View Full Version : Fixing the Mountebank (P.E.A.C.H) [3.5]

Golden Ladybug
2013-04-21, 09:54 PM
The Mountebank

The Mountebank, like the Warlock, gains power from a fiendish pact with evil beings of the Outer Planes; perhaps they are the Herald of a Demon Prince, or the Agent of a Duke of Hell, or some equally foul power. Not all Mountebanks serve their masters willingly; it is not uncommon for mortals to swear themselves to fiendish powers out of desperation.

Of course, there are those that do willingly serve, in hope of power and protection. Which, after a fashion, they recieve. But the price they pay may be more than what they were willing to give up...

Role: Mountebanks fulfil a very similar function to the Rogue; they are skilled characters who possess the potential to inflict large amounts of damage to their foes under the right circumstances. Unlike the Rogue, who relies on stealth, misdirection and tactical positioning to inflict pain, the Mountebank uses her fiendish powers to ensnare her foes and create powerful supernatural effects.

Abilities: Mountebank's prize Charisma, as it provides them with a more powerful Beguiling Stare, more uses of their Fiendish Patron abilities and bolsters their defenses. Dexterity and Constitution are invaluable for protecting the Mountebank in combat, as well as providing a buffer for their weaker saving throws.

Alignment: Any Non-Good

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 (Arcana) (Int), 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=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

+2|Least Beguiling Stare, Bonus Language, Mark of Damnation, Trapfinding

+3|Summon Familiar, Deceptive attack +1d6

+3|Fiendish Patron, Fiendish Downfall, Mass Beguile

+4|Disguise the Soul's Aspect, Form of the Damned

+4|Fiendish Deprival, Deceptive Attack +2d6

+5|Slippery Mind

+5|Fiendish Defense, Lesser Beguiling Stare

+6|Deceptive Attack +3d6

+6|Fiendish Jaunt

+7|Improved Familiar

+7|Fiendish Influence, Deceptive Attack +4d6


+8|Fiendish Discord, Greater Beguiling Stare

+9|Deceptive Attack +5d6

+9|Fiendish Deception

+10|Travel of the Damned

+10|Fiendish Conquest, Deceptive Attack +6d6

+11|Madness of the Damned

+11|Fiendish Hatred, Stygian Beguiling Stare

+12|Aspect of the Damned, Deceptive Attack +7d6[/table]

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A mountebank is proficient with all simple weapons, plus the Shortsword, Rapier and Whip. Mountebanks are proficient with Light Armor, but not with any shields.

Least Beguiling Stare (Su): As a swift 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 the Mountebank's Class 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.

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 25 Knowledge (the planes) check. In the target's mind, he merely stared into her eyes for a moment.

A target must be within 30ft + 5ft per Mountebank Level in order to be affected by a Mountebank's Beguiling Stare. The target can be affected regardless of whether they are aware of the Mountebank or not (for example, if the Mountebank is hidden or under the effects of Invisibility).

Beguiling Stare is a mind-affecting ability.

This ability is actually quite a potent one, and also had me look again at the Mountebank Class; but every time I was disappointed by two aspects of the Beguiling Stare.

Firstly, it took a Standard Action. Now, that wasn't too bad, but it sharply limited what the Mountebank could do in combat. She would be unable to make an attack in the same round she used her Beguiling Stare. I always thought of using the Mountebank as a Support Character for a team of Rogues, forcing a Will Save each round or lose their Dex Modifier to AC; Ripe for the Sneak Attacking. But this next part really limited that ability

You couldn't use Beguiling Stare on someone more than once per day. So, that's pretty much useless. Not only are you limited to debuffing your opponent once per day, but it only lasts for one round and might not even work.

So, to make this ability a bit more attractive, I decided to buff this ability a bit more; its the key ability of the Mountebank, their main source of Deceptive Attack damage and just really cool. First, I made it a Swift Action; beforehand, they had no native uses for their Swift Action, and it gives them something useful to do in combat. Second, I removed the once per day limit. Third, I upped the DC to know about it to 25. Just for cool points.

However, I also attached its scaling to Class Level; I didn't want Mountebank to be The Dip class for Rogues. Getting the most out of Beguiling Stare requires investing a lot of levels in the class, which I feel should be encouraged. I also gave it a range limit, because not having one is just poor design. Paizo is pretty bad with that last one.

