Thursday, September 12, 2013

Jeff crunch: Ignore the man behind the curtain

article by Jeff Harris

Oscar Diggs “The Great and Powerful Oz”
male human rogue 5/stage magician 5
Description: The great and powerful Oz is in reality a dashing and transient stage magician and huckster.  Dressed as usual in a well tailored black suite and top hat Oscar Diggs is not the picture of the all powerful wizard most people expect.

Oscar Diggs “The Great and Powerful Oz” CR 9
CG Medium humanoid
Init +4; Perception +21
===== Defense =====
AC 19, touch 13, flat-footed 19; (armor +3, deflection +2, Dex +2, misc +1, natural +1 )
hp 48 (10d8+4)
Fort 4, Ref 7, Will 5
Defensive Abilities evasion, uncanny dodge, trap sense +1
===== Offense =====
Spd 30 ft.
Melee MW Sword Cane Pistol +9/+4 (1d6/18-20x2)
Ranged MW Sword Cane Pistol +9 (1d4/20x3)
Special Attacks bombs 5/day 4d6+2 damage, sneak attack +3d6.
===== Tactics =====
Before Combat Oscar prefers to have already setup one or more of his stage magician “spells” to better control the outcome of any battle.
During Combat Oscar would rather not entered melee combat if at all possible, and will commonly continue to use his “spells” to throw off enemies or protect his allies.  Oscar will only use his sword cane pistol as a last resort.
Morale Oscar is braver than he appears, and if the good folk of Oz are threatened, he will fight to the death.
===== Statistics =====
Str 10, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 18
Base Atk +6/+1; CMB +6  CMD 18
Feats weapon finesse, skill focus (bluff), skill focus (sleight of hand), skill focus (diplomacy), dodge, skill focus (stealth)   
Skills Acrobatics +8, Appraise +6, Bluff +25, Climb +5, Craft (alchemy) +18, Diplomacy +16, Disable Device +9, Disguise +12, Escape Artist +8, Knowledge (local) +7, Linguistics +7, Perception +21, Perform (oratory) +14, Sense Motive +14, Sleight of Hand +22, Stealth +17, Swim +4, Use Magic Device +13
Languages Common, Halfling, Auran
SQ canny observer, charmer, convincing liar (Bluff), explosive performance, grand exit, grand finale, greater tools of the trade, reactionary, silver tongued, smoke and mirrors, trapfinding, the hand is quicker than the eye, tools of the trade, true showman
Combat Gear Black tail coat of resistance +1, MW sword cane pistol, ring of protection +2, black top hat of natural armor +1, bracers of armor +3, large prism, small prism, 4 small mirrors, 2 large mirrors, 10 smoke pellets, 10 ft. of thin silk cord, 10 small eye hooks, bellows, bulls eye lantern, simple rotary drum slide projector, small hand fan, thieves tool kit, disguise kit.

Stage Magician
The stage magician can be many things, a kind old man who entertains children, a clever woman who’s astounding magic tricks awe a crowd, or a conniving huckster who uses his show to cover pick pocketing and other illegal activities for his own benefit.  These are just a few of the types of people that are stage magicians.  Stage magicians use alchemy, props, and optical illusions in place of real magic to delight patrons or escape danger.  While true spell casting can enhance a stage magician’s show, many of its practitioners are not casters themselves.  Stage magicians know that flash powder, strange musical devices, mirrors, and other gadgets can be just as powerful as the magic of wizards or the extracts of alchemists.  Regardless stage magicians make a living using their minds and their showmanship, whether as performers or adventurers, the stage magician makes the impossible possible and people believe just what they want them to believe.

Role: The abilities of a stage magician are best put to use either earning coin from stage shows and street side performances or in an adventuring group, stage magicians excel at keeping enemies off balance, confused, and reacting to the false threats and dangers they produce.  Because of their social nature stage magicians often also function as the party face or negotiator.  Less honorable stage magicians also can excel at larceny and as conmen.

Alignment: Stage magicians can be of any alignment, although since most hail from backgrounds as rogues or bards, they tend to eschew lawful behavior. Lawful stage magicians are rare but tend towards legitimate showman rather than scoundrel conmen.

Hit Die: d8.


To qualify to become a stage magician, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Base Attack Bonus: +3.
Skills: Acrobatics 2 ranks, Bluff 4 ranks, Perform 4 ranks, Sleight of Hand 4 ranks, and Use Magic Device 2 ranks.
Feats: Skill Focus (Bluff), Skill Focus (Sleight of Hand).
Special: Must have performed a stage show that earned at least 30 or more gold, or defeated an enemy using only trickery and miss direction.

Class Skills

The stage magician's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Craft (alchemy) (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Table: Stage Magician

Base Attack Bonus
Fort Save
Ref Save
Will Save
Smoke and Mirrors, Tools of the Trade, The Hand is Quicker than the Eye, Silver Tongued
Grand Exit
True Showman
Greater Tools of the Trade, Explosive Performance
Grand Finale

Class Features
All of the following are features of the stage magician prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Stage magicians are proficient with the club, crossbow (hand, light, or heavy), dagger (any type), dart, fire arms (one handed only), mace, morningstar, quarterstaff, rapier, sap, and short sword. Stage magicians are proficient with light armor but not with shields.

