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Thread: PrC Contest XXIII: Hybrid Theory II

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    Titan in the Playground
    Fax Celestis's Avatar

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    Jun 2006
    Fairfield, CA

    Default Re: PrC Contest XXIII: Hybrid Theory II


    "The gods gave me this voice and these hands: I will sing their praises and play their vision."
    --Ililani Kaona, chorister of Semisa

    Choristers are bardic servants of gods. Whereas a cleric will lead a congregation or serve the church directly, a chorister frequently has no direct association with the church, but still feels the influence of their deity in their day to day life.

    Alignment: Within one step of patron deity
    Class Features: Bardic Music, Inspire Courage bardic music feature, Suggestion bardic music feature
    Feat: True Believer
    Skills: Perform (Any) 9 ranks, Knowledge (Religion) 9 ranks

    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special Bardic Spellcasting
    1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Bardic Music, Domains, Lore +1 level of existing bardic spellcasting class 3 0+1 - - - - -
    2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 True Faith +1 level of existing bardic spellcasting class 3 1+1 - - - - -
    3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 - +1 level of existing bardic spellcasting class 4 1+1 0+1 - - - -
    4th +3 +1 +1 +4 Choirmaster +1 level of existing bardic spellcasting class 4 2+1 1+1 - - - -
    5th +3 +1 +1 +4 Joyful Noise - 4 2+1 1+1 - - - -
    6th +4 +2 +2 +5 Prayerful Hymn +1 level of existing bardic spellcasting class 4 2+1 1+1 0+1 - - -
    7th +5 +2 +2 +5 Heavenly Chorus +1 level of existing bardic spellcasting class 5 3+1 2+1 1+1 - - -
    8th +6 +2 +2 +6 Sanction +1 level of existing bardic spellcasting class 5 3+1 2+1 1+1 - - -
    9th +6 +3 +3 +6 - +1 level of existing bardic spellcasting class 5 3+1 2+1 2+1 0+1 - -
    10th +7 +3 +3 +7 Powerful Aria - 5 3+1 3+1 2+1 1+1 - -
    11th +8 +3 +3 +7 Exultations of the Divine +1 level of existing bardic spellcasting class 5 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1 0+1 -
    12th +9 +4 +4 +8 Divine Muse +1 level of existing bardic spellcasting class 6 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1 1+1 -
    13th +9 +4 +4 +8 - +1 level of existing bardic spellcasting class 6 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1 1+1 0+1
    14th +10 +4 +4 +9 Masterful Sanction +1 level of existing bardic spellcasting class 6 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1 2+1 1+1

    Hit Dice: d6

    Class Skills: The chorister's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (None), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
    Skills Points at Each Level: 4 + int

    Weapon Proficiencies: A chorister gains no proficiency with weapons or armor.

    Bardic Music: A chorister adds her chorister level (except levels she does not increase bardic spellcasting) to her bard level to determine her bardic music uses per day and the modifier for her Inspire Courage ability.

    Domains: A chorister's devotion to the gods gives her moderate access to one clerical domain that her patron deity grants. All choristers also have access to the Music domain (described below), and automatically add spells from the two domains granted by this ability (Music and one from her deity) to her divine spells known for this class when she reaches a level where she could normally learn those spells.

    Lore: A chorister adds her chorister level (except levels she does not increase bardic spellcasting) to her bard level to determine her modifier when using her Bardic Knowledge class feature. In addition, she gains a +5 insight bonus on this check when the subject is related to religious material. This bonus increases to +8 if the subject is directly related to her patron deity, her patron's faith, or her patron's church.

    Bardic Spellcasting: At each level except 5th and 10th, a chorister adds her chorister level to her bard level when determining her spells per day and spells known. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a bard would have gained from this class feature except for an increased effective level of spellcasting.

    Spellcasting: A chorister also casts divine spells, which are drawn from the cleric spell list. A chorister can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time.

    To cast a spell, a chorister must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a chorister's spell is 10 + the spell level + the chorister's Wisdom modifier.

    Like other spellcasters, a chorister can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on the table. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Wisdom score. A chorister also gets one domain spell of each spell level she can cast, starting at 1st level. When a chorister prepares a spell in a domain spell slot, it must come from one of her two domains.

