Lin Kuei (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

Lin Kuei (literally forest demons) are legendary stealth warriors. Usually reclusive, they only emerge at critical times to take on critical missions, or when ordered by their secret masters. They move along the treetops or on roof to strike suddenly and then disappear. They are practitioners of the way of the void.

The lin kuei are rivals to monks and ninja, similar yet different from both. They claim theirs is the original, unaltered martial arts technique, and that the tricks of monks and ninja are but debased imitations. Lin kuei often find themselves embroiled in secret wars against each other or with monks and ninja, deadly affairs fought out of sight of the world at large.

Publisher: Purple Duck Games.

Class Information

This is a hybrid class, a combination of ninja and monk.

Alignment: Any lawful. Lin kuei always train with a family or clan, generally related by blood. Beyond even the loyalty to their clan, they have a strong sense of honor and obligation to their mission and the guiding philosophies and goals of their order. Exactly what this entails is often secret even from low-tanking lin kuei. A clan can have motivations and plans spanning centuries, so secret that only a few masters in each generation know the truth. Lin kuei can change to a non-lawful alignment, but doing so puts them forever at odds with their order, and they will have to spend the rest of their life as fugitives.

Adventures: Lin kuei are sometimes sent on extended missions away from their clan, working under cover or with other heroes for extended periods of time. This always serves the masters of the clan in some fashion, either by gathering intelligence or because their mission places them in a unique position to do a crucial act to bring the master plan to fruition.

Role: Lin kuei make excellent assassins and infiltrators. They have little need for supplies or gear of any kind, and can move unobtrusively and strike without warning. Their fighting style is fast and dramatic, with quick rushes and weapons thrown from ambush.. They lack the staying power to hold the line or protect their compatriots.

Starting Age: Lin kuei receive very extensive training, but begin training at a very early age and begin play at the middle age bracket for their race.

Hit Dice: d8.

Starting Wealth: 1d6 × 10 gp (average 35 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills

The lin kuei's class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Dex), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Class Features

The lin kuei has all the monks's class features except as noted here.

Weapon Proficiency

Lin kueis are proficient with the brass knuckles[1], cestus[1], club, dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, short sword, shortspear, and shuriken. In addition to this, lin kueis learn one weapon of choice. This can be any basic or martial weapon (including race-specific ones) or the kusarigama[2], kutetsu-shoge[2], sai, temple sword[1], or siangham. Lin kueis are not proficient with any armor or shields. When wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, an lin kuei loses her AC bonus, as well as her fast movement ability.

AC Bonus (Ex)

When unarmored and unencumbered, the lin kuei adds her Wisdom bonus (if any) to her AC and her CMD. In addition, a lin kuei gains a +1 bonus to AC and CMD at 4th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every four lin kuei levels thereafter, up to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.

These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the lin kuei is flat-footed. She loses these bonuses when she is immobilized or helpless, when she wears any armor, when she carries a shield, or when she carries a medium or heavy load.

Lethal Sneak Attack

As she advances in level, an lin kuei gains extra damage with melee and thrown attacks. If an lin kuei can catch an opponent when she is unable to defend herself effectively, she can strike accurate blows to deal extra damage. The lin kuei’s lethal sneak attacks deal this extra damage anytime her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), but (unlike regular sneak attack) not when the lin kuei flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and increases by 1d6 every three lin kuei levels thereafter, to a maximum of 7d6 at 19th level. This is precision damage and is not multiplied should the lin kuei score a critical hit with a lethal sneak attack. Ranged attacks made with thrown weapons count as lethal sneak attacks if the target is within 30 feet. Lethal sneak attack does not work with missile weapons or ranged touch-attack spells.

Whenever an lin kuei makes a successful melee attack or ranged attack with a thrown weapon against an opponent that is neither denied its Dexterity bonus to AC nor caught flat-footed, she deals an amount of extra damage equal to her minimum lethal sneak attack damage (1 point at 1st level, 2 points at 3rd level, and so on).

Secret Technique

Lin kuei have a number of secret techniques. A lin kuei is taught one secret technique from the list below at first level, and gain more secret technique at 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter.

Bonus Feat: A lin kuei can always choose a bonus feat instead of a secret technique, if desired. These are taken from the bonus feat class ability below.

Deceptive Moves (Ex): A lin kuei with this technique can use the Bluff skill to feint as a swift action.

