View Full Version : A Song of Steam and Cogs [PrC]

The Demented One
2008-07-19, 10:05 PM

Rarely do artificers dabble in music, or bards concern themselves with the deeper thaumaturgies of magic. They are two disciplines held in stark contrast–music, a purely emotional art, and thaumaturgy, the rigorously logical science that governs the nature of magic. However, some people possess the capacity, not just to intuitively understand both, but to unify them into a greater whole. Such are the Melodithurges, masters of artifice and music. Their most distinguishing feature, to most, is the wide array of bizarre instruments they use. Most Melodithurges play solely instruments designed and crafted by themselves, many of which use clockwork or steampower to create music.

Hit Dice

To qualify to become a Melodithurge, you must fulfill all the following criteria.
Feats: Magical Aptitude
Skills: Craft 10 ranks, Use Magic Device 10 ranks, Perform 6 ranks
Infusions: Must be able to cast 3rd–level infusions.
Special: Bardic music class feature

Class Skills
The Melodithurge’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Knowledge (All) (Int), Listen (Wis), Open Lock (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha). .

Skill Points per Level
6 + Int modifier.

{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Infusions

+2|Bardic Music, Bonus Feat, Craft Reserve|+1 level of existing infusion-using class

+3|Craft Melodithurgic Instrument|+1 level of existing infusion-using class

+3|Bonus Feat|+1 level of existing infusion-using class

+4|Melody of Creation|+1 level of existing infusion-using class

+4|Resonating Cadence|+1 level of existing infusion-using class

+5|Bonus Feat|+1 level of existing infusion-using class

+5|Inspire Excellence|+1 level of existing infusion-using class

+6|Thaumaturgic Rhapsody|+1 level of existing infusion-using class

+6|Bonus Feat|+1 level of existing infusion-using class

+7|Mystical Modulation|+1 level of existing infusion-using class [/table]

Class Features
All the following are class features of the Melodithurge prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency
You gain no new weapon or armor proficiencies.

Whenever you gain a new Melodithurge level, you gain new infusions per day and spells or infusions known as if you had also gained a level of Artificer. You do not, however, gain any other benefit an Artificer would have gained.

Bardic Music (Ex)
Whenever you gain a new Melodithurge level, you gain new daily uses of bardic music as if you had also gained a level of Bard. You do not gain any of the Bard’s new bardic music abilities.

Bonus Feat (Ex)
At 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 9th levels, you gain a bonus feat. You may choose any Item Creation or Bardic Music feat you meet the prerequisites of to gain as a bonus feat.

Craft Reserve
Whenever you gain an odd Melodithurge level, you receive bonus XP for crafting items as if you had also gained a level of Artificer. In addition, you may add half your Melodithurge level, rounded down, to your Artificer level for determining the size of your craft reserve.

Craft Melodithurgic Instrument (Su)
At 2nd level, you gain the ability to craft magical instruments, known as melodithurgic instruments. Melodithurgic instruments tend to be bizarre or unusual design: lyres with clockwork engines, miniaturized steam-powered pipe organs, a spherical array of pipes of various pitches, and so forth. All melodithurgic instruments are similar to spell trigger items such as wands, but instead of holding normal spells, they hold artificer infusions. Melodithurgic instruments do not have charges. Instead, you can cast an infusion from a melodithurgic instrument once per day per two class levels. Casting an infusion requires you to expend a single use of bardic music, and works in all other ways like casting a spell from a wand. You do not need to make Use Magic Device checks to do so. A melodithurgic instrument will not work for anyone except the Melodithurge that created it. You receive an enhancement bonus on all Perform checks equal to your class level while holding a melodithurgic instrument. Melodithurgic instruments are created just like any other magic item. Their market price is equal to the infusion’s level times the item’s caster level times 1,000 gp.

Melody of Creation (Su)
At 4th level, you learn the melody of creation, a melodithurgic song that allows you to create constructs from pure music and call them to your service. You must have 10 ranks in a Perform skill to use this ability. When you begin playing the melody of creation, a construct appears, as with the summon monster spells. The construct remains for as long as you play, and for five rounds thereafter. The type of construct that is summoned depends upon your ranks in the Perform skill, as shown below:

{table=head]Perform Ranks|Construct
10-11|1d3 Homunculi*
12-13|Animated Object (Tiny–Gargantuan)
13-14|Warforged Titan
15+|Clay Golem

*You can summon any kind of homunculus, such as a Steel Defender or Furtive Filcher, not just a basic Homunculus. However, all the homunculi you summon must be of the same type.|

Resonating Cadence (Su)
At 5th level, you can sustain a bardic music effect with a swift action, rather than as a standard action, for up to the first 5 rounds of its duration. At 10th level, this effect applies to the first 10 rounds of its duration instead. After those rounds have passed, a standard action is required to sustain it as normal.