    Choristers meditate or pray for their spells. Each chorister must choose a time at which she must spend 1 hour each day in quiet contemplation or supplication to regain her daily allotment of spells. Time spent resting has no effect on whether a chorister can prepare spells.

    Spells Known: A choristerís selection of divine spells is extremely limited. A chorister begins this class knowing five 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of your choice. At each new chorister level, she gains one or more new spells, as indicated on the table below. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a chorister knows is not affected by her Wisdom score; the numbers on the table are fixed.) These spells must be spells chosen from the cleric spell list.

    Level 0th 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
    1 5 2 - - - - -
    2 6 3 - - - - -
    3 6 3 2 - - - -
    4 6 4 3 - - - -
    5 6 4 3 - - - -
    6 6 4 3 2 - - -
    7 6 4 4 3 - - -
    8 6 4 4 3 - - -
    9 6 4 4 3 2 - -
    10 6 4 4 3 3 - -
    11 6 4 4 4 3 2 -
    12 6 4 4 4 3 3 -
    13 6 4 4 4 3 3 2
    14 6 4 4 4 3 3 3

    True Faith: A chorister's dedicated faith in her deity manifests itself through increased protection from her patron. Starting at second level, a chorister may make use of her True Believer feat an additional number of times per day equal to one-half her chorister level.

    Choirmaster (Ex): A chorister's music is infectious, and those who are musically inclined have a difficult time keeping themselves from joining in. Starting at fourth level, when activating a bardic music effect that affects her allies, she may spend an additional use of her bardic music to make her song into a chorus. Allies within the area of her bardic music who have at least 6 ranks in a Perform skill join into the song and add the 20' radius area around them to the chorister's bardic music area of effect. Allies who share a faith with the chorister may waive the Perform skill requirement.

    Joyful Noise (Su): A chorister's musical prowess allows her to infuse her divine spellcasting with it in a limited regard. Starting at fifth level, when casting a spell with the Healing subschool or when casting a spell listed here, the creature she targets is also affected as if by her Inspire Courage ability for a number of rounds equal to her Charisma modifier. If the spell used to trigger this ability is an ongoing effect and is dispelled, dismissed, or ends before the Inspire Courage time is up, the Inspire Courage ability ends immediately. This class feature must be used with spells that have a Verbal component and may be used with the following spells, in addition to those described above: aid, bear's endurance, bless, bull's strength, cat's grace, eagle's splendor, fox's cunning, greater restoration, lesser restoration, magic circle against alignment, owl's wisdom, protection from alignment, remove blindness/deafness, remove paralysis, restoration, shield of faith.

    Prayerful Hymn (Su): A chorister's faith allows her to infuse her music with hope and praise, bestowing such powers into her allies and rendering her opponents fearful of her conviction. Starting at sixth level, as a free action when initiating her Inspire Courage ability, she may expend an additional bardic music usage and a third-level divine spell slot. If she does so, she may cast prayer, except that the effects of the prayer use the duration and area of her Inspire Courage. Effectively, the chorister may add prayer's effects to her Inspire Courage.

    Heavenly Chorus (Ex): A chorister performs best with other performers, but two choristers together are a power to behold. Starting at seventh level, when two or more choristers use a bardic music effect simultaneously, over an at least partially overlapping area, and they follow deities who are within one step of alignment of each other, all choristers' bardic music effects apply to the total area of all the songs combined. In addition, if any of the songs involved provide a fixed, numeric bonus (such as Inspire Courage or Inspire Competence), increase that numeric bonus by 1. Should there be a chorister with this ability and a chorister or bard without it (or several of each), the chorister with this ability may select one other chorister (or bard, as applicable) who does not have it: the selected character (without this ability) gains this ability for the duration of the song.

    Sanction (Ex): Starting at 8th level, a chorister's faith allows her to ignore affects that negatively harm her allies or other creatures around her. A chorister becomes immune to effects that determine their effects based upon alignment of the targets or of creatures in the area of effect (such as holy word, detect evil, magic circle against alignment, and cloak of chaos) as long as she is currently using a bardic music effect (such as Countersong or Inspire Courage).

