Age of Heroes
One of the few roles available to women, the courtesan is a trained companion to men, whose skills are ostensibly dedicated to providing men with pleasure and relaxation. As well as this socially prized function, courtesans are expert information gatherers, manipulating those less intelligent than themselves and engaging in intrigue. Courtesans in the ancient world often took on the role of spies and tactical seducers. Some may even function as assassins. The Greek hetaera is an elite courtesan, specially trained to be expert not only in the amatory practices but also in the other arts of civilization. A hetaera is far from being a mere prostitute; she is more akin to a classical version of the geisha. In the ancient world, hetaera are exclusively female and a product of the Greek and Egyptian civilizations, but a Games Master who wished to broaden the definitions – at the expense of historical accuracy – could allow characters with other backgrounds to take the class.
The courtesan gains new levels twice as fast as other classes, however, they only gain hit points every odd level. So the courtesan will be half as old as any other class of the same level, but with less hit points.
Usually Aphrodite or Hecate
Skill Points at 1st Level:
(6 + Int modifier) x 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level:
6 + Int modifier.
The Courtesan class skills are
- Appraise (Int)
- Acrobatics (Dex)
- Bluff (Cha)
- Craft (Int)
- Debate (Int)
- Disguise (Cha)
- Escape Artist (Dex)
- Gather Information (Cha)
- Knowledge (any) (Int)
- Perception (Wis)
- Perform (Cha)
- Presence (Cha)
- Profession (Wis)
- Rhetoric (Cha)
- Sense Motive (Wis)
- Sleight of Hand (Dex)
- Speak Language (n/a)
- Stealth (Dex)
Weapon and Armor Proficiency
A courtesan is proficient with the club, dagger and quarterstaff, but not with any type of armor or shield.
The courtesan learns to stay out of the way of trouble. As she is not a combatant by nature, she has to make sure that she can survive if combat should find her. She receives a bonus of the degree indicated to all Active Defense checks.
The courtesan is especially good at wearing down the physical strength of those with whom she has intimate relations. This ability is used slyly in order to weaken people, such as making sure that a person stays asleep for a long time, sapping the energy of a warrior before a fight or lowering a person’s defenses prior to an assassination attempt. The target of an exhaust effect must make a Fortitude saving throw after spending private time with the courtesan (the DC is 10 plus the courtesan’s level plus her Dexterity modifier) or become exhausted. If he successfully saves, he is fatigued. Note that this ability may only be used if the target is willingly submitting to the courtesan’s embraces. It cannot be imposed forcibly. The courtesan must also make a Fortitude saving throw against DC 10 or become fatigued herself. An exhausted character moves at half speed and takes a –6 penalty to Strength and Dexterity; after an hour of complete rest, he becomes fatigued. A fatigued character cannot run or charge and takes a penalty of –2 to Strength, Dexterity and Shield Defense.
The courtesan’s familiarity with tender spots in the male body allows her to make an unarmed attack that deals a large amount of non-lethal damage. If the courtesan makes a successful unarmed attack of which none of the damage is obstructed by armor or a shield, then she may add the additional dice of non lethal damage shown.
If a courtesan can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage. The courtesan’s attack deals extra damage any time her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to Active Defense (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not) or when the courtesan flanks her target. Should the courtesan score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks cannot count as sneak attacks for courtesans.
