Hit Die: d8
Class Abilities: DEX, CHA
For some individuals with the talent, music and song become powerful and innately magical. These spellsingers can affect minds, summon “spirits,” and in special places, even pierce the veil between Atheles and the Navirim. Their songs can put both the performer and an audience into a magical state of mind.
Bards do not have to carry around spellbooks or memorize spells like luminar mages do. In Atheles, it is said the world was sung into existence: music is creation, and creation is music. A bard simply taps into this process of creation on a smaller scale.
Bards are particularly potent at hypnotic sorts of magic—the sorts of things that work on the perceptions of others. Skilled bards spend a lifetime studying the audience and intuitively learning the various psychologies of people. Most bards begin as minstrels, finding it easiest to tap into their magic while playing an instrument and singing. As their power grows, some have been known to cast magic over a crowd with just a story, a whistled tune, a dance, or even by performing a role. It is said that in times of old, with years of experience and practice, some great bards could even put themselves into a magical, creative, state of mind without actually performing out loud.
|Level||Base Attack Bonus (BAB)||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Class Feature||Level Bonus*|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+2||Bardic Knowledge, Perform Talent, Bardic Music: Countersong, Fascinate (1 person), Distract, Inspire Courage (+1)||1st Legacy Item, 10 Skill Points to start, 2 Talent Points|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+3||Spell Sight||+1 HP, +1 Skill Point|
|3rd||+2||+1||+3||+3||Soothing Song once per day,||Resistance +1, +1 Skill Point, 1 Talent Point|
|4th||+3||+1||+4||+4||Fascinate (2 people)||+1 Ability Point, +1 Skill Point, 2nd Legacy Item|
|5th||+3||+1||+4||+4||Inspire Courage (+2)||Natural Armor +1, +1 Skill Point|
|6th||+4||+2||+5||+5||Suggestion||Resistance +2, +1 Skill Point, 1 Talent Point|
|7th||+5||+2||+5||+5||Fascinate (3 people)||Natural Armor +1, +1 Skill Point, 3rd Legacy Item|
|8th||+6/+1||+2||+6||+6||Hymn of Horror, Inspire Greatness||+1 Ability Point, +1 Skill Point, 1 Talent Point|
*Level dependent, not class dependent. These skills are completely independent of Class Feature.
|Starting Spells known at level 1|
|0 Mana Spells||2|
Spell Memory Allotment
|Bard Level||Allowed Spells in Memory|
|Bard Level||Mana per Day|
Bardic Knowledge: A bard can make a special bardic knowledge check with a bonus equal to their bard level + Intelligence modifier to see whether they know some relevant information about local notable people, legendary items, or noteworthy places. (If the bard has 3 or more ranks in Knowledge, they gain a +2 bonus on this check.)
A successful bardic knowledge check will not reveal the powers of a magic item but might give a hint as to its general function. A bard cannot take 10 or take 20 on this check; this sort of knowledge is essentially random.
|DC||Type of Knowledge|
|10||Common, known by at least a substantial minority of the local population.|
|20||Uncommon but available, known by only a few people.|
|25||Obscure, known by few, hard to come by.|
|30||Extremely obscure, known by very few, possibly forgotten by most who once knew it, possibly known only by those who don’t understand the significance of the knowledge.|
Perform Talent: Bards automatically get the Perform talent.
Once per day per bard level, bards can perform songs or poetics to produce magical effects on those around them (usually including themselves, if desired). While these abilities fall under the category of bardic music and the descriptions discuss singing or playing instruments, they can all be activated by reciting poetry, chanting, singing lyrical songs, singing melodies, whistling, playing an instrument, or playing an instrument in combination with some spoken performance. Each ability requires a minimum bard level.
Starting a bardic music effect is a standard action. Some bardic music abilities require concentration, which means the bard must take a standard action each round to maintain the ability. Even while using bardic music that doesn’t require concentration, a bard cannot cast spells, activate magic items by spell completion (such as scrolls), spell trigger (such as wands), or command word. Just as for casting a spell with a verbal component, a deaf bard has a 20% chance to fail when attempting to use bardic music. If they fail, the attempt still counts against their daily limit.
