except that while the cipher adept still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks such as a dragon's breath weapon or a fireball, she henceforth takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless cipher adept (such as one who is unconscious or paralyzed) does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.
Move Without Barriers (Su): At 10th level, a cipher adept becomes able to step into the Ethereal Plane for short periods of time. The character can become ethereal for a number of rounds per day equal to 1 + her Wis modifier (minimum 1). These rounds need not be consecutive. This ability otherwise functions as the ethereal jaunt spell.
|Cipher Adept||Hit Die: d8|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+0||Improved Unarmed Strike, strike the weak spot|
|3rd||+2||+1||+3||+1||Combat instinct +1|
|6th||+4||+2||+5||+2||Combat instinct +2|
|9th||+6||+3||+6||+3||Combat instinct +3|
|10th||+7||+3||+7||+3||Move without barriers|
Source: Planar Handbook