Puppeteer, Variant (3.5e Class)

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Puppet User[edit]

Senka was estranged, even for a Drow. She often played with puppets and controlled their every action, something she loved to do. A boy had earned her ire, and in frustration she flared her hands, wishing he was one of her dolls. In that same instance the boy suddenly tensed, as though he was bound by an invisible object. After a time, she reflexively balled her hands into fists. When she did, the boy's body was suddenly splayed out in midair. Bewildered, she loosened her fists and the boys limbs moved closer to his body. After a little experimentation she found that she had somehow gain possession of the boy's body for a time. She experimented more and more until she had perfected her technique using the puppets she played with as a child. Senka decided that her abilities would be excellent for an assassin. She went to a local construct maker and learned how to make life sized dolls that would suit her needs. After 3 years of practice she took her first job. No one knew who killed the government official. There were no clues of how it happened... other then a small puppet found near the victim with its strings cut.

Making a Puppet User[edit]

The Puppet User, via the dolls, can increase the number of targets in a party and help augment the party's abilities. The User is a rather vulnerable class but can hold their own. A Puppet Use on their round has to make the choice to either move the dolls or take action themselves (excluding puppet casting). Being a supporting class a Puppet User gets along with most other classes. Though more specialized class may look down upon them.

Abilities: Dexterity is important to a Puppet User and it applies to how well they can manipulate their dolls and provides a AC bonus. Charisma determines how many spell they are able to cast.

Races: Any race that has the capacity to manipulate dolls.

Alignment: Any. They can be Lawful as being a Puppet User requires discipline or Chaotic as free thought and improvisation is used in the class.

Starting Gold: 8d8

Starting Age: Moderate

Table: The Puppet User

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Doll, Arcane Strings 2
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Cage puppet 3 1
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Entangle, Bonus Feat, Puppet Casting, Puppet Other. 3 2
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Talkative Puppets, Forced Puppet 3 2 1
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 3 3 2
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 , Bonus Feat 3 3 2 1
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 3 3 3 2
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 3 3 3 2
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 , Bonus Feat 3 3 3 3 1
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 3 3 3 3 2
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +7 3 3 3 3 2
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Puppet Masquerade, Bonus Feat 3 3 3 3 3 1
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 4 3 3 3 3 2
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 4 4 3 3 3 2 1
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 Bonus Feat 4 4 4 3 3 3 2
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 4 4 4 4 4 3 3
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Bonus Feat 4 4 4 4 4 4 3
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Puppet Scroll 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Concentration (Con), Open Lock (Dex), Bluff (Cha) Sleight of Hand (Dex), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Survival (Wis), Search (Int), Spellcraft (Int), Profession (Wis), Spot (Wis), Use Magic Device (Cha), Perform (Cha).

Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int modifier) x 4..

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Puppet User.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Puppet Users are not proficient with any type of armor as it interferes with spell casting. Puppet Users are proficient with the club, quarterstaff, dagger, light crossbow, sling, and whip.

Doll: At first level (and again at every 5th level to a maximum of 4 at 15th level) a User gains a doll puppet that is used in combat. All dolls are are humanoid shape and are small or medium and no more then 2 arms except the combat doll which can have up to 4. Puppets come in 3 types: Combat- uses 2 weapons or two-hand weapons simple, martial, or exotic. Protection- uses simple, light, and shields. Supporter- uses ranged and light weapons. A User gains a pseudo-weapon proficiency feat with the weapons the dolls use only when used by the dolls. A Puppet user is also always aware where the dolls are even if not in sight.

Entangle: At 3rd level a User learns how to attach the strings to one creature and bind them. A successful grapple check (using your charisma instead of strength) binds after which another grapple check must be made to maintain every round. Entangling a target requires you to use 10 strings and therefore leaves you unable to puppet the dolls. Starting at 6th level and every 3 levels after, entangle requires 1 less string allowing you to control some puppets or gain a +1 to your grapple attempt per extra string used.

