Barrister

To Prestige Classes

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Daumier, Honoré Title Drei Anwälte im Gespräc 1843-1848 Daumier, Honoré Title Drei Anwälte im Gespräc 1843-1848

Ink & Quill
Author Thomas Knauss
Series Dragonwing Games/Bastion Press
Publisher DWBP
Publish date 2002
Pages 65
ISBN none
OGL Section 15 i-q
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Society views the practitioners and authors of its laws in a uniquely paradoxical manner. It greatly admires their analytical skills, tremendous intellects and dogged tenacity, but loathes their questionable code of ethics and enormous incomes. Despite these and many other perceptions regarding barristers, civilization’s very existence depends upon the codification and practice of law. Law acts as a bulwark against the forces of anarchy and chaos.

Although barristers embody a number of divergent character traits, they share a common reverence for the letter of the law. Regardless of their status or position, barristers innately believe in its sanctity and necessity. Their differences, however, emerge from their various interpretations of the law’s intent as well as their own needs. Masters of manipulating the meaning of words, barristers incessantly argue the nuances of language, hoping to sway the opinion of colleagues in their favor. They approach this task in an assortment of methods. Some belittle their opponents, challenging their legal arguments with an arrogant and condescending demeanor in an effort to Intimidate them. Others employ a measured degree of sarcasm and wit, endeavouring to rattle their challenger’s frayed nerves while avoiding any perception of cockiness. Regardless of their technique, they universally possess an uncanny knack of transforming the simple into the complex and convolution into clarity.

The government employs the majority of barristers, utilizing their services to draft legislation, judge the interpretation of law during a trial and prosecute criminal and civil legal matters. In addition, many politicians and administrative officials possess a legal background. Although barristers perform a number of necessary governmental functions, a host of other interests retain a substantial number as well. Wealthy merchants require their assistance during the negotiation and implementation of lucrative contracts and other business transactions. Criminal organizations frequently maintain a staff of barristers to defend their members in criminal proceedings. Private citizens hire barristers to sue another party in a civil matter, seeking monetary compensation. Likewise, the other party employs a barrister to defend herself against the plaintiff’s claims. Despite their unpopularity in many quarters, barristers perform a necessary evil, preventing many disputes from escalating into violence while placating the demands of both parties engaged in the legal battle.

All barristers receive formalized education and training prior to practicing law. Many obtain degrees from accredited universities, however a large percentage acquires degrees from recognized churches and occasionally monasteries. After completing their scholastic requirements, many societies require prospective barristers to work as apprentices to established barristers for as long as five years. If she successfully completes the apprenticeship, she is then granted an official license to practice law. The prohibitive cost of acquiring a license largely restricts the Profession to members of the wealthiest classes.

Clerics of lawful deities and wizards comprise most of the barristers’ ranks, although monks and occasionally rogues also pursue the Profession. Most clerics and monks find employment with governmental entities, while wizards usually serve the legal needs of wealthy citizens. Rogues practice exclusively for criminal syndicates, often recruited from its membership by the organization’s leaders.

Hit die: d6

Requirements

Alignment: Any lawful
Bluff: 3 ranks
Diplomacy: 4 ranks
Knowledge (Law): 7 ranks
Knowledge (local): 6 ranks
Profession (barrister): 3ranks
Other: The character must be literate and must spend 2,500 gp for education and apprenticeship costs.

Class Skills

The barrister’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Charisma), Concentration (Constitution), Decipher Script (Intelligence), Diplomacy (Charisma), Forgery (Intelligence), Gather Information (Charisma), Intimidate (Charisma), Knowledge (local) (Intelligence),Knowledge (Law)(Intelligence), Listen (Wisdom), Profession (barrister) (Wisdom) and Sense Motive (Wisdom).

Skill points at each level: 2 + Intelligence modifier

Barrister
Class Base Attack Bonus Fort. Ref. Will Special
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Draft Legal Work, Persuasion, Spells
2nd
+1 +3 +0 +3 Interrogate
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Lie
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Contacts
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Sneak Attack +1d6
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Bullheaded
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Word Traps
8th +6 +6 +2 +6 suggestion
9th +6 +6 +3 +6 Mystical Babbling
10th +7 +7 +3 +7 Sneak Attack +2d6


Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Barristers are proficient with all simple weapons, light armor and shields.

