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View Full Version : Bard Redux, Take II



Lord Iames Osari
2007-09-11, 06:50 PM
Well, the first thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34703) is pretty old by now, and I thought that with all the new blood I've been seeing, it might be a good time to put this out there. I'm looking for help creating new performances and metaperformance feats.

And now, the new Bard!

Bard
Alignment: Any.
Vitality Die: d6.

Class Skills
The bardís 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), 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), Spellcraft (Int), 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="head"]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special
1st|+0|+0|+2|+2|Bardic performance, bardic knowledge
2nd|+1|+0|+3|+3|~
3rd|+2|+1|+3|+3|~
4th|+3|+1|+4|+4|~
5th|+3|+1|+4|+4|Bonus feat
6th|+4|+2|+5|+5|~
7th|+5|+2|+5|+5|~
8th|+6/+1|+2|+6|+6|~
9th|+6/+1|+3|+6|+6|~
10th|+7/+2|+3|+7|+7|Bonus feat
11th|+8/+3|+3|+7|+7|~
12th|+8/+3|+4|+8|+8|~
13th|+9/+4|+4|+8|+8|~
14th|+10/+5|+4|+9|+9|~
15th|+11/+6/+1|+5|+9|+9|Bonus feat
16th|+12/+7/+2|+5|+10|+10|~
17th|+12/+7/+2|+5|+10|+10|~
18th|+13/+8/+3|+6|+11|+11|~
19th|+14/+9/+4|+6|+11|+11|~
20th|+15/+10/+5|+6|+12|+12|Bonus feat[/table]

Class Features
Bardic Performance: The bard can make a number of performances equal to her bard level per day.

Starting a bardic music effect is a standard action unless otherwise specified. 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 doesnít require concentration, a bard cannot cast spells, activate magic items by spell campletion (such as scrolls), spell trigger (such as wands), or command word. If a bard's primary Perform skill is sound-based, a deaf bard has a 20% chance to fail when attempting to use bardic performance. If he fails, the attempt still counts against his daily limit.

At 1st level, a bard learns 3 performances, and she learns an additional performance every level thereafter. Performances are selected from this list.
{table="head"]Performance|Prerequisites
Countersong|Perform 3 ranks
Fascinate|Perform 3 ranks
Inspire Courgae|Perform 3 ranks
Inspire Fear|Perform 3 ranks
Mimicking Song|Perform 3 ranks
Draining Performance|Bard 2, Perform 5 ranks
Refreshing Performance|Bard 2, Perform 5 ranks
Double Time|Bard 3, Perform 6 ranks
Inspire Competence|Bard 3, Perform 6 ranks
Renew Energy|Bard 3, Perform 6 ranks
Counterperformance|Bard 4, Perform 7 ranks
Emerging Talent|Bard 4, Perform 7 ranks
Song of Learning|Bard 4, see text
Dance of Battle|Bard 5, Perform 8 ranks
Involving Storyteller|Bard 5, Perform 8 ranks
Encourage Failure|Bard 6, Perform 9 ranks
Inspire Dread|Bard 6, Perform 9 ranks
Inspire Hope|Bard 6, Perform 9 ranks
Inspire Toughness|Bard 6, Perform 9 ranks
Sound of Silence|Bard 6, Perform (sound-based) 9 ranks
Suggestion|Bard 6, Perform 9 ranks
Warning Shout|Bard 6, Perform (sound-based) 9 ranks
Distracting Performance|Bard 7, Perform 10 ranks
Inspire Resilience|Bard 7, Perform 10 ranks
Inflame the Righteous|Bard 8, Perform 11 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 5 ranks
Persuasive Song|Bard 8, Perform 11 ranks
Singing Shout|Bard 8, Perform 11 ranks
Dishearten|Bard 9, Perform 12 ranks
Inspire Recklessness|Bard 9, Perform 12 ranks
Convert the Unfaithful|Bard 10, Perform 13 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 5 ranks
Sustaining Song|Bard 10, Perform 13 ranks
Incite Mob|Bard 10, Perform 13 ranks
Aid Metamagic|Bard 11, Perform 14 ranks
Boosting Flattery|Bard 11, Perform 14 ranks
Dirge of Binding|Bard 12, Perform 15 ranks
Inspire Awe|Bard 12, Perform 15 ranks
Jarring Song|Bard 12, Perform 15 ranks
Song of Freedom|Bard 12, Perform 15 ranks
Diabolus en Musica|Bard 13, Perform (sound based) 16 ranks
~|Bard 13, Perform 16 ranks
Song of Fury|Bard 14, Perform 17 ranks
~|Bard 14, Perform 17 ranks
Discourage Legion|Bard 15, Perform 18 ranks
Inspire Legion|Bard 15, Perform 18 ranks
Mindbending Melody|Bard 16, Perform 19 ranks
~|Bard 16, Perform 19 ranks
Revealing Meldoy|Bard 17, Perform 20 ranks
~|Bard 17, Perform 20 ranks
Drain Prowess|Bard 18, Perform 21 ranks
~|Bard 18, Perform 21 ranks
~|Bard 19, Perform 22 ranks
~|Bard 19, Perform 22 ranks
Swan Song|Bard 20, Perform 23 ranks
~|Bard 20, Perform 23 ranks[/table]
Countersong (Su): A bard with at least 3 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can counter magical effects that depend on sound or vision (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 bard (including the bard himself) that is affected by a sonic, pattern, or language-dependent magical attack may use the bardís 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 noninstantaneous sonic, pattern, or language-dependent magical attack, it gains another saving throw against the effect each round it hears the countersong, but it must use the bardís Perform check result for the save. Countersong has no effect against effects that donít allow saves. The bard may keep up the countersong for 10 rounds.
Fascinate (Su): A bard with at least 3 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can 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 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 Perform check. His check result is the DC for each affected creatureís Will save against the effect. If a creatureís 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 (up to a maximum of 1 round per bard 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 bard 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 a mind-affecting ability.
Inspire Courage (Su): A bard with at least 3 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can 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 or see the bard perform. The effect lasts for as long as the ally perceives the bard performing 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. At 8th level, and every six bard levels thereafter, this bonus increases by 1 (+2 at 8th, +3 at 14th, and +4 at 20th). Inspire courage is a mind-affecting ability.
Inspire Fear (Su): A bard with at least 3 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can inspire fear in his enemies, opening them to fear and weakening their combat abilities. To be affected, an enemy must be able to hear or see the bard perform. The effect lasts for as long as the enemy perceives the bard performing and for 5 rounds thereafter. An affected enemy receives a -1 morale penalty on saving throws against fear effects and a -1 morale penalty on attack and weapon damage rolls. At 8th level, and every six bard levels thereafter, this penalty increases by 1 (-2 at 8th, -3 at 14th, and -4 at 20th). Inspire fear is a mind-affecting, fear ability.
Mimicking Song (Sp): A bard with at least 3 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can imitate the natural sounds of the environment around him, granting all allies (including himself) within 30 feet a +2 bonus on Move Silently checks. This bonus increases by 2 for every five bard levels you have (to a maximum of +10 at 20th level). Ths effect lasts as long as the bard performs.
Draining Performance (Su): A bard of 2nd level or higher with at least 5 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can drain one of an enemy's abilities. The target must be within 30 feet of the bard, and must be able to see and hear the bard. The bard selects one ability he has seen the target use, which must be an ability usable a only certain number of times per day. The bard then attempts a Perform check opposed by the target's Will save. If the Perform check is successful, the target loses 1d4 daily uses of the selected ability. Spell slots cannot be lost as a result of this ability. This is a mind-affecting ability.

