Oh, you know the old saying, I win some, you lose some...what? That's not how it goes? Funny; it always seems to work that way for me....
Any fool can saunter down to the tavern, gulp down a few mugs of ale, play a few rounds, make a few gold, and call himself a gambler. When it comes right down to it, playing games and placing bets isn't exactly hard to do. It takes a true gambler, however, to really feel the weight of the coins, to know when the dice will roll snake eyes and when they'll roll 7s, to see whether the next card will be the ace or the two. To be able to hop between tables just as one goes sour and the other's pot grows, to know how to break an opponent's lucky streak with a single play, to be willing to accept a few small losses to win big—that
is what separates a true gambler from someone who merely spins a roulette wheel on his off days.
Adventures, Race, and Background:
It doesn't take a lot of formal training to become a gambler, just some intuition and a bit of practice; anyone of any race can pick up a deck of cards or some dice and join a game. Most gamblers adventure because they come from small villages where the antes are low, the winnings are small, and the competition isn't up to snuff, and they want to amass enough of a fortune to be able to compete in the major tournaments, whether that's just a high-stakes game in a big city or risking their soul on one toss of the dice with a devil.
Gamblers realize that random chance is the only constant in the multiverse, so their tricks revolve around either mitigating it or turning it to their favor.
The more honest gamblers tend towards a lawful alignment while the crooked ones tend toward chaotic, but they have no overarching moral bent (since one can just as easily cheat for the greater good or play fair for selfish reasons) and aren't restricted in their alignment choices.
Deities of scoundrels and fortune are most commonly worshiped by gamblers, particularly Olidammara on Oerth and Tyche on Toril, but tastes vary as much as gamblers themselves.
Gamblers tend to be somewhat selfish, in that their abilities don't interact with their allies all that much, so someone's view on gamblers usually comes down to their opinion on gambling itself rather than their class abilities.
A gambler is a jack of all trades, focusing on skills and skirmish combat.
Game Rule Information
Gamblers have the following game statistics.
Intelligence and Charisma are the most important scores for gamblers, as they rely on skills and social graces, and different gamblers benefit from either score more or less depending on whether they are honest or crooked. Dexterity is also important for combat.
The gambler's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Knowledge (local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), and Tumble (Dex).
Skill Points at First Level:
(6 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level:
6 + Int modifier
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+2||Something Up My Sleeves, Gambling Style (Signature)|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+3||Put The Right Spin On It, Gambler's Knack|
|3rd||+2||+1||+3||+3||Uncanny Dodge, Sneak Attack +1d6|
|4th||+3||+1||+4||+4||Spread the Luck Around, Gambler's Knack |
|5th||+3||+1||+4||+4||Gambling Style (Expertise), Tricks (Amateur)|
|6th||+4||+2||+5||+5||Poker Face, Gambler's Knack|
|7th||+5||+2||+5||+5||Spin the Wheel, Sneak Attack +2d6|
|8th||+6/+1||+2||+6||+6||Law of Averages, Evasion|
|9th||+6/+1||+3||+6||+6||Gambling Style (Talent), Tricks (Tavern)|
|10th||+7/+2||+3||+7||+7||Poker Face, Gambler's Knack|
|11th||+8/+3||+3||+7||+7||Improved Uncanny Dodge, Sneak Attack +3d6|
|12th||+9/+4||+4||+8||+8||Better Lucky than Good, Gambler's Knack|
|13th||+9/+4||+4||+8||+8||Gambling Style (Methods), Tricks (Tournament)|
|14th||+10/+5||+4||+9||+9||Poker Face, Gambler's Knack|
|15th||+11/+6/+1||+5||+9||+9||Read Opponent, Sneak Attack +4d6|
|16th||+12/+7/+2||+5||+10||+10||Improved Evasion, Gambler's Knack|
|17th||+12/+7/+2||+5||+10||+10||Gambler's Intuition, Tricks (High Stakes)|
|18th||+13/+8/+3||+6||+11||+11||Poker Face, Gambler's Knack|
|19th||+14/+9/+4||+6||+11||+11||Lady Luck Smiles on Me, Sneak Attack +5d6|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+6||+12||+12||Luck Incarnate, Gambler's Knack|
All of the following are class features of the gambler.
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies:
Gamblers are proficient with all simple weapons and exotic thrown weapons, as well as light armor,.
