Training in the Scout sphere teaches you how to hide from danger, identify potential threats and hazards, track opponents through almost any environment, and identify a creature’s key weaknesses. When you gain the Scout sphere, you gain 5 ranks in the Stealth skill, plus 5 ranks per additional talent spent in the Scout sphere (maximum ranks equal to your total Hit Dice). If you already have ranks in the Stealth skill you may immediately retrain them, but you do not get to retrain when only temporarily gaining talents, such as through the armiger’s customized weapons class feature.
All practitioners of the Scout sphere gain the following ability:
As a swift action, you may identify a creature’s weaknesses (DC 10 + creature’s CR) as described under the Knowledge skill, but may substitute a Perception check for the appropriate Knowledge check at a -5 penalty. This only reveals the target’s weaknesses, or lack thereof, (such as damage reduction types and vulnerabilities), and does not reveal any additional information about the target. Once you have succeeded at a scout attempt or Knowledge check against a target, any talents or effects that require you to scout a target may be used against the target for the next 24 hours; after this period you must successfully use the scout ability against the target again to continue benefiting from related effects.
Whenever you move at least 10 ft. in a round and begin and end your turn in cover or concealment, you gain a competence bonus to Stealth checks equal to 1/2 your ranks in Stealth (minimum 1) for one round. You must end your movement in a different square than the one you started your turn to receive this benefit. If you use the Sniper function of the Stealth skill in a round where you would receive this benefit, the penalty to Stealth checks is reduced by -10 (to a minimum of 0).
Whenever you initiate an attack against a creature while they are unaware of your presence due to your use of Stealth, you deal additional precision damage to the target equal to 1/2 your ranks in Stealth (minimum 1) with your first attack. If you have successfully used the scout ability to identify the target’s weaknesses, you instead deal additional precision damage equal to your ranks in Stealth.
You may use the scout ability to determine the relative health and condition of a creature within line of sight and effect in addition to the normal information provided by your scout ability. You determine the creature’s condition based on the list below:
- Normal: Has at least 90% of full normal hit points, free of disease.
- Fair: 30% to 90% of full normal hit points remaining.
- Poor: Less than 30% of full normal hit points remaining, afflicted with a disease, or suffering from a debilitating injury.
- Weak: 0 or fewer hit points remaining, afflicted with a disease that has reduced an ability score to 5 or less, or crippled.
As long as you have martial focus, you gain a bonus to all Will saves against illusions (including glamers, figments, and any effects created by the illusion school or the Illusion sphere) equal to 1/2 your ranks in Perception (minimum 1). As a swift action, you can expend martial focus to share this bonus with all allies within 30 ft. for a number of rounds equal to your practitioner modifier.
You gain a competence bonus to your Sense Motive checks equal to 1/2 your ranks in Perception (minimum 1) against any creature you have successfully scouted. Training in this talent allows you to use Sense Motive to resist a Bluff attempt to feint if desired, even if you are not trained in Sense Motive.
Whenever you successfully use the scout ability against a creature, you treat their AC as 1 lower than it actually is for a number of rounds equal to 1/2 your ranks in Perception (minimum 1). For every 4 ranks you possess, treat their AC as an additional 1 point lower.
You gain 5 ranks in the Perception skill, plus 5 ranks per additional talent spent in the Scout sphere (maximum ranks equal to your total Hit Dice). If you already have ranks in the Perception skill you may immediately retrain them, but you do not get to retrain when only temporarily gaining talents, such as through the armiger’s customized weapons class feature.
When actively searching with the Perception skill (a move action), you may detect the presence of ongoing magical auras, such as those left by spells such as alarm or invisibility. If the target does not normally have a Perception DC, the DC is equal to the original spell DC as determined by the spell’s caster (DC 10 + spell level + caster’s casting ability modifier), or DC 25 if the effect does not originate from a source that would make it possible to determine a spell DC. This does not give you any information about the exact nature of magical effects detected in this manner, you are merely aware that a magical effect is active and the general area it is active in.
So long as you have martial focus, you may make a Perception check to notice the presence of traps or ongoing magical effects (as described above) whenever you pass within 10 ft. of them, whether or not you are actively looking.
As long as you have martial focus, whenever you have successfully used the scout ability against a creature, you gain a +1 dodge bonus to AC against all of their attacks. For every 4 ranks in Perception you possess, this dodge bonus increases by +1.
Identify Structural Hazards
You may use Perception in place of Knowledge (dungeoneering) to identify underground hazards, in place of Knowledge (engineering) to identify dangerous construction or determine a structure’s weakness, and in place of Knowledge (nature) to identify a natural hazard.
