D&D 5E [HiJinks] HiJinks for 5e

HiJinks for 5e

an adaptation of the cartoony, musical-comedy, mini-game "HiJinks" for the 5e rule-set

Rock the house! Foil dastardly deeds! Eat yummy snacks!


"HiJinks for 5e" allows you to play the d20 mini-game "HiJinks" with the 5e rule-set. To use it, you'll need "HiJinx" by Jeff Quick (Polyhedron #158, June 2003), the System Reference Document 5.1 or an equivalent 5e rule-set, and optionally "Get a Groovy Animal Mascot for HiJinks" by John Simcoe (Comics on the Brain, Feb. 29, 2012). The rules here override those in "HiJinks" and 5e.

We're With the Band

Usually, in the 5e rule-set, you should read Strength as Charisma, Dexterity as Wisdom, and Constitution as Intelligence. So, Dexeterity bonuses apply to perform attempts, and Charisma bonuses apply to vibe amounts. Always read Armor Class as Thick Skin, Hit Points as Cool Points, Hit Die as Cool Die, Weapons as Instruments, and Damage as Vibes.

Passive checks use the most similar attribute or skill modifier in "HiJinks" + 10. For instance, Passive Perception would use the modifier for Listen or Spot + 10.

Ignore the Saving Throw entries in the "HiJinks" class tables. Instead use the 5e rule-set. Read "HiJinks'" references to Fortitude as Strength or Constitution, Reflex as Dexterity or Intelligence, and Will as Wisdom or Charisma.

So, a Vocalist gets a proficiency bonus in Charisma and Constitution saves, a Guitarist in Dexterity and Charisma saves, a Bassist in Wisdom and Intelligence saves, a Drummer in Charisma and Dexterity saves, a Keyboardist in Strength and Dexterity saves, a D.J. in Wisdom and Dexterity saves, and a Horn Player in Constitution and Intelligence saves.

Ignore the Base Perform Bonus entries in the "HiJinks" class tables, and read the Defense column as the Proficiency Bonus column. Also, ignore skill points. Guitarists, Bassists, and D.J.s get eight of their Class Skills, while Vocalists, Keyboardists, Drummers, and Horn Players get nine.

Generics get only as many skills and feats as they need to fulfill their purpose.

Read Special Qualities as Weirdnesses. Goons may have one or two Mad Skillz or Weirdnesses. Villains may have one to four. Low- to mid-level Goons and Villains have from 8-15 points to distribute among the three Hijinks Thresholds. Mid- to high-level Goons and Villains have from 12-22.

"HiJinks" doesn't use the speed stat, and 5e doesn't use the Take 20 or Take 10 option.

That Thing You Do

Use only the Skills described in "HiJinks" along with the following:

Animal Empathy (Cha)

The character can improve the demeanor of an animal with a successful check. To use the skill, the character and the animal must be able to study each other, noting each other's body language and vocalizations.

You may command an animal to perform a task or trick that it knows. If the animal is bummed-out, the D.C. increases by 2. If your check succeeds, the animal performs the task or trick on its next action.

You may teach an animal a specific trick with one week of work and a successful check against a suitable D.C. An animal with an Intelligence score of 1 can learn a maximum of three tricks, while an animal with an Intelligence score of 2 can learn a maximum of six tricks.

Rather than teaching an animal individual tricks, you can simply train it for a general purpose. Essentially, an animal's purpose represents a preselected set of known tricks that fit into a common scheme, such as guarding or heavy labor. The animal must meet all the normal prerequisites for all tricks included in the training package. If the package includes more than three tricks, the animal must have an Intelligence score of 2.

Appraise (Int)

You can appraise common or well-known objects with medium difficulty. Failure means that you estimate the value at 50% to 150% (2d6+3 times 10%,) of its actual value.

Appraising a rare or exotic item requires a successful check against greater difficulties. If the check is successful, you estimate the value correctly; failure means you cannot estimate the item's value.

A magnifying glass gives you a +2 circumstance bonus on Appraise checks involving any item that is small or highly detailed, such as a gem. A merchant's scale gives you a +2 circumstance bonus on Appraise checks involving any items that are valued by weight, including anything made of precious metals.

You cannot try again on the same object, regardless of success.

Balance (Dex)

You can walk on a precarious surface. A failure by 4 or less means you can't move for 1 round. A failure by 5 or more means you fall. The difficulty varies with the surface.

Bluff (Cha)

A Bluff check is opposed by the target's Sense Motive check. Favorable and unfavorable circumstances weigh heavily on the outcome of a bluff. Two circumstances can weigh against you: The bluff is hard to believe, or the action that the target is asked to take goes against its self-interest, nature, personality, orders, or the like. If it's important, you can distinguish between a bluff that fails because the target doesn't believe it and one that fails because it just asks too much of the target. For instance, if the target gets a +10 bonus on its Sense Motive check because the bluff demands something risky, and the Sense Motive check succeeds by 10 or less, then the target didn't so much see through the bluff as prove reluctant to go along with it. A target that succeeds by 11 or more has seen through the bluff.

