In case you didn’t know, Old Spice released a class for the Pathfinder RPG called the Gentleman, and while I wasn’t going to cry Hail Corporate!, because I do really appreciate Old Spice attempting to actually construct a proper class as part of their relatively-pro-consumer marketing campaign instead of phoning in a pandering appeal to tabletop gamers with a GIF of a d20 being rolled next to their fast food (you know who you are, Arby’s), I did find some problems with Old Spice Gentleman class. They used a ton of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons terminology (like Wisdom saving throw and reaction), but I don’t particularly mind, because anyone familiar with Pathfinder could figure it out pretty quickly since they only used it on things with analogs in Pathfinder (Will saves and immediate actions, respectively). They also included a really weird version of chivalry in the first draft that felt like what a socially awkward 15-year-old who wears fedoras frequently would think being a gentleman is like, but they mostly corrected that in the updated version of the class they released. So, let’s get started on our in-depth mechanical analysis and rework of Old Spice Gentleman class!
Hit dice and BAB:
The Gentleman is given a d10 hit die along with a full base attack bonus progression, good fortitude save progression, light armor, and martial weapon proficiency, making it combat capable like fighters or rangers.
The skill ranks per level should be 6 + Int, not 5 + Int.
The Gentleman’s class skills are Acrobatics, Appraise, Bluff, Climb, Craft, Diplomacy, Disguise, Escape Artist, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Knowledge (geography), Knowledge (nobility), Linguistics, Perform, Profession, Ride, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Survival, Swim. Evidently, this class is intended for intrigue based games, rather than straight dungeon crawls.
This ability just gives the Gentleman a bonus to his AC equal to his Charisma modifier if he is wearing his Gentleman uniform, which is composed of essentially a nice tuxedo. Here are the changes I’d make to this ability:
- The wording of the ability should be “While wearing his uniform, a Gentleman gains a bonus to his AC equal to his Charisma modifier” and not “When the Gentleman wears his uniform, his AC is 10 + his Dexterity modifier + his Charisma modifier” since Pathfinder uses cumulative AC rather than set AC like fifth edition
- The uniform should have a cost equal to 50 gp + 200 gp per Gentleman level he has, including uniforms gained at later levels through the wardrobe change ability; the Gentleman starts with his uniform at first level, and gains the later uniforms for free at the appropriate levels. These uniforms may be magically enchanted or enhanced like suits of masterwork armor; this increases the hardness and HP accordingly.
- The uniform should also have a hardness (5 + 1/4 Gentleman class level), and and an HP value (15 + Gentleman level) in case an enemy tries to sunder his uniform.
- The uniform should also have a donning/doffing time like any other armor. I’d suggest a full-round action.
- Finally, I’d grant the Gentleman a +2 circumstance bonus to Perception checks made in bright light when wearing his tinted eyeglasses, and make donning or doffing them a move action.
- The eyeglasses should have a cost of 50 gp + 50 gp per Gentleman level, with a hardness of 5 + 1/4 Gentleman class level and an HP value of 10 + 1/2 Gentleman class level.
This ability essentially allows the Gentleman to grant an ally an extra 1d6 to use on one attack roll, saving throw, or skill check. This ability also scales with the Gentleman’s level in power, granting an additional 1d6 to roll every 4th level.
For my rework, I’ve made the following changes:
- Specify a duration of 1 round per Gentleman level, after which the targeted creature loses the extra d6s if they have not already used them.
- Specify the range of the ability to be 30 feet, and that the targeted creature must be able to see and hear the Gentleman.
- Specify that the dice need to all be used on the same single attack roll, saving throw, or skill check.
- Specify that this ability may only be used on any one specific creature once per day, but may be used any number of times per day.
- Specify that this ability uses a standard action to activate, and then reduce this to a move or swift action (but still only once per turn) at 7th level.
This ability needs a lot of changes:
- Specify an activation time of a standard action.