Smoke and Mirrors (Ex): Visual deception and manipulation is the stock in trade of the stage magician.  By using their many tools and props stage magicians can mimic the effects of spells.  However these effects are not magic, and thus cannot be dispelled or manipulated with meta magic feats.  As the stage magician gains levels the number and power of “spells” that they can mimic increases.  Included with the spell are the alchemical or other items needed to produce the effect.  Each of these effects requires the stage magician to make a sleight of hand check, opposed by a perception check by the target or targets of the effect.  If the target fails their perception roll against the stage magician’s sleight of hand, then they believe the affect to be real, and suffer the effects of the “spell”, if any.  If any of the “spell” affects are able to be maintained with a concentration check, the stage magician may substitute his Bluff skill, also rather than using a concentration check to avoid “spell” interruption, a stage magician may substitute his Sleigh of Hand skill.

Level 1: Breeze (small hand fan, thin silk cord, and eye hooks), Ghost Sound (reed pipes, bellows) Mage Hand (thin silk cord, eye hooks), Open/Close (thin silk cord, eye hooks)

Level 2: Color Spray (bulls eye lantern, prism) Illusion of Calm (bulls eye lantern, large mirror) Silent Image (bulls eye lantern, small mirrors), Ventriloquism (small sounding horn)

Level 3: Ghostly Disguise (phosphorescent gel, disguise kit), Haunting Mists (smoke pellet, phosphorescent gel), Magic Mouth (bull’s eye lantern, small mirrors), Mirror Image (bull’s eye lantern, small mirror, simple rotary drum slide projector)

Level 4: Displacement (large mirror, large prism) Major Image (bull eye lantern, small mirrors, various items that provide the desired smells and other physical affects) Invisibility Sphere (large mirrors, large prism)

Level 5: Illusionary Wall (bull’s eye lantern, large mirrors), Rainbow Pattern (bull’s eye lantern, prism, and small mirror), Simulacrum, Lesser (bull’s eye lantern, large mirror, and faux version of desired simulacrum)

Tools of the Trade (Ex): A stage magician is adept at the use of alchemical props in their shows and schemes.  Because of this familiarity the stage magician adds their class level in this class to the DC’s of any saves a target must make when they employ alchemical items.  Conversely the stage magician also adds their class level in this class to any saving throws made to resist the affects of an alchemical item used against them.

The Hand is Quicker than the Eye (Ex): Because fast hands and fast wits are part and parcel of the stage magician, they add their level in this class to their Sleight of Hand skill as a miscellaneous bonus.

Silver Tongued (Ex): A stage magician is also a master at manipulating people’s emotions and perceptions through words, whether to enhance the drama of their show, or throw off an angry mark.  Because of this the stage magician adds their level in this class to their Bluff and Diplomacy skills as a miscellaneous bonus.

Grand Exit (Ex): The stage magician is often, in the case of the less reputable sort, called upon to make a hasty exit.  As long as the stage magician has access to at least one smoke pellet, they may employ it to escape pursuers or angry crowds.  While using the grand exit ability the stage magician is considered to be under the affects of the expeditious retreat spell, however this affect ends if the stage magician takes any action other than fleeing.

True Showman (Ex): The stage magician learns through practice what crowds like and what they do not, when to bluster and when to run.  Because of their hands on experience, the stage magician has an uncanny knack for getting things right.  The stage magician using this ability may re-roll any social skill check, and must take the second result, even if it is lower.  This ability can be used a number of times per day equal to 3+ the stage magicians charisma modifier.

Greater Tools of the Trade (Ex): The stage magician through years of practice gains an almost supernatural affinity with their alchemical tools, both in their use and their make.  This ability provides the stage magician with a +4 bonus on all Craft (alchemy) checks and allows the stage magician to create alchemical items even without the proper tools at his disposal.

Explosive Performance (Ex):  Sometimes silver tongues and smoke pellets are not enough to get the stage magician out of whatever trouble he has stirred up, and because of this more aggressive action is sometimes needed.  This ability allows the stage magician to create an alchemists bombs.  The affective level of these bombs is calculated by the number of levels in this class, and adds ½ for each class level the stage magician has in classes other than this one.  The effects and restrictions of these bombs are the same as those of an alchemist.  The stage magician may create a number of bombs per day equal to 3+ the stage magician’s intelligence modifier.  If the stage magician happens to have levels in alchemist as well, the bombs gained from this class are separate from those of his alchemist class levels, but can be modified by the use of extracts and alchemist special abilities.

Grand Finale (Ex): Stage magicians know that leaving them wanting more this the mark of a great performer. Once per day the stage magician may use this ability to influence those watching his performance.  When using grand finale with any stage magician “spell” or with a perform check one of several additional affects can be added.  Those that fail their perception checks against this performance are under either the affects of charm person or fear.  The stage magician must chose which affect the performance will have before any rolls are made.  The affects of this ability, whether charm person or fear, are exactly the same as the spells of the same name, and the class level of the stage magician is used as the caster level of the effects for duration, targets, etc.
From the editor...
Did we leave you wanting more? I for one feel there's still allot of Oz to cover. Ruby slippers, I the directional watchtower witch should be a prestige class, tick tock and a whole range and world of characters form the later books. Frank Baum had an amazing imagination and we can spend allot of time there in later weeks. For now this ends Oz week a recession review will be printed tomorrow and next week we are going with a shakesphere classic....

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