View Full Version : [Class] Maestro: The Professional Bard

2007-03-08, 03:55 PM
This is a new class I've been working on a while. It's still fairly rough, but I'm not sure what to do with it next. If someone who's more experienced in D&D could take a look and tell me if anything needs better balancing, or new ideas that would work, I'd appreciate it.

The Idea behind Maestros was to make a more... musical bard.

Here's a breakdown of the difference between bards and maestros:
* Spellcraft is now a cross-class skill (but Intimidate is a class skill instead)
* No Bardic magic. A small selection of bardic spells is now songs. (Lullaby (brd 0), Silent Image (1), Rage (brd 2), Fear (brd 3), irresistible dance (brd 6)
* 1 New Song bared on cleric-only spell: Doom (clr 1)
* 5 All New songs! Drinking Polka, Song of Loves Lament, Song of harmonic Void, Lullaby of improved Healing and Song of Dancing blade
* Resonance/Perfect Pitch Class ability improving listen checks
* Infectious tune/Haunting Melody ability that lengthens the effects of bardic/maestro songs
* Harmony allowing multiple bards/Maestros to improve their effects
* Hone Talents, allowing more ranks in skills with one ability modifier each time

Because I borrowed Song of Dancing Blade, song of harmonic void and Song of love's lament from DRAGON magazine, and that may be against the rules I won't copy those here, but only give a synopsis of what they do. If it is ok, let me know, or if it's alright I can PM them. I know this can cause trouble with helping, but I'm not sure what I can do short of removing them.

Maestros have schools in most large cities where they are trained. They are trained in the art of music that goes much deeper than entertainment, but music that can literally compel the listeners.

Maestros in some ways are both more flexible than Bards, and in other ways less flexible. They can use some of a bardís spells as music, but not all of them. Maestros are best used in parties where there are going to be at least one other bard, to take advantage of the harmony ability.

Any Lawful

Hit Die

Class Skills
The Maestroís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Balance Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (None), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha)
Skill Points at 1st Level
(6 + Int modifier) ◊4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level
6 + Int modifier.
Table 1.1 the Maestro

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

+2|Class Maestro Music, Bardic Knowledge, Fascinate. 1st Bonus Tradition song

+3|Harmony ,1st Maestro Song


+4|Hone Talents. 2nd Maestro Song


+5|3rd Maestro Song. Suggestion


+6|4th Maestro song. 2nd Bonus Tradition Song, Hone Talents


+7|Improvise. 5th Maestro Song


+8|6th Maestro Song, Hone Talents

+8|Infectious Tune

+9|7th Maestro Song

+9|3rd Bonus Tradition Song

+10|8th Maestro Song, Hone Talents

+10|Hone Talents

+11|9th Maestro Song. Mass Suggestion

+11|Haunting Melody

+12|Perfect Pitch, 10th Maestro Song, Hone Talents
Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Maestro
Weapon and Armor Proficiency
A Maestro is proficient with all simple weapons, plus the long sword, rapier, sap, short sword, short bow, and whip. Are proficient with light armor and shields (except tower shields).
Bardic Knowledge
A Maestro may make a special bardic knowledge check with a bonus equal to his maestro level + his Intelligence modifier to see whether he knows some relevant information about local notable people, legendary items, or noteworthy places. (If the maestro has 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (history), 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 maestro may not take 10 or take 20 on this check; this sort of knowledge is essentially random.

Table 1.2 Bardic Knowledge Difficulty

{table=head]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 legends.
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 donít understand the significance of the knowledge.[/table]

Maestro Music
A Maestro at the beginning chooses a song tradition (Human, Halfling, Dwarf, Elf or Gnome) or choose no tradition.
Maestro learns a new song from the song list at 1st level, at each 4 levels after (1st, 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 20th,). You get a bonus song from your tradition every 7 levels. (7th and 14th) and when playing the songs from your own tradition, the Maestro receives a +2 circumstance bonus. Also, performing a song that belongs to the same race as you grants a +2 racial bonus to the performance.

