View Full Version : "I wouldn't Lie to you, would I?"[PrC, 3.5, PEACH]

2011-08-23, 01:54 AM
Look, most Wizards aren't that subtle; they just use their magic to solve their problems.

Luckily, I'm not like them; I've got nothing BUT my wits. And I do quite well, thank you.

Deceit Mage
In your average world, magic is one of the strongest things in existence; after all, it can do practically everything.

Of course, that's what the wizards want you to believe; there are others that recognize that magic as a brute force is in fact a weakness. It makes you a target, and being a target is a bad thing, as far as they are concerned.

No, they grab just enough magical power to get the villagers around them to believe that they are powerful wizards, and then leave the whole mess behind.

After all, with a little bit of spit-shine and hocus-pocus, you can make a really suitable illusion of a dragon...

Feats: Persuasive, Force of Personality
Skill Ranks: Bluff 8 ranks, Spellcraft 8 ranks.
Special: Must not have any form of spellcasting.

The class skills for a Deceit Mage are Bluff (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Forgery (Int), Knowledge (Any)(Int), Listen (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int). Spot (Wis)

Skill Points: 4+Int
HD: d4

+0|+0|+0|+2|Mask of Gentility, Hedge Magics
+1|+0|+0|+3|Personal Effect (Aura), False Counterspelling (0th and 1st)
+1|+1|+1|+3|Sensory Alteration, Do You Really Believe It?
+2|+1|+1|+4|False Counterspelling (2nd)
+2|+1|+1|+4|Personal Effect (Prestidigitation), Continued Deceit
+3|+2|+2|+5|False Counterspelling (3rd)
+3|+2|+2|+5|It Came from Over There!
+4|+2|+2|+6|Personal Effect (Wizardly Demeanor), False Counterspelling (4th)
+4|+3|+3|+6|Do You Truly Believe It?
+5|+3|+3|+7|False Counterspelling (5th), Irrepressible Deceit[/table]

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: A Deceit Mage gains no new weapon or armor proficiencies.

Mask of Gentility (Ex): A Deceit Mage knows when it is best to lie, and their deceit makes it harder to read them. They gain Mask of Gentility (EoE) as a bonus feat.

Hedge Magic (Su): Of course, it is rather hard to fake being a mage if you can't substantiate your claims; however, few people know how easy to manipulate "magical" senses.

At 1st level, a Deceit Mage gains the ability to use Nystul's Magical Aura as a supernatural ability. This takes a standard action to use, and may be used a number of times per day equal to their class level+their Charisma modifier.

A Hedge Mage has an "effective" caster level equal to their class level; this allows them to qualify for feats that require a certain caster level; for example, if a Deceit Mage takes the Summon Familiar feat, they use their class level to determine the familiar's abilities, and so forth.

Personal Effect (Su): Knowledge of magical manipulations is simple to use, and can easily be used to create an aura of mystique, as it were.

At 2nd level, the Deceit Mage may change their aura into any form they choose; in essence, they may choose to detect as magical, or as any alignment of their choice. They may also alter the strength of the aura at will, allowing them to appear to be a grand mage or a nonmagical nobody, whenever convenient. Altering the aura is a free action, and may be done as many times per day as the Deceit Mage desires.

At 5th level, this ability expands to a certain level of false theurgy; the Deceit Mage is treated as if they were permanently under the effect of a Prestidigitation spell.

At 8th level, they truly know how to make an impression; whenever a Divination effect is used on the Deceit Mage, it instead receives false information, decided upon by the Deceit Mage whenever they alter their aura through the 2nd level version of this class feature.

False Counterspelling (Su): Wizards are surprisingly dull-witted, for ones accounted so wise; they don't seem to realize that someone can dispel their spells by simply making them THINK they have been counterspelled.

After all, most spells can be dismissed by the caster; they just don't look it.