Creatures using unusual forms of sensory perception such as blindsight, greensight, or tremorsense cannot automatically foil your use of Stealth; such creatures must make a Perception check as normal to detect you when you make use of the Stealth skill.
Lurker foils divination spells and Divination sphere sense abilities in the manner described above, but has no effect on spell, sphere, spell-like, or supernatural abilities specifically used to uncover information about you rather than enhancing the user’s perception, such as when scrying or using the Divination sphere‘s divine abilities.
You have learned to see through obscuring effects and to spot the subtle patterns in defensive illusions. You may spend a move action to reduce your miss chance due to concealment on a single creature by 5% until the start of your next turn (this cannot reduce your miss chance due to concealment below 0).
For every 2 ranks in Stealth you possess, you further reduce your miss chance due to concealment by an additional 5%. You may expend your focus to make this a free action. If the target is under the effects of the mirror image spell or a similar effect, you may roll twice and choose the most favorable result when determining if the target was struck.
Whenever you succeed at a Reflex saving throw against an attack or effect that targets or affects multiple squares, you may make a Stealth check to hide even if you do not have cover or concealment. Your Stealth automatically ends if you do not enter cover or concealment, or succeed at a Reflex saving throw against another area effect, by the end of your next turn.
Sense and Resist Scrying
You are able to detect and evade the scrying of others. You may use a Perception check to detect sensors (such as from the clairaudience/clairvoyance spell) as if they were invisible creatures with a Stealth check of 20 + the caster level of the effect. As long as you have martial focus, you also immediately become aware of any attempt to scry on you, such as with a divination (scrying) school spell or the Scrying advanced divination talent. If these spells and effects originate within 30 ft. of you, you also know their location. As soon as you become aware of such an effect, you may force the caster to make a caster level check opposed by your Stealth check. If you succeed, the effect becomes unable to detect any information about yourself or the area or creatures within 30 ft. of you.
Sight Beyond Sight
You may spend a move action to grant yourself blindsense out to 10 ft. for one round. You may expend your martial focus when activating this ability to instead gain blindsight for the same duration. At 10 ranks in Perception, this distance increases to 15 ft.
Your acute senses have been trained to their peak, making you difficult to catch unaware even while sleeping. You no longer increase the DC of Perception checks made while you are sleeping, and falling unconscious or going to sleep no longer causes you to lose martial focus. In addition, you are no longer considered helpless while sleeping as your heightened senses allow you to react to threats your conscious mind is unaware of. You make take this talent a second time; the second time you take this talent, you no longer suffer most negative limitations of being asleep; this is functionally similar to immunity to sleep, though rather than staying awake when targeted by a sleep affect your subconscious mind and instincts simply take over, allowing you to continue fighting unimpeded, though you still cannot perform any Charisma, Dexterity, or Intelligence-based skills (except Acrobatics, Fly, Intimidate, and Ride) or any ability that requires patience or concentration.
You gain a competence bonus to Perception checks equal to 1/2 your ranks in Stealth (minimum +1) when using the scout ability. When making an active Perception check as a move action, you may expend your martial focus to gain this bonus to that check.
If you have successfully used the scout ability to identify a target’s weaknesses, you may use scavenged materials collected as you travel to improvise a weapon targeting one of those weaknesses as a move action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity; you may expend your martial focus to instead use this ability as a free action. The next attack you make against the target with a manufactured or natural weapon attack, including traps, is treated as though half the total damage it deals (rounded down) were of an energy type the target has vulnerability to (for example, if you fire an arrow at a red dragon, who has vulnerability to cold damage, and would normally deal 14 points of piercing damage, you instead deal 7 points of piercing damage and 14 points of cold damage); if this attack is not made before the end of your next turn, this effect is wasted.
Additional energy damage dealt by the attack, such as from the flaming or frost weapon special abilities, is calculated separately from this effect. Alternatively, your weapons are treated as having one type listed in the target’s damage reduction (for example, if an enemy has DR 5/cold iron or good, you may treat your attacks as either good or cold iron for 1 round).
Track the Scene
You gain a competence bonus to Survival checks made to find and follow tracks equal to 1/2 your ranks in Perception (minimum +1). When successfully following a set of tracks no older than 1 hour per rank in Stealth you possess (minimum 1 hour), you learn not only what direction they headed but what actions the tracked targets took before leaving the area and during their movement as long as you successfully continue to follow their trail; information gained in this manner is typically quite general, such as whether the targets paused and ate, split up, had an altercation, etc. Detailed information such as what spells they may have cast or items they may have used is typically unavailable, unless the targets left some tangible indication of the act behind, such as an empty potion bottle.
