"Do I have something on my face?" "No, but that's kind of the point..."

(More 2 part madness)
Quote Originally Posted by The Faceless
Robert Smith... that name was discarded long ago.

Before The Faceless, there was a boy. A human child, not 11 winters of age. A boy with bright blue eyes. Not the iris, but what is normally the white. The priest called it a blessing, and he could not have been more wrong.

Living on the outskirts of a large town, Robert (Robbie) was constantly tormented by the others. The "normals", they called themselves.

"You think you're better than us?"

"Let's see how 'blessed' you are!"

A litany of taunts, whirling through the mind, throughout the day. Even at home, Robbie was dismissed.

"You'll never amount to anything."

"How do you expect to get a job lazing around!"

He was never taught to read or write, his father dismissing both as "luxuries".

His sole refuge was outside, in the wilderness. Living nearby an elven encampment, Robbie picked up some useful knowledge about the wilderness. This did not particularly help his status with the others, nor at home. ("Knife-ears lover!") Even the elves didn't really accept him, treating him as an infant. Robert did have some talents though, and rapidly picked up what he was taught of the wilds.

The real trouble started when he was 14. A series of escalating "pranks" began. Starting with a knife in his front door through an incomprehensible note, continuing with a group beating, and ending with being stuffed into a sack and wrestled into a cave, unconscious.

Robert awoke groggily. The bruises he could feel covering his body weren't particularly helped by the irregular rock beneath him, nor his lack of clothing. He opened his eyes... and saw nothing. Wherever he was, it was pitch black. "Bastards!" he quietly cursed, then stopped, listening carefully. Hearing nothing but dripping water, he rose to his feet, stumbling slightly in the process. A cautious test to the left, to the right... sharp rocks awaited. Gathering his will, he focused for a minute, then began to cautiously step across the stones. That was about when the tripwire caught him.

Tumbling facefirst onto the jagged mess on the floor, his face was lacerated. Cuts across the forehead, mangled cheekbones, a broken nose, and a slashed upper lip. The yell of pain echoed through the cave, but he still heard no response. Getting to his feet in agony, Robert again focused. Gradually, a shell hardened over his face, dulling the pain. As he opened his eyes, futilely, he was suddenly shocked. He could SEE again. And several feet ahead of him was another tripwire, and a wall. The imagination of his tormenters never ended, it seemed.

Seeing despite the blackness, Robert had little difficult navigating out of the caves, given some time. As he emerged into sunlight, he looked down at his hands... and saw them coated with tiny purple scales. He checked his feet: unscathed. He grinned slightly. Taking a stout branch as protection, he walked back into town, to confront his abductors.

Several terrified boys beaten up later, a few useful items scavenged, and a classical peasant mob formed, complete with pitchforks and torches, and chased him out of town. Robert left gladly. They had paid.

Robert Smith:
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CN Male Azurin Totemist 1
Medium Humanoid (Human, Incarnum)
HD 1d8+2
HP 10
Init +2
Spd 30 ft.
AC 19, touch 12, flat-footed 17
Base Atk +0, Grp +0
Atk +0 melee (1d6, Club)
SA: None
SQ: Meldshaping, Illiteracy, Wild Empathy, Essentia Pool 2
SV Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +1
Str 10, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 8.
Trained Skills: Autohypnosis +3, Concentration +6, Heal +7, Knowledge(Arcana) +6, Knowledge(Nature) +4, Listen +5, Spellcraft +6 Spot +5, Survival +10, Use Magic Device +0
Untrained Skills: Appraise +3, Balance -1, Bluff -1, Climb -3, Craft(any) +3, Decipher Script +3, Diplomacy -1, Disable Device +3, Disguise -1, Escape Artist -1, Forgery +3, Gather Information -1, Handle Animal -1, Hide -1, Intimidate -1, Jump -3, Knowledge(other) +2, Move Silently -1, Open Lock -1, Perform -1, Profession(any) +2, Ride -1, Search +3, Sense Motive +2, Sleight of Hand -1, Swim -6, Tumble -1, Use Rope -1
Feats: Able Learner, Expanded Soulmeld Capacity (B)

Languages: Common, Elven, Draconic, Halfling

Soulmelds shaped: Wormtail Belt (Waist Chakra), Hunter's Circlet (Crown Chakra). 1 point of Essentia invested in each. Switch to 2 points in Wormtail Belt in the event of a fight, for an additional +1 AC.

