The Machiavellian

By Amechra

 

 

There are people who can get under someone else's skin; not literally, but in the sense that they just, out of a sort of instinct, know what makes them tick.

And therefor, they know all the best ways to bend the minds of others to their whims. Strangely enough, there are those who have this gift who do not follow the simple, easy life of a charlatan, using their skill to make people obey their every whim; instead, they take a rather more... creative approach.

It is rather disconcerting to meet someone whose interest in your mind is as an artist...

MAKING A MACHIAVELLIAN
A Machiavellian is a consummate manipulator; while they may be less useful in combat, they are almost unstoppable if given a little bit of time to mess with someone's head.

Abilities: A Machiavellian favors Wisdom and Charisma, as it only makes sense that empathy and force of personality are their strong suits.

Races: Any race can foster a Machiavellian; however, it is far more common to find them among races with a strong social tendency, such as Kobolds, Changelings, and Humans.

Alignment: Any, though most are decidedly Lawful; they support having a structure they can tweak.

Starting Gold: Same as Rogue.

Starting Age: Same as Barbarian.

Class Skills The Machiavellian's Class Skills (And associated ability scores) are Appraise (Int), Autohypnosis (Wis), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (History, Local, Nobility and Royalty, Religion), Listen (Wis), Sense Motive (Wisdom), Speak Language (-), and Spot (Wis).

Skill Points per Level: 4+Int
Skill Points at 1st Level: 4*(4+int)

HD: d6

 

Level BAB Fort Ref Will Class Features Unique Behaviors per Day Unique Triggers per Day Requests per Day
1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Reprogram (1 Behavior, 1 Trigger), Scathing Wit 1d6 1 1 -
2 +1 +0 +0 +3 Psychoanalyze, Toy with Emotions (+1) 2 2 -
3 +1 +1 +1 +3 Reasonable Request (Entice Gift), Scathing Wit 2d6 3 2 1
4 +2 +1 +1 +4 Soothing Words 4 3 1
5 +2 +1 +1 +4 Reprogram (2 Behaviors, 1 Trigger), Scathing Wit 3d6 4 3 1
6 +3 +2 +2 +5 Devoted Assistant, Spot the Audience 5 4 1
7 +3 +2 +2 +5 Toy with Emotions (+2), Scathing Wit 4d6 6 4 2
8 +4 +2 +2 +6 Reasonable Request (Death Urge) 7 5 2
9 +4 +3 +3 +6 Reprogram (3 Behaviors, 2 Triggers), Scathing Wit 5d6 7 5 2
10 +5 +3 +3 +7 Soothing Wit (Inspiration) 8 6 2
11 +5 +3 +3 +7 Contacts Everywhere, Scathing Wit 6d6 9 6 3
12 +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Reasonable Request (Morality Undone), Toy with Emotions (+3) 10 7 3
13 +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Reprogram (4 Behaviors, 2 Triggers), Scathing Wit 7d6 10 7 3
14 +7/2 +4 +4 +9 All Their Own Doing 11 8 3
15 +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 Fine-Tuned Mind (Immunity), Scathing Wit 8d6 12 8 4
16 +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Reasonable Request (Dominate Monster) 13 9 4
17 +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Reprogram (5 Behaviors, 3 Triggers), Toy with Emotions (+4), Scathing Wit 9d6 13 9 4
18 +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 You have Served your Purpose 14 10 4
19 +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Fine-Tuned Mind (Reflection), Scathing Wit 10d6 15 10 5
20 +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Reasonable Request (Programmed Amnesia) 16 11 5

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: A Machiavellian is proficient in all simple weapons and light armor.

Reprogram (Ex): A Machiavellian is a manipulator. A really good manipulator. So good at manipulating, in fact, that it would boggle the mind.

A Machiavellian may begin to speak to anyone who they are aware of who are capable of hearing them; when they do this, they are able to manipulate another creature's behavior by simply using their voice and a careful manipulation of pitch. Doing so takes 10 minutes -1 for every two Machiavellian levels they have (minimum 1 minute).

