View Full Version : Invocation-style Bard (3.5 core class) PEACH

2011-09-18, 01:42 PM
I've edited the text, putting any special house rules material in spoilers. Let me know if you spot anything off.

The following is copied from my homebrew campaign's private wiki where I keep all my houserules. Included in that is the system-wide change to the skill list, I use a version of the 4e skill list (plus Concentration, Engineering, and Psionics), and using gateway Skill Tricks to represent the subskills that still need distinction (such as Handle Animal being rolled into Intimidate, but using command tricks derived from the 4e Beastmaster Ranger's powers, or Use Magic Device rolled into Bluff, but requiring a Deceive Item skill trick to use magic items(note: not the same as the warlock's Deceive Item), automatically granted if the original class had UMD.) I'll try to note the distinctions and where the regular 3.5 skill list would be swapped, but I'm sure I'll miss a few. Use your intuition.

I'll also note, I'm interested to hear the Tier-rating, but I'm not worried about being compared to anything Tier 1, since those classes won't exist as-is in my game. The Cleric is replaced by my own Champion (basically the Marshall plus the PHB Bard's spell progression using the Cleric list, which still might get some re-writes), and the Druid is replaced by my Sentinel (the Shapeshift druid with the PHB bard's spell progression), plus a whole bunch of other changes I won't get into right now.

Bards under the new system act as a hybrid of the Warlock-style invoker and the Marshall-style aura user. Bards have Least, Lesser, and Greater invocations, with new Bardic invocations drawn from the 3.5 bard spell list. (Feel free to suggest any Bard-specific spells you think they're lacking.) The idea here is to develop the Bard away from spell-list territory held by the Beguiler. Bards have the Deceive Item skill trick, so they can use wands of any standard arcane spell they're lacking.

They also have Bardic Auras, drawn from the Marshall, Dragon Shaman, and any Bardic Music effects which would work well as auras. The consideration is that all invocations are useable at-will, and auras are always-on effects.


The Bard is a support-based class, using his auras and invocations to support and enhance his allies, and heal them after the battle is over. On the other hand, his support effects can also benefit himself, and while he doesn't have a great HD, he does possess two good saves and a medium BAB, giving him some ability to support his allies in combat. The Bard is the Rogue's best friend, giving a target and a credible threat to draw the attention of enemies, allowing the Rogue to sneak attack.

Hit Die: d6

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per class level, × 4 at 1st level): Appraise, Balance, Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Disguise, Escape Artist, Gather Information, Hide, Jump, Knowledge (all skills, taken individually), Listen, Move Silently, Perform, Profession, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Speak Language, Spellcraft, Swim, Tumble, and Use Magic Device.

Houserules skill list:
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per class level, × 4 at 1st level): Acrobatics, Arcana, Athletics, Bluff, Concentration, Diplomacy, Dungeoneering, History, Insight, Nature, Perception, Religion, Stealth, Streetwise, Thievery
Class Skill Tricks: Deceive Item

{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special |
Bardic Invocations Known|
Auras Known

1st|+0|+0|+2|+2|Bardic knowledge, Bardic music, least invocations, skilled linguist|

2nd|+1|+0|+3|+3|Bardic aura +1|

3rd|+2|+1|+3|+3|Touch of vitality|


5th|+3|+1|+4|+4|Bardic aura +2|


7th|+5|+2|+5|+5|Lesser invocations|

8th|+6/+1|+2|+6|+6|Bardic aura +3|



11th|+8/+3|+3|+7|+7|Bardic aura +4|


13th|+9/+4|+4|+8|+8|Greater invocations|

14th|+10/+5|+4|+9|+9|Bardic aura +5|



17th|+12/+7/+2|+5|+10|+10|Bardic aura +6|



20th|+15/+10/+5|+6|+12|+12|Bardic aura +7|


Class Features

All of the following are class features of the bard.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: You are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the longsword, rapier, sap, short sword, shortbow, and whip, and with light armor and shields (except tower shields).

You can cast bardic invocations while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. However, like any other arcane spellcaster, wearing medium or heavy armor or using a heavy shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure. A multiclass bard still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells and invocations received from other classes.

Bardic Knowledge: You can make a special Bardic Knowledge check with a bonus equal to your bard level + Intelligence modifier to see whether you know some relevant information about local notable people, legendary items, or noteworthy places.
You may not take 10 or take 20 on this check; this sort of knowledge is essentially random.

Invocations: You have a repertoire of songs, poems, and chants known as bardic invocations, which allow you to weave magical effects much like a mage or priest casts spells. You can use any invocation you know at will. See Bardic Invocations for a list of available invocations.

Your bardic invocations are spell-like abilities; using an invocation is therefore a standard action that provokes opportunity attacks. To avoid provoking such attacks, you can use an invocation defensively by making a successful Concentration check. An invocation can be disrupted, just as a spell can be ruined during casting. If you are hit by an attack while invoking, you are entitled to a Concentration check to successfully use the invocation, just as a spellcaster would be. Your invocations are subject to spell resistance unless an invocation's description specifically states otherwise. Your caster level with your invocations is equal to your bard class level. You can dismiss an invocation at any time, just as a mage can dismiss a spell.

If an invocation allows a saving throw, its DC is 10 + the equivalent spell level + your Charisma modifier. Since spell-like abilities are not spells, you cannot benefit from the Spell Focus feat. You can, however, benefit from the Ability Focus feat, as well as from feats that emulate metamagic effects for spell-like abilities.

