My first prestige class: the Lin Kuei


This prestige class was inspired by playing WAY too much Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance the other day. The flavour text isn't entirely according to the game storyline, but to make it so would've meant naming the class something else, and I think "Ice Warrior", "Frost Monk", and "Cold Ninja" are all cheesy.

Anyway... this is my first venture into creating prestige classes. Is it balanced? Is it cool? Would someone want to take this class? Did I make a mistake somewhere?

Lin Kuei

The Lin Kuei are an ancient organization of martial artists and assassins. They have existed in secret for centuries. Their overall alignment is a nebulous thing at best, as they number among themselves both the most black-hearted villains and noblest heroes. The most promising and talented of the organization are trained in the ways of manipulating cold temperatures with their ki.

Most Lin Kuei start as monks, though a number of fighters, sohei and rogues also dot their ranks, along with a scant few rangers and even paladins. Spellcasters rarely take levels in Lin Kuei, as their spellcasting abilities would be stunted.

NPC Lin Kuei often spend most of their time at the artic temple of the clan, training and waiting for the Grandmaster to send them on assignments. It is also traditional for some Lin Kuei to take up adventuring for a time, to learn the ways of the world and gather experience.

Hit Die: d8

To qualify to become Lin Kuei, a character must fulfill the following criteria:
Base Attack Bonus: +4
Skills: Concentration +6, Hide +6, Move Silently +6
Feats: Improved Unarmed Strike
Special: Must be accepted by the Lin Kuei clan.

Class Skills:
Lin Kuei's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge [arcana] (Int), Knowledge [religion] (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex). See Chapter 4: Skills in Player's Handbook for skill descriptions.
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Level BAB   Fort Ref Will 
  1   +0     +2   +2   +2    
  2   +1     +3   +3   +3
  3   +2     +3   +3   +3   
  4   +3     +4   +4   +4   
  5   +3     +4   +4   +4  
  6   +4     +5   +5   +5  
  7   +5     +5   +5   +5   
  8   +6/+1  +6   +6   +6  
  9   +6/+1  +6   +6   +6  
  10  +7/+2  +7   +7   +7  
Level   Special Abilities             
  1     Monk Abilities, cold resistance 5                    
  2     Freeze 1/day 
  3     Light weapon of ice                  
  4     Cold resistance 10, freeze 2/day           
  6     One-handed weapon of ice, freeze 3/day                    
  7     Cold resistance 15
  8     Freeze 4/day                                       
  9     Two-handed weapon of ice                  
  10    Cold immunity, freeze 5/day      [/color]

Class Features:
Weapon and Armor Proficiency:
Lin Kuei are proficient with all simple and martial weapons and light armor. They suffer the same penalties for wearing armor that monks do.

Monk Abilities: A Lin Kuei has the unarmed damage, AC bonus, and unarmored speed bonus of a monk with as many levels as his Lin Kuei levels plus his monk levels (if any). If the character has no monk levels, these abilities are not gained.

Cold Resistance (Ex): At first level, the Lin Kuei gains cold resistance 5. At 4th level, this becomes cold resistance 10, and at 7th level it becomes cold resistance 15. At 10th level, the Lin Kuei gains total immunity to all cold damage.

Freeze (Su): At 2nd level, the Lin Kuei gains the ability to literally freeze an opponent in his tracks for rounds equal to the Lin Kuei's class level, as a ranged touch attack with range of 30 feet or as a melee touch attack. The target can make a Fort save (DC 15+class level) to resist the effects of freeze. A frozen target cannot is aware and can breathe, but is unable to take any actions, even speech. He is effectively helpless, and is subject to coup de grace attacks. A target hit by the freeze attack takes 1d4 points of cold damage, regardless of whether he makes his save. If the frozen victim takes any damage, the freeze effect ends immediately.
This ability may also be used to freeze bodies of liquid, or to create a thin sheet of ice, 10 feet by 10 feet. The ice lasts for rounds equal to the Lin Kuei's class level. See the description of the spell grease in Player's Handbook, page 237, for the effects of a slippery surface.
At 4th level, the Lin Kuei may use this ability twice per day. This increases by one every second levels thereafter, until five times per day at 10th level.

