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Maryring
2006-03-30, 01:53 PM
I am in no way responsible for the untimely death that may or may not come from swallowing your own tounge after reading this.

So I present to you, my take on the Geisha.

I'll never see someone as beautiful, or deadly as a Geisha ever again. With one swipe of her hand, the assassins all bit the dust. Such grace and beauty cannot come from a mortal being.

(Kieran, retelling the story of when Elina the Geisha saved his life)

Class Name: Geisha

Class Nature: A Geisha has many different roles. They act as missionaries, entertainers, assassins and counter assassins. A Geisha is an expert at looking harmless, while actually being quite the opposite.

Role: The Geisha is often a group’s social face, especially when dealing with royalties. They also act as spies, infiltrators and scouts. Their ability to catch opponents of guard is very valued when making an escape after a failed negotiation. At times, they even act as assassins or counter-assassins.

Alignment: Geishas can be of any alignment.

Relationships: Geishas get along with Rogues and Bards because their abilities are similar to their own. They also get along with Wizards and Clerics more often than not.

Religion: Geishas are a diverse bunch when it comes to religion and have no outstanding features.

Classes: Most Geishas are Rogues and Bards. Sometimes Monks who have multiclassed with Rogue or Bard adapt this class as well. Members of other classes rarely become Geishas.

Prerequisites:
Gender: Female
Base save Bonus: Ref +5
Skills: Perform (dance) 8 ranks, disguise 8 ranks diplomacy or bluff 6 ranks.
Feats: Weapon Finesse,

Skills: The Geishas class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (cha), Concentration (con), Craft (int), Diplomacy (cha), Disguise (cha), Gather Information (cha), Hide (dex) Knowledge Arcana (int), Knowledge Local (int), Knowledge Nobility and Royality (int), Move Silently (dex) Perform (cha), Profession (wis), Sense Motive (wis), Sleight of Hand (dex), Spellcraft (int), Tumble (dex), Use Magic Device (cha)

Geishas receive a number of (6+int mod) skill points.

Key Abilities: Charisma is important because it helps the Geisha with her skills and allows her to cast spells. Dexterity gives her attacks accuracy and increases her armour class. Constitution gives her more hit points and intelligence gives her even more skills with which to extend her repertoire.

Hit Die d6.

Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1 +0 +0 +2 +2 Disguise Spell. Hidden strike 1d6.
2 +1 +0 +3 +3 Fascinate. Hide weapon.
3 +2 +1 +3 +3 Stunning hit 1/day
4 +3 +1 +4 +4 Hidden strike 2d6.
5 +3 +1 +4 +4 Pierce disguise
6 +4 +2 +5 +5 Stunning hit 2/day
7 +5 +2 +5 +5 Hidden strike 3d6.
8 +6 +2 +6 +6 Lethal Strike.
9 +6 +3 +6 +6 Stunning hit 3/day
10 +7 +3 +7 +7 Hidden strike 4d6. Charming Performance.

Class Features: All of the following are class features of the Geisha.

Weapons and Armour Proficiency: Geishas are proficient with the War Fan and the Fukimi-Bari.

Spells: A Geisha gains unique spell casting abilities and advances in spell casting abilities using the following table. In order to cast a spell, a Geisha must have a charisma of at least 10 + spell level. Charisma is also used to determine her bonus spells and how hard her spells are to resist. A Geisha cast spells by preparing them ahead of time. When attaining a new level that normally grants new spells, she automatically learns all spells of that level.

I II III IV V VI
1 1 - - - - -
2 2 1 - - - -
3 3 2 1 - - -
4 4 3 2 1 - -
5 4 4 3 2 1 -
6 4 4 4 3 2 1
7 4 4 4 4 3 2
8 4 4 4 4 4 3
9 5 4 4 4 4 4
10 5 5 4 4 4 4

Disguise Spell (ex): At first level, a Geisha can disguise her somatic and verbal components. All those watching the Geisha must make a spot and a listen check opposed by the Geisha’s disguise check in order to notice that she is casting a spell. A Geisha can add her class level to her disguise check when disguising a spell.

Hidden Strike (ex): Whenever a Geisha can make a surprising attack against an enemy; she can deal even more damage than normal. If a Geisha catches an opponent flatfooted, she adds 1d6 points of damage to her attack. This damage increases to 2d6 at 4th level, 3d6 at 7th level and 4d6 at 10th level. It does not stack with a Ninja’s “Sudden Strike” or Rouge’s “Sneak Attack”. It can not be used in conjunction with a spell, and the weapon must be a simple light piercing or slashing weapon. War Fan and a Fukimi-Bari are treated as simple light weapons for the purpose of this ability.

Fascinate (ex): A Geisha can make a breathtaking performance that fascinates most onlookers. All who watches the Geisha must make a will save as opposed to half the Geisha’s perform check + her charisma modifier. Unlike the Bard’s fascinate, this is an extraordinary ability that can target any number of onlookers within 60 feet, but those fascinated suffer no ill effects (other than having to watch the Geisha). However, any potential threat or distraction causes the fascinate to end immediately. Onlookers are fascinated for as long as the Geisha performs, but are entitled to a new saving throw every minute.

Hide Weapon (ex): A Geisha can add her class level to all checks made to conceal a weapon on her body. This ability only functions with simple light weapons, the war fan and the Fukumi-Bari.

Stunning hit (ex): By hitting the muscles of the body in a very special way, the Geisha can paralyze a creature’s muscle structure. As a full round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, a Geisha can attempt to paralyze one living creature. To succeed, she must first make a touch attack against the creature. This attack provokes attacks of opportunity, and if she takes damage, the ability fails but does not count against her daily limit. After succeeding with the touch attack, the creature must make a Fortitude Save equal to (10 + Geisha’s class level + wisdom modifier). If the target fail, it is paralyzed and unconscious (and thus helpless) for 1d4 * 10 minutes. The Geisha knows if her attack succeeded or not, and how long the target will be knocked out. Creatures immune to critical hits or without a discernable anatomy are immune to a Geisha’s “stunning hit”.

