Excerpts 12/07/2001


Song and Silence
A Guidebook to Bards and Rogues



Virtuoso

The roar of the crowd, the praise of spectators after a great performance, the showers of gifts from attractive admirers -- why would anyone trade all that for sleeping in the woods or poking around in smelly old dungeons? The virtuoso leaves creeping down dark corridors and matching wits against deadly traps to others. Her place is on the stage, surrounded by adoring fans. Fortunately for her, every place she goes becomes a stage, and as long as there's anyone around for her to impress, she's in the spotlight.

The typical virtuoso is outgoing, charismatic, and gregarious. She loves to be around people and is quick to win friends with her charming manner. Some might call her a temperamental egomaniac, yet everyone feels a little better in her presence.

Many virtuosos are musicians; others are accomplished dancers or actors. Still others choose to specialize in obscure and unusual forms of entertainment, such as stage magic or juggling.

Since entertainers are often on the road, a virtuoso can travel wherever she likes, incorporating as much adventuring into her journeys as she wishes. Because of her talent for winning admirers, she usually remains above suspicion should anything underhanded occur in a place she is visiting on tour.

Bards are most often drawn to this prestige class, although rogues, illusionists, and multiclassed combinations of both can also excel in it. Bards tend to perform as musicians or actors, illusionists as stage magicians, and rogues as dancers, tumblers, or sleight-of-hand artists. Characters of most other classes are either not outgoing enough to enjoy being virtuosos, or they find other channels for their extrovertism.

Hit Die: d6.

Requirements

To qualify as a virtuoso, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Skills: Perform10 ranks, Intimidate or Diplomacy 6 ranks.

Spells: Able to cast 0-level arcane spells (cantrips).

Class Skills

The virtuoso's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Wis), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Perform (Cha), Spellcraft (Int), and Tumble (Dex). See Chapter 4 in the Player's Handbook for skill descriptions.

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table 1-11: The Virtuoso

Class/Level Base Attack Bonus

Fort
Save

Ref
Save

Will
Save

Special

Spells per Day/ Spells Known

1st

+0

+0

+0

+2

Bardic music, virtuoso performance (sustaining song)

+1 level of existing class

2nd

+1

+0

+0

+3

+1 level of existing class

3rd

+1

+1

+1

+3

Virtuoso performance (calumny)

+1 level of existing class

4th

+2

+1

+1

+4

Virtuoso performance (jarring song)

+1 level of existing class

5th

+2

+1

+1

+4

Virtuoso performance (sharp note)

+1 level of existing class

6th

+3

+2

+2

+5

Virtuoso performance (mindbending melody)

+1 level of existing class

7th

+3

+2

+2

+5

Virtuoso performance (greater calumny)

+1 level of existing class

8th

+4

+2

+2

+6

Virtuoso performance (magical melody)

+1 level of existing class

9th

+4

+3

+3

+6

Virtuoso performance (song of fury)

+1 level of existing class

10th

+5

+3

+3

+7

Virtuoso performance (revealing melody)

+1 level of existing class


Class Features

All the following are class features of the virtuoso prestige class.

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

Spells per Day/Spells Known: Since the virtuoso often uses magic to enhance her performances, it's important for her to maintain her arcane studies. Thus, whenever she gains a new virtuoso level, she gains new spells per day and spells known as if she had gained a level in a spellcasting class she belonged to before adding the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (metamagic or item creation feats, new familiar abilities, and so on). This means that she adds her new level of virtuoso to the level of some other spellcasting class she has, then determines spells per day, caster level, and spells known (if formerly a bard or sorcerer) accordingly. If the character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a virtuoso, she must decide to which class she adds each level of virtuoso for purposes of spells per day and spells known.

Bardic Music: At 1st level, the virtuoso gains the bardic music ability if she did not already have it from a previous class. All the bardic music effects (countersong, fascinate, inspire competence, inspire courage, inspire greatness, and suggestion) become available to her immediately, subject to their usual Perform skill requirements (see the Bard section in Chapter 3 of the Player's Handbook). Countersong requires either a musical or a poetic performance; all others can be produced with any performance type. Each bardic music effect except suggestion requires one daily use of either the virtuoso performance ability (see below) or the bardic music ability. Suggestion does not require any uses, but the subject must first be fascinated.

