While most who study alchemy pursue all of its wide diversity of knowledge, the Fire Scions Guild concentrates on the many practical applications of an alchemical bomb as a tool and not just a weapon. The legendary founder of the Fire Scions, a thief and dabbler in unusual knowledge named Lorin Renick, was famous for his ability to disarm traps or blast through vaults with the assistance of alchemy. Since then, the Fire Scions have developed into a pseudo-military organization, using stealth and bombs to disable not only traps, but also siege weapons and defensive fortifications.
Fire Scions operate in chapter houses, usually in large cities, with the highest-ranking member called a stratega.
A stratega’s duties are primarily administrative: overseeing contracts, training new recruits, and furthering the chapter house’s research. As such, strategas are usually culled from older, experienced Fire Scions who no longer have the ability or zeal for fieldwork. Under a stratega are the operatives known as “blasters,” the men and women who carry out the contracts for the chapter house. When not engaged on an assignment, an operative is expected to assist in training new members as well as assist with research and experiments. Operatives usually work alone. Any operative unfit for field duty is assigned as a permanent staff member to the chapter house. Recruits or “sparks” are the lowest rank and undergo rigorous training. The best Fire Scions are those that have a high degree of stealth, a working knowledge of traps and devices, a hungry mind, and possibly a bit of pyromania.
Fire Scion strategas meet once a year to air grievances, share new discoveries, and select new leadership. The leaders of the Fire Scions are a council of nine strategas, elected each year. There is no term limit, and the larger the chapter house, the more influence it has and the more likely it is to maintain leadership. The council, however, remains very hands off with the daily workings of individual chapter houses. They primarily settle disputes between strategas and ensure that each house is paying its fair share back to the organization. This money is used to fund new chapter houses, discoveries, and promote the Fire Scions overall.
While the Fire Scions maintain neutrality, offering their services to anyone with coin, it does occasionally happen that two chapter houses find themselves on opposite sides of a conflict. The Fire Scions are fine with this and, in fact, may offer their services to one side at a discount if the other party has hired a rival chapter house. They enjoy the rivalry, the chance to pit their talents against another member and win bragging rights and prestige for their respective house. Directly targeting another Fire Scion member is strictly forbidden, but deaths do occasionally occur. As long as the member can prove that it was not their intent to kill the other member, they face only reprimand. After all, accidents do happen.
Public perception of the Fire Scions is mixed. Some believe they are an assassin organization but the Fire Scion leadership stresses that this is untrue. While it is acceptable for Fire Scions to use their bombs in self-defense, they never accept contracts on a human life, and doing so is cause for immediate expulsion. The Fire Scions try to minimize collateral damage for the explosions they set as much as possible; however, innocent lives are occasionally lost. The Fire Scions themselves are merely concerned with the acquisition of wealth and the furthering of the more explosive instruments of war. While individual Fire Scions run a gamut of alignments, the organization takes a more neutral stance to issues.
A large number of Fire Scions themselves are former or current adventurers. Dungeons are considered a perfect environment for a Fire Scion to perfect the art against all manner of mundane and magical traps. Members that are adventurers are expected to tithe 10% of any wealth gained to the guild. This is to replace lost revenue by not having an agent out in the field working contracts. Membership entitles them to free room and board at any chapter house, a functioning lab to use, training rooms, and access to most mundane items and alchemical reagents. At a member’s home chapter house, these perks increase and may include access to new extracts, discoveries, and items that the particular chapter house is developing (and these secrets are then generally shared at the once a year stratega meeting.)
Alignment: You can be of any alignment although the organization as a whole is neutral.
Hit Die: d8.
To qualify to become a fire scion alchemist, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
- Skills: Craft (alchemy) 5 ranks, Craft (traps) 5 ranks, Disable Device 5 ranks.
- Class Features: bomb 2d6, sneak attack +1d6, trapfinding
The fire scions class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (any) (Int), Disable Device (Dex), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (engineering) (Int), Perception (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Extracts|
|1st||+0||+1||+1||+0||Bomb thrower, delayed bomb, trapfinder||—|
|2nd||+1||+1||+1||+1||Bomb disable||+1 level of alchemist|
|3rd||+2||+2||+2||+1||Demolition expert, remote bomb||+1 level of alchemist|
|4th||+3||+2||+2||+1||Destruction||+1 level of alchemist|
The following are class features of the fire scion prestige class.
At the indicated levels, you gain new extracts per day as if you had also gained a level in alchemist. You do not, however, gain other benefits a character of that class would have gained, except for extracts per day and an increased effective CL for extracts.
Bombs are the tools of trade for a Fire Scion. Add your alchemist and Fire Scion levels together to determine the damage of your bombs.
At first level and every 2 levels thereafter, you gain an additional 1 bomb/day.
Use your character level to determine your bonuses for the trapfinding ability.
At 2nd level, you can use a bomb to assist you in making a Disable Device check and gain a bonus equal to the number of dice of the bomb damage. You cannot take 10 or 20 when using this skill. The explosion is concentrated to disrupt the mechanism of the trap (arcane or mundane) and deals no damage.
At 5th level, this bonus increases to +4.
Starting at 3rd level, whenever you use a delayed bomb, you add your combined alchemist and Fire Scion levels to determine the DC to disable your bomb. In addition, you may have up to two delayed bombs at a time.
At 4th level, as a full round action, you can set a delayed bomb to cause damage to a specific object (such as a catapult or door) or surface (such as a wall) rather than attempting to disable or break it. The bomb goes off at the end of your next turn and deals bomb damage to the object but nothing else.
The bomb does normal energy damage instead of half energy damage and ignores an amount of hardness equal to the number of dice in your bomb. Using this ability costs 2 daily uses of your bombs.
When you reach 5th level, you becomes a master at using bombs to destroy traps and objects. Whenever you use your bomb disable ability, you gain a bonus to your Disable Device skill check equal to the number of dice of your sneak attack ability.
You add any levels from any class that added to your sneak attack ability to determine the DC to disable your delayed bombs.
Tattlebox #2, © 2012 Zombie Sky Press; Author: John Pingo, John Bennett, Will McCardell, Scott Gable.