Jester, Variant (5e Class)
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For as long as time can remember, every king has had one, or several, Court Fools to aid him in entertainment. Not only were they used as pieces of performance, but also as a hidden ally to the King. At birth, they're trained in items such as instruments and knives, actions such as dancing and striking, and perseverance like no other. Despite their harsh treatment, name calling, sullying, and straight abuse, they are very proficient and very lethal assassins. Jesters (Court Fools), tend to purposefully do silly and rather dumb things to try and attract the idea of them being a defenseless, useless, and harmless patron. They are trained to speak in lies and charm the crowd with their speech pattern. A proper Jester can talk his way out of many things, and into many things. They have the ability to lie on the fly and do anything it takes to hide the truth without falter in their words.
This Jester variant is for a more balanced experience, where the Jester fills in the role of a tank / utility party member rather than damage dealer.
Creating a Jester
Ever wanted to play the 'Fool'? Need an assassin class that's a little more eccentric? Need to use your mad charm to 'peacefully' make your way through? Do you want to boost your teams morale?
- Quick Build
You can make a Jester quickly by following these suggestions. First, Dexterity should be your highest ability score, followed by Charisma. Second, choose the Entertainer background. Third, choose choose daggers, short bows, no armor, poison(s), and the like.
As a Jester you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Armor: Light Armor
Weapons: Daggers, Rapier, Shortsword
Tools: Thief's Tools
Saving Throws: Dexterity and Charisma
Skills: Choose 2: Acrobatics, Deception, History, Insight, Performance, Perception, Persuation, Sleight of Hand, Stealth
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) Shortsword or (b) Rapier
- (a) Entertainer's pack or (b) Explorer's pack
- Leather armor, two daggers, and thief's tools
- Jester's Outfit (design of your choosing; must include mask)
|1st||+2||Sharp Tongue, Twisted Whimsy, Cantrips||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement, Predator's Glare||2||4||3||—||—||—|
|5th||+3||Dance for me, Fool!, Extra Attack||3||4||3||—||—||—|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||3||6||4||2||—||—|
|9th||+4||Increased Critical Strike||3||6||4||2||—||—|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||4||8||4||3||—||—|
|14th||+5||Creeping Shadow, Toy Mask||4||10||4||3||2||—|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||5||11||4||3||3||—|
|17th||+6||Lunacy in Death||5||11||4||3||3||—|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement, Unveil Once Hidden||5||12||4||3||3||1|
Beginning at level 1, you've trained your manner of speech since you were a child. You can only choose one and you cannot change it afterwards.
- Voluntary liar
Since a child, you were taught to lie. You were taught to keep a straight face and a sincere voice, even in the face of a lie. You gain proficiency to Deception checks.
- Charm of the Tongue
Since birth, you've been born with an unexplained talent to persuade people to do your bidding, or to make them vote in favor of you. You gain proficiency to Persuasion checks.
- Masked Predator
As a child, you were gifted a mask that you would wear for all your life. No one has seen under it, and you're not even sure of what you look like. Since this is such a largely known fact for Court Fools, many fear the unknown. You gain proficiency to Intimidation speech checks.
At 1st level, you know two cantrips of your choice from the bard spell list. You learn additional Jester cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Jester table. You learn additional bard Cantrips of your choice at higher levels, learning a 3rd cantrip at 5th level, 4th at 11th level, and a 5th at 15th level.
At the beginning of level 1, During a short rest, the player of the Jester can make a joke, do a dance, sing a song or recite a poem to elevate the spirits of the other players in game. Every creature that can hear or see you will be healed by 1d4 + proficiency modifier. Yes, you actually have to make the other players laugh in order to heal them.
By 2nd level, you have learned to draw on your music professionalism and performance to cast spells.
- Spell Slots
The Jester table shows how many Spell Slots you have to cast your Spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these Spells, you must expend a slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended Spell Slots when you finish a Long Rest.
- Spells Known of 1st Level and Higher
You know two 1st-level Spells of your choice from the bard spell list.
You learn an additional bard spell of your choice at 3rd, 4th, 7th, 8th, 10th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 16th, 19th, and 20th level. Each of these Spells must be of a level for which you have Spell Slots. For instance, when you reach 7th level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level.
Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the bard Spells you know and replace it with another spell from the bard spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have Spell Slots.
- Spellcasting Ability
Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your Jester spells, since their power derives from the charm of your performances. You use your Charisma whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Charisma modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a Jester spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
- Spellcasting focus
The Jester may only use his mask as a tool for spellcasting for Jester spells.
At the beginning of level 3, the Jester learns how to excel at landing and footwork. The Jester can use your reaction when you fall to reduce any falling damage you take by an amount equal to five times your Jester level.
Ability Score Increase
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
At the beginning of level 4, the Jester can target a single enemy. The Jester focuses the their gaze upon a single enemy as an action. When this feature is used the Jester gains advantage on all attack rolls against the specified enemy and disadvantage against all other enemies. this feature ends when the enemy dies or the Jester uses his action to change his focus. This ability may be used a number of times equal to their Charisma modifier per long rest.
Dance for me, Fool!
At the beginning of level 5, the Jester jeers his enemy. As an action the Jester can make rude and remarkably insulting comments aloud to a specific target that can hear him and share a common language. The target must roll a Charisma saving throw against the Jester's spell save DC If they fail the roll, they become enraged and will only attack the Jester for 1 minute. At the end of each of its turns, and each time it takes damage from someone other then the Jester, the target may make another Charisma save. This feature can be used twice at 5th level, three times at 10th level, and four times at 15th level per short rest.
Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
At the beginning of level 6, the Jester has the ability to summon strength through the Tarot Cards. The Jester draws Charisma Modifier + half your proficiency modifier rounded down cards every morning. Roll a d20, and the corresponding card will be drawn for the day. The Jester can use a bonus action to consume one of the cards unless listed otherwise. Any unused cards go up in smoke in the middle of the night.
-  The Magician
The Jester's weapon counts as a magic weapon and adds +d4 damage of an element of the Jester's choosing for 10 minutes.
-  The High Priestess
The Jester heals a creature with their next attack, instead of hurting them.
-  The Empress
The Jester gets a +2 to all saving throws until the beginning of his next turn.
-  The Emperor
The Jester gains the ability to cast the spell Command with their next action.
-  The Hierophant
The Jester adds +3 on one Perception, Investigation or Insight check before the roll.
-  The Lovers
The Jester can use this card as a reaction only when a creature is struck within 30 feet of the Jester by a hit that causes their hp to drop to 0 or lower, the Jester may swap hit points with their ally.
-  The Chariot
The Jester compels a creature to perfectly mimic what he just did to the best of their capabilities. Unwilling targets have to roll a Charisma saving throw and beat the Jester's spell save DC to not.
-  Strength
The Jester uses this card to critically hit one attack. In exchange, the unnaturally powerful attack renders both arms are unusable for 6 seconds afterwards.
-  The Hermit
The Jester gains the ability to telepathically relay information to any creature for 5 minutes within 120ft.
-  Justice
The Jester targets a creature who has to roll a Charisma saving throw against the Jester's spell save DC. On a fail, the target gets to add no modifiers to attack and damage rolls until the beginning of the Jester's next turn.
-  The Thief
The Jester can use his action to turn invisible if they are in dim-light or darkness for the next 30 seconds.
-  The Watcher
For the next 5 minutes you can see through magical and non-magical darkness.
-  Death
The Jester can use his action to cast Hex on a creature.
-  The Hanged Man
The Jester gains advantage the next grapple action.
-  The Moon
When you consume this card all lights within 120ft are snuffed out, magic lights are snuffed out for 10min and non-magic lights are snuffed out forever.
-  Temperance
The Jester takes no action for six seconds. The Jester gains one spell slot of the Jester's choosing at the beginning of his next turn.
-  Wheel of Fortune
The Jester gains 5 AC until the beginning of his next turn.
-  The Star
The Jester starts to shine like a bright light, blinding everyone within 10ft. of the Jester, but not himself, until the beginning of his next turn.
-  The Sun
The Jester steals a condition affecting a creature and has it affect him instead.