    Powerful Aria (Ex): Starting at 10th level, a chorister's musical aptitude allows her to empower her spells with its might. When a chorister casts a divine spell, she may also spend a bardic music use. If she does so, the divine spell cast is automatically maximized or extended , as if by the Maximize Spell or Extend Spell metamagic feats. A chorister cannot make use of both of these features at the same time: she must select one or the other.

    Exultations of the Divine (Su): A high-level chorister's divine patron protects her, so that she may keep the song alive. Starting at 11th level, whenever a chorister is using a bardic music ability, she gains Fast Healing equal to her Charisma modifier, DR/- equal to her Wisdom modifier, and Spell Resistance equal to twice her Chorister class level.

    Divine Muse (Su): At 12th level, a chorister's voice and her god's become as one. By spending a bardic music use when casting a spell, she may make the spell still and silent, as if using the Still Spell and Silent Spell metamagic feats. Using this ability does not alter the spell's level, and may be used in conjunction with Powerful Aria. Further, this ability overrides any of the chorister's class features that require a Verbal component to function.

    Masterful Sanction (Ex): At 14th level, a chorister's faith extends to her allies: any ally currently affected by the chorister's bardic music becomes immune to spells and effects that determine their effects based upon alignment of the targets or of creatures in the area of effect.

    Multiclass Note: A chorister whose alignment matches those of their deity retains their bard abilities and can continue taking levels in bard even if they are of a lawful alignment.

    Choristers are support characters, providing hefty bonuses and enabling their compatriots to handle opponents they normally wouldn't be able to otherwise. Unlike a bard, a chorister has a better ability to provide healing, but in exchange possesses a lower ability to influence others socially.
    Combat: Choristers should attempt to move into a position where their bardic music will affect as many allies as possible, and provide buffs and healing for their allies in the thick of things. Smart use of spells with the Powerful Aria and Joyful Noise features (in conjunction or otherwise) can turn an encounter from an overpowering challenge to a manageable task. A chorister lucky enough to be in a party with another chorister can be quite a formidable force if one or both possess the Heavenly Chorus feature, especially in a situation such as a battlefield, where many allies can benefit greatly from multiple effects simultaneously over a greater area than they normally otherwise would cover.
    Advancement: Choristers can vary from one another largely through faith and domain selection, though their spell selection also provides some variability. Certain choristers will prefer to use their bardic music to strengthen their allies and then use their spells to weaken their enemies, while others will augment their allies with both their magic and their spells.
    Resources: A chorister, while having strong ties to a patron deity, does not necessarily have strong ties to that patron's church. Most, however, will, and may be able to call upon favors, contacts, or resources within the church.

    "We would've lost that battle if it hadn't been for th' Choir of Raghnialt. They may have been singers, but they could handle a knife just fine, and their music...well, their music was inspirin' to say the least. One rousin' harmonious roar from the back o' the line, travelin' all the way up and down the front... It was like a wall o' sound that pushed them orcs back."
    --Keir Levantine, Champion of Segovia

    Choralists are respected by their faiths, though they sometimes have trouble handling a church's official nature in comparison to their own propensity to act outside of its bounds.
    Daily Life: Most non-adventuring or peaceful choristers play a minor part as a church auxiliary, generally via providing music at services and events, though some remain true to their bardic roots and travel, making their money best they can through odd jobs. Adventuring or militant choristers frequently act as chaplains, commanders, healers, or in another supportive capacity. Most choristers never really manage to handle stealthy tactics (indeed, most of their abilities involve calling attention to themselves), and as such most never really take up thievery, subterfuge, or sabotage.
    Notables: Ililani Kaona, a chorister of Semisa, plies her trade through the Free Cities as a combat healer and sometime detective: she finds she has a way with people that many don't, and this gets her a lot of business. Peregrine Solis, a chorister of Raghnialt, bides her days at the High Temple of Raghnialt, providing vocal services for Raghnialt's most extravagant services and training new choristers.
    Organizations: Each church handles choristers differently: some, particularly those that are chaotic-aligned or who have loose organization, have little trouble fitting choristers into their repertoire; others--generally those that are lawfully-aligned--take issue with the way choristers work outside the church's bounds.

