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Thread: Be Thou the Tenth Muse [3.5 Base Class]

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    Default Be Thou the Tenth Muse [3.5 Base Class]


    Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.
    -- Plato

    Music is a language that spans all bridges. It governs the lives and livelihoods of many, but not even the bard can claim such a close bond to it as the muse. The muse is instrumentalist, conductor, composer--the grand maestro of it all.

    Adventures: A muse will adventure like any other for money, for experience, and the like. Many muses also strive to learn about other styles of music, conducting, and composition from all over or to find long lost masterpieces buried deep. Whatever it is that motivates a muse, you can bet that music will blaze a trail for her to her goal.

    Characteristics: The muse uses her music abilities to control the battlefield, whether by supporting allies or stopping enemies. She uses her creativity to fuel these abilities and an instrument as a weapon to be a dangerous target.

    Alignment: A slight majority of muses are chaotically-aligned, but lawful muses aren't an oddity. Good muses tend to be a little more common than evil ones, but again, the evil muses aren't too rare.

    Religion: Muses often worship Corellon Larethian (god of elves), Olidammara (god of music), Hanali Celanil (goddess of fine art), Meriadar (god of arts), Eilistraee (goddess of song), or Damh (god of song).

    Background: Muses come from a variety of musical backgrounds, including instrumentalist, composer, and conductor. However, most at least dabble in all of these before they truly grasp being a muse. Some muses might be street performers, or private teachers, or even minstrels before starting their lives as embodiments of music.

    Races: Elves, as treasurers of the arts, often find themselves grasping the basics of the muse easily. Gnomes are also fairly common. Humans and halflings come tied for third. Tribal races such as goblins enjoy a good number of muses as well, though they are less common than even human muses.

    Other Classes: For obvious reasons, the bard and the muse get along pretty well. In fact, most classes work fine with a muse due to music working along all channels of thought.

    Role: The muse takes well to a supporting role in combat, while out of combat she leads and acts as the party face. Her instrumental weapon makes the muse a dangerous individual, but most of her abilities are based on affecting allies and enemies without dealing damage.

    Muses have the following game statistics.
    Abilities: Charisma governs the muse's sound-based abilities and skills, making it incredibly important. Dexterity and Constitution increase the muse's ability to survive, which is always good.
    Alignment: Any.
    Hit Die: d6.
    Starting Age: As bard.
    Starting Gold: 4d4x10 gp.

    Class Skills
    The muse's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nobility and royalty) (Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spot (Wis).

    Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int modifier) x 4
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier

    Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
    1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Creativity, instrumental weapon, music: harmony
    2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Music: dissonance
    3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Great talent, maestro
    4th +3 +1 +1 +4 Muse, repeat
    5th +3 +1 +1 +4 Music: finale, music: introduction
    6th +4 +2 +2 +5 Creative ending (encounter), immutable
    7th +5 +2 +2 +5 Tempo change
    8th +6/+1 +2 +2 +6 Incredible talent
    9th +6/+1 +3 +3 +6 Muse, music: elegy
    10th +7/+2 +3 +3 +7 Perfect ear
    11th +8/+3 +3 +3 +7 Creative ending (enemy)
    12th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Music: note storm
    13th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Prodigious talent
    14th +10/+5 +4 +4 +9 Muse
    15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +9 Irresistible song
    16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Creative ending (turn)
    17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Music: silence
    18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +11 Legendary talent
    19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Muse
    20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Phantom ensemble

    Class Features
    All of the following are class features of the muse.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Muses are proficient with all simple weapons and with light armor, but not with shields.

    Creativity: Creativity dictates what a muse can do with her music. Without it, she's just another musician. Many of the muse's class features rely on creativity as fuel. A muse has an amount of creativity points usable per day equal to her level x 2.

    When the muse reaches 0 creativity, she must make a DC 10 Will saving throw. If she fails, she takes a -2 morale penalty to all Perform checks until her creativity is no longer 0.

    When the muse has maximum creativity, she gains a +2 morale bonus to Perform checks.

