Without ado, this work dives into a description of the Rook, a new base class that revolves around the use of trickery and subterfuge both magical and mundane. Suggested roles are anything from con-man to diplomat... and any budding politician might fancy this class too!
Rooks are spellcasters, with their own spell list from which any known spell can be cast without the need for prior study (after all, many tricks and scams rely on quick wits and instantaneous reactions), and they get the Eschew Materials feat as a bonus at first level. Their primary characteristic is Charisma.
To enable some measure of customisation, each rook has a distinctive outlook on life - and how to manipulate it to their advantage, of course! - called a schism. Specific bonus abilities and spells can be gained as the rook rises in level, based on the schism chosen. They can also select from a collection of 'rook talents' as they gain experience, many of these involve subterfuge, disguise and abilities to gather or manipulate information.
The schisms described are quite interesting. The Demagogue, for example, attracts a loyal and devoted following who hang on his every word and do his bidding. A Glamerspex is talented at altering perceptions and confusing those whom he meets... to the extent that two new status conditions are introduced to cope with his victims: befuddled and beguiled. The Necrotist deals with the darker side of things, skirting the margins between life and death, whilst the Schade is the arch-manipulator, rarely leaving the shadows but sending minions made of shadow itself to do his bidding.
An example rook, a tengu glamorspex, is detailed in full - as example or for use as character or NPC as you desire. There are also notes on how well - or not - various races do at being rooks, spell lists (mainly drawn from existing published spells, but including advice on what new spells will be suitable for adding to those available to rooks in the future), and a selection of new feats, gear and indeed spells.
It's an intriguing class, best suited to an urban, intrigue-filled environment, and perhaps better as an NPC than as a player-character... but I am sure there are devious players out there who will leap upon the chance! Whilst weak in combat, the class is neat and original, and should do well in campaigns where interaction and intrigue feature.
[5 of 5 Stars!]