At 4th level, and every 4th level thereafter, a bard who knows this performance drains an additional daily use when successfully using this ability.
Refreshing Performance (Su): A bard of 2nd level or higher with at least 5 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can refresh one of an ally's abilities. The target must be within 30 feet of the bard, and must be able to see and hear the bard. The bard selects one ability he has seen the target use, which must be an ability usable a only certain number of times per day. The bard then attempts a Perform check opposed by the target's Will save, which the target may elect to fail as normal. If the Perform check is successful, the target regains a daily use of the selected ability. Expended spell slots cannot be regained in this manner. This is a mind-affecting ability.

At 4th level, and every 4th level thereafter, a bard who knows this performance grants an additional daily use when successfully using this ability.
Double Time (Su): A bard of 3rd level or higher with at least 6 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can spend 1 minute performing to prevent himself and all his allies within 60 feet who can see and hear him from taking nonlethal damage from hustling for 1 hour. This is a mind-affecting ability.
Inspire Competence (Su): A bard of 3rd level or higher with 6 or more ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance 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 bard 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 bard concentrates, up to a maximum of 2 minutes. A bard canít inspire competence in himself. Inspire competence is a mind-affecting ability.
Renew Energy (Su): A bard of 3rd level or higher with at least 6 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can spend a move action and a daily performance to remove fatigue or mental fatigue from up to 1 ally within 30 feet per level, including himself. If he spends 3 daily performances, he can remove exhaustion or mental exhaustion instead.
Counterperformance (Su:) A bard of 4th level or higher with at least 7 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can negate the effect of another bard's performance. The opposing bard must be within 60 feet, and the bards must be able to see and hear each other. In order to suppress his opponent's performance, the bard must succeed on an opposed Perform check (use whichever Perform skill each has the most ranks in) in the round he activates this performance, and maintain concentration on this performance on subsequent rounds.
Emerging Talent (Ex): A bard of 4th level or higher with at least 7 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can take an hour performing to grant himself and his allies a +1 bonus on Diplomacy and Gather Information checks for the next 24 hours. Additionally, the bard may make a Perform check as part of this performance; at the end of it, he receives 2 times the amount normally indicated. This performance can only be used once per day, and only when in an established community.

At 8th level, the bonus increases to +2, and the money received is 4 times normal. At 12th level, the bonus increases to +4, and the money received is 8 times normal. At 16th level, the bonus increases to +8, and the money received is 16 times normal. At 20th level, the bonus increases to +16, and the money received is 32 times normal.
Song of Learning (Ex): A bard of 4th level or higher with at least 7 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance learns one spell which is not normally on the bard spell list. The maximum level spell a bard can learn is one less than his highest spell level. The bard needs 7 ranks in perform to learn a 1st level spell, plus an additional three ranks per additional spell level (thus to learn a 2nd level spell, he would need 10 ranks in Perform). To learn a spell from the Cleric list, he needs a number of Knowledge (Religion) ranks equal to the required number of Perform ranks. To learn a Druid spell, he needs an equal number of Knowledge (Nature). To learn a Sorcerer/Wizard spell, he needs an equal number of ranks in Knowledge (Arcana).
Dance of Battle (Ex): A bard of 5th level or higher with at least 8 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can lead his allies in a wheeling, changing dance that helps them avoid blows and keeps them from leaving themselves vulnerable. The bard's allies (including himself) within 30 feet who can see and hear him gain a +1 dodge bonus to their AC, and can't be denied their Dex bonus to AC by any means short of total immobilization while this effect continues. The dodge bonus granted by this performance increases by 1 at 10th level, and again every 5 levels thereafter. This is a sonic, pattern effect.
Involving Storyteller (Su): A bard of 5th level or higher with at least 8 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can weave an illusionary vision for a person he has fascinated, making them oblivious to the world about them. The bard can show the person anything which he has seen, or can vividly imagine. To the subject, it will seem as though they are actually experiencing it. The bard can choose to make the person feel as though they are a neutral observer, or an active participant of the story which is unfolding. During this time, the target automatically fails any sensory checks (Listen, Spot, and Search) and is completely oblivous to anything that goes on around him, up to and including shoving and/or shaking him. This affect can be negated by a Will save against a DC equal to the bard's Perform check. Any attack which causes damage, even nonlethal damage, will instantly break the effect, and the target must make a Will save (DC 15) or be stunned for one round as his surroundings abruptly snap back to reality. 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. Successfully saving against this effect does not break the fascinate effect. Since the subjects of this ability are still fascinated, the bard can use his suggestion ability on the targets of this effect without ending this effect.

When the bard is able to fascinate multiple targets, he may affect all his fascinated targets with one use of this ability, although all of them will have exactly the same view in the vision. At level 15, his control improves, and each person can have a different view of the same vision.
Encourage Failure (Su): A bard of 6th level or higher with at least 9 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can cause an enemy to fail at a task. The enemy must be within 30 feet and able to see and hear the bard. The bard must also be able to see the enemy. If the target fails a Will save (DC 10 + Ĺ bardís level + bardís Charisma modifier), he takes a -2 penalty on all rolls for 1 round. This is a mind-affecting ability.
Inspire Dread (Su): A bard of 6th level or higher with at least 9 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can inspire hopelessness in enemies within 30 feet. This ability imposes a -4 penalty on Will saves on all enemies within 30 feet who can see and hear the bard. This ability requires a full-round action to active and requires concentration each round to continue the effect. The effect lasts for as long as the bard performs and for three rounds thereafter. This is a mind-affecting ability.
Inspire Hope (Su): A bard of 6th level or higher with at least 9 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can inspire spiritual resilience in allies within 30 feet. This ability gives the bard and all allies who can see and hear his performance a +4 competence bonus on Will saves. This ability requires a full-round action to active and requires concentration each round to continue the effect. The effect lasts for as long as the bard performs and for three rounds thereafter. This is a mind-affecting ability.
Inspire Toughness (Su): A bard of 6th level or higher with at least 9 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can impart a certain resilience to his allies (including himself). Allies who can hear and see the bard receive +2 temporary hit points per class level of the bard producing this effect. At 9th level and above, affected allies also gain the benefits of the Diehard feat. This ability lasts for as long as the bard performs and for 5 rounds thereafter.
Sound of Silence (Su): A bard of 6th level or higher with at least 9 ranks in a sound-based Perform skill who learns this performance can deafen an opponent within 30 feet who can hear the bard for X+1 rounds, where X is the number of daily performances the bard spent using this ability. This is a mind-affecting, sonic effect that can be negated by a successful Will save against the bard's Performance check.
Suggestion (Sp): A bard of 6th level or higher with at least 9 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance 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.
Warning Shout (Ex): A bard of 6th level or higher with at least 9 ranks in a sound-based Perform skill who learns this performance can, as an immediate action, spend a daily performance and grant an ally (other than himself) within 30 feet a +5 morale bonus on her next Reflex save. If the bard spends 2 daily performances, the ally also gains evasion, as the rogue class ability. This is a mind-affecting, sonic ability. The ally must be able to hear the bard.
Distracting Performance (Ex): A bard of 7th level or higher with at least 10 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can, as an immediate action, use his performance to distract an opponent within 30 feet who can see or hear him. He makes a feint, substituting his Perform skill for Bluff. If the target's Sense Motive check fails, he becomes flat-footed against the ally of your choice until attacked or just before your next action.

