AFFILIATION WITH THE ASPIS CONSORTIUM
The Aspis Consortium is always on the lookout for new allies and agents—diversity and a range of talents are vital to an organization with designs on such wide-reaching targets.
Example Affiliation Encounter: While demonstrations of loyalty to the Consortium and the ability to maintain secrecy are important when the Aspis Consortium is determining who might make a good candidate, the group is a mercantile concern above all else. As such, agents of the Consortium often ask for tithes or “membership dues” from those who seek affiliation. After displaying his competence, a would-be affiliate can often expect to pay such dues on a yearly basis to his Aspis Consortium contacts, typically at rates of 50 to 100 gp per character level. Of course, should an affiliate at a later point choose to cease payment, any secrets and techniques learned or acquired during the time of his affiliation remain—but one should keep in mind that the Aspis Consortium doesn’t always allow affiliates to “retire” without consequences.
The following class options for cavaliersAPG and wizards are often used by affiliates of the Aspis Consortium.
Order of the Asp (Cavalier Order)
Cavaliers belonging to the order of the asp belong to a cutthroat group where ruthless pragmatism and underhanded dealing are the keys to moving up the chain of command. They tend to be brutal, self-centered leaders who reap confidence from their subordinates’ misery.
Edicts: An order of the asp cavalier must endeavor to enhance her prestige, wealth, and power, as well as that of her patrons. She must endeavor to maximize her profits and efficiency, directing hirelings and even sacrificing them when doing so would further her goals and make her appear exceptional by comparison.
Challenge: Whenever an order of the asp cavalier issues a challenge, she receives a +1 morale bonus on attack and damage rolls made against the target of the challenge so long as it is entangled, exhausted, fatigued, flanked, nauseated, prone, shaken, staggered, or denied its Dexterity bonus to AC. This bonus increases by 1 for every 4 levels the cavalier has.
Skills: An order of the asp cavalier adds Knowledge (local) and Sleight of Hand to her list of class skills. The cavalier gains a bonus on Knowledge (local) checks equal to half her cavalier level (minimum +1) as long as the check involves her patrons or organization. She also reduces her armor check penalty when using Sleight of Hand by an amount equal to half her cavalier level (to a minimum of 0).
Order Abilities: An order of the asp cavalier gains the following abilities.
Indiscriminate (Ex): At 2nd level, whenever the order of the asp cavalier uses Intimidate to demoralize one or more creatures, she can attempt to demoralize an equal number of allies within 30 feet as a free action. While within 30 feet of an ally with the shaken condition, the cavalier gains a +1 morale bonus on saving throws. At 6th level and every 6 levels thereafter, this bonus increases by 1. The cavalier can perform a dirty trickAPG combat maneuver against creatures with the shaken condition without provoking an attack of opportunity.
Command the Meek (Ex): At 8th level, the cavalier treats all of her allies with the shaken condition as though they had the same teamwork feats as the cavalier for the purpose of determining whether the cavalier receives a bonus from her teamwork feats. Her allies do not receive any bonuses from these feats unless they actually have the feats themselves. The allies’ positioning and actions must still meet the prerequisites listed in the teamwork feat for the cavalier to receive the listed bonus. When the cavalier uses tactician, greater tactician, or mighty tactician, the duration doubles for any creatures that have no more than half the cavalier’s Hit Dice or that have the shaken condition when she activates the ability.
Better You Than Me (Ex): At 15th level, the cavalier can interpose an adjacent ally in the way of an incoming attack as an immediate action, gaining cover against the attack. The attack must target only the cavalier, and she must choose to use this ability before seeing the result of the attack roll. The ally must have the shaken condition or have no more than half the Hit Dice of the cavalier, and the ally gains a Reflex save to negate this ability’s effect entirely (DC = 10 + half the cavalier’s level + the higher of her Strength modifier or Charisma modifier). If the attack hits, the damage is split evenly between the cavalier and the ally. If the ally’s save was a natural 1, the ally takes all of the damage, including any associated effects (bleed, poison, etc.). An ally can purposefully fail this saving throw, but cannot purposefully roll a natural 1.
Deception School (Focused Arcane School)
Some illusionists rely more on their natural talents and less on flashy figments. Focused arcane schools (Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player’s Guide 143) replace one or more powers granted by a wizard’s arcane school.
Associated School: Illusion.
Replacement Powers: The following school powers replace the blinding ray and extended illusions powers of the illusion school.
Deceptive Flourish (Su): You gain a +2 enhancement bonus on Bluff and Disguise skill checks. This bonus increases by 1 for every 5 wizard levels you have, up to a maximum of +6 at 20th level. At 20th level, you gain the benefits of misdirection (Will DC = 20 + your Intelligence modifier) or nondetection permanently. At will as a standard action, you can change which of the two spells is active, and each time you activate misdirection, you can choose a new creature or object as the secondary object.