    Instrumental Weapon: A muse's instrument is her child and lover, her shining beacon of hope in the darkest of times, and the greatest friend she'll ever have. Choose one instrument (or the muse's voice). The muse becomes proficient with this instrument as a light weapon, which deals 1d6 damage, as a one-handed weapon, which deals 1d8 damage, or as a two-handed weapon, which deals 1d12 damage (The type of damage is determined by the instrument; a violin would cause bludgeoning damage, while its bow would cause slashing damage, for example.). If the muse succeeds on her attack, she may roll a Perform check against a DC equal to the target's AC. If she succeeds, she deals additional damage equal to how much the check succeeded by, to a maximum of five additional damage per level (minimum 1). A muse's instrumental weapon is indestructible, and she can invest in improving her instrumental weapon to be masterwork. Rather than have a blacksmith or even an artisan of instruments work on her instrument, however, the muse performs with it, becoming more attuned to it. The next time the muse makes a Perform check to make money from a crowd, she instead donates up to 300 gold pieces to the crowd (likely less in a single performance, but not necessarily). Once the full amount has been paid, the muse's instrumental weapon becomes shinier, takes on an aspect of the muse's appearance, or just plain sounds better, and becomes a masterwork tool for related Perform checks as well as a masterwork weapon.

    While the muse's instrumental weapon can be used in melee, it also has a range increment of 30 feet (using sound as the only damage delivery source when used in this way). Each range increment past the first lowers the maximum additional damage the muse can deal with Perform by 5 in addition to the -2 attack penalty.

    At 4th level and at every third level after (7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, 19th), the instrumental weapon strengthens in magical ability, gaining a +1 bonus or a +1 ability. At 10th, 16th, and 19th level, the muse can choose to exchange one of these abilities or part of the bonus to enhance their instrument with a special property of a higher bonus than +1 (up to the maximum allowed by the bonus of the instrumental weapon).

    As well, the instrumental weapon allows the muse to recover an amount of creativity points equal to her Cha modifier every day by simply jamming on it for five minutes. This need not be all at once, but each time she recovers creativity points, she must jam again.

    Finally, if the muse ever loses her instrumental weapon, she may recover it with a full-round action by spending 2 creativity. It instantly reappears within 5 feet of the muse when this is done.

    Spoiler: Example Instrumental Weapons
    Instrument Damage Type Common Handedness
    Violin/Bow Bludgeoning/Slashing Light or One-handed
    Flute Bludgeoning or Piercing Light
    Trombone Bludgeoning or Piercing Two-handed
    Voice Piercing Light (no hands)
    Guitar/Pick Bludgeoning/Slashing Two-handed
    Didgeridoo Bludgeoning or Piercing One- or two-handed

    Spoiler: DM Note
    A muse player may want an instrument not on this list. In this case, determine reasonable handedness and damage types (perhaps consulting with the muse).

    Also, since D&D has odd rules for weapons, players may try to quad-wield their voice using thri-kreen. Hit them on the head with the DMG and continue on your way. First rule here is "be reasonable."

    Certain instruments which may have stands might be set down in combat as a free or swift action and played while within the muse's reach of the instrument (For a human, that would be within 5 feet, whereas for a frog, that would be in the same space as the instrument. See The Princess and the Frog for frog bard/muse examples.). Many drums may work this way in your game. Work with the muse player to find a solution that satisfies both of you.

    Music: Harmony (Ex): Creating an atmosphere of complete harmony by playing (or singing) a soothing tone as a standard action, which costs 1 creativity, the muse and her allies within 60 feet gain an amount of temporary hit points equal to her Cha modifier for 1 minute.

    At 6th level, the muse can pay 3 additional creativity to increase the temporary hit points gained by twice her Cha modifier and to grant a morale bonus to AC equal to her Cha modifier while the temporary hit points last. In addition, harmony now requires only a swift action to play.

    Music: Dissonance (Ex): At 2nd level, the muse can pay 1 creativity to make an atmosphere of powerful dissonance, forcing enemies within 60 feet to make a Will save of DC 10 + 1/2 class levels + Cha modifier or become sickened for 1 round as a standard action.

    At 7th level and at every fifth level after (12th, 17th), the duration of this ability increases by 1 round. In addition, for every 1 creativity the muse spends in addition to this ability's normal cost, the DC rises by 1. Finally, dissonance now requires only a swift action to play.

    Great Talent: At 3rd level, a muse becomes a step above even the best with her instrumental weapon. Whenever she makes a Perform check with it, she gains a +2 insight bonus to the check. In addition, if she were to earn money by performing, she earns twice the normal amount (after rolling for the result). Finally, the muse gains 1 creativity.