The three grades of bardic invocations, in order of their relative power, are least, lesser, and greater. As a 1st-level bard, you begin with knowledge of one least invocation, gaining access to more invocations and higher grades as you attain levels. At any level when you learn a new invocation, you can also replace an invocation you already know with another invocation of the same or lower grade.

Unlike other spell-like abilities, bardic invocations are subject to arcane spell failure chance as described under Weapon and Armor Proficiency, above.

Finally, bards can qualify for some prestige classes usually intended for spellcasters. You cannot qualify for prestige classes with spellcasting level requirements, because you never actually learn to cast spells. However, prestige classes with caster level requirements are allowed—your caster level for your invocations fulfills this requirement. Your spell-like abilities do meet requirements for specific spell knowledge if they mimic the required spell. Any prestige class entry which lists '+1 level of spellcasting' or '+1 level of arcane spellcasting' adds the specified levels to your levels in Bard, gaining new grades of invocations and invocations known. (Any prestige class listed with 'Bardic Music' among its class abilities also adds to aura bonus and auras known.)

Bardic Music (Ex): Some invocations and auras require a check of your skill in songcraft, utilizing your Perform skill.
Optional house rule: When an ability requires a Perform check, roll a d20 and add your levels in Bard (plus any prestige classes which contribute to Bardic Music) plus your Charisma modifier.

Your bardic music can be aided by well-crafted instruments. A masterwork instrument adds +2 to your Perform check when played. Magical instruments also exist, and typically add not only a bonus to your Perform check, but add special modifiers to your auras and bardic invocation you cast, such as increased area, higher DC, or additional effects.

The Perform skill was among my chopped skills, so I followed the same format for Wild Empathy, which as I recall, was a skill in 3.0, Animal Empathy, only available to rangers and druids.

Honestly, what kind of Bard *wouldn't* put max ranks into Perform?

Skilled Linguist: You can learn any non-secret languages more easily than other folk, by spending only one skill point rather than two.

More of my skill-list chop, takes the place of Speak Language as a skill listing. I'm a lot more active with skill tricks, so just saying languages are skill tricks makes the whole thing a little more mechanically integrated.

Bardic Aura (Su): At 2nd level, you learn how to weave bardic magic to project an aura that grants you and nearby allies a special benefit, or instills a harmful effect into your enemies.

Projecting an aura is a swift action, and you can only project one bardic aura at a time. An aura remains in effect until you use a free action to dismiss it or you activate another aura in its place. You can have a bardic aura active continually; thus an aura can be in effect at the start of an encounter even before you take your first turn.

Unless otherwise noted, your bardic aura affects all allies within 30 feet (including yourself) with line of effect to you, and count as a Morale bonus. If an ally moves outside of the range of your aura's effect, they continue to benefit from it until the end of their turn. You must vocalize or otherwise be capable of making sound your allies can hear; a silence effect cancels your aura. Your aura is dismissed if you become unconscious or are slain, but it otherwise it remains in effect even if you are incapable of acting.

The bonus granted by your aura begins at +1 at 2nd level and increases by +1 every 4 levels, as shown on the chart above. As a 2nd-level bard, you know 2 auras chosen from the list below, and gain additional auras according to your level.

Aria of Accuracy: Bonus on melee attack rolls to yourself and all allies.
Chorus of Emphasis: Bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks to yourself and all allies.
Countersong: Make a Perform check. Your allies can choose to use your Perform check result in place of their rolled save versus a sonic or language-dependent effect. This lasts a number of rounds equal to your aura bonus, after which you must make a new Perform check as a standard action to renew the effect. You can also choose to make a new Perform check as a standard action at any time, if you don't like the rolled result. This resets the duration.
Dance of Defense: Bonus to AC to yourself and all allies.
Fascination: Make a Perform check. You can attract the attention of a number of creatures equal to your aura bonus within 60 feet. Each creature makes a Will save, using your Perform check as the DC. Those who make the save get a +20 to future saves against this effect by you for 24 hours.
Those who fail are dazed by your presence, unable to take actions. Additionally, they take a penalty equal to your aura bonus on all Spot and Listen checks, saves, and armor class. If their armor class, when reduced by this effect, is equal to or less than their flat-footed AC, they are considered flat-footed. Any potential threat (such as a hostile creature approaching) risks breaking the effect, forcing you to make a new Perform check, against which they then roll a Will save on their turn. Any obvious threat (drawing melee weapons, visible invoking or spellcasting, or aiming a ranged weapon) automatically breaks the effect on their turn.
All affected creatures continue to suffer the aura-bonus penalties for a number of rounds equal to your charisma bonus afterwards, but gain a +20 bonus to future saves against this effect by you for 24 hours. (In combat, this ability can be used as a mass stunning-like effect, making any who fail the save dazed until their next turn, taking the above penalty for rounds equal to your charisma bonus.
Melody of Energy: When you learn this aura, choose acid, cold, electric, or fire damage. You and your allies gain energy resistance equal to five times your aura bonus. You can learn this aura multiple times, choosing a new energy type each time.
Melody of Mobility: The base land speed of you and your allies within 60 feet is increased by 5 feet for every point of bonus.
Performance of Power: Bonus on damage rolls to yourself and all allies.
Refrain of Energy: Retribution When you learn this aura, choose acid, cold, electric, or fire damage. You and your allies gain an energy shield which deals 2 points of damage per point of aura bonus to anyone striking them with a non-reach melee weapon or natural attack. You can learn this aura multiple times, choosing a new energy type each time.
Song of the Steady Hand: Bonus on ranged attack rolls to yourself and all allies.
Symphony of the Senses: Bonus on Spot, Listen, and Initiative checks to yourself and all allies.
Verse of Endurance: You and your allies gain damage reduction equal to your bonus. (For example, a 6th level bard grants DR 2/— to her allies.)
Verse of Vigor: You and all allies gain fast healing equal to your aura bonus, but only while below half their full normal hit points.
Wardrums of the March: You and your allies gain your aura bonus to Endurance-related checks, and can Hustle, Swim, or Forced March for an extra hour before needing to make an Endurance-related check, and every two hours after that. This affects an area up to 90 feet around you.

