View Full Version : [PrC] Hapless Bystander

Holocron Coder
2007-02-28, 02:34 PM
Hapless Bystander
A dragon? I've already faced a company of orcs, a tribe of angry kobolds, a mob, three trolls, and a particularly ornery hill giant, and I barely came out alive. I don't want to test my luck again today, thank you very much. - Hinger Messnich
O why me? - Hinger Messnich, after meeting the dragon later that day.

Hapless Bystanders generally hate their life. Luck seems to run their life while playing dice against itself. Things are never normal; extreme good luck or bad luck are the norm for a hapless bystander. Despite this, they always seem to survive in the end.
Hit Die: d6.

To qualify to become a hapless bystander, a character must follow all of the following criteria.
Alignment: Any non-evil, non-lawful.
Base Attack Bonus: Less than +4.
Feat: Any luck feat.
Special: Character must have run into extremely bad luck that was immediately encountered by ludicrous amounts of luck. Example: The low-level character runs into a group of high level monsters by himself, but somehow escapes or overcomes the encounter.

Class Skills
The hapless bystander's class skills (and key ability for each skill) are Bluff(Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Move Silently (Dex), Survival (Dex), Tumble (Dex).
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Hapless Bystander
{table=head]Level|Base Attack[br]Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

+0|Happenstance (Ref), Luck of the Draw, Black Cat Syndrome

+0|Fortuitous Positioning

+1|Happenstance (Fort)

+1|Convenient Misstep

+1|Divine Intervention[/table]

Class Features
All the following are class features of the hapless bystander prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Hapless Bystanders gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.
Happenstance: A hapless bystander gets a lucky bonus to his reflex saving throw equal to his class level. At 3rd level, this bonus also applies to his fortitude saves.
Luck of the Draw: A hapless bystander gains a "pool" of points that represent seemingly random luck. Each day, a hapless bystander has a number of points equal to his class level. These points may be added to any roll before the outcome of the roll is determined. They may be added one at a time, all at once, or any combination. These points are regained at the end of the day, regardless of rest or sleep.
Black Cat Syndrome: Whenever a random encounter table is rolled for a party that includes a hapless bystander, any resulting encounter is maximized. For example, if the rolled encounter provides 1d4+1 orcs, the encounter would always have 5 orcs. Additionally, whenever the table roll comes up with no encounter, roll the table again. Finally, at the DM's discretion, the hapless bystander and his party may have close encounters with various creatures that far oustrip the character's abilities, but the creatures fail to notice or simply ignore the party.*
Fortuitous Positioning: Sometimes the bystander's luck is just odd, causing him to by someplace he wasn't a moment ago. Whenever a spell or attack targets the square the hapless bystander is in, the bystander may move 15 feet in any direction, as long as it causes him to land outside the area of effect. If the square chosen has difficult terrain or another character inside it, both are knocked prone into adjacent squares outside the area of effect (DM's choice). This may be used a number of times per day equal to the hapless bystander's class level.
Convenient Misstep: A hapless bystander becomes extremely lucky in relation to attacks to his person. At 4th level, a hapless bystander may gain a dodge bonus equal to twice his class level for a single round, ending upon his next turn. This is due to him literally tripping over his own feet and falling prone to the ground, causing any and all attacks or spells aimed at his position to most likely miss. Spells that affect him regardless of direction or do area damage to the square he is in still affect him as normal. After using this ability, the hapless bystander is prone and takes all relevent penalties for such a position. Standing up at any time removes this dodge bonus. This ability can be used a number of times per day equal to half the hapless bystander's class level, rounded up and may be activated as an immediate action in response to another creature or character's actions. If it is not used as an immediate action during anothe person's turn, it takes a move action during his own turn to activate.
Divine Intervention: At 5th level, a hapless bystander becomes insanely lucky when it comes to saving his own skin. Once per day and for a number of rounds equal to his class level, a hapless bystander is automatically successful on all saves and cannot be hit by any spell, attack, or ability. This effectively means that the hapless bystander cannot take any damage or debilitating effects during the course of this ability. While taking advantage of this ability, the hapless bystander may not make a full attack, or take advantage of any spell or ability that requires a full attack action.

*Of course, if the party is stupid enough to engage the Tarrasque (or equivalent "scary" near-encounter), it's their funeral.

Sample Hapless Bystander
Hinger Messnich
Male Human Fighter 1 / Hapless Bystander 5
CR 6
Medium Humanoid
HD 1d10+5d6+12
HP 35
Init +6
Spd 30 ft.
AC 19*, touch 13*, flat-footed 16
Base Attack +3, Grp +2
Atk +2 melee (1d6/19-20, shortsword) or +6 ranged (1d8+1/20/x3, +1 masterwork longbow), Full Attack +2 melee (1d6/19-20, shortsword) or +6 ranged (1d8+1/20/x3, +1 masterwork longbow)
SQ Happenstance (Ref, Fort), Luck of the Draw, Black Cat Syndrome, Fortuitous Positioning (5/day), Convenient Misstep (3/day), Divine Intervention.
SV Fort +13, Ref +13, Will +1
Str 8, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 14
Skills and Feats: Jump +3, Swim +3, Hide +7, Move Silently +7, Survival +7, Tumble +7, Improved Initiative, Dodge, Lightning Reflexes, Point Blank Shot, Luck of the Stars
Languages: Common, Orc
*Includes +1 bonus from Dodge Feat
Luck of the Draw: Hinger Messnich has 5 "luck points" that may be added to any dice roll in any combination. These are regained at the end of each day, regardless of rest or sleep.
Black Cat Syndrome: Random encounters that Hinger Messnich participates in are maximized.
Fortuitous Positioning: Up to 5 times per day, Hinger Messnich may move up to 15ft away when he is in the zone of an area of effect spell or attack. If the square he moves to is of difficult terrain or occupied, he (and the occupant, if any), are knocked prone in adjacent squares outside the area of effect.
Convenient Misstep: Up to 3 times a day, Hinger Messnich slips and falls at a critical moment, granting him a +10 dodge bonus to his AC to avoid attacks and targeted spells. This bonus lasts until his next turn and may be activated as an immediate action. He is considered prone on his next turn and may not act the turn he used this ability.
Divine Intevention:Once per day for 5 rounds, Hinger Messnich is extremely lucky and can't be hit at all by any spell, effect, or attack. During those rounds, he cannot make a full attack action or make use of any feats or abilities that require a full attack action.
Possessions: +1 masterwork longbow, shortsword, +1 mithril breastplate