- Specify a duration of 1 round per gentleman level.
- Allow the ability to be used any number of times per day, but only once on an individual creature each day.
- Increase damage dice from d4 to d6.
- Specify the damage type as sonic damage.
- Increase the number of damage dice at 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter.
- Increase the penalty to hit by an additional -2 at 10th and 16th level.
- Allow this ability to impose its penalty on AC instead of the targeted creature’s attack rolls.
- Specify a range of 30 feet and the targeted creature must be able to clearly see and hear you.
- Specify a Will saving throw (10 + 1/2 Gentleman level + Charisma modifier).
- On a failed saving throw, damage is halved and debuff is ignored.
Strong Convictions (Ex):
This ability seems… really Game Master dependent. I’d change it to a simple buff/debuff mechanic for the Gentleman:
- Add a bonus equal to the Gentleman’s Charisma modifier to on saving throws against charm and compulsion effects trying to force the Gentleman to do something that he would not normally do, as well as to his Diplomacy and Intimidate DCs for individuals trying to convince or coerce him into doing something he would not normally do, and on sense motive checks made against bluff checks made to trick the Gentleman into doing something he would not normally do.
- Add a penalty equal to the Gentleman’s Charisma modifier to saving throws against charm and compulsion effects trying to force the Gentleman to do something that he would normally do, as well as to his Diplomacy and Intimidate DCs for individuals trying to convince or coerce him into doing something he would normally do, and on sense motive checks made against bluff checks made to trick the Gentleman into doing something he would normally do.
- At 9th level, double the bonus granted by this ability and halve the penalty.
Something Dumb (Su):I’d change this ability to give the Gentleman the ability to create illusion effects as list below with a saving throw DC equal to 10 + 1/2 Gentleman level + Charisma modifier. Now, an important thing to note about supernatural abilities that mimic spells is that spells have a manifestation in Pathfinder, which means they create clearly audible and visible sounds and sights when used, even when stilled or silenced (although there are abilities such as the spellsong or conceal casting feats that can counteract this). Supernatural abilities don’t have manifestations, so your Gentleman could simply concentrate and then cause the world around him to (momentarily) change, and unless an observer was using detect magic on him at that moment, they wouldn’t even see it. However, the original premise of this ability still stands: although the Gentleman may project an image that does significantly impact the session, it must be something bizarre or nonsensical (GM discretion).
- At 3rd level, the Gentleman may generate an illusion effect identical to minor image as a supernatural ability a number of times equal to 3 + the Gentleman’s Charisma modifier. Activating this ability is a standard action.
- At 5th level, the Gentleman may instead use minor image.
- At 7th level, the Gentleman may instead use major image.
- At 11th level, the Gentleman may instead use persistent image.
- At 13th, the Gentleman may instead use permanent image.
After You (Ex):
In the original text of this class, this ability specified “an ally of the opposite gender” which was bizarre, since if you’re in a party of all dudes, this ability is suddenly useless, but they changed it, so it's fine now. No changes here.
I’m on a Horse (Sp):
I’d change this ability in the following way:
- Once per day, the Gentleman may use the mount spell as a spell-like ability.
- If the Gentleman summons the mount in his space, he may mount the horse as a free action.
- If the Gentleman’s Paramour (more on this later) is adjacent to him, and he summons the mount in his space, the Paramour may also mount the horse as an immediate action.
- At 11th and 17th level, grant one extra use per day of this ability.
This leaves his move action open, with which he can get the horse to move. Simple re-write, but I think it’d be a much more useful ability than what was presented, since the 6th-level ability I’d Take a Bullet For You, Man already permits repositioning on the battlefield. This would be more of a quick escape ability, especially since it starts as a 1/day ability.