Additional bardic auras may exist, in the form of feats or exotic lore which must be found or researched.

Touch of Vitality (Su): At 3rd level, you can heal the wounds of living creatures (your own or those of others) by touch. Each day you can heal a number of points of damage equal to twice your class level × your Charisma bonus, minimum ×1. For example, a 7th-level bard with a Charisma score of 14 (+2 bonus) can heal 28 points of damage. You can choose whether to divide your healing among multiple recipients, and you don't have to use it all at once. Using your touch of vitality is a standard action. It has no effect on constructs, undead or otherwise.

Beginning at 11th level, you can choose to spend some of the healing bestowed by your touch of vitality to remove other harmful conditions affecting your target.

For every 5 point of your healing ability you expend, you can cure 1 point of ability damage or remove the dazed, fatigued, or sickened condition from one individual.

For every 10 points of your healing ability you expend, you can remove the exhausted, nauseated, poisoned, or stunned condition from one individual.

For every 20 points of your healing ability you expend, you can remove a negative level or the blinded, deafened, or diseased condition from one individual.

You can remove one condition (or more than one condition) and heal damage with the same touch, so long as you expend the required number of points. For example, if you wanted to heal 12 points of damage and remove the blinded and exhausted conditions from a target, you would have to expend 42 points (12 hit points restored, plus 20 points for blinded plus 10 points for exhausted).

Playing a Bard
Bards excel at supporting their allies. Theoretically, the combination of a large number of invocations and a higher-than-standard aura bonus progression could be overpowered, but the fact that these two features are the sole function of the class, with no major direct-combat abilities (like wild shape/shapeshift, eldritch blast, or the dragon shaman or dragonfire adept's breath weapon) makes them just about right. (Feel free to prove me wrong. I can see a lot of potential with a high-level bard as a charmer, but it's still not broken.) A bard is a very strong encounter-controller. They add to combat abilities and alter the battlefield by directly controlling its combatants.

Bards have little ability score requirements. They don't need Charisma for their invoking, auras, or Bardic Music, but it is very beneficial, especially when playing a Healer role. Constitution is also very nice, backing up their low fort save and poor hitpoints, and Concentration, but a well-played bard need not ever enter melee, and the bonus from a decent Con to Concentration is still fairly quickly outpaced by ranks (plus Melodic Casting in Complete Mage can replace it entirely, though it can't get as high). Dexterity is again nice, but not required, especially if they choose feats which allow them to wear heavier armor, and CAdv's Insightful Reflexes. Strength is helpful if they want to fight in melee. Intelligence is useful for more skill points to cover bases, though Bardic Knowledge, while Int-based, doesn't require any score investment at all. Wisdom is probably the least useful stat to a Bard, though not entirely useless, for the basics like Listen, Spot, and Will saves.

Adapting Bardic Music
The change to the way Bardic Music works makes it difficult to use prestige classes or feats which allow you to expend a Bardic Music use for some effect.

When you need to 'expend' a usage of Bardic music, you sacrifice the effect of a currently-used aura effect (requiring one to be in place), and lose +1 of your aura bonus for the remainder of the encounter. If your aura bonus is reduced to +0, you lose access to your aura effects until you can take a short rest of 5 minutes or more. You must wait until your next turn to re-start any aura as a standard action.

Bard Feats
Any feats in bold directly affect your invocations, items in italics affect auras.

Player's Handbook: Combat Casting, Combat Expertise, Dodge, Greater Spell Penetration, Leadership, Magical Aptitude, Mobility, Spell Penetration, Toughness, Weapon Finesse

Monster Manual: Ability Focus (can be applied to any one invocation, or to your Auras as a whole), Empower Spell-Like Ability, Quicken Spell-Like Ability

Complete Warrior: Dash, Defensive Strike, Hold The Line, Improved Combat Expertise, Improved Toughness

Complete Arcane: Arcane Mastery, Battle Caster (very nice for melee bards), Extra Invocation, Heighten Spell-Like Ability, Maximize Spell-Like Ability, Obtain Familiar, Practiced Spellcaster (good for multiclass bards), Wandstrike

Any of the SLA feats could add useful cantrip-level utility to a bard, though they're not very powerful. (Debating tweaking those to be 'one of the following per encounter' rather than each at 1/day.)

Complete Adventurer: Devoted Performer (paladin and bard levels stack for bardic music, aura bonus, and auras known), Disguise Spell (prereq becomes bard lvl 6, perform means mundane performance, but you can use auras and invocations without onlookers knowing), Extra Music (can expend bardic music twice before taking penalties to aura bonus), Jack of All Trades (allows access to trained-only skill usages), Lingering Song (your aura lasts 1 round after you stop or switch auras for allies), Obscure Lore, Open Minded, Subsonics (prereq bard lvl 7)

Unfortunately, Versatile Performer is useless because Perform doesn't split by instrument, Chant of Fortitude could be adapted, though it'd be the same as Inspire Toughness for the War Chanter PrC, Ironskin Chant's concept is already an aura, and Lyric Spell is useless due to invocations.

