Base Class Statistics:

  • Ability Requirements: Dex 13, Int 10
  • Alignments: Non-Chaotic (LG, LN, LE, NG, TN, NE)
  • Experience Chart: Rogue
  • Hit Dice: d6
    • Maximum Hit Dice: 10d6
    • Additional Hit Points: +2 per level beyond 10th
  • Attack: Rogue
  • Saves:
    • Paralyzation/Poison/Death: as Rogue
    • Rods/Staves/Wands: as Rogue
    • Petrification/Polymorph: as Rogue
    • Breath Weapon: as Rogue
    • Spell: as Rogue
  • Proficiencies:
    • Weapons, Initial: 2
    • Weapons, Advancement: +1 per 4 levels
    • Non-Weapon, Initial: 3
    • Weapons, Advancement: +1 per 4 levels
    • Bonus Proficiencies: Reading Lips, Detect Signing
  • Allowed Weapons: Any
  • Allowed Armor: Chainmail or lighter, plus shields

Class Features:

Like other rogues, spies can learn thieving skills, including some skills unique to their profession. They are not as proficient in most of these skills as thieves are, but a spy who becomes very experienced and specializes in two or three thieving skills can achieve great proficiency. The Table below shows the base scores for starting spies.

Skill Base Score
Pick Pockets 0%
Back Protection 0%
Detect Illusions 0%
Move Silently 20%
Hide in Shadows 20%
Detect Noise 15%
Climb Walls 40%
Read Languages 0%

Spies receive extra training in their thieving skills as their careers progress. Each spy at 1st level receives 60 discretionary percentage points to add to the base scores. (The spy may put no more than 30 points into any one skill.) At each additional experience level, he receives another 30 points to distribute (and may put no more than 15 points into a skill). As with the thief, the spy cannot raise any skill above 95%, including all adjustments for Dexterity, race, and armor.

Pick Pockets: The spy uses this skill when filching small items from other peoples’ pockets, sleeves, girdles, packs, etc., when palming items (such as keys), and when performing simple sleight of hand.

A failed attempt means the spy did not get an item, but it does not mean that his attempt was detected. To determine whether the victim noticed the spy’s indiscretion, subtract three times the victim’s level from 100. If the spy’s pick pockets roll was equal to or greater than this number, the attempt is detected. A 0th-level victim, for example, notices the attempt only if the roll was 00 (100), while a 13th-level character notices the attempt on a dice roll of 61 or more. In some cases, the attempt may succeed and be noticed at the same time.

A spy of higher level than his victim is less likely to be caught pilfering. The chance that the victim notices the attempt can be modified by subtracting the victim’s level from the spy’s level, and then adding this number to the percentage chance the spy is detected. This option only applies if the spy is higher level than his victim.

A spy can try to pick someone’s pocket as many times as he wants. Neither failure nor success prevents additional attempts, but getting caught might!

Back Protection: Because of their constant alertness, a spy has a chance of detecting an attack from behind, made by any character or creature. If the spy successfully detects the attack, he avoids it. Additionally, the spy is entitled to counter-attack the attacker immediately, even if the spy already attacked that turn. Example: James the spy makes an attack against a city watchman, while a thief attempts to attack James from behind. After resolving his attack on the watchman, James makes a back protection roll and succeeds; therefore, the thief receives no special attack bonuses for attacking from behind. The thief makes a normal attack against James; James is allowed a “free” counter-attack against the ogre. All of this occurs in the same round.

Detect illusion: Spies, masters of deception themselves, can see through visible illusions within their line of sight, up to 90 feet away. They perceive the illusion as a translucent image, seeing through it as though it were a light mist. The more real the illusion, the more solid the image. For example, phantasmal force would be totally translucent, while a simulacrum would be mostly solid. Demishadow monsters would be somewhere in between the two. Invisibility and other nonvisible effects cannot be discerned.

Detection is not automatic, and the spy must spend a round concentrating on the area of effect to discover its illusionary qualities. Knowing that something is an illusion is not necessarily a fail-safe defense against illusionary magic, such as in the case of a simulacrum.

Move Silently: A spy can try to move silently at any time simply by announcing that he intends to do so. While moving silently, the spy’s movement rate is reduced to 1/3 normal. The DM rolls percentile dice to determine whether the spy is moving silently; the spy always thinks he is being quiet. Successful silent movement improves the spy’s chance to surprise a victim, avoid discovery, or move into position to stab an enemy in the back. Obviously, a spy moving silently but in plain view of his enemies is wasting his time.

Hide in Shadows: A spy can try to disappear into shadows or any other type of concealment-bushes, curtains, crannies, etc. A spy can hide this way only when no one is looking at him; he remains hidden only as long as he remains virtually motionless. (The spy can make small, slow, careful movements: draw a weapon, uncork a potion, etc.) A spy can never become hidden while a guard is watching him, no matter what his dice roll is-his position is obvious to the guard. However, trying to hide from a creature that is locked in battle with another is possible, as the enemy’s attention is fixed elsewhere. The DM rolls the dice and keeps the result secret, but the spy always thinks he is hidden.

