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The Kill had been so damn easy. Satisfying, but too easy. Didn’t take enough time with it though-should have savored the moment more. What have I just done? How could I do it? None of it seemed real-not really real. It was like watching me in a movie. Tracking the target had been no problem at all-the red-headed cow had barely even looked behind her. Her idea of making her trail hard to follow was changing cabs a couple of times. Cripes, where do they get their agents these days?
Did I just dream the whole thing? Have I suffered some kind of episode? That leather duster jacket I wore…taking the rifle out from underneath the coast, putting it together…that awful pause before that woman fell to the floor after I squeezed the trigger…
Squeezing the trigger-it had felt so good after so long, but it was all too brief. All of it –striding through downtown crowds with confidence, arrogance even…the wind in my face up there on the rooftop… the feel of cold steel and custom-molded wood in my hands…the feeling of power when I took her out all felt so right. It was…
All of it was so frightening. The noise, and the smell, and being up so high. I hate guns…they’ve always frightened me. I don’t even like violent movies. I love romances and comedies- Anything with Sandra Bullock, or Reese Witherspoon, or Eddie Murphy, in the movies where he doesn’t curse so much. It was exhilarating. Knowing I can end a life so easily-that it’s in my hands, like a surgeon-or a judge, handing down a death sentence.
My name is Clara Faye. I work in customer service at the UPS call center. I have a date with that nice bartender Casey from the Top Shelf next Saturday. I sell my hand-painted decorative stones on the internet for extra money. I just joined a power yoga class at the YWCA to lose the extra 12 pounds I’ve been carrying around since I passed thirty. I’m not a… I’m one of the elite. I’m one of the best. This is what I was meant to be-to do-my purpose. My name is Cassandra Farrell-and these are the sweetest moments for me. The times when I’m free again, when I know who and what I am-that I’m so much better than the workaday drones all around me. Maybe this assignment will be finished soon and I can go back to being myself again, full-time. No more answering complaints from idiots who haven’t gotten their Victoria’s Secret packages on-time or sending out useless memos on how to improve office efficiency.
That poor woman she had sh…had seen being shot… what color was her hair again? Red? Blonde? Had she been tall? I thought she was tall. It seemed like the past few hours were getting a little hazy…where had she put that coat she had been wearing?…I feel a headache coming on…maybe just a short nap…she had gotten up so early today… Don’t worry, Clara, you boring old drudge. You won’t remember any of this tomorrow. Unfortunately, I really won’t either.
PROFILE OF A Black Ops Ghost
The Black Ops Ghost is a professional killer who has taken the concept of hiding in plain sight to whole new level. She has gone so far underground that the guise she has adopted as became nearly more real than her own life history. Most of the time, the character appears to be a completely ordinary citizen-a realtor, a teacher, a waitress-but in a split-second she can revert to her true identity as a top-notch black ops agent specializing in carrying out extreme sanctions premeditated murders. She may do so out of ideology, patriotism, or greed. Whatever her motives, the Black Ops Ghost is a deadly opponent who has mastered numerous methods of stalking and eliminating her targets.
The Black Ops Ghost may be a government asset who has undergone conditioning that allows her to pass undetected until her special skills are needed. Perhaps she is a free-lancer, a human predator who has taught herself the esoteric techniques necessary to dwell unnoticed among her prey. It may even be that the Black Ops Ghost is being used for nefarious ends against her own will-she may be the victim of a sinister organization that has brainwashed her for their own ends.
To qualify to become a Black Ops Ghost, a character must fulfill the following criteria
Skills: Disguise 6 ranks, Bluff 6 ranks.
Feats: Low Profile, Personal Firearms Proficiency.
Base Attack Bonus: +3.
Special: A Black Ops Ghost cannot begin in the class with an allegiance to Good. The GM and the player should work out whether the Black Ops Ghost is an active agent of an espionage agency (legitimate or otherwise) of if the character is a free-lancer.
The fastest means of reaching this advanced class is through the Strong and Fast basic hero classes. A high Wisdom score is also highly desirable for those considering the class.
The following information applies to the Black Ops Ghost advanced class.
Hit Die The Black Ops Ghost gains 1d8 hit points per level. The character’s Constitution modifier applies.
Action Points A Black Ops Ghosts gain a number of action points equal to 6 plus one-half her character level, rounded down, every time she advances a level in this class.
