Hit die: d8
To qualify to become a Black Marionette Gangster, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Base Attack Bonus: +5
Skills: Move Silently 4 ranks, Tumble 6 ranks
Special: Must have mastered the Black Marionette Martial Arts Style to 6th level.
The Black Marionette Gangster’s class skills (and the key ability scores for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Str), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int) Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Rope (Dex). See Chapter 4: Skills in the Player’s Handbook for skill descriptions.
Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.
Table 1-1: The Black Marionette Gangster
1 +0 +0 +2 +2 -- Monk Traits, Dervish’s Threat
2 +1 +0 +3 +3 25% Maestro’s Beloved
3 +2 +1 +3 +3 25% Uncanny Grapple
4 +3 +1 +4 +4 25% Rougard’s Grasp
5 +3 +1 +4 +4 50% Battle Unending
6 +4 +2 +5 +5 50% Construct Traits
7 +5 +2 +5 +5 50% Maestro’s Sadism
8 +6 +2 +6 +6 75% Improved Uncanny Grapple
9 +6 +3 +6 +6 75% Rougard’s Grim Vigor
10 +7 +3 +7 +7 100% Scarecrow Prince, Do Not Go Gently
All the following are class features of the Black Marionette Gangster prestige class.
Weapon & Armor Proficiency: A Black Marionette Gangster gains proficiency with the scimitar, & no proficiency with any armor or shields.
Fortification (Ex): When a Black Marionette attains 2nd level, his organs begin to atrophy & disappear, as he becomes more & more construct like. Whenever a critical hit or sneak attack is scored on the gangster, there is a chance that the critical hit or sneak attack is negated & damage is rolled normally instead. He gains fortification equal to that shown on table 1-1 as he progresses in level.
Dervish’s Threat (Ex): So frightful is the staggeringly ferocious is the shifting of the gangster that others instinctively flinch away from him, striking only reluctantly. The Black Marionette Gangster adds his Charisma bonus (if any) to his AC.
Maestro’s Beloved (Ex): His every caress a torture if he wills it, every blow struck by a gangster of 2nd level that deals damage to a foe leaves that foe shaken for one round. This is a mind-effecting ability, but not a morale effect, as the penalties occur due to impairment from unadulterated pain.
Uncanny Grapple (Ex): Twisting & flailing while gripping his foe, the gangster of 3rd level stays mobile while embracing his foe, retaining all bonuses to AC while grappling.
Rougard’s Grasp (Su): Once the Black Marionette Gangster reaches 4th level, whenever he disarms an opponent, that opponent is no longer proficient with said weapon (& all others like it) for 10 minutes per gangster level. Thus, even if retrieved, the wielder suffers the –4 penalty to attack for lack of proficiency.
Battle Unending (Ex): At 5th level, whenever he is grappling a foe, a gangster still threatens the squares adjacent to him, & can make attacks (& attacks of opportunity) against foes normally.
Construct Traits (Ex): A Black Marionette Gangster of 6th level now visibly resembles one of the Black Scarecrows, wearing an exaggerated smile, red eyes, & dark skin. He becomes immune to mind-effecting abilities, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, & necromantic effects.
Maestro’s Sadism (Su): Upon reaching 7th level, all damage dealt by the Black Marionette Gangster takes two times as long to heal, or two times as much “curing” (any magical healing effects) to heal. The spell Heal will only heal a character damaged by a gangster a total of one 1/2 the damage dealt by the gangster. Wounds dealt by the Black Marionette Gangster inevitably scar, no matter how they are healed.
Improved Uncanny Grapple (Ex): The Black Marionette Gangster, at 8th level, learns to position the body of the opponent he is grappling between himself & attacks, gaining a +4 AC bonus (or higher, for appropriately sized foes) whenever grappling, as cover.
Rougard’s Grim Vigor (Ex): At 9th level, the gangster gains the dark vitality of the Scarecrows. He gains a number of extra hit points as a construct appropriate to his size. These bonus hit points cannot be regained through the use of cure magics & the like, as they represent the durability of the gangster's increasingly construct like body. They must either be healed through rest or by the casting of repair spells.
Scarecrow Prince (Ex): At 10th level, the gangster becomes a harbinger of Rougard & Maestro, while remaining wholly independent of both. Good & Evil Outsiders both recognize them as powerful agents who, at their whim, could swing their aims towards their aid or misfortune. In game terms, all Good & Evil Outsider NPCs start with a “Friendly” attitude towards the Black Marionette Gangster, & the gangster gains +2 to Charisma & Wisdom.
Do Not Go Gently (Su): A Scarecrow Prince of 10th level does not die immediately when reduced to –10 hit points. He dies only after a sun has both risen & set on their body. Thus, if dropped to –10 hit points at night, the gangster will die at sundown of the next day; if “killed” at noon, the gangster finally perishes at sunrise of the next day.