Crimson assassins usually begin their training as rogues, fighter/rogues, or ranger/rogues, as stealth and skill at arms are both prerequisites to joining the order.
Hit Die: d8.
To qualify to become a Crimson assassin, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Alignment: Lawful evil.
The Crimson assassin’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (nobility), Knowledge (religion), Perception (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Stealth (Dex).
Skill Ranks at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.
The following are class features of the Crimson assassin.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Crimson assassin is proficient with all simple weapons and all light martial weapons. She is proficient with light armor but not shields. A Crimson assassin can cast spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a Crimson assassin wearing medium or heavy armor incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. A multiclass Crimson assassin still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.
Editor’s Note: 3rd Party Addition
The original version of this spell was added to the spell list of the assassin prestige class, however during the update to the PFRPG, the assassin lost its spellcasting class feature. In the interest of remaining thematically appropriate, it was determined that the Crimson Assassin prestige class was the closest approximation to the original intent.
A Crimson assassin casts arcane spells drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell list, but is limited to illusion and transmutation spells. She can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time. To cast a spell, a Crimson assassin must have a Charisma score of at least 10 + the spell’s level. Her bonus spells are based on Charisma, and saving throws against these spells have a DC of 10 + the spell level + the caster’s Charisma modifier (if any). Her selection of spells is extremely limited—at each Crimson level, she gains one or more new spells, as indicated on the table on the next page. At 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th level, she can choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows, provided the new spell is of the same level as the one she is replacing.
A Crimson assassin can only learn sorcerer/wizard spells from the schools of illusion and transmutation, although as she gains levels, a small number of additional spells are added to her list. She does not automatically learn these spells when they become available—they must be selected as part of her total spells known.
At 2nd level, a Crimson assassin learns her signature assassination style. To initiate a prayer attack, she holds her sawtooth sabre (or sabres) out, point down, and weaves the blade in the air. She must be within 30 feet of and visible to her victim. Beginning a prayer attack is a standard action, and causes her victim to be fascinated by her unless he makes a Will save (DC 10 + the Crimson assassin’s class level + her Charisma modifier—if she’s wielding two sawtooth sabres, this DC gains a +2 bonus). She can maintain the fascination effect by concentrating. The victim may attempt a new save to escape fascination each time a threat (other than the fascinating assassin) appears. At any point after 3 rounds, she may make a coup de grace attack against the target, provided the target is still fascinated. Activating or concentrating on maintaining a prayer attack does not provoke an attack of opportunity.
At 3rd level, a Crimson assassin gains the ability to create a veil of red mist a number of times per day equal to her Constitution bonus (minimum once per day) as a move-equivalent action. The red shroud persists for 1 round per class level. It grants a +1 dodge bonus to AC and fast healing equal to her Constitution bonus (minimum of fast healing 1). This mist cannot be dissipated by wind. If she is slain while this ability is active, she can choose whether to remain corporeal or to disintegrate into a cloud of red mist that leaves behind only her gear in order to deprive her enemies of access to her remains.
Once per day at 4th level, a Crimson assassin may summon an advanced fiendish giant mantis, 1d3 fiendish giant mantises, or 1d4+1 giant mantises, as if using summon monster V. She can mentally direct the actions of these summoned vermin as a free action. All mantises summoned by this spell-like ability are blood red, and gain no racial bonus on Stealth checks in forests.
At 5th level, a Crimson assassin senses if a creature she has slain within the last year has been restored to life, as long as they are both on the same plane.
At 6th level, a Crimson assassin may transform into a bloodred giant praying mantis once per day as a standard action, as if using vermin shape II (caster level equals her class level). In addition to the normal adjustments to Strength, Dexterity, and natural armor provided by this spell effect, she gains the giant mantis’s darkvision 60 feet, grab, lunge, mandibles, and sudden strike extraordinary abilities, but not its immunity to mind-affecting effects or its racial modifiers to Perception or Stealth. If she wields a magical sawtooth sabre in her hand when she transforms, the magical enhancements for that weapon apply to her corresponding claw attack—if she wields two of them, then the weapons each apply to a different claw attack.
Death Mantis: At 10th level, whenever she uses her mandibles to attack, she inflicts 1 negative level. Each negative level inflicted in this manner grants the Crimson assassin 5 temporary hit points that last for 1 hour. The save DC to remove these negative levels is equal to 20 + the Crimson assassin’s Constitution modifier. In addition, her damage reduction increases to 10/good while in this form.
At 8th level, the Crimson assassin can become ethereal as a free action a number of times each day equal to her Constitution modifier (minimum 1/day) for an instant as she is attacked by a weapon or is forced to make a Reflex saving throw. She must choose to activate this ability before the weapon’s attack roll or the spell’s effects are adjudicated. This grants the Crimson assassin a 50% chance to avoid taking damage from the attack or effects.
At 9th level, a Crimson assassin may use creeping doom as a spell-like ability three times per day. This version of the spell summons swarms of venomous praying mantises, but the effects are otherwise the same as the spell.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: The Inner Sea World Guide. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Keith Baker, Wolfgang Baur, Clinton J. Boomer, Jason Bulmahn, Joshua J. Frost, Ed Greenwood, Stephen S. Greer, Jeff Grubb, James Jacobs, Michael Kortes, Tito Leati, Mike McArtor, Rob McCreary, Erik Mona, Jason Eric Nelson, Jeff Quick, Sean K Reynolds, F. Wesley Schneider, Leandra Christine Schneider, David Schwartz, Amber E. Scott, Stan!, Owen K.C. Stephens, Todd Stewart, James L. Sutter, Greg A. Vaughan, Jeremy Walker, and JD Wiker.