Cage puppet: At 3rd level a User learns how to make a puppet open its chest and encase an opponent. Upon a successful grapple check the creature is held in the puppets body. To entangle the target it requires you to use 5 strings on The cage puppet.

Puppet Other: Targeting a willing creature you attach all 10 strings to the target you increase all their Reflex saving throw, Strength and Dexterity modifiers by half of yours.

Forced Puppet: Forcibly takes control of a creature by succeeding a grapple check for 5 rounds. After the 5 rounds is over a grapple check must be made every other round to keep control but the target can make an escape artist's check on the opposite round to break free of the ability.

Puppet Casting: A Puppet Use has the option to cast a spell from his doll. Casting a spell from a doll is the same as if cast from the character

Puppet Masquerade: Once per day per puppet a User can cast a disguise self and sculpt sound spell on the dolls and can speak threw the dolls.

Talkative Puppets: At 18th level the dolls gain some intelligence and personality. When Summoned they are able to talk with their puppeteer telepathically and can act as a counsel. At 20th level the dolls are able to speak telepathically to any creature in a radius of 20ft in any language their master can.

Puppet Scroll: Allows a user to scribe a spell onto each doll that can be cast from the doll. Unlike a normal spell it is not erased and is able to be used again after a day has past. Scribing a spell onto a puppet is binding and the only way to replace a spell on the doll is to sacrifice 200 of experience per spell level (0-level spells count as 1st level).

Spells: Puppet users cast spontaneous arcane spells. As with other spontaneous casters, the Puppet User can only know a limited amount of spells and cast a certain amount of spells a day. To learn or cast a spell, a Puppet User must have an Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell. Puppet Users choose their spells from the following list:

0—Resistance, Acid Splash, Detect Poison, Detect Magic, Read Magic, Dancing Lights, Flare, Light, Daze, Mending, Arcane Mark, Touch of Fatigue

1st—Alarm, Endure Elements, Protection from Chaos/Evil/Good/Law, Shield, Comprehend Languages, Expeditious Retreat, Hypnotism, Identify, Ventriloquism, Summon Monster I, Unseen Servant, Silent Image, Disguise Self, Grease, Mage Armor, Burning Hands, Shocking Grasp, Chill Touch

2nd—Alter Self, Blur, Darkness, Daze Monster, Detect Thoughts, Cat’s Grace, Eagle’s Splendor, Fox’s Cunning, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Silence, Summon Monster II, Cure Light Wounds, Melf's Acid Arrow, Touch of Idiocy, Scorching Ray, Ghoul Touch, Status, Make Whole

3rd—Cure Moderate Wounds, Daylight, Gaseous Form, Dispel Magic, Displacement, Invisibility Sphere, Major Image, Phantom Steed, Remove Curse, Scrying, Sculpt Sound, Summon Monster III, Haste, Lightning Bolt, Vampiric Touch, Flame Arrow, Fireball

4th—Cure Serious Wounds, Break Enchantment, Dimension Door, Freedom of Movement, Hallucinatory Terrain, Invisibility, Greater, Locate Creature, Rainbow Pattern, Leomund's Secure Shelter, Shadow Conjuration, Shout, Summon Monster IV, Stoneskin, Fire Shield

5th—Cure Critical Wounds, Zone of Silence, Dispel Magic, Greater, False Vision, Mirage Arcana, Mislead, Persistent Image, Seeming, Shadow Evocation, Shadow Walk, Summon Monster V, Mind Fog, Telepathic Bond, Prying Eyes, Cone of Cold, Fabricate

6th—Cure Light Wounds, Mass, Analyze Dweomer, Animate Objects, Cat’s Grace, Mass, Eagle’s Splendor, Mass, Fox’s Cunning, Mass, Geas, Permanent Image, Programmed Image, Project Image, Scrying, Greater, Shout, Greater, Summon Monster VI, Veil, Repulsion, Disintegrate