Complete Mage: Captivating Melody (see Adapting Bardic Music), Magic Device Attunement, Melodic Casting (rewritten; prereq kn(arcana) 4 ranks, bardic music; You can substitute Perform checks for Concentration checks when casting bardic invocations), Somatic Weaponry

Complete Scoundrel: Deadly Defense, plus most luck feat or skill trick feats can be useful.

Unfortunately, the bardic-music feats from this book aren't compatible, though new auras could be devised from their concept. Wardrums of the March is similar to Chant of the Long Road, for instance.

New Feats

Dedicated Song
Prerequisites: Bardic Aura +3 or higher
Benefit: As a Swift action, you can choose one of your allies within sight. As long as they can clearly hear your song (average range of 120 feet, check with your DM for special sound conditions) they can continue to benefit from your aura effect until the end of their next turn.

Dual Harmony
You can double your musical performance to provide more aid to your allies.
Prerequisites: Character level 12, Bardic Aura +2 or higher
Benefit: You can project one additional bardic aura you know, in addition to your normal ability. Subtract 1 from your aura bonus for all aura effects. You must use a separate Swift action to start projecting or change each one. Track each one separately, including range, bonus granted, and any special effects they may add.

Your song reaches from mind to mind.
Prerequisites: Bardic aura +1 or higher, telepathy
Benefit: You can project your bardic aura telepathically with anyone you are familiar with that you can reach with your telepathy ability on the same plane (or an adjacent one, such as the ethereal or shadow plane). This includes reaching outside of the standard range of your aura; they can hear your performance just as if they were standing 5 feet away. Your allies can only benefit from a single aura at a time, even if you have the ability to project more than one simultaneously. More than one set of music directly in one's thoughts becomes a jumbled mass of sound, causing the brain to shut out all such effects.

Powerful Song
Prerequisites: Bardic Aura +2 or higher
Benefit: The reach of your auras is extended. Add 50% to the base range of each aura, so that 30-foot auras now reach 45 feet (9 squares), and 60-foot auras now reach 90 feet (18 squares).

Greater Powerful Song
Prerequisites: Bardic Aura +4 or higher, Powerful Song feat
Benefit: The reach of your auras is further extended. Double the base range of each aura, so that 30-foot auras now reach 60 feet (12 squares), and 60-foot auras now reach 120 feet (24 squares).

Bard Prestige Classes
Listing only changes to the PrC from the book, treat anything not mentioned as identical.

Complete Warrior
Requirements: Skills becomes Acrobatics 2 ranks, Concentration 4 ranks. Spells becomes Arcane Caster 1st.
Skills (2 + Int mod): Acrobatics, Arcana, Athletics, Concentration Same as standard
Song of Celerity: Can apply to Least invocations at 4th level, and Lesser invocations at 8th level.

War Chanter
Complete Warrior
Requirements: Skills becomes none. Special becomes Aura Bonus +1.
Skills (3 + Int mod): Acrobatics, Arcana, Athletics, Concentration, Diplomacy, Insight, Intimidate, Streetwise Same as standard
Inspire Toughness (Su): You gain an Inspire Toughness aura, granting yourself and each ally within 90 feet temporary hit points equal to your Aura bonus times half their level. These hit points can only be gained once per encounter, and are immediately lost if they leave the aura's range or you switch auras. At 6th level or higher, your allies gain the effect of the Diehard feat while affected by this aura.
War Chanter Music: Your levels in War Chanter stack with your levels in Bard for the purpose of Perform checks, as well as your Aura Bonus and Auras Known. It does not increase your invocations or caster level.
Inspire Recklessness (Su): At 3rd level, you gain an Inspire Recklessness aura, granting yourself and each ally within 60 feet the ability to subtract your aura bonus from AC, adding that number to melee attack and melee damage rolls as a morale bonus. Each ally can choose to ignore this bonus at the start of their turn, lasting one round until their turn comes up again.
Combine Songs (Su): At 5th level, you gain the ability to project any two auras you know at one time. Track each one separately, including range, bonus granted, and any special effects they may add. Expending a usage of Bardic Music acts separately on each aura, though the decrease in Aura Bonus is immediate.
Inspire Awe (Su): At 7th level, you gain an Inspire Awe aura, affecting any enemies within 60 feet. Foes get a Will save (make a Perform check for the DC) to resist the effect. Subtract your total character level from the enemy's HD, and compare against the table. (Use the table in Complete Warrior, page 88, as normal.) This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to your Aura bonus. Enemies who make their save or finish the effect's duration gain a +10 bonus against future saves versus this effect by you for 24 hours, which stacks each time you retry.
Singing Shout (Su): You can expend one usage of Bardic Music (see Adapting Bardic Music, above) to give yourself and all allies a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength for a number of rounds equal to your Aura bonus.
Inspire Legion (Su): At 10th level, you gain an Inspire Legion aura, granting yourself and each ally within 60 feet a competence bonus on damage rolls. In addition, you can expend one usage of Bardic Music, sacrificing a second aura you are currently projecting to activate a bonus effect for all allies within range of this aura.
When the war chanter begins singing, determine the best base attack bonus among all the affected characters. All affected characters use this base attack bonus or the war chanter’s character level as their base attack bonus for the duration of the effect. The effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to twice your aura bonus, as long as the affected characters can hear the war chanter and stay within range.

