The Golden Fiddle
The title of golden fiddle is granted only to exceptional bards who prove themselves the master of the fiddle in a deadly contest against the most skilled fiddlers in all the multiverse: the fiddler devils of the Nine Hells. To become a golden fiddle, a prospective bard who believes himself ready must put his own soul on the line in taking a challenge from a fiddler devil. Those who triumph win hellish musical power from Baator to use in whatever way they care to. Those who lose the contest, however, have an eternity of torment to contemplate their recklessness as they are slowly tortured in the depths of hell.
To qualify to become a golden fiddle, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.
: Any nonlawful and nonevil.
: Bardic Music (suggestion)
: Knowledge (the Planes) 5 ranks, Perform (string instruments) 9 ranks, Speak Language (Infernal)
: Must have beaten a fiddler devil in an infernal fiddle challenge
Skill Points at Each Additional Level
: 6 + Int modifier.
Table: The Golden Fiddle
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Spells per Day|
|Devilís fiddle (devilís debt), evil exception||Ė|
|Devilís fiddle (inspire courage +1)||+1 Level of Existing Bard Spellcasting Class|
|Devilís fiddle (devilís sight)||+1 Level of Existing Bard Spellcasting Class|
|Devilís fiddle (fiendish resilience 1)||Ė|
|Devilís fiddle (amnesia)||+1 Level of Existing Bard Spellcasting Class|
|Devilís fiddle (dark lexicon)||+1 Level of Existing Bard Spellcasting Class|
|Devilís fiddle (forged by fire)||Ė|
|Devilís fiddle (inspire courage +2)||+1 Level of Existing Bard Spellcasting Class|
|Devilís fiddle (fiendish resilience 3)||+1 Level of Existing Bard Spellcasting Class|
|Devilís fiddle (gate)||Ė|
: The golden fiddleís 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), 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 (n/a), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
All of the following are class features of the golden fiddle prestige class.
Armor and Weapon Proficiencies
: The golden fiddle gains no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.
: At each level except 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th, the golden fiddle gains additional spells per day as if he had also gained a level in the bard class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a bard would have gained, except for an increased effective level of spellcasting.
: The golden fiddle can use his fiddle to produce a far more fiendish array of effects than a normal bard. Devilís fiddle follows the same rules as bardic music (see Bardic Music, page 29 of the Playerís Handbook
). Golden fiddle levels stack with bard levels for determining how often a character can use devilís fiddle or bardic music. Each of these songs counts as a use of bardic music. Devilís fiddle can only be used with a fiddle.
Devilís Debt (Sp)
: A golden fiddle with at least 10 ranks in Perform (string instuments) can use his music to summon Baatezu to help him. This ability works exactly like the summon monster i
spell, but can only be used to summon devils. The normal duration of the spell is replaced with a number of rounds equal to the golden fiddleís Perform (string instruments) check.
At each class level the golden fiddle gains, he may use this ability to replicate a summon monster
spell of one grade higher, up to a maximum of imitating summon monster ix
at level 9.
Inspire Courage (Su)
: At 2nd and 8th levels, the golden fiddleís gains a bonus with his inspire courage bardic music ability of +1. In addition, he may grant this bonus as a profane bonus instead of a morale bonus at his choice.
Devilís Sight (Su)
: A golden fiddle of 3rd level with at least 12 ranks in Perform (string instruments) can use his music to give the sight of the Baatezu to his allies. This ability affects all allies who can hear the golden fiddle play. All affected allies gain the ability to see perfectly in darkness of any kind, even that created by a deeper darkness
spell. This ability lasts as long as the golden fiddle continues to play.
Fiendish Resilience (Su)
: A golden fiddle of 4th level with at least 13 ranks in Perform (string instruments) can use his fiendish music to close the wounds of his allyís with unearthly speed. This ability lasts for a number of rounds equal to his Perform (string instruments) check. To be affected, an ally must be able to hear the golden fiddle play. All affected allies gain fast healing 1 for the duration of the effect. At 9th level this improves to fast healing 3. This ability stacks with the benefit granted by the warlockís class feature of the same name.
: A golden fiddle of 5th level with at least 14 ranks in Perform (string instruments) can use his music to channel the mind-altering power of the river Styx which flows through the depths of hell. This ability works exactly like the modify memory
spell, but the Will saving throw DC to resist it is equal to the golden fiddleís Perform (string instruments) check.
The time it takes to modify memory (and subsequently the amount of memory that can be altered) is equal to the amount of time the golden fiddle spends playing, up to a maximum of 1 minute per class level.
