Character Classes


The jester masters a style of performance and magic similar to the bard's. While a bard sings to inspire courage and arouse hope in his friends, the jester uses his razor wit and comedic put downs to devastate his enemies. The jester's style of performance allows him to find flaws in others and exploit them with his cruel sense of humor. Most jesters serve as fools and comedians in the courts of powerful nobles. Their comedy serves to lighten the mood in the royal court, while a jester's jibes and puns can put a king's political enemies in their place.

A jester's magic comes from his ability to find humor in even the grimmest situation. Even while a fierce battle rages around him, the jester finds reason to make merry. Evil jesters see life as a running joke, with the punchline the pain, suffering, and torment they inflict on others. Good jesters see their role as providing relief and support to others. Neutral jesters are merely observers who report on the odd coincidences, grim ironies, and bitter comedy of life.

The jester's profession naturally lends itself to instability. A single poorly worded joke or a scathing comeback delivered to the wrong nobleman can see a jester banished from court and forced onto the road. Other jesters work as traveling entertainers by choice. In any case, jesters typically adventure for lack of any other option. Jesters tend to be wanderers and free spirits with an adventuresome streak.

Jesters produce magic from deep within their souls in a manner similar to bards, but while bards focus on great epics, inspiring stories, and ancient myths, jesters seek purely to entertain. Their ability to find humor at the expense of others gives their magic a more aggressive edge - one that allows them to use spells that harass others.

Jesters are iconoclasts who march to their own tune. They are always chaotic, with most tending toward neutrality. Most jesters are too mischievous, and their humor too biting, for good. Yet by the same turn only a small fraction cross the line from comedy to sadism.

Most jesters revere Olidammara, although a significant minority sees Fharlanghn, god of roads, as their patron. Good jesters usually worship Olidammara, while evil ones who find comedy in death and torment follow Erythnul.

An apprentice jester usually studies under a master comedian, one who has served in a regal court or earned his keep with performances across the land. Serving as an apprentice jester is difficult, miserable work. An apprentice must often serve as the straight man or dupe in an act. If a jester wants to include a pie-throwing bit in his act, his apprentice is the most likely target on stage. Good jesters maintain that, by learning what it feels like to be on the receiving end of a joke or prank, a jester learns to use his talents responsibly. Evil jesters go out of their way to torment and abuse their charges, the better to twist them to the cause of evil and motivate them to revisit their hurts five fold upon the world.

Gnomes and halflings have a natural affinity for the jester's talents. Members of those races who become jesters love to use their humor to knock the bigger races down a peg. Elves, with their love of music and dance, also have a natural pull toward the class, but in many cases the long-lived elves find the jester's path too shallow and simple for their tastes. Dwarves and half-orcs rarely become jesters, as their naturally withdrawn or crude personalities make them ill-suited as humorists and entertainers.

Jesters have trouble getting along with almost all other classes, save for bards. As fellow performers, bards can appreciate a jester's wit even when it is aimed at them. Jesters find paladins particularly stuffy, humorless, and dull, and needle them with jokes and puns at every turn - particularly because the paladin's code forbids violence over such a small matter as a joke.

The jester functions best when he supports his comrades on adventures. Unlike a bard, he has a fair number of offensive spells and abilities. He can shake even the mightiest warrior's confidence with his performance abilities and his spells. The jester's natural charisma sometimes makes him a good spokesmen or diplomat, but his tendency toward humorous quips - even when such jokes aren't in the party's best interest - can sabotage even the most sincere attempts at diplomacy.

Alignment: Any chaotic.

Hit Die: d6.

Class Skills

The jester's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge(local) (Int), Knowledge(nobility and royalty) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (none), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex).

Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int modifier) x 4.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Table: The Jester

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Special Spells per Day
0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Jester's audacity +1, jester's performance, fascinate, inspiring quip 2
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Bonus feat 3 0
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Taunt 3 1
4th +3 +1 +4 +4   3 2 0
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Jester's audacity +2 3 3 1
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Bonus feat, calming performance 3 3 2
7th +5 +2 +5 +5   3 3 2 0
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 3 3 3 1
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 Buffoonery 3 3 3 2
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 Bone rattler, jester's audacity +3 3 3 3 2 0
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +7   3 3 3 3 1
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Vicious lampoon 3 3 3 3 2
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8   3 3 3 3 2 0
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 4 3 3 3 3 1
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 Jester's audacity +4, vexing dialogue 4 4 3 3 3 2
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10   4 4 4 3 3 2 0
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10   4 4 4 4 3 3 1
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Scathing wit 4 4 4 4 4 3 2
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11   4 4 4 4 4 4 3
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Jester's audacity +5 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

