Dilettante (3.5e Class)

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After spending most of their lives in idle activity in the court of nobles, Dilettantes often find themselves with expertise and connections beyond what one would expect.

Making a Dilettante[edit]

The Dilettante is a member of high society. He's trained in social graces more than combat, but knows how to inspire those who surround him. His role in the party is more non-combative, using diplomacy and bluff along with his bevy of information gathering skills to avoid conflict rather than facing it head-on. The best Dilettantes can use their abilities to turn enemies into allies.

Abilities: Charisma is the most important, as it determines his effectiveness in his dealings with others. Intelligence is also highly ranked for problem solving. Dexterity and Constitution are valuable for keeping the Dilettante alive.

Races: Any race whose society has a social structure can become a Dilettante, but often only a race whose social elite places a priority on decorum can become Dilettantes. Humans who have grown up in large cities - especially ones with high volumes of trade or a strong royal presence - are the most common source of Dilettantes. Half-orcs, who don't often grow up with decorum amongst their virtues, are almost never Dilettantes.

Alignment: While a Dilettante can be any alignment, they often follow the rules of the social elite. Almost all are lawful, and most chaotic characters would be shunned by their potential connections.

Starting Gold: 7d4 × 10.

Starting Age: Simple

Table: The Dilettante

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Dilettante's Knowledge, Information Network
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Quick Tongue (+2)
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Market Savvy
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Smooth Talker
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Inspiring Presence (+1)
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Quick Tongue (+4)
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Acquisition
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +6
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 Inspiring Presence (+2)
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 Motivation, Quick Tongue (+6)
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +7 Reliable Sources
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Inspiring Presence (+3)
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 Quick Tongue (+8)
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 Improved Motivation
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Inspiring Presence (+4)
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Quick Tongue (+10)
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Mass Motivation
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12

Class Skills (8 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (architecture and engineering, geography, history, local, nobility and royalty) (Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis).

Class Features[edit]

All of the Dilettante's skills are based around the connections they have made with other people. All of the following are class features of the Dilettante.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Dilettante is proficient with all simple weapons and light armour, but not shields. Also, the Dilettante is proficient with any martial weapons considered noble in the campaign world.

Dilettante's Knowledge: The Dilettante is always at the center of information, and knows the latest happenings around the realm. A dilettante may make a special knowledge check similar to a bardic knowledge check, with a bonus equal to his dilettante level + his Intelligence modifier to see whether he knows some relevant information about local notable people, local politics, or the history of an item. (If the dilettante has 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (history), he gains a +2 bonus on this check.) The dilettante cannot take 10 or take 20 on this check.

DC Type of Knowledge
10 Common, known by at least a substantial minority of people.
20 Uncommon but available, known by only a few people.
25 Obscure, known by few, hard to come by.
30 Extremely obscure, known by very few, possibly forgotten by most who once knew it, possibly known only by those who don't understand the significance of the knowledge.

Information Network: The Dilettante gains the ability to make any Knowledge check, even untrained, by leveraging his network of sources. Making a Knowledge check in this way requires at least half an hour (often longer), and the ability to communicate with some sort of civilized community. Using his network, the Dilettante get a circumstance bonus to a trained knowledge check equal to his Dilettante level. This ability can be used after attempting a knowledge check without use of the network. Any untrained knowledge checks get no bonuses, but a check that fails by 5 or less can also unveil the name and location of somebody who might possess the knowledge in question.

Quick Tongue (Ex): A Dilettante relies on his ability to convince others to his point of view, and is exceptionally quick at making his point. A Dilettante gains a +2 circumstance bonus to any rushed speaking action, including the use of bluff or intimidate in battle or making a rushed diplomacy check (usually taken at a -10 penalty). This does not include the use of bluff to feint, as that is not a speaking skill. The bonus increases by an additional +2 every 4th level.

Market Savvy: The Dilettante gains the ability to get the upper hand in business dealings. When dealing with NPC merchants, the Dilettante may make an opposed Appraise check, then an opposed Diplomacy check. If he succeeds on both checks, his purchases from that merchant are made at 2% less per class level, and anything he sells to that merchant sells for 2% more per class level. If the Dilettante plans to spend a day going through many stores, roll a single Appraise and Diplomacy check for the entire day.