Tricks of the Trade:
Tricks of the Trade are what adventuring gamblers rely on; they're combat techniques, “magic” tricks, and other tricks that let them apply their familiarity with chance, sleight of hand, and finesse to adventuring. At 1st level, a gambler chooses whether to specialize in card tricks or dice tricks, and this determines the sort of Tricks of the Trade he has access to for the rest of his career. Tricks of the Trade come in five grades named after different levels of risk and stakes in games of chance: Penny Ante betting is the safest and cheapest, then comes Amateur betting, then Tavern, then Tournament, and finally High Stakes.
The gambler knows every Trick of the grade to which he has access, as indicated on the table, and can use them in any combination a number of times per encounter according to the Tricks per Encounter column in the table above. Many, but not all, Tricks require the expenditure of spin (see Spin, below). Tricks of the Trade are given at the end of the class description.
Gamblers' luck is embodied in a resource known as spin
. Spin represents stored-up “karma” or good luck accumulated by the gambler, and can be spent to enhance his own luck or interfere with his enemies' luck; whenever he or his allies experiences bad luck, fate gifts him with the ability to balance things out in his favor, but if he gets too lucky, what fate gives fate can take away. There are several ways for a gambler to gain spin:
- Pure Luck: Any time a gambler or one of his allies within 30 feet rolls a natural 1 on a d20 or an enemy within 30 feet rolls a natural 20, 1 point of spin is gained (you don't count as an ally); the reverse loses 1 point of spin. These rolls must be non-trivial (i.e. characters can't simply Jump or Tumble around all day or attack trees and rocks to grant the gambler spin), and DMs are encouraged to disallow spin gain if he feels the players are trying to game the system.
- Card Luck: If the gambler's specialty (see Tricks of the Trade, above) is card games, the gambler's player may spend the gambler's swift action to draw a card from a normal 52-card deck. If a black face card is drawn, the gambler gains 1, 2, 3, or 4 spin for a Jack, Queen, King, or Ace respectively. If a red face card is drawn, the gambler loses the same amount.
- Dice Luck: If the gambler's specialty is dice games, the gambler's player may spend the gambler's swift action to roll 2d6. If 12 is rolled, the gambler gains 2 spin, and if a 2 is rolled the gambler loses 2 spin.
A gambler starts each encounter with an amount of spin equal to his key ability modifier, and may possess an amount of spin at once equal to ½ class level + key ability modifier. Any excess spin over this amount is lost, and any spin held fades after 1 minute of not gaining or losing spin. A gambler can possess negative spin due to losing spin from one of the above methods (this represents a “luck debt” owed to Fate), during which period he cannot use any Tricks of the Trade, but he may not voluntarily decrease his spin below 0.
Something Up My Sleeves:
Gamblers are treated as being proficient with all improvised weapons, and may treat any Fine improvised weapons (most commonly cards and dice) as daggers (if used in melee) or shuriken (if thrown) for all purposes including damage, range, feats, etc. They are also gain the benefits of the Weapon Finesse feat without needing to meet its prerequisite.
Every gambler has his or her own unique style, but gamblers generally fall into two categories, charmers and swindlers. Charmers are honest gamblers who are in it for the social aspects and win through pure skill (and buying the occasional round of drinks), while swindlers are in it for the money and win through underhanded means. At 1st level, each gambler chooses whether to be a Charmer or a Swindler, which determines his key ability score for all class abilities that reference such (Charisma for charmers, Intelligence for swindlers); once made, this choice may not be reversed.
At 1st level, gamblers pick up abilities that help them excel at their chosen style. a charmer gains Skill Focus (Gather Information) as a bonus feat and can use friendly face
(RoD) once per day as a spell-like ability, while a charmer gains Skill Focus (Forgery) as a bonus feat and can use cheat
(SpC) once per day as a spell-like ability. A gambler's spell-like abilities have a caster level equal to his class level and have a save DC, if applicable, of 10 + ½ class level + key ability modifier.
At 5th level, gamblers learn to apply their gambling expertise to many different situations. Sleight of Hand, Profession (Gambler), Diplomacy, Bluff, Appraise, Knowledge (Local), and Sense Motive become permanent class skills for all of a gambler's classes. In addition, a charmer uses his Charisma modifier for skill checks made with those skills in place of the skill's normal key ability score, while a swindler uses his Intelligence modifier for those skill checks.