    NPC Reaction
    Most people find little immediate difference between a bard and a chorister, but the differences are actually relatively significant. Upon closer examination, it is easy to see that choristers provide a much more faith-based service and can do many things with the aid of the divine that bards are incapable of performing.

    Choristers provide a lot of benefits to their parties, but tend to play a lesser role themselves when it comes to combat. While they can play the 'party face', generally a chorister's focus will be on strengthening her allies.
    Adaptation: A chorister's Joyful Noise ability can be very readily expanded by adding to the list of spells that trigger it: mainly touch-range defensive or buffing spells should be added. Similarly, choristers of evil gods or with the Curse Song feature variant could change the Joyful Noise ability for a similar one that provided a debuffing effect on creatures afflicted by a chorister's negative spell, and the Prayerful Hymn ability could be exchanged for one that provides a large-scale debuffing effect.
    Encounters: Encounters involving choristers should either involve one as a lynchpin to the rest of the encounter, or they should involve several choristers that make use of the Heavenly Hymn ability to create a zone of dangerous creatures. An encounter with a chorister will probably play out about the same as an encounter with a buff-focused bard.

    Sample Encounter
    EL 17: Peregrine Solis and her two ice devil guards, granted to her by her faith to Raghnialt, guard a shrine to her faith that contains within it a spellbook packed with powerful fey, darkness, and ice-related spells.

    Peregrine Solis
    Lawful Neutral Female Human Bard 6/Chorister 8
    Init +1, Senses: Listen +4, Spot +4,
    Languages Common, Sylvan, Infernal
    AC 18, touch 11, flat-footed 17 (+7 armor, +1 Dex); 50% resistance to crits
    hp 77 (14 HD)
    Fort +8, Ref +10, Will +15
    Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
    Melee Icy dagger +10/+5 (1d4 plus 1d6 cold, 19-20/x2)
    Ranged Icy short bow +15/+10 (1d6 plus 1d6 cold, 20/x3)
    Base Atk +10, Grp +10
    Combat Gear Icy dagger +1, icy short bow +1, 30 arrows
    Bard Spells Known (DC 15 plus spell level): 0th (3/day) -- dancing lights, light, lullaby, message, prestidigitation, summon instrument; 1st (5/day) -- charm person, hideous laughter, silent image, sleep; 2nd (4/day) -- blur, bull's strength, darkness, mirror image; 3rd (4/day) -- clairaudience/clairvoyance, dispel magic, haste, slow; 4th (3/day) -- break enchantment, dimension door, shadow conjuration
    Cleric Spells Known (DC 14 plus spell level): 0th (5/day) -- create water, cure minor wounds, detect magic, mending, purify food and drink, read magic; 1st (4/day plus 1 domain) -- bane, bless, entropic shield, shield of faith, obscuring mistD, convictionD; 2nd (3/day plus 1 domain) -- bear's endurance, bull's strength, cat's grace, lesser restoration, blindnessD, sound burstD; 3rd (2/day plus 1 domain) -- cure serious wounds, deeper darkness, invisibility purge, blacklightD, mass convictionD
    Abilities Str 8, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 18, Cha 20
    SQ Bardic Music (22/day), Lore (+14, +19 for religious material, +22 if related to Raghnialt), Countersong, Fascinate, Inspire Courage +3, Inspire Competence, Suggestion, Domains (Darkness, Music), True Faith (4/day), Choirmaster, Joyful Noise, Prayerful Hymn, Heavenly Chorus, Sanction
    Feats Zen Archery, True Believer, Endurance, Empower Spell, Lingering Song, Extra Music, Blind-FightB, Extra MusicB
    Possessions Combat gear plus cloak of resistance +2 and Charisma +4, chain shirt of fortification +3, gloves of Dexterity +2, periapt of Wisdom +4, pearl of language (Infernal)

    The Music Domain
    Granted Power: You gain Extra Music as a bonus feat.

    1: conviction*
    2: sound burst
    3: mass conviction*
    4: sound lance*
    5: hallow/unhallow
    6: symphonic nightmare*
    7: mass eagle's splendor
    8: synystodweomer*
    9: heavenly host/hellish horde*

    *appears in the Spell Compendium
    Last edited by Fax Celestis; 2014-08-22 at 11:32 PM.