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

No change; this is fine as a neat fluff ability

Mark of Damnation (Su): A Mountebank pledges her soul to a fiendish power, be it a Tanar'ri, Baatezu, or similar baleful lord. When the Mountebank dies, her soul is consigned to her master. This is represented by a physical mark or brand, hidden somewhere upon the Mountebank's body. This mark cannot be obscured by Magical means, although it can be covered by clothing or other mundane coverings. This Mark provides the Mountebank with a number of benefits:

When she is unarmored or wearing Light Armor a Mountebank adds 1 point of Charisma bonus (if any) per Mountebank level to her AC.

A Mountebank gains Evil Brand (see Book of Vile Darkness, pg49) as a bonus feat. She does not lose the benefit of this feat if she ceases to be of an Evil Alignment.

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 30 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.

This is another ability of the Mountebank's that I really appreciated the flavour of, but not the execution. The check was too low to be meaningful at a level where coming back from the dead is a reasonable proposition, so the execution is wasted.

I decided to go a different route, and gave the Mark of Damnation a little bit more relevance fluff and roleplay-wise. Giving the Mark some defensive properties is a good thing, in my mind, and gives the Mountebank more stuff to encourage taking more levels in the class.

I also decided to hand out a bonus [Vile] feat without the roleplay straight jacket of actually playing a [Vile] character. Evil Brand fits perfectly with the fluff of the Mark, and provides a tangible benefit in play. Not a major one, but its something. Its also a nice addition if the player has any use for [Vile] feats.

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.

Trapfinding, ho-hum. It does what it advertises, not very exciting

Summon Familiar: A Mountebank can obtain a familiar. Doing so takes 24 hours in quiet meditation. A familiar is a magical beast that resembles a small animal and is unusually tough and intelligent. The creature serves as a companion and servant.

The Mountebank chooses the kind of familiar she gets. As the Mountebank advances in level, her familiar also increases in power (see Familiars, Player's Handbook, pg52)

If the familiar dies or is dismissed by the Mountebank, she does not lose experience points as normal for the death of a Familiar, but her class level is considered 2 Lower for the purposes of determining the Save DC of her Beguiling Stare and the number of times per day she can use her Fiendish Patron abilities. A slain familiar can be raised from the dead just as a character can be, and it does not lose a level or a Constitution point when this happy event occurs.

A new Familiar can be called one month after a previous familiar is slain or dismissed, or when the Mountebank goes up a level, whichever comes first.

The Infernal Escape ability of the printed Mountebank allows the Mountebank to take their Familiar with them when they teleport "if she has one from levels in an appropriate class". I found that to be incredibly odd, so I decided to give them one. Familiars are cool, especially when they don't cost you boatloads of xp when they get gibbed

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 attacks 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 three Mountebank levels thereafter. The Mountebank does not multiply 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 precision damage. Deceptive Strike always deals lethal damage, even against creatures with the Regeneration Special Quality. The speed and sudden nature of the Mountebank's attacks, charged with fiendish energy, allows her to make a telling blow, rather than a strike against a specific spot in her opponent's anatomy.

All I did here was increase the rate of scaling and clarify a few things, because this actually a really good ability. Deceptive Attack is just damage that pretty much can't be shut down; Deceptive Attack has always been that thing that really appealed to me about the Mountebank.

Fiendish Patron (Su): Owing to her close connection to a Fiendish Patron or another 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 a Cleric calling upon the power of his deity the Mountebank uses the power of her master to bolster her abilities. She can call upon her patron's power a number of times equal to 1/2 her Mountebank level + Charisma modifier. A Mountebank can spend 1 Hour in quiet concentration to gather the energy of her Patron, which refreshes her uses of this ability.

Channeling this energy and using it to power her abilities is a standard action, unless otherwise noted. The Mountebank's Caster Level for her Fiendish Patron abilities is equal to her Class Level.

So, I changed the name of this ability from "Infernal" to "Fiendish" just to deal with a semantic issue that irked me slightly. The Mountebank can toss their soul away for powers to Demon/Tanar'ri, Devils/Baatezu and other dark powers, whereas Infernal is pretty clearly linked to the Baatezu (it is, after all, their language).