At 9th level, gamblers gain literally magical talent in their area of expertise. A charmer gains the ability to use calm emotions
, and charm person
as spell-like abilities, while a swindler gains the ability to use enthrall
, detect thoughts
, arcane eye
, secret page
, and ventriloquism
as spell-like abilities. These abilities may be used a total of 5 times per day, in any combination desired.
At 13th level, gamblers' methods reach their pinnacle of effectiveness: charmers can completely rely on chance to carry the day, while swindlers can influence a game from start to finish. When making a d20 roll, a gambler may spend 5 spin (see Put The Right Spin On It, below) as a free action to activate this ability. A charmer calls a coin flip made by the DM; if he calls it correctly, he is treated as if he rolled a 20, while if he does not he is treated as if he rolled a 1. A swindler may take 10 on the die roll.
At every even level, a gambler gains a bonus [Luck] feat or a bonus Interaction, Manipulation, or Mental skill trick (Complete Scoundrel). He must meet all prerequisites for the feat or skill trick chosen, including the inability to exceed the maximum number of skill tricks allowed to a character.
In addition, once per turn as a free action the gambler may spend 2 spin to gain 1 extra luck reroll or 1 extra use of a skill trick, or he may instead expend one luck reroll or use of a skill trick skill trick to gain 2 spin.
Put the Right Spin On It:
The first use for spin a gambler learns aside from activating certain of his Tricks of the Trade is to rely on his good fortune to aid him and shield him from harm. At the start of his turn before taking any actions, a gambler may spend 1 spin as a free action to add a luck modifier to his choice of attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, or AC equal to his key ability modifier for 1 round. If he chooses to instead accept a luck penalty on his choice of attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, or AC equal to his key ability modifier for 1 round, he gains 1 spin. (If the gambler chooses the latter option, he must actually make an attack/skill check/save or actually be attacked to gain spin, he cannot simply build up spin outside of combat by taking attack penalties.)
Even honest gamblers occasionally get into the odd tavern brawl and need to hold their own. Gamblers possess the rogue's sneak attack class feature, which progresses as indicated on the table.
Uncanny Dodge, Improved Uncanny Dodge:
Gamblers are experts at reading people and are rarely caught unawares. At the levels indicated on the table, a gambler gains the Uncanny Dodge and Improved Uncanny Dodge class features as a rogue of his class level.
Spread the Luck Around (Su):
Not all gambling games are free-for-alls; sometimes gamblers gain more benefit working in teams. As an immediate action, a gambler may expend X spin to apply a +X luck bonus to a single d20 roll made by an ally or a -X luck penalty to a single d20 roll made by an enemy, where X is any number up to the gambler's key ability modifier. He may instead choose to apply a -X luck penalty to a single d20 roll made by an ally or a +X luck bonus to a single d20 roll made by an enemy to gain X spin. Allies affected by this ability must be willing; enemies may make a Will save (DC 10 + ½ level + key ability modifier) to halve the bonus or penalty if desired.
Poker Face (Su):
In a world of magic, gamblers have to do more than wear some dark glasses to conceal their bluffs from others. As long as the gambler does not possess a negative amount of spin, his lies are resistant to being magically detected as if he were under the effects of a glibness
spell (he doesn't gain the Bluff bonus, only the resistance to detection).
At 10th level, the gambler can't be influenced into revealing himself: he gains immunity to fear and charm effects. At 14th level, all bluffs made by the gambler are treated as being 1 step more believable for the purposes of Bluff check modifiers. Finally, at 18th level, the gambler becomes immune to all harmful mind-affecting effects.
Spin the Wheel:
Not all games require skill; roulette wheels can be just as lucrative. Whenever a gambler makes a d% roll, he may reroll it and pay 1 spin as a free action to take the better of the two results. He may choose to instead take the worse result to gain 1 spin.
Law of Averages:
Randomness tends towards the average, and savvy gamblers can take advantage of this. After rolling an attack roll, saving throw, or skill check, but before finding out whether the roll succeeded, the gambler may use this ability. If the natural result (number rolled on the d20) is lower than 10, he rolls 1d4, spends 3 spin, and adds that number to his original roll; if the natural result is greater than 10, he rolls 1d4, subtracts that number from his original roll, and gains 3 spin.
Uncanny Dodge, Improved Uncanny Dodge:
Gamblers are experts at making split-second decisions and are rarely caught unawares. At the levels indicated on the table, a gambler gains the Evasion and Improved Evasion class features as a rogue.
