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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    unosarta's Avatar

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    May 2008
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    Lightbulb [PrC] Let Me Tell You A Story...

    The Storysinger

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    “Let me tell you a tale...

    There was once a great oak. He was tall, ancient, and beautiful. The other trees marveled at his height. He grew into, up, and above the clouds, intermingling and reaching past. He grew so he could see the sky, forever shrouded in a layer of ice. He grew so he could reach the stars, find the sun, and stretch his branches out. He grew because that was all that he could do, and the only place he could go.

    He grew to outrace the death he knew was coming. He grew from desperation.

    And he continued to grow. He would grow past every other tree in his forest, and then past the other trees on the continent. Soon, he would grow to be the tallest tree in the whole world. If you looked on the farthest horizon, you could see the tips of his leafy boughs reaching past the rim of the world.

    And he kept on growing. He hadn’t spoken to any of the other trees in years. Centuries. They were below, too far away. He missed them.

    He was still afraid though.

    One day, he felt hands on his trunk. He felt someone touching him, and he grew once more afraid. He trembled, and quaked, fearing that some mortals far, far below had come to cut him down. He feared his demise, once more. He feared the death that he had been outracing.

    But the hands didn’t chop. They didn’t cut, or saw. They didn’t destroy. The tree was puzzled. What were they doing there, he thought to himself.

    Probably something terrible, he concluded.

    But then the hands did something even stranger. They started to climb. All the way, up his trunk. It was at least the arm-span of ten humans, at that point. He felt the little fingers digging deep into his cracked and scarred old bark. He felt the little feet cling to the great surface of him, and he felt the climbing.

    It continued. For hours he felt. For days. For weeks. They continued to climb.

    Unlike as one would think, trees do not in fact dislike people to climb on them. For a human, it would have been an insatiable itch that needed to be scratched, some terrible curiosity to remove the offender. But trees are patient. Trees love the feeling of someone climbing on them. It makes them feel appreciated.

    The climbing continued. The tree would try to help the climber. To create footholds, hand holds. Place to rest. But it could only reach up, always up. It no longer wanted to reach the sky. It no longer wanted to see the sun. It feared the great height to which it had come.

    The climber continued.

    After a week of climbing, the tree felt the climber reach his leafy crown. He opened his great, green eyes to look at her, and saw a young woman, barely fifteen years old. Her hair was long, flowing and dark brown. Her eyes were open wide, and a wide smile was on her face while she looked to the horizon.

    The tree opened his great maw, and spoke to the girl;

    ‘Why have you come to me, my child?’

    The girl turned to look at him, without missing a beat. Her smile widened even more if that were possible. She sat down on one of the branches. It was 9 feet across, and her weight was easily held.

    ‘I came up here to see the world. You see that place over there?’ She pointed ‘That is where the sun sleeps. His older brother, the moon, wakes upon the suns arrival, to take care of his affairs while the sun rests.’

    ‘How do you know this, little one? Have you been there?’ The tree looked at her questioningly.

    ‘No.’ She responded, still staring at the land below. ‘You see the sea?’ She pointed at the vast expanse of blue to the west. ‘There are flesh eating mermaids there. They would skin me alive if they found me.’

    ‘Have you been there?’

    ‘Not yet.’ She grinned, and kept staring at the land.

    ‘Why are you really here?’ asked the great tree, his eyes still watching the girl. Her grin slowly faded.

    ‘Sometimes I get lonely. Even on our farm, with Ma, and Pa, and Torec. I get lonely. The wind, and the stars, and the moon, and everything. There is just so much. But no one ever understands.’ She stopped for a moment, ‘So I fill it up. I fill up the loneliness with stories. Stories of places that I have never been, and probably never will. And I figured, well, if the nothingness is filled up with stories, how can I be lonely? I can just go listen to a story!’ She turned back to the horizon, her eyes downcast, ‘But no one ever listens. They call me a liar, and a cheat, and lazy.’

    ‘I will listen to your stories. I too am afraid of the nothingness.’ The tree said slowly.

    So she filled up the nothingness around him, with brightness and song. She filled up the nothingness with hope, and glory, and adventure and delights. She filled up the nothingness with fear and hate, pain and destruction. She filled up the nothingness until there was nothing left to be afraid of. Then she told some more stories.

