Showstopper (3.5e Class)

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Showstoppers are a unique form of arcane spellcaster, drawing upon a near-divine source of inner childhood. Though rather a stereotype, their magical abilities draw upon an identity of fun, novelty and innocence to spread such qualities to others around them. Their magic is extensive and varied, but cannot always be guaranteed to be of complete use. A Showstopper's abilities are naturally borne, a product of innate abilities, and though often awoken in youth, they can be realised at any age.

Making a Showstopper[edit]

The Showstopper is not useless in real world situations, they can provide both support and direct actions to deal with combat and other encounters. However, their main focus is on unconventional and less orthodox events and obstacles in a lively, intriguing world. They have great synergy with all kinds of other party members, thanks to their wide range of abilities. The offensive capabilities of the Showstopper do not live up to that of the Sorcerer or Wizard, but their wide range of choices and spontaneous casting allow for much greater adaptability.

Abilities: As one might expect, Charisma is the key spellcasting attribute for Showstoppers. The Showstopper's abilities will also benefit from a high Intelligence score, with occasional more energetic features including Dexterity.

Races: Though most commonly Humans, Showstoppers are more largely known amongst most races that are more playful and social.

Alignment: Any

Starting Gold: 1d5×10 gp (30 gp).

Starting Age: Simple

Table: The Showstopper

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Repertoire 5 3
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 6 4
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Distracting Show 6 5
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 6 6 3
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 6 6 4
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Simple Magical Tricks 6 6 5 3
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 6 6 6 4
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 6 6 6 5 3
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Surprise! 6 6 6 6 4
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 6 6 6 6 5 3
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 Distracting Show 6 6 6 6 6 4
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Moderate Magical Tricks 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Surprise! 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Distracting Show 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Complex Magical Tricks 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Hide (Dex), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Showstopper.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Showstopper is proficient with all simple weapons, plus the rapier, sap, short sword, shortbow, and whip. Showstoppers are proficient with light armor and shields (except tower shields). A Showstopper can cast Showstopper spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. However, like any other arcane spellcaster, a Showstopper wearing medium or heavy armor or using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component (most do). A multiclass Showstopper still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.

Repertoire (Su): An awakened Showstopper's memory is enhanced with a supernatural section called a Repertoire. This is used to retain a Showstopper's spells for casting or teaching others. When learning a spell from another Showstopper, or teaching a spell to another Showstopper, this supernatural ability is invoked - Both Showstoppers roll a Charisma check and add their results together to decide the result, if this roll beats the DC, the spell is successfully taught. Invoking Repertoire takes 1 hour of concentration from both Showstoppers, and can only be attempted once per day. There are no penalties for retrying. The DC for successfully using Repertoire is 10 + (Spell Level × 5).

Spells: A Showstopper casts arcane spells which are drawn primarily from the spell list below. They can cast any spell they know without preparing it ahead of time, the way a wizard or a cleric must.

To learn or cast a spell, a Showstopper must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Showstopper’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the Showstopper’s Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a Showstopper can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Their base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Showstopper. In addition, they receive bonus spells per day if they have a high Charisma score.

Unlike a bard or sorcerer, a Showstopper may know any number of spells. They cannot cast any spell they have not added to their repertoire, except for major prestidigitation, which all Showstoppers can cast from memory. A Showstopper begins play with their repertoire containing all 0-level Showstopper spells plus three 1st-level spells of your choice. For each point of Charisma bonus the Showstopper has, they may learn one additional 1st-level spell of your choice. At each new Showstopper level, they gain two new spells of any spell level or levels that they can cast (based on their new Showstopper level). At any time, a Showstopper may learn additional spells from other Showstoppers' repertoire. (see above).

Unlike a wizard or a cleric, a Showstopper need not prepare their spells in advance. They can cast any spell they know at any time, assuming they have not yet used up their spells per day for that spell level. They do not have to decide ahead of time which spells they’ll cast.

Showstoppers choose their spells from the following list:

0— resistance, acid splash, prestidigitation, detect magic, ghost sound, flare, mage hand, mending, message, open/close, arcane mark

1st—alarm, shield, grease, obscuring mist, unseen servant, charm person, hypnotism, burning hands, color spray, disguise self, magic aura, silent image, ventriloquism, animate rope, enlarge person, jump, reduce person

2nd—arcane lock, protection from arrows, Fog Cloud, glitterdust, detect thoughts, locate object, hideous laughter, continual flame, gust of wind, shatter, blur, hypnotic pattern, invisibility, magic mouth, minor image, mirror image, misdirection, phantom trap, blindness/deafness, scare, alter self, knock, levitate, pyrotechnics, rope trick, spider climb