Alternately, a bard can use this ability to force a spellcaster in the process of casting a spell to make a Concentration check against his Perform check, or lose his concentration on the spell. This is a mind-affecting ability.
Inspire Resilience (Su): A bard of 7th level or higher with at least 10 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can to inspire resolution and endurance in an ally, granting a +4 competence bonus on Constitution checks and Fortitude saves, as well as DR 5/-. The ally must be within 30 ft and able to see and hear the bard, and the bard must be able to see the ally. This effect lasts as long as the bard performs, and for 1 minute thereafter. After this effect ends, the ally is fatigued. This is a mind-affecting effect.
Inflame the Righteous (Su): A bard of 8th level or higher with at least 11 ranks in a Perform skill and 5 ranks in Knowledge (religion) who learns this performance can invoke the power of a deity and wreath himself and any of his allies within 30 feet in divine flame. Each target of this ability is affected as if by a fire shield spell, using the bardís class level as the caster level. However, the flame produced by this effect is purely divine and not subject to a creatureís resistance or immunity to fire. This ability requires a full-round action to activate and concentration each round to continue the effect. This effect lasts as long as the bard performs and for 3 rounds thereafter.
Persuasive Song (Ex):A bard of 8th level or higher with at least 11 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can sway the attitude of his audience. Treat this as a Diplomacy check, but replace the Diplomacy check with a Perform check. All targets must be within 30 feet of the bard, be able to see and hear him clearly, and be willingly paying attention to his actions. This ability requires at least 10 rounds of consecutive concentration to take effect, and it can affect a particular creature only once per day. Creatures with a relationship of Personal Foe or Nemesis with regards to the bard cannot be influenced with this ability.
Singing Shout (Su):A bard of 8th level or higher with at least 11 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can let out a singing shout as a standard action. All allies (including herself) within 60 feet of the bard at the time of the shout gain a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength for a number of rounds equal to Ĺ the bardís class level.
Dishearten (Su): A bard of 9th level or higher with at least 12 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can dishearten a single enemy within 30 feet, causing the enemy to cower against even the weakest foe. For every three bard levels the character attains beyond 15th, he can affect one additional creature with this ability. To dishearten, a bard must perform and the enemy must hear or see the bard perform for 1 full round. The enemy can attempt a Will save (DC 10 + Ĺ bardís level + bardís Charisma modifier); if he fails, he takes a -4 penalty on saving throws and AC. This effect lasts as long as the enemy hears or sees the bard perform and for 5 rounds thereafter. This is a mind-affecting ability.
Inspire Recklessness (Su): A bard of 9th level of higher with at least 12 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can inspire a dangerous but effective ferocity in an ally within 60 feet (or himself). This effect lasts for as long as the bard performs and for 5 rounds thereafter. An affected ally (or the bard himself) gains the ability to decrease his Armor Class by up to her base attack bonus and add that number to her melee attack rolls as a morale bonus.

On her action, the affected character must choose to subtract a number from her Armor Class and add this number to her melee attack rolls (this number can be 0). The penalty to Armor Class and the bonus to attack rolls apply until the characterís next action. This is a mind-affecting ability.
Convert the Unfaithful (Su): A bard of 10th level or higher with at least 13 ranks in a Perform skill and 5 ranks in Knowledge (religion) who learns this performance can attempt to convert a single enemy within 30 feet. As a full-round action, the bard makes an impassioned performance specifically targeting a particular enemy, who must attempt a Will save (DC 10 + Ĺ bardís class level + bardís Charisma modifier). If he succeeds, he is shaken for 1 round. If he fails, he converts. Creatures with alignment subtypes cannot be affected by this ability.

A converted creature reacts to the bard as if the bard had cast charm monster on him and temporarily assumes the bardís alignment and acts accordingly. This may mean that some of the creatureís abilities and spells may be temporarily unavailable to it.

When this abilityís duration (as that of charm monster) has elapsed, the affected creature then has a choice. It can continue to act according to its new alignment, or it can shift back. If it chooses to permanently change its alignment, it acts as if a cleric of the appropriate alignment had cast atonement on it. If the creature chooses to go back to its original alignment, it must make another saving throw (with the same DC as before). If it fails, its alignment changes back, but it needs an atonement spell to regain any abilities it lost as a result of the temporary alignment change. If it succeeds, it changes its alignment back and regains any lost abilities without the need for atonement. This is a mind-affecting ability.
Sustaining Song (Su): A bard of 10th level or higher with at least 13 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can sustain his dying allies, assisting their recovery. Each round that the song continues, all allies within 30 feet of him automatically become stable (if dying) or regain 1 wound point (if stable and between -1 and -9 wound points). A sustaining song has no effect on enemies or allies with 0 or more wound points. A bard can keep up his sustaining song for 5 minutes. This is a mind-affecting ability.
Incite Mob (Su): A bard of 10th level or higher with at least 13 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can incite a crowd of people to form a mob (stats in DMGII and Cityscape) by making a DC 25 Perform check. Only one mob can be formed at a time, so if a crowd is too large to be a single mob, a bard who wants to incite the entire crowd must use this ability multiple times.

The mobs created by this ability are under the bard's control and can obey simple directions. The mobs created by this ability last for a number of hours equal to the bard's class level. This ability is a language-dependent, mind-affecting effect.
Aid Metamagic (Su): A bard of 11th level or higher with at least 14 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can use his performance to aid the concentration of friendly spellcasters and manifesters. Spellcasters and manifesters within 30 feet who can hear and see the bard use up a spell slot one level lower, or do not need to expend their psionic focus when attempting to cast a spell enhanced by metamagic or manifest a power being augmented or enhanced by metapsionics.

For every additional daily performance the bard spends when activating this ability, spellcasters use up a spell slot one level lower, and manifesters spend 2 less power points. This ability cannot reduce the spell slot or power point cost below the base level or cost of the spell being cast.
Boosting Flattery (Su): A bard of 11th level or higher with at least 14 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can provide his allies with a substantial boost by extolling and exaggerating their abilities. An ally within 60 feet (including himself) who can hear or see the bard receives a +1 morale bonus to the ability score of the bard's choice. For every round that the bard continues this performance, the bonus increases by 1, to a maximum of half the bard's class level (round down). The bonus lasts until the affected ally fails a check or attack roll based on the affected ability score.