Draft Legal Work (Ex): Barristers may draft one legal brief, piece of legislation, contract or any other legal document once every three months. The work does not require her undivided attention; however, any absence greater than two weeks increases the time necessary to write it by one month or the duration of the absence, whichever is longer. When the work is finished, the player makes a Profession (barrister) check. The work generates income equal to the modified result of her Profession check squared plus the character’s barrister level multiplied by her Intelligence modifier. For example, a 3rd level barrister with an Intelligence of 16 writes a contract for a wealthy merchant. She rolls a “12” on her Profession (barrister) check adding her normal bonus of +12 yielding a net result of 24. She receives 585 gp for her finished product. {[24 (her Profession result) x 24 (her Profession result)] + [(3 (her level) x 3 (her Charisma modifier)] = 585}. (Furthermore, masterful pieces of legal work can lead to the barrister’s installation as a judge, described under the Income heading in The Writer’s World chapter.)

Persuasion (Ex): Barristers receive the Persuasion feat at no additional cost.

Spells per Day

Level 1 2 3 4
1st 0
2nd 1
3rd 1 0
4th 1 0
5th 1 1 0
6th 1 1 1
7th 2 1 1 0
8th 2 1 1 1
9th 2 2 1 1
10th 2 2 2 1

Spells: Barristers cast a limited number of divine spells. In order to cast spells, her Intelligence score can be no less than 10 + the spell’s level. Her bonus spells are based on Intelligence, and saving throws against these spells have a difficulty class of 10 + the spell’s level + the barrister’s Intelligence modifier. When she gains 0 spells of a given level, the barrister receives only bonus spells, if she is entitled to any.

The barrister’s spell list appears below the chart for her daily allotment of spells. Barristers cast spells as a sorcerer, although she also knows all of the spells appearing on the spell list.

Barrister Spells

Barristers choose their spells from the following list.

1st level-command, detect chaos, make whole, protection from chaos

2nd level-calm emotions, hold person, zone of truth

3rd level-continual flame, glyph of warding, order’s wrath

4th level- dismissal, dispel chaos, greater command, mark of justice

Interrogate (Ex): Barristers receive an additional +4 competence bonus on all Intimidate skill checks when attempting to extract information from a subject as well as the benefits bestowed by the Persuasion feat.

Lie (Ex): Extremely adept at bending the truth, barristers lie with impunity at will. Spells such as detect thoughts and zone of truth however reveal her deception. This ability also has no effect on barristers of equal or higher level than the liar.

Contacts (Ex): Because of their frequent interaction with all strata of society, barristers know where to seek goods, individuals and information. For example, if an informant told the party that a particular thief stole a gem from the temple, the barrister knows some basic background about the thief, such as her approximate level, frequent hangouts, etc. Of course, the barrister only knows this information if it has some connection to the legal system. She would not possess information about monsters dwelling within the city’s sewers or the habits of an eccentric wizard living outside of the city.

Bullheaded (Su): Naturally stubborn and unyielding, barristers receive a +2 insight bonus to all saving throws against all mind affecting and mind influencing spells.

Word Traps (Su): A barrister can find traps involving writing as if she were a rogue. If she is already a rogue, she receives an additional +1 competence bonus for every two barrister levels. The ability affects any trap triggered by the reading or speaking of any written word, or where a written word is inherent to the trap’s functioning. This includes spells such as explosive runes and glyph of warding. There are no limitations on its daily usage.

Suggestion (Sp): A barrister may cast suggestion as if she were a sorcerer of the same level. The target’s Will save is 10 + ½ her barrister levels + her Intelligence modifier. Barristers may use this ability once per day.

Mystical Babbling (Su): Using her mastery of language, barristers quickly recite obscure passages from penal codes and citations at one target, attempting to bewilder her with a barrage of legal jargon. The target must make a successful Will save or be stunned for 1d4 rounds. The Will save against this effect is 10 + ½ her barrister levels + her Intelligence modifier. Opponents that succeed on their saving throws are immune to this effect for the remainder of the encounter. The barrister must be within 20 ft. of the target and speak a language that the target understands. Using this ability is a full round action. This ability may be used a number of times per day equal to her Intelligence modifier.

Income

While some of the prestige classes rely exclusively on their creativity for income, several others work for another entity. This class receives their income on a monthly basis according to the following formulas.

Church employee: (Barrister level x Wisdom modifier) x 3
Government employee: (Barrister level x Intelligence modifier) x 4
Thieves guild employee: (Barrister level x Charisma modifier) x 5
Wealthy citizen: (Barrister level squared x Charisma modifier)
Other employer: (Barrister level x Charisma modifier) x 2

Special

Whenever a barrister employed by a government drafts a legal text with a Profession (barrister) score equaling or exceeding a numerical result of 35, she becomes a judge in the nation’s legal system. The exact specifications of this position depend upon the campaign world, however it does result in an additional monthly income of 50 gp.

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