Virtuoso Performance: With an impassioned soliloquy or a haunting melody, the virtuoso can create magical effects beyond even the capabilities of bardic music. Virtuoso performance can be used once per virtuoso level per day. If the virtuoso has bard levels, those stack with virtuoso levels to determine uses per day. Many virtuoso performance effects require more than one of the ability's allotted daily uses. Although many of the names refer to musical performances, the virtuoso isn't actually so limited -- for example, an actor could perform a "sustaining soliloquy" rather than a sustaining song.

As with bardic music, the virtuoso can usually fight while using this ability but cannot cast spells or activate magic items by either spell completion or command word. If the performance forces any target to make a Will save, the only other action the virtuoso can take in the same round is a 5-foot step.

Sustaining Song:A 1st-level virtuoso with at least 11 ranks in Perform can sustain her unconscious allies, negating their need for stabilization checks during her performance. Because they're not making stabilization checks, the affected allies are neither stabilizing nor losing hit points. A sustaining song lasts for 5 minutes or until the virtuoso stops performing, whichever comes first. Sustaining song is a supernatural ability.

Calumny:A 3rd-level virtuoso with at least 13 ranks in Perform has mastered the fine art of slander and can deliver a performance that makes a specific character or group (class, race, nationality, or the like) appear in the worst light possible. Each member of the audience must make a Will save with a DC equal to the virtuoso's Perform check result. Success negates the calumny effect; failure shifts that individual's attitude toward the target by one category -- that is, from friendly to indifferent, from indifferent to unfriendly, or from unfriendly to hostile (see Table 5-4: Influencing NPC Attitude in the Dungeon Master's Guide). Furthermore, each affected creature gains a +2 morale bonus on all opposed social interaction checks against the target. Calumny lingers in the minds of affected audience members for 24 hours per daily use of virtuoso performance applied to the calumny attempt. For example, a 7th-level bard/3rd-level virtuoso could apply seven daily uses of virtuoso performance to a song of anti-duergar sentiment. All who heard it and failed their Will saves would be affected for a week, and the virtuoso would have three virtuoso performance uses left that day. Calumny is a supernatural, mind-affecting, language-dependent ability.

Jarring Song:A 4th-level virtuoso with at least 14 ranks in Perform can inhibit spellcasting. Anyone attempting to cast a spell during a jarring song must make a Concentration check (DC 15 + the spell level). Success allows normal completion of the spell; failure means it is lost. A jarring song requires three daily uses of virtuoso performance and is a supernatural, sonic ability.

Sharp Note:A 5th-level virtuoso with at least 15 ranks in Perform can sharpen the blades of all piercing and slashing weapons within a 10-foot radius. The affected weapons function as if a 6th-level sorcerer had cast a keen edge spell on them, except that the effect lasts only 10 minutes. Sharp note requires three daily uses of virtuoso performance and is a spell-like, transmutation ability.

Mindbending Melody: A 6th-level virtuoso with at least 16 ranks in Perform can dominate a humanoid that she has already fascinated. This ability functions exactly like a dominate person spell cast by a 9th-level sorcerer. The target can make a Will save (DC 15 + the virtuoso's Charisma modifier) to negate the effect. A mindbending melody requires two daily uses of virtuoso performance and is a spell-like, mind-affecting, language-dependent, charm ability.

Greater Calumny:A 7th-level virtuoso with at least 17 ranks in Perform can whip her audience into a frenzy of loathing. Greater calumny functions exactly like calumny, except that the audience's attitude is shifted two categories (indifferent to hostile, for example), and each affected audience member gains a +4 morale bonus on all opposed social interaction checks with the target. Greater calumny is a supernatural, mind-affecting, language-dependent ability.

Magical Melody:An 8th-level virtuoso with at least 18 ranks in Perform can empower allied spellcasters, raising their effective caster levels by +1 each for the purposes of spell effects and spell resistance checks. This effect lasts as long as the performance does. Magical melody requires two daily uses of virtuoso performance per minute maintained. It is a supernatural ability.

Song of Fury: A 9th-level virtuoso with at least 19 ranks in Perform can enrage her allies. This ability functions exactly like barbarian rage on all willing allies within 20 feet, and it lasts as long as the virtuoso continues her performance. Song of fury requires three daily uses of performance per round maintained. It is a supernatural, mind-affecting ability.

Revealing Melody:A 10th-level virtuoso with at least 20 ranks in Perform can reveal all things as they actually are. All those who hear the revealing melody are affected as if by a true seeing spell cast by a 17th-level sorcerer. The effect lasts as long as the song does. Revealing melody requires two daily uses of virtuoso performance per round maintained and is a spell-like, divination ability.