Am I being overly pedantic? Yes, yes I am.

Anyway, the original version of this ability was just poor with uses per day. ALL of the Mountebank's abilities came from this same pool, which was terrible. They had a bunch of really cool things they could do, but you wanted to be able to use them. A reasonable maximum (at ECL20) of 23 Uses of your Abilities per day isn't bad, per se, but its certainly not fun. So, I made it that you can recharge your uses per day outside of combat, while still imposing a need to use their abilities appropriately; having to take an Hour to reset their daily uses isn't crippling, after all, but its annoying. The Mountebank can still use their abilities a pretty reasonable number of times, and you can get pretty good mileage out of it.

I'm not sure about the language of the recharge ability; can anyone suggest a clearer or more effective wording?

Fiendish Downfall (Su): The Mountebank's fell powers are fearsome to behold, and when turned against her enemies she can use it to weaken whoever stands against her. By expending one use of her infernal patron ability, a Mountebank can use Doom against a specific target.

The first new ability of the Mountebank! Holla!

Doom isn't a particularly bad spell, and throwing Shaken at things with an (effectively) at-will ability is pretty useful for more than just debuffing things, and gives you a unique tool to build on with other Fear effects.

Giving it the Supernatural Ability tag makes it a bit better since it bypasses Spell Resistance and scales with HD

Mass Beguile (Su): At 3rd level, the Mountebank can use her Beguiling Stare to cloud the minds of many foes. Once per day, as a standard action, she can channel 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.

At 6th Level, and every 3 Levels thereafter, she gains an additional use of this ability.

This is a mind-affecting ability.

So, Mass Beguile didn't really fit with the other "Infernal Patron" abilities, and despite being pretty good, it wasn't as good as Dimension Door or Alter Self. So, I changed it.

Mass Beguile now works on its own uses per day track, and cares not for Hit Die. If they fail their save, they're beguiled, and likely for quite a while too. It remains a Standard Action to use; I didn't feel like giving the Mountebank a swift action AoE Debuff that lasts for ages was really necessary.

Disguise the Soul's Aspect (Su): At 4th level, a Mountebank is automatically aware whenver she is subject to an attempt to magically determine or detect her alignment. The Mountebank may then use an Immediate Action to choose which Alignment that the attempt detects.

In some cases, this might lead the caster to detect nothing. For example, a Paladin attempts to use their detect evil on the area occupied by the Mountebank. The Mountebank uses an Immediate Action and decides to detect as lawful good. Thus, the Paladin's ability does not detect her.

Another interesting ability of the Mountebank's that was tied to the Infernal Patron ability, and as a result, I doubt that it would ever see use. Ever. Especially since the Mountebank has no way of determining whether she is subject to an effect that determines their Alignment in time to use this Ability, since all of the Infernal Patron abilities were Standard Actions.

I changed the ability to give it a bit more punch; it activates as an Immediate Action, provides automatic knowledge whenever the Mountebank is subject to an effect that magically determines her alignment and doesn't require any opposed rolls to work. I don't think that disguising your alignment should warrant jumping through that many hoops, since it is available as a 1st Level Spell in Undetectable Alignment

Form of the Damned (Su): At 4th Level, a Mountebank can use her fiendish powers to transform herself to better suit the situation. Once per day, a Mountebank can use Alter Self with a Caster Level equal to her Class Level. Whenever the Mountebank uses this ability, the form she assumes possesses the Fiendish template (Monster Manual, pg107). Use the Mountebank's HD to determine the bonuses granted by the Fiendish template.

This ability otherwise functions as Alter Self.

At level 9, and every 5 levels thereafter, she gains an additional use of this ability per day.

Alter Self was the most potent ability a Mountebank got through its class levels, but leaving it at level 3 and tied to the Fiendish Patron abilities would be foolish of me. Unlimited uses of Alter Self does not balance make.

To compensate for getting this ability a little bit later, Mountebanks now get the Fiendish Template for free. How 'bout that?

Fiendish Deprival (Su): At 5th Level, the Mountebank can channel her Patron's energy to attack the senses of their foes. By expending two uses of her Fiendish Patron ability, a Mountebank can use Blindness/Deafness on a single foe. The effects of Fiendish Deprival only last for a number of Rounds equal to the Mountebank's Charisma Modifier.