A successful Bluff check indicates that the target reacts as you wish, at least for a short time (usually 1 round or less) or believes something that you want it to believe.

A bluff requires interaction between you and the target.

You can use the Bluff skill to help you hide. A successful Bluff check gives you the momentary diversion you need to attempt a Hide check while people are aware of you. This usage does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

You can use Bluff to get a message across to another character without others understanding it. The D.C. is 15 for simple messages, or 20 for complex messages, especially those that rely on getting across new information. Failure by 4 or less means you can't get the message across. Failure by 5 or more means that some false information has been implied or inferred. Anyone listening to the exchange can make a Sense Motive check opposed by the Bluff check you made to transmit in order to intercept your message (see Sense Motive).

Generally, a failed Bluff check in social interaction makes the target too suspicious for you to try again in the same circumstances. Retries are also allowed when you are trying to send a message, but you may attempt such a retry only once per round.

Climb (Str)

With a successful Climb check, you can advance up, down, or across a slope, a wall, or some other steep incline (or even a ceiling with handholds).

A Climb check that fails by 4 or less means that you make no progress, and one that fails by 5 or more means that you fall.

The D.C. of the check depends on the conditions of the climb.

You need both hands free to climb, but you may cling to a wall with one hand while you take some other action that requires only one hand.

Any time you take bad vibes while climbing, make a Climb check against the D.C. of the slope or wall. Failure means you fall.

You can use a rope to haul a character upward (or lower a character) through sheer strength.

Diplomacy (Cha)

You can change the demeanor of others (non-player characters) with a successful Diplomacy check along this scale of difficulty: hostile, unfriendly, indifferent, friendly, helpful, fanatic. In negotiations, participants roll opposed Diplomacy checks, and the winner gains the advantage. Opposed checks also resolve situations when two advocates plead opposite cases in a hearing before a third party.

A rushed Diplomacy check can be made as a full-round action, but you take a -10 penalty on the check.

You may try more than once, but this is not recommended because retries usually do not work. Even if the initial Diplomacy check succeeds, the other character can be persuaded only so far, and a retry may do more harm than good. If the initial check fails, the other character has probably become more firmly committed to his position, and a retry is futile.

Escape Artist (Dex)

You may escape various forms of restraints.

Your Escape Artist check may be opposed by the binder's Use Rope check. Since it's easier to tie someone up than to escape from being tied up, the binder gets a +10 bonus on his or her check. The D.C. for manacles is set by their construction.

You may get through a space where your head fits but your shoulders don't. If the space is long you may need to make multiple checks. You can't get through a space that your head does not fit through unless the G.M. thinks it's really funny.

You can make an Escape Artist check opposed by your enemy's grapple check to get out of a grapple or out of a pinned condition (so that you're only grappling).

If the situation permits, you can make additional checks as long as you're not being actively opposed.

Hide (Dex)

Your Hide check is opposed by the Spot check of anyone who might see you.

A creature larger or smaller than Medium takes a size bonus or penalty on Hide checks depending on its size category: Fine +16, Diminutive +12, Tiny +8, Small +4, Large -4, Huge -8, Gargantuan -12, Colossal -16.

You need cover or concealment in order to attempt a Hide check. Total cover or total concealment usually obviates the need for a Hide check, since nothing can see you anyway.

If people are observing you, even casually, you can't hide. You can run around a corner or behind cover so that you're out of sight and then hide, but the others then know at least where you went.

If your observers are momentarily distracted (such as by a Bluff check; see below), though, you can attempt to hide. While the others turn their attention from you, you can attempt a Hide check if you can get to a hiding place of some kind. (As a general guideline, the hiding place has to be within 1 foot per rank you have in Hide.) This check, however, is made at a -10 penalty because you have to move fast.

You can use Bluff to help you hide. A successful Bluff check can give you the momentary diversion you need to attempt a Hide check while people are aware of you.

Listen (Wis)

Your Listen check is either made against a D.C. that reflects how quiet the noise is that you might hear, or it is opposed by your target's Move Silently check.

If people are whispering and you beat the D.C. by 10 or more, you can make out what's being said, assuming that you understand the language.

Every time you have a chance to hear something in a reactive manner (such as when someone makes a noise or you move into a new area), you can make a Listen check without using an action. Trying to hear something you failed to hear previously is a move action.

When several characters are listening to the same thing, a single 1d20 roll can be used for all the individuals' Listen checks.

Move Silently (Dex)

Your Move Silently check is opposed by the Listen check of anyone who might hear you.

Noisy surfaces, such as bogs or undergrowth, are tough to move silently across. When you try to sneak across such a surface, you take a penalty on your Move Silently check.

Search (Int)

You generally must be within 10 feet of the object or surface to be searched.

It takes a full-round action to search a 5-foot-by-5-foot area or a volume of goods 5 feet on a side.

Sense Motive (Wis)

A successful check lets you avoid being bluffed (see the Bluff skill). You can also use this skill to determine when "something is up" (that is, something odd is going on) or to assess someone's trustworthiness.