Pierce Disguise (ex): Thanks to her extensive use of disguises, a Geisha can more easily discern a disguise. She can add her class level to her checks when she tries to discern a disguise.

Lethal Strike (ex): A Geisha who has attained level 8 has learned even more on how to hit where it hurts. If she hits with her “stunning hit” ability can choose to kill the creature rather than paralyzing it. The creature must make a fortitude save as normal, but if it fails, it immediately dies.

Charming Performance (su): At tenth level a Geisha’s performances become legendary. All who are fascinated by her fascinate ability must make another will save or be charmed by her.

Spell list:

Level 1: Calm Animal, Charm Animal, Charm Person, Colour Spray, Comprehend Languages, Cure Light Wounds, Disguise Self, Erase, Hypnotism, Identify, Light, Prestidigitation, Read Magic, Silent Image, Speak with animals, Unseen servant.

Level 2: Alter self, Cure Moderate Wounds, Eagle’s Splendour, Gentle repose, Heroism, Invisibility, Levitate, Minor Image, Mirror Image, Misdirection, Remove Paralysis, Rope Trick, See Invisibility, Shatter, Status, Tongues, Undetectable alignment.

Level 3: Charm monster, Clairvoyance, Create Food and Water, Crushing Despair, Cure Serious Wounds, Daylight, Deep Slumber, Discern Lies, Dispel Magic, Dominate Animal, Good Hope, Haste, Invisibility Purge, Invisibility Sphere, Major Image, Restoration Lesser, Slow, Suggestion, Water Breathing, Water Walk.

Level 4: Air Walk, Break Enchantment, Cure Critical Wounds, Deathward, Dimension Door, Dimensional Anchor, Freedom of Movement, Invisibility Greater, Nondetection, Polymorph, Rainbow Pattern,

Level 5: Charm Person Mass, Dominate Person, Heal, Heroism Greater, Mind Fog, Persistent Image, Teleport.

Level 6: Analyze Dweomer, Charm Monster Mass, Eagle’s Splendour mass, Find the Path, Heroes Feast, Irresistible Dance, Permanent Image, Programmed Image, Project Image, True Seeing, Word of Recall,

Nolfar
2006-03-30, 01:59 PM
Tecnically, if this is to be an adaptation of the Japanese Geishas (well, and taking into account some of the myth about them) they should probibly have all knowledge skills as class, and as part of the prereqs to take the class have like 2 ranks in three or more knowledges. Geishas were known to be very knowledgable in many things, including history, polotics, recient evets and, or all things, tactics.

axraelshelm
2006-03-30, 02:02 PM
made to be the perfect companions oh the rpg irony.

Akiosama
2006-03-30, 02:19 PM
You may want to allow for Perform (shamisen/koto/lute) or Perform (Shakuhachi/flute) as well. *From what I've read and seen, they are generally called upon for either function (dance or music) or both, depending on the situation, so it is not expressly limited to dance.

Also, depending on your detail level of the setting, perform/profession (tea ceremony) should be in there. *That is one of the crucial functions the geisha provides to guests when doing her job.

Also, I would say diplomacy should be required, not diplomacy or bluff. *No matter what happens, the geisha must be able to interact with others. *Bluff, while a useful skill for deception, is not as important, IMO, nor does it replace the need for competence in interaciton. *What I would probably do is have Diplomacy 8 ranks required/Bluff 2-4 ranks (I'm not sure if I would always make this class an 'assassin' sort of class... *More likely it should pattern off the Bard class for role and theme).


Knowledge Local should be required at least in passing knowledge (1-2 ranks minimum) and depending on location the Knowledge (court) should be required. *If this is more or less away from major court-affected areas, this requirement can be less.

I'm not entirely sure that the Geisha's abilities should affect animals. *But that's more of a setting and thematic decision. *There are no skills that I've read about that geisha regularly used that indicated they have any affect with animals.

Also, I'm not sure I would make the assumption that geisha=spy=assassin. *Perhaps more emphasis on charming and information gathering, rather than assassination would make the feel of the class seem more correct, IMO. *Perhaps, though, if you wish to keep along this theme, poison use would be the better way to up lethality than through attacks. *I believe it was more commonly felt that a geisha would render their victim helpless (through charm and alcohol, possibly poison) and then go to work (a la Coup de Grace) as opposed to needing to use a physical attack of some sort.

Further, a level analysis (which I am unable to do at this time) should be done regarding the lethal attack you've put into the class abilities. *That seems awfully powerful, IMO (though I admit, I think most 'potential insta-kill' powers are), and it should be checked that it's not overpowered.

It's a good starting point though. *I would need to do more research on both fantasy and real-world geisha to give more advice on this. * The myth, as with ninja, is think enough to cut with a knife regarding geisha.

My 2 yen,

Game on!

Akio

EDIT: One other thing to keep in mind, that, as with western priests, geisha were confidantes. A geisha that was discovered to be trading/giving out information usually didn't survive long after that... I'm not sure if that's how you want your setting to cover that, but it's something to keep in mind.

Maryring
2006-03-30, 02:20 PM
Thanks for that Nolfar. I had completely forgotten about that part.

bosssmiley
2006-03-30, 02:23 PM
Whaaaaaaa? *???

I am completely bemused. Where does this interpretation of the Geisha as a rogue/bard crossbreed come from? Have you read "Way of the Scorpion" for L5R/OA at all Maryring?