Table: Jester Spells Known

  Spells Known
Level  0  1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1st 4
2nd 5 2*
3rd 6 3
4th 6 3 2*
5th 6 4 3
6th 6 4 3
7th 6 4 4 2*
8th 6 4 4 3
9th 6 4 4 3
10th 6 4 4 4 2*
11th 6 4 4 4 3
12th 6 4 4 4 3
13th 6 4 4 4 4 2*
14th 6 4 4 4 4 3
15th 6 4 4 4 4 3
16th 6 5 4 4 4 4 2*
17th 6 5 5 4 4 4 3
18th 6 5 5 5 4 4 3
19th 6 5 5 5 5 4 4
20th 6 5 5 5 5 5 4

* Provided the jester has a high enough Charisma score to have a bonus spell of this level.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the jester.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A jester is proficient with all simple weapons, plus the rapier, sap, short sword, shortbow, and whip. Jesters are proficient with light armor and all shields save for the tower shield. Most jesters prefer light armor that gives them the maximum flexibility needed to perform their acrobatics.

Spells: The jester casts arcane spells in a manner similar to a sorcerer or bard, taken from the jester spells list. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a jester must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell's level. The save DC for the jester's spells is 10 + the spell's level + the jester's Charisma modifier.

The jester receives bonus spells based on his Charisma. If the jester's level progression chart shows that he can cast 0 spells of a given level, he gains only the bonus spells he is entitled to based on his Charisma.

The jester knows only a limited range of spells, as shown on Table: Jester Spells Known. At 5th level and every three jester levels after that, the jester can remove one spell from his list of known spells and replace it with a new one from the jester spell list.

Jester's Audacity: The jester's natural talent for performance, his often outrageous dress, and his seemingly lackadaisical attitude throws his opponents off guard in combat. Even a jester armed with a vicious-looking weapon cuts a comedic figure that many warriors have trouble taking seriously.

At 1st level, a jester gains a +1 dodge bonus to his Armor Class. This bonus increases to +2 at 5th level, +3 at 10th level, +4 at 15th level, and +5 at 20th level. However, this bonus can never be greater than the jester's current Charisma bonus. The jester's audacity draws in part on his shameless ability to project himself as nonchalant, goofy, and inept in even the deadliest struggle.

Jester's Performance: The jester is the master of the verbal put down, the hilarious joke, or the savage verbal lashing. His words can inspire dread and outrage in his enemies or confidence and comfort in his friends. Once per day per jester level, the jester can use his wit to produce magical effects in those around him. The jester must have at least 1 rank in Perform (comedy) to use these abilities, and many of them rely on the use of that skill to establish their save DCs and other effects. The jester must share a language and be able to speak to the target or targets of his performance abilities unless otherwise noted in the specific ability's description.

Starting a jester's performance ability is a standard action, and the jester can maintain the performance (either as a free action or move action, depending on the specific performance used). The jester cannot use spells, activate magic items by spell completion, or activate magic items by word while using his jester's performance ability. The jester must keep up a steady stream of puns, insults, or jokes to maintain the performance's effect.

A deaf jester has a 20% failure chance when attempting to use his performance ability. If he fails, the attempt still counts against his daily number of jester's performances.

Fascinate (Sp): A jester with 3 or more ranks in Perform (comedy) can create a running stream of jokes, gags, and acrobatic stunts to cause one or more creatures to become fascinated with him. Each creature to be fascinated must be within 90 feet, able to see and hear the jester, and able to pay attention to him. The jester must also be able to see the creature. The distraction of a nearby combat or other dangers prevents the ability from working. For every three levels a jester attains beyond 1st, he can target one additional creature with a single use of this ability.

An affected creature gets to make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 jester's level + jester's Cha modifier). If a creature succeeds at this saving throw the jester cannot attempt to fascinate that creature again for 24 hours. Creatures that fail this save sit quietly and listen to the jester's performance, taking no other actions for as long as the jester continues to perform (up to a maximum of 1 round per jester level). While fascinated, a target takes a -4 penalty on skill checks made as reactions, such as Listen and Spot checks. Any potential threat requires the jester to make another Perform (comedy) check and allows the creature a new saving throw against a DC equal to the new check result.

Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a ranged weapon at the target, automatically breaks the effect. Fascinate is an enchantment (compulsion), language-dependant, mind-affecting ability.

Inspiring Quip (Su): A jester with 3 or more ranks in Perform (comedy) can boost his allies' morale with a joke that breaks their tension and invigorates their spirits, As an immediate action when an opponent misses an attack, the jester makes a wisecrack denigrating the foe's fighting ability. The jester must be able to see the unsuccessful attack. All allies within 30 feet of the jester gain a +2 morale bonus on all attacks against that foe for the rest of the encounter. The jester can use this ability more than once during an encounter to grant a morale bonus against multiple foes.