Those with No Tradition choice may choose a song from any tradition, but he does not get the +2 tradition circumstance bonuses.

Those taking a Gnome tradition, since they have less song then everyone else gets 2 bonus ranks in performance at 15th level.

A Maestro must prepare their songs in advance. A maestro can prepare songs a number of songs per day equal to their maestro level. A maestro can use his song or poetics to produce magical effects on those around him (usually including himself, if desired). While these abilities fall under the category of Maestro music and the descriptions discuss singing or playing instruments, they can all be activated by singing lyrical songs, singing melodies, whistling, playing an instrument, or playing an instrument in combination with some spoken performance. Each ability requires both a minimum maestro level and a minimum number of ranks in the Perform skill to qualify; if a maestro does not have the required number of ranks in at least one Perform skill, he does not gain the Maestro music ability until he acquires the needed ranks.
Starting a Maestro music effect is a standard action. Some Maestro music abilities require concentration, which means the maestro must take a standard action each round to maintain the ability. Even while using Maestro music that doesnít require concentration, a maestro 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 maestro has a 20% chance to fail when attempting to use Maestro music. If he fails, the attempt still counts against his daily limit.
You have a Ė4 bonus to perform checks if the song you are performing is from a tradition that is not the same as your race (This does not apply if you chose no tradition as your tradition) you get a +2 bonus to perform checks if it is within your tradition.

CounterSong (Su)
At 5th level or higher, A maestro with 3 or more ranks in a Perform skill 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 feet of the maestro (including the maestro himself) that is affected by a sonic or language-dependent magical attack may use the maestroís Perform check result in place of its 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 maestroís Perform check result for the save. Countersong has no effect against effects that donít allow saves. The maestro may keep up the countersong for 10 rounds.

Fascinate (Sp)
A Maestro with 3 or more ranks in a Perform skill 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 feet, able to see and hear the bard, and able to pay attention to him. The Maestro must also be able to see the creature. The distraction of nearby combat or other dangers prevents the ability from working. For every three levels a Maestro attains beyond 1st, he can target one additional creature with a single use of this ability.
To use the ability, a Maestro makes a Perform check. His check result is the DC for each affected creatureís will save against the effect. If a creatureís saving throw succeeds, the Maestro 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 Maestro continues to play and concentrate (up to a maximum of 1 round per Maestro level). While fascinated, a target takes a -4 penalty on skill checks made as reactions, such as Listen and Spot checks. Any potential threat requires the Maestro to make another Perform check and allows the creature a new saving throw against a DC equal to the new Perform check result.
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.

At 2nd level and higher, if another song is being performed at the same time; the Maestro may make a listen check to attempt to harmonize with the other players. The DC is 10 + 5 for every song already being played. If you succeed, the song you are playing and the other songs already being played are enhanced as detailed in table 1.3. These bonuses are multiplied by the number of successfully harmonizing players.
If you fail your listen check by less than 5, you fail to harmonize, causing no effect. This still counts against your daily uses of maestro music.
If you fail by 5 or more, all performers must make a concentration check to continue

If you fail by 10 or more, all performers are dazed for 1 round for each performing performer. Also, each person within hearing range must make a will save against a DC equal to 10 + (5 * the number of performers performing) or else be dazed as well. This effect is similar to the daze spell.

Table 1.3 Harmony Bonuses

Inspire Courage|Halfling|All effect bonuses are increased by 1.
Song of Irresistible Dance |Halfling|Lasts 1 more round.
Inspire Competence|Dwarf|Competence bonus is increased by 2.
Drinking Polka|Dwarf|All effect bonuses are increased by 1.
Song of Strength|Dwarf|+1 CON to target.
Song of Silent Image|Gnome|DC of will save is increased by 2.
Song of Harmonic void|Gnome|+1 DC.
Inspire Greatness|Human|+1 to all bonuses, 1 Bonus Hit die.
Inspire Heroics|Human|+2 to bonuses
Song of Loveís lament |Human|+1 wisdom damage, +1 rounds nauseated.
Song of Freedom|Elf|+1 Circumstance Bonus
Song of Lullaby|Elf|DC of will save is increased by 2
Lullaby of Improved Healing |Elf|Healing rate is increased by 1 per hour.
Song of Dancing Blade|Elf|Length of effect is increased by 1 round.
Song of Fear|Orc|DC of will save is increased by 2.
Song of Rage|Orc|+1 bonus to Str and Con.
Song of Doom|Orc|DC of will save is increased by 1.