At 16th level, a bard who knows this performance can target multiple allies with this ability, up to 1 for every 3 bard levels he possesses. This ability is a mind-affecting effect.
Dirge of Binding (Sp): A bard of 12th level or higher with at least 15 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can paralyze an opponent. The bard must be able to see the target, and the target must be able to see or hear the bard. If the opponent fails a Will save (DC 10 + Ĺ bardís level + bardís Charisma modifier), he is paralyzed. This effect lasts as long as the target can see or hear the bard.
Inspire Awe (Su): A bard of 12th level or higher with at least 15 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can inspire terror in his foes. To be affected, a foe must be within 60 feet of the bard and able to see and hear him. Foes get a Will save (DC 10 + Ĺ bardís class level + bardís Charisma modifier) to resist the effect. The severity of the effect depends on the difference between the foeís Hit Dice and the bardís level, as shown on this table.
{table="head"]HD Difference|Effect
10 or more|Foe is paralyzed
1 to 9|Foe is panicked
0 to -5| Foe is frightened
-6 or less|Foe is shaken[/table]
This effect lasts for as long as the foes can hear and see the bard and for 1 round thereafter. This is a mind-affecting, fear ability.
Jarring Song (Su): A bard of 12th level or higher with at least 15 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can inhibit spellcasting. Any enemy within 30 feet of the bard who attempts to cast a spell or use a spell-like ability during a jarring song must make a Concentration check with a DC equal to the bardís Perform check to avoid losing the spell. A bard can keep up his jarring song for 10 rounds.
Song of Freedom (Sp): A bard of 12th level or higher with 15 or more ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can use music or poetics to create an effect equivalent to the break enchantment spell (caster level equals the characterís bard level). Using this ability requires 1 minute of uninterrupted concentration and music, and it functions on a single target within 30 feet. A bard canít use song of freedom on himself.
Diabolus en Musica (Su): A bard of 13th level or higher with at least 16 ranks in a sound-based Perform skill who selects this performance can create a dissonant chord that deals 2d6 points of sonic damage to all creatures within 30 feet except himself as long as the bard concentrates. The bard can maintain this ability for a number of rounds equal to his bard level. This is a sonic effect.
Song of Fury (Su): A bard of 14th level or higher with at least 17 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can turn his allies into furious berserkers. Each ally within 30 feet who can see and hear the bard can choose to enter a rage on her turn. This functions identically to a barbarianís rage, except that it ends automatically if the bard stops performing. If the ally already already has the ability to rage, she can choose to apply the full effect of her own rage, without spending one of her daily uses of rage. A bard canít use a song of fury on himself. This is a mind-affecting ability.
Discourage Legion (Su): A bard of 15th level or higher with at least 18 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can sow discord among his enemies and make them fight poorly. To be affected, an enemy must be within 60 feet of the bard and must be able to see and hear the bard. Only enemies who meet these requirements at the beginning of this ability are affected, and enemies who leave the area lose the effects of this ability and do not regain them if they reenter the area later. The effects lasts as long as the affected characters can hear and see the bard and stay within range.

When the bard activates this ability, determine the worstst base attack bonus among all the affected characters. All affected characters use this base attack bonus for the duration of the effect, and they take a -2 penalty on damage rolls as well. This is a mind-affecting ability.
Inspire Legion (Su): A bard of 15th level or higher with at least 18 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can unite his allies and make them fight better together. To be affected, an ally must be within 60 feet of the bard and must be able to see and hear the bard. Only allies who meet these requirements at the beginning of this ability are affected, and allies who leave the area lose the effects of this ability and do not regain them if they reenter the area later. The effects lasts as long as the affected characters can hear and see the bard and stay within range.

When the bard activates this ability, determine the best base attack bonus among all the affected characters. All affected characters use this base attack bonus for the duration of the effect, and they gain a +2 competence bonus on damage rolls as well. This is a mind-affecting ability.
Mindbending Melody (Sp): A bard of 16th level or higher with at least 19 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can dominate a humanoid that he has already fascinated. This ability functions like the dominate person spell with a caster level equal to the bardís class level. The target can make a Will save (DC 10 + Ĺ bardís class level + bardís Charisma modifier) to negate the effect. This is a mind-affecting, language-dependent, enchantment (compulsion) ability.
Revealing Melody (Su): A bard of 17th level or higher with at least 20 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can reveal all things as they really are. All allies with 30 feet who can see and hear the bardís performance are affected as if by a true seeing spell with a caster level equal to the bardís class level. The effect lasts as long as the bard performs.
Drain Prowess (Su): A bard of 18th level or higher with at least 21 ranks in a Perform who learns this performance can drain the capabilities of up to four enemies within 30 feet, weakening them. For every 3 levels a bard attains beyond 18th, he can target one additional creature with a single use of this ability. To be affected the enemies must be able to hear or see the bardís performance. A creature that fails its Will save (DC 10 + Ĺ bardís level + bardís Charisma modifier) gains 2 negative levels. These negative levels remain as long as the affected creature can hear or see the bard. They never result in a permanent level loss.
Swan Song (Su): A bard of 20th level or higher with at least 23 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance is capable of producing an elegy of such profound sorrow and sadness that those that overhear or witness the performance are drained of their very life force. One enemy who can see or hear the bard must make Will saves against DC 10 + 1/2 the bard's Perform ranks + the bard's Charisma modifier or die. On a successful save, they receive 1d4 negative levels. This is a death, mind-affecting effect. A target that saves successfully against this effect is immune to subsequent attempts for 24 hours.Bardic Knowledge: As the standard bard.
Spells: Charisma determines the bard's bonus spells per day and the save DCs of those spells. Intelligence grants the bard bonus spells known. Use the spell tables found in the PHB to determine the base number of spells a bard knows and can cast per day. If you have the Perform (dance) skill, your spells must include somatic components. If you have the Perform (acting, comedy, oratory, or singing) skill, your spells must include verbal components. If you have the Perform (keyboard, percussion, stringed, or wind instruments) skill, your spells must include the instrument of your choice as a focus component. If you have multiple Perform skills, pick one to determine which type of component is required for your spells. If you would learn a spell that ordinarily lacks a component of the required type, add the missing component.
Bonus Feat: Every 5th level, a bard can take a metaperformance feat or a feat related to bardic music. These are as follows:

Combine Performances [Metaperformance]
You can blend multiple performances together.
Prerequisites: Perform 13 ranks, 4 or more bardic performances.
Benefit: You can combine two or more kinds of bardic performance and provide the effects of all of them. You choose 2 or more performances and activate all of them using a single standard action. If any or all of them require concentration, you must maintain concentration on them by spending one standard action a round. The normal stacking rules for bonus types apply to performances combined using this feat. Using this feat requires the expenditure of a number of daily uses of your bardic performance ability equal to the number of performances you are combining.
Normal: You can only activate one bardic performance at a time.
Special: A bard may select this feat as one of his bonus feats.

Distinctive Opening [Metaperformance]
The beginnings of your performances are so distinctive that the beginnings by themselves can invoke the desire emotions and magical energy.
Prerequisites: Bardic performance ability.
Benefit: You can make a performance as a swift action rather than a standard action. You cannot concentrate on a performance that has been affected by this feat. Performances that end when you cease concentrating on them cannot benefit from the effects of this feat, but performances whose effects continue after you cease concentrating can. Use of this feat requires the expenditure of 4 daily performances, in addition to however many daily performances it would normally take to activate the affected performance.
Special: Bards may select this feat as one of their bonus feats.

Dramatic Pause [Metaperformance]
You can pause for dramatic effect in mid-performance.
Prerequisites: Bardic performance ability.
Benefit: You can spend 2 additional daily performances when activating a bardic performance that requires concentration to maintain. You may cease concentrating for 1 round at any point in the performance without ending the performance, as long as you return to concentrating on the next round.
Normal: When you stop concentrating on a performance that must be concentrated on, the performance ends.

Extra Daily Performance [General]
You can perform more frequently than usual.
Prerequisites: Bardic performance ability.
Benefit: You can make one extra performance per day.
Special: Bards may select this feat as one of their bonus feats. You can take this feat multiple times; it stacks with itself.

Extra Performance Known [General]
You know more performances than is usual among your peers.
Prerequisites: Bardic performance ability.
Benefit: You learn an additional performance. You must meet the level and skill rank prerequisites as normal.
Special: Bards may select this feat as one of their bonus feats. You can take this feat multiple times; it does not stack with itself. Each time you take this feat it applies to a different performance.

Lingering Performance [Metaperformance]
The effects of your performances linger long after you have ceased performing.
Prerequisites: Bardic performance ability.
Benefit: When making a performance whose effects have a duration other than instantaneous, you can extend how long the effects last after you have finished performing by spending additional daily performances. Spending 1 additional performance extends the effect of your performance to 1 round/bard level after you stop performing. Spending 2 additional performances extends the time to 1 minute/bard level.
Special: Bards may select this feat as one of their bonus feats.