Then again, if looked at in *just* the right light this would be a perfect PrC to represent the legendary 'deadly rose' courtesan/assassin in either oriental or western cultures. My girlfriend will hop and squeak with evil glee when she sees this. *>:(

Mmmmmm, Venetian masked courtesan. *:P

"I'll be in my bunk..." -- Jayne, "Firefly"

Maryring
2006-03-30, 02:27 PM
The biggest problem with creating a PrC class like the Geisha (as with the Ninja and the Samurai and other oriental classes like that) is that there are so many dreams, desires and fantasies put into it. Historical fact and wishful fantasy blends, giving each person an unique view on how a Geisha should be.

On the Geisha isn't assassin part, while I do agree that it isn't a TYPICAL Geisha, some Geisha's were actually trained solely to be assassins. And like a Rogue may never once sneak attack, a Geisha may go through her entire life and never once use her hidden strike.

Akiosama
2006-03-30, 03:14 PM
Would it be better then, given that non-use of a class ability makes the ability not a benefit, so to speak, to create the Geisha PrC as a consort/confidante style class, and have those that are trained for assassins multiclass into an assassin-style class? The reason why I ask, is that the BULK of the geisha were simply consorts and confidantes, not assassins. It would seem silly to have a PrC that the bulk of the people it was supposed to represent aren't part of.

My 2 yen,

Game on!

Akio

Matthew
2006-03-30, 03:37 PM
I think I might agree with Akiosama about the nomenclature. It seems to me that you are aiming at is actually an Assassin who habitually poses as a Geisha to gather information or perform other types of espionage, rather than an actual Geisha. The Shogun Total War type Assassin / Geisha is not actually a Geisha, but a particular type of Shinobi / Ninja / whatever. You might consider renaming the class or create a seperate Geisha NPC Class...
Interesting idea, though.

TimeWizard
2006-03-30, 06:07 PM
first things first maryring, Bravo. I applaud your skill and diligence in making this class. Yosh, iku zo!

I like the flavor of making them a combo assassin/dancer. Lady Bayushi comes to mind when I think of this class. To wit, an actual Geisha class would be a somewhat boring (to play as) npc class, similar to the aristocrat class. I'd keep it the way it is, because thee really is no point to wasting precious levels in an npc class for flavor then becoming an assassin. The war fan is an interesting choice of weapons, does it already have it's own rules? if not id say the same as dagger, but +4 to bluff checks made with it as a weapon, requiring Exotic Weapon Proficiency. Typically, fans were dual weilded. Definetly throw in Perform: (traditional japanese instrument of choice). I agree that Geisha need ranks in diplomancy, as well as knowledge (local/history), for conversation, and Perform: Instrument as prereqs.

Stunning attack I'm not so sure about, but I dont know how to change it so keep it around for now.

Disguise spell is a little wrong. It's a Bluff check, opposed by a Spellcraft check. Speaking of spells, cap max spells per day at six per level, the same as a Sorcerer.

To quote Haley from the On the Origin of PCs
"Awesometastic"

The_Logic_Ninja
2006-03-30, 06:10 PM
Maybe call it Geisha Spy or Geisha Assassin (Geishassassin?) to avoid confusion with actual ordinary geisha...

Dragonmuncher
2006-03-30, 06:15 PM
Isn't there a feat that allows a spell to be cast using lyrics/dance movements, so while there's still a verbal and somatic requirement, no one realizes that they're being used? That seems like a perfect ability for this PrC.

Also, why doesn't Hidden Strike stack with Sneak Attack? In PrCs, usually stuff like that stacks. It's taking away a good incentive for a rogue to take the class.

SpiderBrigade
2006-03-30, 06:16 PM
Well, I see what Akio and Matthew (the paladin brothers? ;-) ) are getting at, but on the other hand, it could be argued that the many non-spy, non-assassin geisha were some other class, possibly an NPC class. *The PrC represents the extra-cool geisha who is going to be part of an adventuring group, making her much more likely to have sneaky attacks and other such powers.

The solution might be to rename the class, representing membership in a more select organization or school of training. *In fact your everyday geisha wouldn't need to take a new class at all. *She could be anything, as long as she had the right skill ranks. *The PRC represents extra training to become a sexy spy-assassin geisha.

Edit: well, dangit, The Logic Ninja...umm...ninjaed me.

Akiosama
2006-03-30, 06:28 PM
I see where you're coming from, Spider, but at that point, at least to me, the class is not a Geisha, but whatever it is that the character would be doing. *A geisha would not likely adventure very far. *As a courtesan or confidante, the geisha would need to be in one place to establish reputation/connections/etc. *If an assassin or spy, the geisha would need to be in one place to establish reputation/connections, and also confidance and infiltration. *What you're describing, in my book, Spider, would be a Kunoichi. *Kunoichi is the term for a female ninja, and much of what was described in both the original PrC description and your adventuring theme would be much better suited in a Kunoichi PrC than a Geisha PrC. *In fact, I'm pretty sure that if a Geisha were to be trained as an assassin, it would probably be through a 'ninja' organization, and that would further the argument for the class to be a Kunoichi class.

It's mostly semantical, but I'm a little more... sensitive... when it has something to do with Japanese history/culture, even if it is fantasy. * ;D

My 2 yen,

Game on!

Akio

Funny thing... you know that 'paladin brother' question? *My American name just happens to be Matthew. *(It's not me, though, honest! * ;D) *Just thought it was an interesting coincidence.

The_Logic_Ninja
2006-03-30, 07:04 PM
Edit: well, dangit, The Logic Ninja...umm...ninjaed me.

Gee, how coincidental!

bosssmiley
2006-03-30, 08:15 PM
Gee, how coincidental!
He just wants you to think that ;)

Behold_the_Void
2006-03-30, 08:39 PM
Interesting class and one that could be very flavorful. A few changes.