    Maestro (Ex): A muse conducts her allies much as she conducts her music. Whenever allies have line of sight to the muse, they gain benefits based on how the muse is conducting, shown below.

    Accelerando: This style grants a +1 morale bonus to initiative (If the muse starts using this style in combat, consider initiative as if it were just rolled.).
    Energico: This style grants a +1 morale bonus to damage rolls.
    Grandioso: This style grants a +1 morale bonus on bull rush, disarm, feint, grapple, overrun, sunder, and trip checks.
    Grave: This style grants a +1 morale bonus to skill checks.
    Legato: This style grants a +1 morale bonus to AC.
    Staccato: This style grants a +1 morale bonus to attack rolls.

    A muse can only conduct in one style at a time and may switch styles as a swift action. The chosen style continues to affect allies as long as the muse maintains it as a free action each round. Maintaining a style costs 1 creativity. However, if the muse chooses to stop conducting, this cost is refunded.

    A number of times per day equal to her Cha modifier, the muse may double a style's bonus for one round as a free action.

    At 6th level and at every third level after (9th, 12th, 15th, 18th), each style's bonus increases by 1.

    Muse: At 4th level, the muse can choose her own muse, gaining specific abilities and benefits from this choice, as described below.

    Combat: The muse's instrumental weapon deals an additional 1d4 sonic damage.

    At 9th level, this damage increases to 1d8.

    At 14th level, this damage increases to 2d6.

    At 19th level, this damage increases to 2d8.

    Support: The muse's harmony music ability grants an additional 5 temporary hit points.

    At 9th level, the cost to grant haste to an ally with the change tempo ability is reduced to 1 once per encounter.

    At 14th level, the deflection bonus to AC from the note storm music ability is increased to +4.

    At 19th level, the muse can grant haste to up to Cha modifier allies for free once per encounter.

    Utility: The muse gains Decipher Script, Disable Device, Disguise, Forgery, Open Lock, and Use Rope as class skills. In addition, the muse gains six skill points immediately, and one additional skill point per level after 3rd.

    At 9th level, the muse gains a +2 morale bonus on all checks made with these skills.

    At 14th level, this bonus increases to +5.

    At 19th level, this bonus increases to +8.

    Tongue: When the muse makes a Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate check, she gains a +3 morale bonus on the check. In addition, demoralizing opponents in combat with Intimidate is a move action and can be done from up to 30 feet away.

    At 9th level, this bonus increases to +6.

    At 14th level, this bonus increases to +9.

    At 19th level, this bonus increases to +12. In addition, demoralizing opponents in combat with Intimidate is a free action. The muse may only attempt to demoralize a given opponent once per round.

    Repeat: The muse can repeat a music ability one round after using it at no cost to creativity once per day.

    Music: Finale (Su): At 5th level, the muse can finish a music ability with a bang, knocking all enemies who fail a Fortitude save of DC 10 + 1/2 class levels + Cha modifier within 30 feet of her back 5 feet and prone as a free action. This costs 3 creativity in addition to the music ability's cost.

    For every 2 creativity the muse spends beyond the normal cost, she may knock enemies back an additional 5 feet and deal an additional 2d6 sonic damage.

    Music: Introduction (Ex): Knowing that without a proper introduction, the muse will simply be ignored, she prepares herself and her allies for a proper performance as a standard action by giving a +4 morale bonus to initiative to every ally within 30 feet and lowering every enemy's AC and Will saving throws by 2, granted they are within the same range. Both effects last for Cha modifier rounds. This ability costs 2 creativity.

    For every 1 creativity the muse spends beyond the ability's normal cost, the bonus to initiative rises by 1 and the penalties to enemies' AC and Will saves rise by 1, up to a maximum equal to 1 + Cha modifier.

    Creative Ending: At 6th level, the muse's creativity is an endless font. Upon ending an encounter, 1 creativity is returned to her, up to the normal maximum creativity.

    At 11th level, every time an enemy dies within 60 feet of the muse, she regains 1 creativity.

    At 16th level, every time her turn ends, the muse regains 1 creativity.

    Immutable: The power of music cannot be suppressed. The muse becomes immune to silencing and deafening effects.

    Tempo Change (Ex): At 7th level, the muse can affect the tempo of combat as well as her music. For 2 creativity, the muse can either grant the effects of haste to herself or an ally or she can slow a single enemy for Cha modifier rounds as a swift action. A targeted enemy is allowed a DC 10 + 1/2 class levels + Cha modifier Will save to negate the slow effect.