Bachelor’s in Marketing (Ex):
Pathfinder actually already has a fully developed bartering system as part of its Diplomacy skill, so I’d change this ability to:
- Whenever the Gentleman is bargaining on the price for something, the asking price may be up to 165 percent of the market value of the item before the buyer automatically refuses, and NPCs will not try to set the asking price down below 90 percent of the market value of the item (as opposed to the normal 150 percent and 75 percent).
- The Gentleman gains a bonus equal to 1/2 his level on all sense motive, Diplomacy, Bluff, and Appraise checks made during the negotiation of an transaction’s price. It would have been equal to his level, had he not messed around so much during sophomore year.
I’d Take a Bullet For You, Man (Su):
This ability needs a few minor tweaks:
- The range of the ability needs to be limited to no greater than two times the Gentleman’s base move speed.
- The ability should be an immediate action, not a reaction.
- The Gentleman must land directly adjacent to his ally.
- Specify that the Gentleman becomes the target of the attack, ability, or spell instead of the ally. If the effect is a line attack or area of effect or would otherwise be able to hit multiple targets, the ally is treated as having total cover and cannot be targeted for that single attack. The Gentleman is treated as having been affected by the effect as though he failed his saving throw by 1 point, the attack roll of the effect beat his AC by 1 point, and the effect penetrated his Spell Resistance by 1 point.
- At 10th level, the Gentleman now gets to make a saving throw, and the effect must still beat his AC and penetrate his SR as normal.
- At 15th level, the attack or ability has no effect on the Gentleman.
Other than that, this is a super neat ability, since it allows the Gentleman to reposition around the battlefield at any point (with some measure of risk). I really like it.
Pleasurable Smells (Sp):
This is a neat ability, but it needs the following changes:
- Replace “companion” with “ally” since companion isn’t a defined word in Pathfinder rules, while ally is (and technically applies to yourself, since you are your own ally, so he can use this ability to heal himself, increasing his own sustainability).
- Change the 1d6 to 1d8, and then increase it by 1d8 every 3 levels thereafter (max 5d8 at 19th level).
- Add the Gentleman’s level to the amount healed (max +20)
- Pathfinder has specific rules for the perception of scents (detecting the scent of smoke is a DC 0, and every 10 ft. between the perceiving party and the source applies a -1 penalty to the perceiving party’s check; being upwind/downwind halve/double the range increment to 5 ft. or 20 ft. respectively), so set the DC to smell the scents at 0 use standard perception rules.
- Specify the ability’s activation time as a standard action.
This level just grants an extra d6 to the Catchphrase ability, and while there isn’t anything particularly wrong with that, I would add an ability called Wardrobe Change I:
Wardrobe Change I
At this level, the Gentleman gets the first of the two additional outfits list in the original text of Wardrobe Change. However, I’d hold back the bonuses to ability scores from the original Wardrobe Change until the 13th-level ability I’m adding called Wardrobe Change II. Instead, I’d add the following abilities to the outfits:
- The Fancy Clothes ability now grants the Gentleman a 50 percent miss chance against attacks when wearing the tuxedo.
- The Wardrobe Change ability now grants the Gentleman DR 3/- while wearing the pantaloons.
- The Wardrobe Change ability now grants the Gentleman SR 10 + 1/2 level + Charisma modifier while wearing the towel. The spell resistance may be lowered or raised as a standard action.
At 13th level, instead of gaining Wardrobe Change, the Gentleman just gains Wardrobe Change II, which grants the last remaining outfit, and the outfits grant a +5 enhancement bonus to an ability score (as listed below):
- Tuxedo – Charisma
- Pantaloons – Constitution
- Towel – Wisdom
At this level, the Gentleman gets the Biceps ability, and his Strong Convictions ability gets boosted.
This ability is fine, although I’d like to point out that Wardrobe Change implies that the pantaloons and towel outfits do reveal the biceps, making those stronger than the standard outfit. However, I’d also like to point out that the ability specifically references Charisma checks, not Charisma-based checks, so remember to change the wording.