Name: I'd call this a Courtesan Assassin, or something like that. It can easily be applicable to Western or Eastern settings where they'd have different names depending on what they are posing as, and there's no need to pigeonhole it by calling it just the Geisha.

Hidden Strike should stack with Sudden Strike and Sneak Attack. There's no reason for it not to.

May want to bump the Lethal Strike up a few levels. This is obtainable at the 6th level, so that gives you an instant death attack at level 14. Monks get Quivering Palm at level 15, and I don't think Quivering Palm is quite as good as that. I'd make it a 10th level ability and make Charming Performance an 8th.

Finally, they should probably get poison use and something about poisoned hairpins. Geisha were known for that and a western version of this class could easily do something like that as well.

Good job with the class though.

Maryring
2006-03-31, 07:48 AM
Reviewing the feedback I have received, I'm thinking, what if I split this class in two, and boosts those two new classes to that they actually become worthwhile PrCs...

But then I'll need a new name for the "assasin" type "not Geisha anymore".

Suggestions, thoughts?

Gordon
2006-03-31, 09:15 AM
Reviewing the feedback I have received, I'm thinking, what if I split this class in two, and boosts those two new classes to that they actually become worthwhile PrCs...

But then I'll need a new name for the "assasin" type "not Geisha anymore".

Suggestions, thoughts?

It seems as though the roles you've outlined can be replicated quite well with the base class Bard or Rogue, possibly with the PrC Assassin or even Loremaster. I'm unclear on the need for a separate class for this. It reminds me more of a multiclass path as Dragon used to publich in the past year or two.

Hateable_Bastard
2006-03-31, 10:54 AM
I would tell you what Geisha's really were but there are some people here that are not of age, And I'll leave it at that ::)

Umael
2006-03-31, 11:02 AM
I would tell you what Geisha's really were but there are some people here that are not of age, And I'll leave it at that *::)

And then you would be incorrect.

The notion that Geisha are just a fancy name for a Japanese prostitute is erroneous.

Akiosama
2006-03-31, 12:43 PM
Maryring,

Try using Kunoichi as I suggested before. *It is technically the name for a female ninja, but given the write up you've done for this class, it seems appropriate. *In fact, I'm pretty sure a geisha disguise would be fairly commonplace for a Kunoichi on an infiltration or assassination mission.

Not alll ninja were the shadow-stealth type that we stereotypically imagine. *Many were infiltrators that used disguise and more... conventional means... to infiltrate their targets. * *And truth be told, Kunoichi had more means open to them than the average male ninja did.

It's a good idea for a class, Maryring. *It just feels more like a Kunoichi than a geisha.

My 2 yen,

Game on!

Akio

Technical note: *The word Kunoichi was derived from the kanji used for woman. *If you break it apart into its three strokes you get the syllable 'ku' in Hiragana, 'no' in Katakana, and 'ichi' in Kanji. *Pretty clever, huh? * ;D

EDIT: *And Umael is correct. *While geisha were often consorts and confidantes, there was indication to the contrary that sex was necessarily involved in samurai/courtier and geisha interaction. *Much of the interaction was simply to have someone to talk to, be pampered by, and in many cases love emotionally, since many of the marriages in that era were arranged for political or financial reasons, and public acknowledgements of love, even to your wife, was considered to be disgraceful and weak. *In fact, there is evidence that much of the Japanese take on out-of-marriage sexual activity by samurai/courtiers was along the same lines as some Greek philosophies on the subject (i.e. *'Only a man can truly understand a man.', so to speak). *

For a great RPG-style sourcebook on the culture of the period, check out Sengoku by Gold Rush Games, available as a .pdf on RPGNow.com (http://www.rpgnow.com). *The book was well researched and well written to the point that my college Japanese professor (whose formal, non-teaching position is 'Cultural Attache for the Japanese Consulate'), after reading some of the material, asked me to secure him a copy of the book, and by no stretch of the imagination is he anythng resembling a person interested in Roleplaying games...

Matthew
2006-04-03, 06:35 PM
Sorry to bring this up so late, but I just noticed this thread on the Wizard Boards:

http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=45924

Worth a look, I think.

Akiosama
2006-04-03, 06:44 PM
Definitely a bit closer to the historical idea of a geisha.

It wasn't bad. This class here is definitely closer to a Kunoichi.

Thanks for the link.

My 2 yen,

Game on!

Akio

Gordon
2006-04-03, 07:54 PM
And then you would be incorrect.

The notion that Geisha are just a fancy name for a Japanese prostitute is erroneous.

As is the notion that Geisha are never a fancy name for a Japanese prostitute.

The truth, as so often, is somewhere in the middle.

Courtesans are complicated things. Like the Hetairai of Classical Athens, they are more than just women who have sex for hire, and often they don't do so at all. And sometimes, they do.

Matthew
2006-04-03, 08:07 PM
I quite agree, but in the context it was placed this statement does not appear (to me) to be implying anything else.

Akiosama
2006-04-03, 08:12 PM
Would the pertinent question as to labelling them be, then, in which was the more predominant situation? Was sex more often or less often involved?

Not that I'm all that concerned about it. It's a semantic argument for the most part. I am of the mind to treat it like the modern 'masseuse' - Sex is not supposed to be involved, most of the time it is not involved, but there are some times it is involved, but that shouldn't apply across the job title.

My 2 yen,

Game on!

Akio

Steward
2006-04-03, 09:15 PM
And then you would be incorrect.

The notion that Geisha are just a fancy name for a Japanese prostitute is erroneous.

And the notion that Erroneous is a fancy word for 'derived from a lie error would not be erroneous.

RoboticSheeple
2006-04-03, 10:08 PM
like Akio said Kunoichi is the perfect name for this class.

What I don't understand is why there is this line for "Hidden Strike" It does not stack with a Ninja’s “Sudden Strike” or Rouge’s “Sneak Attack”.

