The Master of Sensation

September 10th, 2012

Joshua Zaback

Best in Class Archive

      Hello everyone, and welcome to another exciting edition of Best in Class, where we bring you the latest and greatest in archetypes, class features, and even the occasional prestige class.  Speaking of which, it’s Illusion Week here at Necromancers of the Northwest, and I think we’re going to be getting things kicked off with a brand new prestige class for aspiring illusionists of all stripes. 



New Prestige Class
Master of Sensation

            Masters of sensation are true artisans of illusion, capable of engineering perception to their own ends.  Many masters of sensation choose to use their powers merely for their own entertainment, while others live their lives as adventurers.


            To qualify to become a master of sensation, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

            Skills: Bluff 5 ranks or Perform (any) 5 ranks
            Spellcasting: Ability to cast 2nd-level spells
            Special: Must know at least one spell each of the glamer, figment, and phantasm subschools.

Class Skills

            The master of sensation’s class skills are Bluff (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Sleight of Hand (Dex), and Spellcraft (Int).

            Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Intelligence modifier.

            Hit Die: d6.


The Master of Sensation


Class Features
            All of the following are class features of the master of sensation.

            Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A master of sensation gains no proficiency with any weapons or armor.

            Create Imaginary Creature (Su): As a standard action, the master of sensation can create an illusory creature made of translucent and wispy substance, which appears in an unoccupied location within 30 feet and attacks foes as the master of sensations directs it.  Regardless of what form it takes, the illusory creature has two primary claw attacks which deal 1d6 + the master of sensation’s class level + the master of sensation’s Charisma modifier points of illusory damage.  This damage is wholly in the target’s mind, and though creatures who fail their saving throw (see below) react to the damage as though it were normal lethal damage, an imaginary creature cannot actually cause physical damage to a creature.  As such, illusory damage is tracked separately from regular lethal damage and from nonlethal damage.  If the sum of the lethal damage a character has received + the illusory damage that character has received exceeds the his maximum hit points, that creature falls into a coma until such a time as the sum of his lethal damage and illusory damage is less than his maximum hit points.  While comatose in this fashion, a character is considered helpless and unconscious.  10 minutes after a character has suffered damage from an imaginary creature, all illusory damage inflicted by that creature immediately fades, possibly bringing that character out of a coma inflicted in this way.

            The illusory creature takes the shape of any creature the master of sensation wishes, though typically an imaginary creature appears as a humanoid creature with wicked claws. It strikes the opponent you designate, starting with one attack in the round the ability is first used and continuing each round thereafter on your turn. It uses your base attack bonus plus your Charisma modifier as its attack bonus. It strikes as a spell, not as a weapon, so it can damage creatures that have damage reduction. As an illusory effect, the creature can affect even incorporeal creatures, though because the effect is illusory, the creature is useless against mindless creatures, as well as any creature who is immune to mind-affecting effects, and such creature automatically disbelieve the imaginary creature (see below). The creature always strikes from your direction. It cannot get a flanking bonus or help a combatant get one. Your feats or combat actions do not affect the creature. If the creature goes out of your sight, or if you are not directing it and it has no target to attack, the creature returns to you and hovers.

            Each round after the first, you can use a move action to redirect the creature to a new target. If you do not, the creature continues to attack the previous round's target. On any round that the creature switches targets, it gets one attack. Subsequent rounds of attacking that target allow the creature to make a full attack.

            An imaginary creature cannot be attacked or harmed by physical attacks, but dispel magic and similar effects can dispel it. In such cases, an imaginary creature is considered to have a caster level equal to the master of sensation’s class level.

            The first time a character interacts with an imaginary creature, that character may attempt a Will save (DC 10 + the master of sensation’s class level + the master of sensation’s Charisma modifier) to disbelieve the imaginary creature.  A character who disbelieves the imaginary creature is immune to the effects of this ability, including any subsequent uses of the ability, for 24 hours.  A character under the affects of a trueseeing spell or similar ability, as well as any character immune to mind-affecting effects, or to the effects of illusions, automatically disbelieve an imaginary creature.

            A master of sensation can manifest an imaginary creature for 1 minute per level; however, this time need not be continuous.  At 1st level, a master of sensation can only create 1 imaginary creature at a time.  Beginning at 3rd level, and every 2 levels thereafter, the master of sensation may create an additional imaginary creature at a given time, up to a maximum of 5 imaginary creatures at 9th level. However, doing so is more strenuous and each additional imaginary creature summoned in this way causes this ability to consume an additional round of the total time a character can manifest an illusory creature in a day.  (For example, a 3rd-level master of sensation summons 2 imaginary creatures for 6 rounds, effectively consuming 1 minute and 2 rounds of his 3-minute allowance for the day.)

            Spellcasting: At each of the designated levels, the master of sensation gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in a spellcasting class he belonged to before adding the prestige class. He does not, however, gain other benefits a character of that class would have gained, except for additional spells per day, spells known (if he is a spontaneous spellcaster), and an increased effective level of spellcasting. If a character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a master of sensation, he must decide to which class he adds the new level for purposes of determining spells per day.

            Phantom Speech (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, the master of sensation can imbue his very words with illusory magic, causing him alter the way his speech is perceived.  As a move action, the master of sensation can obscure his speech for the next minute, allowing him to cause a number of creatures equal to his master of sensation level who can hear him to hear only a pleasant buzzing when he speaks.  In addition to the obvious benefits, this ability causes creatures to suffer a -10 penalty on Spellcraft checks made to identify a spell the master of sensation casts which has verbal components.

            Phantom Odor (Su): Beginning at 4th level, the master of sensation can imbue the very air around him with illusory magic, causing all creatures who breathe it in to believe it to be tainted with a horrible odor.  All creatures within 10 feet of the master of sensation who do not hold their breath must succeed on a Will saving throw (DC 10 + the master of sensation’s level +  the master of sensation’s Charisma modifier) or be sickened for 1 round.  A character which succeeds his saving throw is immune to the ability for 24 hours.  The master of sensation may suppress or resume this ability as a standard action.  This is a mind-affecting ability.

            Phantom Form (Su): Beginning at 6th level, the master of sensation gains such control over his magic that he can imbue his form with illusory magic, causing him to become harder to perceive.  Whenever the master of sensation remains in a single spot for 3 consecutive rounds, he may become invisible as though with the spell invisibility,except that the effect also ends if he moves. 

            Phantom Pain (Su): At 8th level, the master of sensation mastery of illusions is such that he can cause a living creature to feel pain without explanation.  As a standard action, the master of sensation may attempt a melee touch attack which does not provoke attacks of opportunity and which, if successful, causes the target to suffer extreme pain.  The target must succeed on a Will saving throw or be nauseated for 1 round; a successful save still causes the target to be sickened for 1 round.

            True Phantasmal Creature (Su): At 10th level, a master of sensation’s mastery of illusion is such that he can cause the minds of his enemies to create lethal wounds because they believe they should have them.  Whenever the master of sensation’s imaginary creature or creatures deals illusory damage, the master of sensation may choose to have them deal lethal damage instead.