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Action without thought is the purest form of thought.  That just about sums up the philosophy of the Transcendent Order, which is probably why they've confused enough people to be nicknamed the "Ciphers."  They believe that when you can know what to do without thinking about it, then you've become one with the multiverse.  It's simple, they say.  For each moment there's one perfect action, there is one perfect choice: the best thing you could possibly do in that situation.  Everyone knows what that action is, deep down - that's what instincts are.  But when you stop to think about it, you hesitate, and by then the moment has passed.  When a person is one with the multiverse, they don't hesitate, and they always take the perfect action for the perfect moment.  Hesitation separates you from the multiverse.  

So the goal is action without thought, but it's not quite that simple.  Anyone can act without thinking about it, but the trick is in getting a feel for the beat of the multiverse - what the Ciphers cal the "Cadence of the Planes" - and to understand what the right action is for the right moment.  To do this, the Ciphers train hard, so that the mind and body act as one perfect harmonious unit.  And once that happens, once a person is in perfect tune with the multiverse, then they fully become one with it, and understand everything.

As a faction, the Ciphers tend toward neutrality, and most faction members have neutrality as at least one component of their alignment, and the factol is almost always True Neutral.  In addition to many individual neutral characters, the faction overall seems to stay neutral as well  It seems that every time a lawful or good body signs up, a chaotic or evil type joins as well.  Without even trying, they maintain a near-perfectly balanced alignment spectrum.

In Sigil, the Ciphers base themselves out the the Great Gymnasium, where they train ceaselessly.  On the planes, they're strongest in Elysium, the plane of perfect harmony.



Master of the Heart  [General, Cipher]
You have learned to act without thought.
  Membership in the Transcendent Order, Base Attack Bonus of 2+
You gain a +4 bonus to Initiative rolls, and may enter an "action trance."  Whenever you are in combat, you gain a +1 to all Will saves.  This benefit begins when you take your first action during combat, and ends at the end of combat.  However, since you act without thought, you may not "take back" any actions you choose to make.  For instance, if you say "I'm casting a Fireball," you may not change your mind and cast a Lightening Bolt instead.  Additionally, if you ready an action, you must take that action when the ready action's conditions are met.
Special:  The initiative bonus granted by Master of the Heart does not stack with those of Improved Initiative.  However, at the DM's discretion, a character that already has Improved Initiative when they join the Transcendent Order may swap it for Master of the Heart.

Master of the Mind [General, Cipher]
You are a Master of the Mind, a Cipher who has furthered his ability to act without thought.
Membership in the Transcendent Order, Master of the Heart, base attack bonus of 6+
You may choose a number of skills equal to one plus your wisdom modifier.  You may take ten on these skills any time.

Master of the Spirit [General, Cipher]
You are a Master of the Spirit, a Cipher who has furthered his ability to act without thought.
Prerequisites:  Membership in the Transcendent Order, Master of the Spirit, must be Factol of the Transcendent Order.
Benefit:  You gain an additional +4 to  Initiative checks, +2 to Will saves while in an Action Trance, and are considered to be in an Action Trance at all times.
Special:  You must take this as your next feat in the unlikely event that you become Factol of the Transcendent Order.





Cadence Dancer

There is a pattern, a rhythm, to the multiverse.  The Cadence of the Planes beats through the multiverse - perfect, ineffable.  Feel it.  Let it guide you.  Dance the dance of the planes.

The Cadence Dancers are a group of monks devoted to the Cadence of the Planes.  The Cadence can best be described as the rhythm of the multiverse, but it's more than that too.  There's definitely a mystical aspect - indeed, many Cipher clerics devote themselves to the Cadence, and they get spells just like regular clerics do.  The Cadence is alive because the multiverse is alive - it's the heartbeat of creation.

The Cadence is important to all Ciphers, but perhaps most of all to the Cadence Dancers.  By feeling the Cadence, and acting in time with it, one can know the perfect action for the moment.  