Possessions: Studded Leather Armor, Club, Wooden Buckler, Flint and Steel, Torch, Backpack, Bedroll, Waterskin, blank mask.


Robert left with little more than the clothes on his back. Still, he was able to survive the wilderness almost effortlessly, thanks to what he had gathered from the elves. He did not seek them out. They were too near the town, too close to his past. Instead, he travelled west, further into the wilderness. He hid from towns, passing through them with a mask, if necessary. They might know, recognize the scars on his face, and take him back. And so, he was treated as another bizarre oddity in a world overfull of such.

Over time, and with practice, he began to master his new capabilities. No longer could he merely alter his skin, but his entire form, growing claws, spines, and other weapons.

Eventually in his trek west, Robert encountered a travelling caravan of entertainers. Some might call them a circus, some might call them gypsies. Whatever they were, they offered a home free of judgement, free of the past. Robert took it. He threw himself wholeheartedly into acting, into assuming the face, the being, of another. When they asked his name, he said only, "I have no name".

Nameless
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CN Male Azurin Totemist 2/Factotum 1/Incarnate 2
Medium Humanoid (Human, Incarnum)
HD 3d8+2d6+10
HP 26
Init +2
Spd 30 ft, Fly 10 ft (Good, falls at end of movement)
AC 19, touch 12, flat-footed 17
Base Atk +2, Grp +2
Atk +2 melee (1d6+2, Club) OR 3 attacks +6, (1d6+2, range increment 30 ft, spines)
SA: Spines, Cunning Insight, Detect Law
SQ: Meldshaping, Wild Empathy, Essentia Pool 5, Trapfinding, Cunning Knowledge, Totem Chakra Bind(+1 capacity), Chakra Bind(Crown), Aura,
SV Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +4
Str 10, Dex 15, Con 15, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 8.
Trained Skills: Bluff +9 Concentration +7, Disguise +7 (+9 when impersonating another) Heal +5, Knowledge(Arcana) +7, Knowledge(Nature) +4, Listen +6, Perform(acting) +2, Spellcraft +8, Spot +14, Survival +7, Autohypnosis +5, Use Magic Device +1(+3 when using scrolls)
Untrained Skills: Appraise +3, Balance +1, Climb -1, Craft(any) +3, Decipher Script +3, Diplomacy +1, Disable Device +5, Escape Artist +1, Forgery +3, Gather Information -1, Handle Animal -1, Hide +3, Intimidate +1, Jump +7, Knowledge(other) +2, Move Silently +3, Open Lock +4, Perform(other) -1, Profession(any) +2, Ride +2, Search +3, Sense Motive +2, Sleight of Hand +4, Swim -2, Tumble +1, Use Rope +1
Feats: Able Learner, Expanded Soulmeld Capacity (B), Flyby Attack

Languages: Common, Elven, Draconic, Halfling

Soulmelds shaped: (for combat) Manticore Belt(Waist, Bound to Totem Chakra) (3 essentia invested), Airstep Sandals(Feet), Incarnate Avatar (1 essentia invested), Sighting Gloves (1 essentia invested)

Possessions: Necklace of Natural Attacks +1, Healing Belt, +1 Chain Shirt, +1 buckler, Masterwork Thief's Tools, Masterwork Infiltration outfit (Hide/Move Silently), Cloak of Elemental Protection, Hat of Disguise, Masterwork Blank Mask (bluff), 200 gp