Virtuoso Performance [Metaperformance]
Your ability to perform is so practiced that you can perform other tasks without breaking off your performance.
Prerequisites: Perform 10 ranks, 3 or more bardic performances
Benefit: Your bardic performances no longer restrict your spellcasting or magic item activation. Applying this feat requires the expenditure of an additional daily use of your bardic performance ability.
Normal: You cannot cast spells or activate magic items while maintaining a bardic performance.
Special: A bard may select this feat as one of his bonus feats.

Wider Audience [Metaperformance]
Your performances can affect a greater area then normal.
Prerequisites: Bardic performance ability.
Benefit: When making a performance that affects an area, you can spend an additional daily performance to double the area affected.
Special: Bards may select this feat as one of their bonus feats.

Eighth_Seraph
2007-09-11, 08:07 PM
Very nice. The Bardic performances really do make this a nice concept; but there's on thing that you seem to have neglected: what spell list does the bard use?

Aside from that, I like how a bard can be a dancer, a singer, an actor, or a musician. Well, done Iames, and I'm looking forward to your filling in the missing performances.

Lord Iames Osari
2007-09-11, 08:30 PM
The Bard uses the same spell list as before.

Lakoda
2007-09-12, 09:54 AM
First off, nicely done! You have a lot of good work here. I really love the Bard class (from an RP perspective) but I've been disappointed with the classes usefulness, this addresses a lot of that. I'm not sure about balance and all that yet, I'll need to read it a lot deeper - on that note, have you ran this class yet? Anyways, I have some ideas for feats - I'll give a brief idea of what I was thinking, but this is your baby so you gotta come up with the write-up ;).

Extra Performance - like Toughness, can be taken multiple times, each time granting an extra performance per day.

Basic Grant Meta-magic - the bard may spend a performance to apply a meta-magic feat a companion knows to the next spell the companion casts. (as long as they are still under the affects of the performance) The spell does not require a higher slot and could be currently memorized. The meta-magic feat can must only increase the spell slot my 1.

Improved Grant Meta-magic - requires Basic; same as Basic but, meta-magic feat must only increase the spell slot by 2 or less, and it uses 2 performances.

Greater Grant Meta-magic - requires Improved; same as Improved but, meta-magic feat must only increase the spell slot by 3 or less, and it uses 3 performances.

*It may be worth while to just make the meta-magic thing a 1-to-1. For example have a Grant Extend Spell, Grant Empower Spell, Grant Heighten Spell, etc.

Increase Spell Penetration - use a performance to increase the effective caster level by 1 for next spell cast. (as long as they are still under the affects of the performance)

Increase Turning - use a performance to increase the effective level by 1 for next turn attempt (this should probably require the bard to maintain the performance throughout the turning).

Dismiss Outsider - req. level 12; use 2 (maybe 3) performances to dismiss an outside (as spell dismissal; use bardic levels for purpose of caster level).

Why did you remove inspire competence & song of freedom? If you felt they were too powerful you could always make the bard spent a feat on it =).

On a side note, I'm usually torn between having the perform skill mean something versus just requiring them to max it for the sake of being affective. On the one hand I don't like min/maxing and there isn't a lot of point to a high perform skill other then to make some money in a tavern or to "unlock" abilities. However, it would result in a lot of roles and some significant changes to the base structure of the bard class to make them role each perform check over a certain DC. Just a little food for thought.

MythMage
2007-09-12, 05:13 PM
This looks good for the most part. While I really like swan song, I should point out that it's going to produce a save DC that is far too high. A bard that just does what you'd expect of any bard using core sources to do can reliably get a Perform result of 43 (roll of 10 + 3 (base score 16) + 3 (cloak of charisma +6), + 2 (4 ability points in Charisma from leveling up) + 2 masterwork instrument + 23 (ranks)), something no CR 20 critter could hope to resist. I suggest making it 10 + skill ranks, or perhaps 10 + 1/2 skill check, which would still give a higher-than-normal save DC. Also, you should significantly reduce the negative levels since they're so numerous as to render the victim utter harmless even if it saves. More like 1/10 bard levels would be fairer.

BCOVertigo
2007-09-12, 05:38 PM
A musical ability that is useful, effective and unique. In my mind, this makes the bard feel more like a justified class in it's own right instead of a feat tree turned into class levels.
Well done. (Maybe you could look at the soulknife next. :smalltongue:)

Lord Iames Osari
2007-09-12, 05:43 PM
A musical ability that is useful, effective and unique. In my mind, this makes the bard feel more like a justified class in it's own right instead of a feat tree turned into class levels.
Well done. (Maybe you could look at the soulknife next. :smalltongue:)

I already have done the soulknife (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44220). I turned it into a feat tree. :smallbiggrin:

Lakoda - I like a lot of your ideas, thank you!

MythMage - your point about Swan Song is well taken.

Lakoda
2007-09-13, 08:57 AM
Cool, I'm glad I can offer some help then. Here is another one ;).

Hasten Performance - a performance is a free action, but costs twice as many daily performances. This only works on performances that are normally a standard action and do not require concentration to maintain.

Also, the some thoughts. The Song of Learning seems awkward to me when compared to the rest of the performances. Once you have the song of learning you just gain a new spell you can cast normally, but every other performance actually requires you perform. Consider changing it so that the bard but use a daily performance to cast this new spell via the Song of Learning.

Lord Iames Osari
2007-09-13, 02:27 PM
Some feats...

Distinctive Opening [Metaperformance]
The beginnings of your performances are so distinctive that the beginnings by themselves can invoke the desire emotions and magical energy.
Prerequisites: Bardic music ability.
Benefit: You can make a performance as a swift action rather than a standard action. You cannot concentrate on a performance that has been affected by this feat. Performances that end when you cease concentrating on them cannot benefit from the effects of this feat, but performances whose effects continue after you cease concentrating can. Use of this feat requires the expenditure of 4 daily performances, in addition to however many daily performances it would normally take to active the affected performance.
Special: Bards may select this feat as one of their bonus feats.

Extra Daily Performance [General]
You can perform more frequently than usual.
Prerequisites: Bardic performance ability.
Benefit: You can make one extra performance per day.
Special: Bards may select this feat as one of their bonus feats. You can take this feat multiple times; it stacks with itself.

Extra Performance Known [General]
You know more performances than is usual among your peers.
Prerequisites: Bardic performance ability.
Benefit: You learn an additional performance. You must meet the level and skill rank prerequisites as normal.
Special: Bards may select this feat as one of their bonus feats. You can take this feat multiple times; it does not stack with itself. Each time you take this feat it applies to a different performance.

Lingering Performance [Metaperformance]
The effects of your performances linger long after you have ceased performing.
Prerequisites: Bardic performance ability.
Benefit: When making a performance whose effects have a duration other than instantaneous, you can extend how long the effects last after you have finished performing by spending additional daily performances. Spending 1 additional performance extends the effect of your performance to 1 round/bard level after you stop performing. Spending 2 additional performances extends the time to 1 minute/bard level.
Special: Bards may select this feat as one of their bonus feats.

Wider Audience [Metaperformance]
Your performances can affect a greater area then normal.
Prerequisites: Bardic performance ability.
Benefit: When making a performance that affects an area, you can spend an additional daily performance to double the area affected.
Special: Bards may select this feat as one of their bonus feats.

... and a new performance.

