General Prestige Class : Outlaw of the Crimson Road
It is often said that you don't choose the crimson road, it chooses you. "The crimson road" is how folklore often refers to the outlaw's life because it is bloody and dangerous. But while you may come to outlawry through no fault of your own, most outlaws unquestionably bring that fate upon themselves.
The outlaw of the crimson road is totally cut off from normal society. Anyone is free to kill him without legal reprisal, for a writ of outlawry has already revoked his rights to trial and due process. Whether or not he's truly guilty of the crimes attributed to him, there's a reward for putting his head on a pike or hanging him at a crossroads.
An outlaw of the crimson road might be a failed revolutionary, a loyal supporter of some deposed ruler, or merely an ordinary individual who angered the wrong person at the wrong time. With a sentence of death hanging over his head, he has taken to living outside society's laws, robbing all who pass except those under his special protection (see The Outlaw's Code below).
Characters of many classes may find themselves outlaws, but some take to it better than others. Rogues excel at stealth and rangers at woodcraft - both handy skills for planning ambushes. Bards, on the other hand, rely primarily on their reputations and the legends about their exploits to make travelers part peaceably with their goods. A lone monk drummed out of his order could be a highly effective outlaw, as could a paladin who has fallen afoul of a corrupt administration and taken to the woods as a final, desperate way of righting wrongs. Barbarians usually lack the subtlety to make a living this way.
To qualify to become an Outlaw of the Crimson Road, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Skills: Bluff 5 ranks, Disguise S ranks, Gather Information 5 ranks, Intimidate 5 ranks, Ride 5 ranks.
- Feats: Improved Initiative.
- Base Attack Bonus: +4.
- Special: An appropriate legal authority must pronounce a writ of outlawry upon the character, though he need not actually be guilty of any of the crimes named therein. In addition, the character must swear to abide by the Outlaw's Code.
The outlaw of the crimson road's class skills are Appraise, Balance, Bluff, Climb, Craft, Diplomacy, Disguise, Escape Artist, Forgery, Gather Information, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Ride, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, Survival, Swim, Tumble, Use Magic Device, and Use Rope.
Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.
All the following are class features of the outlaw of the crimson road prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An outlaw of the crimson road is proficient with simple weapons, one martial weapon of choice, and one exotic weapon (the net), as well as with light armor.
Ambush: During a surprise round, the outlaw can make an attack against any target who hasn't yet acted. If successful, such an attack by a 1st-level outlaw of the crimson road deals +1d6 points of extra damage. This amount increases by +1d6 points for every two additional outlaw levels the attacker has. Creatures immune to sneak attacks (such as undead, constructs, oozes, and plants) are likewise nor vulnerable to this special damage. A ranged attack delivers the extra damage only if the target is within 30 feet. If the character already has the sneak attack ability from a previous class, the extra damage for an ambush stacks with his sneak attack damage, but only if conditions are also right for a sneak attack.
Life on the Crimson Road: The outlaw has learned much from his time on the wrong side of the law. At 2nd level and again at 5th level, he may take one of the following bonus feats: Alertness, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Mounted Archery, Mounted Combat, Quick Draw, Ride-By Attack, Spirited Charge, Trample, Weapon Finesse, or Whirlwind Attack. Prerequisites apply normally for these choices.
Evasion: At 3rd level, the outlaw gains the evasion ability (see Rogue abilities) if he does nor already have it.
Fugitive's Luck: At 4th level, the outlaw of the crimson road gains a +1 luck bonus on all saving throws and a +2 luck bonus on Escape Artist checks. These bonuses increase to +2 and +4 at 6th level, and to +3 and +6 at 9th level.
Leadership: Also at 4th level, the outlaw gains Leadership as a bonus feat and begins to attract a band of like-minded cohorts and followers. These may range from people he spared in an earlier encounter (see The Outlaw's Code sidebar) to would-be lieutenants drawn by his growing reputation among the homeless commoners he protects. Some of these cohorts and followers may join the outlaw in his hideout and operate openly at his side, while others might help by providing safe houses, alibis, supplies, and possibly even cover identities when needed. After all, an outlaw who enters a town where there's a price on his head has a better chance of maintaining his cover if he has a good disguise and some innocent-looking companions.
Improved Evasion: At 6th level, the outlaw gains the improved evasion ability (see Rogue abilities) if he does not already have it.
Ranged Disarm: Ar 7th level, the outlaw can use ranged attacks to disarm opponents within 30 feet. Doing so doesn't provoke an attack of opportunity from the defender unless a normal ranged attack would (if the outlaw and the target are adjacent, for instance). Regardless of the ranged weapon the outlaw is using, it counts as a one-handed, Medium-size weapon for the opposed disarm check. The outlaw cannot lose his own weapon during such an attempt.
Legend: At 8th level, the character's reputation gains him a +4 circumstance bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, and Intimidate checks. This bonus applies only when he is interacting openly with others who know his reputation, not when he is in disguise or otherwise unknown to those with whom he is dealing. Furthermore, the outlaw's status as a legend counts as "great prestige" for purposes of acquiring cohorts and followers with the Leadership feat.
Cheat Death (Ex): At 10th level, an outlaw of the crimson road gains the extraordinary ability to avoid a fatal blow. This reflects the difficulty inherent in bringing the career of any truly remarkable highwayman to its final close. The cheat death ability functions exactly like the rogue's defensive roll (see the Rogue ability, except that any source of damage (including spells and traps) can be avoided, and the outlaw need not be aware of the attack beforehand. Once per day, he can make a Reflex save (DC = damage dealt) to take half damage from an attack, spell, or effect that would otherwise reduce him to 0 or fewer hit points. If the effect directed at him allows a Reflex save for half damage, the outlaw's improved evasion ability comes into play as it normally would, but improved evasion does not otherwise help him cheat death.
Of course, an unscrupulous outlaw who knows that someone is about to storm his hideout might use his Disguise skill to switch clothes with a flunky. Then all he has to do is feign death from some relatively minor injury (one that dealt enough damage to kill the flunky) and make a quiet exit as soon as his "killers" are occupied elsewhere. Ruses such as this often help to extend an outlaw's career.
|Outlaw of the Crimson Road||Hit Die: d6|
|2nd||+1||+3||+3||+0||Life on the crimson road|
|3rd||+2||+3||+3||+1||Ambush +2d6, evasion|
|4th||+3||+4||+4||+1||Fugitive's luck, Leadership|
|5th||+3||+4||+4||+1||Ambush +3d6, life on the crimson road|
|6th||+4||+5||+5||+2||Fugitive's luck, improved evasion|
|7th||+5||+5||+5||+2||Ambush +4d6, ranged disarm|
|9th||+6||+6||+6||+3||Ambush +5d6, fugitive's luck|
The Outlaw's Code
Each outlaw of the crimson road must choose a group (subject to the DM's approval) that is immune to his depredations. For example, the Pirates of Penzance refused to rob orphans, while Robin Hood spared the poor. Some outlaws refuse to steal from members of the opposite sex, of their own race, or of the clergy. In return, the group granted this immunity idolizes the outlaw and aids him in times of distress. For example, members of the chosen group might provide a hiding place or send pursuers in the wrong direction. An outlaw who knowingly harms a member of his chosen group must atone for his misdeeds (see the atonement spell). Until he has completed his penance, he loses all class features from the prestige class except for weapon and armor proficiencies.
Source: Song and Silence