Zhentarim

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Token Process

In addition to the mechanical requirements listed below, players will also need DM approval, where only after will they be assimilated into the guild.

To apply for a Prestige Class token, please contact DMs on the forums, via PM to Active DM's.

Please study the Roleplay tips below. Your concept must understand secrecy and display the ability to work with a secret organization, as well as show why the Zhentarim would be interested at all.


Roleplay

If you want to take one of the Harper prestige classes, and to be counted as a full-fledged Zhentarim for systems purposes you need to get a token from a DM (first meeting the requirements above). You do not need to have pre-requisites for the Zhentarim class for the token, but you *must* eventually take Zhentarim levels after receiving it. However, the Zhentarim have many allies, and you can play an ally of the Zhentarim without having the token or taking a class.

You could play a starting character as an agent of the Zhentarim, although getting in contact with the existing Zhentarim on Arelith island might take a very long time given their secrecy.

Players on Arelith do not need to fear that their Zhentarim class is metagamed from the playerlist, as the player's build is hidden. The class abilities are also quite subtle, so if you're careful it won't be obvious that you have the class.

WARNING: If your Zhentarim betrays the Zhentarim Cell or outs other Zhentarim, they risk character deletion should they be killed, as Zhentarim do not tolerate outers/betrayers in their own cell.

The Zhentarim

The Zhentarim, also known as the Black Network, was a mercenary company, and greater mercantile organization in Faerûn, who, over their 200 years of existence, has had a storied history as a cadre of self-serving thieves, spies, assassins and malevolent wizards, who for a time, were indentured by their leaders to serve dark gods (mostly Bane and Cyric). Over the decades, the organization experienced several leaps and bounds in terms of successes, but also major misfortune, particularly for their historical strongholds around the Moonsea. The Zhentarim have created cells on Arelith with the goal of aquiring power over the island.

Intrigue and backstabbing occur within the organization - officers within the Black Network have gotten to where they are on not only in their skill but also for their willingness to defame, debilitate, or otherwise betray their fellows to impress someone higher in the organization - a Zhent cares only for more power.

The Zhentarim is among the most famed and feared "secret" organizations in Faerûn. Its members have their hands in nearly every illicit business imaginable, from assassination to drug trafficking to slavery.

Zhentarim Ideals

The Zhentarim is an unscrupulous shadow network that seeks to expand its influence and power throughout Faerûn. The organization is ambitious, opportunistic, and meritocratic.

Goals

  • Amass wealth.
  • Look for opportunities to seize power.
  • Gain influence over important people and organizations.
  • Dominate Faerûn.

Beliefs

  • The Zhentarim is your family. You watch out for it, and it watches out for you.
  • You are the master of your own destiny. Never be less than what you deserve to be.
  • Everything—and everyone—has a price.

Arelith Changes

There are five prestige classes for Zhentarim.

Zhentarims examining characters will get feedback if the person they are looking at also carries a Zhentarim Pin (the Prestige Class token).

Zhentarim Naug-adar

The Zhentarim is among the most famed and feared "secret" organizations in Faerûn. Its members have their hands in nearly every illicit business imaginable, from assassination to drug trafficking to slavery.

Every Zhentarim caravan is said to be watched over by a spellcaster of some skill. Many mages join the Zhentarim for the political power it offers and the access to a large library of spells.

The naug-adar, or devil dogs, are the ever-watchful minor mages of the Zhentarim. These low-ranking or inexperienced mages are given certain spying and eavesdropping tasks that the Zhentarim deem important and that require the magical capabilities endowed by the ability to use wizard spells. While the naug-adar must perform their assigned tasks to remain in good stead with the Black Network, they are never promoted within the ranks of the Zhentarim until they show some initiative. They must unearth information of importance, manipulate people or events in a way beneficial to the Black Network, or arrange for the death of their rivals or superiors on their own to be considered for promotion. Needless to say, the result is that naug-adar are a bunch of prying, conniving, backstabbing vipers.