    She is still up there, with the oak, telling her stories. If you look to the west, where the sun sleeps, where his older brother, the moon, wakes upon the suns arrival, to take care of his affairs while the sun rests. If you look to the west, across the greatest seas, you can see his leafy bows, if you strain your eyes and look closely. And if you can look just right, you might see her up there, filling the nothingness up with story.”

    The children around the old woman sat silently for but a moment, and then broke out into cheers and claps, and great guffaws filled the square. The old woman had amassed a large crowd around herself, as she told the stories. She sat hunched over, smiling guilelessly at the little children. Every so often, an adult would drop some coins in front of her. She would smile graciously at the kindness offered, and sweep the coins off the ground. Then, she would go on to tell another story.

    When the hours passed, and the crowds had left the square, and the sun was going to the west to rest, and let his brother take over, she moved to a back alley. Her eyes crinkled and her mouth spread into a lipped smile, as she went to the children who lived in the shadows. She motioned for them to come out, and thirty small, dirty children crept in front of her.

    “Thank you for listening to my stories, little ones. I cannot truly thank you, but I do have something here to pay you back. A good listener is always hard to come by.” She smiled, and lay the coins down in front of the children. Their hair was soot black, and their faces dirty and sunken. Their eyes were hard, harder than the stone upon which they stood. Their clothes were tatters and rags, barely held together, and what skin showed through was sunken. The old woman could see the ribs of several of the children as they stooped to pick up their coins.

    “Thank you, great lady.” The children said.

    “No,” the woman replied, “thank the great story teller. Thank the Singing Lady. And thank you, for listening to an old woman’s stories.” She bowed to them, and then came forward, and kissed the head of each child, one at a time. She waved them off, and then walked off into the night. The children looked off to the west, and squinted hard. They could almost see the tips of a great tree. When they looked back for the old woman, she was gone. They took the coins, and raced off to the temple to the Singer. They knew what stories they would be telling to the priests.


    ”I tell a story. I tell the story. The Lady sings through me, and I tell her story. I tell of the great skies that once held the ten suns of her fingers, as they danced across the sky. I tell of the great seas that raged and sung on her command. I tell of the people who sang under her guidance. I tell of the Lady, and her songs.”
    -Uster Fanson, Storysinger, and priest of Saga, the Singing Lady.

    A Storysinger is a priest and Storyteller at the same time. They worship Saga, the Singing Lady, and they bring her song to all peoples, and they help those less fortunate than themselves.

    BECOMING A STORYSINGER
    How you would normally become a member of this prestige class.
    ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
    Base Attack Bonus: +6
    Alignment: Any good
    Skills: Perform (Sing) 11 ranks, Perform (Oratory) 11 ranks, Knowledge (Religion) 11 ranks
    Spellcasting: Must be able to spontaneously cast Arcane spells of at least 3rd level
    Special: Bardic Music ability
    Patron: Saga

    Class Skills
    The Storysinger's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (None), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
    Skills Points at Each Level: 6 + int

    Hit Dice: d6

    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spellcasting

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Power of the Mind|+1 level arcane spellcasting class

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Song of Progress|+1 level arcane spellcasting class

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Song Domain|+1 level arcane spellcasting class

    4th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Saga of History|+1 level arcane spellcasting class

    5th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Unite|+1 level arcane spellcasting class

    6th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Ballad of True Heroes|+1 level arcane spellcasting class

    7th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Mythsight|+1 level arcane spellcasting class

    8th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Hymn of Hope|+1 level arcane spellcasting class

    9th|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Tapestry|+1 level arcane spellcasting class

    10th|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Fable of the Gods|+1 level arcane spellcasting class[/table]

    Code of Conduct
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    The Storysinger must follow a code of conduct in order to remain in the class.

    The Storysinger must maintain a good alignment. If he ever willingly commits an evil act that did not have an equally viable alternative, then he loses all abilities granted by this class, until an atonement spell is cast upon him.

    He must tell a story or sing a song in every town in which he visits, unless it would prove a danger to himself or those who he travels with to do so. Many sing or tell more than one story, but the bare minimum is one. If he does not, then he loses all class features for 24 hours.