That part there just doesn't make sense. Otherwise, I really like it.

Umael
2006-04-03, 11:20 PM
As is the notion that Geisha are never a fancy name for a Japanese prostitute.

The truth, as so often, is somewhere in the middle.

Courtesans are complicated things. Like the Hetairai of Classical Athens, they are more than just women who have sex for hire, and often they don't do so at all. And sometimes, they do.

The original concept of the geisha was that of companion, the perfect, unobtained woman. As a companion, their decision to have sex with a client was theirs to make.

...except there was the practice of stealing the geisha's virginity (although when it came into being and how long it lasted, I don't know).

And for an interesting twist, the mixing of "geisha" with "courtesan", turning geisha into a concept that is more associated with "prostitute" was a mistake because of US troops stationed in Japan after WWII. The Japanese government was afraid of the idea of US troops comes to Japan and committing rape with wild abandon, so they pressured or picked some Japanese women to favor their country's invaders with their attention. Of course, given the extreme conditions of the country after WWII, a GI could get a Japanese girlfriend pretty easily for some food. Given the limited Japanese vocabulary of the Americans, one of the words they would pick up was geisha, and associate that word with these women. Once they would get back to the states, they would spread the story of these "geisha"... and that's where the popular misconception originates.

(The things you learn on the Discovery Channel...)

Gordon
2006-04-04, 12:09 AM
The original concept of the geisha was that of companion, the perfect, unobtained woman. *As a companion, their decision to have sex with a client was theirs to make.

...except there was the practice of stealing the geisha's virginity (although when it came into being and how long it lasted, I don't know).

And for an interesting twist, the mixing of "geisha" with "courtesan", turning geisha into a concept that is more associated with "prostitute" was a mistake because of US troops stationed in Japan after WWII. *The Japanese government was afraid of the idea of US troops comes to Japan and committing rape with wild abandon, so they pressured or picked some Japanese women to favor their country's invaders with their attention. *Of course, given the extreme conditions of the country after WWII, a GI could get a Japanese girlfriend pretty easily for some food. *Given the limited Japanese vocabulary of the Americans, one of the words they would pick up was geisha, and associate that word with these women. *Once they would get back to the states, they would spread the story of these "geisha"... and that's where the popular misconception originates.

(The things you learn on the Discovery Channel...)

It's an interesting bit of revisionist history courtesy of Discovery then-- they're hoping that you won't recall that Japan had already pulled this interesting stunt on non-Japanese women thorughout the pacific, the famed "pleasure girls" herded into brothels for the use of their own troops.

In short, it was a "mistake" that the Japanese had already committed, and which they themselves repeated for fear of particular chickens coming home to roost.

As I said, courtesans, or geisha, or hetairai are complicated creatures.

Beleriphon
2006-04-04, 03:21 AM
As I said, courtesans, or geisha, or hetairai are complicated creatures.

As opposed to the world's oldest real profession. That is a shockingly easy situation to understand and encapsulate. That being said this class is probably best served with a generic name since all cultures at one point or another have had women, or in some cases men, doing this sort of work. Otherwise the class name is entirely semantic and the class in and of itself is a fine choice of a PrC if a sneaky, sexy character are what you want.

Maryring
2006-04-04, 04:05 AM
Okay. Here are my revised Geisha, and the Kunoichi.

Class Name: Geisha

Class Nature: A Geisha has many different roles. They act as missionaries, entertainers and advisors. Many regard them as "perfect" women with smarts, wit and charm.

Role: A Geisha is at her best in social situations where her charm can spread out to all.

Alignment: Geishas can be of any nonevil alignment.

Relationships: Geishas get along with Rogues and Bards because their abilities are similar to their own. They also get along with Wizards and Clerics more often than not.

Religion: Geishas are a diverse bunch when it comes to religion and have no outstanding features.

Classes: Most Geishas are either multiclass Rogues or Bards. Most other classes don't have the needed skills to become a Geisha.

Prerequisites:
Gender: Female
Base save Bonus: Ref +5
Skills: Perform (dance) or Perform (shamisen/koto/lute) or Perform (Shakuhachi/flute) 8 ranks, disguise 8 ranks diplomacy *6 ranks, knowledge (any three) 2 ranks.
Alignment: Any nonevil.

Skills: The Geishas class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (cha), Concentration (con), Craft (int), Diplomacy (cha), Disguise (cha), Gather Information (cha), Heal (wis) Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (int), Perform (cha), Profession (wis), Sense Motive (wis), Spellcraft (int), Tumble (dex), Use Magic Device (cha)

Geishas receive a number of (6+int mod) skill points.

Key Abilities: Charisma is important because it helps the Geisha with her skills and allows her to cast spells. Dexterity gives her attacks accuracy and increases her armour class. Constitution gives her more hit points and intelligence gives her even more skills with which to extend her repertoire.

Hit Die d6.

Level * *BAB *Fort *Ref *Will * *Special *
1 * +0 * * +0 * *+2 * * +2 * * Disguise Spell.
2 * +1 * * +0 * *+3 * * +3 * * Fascinate.
3 * +2 * * +1 * *+3 * * +3 * * Wisdom of the Geisha.
4 * +3 * * +1 * *+4 * * +4 * * Certain charm.
5 * +3 * * +1 * *+4 * * +4 * * Pierce disguise.
6 * +4 * * +2 * *+5 * * +5 * * Certain domination.
7 * +5 * * +2 * *+5 * * +5 * * Charming Performance
8 * +6 * * +2 * *+6 * * +6 * * Dominating performance
9 * +6 * * +3 * *+6 * * +6 * * Total Charm.
10 +7 * * +3 * *+7 * * +7 * * Total Domination.

Class Features: All of the following are class features of the Geisha.

Weapons and Armour Proficiency: Geishas are proficient with the War Fan.