Hone Talents
At 4th level, and each 4th level afterward (4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 20th), a Maestro receives bonus skill points equal to an ability modifier of his choice. These skill points may be spent to gain ranks in any skill with the same ability modifier. For the purpose of this skill, speak language is considered to be a skill with an INT ability modifier.

Timekeeping (Su)
Starting at 7th level, a Maestroís sense of rhythm allows him to perceive the passage of time. Take a +5 Bonus to any wisdom check to intuit the passage of time

Suggestion (Sp)
At 6th level or higher, A Maestro with 9 or more ranks in a Perform skill can make a suggestion (as the spell) to a creature that he has already fascinated. Using this ability does not break the bardís concentration on the fascinate effect, nor does it allow a second saving throw against the fascinate effect.
Making a suggestion doesnít count against a bardís daily limit on bardic music performances. A Will saving throw (DC 10 + Ĺ bardís level + bardís 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.

Resonance (Su)
At 9th level onward, the Maestro has a +2 bonus to all listen checks in order to use the Harmony special ability.

Transpose (Su)
At 9th level and higher, a Maestro may take a Ė2 penalty to your perform check to gain +4 to your Harmony checks for this song.

Improvise (Su)
At 10th level and higher, When performing a prepared song, A maestro may instead choose to perform a song that you know that has not been prepared at a Ė4 penalty. To the required perform check.

Infectious Tune (Su)
At 13th level and higher, If you roll a DC of 20 or higher on a perform check, the effects of the song spell lasts for 1D4 hours after the song has stopped of the listener has
moved out of hearing range

Mass Suggestion (Sp)
At 18th level and higher, The maestro gains this ability. This ability functions like suggestion, above, except that the Maestro must have 21 or more ranks in a Perform skill can make the suggestion simultaneously to any number of creatures that he has already fascinated. Mass suggestion is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting, language-dependent ability.

Perfect Pitch (Su)
At 20th level, the Maestro is allowed to take a 10 on a listen check when using a harmony attempt, even when distractions would normally not allow this.

Haunting Melody (Su)
At 20th Level, You roll a 1D3 days instead when you use the haunting melody ability.


Inspire Courage (Su)
A maestro with 3 or more ranks in a Perform skill 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 Maestro sing. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the Maestro 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. This song may be chosen as a Maestro song multiple times, increasing the bonus of this song by 1 each time (Up to +4). Inspire courage is a mind-affecting ability.
Inspire Competence (Su)
A Maestro with 6 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his music or poetics to help an ally succeed at a task. The ally must be within 30 feet and able to see and hear the bard. The Maestro must also be able to see the ally.
The ally gets a +2 competence bonus on skill checks with a particular skill as long as he or she continues to hear the bardís music. Certain uses of this ability are infeasible. The effect lasts as long as the Maestro concentrates, up to a maximum of 2 minutes. A canít inspire competence in himself. Inspire competence is a mind-affecting ability.

Inspire Greatness (Su)
A Maestro with 12 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use music or fspoetics to inspire greatness in himself or a single willing ally within 30 feet, granting him or her extra fighting capability. For every three levels a Maestro attains beyond 9th, he can target one additional ally with a single use of this ability (two at 12th level, three at 15th, four at 18th). To inspire greatness, a Maestro must sing and an ally must hear him sing. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the Maestro sing and for 5 rounds thereafter. A creature inspired with greatness gains 2 bonus Hit Dice (d10s), the commensurate number of temporary hit points (apply the targetís Constitution modifier, if any, to these bonus Hit Dice), a +2 competence bonus on attack rolls, and a +1 competence bonus on Fortitude saves. The bonus Hit Dice count as regular Hit Dice for determining the effect of spells that are Hit Dice dependant. Inspire greatness is a mind-affecting ability.

