Bard

by

Bard

Hit Die: d8

Class Abilities: DEX, CHA

For some individuals with the talent, music and song become powerful and innately magical. These spellsingers can affect minds, summon “spirits,” and in special places, even pierce the veil between Atheles and the Navirim. Their songs can put both the performer and an audience into a magical state of mind.

Spellsinging bards do not have to carry around spellbooks or memorize spells like luminar mages do. In Atheles, it is said that the world was sung into existence. Music is creation, and creation is music. A bard just taps into this process of creation on a smaller scale.

Spellsinging bards are particularly potent at hypnotic sorts of magic – the sorts of things that work on the perceptions of others. Skilled bards spend a lifetime studying the audience and intuitively learning the various psychologies of people. Most spellsingers begin as minstrels, finding it easiest to tap into their magic while playing an instrument and singing, but as their power grows, some have been known to cast magic over a crowd with just a story, a whistled tune, a dance, or even by performing a role. It is said that in times of old, with much experience and as their art became second nature, some great bards could even put themselves into a magical, creative, state of mind without actually performing out loud.

Level Base Attack Bonus (BAB) Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Class Feature Level Bonus*
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Bardic Knowledge, Perform Talent, Bardic Music: Countersong, Fascinate (1 person), Distract, Inspire Courage (+1) 1st Legacy Item, 10 Skill Points to start, 2 Talent Points
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Spell Sight Bonus Hit Point, +1 Skill Point
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Soothing Song once per day, All Resistances gain +1, +1 Skill Point, 1 Talent Point
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Fascinate (2 people) +1 Ability Point, +1 Skill Point, 2nd Legacy Item
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Inspire Courage (+2) +1 Deflection Bonus to AC, +1 Skill Point
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Suggestion All Resistances gain +1, +1 Skill Point, 1 Talent Point
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Fascinate (3 people) Natural Armor +1, +1 Skill Point, 3rd Legacy Item
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 Hymn of Horror, Inspire Greatness +1 Ability Point, +1 Skill Point

*Level dependent, not class dependent. These skills are completely independent of Class Feature.

Starting Spells known at level 1
0 Mana Spells 2

Spell Memory Allotment

Bard Level Allowed Spells in Memory
1 4
2 6
3 8
4 10
5 12
6 13
7 16
8 17
Bard Level Mana per Day
1st 0
2nd 0
3rd 1
4th 2
5th 6
6th 9
7th 11
8th 14

Bardic Knowledge: A bard may make a special bardic knowledge check with a bonus equal to his bard level + his Intelligence modifier to see whether he knows some relevant information about local notable people, legendary items, or noteworthy places. (If the bard has 3 or more ranks in Knowledge, he gains a +2 bonus on this check.)

A successful bardic knowledge check will not reveal the powers of a magic item but may give a hint as to its general function. A bard may not take 10 or take 20 on this check; this sort of knowledge is essentially random.

DC Type of Knowledge
10 Common, known by at least a substantial minority of the local population.
20 Uncommon but available, known by only a few people.
25 Obscure, known by few, hard to come by.
30 Extremely obscure, known by very few, possibly forgotten by most who once knew it, possibly known only by those who don’t understand the significance of the knowledge.

Perform Talent: Bards automatically get the Perform talent.

Bardic Music:

Once per day per bard level, a bard can perform songs or poetics to produce magical effects on those around him (usually including himself, if desired). While these abilities fall under the category of bardic music and the descriptions discuss singing or playing instruments, they can all be activated by reciting poetry, chanting, singing lyrical songs, singing melodies, whistling, playing an instrument, or playing an instrument in combination with some spoken performance. Each ability requires a minimum bard level.

Starting a bardic music effect is a standard action. Some bardic music abilities require concentration, which means the bard must take a standard action each round to maintain the ability. Even while using bardic music that doesn’t require concentration, a bard cannot cast spells, activate magic items by spell completion (such as scrolls), spell trigger (such as wands), or command word. Just as for casting a spell with a verbal component, a deaf bard has a 20% chance to fail when attempting to use bardic music. If he fails, the attempt still counts against his daily limit.