Spells: A Geisha gains unique spell casting abilities and advances in spell casting abilities using the following table. In order to cast a spell, a Geisha must have a charisma of at least 10 + spell level. Charisma is also used to determine her bonus spells and how hard her spells are to resist. A Geisha cast spells by preparing them ahead of time. When attaining a new level that normally grants new spells, she automatically learns all spells of that level.

I II III IV V VI
1 1 - - - - -
2 2 1 - - - -
3 3 2 1 - - -
4 4 3 2 1 - -
5 5 4 3 2 1 -
6 6 5 4 3 2 1
7 6 6 5 4 3 2
8 6 6 6 5 4 3
9 6 6 6 6 5 4
10 6 6 6 6 6 6

Disguise Spell (ex): At first level, a Geisha can disguise her somatic and verbal components. All those watching the Geisha must make a spot and a listen check opposed by the Geisha’s disguise check in order to notice that she is casting a spell. A Geisha can add her class level to her disguise check when disguising a spell.

Fascinate (ex): A Geisha can make a breathtaking performance that fascinates most onlookers. All who watches the Geisha must make a will save as opposed to half the Geisha’s perform check + her charisma modifier. Unlike the Bard’s fascinate, this is an extraordinary ability that can target any number of onlookers within 60 feet, but those fascinated suffer no ill effects (other than having to watch the Geisha). However, any potential threat or distraction causes the fascinate to end immediately. Onlookers are fascinated for as long as the Geisha performs, but are entitled to a new saving throw every minute. *

Wisdom of the Geisha (ex): A Geisha can add her wisdom modifier to all knowledge checks.

Certain Charm (ex): At 4th level, a Geisha has aquired a charm beyond normal. All Enchantment (charm) spells have their save DC increased by one. The Geisha can also add her class level twice to the caster level check made to overcome spell resistance when casting Enchantment (charm) spells.

Pierce Disguise (ex): Thanks to her extensive use of disguises, a Geisha can more easily discern a disguise. She can add her class level to her checks when she tries to discern a disguise.

Certain Domination (ex): As "Certain charm" but with Enchantment (compulsion) spells.

Charming Performance (su): At seventh level a Geisha’s performances become legendary. All who are fascinated by her fascinate ability must make another will save with a DC equal to 10 + Geisha class level + charisma modifier or be charmed by her.

Dominating Performance (su): At eight level, the Geisha's performance are breathtaking, intimidating even. All who watches her becomes smitten by her and are susceptible to one suggestion from her. Those watching her must make a another will save equal to 10 + Geisha class level + charisma modifier or be affected as the spell suggestion. A Geisha can only make one dominating performance each week.

Total Charm (ex): At ninth level, a Geisha's Enchantment (charm) spells lasts twice as long. She also adds "Mass Charm Monster" to her spell list as a 6th level spell.

Total Domination (ex): At tenth level, a Geisha's Enchantment (domination) spells last twice as long. She also adds "Dominate Monster" to her spell list as a 6th level spell.

Spell list:

Level 1: Calm Animal, Charm Person, Colour Spray, Comprehend Languages, Confusion lesser, Cure Light Wounds, Detect Evil, Disguise Self, Erase, Feather Fall, Hypnotism, Identify, Light, Mount, Prestidigitation, Protection from Evil, Read Magic, Remove Fear, Sanctuary, Silent Image, Speak with animals, Unseen servant.

Level 2: Alter self, Cure Moderate Wounds, Delay Poison, Eagle’s Splendour, Gentle repose, Heroism, Hold Animal, Hold Person, Invisibility, Levitate, Minor Image, Mirror Image, Misdirection, Remove Paralysis, Restoration lesser, Rope Trick, See Invisibility, Shatter, Status, Suggestion, Tongues, Undetectable alignment.

Level 3: Charm monster, Clairvoyance, Create Food and Water, Crushing Despair, Cure Serious Wounds, Daylight, Deep Slumber, Discern Lies, Dispel Magic, Dominate Animal, Good Hope, Haste, Hold Person, Invisibility Purge, Invisibility Sphere, Locate Object, Magic Circle against Evil, Major Image, Neutralize poison, Slow, Water Breathing, Water Walk.

Level 4: Air Walk, Break Enchantment, Charm Monster, Cure Critical Wounds, Deathward, Dimension Door, Dimensional Anchor, Freedom of Movement, Hold Monster, Invisibility Greater, Nondetection, Polymorph, Rainbow Pattern, Remove Curse, Restoration, Teleport.

Level 5: Charm Person Mass, Dismissal, Dominate Person, Dream, Heal, Heroism Greater, Hold Monster, Legend Lore, Mind Fog, Persistent Image, Symbol of Sleep, Telekinesis.

Level 6: Analyze Dweomer, Charm Monster Mass*, Dominate Monster*, Eagle’s Splendour mass, Find the Path, Greater Teleport, Heroes Feast, Irresistible Dance, Permanent Image, Plane Shift, Programmed Image, Project Image, Restoration Greater, Suggestion, Symbol of Persuasion, True Seeing, Undeath to Death, Word of Recall.

*Attained through other class features.

Class Name: Kunoichi

Class Nature: A Kunoichi are assasins that, while similar to a Geisha, serves other purposes. A Kunoichi usually pose as a Geisha in order to get close enough to her target to do her job, and hopefully not get caught.

Role: The Geisha is often a group’s social face, and the Kunoichi can fit that role as well. But a Kunoichi is mainly an assasin. Someone capable of dealing with mighty foes by having them drop their guard.

Alignment: A Kunoichi must be of a nongood alignment.

Relationships: Kunoichi get along with Rogues and Bards because their abilities are similar to their own. They also get along with Wizards and Clerics more often than not.

