Abstruse Cardshark (3.5e Class)

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Author: Foxwarrior (talk)
Date Created: 5/5/10
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A versatile caster with a casting system much like the Crusader's. This one uses actual suits. 20 1 Poor Poor Good Good Class Ability:Alternate Magic Full

Lawful Good Lawful Neutral Lawful Evil Neutral Good Neutral Neutral Evil Chaotic Good Chaotic Neutral Chaotic Evil

Abstruse Cardshark[edit]

The Abstruse Cardshark is a channeler of the powerful energies of a well-shuffled deck.

Making a Abstruse Cardshark[edit]

The Abstruse Cardshark has much of the advantages of a more conventional caster, but none of the practicality.

Abilities: Wisdom and Charisma are required for effective casting practices. Intelligence and Dexterity can give your Abstruse Cardshark other capacities.

Races: Halflings, Elves, and Gnomes are particularly likely to join in this class, due to its abstruse and sly nature.

Alignment: Any.

Starting Gold: 100; 4d4×10 gp

Starting Age: Moderate

Table: The Abstruse Cardshark

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Maximum Card Denomination Base
Hand Size
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Ace (Low) 1
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Two 1
3rd +1 +1 +3 +3 Mulligan Three 1
4th +2 +1 +4 +4 Three 2
5th +2 +1 +4 +4 Four 2
6th +3 +2 +5 +5 Five 2
7th +3 +2 +5 +5 Six 2
8th +4 +2 +6 +6 Seven 2
9th +4 +3 +6 +6 Eight 2
10th +5 +3 +7 +7 Eight 3
11th +5 +3 +7 +7 Nine 3
12th +6/+1 +4 +8 +8 Ten 3
13th +6/+1 +4 +8 +8 Ten 4
14th +7/+2 +4 +9 +9 Jack 4
15th +7/+2 +5 +9 +9 Queen 4
16th +8/+3 +5 +10 +10 Queen 5
17th +8/+3 +5 +10 +10 King 5
18th +9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Ace (High) 5
19th +9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Ace (High) 6
20th +10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Ace (High) 7

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Forgery (Int), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Abstruse Cardshark.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Abstruse Cardsharks are proficient with Daggers, Darts, Throwing Cards, and light armor, although they suffer from arcane spell failure while wearing it.

Cards: Abstruse Cardsharks cast spells using a special deckbuilding scheme. After a full 8-hour rest, the Abstruse Cardshark summons sequential sets of cards from up to four different suits. In order to summon a higher card, he must have the card immediately lower to it in his deck, of the same suit (with the exception of the Ace, of course, since it's the lowest). He cannot summon more than one of each card. He then shuffles those cards together, says some magical words on them, and draws a number of cards equal to his maximum hand size (normally his Base Hand Size plus his Charisma modifier).

The Abstruse Cardshark can only play cards that are in his hand. Whenever he plays a card, that card disappears in a puff of smoke and he may draw a new card from the deck as a move action (unless he has Quick Draw or some other such ability). It is physically impossible to draw a card from the deck while there are a number of cards equal to his maximum hand size out of it.

Playing a card is a spell-like ability.

Although the Ace is listed as both Ace (Low) and Ace (High), there is only one of it per suit (the Ace), and which effect you want to make happen is up to you when you play it from your hand (although, of course, you can't choose to play it as an Ace (High) until you reach level 18.)

The Save DCs for an Abstruse Cardshark's cards are equal to 10 + half his Hit Dice + his Wisdom modifier.

Mulligan: At third level, the Abstruse Cardshark gains the ability to Mulligan once per day. To do so, he shuffles his hand into his deck and draws up to his maximum hand size as a full-round action.

Epic Abstruse Cardshark[edit]

I declare war.
—Abbot Primarius d'Absolutus, Abstruse Cardshark and High Priest

Table: The Epic Abstruse Cardshark

Hit Die: d6

Level Special
21st Topdeck
22nd +1 Maximum Hand Size
23rd Unlimited Suits
24th +1 Maximum Hand Size
25th Duplicate Suits
26th +1 Maximum Hand Size
27th Unlimited Casting
28th +1 Maximum Hand Size
29th Card Searching
30th +1 Maximum Hand Size

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Cards: The Abstruse Cardshark's maximum hand size increases by 1 every even numbered level.

Topdeck: At level 21, the Abstruse Cardshark can, without looking at it, declare that he will cast the top card of his deck. He ignores all XP and component costs for that card, and casts it as a swift action.