When not expecting (or caring too much about) combat, say... performing, or acting in an urban environment, would use Acrobat Boots, Theft Gloves, and Silvertongue mask to replace Airstep Sandals, Incarnate Avatar, and Sighting Gloves. These give +2 to +4 on Disable Device, Open Lock, Sleight of Hand, Balance, Escape Artist, Tumble, Jump, Bluff, and Diplomacy, and let him treat those as trained. However, they cost his flight, and -1 to hit and damage. Alternatively, depending on situation, he could trade one of those for Airstep sandals (i.e. Theft gloves in a dungeon)

Additionally, this build is right before an enormous breakpoint, at level 6, where those above melds get +2 essentia capacity, and can so give +8 to the above skills (+12 Open Lock at level 6 is... decent, I think). At that point, his extra essentia also means he gets an extra spine attack, and +1 to hit and damage from Incarnate Avatar and Sighting Gloves.


Of course, the idyllic life of an actor and circus freak had to come to an end. At some point in Nameless' 20'th year, the caravan was attacked by Fire Giants, on a trip through the southern mountains. They had no chance. He ran. They all ran. But only he could outrun the giants. Returning, weeping, to the site of the devastation, he found nothing intact but the mask of a hardened warrior. Putting it on, he recognized the power that identity held. He became... Faceless, ever-shifting.

Faceless
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CN Male Azurin Totemist 2/Factotum 1/Incarnate 3/Master of Masks 1/Chameleon 2/Master of Masks 1
Medium Humanoid (Human, Incarnum)
HD 3d8+7d6+30
HP 53
Init +5
Spd 30 ft, Fly 20 ft (Perfect)
AC 21, touch 14, flat-footed 17
Base Atk +4, Grp +4
Atk 4 attacks +13, (1d6+2, range increment 30 ft, spines)
SA: Spines, Cunning Insight, Detect Law, Persona Masks (Assassin, Gladiator, Archmage), Sneak Attack 2d6+10
SQ: Meldshaping, Wild Empathy, Essentia Pool 8, Trapfinding, Cunning Knowledge, Totem Chakra Bind(+1 capacity), Chakra Bind(Crown), Aura, Essentia Capacity +1, Incarnum Radiance(Chaos), Bonus Feat, Aptitude Focus 1/day(+2) (Arcane)
SV Fort +11, Ref +15, Will +12(10 vs fear)
Str 10, Dex 18, Con 17, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 8.
Trained Skills: Bluff +11 Concentration +9, Diplomacy +10, Disguise +7 (+9 when impersonating another) Heal +6, Hide +18, Knowledge(Arcana) +10, Knowledge(Nature) +5, Knowledge(Religion) +7, Listen +6, Perform(acting) +7, Sense Motive +7, Spellcraft +16, Spot +16, Survival +7, Autohypnosis +5, Use Magic Device +10(+12 when using scrolls)
Untrained Skills: Appraise +3, Balance +4, Climb +4 (can take 10), Craft(any) +3, Decipher Script +7, Disable Device +5, Escape Artist +4, Forgery +3, Gather Information -1, Handle Animal -1, Intimidate +1, Jump +10, Knowledge(other) +2, Move Silently +8, Open Lock +7, Perform(other) -1, Profession(any) +2, Ride +4, Search +3, Sleight of Hand +7, Swim +0, Tumble +4, Use Rope +4

Feats: Able Learner, Expanded Soulmeld Capacity (B), Flyby Attack, Extra Essentia, Craven, Arcane Disciple(Scalykind)(Floating B)

Languages: Common, Elven, Draconic, Halfling

Soulmelds shaped: (for combat) Manticore Belt(Waist, Bound to Totem Chakra) (4 essentia invested), Airstep Sandals(Bound to Feet) (1 essentia invested), Incarnate Avatar (Soul, 3 essentia invested), Sighting Gloves, Silvertongue Mask (Throat), Mage's Spectacles (Brow), Phase Cloak(Shoulders)

Spells: 4/4/3/1, Caster Level 8
0) Minor Disguise*2, Caltrops, Sonic Snap
1) Improvisation, Haste (trapsmith list), Grease, ?
2) Heroics, Silence, Shadow Veil
3) Greater Magic Weapon