Fang of Lolth

Many bards and rogues study ways to "trick" magic items into working without their usual requirements. Sometimes, though, the curious get more than they bargained for.

Worshipers of Lolth occasionally create a magic item called a fang scarab that gives spiders an attack bonus. Such an item is ordinary enough -- until a bard or rogue makes a successful Use Magic Device check to trick it into working for her. Though she does gain the benefit of the fang scarab, it also fuses to her neck, beginning a metamorphosis that could eventually turn her into a half-spider abomination.

Some fight this transformation, continuing their adventuring careers normally with only a few outward manifestations of spiderlike qualities. Others embrace the metamorphosis and earn levels in the fang of Lolth prestige class, giving over their bodies to the image of the Demon Queen of Spiders. Regardless of their attitudes toward this new legacy, those who have fused with fang scarabs eventually learn that death is the only way to separate the items from their bodies.

Clerics and other agents of Lolth know about this aspect of fang scarabs, so they spare no effort to bring anyone who has fused with one into Lolth's service. Most NPC fangs of Lolth work for clerics of the Spider Queen, but a few renegades exist who want the power of the spider but aren't willing to bow to Lolth. Agents of the Spider Queen constantly hound such characters, intent on either bringing them into Lolth's service or killing them to recover the fang scarabs.

Because fangs of Lolth begin their careers by unlocking the secrets of the fang scarab, they must be able to trick the item into treating them as spiders. That limitation leaves this class open only to characters with ranks in the Use Magic Device skill. Even the most powerful wizards and sorcerers try in vain to get fang scarabs to work in this manner; it takes the intuitive guesswork (and luck) of one who knows how to trick magic items.

Hit Die: d6.

Requirements

To qualify as a fang of Lolth, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Alignment: Any nonlawful and nongood.

Base Attack Bonus: +5.

Skills: Use Magic Device 10 ranks.

Special: The character must acquire a fang scarab and get it to function with a successful Use Magic Device check (DC 25). This grants her the benefits of the item (see sidebar) and fuses it permanently to her neck.

Class Skills

The class skills for the fang of Lolth (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Disable Device (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex). See Chapter 4 of the Player's Handbook for skill descriptions.

Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Table 1-3: The Fang of Lolth

Class
Level

Base Attack Bonus

Fort
Save

Ref
Save

Will
Save

Special

Physical Changes

1st

+0

+0

+2

+0

Skill bonuses

Skin darkens

2nd

+1

+0

+3

+0

Sneak attack +1d6

Limbs lengthen

3rd

+2

+1

+3

+1

Spider bite

Jaw unhinges to allow bite attack

4th

+3

+1

+4

+1

Climb speed 20 ft.

Eyes enlarge and become multifaceted

5th

+3

+1

+4

+1

Sneak attack +2d6

Fingers and toes lengthen

6th

+4

+2

+5

+2

Natural armor +2,

Tufts of coarse, black hair cover

spider vision

body, eyes develop spider vision

7th

+5

+2

+5

+2

Summon swarm

Back hunches

8th

+6

+2

+6

+2

Sneak attack +3d6

Smallest finger or toe on each

limb atrophies away harmlessly

9th

+6

+3

+6

+3

Spider limbs

Grows extra spiderlike limbs

10th

+7

+3

+7

+3

Natural armor +4,

Insect chitin covers skin

         

vermin type

 

Class Features

All the following are class features of the fang of Lolth prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Fangs of Lolth gain no new weapon or armor proficiencies.

Skill Bonuses: As an extraordinary ability, a fang of Lolth gains a +2 competence bonus on Climb and Jump checks. In addition, the whispers of Lolth provide her with subconscious hints about how magic works, giving her a +4 insight bonus on Use Magic Device checks. This bonus is a supernatural ability.

Sneak Attack: The fang of Lolth gains the sneak attack ability (see the Rogue section in Chapter 3 of the Player's Handbook) at 2nd level if she does not already have it. She gains +1d6 damage with this attack initially, but this rises to +2d6 at 5th level and to +3d6 at 8th level. If she already has the sneak attack ability from a previous class, the damage bonuses stack.

Spider Bite: The fang of Lolth can unhinge her jaw and bite with her razor-sharp teeth as an attack action. Her bite is a natural attack that deals 1d6 points of damage if she is Medium-size, or 1d4 points of damage if she is Small. This attack does not provoke an attack of opportunity from the fang of Lolth's foe. If she uses a full attack action, she can make normal weapon attacks and use her bite as a secondary natural attack at the standard -5 penalty.