Deceptive Shuriken (Ex): Once per round, as a part of drawing or picking up one or more shuriken, a lin kuei with this technique can make a Sleight of Hand check against a DC of 10 + an opponent's Perception skill bonus to render one opponent flat-footed against her thrown shuriken this round. An opponent with uncanny dodge or who is otherwise immune to being flat-footed is immune to this ability, and repeated uses against the same opponent suffers a -10 penalty. A lin kuei with this ability can also throw Diminutive objects, including small daggers, darts, bolts, arrows and even objects that that are normally harmless (such as playing cards, dice, pebbles, or coins) as if they were shuriken. A lin kuei can pick up such objects within reach as a free action that does not trigger an attack of opportunity.

Lethal Flanking (Ex): When you flank an opponent in melee, you can use your full damage from lethal sneak attacks against that opponent. Against opponents with improved uncanny dodge, this ability works when sneak attack would work (see improved uncanny dodge). Lin kuei levels stack with the level of any class that provides sneak attack for the purpose of overcoming improved uncanny dodge.

Light Steps (Ex): A lin kuei with this technique learns to move while barely touching the surface underneath her. As a full-round action, she can move up to twice her speed, ignoring difficult terrain. While moving in this way, any surface will support her, no matter how much she weighs. This allows her to move across water, lava, or even the thinnest tree branches. She must end her move on a surface that can support her normally. She cannot move across air in this way, nor can she walk up walls or other vertical surfaces. When moving in this way, she does not take damage from surfaces or hazards that react to being touched, such as lava or caltrops, nor does she need to make Acrobatics checks to avoid falling on slippery or rough surfaces. Finally, when using light steps, the lin kuei ignores any mechanical traps that use a location-based trigger. The lin kuei must be at least 6th level to select this technique.

Maneuver Training (Ex): A lin kuei with this technique uses her lin kuei level in place of her base attack bonus when calculating her Combat Maneuver Bonus. Base attack bonuses granted from other classes are unaffected and are added normally.

Master Tricks: A lin kuei learns a single ninja master trick as a secret technique. A lin kuei counts her lin kuei level as her ninja level for the purpose of determining any level based effects or prerequisites, but cannot choose a master trick based on ninja class features she does not possess, and cannot learn master tricks based on sneak attack. The lin kuei must be at least 12th level to select this technique.

Ninja Tricks: A lin kuei may select a single ninja trick as a secret technique. A lin kuei counts her lin kuei level as her ninja level for the purpose of determining any level based effects or prerequisites, but cannot choose a ninja trick based on ninja class feature she does not possess. Lin kuei trick based on sneak attack work with lethal sneak attack, but only when the lethal sneak attack inflicts its full dice of damage, not when it only inflicts one point per die.

Poison Use (Ex): The lin kuei is trained in the use of poison and cannot accidentally poison herself when applying poison to a weapon.

Slow Fall (Ex): A lin kuei i with this technique within arm's reach of a wall can use it to slow her descent. At first level, she takes damage as if the fall were 10 feet shorter than it actually is. At level 4, and every 4 levels thereafter, the fall counts as another 10 ft. shorter.

Stunning Fist (Ex): Upon learning this technique, the lin kuei gains Stunning Fist as a bonus feat, even if she does not meet the prerequisites. The lin kuei may attempt a stunning attack a number of times per day equal to her class level, plus one more time per day for every four levels she has in classes other than monk or lin kuei.

Sudden Charge (Ex): This charge is so sudden that it is hard for the eye to follow. The target charged by a lin kuei with this technique is flat-footed until the end of the lin kuei's current turn. An opponent with uncanny dodge or who is otherwise immune to being flat-footed is immune to this ability. A lin kuei may continue to move after attacking in a charge, up to a total movement equal to twice her speed. Any movement after the charge is completed need not be in a straight line. If this movement ends up in cover or concealment, the lin kuei can try to use Stealth to hide at a -10 penalty.

Note that a flat-footed opponent does not get to make attacks of opportunity unless the opponent has the Combat Reflexes feat.

Sudden Step (Su): A lin kuei can slip magically between spaces, as if using the spell dimension door. Using this ability is a move action that consumes 2 points from her ki pool. Her caster level for this effect is equal to her lin kuei level. Unlike the spell, she cannot take other creatures with her when she uses this ability, but her turn does not end and any attack she makes after a sudden step until the end of her current turn catches the opponent flat-footed. An opponent with uncanny dodge or who is otherwise immune to being flat-footed is immune to this aspect of the ability. A lin kuei must be level 12 or higher to take this ability.