1 +0 +0 +0 +2 +2   Monk Advancement, Cadence Strike 1/day, Neutrality
2 +1 +1 +0 +3 +3 Cadence Dance
3 +2 +2 +1 +3 +3   Augury, Ki Strike +1
4 +3 +3 +1 +4 +4 Cadence Strike 2/day, Cadence Dance
5 +3 +3 +1 +4 +4   Master of the Mind, Alignment Shift
6 +4 +4/+1 +2 +5 +5 Cadence Dance, Divination, Ki Strike +2
7 +5 +5/+2 +2 +5 +5   Cadence Strike 3/day
8 +6/+1 +6/+3 +2 +6 +6 Cadence Dance
9 +6/+1 +6/+3 +3 +6 +6   Commune, Ki Strike +3
10 +7/+2 +7/+4 +3 +7 +7 Cadence Strike 4/day, Cadence Dance


To qualify as a Cadence Dancer, you must meet the following requirements
Skills:  Perform (one of which must be Dance) 8+ ranks
Feats:  Master of the Heart
Other:  Still Mind, must be of neutral alignment

Class Skills

The Cadence Dancer'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 (the planes) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).

    Skill Points at Each Level 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Cadence Dancer

Hit Die:  d8

Weapon and Armor Proficiency:  Cadence Dancers gain no new weapon or armor proficiencies.

Monk Advancement:  A character's Cadence Dancer's levels stack with their Monk levels when for the purpose of AC bonus, unarmored speed, and unarmed damage.

Neutrality:  Should Cadence Dancer's alignment shift to true neutral (and most do), she does no loose her monk abilities.  Additionally, if a Cadence Dancer ever ceases to have a neutral component to their alignment, they loose all their Cadence Dancer special abilities, and may not take regain them or take any more levels in the class until they are once again neutral and receive an Atonement from a Cipher cleric that worships the Cadence of the Planes.

Cadence Strike:  As a full-round action, a Cadence Dancer may attack with a Cadence Strike, granted them the clarity of one who knows the perfect action for the moment.  Should the Dancer's attack hit, it is automatically a critical threat.  A Cadence Dancer may use Cadence Strike once per day at first level, and an additional time per day for every three levels of Cadence Dancer she attains thereafter.

Cadence Dance:  Cadence Dancers feel the flow of the multiverse well enough to be in the right place at the right time.  At second level and every even level thereafter, they gain a permanent +1 Insight bonus to either their reflex save, armor class, attack roll, or a +2 Insight bonus to their Initiative.  At sixth level, a  Cadence Dancer may use their Cadence Dance bonus on an attribute they have already applied a Cadence Dance bonus to, doubling the bonus (from +1 to +2 or from +2 to +4).

Augury:  Once per day, a Cadence Dancer can feel the rhythm of the planes so well, that she can predict the future.  This ability functions exactly like the Augury spell. 

Ki Strike:  Cadence Dancers get the Ki Strike ability, just as other Monks do.

Master of the Mind:  At fourth level, the Cadence Dancer gets the Master of the Mind feat for free.

Alignment Shift:  At fifth level, Cadence Dancers must become True Neutral.  If they do not, they may not take any more levels in this class.  If they later cease being True Neutral, they loose all special abilities of fifth level or higher until they once again become True Neutral receive an Atonement from a Cipher cleric that worships the Cadence of the Planes

Divination:  At sixth level, the Cadence Dancer's ability to feel the future has increased, allowing her to perform a Divination, as per the spell, once per day.

CommuneAt ninth level, the Cadence Dancer's ability to feel the future has progressed further, allowing her to use Commune once per day, though no deity actually answers her questions.  Instead, she discerns the answers from the cadence of the planes.



Whirling Dervish 

Some rogues and monks, especially those that belong to the Ciphers, choose to concentrate on their movement, and speed, rather than on raw damage.  For those interested in following this school of thought, the Whirling Dervishes are an excellent choice.  Though the Dervishs' ranks are composed mainly of Ciphers, they do not bar other factions from joining, with these non-Ciphers making up about one fifth of the order's numbers.  