Religion: Kunoichi are a diverse bunch when it comes to religion and have no outstanding features.

Classes: Most Kunoichi are Rogues and Bards. Members of other classes rarely become Geishas.

Prerequisites:
Gender: Female
Base save Bonus: Ref +5
Skills: Perform (dance) or Perform (shamisen/koto/lute) or Perform (Shakuhachi/flute) 8 ranks, disguise 8 ranks bluff 6 ranks.
Alignment: Any nongood.
Feats: Weapon finesse

Skills: The Kunoichi class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (cha), Concentration (con), Craft (int), Diplomacy (cha), Disguise (cha), Gather Information (cha), Hide (dex) Knowledge Arcana (int), Knowledge Local (int), Knowledge Nobility and Royality (int), Move Silently (dex) Perform (cha), Profession (wis), Sense Motive (wis), Sleight of Hand (dex), Spellcraft (int), Tumble (dex), Use Magic Device (cha)

Kunoichi receive a number of (6+int mod) skill points.

Key Abilities: Charisma is important because it helps the Kunoichi pose as a Geisha and allows her to cast spells. Dexterity gives her attacks accuracy and increases her armour class. Constitution gives her more hit points and intelligence gives her even more skills with which to extend her repertoire.

Hit Die d6.

Level * *BAB *Fort *Ref *Will * *Special *
1 * +0 * * +0 * *+2 * * +2 * * Disguise Spell. Hidden strike 1d6.
2 * +1 * * +0 * *+3 * * +3 * * Fascinate. Hide weapon.
3 * +2 * * +1 * *+3 * * +3 * * Stunning hit 1/day
4 * +3 * * +1 * *+4 * * +4 * * Hidden strike 2d6. *
5 * +3 * * +1 * *+4 * * +4 * * Pierce disguise
6 * +4 * * +2 * *+5 * * +5 * * Stunning hit 2/day
7 * +5 * * +2 * *+5 * * +5 * * Hidden strike 3d6. *
8 * +6 * * +2 * *+6 * * +6 * *
9 * +6 * * +3 * *+6 * * +6 * * Stunning hit 3/day *
10 +7 * * +3 * *+7 * * +7 * * Hidden strike 4d6. Lethal Strike.

Class Features: All of the following are class features of the Kunoichi.

Weapons and Armour Proficiency: Kunoichi are proficient with the War Fan and the Fukimi-Bari.

Spells: A Kunoichi gains unique spell casting abilities and advances in spell casting abilities using the following table. In order to cast a spell, a Geisha must have a charisma of at least 10 + spell level. Charisma is also used to determine her bonus spells and how hard her spells are to resist. A Geisha cast spells by preparing them ahead of time. When attaining a new level that normally grants new spells, she automatically learns all spells of that level.

I II III IV V VI
1 1 - - - - -
2 2 1 - - - -
3 3 2 1 - - -
4 4 3 2 1 - -
5 5 4 3 2 1 -
6 5 5 4 3 2 1
7 5 5 5 4 3 2
8 5 5 5 5 4 3
9 5 5 5 5 5 4
10 5 5 5 5 5 5

Disguise Spell (ex): At first level, a Kunoichi can disguise her somatic and verbal components. All those watching the Kunoichi must make a spot and a listen check opposed by the Kunoichi disguise check in order to notice that she is casting a spell. A Kunoichi can add her class level to her disguise check when disguising a spell.

Hidden Strike (ex): Whenever a Kunoichi can make a surprising attack against an enemy; she can deal even more damage than normal. If a Kunoichi catches an opponent flatfooted, she adds 1d6 points of damage to her attack. This damage increases to 2d6 at 4th level, 3d6 at 7th level and 4d6 at 10th level. *Hidden Strike can not be used in conjunction with a spell, and the weapon must be a simple light piercing or slashing weapon. War Fan and a Fukimi-Bari are treated as simple light weapons for the purpose of this ability.

Fascinate (ex): A Kunoichi can make a breathtaking performance that fascinates most onlookers. All who watches the Kunoichi must make a will save as opposed to half the Kunoichi perform check + her charisma modifier. Unlike the Bard’s fascinate, this is an extraordinary ability that can target any number of onlookers within 60 feet, but those fascinated suffer no ill effects (other than having to watch the Kunoichi). However, any potential threat or distraction causes the fascinate to end immediately. Onlookers are fascinated for as long as the Kunoichi performs, but are entitled to a new saving throw every minute. *

Hide Weapon (ex): A Kunoichi can add her class level to all checks made to conceal a weapon on her body. This ability only functions with simple light weapons, the War Fan and the Fukumi-Bari.

Stunning hit (ex): By hitting the muscles of the body in a very special way, the Kunoichi can paralyze a creature’s muscle structure. As a full round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, a Kunoichi can attempt to paralyze one living creature. To succeed, she must first make a touch attack against the creature. This attack provokes attacks of opportunity, and if she takes damage, the ability fails but does not count against her daily limit. After succeeding with the touch attack, the creature must make a Fortitude Save equal to (10 + Kunoichi class level + wisdom modifier). If the target fail, it is paralyzed and unconscious (and thus helpless) for 1d4 * 10 minutes. The Kunoichi knows if her attack succeeded or not, and how long the target will be knocked out. Creatures immune to critical hits or without a discernable anatomy are immune to a Kunoichi “stunning hit”.

Pierce Disguise (ex): Thanks to her extensive use of disguises, a Kunoichi can more easily discern a disguise. She can add her class level to her checks when she tries to discern a disguise.

Lethal Strike (ex): A Kunoichi who has attained perfection in her abilities and entered the tenth cycle of experience has learned even more on how to hit where it hurts. If she hits with her “stunning hit” ability can choose to kill the creature rather than paralyzing it. The creature must make a fortitude save as normal, but if it fails, it immediately dies.