The Black Ops Ghost’s class skills are: Bluff (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Knowledge(current events, history, popular culture, streetwise, tactics) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Read/Write Language (None), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language, Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis).
Skill Points at each level: 5 + Int modifier.
The following features pertain to the Black Ops Ghost advanced class:
Advanced Assassination Techniques (EX): The Black Ops Ghost is an expert at delivering devastating strikes against unwary targets. Beginning at 4th level, whenever the Black Ops Ghost makes an attack against a target which is denied its’ Dexterity bonus to Defense (attacked by surprise, for example), or against a flanked target, the threat range of the Black Ops Ghost’s weapon is increased by +1 (i.e., a weapon that normally threatens a critical on a natural 20 would now threaten on a 19 or 20). If the attack does hit and threatens a critical, she may spend an action point to confirm the critical without needing to roll further.
At 8th level, if the Black Ops Ghost scores a critical hit against an surprised or flanked target she may spend an action point to add an additional +1 multiplier to the weapon damage (i.e., a weapon that normally did x2 damage on a critical hit would inflict x3 damage instead). The Black Ops Ghost may do so even if she has already spent an action point during the round-for example, to confirm the critical hit in the first place.
Bonus Feats: The Black Ops Ghost selects a bonus feat at 3rd, 6th, and 9th level. The bonus feat must be selected from among the choices listed below. The Black Ops Ghost must fulfill all prerequisites for the feat.
Advanced Combat Martial Arts, Advanced Firearm Proficiency, Exotic Firearm Proficiency, Exotic Melee Weapon Proficiency, Alertness, Armor Proficiency (light), Combat Martial Arts, Combat Reflexes, Far Shot, Improved Initiative, Run, Stealthy, Track, Trustworthy.
Cover Identity: At 1st level a new identity is created for the Black Ops Ghost. The cover identity is backed up by all appropriate documentation-an expertly forged drivers’ license, new social security number, false personal records (educational and occupational history, medical files, and so on)-all the data needed to substantiate the character’s adopted persona. Should the Black Ops Ghost come under suspicion, any attempts made to uncover discrepancies in the character’s background (through Computer Use, Gather Information or the like) is made against a DC equal to 15 + the Black Ops Ghost’s class level.
Prior to assuming the cover identity, the character is educated / trained in skills appropriate to the false persona’s job/profession. The Black Ops Ghost may select one additional Starting Occupation of her choice, gaining any additional class skills or skill bonuses, feats, Reputation bonus and/or Wealth bonus conveyed by the occupation.
If the Black Ops Ghost ever chooses or is forced to abandon the cover identity, she may establish a new one after gaining one level in the class. The benefits conferred by the former additional starting occupation are lost if a new one is selected.
If the character is a member of an agency, the details of the cover may be decided by the GM (though player input should be allowed). A free-lancer is free to pick the details of her cover identity herself.
Cross Class Skills: At 2nd level and again at 7th level the Black Ops Ghost may purchase ranks in 4 cross-class skills as if they were class skills instead. The character gains 1 rank in the skills for each skill point spent, and can acquire ranks up to a maximum of the character’s class level + 3. The Black Ops Ghost normally uses this class feature to select skills that further buttress the credibility his cover identity.
Deceptive: The profession of the Black Ops Ghost requires absolute commitment at all times to maintaining the façade of the Cover ID. The Black Ops Ghost automatically gains the Deceptive Feat, gaining a +2 bonus to her Bluff and Disguise skill checks. If the character already possesses the feat, no further bonus is conferred.
The Mode (EX): Through the use of an advanced mind-body enhancement technique (dubbed “The
Mode” by those elite black ops personnel who developed them) the Black Ops Ghost blanks her conscious mind, mentally stimulates the release of key performance hormones (adrenalin, epinephrine, endorphins), and unleashes a set of pre-programmed combat maneuvers. She effectively becomes a human fighting machine. By spending one action point, the Black Ops
Ghost gains the following benefits:
• +4 bonus to Strength
• +4 bonus to Dexterity
• +2d8 Hit Points (however, these are not considered temporary hit points).
• +4 bonus on Constitution checks to continue running or holding her breath.
• +4 bonus to resist mind-influencing effects, including Fear effects and Intimidate checks. The maximum number of rounds the character may operate in the Mode is equal to her Wisdom modifier (if positive) +5, though she may choose to end its effects sooner if she wishes. The character is then Fatigued (-2 Str, -2 Dex, cannot run or charge) for equal number of rounds.
