Battle Butler

Battle butlers are not born - they are trained. Battle butlers are disciplined and shaped into cunning killers who hide their faces behind the calm veneer of a pleasing high-class servant. They are the perfect blend of civility and brutality, never losing their disciplined demeanor and gentlemanly (or lady-like) ways even while butchering a thief. They are the kind of unique soul who could behead a man on command and make an excellent red wine pairing suggestion for your filet mignon at the same time (a Cabernet Sauvignon, of course).

Battle butlers are retained by only the wealthiest families. While their services are under contract battle butlers are mentally conditioned to never allow harm to come to their employer or whoever is put under their charge (children, spouses, etc). While they may be skilled killers they are equally skilled in their roles as servants. They learn to cook, clean, sew, teach, attend, provide childcare, and other skills expected of a live-in butler or maid. For this reason they are valued amongst all other members of the household staff and their skills demand such a high fee.

Battle butlers are trained in illustrious and secluded academies where they receive a formal academic education, training in domestic skills, mental conditioning, and intense martial training.

Often times younger children from high-born families will be educated in these institutes or children from long lines of servants will attend like their fathers and mothers before them.

The term “battle butler” is a slang word, as they are typically referred to simply as a “butler” (male) or “maid” (female). Other terms for them are: majordomo, housekeeper, manservant, valet, or steward.

Hit Dice: d10.

Role: Battle butlers are skilled martial characters. They lack armor and strength but more than make up for it with their unique approach to combat.

Alignment: Any Lawful

Battle butlers are creatures who are mentally conditioned and who thrive under the immense self-discipline they have strived to achieve.

Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gp (average 175 gp.). In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 30 gp or less.

Class Skills: The battle butler’s class skills are Appraise (Int), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex).

Skill Ranks Per Level: 4 + Int Modifier

Class Features

Table: The Battle Butler
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +0 +2 +2 Contract, dressed to the nines, mental conditioning, service, tricks of the trade
2nd +2 +0 +3 +3 Gentlemanly combat, unseen servant
3rd +3 +1 +3 +3 Bloody butler, bonus feat
4th +4 +1 +4 +4 Restore conditioning
5th +5 +1 +4 +4 Improved mental conditioning
6th +6/+1 +2 +5 +5 Ungentlemanly conduct
7th +7/+2 +2 +5 +5 Bonus feat
8th +8/+3 +2 +6 +6 Serving two masters (2)
9th +9/+4 +3 +6 +6 You rang?
10th +10/+5 +3 +7 +7 Improved mental conditioning
11th +11/+6/+1 +3 +7 +7 Bonus feat
12th +12/+7/+2 +4 +8 +8 Serving two masters (3)
13th +13/+8/+3 +4 +8 +8 Unseen servants
14th +14/+9/+4 +4 +9 +9 Influence conditioning
15th +15/+10/+5 +5 +9 +9 Bonus feat, prim and proper
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +5 +10 +10 Serving two masters (4)
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Control conditioning
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Stiff upper lip
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Bonus feat
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Lord’s right hand, serving two masters (5)

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

The battle butler is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, but not with medium or heavy armor or with any shields. In addition, he is proficient in any weapon in the butler weapon group (see gentlemanly combat) and all firearms.

Contract

Once per day a battle butler can define a single character as their master as a swift action. He may do this one additional time per day for every 4 levels of battle butler he attains. This designation lasts for 24 hours or until the battle butler defines a new master. At 1st level the battle butler may only have one master at a time. When adjacent to the battle butler their master gains a deflection bonus to their AC equal to the battle butler’s Dexterity bonus. This deflection bonus to his master’s AC cannot exceed 1/2 his battle butler level (minimum +1). If the battle butler is unconscious, dead, or otherwise incapacitated his master(s) do not benefit from this but the contract remains in effect (he does not have to renew it upon being restored).