Countersong: A bard can use his music or poetics to counter magical effects that depend on sound (but not spells that simply have verbal components). Each round of the countersong, he makes a Perform check. Any creature within 30’ of the bard (including the bard himself) that is affected by a sonic or language-dependent magical attack may use the bard’s Perform check result in place of its own saving throw if, after the saving throw is rolled, the Perform check result proves to be higher. If a creature within range of the countersong is already under the effect of a non-instantaneous sonic or language-dependent magical attack, it gains another saving throw against the effect each round it hears the countersong, but it must use the bard’s Perform check result for the save. Countersong has no effect against effects that don’t allow saves. The bard may keep up the countersong for 10 rounds.

Fascinate: A bard can use his music or poetics to cause one or more creatures to become fascinated with him. Each creature to be fascinated must be within 90’, able to see and hear the bard, and able to pay attention to him. The bard must also be able to see the creature. The distraction of a nearby combat or other dangers prevents the ability from working. For every three levels a bard attains beyond 1st, he can target one additional creature with a single use of this ability.

To use the ability, a bard makes a Heroic Action vs. the target’s Will save. If a creature’s saving throw succeeds, the bard cannot attempt to fascinate that creature again for 24 hours. If its saving throw fails, the creature sits quietly and listens to the song, taking no other actions, for as long as the bard continues to play and concentrate. If any distraction occurs–such as combat, someone yelling, or physical contact–the spell is broken. Any obvious threat–such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a ranged weapon at the target–automatically breaks the effect. Fascinate is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting ability.

Distract: A bard can use his performance to counter magic effects that depend on sight. Each round of the distraction, he makes a Persuasion (CHA) skill check. Any creature within 30’ of the bard (including the bard himself) that is affected by an illusion (pattern) or illusion (figment) magical attack may use the bard’s Persuasion check result in place of its own saving throw if, after the saving throw is rolled, the Persuasion skill check proves to be higher. If a creature within range of the distraction is already under the effect of a non-instantaneous illusion (pattern) or illusion (figment) magical attack, it gains another saving throw against the effect each round it sees the distraction, but it must use the bard’s Perform skill check result for the save. Distraction does not work on effects that don’t allow saves.

Inspire Courage: A bard can use song or poetics to inspire courage in his allies (including himself), bolstering them against fear and improving their combat abilities. To be affected, an ally must be able to hear the bard sing. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the bard sing and for 5 rounds thereafter. An affected ally receives a +1 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 morale bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls. Inspire courage is a mind-affecting ability.

Spell Sight: A bard can use Spell Sight to memorize a spell that he hears or witnesses being cast. It is detailed further in the chapter on Magic.

Soothing Song: A bard performs for one uninterrupted hour and heal all those who hear his performance for 1d8+4 HP. If interrupted, the spellsong fails, but the bard may continue to attempt the spellsong until successful.

Suggestion: A bard can make a Suggestion (as the spell) to a creature that he has already Fascinated. Using this ability does not break the bard’s concentration on the Fascinate effect, nor does it allow a second saving throw against the Fascinate effect.

Making a Suggestion doesn’t count against a bard’s daily limit on bardic music performances. A Will saving throw (DC 10 + ½ bard’s level + bard’s CHA modifier) negates the effect. This ability affects only a single creature (but see Mass Suggestion, below). Suggestion is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting, language dependent ability.

Hymn of Horror: A bard can use his performance to foster a sense of growing dread in his enemies, causing them to become shaken. To be affected, an enemy must be within 30’ and able to see and hear the bard’s performance. The effect persists for as long as the enemy is within 30’ and the bard continues his performance. This performance cannot cause a creature to become frightened or panicked, even if the targets are already shaken from another effect. Hymn of Horror is a mind-affecting fear effect, and it relies on audible and visual components.

Inspire Greatness: A bard can use music or poetics to inspire greatness in himself or a single willing ally within 30’, granting him or her extra fighting capability. To inspire greatness, a bard must sing and an ally must hear him sing. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the bard sing and for 5 rounds thereafter. A creature inspired with greatness gains 12 bonus Hit Points, a +2 bonus on attack rolls, and a +1 bonus on Fortitude saves. Inspire Greatness is a mind-affecting ability.