Total Immersion (EX): At 5th level, the Black Ops Ghost undergoes deep psychological conditioning (whether from an outside agency or self-induced) that allow her to completely suppress her memories and self-awareness, causing her true persona to be subsumed by her cover identity. From this point onward the Black Ops Ghost actually believes the details of her cover identity to be her real past history. She then exhibits characteristics and personality traits entirely consistent with the false ID. The change is profound-the Black Ops Ghost’s actual mind is “shunted” into a sort of neurological sub-routine, where it continues to operate on a subconscious level, freeing up the necessary mental capacity to assume novel traits. The change is so complete that the character’s true allegiances are replaced with those of the assumed identity. The character’s real memories / personality can be accessed via an appropriate mental Trigger (see the class feature below).
While functioning in this state, the Black Ops Ghost loses access to three of her normal feats and two of her class skills; these are replaced by a feats and skills more in line with those of the adopted persona. This usually means that combat abilities are replaced with non-combat related feats and skills.
The character gains a +5 bonus to Bluff checks related to passing unnoticed in her new role (speaking about her childhood, romantic entanglements, past jobs, etc); All attempts by others to use the Sense Motive to discover anything odd or improper about the character’s behavior are made at a -5 penalty. Likewise, the character receives a +5 bonus on all saving throws against Mind Probes and similar abilities. If the Black Ops Ghost makes such a saving throw by exactly the die roll necessary, the false memories are relayed to the character doing the Mind Probe as if they were genuine.
If the Black Ops Ghost ever chooses or is forced to abandon the false persona, she may immerse herself in a new one after gaining a level in the class. The character can only choose to relinquish the false identity permanently if her genuine persona is currently active / dominant.
Triggers: At 2nd, 5th, and 8th level the Black Ops Ghost can select a number of psychological triggers, cues that activate post-hypnotic commands to perform some pre-programmed action. The triggers may be implanted by an outside agency (if the character is associated with one) or induced by the character herself. The maximum number of triggers selected at each level is equal to the character’s Wisdom modifier (if positive) +1.
Possible circumstances under which a trigger might be activated include encountering a particular individual, hearing a certain phrase spoken aloud, or visiting a locale for the first time (or at least for the first time since implanting the trigger). Triggers might also be made time-dependent instead of event-specific, with the character programmed to perform some action at the same time every day or at her earliest possible opportunity on a given date.
Triggered actions may be simple or complex, singlestep or multi-stage. Some examples include:
When a bald man wearing a blue trench coat bumps into you on Main Street, take the piece of paper he hands you without speaking to him or looking back at him. Read the message on it as soon as you are alone, and then tear it to pieces.
If you ever hear the phrase “It’s time to drop the owl’s egg” over the phone or see it in an email message, retrieve the package hidden under the attic floorboard, go to the nearest bus stop, and leave the package under the bench. Then walk away.
If you ever see a blonde woman in her thirties wearing an eye patch and carrying a silver sword-cane, surreptitiously follow her and make carefully record her final destination and the path she traveled to get there. Then go buy a phone card at a convenience store, call 555-724-5000, ext. 15. Give the information to the person who picks up the line.
Exactly one year from today’s date your true identity will emerge and you will recover all your past memories. Unless the trigger re-awakens the character’s true persona (assuming the character is in Total Immersion), the Black Ops Ghost is only really aware of the actions prompted by the trigger on a subconscious level; while the character is still alert and aware, she is largely acting on automatic pilot, without any self-consciousness. Because of this, she gains a +2 bonus on any skill checks relevant to the main part of the task (Moving Silently or Hiding when following a target for example). If the trigger compels the character to attack a target, the Black Ops Ghost receives a +1 bonus to Initiative for the first round of combat.
Block Ops Ghost
|1||+0||+1||+2||+1||Cover Identity, Deceptive||+1||+0|
|2||+1||+2||+3||+2||Cross Class Skills, Triggers||+1||+0|
|4||+3||+2||+4||+2||Advanced Assassination Techniques I||+2||+2|
|5||+3||+3||+4||+3||Total Immersion, Triggers||+3||+1|
|7||+5||+4||+5||+4||Cross Class Skills||+4||+1|
|8||+6||+4||+6||+4||Advanced Assassination Techniques II, Triggers||+4||+1|