Inspire Excellence (Ex)
At 7th level, you can sing a song that brings out the inner genius of your allies. You must have 13 ranks in a Perform skill to use this ability. You can target a single willing ally within 30 ft. of you that can hear you to inspire excellence in, plus an additional target for every 2 ranks past 11 that you have in Perform. You cannot target yourself. Each target gains a +1 morale bonus on all saves, and is treated as having one additional level in a class of their choice for determining which class features they receive from it (though not any other abilities based on their class level, such as base attack bonus or spellcasting). Whenever a target makes a d20 roll, you may spend a use of bardic music to allow them to reroll it, keeping whichever result was higher. You may only grant one reroll per round. This effect lasts for as long as you play, and for five rounds thereafter.

Thaumaturgic Rhapsody (Su)
At 8th level, you gain the power to weave magic into song, allowing you to play the thaumaturgic rhapsody. You must have 14 ranks in a Perform skill to use this ability. To use this ability, you must spend three uses of bardic music. You may then cast any infusion that has a range of an item touched, regardless of the kind of item, as a swift action. You cannot cast an infusion of the highest level you have access to. The infusion’s range changes to 30 ft., and you may target one item for every 5 ranks you have in Perform. The item targeted must be unattended or held by a willing creature, and you cannot target an item that you hold. You must still spend any material components or xp costs, and if you target multiple items, you must pay any costs an additional time for each item. The infusion lasts for as long as play, and for 5 rounds thereafter.

Mystical Modulation (Su)
At 10th level, your melodithurgic studies have led you to master the art of mystical modulation, allowing you to alter spells you cast from items in the same way you can change the key of a melody. You must have 16 ranks in a Perform skill in order to use this ability. While you are playing bardic music, you or any ally that can hear you can use spell trigger or spell completion items to cast spells other than the one stored in them. You must expend an additional use of bardic music every time you or one of your allies does so. You may use the item to cast any spell of the same level or lower than the one actually stored on it. You cannot cast a spell with an expensive material component, focus, or xp cost using this ability. This ability does not apply to items that contain spells whose level is higher than ˝ your caster level for infusions, rounded down.

2008-07-20, 01:34 PM
Awesome idea, as always, Demented. I really like Melody of Creation, Resonating Cadence, and especially Inspire Excellence. The idea of your buddies getting better at their jobs is pretty standard bard stuff, but never to the extent of gaining advanced class abilities!

I'm picturing a Melodithurge looking with disdain at a regular bard playing a fiddle, muttering "No imagination," and bringing out a mechanical orchestra with little singing and dancing automata.

Or perhaps my Melodothurgic Instrument could be a little ball covered in mirrors, and I could be the first person in Eberron to discover Disco...

2008-07-21, 10:37 AM
I can just picture a warforged with levels in this class and the Resonant Tubing (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=81222) feat.

2008-07-22, 05:10 PM
Like it in general I think.

Getting the craft reserve only every odd level is pretty jarring to me... even if you have to cut back on the amount make it every level, or you have a "binge and fast" cycle of item creation going on.

Make it so you have to be PLAYING (but not invoking the infusion effect of) the special instrument to get the bonus to perform checks for it I should think.

I would rename "Melody of Creation" if you can, it seems confusingly close to the "Music of Creation" Feat, which does something totally different. Also consider allowing the higher levels to summon multiples from lower levels (1d4+1 Homoculi for 12+ ranks in Perform, otherwise 1d3 constructs if you drop back one grade, or 1d4+1 for dropping back more than one grade), or at least specify that you CAN summon anything from the lower levels (For instance if you need some Furtive Filchers for scouting and happen to have 17 ranks in Perform). Also specify that it uses up a daily use of Bardic Music, because as it stands right now it is an At-Will ability.

Edit: Ok, have now read through it...

Does the capstone ability really allow an arcane scroll of sufficient level to be used to cast any clerical, or druid spell as well as any arcane spell? I ask this because I believe I have heard in the past that creating a spontanious caster divine class is that is balanced is considered nigh impossible, and this would seem related...

Phae Nymna
2008-07-22, 11:46 PM
Me likey. Now where's my Steam Whistle Solo (http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1173)?