Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New Class: Dandy


Requirements: CHA 13 Prime Requisite: CHA Hit Dice: 1d6 through 9th level, +2 per level thereafter
Maximum Level: none Experience Chart: Thief Attacks/Saves: Thief
Weapons allowed: Sword canes, bejeweled daggers, walking sticks, bladed fans, thin and elegant swords
Armor allowed: None (see below)

"These beings have no other status, but that of cultivating the idea of beauty in their own persons, of satisfying their passions, of feeling and thinking .... Contrary to what many thoughtless people seem to believe, dandyism is not even an excessive delight in clothes and material elegance. For the perfect dandy, these things are no more than the symbol of the aristocratic superiority of his mind." – Charles Baudelaire

Special Abilities:
Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know—three times per day a dandy may draw upon their magnetic personalities to invoke one of the following effects: Charm Person, Command, or Hypnotism. Upon reaching 3rd level, a dandy may also use this ability to emulate the effects of a Hypnotic Pattern or Suggestion spell. At 10th level a dandy may use this ability to mimic the effects of a Mass Charm spell.

To Burn Always With This Hard, Gemlike Flame—whenever a dandy drops a witty one-liner, a cutting come-back, or succeeds in an insanely stylish action, they gain 1 Flamboyance Point. When a dandy has accumulated 5 Flamboyance Points, they gain a temporary Hit Die. Dandies are literally protected from the world's slings and arrows by the mythic power of their l'art pour l'art stance in life.

Fa-fa-fa-fa-fashion—while dandies may not wear armor in the usual sense, they gain an armor class bonus when wearing bespoke clothes of great expense and taste. If a dandy purchases clothes at a cost three times that of an armor type, they benefit from the equivalent armor class. For example, if a dandy were to spend three times the cost of plate mail (1350 gp) on a suit of clothes, the dandy would functionally have the armor class of plate mail while wearing that suit. In place of shields, dandies may opt to spend 30 gp (or more) for a dashing hat or pocket square that improves their armor class by one point. However, note that such fashionable attire is very vulnerable to both the depredations of the adventuring life and the changing tides of fashion in high society.

Reaching 2nd level: Piccadilly Palare—the dandy has mastered a secret slang language that allows him to converse with sailors, homosexuals, prostitutes, and aesthete monsters such as demimonde medusas, vampire flaneurs, and githyanki fops.

Reaching 3rd level: A Bright Young Thing—the dandy acquires a familiar that is adept at estimating the worth of items such as gems and other treasures. Roll on the following table to determine the familiar's form:

d8 Familiar
1 Automaton dressed like a “painted woman”
2 Automaton dressed like a cowled monk
3 Automaton dressed like a valet
4 Gilded tortoise
5 Invent something new and outlandish
6 Kapala skull
7 Parrot wearing a jeweled crown
8 Rabbit in a brocade waistcoat

Reaching 4th level: He dreams of scaffolds as he smokes his hookah pipe—a dandy may pick four of the thief class's skills to use as a 2nd level thief. At 5th level, those skills increase to those of a 3rd level thief, etc. Due to a dandy's wide range of experience, they also have a percentage chance equal to the Find/Remove Traps ability of a thief of the same level to know something useful about any topic. Any topic (sailing, ancient history, heraldry) may be rolled for in this way; if the roll is successful, make a note that the dandy knows something about that topic for future reference should the topic come up again.

Reaching 6th level: Dandy in the Underworld—a dandy can cast spells as per a 1st level magic-user. Their spellcasting ability improves every level, but dandies are limited to casting illusions and spells that summon beautiful, otherworldly beings. If an dandy willingly summons a grotesque creature, they permanently lose all spellcasting ability.

Reaching 8th level: The Breviary of Decadence—by reading from the “poisonous book” a dandy may cure the soul through the senses and cast Cure Moderate Wounds, Neutralize Poison, Cure Disease, or Remove Curse; this arcane process destroys the “poisonous book,” so many dandies keep a number of volumes of that text on hand, each bound in a different pleasing color. Furthermore, a dandy who reads from the “poisonous book” in this manner must make a successful saving throw or suffer from ennui; ennui results in the dandy losing one point from each of their ability scores.


  1. This is brilliant! Incidentally, have you ever seen the movie Velvet Goldmine?

    1. Thanks! And yes, I have seen Velvet Goldmine.

  2. As a long-time fan of Byron, I loved this post! Well done. Currently I'm reading Stendhal's The Red and the Black. Great stuff.

    1. Thanks. What's your favorite Byron? I think mine is the lesser-read Manfred.

    2. Definately Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. I found myself, while reading, often stopping to copy his wonderful verse.

      In fact, I've used some of his work in my published Labyrinth Lord modules and plan on using the following in my current publication project:

      There is a stern round tower of other days,
      Firm as a fortress, with its fence of stone,
      Such as an army's baffled strength delays,
      Standing with half its battlements alone,
      And with two thousand years of ivy grown,
      The garland of eternity, where wave
      The green leaves over all by time o'erthrown:
      What was this tower of strength? within its cave
      What treasure lay so locked, so hid?—A woman's grave.

    3. Yeah, that is a great passage!