    He must donate any money that he makes from any playing or storytelling to the poor and unfortunate in the town in which he made the money. If he does not do so, he may instead spend two hours of storytelling or doing deeds for the poor and unfortunate in the town, if he could not give them the money. If he makes no money, he has no obligation to help the poor, but many do anyway. If he does not do so, then he loses all class features for 24 hours.

    He is obligated to tell a story for any temple to Saga that he comes across. If he does not do so, he becomes unable to perform any bardic music effects granted by this class for a period of 24 hours.


    Weapon Proficiencies: The Storysinger does not gain proficiency with any weapons or armor.

    Power of the Mind: The Storysinger gains an additional use of Bardic Music per level of Storysinger he possesses. In addition, the Storysinger adds all spells with the [Figment] descriptor to their spell list. Finally, when the Storysinger starts a bardic music effect, he may cast a spell with the [Figment] descriptor as a free action, and use the duration of the [Figment] spell instead of maintaining the song otherwise. If the Storysinger does this, any save that the song requires increases by 2, and any bonuses from the song double. In addition, the Storysinger may maintain any song at the same time as he maintains concentration on any illusions that he has created, even if they are not cast at the same time in order to increase the bonuses of the song by using this ability. In addition, his effective bard level for the purposes of bonuses from Bardic Music abilities is equal to his Bard level plus his Storysinger levels.

    Spellcasting: At every level, the Storysinger gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if he had also gained a level in whatever spellcasting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (such as bonus feats or increased familiar capability). If a character had more than one spellcasting class before he became a Storysinger, he must decide to which class he adds each level of Storysinger for the purpose of determining spells per day/spells known.

    Song of Progress (Su): Starting at second level, the Storysinger may spend a bardic music use in order to start a song of progress as a standard action. All allies within 30 feet gain a +20 ft bonus their base land speed, and a +4 dodge bonus their armor class. In addition, once per round, while the Storysinger is maintaining the song, he may grant a single ally an additional move action, which may only be used for movement. Maintaining the Song of Progress is a move action.

    Song Domain: Starting at third level, the Storysinger gains access to all of the spells of the Song Domain, as if they were arcane spells. He adds them to his spells known. He also gains the Domain power.

    Saga of History (Su): Starting at fourth level, the Storysinger may spend two bardic music uses as a standard action. If he does so, he casts Legend Lore. The casting time is automatically 1d4x10 minutes, even if the Storysinger knows only rumors, and the lore is always as if the Storysinger were in the location or had the person at hand. After using this ability, the Storysinger must wait 2d4x20 minutes before using it again.

    Unite (Su): Starting at fifth level, the Storysinger may unite allies with but words. Once per encounter, the Storysinger may make a Perform (Oratory) check with a DC equal to 15+ average hit dice of his allies as a standard action, and if he succeeds, then allies gain a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls made while flanking per ally flanking a single enemy. Allies also gain a +2 bonus to armor class per ally within 10 feet. This effect lasts 1d4 rounds, plus a number of rounds equal to one half of the Storysinger’s Storysinger levels.

    Ballad of True Heroes (Su): Starting at sixth level, the Storysinger may spend a bardic music attempt as a standard action in order to start a ballad of true heroes. While the ballad is in effect, one ally within 30 feet gains a +8 bonus to Strength, Constitution, and Charisma, and their alignment for alignment based spells and effects is Lawful Good. That ally may make a smite attack as a standard action, and make a single melee attack against an enemy within melee range, adding his Charisma modifier to the attack roll, and a number equal to his hit dice to the damage roll. That ally must wait 2 rounds after using the ability before using it again. The Storysinger must spend a move action in order to maintain the song. He may switch the target of the effect as a standard action. If the Storysinger uses his Power of the Mind ability on this bardic music effect, he must cast a [Figment] spell of at least 5th level.

    Mythsight (Su): Starting at seventh level, the Storysinger may use the Analyse Dweomer spell at will, as a full round action. He is always considered under the effects of the Greater Arcane Sight spell.

    Hymn of Hope (Su): Starting at eighth level, the Storysinger may spend a bardic music attack as a standard action in order to start a hymn of hope. All allies within 30 feet become immune to fear effects while the bard is maintaining the song. In addition, they gain fast healing equal to twice the Storysinger’s Storysinger levels. The Storysinger must spend a move action in order to maintain the song.