Hiding in shadows cannot be done in total darkness, since the talent lies in fooling the eye as much as in finding real concealment (camouflage, as it were). However, hidden characters are equally concealed to those with or without infravision. Spells, magical items, and special abilities that reveal invisible objects can reveal the location of a hidden spy.

Detect Noise: A good spy pays attention to every detail, no matter how small, including faint sounds that most others miss. His ability to hear tiny sounds (behind heavy doors, down long hallways, etc.) is much better than the ordinary person’s. Listening is not automatic; the spy must stand still and concentrate on what he’s hearing for one round. He must have silence in his immediate surroundings and must remove his helmet or hat. Sounds filtering through doors or other barriers are unclear at best.

Climb Walls: Although everyone can climb rocky cliffs and steep slopes, the spy is far superior to others in this ability. Not only does he have a better climbing percentage than other characters, he can also climb most surfaces without tools, ropes, or devices. Only the spy can climb smooth and very smooth surfaces without climbing gear. Of course, the spy is very limited in his actions while climbing—he is unable to fight or effectively defend himself.

Read Languages: Out of necessity, spies tend to learn odd bits of information. Among these is the ability to read various languages, particularly as they apply to treasure maps, deeds, secret notes, and the like. The spy has enough exposure to languages that he has a chance to read most nonmagical writing. This ability naturally improves with more experience. However, your DM can rule that some languages (those the spy has never encountered) are indecipherable to the spy.

The die roll to read a language must be made every time the character tries to read a document (not just once per language). A successful die roll means the spy puzzled out the meaning of the writing. His understanding of the document is roughly equal to his percentage chance for success: a 20% chance means that, if the spy understands it at all, he gets about 20% of the meaning. A different document in the same language requires another die roll (it probably contains different words). It isn’t necessary to keep notes about what languages the spy has read in the past, since each document is handled individually.

Only one die roll can be made for any particular document at a given experience level. If the die roll fails, the spy can try again after gaining a new experience level. If the character knows how to read a given language because he spent a proficiency slot on it, this die roll is unnecessary for documents in that language.

The Spy has the same ability to backstab as a spy of equal level.
Backstab: Spies are weak in toe-to-toe hacking matches, but they are masters of the knife in the back. When attacking someone by surprise and from behind, a spy can improve his chance to successfully hit (+4 modifier for rear attack and negate the target’s shield and Dexterity bonuses) and greatly increase the amount of damage his blow causes.

To use this ability, the spy must be behind his victim and the victim must be unaware that the spy intends to attack him. If an enemy sees the spy, hears him approach from a blind side, or is warned by another, he is not caught unaware, and the backstab is handled like a normal attack (although bonuses for a rear attack still apply). Opponents in battle will often notice a spy trying to maneuver behind them—the first rule of fighting is to never turn your back on an enemy! However, someone who isn’t expecting to be attacked (a friend or ally, perhaps) can be caught unaware even if he knows the spy is behind him.

The multiplier given in the Table applies only to the base damage of the weapon before modifiers for Strength or magical bonuses are added. The weapon’s standard damage is multiplied. Then Strength and magical weapon bonuses are added.

Level Backstab Damage
1-4 x2
5-8 x3
9-12 x4
13+ x5

Backstabbing does have limitations. First, the damage multiplier applies only to the first attack made by the spy, even if multiple attacks are possible. Once a blow is struck, the initial surprise effect is lost. Second, the spy cannot use it on every creature. The victim must be generally humanoid. Part of the skill comes from knowing just where to strike. A spy could backstab an ogre, but he wouldn’t be able to do the same to a beholder. The victim must also have a definable back (which leaves out most slimes, jellies, oozes, and the like). Finally, the spy has to be able to reach a significant target area. To backstab a giant, the spy would have to be standing on a ledge or window balcony. Backstabbing him in the ankle just isn’t going to be as effective.

Spies do not typically build citadels the way fighters and other classes do. At l0th level, the spy achieves the rank of a group leader within his organization. The organization’s leaders assign the spy 2d6 followers who are members of the organization.

All followers are members of the PC spy’s organization. Half of the followers (round up) will be of the spy character class. The other half will be of other character classes bearing the Shinobi kit. The DM rolls 1d6 to determine the experience level of each follower. The spy PC is responsible for teaching followers to be better, more effective spies and shinobi. It’s important to remember that the spy PC has as many responsibilities to these followers as they have to him. They’re members of his organization, so the PC should not risk their lives unnecessarily—only under the same circumstances he would expect his life to be risked by his superiors.

With these followers, the spy PC can begin to contribute more to the goals of the organization. The spy will now have to plan missions more carefully, deciding whether to undertake a mission alone, send one or more followers, or lead a number of followers in the assignment. None of this precludes the PC from taking followers along when adventuring with other PCs. In fact, it’s appropriate for the spy PC to take one or more followers along on non-organization adventures to give them experience in the real world.


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