Ruins of Adventure
- Races: Any
- Sub-Classes: Bard
- Ability Requirements: Balance 14
- Alignments: Chaotic (see below)
- Starting Cash: By class
- Weapon Slots: By class
- Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: none
- Required Weapon Proficiencies: none
- Allowed Weapons: Blowgun, Hand Crossbow, Dagger, Dart, Hand Axe, Javelin, Knife, Quarterstaff, Scourge, Sling, Short Sword, and Whip.
- Allowed Armors: As Thief
- Non-weapon Slots: By class
- Available Categories: By class, plus Psionic
- Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Acting, Dancing, Juggling, Tumbling
- Required Proficiencies: Tease
- Recommended Proficiencies: Crowd Working, Disguise, Explosive Energy, Jumping, Musical Instrument, Poetry, Singing, Ventriloquism.
- Forbidden Proficiencies: none
Overview: Jesters are known by many names: fools, clowns, jokers, buffoons, etc. The Jester kit covers them all. Jesters are comedians at heart. They love to have a good time and enjoy sharing their mirth and merriment with others (even when they aren’t welcomed). Most people enjoy having a Jester about, as they raise morale, entertain, and make great scapegoats when problems arise.
Jesters are flamboyant, outrageous, and ridiculous. Many sages believe that Jesters live in a constant state of borderline insanity. It is known that they live for attention and feel relaxed only when they are the focus of events.
Description: Jesters almost always act and dress in the most outlandish manner. Even when danger is imminent, Jesters still hop around in their flashy suits with tassels and foppish hats.
Role-Playing: Jesters are often hired by noblemen for entertainment. They dance, prance, and jump about while the more civilized look on and laugh at the fools. More often than not, these noblemen are paying the price for their entertainment, as the Jester is liable to make off with a piece of gold for every laugh he hears. Other Jesters serve as clowns in traveling carnivals or circuses. And of course every community has its local fool.
Jesters rarely take up the adventuring life. (PC Jesters are the obvious exceptions.) Their motivations for doing so will have to be carefully constructed to maintain realism. A Jester may be sentenced to escort a group of heroes on a dangerous quest as punishment for a joke about the king’s nose (throwing him in jail would hardly be appropriate). A Jester might be assigned to accompany a band on a grim and deadly adventure, to combat the gloom and dread that will be encountered. Whatever the reason, having a Jester in the party will certainly result in more than one good laugh.
- Fool’s Luck: It is amazing to most that Jesters can survive in any situation. They are careless, foolish, and given to whimsical decisions. It is fool’s luck that has saved many a Jester’s life. Jesters receive a 5% on percentile rolls) to most die rolls. This includes saving throws, initiative, surprise, proficiency checks, and ability checks. The fool’s luck also adds a +1 bonus to the Jester’s Armor Class.
About the only die rolls that the fool’s luck ability doesn’t affect are attack rolls, damage rolls, initial character generation rolls, and Hit Die rolls.
- Jesting: Jesting is the art of projecting meaning and mood through the use of body motions. By jesting (or gesturing), a Jester may communicate a single sentence each round to anyone who rolls a successful Intuition check with a -5 penalty. Such communication is totally silent and does not rely upon a shared language. The Jester must use his entire body for the communication; thus, he must be fully visible and within 30 feet for communication to take place.
Jesting may be done to taunt or tease. Such jesting affects only those who are within 30 feet of the Jester and who are able to fully view him. This form of jesting causes those being jested at to roll a saving throw vs. paralyzation, with a -1 penalty per three levels of the Jester. Those who fail must immediately try to physically strike the Jester for as long as the jesting continues. The effect ends when the jesting ends. Combat strategy is ignored by those who are affected. They recklessly pass by more dangerous targets in an attempt to attack the Jester. Jesting is thus a wonderful way to break the ranks of enemy forces.
- A Jester’s Mind: Jesters are immune to attacks that cause insanity. Jesters also gain a saving throw bonus equal to their level vs. wizard spells of the Enchantment school and priest spells of the Charm sphere. Furthermore, any attempt to read a Jester’s mind has a percentage chance equal to the Jester’s level of causing confusion in the mind reader (treat as if under the effect of a confusion spell).
- Jesters must be of any chaotic alignment, since no mind attuned to law and order could possibly sustain such an odd personality. Unlike other bards, they are not bound to neutrality and may be Chaotic Good, Chaotic Neutral, or Chaotic Evil at the player’s discretion.
- While they may be skilled at other forms of entertainment and performance, Jesters focus so heavily on comedy that their bardic skills suffer. Jesters may only use the Influence Reactions and Rally Allies abilities through the telling of jokes, requiring a successful Tease proficiency check (or a good joke on the part of the player). They may not use any other form of performance (dancing, singing, oratory, musical instruments, etc.) for these abilities. Jesters cannot use the Counter Song bard ability at all.
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