Taunt (Su): A jester with 3 or more ranks in Perform (comedy) can attempt to hurl such stinging insults against a foe that his opponent loses his temper in an explosive display. The jester targets one creature within 60 feet that shares a language with him. The target must be able to hear the jester for this ability to have an effect. The target can make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 jester's level + jester's Cha modifier). If he fails, the target gains a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls but takes a -2 penalty to Armor Class. On its next turn the affected target takes the most direct route possible (charging if able) toward the jester that avoids any obviously dangerous terrain, such as a pit of bubbling lava. The target may stop if an opponent blocks its path and can move around its foes in such a way as to avoid provoking attacks of opportunity (unless able to charge). If the target does provoke an attack of opportunity due to this movement, it immediately gets to make another Will save, this time with a +2 bonus. The jester must use a free action to continue to taunt his opponent each round, and if he cannot complete this act the taunt's effects immediately end. This is a mind-affecting, language-dependant ability.

Calming Performance (Su): A jester of 6th level and with 9 or more ranks in Perform (comedy) can diffuse the tension, anger, and simmering violence in a confrontation. He can cause all creatures currently affected by his fascinate ability to adopt a friendly attitude toward himself his allies, and all other creatures currently affected by the jester's fascinate ability. This effect lasts for 10 minutes per jester level. Calming performance is a mind-affecting, language-dependent ability.

Buffoonery (Su): A 9th-level jester with 12 or more ranks in Perform (comedy) can caper and dance to distract his opponents in battle. The jester's outrageous actions distract his foe, leaving it unable to effectively defend itself. The jester can choose a single target within 30 feet to whom he has line of sight. The target must be able to see and hear the jester, and gets a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 jester's level + jester's Cha modifier). If the target misses this save, it loses its Dexterity bonus (if any) to its Armor Class. The target gains a new save each round the jester maintains buffoonery (a free action). If the target makes a successful Will save the effect ends and the target becomes immune to that particular jester's buffoonery for 24 hours.

Vicious Lampoon (Su): A 12th-level jester with 15 or more ranks in Perform (comedy) can mock his opponents with such vicious, cutting humor that they lose confidence in their fighting ability. Every opponent within 60 feet of the jester who can hear and understand him must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 jester's level + jester's Cha modifier). Creatures that fail this save suffer a -2 penalty on attack rolls, skill and ability checks, and saving throws for as long as the jester continues to perform (as a move action), up to a maximum number of rounds equal to the jester's level. This is a mind-affecting, language-dependant effect.

Vexing Dialogue (Su): A 15th-level jester with 18 or more ranks in Perform (comedy) can create a running series of jokes, observations, and insults that breaks a single target's ability to concentrate. When the jester uses this ability, his target must make a Concentration check opposed by the jester's Perform (comedy) check to cast a spell, use a supernatural ability, or otherwise perform an act that would require a Concentration check to complete if the target suffered damage while attempting it. This effect lasts for 1 round. The jester can use this ability against a given target once per encounter. This is a mind-affecting, language-dependent effect.

Scathing Wit (Su): An 18th-level jester with 21 or more ranks in Perform (comedy) can leave his target a dispirited, demoralized shell with a few choice, cutting remarks. The target can make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 jester's level + jester's Cha modifier). If the save fails, the target suffers a penalty equal to the jester's Charisma bonus on attack rolls and saving throws. This penalty lasts for as long as the jester performs (a move action), for a maximum number of rounds equal to half the jester's level. This is a mind-affecting, language-dependent effect. The target must be able to see and clearly hear the jester.

Bonus Feats: A jester learns a variety of juggling tricks to entertain his audience. As a result, he develops the reflexes and timing needed to knock fast moving objects out of the air. At 2nd level, a jester with 5 or more ranks in Perform (comedy) gains Deflect Arrows as a bonus feat.

At 6th level, a jester with 9 or more ranks in Perform (comedy) gains Snatch Arrows as a bonus feat. His reflexes and timing improve to the point that he can catch deadly missiles rather than merely knock them aside.

Bone Rattler: At 10th level, the jester's antics are so vexing that even the normally implacable undead fall victim to them. The jester's mind-affecting jester's performance abilities function as normal against undead that possess intelligence scores, although undead creatures gain a +2 bonus on their saves against such abilities. Undead creatures that lack intelligence scores and other types of creatures immune to mind-affecting effects remain immune to the jester's talents.