Beneficial information is passed up the chain of command promptly. Bad news is buried whenever possible. If information does not serve a naug-adar's needs, but does not hurt his or her prospects either, it is passed on about half the time; the rest of the time it is hoarded like secret gold, with each naug-adar thinking that something only she or he knows might help his or her cause down the line.

Requirements

Alignment Restrictions: Any evil

Skills: Bluff 4 ranks, Intimidate 4 ranks

Feats: Great Fortitude, Thug

Multi-classing: May not have any other Zhentarim class. Must have an arcane caster class.

Special: This class requires a permission token.

Class Features

Hit die: d6

Proficiencies: armor (light), weapons (simple)

Skill Points: 4 + int modifier

Class Skills: bluff, concentration, craft mastery, heal, hide, leadership, lore, move silently, ride, sail, spellcraft.

Primary saving throw(s): reflex, will

Base attack bonus: +3/4 level

Bonus Feats: As wizard.

Epic Bonus Feats: As Sorcerer and Wizard.

Abilities

Lvl BAB Saves Feats HP
F R W
1th +0 +0 +2 +2 +1 Arcane Caster Level
1st Bonus Feat
Skill Focus: Lore
Spell Penetration
6
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 +1 Arcane Caster Level
Skill Focus: Spellcraft
12
3rd +2 +0 +3 +3 +1 Caster Level
Epic Skill Focus: Concentration
Greater Spell Penetration
18
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 +1 Arcane Caster Level 24
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 +1 Arcane Caster Level
Eschew Material - Does not require spell components
2nd Bonus Feat
Epic Skill Focus: Spellcraft
30

Zhentarim Fear Speaker

Fear Speakers have their origins in the days of Cyric's ascent as the chief god of the Zhentil Keep and the Black Network. In those days the Priesthood of Cyric was unchallenged and those who took up the divine cause of the Black Sun could not be questioned. Part holy warrior, part spy, and absolutely concerned with rank both in the church as well as the Network these men and women would stop at nothing; including fabricating disobedience to their god in order to rise.

Though the Dark Sun seems to set over this black empire with the destruction of the Zhentil Keep, the turn of Fzoul Chembryl to Iyatchu Xvim and eventually back to the Black Lord this has not seen this style of priest banished from its ranks. Though most in the Zhentarim praise Bane; there are many dark cults who are tolerated within their number so long as they at least pay lip service... and there are quite a few members of Cyric's own order still lurking, waiting for that rise in rank which will see the Dark Sun rise again.

Requirements

Alignment restrictions: Any evil.

Skills: Bluff 4 ranks, Intimidate 4 ranks, Concentration 8 ranks.

Feats: Great Fortitude, Thug.

Multi-classing: May not have any other Zhentarim class.

Special: This class requires a permission token.

Class Features

Hit Die: d8 Proficiencies: Simple weapons and light armor Proficiencies: armor (light), weapons (simple)

Skill points: 4 + int modifier

Class Skills: bluff, concentration, craft mastery, heal, hide, leadership, lore, move silently, ride, sail, spellcraft, tumble

Primary saving throw(s): reflex, will

Base attack bonus: +3/4 level

Bonus feats: divine might, divine shield, extra turning, favored enemy, greater spell focus, improved turning

Unavailable feats: weapon specialization

Epic bonus feats: armor skin, automatic quicken spell, automatic silent spell, automatic still spell, epic spell focus, epic spell penetration, great wisdom, greater spell focus, improved combat casting, planar turning, Great Charisma

Unavailable epic feats: epic weapon specialization, outsider shape, construct shape, dragon shape, undead shape

Abilities

Lvl BAB Saves Feats HP
F R W
1th +0 +0 +2 +2 +1 Divine Caster Level
Skill Focus: Lore.
1st Bonus Feat
Extend Spell
Bardic Knowledge
8
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 +1 Divine Caster Level
+3 DC on Turning
16
3rd +2 +0 +3 +3 +1 Divine Caster Level.
Planar Turning
24
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 +1 Divine Caster Level 32
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 +1 Divine Caster Level
Gain piety from all aspects.
2nd Bonus Feat
Armor Skin
40

Zhentarim Enforcer

Enforcers have their origins in the foot soldiers recruited by the priesthoods loyal to the Zhentarim. Jack booted thugs who bust down doors and haul off infidel and political prison alike to be slain or enslaved.

