Friday, February 9, 2018


It would appear that the Courtier, my version of the Old Spice Gentleman, has prompted some questions from D&D grognards. I decided to post them here so you could see what I was thinking when I designed this. 

Why Appraise and not Perception?
I picked Appraise because the character ought to be able to know quality when he sees it. After all, the Old Spice Man says "The tickets are now diamonds!" and he probably know how many carats they are.

Perception isn't a bad choice, but it's not very common. It's not like the courtier spends a lot of time looking for traps or ambushes; he's more "sense motive" than "perception", if you know what I mean. 

It really doesn't make much sense for the Courtier to have any armor proficiency if wearing it completely gimps him (we're not just talking losing the Charisma modifier to AC; per Fancy Clothes, he has to wear nice outfits to use ANY of his abilities).
He has to wear nice outfits, yes, but that does not preclude wearing armor; you wear armor over your clothes, you see.

My original idea was indeed "no non-masterwork items" but considering that masterwork armor costs 150gp plus whatever the armor cost, I felt that would be unnecessarily gimping a 1st level character. After that, PCs usually upgrade to MW and then to magical, so it was kind of a non-issue there.

What I might do is, since I stole this idea from the monk (just replaced WIS bonus with CHA) that I also steal the "AC bonus per level" idea. Plus there are all sorts of magical items which would help: Bracers of Armor provide armor bonuses but don't count as armor; Amulets of Natural Armor provide another bonus; and of course Rings of Protection provide deflection bonuses.
UPDATE: I have since decided to add an AC bonus per level, like monks get.

Shields? Medium armor too. It is a frontline character and needs to be able to survive. Should at least be able to wear what a cleric can.
Nah, I disagree. The whole idea is basically "Armor? Why would I wear armor? It prevents people from appreciating my fancy clothes!"

Assuming a CHA of 18 (+4 bonus) and a DEX of half that, we're looking at a base AC of 16, which is about right for a first-level ranger. But you've convinced me somewhat; I will allow the courtier proficiency with all shields, which will give an additional +2 AC. 

For Rapier Wit, I'd suggest starting at -1 penalty and increasing by an additional -1 every 4 levels to a max of -3. 
That's not a bad idea. I shall consider it. 

I'd suggest that Strong Convictions simply adds Charisma bonus to saves like the paladin. That's a real bonus. This is a dexterity and charisma character. 
I considered that. I was worried it might make the character too powerful and/or steal some of the Paladin's flavor.
I'm actually rather torn on this. What do the rest of you think?

Instead of Equestrian Invocation being a 1/day spell, give it a duration in hours based on the Courtier's level. 
That... is a very good idea. I think I'll change that. 
What do you think of "At 5th level the courtier can summon a mount, as per the spell, with the duration being the courtier's level in hours and dismissable at will (minimum expenditure of 1 hour/summoning)" ?

The only thing I see unbalanced is the 4x move for Chivalrous Sacrifice. I'd put it at 1x move. Maybe scale it up to 2x, then 3x with the improved and "not dead" versions
That's not a bad idea. I did it the way I did it because I wanted the Courtier to be able to use Chivalrous Sacrifice despite having already moved that round (because otherwise we're introducing unnecessary bookkeeping into the game). I figured a 1/day ability which hurt the character would balance out the "nonmagical teleport" aspect of it.

This is another of those "I need to think about it" things. 

How about letting Chivalrous Sacrifice be performed 3 + CHA modifier times per day?
Assuming a CHA of 18, that would be 7 times per day. Seems a little too "battlefield teleport-y" to me.

Perhaps if I let each use of Chivalrous Sacrifice  be just the full move, like suggested above, with additional uses increasing its range by a full move?

Hell, I should probably change the wording on Chivalrous Sacrifice because as written it can already get past guards and work through cracks and bards. This wasn't too much of a problem with the 1/day, but if I increase the frequency that's going to be abused.

Yeah, it's definitely going to need some work. 

Chivalry Is Not Dead is way overpowered. 
Perhaps. It's a capstone ability, though, and as written it's not terrible with the 1/day limit. More uses than that, though, and it probably is. Perhaps I'll limit the "no damage" to just once a day with other charges being half damage?

Post your thoughts below!

1 comment:

  1. I'm digging this whole courtier / gentleman thing. Been to long since iI'v been on campaign.


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