A courtesan of 2nd level or above has the power to cause one or more male onlookers to become fascinated with her, by performing a beguiling dance. Each person to be fascinated must be within 90 feet, able to see and hear the courtesan, interested in women in principle, which not all males are, especially in Classical Greece, and able to pay attention to her. The courtesan must also be able to see her targets. The distraction of nearby combat or other dangers prevents the ability from working. The courtesan may target one person per courtesan level. To use the ability, a courtesan makes a Perform (dance) check. If the courtesan has five or more ranks in her Presence Skill she gains a +2 synergy bonus to this check. Her check result is the DC for each affected person’s Will saving throw against the effect. If an observer’s saving throw succeeds, the courtesan cannot attempt to fascinate that person again for 24 hours. If his saving throw fails, the creature enthusiastically watches the dance, taking no other actions other than to cheer and clap, for as long as the courtesan continues to dance and concentrate, up to a maximum of one minute per courtesan level. While fascinated, a target takes a –4 penalty on skill checks made as reactions, such as Listen and Spot checks. Any potential threat requires the courtesan to make another Perform or Presence check and allows the creature a new saving throw against a DC equal to the new check result. Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell or aiming a ranged weapon at the target, automatically breaks the effect. Fascinating Dance is a bewitchment (compulsion), mind-affecting ability.
Courtesans are able to do interesting things to men’s minds as well as their bodies, teasing their secrets out of them without them even realizing. A courtesan may attempt to extract information that her target would otherwise have kept secret. To do this, she makes a Presence check opposed by the target’s Sense Motive check for each piece of information that she is trying to extract. Success indicates that the target reveals the information, thinking that there is no harm in it. Failure means that he does not reveal the information and becomes suspicious of the courtesan’s duplicity. If the target is off guard, such as in a state of intoxication or dreamy reverie, he makes his check at a –2 penalty.
Courtesans were employed to boost the spirits of weary soldiers and aid the recovery of those who have been wounded. A courtesan can help sick or ill people to hold on to life. The ministrations of a courtesan add a +2 circumstance bonus to any Medicine check made to tend grievous wounds or help a person recover from disease.
Having had plenty of chances to study men when they are off their guard, the courtesan now knows how to kill with a single stroke. If the courtesan studies her victim for three rounds and then makes a successful sneak attack with a melee weapon that deals damage, the sneak attack has the additional effect of possibly either paralyzing or killing the target; the courtesan chooses which. While studying her victim, the courtesan may take other actions (such as flirting or dancing) so long as her attention stays focused on the target and the target does not detect or recognize the courtesan as an enemy. If the victim of such an attack fails his Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + the courtesan’s level + the courtesan’s Intelligence modifier) against the fatal version of this death attack, they die. If the saving throw fails against the paralysis effect, the victim’s mind and body become enervated, rendering him completely helpless and unable to act for 1d6 rounds plus one round per level of the courtesan class. If the victim’s saving throw succeeds, the attack is resolved as a normal sneak attack. Once the courtesan has completed the three rounds of study, she must make the death attack within the next three rounds. If a death attack is attempted and fails (the victim makes his saving throw) or if the courtesan does not attempt the attack within the three rounds of completing the study, the courtesan must start this maneuver again.
Under The Thumb:
The courtesan can cause a male to fall in love with her through guile, mental manipulation and physical ability. This ability can only be used on a person who is voluntarily engaging in intimacies with the courtesan. When the courtesan targets a willing subject with this ability, they must make a Will saving throw against a DC equal to 10 plus the courtesan’s level plus her Charisma modifier after every visit. Once they have failed three such saving throws in a row, they fall completely in love and act accordingly. Only the most irrefutable of evidence of the courtesan’s lack of genuine feelings for the target can change their mind.
Courtesans know how to build up the male ego and they also know how to crush it like an eggshell. The courtesan may insult a male character as a standard action. Unless he makes a Will saving throw (DC equal to 10 plus the courtesan’s level plus her Charisma ability modifier) he suffers humiliation and despair, giving him a –4 morale penalty to all skill checks and saving throws for 1d10+Charisma modifier days.
One of the many downsides to the Courtesan’s trade, she eventually becomes too old to practice it. At this time, the Courtesan begins to become incapable of continuing her trade as her youth fades. The exact timing and effects of this are left to the DM. In addition, the courtesan may now attract fellow ‘workers’ and protectors to her establishment and begin training a new generation of Courtesan’s. This ability functions as the Leadership feat.