View Full Version : [3.5] Farceur (Playwright) (Bard PrC)

2010-01-29, 03:15 AM
(Still a work in progress, but it's getting there.)


"Need you really ask? The quill, of course." - Theriamor, Farceur of the Traveling Troupe

Farce is comedy of improbable plot, extravagant twists, deep satire, innuendo, and a grain of truth. The farcuer is both actor and playwright, a master of the stage and of the audience. They excel at finding a grain of embarrassing truth and putting it on stage for the world to see to the amusement of the masses and the chagrin of the ridiculed. The ruthlessness of their satires is matched only by the social grace, and physical resilience, with which they evade the more impetuous targets of their mirth.

Farceurs are unlikely to travel about the world outside of cities, unless of course they have outstayed their welcome in the former town. They are inherently creatures of the metropolis, where intrigue and gossip can fuel their creative muse and where crowds can be gathered to be entertained by the farceur's wit. They often belong to performing troupes, filling a roles of director, producer, and actor. Lone Farceurs are almost unheard of, though a very few do exist, usually those between cities or jobs.

Becoming a Farceur
Farceurs generally begin as storytellers and actors, many jesters also follow the path of the farceur. Those with a penchant for the humorous and the wit and skill to match may naturally find themselves entering the world of farce. It takes no special training to become a farceur, and there exists no formal organization of farceurs in the world.

(The Jester base class can be found in the Dragon Magazine Compendium Vol I.)

Entry Requirements
Alignment: Any nonlawful.
Skills: Bluff 6 ranks, Craft (playwright) 7 ranks, Perform (comedy) 7 ranks, Sense Motive 6 ranks, Tumble 5 ranks.

Class Skills
The farceur's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (history, local, nobility and royalty) (Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (n/a), and Tumble (Dex).
Skills Points at Each Level: 6 + int

Hit Dice: d6

{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spellcasting

+2|Writer's wit, dramatis personŠ, bardic performer|+1 level of bard or jester spellcasting ability

+3|Witty retort, collector of gossip|+1 level of bard or jester spellcasting ability

+3|Director, indirect jibe|-

+4|Popular productions, threat of humiliation|+1 level of bard or jester spellcasting ability

+4|Master of the arts|+1 level of bard or jester spellcasting ability[/table]

Class Skills
All of the following are class features of the farceur prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: A farceurs gains no proficiencies with any weapons or armor.

Spellcasting: At the indicated levels, a farceur gains new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known) as if he had also gained a level in the bard or jester class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit the class gives him. If the farceur has both bard and jester levels, he must choose to which the level increase applies at the time the level is gained.

Bardic Performance: A farceur may add 1/2 his farceur level (rounded up) to his bard or jester levels to determine the number of daily uses of bardic music or jester's performance he has available but does not stack for any other purpose, such as determining save DCs or what music/performances are available. If a farceur has both bard and jester levels, he must choose to which class this applies, and it may not be changed later. For example, a Bard 6/Farceur 3 would have 8 uses of bardic music per day.

Writer's Wit (Ex): At 1st level, a farceur learns to use his wit and charm to greater effect in his plays. He gains the ability to add his Charisma modifier (if positive) as a circumstance bonus on Craft (playwright) checks. (Races of Stone gives more details about creating written works.)

Dramatis PersonŠ (Su): Skilled actors, farceurs not only act out their roles, they in part become the characters they portray. So fully do they fill the role that they even manage to convince themselves. When pretending to be someone else, farceurs gain a +4 bonus on Bluff checks and a +4 bonus on Will saves to resist magical effects which would read their thoughts or emotions, such as detect thoughts and discern lies. The bonus to Bluff checks does not apply to Feint attempts.

Witty Retort (Ex): At 2nd level, a farceur masters the art of the verbal riposte. When another person makes a Bluff, Intimidate, or Diplomacy check, the farceur may spend a daily use of bardic music or jester's performance as an immediate action to make a witty remark. The farceur makes a Perform check, and if the Perform check is higher than his opponent's skill check, the farceur's opponent receives a penalty on his check equal to the farceur's Cha modifier. This attempt can only be made before the result of the farceur's opponent's check is known, and it does not apply to Bluff checks made to feint in battle.

Collector of Gossip (Ex): A farceur learns how to listen to what people don't say as well as to what they say. They learn to read between the lines of the gossip to learn the truth, for it is the truth of society that makes a farce worth viewing. When using Gather Information in a city in which a farceur has put on at least one show, he receives a bonus on the check equal to twice his farceur level.

Indirect Jibe (Su): At 3rd level, a farceur learns to verbally abuse someone without directly doing so. Though others do not understand the farceur's words to be an insult, the intended target is filled with shame and anger. As a swift action, a farceur may spend a daily use of bardic music or jester's performance to insult a target within 60 feet that can see and hear the farceur. If the target fails a Will save (DC 10 + farceur level + farceur's Cha modifier), the target gets a -4 penalty to Will saves until the end of the farceur's turn but receives a +1 to attack rolls and Sense Motive checks against the farceur until the end of the encounter.

Director (Ex): At 3rd level, the farceur has mastered the art of directing plays that he has written. When a farceur is directing others to act in a play he has written, each actor receives a circumstance bonus on their Perform checks equal to the farceur's class level. This bonus applies as long as the play lasts and ends immediately when the play does. The farceur does not receive a bonus on his own Perform checks, even if he is performing in the play.

Popular Productions (Ex): As a farceur's fame grows, demand for his performances increases. At 4th level, when making a Performance or Profession check related to putting on a show, a farceur earns twice the normal amount of money.

Threat of Humiliation (Ex): As a farceur's reputation spreads, others become wary of insulting him for fear of being publicly ridiculed on stage. When a farceur of at least 4th level makes an Intimidate check to change another's behavior, a farceur receives a bonus equal to his farceur class level if he mentions writing a new play or looking for inspiration for a new character. After the target ceases to be intimidated, its default attitude shifts to neutral (or, if normally unfriendly, to unfriendly). The threat of public ridicule prevents an intimidated target from becoming openly hostile towards you due to your intimidation.

Master of the Arts: ...

2010-01-29, 03:16 AM

For bards who wish to become more serious playwrights, make the following changes to the class.

Rename class to Playwright.

Entry Requirements: Remove "Perform (comedy) 8 ranks". Add "Perform (acting or oratory) 8 ranks.

Class Features: Rename "Collector of Gossip" to "Collector of Tales."

2010-01-29, 03:17 AM
Note that this PrC was made primarily with the Jester base class in mind but to apply to bards who prefer to become performers rather than travelers and have a penchant for comedy.

I originally intended the class to be 7 levels, but I'm seriously considering chopping it off at 5, reordering the abilities a little bit, and strengthening whatever ability becomes the capstone.