3rd—dispel magic, explosive runes, nondetection, sepia snake sigil, sleet storm, arcane sight, clairaudience/clairvoyance, lesser telepathic bond, heroism, hold person, suggestion, daylight, wind wall, tiny hut, displacement, invisibility sphere, major image, gentle repose, blink, fly, haste, secret page, shrink item, slow, water breathing

4th—fire trap, black tentacles, dimension door, minor creation, solid fog, arcane eye, locate creature, charm monster, confusion, lesser geas, resilient sphere, hallucinatory terrain, illusory wall, rainbow pattern, bestow curse, fear, stone shape

5th—mage's private sanctum, major creation, secret chest, teleport, wall of stone, telepathic bond, dominate person, feeblemind, hold monster, mind fog, symbol of sleep, interposing hand, sending, dream, false vision, mirage arcana, persistent image, seeming, blight, animal growth, fabricate, passwall, telekinesis, permanency

6th—repulsion, analyze dweomer, legend lore, probe thoughts, geas/quest, greater heroism, mass suggestion, symbol of persuasion, contingency, forceful hand, mislead, permanent image, programmed image, veil, control water, move earth

7th—sequester, spell turning, instant summons, phase door, teleport object, greater arcane sight, vision, mass hold person, insanity, forcecage, grasping hand, mass invisibility, project image, simulacrum, control weather, ethereal jaunt, reverse gravity, statue, limited wish

8th—mind blank, prismatic wall, maze, trap the soul, moment of prescience, antipathy, binding, mass charm monster, demand, irresistible dance, sympathy, clenched fist, telekinetic sphere, scintillating pattern, screen, clone, polymorph any object, temporal stasis

9th—freedom, imprisonment, prismatic sphere, gate, refuge, teleportation circle, foresight, dominate monster, mass hold monster, crushing hand, astral projection, etherealness, shapechange, wish

Distracting Show (Ex): At 3rd level, the Showstopper may make a relatively simple act into a mischevious and distracting affair. When the Showstopper casts a spell with a casting time of a Standard action (or less), they may extend the casting time to a full-round action to increase the DC of the spell's saving throw by 1 and gain a +1 bonus to any caster level checks to overcome spell resistance. These bonuses increase to +2 at 11th level, and +3 at 19th level.

Simple Magical Tricks (Sp): At 6th level, a Showstopper gains prestidigitation, silent image, sculpt sound, and shrink item as spell-like abilities 3/day each.

Moderate Magical Tricks (Sp): At 13th level, a Showstopper gains major prestidigitation, major image, seeming, and rainbow pattern as spell-like abilities 3/day each.

Complex Magical Tricks (Sp): At 20th level, a Showstopper gains mirage arcana, project image, veil, and sympathy as spell-like abilities 3/day each.

Surprise!: When an enemy doesn't expect it, the Showstopper can makes a dazzling array of attacks before the enemy responds. At 9th level, whenever the Showstopper is part of a surprise round, they can take an additional move action. At 18th level, in place of their surprise round standard action, the Showstopper can take two consecutive turns.

Epic Showstopper[edit]

Table: The Epic Showstopper

Hit Die: d6

Level Special
22nd Epic Magical Tricks
23rd Bonus Feat
26th Bonus Feat
29th Bonus Feat

6 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Bonus Feats: The epic Showstopper gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Showstopper bonus feats) every three levels after 20th.

Epic Showstopper Bonus Feat List: Augmented Alchemy, Automatic Quicken Spell, Automatic Silent Spell, Automatic Still Spell, Combat Casting, Enhance Spell, Epic Charisma, Epic Intelligence, Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting, Ignore Material Components, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity, Intensify Spell, Multispell, Permanent Emanation, Scribe Epic Scroll, Spell Focus, Spell Knowledge, Spell Mastery, Spell Penetration Spell Stowaway, Spell Opportunity, Spontaneous Spell, Tenacious Magic. In addition to the feats on this list, the wizard may select any item creation feat or metamagic feat not listed here.

Epic Magical Tricks: This ability replaces Simple Magical Tricks, Moderate Magical Tricks and Complex Magical Tricks. The epic Showstopper gains prestidigitation, silent image, sculpt sound, shrink item, major prestidigitation, major image, seeming, rainbow pattern, mirage arcana, project image, veil, and sympathy as as at-will spell-like abilities. Where applicable, these spell-like abilities have a DC equal to the Showstopper's class level + 5 + Showstopper's Charisma Bonus, and the epic Showstopper gains a +5 to any caster level checks to overcome spell resistance when using these.