This use of the skill involves making a gut assessment of the social situation. You can get the feeling from another's behavior that something is wrong, such as when you're talking to an impostor. Alternatively, you can get the feeling that someone is trustworthy.

You may use Sense Motive to detect that a hidden message is being transmitted via the Bluff skill. In this case, your Sense Motive check is opposed by the Bluff check of the character transmitting the message. For each piece of information relating to the message that you are missing, you take a -2 penalty on your Sense Motive check. If you succeed by 4 or less, you know that something hidden is being communicated, but you can't learn anything specific about its content. If you beat the D.C. by 5 or more, you intercept and understand the message. If you fail by 4 or less, you don't detect any hidden communication. If you fail by 5 or more, you infer some false information.

You may not try again, though you may make a Sense Motive check for each Bluff check made against you.

Spot (Wis)

Typically, your Spot check is opposed by the Hide check of the creature trying not to be seen. Sometimes something isn't hiding but is still difficult to see, so a successful Spot check is necessary to notice it.

Spot is also used to detect someone in disguise (see the Disguise skill), and to read lips when you can't hear or understand what someone is saying.

To understand what someone is saying by reading lips, you must be within 30 feet of the speaker, be able to see him or her speak, and understand the speaker's language. (This use of the skill is language-dependent.) The base D.C. is 15, but it increases for complex speech or an inarticulate speaker. You must maintain a line of sight to the lips being read.

If your Spot check succeeds, you can understand the general content of a minute's worth of speaking, but you usually still miss certain details. If the check fails by 4 or less, you can't read the speaker's lips. If the check fails by 5 or more, you draw some incorrect conclusion about the speech. The check is rolled secretly in this case, so that you don't know whether you succeeded or missed by 5.

Every time you have a chance to spot something in a reactive manner you can make a Spot check without using an action. Trying to spot something you failed to see previously is a move action. To read lips, you must concentrate for a full minute before making a Spot check, and you can't perform any other action (other than moving at up to half speed) during this minute.

You can try to spot something that you failed to see previously at no penalty. You can attempt to read lips once per minute.

Feats Don't Fail Me Now

Use only the Feats described in "HiJinx" along with the following:


Prerequisite: Dexterity 15+.

Benefit: The character ignores all penalties for using an off hand. The character is neither left-handed nor right-handed.

Normal: Without this feat, a character who uses his or her off hand suffers a -4 penalty to perform attempt rolls, ability checks, and skill checks.

Special: This feat helps offset the penalty for playing two instruments at once.

Extra Instrument

Benefit: The character's penalties for playing two instruments at once are reduced by 2. The character gains proficiency in an additional instrument.

Good Dancer

Prerequisite: Wisdom 13+.

Benefit: During the character's action, the character designates a target and receives a +1 Good-Dancer bonus to defense against any subsequent bad vibes from that target. The character can select a new target on any action.

Special: A condition that makes the character lose his or her Wisdom bonus to Thick Skin also makes the character lose Good-Dancer bonuses.

One-Man Band

Prerequisite: Extra Instrument, Ambidexterity, proficiency bonus +4 or higher.

Benefit: In addition to any single extra perform attempt the character gets with an off-hand instrument, the character gets a second perform attempt with the off-hand instrument, albeit at a -5 penalty.

Normal: Without this feat, the character can only get a single extra perform attempt with an off-hand instrument.

Power Chord

Prerequisite: Charisma 13+.

Benefit: On the character's action, before making perform attempt rolls for a round, the character may choose to subtract a number from all perform attempt rolls and add the same number to all vibe rolls. The penalty on perform attempts and bonus on vibes applies until the character's next action.

Private Lessons

Prerequisite: Proficiency with the instrument. The character can choose trip, shove, or grapple for the character's instrument for purposes of this feat.

Benefit: The character adds +1 to all perform attempt rolls the character makes using the selected instrument.

Special: The character can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time the character takes the feat, it applies to a new instrument.

Rein it In

Prerequisite: Int 13+.

Benefit: When the character uses the perform attempt action, the character can take a penalty of as much as -5 on the character's perform attempt and add the same number (up to +5) to the character's Thick Skin. The changes to perform attempt rolls and Thick Skin last until the character's next action.

Normal: A character not capable of the Rein-it-In feat can perform defensively while using the perform attempt action to take a -4 penalty on perform attempts and gain a +2 bonus to Thick Skin.

Too Cool

Benefit: The character gains +3 Cool Points.

Special: A character may gain this feat multiple times.

Where it Hurts

Prerequisite: Proficiency with the instrument, Proficiency Bonus +4 or higher.

Benefit: When using the instrument the character selected, the character's vibe range is doubled.

Special: The character can gain this feat multiple times. The effects do not stack. Each time the character takes the feat, it applies to a new instrument.


Use a Personality feat from "HiJinks" with a trait, ideal, bond, and flaw from the Entertainer background or anything else your G.M. approves of.

(This post is open game content, using the Open Game License version 1.0a)
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