Climb Speed 20 Feet (Ex): At 4th level, the fang of Lolth can climb walls and ceilings at a speed of 20 feet, just like the monstrous spider she's slowly becoming. This ability grants her a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks.

Natural Armor: At 6th level, the character's skin toughens, granting her a +2 natural armor bonus. At 10th level, her skin hardens into a chitinous carapace, increasing her natural armor bonus to +4.

Spider Vision (Ex): At 6th level, the fang of Lolth gains increased visual acuity in the form of a +4 competence bonus on both Spot and Search checks. She also gains darkvision with a range of 60 feet. If she already has darkvision as a class feature or racial ability, the ranges do not stack.

Summon Swarm (Sp): Three times a day, a fang of Lolth of 7th level or higher can summon and direct an army of normal spiders to do her bidding. This ability works exactly like a summon swarm spell cast by a druid of a level equal to the character's fang of Lolth level, except that the swarm is always composed of spiders. The fang of Lolth can spend a move-equivalent action to direct the swarm, which moves at a speed of 30 feet.

Spider Limbs (Ex): At 9th level, the fang of Lolth actually grows two more pairs of limbs, which emerge from her back or the sides of her torso when needed and are fully retractable. Extending or retracting the spider limbs is a move-equivalent action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The fang of Lolth's spider legs are tipped with simple claws that can hold weapons and other items normally, though they are incapable of the fine manipulation required for spellcasting or using Dexterity-based skills such as Open Lock and Pick Pocket. Despite her extra limbs, the fang of Lolth is still limited to one standard action per round. She can, however, make a secondary natural attack with each clawed spider leg at the standard -5 penalty as part of a full attack action. Her claws deal 1d4 points of damage if she is Medium-size or 1d3 points of damage if she is Small. The fang of Lolth can acquire the Multiattack, Multidexterity, and Multiweapon Fighting feats if she wishes to use her claws more effectively or wield weapons in multiple limbs.

At 10th level, the fang of Lolth's spider limbs grow long and sturdy enough to propel her forward. If she devotes two of her spider legs entirely to locomotion, her land and climb speeds each increase by 20 feet.

Vermin Type (Ex): At 10th level, the fang of Lolth's creature type changes to vermin, though she retains her previous Intelligence score, Hit Die type, and abilities. As a vermin, she becomes immune to mind-influencing effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects).

Physical Changes: With each fang of Lolth level she attains, the character's body undergoes a metamorphosis. With the exception of the unhinged jaw and the extra spider limbs (both of which allow special attacks as detailed above), all these changes are merely cosmetic, but they are permanent. These spiderlike features do not alter the fang of Lolth's Charisma score or interpersonal skills, but the DM may choose to impose a circumstance penalty on any checks involving interaction with creatures that find such changes frightening. A clever fang of Lolth may avoid this issue by wearing a hat of disguise or employing some other magic that alters her appearance.

Fang Scarab

A fang-shaped crystal dangles from a loop of finely wrought silver chain in the center of this spiderweb medallion. When the chain is used to wrap the fang scarab around the juncture of a monstrous spider's cephalothorax (head) and abdomen, the creature can hear Lolth's dark whispers in its subconscious. This gives it an instinctive knowledge of what the next moment will bring, which manifests as a +1 insight bonus on attack rolls.

Because the fang scarab is designed for spiders, it's not useful to most adventurers. A nonspider can make a fang scarab function with a successful Use Magic Device check (DC 25), but this also fuses it permanently to its user's neck, near the throat. Nothing short of the wearer's death can then remove it.

Though the fang scarab grants its wearer the same attack bonus that it would to a spider, it also initiates a terrible metamorphosis that changes the wearer into a half-spider abomination over time. When the scarab first attaches itself, the wearer's canine teeth enlarge, and coarse black hair appears on the back of her neck. No further changes occur until she attains levels in the fang of Lolth prestige class (see Physical Changes, page 10).

Caster Level: 5th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, divination; Market Price: 3,500 gp; Weight: -- .

Recent Excerpts
(MORE)
Recent Articles
(MORE)

About Us Jobs New to the Game? Inside Wizards Find a Store Press Help Sitemap

©1995- Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use-Privacy Statement

Home > Games > D&D > Articles 
You have found a Secret Door!
Printer Friendly Printer Friendly
Email A Friend Email A Friend
Discuss This Article Discuss This Article