Prestige Classes


The term assassin conjures an image of a black-hooded rogue slinking through the darkness, poised to put a dagger through the throat of his victim. These silent killers are hired when a murder must be committed without drawing undue attention, or when the one commissioning the deed would like to remain nameless.

Sometimes, however, a killing is meant to send a message to the living. Crimelords often make examples of lackeys who have failed in their tasks, and rulers frequently find it useful to display their intolerance for rabble-rousers and insurrectionists with special shows of force. Even churches sometimes use less-than-subtle methods to prove themselves worthy of their followers faith and coin. Missions that involve making an example of the victim call for the special talents of an oppressor.

Oppressors specialize in brute force assassinations, although many of their assignments are less deadly "legbreaking" missions. Members of this prestige class know how to bloody their targets before killing them and how to intimidate bystanders into staying out of the fray. The brutal and violent methods of an oppressor invariably make a lasting impression on the minds of witnesses, who thereafter tend to consider opposing the oppressor's employer an unhealthy prospect.

The typical oppressor is a fulltime employee of a crime boss, thieves' guild, or local ruler. Independent agents are rare in this profession, primarily because the populations that oppressors terrorize would certainly retaliate were the assassins not under the constant protection of their employer, A few oppressors are paid to root out their employers' enemies wherever they lurk or to serve as a symbol of their employers' power. Such agents generally find that traveling with others helps deter the wrath of those they terrorize.

Oppressors are almost universally scorned by the societies in which they work, but most of them never give this social ostracism a second thought. They love their work and get paid well for it, and that is enough for them. Oppressors do not expect the affection of others, nor do they seek it. Theirs is a lonely profession, but those who choose it know the consequences well in advance.

Hit Die: d8.


To qualify to become an oppressor, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Alignment: Any evil.

Base Attack Bonus: +5.

Skills: Intimidate 8 ranks.

Feats: Improved Grapple, Improved Unarmed Strike, Persuasive.

Special: Sneak attack +1d6.

Special: Must have killed someone in public and be a known killer in at least one region.

Class Skills

The oppressor's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Use Rope (Dex).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: The Oppressor

Level Base
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Keep awake, sneak attack +1d6
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Brutal grappler
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Intimidating edict
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Sneak attack +2d6
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Greater intimidation, infamy
6th +6 +5 +2 +2 Bonus feat
7th +7 +5 +2 +2 Sneak attack +3d6
8th +8 +6 +2 +2 Intimidatng presence
9th +9 +6 +3 +3 Bonus feat
10th +10 +7 +3 +3 Sneak attack +4d6
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the oppressor prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An oppressor gains no new weapon or armor proficiencies.

Keep Awake (Ex): Whenever the oppressor deals enough damage to reduce an opponent to fewer than 0 hit points, he may instead choose to deal only enough damage to disable that opponent (placing him at exactly 0 hit points). Furthermore, if the oppressor has dealt a creature nonlethal damage that would normally cause it to become unconscious, he may choose to deal only enough to render the opponent staggered.

Sneak Attack: This ability functions exactly like the rogue ability of the same name. At 1st level, the oppressor deals 1d6 points of bonus damage with a sneak attack. The extra damage dealt increases by an additional +1d6 every third oppressor level (at 4th, 7th, and 10th). It the oppressor already has the sneak attack ability from another class, the damage bonuses stack.

Brutal Grappler (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, the oppressor can add his sneak attack damage to the unarmed damage he deals when grappling, so long as the grappled foe is susceptible to sneak attack damage. All the damage from this attack (including his normal unarmed damage) is considered nonlethal.

Intimidating Edict (Su): When the oppressor reaches 3rd level, he gains the ability to use his brutal punishment of one opponent as a warning to others. If the oppressor has used his keep awake ability in full view of bystanders with Intelligence scores of 3 or higher, he can issue an edict admonishing those bystanders to perform or avoid a particular action. This ability functions exactly like a mass suggestion spell, cast by a spellcaster of the oppressor's character level. The oppressor can only issue one intimidating edict a day. The save DC of this ability is 16 + the oppressor's Charisma bonus, or 18 + the oppressor's Charisma bonus if the person he has harmed is a leader or someone respected by those he is intimidating (DM's judgment).

An intimidating edict can be an admonition to pay the local thieves' guild the protection money it demands, a warning not to organize resistance against a local ruler, or any similar suggestion. Each edict may reference only one course of action, thus, a single intimidating edict could not coerce onlookers to pay protection money and forego organizing a resistance movement. A creature can be affected by only one edict at a time (although they can still be affected by different suggestion spells or effects while under the effects of an intimidating edict); creatures already under the effect of an intimidating edict are not affected by subsequent ones until the first wears off.

Intimidating edict is a supernatural, mind-affecting ability.

Greater Intimidation (Ex): By the time he reaches 5th level, the oppressor has honed his intimidation skills to exceptional levels. When he uses the Intimidate skill to change another's behavior, the attempt takes only 5 rounds instead of the usual 1 minute. When he uses it to demoralize an opponent, the attempt requires only a move action rather than a standard action.

Infamy (Ex): Upon reaching 5th level, the oppressor has gained a reputation as a bringer of violence in any regions where he has plied his trade. As a result, he takes a -2 penalty on Diplomacy and Gather Information checks made in areas where he is known. He also gains a +2 bonus on Intimidate checks against anyone who knows his infamous reputation.

Bonus Feat: At 6th level and again at 9th level, the oppressor can select any feat for which he qualifies from the list of fighter bonus feats. This feat counts as a bonus feat for him.

Intimidating Presence (Su): By 8th level, the oppressor is so adept at his arts that his presence unnerves those around him. As a result, any creature with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher that attempts to harm him must first succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + oppressor level + oppressor's Charisma modifier) or become shaken for 1 round as if it were the target of a successful Intimidate check by the oppressor. A creature that succeeds at the save is immune to that oppressor's intimidating presence for one day.

Intimidating presence is a supernatural, mind-affecting ability.