Sublime Ur Lyrist (3.5e Optimized Character Build)

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Introduction[edit]

This is not just a build of a character: it is a story. The story of a person who wants to revive a dead god. To achieve his goal she will seek the ultimate origins of the magic in the world and learn how to obtain the Divine spells from the living gods without them noticing.

In the game this becomes a fairly unexceptional Bard that becomes a powerful spellcaster.

References[edit]

A part of the three Core Manuals:

  • Bardic Tutelage: Champions of Valor
  • Fochulan Lyrist: Complete Adventurer
  • Sublime Chord: Complete Arcane
  • Survivor: Savage Species
  • Ur-Priest: Complete Divine
  • Vanara: Oriental Adventures

Game Rule Components[edit]

Spells, Powers, Soulmelds, Stances, etc...[edit]

This build suffers from MAD, but it is possible play it with 32 non standard point buy. You will need at least 3 bonus skill points per level, so or an Human with 14 of Intelligence or another race with at least 16. In the Abilities Score section I put an example with Human or with a Vanara.

If in your campaign you do not use at least 32 points in with the non-standard point buy this build is not for you.

Items[edit]

Anything that increases your Wisdom and your Charisma do help. Or course as Bard you should get the most powerful musical string instrument you can get.

Progression[edit]

Assuming a 32 Non-standard Point Buy.

Starting Ability Scores Human: Strength 9, Dexterity 10, Constitution 10, Intelligence 14, Wisdom 16, Charisma 17.

Starting Ability Scores (Before Racial Adjustments) Vanara: Strength 10, Dexterity 10, Constitution 12, Intelligence 14, Wisdom 15, Charisma 16.

Starting Ability Scores (After Racial Adjustments) Vanara: Strength 8, Dexterity 10, Constitution 12, Intelligence 16, Wisdom 17, Charisma 16.

Put every Ability increment alternately in Wisdom and Charisma, starting with the lower.

Alignment: Neutral. The Ur-Priest class imposes an evil alignment, but in the Adaption section of the class description it is explained that Ur-Priest class can be adapted for people who lost their god. In this case I personally think the Alignment restriction can be relaxed to `any non-good`. If your DM disagrees the Alignment will be Neutral Evil; but if you do not want to play an evil character you can switch alignment just after taking the first Ur-Priest level: since there is no `ex Ur-Priest` section in the class description you do not lose your powers nor the possibility of level-up.

ECL Class/HD/LA Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Feats Class
Features
Skill
Points
Fort Ref Will
1st Bard +0 +0 +2 +2 Bardic Tutelage (Druidic) Bardic music, bardic knowledge, countersong, fascinate, inspire courage +1 Listen 4<br\> Knowledge Arcana 4<br\> Knowledge Planes 4<br\> Knowledge Religion 4<br\> Diplomacy 4<br\> Decipher Script 4<br\> Perform (String Instrument) 3<br\> Profession (Astrologer) 2<br\> Gather Information 4<br\> Bluff 1<br\> Sleight of Hand 1<br\> Spellcraft 1
2nd Bard +1 +0 +3 +3 Listen 1<br\> Knowledge Arcana 1<br\> Knowledge Nature 1<br\> Diplomacy 1<br\> Decipher Script 1<br\> Perform (String Instrument) 1<br\> Gather Information 1<br\> Sleight of Hand 1<br\> Spellcraft 1
3rd Bard +2 +1 +3 +3 Spell Focus (Evil) Inspire competence Listen 1<br\> Knowledge Arcana 1<br\> Knowledge Planes 1<br\> Diplomacy 1<br\> Decipher Script 1<br\> Perform (String Instrument) 1<br\> Bluff 1<br\> Sleight of Hand 1<br\> Spellcraft 1
4th Bard +3 +1 +4 +4 Listen 1<br\> Knowledge Arcana 1<br\> Knowledge Religion 1<br\> Diplomacy 1<br\> Perform (String Instrument) 1<br\> Bluff 1<br\> Sleight of Hand 1<br\> Spellcraft 1
5th Bard +3 +1 +4 +4 Listen 1<br\> Knowledge Arcana 1<br\> Knowledge Religion 1<br\> Perform (String Instrument) 1<br\> Gather Information 1<br\> Bluff 1<br\> Sleight of Hand 1<br\> Spellcraft 1
6th Survivor +3 +3 +6 +8 Iron Will Uncanny Dodge Knowledge Arcana: 1<br\> Knowledge Religion: 1<br\> Perform (String Istruments): 1<br\> Sleight of Hand: 1<br\> Spellcraft: 1
7th Survivor +3 +4 +7 +9 Evasion Bluff: 1<br\> Knowledge Arcana: 1<br\> Knowledge Nature: 1<br\> Knowledge Religion: 1<br\> Spellcraft: 1
8th Bard +4 +5 +8 +10 Suggestion Bluff: 1<br\> Gather Information: 1<br\> Knowledge Arcana: 1<br\> Knowledge Nature: 1<br\> Listen: 2<br\> Perform (String Istruments): 1<br\> Sleight of Hand: 1<br\> Spellcraft: 1
9th Ur Priest +4 +5 +8 +12 Knowledge Arcana: 1<br\> Profession Astrologist: 4
10th Bard +4 +5 +8 +12 Knowledge Arcana: 1<br\> Knowledge Nature: 1<br\> Listen: 3<br\> Perform (String Istruments): 3
11th Sublime Chord +4 +5 +8 +14 Bardic lore, bardic music Knowledge Nature: 3
12th Fochlucan Lyrist +5 +5 +10 +16 Bardic knowledge, bardic music, +1 level Sublime Chord spellcasting, +1 level Ur-Priest spellcasting
... Fochlucan Lyrist +1 level Sublime Chord spellcasting, +1 level Ur-Priest spellcasting
20th Fochlucan Lyrist +13 +8 +15 +21 +1 level Sublime Chord spellcasting, +1 level Ur-Priest spellcasting


