Archives of Nethys

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Aspis Mastermind

Source Starfinder #41: Serpents in the Cradle pg. 45
Lucrative schemes don’t organize themselves. Behind every successful Aspis operation looms an Aspis mastermind: an adroit leader, organizer, and no-holds-barred negotiator ready to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
Masterminds never work alone, instead recruiting a team of ruthless experts and disposable muscle. Despite their unscrupulous methods, Aspis masterminds combine genius and charisma to inspire loyalty among minions ready to enact complex plans at a moment’s notice. Most get their experience on the job as members of other crews, but a few are trained at secretive Aspis facilities in Near Space and the Vast.
Most Aspis masterminds are envoys, operatives, or witchwarpers, using their abilities of fear and misdirection to stay one step ahead of their foes. Masterminds train in Profession skills to supplement and hide their more illicit activities, favoring professions like corporate professional, lawyer, merchant, manager, politician, or writer.

Alternate Class Features

The Aspis mastermind grants alternate class features at 4th, 6th, 9th, and 12th levels.

Imposing Entrepreneur (Ex) - 4th Level

You gain Intimidate and one Profession skill as a class skill. For each of these skills that’s already a class skill for you (or becomes a class skill) from a source other than this archetype, once per day you can choose to roll a check with that skill twice and take the better result.
When you successfully use Intimidate to bully a creature, you can spend a Resolve Point to gain one of the following benefits:
  • Increase the duration of your Intimidate effect to 2d6 hours.
  • Cause the creature’s attitude toward you to become indifferent rather than unfriendly or hostile after the Intimidate effect ends.
  • Leave a lingering sense of dread in the creature for a number of days equal to the higher of your Intelligence or Charisma modifiers (minimum 1); during this time, you can bully the creature again by spending 1d4 rounds conversing with them.

Brilliant Scheme (Ex) - 6th Level

You can devise complicated plans that rely on precise coordination and subtlety. Once per day, you can spend 10 minutes coaching up to six other creatures about an imminent scheme, at which time you choose one of the following actions for each participating creature. You can choose actions in any combination, selecting the same action for every creature or different actions for each creature:
  • Aim a weapon with the sniper property as though the creature had expended a move action to do so.
  • Attempt an Acrobatics check to escape a grapple or restraints.
  • Attempt a Bluff check to create a distraction.
  • Attempt an Intimidate check to demoralize a creature.
  • Covering fire or harrying fire.
  • Draw a weapon or object (including one hidden on their person using Sleight of Hand).
  • Guarded step.
  • Manipulate an item.
The GM might allow additional actions, though such options should be something a creature could perform with a move action and that doesn’t directly harm others.
You can take a standard action to execute your scheme; when you do, you allow one creature you’ve coached that day, and who can see or hear you, to perform the action you selected for them without spending one of their own actions. After they do, they lose the ability to benefit from your brilliant scheme for 1 day.

Plausible Deniability (Ex) - 9th level

Despite its underhanded strategies, the Aspis Consortium maintains a positive reputation, and you’re adept at downplaying and misdirecting your rivals’ suspicions. You gain a +4 insight bonus to Bluff checks to convince others that you aren’t associated with, aware of, or responsible for dangerous allies, equipment, or contractual terms. For example, you could gain this bonus to disavow any connection to your bloodstained allies, insist you were unaware of illicit cargo on your starship, or feign surprise about details in a maliciously worded contract.
In addition, you can spend 1 Resolve Point when you successfully feint against a target to conceal the fact that you’re responsible for the subsequent attack. When you do, you can also attempt a Bluff check (DC = 10 + the target’s Sense Motive bonus) to trick the target of this subsequent attack into thinking the attack originated from another creature that’s present. The Bluff DC is modified based on the target’s attitude toward you, as if you were telling a lie (Core Rulebook 137), and also for the plausibility of your deception, at the GM’s discretion; for example, blaming an unarmed individual for your attack would increase the DC by 5.

Executive Direction (Ex) - 12th Level

Your unflappable genius lets you improvise plans perfectly and seamlessly. When you coach a group of characters in your brilliant scheme, you no longer have to select the actions they can take ahead of time. Instead, when you take a standard action to execute a scheme, you can select the action the creature performs from the list of actions allowed by brilliant scheme. In addition, when you execute a scheme, the affected creature gains a surge of confidence that grants them 4d6 temporary Hit Points that last 1 minute.