Once their monologue is complete, their target must make a Will save against a DC of 10+1/2 Machiavellian level+their Charisma modifier; if they fail, the Machiavellian may implant a Behavior. However, these Behaviors cannot exist in a vacuum; they must be triggered by a trigger, which is specified by the Machiavellian while instilling the behavior.

For the duration of this effect, the target will, upon encountering the trigger, perform the behavior to the best of their abilities; alternatively, the Machiavellian can trigger the behaviors of any target within 60ft as a move action. This effect lasts 1 day/Machiavellian level.

At 5th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the Machiavellian may instill an additional Behavior while using this ability; they choose the order in which the Behaviors are undertaken when implanting the Behaviors.

At 9th and 17th levels, the Machiavellian may include an additional trigger while using this ability; they may combine triggers in any combination they imagine; as long as each instilled trigger only is used once in the chain; they could possibly have two behaviors require that two triggers occur, and then have a third behavior contingent on only one of the triggers.

A creature under the effects of this class ability cannot be targeted by this class feature until the duration has expired; a creature's mind can only stand so much warping before it ignores any attempts to change it. Any creature that manages to succeed on its save is immune to this ability for the next 24 hours.

A willing creature automatically fails their save.

A Machiavellian begins play knowing how to imprint 1 behavior and 1 trigger, and gains knowledge of more as indicated on the table above. At 4th level and every 2 levels thereafter, a Machiavellian may replace one behavior and one trigger. Each day, they may exchange any number of triggers and behaviors that they want for any others that they might want, a process that takes 1 hour as the Machiavellian has to practice the necessary inflections and subtle physical cues that are inherent in this kind of mental fiddling. A full explination of behaviors and triggers can be found at the bottom of the page.

This is a Language-Dependent Compulsion effect that does not function on any creature that has an Intelligence modifier of 2 or lower. In addition, do to the differences in mentalities, creatures with a different type than the Machiavellian gain a +4 to their saving throw against this ability.

Scathing Wit (Ex): In the hands of a talented Machiavellian, words can prove to be just as painful as sticks or stones. Starting at 1st level, as an attack action, a Machiavellian can make a Ranged Touch attack against any opponent within 25 ft. + 5 ft/2 levels. If successful, the target takes 1d6 points of nonlethal damage plus an additional 1d6 points of damage at 3rd level and every odd level afterwards as the Machiavellian’s words cause the opponent to all but accept defeat. If the target had taken lethal damage within the past round, this damage is lethal instead.

Starting at 7th level, a Machiavellian can use his words to hinder foes instead of or in addition to weakening their will to continue. Whenever the Machiavellian makes a successful attack using this ability, they may reduce the number of dice in damage by any amount (to a minimum of 0d6). For 1 round, the target takes a penalty of equal size to their attack rolls, skill checks, saving throws, or AC (Machiavellian’s choice).

This ability is a language-dependant that only affects creatures with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher.

Psychoanalyze (Su): Their ability to ferret out thoughts is almost uncanny; it's as if they can read minds...

At 2nd level, a Machiavellian gains the ability to use Detect Thoughts at will as a Supernatural ability; the DC is Wisdom based.

Any creature they are using Reprogram on is treated as being within range of their Detect Thoughts supernatural ability; while they are using that class feature, they may use Detect Thoughts as a free action, but it only affects the creature being Reprogrammed.

Toy with Emotions (Ex): A few choice words here or there can truly ruin a friendship, or cause a rift between two hated foes to be healed up; it all depends on how you use them.

At 2nd level, a Machiavellian may speak face to face with a creature for one minute; they must remain within 10' of that creature for the duration of that minute. The Machiavellian may then select one of the following strong emotions (all bonuses or penalties are Morale bonuses/penalties):
 

Courage- With a few words of encouragement, a creature's feelings of fear are assuaged. The target of this ability gains a bonus on Will saves vs. Fear Effects equal to twice the listed bonus for this ability, and also gains the listed bonus as a bonus to attack and damage rolls.

