Shen the mask-ed dragon, hides in the alley...
Quote Originally Posted by Shen
Shen the Masked Dragon
Sources: Complete Scoundrel, Champions of Valor web-enhancement, Races of the Dragon, Dragon Magic, Complete Mage, Spell Compendium
5th-level
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Silverbrow Human [Zhentarim Soldier, Thug] Fighter 3/Sorcerer 2
Abilities (32-point buy): Str 15 (16 at 4th), Dex 14, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 8, Cha 14
Base Attack Bonus: +4
Feats: Able Learner (level 1), Combat Expertise (human bonus), Draconic Heritage: battle dragon (level 3), Improved Trip (Fighter 2), Skill Focus: Intimidate (Zhentarim Fighter 3),
Skills: 42 points. Bluff 8, Concentration 7, Disguise 8, Intimidate 5, Perform (acting) 8, Tumble 5, Speak Language 1.
Languages Known: Common is default, plus two from Intelligence, plus one from Speak Language. Could be Common, Chondatan, Draconic and Drow Sign Language.
Spells Known: instant diversion, shield
Relevant gear: wand of heroics, eternal wand of mage armor, heavy flail
Fluff: Shen is a zhentarim legbreaker and bodyguard. He goes around doing the zhents bidding in big cities and more often than not questions his employers, but he longed for life on stage; Shen always wanted to be an actor and took acting classes from an unspecting men at a tavern, a men that at times gave him tips and clues about people in need and had him as somewhat of a spy among the zhents. After a few adventures, sometimes even thwarting his own employers schemes, Shen felt something awaken at him. A new power coarsing through his veins – the power of a dragon. Shen later discovered he was a rare breed indeed, having not one but two different dragon ancestors upon his family tree.
His newfound draconic power was used to supplement his melee ability, making him a threatening presence in the battlefield.
Crunch: Shen uses both the Zhentarim subtitution levels and the Thug alternate class features to get his skill points and complements them with feats. He has pretty decent Bluff and Disguise checks, allowing him to double as party face. On combat, Shen can trip or disarm quite efficiently. He lacks power attack, but makes up for it with the defensive power shield, mage armor and instant diversion give him. If there is a need for extra damage, he can use his wand of heroics to get Power Attack. This way, Shen acts as a support character – tripping enemies for the damage dealers to attack, staying between toughs and the like. He has good Tumble and as such can maneuver quite effectively in the battlefield. Between his social skills, defensive spells and combat feats, he is a very well-rounded character.


10th-level
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Human Fighter 3/Sorcerer 2/Master of Masks 5
Ability Boosts- Str +1 at 8th
New Feats- Power Attack (6th), Combat Reflexes (9th)
Base Attack Bonus- +6
Fluff: Shen’s mysterious mentor disappears, leaving the would-be actor to his fate. Incorporating his roles into his fighting ability, Shen continues to fight the zhents from within, masquerading himself differently to suit every mission. He uses a lot of different weapons, each outfitted with a different wand within it, gratly confusing his opponents.
New Known Spells: enlarge person, wings of cover
New Gear: persona masks, tigerskull club, 2 broadblade shortswords, spiked chain, dragonsplit, gloves of dexterity +2, wand of mighty wallop (in tigerskull club’s wandchamber), wand of wraithstrike (on spiked chain), vest of defense, 4 least crystals of return
Crunch: At this point, Shen gets his masks. His goal is still to provide support for other characters and he can still achieve the party-face or secondary skill-monky role quite well thanks to Able Learner and the jester, assassin and lord masks. Shen can use the always popular spiked chain with his gladiator mask to help control the battlefield, now more easily since he deals more damage with Power Attack. His more important characteristic, though, is his arsenal of weapons with dungeon chambers. He has mighty wallop on the tigerskull club, for solid damage; a pair of broadblade shortswords for his own defense, one with benign transposition and the other with true strike, allowing him to sub for a companion that is low in HP and to get the trop on tricky opponents that abuse concealment. If he needs to fly, he can always give up the benefit of the gladiator mask for the archangel mask – he still keeps his old heavy flail on him for cases such as this.
His defense is better than ever. With wings of cover, he can negate one hit a round, greatly increasing his durability.


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15th-level Human Fighter 3/Sorcerer 2/Master of Masks 10
New Feats: Versatile Spellcaster (12th), Practiced Spellcaster: sorcerer (15th)
Base Attack Bonus: +9
New Known Spells: blade of blood, wraithstrike, ferocity of sanguine rage
New Gear: boots of speed, wand of greater magic weapon
At this level, Shen greatly increases his damage potential with blade of blood and ferocity of sanguine rage. He uses the archmage mask while casting ferocity - an effective caster level of 12, for +6 damage. With wraithstrike as a spell known and Versatile Spellcaster, Shen can cast it as much as he wants it, meaning he can Power Attack with abandon.


20th-level
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Human Fighter 3/Sorcerer 2/Master of Masks 10/Abjurant Champion 5
New Feat: Arcane Strike
Base Attack Bonus: +14
New Known Spells: 1- nerveskitter, 2- see invisibility, glitterdust, web, 3- haste, greater mighty wallop, greater magic weapon, 4- ruin delver’s fortune, wings of flurry, enervation, 5- draconic might, shadow evocation
New Gear: eternal wand of primal instinct, wand of heart of water, wand of detect thoughts
Now more of a gish than ever, Shen can use his wands for more specialized effects, such as heart of water. With draconic might on, Shen becomes quite the powerhouse and he can burn lower level spells with Arcane Strike and Abjurant Champion’s ability, giving him even more versatility. With the archmage mask, Shen has a total caster level of 20, meaning +10 damage from ferocity of sanguine rage. Since he can change masks as an immediate action, he can even start the turn with archmage on, cast a spell (like a 20d6 wings of flurry) and change to gladiator mask so he can take advantage of attacks of opportunity with a spiked chain.