Spying is not a glorious profession, although the most successful spies attract a measure of glamor and respect in certain quarters. Most of the time, skilled spies go unnoticed and unsuspected until their mission is already completed. They may travel as simple tradesman or vagabonds, while other times, they may develop elaborate cover identities as soldiers, members of the court, or even intimates of those in power. Spies may find employ with powerful nobles, military leaders, guild masters, or even spell-casters or intelligent monsters. Some spies are basically mercenary, while others are more like house retainers or military officers. Spying is a dangerous job, for those that are caught are frequently executed or worse, and their patrons are frequently unable to take steps to protect their agents when doing so would expose their involvement. A spy might join an adventuring group under cover, pretending to be a common vagabond, rogue, or warrior. In other cases, they may be part of an entourage that serves a common cause, with the spy playing the part of negotiator, infiltrator, and if need be, assassin.

Role: Spies are expert face characters. Like the bard, their silver tongue can win friends and bewilder foes. The spy lacks major spell-casting ability, although some spies develop arcane talents that complement their natural abilities. Spies are able to sneak attack, like a rogue, and in pitched battles may fulfill a similar role as a skirmisher. They possess a versatile array of skills and talents that befit their role as the ultimate deceiver.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d8.

Class Skills

The spy’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Dex), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Ranks per Level: 8 + Int modifier.

Table: Spy

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Duplicity, sneak attack +1d6, cover identity
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Spy talent, uncanny dodge
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Sneak attack +2d6, secret keeper +1
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Spy talent
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Sneak attack +3d6, improved uncanny dodge
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Spy talent
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Sneak attack +4d6, secret keeper +2
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 Spy talent, nondetection
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 Sneak attack +5d6
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 Spy talent, advanced talents
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +7 Sneak attack +6d6, secret keeper +3
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Spy talent
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Sneak attack +7d6
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 Spy talent
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 Sneak attack +8d6, secret keeper +4
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Spy talent
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Sneak attack +9d6
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Spy talent
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Sneak attack +10d6, secret keeper +5
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Spy talent, master spy

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the spy.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Spies are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, rapier, sap, shortbow and short sword. They are proficient with light armor, but not with shields.

Duplicity (Ex)

The spy may add one half her level (minimum 1) to Disguise and Sense Motive checks and to Bluff checks to fool someone or to deliver a secret message.

Cover Identity (Ex)

Spies rarely advertise the nature of their work. A spy may select one Craft, Perform, or Profession skill and gain a +1 competence bonus on checks. Additionally, the spy may make checks as though trained in that skill, even if she has no ranks in it. Alternatively, instead of a skill, the spy can choose one weapon or one type of armor and suffer only half the usual penalties for nonproficiency. The spy can decide to adopt a new cover identity at any time. When she changes cover identities, the benefits switch over to the new skill or proficiency after 24 hours.

Sneak Attack (Ex)

If a spy can catch an opponent when she is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

The spy’s attack deals extra damage anytime her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the spy flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and increases by 1d6 every two spy levels thereafter. Should the spy score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or an unarmed strike), a spy can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty.

The spy must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A spy cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment. This is the same as the rogue ability.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

Starting at 2nd level, a spy can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She cannot be caught flat-footed, even if the attacker is invisible. She still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A spy with this ability can still lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action against her. If a spy has uncanny dodge from a different class, she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.

Spy Talents

Starting at 2nd level and every even level thereafter, the spy may select one of the following special abilities.

Infiltrator (Ex): The spy chooses one group to oppose. The spy gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, Knowledge, Perception, and Sense Motive checks against members of the enemy group. Additionally, she gains a +2 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against them. A group is one medium-sized faction, such as an army, the members of a particular noble house and their retainers, a city guild, or the local chapter of a religion.

Loyal Spy (Ex): The spy gains a +4 morale bonus to resist any charm or compulsion effect that would cause him to act against members of one group. A group has the same meaning as group for the infiltrator talent.

Combat Trick: A spy that selects this talent gains a bonus combat feat.

Fast Stealth (Ex): This ability allows a spy to move at full speed using the Stealth skill without penalty.

Minor Magic (Sp): A spy with this talent gains the ability to cast a 0-level spell from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. This spell can be cast three times a day as a spell-like ability. The caster level for this ability is equal to the spy’s level. The save DC for this spell is 10 + the spy’s Charisma modifier. The scout must have an Charisma of at least 10 to select this talent.