Despair- A few choice words cause a creature's hope to crumble; the creature must make a Will Save with a DC of 10+1/2 Machiavellian Level+Their charisma modifier, or receive a penalty to all attack rolls, damage rolls, saves, and checks equal to the listed bonus.

Dread- A word or two can summon up the most WONDERFUL fears from the subconscious; the creatures must make successful Wisdom checks with a DC equal to 10+the Machiavellian's class level to attack or fight. If the check fails, the creature flees in panic for 1d4 rounds. If the check succeeds, the creature does not have to check again for 10 minutes. The creature also receives a penalty on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, and Will saves equal to the listed bonus.

Hope- A choice word can bolster a depressed heart to hope again; the creature gains a bonus on saving throws, attack rolls, ability checks, skill checks, and damage rolls equal to the listed bonus.

Rage- Nothing like mentioning a little fact you had been saving up to make someone just... lose it. The creature receives bonus to Strength and Constitution equal to twice the listed bonus, a bonus on Will saves equal to the listed bonus, and a penalty to their Armor Class equal to the listed bonus. They are compelled to fight, heedless of danger, and will begin attack anyone who slights them in even the most minor way. Subjects can attempt Will saves against a DC of 10+1/2 the Machiavellian's Class Level+Their Charisma modifier to resist the compulsion to fly off the handle.

Love and Desire- Ah, words do bring springtime to the mind sometimes, am I correct? The creature must make a Will Save with a DC of 10+1/2 Machiavellian Level+Their charisma modifier, or fall in love/lust. If the creature "falls in love", they seek to be near a designated creature at all times if possible, and will go out of their way to try to win the designated creature's affection. A lust effect is similar, but instead of attempting to win affection, they instead seek every opportunity to be physically intimate with the designated creature.

Calm- Sometimes, it's words that soothe the wild beast; the target creature is under a Calm Emotions effect; any creature that has a class feature that requires strong emotion must make a Will Save with a DC of 10+1/2 Machiavellian Level+Their charisma modifier to use that ability.


All of these emotional effects last for a number of hours equal to the Machiavellian's class level, or until the creature sleeps for 8 hours, whichever comes first; normally, these effects come into play immediately after the minute of contact; however, a Machiavellian may use this ability in lieu of a behavior when using their Reprogram class feature. If they do so, they may choose to either have the emotion be undirected or have it be directed towards a person, object, or place.

A creature under the effects of this class ability cannot be targeted by this class feature until the duration has expired; a creature's mind can only stand so much warping before it ignores any attempts to change it.

This is a Language-Dependent Compulsion effect that does not function on any creature that has an Intelligence modifier of 2 or lower. In addition, do to the differences in mentalities, creatures with a different type than the Machiavellian gain a +4 to their saving throw against this ability.

Soothing Words (Ex): With the right words, a Machiavellian can boost the confidence of allies, pushing them beyond their normal limits. Starting at 4th level, as a standard action, a Machiavellian can select an ally within 5 feet/level who can hear and understand him. That ally is granted 2 temporary hit points/level for up to 1 hour or until they are lost.

Starting at 10th level, the Machiavellian can inspire a creature to overcome their own weaknesses. When an ally is targeted by this ability, they may make an additional saving throw to end (or reduce the effects of) any or all effects on their person that allowed for a saving throw (against the same DCs).

This ability is a language-dependant effect that only affects creatures with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher. No single creature can be targeted by this ability more than once per hour (the mind can only press the body so far, after all).

Reasonable Request (Sp): A Machiavellian is a very reasonable man, and as such, he makes very reasonable requests.

At 3rd level, a Machiavellian gains the ability to use Entice Gift(SpC) as a spell-like ability a number of times per day as indicated by the Requests per Day column on the table above.

At 8th level, by expending 2 uses of their Entice Gift SpL, they may use Death Wish as a Psi-like ability.