Dressed to the Nines (Ex)

A battle butler would never be caught dead in anything worth less than 20 gp (typically a courtier’s outfit). However, a battle butler has learned to derive greater benefits from clothing normally worn by the aristocracy. When wearing clothing (not armor) worth at least 20 gp, a battle butler adds 1 point of Charisma bonus (if any) per battle butler class level as an insight bonus to his Armor Class, certain outfits add to his effective class level for determining how much of their Charisma modifier they may add to their AC. The battle butler retains this bonus even if caught flat-footed or otherwise denied his Dexterity bonus. He may add more of his Charisma bonus then his level would otherwise permit by wearing more expensive clothing (see Table: Dressed to the Nines).

While such an outfit is worn by a battle butler they count as light armor (taking the appropriate item slot) and may be enchanted as such. Enhancement bonuses that normally improve the armor bonus of the armor instead improve the insight bonus they provide.

Table: Dressed to the Nines
Outfit Cost Effective Class Level1
Attendant’s2 20 gp +2
Courtier’s 30 gp +4
Noble’s 75 gp +6
Royal 200 gp +8

1: Effective battle butler level for the purpose of determining the benefit of the dressed to the
nines class feature.

2: Attendant’s Outfit: This is a black and white bespoke suit or dress made in the fashion of the day with additional pockets and accoutrements suited to the profession of a housekeeper or butler. It provides a +4 circumstance bonus on Profession (butler) checks made to earn a week’s salary. These same statistics may be used for a Dilettante’s outfit if you are using the Advanced Racial Guide.

Tricks of the Trade

At 1st level a battle butler gains abilities known as “tricks of the trade” that allow them to better perform household chores. At 1st level he may select a number of tricks of the trade equal to 4 + his Intelligence modifier (minimum +1). At 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter he gains an additional 2. These are not particularly useful in combat, but add a bit of flair and wonderment to the way they serve. The vast majority of these abilities may only be used out of combat. A battle butler can not employ these while his service meter is at or below 5 (10 - 5).

Always Helpful

If an ally requests their aid the battle butler gains a +4 morale bonus on aid another checks that fulfill that request. In addition, when flaking with an ally the bonus to hit it provides improves by 1.

Antique Sense

A battle butler gains an appreciation and understanding of old and valuable objects. He gains a +2 competence bonus on all Appraise check to identify objects more than 50 years old.

Baby Whisperer (Ex)

A crying creature instantly becomes calm (as if by calm emotions) when held by a battle butler.

Bespoke Butler

The battle butler can always correctly and instantly tell the quality and relative age of a garment worn by another creature. He can tell if it is brand new, old, or well-worn and if it is bespoke (custom made) or “off the rack”. He may also use mending as a supernatural ability to repair clothing or armor (not anything else) of allies at will. Using mending in this fashion takes 1 minute.

Cleaning Service (Ex)

The battle butler can clean a 10 x 10 x 10 space in 1 minute. This does not completely erase any signs of conflict (it may be detected with an appropriate Perception check) but removes mundane things like dust, cobwebs, spills, crumbs, as well as organizing and tidying up things like bookshelves, piles of papers, drapes, rugs, etc. This doesn’t inherently offer the battle butler any additional insight into the room that would be revealed with a Perception check, detection of secret doors, or the like (however, they may trigger traps as per normal). As a full round action a battle butler can clean all adjacent squares of effects like grease or other such effects.

Culinary Wit (Ex)

The battle butler instantly and correctly knows if meat he lays eyes upon is undercooked, overcooked, or otherwise improperly prepared. In addition, if he takes a full round to examine any food, he knows if it is poisoned (as if by detect poison).

Demure Grace

A battle butler is trained to be disarming and fade into the background in support of their master in social situations. To that end, all allies gain a +2 bonus on all Diplomacy checks when within line of sight of the battle butler. This does not function is the battle butler is unconscious or otherwise incapacitated.

Ever Vigilant

A battle butler needs only sleep 2 hours per day to gain the benefit of 8 hours of sleep.