    Tapestry (Su): Starting at ninth level, the Storysinger may weave a tapestry out of stories and illusions. By spending a full round action, and spending one bardic music attempt, making a Perform (Oratory) check, and casting one [Figment] spell of at least sixth level, the Storysinger may create a vast, beautiful Tapestry. All creatures with an Intelligence 2 or lower within 2 miles are drawn to the tapestry, and take 2d4x10 minutes to reach it. All creatures with 3 Intelligence or above who see the tapestry, or even catch a glance, are fascinated as the bardic music ability. The DC for the will save for this effect is equal to the Perform (Oratory) check made by the Storyteller. The tapestry lasts for 1d4+1 hours.

    Fable of the Gods: Starting at tenth level, the Storysinger becomes a living legend in and of themselves. They become an outsider native to the Material plane. They gain the [Story] and [Good] subtype, and may be resurrected as if they were not an outsider.

    [Story] Subtype
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    A story is infinite. A story is never ending. A story cannot die, but for not being heard. A story fills up the nothingness that surrounds and expands the world. A story fills up the world with song, with hope, and with emotion. That empty, vast void becomes filled with the love of the storyteller. And that love multiplies, and becomes as vast as that empty, vast void. The love grows and expands until it cannot even be held in the infinite, and cannot even be encompassed by the darkness. That is what a story is.

    Sometimes a person becomes nothing more than a story. Sometimes, their very form fills up the void. Sometimes, their love fills up that infinite emptiness, and people hear their story without even knowing it. Sometimes, a story can be more than just a story. Sometimes, a story becomes so ingrained in the minds of those who hear it that it becomes real. Sometimes, a story is more than a story.

    The [Story] is the physical embodiment of all stories. Those that see them hear the stories of ancient cities, dead and forgotten countries, and the stories of their childhood. Those that hear them speak are lulled into the endless nothingness that has been filled up with the stories.

    Traits
    • Darkvision out to 90 feet.
    • Immune to any affect that would change the shape of the Story.
    • Acid, cold, fire and electricity resistance 20.
    • Tongues (Su): The Story can speak any language that has ever existed, or ever will exist. This is similar to the effect of the Tongues spell.
    • The Story gains a +8 bonus to all verbal Perform checks, and can take 10 on Perform checks, even while under duress.
    • The Story is immune to Illusion effects, and exudes an Aura of Truth that may be turned on or off as a swift action. This aura functions as the Zone of Truth spell, with a caster level equal to the Story’s hit dice.


    PLAYING A STORYSINGER
    Storysingers tend to be rather focused people. They tell stories, and they gather stories, and that is their main past-time and activity. They sing songs as well, but only because many find it a relaxing and worthwhile activity, as well as that Saga demands that her followers do sing. Playing a Storysinger tends to be sort of similar game.
    Combat: Combat for the Storysinger usually involves buffing his allies and using Illusions to fool his opponents. A large amount of the abilities the Storysinger has are non-combat, but they do possess a medley of spells and abilities that are semi-useful in combat.
    Advancement: Any prestige class that progresses the Bardic Music abilities of the Storysinger is a welcome prestige class indeed. Straight bard is also a very good option.
    Resources: The Storysinger can gain almost any resources they need from any temple that is devoted to Saga. The priests there trade food and goods for stories, and if there is one thing that the Storysinger has in abundance, it is stories.

    STORYSINGERS IN THE WORLD
    The lady came again today. She told the words, and she made another world in the sky, and in our minds. She grew that world from the shoots and roots of the greatest tree, and she sang about the girl who lives in the branches, so far up. She grew another story today, and we fed it with our listening ears. She grew her hundredth story, her thousandth tale, her millionth song, and she planted it in our minds. In our hearts.
    Saksak, Fool of the Court of the Rogue, he who Twines and Pines.


    Storysingers are though of very well by most everyone. Those of Licc look down on the storytellers, but most everyone else welcomes the devoted of the Singing Lady with open arms and warm hearths. The Storysingers do their very best to leave a blessing on the houses where they stay,
    Daily Life: The Storysingers must play or tell a story in ever town they stay in. They usually leave some sort of hat or bowl in front of them to catch coins given from others. This is something that they must all do, as part of their service to the Singing Lady. Adventuring Storysingers spend most of their free time writing stories to pass the time away, if they have any. .
    Notables: Allassan, the Beggar Woman, is possibly the most famous of any Storysinger in the Ring, and is said to have visited every city within the Ring, and most all of the places that barely eek out a living in the Frostfell. She is beloved of all who meet her, and many are known to have devoted themselves to helping others after hearing a story of hers.
    Organizations: The church of Saga is an organization known to support the Storysingers, but the Storysingers tend to be very, very independent, not wanting to rely on another organization while they travel. Groups of Storysingers are also very rare, so Storysinger singer organizations also tend to be rare.