2011-09-18, 01:45 PM
The following describes all invocations available to the Bard.

I'll try to limit reposting material straight from Complete Arcane and other non-SRD sources. Anything I do has been rewritten to a degree.

Reading Invocations
Name: The first line of every invocation description is a header that gives the name by which the invocation is generally known.
Grade: The second line gives the grade of the invocation. Bards can choose invocations from three grades, depending on their class level: least, lesser, and greater.
Level Equivalent: On the same line as the grade is a spell level equivalent, which affects the Difficulty Class of the saving throw to resist the invocation, Concentration checks made in concert with the invocation, and interactions with other spells and abilities, such as a globe of invulnerability.
Descriptors: Many invocations carry descriptors, which determine who and what the invocation can affect, or who might possess resistances or immunities. Mind-effecting invocations, tagged as Psychic, will not affect mindless creatures like constructs.
Spell-like Details: Also included are relevant descriptive elements from spells they emulate. Unless otherwise noted, all invocations take a Standard action to cast and have verbal and somatic components, do not require any focus items, and target self only. Any invocation which directly targets another creature is subject to Spell Resistance.
Descriptive Text: The function and effect of the invocation is given in one or more paragraphs of descriptive text following all the particulars mentioned above.

Least Invocations

All-Seeing Eyes
Least; 2nd
Duration: 24 hours (D)
You gain a supernaturally precise vision of the world around you. You gain the benefits of comprehend languages, albeit for written words only. Additionally, you gain a +6 bonus on Perception checks.

Baleful Music
Least; 2nd [Sonic]
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
You sing a powerful, perfectly-pitched note, affecting a nonmagical object or 5-foot radius spread as if by a shatter spell. If a creature is holding or wearing the target of the ability and the target is destroyed, the creature must make a Fortitude save or be dazed for 1 round and deafened for 1 minute by your powerful note.

Beguiling Influence
Least; 2nd
Duration: 24 hours (D)

As the Warlock invocation, Complete Arcane pg132.

Call Of The Beast
Least; 2nd
Duration: 24 hours (D)

As the Warlock invocation, Complete Mage pg123.

Least; 2nd [Darkness]
Range: Touch
Duration: 10 min./level (D)
You can create magical darkness, causing an object to radiate shadowy illumination out to a 20-foot radius. All creatures in the area gain concealment (20% miss chance). Even creatures that can normally see in such conditions (such as with darkvision or low-light vision) have the miss chance in an area shrouded in magical darkness.
Normal lights (torches, candles, lanterns, and so forth) are incapable of brightening the area, as are light spells of lower level. Higher level light spells are not affected by darkness.
If darkness is cast on a small object that is then placed inside or under a lightproof covering, the spell’s effect is blocked until the covering is removed.
Darkness counters or dispels any light spell of equal or lower spell level.

Leaps And Bounds
Least; 2nd
Duration: 24 hours (D)
You invoke this ability to gain amazing agility. You gain a +6 bonus on Acrobatics and Athletics checks.

Magic Insight
Least: 2nd

As the Dragonfire Adept invocation, Dragon Magic pg81.

See the Unseen
Least; 2nd
Duration: 24 hours (D)
You gain darkvision out to 60 feet, and can see any objects or beings that are invisible within your range of vision, as well as any that are ethereal, as if they were normally visible. Such creatures are visible to you as translucent shapes, allowing you easily to discern the difference between visible, invisible, and ethereal creatures.

Simple Image
Least; 2nd
Range: Long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)
Spell Resistance: No
You create the visual illusion of an object, creature, or force, as visualized by you. The illusion does not create smell, texture, or temperature, and only makes simple sounds, not including understandable speech. You can move the image within the limits of the size of the effect, or make it actively perform some significant action, such as appearing to attack or cast a spell, with a standard action. Otherwise, you must maintain the effect with a swift action each round, or the illusion will collapse.
Interaction with the illusion allows a Will save to disbelieve.

Sound Burst
Least; 2nd [Sonic]
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
You blast a 10-ft.-radius area with a tremendous cacophony. Every creature in the area takes 1d8 points of sonic damage and must succeed on a Fortitude save to avoid being stunned for 1 round.
Creatures that cannot hear are not stunned but are still damaged.

Summon Swarm
Least; 2nd
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Duration: Concentration
You summon a swarm of bats, rats, or spiders (your choice), which attacks all other creatures within its area. (You may summon the swarm so that it shares the area of other creatures.) If no living creatures are within its area, the swarm attacks or pursues the nearest creature as best it can. You have no control over its target or direction of travel.

Lesser Invocations

Lesser; 4th [Language-Dependent, Psychic]
You can beguile a creature within 60 feet. The creature must succeed on a Will save or instantly regard you as its comrade. Other than these differences, this ability works as the charm monster spell (PH 209). You can never have more than one target charmed at a time with this ability. If a second creature is charmed, you lose your hold on the first creature.