Expert Packing

If the battle butler takes 10 minutes to pack his or an ally’s gear each day, the creature gains a +2 bonus to Strength to determine their light encumbrance. This does not affect the creature’s maximum carrying capacity. The efficient distribution of weight simply encumbers them less than the same amount of weight normally should.

Fetch the Shopping

The battle butler always gets a fair price when buying goods in large markets or other shopping districts. Reduce the price of mundane goods by 10%. This does not apply to particularly unique items, items individually worth more than 500 gp, or in any sort of unusual market place (such as a black market, auction, etc).

Folded Sheets

The battle butler can prepare a sleeping space for a creature in a fashion that would make a king jealous in 1 minute. This allows the creature to sleep under circumstances that would normally prevent them from sleeping (rain, irritating climate, an ear-splitting noise, etc).

Just Right (Su)

Any tea, soup, or other liquid consumable meant to be served hot is instantly made the correct temperature, even if he has no means to heat it. In addition any baths prepared by the battle butler are always done to an enjoyable temperature and remain so for the duration of the bath, even if there is no means of providing the heat. In addition, this provides him with 10 resistance against scalding damage (the kind of damage caused by boiling water). This also applies against any sort of fire damage caused as the result of steam or hot water (such as the breath weapon of the steam mephit).

Masseuse/Masseur (Ex)

A battle butler who takes 30 minutes to administer a massage to a creature and makes a Heal check (DC 10) can remove any one of the following conditions: exhausted, fatigue, or heal 1 point of physical ability score damage. A creature may only benefit from a massage like this once per day.

Master's Call (Ex)

After being implicitly ordered to attend by his master, the battle butler gains an extra 10 feet to his base movement speed if he should attempt to move adjacent to that master on the battle butler’s next turn.

Mnemonic Memory (Ex)

The battle butler always remembers the name and general personal information of anyone he has previously encountered or any information that was told to him (he remembers all the details of the story Earl Herman Williams of Woodbury told him about his dog Scruffy). Supernatural or magical circumstances impedes this ability (such as modify memory) and he has no special defense against such things.

Naptime

A battle butler with this ability has mastered the ability of sending children to sleep. The battle butler can cast sleep as a supernatural ability a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum once per day), though this only affects creatures no older than the young age category. His effective caster level for this ability is equal to his battle butler level.

Need a Light? (Su)

A battle butler may light a cigar or other smokeable without any apparent ability to do so (no matches required). This ability also allows him to use the spark spell as a supernatural ability at will.

On Hand (Ex)

A battle butler may draw any item (regardless of where it is stored) as a free action, as per the Quick Draw feat (though he does not gain that feat), if it is requested of him by an ally. He may not use this ability to draw items for his own use (use the GM’s discretion). He does this so quick, he seems to have it on hand even before it is requested. He may use this ability to draw items out of the requesting character’s inventory with the controlling player’s consent (or the GM’s consent if it is an NPC). The battle butler can only draw items from the inventory of creatures adjacent to him. This may be used during combat.

Perfect Pouring (Ex)

The battle butler may pour liquids into glasses without spilling a drop, even if circumstances would normally prevent this. Furthermore, the battle butler may draw and administer a potion to a willing conscious creature as a standard action.

Potpourri (Su)

The battle butler may change the scent of a touched creature, article of clothing, or other small object to that of a mild and pleasant scent of battle butler’s choice as a swift action. The effect last for 30 min per battle butler level. If he touches a creature with the stench universal monster rule, it is suppressed for 10 min per battle butler level. Furthermore the battle butler is immune to negative effects, like stench, that rely on unpleasant scents.

Presentable (Ex)

A battle butler may clean himself, removing all blood, grime, gore, or other unpleasantness from his person as a standard action. He may do this to another willing creature in the same amount of time. He may use this ability while in combat. This can be used to rid a target of things like sticky acidic slime, burning tar, etc. This does not remove sovereign glue.

