PUPPETEER

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The tradition of puppetry as a means of entertainment, education, and religious observance is present in many cultures of many worlds, from shadow puppets manipulated in front of a torch, ceramic automatons serving tea, or a simple stocking with a hand thrust into it. Infusing magic into puppetry creates an amazing art form, and those who are enchanted by puppetry have taken that art into new, magical dimensions.

Puppeteers come from several paths of adventure, most commonly bards, who are interested in the entertainment part of the tradition, but both wizards and summoners dabble in puppetry, the former for the access to some measure of wealth, perhaps, but definitely a shortcut to power, and the latter for the continuation of their magical enterprises in control. The real and perceived invincibility of constructs being what it is, puppeteers are more than simple performers for crowds, and they are pioneers in an ancient art, a force to be reckoned with by the world at large.

Role: A puppeteer adventures mostly to see his wonderful creations in action; they are what brings him joy and satisfaction. The need for more power to create more intricate puppets also drives puppeteers to adventure, and they need companions to protect and support them in this manner. Puppeteers that come from a bardic background enjoy pleasing crowds and easily slip into the role of support, continuing to do so in their unique way. The puppets that they create are works of art to a puppeteer, both in aesthetic and deadly ways, and the variety of forms that they create are often of great interest to companions and crowds alike.

Alignment: Puppeteers are subject to as many motivations as any other adventurer, though the discipline and precision of puppetry tends to draw them away from chaotic alignments. Puppeteers are just as likely to pursue evil goals as good ones, and to selfishly hoard their “friends” for themselves as share their performances with the world.

Hit Dice: d8

REQUIREMENTS

To qualify to become a puppeteer, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria:
Skills: Craft (cloth, paper or wood) 5 ranks; [[[Perform]] (act) 5 ranks; when a character becomes a puppeteer, these ranks thereafter become ranks in Perform (puppetry).
Feat: Craft Wondrous Item
Spells: Must be able to cast the spell summon monster II.

CLASS SKILLS

The puppeteer’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Knowledge (all), Linguistics (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Cha), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex) and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Table 1 - The Puppeteer
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spellcasting
1st +0 +0 +1 +1 Animate puppet I, puppetry +1 existing level
2nd +1 +1 +1 +1 Animate puppet II +1 existing level
3rd +2 +1 +2 +2 Construct Crafter
4th +3 +1 +2 +2 Animate puppet III +1 existing level
5th +3 +2 +3 +3 Animate puppet IV +1 existing level
6th +4 +2 +3 +3 Puppet Master
7th +5 +2 +4 +4 Touch of the Maker +1 existing level
8th +6 +3 +4 +4 Animate puppet V +1 existing level
9th +6 +3 +5 +5 Share senses
10th +7 +3 +5 +5 Puppet Mastery +1 existing level

CLASS FEATURES

All of the following are class features of the puppeteer prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Puppeteers gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Puppetry (Su): At 1st level, a puppeteer is skilled at manipulating others; they add their puppeteer level in rounds to the duration of any enchantment spell that they cast.

Animate Puppet I-V (Sp): Starting at 1st level, a puppeteer can animate previously constructed puppets that will arise and do his bidding, as minor constructs. These puppets act as animated objects, but are animated for 1 minute per puppeteer level.

To use this ability, the puppetmaster cast a summon monster spell to summon an elemental spirit to inhabit the puppet. A summon monster I animates a Tiny animated object, summon monster II a Small animated object, //summon monster III a Medium animated object, summon monster IV a Large animated object, and summon monster V a Huge animated object.

An individual puppet takes 10 minutes per size category to create, and requires an appropriate Craft check of 15 + the spell level to create effectively. The puppeteer will have to incorporate 50 gp worth of personally carried materials per puppet size, expended whether the check is successful or not. Each time thereafter that a puppet is animated in this manner, they will have to reapply 50 gp worth of sapphire dust per puppet size as part of the process. The puppets can be created ahead of time to be animated later.

Puppets obey their creator implicitly in all ways, acting as constructs in all other ways. When the animation period of a puppet expires, the inert form can be used again normally.

Construct Crafter (Ex): At 3rd level, a puppeteer gains Craft Construct as a bonus feat, without needing Craft Magic Arms and Armor. If the puppeteer possesses Craft Magic Arms and Armor as a feat as well, (and at any time thereafter) they may reduce the cost of the construct by 10%.

Puppet Master (Su): At 6th level, a puppeteer can exert their control more effectively over the living. They add +1 to the DC of any enchantment spell they cast, and an additional +1 to the DC of any spell from the charm or compulsion school.

Touch of the Maker (Ex): At 7th level, the puppeteer reveals the skill of years of making intricate items. They add their puppeteer class level to any Craft checks. Additionally, any puppets they currently have animated can be used to deliver touch spells.

Share Senses (Su): At 9th level, the puppeteer can share the senses of a puppet, construct, or summoned creature that he creates or summons, for the entire time of its existence. While he is doing this, he lacks all senses in his own body, which behaves as if stunned.

Puppet Mastery (Ex): At 10th level, a puppeteer gains knowledge of the construction of animated things and objects. The animated puppets attacks bypass the DR of all constructs, increase their critical threat range by 1 for all attacks. You may also add the spell control construct (from Ultimate Magic) to the list of 6th level spells of whatever spell list the puppeteer is using; it does not make the spell automatically available to the puppeteer if they are not a high enough spellcaster level to cast it.