Dark Lexicon (Sp)
: A golden fiddle of 6th level with at least 15 ranks in Perform (string instruments) can imbue his music with the dark speech of hell. This ability replicates the effect of the blasphemy
spell or the dictum
spell, at the golden fiddleís choice. The saving throw DC to resist this ability is equal to the golden fiddleís Perform (string instruments) check. In addition, for the effects of this ability, the golden fiddle may use his ranks in Perform (string instruments) instead of his caster level.
Forged by Fire (Su)
: A golden fiddle of 7th level who has at least 16 ranks in Perform (string instruments) can use his music to grant the immunities of the Baatezu to his allies. This ability affects all allies who can hear the golden fiddle play. All affected allies gain immunity to fire and poison. This ability lasts as long as the golden fiddle continues to play.
: A golden fiddle of 10th level who has at least 19 ranks in Perform (string instruments) can use his planar music to open a portal to hell. This ability works exactly like the gate
spell, but can only be used for planar travel and not for summoning and can only connect to the Nine Hells of Baator. The spell lasts for as long as the golden fiddle continues to play.
Evil Exception (Su)
: The golden fiddle has seen the best hell has to offer and has scoffed at it. He does not suffer any penalties or restrictions from handling or using an evil item.
Medium Outsider (Evil, Extraplanar, Lawful)
8d8+16 (55 HP)
30ft. (6 squares)
16; touch 12; flat-footed 14 (+2 Dex, +4 natural)
Claw +10 melee (1d6)
2 claws +10 melee (1d6)
: Infernal fiddle challenge, spell-like ability, summon Baatezu
: Damage reduction 5/good, darkvision 60ft., immunity to fire and poison, resistance to acid 10 and cold 10, see in darkness, telepathy 100ft.
Fort +8 Ref +8 Will +6
Str 10, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 22
: Bluff +17, Diplomacy +17, Intimidate +17, Perform (dance) +17, Perform (string instruments) +20, Perform (oratory) +17, Perform (sing) +17
: Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Perform [string instruments]), Weapon Finesse
: the Nine Hells of Baator
: solitary (challenger)
: golden fiddle
: always lawful evil
: Ė; Favoured Class
Fiddler devils loathe combat and if forced into it will escape by any means possible; generally with their greater teleport
spell-like ability. Any prospective bard who helps kill a fiddler devil is never granted another chance at the infernal fiddle challenge. Fiddler devils always carry with them a golden fiddle to offer as a prize. This fiddle has no magical powers, but is worth at least 1,000 gp to the right buyer.
Infernal Fiddle Challenge
: The fiddler devil collects the souls of overly ambitious bards hoping to make a name for themselves. It has the right to challenge a being to an infernal fiddle challenge. It is authorized to offer its golden fiddle and entrance into the golden fiddle prestige class as a prize for this challenge.
: Caster level 12th.
- greater teleport
(self plus 50 pounds of objects only)
Summon Baatezu (Sp)
: Once per day a fiddler devil can attempt to summon 2d8 lemures or 1d3 bearded devils with a 50% chance of success. This ability is the equivalent of a 3rd-level spell.
Infernal Fiddle Challenge
The infernal fiddle challenge is widely known as the most intense and deadly duel of fiddling in existence. A prospective challenger must first draw the attention of a fiddler devil. This requires a performance by a bard who speaks Infernal in a metropolis who succeeds on a DC 30 Perform (string instruments) check playing a fiddle. This is enough to draw the attention of a fiddler devil, hellish beings always on the lookout for bards foolish enough to agree to the challenge.
Prior to the challenge, the bard must agree to give his soul to the fiddler devil if he loses. If he wins, he gains the right to enter the golden fiddle prestige class as well as the golden fiddle that the fiddler devil always carries. The devil himself has no more need of it, as losing a challenge is cause for instant demotion to the form of a nupperibo.
The actual challenge is simple. It is resolved in front of an audience equal in size to a full half of the population of the city the bard has chosen. The bard and the fiddler devil each have three chances to win the audience to their side with their fiddling skills. They alternate playing back and forth, with the fiddler devil going first.
Each stage of the challenge begins with the player making a Perform (string instruments) check. Afterwards, he may select any Charisma-based skill to accompany the performance. He makes a roll with this skill, which modifies his previous Perform check slightly. The modifier granted by the accompanying skill is shown on the following table:
The following player makes a Perform (string instruments) check of his own on the following round. However, unless his check beats the highest previous Perform (string instruments) check made, he must use the same Charisma-based skill to accompany his own performance as was used by his opponent. If his Perform (string instruments) check beats the highest previous check, he may instead select a new applicable skill to use to accompany his performance and thus force his opponent to use in the following round.
The two players alternate playing back and forth three times each, adding the modifier Perform checks of each round together to form a total. The player with the highest total check for the challenge is declared the winner. If the bard loses, he is instantly teleported to Avernus in a crack of smoke and brimstone. If the devil loses, he instead vanishes, leaving nothing behind but the promised golden fiddle.