Spell list:

Level 1: Calm Animal, Charm Person, Colour Spray, Comprehend Languages, Confusion lesser, Cure Light Wounds, Detect Good, Disguise Self, Erase, Feather Fall, Hypnotism, Identify, Light, Mount, Prestidigitation, Protection from Good, Read Magic, Remove Fear, Sanctuary, Silent Image, Speak with animals, Unseen servant.

Level 2: Alter self, Cure Moderate Wounds, Delay Poison, Eagle’s Splendour, Gentle repose, Heroism, Hold Animal, Hold Person, Invisibility, Levitate, Minor Image, Mirror Image, Misdirection, Remove Paralysis, Restoration lesser, Rope Trick, See Invisibility, Shatter, Status, Suggestion, Tongues, Undetectable alignment.

Level 3: Charm monster, Clairvoyance, Create Food and Water, Crushing Despair, Cure Serious Wounds, Daylight, Deep Slumber, Discern Lies, Dispel Magic, Dominate Animal, Haste, Hold Person, Invisibility Purge, Invisibility Sphere, Locate Object, Magic Circle against Good, Major Image, Neutralize poison, Slow, Water Breathing, Water Walk.

Level 4: Air Walk, Break Enchantment, Charm Monster, Cure Critical Wounds, Deathward, Dimension Door, Dimensional Anchor, Freedom of Movement, Hold Monster, Invisibility Greater, Nondetection, Polymorph, Rainbow Pattern, Remove Curse, Restoration, Teleport.

Level 5: Charm Person Mass, Dismissal, Dominate Person, Dream, Heal, Heroism Greater, Hold Monster, Legend Lore, Mind Fog, Persistent Image, Symbol of Sleep, Telekinesis.

Level 6: Analyze Dweomer, Eagle’s Splendour mass, Find the Path, Greater Teleport, Heroes Feast, Irresistible Dance, Permanent Image, Plane Shift, Programmed Image, Project Image, Suggestion, Symbol of Persuasion, True Seeing, Undeath to Death, Word of Recall.

(Hopefully THIS is better. One Geishassasin and one Geishaformance.

Wow. it actually felt really good to recreate this. Yay. I'm back in creative mode. ;D)

gnownek
2006-04-04, 05:28 AM
I have the Geisha option covered as a Bard/Monk with special feat to allow multiclassing (based on Ascetic Mage)

She sounds like a Bard/Monk

Maryring
2006-04-04, 10:22 AM
I've seen what I think you are refering to, and I have to disagree.

Wisdom bonus to Knowledge skills? Nope.

Powerful fascinate with the power to charm and suggest? Nope.

Long charms and compulsions? Nope.

Casting a usually level 8 and 9 spell as a 6th level spell? Not at all.

Knowing all spells on the list. Far from it.

So what makes them similar?

Akiosama
2006-04-04, 10:24 AM
A great rewrite of the two ideas, Maryring. *Much more in feel with the essence of the two class types.

My suggestions:

1) *Given that a Kunoichi is a variant ninja class, I would consider lowering the Perform requirements for the Kunoichi and adding requirements for Hide and Move Silently. *This would represent some of the basic rudimentary ninja training a Kunoichi would have, and the fact that the Geisha-like side of the Kunoichi is a disguise, not their primary role. *They need only be passable, not necessarily professional in skill level.

2) *Expand the Hide Weapon ability to include shuriken and garottes. *Shuriken were the traditional throwing weapon of the ninja, because of their versatility and ease of hiding. *I would, from a descriptive aspect, use the kunai (straight-dagger style), due to its added versatility of being able to be used as a dagger. *And garottes (usually a piece of wire) were commonly associated with ninja, but especially kunoichi in my experiences with the fiction.

3) *Also, for both Geisha and disguised Kunoichi, consider allowing a dagger unhidden on the personage of the class character, since the Tanto (a short dagger) was a common weapon often seen in female, non-warrior hands for defense (and suicide, if the situation warranted. *Females did not commit seppuku like the samurai. *They would stab themselves in the throat, not cut their stomachs.)

4) *Consider changing the Fascinate power (lv 3 Kunoichi) to a sneak or escape power. *This would help differentiate the Kunoichi class from the Geisha class. *Thematically, a kunoichi's primary purpose is to assassinate, and therefore the kunoichi, rather than have the target's attention totally on her, as a Fascinate power would do, they would be looking for an opening to go to work. *It is the Geisha whose primary purpose would benefit from the Fascinate power. *This would also be in theme with the Kunoichi class, as an assassin caught at the scene of the crime is often a dead assassin.

I thought your rewrites were very good, Maryring. *I look forward to seeing any revisions you might be making to the two classes.

My 2 yen,

Game on!

Akio

EDIT: 5) You should also consider adding some sort of poison skill or ability to the Kunoichi, given their role as a courtesan-assassin, as that would be a very convenient way to assassinate a target, since tea serving (tea ceremony) is would be a part of their 'geisha' functions.

Rykaj
2006-04-04, 10:55 AM
I really like the new writeups, especially the geisha looks neat imo. I have just one little thing I want to nitpick about. They both have alignment restrictions (geisha unable to go evil, kunoichi unable to go good). The kunoichi sounds acceptable but I could really see an evil geisha going. Furthermore, since they both have different alignment restrictions, why do both only get access to the protection from evil thingies, and not the kunoichi to pfg? Anyway, nice work Mary.

FlashFire
2006-04-04, 02:44 PM
I'll be honest, here... as a history major in college and a lover of Japanese culture (as well as a speaker of the language)... it would probably be most historically accurate to portray the Geisha as a roleplaying twist on the Bard.

My two cents on it.. I do like the class you've built, but I feel the reality would be better served by just twisting how you play a bard.

Then again... when has D&D ever been that close to reality?