Pumpkinhead (3.5e Prestige Class)

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D-d-id you he-hear it-t?
—Bembo, an unlucky gnome

Pumpinkheads are odd characters that enjoy fear a little too much, appearing on certain nights to torment, scare, trick and eat candies at the expense of other people. They are rarely identified as they conceal their faces with pumpkins, hence their name, and disappear for long times after the night of revelry. They wear long magic capes, usually a deep purple, with gaunt features, changed by their obsession with scaring and be scared, and pumpkins carved with a frightening grin.

Becoming a Pumpkinhead[edit]

Shy and solitary characters, who are always afraid but also like to be scared and like scary things may pursue this class. Usually rogues and bards follow this path but also rangers, some warriors, scouts, spellthieves, ninjas, hexblades, swashbucklers, jesters, mountebanks and beguilers are attracted to the class (really the only thing you need is some skill and to be a very odd person). You need high Dexterity and either Intelligence or Charisma for spellcasting.

Entry Requirements
Skills: Disguise 8 ranks.
Special: Must possess a cape of the mountebank and wear a pumpkin on their heads.

If it has minor change shape as a racial ability or as a spell-like ability it may not meet the ranks in Disguise.

Must not be immune to fear, when entering the class.

Table: The Pumpkinhead

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spellcasting

(only for bards, spellthieves,

hexblades, jesters and beguilers)

Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Scare attack +1d6, Superior cape +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class 1 0
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Jack's lanterns +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class 2 1 0
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Frank's bolts, Scare attack +1d6 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class 3 2 1 0
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Ghastly appearance +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class 3 3 2 1 0
5th +3 +2 +4 +4 Ghost cape, Scare attack +1d6 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class 4 3 3 2 1
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Mummy's patches +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class 4 4 3 3 2
7th +5 +3 +5 +5 Cape daredevil, Scare attack +1d6 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class 4 4 4 3 3

Class Skills (8 + Int modifier per level)

Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Cos), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the pumpkinhead.

Weapons and Armors proficiency: A pumpkinhead gains no proficiency with weapons or armors. A pumpkinhead can cast pumpkinhead spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. However, like any other arcane spellcaster, a pumpkinhead 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. A multiclass pumpkinhead still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.

Spellcasting: At each level, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level, only for bards, spellthieves, hexblades, jesters and beguilers. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one arcane spellcasting class before becoming a pumpkinhead, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.

Spells: Only if you don't have or don't want to continue the progression in your spellcasting class (see above). To cast a particular spell, you must have an Intelligence or Charisma (your choice but once chosen you can't change it) score of at least 10 + the spell's level. Your bonus spells are based on your Intelligence or Charisma. Saves to avoid the effects of your spells have a DC of 10 + the spell's level + your Intelligence/Charisma bonus (if any). At every even level you can change one spell per spell level you know with another of the same level from the spell list.

You cast spells as a sorcerer does. Table: Pumpkinhead Spells Known, below, details how many spells you can learn at each level.

Scare attack: Similar to sneak attack this class feature allows the pumpkinhead to deal more damage with its attacks, but only against enemies scared (shaken, frightened or in panic or similar conditions) or unaware (in this case it stacks with sneak attack and sudden attack). It increases by +1d6 at 3rd, 5th and 7th level.

Superior cape (Su): When using a cape of the mountebank you can use the dimension door effect a number of times per day equal to 1 + your Dexterity modifier. It's a free action and you add your class level to the caster level of the effect.

Jack's lanterns (Sp): You form a number of will-o'-wisp like flames, usually yellow and purple in color, that float around you. You create one per class level per encounter but anytime someone in 60 feet (18 meters) from you becomes shaken, frightened or panicked (including yourself, and you can use this ability even in fright or panic) you can form an additional sphere up to your class level (again). You can throw this spheres with a range of 60 feet (18 meters) without penalty, this is a ranged touch attack. On a successful hit the target must make a Will save (DC=11 + ability modifier for your spellcasting + class level) to prevent becoming shaken. If it's already shaken or frightened its condition is aggravated by one step. A panicked foe stricken takes damage equal to 1d6 per class level and suffers even the effect of Scare attack. At 6th level you can throw three flames per round instead of one. The caster level for this ability is double the class level.

Frank's bolts (Sp): One time per your spellcasting ability modifier per day you can unleash a ray of lighting from your hands. This works as the spell burning hands except it's a touch attack and counts as a 2nd level spell, its damage max at your class level and not at 5d4 and its range is 40 feet (12 meters).

Ghastly appearence (Ex): You intimidate as a swift action and any target affected is shaken for the entire encounter or until you are beaten or dead. A shaken enemy could become frightened, but this ability doesn't send targets flying in panic. You gain a bonus on Intimidate checks equal to your class level.

Ghost cape (Su): By covering your head with the cape you render yourself ethereal as a ghost. This effects lasts one minute (you can split the time) and it activates and deactivates as a move action. You gain all the features of an incorporeal creature, a deviation bonus to AC equal to you Dexterity modifier and a fly speed of 10 feet (3 meters) with perfect maneuverability. If you return normal inside of something you take 5d6 of damage and you are pushed out through the shortest route. Caster level is equal to your level.

Mummy's patches (Ex): Your skin becomes hardened as if mummified. You gain DR 3/-.

Caped devil (Su): You can use the power of the cape of the mountebank as an immediate action and a number of times per day equal to your class level + your Dexterity modifier. You can use the Ghost cape effect as a swift action, up to two minutes per day (you can split the time).


1st— alarm, animate rope, aspect of the wolf, arcane mark, attract fine vermin, babau slime, backbiter, benign transposition, cause fear, critical strike, dancing lights, dead end, detect magic, detect secret doors, disarm, disguise self, distracting shadows, doom, ectoplasmic armor, entangle, entropic shield, faerie fire, ghost light, ghost pipes, ghost sound, glimpse of fear, grease, hold portal, instant diversion, magic mouth, mimicry, net of shadows, obscure object, obscuring mist, pass without trace, phantom threat, prestidigitation, shadow play, silent images, silent portal, 'skull snare, sleep, smoke ladder, sticky floor, unnerving gaze, ventriloquism, whelm.

2nd— alter self, arcane lock, bewildering substitution, bewildering visions, Bigby's tripping hand, blur, briar web, burrow, city lights, control darkness and shadow, daggerspell stance, darkness, dark way, death armor, devil's eye, dimension hop, dirge of discord, fog cloud, ghoul glyph, ghoul touch, glitterdust great alarm, insidious insight, invisibility, minor image, mirror image, phade's fearsome aspect, phantasmal assailants, phantom foe, phantom trap, portal alarm, scare, see invisibility, shadow mask, shadow spray, shatter, silence,slapping hand, smoke stairs, spectral hand, summon swarm, undetectable alignment, visage of the dead, wall of gloom, web, woodland veil, wraithstrike.

3rd— amorphous form, anticipate teleportation, bedevil, bestow curse, bite of the werewolf, blacklight, blink, blindsight, boneblade, continual flame, corpse candle, curse of the putrid husk, darksight, decoy image, deep slumber, deeper darkness, dispel magic, displacement, foil tracer, grasping wall, haunting tune, illusory script, improved arcane lock, legion of sentinels, major image, mass curse of impending blade, nondetection, phantasmal decoy, phantom guardians, regroup, reveille, sculpt sound, sensory deprivation, shadow binding, skull watch, speak with dead, spiderskin, sticks and stones, suspended silence, veil of shadow, vertigo field, vine mine, winding alleys.

4th— assassin's darkness, burning blood, burrowing bony digits, create fetch, crushing despair, dancing chains, darkfire, deeper darkness, defenestrating sphere, doom scarabs, early twilight, ebon ray of doom, ethereal mount, fear, find the gaps, freedom of movement, ghost knight, greater floating disk, greater invisibility,hallucinatory terrain, illusory wall, mirror image, greater, phantasmal killer, phantom battle, serpent arrows, shadow conjuration, shadow phase, shadow well, skull of secrets, sphere of terror, zone of silence.

5th—bleed, blindness/deafness, break enchantement, crawling darkness, dream, false sending, false vision, fiendform, ghost storm, haunt shift, imbue with spell ability, inescapable swarm, mirage arcana, necrotic skull bomb, nightmare, nighstalker's transformation, persistent image, scyllan scream, shadow evocation, shadow form, spirit self, spirit wall, teleport block, teleport redirect, touch of the pharaoh.

Table: Pumpkinhead Spells Known
Level Spells Known
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1st 2 1
2nd 3 2
3rd 3 3 1
4th 4 4 2
5th 4 4 3 1
6th 4 4 4 2 2
7th 4 4 4 3 3


A pumpkinhead cannot use its class abilities or continue in the class if it becomes immune to fear. To inflict dread you must first feel it.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Pumpkinhead[edit]

Combat: Pumpkinhead are second line combatant, filling a similar role to rogue or weaker spellcasters with a roster of other abilities to help. It's primarily a debuffer and a scout, preferring to hit while flanking or hidden or, even better, while the enemy is fleeing in panic. Your combat style may change based on the spells and feats you have, and the class you belonged in the first place.

Advancement: This class has few levels so it may be acceptable take them all. Anyway even few levels should make the job for what you are searching.

Resources: Pumpkinhead have no formal organization but they are usually friendly with one another, often pairing or teaming up with one another to wreak havoc among people.

Pumpkinheads in the World[edit]

I'm the specter of the night, the laughing thing under your bed, th-EEEEK! A MOUSE!

They are reclusive and usually go unnoticed, often considered as ghosts or other supernatural phenomena. When captured they are usually punished, as harshly as noisy people are treated in that community. When they don't wear pumpkin and cape they are usually similar to their former class.

NPC Reactions: NPCs reacts first with fear and dread and then with anger, when they hear laughter under their window. Kids are peculiar: they may be terrified or amused by pumpkinheads, depending on how they react to their shenanigans.

Pumpkinhead Lore[edit]

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

Knowledge (local)
DC Result
11 They are noisy pranksters that love to scare people, their giggling accompanies them everywhere.
16 Maybe you should fear, literally, these madmen: their actions have lead more than one person to the grave.
21 They gather in particular nights to scare citizens. Could it have a particular meaning?
26 Some rumor that they worship some kind of god of fear that lends them powers and their annual "missions" are really cerimonies.

Pumpkinheads in the Game[edit]

Pumpkinheads should fill the same role of the class they came from: they are basically skill-monkeys and pranksters.

Adaptation: This class prefers an urban setting but it's not bound in any way to it. If you don't mind a bit of humorism this class is very adaptable in any campaign.

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

EL whatever: <-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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