Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Courtier: the Character Your Character Could Act Like

Because ONE of you demanded it, here is my attempt to bring the Old Spice Gentleman class into balance with the Pathfinder RPG. Unfortunately, this will mean some of the humor of the original is lost to seriousness. I apologize for this and have done my best to keep the original fun tone of the Gentleman.

To differentiate between the Old Spice class and my re-work, I am calling my version of this class the Courtier. This is because it has courtly skills and is adept at courting (wooing) romantic partners.

I have no idea if this is balanced or not. It might be underpowered in some places, but I don't see anything in there which would make a GM say "Aw hell naw". And hopefully it maintains the flavor of the Old Spice Gentleman while being more playable.

UPDATE: I am actively soliciting feedback on this class. Suggestions have been made in this post, along with my responses; I'd like to know what others think about them. Please leave a reply with your thoughts!

At the intersection of the mind, the body and soul lies the heart, and this is the battlefield of the courtier. More martial than a bard, more romantic than a cleric, and more (ahem) earthly than a paladin, the courtier not only fights for what is beautiful but also struggles to bring more such beauty into the world... usually in the form of relationships.

Role: "Hello, orc horde. Look at your leader, now back to me, now back at your leader, now back to me. Sadly, he isn’t me, but if he stopped pillaging and bathed once in a while, he could smell like he’s me. Look down, back up, where are you? You’re on a battlefield surrounded by enemies. What’s in your hand? Back at me, I have it, it’s your battle standard, Look again, the standard is now a flag of truce. Anything is possible when you believe in the power of love. I accept your unconditional surrender."

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d10.

Parent Classes: Paladin and Bard.

Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gp (average 175 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills
The courtier’s class skills are Acrobatics, Appraise, Bluff, Climb, Craft, Diplomacy, Disguise, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Knowledge (geography), Knowledge (nobility), Linguistics, Perform, Profession, Ride, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Swim.

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features
The following are the class features of the courtier.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The courtier is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, as well as light armor and bucklers.

Fancy Clothes: The courtier must be wearing a Courtier's outfit (30gp), Noble's outfit (75 gp) or Royal outfit (200 gp) in order to make use of the class' extraordinary, spell like, or supernatural abilities.

Suave Grace (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, a courtier may add his Charisma modifier to his armor class and CMD.  In addition, a courtier gains a +1 bonus to AC and CMD at 4th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every four courtier levels thereafter, up to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.

Rallying Cry (Ex): As a move action, a courtier can shout a word or short phrase which inspires all  allies within 30 feet who are able to hear or see the courtier, granting them a +1 morale bonus to a single attack, saving throw, or skill check. This bonus lasts until used or the end of the courtiers next turn, another Rallying Cry is uttered, or combat ends (the effects last for 1 minute outside of combat). This bonus increases by +1 every 4 levels.

Rapier Wit (Ex): At 2nd level, a courtier may make a witty bon mot, savagely cutting critique, or an atrocious pun as part of an attack against a target who must be able to hear and understand what is being said. The target must then succeed on a Will save vs a DC of (10 + 1/2 courtier level + courtier's CHA bonus) to resist its effects. If the save fails, the target takes an additional 1d4 points of precision damage and is Shaken. Rapier Wit may be used without a weapon, in which case the damage is nonlethal. This damage increases by 1d4 every 4 levels.

Strong Convictions (Su): At 3rd level, the courtier has become so charming that he gains a bonus equal to his Charisma bonus (if any) on all saving throws.

After You (Ex):  At 4th level, the courtier can switch initiative order with any ally with a lower initiative score so long as they are within 30 feet and can hear him. This lasts for the duration of combat.

Spells: Beginning at 4th level, a courtier  gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells which are drawn from the paladin* spell list. A courtier must choose and prepare his spells in advance.

To prepare or cast a spell, a courtier must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a courtier's spell is 10 + the spell level + the courtier's Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a courtier can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is listed on the class table. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score (see Table 1–3 of the core rulebook). When the class table indicates that the courtier gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Charisma score for that spell level.

Courtiers must spend 1 hour each day in quiet exercise of what it is to be a gentleman or lady (shaving, putting on makeup, preparing the day's outfit, etc) to regain their daily allotment of spells. A courtier may prepare and cast any spell on his spell list, provided that he can cast spells of that level, but he must choose which spells to prepare during his daily meditation.

Through 3rd level, a courtier has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, his caster level is equal to his courtier  level – 3.

Equestrian Invocation (Sp): 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).

Chivalrous Sacrifice (Ex): Once per day at 6th level a courtier may interpose himself between an ally and incoming damage as an immediate action. This ability cannot be used if the courtier has taken more than a 5' step this round.

The courtier automatically takes this damage, which cannot be prevented in any way. This ability affects even damage which auto-hits, such as a magic missile spell or a trap.

The courtier provokes no attacks of opportunity while performing Chivalrous Sacrifice, but the ally must be within sight and within a distance of 2x the courtier's move speed, and there must be a legal path to the target of this effect that the courtier can take.

Creatures do not count as 'blocking' the path and the ability does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

At the courtier's discretion, the ally may be knocked prone or moved 5' in any direction. The courtier must end his movement after taking damage.

Chivalrous Sacrifice may be used one additional time per day every 4 levels. At 16th level this becomes Improved Chivalrous Sacrifice.

Odor of Ardor (Sp): At 8th level the courtier gains the ability to cast the charm person spell 1/day, with the DC of the spell being 10 + Charisma modifier + 1/2 the Courtier's level.

Stunning Display (Ex): At 9th level, the courtier may take a full-round action to look, sound, and smell his best. After this display he gains a +5 competence bonus to all Charisma-based skill checks for the next minute.

Improved Chivalrous Sacrifice (Ex): At 16th level, Chivalrous Sacrifice becomes Improved Chivalrous Sacrifice, which works like the former except the courtier only takes half damage and can move up to 4x move speed.

Chivalry Is Not Dead (Ex): At 20th level, Improved Chivalrous Sacrifice becomes Chivalry Is Not Dead, which works like the former except the courtier takes no damage. This does not render the courtier immune to other effects, such as suffocation or immobilization.

* Designer's Note:  I admit that swiping the Paladin spell list wholecloth is a bit lazy. The Courtier should be an arcane class, and possibly even a spontaneous rather than a prepared caster. But I was pressed for time and didn't want to deal with the issues of crafting a new spell list and blazing a new trail for spontaneous 4-level spell progression.

Epic Levels of Awesome.

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