At 12th level, by expending 3 uses of their Entice Gift SpL, they may use Morality Undone as a spell-like ability, except the alignment change is to any of the following: Good, Evil, Lawful, or Chaotic.

At 16th level, by expending 4 uses of their Entice Gift SpL, they may use Dominate Monster as a spell-like ability.

At 20th level, by expending 5 uses of Entice Gift, they may use Programmed Amnesia as a spell-like ability.

Devoted Assistant (Ex): Sometimes, you need someone to stick around and help you with your chores; this man or woman fits that bill to a T.

At 6th level, a Machiavellian gains the services of a Cohort, as if they had taken the leadership feat. This cohort may not be able to cast spells or manifest powers, and cannot gain levels in this class at any point.

When this cohort is killed, they gain a new cohort within one week.

Spot the Audience (Su): A Machiavellian is capable of feats of perception few others are capable of.

At 6th level, a Machiavellian is automatically aware of any scrying taking place within 60', and may use the Reprogram class feature on the creature performing the scry.

Contacts Everywhere (Ex): Really, you end up seeing the same faces everywhere...

At 11th level, a Machiavellian seems to have his fingers in every single pie, as it were. They gain a number of Contacts as if they were a bard of their character level; they don't have to meet the people who are their contacts beforehand; they have simply studied that particular person's mentality enough (through captured letters, or the like) that they know how to get that person to do what they want, without having to resort to their more manipulative methods.

At 14th level, and every 3 levels thereafter, they may replace any number of Contacts with completely new contacts.

*Note*
If your party is using the Contacts alternate rules already, this class feature grants a pool of Contacts separate from the normal pool of Contacts gained upon level-up.
*Note*

All Their Own Doing (Ex): Oftentimes, it is best when you can manipulate someone into an action that they then take credit for.

At 14th level, any creature that is affected by the Reprogram and Toy with Emotions class features are not aware of the fact that their minds and emotions have been altered. They will, despite any evidence to the contrary, believe that what they did because of the Reprogram effect or what they felt under the Toy with Emotions effect were completely natural actions on their part.

Fine-Tuned Mind: Once a mind has achieved a certain level of sophistication, it scoffs at lesser abilities to alter it.

At 15th level, a Machiavellian is immune to all Mind-Affecting abilities.

At 19th level, any Mind-Affecting ability that targets the Machiavellian changes its target to be the original spellcaster instead, and treats the Machiavellian as if they were the original spellcaster (for example, an attempt to use Mind Rape on the Machiavellian would be treated as if the Machiavellian had cast Mind Rape on the caster instead.) 

You have Served your Purpose (Su): It is truly odd, isn't it, how manipulatable the pathetic little minds of those around them are...

At 18th level, a Machiavellian may imprint one of their Reasonable Request spell-like abilities into a creature through the use of their Reprogram class feature as if it were a behavior; if they do so, the spell-like abilities lose the mind-affecting descriptor, and they do not allow a second save. Instead, any creature making a save against a Reprogram attempt that has been altered by this ability received a +4 bonus to their Saving throw.

 


Behaviors and triggers explained: 

Behaviors and triggers are short, 5-word-or-less phrases that are used to manipulate a creature's interaction with the world around them. These phrases may be anything, as long as they follow the following guidelines:
-They must be definite and clear; "Something happens" is not a valid trigger.
-A Behavior must be a tangible alteration to a creature's behavior, and must be realistically attainable; "Attack your nearest ally" is a valid Behavior, while "Kill everyone, everywhere" and "think about cabbages" are not. In addition, a behavior may not lead to a behavior that would be obviously suicidal in most occasions, or that would force the acceptance of new orders ("Kill yourself" and "Obey the next order given to you" aren't valid behaviors, but "breathe", set to trigger when underwater, would be valid.).
-A Trigger must be an observable, unmistakable event; "A bell tolls" is a valid trigger, whereas "A 2nd-level cleric coughs" is not.
-They each must be a single thought; the use of "and" and "or" results in an invalid phrase.