-  The Fool
The Jester either (a) gains advantage on saving throws associated with a single magical attack, in addition, if the Jester makes a saving throw that would allow them to take half damage they take none or
(b) The Jester can Parry a single melee attack. This ability allows the Jester to roll 1D20+ Dexterity modifier if the outcome is at least half of the attack roll of the enemy the Jester parrys the attack negating it.
Increased Critical Strike
At the beginning of level 9, the Jester's critical hit range increases from 20 to 19-20 with all weapons.
Beginning at level 10, as an action, the Jester can swap locations with a willing creature seamlessly. Unwilling creatures must make a Charisma saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is seamlessly swapped. On a successful save, the creature is alerted of this action and the Jester takes 3d6 psychic damage for the failed attempt. This feature may be used once per short rest.
Once the Jester reaches level 14, the Jester gains the ability to control the shadow of others. If a humanoid within 60 ft. of the Jester casts a shadow that the Jester can see the Jester can attempt to take control of their shadow. The target must make Wisdom saving throw against the Jester's spell save DC, if the target fails then the Jester is able to take control over the enemy as if they were his puppet. This effect lasts for 30 seconds or until the Jester cancels this effect. While this is active, the Jester cannot move from his spot and cannot defend himself. The creature can roll a Wisdom saving throw at the start of their turn to break free early. This ability can be used once per long rest.
At the beginning of level 14, the Jester's conjuration magic grows in strength. The Jester is now able to wear two layers on his mask. The first layer is his real mask and the second layer is a mask conjured as a weapon. The Jester is able to remove this mask and throw it as an explosive upon impact. Treat this as an improvised weapon with the thrown property. The range of the throw is 10/60 and deals 4d6 force damage. If a creature other than the jester wears the mask, the creature takes 4d8 psychic damage. The jester can attempt to force the mask onto a creature. The creature makes a dexterity save DC 8 + Dexterity modifier + Proficiency modifier or is forced to wear the mask. Regardless of which way the mask is used, it disappears afterward, and the jester must finish a long rest to conjure a new one.
Once the Jester hits level 15, their range of influence increases. The Jester gets a jack in the box, when they start to crank it, it begins to laugh hysterically and uncontrollably during combat. This uses an entire round action. Each hostile creature within a 60 ft. radius of the Jack in the box must make a Wisdom saving throw against the Jester's spell save DC. Enemies who fail the save are now frightened by the Jester. At the beginning of their next turn the Jester's box pops, anyone who is frightened by the Jester and can see the jack in a box takes 8d8 psychic damage.
Lunacy in Death
At the beginning of level 17, The Jester learns a spell that can undo death, for a cost. The spell is cast as a ritual for 10 minutes, and once successfully cast will last 24 hours. This spell prevents the Jester from receiving any type of healing, nor will any spell that involves bringing him back to dead have any effect on the Jester until the duration is over. This spell protects the Jester from one death, killing blow or otherwise, as afterwards the Jester springs back to life after 1d6 hours with half their max hp. However, this trip to the other side leaves lasting effects on the Jester. The Jester shows the following signs of lunacy:
- The Jester's life force fundamentally changes, and now counts as an undead instead of what he previously was. He now takes damage from healing spells and heals from Necrotic damage.
- The Jester's sleep cycle reverses to what it used to be. Dead flesh is unaffected by disease and obtains no sustenance of rations. Only blood will do.
- The Jester's appearance is a permanently changed, looking like a dead man walking. The loss of innocence is noticable in that the Jester permanently gains disadvantage on Persuation checks and advantage on Intimidation checks.
- The Jester's outlook on life changes, switching to a Chaotic Neutral or Chaotic Evil alignment.
- The Jester is no longer able to cast this spell.
Unveil The Once Hidden
At the beginning of level 19, the Jester may remove his mask once every day to gain 60ft of truesight. In exchange, the Jester fails all deception checks for the duration he has removed his mask.
At the beginning of level 20, The Jester can now consume as many tarot cards as he wishes at the same time in one bonus action.
Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Jester class, you must meet these prerequisites: Dexterity 13 and Charisma 13
Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Jester class, you gain the following proficiencies: Daggers, and Thief's Tools