Another completely new ability!

This one had me stumped for the longest time out of every ability for this version of the Mountebank. I honestly had no idea what to put at this slot, while still fitting the theme of the Mountebank. I also didn't want to dig too deeply into other sources (I was already throwing in stuff from a few random places).

So, in the end, I settled on Blindness/Deafness. Its a pretty powerful spell, and its something that the Mountebank could find useful.

I'm not happy with this ability, so if a suitable replacement (so, a non-damaging, relatively versatile debuff) could be suggested I would be grateful.

Slippery Mind (Ex): Starting at 6th level, whenever a Mountebank is affected by an enchantment spell or effect and she fails her saving throw, she can attempt it again 1 round later at the same DC.

She only gets one extra chance to succeed on your save using this ability.

Cribbing this ability from the CompScoundrel Mountebank, its another thing that fits thematically. The Mountebank is possessed of extraordinarily dark, fell powers that she has acquired in the service of a powerful Dark Being. Mere mortal enchantments don't stack up very favourably in comparison to that.

I think its cool to have

Fiendish Defense (Su): At 7th Level, the Mountebank can call upon her patron to protect her from attacks. By expending one use of her Fiendish Patron ability, the Mountebank can use Displacement upon herself as an immediate action. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to her Charisma Modifier (minimum 1), but otherwise functions as Displacement

Standard Action Displacement is... well, its okay. Immediate Action Displacement, on the other hand, is far better, even with a reduced Duration. But, since that Duration is based on Charisma, I think its fine.

Lesser Beguiling Stare (Su): At 7th Level, the Mountebank's Beguiling Stare ability now imposes a -4 Penalty to Will Saves and a -10 Penalty to Sense Motive. The DC of Knowledge (The Planes) checks to identify the Mountebank's Beguiling Stare ability increases to 30.

The effects of Beguiling Stare now last for a number of Rounds equal to the Mountebank's Charisma Modifier (minimum 1)

Just a buff to Beguiling Stare, providing slightly more bang for your buck. -4 to Will Saves is pretty good, especially on an ability that can be used as many times as you want per day, as a swift action. She is also becoming a significantly better liar.

Beguiling Stare also lasts slightly longer now, which is also nice.

Fiendish Jaunt (Su): At 9th Level, the Mountebank is gifted with an Instinctual Knowledge of the natural pathways in and out of the Astral Plane by her Fiendish Masters. By expending one use of her Fiendish 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 can activate 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 without any visual effect; it seems like she just appeared from thin air.

If the Mountebank wears a Cloak of the Mountebank, she can travel an additional 100ft when she uses this ability, in addition to the Cloak's normal benefits.

If the Mountebank makes a melee attack immediately after using her Fiendish Jaunt ability, she gains the benefits of Deceptive Attack damage against her foe.

Just cleaned up the language slightly, and changed the visual effect from Fire and Brimstone (not really very Mountebank-y) to... well, nothing. The Mountebank just steps out of thin air, which I felt was much more appropriate.

Improved Familiar (Ex): at 10th Level, the Mountebank gains the Improved Familiar feat as a bonus feat.

Just something nice to have :smallsmile:

Fiendish Influence (Su): At 11th level, the Mountebank can wield her Fiendish abilities to attack the mind of others. By expending two uses of her Fiendish Patron ability, the mountebank can use Charm Monster against a single target who is under the effects of her Beguiling Stare Ability.

The Mountebank can only affect one creature at a time with her Fiendish Influence ability.

So, I changed this from single target Confusion to Charm Monster. Because which is more suitable power for a tricky, fast-talking infiltrator? Making someone gibber and punch their buddy in the face? Or making everyone your friend?

Putting someone under Beguiling Stare is really not very hard, especially if they don't have ranks in Knowledge (the Planes). I don't think its much of a nerf (and since it reduces their will-save...)

Fiendish Disguise (Su): At 13th Level, the Mountebank can use her fiendish powers to hide not only her own form, but the forms of others. By expending two uses of her Fiendish Patron ability, she can use Seeming. However, the restrictions on how drastically a form can be altered are significantly reduced. The Mountebank can increase or decrease the height and girth of those under the effect of Fiendish Disguise by up to 5 feet, change the body type of her targets (for example, she could make her humanoid allies appear to be dogs, which are quadrupeds).

