General Prestige Class : Jobber
by Michael Means, Dragon #310
Many halfling communities, sometimes hundreds strong, are nomadic. These communities move from place to place following the money, game hunting, mining, or trading.
These traveling halflings are dedicated opportunists, but they know that waiting for opportunity is rarely profitable. Instead, a community of any decent size uses one or more jobbers, a socially adept ranger who scouts out new locations that have potential wealth and an ability to employ and enrich a halfling community. When a jobber finds a likely target, she negotiates with the holder of the wealth for that wealth to be transferred to the halfling community, usually (but not always) in exchange for an agreed-upon amount of work. Although fiercely dedicated to their family and community, jobbers spend half their time on the road ferreting out new places for a caravan of halflings to go and make a living.
Jobbers are excellent thieves, and they usually have a fair amount of personal wealth. However, as part of the ceremony to begin training as a jobber, a subject must accept a mark of justice spell. Thereafter, a jobber may never act against the best interests of her community, which includes abandoning her duties or holding back money for personal gain. When the mark activates, any halfling within 60 feet of the subject feels uneasy. An NPC halfling's attitude toward the character so marked will never rise above indifferent as long as the mark remains.
Jobbers dress for the occasion. When "on the job" they usually consider it a sign of bad faith to be seen wearing weapons or armor, unless they are in a culture that prizes martial prowess and battle readiness. Like any good halfling, they take their social cues from the people around them.
Rogues and bards make the best jobbers, but clerics, sorcerers, monks, and even paladins have been known to hold this position. The jobber's role is not inherently dishonest and can be approached with forthrightness. The fact that most jobbers aren't terribly forthright is more a testament to who the halfling was before she became a jobber rather than a requirement of the class itself. Most jobbers will go to nearly any length to find out where work is and how her community can get it. Blackmail and larceny are just two more tools in the jobber's toolbox if her considerable powers of persuasion don't get the work done.
To qualify to become a Jobber, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Race: Halfling
- Skills: Appraise 4 ranks, Diplomacy 6 ranks, Gather Information 4 ranks
- Feats: Alertness,
- Base Attack Bonus: +3
- Special: Must be literate, must be chosen by a community of halflings to serve as a jobber; must willingly accept a mark of justice spell that triggers if the jobber ever acts against the best interests of her halfling community.
The jobber's class skills are Appraise, Bluff, Climb, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Disguise, Escape Artist, Forgery, Gather Information, Hide, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Open Lock, Perform, Profession (Any), Ride, Search, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Spot, Tumble, and Use Rope.
Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.
All the following are class features of the jobber prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A jobber is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields (except tower shields).
Favored Mark (Ex): At 1st level, a jobber may select a humanoid race (dwarf, elf, goblinoid, human, and so on) as a favored mark. Due to her extensive study of her chosen race and training in the proper techniques for persuading such creatures, the jobber gains a +2 bonus to Appraise, Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, and Sense Motive checks when using these skills in negotiation with creatures of this type. At 3rd and 5th levels, the jobber may select an additional favored mark. In addition, at each such interval, the bonus against any one favored mark (including the one just selected, if so desired) increases by 2.
Friendly Smile (Ex): When attempting to alter an NPC's attitude, a jobber gains a +5 competence bonus to Diplomacy checks.
Sneak Attack: The jobber gains the sneak attack ability at 2nd level. This is exactly like the rogue's sneak attack ability. The jobber gains +1d6 damage with this attack initially, but this rises to +2d6 at 4th level. If she already has the sneak attack ability from a previous class, the damage bonuses stack.
Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): While in any sort of natural terrain, a jobber of 2nd-level or higher can use the Hide skill even while being observed.
Fast Friend (Ex): At 2nd level, jobbers pick up the lay of the land very quickly. A jobber may make a Gather Information check after only hour of socializing rather than the normal 1d4+1 hours. The jobber may retry a failed check 3 times in the same evening without drawing attention or suspicion.
Detect Wealth: Once per day at 3rd level, a jobber can detect the presence and approximate amount of the greatest concentration of wealth in an area. This is a specific kind of divination, similar to a locate object spell cast by a 5th-level wizard with the following exceptions. The ability's area of effect has a radius of a quarter mile; the ability's duration is one minute; and the ability detects the greatest single source of wealth within the area.
If a source of wealth is diffused over an area (such as a flock of sheep or a vein of precious ore), the jobber only gets a sense of direction until he reaches the approximate geographical center of the area.
Note that wealth is measured in more than coins, and even though a jobber determines where a valuable object is, she does not necessarily know why something is valuable or how to dispose of the wealth. For instance, a lord's art collection might be the greatest concentration of wealth in his fief. How the jobber can get and liquidate that wealth for the betterment of her community is left up to her discretion.
This ability is blocked by even a thin sheet of lead. Polymorph any object fools this ability.
Seal the Deal (Sp): At 4th level, a jobber gains the ability to enforce her deals. After a jobber negotiates an opportunity and terms, and these terms are committed to paper she usually ends the negotiations with a handshake (or shaking the appropriate appendage of her new business partner). The handshake magically binds the partner to the terms of the deal. If the partner ever breaks the deal for any reason - willingly or not - he is affected as if the jobber had cast a bestow curse spell on him. The jobber chooses what will befall the deal breaker when the deal is closed. Revealing the use of this ability is at the jobber's discretion.
|Jobber||Hit Die: d6|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+2||Favored mark, friendly smile|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+3||Hide in plain sight, fast friend, sneak attack +1d6|
|3rd||+2||+1||+3||+3||2nd favored mark, detect wealth|
|4th||+3||+1||+4||+4||seal the deal, sneak attack +2d6|
|5th||+3||+1||+4||+4||3rd favored mark|
Source: Dragon #310