Unparalleled practitioners of deception, master spies rely on deceit and trickery over brawn and spells. A master spy is an expert at both magical and non-magical means of evading detection, and quick-witted when it comes to improvisation. Master spies may serve countries or private interests, or sell their services to the highest bidder without a thought to long-term loyalty.
Bards and rogues, with their wide range of skills, are particularly well suited for the demands of spying. Rogues can easily pass themselves off as members of most non-magical professions (though playing an armored warrior impedes their natural abilities), while bluffing bards can impersonate a wide range of other spellcasters well enough to fool a casual observer. Versatility and adaptability are the watchwords for espionage, and successful master spies let others complete their deception for them, subtly drawing targets into their machinations.
Master spies rarely work with others unless they are under cover. The special skills that serve them so well in the field ironically make them exceptional leaders, but a master spy’s natural inclination toward secrecy pushes her away from the limelight. Note that a master spy among adventurers may not intend to betray them; armed heroes provide excellent cover for a master spy’s true mission, whether or not they know the spy’s intent.
Alignment: The practice of espionage demands discipline and a certain amount of moral and ethical flexibility; more master spies are neutral than lawful or chaotic.
Hit Die: d8.
To qualify to become a master spy, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
The master spy’s class skills are Bluff (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.
The following are class features of the master spy prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A master spy gains no proficiency with any weapon or armor.
A master spy can create a disguise in half the time normally required. In addition, any penalties from assuming a disguise of a different gender, race, age, or size are reduced by 1.
This ability is exactly like the rogue ability of the same name. The extra damage dealt increases by +1d6 at every third level (1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th). If a master spy gets a sneak attack bonus from another source, the bonuses on damage stack.
A master spy of 2nd level or higher can deceive truth-detecting magic. A creature using this sort of magic against the spy must succeed on a caster level check against a DC of 15 + the master spy’s class level to succeed (as if she were under the effect of a glibness spell); failure means the magic doesn’t detect the spy’s lies or force her to speak only the truth. This ability does not give the master spy the glibness spell’s bonus on Bluff checks.
A master spy of 2nd level or higher can alter her alignment aura to deceive spells that discern alignment (such as detect evil). She may choose to detect as any specific alignment, or to detect as no alignment at all. This ability does not protect against spells or effects that cause harm based on alignment. Masking her alignment aura is a standard action, and lasts until she changes it again or ends the effect.
At 3rd level, a master spy can use magic aura twice per day, but only for the purposes of making an object appear nonmagical.
A master spy gives the appearance of knowing more than she actually does. Starting at 3rd level, she can make untrained Knowledge and Profession checks pertaining to her cover or assumed identity as if she were trained and gains a bonus equal to half her level on these checks. For example, a master spy masquerading as a noblewoman can make untrained Knowledge (history) checks about the kingdom and Knowledge (nobility) checks about its noble and royal families as if she were trained, but she cannot make untrained Knowledge (nature) skill checks to identify herbs.
A 4th-level master spy can conceal her schemes from mind-reading magic. When a creature is using detect thoughts or similar magic to read her mind, she decides what surface thoughts her opponent detects, and her true surface thoughts remain private. This ability does not protect against mental attacks or mind-reading that delves deeper than surface thoughts.
Starting at 4th level, a master spy can assume a disguise in only 2d4 rounds by taking a –10 penalty on her Disguise check. This penalty drops to –5 at 8th level.
At 5th level, a master spy can befuddle divinations used against her as if she were under the effect of a nondetection spell with a caster level equal to her character level. She can suppress or resume this protection as a standard action. If dispelled, the spy cannot resume the nondetection for 1d4 rounds.
At 5th level, a master spy can slip away from mental control. This functions as the rogue advanced talent of the same name. If the spy has the slippery mind ability from another class, these abilities stack, but she can still only use slippery mind once per round.
Starting at 6th level, a master spy’s control over her aura improves. When she assumes a false alignment, she can choose to have all spells and magic items affect her as though she were that alignment; this includes helpful and harmful effects. For example, a neutral good master spy can shift her aura to lawful evil so she can pass through a doorway that shocks creatures that aren’t lawful evil; if hit by holy smite with this shifted aura, she takes damage as if she were evil. A master spy can change her alignment aura from a masked alignment (as per her 2nd-level class feature, where effects still function based on her actual alignment) to a shifted alignment (as per this ability, where effects function based on her assumed alignment) as a standard action. Shifting her alignment aura is a standard action, and lasts until she changes it again or ends the effect.
At 8th level, a master spy learns the art of killing or paralyzing a foe with a careful strike. This ability functions as the assassin’s death attack ability. If the master spy has levels in another class that grants the death attack ability, these levels stack with her master spy level to determine the DC of her death attack, even if she has not yet reached 8th level as a master spy.
A master spy of 8th level or higher can trick an opponent into believing that she has been charmed or dominated. When the master spy succeeds at a saving throw against a magical effect that provides ongoing control (such as charm person, dominate person, or a vampire’s dominate ability), she can allow the spell to take partial effect. To the caster, it appears that the spy failed her saving throw, but the spy is not under the caster’s control. If the spell provides a telepathic link, it functions normally, but the spy is under no obligation to follow the caster’s commands. The master spy can dismiss a fooled spell as a standard action. Fooled casting can be used when the spy succeeds at a subsequent saving throw against an ongoing effect, such as that granted by slippery mind.
At 9th level, a master spy gains the benefit of a constant mind blank spell at a caster level equal to her character level. The spy can suppress or resume this protection as a standard action. If dispelled, the spy cannot resume the mind blank for 1d4 rounds.
The ultimate ability of the master spy is to take over another persona entirely, making it her own. As a full-round action, the spy can touch a helpless creature and shift her aura to that of her target. This confuses divination effects and spells, even ones as powerful as discern location, such that they register the spy as being the creature she has touched. This ability is not proof against the actions of deities or similarly powerful beings. The assumption of an identity lasts until the master spy ends it (a standard action) or she uses the ability on another creature.