Smooth Talker (Ex): The Dilettante is always careful with words, and even a slip of the tongue can be fixed. Once per encounter, the Dilettante can retry a failed bluff, diplomacy, or intimidate check in a situation where it would normally not be allowed at the same DC. If the new roll beats the DC by more than 5 the check succeeds. If the new roll beats the DC by less than 5, the check does not succeed but the penalties for a failed check are not applied.

Inspiring Presence (Ex): The Dilettante gives a +1 morale bonus to ability checks, attack rolls, and skill checks to all allies who can perceive him. This bonus increases by 1 at every 4th level afterwards. The benefit provided by this ability can never exceed the Dilettante's Charisma modifier, and he is unaffected by his own Inspiring Presence.

Acquisition): A Dilettante can use his resources to obtain items or services that would not normally be available. This is done by rolling a knowledge check against a DC to find the item. For instance, if a samurai's katana was destroyed and no replacement can be found, the Dilettante can ask his network to find a seller. The Dilettante rolls a Dilettante's Knowledge check, and i/f successful finds a seller. Another example is finding a ship's captain who will give you free passage because he owes one of your contacts a favor.

Motivation (Ex): The Dilettante can take a full action to motivate an ally who can perceive him. The Dilettante adds a +2 morale bonus to any ability check, AC, attack roll, save, or skill check. This ability lasts for one round from when the Dilettante grants the bonus. This ability does not grant an attack of opportunity. It also does not affect the user.

Reliable Sources: The Dilettante's network is reliable enough to provide good information every time. The Dilettante can take 10 on any Knowledge or Dilettante's Knowledge check.

Improved Motivation (Ex): The same as Motivation, but the +2 morale bonus lasts for the next 1d4+1 rounds. Alternately, 1d4+1 allies can receive the +2 morale bonus for one round once the Dilettante grants the bonus.

Mass Motivation (Ex): The same as Improved Motivation, except that it grants the +2 bonus to all allies who can perceive him for 1d4+1 rounds.


And Ex-Dilettante is one who has run afoul of his social network. There are many ways this can happen - such as being declared and outlaw - but in all cases it involves being shunned by the people you normally would contact. Even then, an ex-dilettante is rarely completely cut off from all his sources. To make use of his information network to learn or acquire something, the ex-dilettante must make a diplomacy check to convince the contact to work with him again. Any other Dilettante powers function as normal, and the ex-dilettante remains that way until his connections have been restored.

Epic <-class name->[edit]

Table: The Epic Dilettante

Hit Die: d<-Die size for Hit Die->

Level Special
21st Inspiring Presence (+5)
22nd Quick Tongue (+12)
23rd Bonus Feat
25th Inspiring Presence (+6)
26th Quick Tongue (+18)
27th Bonus Feat
29th Inspiring Presence (+7)
30th Quick Tongue (+20)

8 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Human Dilettante Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Rapier.

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 8 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor Check Penalty
Appraise 4 Int
Bluff 4 Cha
Diplomacy 4 Cha
Disguise 4 Cha
Gather Information 4 Cha
Intimidate 4 Cha
Knowledge (Geography) 4 Int
Knowledge (History) 4 Int
Knowledge (Local) 4 Int
Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) 4 Int
Sense Motive 4 Wis

Feat: Combat Expertise.

Bonus Feat: Negotiator.

Gear: Standard Adventurer's Kit, Courtier's Outfit and Jewelry.

Gold: 7d4.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Dilettante[edit]

Religion: The Dilettante has no specific tie to any religion, but often follows the religion of the court. They will also sometimes follow religions who have presences in many towns.

Other Classes: The Dilettante has a through understanding of the talents and capabilities of those around him. He does not hold prejudice against any class or race, even if he wouldn't normally associate with them. In an adventure, the Dilettante serves as the face of the group when dealing with figures of authority, even if they are not the face when dealing with other groups. Dilettantes deal very well with Bards and other Dilettantes, as both groups can provide information. The Dilettante works well with Barbarians, Fighters, and Rogues even though he might not want to be associated with their uncouth manners in public. Clerics and Paladins do not often share similar goals to the Dilettante, but bring religious status that the Dilettante might not otherwise have. Rangers and Druids do not share much in common with the Dilettante, and often have little concern for the kinds of information the Dilettante is looking for.

Combat: The Dilettante does not have a particular aptitude for combat, preferring instead to avoid problems or find some other way to resolve them. Rather than fight his way out of a prison, he would prefer to bribe the guard to release him and his companions. When combat is imminent the Dilettante will use a quickened diplomacy check to try and stop it, if at all possible. When forced into combat, the Dilettante prefers to let his friends take control while he helps as he can. The Dilettante uses feint (or Improved Feint) to throw enemies off guard, or uses Intimidate to demoralize his enemies. He also uses combat expertise to fight defensively, attacking only when the advantage is his.

Advancement: The Dilettante has no particular rules against multi-classing, but care must be taken that the new direction the Dilettante has taken does not interfere with his reputation. Gained skills as a rogue or bard might not cause him to be ostracized, but a level of barbarian likely would. The skills gained as a Dilettante are difficult to come by for characters who are out adventuring, as the information network if often gained as a Dilettante grows. As such, a character cannot become a Dilettante after 1st level unless he spends at least 12 months dedicated to making social and business connections, and is accepted as a member of high-society. An ex-dilettante cannot advance as a dilettante until he is once again accepted into his society.

Dilettantes in the World[edit]

The Baron asked me to rid him of the Orcs who had been ambushing his trade routes, but was reluctant to send any of his own men to aid me. I sought out the Elves of the forest, who are no friends of the Orcs, and asked if they would be willing to help. They agreed, so long as I returned to them an escaped convict who had been hiding in our city. It was trivial to... procure the convict and return him to the Elves. There were no more ambushes after that.
—Maricus, Human Dilettante

The dilettante is a dabbler - dabbling in all forms of knowledge and all sorts of affairs. He uses his status to make connections will people who possess talents the dilettante does not, becoming more resourceful because of it. They are often found settled in a city, arranging business connections. They're keenly aware of the city's politics, who possess which assets and who wants them, and the goings-on of lands both near and far. They often have business operations going on behind their social dealings - tying together their bevy of talented acquaintances together to reach a goal not commonly shared. They are often called upon by nobles to solve problems quietly or without expending resources, and often will agree to help for future favor - useful to call upon later.

Adventuring dilettantes are often younger - not yet established in any town - but still well connected. As they travel they find more people to add to their networks. They often adventure at the request of a noble, as part of a much larger plan, or even just to gain more experience to aid in their futures as members of the court.

Daily Life: The dilettante spends most of his day out around town, attending to affairs of court and business.

Notables: Dilettantes are always found in noble courts and many Royal advisors use the information networks they gained as Dilettantes.

Organizations: Dilettantes always come from noble courts. There are always a handfull of Dilettantes at any formal gathering of the court. Most of the time, though, Dilettantes who know each other will meet to extend their information networks to obtain knowledge that would otherwise be unavailable.

NPC Reactions: NPCs show the Dilettante the respect (or contempt) they would normally show a member of the noble court. This can lead to preferential treatment - or becoming targets of robbers. This fact causes most Dilettantes to travel cautiously or to dress as common travelers, where their manners seem out of place.

Dilettante Lore[edit]

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

Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty)
DC Result
5 The Dilettante is raised in privilege, and is considered a member of the noble court.
10 The Dilettante uses their privilege to gather knowledge about the kingdom.
15 The Dilettante gains this knowledge though a large network of informants and friends.
20 The Dilettante can use his network to obtain things normally impossible to obtain otherwise.

Dilettantes in the Game[edit]

Adaptation: A dilettante does not always need to be a noble in high status: any social class that would facilitate having an information network can work as well as the nobles. You could have a merchant dilettante, with business contacts in every town. While he would lose influence amongst the nobility, he would gain additional influence amongst other traders, and know more information about markets than he would the royal court.

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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