Subtle Misdirection (Sp): As a standard action, you can touch a creature or an object that weighs no more than 25 pounds per caster level to impart an illusory ward that lasts for 1 minute. Attacks against a warded creature suffer a 20% miss chance, and the ward ends once it negates an attack. The DC of any caster level check, skill check, or saving throw to detect or determine the properties of a warded item increases by 1, plus 1 for every 5 wizard levels you have. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier.
Aspis agents and affiliates have access to the following feats.
You have earned the attention of the Aspis Consortium and can call in favors when necessary.
Benefit: Whenever you are in a settlement that is the size of a small town or larger, you can purchase (but not sell) items through your Aspis contacts. Treat your current settlement as though it were a metropolis to determine its base value and available magic items. You pay a 5% markup for such items, and orders take 3d6 days to be delivered through Consortium channels. You can pay an additional 1,000 gp to have your item magically delivered to you in 1d3 days instead.
You need spook only a few souls to scare a whole city.
Prerequisites: Cha 13; Intimidate 5 ranks; Persuasive or renown social talentUI.
Benefit: By spending 8 hours cultivating your local legend in a settlement and then succeeding at an Intimidate check, your fearsome reputation becomes common knowledge. The DC is based on the size of the settlement (see the Sinister Reputation table below and page 203 of Pathfinder RPG GameMastery Guide). If the check succeeds, you can attempt an Intimidate check to demoralize a creature that has fewer Hit Dice than you as a swift action, and using Intimidate to force a creature to act friendly to you takes only half as long. You gain these benefits only while within the settlement and while not disguised. These benefits last for a number of days equal to your half your level + your Charisma modifier.
Special: This feat’s benefits always apply to a vigilante’sUI area of renown, and he can choose whether the reputation and benefits apply to his social identity, vigilante identity, or both. You can always apply this feat’s benefits to followers and cohorts gained from Leadership or similar abilities.
Settlement Size DC
Small town 18
Large town 20
Small city 25
Large city 30
Tag-Team Interrogation (Teamwork)
You and your partner work together to bewilder a target, alternating between fear and kindness.
Prerequisites: Intimidating Prowess or Persuasive; Diplomacy 1 rank; Intimidate 1 rank.
Benefit: While using Diplomacy or Intimidate to shift the attitude of a creature, one ally you can see who also has this feat can attempt to shift the creature’s attitude at the same time. You roll either a Diplomacy check or an Intimidate check, and your ally rolls a check with the other skill. If you both succeed, you choose whether to apply the Diplomacy check’s or Intimidate check’s effects; the other check has no direct effect but instead provides the first check a +5 circumstance bonus to its result. If only one person succeeds, ignore the failed check, but the successful skill check’s effect lasts only half as long. If you both fail, any effects resulting from both failed checks apply.
Aspis Consortium allies and their affiliates often use the following magic items.
ASPIS BADGE OF LAST RESORT PRICE 750 GP
SLOT none CL 3rd WEIGHT —
AURA faint transmutation
This badge depicts the Aspis Consortium’s insignia: a coiled serpent. By speaking a command word, the wearer can transform the badge into one of five tools, selected from the following:
· A masterwork light steel shield bearing the Aspis insignia
· A masterwork whip
· A dagger poisoned with a dose of blue whinnis
· A 50-foot silk rope with a grappling hook
· A set of masterwork thieves’ tools
The badge remains in the chosen form for up to 24 hours or until it is commanded to return to its natural shape. Each form retains the badge’s metallic hue, and the badge can transform in this way only five times before it loses its magical properties forever, becoming a mundane Aspis badge.
Most Aspis badges of last resort are bronze, yet some higherranking agents commission badges made of silver or gold. Most of these badges also have a unique array of objects they can turn into—including weapons and shields with magical properties.
CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS COST 375 GP
Craft Wondrous Item, fabricate
DUST OF HEX HIDING PRICE 250 GP
SLOT none CL 5th WEIGHT —
AURA faint illusion
This translucent dust warps harmful magical auras, making it difficult to discern cursed items from beneficial ones. Sprinkling the dust over a cursed magic item shields it from divination magic for 5 days. When identifying the item, a creature must exceed the item’s DC by 15 (instead of by 10) to determine whether the item is cursed. If a creature activates the curse while the item is under this effect, treat the curse’s caster level as 2 higher for the purpose of resisting spells such as remove curse and break enchantment.
The dust can also be scattered over a magical glyph, rune, or symbol to increase the DC to find and disable the trap by 5 for 5 days.
CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS COST 125 GP
Craft Wondrous Item, magic aura
IOUN SPITE BRACERS PRICE 15,000 GP
SLOT wrists CL 12th WEIGHT 2 lbs.
AURA strong evocation
These bracers find particular use by Aspis agents who often tangle with the Pathfinder Society. As a standard action, a creature wearing these bracers can attempt a stealAPG combat maneuver check to nab any orbiting ioun stone within 30 feet, though the ioun stone’s owner receives a +4 circumstance bonus to her CMD. If the bracers’ wearer succeeds, the stolen ioun stone embeds itself in one of the bracers’ four available slots (each bracer has two). Embedded ioun stones provide their bonuses to the wearer and can be removed with a move action.