2007-02-28, 02:52 PM
It doesn't seem imbalanced to me. Is this PrC intended for use in a campagin with a light or humorous tone? If the character gain a BAB above +4, do the Hapless Bystander abilities disappear?

Holocron Coder
2007-02-28, 02:55 PM
Humorous, I'd imagine. As for the BAB, no, its only for entry. It basically forces an early-entry, or an entry from a nonmartial class (lvl7 wizard w00)

It'd be quite a waste of levels if the abilities disappeared at BAB 4. Seeing a Fighter 1 / HB 5 / Fighter 1 would lose it on taking that last fighter level. So, yeah, not lost :)

2007-02-28, 03:13 PM
Would it imbalance the class too much to provide that once or twice a day, after Divine intervention, for example, the character can use everyday objects at or below its size class as weapons, without the penalties normally associated with improvisation? A character as unlucky as this one will probably lose his own weapons at some point.

Also, are the class abilities Extraordinary or Supernatural?

Just Within Reach (Ex):
A person as bizarrely lucky and unlucky as the Hapless Bystander has an unfortunate tendency to misplace, drop, or be disarmed of his weapons during the course of the day. As a result, he has learned to use mundane, manageable objects as weapons until he can recover his real weapons. Once per day, after using Divine intervention, the character can pick up a mundane object (such as a torch, rolling pin, frying pan, or piece of small furniture) and use it as a weapon without suffering non-proficiency penalties. The object must be unattended and must of the character's size category or smaller.

Holocron Coder
2007-02-28, 03:21 PM
Hmm. I'm not sure if that really fits in with the flavor of the PrC though... It wouldn't be too off if they could use any decently-sized/shaped object as a shield though ^_^' (a la holding a chair to hold off a lion 'cause you just ****ed ur pants)

2007-02-28, 03:38 PM
hehehe, this class looks really good, i have to fit this in for one of my campaigns.

didn't really understand luck of the draw and how it works though.


Holocron Coder
2007-02-28, 03:44 PM
hehehe, this class looks really good, i have to fit this in for one of my campaigns.

didn't really understand luck of the draw and how it works though.


Feel free :)

And basically, say you roll 1d20+2 to hit something. you have 2 luck points. you can make it a 1d20+3 or a 1d20+4, and end up with 1 point (or none, respectively) left over.

2007-02-28, 04:00 PM


2007-03-13, 08:38 PM
I wish I saw what this class was better in. Your teammates will be less-than-pleased at your choice of this class, and it dosn't continue any class abilities. No offensive power at all, and a harsh downside. I would suggest some sneak attack or bab or maybe even a hd 8 to even this class up.

Holocron Coder
2007-03-14, 05:40 AM
Perhaps an additional dodge bonus to AC? A total 5 AC over the course of the class would fit in flavor and might help.


Yuki Akuma
2007-03-14, 05:50 AM
The "Luck of the Draw" ability looks a little odd. Most "lucky" abilities tend to allow a reroll, not add a luck bonus to a roll.

Holocron Coder
2007-03-14, 08:02 AM
The "Luck of the Draw" ability looks a little odd. Most "lucky" abilities tend to allow a reroll, not add a luck bonus to a roll.

Probably true. Though I tend to remember a few "lucky" feats that exist in the Book of Exalted Deeds (namely Knight of Stars and Servant of the Heavens).

Illiterate Scribe
2007-03-14, 02:19 PM
Divine Intervention feels just right - it can remodel the game in favour of the character (immune to everything?), but makes the class possible for a PC to take. Maybe more times per day?

Holocron Coder
2007-03-14, 02:21 PM
Not sure about the more times per day, seeing as someone could technically be doing it at 6th level. Remember, this is a low-level PrC

Yuki Akuma
2007-03-14, 02:43 PM
Not sure about the more times per day, seeing as someone could technically be doing it at 6th level. Remember, this is a low-level PrC

You could base it on character level instead of class level.

2007-03-14, 07:47 PM
I'd add bluff as a class skill. Not neccessarily because they can turn out an excellent and convincing performance. Just that no one could possible be so stupid and/or suicidal as to get himself into the situations the Hapless Bystander tends to find himself is, so anything is more believable than the truth. :smallbiggrin:

I'd also add some sort of attribute limitation- maybe none of them can be any higher than 15?

2007-03-17, 06:33 PM
Hmm, did this get changed, or am I missing something, or what?

I can only see the description up to the hit dice, and what is a d6.%0 anyways?

Maybe my browser is somehow confused? Anyhow, from the comments, I definitely want to know what this is about, could be very funny.

Holocron Coder
2007-03-18, 03:04 PM
Hm. It looks as if my class got snipped somehow o.O and I have no idea why.

EDIT: Fixed