Base Class Statistics:

  • Ability Requirements: Balance 13, Knowledge 10, Willpower 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: 6
    • Weapons, Advancement: +1 per 2 levels
    • Non-weapon Proficiency Groups: Detection, Martial, and Social
    • Bonus Proficiencies: Awareness, Detect Signing, Hiding, Reading Lips
  • Allowed Weapons: Any
  • Allowed Armor: Chainmail or lighter, plus shields

Class Features:

Spies are exceptional climbers. They do not suffer the normal penalty for free climbing (climing without tools), and gain a bonus to Climbing checks equal to their AC bonus from Balance if any.

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 Muscle or magical bonuses are added. The weapon’s standard damage is multiplied. Then Muscle 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 10th 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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