Exit Stage Left
Lesser; 4th
Range: Short (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
You instantly teleport yourself from your current location to any other spot within range. You always arrive at exactly the spot desired—whether by simply visualizing the area or by stating direction. After using this ability, you can’t take any other actions until your next turn. When you vanish from your original location, you leave behind an illusionary image of yourself in your place that reacts appropriately to attacks and other interaction, avoiding contact with foes. After 1 round, the image vanishes.
If you arrive in a place that is already occupied by a solid body, you take 1d6 points of damage and are shunted to a random open space on a suitable surface within 100 feet of the intended location. If there is no free space within 100 feet, you take an additional 2d6 points of damage and are shunted to a free space within 1,000 feet.

Mask Of Flesh
Lesser; 3rd

As the Warlock invocation, Complete Mage pg124.

Relentless Dispelling
Lesser; 4th
You can use the targeted version of dispel magic, as the spell. The round after you use this invocation, the target of the effect is subjected to another targeted dispel magic at the start of your turn (with no additional action required on your part).

Sculpt Sound
Lesser; 3rd
Duration: 24 hours
You can change the sound made by a creature or object you touch that fails its Will save.
You can create sounds where none exist, deaden sounds, or transform sounds into other sounds. You can change the qualities of sounds but cannot create words with which you are unfamiliar yourself. A spellcaster whose voice is changed dramatically is unable to cast spells with verbal components. Once the transmutation is made, you cannot change it.

Lesser; 3rd [Language-Dependent, Psychic]
You can influence a single creature's actions by suggesting a course of activity, limited to a sentence or two. The suggestion must be worded in such a manner as to make the activity sound reasonable. The target creature must make a Will save against the effect, though a very reasonable suggestion may add a penalty as high as -5 to the save. Asking the creature to do some obviously harmful act automatically negates the effect.
The suggested course of activity can continue for up to one hour per level. If the suggested activity can be completed in a shorter time, the effect ends when the subject finishes what it was asked to do. You can instead specify conditions that will trigger a special activity during the duration. If the condition is not met before the spell duration expires, the activity is not performed.
Unlike most invocations, using this ability doesn't interrupt the effect of your fascination aura.

Lesser; 4th
Duration: 24 hours (D)
You sharpen your hearing and sight, gaining blindsense out to 30 feet.

Walk Unseen
Lesser; 2nd
Duration: 24 hours (D)
You gain the ability to fade from view. You can use invisibility as the spell (PH 245), except it is self only.

Weighty Utterance
Lesser; 4th [Sonic]
You sing a powerful, perfectly-pitched note, causing one flying creature to be forced downward suddenly.

As the Warlock invocation, Dragon Magic pg82.

Zone of Silence
Lesser; 4th
You manipulate sound waves in your immediate vicinity so that you and those within 5 feet can converse normally, yet no one outside can hear your voices or any other noises from within, including language-dependent or sonic spell effects. You must concentrate as a Swift action to maintain this effect. Anyone who enters the zone immediately becomes subject to its effects, but those who leave are no longer affected. Note, however, that a successful Perception check to read lips can still reveal what’s said inside a zone of silence.

Greater Invocations

Baleful Geas
Greater; 6th [Psychic]

As the Dragonfire Adept invocation, Dragon Magic pg79.

Devour Magic
Greater; 6th

As the Warlock invocation, Complete Arcane pg133.

Greater; 5th [Mind-Affecting]
You send a message to one creature you must name or identify by some title that leaves no doubt as to identity. This functions as the spell dream, except you must compose the message at the time of casting, and if the target is currently awake, the message waits until they go to sleep to be delivered.
The spell requires you to concentrate for the time it takes to state the message, typically one round per sentence; while concentrating, you are unaware of your surroundings and defenseless. If you are interrupted, the message is still sent, but cuts off at the time you are interrupted.

False Vision
Greater, 5th
Duration: 24 hours (D)
You can project a deceptive illusion for anyone who tries to cast a divination (scrying) effect on your current area, as the spell false vision.

Irresistible Dance
Greater, 6th [Mind-Affecting]
You touch one creature, causing it to feel an undeniable urge to dance and it begins doing so, complete with foot shuffling and tapping. The effect makes it impossible for the subject to do anything other than caper and prance in place. The effect imposes a -4 penalty to Armor Class and a -10 penalty on Reflex saves, and it negates any AC bonus granted by a shield the target holds. The dancing subject provokes attacks of opportunity each round on its turn.
Make a Perform check each subsequent round on your turn. The target makes a Will save on its turn using your check result as the DC. If you choose to not make a Perform check, the target automatically succeeds on its save.
If it succeeds, the target breaks free of the effect, and gains a resistance to this effect, allowing it to save against the effect when you try to invoke it upon them again, and a +20 bonus to all future saves against this invocation by you for 24 hours.
If it fails by 10 or more, you can guide the subject to move at half its speed in a direction of your choice, although it will not willingly move anywhere that would cause it to fall or take damage.
You must continue playing as a Standard action to maintain this effect. If you can continue playing and invoke Irresistible Dance again, either through the Quicken Spell-Like Ability feat or some ability which grants extra standard actions, you can maintain multiple dancing creatures with a single Standard action per round.

Mass Suggestion
Greater; 5th [Language-Dependent, Psychic]
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
You influence the actions of a number of creatures equal to double your Charisma bonus that fail a Will save as the invocation Suggestion, above. Any creatures already under the effect of your fascination aura are also subject to this ability, and do not count against the creature limit.
Unlike most invocations, using this ability doesn't interrupt the effect of your fascination aura.

