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
- 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.
To qualify to become a hapless bystander, a character must follow all of the following criteria.
Any non-evil, non-lawful.
Base Attack Bonus:
Less than +4.
: Any luck feat.
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.
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.
|Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special|
|Happenstance (Ref), Luck of the Draw, Black Cat Syndrome|
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.
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.*
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.
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.
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
Male Human Fighter 1 / Hapless Bystander 5
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.
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.
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.
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