Making a Doll[edit]

Hit Die: 2d6 Dolls use only Str, Dex, and Con for Attributes. They are determined as if the player were to make a character. The Puppet can use grapple checks. The Puppet user will get a Puppet every 5 levels. Puppets come in 3 types: Combat- uses 2 weapons or two-hand weapons simple, martial, or exotic. Protection- uses simple, light, and shields. Supporter- uses ranged and light weapons. A User gains a pseudo-weapon proficiency feat with the weapons the dolls use only when used by the dolls. A Puppet user is also always aware where the dolls are even if not in sight. Puppets gain the same racial bonuses, feats, and attack bonuses as their user. The Puppet does not have penalties when using more than one weapon depending on its type. Combat Dolls do not suffer penalties for any weapon, where Protection Dolls are only proficient with simple, light, and shields. NO Dolls are proficient with armor! Support Dolls do not suffer penalties fighting with more than one light weapon but only may use two. Puppets also have a Natural Armor of +5. The Puppet User may use one puppet per hand. As you use five Arcane Strings per Puppet. (One on each finger)


Attacking with a Puppet is considered a Half Action. Meaning two Puppets can attack per turn. (Only being able to control two) Bringing your Puppets and putting them back is considered a Free Action. Therefore, if the User has a Puppet (Or two) out on the field and desires the ability to attack. It does not take up their turn putting their Puppets back in their inventory, vise-versa. Grappling with your puppet is also considered a Half Action. If the player desires using an ability such as Entangle (See Entangle above for details) putting the dolls away is still considered a Free Action. A puppets base money speed is 60, due to the fact that it is being manipulated by the strings and not actually moving. !!!!Dolls can NOT use magic!!!!

Table: Puppet User Spells Known
Level Spells Known
0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1st 4
2nd 5 2
3rd 6 3
4th 6 3 2
5th 6 4 3
6th 6 4 3
7th 6 4 4 2
8th 6 4 4 3
9th 6 4 4 3
10th 6 4 4 4 2
11th 6 4 4 4 3
12th 6 5 4 4 3
13th 6 5 4 4 4 2
14th 6 5 4 4 4 3
15th 6 5 5 4 4 3
16th 6 5 5 4 4 4 3
17th 6 5 5 5 5 4 3
18th 6 6 6 5 5 5 4
19th 6 6 6 5 5 5 4
20th 6 6 6 5 5 5 5

Puppet User supernatural class feature (Su):

Puppet Strings- Pure invisible arcane energy, one from each finger, that a User uses to control their dolls and other actions. Creating the strings is a free action and can be used at will, that cannot be used in an anti-magic field. You can lift up to your max load with the strings. The strings have a range of 250ft.

Summon/Stow Puppet- Similar to Summon Instrument used by the Bards, this supernatural ability summons the dolls. It is a free action and can be used at will that cannot be used in an anti-magic field. Summon/Stow has a range of close.

Epic Puppet User[edit]

Table: The Epic Puppet User

Hit Die: d6

Level Special
21st Doll
22nd Awake Dolls
23rd Entangle, Bonus Feat
26th Bonus Feat
28th Puppet View
29th Bonus Feat
30th Puppet Scroll

6 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Doll: At 20th and 25th level a User gains another doll to use in combat. The doll is chosen from the 3 types.

Entangle: At 23rd and 26th level a User can bind one more creature.

Awaken Dolls: For 15 min/every 2 levels a User can bring the dolls life with scores equal to their own. While awakened a doll is able to move, talk, and act on it's own but has to remain within a distance of long to remain Awakened. A doll is treated as construct and can never turn against their puppeteer. The dolls have their own personalities but it leans to what their purpose is: Combat- aggressive, outspoken, straightforward, and possibly rude, often male. Protection- passive, protective, very respectful, and possibly timid, either male or female. Supporter- caring and firm, often female. Once a Puppet User can awaken their dolls they give them a name and must speak the name and say a command word of their choice, of the dolls they wish to awaken.