1 +0 +0 +2 +0   Increased Movement
2 +1 +0 +3 +0 Improved Evasion, Minor Skill Mastery
3 +2 +1 +3 +1   Cartwheel Charge, Sneak Attack +1d6
4 +3 +1 +4 +1 Critical Sense, Up the Walls
5 +3 +1 +4 +1   Distance Tumbling
6 +4 +2 +5 +2 Whirl of Blades, Sneak Attack +2d6
7 +5 +2 +5 +2   Minor Skill Mastery
8 +6 +2 +6 +2 Defensive Roll
9 +6 +3 +6 +3   Excellent Balance, Sneak Attack +3d6
10 +7 +3 +7 +3 Minor Teleportation


To qualify as a Whirling Dervish, you must meet the following requirements
Skills:  Tumble 10, Move Silently 8, Hide 8
Feats:  Dodge, Mobility
Other:  Base Attack Bonus of 5+


Class Skills
Appraise (int), Balance (dex), Climb (str), Disable Devise (int), Escape Artist (dex), Hide (dex), Jump (str), Move Silently (dex), Open locks (dex), Perform (cha), Search (int), Sense Motive (wis), Spot (wis), Tumble (dex), Use Magical Device (cha),  and Use Rope (dex). 

Skill Points at Each Level 6 + Int modifier.

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Whirling Dervish

Hit Die:  d6

Weapon and Armor Proficiency:  Whirling Dervishes gain no new weapon or armor proficiencies.

Increased Movement:  At first level the Whirling Dervish gains the ability to move farther than normal, gaining an additional ten feet to their base movement distance rate. 

Minor Skill Mastery:  As Skill Mastery except the character may choose a number of skills equal to 3+Int Modifier divided by 2 (rounded down) at 2nd level.  At 7th level this ability is gained again.

Improved Evasion:  The Whirling Dervish gains Improved Evasion at 2nd level

Sneak Attack:  The Whirling Dervish gains the ability to sneak attack at 3rd level if they do not already have it.  She gains +1d6 damage with this attack initially, but this rises to +2d6 at 6th level and 3d6 at 9th level.  If she already has the sneak attack ability from a previous class, the damage bonuses stack.

Cartwheel Charge:  At 3rd level the Whirling Dervish gains the Cartwheel Charge ability.  (See Cartwheel Charge in the Song and Silence)

Critical Sense:  At 4th level the Whirling Dervish gains the ability to know how best to attack.  By sacrificing one sneak attack bonus dice, if the attack succeeds it is considered an automatic critical threat.  The sneak attack die must be sacrificed before the attack is made.  The character can do this once every three levels of Whirling Dervish.  This is an extraordinary ability. 

Up the Walls (Ex):  Upon gaining 4th level, the Whirling Dervish is able to use their Tumble skill to climb walls as long as she has two walls to use.  If the walls are parallel they must be within 10’ of each other.  If not then the walls must be touching (for instance, at a corner in a room) and at least at a 135 degree angle of each other.  The Climb DC does not change, but the Whirling Dervish may use their Tumble skill instead of their Climb skill.

Distance Tumbling: At 5th level the Whirling Dervish gains the ability to move farther than normal while tumbling, gaining an additional five feet to their tumbling distance. 

Whirl of Blades:  At 6th level, the Whirling Dervish may attack as if she had the Whirlwind Attack feat a number of times per day equal to the Whirling Dervish’s Constitution modifier. She may only do this if she is wearing light armor or no armor.

Superior Skill Focus: The Whirling Dervish is able to choose focused skill and an additional bonus again.( i.e. character gains +2 with Skill focus and an additional +2 to a skill focused skill making the focused skill have a total of +4)

Defensive Roll: At 8th level, the Whirling Dervish gains the special ability of Defensive Roll. (see the rogue section of the PHB) if she doesn’t already have it.

Excellent Balance (Ex):  At ninth level the whirling Dervish can fight normally even while climbing or balancing on something.  This means, for example, a Whirling Dervish could climb a few steps up a nearby wall to earn the attack bonus for higher ground while engaged in melee. She may also move at her normal movement rate when climbing or balancing, and may even run (as long as she does so in a straight line). She must, however, keep at lest one hand free to climb.

Minor Teleportation (Su): At tenth level, the Whirling Dervish gains the supernatural ability to disappear from sight and travel a distance of their base movement rate in any direction as long as she could have moved there by means of climbing or running. The Whirling Dervish may do this a number of times per day equal to two plus their charisma bonus.





Factol Rhys

Rhys, factol of the Transcendent Order, is one of the Cage's more enigmatic leaders.   A tiefling, Rhys grew up in the Lower Ward of Sigil, where she raised by her mother, a woman named Biana.  Rhys never knew who (or what) her father was, a secret her mother closely guarded.  Though Biana was by all accounts an honest - if withdrawn - woman, Rhys' fiendish nature exerted itself, and she turned to a life of crime.  