Rise and Shine

The battle butler can always awaken a naturally sleeping ally with his voice. In addition, he may speak to them while sleeping and the sleeping creature will comprehend the words spoken to them as well as be able to recall them upon waking.

Table Service

The battle butler is always and instantly aware when someone within 30 feet requests or is about to request a refill or more food. A battle butler may also set a table for up to 10, provided he has the resources to do so, as a full round action. Creatures who eat at a meal prepared by a battle butler, taking no less than 30 minutes to do so, gain a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls for 12 hours.

Translator

The battle butler gains 2 additional languages. This may be selected multiple times, its effects stack.

Valet

Trained in the art of handling horses for the transport of their master, a battle butler causes the ride to be without bump or jolt under non-dire circumstances (combat or a situation requiring a skill check). In addition the battle butler can make a Heal check (DC 10) once per day to restore his battle butler level in hp to an ally’s riding animal, personal pet, or beast of burden or animal companion if he spends 30 minutes grooming and treating it.

Wearing White (Su)

Unless targeted by a specific ability that soils the attire of the battle butler (such as a breath of acid from a dragon) the battle butler’s attire is always immaculate. He could slaughter 30 chickens with his bare hands while wearing a white shirt and come out without a drop of blood on it or he could walk through a hurricane and not have a hair out of place on his head. This further provides him a +2 competence bonus on saves against splash weapons and an equal bonus to his AC against them.

Wine Connoisseur (Ex)

A battle butler always correctly and instantly knows the best pairing of wines with whatever food is mentioned. In addition, if he takes a full round to smell a wine, he can instantly tell the type and vintage of a wine he sniffs. Sniffing a wine also lets him know if it is poisoned (as if by detect poison ). He may use this last facet on any beverage.

Service (Ex)

A battle butler is mentally conditioned to be loyal and dedicated to whoever holds their contract. To reflect this, the battle butler has a service meter. When a battle butler’s service meter is high, he is a placid killer capable of extreme grace. However, should circumstances become dire and his charge is in danger- he explodes into a more savage and aggressive mental state, brought on by his years of mental conditioning. This meter begins full at the beginning of combat at 10 points and resets to 10 one minute after combat ends. Each time his master, as defined by the master class feature, is successfully struck by an enemy’s attack and is dealt damage as a result this meter is lowered by 1 point. Any time an enemy who has struck his master is killed, the battle butler’s meter is restored 3 points. The battle butler must have had a hand in killing it (GM is the final arbiter).

A battle butler gains a morale bonus to damage rolls and either a morale bonus or penalty to critical confirmation rolls based on his service meter.

Table: The Service Meter
Service Meter Level Morale Bonus to Damage Rolls Morale Bonus/Penalty on Critical Confirmation Rolls Notes
10 +0 +4
9 +0 +3
8 +1 +2
7 +1 +1
6 +2 +0
5 +2 +0 Can’t use tricks of the trade at 5 or below.
4 +3 -1 No longer benefits from gentlemanly combat at 4 or below.
3 +3 -1
2 +4 -2
1 +4 -2
0 +4 -3

Mental Conditioning (Ex)

At 1st level, the battle butler is immune to spells with the emotional descriptor while his service meter is at 10. At 5th level he is immune while he is between 10 and 5 and at 10th level he is always immune regardless of his service meter. In addition, a battle butler’s mental conditioning disallows him from harming anyone who he has declared as his master or with whom he has entered into a contract of service. To do so requires that he makes a Will save (DC 10 + battle butler level) and, after he does so, he is shaken for 1d4 rounds. He need only make this Will save once per creature. If he causes harm to come to a creature of his own free will, he may never enter into a contract or declare that creature as their master again.