Puppet View: Allows the User to look threw all of their puppets eyes simultaneously 1 hour per day, need not be consecutive.

Puppet Scroll: Allows the Puppet User to scribe a 2nd spell onto the doll, otherwise is as normal Puppet Scroll

Bonus Feats: The epic Puppet User gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Puppet User bonus feats) every 3rd level after 20th.

Epic Puppet User Bonus Feat List: Automatic Still Spell, Enhance Spell, Epic Reflexes, Epic Skill Focus, Epic Weapon Focus, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Spell Capacity, Permanent Emanation, Polyglot, Spell Knowledge, Spell Opportunity, Tenacious Magic.

Drow Puppet User Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Quarterstaff, whip, and dagger.

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 6 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Spellcraft 2 Int
Consintration 4 Con
Use Magic Device 4 Cha
Knowledge (arcana) 2 Int
Balance 2 Dex
Sense Movtive 4 Wis

Feat: Weapon Finesse, Lightning reflexes

Gear: Backpack, Bedroll, Flint and steel, Lamp common, Oil (1-pint flask), Waterskin, 7 Rations trail, and Explorer’s Outfit.

Gold: 24 gold pieces.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Puppet User[edit]

Religion: Puppet Users aren't active worshipers but do believe in deities as they puppet their dolls so are they controlled by deities. Puppet User generally worship based on personal preferences.

Other Classes: Using puppets affords a Puppet User good personal skills and can get along with people rather easily. Puppet Users are generally speaking opposed to being commanded as they are used to being the masters and being in command and thus have an adversity to authoritative figures.

Combat: Puppets Users are best at either staying back with the main spell caster or hiding out of view and manipulating the dolls.

Advancement: <-Typical advancement options for characters with this class. Include desirable multiclass options->.

Puppet Users in the World[edit]

Alone? I'm never alone. My dolls are always here for me.
—Senka, Drow Puppet User

Most Puppet Users live in a city or town were they earn a living doing puppet shows. Those that travel often go from town to town performing. Those that do adventure ones that will show themselves as being a simple performer to their offender until they find that they have no control over their body or a blade at their back.

Daily Life: Being a versatile class they are mold able but some are hired on as a bodyguards or personal entertainers to wealthy people.

Notables: Aureole was an oddity for a dwarf being she had magic in her blood, and a liking of puppets. It wasn't until a wondering puppeteer saw her and saw what she was. After she learned what she could she started to develop her own dolls and skills.

Organizations: Puppet User have no formal group or leadership. Puppets User are more born then taught. Puppet User will sometimes meet with others and have a Puppet Show competition, both in combat and performance.

NPC Reactions: Most npcs think nothing of Puppet User other then they are just simple performer. Those who know what a Puppet User is capable of doing are more wary of them and as such refrain from letting the masses know what they can do.

Puppet User Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Gather Information can research Puppet Users to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Gather Information
DC Result
5 Puppet Users fight using objects similar to constructs.
10 Puppet Users are able to bind, manipulate, and enhance live creatures.
15 A Puppet User can use abilities through the dolls they control.
20 The dolls they control can come to life at high levels.

Puppet Users in the Game[edit]

Puppet User are good for espionage and scouting being able to control the doll from a range and sense things threw them. They also are good for a lacking group with the flexibility they hold.

Adaptation: Death Puppeteer- add undead creation spells to the Puppet User spell list and remove the puppets. Death Puppeteers puppets dead bodies instead of dolls. Puppeteer of the Living- giving up the dolls they gain the ability to forcibly take control of a living creature per ordinary number of dolls for one hour per level plus 1 hour per charisma bonus.

Sample Encounter: <-DM placement for NPCs of this class.->.

EL : <-Encounter scenario and character info on sample NPC including stat block. The CR of the NPC is typically the same as the EL for the encounter.->.

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