Themes: Cook

If I’m going to namedrop the cook, I might as well post it on Thanksgiving, right? Though I’m probably not posting the pirate, so what do I know.

Profession (cook) and its ilk are probably the second most popular Profession skills I see, after Profession (gambler) which doens’t actually replace Bluff and Sense Motive in the way my characters seem to think it does. D&D has a lot of information about how monsters fight, some about how they live, but almost nothing about how they taste. Given what I know about food now that I didn’t know ten years ago, I figure a character based on eating their way through the Monster Manual could actually be really interesting.

Also I’ve been reading a lot of Toriko and Food Wars. So there’s that.


COOK
Almost everything needs to eat. Even in a world with great magic, fearsome monsters, and noble heroes, this universal constant holds. Whether you trained in a tavern, learned from a relative, or taught yourself, you know how to gather ingredients, separate the edible from the dangerous, and put together meals that not only keep people alive, but keep them healthy in ways they don’t even recognize.

Theme Skills: Appraise, Craft (alchemy), Heal, Knowledge (nature), Profession (cook), Survival
Theme Feats: Brew Potion, Great Fortitude, Master Craftsman Self-Sufficient, Throw Anything

Theme Quests

Novice Quests: These quests are appropriate for advancing through 3rd tier.

  • A strange plant appears in the local market. It seller insists it had magical properties if prepared correctly, but nobody knows how to do that. Learning its secrets may require tailing the seller to the plant’s source and investigating its habitat and the fauna who consume it.
  • The cook happens across an unusual recipe, one with steps like “roast the meat using no fire under the light of a full moon”. It reads more like a ritual than a recipe, but one that requires cooking knowledge and skill to complete. The recipe does not say, however, what the final result will be, or even whether it is desirable.

Expert Quests: These quests are appropriate for advancing through 6th tier.

  • A food-borne illness is affecting a city. It affects people regardless of their district or social standing, so it cannot be something restricted to a specific tavern or vendor. Somebody needs to trace the source of the illness before it infects every person.
  • There is a legend of a blessed knife, one that can remove all poison and disease from animals preparing using it. Though tales vary, it may even suppress poison in monsters struck by it or heal disease with a cut. Such a tool would be an invaluable asset for any dedicated cook, if he or she can find it.

Advanced Quests: These quests are appropriate for advancing through 9th tier.

  • A noble of great renown is demanding a meal prepared with the meat of an exotic, dangerous beast. Not only is the creature deadly to anybody who comes unprepared, but its takes great skill to prepare the meat in a way that makes it safe to eat, and doing so may require other unusual ingredients.
  • A famous cook is in town. His dishes are world-famous and he makes them available to people of all social strata, but he is surly and almost impossible to work with due to his exacting demands. There are rumors that he is looking for an apprentice to teach some of his secrets, but a cook would have to greatly impress him for him to even give them the time of day.

Legendary Quest: A king, queen, high priest, or other powerful, public figure has fallen deathly ill with a very rare magical sickness. Its cure, lost to modern records, involves getting several herbs and ingredients from dangerous locations on the Outer Planes. Only a skilled, learned cook could gather them and create the cure before the public figure succumbs to the sickness.

Theme Abilities

Adamantine Stomach (Ex): Even when something in your system does affect you, your body can handle it. Whenever you take a penalty due to poison, disease, or an effect transmitted via smell or taste, you reduce to penalty by 1, to a minimum of 0. You must be at least 7th tier and possess the mithral stomach theme ability before selecting this ability.
Combat Cook (Ex): Your combat style reflects your kitchen experience. You gain a +1 theme bonus to damage rolls with knives and improvised weapons from a kitchen.
Esoteric Ingredients (Ex): You know how to get even exotic materials for your cooking. You gain a +4 theme bonus to Knowledge checks about cooking and ingredients and can make such checks untrained.
Failed Recipes (Ex): Though you can’t eat them, your worst dishes can still be useful. You can use Profession (cook) instead of Craft (alchemy) to make poison. If you do, the DC increases by 5, and rolling a natural 1 or 2 on the Profession check exposes you to the poison. You must be at least 4th tier before selecting this ability.
Home Remedies (Ex): You know which herbs and plants combat certain bodily afflictions. You gain a +2 theme bonus on Heal checks to treat poison or disease, and if you succeed the character you treat gains a +6 competence bonus on his saving throw.
Iron Stomach (Ex): Your body is resistant to harmful foods. You gain a +2 theme bonus to saving throws against poison.
Mithral Stomach (Ex): You’ve smelled and taste enough strange things to have built up a resistance. Your bonus to saving throws against poison increases to +4. In addition, you gain a +2 theme bonus to saving throws against any effect transmitted via smell or taste, such as a troglodyte’s stench. You must be at least 4th tier and possess the iron stomach theme ability before selecting this ability.
Trained Nose (Ex): You can pick up tastes from far away. You gain the scent special ability. You must be at least 7th tier before selecting this ability.

Advancement Abilities

Nourishing Meal (Su): Your cooking soothes the body more than most. At 4th tier, once per day you can spend one hour cooking a meal for up to one creature per theme tier. Large creatures count as two creatures, Huge creatures as four, and Gargantuan creatures as eight. Each creature must eat the meal within one hour of its preparation, and each creature can only benefit once from a single meal. When a creatures finishes its meal, it heals 2d8 hit points of damage +1 point per theme tier.
Nurturing Meal (Su): Your cooking can soothe both mind and body. At 7th tier, your nourishing meals heals 2d8 hit points of damage +1 point per theme tier. In addition, each creature who eats the meal can make a saving throw against any ongoing poison or disease effect and either heals 1 point of Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution damage or 1 point of Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma damage (creature’s choice).
Stimulating Meal (Su): Your cooking can literally heal the soul. At 7th tier, your nourishing meals heals 4d8 hit points of damage +1 point per theme tier and heals 2 points of either Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution damage or Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma damage. In addition, each creature may make a saving throw against either one permanent negative level or one curse.

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