She can also alter the audible qualities of those effected by her Fiendish Deception; changing the sounds of their voices, footsteps or verbal components for spells are all within the Mountebank's power.

Fiendish Disguise otherwise functions as Seeming.

So, this is a really fun ability to use; I love Shapeshifting, even if its not physical, because of how useful it is. This gives the Mountebank an excellent infiltration ability, with lots of fun roleplay implications. You, and your party, can look however is most appropriate to the situation, which never goes out of style.

Well, True Seeing, but its not like everyone is going to have that up :smallbiggrin:

Greater Beguiling Stare (Su): At level 13, the Mountebank's Beguiling Stare ability now overcomes immunity to Mind-Affecting effects.

Furthermore, any creature affected by the Mountebank's Beguiling Stare must make a Will Save whenever they attempt to attack the Mountebank, with the same DC as her Beguiling Stare ability. If they fail, they are unable to attack that round. If a Creature is normally immune to Mind-Affecting effects, they are not affected by this ability.

The penalty to Will Saves increases to -6 and the penalty to Sense Motive increases to -15. The DC of Knowledge (The Planes) checks to identify a Mountebank's Beguiling Stare increases to 35.

So, still boosting up the Beguiling Stare, which now provides a Will-Save-or-do-nothing effect. For a level 13 Ability, I think this is okay, and gives the Mountebank a better chance of mixing it up in Melee.

Fiendish Deception (Su): At 15th level, the Mountebank has gained further mastery over her fell powers, allowing her to shape light and darkness to hide herself and create diversions. By expending one use of her Fiendish Patron ability, the Mountebank can use Mislead as an immediate action.

So, coming in at a slightly more appropriate level and providing a bit more utility as an Immediate Action, we get the previous Capstone of the Mountebank at level 15. We're officially in uncharted territory, folks!

Travel of the Damned (Sp): At level 16, the instinctual knowledge of pathways through the Astral Plane granted to the Mountebank by her Fiendish Jaunt ability broadens, allowing her more flexibility in how she uses her abilities. Twice per day, the Mountebank can use Teleport as the spell. She never suffers a mishap when using this ability (instead arriving off-target whenever she would suffer a Mishap).

The mountebank can only use this ability on herself and her Familiar, plus 50lbs of objects.

Moving this ability out from the Fiendish Patron umbrella just like the Infernal Guise ability, because I don't think having Teleport with a functionally unlimited number of uses is a good idea, even in the limited format it appears in. It also means that I could give them something else for the Fiendish Patron ability that didn't step on Fiendish Jaunt's toes as much.

Fiendish Conquest (Su) At level 17, a Mountebank can overpower foes that she has beguiled with a touch. By expending two uses of her Fiendish Patron ability, a Mountebank can use the spell Overwhelm (see Player's Handbook II, pg120) on a Foe that is currently under the effects of her Beguiling Stare.

I had a lot of trouble figuring out what to give the Mountebank for her 17th Level ability; its a big level, and the game has broken wide open by now. I'm happy with what I decided on, though; Overwhelm is a Save-or-Die (effectively) that can be shut down with Spell Resistance or a Will Save. The Mountebank uses it as a Supernatural Ability against a Creature with a heavily debuffed Will Save.

This is a pretty versatile ability for an infiltrator, as well as a powerful trick in Combat.

Madness of the Damned (Su): At 18th Level, the Mountebank can impose her dark will on her surroundings, clouding the minds of all around her and forcing them into a manic, frenzied haze where friends are enemies and she is above contempt. Once per day, she can create a 60ft Emanation, centred on herself (she is immune to the effects of her own Madness of the Damned). Those who fail their save against this effect are affected by the Rage and Song of Discord spells. Leaving the radius of Fiendish Discord does not end the effect.

Creatures under the effect of Madness of the Damned never attack the Mountebank, and are more likely to attack allies that made their saving throw against this ability (75% rather than the normal 50%)

The Mountebank can spend three uses of her Fiendish Patron ability to exclude a character from this effect.