Many of their rites are only loosely based in the divine worship and seem to very much indulge in matters not unlike a blackguard; cavorting with fiends and other sentient immortal evils to gain power and thus rank in the Black Network. Surely they enforce the will of their mortal and divine lieges... but also themselves.

Requirements

Alignment: Any evil

Skills: Discipline 4 ranks, Search 4 ranks, Intimidate 6 ranks, Bluff 8 ranks

Feats: Great Fortitude, Thug

Classes: May not have any other Zhentarim class

Special: This class requires a permission token

Class Features

Hit die: d10

Proficiencies: armor (light, heavy, medium), shields, weapons (martial, simple)

Skill points: 4 + int modifier

Class Skills: bluff, craft mastery, discipline, heal, hide, intimidate, listen, leadership, lore, move silently, parry, ride, sail, spot, taunt

Primary saving throw(s): reflex, will

Base attack bonus: +1/level

Bonus feats: ambidexterity, blind fight, called shot, cleave, deflect arrows, divine might, divine shield, disarm, dodge, expertise, great cleave, improved critical, improved disarm, improved expertise, improved knockdown, improved parry, improved power attack, improved two-weapon fighting, improved unarmed strike, knockdown, mobility, mounted archery, mounted combat, point blank shot, power attack, rapid shot, spring attack, stunning fist, two-weapon fighting, weapon finesse, weapon focus, weapon proficiency (exotic), whirlwind attack

Unavailable feats: weapon specialization

Epic bonus feats: armor skin, epic damage reduction, epic prowess, epic toughness, epic weapon focus, improved stunning fist, improved whirlwind attack, overwhelming critical, superior initiative, epic reputation, epic spell focus, great smiting, greater spell focus, improved combat casting, improved critical (whip only), perfect health, planar turning

Unavailable epic feats: epic weapon specialization, outsider shape, construct shape, dragon shape, undead shape

Abilities

Lvl BAB Saves Feats HP
F R W
1th +1 +0 +2 +2 +2 Universal Saving Throws
1st Bonus Feat
10
2nd +2 +0 +3 +3 20
3rd +3 +0 +3 +3 +2 Universal Saving Throws
Turn Undead
2nd Bonus Feat
30
4th +4 +1 +4 +4 40
5th +5 +1 +4 +4 +2 Universal Saving Throws
3rd Bonus Feat
50

Note: For non-blackguards, as long as your charisma score is above a base 11, the save progression will be replaced with Dark Blessing at Zhentarim Level 5

Zhentarim Operative

Though there are many diverse character types within its ranks, the Zhentarim operative is probably the one Faerûnians encounter most often - even if they never realize it. These are the spies, the thieves, the assassins lurking in the world. Undermining civilization, orchestrating coups, and those just trying to make their way through the ranks by making their fellows look worse than themselves.

Requirements

Alignment: Any evil

Skills: Discipline 4 ranks, Search 4 ranks, Bluff 6 ranks, Intimidate 6 ranks

Feats: Great Fortitude, Thug

Multi-classing: May not have any other Zhentarim class

Special: This class requires a permission token

Class Features

Hit die: d6

Proficiencies: armor (light), weapons (simple)

Skill points: 8 + int modifier ((8 + int modifier) * 4 at 1st level)

Class Skills: appraise, bluff, craft mastery, heal, hide, listen, leadership, lore, move silently, open lock, parry, perform, ride, sail, search, sleight of hand, spot, tumble, use magic device, use traps

Primary saving throw(s): reflex, will

Base attack bonus: +3/4 level

Bonus feats: crippling strike, favored enemy, opportunist, skill mastery, slippery mind; improved evasion or defensive roll only on level 5

Unavailable feats: scribe scroll, craft wand, weapon specialization

Epic bonus feats: blinding speed, epic dodge, epic weapon focus, epic prowess, epic reputation, epic skill focus, epic toughness, favored enemy, improved sneak attack, opportunist, skill mastery, slippery mind