Weapon of Ice (Su): At 3rd level, the Lin Kuei gains the ability to freeze the moisture in the air surrounding him into a light masterwork melee weapon of his choice. The weapon of ice deals, in addition to the normal damage for a weapon of its type, 1d4 points of cold damage. At 6th level, the Lin Kuei may create a one-handed weapon of ice, or two light weapons, and at 9th level, a two-handed weapon of ice or one light and one one-handed weapon. The Lin Kuei may use this ability once per day. Should the Lin Kuei have access to it, he may use the monk's ki strike ability with the weapon of ice.
A weapon of ice has half the hit points of a normal weapon, and will melt down to become unusable in hours equal to the Lin Kuei's class level. If wielded by someone other than a Lin Kuei, the weapon will become unusable in half that time.
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First Post
Smoke, Cyrax, and Sektor were Lin Kuei, but they didn't have the kori powers that Sub-Zero I, Sub-Zero II, and Frost expressed.

Just out of curiosity, how would you do the Dragon Medallion?


Yeah, well, as I said, the class description defies the game canon. Perhaps Cyrax and Sektor's ki was disrupted by the cyborg parts so they could no longer focus it efficiently enough...

As for the Dragon Medallion... I think I'd make it a minor artifact that can be used to cast some cold-based spells so and so many times per day, gives a boost to all cold damage and cold-based spells used by the character, but first has to be mastered with a successful Will check, lest it do a metric buttload of cold damage to you.

I like the PrC very much (big Mortal Kombat fan here, esp. of sub zero)

Perhaps heighten the prerequisites, most of the Lin Kuei had to be pretty trained/experienced to join. Perhaps more of a reason for a monk to join, I'd imagine the Sub Zeros would be monks (improved trip and all :))

However, it does seem a little weak power-wise. Freeze mechanics are nice, but perhaps more uses? Either that, or some of his other abilities...

An ice clone variant power perhaps similar to mirror image but forms 1 image but anyone who attacks it is frozen as per the freeze ability?

Ice shower perhaps, close range freeze, perhaps less duration, but no touch attack needed?

Think about allowing the weapon of ice to use the Lin Kuei's Ki Strike ability (or whatever its called, no books on me)

Just some thoughts, hope you can find use of some of them.


Well, if the prerequisites seem low, and the power level seems weak, all is well, is it not?

I'll add to the freeze that it can be delivered also as a melee touch attack.

I see how it could be beefed up, though, and make it a tad more difficult for a fighter to attain... I could make the skill prerequisites to be +6, and give it the ki strike for the weapon of ice... Now, if I bumped the BAB prerequisite up to +5, I could probably add him some extra cold damage to the weapon of ice...

Well, the prerequisite thing wasn't so much of a balancing factor, as much as it was a flavor thing IMO. To become a Lin Kuei, you had to have some serious skills. The powers to make up for those requirements should come afterwards (Again, IMO)


Well, now... skill requirements upgraded, freeze deliverable as a melee touch attack, and weapon of ice is ki strike compatible. I think this prestige class is finished. I choose not to include the ice statue or the ice rain, but I guess they could be substituted for the weapon of ice, which is just a Deadly Alliance thing, anyway.

Looks certainly interesting, and balanced. Overall I'd say you did a very good job-keeping the flavor and the abilities-especially for this being your first PrC.

Jack Daniel
Sollir Furryfoot said:
Perhaps heighten the prerequisites, most of the Lin Kuei had to be pretty trained/experienced to join. Perhaps more of a reason for a monk to join, I'd imagine the Sub Zeros would be monks (improved trip and all :))

I'm fairly sure that Sub-Zero and the rest of the Lin Kuei were monks of some sort. They were Chinese rather than Japanese, so they can't be ninjas like Scorpion. And Sub-Zero practices Shaolin Fist. :)


Err... No. Kung Lao did Shaolin Fist. Sub-Zero's styles are Shotokan and Dragon kung-fu.

And technically, both Sub-Zeros were born in America, but most likely to Chinese parents, seeing as they were... what, fifth-generation Lin Kuei?

But yeah, the rest of the Lin-Kuei would be Chinese, more or less, except that Cyrax is a black guy.

Shirt Guy John

First Post
Very cool. I, like many others I assume, instantly thought that making a Sub-Zero based PRC would just kick ass, and you have proven it nicely. Very cool (ha, a pun, haven't had one of those in a while). Definatley something I would use in a campaign.

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