And now for Part II.
Quote Originally Posted by Seera
What happened in Xen’drik, noone knows. Dwellers of Cannith Fairhaven’s house can only tell that when Beria came back from the expedition… well, she looked different. A huge, intricate Mark of Making spreading on her entire face and down her neck was the minor change. She was strong, confident, scarred and her grey eyes loomed deeply. After a swift parley with baron Jorlanna, she left the house, to not been seen ever again.

Sharn, the city of towers. Mightly crafted to express the undying will of mortal beings to reach the sky, floating and moaning and living. One of the most important place of power of this chaotic city is Cannith palace, the home residence of baron Merrix d’Cannith. In front of that huge, outstanding palace, the tiny masked woman seemed insignificant. She passed the main door, plainly ignoring the old man telling her that “Lady… Cannith, mark bearer, wha… hey, please, you can’t… this is not acceptable. This is a private house, please stop and…”
She was home, HER home. She walked the hall straight to the library. The door opened two steps before his coming. “The old bastard didn’t even bothered to change magical protection” grunted her, to the astonished old man. He was left behind bablling, while she walked through a long corridor to the main office – his father’s office – and, finally, to the presence of Merrix d’Cannith, Adamant, a couple of stone golem and a Deneir bodyguard.
Merrix arched an eyebrow and asked: “So… lady, who the heck are you? How did you maneged to… But, first of all, what do you want?”
Seera trembled. Then undid her Faceless mask. Her huge Mark of Making was now visibile, encompassing her deep, enraged gray eyes. A very uncommon trait on Cannith house, that grey eyes were only seen on Merrix brother.
“I am Seera d’Cannith, daugther of Maelian and” she paused “Aldous Bearan d’Cannith. I am here to have my house back, toh ave my title back, toh ave my heirloom back. And to drop you death, uncle Merrix.”
He smiled, heartly amused: “Yes, my dear, for sure.” He hitted with a lazy look the two golems, the bodyguard and the void-eyed warforged and asked: “Would you all mind to dispatch her?”
The constructs and the human were about to come towards her, when she wore the mask again.
Abruptly, she started to… change. After less than a couple of seconds, she were a huge, terrific angelic figure. She spoke with a deep, strong voice: “This is the form of an angel. The angel of revenge calling for your doom.”


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Rogue 1, Artificer 9, Master of Masks 10
Abilities: (on 32 point buy) Str 8, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 19(+3), Wis 10, Cha 18(+2)
Skills. No more rated.
Feats: Able Learner, Least Dragonmark, Favored in house (Legendary Artisan), Extraordinary Artisan, Lesser Dragonmark, Two Weapon Fighter, Double Wand Wielder. (Wand Mastery), Greater Dragonmark
Class Features: Sneak attack +1d6, Trapfinding; Infusions (4, 4, 4, 4, 2) Craft Reserve, Artificer Knowledge, Artisan Bonus, Disable Traps, Item Creation, Scribe Scroll, Brew Potions, Craft Woundrous Items, Craft homunculus, bonus feat: Legendary Artisan, Craft Magic Arms and Armors, Retain Essence, Metamagic Spell Trigger, Craft Wand, bonus feat: Wand Mastery, Craft Rod; Persona Masks (5), +4 Spellcasting, Mask Specialist, Many Faces (2 move), Hidden Mask, Many Faces (3 swift), Many Faces (4 immediate).

Welcome to the thin air.

16th: Angel mask
17th level improvement
*Faceless Mask: in addiction to it’s standard power, once in a day, where donning this mask (use activation), the wearer can choose to activate an effect identical of Polymorph spell, or, once in a day, identical to Shapechange spell (Cost: 14.179, 850 XP).
(Note that additional 13.750 gold pieces are needed, because the XP cost exceded the Craft Reserve.)
18th: Archmage
19th level improvement
Dragon Mask in addiction to it’s standard power, three times per day, as a swift action (like the spell) when using the mask’s breath weapon, the wearer can cast Breath Weapon Substitution. Moreover, as a swift action, the wearer can cast Stunning Breath, any time per day. (Cost 4725, 284 XP, converted in 7.100 gp cost).
20th level improvement
Gladiator Mask: in addiction to it’s standard power, any time it is donned, the wearer can choose to activate it’s power (use activation): a Divine Favor spell. Once a day, while donning the mask (use activate), the wearer can call a greater might and activate on himself a Divine Power effect. Similarly, once a day, in conjunction or indipendently by the previous power, the wearer can activate an effect identical to Righteous Might spell. Finally, by donning the mask (use activation), the wearer can activate on himself up to five times straight the effect of the Eroics spell, any time per day. (Note that no more than five heroics spells can be active at the same time by the use of this object)** (Cost 19.687,5, 1181,25 XP, interely paid with addictional 29.531,25 gp).
Archmage mask: in addiction to it’s standard power, twice in a day, where donning this mask (use activation), the wearer can choose to activate an effect identical to an Antimagic Field spell (Cost 13.860, 832 XP, interely paid with additional 20.790 gp).

*Shapechange on Faceless mask is the only time in which Favored in house really comes into account. To craft an object that uses Shapechange, the Seera has to find some way to cast it, since her spellcaster level does not suffice. The easiest way would be to find another artificer to work for her, but it would a spellcaster that casts the spell everyday for the duration of the crafting would be enough. It would be thinkable even obtain a schema of Shapechange (price above 6th is not rated, but since it works with spells too and since the costi s spell lever x spellcaster level x 400 it would cost 61.200 gp, totally affordable.

**This is not RAW, but imagining an average DM judging this build, I can’t imagine him/her to read a possible infinite heroics loop and throw some book, laugh, spit on me, ban me forever from the table and so on.