Aid Metamagic (Su): A bard of 11th level or higher with at least 14 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can use his performance to aid the concentration of friendly spellcasters and manifesters. Spellcasters and manifesters within 30 feet who can hear and see the bard use up a spell slot one level lower, or do not need to expend their psionic focus when attempting to cast a spell enhanced by metamagic or manifest a power being augmented or enhanced by metapsionics.

For every additional daily performance the bard spends when activating this ability, spellcasters use up a spell slot one level lower, and manifesters spend 2 less power points. This ability cannot reduce the spell slot or power point cost below the base level or cost of the spell being cast.

I'm still debating whether Increased Spellcasting and Increased Turning should be feats or performances.

Oh, and inspire competence will be making a comeback, as will song of freedom. I don't remember why I didn't include them in the first place.

MisterSaturnine
2007-09-13, 06:02 PM
I really, really like it. In fact, it's inspired a character concept I really like the idea of (a Lawful Evil villain working with a group of heroes because he either lost a bet, got his life saved, or otherwise promised his assistance). I looked for Double Time and Renew Energy on your list of performances, though, and couldn't find them. Would you mind posting them?

Lord Iames Osari
2007-09-13, 08:40 PM
Whoops, here you go.

Double Time (Su): A bard of 3rd level or higher with at least 6 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can spend 1 minute performing to prevent himself and all his allies within 60 feet who can see and hear him from taking nonlethal damage from hustling for 1 hour. This is a mind-affecting ability.
Renew Energy (Su): A bard of 3rd level or higher with at least 6 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can spend a move action and a daily performance to remove fatigue or mental fatigue from up to 1 ally within 30 feet per level, including himself. If he spends 3 daily performances, he can remove exhaustion or mental exhaustion instead.
Sound of Silence (Su): A bard of 6th level or higher with at least 9 ranks in a sound-based Perform skill who learns this performance can deafen an opponent within 30 feet who can hear the bard for X+1 rounds, where X is the number of daily performances the bard spent using this ability. This is a mind-affecting, sonic effect that can be negated by a successful Will save against the bard's Performance check.
Warning Shout (Ex): A bard of 6th level or higher with at least 9 ranks in a sound-based Perform skill who learns this performance can, as an immediate action, spend a daily performance and grant an ally (other than himself) within 30 feet a +5 morale bonus on her next Reflex save. If the bard spends 2 daily performances, the ally also gains evasion, as the rogue class ability. This is a mind-affecting, sonic ability. The ally must be able to hear the bard.
Distracting Performance (Ex): A bard of 7th level or higher with at least 10 ranks in a Perform skill who learns this performance can, as an immediate action, use his performance to distract an opponent within 30 feet who can see or hear him. He makes a feint, substituting his Perform skill for Bluff. If the target's Sense Motive check fails, he becomes flat-footed against the ally of your choice until attacked or just before your next action.

Alternately, a bard can use this ability to force a spellcaster in the process of casting a spell to make a Concentration check against his Perform check, or lose his concentration on the spell. This is a mind-affecting ability.

MisterSaturnine
2007-09-13, 08:54 PM
Thanks a lot (both for the posting of the forgotten performances, and the Redux itself)!

Lord Iames Osari
2007-09-16, 12:40 PM
The new and forgotten content has been added to the first post. I'm still not sure about Increase Casting/Turning.

Inspire Competence and Song of Freedom now added as well.

Lord Iames Osari
2007-09-18, 06:38 PM
Veni, vidi, offensi.

Yakk
2007-09-19, 02:43 PM
If a bard's primary Perform skill is sound-based, a deaf bard has a 20% chance to fail when attempting to use bardic performance.

Why?

...

The double-requirement for most bardic music choices seems draconian. It would be prettier...

...

Do bonuses to your skill apply when you say "Perform Ranks", or only raw unmodified ranks? That should be made clear, even if the rules make it clear elsewhere.

...

Swan song is broken. Burn 5 performances and do a Swift Swan followed by a Swan and that's two DC 21+cha modifier saves vs death and take 3/4 of your HD in negative levels even if you pass both of them...

That is not a fun mechanic.

Lord Iames Osari
2007-09-20, 07:05 PM
Why?

Because if you can't hear what you're singing or playing, you're more likely to screw it up? It seems fairly straightforward to me.


The double-requirement for most bardic music choices seems draconian. It would be prettier...

It's insurance against dipping. If only Perform ranks were required, then you could have a rogue 11/bard 1 using a Dirge of Binding.

On the other hand, if only levels were required, then a bard could conceivably not take any ranks in Perform at all, which ruins the point: "Even though have no skill at any sort of performing art whatsoever, I can use the fantastic performance skills that I don't have to produce these cool effects."


Do bonuses to your skill apply when you say "Perform Ranks", or only raw unmodified ranks? That should be made clear, even if the rules make it clear elsewhere.

No, they do not. That should be made clear in the descriptions of the abilities: "A bard of X level or higher with at least Y ranks in Perform..."

I'm honestly surprised you needed to ask. I can't think of a single circumstance where an overall skill modifier is used as a prerequisite, for one thing, nor can I think of an instance where "skill ranks" is used interchangeably with "skill modifier". Even in cases where your ability score modifier is +0 and you have no other modifiers to a skill, the two are distinct; they simply happen to have the same value.


Swan song is broken. Burn 5 performances and do a Swift Swan followed by a Swan and that's two DC 21+cha modifier saves vs death and take 3/4 of your HD in negative levels even if you pass both of them...

That is not a fun mechanic.

It also can't be done until 20th level, when wizards are running around stopping time, using forcecage, flinging save-or-dies around (not to mention just plain old dies, forget the save).

The negative levels may be a bit much, I admit. Perhaps it should be 2d4 negative levels on a successful save instead?

Wystrell
2007-09-20, 09:15 PM
My, this is excellent! WotC's bard structure always seemed to me like the minstrel that followed Sir Robin around in Monty Python and the Holy Grail - you're bloody annoying, you can play for as long as you want, and it doesn't have to be quality. This feels more like a real bard, so here come the questions.

Mainly, Song of Learning. The mechanics of it are just fine, except for how long the effect lasts. From the text, it seems you keep the spell forever after you've done the performance, but that can't be right. Also, all Bard spells have verbal components. Does that mean you can take any spell within level requirements, verbal or no, or do you limit the list to those with a verbal component? Also, I'm guessing the fact that M/F/DF requirements still apply, but could you add that to the performance description?

Right now it looks like Spellthieving for Dummies, unless I'm utterly blind. But then, bards could use something broken. xD

Also, doesn't Inspire Awe look an awful lot like a Fear spell in the bard spell list? And it looks like that Will save is the same as the spell's. Although at that level the save DC would be much higher... If I'm sounding critical, hit me with something, but I plan to perchance bug my DM into letting me use this. :D

Edit: Nevermind, didn't see that it went by Bard class level as opposed to caster level. That changes things.

Now for possible additions. The bard seems to be the most humor-minded of the core classes, ergo this.

That Damn Song: A bard of (#)th level or higher with (#) ranks in Perform knows exactly how to drive an audience crazy. With years of performance experience comes as many failures as successes, and certain songs seem to evoke the worst sentiments in a listener. Upon playing That Damn Song, any enemies in hearing distance make a Will save against (equation) - if they fail, they will stop fighting current opponents and instantly target the bard (or what they percieve to be the source of the sound). Humanoid creatures take a -5 on their saving throw, as humanoids are more likely to know the tune being played. After 10th level, this penalty applies to everyone. This effect lasts for as long as the bard performs and for four rounds after.

More to be added later...

