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Thursday, October 20, 2022

[Release] Courtiers: Envoys and Peacemakers on DM'S Guild

So what is this you ask? How did that come about? Why do I need this for my game?

Well "Courtier" is a full 20-level class that allows you to create a jack of all trade focused on Charisma. It occupies a role between the bard and the rogue: it is less magically-focused than the bard and more "trick"-based than the rogue. Closer to a non-combat rogue from Pathfinder v1 (before it was retooled). 

These tricks allow you to do minor dips and get a number of special abilities that include some minor spellcasting abilities, to mirror abilities of other classes, to getting a yojimbo, to the ability to gain resistance to some damage types. The trick here is that courtiers are great toolboxes that give you a lot of customization options. And if a trick no longer applies or lost its shine, you can swap them out when you gain a new level. 

This product was designed during the writing process for the upcoming Ozaka setting. Now this idea of playing a courtier or noble is not new to me and my games. Years ago, I wrote Gostor Nobles for Pathfinder v1. It was based on the original class by PCI. 

While there is no doubt that Courtier inherits some ideas from that product, it is at the same time something different. Whereas Nobles put the character in the role of a member of a ruling elite, Courtier makes the character someone in the employ of a powerful. 

Why are not all courtiers nobles? Well... that's where character creation and the background feature of 5e comes into play. Was your character born into abject poverty and clawed his way to this position? What if you were a charlatan who impersonated a diplomat and you turned out to be really good at it? I never hid the fact that I love 5e's background feature and that your background comes into play during my games. So one of the design changed was to focus on separating the background from the class and to let the character build and tell his own story.

Why do I need this for my game? Well... a courtier gives you a lot of versatility in how you decide to built your character and your bard does not have to do all the talking anymore. 

Courtiers will be present in our iconic characters coming in 2023. Not sure which just yet. But there WILL be a courtier. Want to know more? It is currently available on the  DM's Guild.

Oh! And a big thanks to the British Shark and John Ridley (Inspector97) for the interior art!

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