So, this happens. Song of Discord is a potent ability that can really ruin someone's day, and it normally allows both a Saving Throw and Spell Resistance. Madness of the Damned only allows a saving throw.

This ability was something I felt would be an excellent tool for the high-level Mountebank to have in her arsenal, even if it does carry two very commonly resisted tags. But in my mind, the image of a Mountebank walking through a crowd that quickly erupts into madness and self-destruction in her wake was too perfect to pass up

Fiendish Hatred (Su): At level 19, a Mountebank can channel the darkest aspects of her being against her foes. By expending two uses of her Fiendish Patron ability, a Mountebank can use Pulse of Hate (see Player's Handbook II, pg122). All creatures affected by her Fiendish Hatred ability are eligible targets for Deceptive Attack, even if they would not otherwise be.

So, the first and only Supernatural Damage effects, and I believe its a pretty potent one. Pulse of Hate is a decent DoT that is going to be really hard to heal, and also opens up for Deceptive Attack.

I think its a good way to finish off the Fiendish Patron abilities.

Stygian Beguiling Stare (Su): At level 19, whenever a creature affected by the Mountebank's Beguiling Stare attempts to attack her, they must make a will save at the same DC of her Beguiling Stare ability. If they fail, they are dazed for 2d4 Rounds. Even if a creature is immune to Mind-Affecting effects, they are still effected by this ability.

The penalty to Will Saves increases to -8 and the penalty to Sense Motive increases to -20. The DC of Knowledge (The Planes) checks to identify a Mountebank's Beguiling Stare increases to 40.

And we get to the final improvement to Beguiling Glare; hopefully it does not disappoint

Aspect of the Damned: At 20th Level, the Mountebank's long term exposure to the fiendish powers of her Patron transforms her being. She becomes an Native Outsider with the [Evil] Subtype, rather than her previous creature type. She also gains DR 10/Good.

However, her time as in the service of her Fiendish Patron is coming to an end; if a Mountebank is to die after reaching 20th Level, her Patron will hear no argument or deceptions from its servitor. Even though powerful minions on the Material Plane are useful, minions that become too powerful are a threat. Her soul is not allowed to return to the Material Plane, and will be used for whatever nefarious purpose their Patron has in mind.

A Mountebank can be saved from this fate if her Allies act quickly, but the window in which help can be provided lasts only for a day. After that, the Mountebank is beyond saving. If they are successful, however, the Mountebank is freed from service; no longer are they bound to their patron, although they retain all class abilities.

A fairly standard capstone mechanically, with a significantly less punishing downside; at least they don't automatically become an NPC anymore, although that thematic concept survives.

Generally, I'm pretty sure that any 20th Level character is going to do what they can to not die, but when the unhappy inevitable occurs, the Mountebank's allies can storm the Nine Hells of the Abyss in an attempt to save their friend and comrade. And hopefully, the mechanical and thematic fixes to the class provide the Mountebank's allies with an incentive to go save her :smalltongue:

2013-04-22, 03:19 AM
I like the concept of the mountebank because it feels more like someone who actually makes pacts with fiends, rather than warlocks who allegedly do the same thing but any fluff would be suitable if it let you shoot laz0rz.

So we get this great class to go with the concept and it looks like something that took an hour to design and a week to playtest. It's not the worst thing ever printed, but its abilities are certainly not up to the image of its concept.

I'm afraid I can't crack open the hard numbers on this one right now, but I'm glad you took the time to grant the poor mountebank some much-needed attention.

My one critique is that if any class deserves Use Magic Device as a class skill, it would be this one.

Golden Ladybug
2013-04-22, 07:02 AM
I like the concept of the mountebank because it feels more like someone who actually makes pacts with fiends, rather than warlocks who allegedly do the same thing but any fluff would be suitable if it let you shoot laz0rz.

So we get this great class to go with the concept and it looks like something that took an hour to design and a week to playtest. It's not the worst thing ever printed, but its abilities are certainly not up to the image of its concept.[QUOTE]

That is, in fact, the precise reason for this write-up. I felt like the Mountebank had been cheated, and decided to do what I could to put a stop to that :smallamused:

[QUOTE]I'm afraid I can't crack open the hard numbers on this one right now, but I'm glad you took the time to grant the poor mountebank some much-needed attention.