    For every 2 creativity spent beyond the normal cost of this ability, the muse can affect another ally or enemy.

    Incredible Talent: At 8th level, the muse's talent is greater than could ever be compared. She gains a +4 insight bonus on Perform checks and earns three times as much money if she were to earn for performing (after rolling for the result). Also, the muse gains 2 creativity.

    Music: Elegy (Ex): At 9th level, the muse plays an elegy, unsettling undead creatures and granting the living bonuses in combat against undead. For 3 creativity, the muse and her allies within 60 feet gain a +2 morale bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls, skill checks, and ability checks made against undead creatures for Cha modifier rounds. For the same duration, undead enemies within 60 feet take 1d6 sonic damage per round and suffer from immobilization, as the spell halt undead. Intelligent undead can make a Will save of DC 10 + 1/2 class levels + Cha modifier to avoid being immobilized. At the end of the duration, all immobilized undead fall prone.

    Perfect Ear: At 10th level, a muse's ear is so well trained that she can hear nearly anything. The muse gains a +8 bonus on Listen checks and can pick out lies as the spell discern lies constantly. This doesn't require concentration on a single target, however.

    Music: Note Storm (Su): At 12th level, the muse can create music that is simply insane. For 3 creativity, the muse may create a literal storm of notes that surrounds a single ally or the muse herself for Cha modifier rounds, granting a +2 deflection bonus to AC and a 20% miss chance. Any enemy caught within 10 feet of the target takes 3d4 sonic damage per round while in the effect. In addition, if an enemy takes damage from the note storm, it takes a -1 penalty on saving throws and skill checks for 5 rounds. Allies within range of the storm gain the deflection bonus to AC, but not the miss chance.

    For every 2 creativity spent beyond its normal cost, the deflection bonus granted to AC and the penalty on saving throws and skill checks rises by 1, and the miss chance increases by 10%. The muse increases the range of the storm by 10 feet around the target for every 4 creativity spent in this way.

    Prodigious Talent: At 13th level, the muse is just too good. She gains a +6 insight bonus on Perform checks and earns four times as much money if she were to earn for performing (after rolling for the result). In addition, the muse gains 3 creativity.

    Irresistible Song (Su): At 15th level, whenever the muse performs a music ability, she may force a single creature within 30 feet to join her. This increases the duration of all music abilities by 1d4+1 rounds and makes the subject unable to act for the same duration unless it makes a Will save of DC 10 + 1/2 class levels + Cha modifier.

    Music: Silence (Su): At 17th level, muses can stop all activity by cuing for silence. This cue can be a yell, a loud chord, or even just a simple motion. In doing so, she stops time for one or more enemies who fail a Will saving throw of DC 10 + 1/2 class levels + Cha modifier within 30 feet, as the spell temporal stasis. However, the duration of this effect is only 1d4 rounds. Music abilities cannot affect the targets of this ability while they are still in stasis. This ability costs 10 creativity.

    Legendary Talent: At 18th level, the muse is a virtuoso. She gains a +8 insight bonus on Perform checks and earns five times as much money if she were to earn for performing (after rolling for the result). The muse gains 4 more creativity.

    Phantom Ensemble (Su): When a muse reaches the peak of her power, she gains the extraordinary ability to act as an entire ensemble for performances. Once per day, at the cost of 15 creativity points, the muse can split herself into nine, all copies capable of performing as she would. This ability lasts only one round, but during this round, each muse out of the nine can perform any music ability or tempo change, effectively giving the muse nine actions in one round. The muse cannot attack, cast spells, or anything of the sort during this round, though she and her copies may move in whatever direction each one pleases. Music abilities and tempo change are the only available actions for every copy, including the original. Each music ability and tempo change takes creativity as normal. During this round, the muse may conduct in all maestro styles and none require creativity to maintain for the round. Doubling the effects of one style during this round doubles all effects. At the beginning of the muse's following turn, when this ability ends, she may switch places with any of her copies as a free action. This is not considered a teleportation effect or even movement of any sort; each of the muse's copies were equal parts of her. She was always in every space her copies occupied, and the final space she chose to be in was simply the one all of her copies reunited in.
    Last edited by Temotei; 2018-07-11 at 05:21 AM.
    Please feel free to PM me any thoughts on my homebrew (or comment in the thread if it's not too old).