Unarmed Strike

At 1st level, an lin kuei gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. An lin kuei's attacks may be with fist, elbows, knees, and feet. This means that an lin kuei may make unarmed strikes with her hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a lin kuei striking unarmed. An lin kuei may thus apply her full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all her unarmed strikes.

An lin kuei's unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.

An lin kuei's unarmed strike does 1d6 lethal crushing and cutting damage (1d4 for a small lin kuei). An lin kuei can only do nonlethal damage with unarmed attack by taking the standard -4 attack penalty to do so.

Bonus Feats

At 2nd level, 6th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, an lin kuei may select a bonus feat. These feats must be taken from the following list: Bludgeoneer[2], Catch Off-Guard, Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Distance Thrower[2], Dodge, Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Nimble Moves[1], Scorpion Style, Throw Anything.

At 6th level, the following feats are added to the list: Close Quarter's Thrower[2], Gorgon's Fist, Greater Feint, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Disarm, Mobility, Rapid Shot, Snatch Arrows.

At 10th level, the following feats are added to the list: Dimensional Assault[2], Disengaging Flourish[2], False Opening[2], Medusa's Wrath, Light Step[1], Shoot On The Run.

An lin kuei need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them, but some feats have benefits based on the use of other feats, and these rules still apply.

Evasion (Ex)

At 2nd level or higher, a lin kuei can avoid damage from many area-effect attacks. If a lin kuei makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a lin kuei is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless lin kuei does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

Starting at 3rd level, an lin kuei can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She cannot be caught flat-footed, nor does she lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if the attacker is invisible. She still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. An lin kuei with this ability can still lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action against her.

If an lin kuei already possesses uncanny dodge from a different class, she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.

Ki pool

At 4th level, an lin kuei gains a pool of ki points, supernatural energy she can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in an lin kuei's ki pool is equal to 1/2 her lin kuei level + her Wisdom modifier. As long as she has at least 1 point in her ki pool, she can make a ki strike.

  • At 4th level, ki strike allows her unarmed attacks to be treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
  • At 7th level, her unarmed attacks are also treated as cold iron and silver for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
  • At 10th level, his unarmed attacks are also treated as lawful weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
  • At 16th level, her unarmed attacks are treated as adamantine weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and bypassing hardness.

By spending 1 point from her ki pool, an lin kuei can do one of the following:

  • Make one additional attack at her highest attack bonus when making a full attack, or
  • Increase her speed by 20 feet for 1 round, or
  • Reroll a failed Bluff, Sleight of Hand, or Stealth check. The lin kuei must take the second result, even if it is worse. A single check can only be rerolled once by means of this ability.

Each of these powers is activated as a swift action. The ki pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation; these hours do not need to be consecutive.

Fast Movement (Ex)

At 3rd level, a lin kuei gains an enhancement bonus to her land speed, as shown on Table: Lin kuei. A lin kuei in armor or carrying a medium or heavy load loses this extra speed.

Ki Pool (Su)

At 4th level, a lin kuei gains a pool of ki points, supernatural energy she can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in a lin kuei's ki pool is equal to 1/2 her lin kuei level + her Wisdom modifier. As long as she has at least 1 point in her ki pool, she can make a ki strike.

  • At 4th level, ki strike allows her unarmed attacks to be treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
  • At 7th level, her unarmed attacks are also treated as cold iron and silver for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
  • At 10th level, her unarmed attacks are also treated as lawful weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
  • At 16th level, her unarmed attacks are treated as adamantine weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and bypassing hardness.

By spending 1 point from her ki pool, a lin kuei can do one of the following:

  • Make one additional attack at her highest attack bonus when making a flurry of blows attack, or
  • Increase her speed by 20 feet for 1 round, or
  • Give herself a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 round.

Each of these powers is activated as a swift action. The ki pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation; these hours do not need to be consecutive.

High Jump (Ex)

At 5th level, a lin kuei adds her level to all Acrobatics checks made to jump, both for vertical jumps and horizontal jumps. In addition, she always counts as having a running start when making jump checks using Acrobatics. By spending 1 point from her ki pool as a swift action, a lin kuei gains a +20 bonus on Acrobatics checks made to jump for 1 round.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

At 7th level, a lin kuei can no longer be flanked. This defense denies another lin kuei or rogue the ability to sneak attack the lin kuei by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least four more lin kuei (or rogue) levels than the target does. If a character already has uncanny dodge from another class, the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack when determining the minimum lin kuei (or rogue) level required to flank the character.