Possessions: Necklace of Natural Attacks +1, Healing Belt, +1 Githcraft Thistledown Mithral Chain Shirt, +1 buckler, Masterwork Thief's Tools, Masterwork Infiltration outfit (Hide/Move Silently), Masterwork Blank Mask (bluff), Gloves of Dexterity +2, Vest of Health +2 and Resistance +2, Essentia Helm*2, Bracers of the Hunter (Secrets of Xen'drik), 2*Pearl of power (level 1), wand of Sniper's Shot, wand of Swift Invisibility, wand of Vinestrike, wand of Gravestrike, wand of Golemstrike, lesser rod of Extend Spell, Handy Haversack, Shapesand, 950 gp of mundane items and cash.

Investing Essentia in Mage's Spectacles or Silvertongue Mask grants +2 to (Spellcraft, UMD, and Decipher Script), and (Bluff, Diplomacy) per point of essentia, to a maximum of +6. This makes his effective score in those stats considerably higher. In the event of expecting many traps, switching Mage's Spectacles and Sighting Gloves for Theft Gloves and Truthseeker's Goggles gives you +2 to +8 to Search, Sense Motive, Gather Information, Sleight of Hand, Disable Device, and Open Lock, and lets you use each as trained. Improvisation gives a luck bonus of up to +4 to 4 skill/ability checks or attack rolls, which should be enough to get most difficult traps and so forth dealt with. Since he doesn't need to wield a weapon, hands are free for relevant wands to be drawn while moving around.


He proceeded to exact revenge for the attack. Flying through walls and back, around the giants' cave, he slaughtered them with ease. Unable to find any trace of the caravan that had been his home for so long (he suspected they had been digested), he left, tired and lonely.

Sweetspot: Level 12. Boosted essentia capacity and Phase cloak, improved masks, along with extra wealth for splitting, massively improve offensive options. AC is poor, however, which won't be addressed for a few levels.

Spoiler
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CN Male Azurin Totemist 2/Factotum 1/Incarnate 3/Master of Masks 1/Chameleon 2/Master of Masks 3

Medium Humanoid (Human, Incarnum)
HD 3d8+9d6+48
HP 84
Init +5
Spd 30 ft, Fly 20 ft (Perfect)
AC 21, touch 14, flat-footed 17
Base Atk +6, Grp +6
Atk 10 attacks +15, (1d6+2, range increment 30 ft, spines)
SA: Spines, Cunning Insight, Detect Law, Persona Masks (Assassin, Gladiator, Archmage, Lord), Sneak Attack 3d6+12
SQ: Meldshaping, Wild Empathy, Essentia Pool 8, Trapfinding, Cunning Knowledge, Totem Chakra Bind(+1 capacity), Chakra Bind(Crown), Aura, Essentia Capacity +1, Incarnum Radiance(Chaos), Bonus Feat, Aptitude Focus 1/day(+2) (Arcane), Mask Specialist
SV Fort +13, Ref +17, Will +13(11 vs fear)
Str 10, Dex 18, Con 18, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 8.
Trained Skills: Bluff +13 Concentration +10, Diplomacy +14, Disguise +7 (+9 when impersonating another) Heal +5, Hide +24, Knowledge(Arcana) +10, Knowledge(Nature) +5, Knowledge(Religion) +7, Listen +6, Perform(acting) +7, Sense Motive +7, Spellcraft +16, Spot +18, Survival +7, Autohypnosis +5, Use Magic Device +16(+18 when using scrolls)
Untrained Skills: Appraise +3, Balance +4, Climb +6 (can take 10), Craft(any) +3, Decipher Script +7, Disable Device +5, Escape Artist +4, Forgery +3, Gather Information -1, Handle Animal -1, Intimidate +1, Jump +12, Knowledge(other) +3, Move Silently +10, Open Lock +6, Perform(other) -1, Profession(any) +2, Ride +4, Search +3, Sleight of Hand +6, Swim +0, Tumble +4, Use Rope +4