Unlimited Suits: At level 23, the Abstruse Cardshark may put any number of suits into his deck.

Duplicate Suits: At level 25, the Abstruse Cardshark may put copies of the same suit into his deck.

Unlimited Casting: At level 27, whenever the Abstruse Cardshark casts a card, a new copy of the card appears on the bottom of the deck.

Card Searching: At level 29, instead of drawing a card, the Abstruse Cardshark may spend 1 minute searching through his deck for a card and putting it into his hand. He then shuffles the deck.

Gokiburi Abstruse Cardshark Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Dagger or dart.

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Appraise 4 Int
Sense Motive 4 Wis
Sleight of Hand 4 Dex
Concentration 4 Con

Feat: Skill Focus (Sleight of Hand).

Gear: Leather armor, deck of ordinary playing cards.

Gold: 70.

Deck: Rainbows (Ace), Crystals (Ace), Flames (Ace), and Scripts (Ace).

Campaign Information[edit]

I have not invented a "new style," composite, modified or otherwise that is set within distinct form as apart from "this" method or "that" method. On the contrary, I hope to free my followers from clinging to styles, patterns, or molds. Remember that ["cards"] is merely a name used, a mirror in which to see "ourselves". . . [Card-playing] is not an organized institution that one can be a member of. Either you understand or you don't, and that is that.
—Bruce Lee, possible interplanar Abstruse Cardshark

Playing an Abstruse Cardshark[edit]

Religion: Abstruse Cardsharks are more likely than other casters to worship a deity, particularly one that influences luck.

Other Classes: Abstruse Cardsharks are looked down upon by Wizards and Clerics for their idiotic casting method. Bards tend to see more similarity with them.

Combat: Abstruse Cardsharks tend to throw out spells continuously, in the hopes that they will draw one appropriate to the situation.

Advancement: Abstruse Cardsharks are casters, so they are a real pain to multiclass.

Abstruse Cardsharks in the World[edit]

How's this Nine of Rainbows going to help me fight an army of rabid blind monks? It'll just make me blind too!
—Ilobmit Tsaginarsa, Brownie Abstruse Cardshark

Abstruse Cardsharks often become prophets, fortunetellers, and gamblers.

Daily Life: An ordinary Abstruse Cardshark gambler might use the Four of Rainbows to steal some poor gamblers' money, or the Seven of Crystals to smuggle people across borders.

Notables: Ilobmit Tsaginarsa, famous savior of the rotting, generally ignored flying city of Sucifirakiabilasli.

Organizations: Most con men don't organize very strongly, and more often than not end up turning on one another when the pot gets too tempting.

NPC Reactions: Abstruse Cardsharks have established a reputation of being cardsharks and con men, so NPC's are unlikely to regard them with a great deal of respect, nor trust.

Abstruse Cardshark Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) can research Abstruse Cardsharks to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (Arcana) or Profession (Casino Operator)
DC Result
5 Abstruse Cardsharks wield the magic of cards to call forth powerful energies.
10 Abstruse Cardsharks tend to gamble and cheat.
15 Abstruse Cardsharks have to hope that they draw the right card for the situation.
20 Information on specific Abstruse Cardsharks.

Abstruse Cardsharks in the Game[edit]

Abstruse Cardsharks fulfill the caster role.

Adaptation: The Tarot Mage, who is functionally identical. The Abstruse Dicemonger, who gets different spells on different rolls of colored d6's.

Back to Main Page3.5e HomebrewClassesBase Classes

Foxwarrior's Homebrew (718 Articles)
Allowed AlignmentsLawful Good +, Lawful Neutral +, Lawful Evil +, Neutral Good +, Neutral +, Neutral Evil +, Chaotic Good +, Chaotic Neutral + and Chaotic Evil +
Article BalanceHigh +
AuthorFoxwarrior +
Base Attack Bonus ProgressionPoor +
Class Ability ProgressionFull +
Fortitude Save ProgressionPoor +
Identifier3.5e Class +
Length20 +
Minimum Level1 +
Rated ByDanielDraco +
RatingRating Pending +
Reflex Save ProgressionGood +
SkillAppraise +, Bluff +, Concentration +, Craft +, Decipher Script +, Diplomacy +, Disguise +, Forgery +, Knowledge (Arcana) +, Profession +, Sense Motive +, Sleight of Hand + and Use Magic Device +
Skill Points4 +
SummaryA versatile caster with a casting system much like the Crusader's. This one uses actual suits. +
TitleAbstruse Cardshark +
Will Save ProgressionGood +