Night Terror
Greater; 5th [Mind-Affecting, Evil]
You send a terrible, gut-wrenching nightmare, as the spell, to one creature you name or otherwise designate who fails a Will save, which waits for them the next time they sleep. You can only affect one creature with this ability at a time; using it again on a different target redirects the latent nightmare.

Project Image
Greater; 6th
You create an illusory version of yourself, as the spell Project Image. You must actively maintain the projection with a Swift action.

Song of Discord
Greater, 5th [Mind-Affecting, Sonic]
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
You weave a powerful magical song which causes those within a 20-ft.-radius spread who fail a Will save to turn on each other rather than attack their foes. Each affected creature has a 50% chance to attack the nearest target each round. A creature that does not attack its nearest neighbor is free to act normally for that round.
You must actively concentrate on the song to maintain this effect as a Standard action. Those who succeed on the Will save gain a +10 bonus to future saves against this effect for 24 hours.
Creatures forced by a song of discord to attack their fellows employ all methods at their disposal, choosing their deadliest spells and most advantageous combat tactics. They do not, however, harm targets that have fallen unconscious.

Sympathetic Vibration
Greater; 6th [Sonic]
Casting Time: 10 minutes
By attuning yourself to a freestanding structure you touch, you can create a damaging vibration within it. Once it begins, the vibration deals 2d10 points of damage per round to the target structure. (Hardness has no effect on the spell’s damage.) You can choose at the time of invoking to limit the duration of the spell; otherwise it lasts for 1 round per level. If the invocation is used upon a target that is not freestanding the surrounding stone dissipates the effect and no damage occurs.
Sympathetic vibration cannot affect creatures (including constructs). Since a structure is an unattended object, it gets no saving throw to resist the effect.

2011-09-18, 06:31 PM
Wow! It's like the Warlock went on self-enhancing drugs and made a baby with the Marshal!

That aside, not too bad of a class, although it sort of lacks anything mechanically to distinguish it much.

2011-09-18, 08:05 PM
Wow. At-will Irresistible Dance with a Perform check to continue. Is there a save? The spell doesn't, and invocations don't always say there is one.

2011-09-18, 09:06 PM
Wow. At-will Irresistible Dance with a Perform check to continue. Is there a save? The spell doesn't, and invocations don't always say there is one.

No save! No one can resist the urge to dance!

2011-09-18, 09:35 PM
There is a save, every round, using the Perform check result as the DC. Read the full text, it's the first sentence in the second paragraph.

2011-09-18, 09:46 PM
I like the idea.

The Aura has a really small radius and no persistence when characters leave.
That seems like a problem both for paperwork and for the mobility bonus (what good's +35 ft speed if it drops to +0 once you move your normal default?)

I probably wouldn't play this without houseruling in a Minor Image least invocation or a Glibness Lesser invocation - those were half the fun of the base class.

I'm not a Tier junky, but I'd be inclined to categorize it as T5. The bonuses here are comparable to the Divine Mind's - more flexible, but more limited in range and effect. It has a few nice abilities, but those are countered by common resistances (Most of its actions are mind effects) and probably logistic issues (30ft is a very small radius). There's not a whole lot of flexibility that I can see - play cheerleader and occasionally hit something with a mind effect.

2011-09-18, 10:17 PM
I could see Minor Image, but Glibness, yikes!

What would you recommend, to add more to my Bard? I'm trying to avoid the 4e-style support concept, 'I hit the goblin and Bob over there is healed for 10 hp.'

I have no problem increasing the speed aura's range, but by that point a fairly standard option, to me, is having telepathy and using the telepathy-reach aura feat.

Roak Star
2011-09-19, 10:08 AM
I feel like its not fair to homebrew a class and then force them to take a homebrewed feat just to make a mechanic of the class work. I think it would be fair for the speed aura at the very least to persist for a couple of rounds so you're not forcing your players to lose a feat just to make a game mechanic work properly.

2011-09-19, 10:35 AM
Well, I'm fine with making all auras last until the end if the player's turn if they move out of range, but I don't see it as working improperly, if the player is worried about distance, then they use it. If they are not, they don't. (That said, I could also see adding other aura-augmenting feats that extend the range, persist the effect, etc.)

I also want to mention, I hate using rounds-after expressions (one of the things I like about 4e, and agreed with the devs about, personally).

Ilorin Lorati
2011-09-19, 10:41 AM
I like this. It keeps the style of the original bard while removing the retardation that is vancian magic.

The only thing I'm not sure about is how, discounting the different energy auras, there only are 14 auras to choose from. That doesn't leave too much in the way of actual customization for that portion of the class. I'd recommend doing another pass and seeing if there are any other effects that would work for bard auras.

2011-09-19, 12:22 PM
There is a save, every round, using the Perform check result as the DC. Read the full text, it's the first sentence in the second paragraph.

Yeah, the text says every subsequent round, so there wouldn't be a save on the first round. Aside from the ease of optimizing skill checks, you could poke the dragon, make it dance, and at that point, who cares if it makes its save? You can do it again every round, rendering any non-mindless or mind-blanked enemy useless.

2011-09-19, 12:28 PM
Yeah, the text says every subsequent round, so there wouldn't be a save on the first round. Aside from the ease of optimizing skill checks, you could poke the dragon, make it dance, and at that point, who cares if it makes its save? You can do it again every round, rendering any non-mindless or mind-blanked enemy useless.

Good point. I'll put in the after-it-makes-its-save temp immunity I used elsewhere, and if you don't make your subsequent second-round active perform check, the DC is 0.