Gentlemanly Combat (Ex)

Starting at 2nd level a battle butler’s skill in a specialized art of combat begins to shine. They practice an art that is derived from ancient gentlemanly dueling methods mixed with the precision of an assassin. When wielding a weapon from battle butler weapon group he may always apply his Dexterity modifier to both his attack and damage rolls if it is higher than his Strength modifier while his service meter is at or above 4 (10 - 5). The battle butler does not reduce this bonus for off hand weapons, but does not increase it for weapons wielded in 2 hands

Butler Weapon Group

Rapier, dagger, walking cane, umbrella, wide-brimmed hat (thrown), pen/quill, broom, cutlery, servant’s glove, serving platter, unarmed strikes, sword caneUE, and all firearms. See the butler weapons section at the end of this page for more information.

Unseen Servant (Sp)

At 2nd level, a battle butler gains a formless servant to help him in their chores and duties. This functions as per an unseen servant spell with an unlimited duration and it takes a full round to conjure the servant. The battle butler may only have 1 unseen servant at a time from this class feature. All unseen servants under his command are destroyed after 1 hour if the battle butler is rendered unconscious.

At 13th level, a battle butler can summon a fleet of unseen servants. When he conjures his unseen servant, he instead conjures a number equal to 1/2 his battle butler level (minimum 1). He may only have a number of unseen servants at a time equal to 1/2 his battle butler level from this class feature.

Bloody Butler (Ex)

At 3rd level, the battle butler doubles the critical threat range of weapons he wields or fires (as though he possessed the feat Improved Critical, this does not allow him to qualify for feats with that feat as a prerequisite) while adjacent to, or flanking with, his master and while his service meter is between 10 and 7. If his service meter is between 6 and 4, the critical threat range is increased by 1 (20 becomes 19-20, 19-20 becomes 18-20, 18-20 becomes 17-20), this does not stack with other abilities that increase his critical threat range. If his service meter is lower than 4 he derives no benefit from this class feature.

Bonus Feat (Ex)

At 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter a battle butler gains a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement. These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as combat feats.

Restore Conditioning (Ex)

At 4th level, the battle butler can restore his calm composure as a move equivalent action. He regains 4 points on his service meter. This typically involves him tidying himself up by doing something like slicking his hair back, adjusting his necktie, fixing the cut of his suit, or seeing to his deportment or regaining his elan, composure or general esprit de corps. This kind of physical reminder helps reset his mental conditioning.

Ungentlemanly Conduct (Ex)

At 6th level, the battle butler gains the ability to productively channel the savagery triggered by his his mental conditioning. When taking a full attack action, he may make one additional attack at his highest BAB when adjacent to his master and while his service meter is between 0 and 3.

Serving Two Masters

At 8th level, the battle butler can maintain two masters at a time. At 12th level he may maintain 3, 4 at 16th level, and 5 at 20th level. This still only consumes a single use of his contract class feature.

You Rang? (Su)

At 9th level, battle butler may teleport as a move action to an unoccupied square adjacent to an ally so long as that ally is within 30 ft + 10 feet per battle butler level. He may do this at will, provided his service meter is between 10 and 7. The battle butler must have line of sight to the square.

Influence Conditioning (Ex)

At 14th level, the battle butler can control their own conditioning to a degree. At the start of combat they may select to set their service meter to 1 or 10.

Prim and Proper (Ex)

At 15th level, a battle butler and his master (or masters) becomes immune to mind-affecting effects while his service meter is between 10 and 5 (at 4 or below the immunity does not function). The battle butler and his master may decide on a case by case basis, as a free action, to allow certain effects through.

Control Conditioning (Ex)

At 17th level, the battle butler gains a finer degree of control over their own mental conditioning. At the start of combat they may select what value on their service meter they begin at.

Stiff Upper Lip (Ex)

The determination and zeal with which the battle butler fights when his master has been injured reaches a level of pure mastery- affording the battle butler almost supernatural grace and savagery when his mental programing is triggered. At 18th level, the morale bonus to damage gained by the battle butler from his service meter is doubled (a +4 becomes a +8).