Rhys' appearance made her stand out.  Unlike many tieflings, whose heritage is somehow concealable, Rhys' tiefling traits are quite obvious.  Though she is darkly beautiful, below her knees her legs become like those of a goat, and her feet are cloven hooves.  Her ears have long points, like an exaggerated drawing of an elf.  She has a long reptilian tail, and her torso has shell-like plates, giving her a partial carapace.  

Unable to hide her appearance or blend in, she had to learn to fight to survive in the criminal world, and admiring the quick, decisive, and physical bent of the Ciphers, she joined up to further her abilities.  When she joined, she hadn't planned on ever being anything more than a namer, but once within the Order's ranks, she found drawn to their philosophy, and soon she was spending all of her time in the Great Gymnasium, where she trained extensively with the Cadence Dancers.  As she honed her body and brought herself into harmony with the multiverse, Rhys found her alignment shifting to True Neutral, as all Cadence Dancers eventually do.  

Now factol of the Transcendent Order, Rhys is the close to achieving perfect harmony.  She seems to almost vibrate on a metaphysical level, and her every action is quick, rhythmic, and seems perfectly natural - her every motion is the perfect action for the perfect moment.  Never talkative, she now seems aloof and enigmatic, rarely speaking.  However, she does spend a lot of time in the Gymnasium, and even gives advice to others training, though this advice is always short, concise, and accurate.  

She's also become one of the greatest diplomats in Sigil.  Her internal harmony seems to allows her to always find the best compromise for any situation, and it's generally agreed that the factions wouldn't get along half as well without her.  In the Hall of Speakers, she seems to lend stability and understanding among the others without even trying.  

Tactics:  Rhys' tiefling traits are unique, and give her variant racial modifiers.  She recieves a +2 to Cha and a -2 to Int.  She does not receive any resistance to elemental attacks, but instead has a +4 Natural Armor bonus from her carapace.  Her tail gives her a +2 to balance and tumble checks (in place of the normal tiefling bonuses to Bluff and Hide).  Should she be attacked, she often uses her Horseshoes of Speed to move, into position for full-round attacks.  Should she not need to move into position, she uses her extra partial action to cast Blur on herself during the first turn.


Rhys, Female Tiefling Monk6 Cadence Dancer10 Sorcerer4  CR 21; Size:M Type Outsider; HD (16d8)+(4d4)+40; hp 128; Init +20 (+8 Dex, +12 Misc); Spd Walk 80'; AC 44 (flatfooted 36, touch 33), Unarmed Strike +24/+19/+14/+9 (1d20+6 20/x2 ) SA: Augury, Cadence Dance (Init x2, Attack, AC, Ref) Cadence Strike 4/day, Commune, Darkness cast 1/day as per sorcerer of their character level, Divination, Evasion, Flurry of Blows, Improved Evasion, Ki Strike (+3), Leap of the Clouds, Purity of Body, Slow Fall (30 ft.), Still Mind, Stunning Attack 6/day (DC 19), ; Vision: Darkvision (60'), Normal AL: TN; Sv: Fort +14, Ref +23, Will +29; Str 23, Dex 26, Con 15, Int 14, Wis 22, Cha 18

Skills and Feats:  Balance +27, Concentration +19, Diplomacy +26, Escape Artist +11, Hide +24, Listen +16, Move Silently +20, Perform +20, Tumble +29; Stunning Fist Blind-Fight, Blindsight 5' Radius, Expertise, Great Fortitude, Improved Trip, Master of the Mind, Master of the Heart (Tumble, Perform, Balance, Concentration), Master of the Spirit, Weapon Finesse (Unarmed Strike)
     Possessions:   Horseshoes of Speed (as boots),  Gloves of Dexterity +6,  Ring of Protection +5,  Periapt of Wisdom +6,  Cloak of the Bat,  Bracers of Armor +7, Belt of Giant Strength +6, Staff of the Magi

Known Spells: Level 0: Acid Splash, Arcane Mark, Daze, Detect Magic, Read Magic, Resistance, Level 1: Chill Touch, Hold Portal, Shield, Level 2: Blur