Okay, going to edit in these few things: a couple new feats for aura range, and that fix on the Irresistible Dance invocation.

Edit: Okay, added three new feats, two aura-range-extension feats, and one that lets you actively apply your bonus to an ally further away. Also tweaked the speed aura to be 60 feet, added language saying that auras last until end of turn if they move out of range, and tweaked Irresistible Dance so it's not abusable.

Edit 2: Added that Minor Image-like invocation.

2011-09-19, 03:59 PM
I like this. It keeps the style of the original bard while removing the retardation that is vancian magic.

The only thing I'm not sure about is how, discounting the different energy auras, there only are 14 auras to choose from. That doesn't leave too much in the way of actual customization for that portion of the class. I'd recommend doing another pass and seeing if there are any other effects that would work for bard auras.

Thanks! (I'll also not that in my game, I make all my casters spontaneous, with some able to swap some of their known powers on a daily temporary basis. The Spirit Shaman has the same basic mechanic.)

I can try to hunt a few more down, but in terms of the same kinds of effects, I'm not sure what else would be as generally effective. The next area I can think of mining is area-effect offensive spells, status effects, maybe something like a slow/tripping effect..

Ooh, there's a thought..

Dirge of the Mire: Enemies within 30 feet who more more than half their speed have to make a Balance check (DC 10 + your Charisma modifier + your Aura bonus) or fall prone. If they are flying and move more than half their speed, they fall.

2011-09-19, 04:48 PM
A lot of invocations try to be more versatile than your average spell, to make up for the lesser number known. An invocation based on Ruin Delver's Fortune (SpC) would be really neat, though it might need to be toned down or limited in some way.

Ilorin Lorati
2011-09-19, 11:59 PM
This type of bard is perhaps even less capable of being designed for pure offensive use than the standard class, and in my opinion would work best with a group of status effects.

*points at first line of sig*

Perhaps another group of auras like your energy auras for stat drains. Will save based on your aura bonus, with medium-power drains to one or two stats each? Important thing is to not make any one aura not drain a different save stat.

Alternatively, a drain to each enemy save, or a buff to allied saves (I noticed you didn't have any of those so I'm going to assume it was for balance reasons)

Or both. Three auras, one for each save. Drain an enemy's save by 1 or 2 on a failed save, for each enemy drained a single ally gets the drained amount as a bonus. That way you don't have bards simply leaving reflex aura up at all times on a dungeon crawl, and you don't need to have the aura scale up to +7 bonus to a save, which would be pretty imba.

Maybe a dirge of clumsiness that would make an enemy that that fails a roll by an amount based on the aura bonus, like 10 or 15-Aura Bonus, do something stupid like drop their weapon. Basically a debuff that makes a baby crit fail mechanic. heh

Probably stupid, but eh. Just late night ideas, take them or leave them.

2011-09-24, 03:40 AM
So, let's see, we already have a slowing/tripping effect aura..

I don't like dealing with ability damage. While good in theory, I would rather see something like an equivalent penalty, such as..

Spellweaver's Lament: All enemies within 30 feet attempting to cast a spell or spell-like ability or manifest a power or psi-like ability must make a Concentration check as if they were taking ongoing damage equal to double your Aura bonus. Failing this check causes the attempt to fail, but does not expend the resources.

Weakening Cry: When you project this aura, choose a number between 0 and your aura bonus. All enemies within 60 feet take a penalty to melee attacks equal to this number, and take a penalty to melee damage equal to your aura bonus minus the previous penalty. Both penalties added together should equal your aura bonus.

I'm going for non-traditional effects here. Any other ideas that are interesting but not overpowered, given that this IS an always-on constant effect?

2011-10-19, 01:32 AM
Is it intentional to use lots of Perform checks and not have Perform as a class skill?

2011-10-19, 02:29 PM
For my houserules, yeah. I killed perform as a skill and just made it a level-based check for the Bard, since no other main classes use it with class features. (See the Bardic Music class feature and the note attached.)

Though I can also see, in my houserules, mind, adding a feat that lets you add half your non-bard class level to Perform checks. This could also allow other classes to use Perform. (though I don't really see much purpose for it, since Perform doesn't really have any other uses..)

I guess I should really clean up this entry for 3.5 regular. I was really eager for any kind of commentary, and filtering out all the house rules can be kind of troublesome. (mainly because I rebuilt the skill system with a streamlined list, and lots of the invocations reference skills)

2011-10-20, 02:12 AM
Okay, tweaked out the house-rules, for the most part.

Still have the invocations in old format, will get to them soon. Those should be pretty easy to guess, for the most part.

2011-10-20, 02:56 AM
Oh, right. Well, anyway, I'll be using this in an upcoming game and yeah, I could update you with what's gonna happen. :smallwink:

2011-10-20, 04:01 AM
Oh, right. Well, anyway, I'll be using this in an upcoming game and yeah, I could update you with what's gonna happen. :smallwink:

And as our houserules do have the perform skill you will use it, right? Add it to the class skills and you will be fine :smallbiggrin:

2012-11-20, 03:42 PM
So, Morph Bark tiered this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14106289&postcount=403) as "Borderline 3-4, but it isn’t 3", which is not bad, but a little disappointing.

Any advice for how I could tweak it up into a solid tier 3? I will consider a few things, perhaps post them tonight or tomorrow.

2013-04-07, 07:31 PM
How would lay on hands and touch of vitality interact with each other if you multiclass to paladin with the devoted performer feat?