Character Classes


The mountebank is a trickster allied with the fell powers of the Outer Planes: the herald of a demon prince, a duke of Hell, or a similar power. Some mountebanks seek out such an alliance, their thirst for power blotting out any fears they might have of eternal damnation or servitude. Other mountebanks are opportunists forced to embrace an infernal pact for lack of any better options. In any case, the mountebank is a master trickster who derives power from her link to a dark master.

Mountebanks excel at manipulating others with careful lies, ruses, and other stratagems. Their connection to the dark powers allows them to generate magical effects that normally require extensive arcane training and skill to create. Their hypnotic gaze can leave even the stoutest warriors vulnerable to attack, while their magical talents make them almost impossible to trap. Mountebanks thrive on swindling the trusting, stealing from those who use their wealth to help others, and doing whatever else they can to spread misery. Some mountebanks fight against the temptation to do evil. These brave souls strike a bargain with evil and try to turn it against their foul masters. Few of them succeed.

Most mountebanks adventure out of a pure sense of greed. They ally with other adventurers only to have a stable of useful dupes to shield them from harm. When the going gets rough, the mountebank saves her own life. The more marks between her skin and her enemies, the better.

Mountebanks who seek to betray their infernal bargain usually work alone, but sometimes they find a small group of allies who grow to become their friends. These mountebanks walk a lonely road, but in trusted allies they might find the strength needed to sunder their bonds to evil.

A mountebank derives strength from her cunning and her infernal pact. She can produce magical effects to trick others with the dark power invested in her soul. The mountebank also has several abilities similar to a rogue's. She has a wide variety of skills, she can disarm even magical traps, and she can strike with deadly accuracy against an opponent ill-prepared for her attack.

Mountebanks are never good. The dark powers never invest their might in one who could blatantly turn it against them. Evil mountebanks are marauders who care only for their own needs. They loot, kill, assassinate, and deceive others as it pleases them. Most neutral mountebanks have similar attitudes, although they might not harm others from a sense of joy but rather for the sake of necessity. Mountebanks who struggle against their fate are almost always neutral.

Mountebanks generally enter pacts with demonic or infernal powers. Having been exposed to such creatures, they rarely pray to other deities. Baalzebul, Graz'zt, Mammon, Mephistopheles, and Orcus most likely serve as patrons to a mountebank. A few evil deities, such as Vecna and Iuz, also strike bargains with them.

Mountebanks arise in a wide variety of circumstances. Some reach out to the dark powers as part of their initiation into an evil cult, while others learn to forge their pact from a more powerful mountebank, one who seeks out and recruits new fodder for her master. In some cases - particularly in the case of a neutral person - a deity, devil, or demon tempts a mortal who faces a great danger with the powers of a mountebank. Baalzebul in particularly enjoys corrupting the innocent and desperate to the mountebank's path.

Humans and half-elves most often become mountebanks. Humans are ambitious and daring enough to take up such an offer. Half-elves, suspended between two distinct cultures, might turn to the mountebank's path due to the resentment both halves of their heritage display. While half-orcs are outcasts to an even greater degree, their poor charisma and tendency toward direct action make them poorly suited to this role. Dwarves, elves, halflings, and gnomes produce few mountebanks, and typically only from among the deviants and criminals in their midst.

Mountebanks trust no one and see all others in terms of their utility. Friendship is almost utterly alien to them. They particularly hate paladins, both because they are champions of good and because paladins can sense the evil that dwells in a mountebank's heart.

Mountebanks are scouts, diplomats, and tricksters at their best when they support their allies in combat. Most mountebanks prefer to let others shoulder the risks while they collect the rewards.

Alignment: Any nongood.

Hit Die: d6.

Class Skills

The mountebank's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge(the planes) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Tumble (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

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

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

Table: The Mountebank

Level Base
Attack Bonus
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Beguiling stare, bonus language, mark of damnation, trapfinding
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Deceptive attack +1d6
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 Infernal patron, mass beguile
4th +3 +1 +4 +1 Infernal guise
5th +3 +1 +4 +1 Disguise the soul's aspect
6th +4 +2 +5 +2 Deceptive attack +2d6
7th +5 +2 +5 +2
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +2 Infernal defense
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +3
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +3 Deceptive attack +3d6, infernal jaunt
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +3
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Infernal influence
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +4 Deceptive attack +4d6
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +5
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Infernal escape
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6 Deceptive attack +5d6
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Aspect of the damned, infernal deception
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the mountebank.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A mountebank is proficient with all simple weapons and light armor, but not with any shields.

Beguiling Stare (Su): As a standard action, the mountebank can stare into her target's eyes and attempt to hypnotize him through the force of her infernal gaze. The target of this ability must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 mountebank's level + mountebank's Cha modifier). If this save fails, the target becomes beguiled until the end of the mountebank's next turn. The mountebank can use this ability at will, but she cannot attempt to use it against a single target more than once per day.

A beguiled character loses his Dexterity bonus to Armor Class. He also suffers a -2 penalty on all Will saves and a -5 penalty on all Sense Motive checks. The mountebank's infernal power overwhelms the target's mind, leaving his thoughts foggy and his body leaden. If the mountebank's target succeeds in his save, he has no knowledge of the mountebank's attempt to beguile him unless he makes a DC 20 Knowledge (the planes) check. In the target's mind, he merely stared into her eyes for a moment.

Beguiling stare is a mind-affecting ability.

Bonus Language: The mountebank gains either Abyssal or Infernal as a bonus language to better communicate with her sinister masters.