At 2nd level, a Deceit Mage may counterspell any cantrips or spells of 1st level by expending a usage of their Hedge Magic as an Immediate Action; they must still roll a Spellcraft check to correctly judge the spell that is being cast at them.

At 4th level, and every 2 levels thereafter, the highest level spell counterspell-able by this class feature is increased by 1.

Sensory Alteration (Su): Fun fact; light and sound are traits of magical auras. As such, a Deceit Mage has learned to manipulate this.

Whenever a Deceit Mage of at least 3rd level uses their Hedge Magic ability, they may simultaneously create an auditory and visual illusion; this is equivalent to the effects of the Ghost Sound and Silent Image spells.

Do You Really Believe It? (Su): Sometimes, if they do it just right, a good liar can convince everyone that he did just kill them, despite the troubling fact that, well, they are still breathing.

At 3rd level, a Deceit Mage may expend a single use of their Hedge Magic to duplicate a spell of any level that they can counterspell using False Counterspelling. This spell is "cast" as a SLA ability, and as such, does not need verbal, somatic, or material components. Their caster level for this ability is equal to their class level.

However, due to the fact that this spell is just smoke-and-mirrors, there are a few key limitations to the spells you cast through this feature; first of all, no spell that requires an expensive material component or an experience cost may be used. Secondly, the spell must either target people or include people in its area of effect.

Finally, the "spell" is actually a very well done placebo effect; as such, anyone who has the spell cast on them receives a Will Save. If they succeed at this Will Save, they are completely unaffected by the spell; however, if they fail, they are completely under the delusion that the spell worked; as such, they act as if they had taken the damage or had been affected by other qualities of the spell; as such, handle the effects of that spell as normal.

Anyone who actually knows that the spell is a placebo automatically succeeds on the Will Save; a Deceit Mage may attempt a Bluff check to convince the character that the spell was not a placebo, and was in fact the real deal.

This class feature doesn't affect creatures with an intelligence of 2 or below (this includes mindless creatures.); however, this is a trick of perception, and as such, is not a mind-affecting ability if the original spell was not one already.

Using this class feature counts as casting the spell for all purposes of class features, feats, and prerequisites.

Continued Deceit (Ex): A Deceit Mage knows that they can ALWAYS advance their position, usually through deceiving those in charge of their advancement.

After 5th level, a Deceit Mage is treated as if they know every spell of any level they may counterspell through False Counterspelling as both Arcane and Divine spells. In addition, they are treated as both Spontaneous and Prepared casters for the purposes of feats, class features, and prerequisites.

Any level they take hereafter that advances spellcasting of the type they selected upon receiving this class feature instead count as levels in this class for the purpose of Hedge Magic, False Counterspelling, Did You Really Believe It?, It Came From Over There!, and Did You Truly Believe It?

It Came From Over There! (Su): Sometimes (such as when you're in the wizard-hating nation-state of Barbaria, but I digress), it is best to not be in the center of attention.

At 7th level, a Deceit Mage may, at their option, cause any use of Hedge Magic, Did You Really Believe It, Did You Truly Believe It. or False Counterspelling to seem to come from any creature within 10' per class level.

Did You Truly Believe It? (Su): A Deceit Mage eventually becomes so good that they can fool the universe into believing in their placebo effect.

At 9th level, a Deceit Mage may cast a spell using the standard casting time. This functions exactly like Did You Really Believe It?, except for the fact that succeeding at the Will Save still causes 50% of the spells effects to occur.

In addition, a Deceit Mage may use this class feature to cast a spell that does not directly affect creatures or include them in its area; this attempt only has a 50% chance of succeeding, however.

Irrepressible Deceit (Ex): A Deceit Mage has become so good at lying, that they are completely trusted by practically everyone.

At 10th level, a Deceit Mage is now a completely flawless liar; as such, the fact that they are lying cannot be detected. Sense Motive checks opposed to their Bluff checks are treated as if they had rolled a 1 on the dice.