The Gentleman doesn’t gain anything at this level, so I’d propose a new ability called Paramour:
At 10th level, the Gentleman may create a bond with another intelligent creature (Intelligence 3+) with whom he has a relationship score of 31 or higher (devotion type only) and who has an amount of hit dice that are equal to or less than the Gentleman’s class level + 2. Both the Gentleman and his Paramour gain a +2 sacred bonus on one ability score of their choice (this may be changed 1/day after an 8 hour rest). Additionally, both he and his Paramour are under a constant two-way Greater Status Spell that they both know about that functions regardless of distance, planar positioning, or even Antimagic Fields.
The player controlling the Gentleman has no control over the Paramour. Both the Gentleman and the Paramour may break off the relationship at any time by spending a full minute explaining their issues with the relationship to the other face to face. Doing so causes both the Paramour and the Gentleman to become greatly saddened for 1 month, during which time the two are treated as though they have 2 temporary negative levels. If the Gentleman does not remain faithful and loving to his Paramour, or if his Paramour does not stay faithful and loving to him, this bond is broken, and their relationship is ended with all the normal consequences this entails.
Additionally, if the relationship is ended, their relationship score is immediately reduced to 15. However, if the relationship is ended because of infidelity, the relationship remains at its current strength, but is switch from a devotion to an enmity. If their relationship score ever falls below 31, the relationship is ended.
I’d change this ability to function as the beast shape IV spell, except that the Gentleman may only turn into a wolf (at 11th), dire wolf (at 13th), or worg (at 15th), and he gains a circumstance bonus on all Charisma-based skill checks, as well as Charisma ability checks, equal to his level, and he retains his ability to speak as well as any Su, Ex, or Sp abilities granted by the Gentleman class. This ability should last 1 hour/Gentleman level, not until he is reduced to 0 HP, since that means that if he is nowhere near a fight, he has to be reduced to 0 HP somehow, which just… seems inconvenient.
I’d change this ability to only apply to the Gentleman’s Paramour (duh). Other than that, I’d have the +2 sacred bonus apply to all of the Gentleman and Paramour’s ability scores at this level if the Gentleman successfully proposes.
New Haircut (Ex):
The New Haircut ability is something I’d rework in the following ways:
- This ability may only be used 1/day.
- This ability requires 10 minutes of uninterrupted focus during which time the Gentleman gives himself or a willing creature who he is adjacent to a New Haircut
- This ability grants a non-magical effect identical to a heal spell that uses the Gentleman’s class level as his caster level. Additionally, this is not a positive energy effect, so it heals all creatures (including undead) so long as they have hair or a beard.
- This ability gives the recipient a circumstance bonus on Charisma-based skill and ability checks equal to the Gentleman’s Charisma modifier for a number of days equal to the Gentleman’s level.
Since Pathfinder has a full-on downtime system with its own business mechanics (they even have an investment mechanic), I’d simply have this ability increase all capital his businesses earn and all returns on his investments by 100%.
Being of Pure Energy:
For this ability, I’d make the following changes
- The Gentleman’s creature type is changed to outsider, although he can still be raised from the dead.
- The Gentleman gains a fly speed equal to twice his base land speed with perfect maneuverability.
- The Gentleman gains immunity to fire, cold, electricity, sonic, and acid energy damage.
- The Gentleman gains a supernatural ability identical to a Quickened Empowered Maximized disintegrate that also generates a supernatural effect identical to an Enlarged Empowered Maximized fireball that deals fire, cold, electricity, sonic, and acid damage on the target or square the gentleman is targeting (Reflex save DC 10 +1/2 Gentleman level + Charisma modifier).
- The Gentleman may use this ability 3 times per day.
The Old Spice team did a lot of work on this class, and I appreciate their willingness to listen to criticism. However, if you want to actually use the class, I recommend you use my rewrite, rather than the original or updated versions put out by Old Spice, since those are really anemic as far as a Pathfinder class is concerned. Stay Hopeful!