It is understood that there is a When in front of Triggers and a Then in front of Behaviors; they do not need to be stated within the phrase itself.

 

Example in action:

-Don Juan, a 3rd level Machiavellian with a definite... romantic streak sneaks into the bedroom of Lady Ann, the sister of Lord Martin, one of Don Juan's deepest foes. Upon seeing that a man has entered into her bedroom, Lady Ann points a knife at Don Juan's throat.

Don Juan, of course, uses Reasonable Request (Entice Gift) to have her hand him the knife (she's an Aristocrat; they aren't known for great Will saves.) Now, because he doesn't want her to scream and give away his presence, he holds a knife to her throat and speaks for a minute about how he won't hurt her if she stays quiet; he is, in fact, using Toy with Emotions to instill Love; she fails the save, and he puts away the knife.

Now, being a clever man, he has chosen "Someone says "Midnight Owls"" as a trigger, and "stab Lord Martin lethally" as a behavior; he also knows, through Gather Information checks, that the Lady Ann and Lord Martin had a little bit of a falling out recently over some trifling affair, and so it wouldn't seem too odd if she did something to get back at him.

So Don Juan plies her with the alcohol he was carrying on him (in a romantic manner), and whispers sweet nothings in her ear for a half an hour; having instilled her with the desired behaviors, he leaves her as she is nodding off to sleep, leaving behind a slip of paper.

The next morning, Lady Ann wakes up, slightly hung over, and notices a piece of paper, written in a flowing hand, on her bedside table. She picks it up, and looks questioningly at the words written on it.

"Midnight Owls" she reads aloud, questioningly.

Don Juan receives the regrettable news that Lord Martin was killed by his sister, who was then taken to a mad house. All according to plan.

 

 

Alternate class features:

All According to Plan
Levels: 3, 8, 12, 16, 18, 20
Replaces: Reasonable Request, You have Served your Usefulness
Benefits: You have less of a direct influence on people, and may instead influence the world around you with your long-reaching plans.

At 3rd level, you gain the Bardic Knowledge ability, using your Machiavellian level in place of your Bard level for all purposes; in addition, you may use this ability to Speak Authoritatively about a long-term result of any plan you have set into motion. This ability does not allow you to bring about utterly unrealistic results, and you must be able to realistically describe how the plan you began would result in the result you describe.

The result described must be stated to take place within 1 day/level, and cannot take place within a day from the point that you specify; otherwise, you have wasted your 1/Session attempt.

At 8th level, you gain the ability to directly benefit from your wondrous plan; once per day, you can either add your Charisma modifier to all d20 rolls and all damage you deal for 1 round (one minute out of combat), as your opponents, bungling fools that they are, stumble headfirst into clever, seemingly randomly placed, snares that are a testament to your brilliance. However, to gain any benefit from this ability, you must describe how your glorious plan affects the outcome.

You gain an additional daily use of this ability at 12th level and every 4 levels thereafter.

At 18th level, you gain the ability to bring about more immediate results with your ability to Speak Authoritatively; you may have your attempt take place within 6 seconds (one combat round), but you must describe something occurring to an enemy or a group of enemies (perhaps a rock slide rains down on their heads, or they just happened to be issued defective arrows, or some such skullduggery). However, you must be able to explain afterwards why such a thing occurred; this ability is an extraordinary ability, and takes a full-round action to perform.

Supernatural Conspirator
Levels: 6 and 11
Replaces: Devoted Assistant
Benefit: At 6th level, you gain the ability to use both Planar Ally and Fey Ring as spell-like abilities at-will; however, you may only call an Outsider or Fey that has a number of HD up to your class level in Machiavellian minus 2. In addition, you may only have one of the above spells active at one time, and any use of either spell-like ability immediately dispels any earlier use of either spell-like ability.

At 11th level, you may choose for the Fey or Outsider that you summoned to arrive in a more... possessive state; they can leave their bodies and possess people, as laid out in the Book of Vile Darkness.