In addition, the Deceit Mage may Speak with Authority on a subject, replacing the standard Knowledge, Craft, or Profession check with a Bluff Check.
So, what do you think? If anyone can find the translation someone did of the Burning Wheel Speaking with Authority rule into d20, I would be thankful.

The inspiration for this was the scene in the first book in the Serpentwar Saga, where a character fooled enemy mages into burning a city down for him by pretending to counterspell one of their spells. It kinda grew from there.

So... what do you think?

silver spectre
2011-08-23, 05:45 AM
I like the idea. I don't know how playable it is, though.

Quick question.. What is the class hit die?

Dumbledore lives
2011-08-23, 06:07 AM
I really like this class, but I have a few small points. You may want to boost the skill points up to 4, or maybe even 6 because it looks like a skillmonkey class. Secondly it seems like a good fit for a factotum, but he has some small casting ability, could he qualify for this class?

2011-08-23, 06:09 AM
Really interesting concept. Two things jump out me. More skill points. I would suggest 4 sp per level, minimum. They strike me more of a magical trickster which means they would need to have many high skill ranks. I would also consider adding the stealth and perception skills to their list for practical and thematic reasons. Second, they get very few uses of their classes primary feature. 25 or so a day with some things costing 2+ and having a failure chance seems very low. Also you may want to explicitly state the scope of what false information you can feed with personal effect divination fooling.

Other then that very flavorful and certainly an entertaining idea.

(Edit Ninja'd)

silver spectre
2011-08-23, 07:02 AM
OK now that I've had a minute to look it over:

Special: Must not have any form of spellcasting.
I can understand this as an entry feature, but does this mean that they can never have levels in a spell casting class?

Class skills: Bluff (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Forgery (Int), Knowledge (Any)(Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int)
Skill Points: 2+Int
I would also suggest increasing the skill points. I would also recommend spot and listen as class skills. Good con men need to be aware of their environment.

Mask of Gentility (EoE) as a bonus feat.
I have no idea what EoE is, so.. where do I find this feat?

Do You Really Believe It? (Su): Sometimes, if they do it just right, a good liar can lie to the universe for a moment.

Starting at 3rd level, a Deceit Mage may attempt to duplicate a spell of any level they can counterspell through the False Counterspelling class feature. This is a standard action, and expends 2 uses of Hedge Magic+the spell level of the spell.

When they first gain this class feature, this technique only has a 20% chance of succeeding; at 6th level, and every 3 levels thereafter, this chance increases by 15%.

For the purpose of class features and other abilities, but not prerequisites, they are treated as if they were casting a spell whenever they use this class feature.
20-50% chance of getting a spell off seems kind of harsh for something based on a primary class feature. I would suggest increasing the percentage or dropping it completely.
As is, if the deciet mage fails the roll are the hedge magic uses still expended?

They are treated as if they know as many spells from as many schools as they please, again only for the purposes of prerequisites for Prestige Classes and feats.
This is a bit nitpicky, but since some PrCs require specific spells known does this mean that they are treated as if they know a given spell or spells?

2011-08-23, 07:37 AM
Bit limited in introductory base classes, as they need Spellcraft with no casting ability.

2011-08-23, 09:29 AM
If you intend this to be taken by noncasting base classes, I suggest lowering the spellcraft prerequisite to 4, because it is a cross-class skill. Otherwise, you wouldn't be able to enter this class until level 14.

2011-08-23, 11:52 AM
Nothing to add, just wanted to say I really like what you've presented, and hope you can make it work.

2011-08-23, 09:43 PM
I'll increase the skill points, and lower ranks in Spellcraft; easier entry FTW.

I'm NOT adding Stealth and Perception; this is a 3.5 class, not 3.P.

Mask of Gentility is in Exemplars of evil; it increases the DC for someone to get a "hunch" about you and makes Divination spells count you as neutral.