Improved Evasion (Ex)

At 9th level, a lin kuei's evasion ability improves. She still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth she takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless lin kuei does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Diamond Body (Su)

At 11th level, a lin kuei gains immunity to poisons of all kinds.

Purity of Body (Ex)

At 13th level, a lin kuei gains immunity to all diseases, including supernatural and magical diseases.

Quivering Palm (Su)

Starting at 15th level, a lin kuei can set up vibrations within the body of another creature that can thereafter be fatal if the lin kuei so desires. She can use this quivering palm attack once per day, and she must announce her intent before making her attack roll. Creatures immune to critical hits cannot be affected. Otherwise, if the lin kuei strikes successfully and the target takes damage from the blow, the quivering palm attack succeeds. Thereafter, the lin kuei can try to slay the victim at any later time, as long as the attempt is made within a number of days equal to her lin kuei level. To make such an attempt, the lin kuei merely wills the target to die (a free action), and unless the target makes a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 the lin kuei's level + the lin kuei's Wis modifier), it dies. If the saving throw is successful, the target is no longer in danger from that particular quivering palm attack, but it may still be affected by another one at a later time. A lin kuei can have no more than 1 quivering palm in effect at one time. If a lin kuei uses quivering palm while another is still in effect, the previous effect is negated.

Timeless Body (Ex)

At 17th level, a lin kuei no longer takes penalties to her ability scores for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any such penalties that she has already taken, however, remain in place. Age bonuses still accrue, and the lin kuei still dies of old age when her time is up.

Tongue of the Sun and Moon (Ex)

A lin kuei of 17th level or higher can speak with any living creature.

Empty Body (Su)

At 19th level, a lin kuei gains the ability to assume an ethereal state for 1 minute as though using the spell etherealness. Using this ability is a move action that consumes 3 points from her ki pool. This ability only affects the lin kuei and cannot be used to make other creatures ethereal.

Perfect Self

At 20th level, a lin kuei becomes a magical creature. She is forevermore treated as an outsider rather than as a humanoid (or whatever the lin kuei's creature type was) for the purpose of spells and magical effects. Additionally, the lin kuei gains damage reduction 10/chaotic, which allows her to ignore the first 10 points of damage from any attack made by a nonchaotic weapon or by any natural attack made by a creature that doesn't have similar damage reduction. Unlike other outsiders, the lin kuei can still be brought back from the dead as if she were a member of her previous creature type.

Table: Lin Kuei

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Lethal Strikes AC Bonus Fast Movement
1st +0 +2 +2 +2 AC bonus, lethal sneak attack, secret technique, unarmed strike +1d6 +0 +0 ft.
2nd +1 +3 +3 +3 Bonus feat, evasion +1d6 +0 +0 ft.
3rd +2 +3 +3 +3 Fast movement, uncanny dodge +2d6 +0 +10 ft.
4th +3 +4 +4 +4 Ki pool (magic), secret technique +2d6 +1 +10 ft.
5th +3 +4 +4 +4 High jump +2d6 +1 +10 ft.
6th +4 +5 +5 +5 Bonus feat +3d6 +1 +20 ft.
7th +5 +5 +5 +5 Improved uncanny dodge, ki pool (cold iron/silver) +3d6 +1 +20 ft.
8th +6/+1 +6 +6 +6 Secret technique +3d6 +2 +20 ft.
9th +6/+1 +6 +6 +6 Improved evasion +4d6 +2 +30 ft.
10th +7/+2 +7 +7 +7 Bonus feat, Ki pool (aligned) +4d6 +2 +30 ft.
11th +8/+3 +7 +7 +7 Diamond body +4d6 +2 +30 ft.
12th +9/+4 +8 +8 +8 Secret technique +5d6 +3 +40 ft.
13th +9/+4 +8 +8 +8 Purity of body +5d6 +3 +40 ft.
14th +10/+5 +9 +9 +9 Bonus feat +5d6 +3 +40 ft.
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +9 +9 Quivering palm +6d6 +3 +50 ft.
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +10 Ki pool (adamantine), secret technique +6d6 +4 +50 ft.
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +10 Timeless body, tounge of the sun and moon +6d6 +4 +50 ft.
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +11 Bonus feat +7d6 +4 +60 ft.
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +11 Empty body +7d6 +4 +60 ft.
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +12 Perfect self, secret technique +7d6 +5 +60 ft.

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b c d e From Advanced Player's Guide.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h From Ultimate Combat.

See Also

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