Countersong: A bard can use their music or poetics to counter magical effects that depend on sound (but not spells that simply have verbal components). Each round of the countersong, they make a Perform check. Any creature within 30’ of the bard (including the bard) affected by a sonic or language-dependent magical attack can use the bard’s Perform check result in place of their own saving throw if, after the saving throw is rolled, the Perform check result proves to be higher. If a creature within range of the countersong is already under the effect of a non-instantaneous sonic or language-dependent magical attack, it gains another saving throw against the effect each round it hears the countersong, but it must use the bard’s Perform check result for the save. Countersong has no effect against effects that don’t allow saves. The bard can keep up the countersong for 10 rounds.
Fascinate: Bards can use their music or poetics to cause one or more creatures to become Fascinated with them. Each target creature must be within 90’, able to see and hear the bard, and able to pay attention to them. 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, they can target one additional creature with a single use of this ability.
To use the ability, a bard makes a Heroic Action vs. the target’s Will save. If a creature’s saving throw succeeds, the bard cannot attempt to fascinate that creature again for 24 hours. If its saving throw fails, the creature sits quietly and listens to the song, taking no other actions, for as long as the bard continues to play and concentrate. If any distraction occurs—such as combat, someone yelling, or physical contact—the spell is broken. Any obvious threat—like someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a ranged weapon at the target—automatically breaks the effect. Fascinate is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting ability.
Distract: A bard can use their performance to counter magic effects that depend on sight. Each round of the distraction, they make a Persuasion (CHA) skill check. Any creature within 30’ of the bard (including the bard) affected by an illusion (pattern) or illusion (figment) magical attack can use the bard’s Persuasion check result in place of its own saving throw if, after the saving throw is rolled, the Persuasion skill check proves to be higher. If a creature within range of the distraction is already under the effect of a non-instantaneous illusion (pattern) or illusion (figment) magical attack, it gains another saving throw against the effect each round it sees the distraction, but it must use the bard’s Perform skill check result for the save. Distraction does not work on effects that don’t allow saves.
Inspire Courage: Bards can use song or poetics to inspire courage in their allies (including themselves), bolstering them against fear and improving their combat abilities. To be affected, an ally must be able to hear the bard sing. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the bard sing and for 5 rounds thereafter. An affected ally receives a +1 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 morale bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls. Inspire courage is a mind-affecting ability.
Soothing Song: A bard can heal all those who hear their performance, for 1d8+4 HP, by performing for one uninterrupted hour. If interrupted, the spellsong fails, but the bard can continue to attempt the spellsong until successful.
Suggestion: A bard can make a Suggestion (as the spell) to a creature they have already Fascinated. Using this ability does not break the bard’s concentration on the Fascinate effect, nor does it allow a second saving throw against the Fascinate effect.
Making a Suggestion doesn’t count against a bard’s daily limit on bardic music performances. A Will saving throw (DC 10 + ½ bard’s level + bard’s CHA modifier) negates the effect. This ability affects only a single creature (but see Mass Suggestion, below). Suggestion is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting, language dependent ability.
Hymn of Horror: Bards can use their performance to foster a sense of growing dread in their enemies, causing them to become Shaken. To be affected, an enemy must be within 30’ and able to see and hear the bard’s performance. The effect persists for as long as the enemy is within 30’ and the bard continues their performance. This performance cannot cause a creature to become Frightened or Panicked, even if the targets are already Shaken from another effect. Hymn of Horror is a mind-affecting fear effect, and it relies on audible and visual components.
Inspire Greatness: Bards can use music or poetics to inspire greatness in themselves or a single willing ally within 30’, granting them extra fighting capability. To inspire greatness, a bard must sing and an ally must hear them sing. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the bard sing and for 5 rounds thereafter. A creature inspired with greatness gains 12 bonus Hit Points, a +2 bonus on attack rolls, and a +1 bonus on Fortitude saves. Inspire Greatness is a mind-affecting ability.