Better Lucky Than Good:
Sometimes, it's best to forgo skill and planning and risk a bit of failure for the chance to win big. The gambler can spend 3 spin as a free action when making any roll to which he applies a static bonus; if he does so, he may convert the static bonus into a random bonus according to the following table:
The gambler must use as many of the largest bonuses as he can first, going down the table until the full bonus is accounted for. For instance, if the gambler uses this ability when rolling an attack roll of 1d20+13, the end result is 2d20+1d6 (+13 becomes +10 and +3, which become 1d20 and 1d6, which are added to the original 1d20). The gambler cannot choose to “split up” the bonus, turning some into dice rolls and leaving some as static bonuses; this is an all-or-nothing ability.
To someone who has to pick out the slightest change of expression on another professional gambler's face, most peoples' actions and speech speak volumes. As a standard action, the gambler may study a single creature and make a Knowledge check of the same type as the check required to identify the creature's type. His check is opposed by the target's Bluff, Sense Motive, or Profession (Gambler) check (target's choice), which receives a +4 bonus if the target is of a different creature type than the gambler. If the gambler succeeds on this check, he learns one of the following pieces of information, plus one additional piece for every 5 points by which he beats the DC:
- The target's Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma score;
- The target's ranks in a single Dexterity-, Intelligence-, Wisdom-, or Charisma-based skill
- The target's Refles or Will save modifier
- The target's highest-level base class or prestige class (the gambler can learn the target's second-highest, third-highest, etc. class if he learns multiple pieces of information)
- One of the target's special defenses against a gambler ability (for example, immunity to critical hits which negates sneak attack, mindlessness which negates one of his spell-like abilities, etc.), DM's decision as to whether a particular defense applies.
The gambler can make another check against the same creature to learn more about it after enough time has passed to allow for more study. Each successive use of this ability against the same creature requires the gambler to wait at least 1d4 rounds between checks and imposes a cumulative -10 to the check.
Gambler's Intuition (Sp):
A gambler's mere guess or hunch is almost as reliable as an expert's certainty. As a full-round action, the gambler may spend a number of spin to use a spell-like ability: 1 spin allows him to use augury
, 5 spin allows him to use commune
, and 10 allows him to use foresight
Lady Luck Smiles on Me (Ps):
Experienced gamblers can rely on Fate itself to bail them out if their luck runs out. Once per day per point of key ability bonus, a gambler can spend 10 spin as a standard action to use time regression
as a psi-like ability.
There comes a time when gamblers simply stop playing games of chance against any mortal beings, because Fate simply bends to accommodate them without any effort on their part. A 20th-level gambler starts every encounter possessing the maximum possible amount of spin, and he may spend a full-round action at any time to gain 5 spin.
Tricks of the Trade
Card tricks use principles and tactics from blackjack, poker, and bridge for offense, defense, and skills, respectively, with a bit of sleight of hand thrown in for utility.
- Aces High: When the gambler rolls a natural 1 on an attack roll, he may pay 3 spin as a free action to turn it into a natural 2 instead.
- Dealer Wins: When making an opposed skill or ability check, if the gambler ties his opponent, he may use this Trick as a swift action to win the roll if his opponent would otherwise win the tie.
- Cut the Cards: Before making any roll involving a single die, the gambler may declare that he is “flipping” the roll—that is, reversing the natural result of the die so that, for instance, a 1 on a d8 is an 8, a 2 is treated as a 7, and so forth.
- Three of a Kind: When making an attack roll, the gambler may pay 2 spin as a swift action to instead roll three attack rolls and take the intermediate result.
- Insurance: Before making a skill check, the gambler may pay any number of spin as a free action. If the skill check fails, the spin paid is added to the roll to possibly change the success into a failure; if the skill check is already a success, the spin is used to no effect.
- Dummy Hand: When the gambler is targeted by a targeted attack, spell, or other effect, he may spend 1 spin as an immediate action to attempt to redirect it to another valid target (including the initiator of the attack). The gambler makes Sleight of Hand check opposed by the opponent's attack roll or caster level check (whichever is appropriate), and if his check succeeds he may redirect the effect to a target of his choice.
- Flush: As a free action at the start of his turn, the gambler may choose for all attacks made on his turn to use his highest base attack bonus; this Trick costs 1 spin per attack made on that turn.
- Stand: If the gambler makes the same skill or ability check on two consecutive rounds, he may spend 2 spin to use the same skill result for the second check that he rolled for the first, including any modifiers that might not apply to the second check. Each time he uses this Trick past the first, the cost increases by 2 (4 spin to use this on a third check, 6 for a fourth check, and so on).