Song of Freedom (Sp)
A Maestro with 15 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use music or poetics to create an effect equivalent to the break enchantment spell (caster level equals the characterís Maestro level). Using this ability requires 1 minute of uninterrupted concentration and music, and it functions on a single target within 30 feet. A Maestro canít use song of freedom on himself.

Inspire Heroics (Su)
A Maestro with 18 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use music or poetics to inspire tremendous heroism in himself or a single willing ally within 30 feet. For every three Maestro levels the character attains beyond 15th, he can inspire heroics in one additional creature. To inspire heroics, a Maestro must sing and an ally must hear the Maestro sing for a full round. A creature so inspired gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws and a +4 dodge bonus to AC. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the Maestro sing and for up to 5 rounds thereafter. Inspire heroics is a mind-affecting ability.

Drinking Polka (Su)
A Maestro with 18 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use music or poetics to increase a target willing ally characterís resistance to alcohol. They get a +2 to their will save when resisting any effect from alcohol as long as the ally hears the song and 5 rounds thereafter.

Song of Strength (Su)
A Maestro with 18 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use music or poetics to increase a target willing ally characterís Con by 1 for as the ally hears the song and 5 rounds thereafter.

Song of Irresistible Dance (Sp)
Functions similarly to an irresistible dance spell, except you must make a perform check at DC of 10.

Lullaby of improved Healing. (Sp)
If anyone within hearing range falls asleep while this song is being played, any health recovered by that period of uninterrupted sleep is increased by 1.

Song of Fear (Sp)
Functions similarly to the fear spell, except it does not require any material components. And you must make a perform check at DC of 10.

Song of Lullaby (Sp)
Functions the same as a lullaby spell, except you make a perform check.

Song of Rage (Su)
Functions similarly to the rage spell, except you must make a perform check at a DC of 10.

Song of Silent Image (Sp)
Functions the same as a silent image spell, except you make a perform check.

Song of Harmonic Void (Sp)
Stops spoken components of spells.

Song of the Dancing Blade(Sp)
Imbues a weapon with the dancing spell ability (Page 224 DMG) For the duration of the song, the sword begins to act on it's own, When the effect stops, the weapon drops as the normal effect of the special ability. NOTE: This is from Dragon magazine.

Song of Doom (Sp)
This song acts similarly to a doom spell, except it requires a perform check at DC 10.

Song of Loveís Lament (Sp)
Causes listeners to start crying like babies. :)


2007-03-10, 12:09 AM
Interesting to say the least? Some fluff please?

2007-03-10, 02:42 AM
I'm not sure what you're asking.

2007-03-11, 10:19 AM
Ok, so basically if I see this right, you took out bard spellcasting to put in some cooler bardic songs that resemble spells. You also made some other cool bard abilities. I gotta tell ya, I cant say I really like the idea. Its well done, but why take out their spellcasting to put it in as bardic music? They gain the songs slowly and it will sap thei bardic music really quickly. I dont really get it. It seems weaker than the bard, which is already one of the weaker classes anyways. This guy needs some stronger stuff I think. Either stronger songs or more uses/day.

2007-03-11, 03:32 PM
The reason I got rid of magic was because in my mind a bard is not really a spell caster (There's pleanty of those), and spellcasting was put in to make up for the fact that bards are weak. I wanted to make them more unique.

I see what you mean about being under balanced though, and that was my biggest anticipated issue. What if the prepared songs could be used an unlimited times that day? Would this be too much? I don't think likely, since as you said right now their inferior even to bards. I'd be interested in adding more songs, but I'm out of ideas and would have to do some more research on that (Any suggested song ideas would be appreciated).

Thanks for the input.