You gain the ability to react to danger before your senses would normally allow you to do so. You cannot be caught flat-footed, nor do you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC if the attacker is invisible. You still lose your Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. You can still lose your Dexterity bonus to AC if a creature successfully uses the feint action against you. You may take this talent twice; the second time you take it, you can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a creature the ability to sneak attack you by flanking you, unless the attacker is at least four levels higher or has at least 4 more Hit Dice than you. If you have already gained uncanny dodge from another source, such as the rogue talent, the first instance of this talent instead gives you the benefits of improved uncanny dodge.
As long as you have martial focus, you ignore non-magical difficult terrain. Whenever you draw or reload a weapon as a move action, you may move up to 10 ft. as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
You can use your trained senses to read the movements of the wind and other factors in the environment to improve your accuracy with ranged attacks. As long as you have martial focus, you may spend swift action to half the penalties to ranged attacks inflicted by wind, rain, or other weather in regard to your next ranged attack, made before the end of your turn.
Detect Surface Thoughts
Prerequisite(s): Scout sphere, Perception 5 ranks.
Once you have scouted a creature, you can attempt to discern their surface thoughts. Each round you may spend a standard action concentrating to gain more information on what a creature is thinking:
- 1st Round: Presence or absence of thoughts (from conscious creatures with Intelligence scores of 1 or higher).
- 2nd Round: The Intelligence score of your scouted target. If its Intelligence is 26 or higher (and at least 10 points higher than your own Intelligence score), you are stunned for 1 round.
- 3rd Round: Surface thoughts of the target. Creatures of animal intelligence (Intelligence 1 or 2) have simple, instinctual thoughts.
Prerequisite(s): Scout sphere, Perception 5 ranks.
The scout ability granted by the Scout sphere is now a gaze attack that can affect any creature within 60 ft. You may activate this gaze as a free action and it stays active until the end of your next turn. Any creature subject to the gaze that fails a Will save is automatically scouted by you.
While you discover the presence of ongoing magical effects through the use of the Heighten Awareness talent, you may focus as a standard action to further focus your senses on the various magical auras. The longer you focus, the more information is revealed.
- 1st Round: The number of magical auras within your range, and which one is the strongest.
- 2nd Round: The strength and location of each aura. If the items or creatures bearing the auras are in line of sight, you can make Knowledge (arcana) skill checks to determine the school of magic involved in each. (Make one check per aura: DC 15 + spell level, or 15 + 1/2 caster level for a non-spell effect.) If the aura emanates from a magic item, you can attempt to identify its properties with the Spellcraft skill.
If you expend your martial focus while trying to identify a magical effect or magic item, you gain a bonus to that check equal to your practitioner modifier, plus the number of Scout sphere talents you possess.
Prerequisite(s): Scout sphere, Discern Illusions, Piercing Eye, Perception 15 ranks.
So long as you have martial focus, your razor sharp senses can no longer be fooled by illusions and misdirections, granting you the ability to see all things as they actually are. This functions as the true seeing spell but is a personal, extraordinary effect that allows you to see through normal and magical darkness, notice secret doors hidden by magic, see the exact locations of creatures or objects under blur or displacement effects, see invisible creatures or objects normally, see through illusions, and see the true form of polymorphed, changed, or transmuted things. Further, you can focus your vision to see into the Ethereal Plane (but not into extradimensional spaces). The range of this effect is 120 feet.
This ability does not penetrate solid objects. It in no way confers x-ray vision or its equivalent. It does not negate concealment, including that caused by fog and the like. True Sight does not help you see through mundane disguises, spot creatures who are simply hiding, or notice secret doors hidden by mundane means. In addition, the this effect cannot be further enhanced with known magic, so one cannot use this ability through a crystal ball or in conjunction with clairaudience/clairvoyance.
Prerequisite(s): Scout sphere, Lurker, Walk Unseen, Stealth 10 ranks.
So long as you have martial focus, you may use your Stealth skill to hide even when observed.
Prerequisite(s): Scout sphere, Lurker, Stealth 7 ranks.
So long as you have martial focus, ending your turn without cover or concealment does not automatically cause you to lose the benefits of Stealth. This only applies for a single round in a row; if you end your next turn without cover or concealment, this benefit does not apply.
Spheres of Might, © 2017, Drop Dead Studios LLC; Authors: Adam Meyers, Michael Sayre, Andrew Stoeckle, N. Jolly