At this time, the mask of UMD shoud be unpractical to wear and bring around. Salvage the XP spent to craft it and spend them to craft a, say, pair of gloves, or ring, or circlet of UMD would be more practical.

Now, look at Archmage mask and think what you can do with it. Got it? Automatic fail of any harmful spell cast on you, twice a day, since you can switch to it as an immediate action. Add shapechange, polymorph, the well known cleric buffs, a fair amount of sneak attack and a other miscellanea.

And, by the way, this is the sweet spot.

Key equipment: In fact, Seera works well by herself. Choosing her equipment is a task as is a task to choose a general 20th level character’s. The only thing that comes to mind is a metamagic rod of extend spell and a metamagic rod of extend spell, lesser, to make some infusion to stand more.



Masks:

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Archmage mask: in addiction to it’s standard power, twice in a day, where donning this mask (use activation), the wearer can choose to activate an effect identical to an Antimagic Field spell

Assassin Mask: in addiction to it’s standard power, any time the wearer strikes a construct (use activate) the mask activate an effect identical to Golem Strike spell, or, striking a un dead, an effect identical to Grave Strike spell. Moreover, once a day, while donning the mask (use activate), the wearer can activate an effect identical to Nightstalker Transformation spell.

Dragon Mask in addiction to it’s standard power, three times per day, as a swift action (like the spell) when using the mask’s breath weapon, the wearer can cast Breath Weapon Substitution. Moreover, as a swift action, the wearer can cast Stunning Breath, any time per day.

Faceless Mask: in addiction to it’s standard power, once in a day, where donning this mask (use activation), the wearer can choose to activate an effect identical of Polymorph spell, or, once in a day, identical to Shapechange spell

Gladiator Mask: in addiction to it’s standard power, any time it is donned, the wearer can choose to activate it’s power (use activation): a Divine Favor spell. Once a day, while donning the mask (use activate), the wearer can call a greater might and activate on himself a Divine Power effect. Similarly, once a day, in conjunction or indipendently by the previous power, the wearer can activate an effect identical to Righteous Might spell. Finally, by donning the mask (use activation), the wearer can activate on himself up to five times straight the effect of the Eroics spell, any time per day. (Note that no more than five heroics spells can be active at the same time by the use of this object)



Mechanical notes:

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Since it is not stated that the quicker switching mask method suppress the slower, one can argue that a level 10 Master of Mask can switch masks as a move action, a swift action and a immediate action. So, doing it 3 times per round, and since wearing a mask is a standard action, to a total of 4.
Taking count of the infinite loop of buffing this would cause is istinctive and I see no logical argument against doing a task that requires a blink of eyes (immediate action) in a longer time (move). You can read the example made under level 15, just imagine an automatic buff in one round.
But even not letting it work this way, which seems totally legal, nevertheless Seera has a good leverage on action economy: potentially one buff a round as an immediate action.
A caster level of 13 for infusions is not outstanding, but good, and probably the best use of +4 caster level. Just to be clear and sure, artificer has a caster level (“They function just like spells and follow all the rules for spells”, you read in Eberron Campaign Settings handbook) and here and there there are other referrals to caster level.

The most obscure mechanic could be the use retain essence to not pay XP cost for items. Retain essence allows to destroy a magic item and “suck” the XP spent to craft it, storing them in artificer’s Craft Reserve. So, to say, destroy an item worth 1.000 Gp would grant the artificer 1.000/25 XP, so 40. In this way, the artificer can pay XP cost to craft items in gold, with a multiplier of 25.
Use of Legendary and Extraordinary Artisan feats optimize the whole crafting thing, to your satisfaction.

Improvements of masks are made by the rules of DMG. The masks are magic items, crafted by the Master of Masks (so you read in the PrC description). This means that its can be improved by the standard rules.
I’ve considered the masks ever an appropriate body slot, since there is a strong tie between the taste of the mask and the power granted. While linked on a mask that works only for the crafter, I’ve counted the 30% discount of “particular race or class”.
For powers added, the “discount” rule for similar abilities applies, stacking with Extraordinary Artisan.
This is not a big deal, however, even for the XP: since the Seera can salvage XP, the only practical impact on this build would be on the budget and, since I’m not going to add all the equipment, it will require only few mathematics and budget adjustments to compensate.



Cheese:

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Choosing mask properties has been done with flavour in mind, not power. In fact, the spell selection, with the exception of polymorph and shapechange, would result not optimal. Since the MoM has the ability to switch masks as an immediate acition, the list of situational spells to save the day (wings of cover? time stop?) or to buff yourself, or to blast enemies (gate 2 level up via mask specialist?) are countless. You can also notice that only a minimal part of her budget has been used. This leaves every user the chanche to personalize this build.


Roquefort:

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If you want to carve absolute power from a suboptimal PrC, you need a bit of rulelawing. Since persona masks are magic items crafted by the Master of Masks and the PrC text doesn’t explicitly say that it is not impossible (a stern RAW reading, totally against RAI, so be warned), it is possible to apply normal rules of creating magical items to persona masks. Even the possibility to add powers to an existing magic item, maybe with a multiplier of 1.5 for “several, different abilities”. Combine Assassin and Gladiator could make you cry to joy, to a laughable +50 gp cost. And then keep other mask free to use with the main combo.

I refer this possibilità only for completeness’ sake, please don’t use it: I’ve been hit by headache already, just figuring out all the possible implications (what alignment would you show, for example?)



ToB implementations:

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Both Gladiator and Assassin persona masks would be excellent items to hold some maneuver or stance. Assassin’s stance and White Raven Tactics comes to mind first, but you can search deep into ToB to more fun. Please note, however, that heroics can be used to obtain Martial Study and Martial Stance.



The end