- Stack the Deck: The gambler may expend all of his spin at the beginning of an encounter to automatically go first, ignoring initiative rolls and effects such as celerity that would automatically allow another creature to go first.
- Inside Straight: If the gambler makes multiple attacks on his turn and all but one of them hits, he may spend spin equal to the number of successful attacks to treat the last attack as a hit as well.
- Double Down: Whenever the gambler fails a skill or ability check, he may spend 1 spin as an immediate action to reroll the check at a -2 penalty. He may continue rerolling the check as many ties as desired, but each successive reroll takes a cumulative -2 penalty and costs double the spin (2 spin for a second reroll at -4, 4 spin for a reroll at -6, etc.).
- Is This Your Card?: As an immediate action, the gambler may spend 5 spin to choose the result of a single die roll of any type made by an ally or enemy; he may not choose the minimum or maximum value, and enemies are entitled to a Will save (DC 10 + ½ level + key ability modifier) to negate the effect.
- Royal Flush: Before making an attack roll, the gambler may spend 8 spin as a swift action to make the attack automatically hit and become a confirmed critical hit.
- Blackjack: Before making a skill or ability check, the gambler may spend 6 spin as a swift action to treat the check result as a natural 21.
- Shuffle: As a full-round action, the gambler may spend all of his spin to undo any conditions and magical effects currently affecting him, heal himself of all hit point and ability damage or drain, and move his speed without provoking attacks of opportunity.
Card tricks use principles and tactics from craps, backgammon, and yahtzee for offense, defense, and skills, respectively, with a bit of sleight of hand thrown in for utility.
- Dice Control: As a free action at the start of his turn, the gambler may spend 3 spin to gain the ability to throw 3 light weapons with one attack roll until the end of his turn; only one projectile in each set of three can deal precision damage or score a critical hit.
- Snake Eyes: If the gambler rolls one or more 1s on his damage dice, he may spend 1 spin per die as a free action to change each of those 1s to the maximum result (e.g. 6 on a d6) instead.
- Make an Anchor: As a swift action at the start of his turn, the gambler may spend 4 spin to not provoke any attacks of opportunity during his turn from movement, use of spell-like abilities, or any other actions that would otherwise provoke.
- The Hard Way: When the gambler makes a damage roll, he may spend 1 spin per damage die as a swift action to treat all damage dice as if they had rolled the same result as the highest damage die rolled (for instance, a roll of 4d6 resulting in 3, 3, 4, and 5 would be treated as four 5s).
- Bear Off: As an immediate action, the gambler may spend 4 spin to take two consecutive 5-foot steps.
- Chance: When making any roll, the gambler may spend 3 spin as a swift action to roll 5d6 and add the highest result to the original roll.
- Natural Sevens: After making a damage roll, the gambler may spend 2 spin as a free action to take the average result instead of the result that was rolled.
- Keep and Reroll: After making a skill or ability check but before determining whether it was a success or failure, the gambler may spend 3 spin as a free action to reroll the check and take the better of the two results.
- On the Bar: If the gambler is on high ground or in difficult terrain, he may pay 3 spin as an immediate action to gain 50% concealment for 1 round.
- Against the Backstop: Once per round as a free action, the gambler may use this Trick to feint, and may additionally pay 2 spin to ignore less than total concealment and less than total cover protecting his target.
- Yahtzee: When making a skill check with a skill in which the gambler is untrained, he may pay 5 spin to roll 5d6 and add the result to his skill check.
- Prime: Whenever the gambler is the target of an attack of opportunity or an immediate-action ability, he may spend 1 spin to negate the attack of opportunity or 2 spin to negate the immediate action ability.
- Midnight: As a free action at the start of his turn, the gambler may pay 6 spin to convert all damage dice he rolls before the start of his next turn to d12s.
- Doubling Cube: As an immediate action, the gambler may pay 4 spin to double his base saving throw bonuses and any luck, insight, dodge, and shield bonuses to AC until the end of his next turn.
- Let the Dice Fall: As a swift action, the gambler may spend 5 spin to negate a single opponent's abilities based on luck or timing (luck modifiers, rerolls, any abilities allowing the target to alter die rolls, abilities granting extra actions, and abilities allowing the target to act out of turn) for 1 round; the target is entitled to a Will save (DC 10 + ½ level + key ability modifier) to negate this effect.