As a standard action, the wearer can temporarily drain the power of any ioun stone that is embedded in the bracers and isn’t dull gray, and can then channel that power to cast magic missile as a spell-like ability, firing three missiles at a target or targets up to 160 feet away. Drained ioun stones become dull gray for the next 2d4 hours.
CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS COST 7,500 GP
Craft Wondrous Item, magic missile, telekinesis
IRONBOUND RING PRICE varies
Master’s ironbound ring 8,000 gp
Minion’s ironbound ring 500 gp
SLOT ring CL 5th WEIGHT —
AURA faint abjuration and enchantment
While holding one or more minion’s ironbound rings, the wearer of a master’s ironbound ring can impart instructions of 50 words or fewer to each minion’s ironbound ring. The wearer of a minion’s ironbound ring can recall the instructions at will and is aware of any action that would cause him to act against those instructions. The DC of any skill check attempted to force the wearer to abandon, misinterpret, or consciously fail the instructions increases by 5, such as for Bluff checks to trick the wearer or Intimidate checks to interrogate him. The wearer gains a +3 resistance bonus on Will saves to resist spells and effects that would force him to act against the instructions, such as dominate person and suggestion.
CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS COST varies
Master’s ironbound ring 4,000 GP
Minion’s ironbound ring 250 GP
Forge Ring, resistance, suggestion
Aspis agents often use the following spells.
School illusion (glamer); Level bard 5, mesmerist 5, psychic 5, sorcerer/wizard 5
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Duration 10 minutes/level or until triggered, then 1 round/level
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no
You create a contingent ward that defies those who would dispel your magic, convincing them that their spell worked. When a spell such as dispel magic would end one of your spells that’s affecting you, you can dismiss deceptive redundancy as an immediate action to attempt an opposed caster level check against the spellcaster. If you succeed, the dispelling effect fails to end your spell, and your spell’s aura becomes difficult to detect for 1 round per caster level. Any divination attempted during this time fails to perceive the spell’s aura unless the caster succeeds at a caster level check (DC = 15 + your caster level). Deceptive redundancy is most effective when hiding auras for spells that don’t have easily perceived effects, rather than visually obvious spells such as enlarge person or fire shield.
School enchantment [fear, mind-affecting]; Level antipaladin 1, bard 2, inquisitor 2, mesmerist 2, psychic 2, sorcerer/wizard 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target one creature
Duration 12 hours + 2 hours/level or until triggered, then 1 day/level
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes
As part of casting this spell, you can attempt a single Intimidate check to make the target act friendly to you. If you succeed, the target assists you normally, but it remains fearful of your retribution even after its attitude shifts to unfriendly. If the creature reports your coercion to authorities, attacks you, or otherwise acts in a purposeful way that threatens you or your objectives (at the GM’s discretion), the spell triggers, inflicting the creature with the unshakable certainty that you will find and punish it. This imposes the shaken condition on the creature for 1 day per caster level; during this time, the creature takes a –2 penalty on saving throws against spells you cast with the fear descriptor.
School illusion (phantasm); Level bard 2, mesmerist 2, occultist 2, psychic 2, sorcerer/wizard 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a scrap of paper bearing a simple sentence written in at least five languages)
Target one touched page, scroll, inscription, book, or other document no more than 3 feet in any dimension
Duration 24 hours (D)
Saving Throw none; see text; Spell Resistance no
You create a latent illusion that clouds the judgment and reading ability of any creature that examines a targeted text. While casting the spell, you can designate up to one creature other than yourself per level to be immune to the effects. All other creatures that read the text must succeed at a Will save or find it difficult to properly parse and decipher the contents. This increases the DC of Linguistics checks to decipher the text by an amount equal to your caster level (maximum +10), and it increases the DC of the Wisdom check to avoid drawing a false conclusion by an equal amount. Unaffected creatures gain a circumstance bonus equal to your caster level (maximum +10) on Bluff checks to deceive affected creatures about the text’s contents. The spell obscures any magical glyphs, runes, or symbols within the text, increasing the Perception DC to find such traps by an amount equal to half your caster level (maximum +5). Obscured script can be made permanent with a permanency spell by a caster of 10th level or higher for the cost of 5,000 gp.
School illusion (glamer); Level bard 2, mesmerist 2, occultist 2, psychic 2, sorcerer/wizard 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, F (a small square of silk that must be passed over the object that receives the aura)
Target one touched object weighing up to 5 lbs./level
Duration 1 day/level (D)
Saving Throw none (see text); Spell Resistance no
This spell functions like magic aura, except it extends its altered aura to similar items in a 5-foot radius. For this purpose, similar items must be alike in approximate shape, composition, and function, so a potion of cure light wounds targeted by this spell to appear nonmagical would also obscure the auras of nearby potions, elixirs, and oils, as well as flasks. Items other than the targeted item retain their altered aura for 1 round per caster level after being removed from the spell’s area.