Continued Deceit is intended to allow this class to enter ANY casting PrC. Yes, you could technically enter Swiftblade, which would be awesome (you are giving yourself powers through the PLACEBO EFFECT. Hell yes.) I might shift this feature down somewhat, as a way to actually allow people to enter 10 level casting PrCs and complete them...

Yes, this class requires you to not be able to cast spells to enter. However, you could enter with Soul Binding, or Meldshaping, or whatever.

I've been thinking of modifying Did You Really Believe It? to a straight "you may duplicate spells of up to the level you may counterspell through False Counterspelling. However, they are actually delusions; as such, every spell you cast through this feature gains a saving throw of Will: Negates."

Essentially, the feature would be:
Deceit Mage (DM): Why, here you go my "friend" (a Fake Fireball is cast at the enemy. If they fail their Will Saves, they will swear as hard as they can that the spell burnt them, ignoring actual proof to the contrary, etc.)

And then level 9s feature would make it a Will: Partial for the save, with the partial effect being that it is 50% effective.


2011-08-23, 11:57 PM

How about make them like Shadow Evocation where the spells are a certain percentage real using the same percent you used to determine their chance of working (20+(15/3 levels)%)?

Also, i'd use an Expert with this and the Demon Binder PrC (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=179751)

2011-08-24, 12:15 AM
This seems like a really fun PrC. Combine it with Kuma Kode's Sycophant (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=210903) Base Class, and you have yourself the ultimate liar and manipulator. Now, to go find a politcs-based campaign that will let me do this...

2011-08-24, 12:45 AM
I like the class, but autofailing on a sense motive check because of Irrepressible Deceit seems like too much. I think it would be fine if their roll was always treated as being 2 (or 1, but not a natural 1), that way it leaves some chance of success. The other part of it, where you can pretend like you know stuff, is really cool (and reminds of someone back in high-school who could do that whenever a teacher asked him a question).

2011-08-24, 08:02 PM
Skills don't fail on a natural 1; why does everyone forget this?

And Speak with Authority, iirc, actually allows you to edit the campaign setting a few times per campaign; always small things, but useful nonetheless.

2011-08-24, 09:07 PM
I'm sorry, but I just have to respond to the title of this thread.

Hedge Mage should have a minimum 1/day or similar qualifier on it, just in case someone decides it's a good idea to enter this class with a negative Charisma modifier.

Does the aura granted by Personal Effect have an effective caster/spell level, or does it just alter the strength category? Should it be able to go up to Overwhelming auras? (Normally not a problem, although Detect Psionics (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/detectPsionics.htm) doesn't like them.) Can you change what type you read as when projecting your aura? (The Detect Alignment spells, for instance, give different readings depending on if you just have the alignment or if you're a cleric or an aligned outsider.) What does the 8th level version do that the 2nd level version doesn't?

False Counterspelling should function on spells of 1st level or lower, rather than cantrips and 1st level spells (or better yet, spells of half their class level or lower; that includes the line about scaling later on). Unless you don't want it to work on orisons for some reason.

Hedge Magic makes a magic aura (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/magicAura.htm) effect, which requires a light enough object. Can a Deceit Mage use Sensory Alteration without an appropriate object around to manipulate?

What's the Bluff check to convince someone that a Do You Really Believe It? spell wasn't a placebo when they know it is? What's the Will save DC to make people believe it, and what do you use to determine the spell's DC? (Supernatural abilities (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#supernaturalAbilities) use 10 + 1/2 level + an ability score, usually Charisma but not always, for the save DC.) Also, the ability should refer to creatures, not people, unless you want racist characters to make poor Deceit Mages ('cause they might not think of other creatures as people, you see).

Irrepressible Deceit should let you take 20 on Bluff checks to convince others of your lies (without taking additional time, even with a penalty for failure, even while stressed or threatened or distracted and whatever the usual clauses are), rather than impeding others' Sense Motive checks. Your confidence makes you seem legitimate, but being confident doesn't make others into blithering idiots, right? (Right?)