Lord’s Right Hand (Ex)

At 20th level, enemy creatures cannot willingly enter a square adjacent to any of the masters of a battle butler unless it succeeds a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 battle butler level + Charisma modifier). Furthermore, enemies adjacent to a butler’s master provoke attacks of opportunity from the battle butler for attacking.


Butler Weapons

Table: Butler Weapons
Name Cost Dmg (S) Dmg (M) Crit Range Weight Type Special Category
Walking Cane 3 sp 1d4 1d6 x2 - 1 lb. B Disarm, Fragile One-Handed Exotic (Melee)
Umbrella 1 gp 1d4 1d6 x2 - 2 lbs. B Blocking, Disarm, Distracting, Fragile One-Handed Exotic (Melee)
Wide-Brimmed Hat 2 cp 1d2 1d3 x2 30 ft. 1 lb. B - One-handed Exotic (Ranged)
Cutlery 1 cp 1d2 1d4 19-20 x2 10 ft. 1 lb. P/S - One-Handed Exotic (Melee)
Pen/Quill 1 sp 1d3 1d4 x3 10 ft. 1 lb. P Fragile Light Exotic (Melee)
Broom 3 cp 1d4 1d6 x2 - 2 lbs. B Disarm, Fragile, Monk, Trip One-Handed Exotic (Melee)
Servant’s Gloves 1 gp 1 1d2 19-20 x2 - 1 lb. P and B Monk Light Exotic (Melee)
Serving platter 2 gp 1d3 1d4 x2 10 ft 3 lbs. B Blocking Light Exotic (Throwing)

Walking Cane

These simple walking sticks have a curved head that can be used with lethal effectiveness when in the right hands.

Umbrella

Ancient umbrellas or parasols can be used to shelter yourself from rain, the rays of the sun… or perhaps something more lethal.

Wide-Brimmed Hat

Large hats of the day can be thrown like disks if you have the proper training. A wide-brimmed hat always deals non-lethal damage regardless of one’s skill with it.

Servant’s Glove

These unassuming white cotton gloves hide small thumbtack sized spikes on the knuckles. A DC 20 Perception check can detect the small, needle-like, metal spines.

Pen / Quill

They say the pen is mightier than the sword. However, when trained to use this unassuming writing implement as a weapon, it can even outclass a sword on the battlefield.

Cutlery

While normally reserved for butchering steaks, a properly employed steak knife or fork can just as easily be used to kill a man. With proper training, cutlery can be thrown with devastating accuracy.

Broom

This covers things like push-brooms, mops, and typical household brooms. A character can use a broom two-handed as a simple weapon but must be proficient in its use to use it one-handed. This covers things like push-brooms, mops, and typical household brooms. A character using a broom gains a +2 bonus on any rolls for domestic chores or cleaning.

Serving Platter

A metallic, roughly flat circle of metal. Normally used to serve drinks in high society, but can be used a makeshift shield in desperate times. Additionally, with a little training, the platter can make a serviceable throwing disc.


A Player’s Guide to the Battle Butler

Battle Butlers are potent combatants that are able to fortify another creature’s defenses while they are adjacent to them. Due to this they function best in a melee capacity, as the bonuses they provide are only rarely of use to ranged combatants. Note that unless the battle butler or his master are of exceptional size they are unlikely to be able to flank with each other and be adjacent to each other at the same time. Battle butlers ought to have good Dexterity and Charisma to improve their AC, as well as their master’s AC. In addition they benefit most from weapons with either a high critical threat multiplier or a high critical threat range, and should invest in feats like Critical Focus to compensate for their penalty to confirmation rolls while low on their service meter. In addition a battle butler may wish to invest in weapons with the keen ability to compensate for the lack of an increased threat range while their service meter is low.


Archetypes

-Rapscallion

Rapscallions are failed Battle Butlers who couldn't complete their training and were left to fend for themselves - learning new tricks along the way.

See the Legal & OGL page. Any material NOT covered by the Open Game License Version 1.0a is covered by the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.