Magical Sleep (Sp): A spy with this talent may cast sleep as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to her level. The DC to save is 11 + the spy’s Charisma modifier. The spy may choose to center the spell on a single target, in which case it will affect one target of any number of HD. To select this talent, the spy must already have minor magic.

Magical Disguise (Sp): Once per day, the spy may cast disguise self as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to her level. To select this talent, the spy must already have minor magic.

Trapfinding (Ex): A spy with this talent adds ½ her level to Perception skill checks made to locate traps and to Disable Device skill checks (minimum +1). Additionally, she can use Disable Device to disarm magic traps.

Trap Spotter (Ex): Whenever a spy with this talent comes within 10 feet of a trap, she receives an immediate Perception skill check to notice the trap. This check should be made in secret by the GM. Prerequisite: trapfinding.

Expert Forger (Ex): A spy with this talent can add half her level (minimum 1) to checks to create a forgery or fake document.

Weapon Proficiency: The spy can select one exotic or martial weapon proficiency.

Evasion (Ex): A spy who selects this talent can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the spy is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless spy does not gain the benefits of evasion.

Careful Search (Ex): The spy may take 10 on Perception checks, even when she would not normally be allowed to. In addition, she gains a +1 bonus on Perception checks to search an area.

Secret Keeper (Ex)

At 3rd level, a spy receives a +1 bonus to saves against any effect that would force her to speak the truth or that would detect her thoughts. In addition, if asked or commanded to speak the truth or reveal a piece of information while under a charm or compulsion, she gets a new save immediately with this bonus. This bonus increases by +1 every four levels to a maximum of +5 at level 19.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

At 5th level, a spy can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the spy by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has spy levels. If a character already has uncanny dodge from another class, the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.

Nondetection (Ex)

A spy of 8th level of above gains the benefits of nondetection, as the spell. This is a non-magical effect which is constantly active with a caster level of the spy’s level. Lowering or raising the effect is a standard action.

Advanced Talents

Starting at 10th level, the spy may select one of the following talents instead of a spy talent.

Improved Evasion (Ex): This works like evasion, except that while the spy still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, she henceforth takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless spy does not gain the benefits of improved evasion. Prerequisite: Evasion.

Slippery Mind (Ex): If a spy with slippery mind is affected by an enchantment spell or effect and fails her saving throw, she can attempt it again 1 round later at the same DC. She gets only this one extra chance to succeed on is saving throw.

Jack of All Trades (use untrained) (Ex): A spy who selects this talent can use any skill, even if the skill normally requires her to be trained.

Jack of All Trades (class skills) (Ex): A spy with this talent treats all skills as class skills. Prerequisite: Jack of All Trades (use untrained).

Jack of All Trades (mastery) (Ex): A spy with this talent can take 10 on any skill check, even if it is not normally allowed. Prerequisite: Jack of All Trades (class skills).

Skill Mastery (Ex): The spy becomes so confident in the use of certain skills that she can use them reliably even under adverse conditions. Choose a number of skills equal to 3 + the spy’s Intelligence modifier. When making a skill check with one of these skills, she may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so. A spy can gain this special ability multiple times, selecting additional skills for skill mastery each time.

Perfect Cover (Ex): When making use of the cover identity ability, the spy may select two of the listed skills or proficiencies in any combination. Additionally, the penalty for non-proficiency with a weapon or armor chosen by this ability is reduced to 0.

Misdirection (Sp): Once per day, the spy may use misdirection, as the spell, with a caster level of her level. The spell must be placed on herself. Prerequisite: Minor Magic.

Improved Magical Disguise (Sp): A spy who selects this talent can use her magical disguise ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + the spy’s Charisma modifier. Prerequisite: Magical Disguise.

Rummage (Ex): Once per day, the spy can treat a Perception check to search an area as though she rolled a natural 20. Prerequisite: Careful Search.

Feat: Instead of a talent, the spy can select any feat for which she qualifies.

Master Spy (Ex)

At 20th level, the master spy is a master at foiling detection, both magical and mundane. Any time the spy successfully saves versus a mind-affecting ability, she continues to be aware of the creature’s commands and messages for the duration of the effect, although she need not obey. Whenever a creatures takes 10 on a Perception take to penetrate the spy’s disguise, the spy gains a +5 circumstance bonus to her Disguise check. The spy can treat a Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, or Sense Motive check as though she rolled a natural 20 a number of times a day equal to 3 + the spy’s Charisma modifier.

Section 15: Copyright Notice – Adventuring Classes: A Fistful of Denarii

Adventuring Classes: A Fistful of Denarii. Copyright 2009, Robert J. Grady. All rights reserved.

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