Jester

Jesters can be found in any court – they are the archetypal fool in motley, dancing and capering about to entertain the royal court. While their main purpose is to make people laugh, they can also use their cutting wit to make others look the fool. Very few Jesters are adventuring types, though one could find a good reason – sending a Jester along on a grim mission to keep others' spirits high, or exiling him as a punishment for insulting the king. Jesters are often sent along with the royal court on visits of state, and some act as spies for the king – after all, who pays attention to a fool?

Bards, obviously, are the most likely class to become Jesters, though some rogues play the part. Due to the odd nature of this class, it is probably better filled by an NPC than a PC.

Hit Die: d6.

Requirements

In order to qualify to become a Jester (Jtr), the character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Alignment: Any chaotic

Skills: Perform (any 2) 8 ranks, Acrobatics 5 ranks, Sleight of Hand 5 ranks

Feats: Dodge, Lightning Reflexes

Class Skills

The Jester's class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (local, nobility) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha)

Skill Points Per Level: 6 + Int modifier



Table 1: The Jester
Level Base
Attack Bonus
Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Special
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Taunt, immunity to insanity
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Jester's luck
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 Jokes, uncanny dodge
4th +3 +1 +4 +1 Pantomime
5th +3 +2 +4 +2 Jangling caper
6th +4 +2 +5 +2 Catch missiles
7th +5 +2 +5 +2 Jester's mirth
8th +6 +3 +6 +3 Roll with the punches
9th +6 +3 +6 +3 Dramatic death
10th +7 +4 +7 +4 Acrobatic mesmerizing


Class Features

All of the following are class features of the Jester.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Jesters gain no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.

Taunt (Ex): At will, as a standard action, the Jester can taunt one particular enemy. This enemy must make a Will save (DC 10 + Jester's class level + Cha modifier) or be enraged and seek to attack the Jester in melee. Such opponents suffer a -2 penalty to AC, as they are solely concerned with getting to the Jester and beating him bloody. Taunt is a language-dependent, mind-affecting ability.

Immunity to Insanity (Ex): Jesters are immune to all insanity effects, due to their chaotic nature (some say that Jesters are halfway insane anyway). In addition, any attempts to contact or read a Jester's mind must make a DC 15 Will save or suffer from a confusion effect (as the spell) for 2d6 rounds.

Jester's Luck (Ex): It is said that the gods watch over fools and madmen, and Jesters seem to be a little of both. Jesters gain a +1 (or +5%) luck bonus to saves and skill checks per 2 class levels.

Jokes (Ex): The Jester is skilled at telling jokes for all occasions. Telling a joke requires 1d4 rounds, and can only be done if the Jester has a more or less attentive audience (i.e., it can't be done in the middle of a combat). At the conclusion of the joke, the audience must make a Will save (DC 10 + Jester's class level + Cha modifier). Those who fail their save are affected as the Jester intended when telling the joke – whether to set them at ease (granting the Jester a +2 bonus to Diplomacy and Gather Information checks) or anger them (basically granting the same effect as a taunt, above). Those who succeed in their checks are not affected either way. For each 5 ranks a Jester has in a Perform skill that would be used to tell the joke (oratory, storytelling, etc.), he gains a +1 bonus to the DC.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): A Jester can react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. He retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.

If a Jester already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.

Pantomime (Ex): A Jester can communicate through gestures and body language as well as words. He can eloquently get a message across (i.e., insult or entertain someone) without saying a word, through gestures, facial expression, and body language. In order to use this ability, he must have at least his arms free (for smaller gestures), and his intended audience must be able to see him. He can continue to pantomime for as long as he wishes; this may or may not exclude certain other actions, like fighting or spellcasting, depending on the pantomime (DM's discretion). This ability grants the Jester a +4 circumstance bonus to Bluff, Disguise, and Perform (acting) checks.

Jangling Caper (Ex): Jesters learn how to move silently in most situations, even when wearing/carrying a large amount of noisy gear (or simply wearing a suit with bells on it). The Jester gains a +10 competence bonus to Stealth checks; he can move at 3/4 speed without penalty, and can even tumble at a -10 penalty and remain silent. He cannot use this ability if he is more than lightly encumbered.

Catch Missile (Ex): The Jester is skilled at catching small items, including weapons thrown at or tossed to him (arrows, hammers, hand axes, daggers, etc., but not crossbow bolts), provided he can see them coming and he has at least one free hand. He can catch one missile per point of his Dex bonus each round by making a DC 15 Reflex save for the first missile, +1 for each missile after that.

Jester's Mirth (Su): A Jester's acting ability is such that he can infect his audience with uncontrollable laughter. Three times per day, as a supernatural ability, he can perform, tell jokes and stories, or otherwise get his listeners laughing so hard that they are effectively under the effects of an uncontrollable laughter spell. This effect requires 1d4 rounds to properly use; anyone listening to the Jester must make a Will save (DC 10 + Jester's class level + Cha modifier) or suffer the effects, which last for 1 round per class level. Note that the Jester need not make a sound for this power to work – he can use pantomime and gestures (see the Pantomime ability, above) alone, in cases where he must maintain silence or must try to affect someone who doesn't understand his language. This is a mind-affecting ability.

Roll with the Punches (Ex): At 8th level, a Jester can roll with attacks, using his tumbling ability and natural skill at dodging blows. In game terms, he can designate beforehand one attack per round that he will roll with. If he makes a Reflex save (DC 12+damage), he takes only half damage from that attack, but this is considered a move action.

Dramatic Death (Ex): At 9th level, a Jester's acting ability is such that he can fake injuries or even death, often in the most dramatic manner possible. For example, if someone hit a Jester with a sword (for at least 1 hit point of damage), the Jester could clutch his chest, double over, and "die". He would then be, to all outward appearances, "dead" (though spells that detect living or dead beings reveal the ruse). Those watching can make a Will save (DC 10 + Jester's class level + Cha mod) to disbelieve the acting; the DM can adjust the DC depending on the believability of the acting. A Jester with 10 or more ranks in Bluff or Perform (acting) adds a +2 bonus.

Acrobatic Mesmerizing (Su): By dancing around, cavorting, spinning out jokes and insults, and generally making an annoyance of himself, a Jester can weave a supernatural aura of confusion around himself. This requires a full-round action to peform; at the beginning of the next round all the Jester's foes must make a Will save (DC 10 + Jester's class level + Cha mod) or be confused (as the spell) for as long as the Jester maintains the routine (up to 1 round per combined bard and Jester level). Those to be affected must be able to both see and hear the Jester. This is a mind-affecting ability.

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