Lord Iames Osari
2007-09-21, 12:35 AM
Mainly, Song of Learning. The mechanics of it are just fine, except for how long the effect lasts. From the text, it seems you keep the spell forever after you've done the performance, but that can't be right. Also, all Bard spells have verbal components. Does that mean you can take any spell within level requirements, verbal or no, or do you limit the list to those with a verbal component? Also, I'm guessing the fact that M/F/DF requirements still apply, but could you add that to the performance description?

Song of Learning is a bit unique. When you select Song of Learning, you add a spell of your choice to your list of spells known. You take it once, you get one spell. Period. You take it again, you get another spell. It's not an actual "performance" like the others, where you perform in the middle of combat or whatever.

About the spell components thing, I will quote the class rightup:


If you have the Perform (dance) skill, your spells must include somatic components. If you have the Perform (acting, comedy, oratory, or singing) skill, your spells must include verbal components. If you have the Perform (keyboard, percussion, stringed, or wind instruments) skill, your spells must include the instrument of your choice as a focus component. If you have multiple Perform skills, pick one to determine which type of component is required for your spells. If you would learn a spell that ordinarily lacks a component of the required type, add the missing component.

Yakk
2007-09-21, 12:35 AM
Because if you can't hear what you're singing or playing, you're more likely to screw it up? It seems fairly straightforward to me.

There are many examples of


It's insurance against dipping. If only Perform ranks were required, then you could have a rogue 11/bard 1 using a Dirge of Binding.

The insurance is too strong, in my opinion: there is no need to have the anti-multiclassing-insanity of a pure caster class duplicated. More importantly, it cludges up the tables.


On the other hand, if only levels were required, then a bard could conceivably not take any ranks in Perform at all, which ruins the point: "Even though have no skill at any sort of performing art whatsoever, I can use the fantastic performance skills that I don't have to produce these cool effects."

Wouldn't it be simpler to simply grant free ranks in perform to the bard then? It would clean up your tables hugely.

A bard picks a primary Perform skill when they are created.
A bard gains 1 free skill point in Perform every level.
A first level bard gains 4 free skill points.

In order to create a L X perform ability, the bard needs at least X+3 Perform skill.

[SNIP]

so in many cases, having a kick-ass legendary instrument that adds to perform skill doesn't do much. . .


It also can't be done until 20th level, when wizards are running around stopping time, using forcecage, flinging save-or-dies around (not to mention just plain old dies, forget the save).

The negative levels may be a bit much, I admit. Perhaps it should be 2d4 negative levels on a successful save instead?

I said unfun. I'm well aware that any L 20 ability can be compared with "wizards just win" and made to seem balanced. Balancing classes against broken mechanics is silly.

As an example, given how powerful swan song is, why would the bard do anything else? I mean, each use of swan song only uses 1 performance out of the 20 the L 20 bard has.

Unlike casters, whose top-level spells are a limited resource, and the caster might want to husband their top-level and use lower level ones, the mechanics as listed don't encourage bards to use the "weaker" effects...

Wystrell
2007-09-21, 08:32 PM
A few more ideas. Some of these might be a bit too focused in a musical sense.

Diabolus en Musica (performance): This is a specific interval - it is the seventh note of any major scale and the fifth above it. The diabolus is the most dissonant interval of any scale, which is why it is called the "devil in music." The sound is jarring, and if it is sustained for any length of time it becomes remarkably painful to listen to. I imagine this would cause straight damage, (Will save, etc.) to anyone listening, ally or no. (Level suggestion: 13)

Puppeteer: This is specifically a Dance performance. If the target is fascinated, the target copies whatever actions the bard dances. The target needs to be able to see the bard.

Dramatic Pause seems like it would be a good fit for a metaperformance feat. This is from Focused Performer:

Dramatic Pause Ė spend 2 uses to stop an ongoing Bardic Music ability for 1round (in order to cast a spell, attack, etc.) and then resume it as if you had not stopped. Requires a Perform check vs. DC (20 + Perform ranks required). Usable with Fascinate, Inspire Courage, Inspire Greatness, and Inspire Heroics.

Lord Iames Osari
2007-09-22, 04:01 AM
There are many examples of
There are many examples of what? Lawful Stupid paladins? Threads debating Vaarsuvius's sex? People claiming against all reason that Fighters are better than Wizards? Unfinished sentences? What?


The insurance is too strong, in my opinion: there is no need to have the anti-multiclassing-insanity of a pure caster class duplicated. More importantly, it cludges up the tables.

I don't think it cludges up the table. Nor do I think that aesthetics are more important than game concerns.


Wouldn't it be simpler to simply grant free ranks in perform to the bard then? It would clean up your tables hugely.

A bard picks a primary Perform skill when they are created.
A bard gains 1 free skill point in Perform every level.
A first level bard gains 4 free skill points.

In order to create a L X perform ability, the bard needs at least X+3 Perform skill.

Maybe. I'll consider it.


so in many cases, having a kick-ass legendary instrument that adds to perform skill doesn't do much. . .

Depends on how you stat it (the instrument) I mean, it could be a kick-ass electric guitar that grants you the use of X, Y, and Z performances, +N performances per day, grants a +Q bonus on Perform checks, and can be wielded as a +1 shocking keen thundering vorpal greataxe with which you are automatically proficient.

How's that for kick-ass?


I said unfun. I'm well aware that any L 20 ability can be compared with "wizards just win" and made to seem balanced. Balancing classes against broken mechanics is silly.

True enough.


As an example, given how powerful swan song is, why would the bard do anything else? I mean, each use of swan song only uses 1 performance out of the 20 the L 20 bard has.

Unlike casters, whose top-level spells are a limited resource, and the caster might want to husband their top-level and use lower level ones, the mechanics as listed don't encourage bards to use the "weaker" effects...

Well, Swan Song is a mind-affecting death affect, so there are plenty of ways to be immune to it. Undead, constructs, oozes, and vermin are all immune to it.

Would Swan Song be better if it had only one target?


A few more ideas. Some of these might be a bit too focused in a musical sense.

Diabolus en Musica (performance): This is a specific interval - it is the seventh note of any major scale and the fifth above it. The diabolus is the most dissonant interval of any scale, which is why it is called the "devil in music." The sound is jarring, and if it is sustained for any length of time it becomes remarkably painful to listen to. I imagine this would cause straight damage, (Will save, etc.) to anyone listening, ally or no. (Level suggestion: 13)

Puppeteer: This is specifically a Dance performance. If the target is fascinated, the target copies whatever actions the bard dances. The target needs to be able to see the bard.

Dramatic Pause seems like it would be a good fit for a metaperformance feat. This is from Focused Performer:

Dramatic Pause Ė spend 2 uses to stop an ongoing Bardic Music ability for 1round (in order to cast a spell, attack, etc.) and then resume it as if you had not stopped. Requires a Perform check vs. DC (20 + Perform ranks required). Usable with Fascinate, Inspire Courage, Inspire Greatness, and Inspire Heroics.

Thanks for the ideas. I'll write them up and add them to the first post later today.

dr.cello
2007-09-22, 07:45 AM
I like it a lot.

Swan Song does seem a little on the powerful side. I'd recommend you either give it a max number of daily uses, or make it only work against a single target, and make it so that it can only affect that single target once in a 24 hour period. So, no just singing songs at someone until they die.

I also strongly recommend giving the bard a free Perform rank every level and 4 free Perform ranks at first level. Because while the bard does have 6+int skill points per level, at least one of those has to be taken up by a Perform skill (if you want to be any good), so you're closer to 5+int modifier per level.

