Dragon Compendium Core Classes

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Battle Dancer: Wherever slavery has arisen, those oppressed by tyranny must find subtle ways to topple their masters. In most tyrannical regimes arms, armor, spells, and other potential weapons undergo tight control. A slave with a sword is a rebel. Thus, oppressive regimes do everything within their power to keep their vassals unarmed. The battle dancer’s art arose among the oppressed, the enslaved, and those trod upon by tyranny’s iron-shod boots. Whether they first appeared in a drow city’s slave pits, a tyrant’s cages, or elsewhere, none can say. The battle dancer’s art arose under the innocent facade of dances, stories, and songs that slaves used to entertain themselves during their few free moments. Even the most vicious lord knows to sometimes spare the lash: A slave with nothing left to lose is a slave who rebels. The battle dancer’s fighting abilities resemble a monk’s martial arts. Where a monk embraces order and focus, the battle dancer revels in chaos and wild, frenetic maneuvers. A monk trains under a master to gird her mind and body against attacks and deadly magical effects. The battle dancer learns to hit hard and hit often via a training regimen that turns her into a living weapon.
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Death Master: The death master is a minion of Orcus, the lord of the undead. Armed with a powerful combination of divine and arcane magic, the death master is the unquestioned master of necromancy. He gains a series of boons from Orcus that allows him to spread terror and fear across the land. Even some of the mightiest undead creatures see him as a worthy leader. While rare, the magical powers and deadly abilities of death masters allow them to cause far more damage than their numbers would otherwise allow.
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Jester: The jester masters a style of performance and magic similar to the bard’s. While a bard sings to inspire courage and arouse hope in his friends, the jester uses his razor wit and comedic put downs to devastate his enemies. The jester’s style of performance allows him to find flaws in others and exploit them with his cruel sense of humor. Most jesters serve as fools and comedians in the courts of powerful nobles. Their comedy serves to lighten the mood in the royal court, while a jester’s jibes and puns can put a king’s political enemies in their place. A jester’s magic comes from his ability to find humor in even the grimmest situation. Even while a fierce battle rages around him, the jester finds reason to make merry. Evil jesters see life as a running joke, with the punchline the pain, suffering, and torment they inflict on others. Good jesters see their role as providing relief and support to others. Neutral jesters are merely observers who report on the odd coincidences, grim ironies, and bitter comedy of life.
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Mountebank: The mountebank is a trickster allied with the fell-powers of the Outer Planes: the herald of a demon prince, a duke of Hell, or a similar power. Some mountebanks seek out such an alliance, their thirst for power blotting out any fears they might have of eternal damnation or servitude. Other mountebanks are opportunists forced to embrace an infernal pact for lack of any better options. In any case, the mountebank is a master trickster who derives power from her link to a dark master. Mountebanks excel at manipulating others with careful lies, ruses, and other stratagems. Their connection to the dark powers allows them to generate magical effects that normally require extensive arcane training and skill to create. Their hypnotic gaze can leave even the stoutest warriors vulnerable to attack, while their magical talents make them almost impossible to trap. Mountebanks thrive on swindling the trusting, stealing from those who use their wealth to help others, and doing whatever else they can to spread misery. Some mountebanks fight against the temptation to do evil. These brave souls strike a bargain with evil and try to turn it against their foul masters. Few of them succeed.
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Savant: The savant is an adventurous expert, an academic who seeks to expand his knowledge of the world by actively exploring it. Savants learn a little bit of everything. Much of their knowledge comes from striking out into foreign lands and strange cultures. While a sage or other academic relies on sprawling libraries and careful study to expand his knowledge, the savant plunges into the world and uncovers truths long overlooked or lost to the mists of history.
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Sha’ir: The traders speak of a distant land where genies walk the streets, where princes fly upon carpets, and where desert winds sing promises of earthly delights. Even the most skeptical adventurer realizes that a nation of vast power lies somewhere across the seas, and that its civilization was old before recorded history began. This quixotic land, where fate determines the fortunes of the most tyrannical desert princes and the humblest of beggars, calls out to those who would learn its secrets. The enigmatic sha’irs are the sages of this mysterious land—the primary arbiters between the immensely powerful genie-kind and the mortal natives. Feared for their mysterious ways, the sha’irs are also revered by the people. Some of the most powerful caliphs employ these respected Spellcasters as advisors. Steeped in ancient lore, the sha’ir enjoys a cultural acceptance of their sorcerous power that is found nowhere else in the world. The chief reason for this appreciation of sha’irs is that their exquisite finesse allows them to parley with the ancient, powerful forces of the desert. In fact, genies forced to deal with mortals often refuse to interact with anyone other than a sha’ir. A sha’ir could find his way into a traditional campaign in a number of ways. An angry genie could use a powerful spell to send him across the cosmos, or a curious sha’ir might travel across land and sea to visit distant regions of your campaign world. Between commerce, diplomacy, or even war, the sha’ir’s arcane traditions could slowly filter across the world. The sha’ir’s magical tradition could even originate on a different plane and make its way to your world via planar travel.
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Urban Druid: The frenzied surge of a riot, the stately presence of a cathedral, the constant vigilance of the city watch, the slow decay of worm-eaten waterfront buildings-to most, these things are nothing more than the results of civilization, but to a rare few, they represent something more. To these few, the milling of pedestrians in a busy marketplace is akin to the industry of an ant colony. The towering statues erected to honor bygone dynasties are as pure as the mightiest redwood tree. The cobblestone and dirt streets are arteries of life. To these few, civilization represents a powerful force in and of itself, opposed to but not necessarily in conflict with nature. Just as nature has those who venerate and worship its purity and strength, so does the city have its faithful. They tend to be solitary and introverted, despite living in urban environments. They are physically alone but spiritually connected to the secret voices of the city itself. They are the urban druids. The urban druid knows that each city is, after a fashion, a living organism. Each city has its own personality, its own joys, and its own nightmares. The presence of its citizens are its voice, and the memories of its dead are its soul. The buildings are its bones, the streets its veins, and the protective walls its skin. Its eyes are the market, and its ears the port. Urban druids draw their power from the city and return it tenfold with devotion and faith.

Dragon Compendium Core Classes

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