Human Showstopper Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Rapier (1d6, crit 18-20/×2, 2lb., one-handed, slashing)

Skill Selection:

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Concentration 4 Con
Diplomacy 4 Cha
Disguise 4 Cha
Knowledge (arcana) 4 Int
Perform (Dance) 4 Cha
Perform (Strings) 4 Cha
Spellcraft 4 Int
Use Magic Device 4 Cha

Feat: Combat Casting

Bonus Feats: Skill Focus (Perform)

Gear: Backpack, musical instrument

Gold: 18 gp

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Showstopper[edit]

Religion: Showstoppers show no particular commonality in religion. Some may worship religiously, some not at all; Whatever the case, they often align with gods of Mischief, of Youth and of Innocence. These are by no means requirements, however.

Other Classes: Showstoppers range from thoroughly helpful to totally adversarial when it comes to others. Because Showstoppers aren't particularly strong in magic nor combat, they tend to work best with others in the party who fulfil these roles, as a useful support and utilitarian.

Combat: The Showstopper has a wide range of options in combat, though not great a direct offense. Showstoppers can dazzle their enemies and support their allies extensively, the role to which they are best suited. Their utility is best maximised to find unconventional ways of defeating enemies.

Advancement: Showstoppers can multiclass to focus their abilities more on certain areas. Rogues can use their misdirection abiliities to get good attacks off. Spellcasting classes can learn more combat-oriented or support-oriented spells - Especially branching into classes like Theurge, where the Showstopper can get an even greater variety of spells with a divine class.

Showstoppers in the World[edit]

I hope you liked it! Wasn't my performance just the cutest?
—Safira De'elma, Young Elven Showstopper

In a world of boredom, mundanity, and poor showmanship, the Showstopper wants to turn it all around. Their desires, malicious or helpful, rulebound or whimsical, are in making all of life's events more fun, ideally for everyone. A Showstopper's appearance, performance, spirit and most of all, behaviour, are their greatest assets - Not out to manipulate the world, as such, just inject some extra excitement.

Daily Life: Showstoppers, similarly to Bards, often perform in hopes of achieving a day's pay. They are often seen travelling in troupes, teaching each other tricks, or congregating in effort to pull off a new, odd, project. Though a Showstopper's life is not all fun and games, due to their risky lifestyle; annoying the wrong guy or playing the wrong prank can result in many neglected, failed and broken Showstoppers who will meagerly continue their work with an inner sadness.

Organizations: If a number of Showstoppers are in the same area, they will tend to flock together. Forming troupes, theatre groups, and staging performances wherever they can. They will commonly join travelling faires and carnivals in search of a way to earn money in entertainment. However, routine is not usually the way of the Showstopper, and groups and communities will often spontaneously disappear and reappear, as dictated by circumstance.

NPC Reactions: <-How NPCs react to PCs of this class->.

Showstopper Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can research Showstoppers to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

<-the appropriate skills->
DC Result
5 Showstoppers are common performers of various, though mundane, tricks.
10 Showstoppers are capable of providing hugely impressive shows, and are almost never known to repeat stage acts.
15 The Showstopper's abilities stem from their innate personalities and will, though still function by tapping into arcane energies as opposed to divine ones.
20 The ability of a Showstopper to cause deception and misdirection on a large scale is almost endless - And they tend to do this regardless of circumstance.

Showstoppers in the Game[edit]

Showstoppers are playful, and NPC showstoppers will often open a meeting with a performance or (sometimes practical) joke. If the showstopper is the bad guy he will play mind games whenever he has the opportunity to do so, and use illusions to distract and hinder the PCs. Expect joking traps designed to maim dignity, as much as health, such as ostensibly impossible puzzles with illusionarily hidden simple solutions. Most NPC showstoppers are content to "toy" with the PCs, and only seem to act with lethal intent when their prey is being stubbornly boring, or threatening the integrity of the showstopper's illusions.

Adaptation: The showstopper could be seen as a more underhanded class; Alongside rogues and thieves, using their magical distractions to perform various crimes, from petty to the downright serious. Rather than having their spells drawn from a source of divine fun, they would most likely be from another passionate source of divinity.

Sample Encounter: A showstoppers simply adventuring, looking to make some mischief and inject fun in the party's lives. Though unlikely to be outright hostile, an unfriendly showstopper would likely be tempted, especially using their Magical Tricks, to really, really, annoy the party.

EL 10:

Tia Niara

CR 10

Elf Showstopper 10
Chaotic Neutral Medium Humanoid
Init/Senses +4/Listen +4, Spot +4
AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 14
(+4 Dex, +4 armor)
hp 44 (10 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will 5/7/6
Speed 30ft.
Melee Rapier +6 (1d6+1/18-20 x2)
Base Atk/Grp +5/+6
Spells Known (CL 10th):
3rd (7/day)—hold person, suggestion, blink, fly
Abilities Str 12, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 20
SQ Darkvision 60 ft.
Feats Power Attack, Cleave, Spell Focus (Illusion), Greater Spell Focus (Illusion)
Skills Balance +6, Climb +6, Intimidate +7, Jump +10, Listen +7, Search +7, Spot +10

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