    NPC Reaction
    The Storysingers are one of the most well viewed groups by humans and dwarves (less so dwarves). There is a veritable celebration whenever a Storysinger goes to a town, and everyone comes out to hear the stories.

    STORYSINGERS IN THE GAME
    Storysingers are tier three at most. They gain access to the Song domain, but cannot even cast the higher level spells. They are probably on the higher end of tier three, with spells and buffing class features, but they are nowhere near tier two or one.
    Adaptation: The Storysingers can be adapted to probably any camapign setting. Their fluff as it stands is for the Dying Ember campaign setting, by one Mr. Vorpal Tribble, but the idea of a benevolent storyteller who travels the land and helps the poor is hardly a new thing.
    Encounters: Most any encounter a player or group of players will have with a Storysinger will be peaceful. The Storysingers do not fight if they do not have to, and they try to hold themselves back against foes who are not naturally evil.

    Sample Encounter
    An old woman sits on the street corner in front of you. Her eyes glitter and sparkle with the light of the great red sun that hangs in the sky above the building underneath which she sits. Her hair is stark white, and pulled back into a bun. Her face has been haphazardly wrinkled, like an old shirt, but the wrinkles seem to fit themselves together on her face. They are like old friends, together, her and those wrinkles. Her hands are small and clasped. Her clothes are little more than rags, and they are grey, with patches of dirt and muck. She bows to you, and her mouth widens into a smile. Her eyes crinkle and close, and for a moment, you imagine every grandmother you have ever met, every nanny, and every mother. Their faces seem to be juxtaposed onto her own face, and you feel instantly comfortable with that smile.

    Her mouth opens, and reveals half of her teeth missing. Her voice is strong, stronger than her form seems to be.

    “Let me tell you a tale...”
    EL 18:
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    Allassan
    Neutral Good/Female/Human Outsider (Native, Story, Good)/ [Bard 8/Storysinger 10]
    Init +6, Senses: Listen +24, Spot +24,
    Languages All
    -----------------------------------------------
    AC 12, touch 12, flat-footed 10 (+2 Dex)
    hp 119 (18d6+54 HD)
    Fort +10, Ref +11, Will +22
    ------------------------------------------------
    Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
    Base Atk +11, Grp +10
    Spells Known 0th level-- Detect Magic, Message, Ghost Sound, Light, Mending, Ghost Sound.
    1st level-- Disguise Self, Silent Image, Ventriloquism, Cure Light Wounds, Animate Rope.
    2nd level-- Minor Image, Animal Messenger, Blur, Glitterdust, Cure Moderate Wounds.
    3rd level-- Cure Serious Wounds, Haste, Sculpt Sound, Dispel Magic, Major Image.
    4th level-- Hallucinatory Terrain, Cure Critical Wounds, Greater Invisibility, Break Enchantment.
    5th level-- Persistent Image, Mass Cure Light Wounds, Mirage Arcana, Greater Dispel Magic.
    6th leve-- Permanent Image, Mass Cure Moderate Wounds, Irresistible Dance.

    Spell Slots: 4/4/4/4/4/3/2
    Supernatural Abilities Bardic Music, Tapestry, Mythsight, Unite.
    ----------------------------------------------
    Abilities Str 8, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 16, Wis 16, Cha 28
    SQ Acid Resistance 20, Fire Resistance 20, Cold Resistance 20, Electricity Resistance 20, Aura of Truth
    Feats Jack of All Trades, Force of Personality, Extra Music x2, Improved Initiative, Subsonics, Versatile Performer
    Skills Perform (Sing) +38, Perform (Oratory) +38, Knowledge (Religion) +24, Listen +24, Spot +24, Diplomacy +30, Knowledge (Local) +24, Spellcraft +24, Concentration +24
    Possessions None.
    Last edited by unosarta; 2011-05-04 at 09:58 PM.
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