Unavailable epic feats: great dexterity, epic weapon specialization, outsider shape, construct shape, dragon shape, undead shape

Abilities

Lvl BAB Saves Feats HP
F R W
1th +0 +0 +2 +2 Skill Focus: Lore
1st Bonus Feat
Track
+1 Caster Level
Use Poison
Rogue Affinity
6
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Skill Focus: Bluff 12
3rd +2 +0 +3 +3 +1 Untyped Caster Level 18
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Epic Skill Focus: Bluff 24
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Loviatar's Whip - +5 bonus to DCs vs Poison
+1 Caster Level
2nd Bonus Feat
Trackless Step
30

Arelith Changes

Change Level Description
Stealth Bonuses - Assassin, Harper Scout, Invisible Blade, Rogue, Shadowdancer and Zhentarim Operative levels stack with Rogue levels when qualifying for the in stealth rogue speed increase but only Rogue, Harper Scout, and Zhentarim Operative levels count for the +AB bonus when leaving stealth. Rogue levels are required for this bonus to trigger.
  • At combined level 16, movement speed penalty in stealth is reduced by 10%.
  • At combined level 18, gain +1 AB for 1 round after leaving stealth. +AB has a 5 round cooldown.
  • At combined level 20, movement speed penalty in stealth is reduced by 20%.
  • At combined level 24, movement speed penalty in stealth is reduced by 30% and gain +2 AB for 1 round after leaving stealth. +AB has a 5 round cooldown.
  • If the character has monk levels 10% of the bonus speed is removed.
Lightly Armored - Assassin, Harper Scout, Invisible Blade, Rogue, Shadowdancer and Zhentarim Operative levels stack with Rogue levels for the purpose of calculating how much lost DEX is regained as Dodge AC via the Lightly Armored feat. Rogue levels are required for this bonus to trigger. Light armor will receive all AC lost to the dex cap as Dodge AC, subject to a cap of AC/4 combined levels. For example, if you have 6 rogue and 3 assassin levels and 28 of dex (modifier 9), and you are using a Studded Leather Armor - which has a max dex modifier of 4 - then, you'd have 4 of normal dex AC, and 2 of extra Dodge AC, and lose 2 points of AC until combined level 15.
Specialty Weapons - Assassin, Harper Scout, Invisible Blade, Rogue, Shadowdancer and Zhentarim Operative levels stack with Rogue levels when qualifying for the +1 AB to any finessable weapon at levels 19 and 24. Rogue levels are required for this bonus to trigger. At 19 combined levels, gain +1 AB when using any finessable weapon. At 24 combined levels, gain +1 additional AB when using any finessable weapon. These bonuses add to a weapon's non-magical Attack Bonus and allow Damage Reduction penetration. For example, a +3 AB weapon will become +5, capable of bypassing Stoneskin or Premonition, with 16 rogue 5 shadowdancer and 3 assassin combined levels.
Note: The weapon must be a finesse weapon, please note that there are a number of custom weapon changes including adding finesse to weapons.
Blinding Speed -

Blinding Speed: Is now an Instant action and an extraordinary effect (not affected by antimagic). Duration increased to 3 turns. Has unlimited uses per day, but 8 turns of cooldown period. The cooldown of Blinding Speed is reduced by 1 turn every 6 combined Assassin, Harper Scout, Invisible Blade, Rogue, Shadowdancer, Swashbuckler and Zhentarim Operative levels. Rogue levels are not required for this bonus to trigger.

Removed Haste as feat effect but added all individual effects of Haste EXCEPT the spell casting effect.
Added: +1 APR (Attack per round)
Added: +50% Move Speed
Added: +4 Dodge AC
Removed: All spell casting times are cut in half
If Haste is cast on someone with Blinding Speed, Blinding Speed is cancelled and Haste is applied
Use Traps - For each 5 levels in Assassin, Harper Scout, Rogue, or Zhentarim Operative, the saving throw DC on traps they set is increased by 1.

Known bugs

Notes

External Links

Zhentarim on FR wiki