Mark of Damnation: A mountebank pledges her soul to an infernal power, be it a demon, devil, or similar baleful lord. When the mountebank dies, her soul is consigned to her master. Any attempt to return her to life has a chance of failure, as the mountebank's master determines the fate of her soul. The mountebank must make a DC 25 Bluff or Diplomacy check (her choice) to return to the living. She gains a bonus on this check equal to half her mountebank level, as the dark lords of the Outer Planes prefer to let their more accomplished and skilled pawns return to the Material Plane to wreak further misery.

Trapfinding: Mountebanks can use the Search skill to locate traps when the task has a Difficulty Class higher than 20. Finding a nonmagical trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic trap has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.

Mountebanks can use the Disable Device skill to disarm magic traps. A magic trap generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it. A mountebank who beats a trap's DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study the trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it without disarming it.

Deceptive Attack: If a mountebank of at least 2nd level can lull an opponent into dropping his defenses, she can make a sudden, devastating strike.

The mountebank's attack deals extra damage against any target that is beguiled (as per the mountebank's beguiling stare ability) or against targets that she successfully feints. This extra damage is 1d6 at 2nd level, and it increases by 1d6 every four mountebank levels thereafter. The mountebank never multiplies deceptive attack damage on a successful critical hit. The mountebank cannot use this ability with ranged weapons, nor can she use it to deal nonlethal damage.

This bonus damage applies against all creatures, even those immune to critical hits or sneak attacks. The speed and sudden nature of the mountebank's attack allows her to make a telling blow, rather than a strike against a specific spot in her opponent's anatomy.

Infernal Patron (Su): Owing to her close connection to an infernal patron or similar, sinister master, the mountebank can channel the energies of the Lower Planes to aid her in clouding the minds of others. In a manner similar to how a cleric calls upon the power of his deity the mountebank turns to her master for aid. She can call upon her patron's aid a number of times per day equal to 1/2 her mountebank level + Charisma modifier. Channeling this energy and using it to power her abilities is a standard action. The mountebank gains the ability to use this power in a number of different ways.

Mass Beguile (Su): At 3rd level, the mountebank can use her infernal patron ability to cloud the minds of her enemies. She channels her power into a 30-foot burst, with a range of 100 feet + 10 feet per mountebank level. All creatures within this area must make Will saves (DC 10 + 1/2 mountebank's level + mountebank's Cha modifier). Creatures that fail this save are beguiled for a number of rounds equal to the mountebank's Charisma bonus, with a minimum of 1 round. This power affects only those creatures with Hit Dice less than or equal to the mountebank's level. This is a mind-affecting ability.

Infernal Guise (Sp): At 4th level, by expending one use of her infernal patron ability, the mountebank can use alter self as a sorcerer with a caster level equal to her mountebank level.

Disguise the Soul's Aspect (Su): At 5th level, whenever an opponent attempts to use a spell capable of determining or detecting the mountebank's alignment, the mountebank may expend one of her daily infernal patron uses to make a Charisma check opposed by the Sense Motive of the person attempting to discern her alignment. If she succeeds, she picks the alignment that the caster detects. In some cases, this might lead the caster to detect nothing. For example, Abelard the paladin attempts to use detect evil on the area occupied by Joreena the mountebank. Joreena's Charisma check beats Abelard's, and she decides to detect as lawful good. Thus, Abelard's ability does not detect her.

After making a successful Charisma check, the mountebank foils that specific opponent's attempts for 24 hours. If her check fails, the mountebank cannot make another opposed check against that target for 24 hours.

Infernal Defense (Sp): At 8th level, the mountebank can call upon her foul patron to protect her from attacks. By expending one of her uses of her infernal patron ability, the mountebank can use displacement upon herself as a sorcerer with a caster level equal to her mountebank level.

Infernal Jaunt (Sp): At 10th level, by expending one of her uses of her infernal patron ability, the mountebank can slide through planar space in a manner similar to a dimension door. She can use this ability to travel a total of 10 feet + 5 feet per mountebank level. She activates this ability as a move action and may take her other actions as normal after arriving at her destination. When the mountebank uses this ability, she disappears and re-appears in a small puff of brimstone.

If the mountebank wears a cloak of the mountebank, the cloak adds 100 feet to her daily use of this ability in addition to its normal benefits.

If the mountebank makes a melee attack immediately after using her infernal jaunt ability, she gains the benefits of her deceptive attack damage against her foe.

Infernal Influence (Sp): At 12th level, by expending one of her uses of her infernal patron ability, the mountebank can use confusion against a single target (rather than as an area of effect ability). She otherwise uses the spell as a sorcerer with a caster level equal to her mountebank level.

Infernal Escape (Su): At 16th level, by expending two of her uses of her infernal patron ability, the mountebank can use teleport as a sorcerer with a caster level equal to her mountebank level, but with one important exception. The mountebank can only use this ability on herself She cannot transport any other creature except a familiar, if she has one from levels in an appropriate class.

Infernal Deception (Sp): At 20th level, by expending one use of her infernal patron ability, the mountebank can use mislead as a sorcerer with a caster level equal to her mountebank level.

Aspect of the Damned: At 20th level the mountebank's soul comes due to her master. She gains the half-fiend template unless already one. Her alignment shifts to evil unless already evil. In any case, she becomes her master's willing thrall. She transports to the Outer Planes and becomes an NPC under the DM's control.

Only a quest to break her pact with her demonic or infernal overlord can free the mountebank from this fate. The exact nature of this quest is left to the DM, but it usually requires a mountebank to defeat her patron or his most powerful minions, render him a great service, or trick him into releasing her from their contract.