It was my pleasure (except when assigning some of the abilities, which took forever and a day to decide upon :smalltongue:)

My one critique is that if any class deserves Use Magic Device as a class skill, it would be this one.

Wait, its supposed to have UMD...


Well, guess I may have goofed a little bit :smallbiggrin:

2013-04-29, 02:40 AM
I saw that this went up not long before the DDoS happened. I haven't had the chance to read the whole thing yet, but I wanted to comment on the key ability.

The class feature name makes it sound like a gaze attack, but the rules for the feature lacks any reference to gaze attacks. This might be a good thing, as gaze attacks (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#gazeAttacks) look complex. If this is to use gaze attack rules, there's visibility, there's distance, there's averting and shutting eyes, plus there's a difference between passive and active gazes (which this operates differently from). Not to mention the existence of things like grimlocks (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/grimlock.htm), which actually have an "as characters" section in their entry. I don't even want to think about polymorph at the moment (but then, I never do). If you, however, can remove the word "stare" or references to relying upon eyes, and replace it with something else, you can avoid that particular entanglement. The ability to overcome immunity to mind-affecting effects might need some tweaking in regards to vermin (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubtypes.htm#verminType) (and other things (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/animatedObject.htm) with a mental an Intelligence non-ability score) or swarms (5,000 bats seems like a lot to stop). There are probably other border cases.

In other language related matters, I noticed stygian beguiling stare needs a little touch-up or the first sentence sounds like once you affect someone with a stare, they try to attack you.

I will read more of this later.

Edit: The concern I had with swarms has already been handled by the swarm subtype (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubtypes.htm#swarmSubtype).

Golden Ladybug
2013-05-02, 12:16 AM
Hmm... those are some good points.

But for the most part, I think I might just need to leave things as they are for simplicities sake' Beguiling Stare works better as a targeted Save-or-Suck effect because Gaze Attacks are quite complex, and I want this class to be both functional and simple to learn. This, like the name, remains as an artifact of the classes original printing which worked basically the same way.

But only once per day per target, and without any of the later improvements.

If you have any suggestions for a catchy name...? :smallbiggrin:

I don't think there's any problem with being able to effect Vermin and other creatures without Intelligence scores. Its certainly not without precedent, with the Dread Witch scaring off anything and everything.

Also, its a good things Swarms are ineligible for single-target effects, because that actually would be weird and confusing to adjudicate.

Fixed Stygian Beguiling Stare; good catch :smallsmile:

2013-05-02, 01:41 AM
If you have any suggestions for a catchy name...? :smallbiggrin:I was thinking "Ensnare Mind." I see the phrase "ensnaring minds" is used in Madness of the Damned at 18th level, so I suppose one of the two needs to be different to avoid confusion. Actually, the text of Madness of the Damned refers to Fiendish Discord, but I don't see that class feature anywhere other than on your table at 13th level. Fiendish Disguise's description says it's available at 13th level, but isn't listed as such on the table. Looks like there are some more discrepencies to catch.

I had not noticed song of discord (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/songOfDiscord.htm) before. All these years, sitting in the bard's core spell list. One of these days, I'll get around to that evil bard, yet.

I don't think there's any problem with being able to effect Vermin and other creatures without Intelligence scores. Its certainly not without precedent, with the Dread Witch scaring off anything and everything.I'm unfamiliar with Dread Witch. Vermin and mindless undead will probably not be the goto creatures for high level play, but constructs? That's something I'll leave to others to judge the effect of, but on a hunch this could be in conflict with the Immunity to Magic special quality of golems (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/golem.htm). At the very top of the entry supernatural effects are included, but I don't see the word supernatural in conjunction with that on the specific golems.

Golden Ladybug
2013-05-02, 02:48 AM
Bleh, that's what I get for taking three days of editing to get this posted. I kept changing things all over the place, which seems to have left more than a few mistakes in the text.

The Dread Witch is a prestige class from Heroes of Horror that, among other fear-related effects, grants an ability called Greater Master of Terror which lets you bypass Fear Immunity of creatures as long as their HD doesn't exceed your Caster Level + 4. So, they can scare off Zombies and Golems if they feel like it :smallbiggrin:

I'll think about using Ensnare Mind :smallsmile: