The Jack-of-all-Trades

I was having a drink at Tenkar’s Tavern, when I overheard his musing about making a bard-ier bard than I did in NOD 1. I commented that one possibility for a different bard would be one that can sort of “fake” the class abilities of other classes. The idea lodged in my head, and so I whipped up this goofy class.

Oh, and this baby is Open Game Content

The jack-of-all-trades (and yes, there are female jacks – just adjust the verbiage as you see fit, maybe jill-of-all-trades) is a wandering ne’er-do-well that has seen it all and done it all – at least, that’s the way he tells it. Truthfully, he is an observant fellow always on the look for an opportunity, and that includes a bit of tomb robbing and dungeon delving when the pickings have been slim. The jack has the enviable ability to play at all the different classes of fantasy adventurer, though they do best at emulating the thief. But, in a sticky situation, he might recall the way that wizard once levitated himself out of a pit – he said something like “Abra Kadabra” and then set a feather atop his head – or maybe when presented by a clutch of angry kobolds, he recalls the way that fighting-man held off a whole gang by himself using only the pieces of a broken chair.

Prime Requisite: Charisma, 13+ gives a +5% bonus to earned XP.

Hit Dice: 1d8 per level to level 9, +2 hit points per level thereafter.

Weapons: Any.

Armor: Leather and shield.

Jack-of-all-Trades Abilities
The Jack-of-all-Trades uses the cleric’s combat matrix.

Everybody’s Pal: The jack-of-all-trades gets around, and he knows how to work a crowd. Most jack’s can play an instrument, dance, sing, tell stories and do minor tricks. They receive a +1 (or +5%) on reaction checks (double with dragons) and always leave a tavern with at least one rumor.

Background: Even a first level jack-of-all-trades has a bit of history under his belt. Choose one of the following backgrounds for your little scoundrel.

Acolyte: He was thrown out of the seminary/temple school for unworthy behavior, possibly with women of ill repute or for stealing the holy wine. He has a +5% chance to emulate cleric abilities and is literate.

Apprentice: He was dropped by his eldritch master for something referred to only as “the incident” – brooms might have been involved. He has a +5% chance to emulate magic-user and is literate.

Soldier: He deserted from the army on the eve of a major battle, possibly with his fellows’ pay. He has a +5% chance to emulate fighting-man abilities and can wear chainmail (though doing so spoils his use of magic-user and thief abilities).

Bits and Pieces: The jack-of-all-trades wanders widely and rubs elbows with a diverse crowd. As he walks through life, he learns bits and pieces from others, and he is always observing and making notes. This gives the jack-of-all-trades a percentage chance to use the abilities of the other classes (see advancement table below).

Cleric abilities usable by the jack-of-all-trades include turning undead, casting cleric spells and using cleric scrolls. When attempting to cast a cleric spell, divide the jack’s percentage chance of success by the level. Fouling up a cleric ability carries with it a 1% chance of divine retribution, the exact form of which is up to the Referee.

Fighting-Man abilities include making multiple attacks against creatures with less than 1 Hit Dice (the jack need only make the roll once per fight) and using magic items only usable by fighting-men.

Magic-User abilities include casting magic-user spells and the use of staves, wands and magic-user scrolls. As with casting cleric spells, you must divide the jack’s chance of success by the level of the magic-user spell he is attempting. Fouling up a magic-user ability carries with it a 1% chance of ill consequences (roll 1d6 on the table below).

Thief abilities include speaking the cant and back stabbing. The jack-of-all-trades also has a percentage chance to use a thief’s other abilities (climb walls, pick pockets, etc) equal to half that of a true thief of the same level.

Whether the jack’s ability to ape these classes applies to “sub-classes” (the monk, druid, etc), is up to the Referee. Perhaps the jack’s player might have to choose whether he can emulate the class or one of the sub-classes, just to keep things even.