Feats: Able Learner, Expanded Soulmeld Capacity (B), Flyby Attack, Extra Essentia, Craven, Open Lesser Chakra(Shoulders) ???(floating bonus feat)

Languages: Common, Elven, Draconic, Halfling

Soulmelds shaped: (for combat) Manticore Belt(Waist, Bound to Totem Chakra) (5 essentia invested), Airstep Sandals (Bound to Feet), Incarnate Avatar (Soul, 3 essentia invested), Sighting Gloves (Hands), Silvertongue Mask (Throat), Mage's Spectacles (Brow), Phase Cloak(Bound to Shoulders), Totem Avatar (Heart)

Spells: 4/5/4/2, Caster Level 10

0) Minor Disguise*2, Caltrops, Sonic Snap
1) Improvisation*2, Haste (trapsmith list), Grease, Wall of Smoke
2) Heroics, Silence, Align Fang, Veil of Shadow
3) Greater Magic Weapon, Glibness?

Possessions: Necklace of Natural Attacks +1 Splitting, Healing Belt, +1 Githcraft Thistledown Mithral Chain Shirt, +1 buckler, Masterwork Thief's Tools, Masterwork Infiltration outfit (Hide/Move Silently), Masterwork Blank Mask (bluff), Gloves of Dexterity +2, Vest of Health +2 and Resistance +2, Essentia Helm*2, Bracers of the Hunter (Secrets of Xen'drik), 2*Pearl of power (level 1), wand of Sniper's Shot, wand of Swift Invisibility, wand of Vinestrike, wand of Gravestrike, wand of Golemstrike, lesser rod of Extend Spell, Handy Haversack, Shapesand, 9950 gp of mundane items, other wands/scrolls, and cash.

Only two things are important. Phase Cloak's Shoulder bind means any movement as a move action goes Ethereal, i.e. through walls, invisible, perfectly silent. Splitting weapon property doubles attacks. Every turn, you turn ethereal as you move (rendering you invisible to ALL forms of detection but true seeing and See invisibility), fire 10 spikes out of that with Flyby attack, which would let you get sneak attack against anything that can't see invisible. If they can, Veil of shadow gives you concealment (albeit it only works against see invisible, NOT true seeing), and your hide score is ABSURD. Bypass most critical immunities via wands. Bypass range limitations with Sniper's Shot wands. DR/metal or - on sneak-attack-immune critters (not including undead, golems, or plants) may give you trouble. Swap to Gladiator mask for +2 to hit and damage, and invest essentia into Sighting Gloves to boost your damage another 4 points per hit, at the cost of a few spikes and accuracy. 8 spikes at +14, dealing 1d6+9, is pretty respectable. Not as good as 10 spikes at +15 vs flatfooted, dealing 4d6+15, though.

Investing Essentia in Mage's Spectacles or Silvertongue Mask grants +2 to (Spellcraft, UMD, and Decipher Script), and (Bluff, Diplomacy) per point of essentia, to a maximum of +8. This makes his effective score in those stats considerably higher. In the event of expecting many traps, switching Mage's Spectacles and Sighting Gloves for Theft Gloves and Truthseeker's Goggles gives you +2 to +10 to Search, Sense Motive, Gather Information, Sleight of Hand, Disable Device, and Open Lock and lets you use each as trained. Respectable, in my opinion. However, it requires prediction, or 8 hours rest.

Improvisation gives a luck bonus of up to +6 to 4 skill/ability checks or attack rolls, which should be enough to get most problems dealt with. Lord mask gives +4 Diplomacy, and +4 gather information, stacking with Silvertongue mask, and lets you cast Eagle's Splendour and Remove Fear once per day. A +4 enhancement bonus to Cha for a few minutes might be enough to talk your way out of a situation.

If rearranging essentia is inconvenient (you're still making attacks), use a Helm of Essentia. 3 charges, each maxes out a soulmeld for 1 round, and you can spend all of them in a round as a swift action if necessary. Whether its boosting UMD for a critical spell, improving your fly speed to 50 for a round, or giving a quick +3 natural armor, Helm of Essentia can seriously help out in a jam.