As far as I'm aware, no other class's abilities rely on you maxing out skills or force you to take a certain skill or feat. Even the Ranger doesn't require you to max out survival--while not taking a few ranks in Survival would lead me to wonder why you are a ranger in the first place, that's only applicable for two of his abilities (as opposed to the bard's all of them), and the skill has a lot more use than Perform does (which is really only that useful in the context of bardic music, and even then some of them don't actually require a check).

Also, to those who are complaining about the level + perform ranks requirement: that's the way the current bardic music works. This just gives you a lot more uses for your bardic music.

Yakk
2007-09-24, 10:25 AM
Swan song could effect the bard as well? That would make it interesting.

Lakoda
2007-09-24, 12:57 PM
That Damn Song: A bard of (#)th level or higher with (#) ranks in Perform knows exactly how to drive an audience crazy. With years of performance experience comes as many failures as successes, and certain songs seem to evoke the worst sentiments in a listener. Upon playing That Damn Song, any enemies in hearing distance make a Will save against (equation) - if they fail, they will stop fighting current opponents and instantly target the bard (or what they percieve to be the source of the sound). Humanoid creatures take a -5 on their saving throw, as humanoids are more likely to know the tune being played. After 10th level, this penalty applies to everyone. This effect lasts for as long as the bard performs and for four rounds after.

I like this a lot. To add a feat to accompany this, if that is alright.

Throw Song: This feat allows the bard (at the expense of an extra performance) to "throw their voice" and change the perceived origin of their performance. The new "source" must be able to see and hear the bard and if the requires require targets of the performance to see or hear the bard must also now be able to the same with the new "source".

Not perfect, needs some tweaking, but ya all get the idea.

Lord Iames Osari
2007-09-24, 04:13 PM
Swan song could effect the bard as well? That would make it interesting.

Hmm. That could work, depending. I don't think it should have the full effect on the bard, but I can see including a backlash sort of effect. I'll think about this.

Oh, and how about instead of giving Bards an automatic maxed-out Perform skill, I increase their skill points per level to 8 + Int?

Lord_Gareth
2007-09-25, 05:52 AM
Okay, let me open up with this before I begin attacking your creation - I love bards, I play them all the time, and this revision is well thought-out, original, and balanced.

That said, I will never be using it.

First, my one and only annoying nitpick - why any alignment? Music doesn't live in the soul of the Lawful Evil Blackguard who spends his time squeezing taxes out of peasents. It just doesn't happen (this would also explain why -I- can't sing).

By itself, yes, the PhB bard is mildly underpowered, though not as much as some people have been lead to believe (just watch me play one and see what happens). But if you look - every book that has been printed with feats has Bard feats. Every book that has been printed with PrCs has one for Bards. There's a ton of books with instruments for them too. Hell, Complete Warrior had an ALL NEW PERFORM FOR THEM. Wanna know why PhB bards suck? Because Wizards loves the bard so much it's always giving it new stuff.

I've never played a straight bard in 3.5 and never will, because it just seems wrong to me. Everyone's muse runs a different way - why should all of them be the same? There's a million different PrC combos and a gajillion different feats to take to make your bard YOURS instead of what some book tells you every bard should be - USE THEM. I have yet to encounter a sucky, poorly thought, or broken bard feat or prestige class, and I love 'em all.

And those are my two cents ^_^

dr.cello
2007-09-25, 12:08 PM
It's my firm belief that playing any class to level 20 should be viable on its own. While prestige classes shouldn't be unattractive, neither should playing the straight class. Class revisions like this are designed to make straight bard playable (and still fairly unique, too).

About Swan Song: I can definitely see that affecting the bard, as well, even if the bard automatically succeeds on his save (which would definitely prevent the bard from casting it again any time soon). It would not only be an interesting balancing effect, it fits the name perfectly. A swan song comes from an old German legend, as I recall--the swan never sings until it is dying, but when it does, it is breathtakingly beautiful.

Eighth_Seraph
2007-09-25, 07:17 PM
Melikes the bard here, Iames. Nicely done.

As for the Swan Song discussion, I personally think that affecting a single character would be a more flavorful balancing option than having it affect the bard. What I mean by this is that the bard could sing/dance/play/act out an actual farewell song/dance/...riff?/performance for the target, killing it at the end. How's that for a swan song?

dr.cello
2007-09-25, 10:14 PM
Well, the swan song of legend was always the last song of the swan. Not the last song that other people would hear. That'd be more like a banshee's wail or something. It's sort of the core of the legend.

MisterSaturnine
2007-09-25, 10:21 PM
First, my one and only annoying nitpick - why any alignment? Music doesn't live in the soul of the Lawful Evil Blackguard who spends his time squeezing taxes out of peasents. It just doesn't happen (this would also explain why -I- can't sing).

And why not? There's no reason why a Lawful Evil Blackguard can't have a penchant for music. You can be a tyrannical, sadistic bastard who lives to take away the little bit of cash peasants have left and still have a love of music. It's what make characters interesting instead of stereotypes.

Hell, he could pull a Nero and be playing a fiddle as he burns a city to the ground. That'd be pretty damn scary.

dr.cello
2007-09-25, 10:34 PM
I've always sort of disliked when base classes have alignment restrictions. I think the reason people associate bards with chaos is mostly because of that. Just think of CAKE's "Commissioning a Symphony in C" (even though the Austrian in question didn't -write- the symphony). Music and its mathematical nature goes very well with lawful alignment, especially classes like Sublime Chord. It's the different between an obsessive musician who is trying to write the perfect song and a free spirit following his muse. And evil bards work pretty well.

Lord Iames Osari
2007-09-25, 10:54 PM
Or, to be truly evil, he could rap while the city burned. :smallwink: :smalltongue:

Lord Iames Osari
2007-10-01, 03:18 PM
Ok, how about having Swan Song inflict one of these on the performer:


Mentally Fatigued
A mentally fatigued character takes a -2 penalty to all mental ablity scores. This penalty can cause a character to be unable to cast spells for which he no longer has the prerequisite ability score (10 + spell level) and bonus spells gained from a high ability score while the penalty lasts. A mentally fatigued character becomes mentally exhausted by doing something else that would normally cause mental fatigue, or by casting a spell or manifesting a power with a casting/manifesting time of a swift or immediate action, or a spell/power/performance modified by a metamagic/metapsionic/metaperformance feat. After 8 hours of complete rest, mentally fatigued characters are no longer mentally fatigued.

Mentally Exhausted
A mentally exhausted character cannot cast any spells or manifest any powers with a casting/manifesting time of a swift or immediate action, or with a casting/manifesting time of more than 1 full round action. A mentally exhausted character casts spells and powers with casting/manifesting times of 1 standard action as a full-round action. If a spontaneous caster, the character cannot apply any metamagic feats to spells. A psionic character cannot become psionically focused or apply metapsionic feats to his powers. A mentally exhausted character takes a -6 penalty to all mental ability scores. This penalty can cause a character to be unable to cast spells or manifest powers for which he no longer has the prerequisite ability score (10 + spell/power level) and bonus spells gained from a high ability score while the penalty lasts. After 1 hour of complete rest, a mentally exhausted character becomes mentally fatigued. A mentally fatigued character becomes mentally exhausted by doing something else that would normally cause mental fatigue, or by casting a spell or manifesting a power with a casting/manifesting time of a swift or immediate action, or a spell/power/performance modified by a metamagic/metapsionic/metaperformance feat.

MythMage
2007-10-02, 10:35 PM
Flavorfully, a swan song should really involve the death of the caster. That's the whole point of a 'swan song'. Perhaps he should get a save to resist, or even automatically resist, but affecting himself fits the concept far better than anything else does.