Highlights[edit]

I added a column with the skill points to buy every level, as you can easily see the build is extremely rigid: in fact you get a skill point free to assign only at level 10. On the other hand you get the powerful casting abilities of both the Sublime Chord and of the Ur-Priest.

Beside, since the Fochlucan Lyrist levels stacks with the Bard, you get the musics up to Inspire Heroics.

To join the Fochlucan Lyrist college a character needs, amongst other things, Evasion and the Druidic language: the former is granted by the second level of Survivor; the latter is granted by the Bardic Tutelage Feat that gives access to any language including dead ones.

Unfortunately the Bardic Tutelage Feat description states nothing about secret languages. I assume it is safe to use it to get the Druidic: after all we are talking about an University of Bards, I find easy to imagine that at least one met an ex-Druid or a Blighter and learned the language from him. Once one knows the whole University knows. In game mechanic we are talking about a Feat, sacrificing a Feat for a language even if secret is fair. But your DM might thinks differently: in this case... no build.

Going epic[edit]

Epic spellcasters do not gain new spells per day; still a possible continuation is picking Sublime Chord and Ur-Priest levels to get the other special powers of the classes. The 21th level in particular should be of the Sublime Chord to get the Song of Arcane Power. Later you can also get few other levels as Bard to get more middle level spells (overall 3rd level) and new Songs.

Munchkin-Size Me[edit]

Consider taking the Necropolitan template (from Libris Mortis) at level 3. You would lose 2000 PX, but as Undead you would ignore many Fortitude Saving Throws and, if you have less than 16 of Constitution, the d12 hit dice would give you more HP. If the character is trying to revive an evil god of death it can easily stay in character too!

Limitations[edit]

  • The first 10 levels are extremely rigid: a player might dislike it.
  • The Fortitude Saving throw is really weak: Great Fortitude is almost a necessity. If you play human take it at the first level.
  • Strong MAD.

DM Counters[edit]

The build can be banned completely: no evil character; do not allow the Ur-Priest alignment relax; do not accept the use of Bardic Tutelage with a secret language or impose a Region without Bardic Universities.

If the character is actually played he will suffer anything that needs Fortitude saving throws... as almost all casters.

Background[edit]

I wanted to play this character in a campaign where we started from level 8. Unfortunately I could not because I had to DM. So I share the background idea in the hope that anyone appreciates it.

The character started her career in a Bardic University where she never actually understood why she was so fascinated by the Druidic language. Luckily the character was under the tutelage of a whimsical master that has no problems to violate every secrets around the language and so she could learn it; it seems the master once learned the language from a Blighter, before killing him. Once become a Bard the character wandered in the world trying to seek answers, but she got only questions until level 6. She was meditating and practicing alone in the woods and she understood she was actually a seed left by <replace with the name of a dead goddess of nature>. This goddess, understanding that the end was near, left those seeds in the World hoping that someone would bring her back to existence. The Druidic was the main language of this goddess: this explained the strange will to learn it! And so the character decided to continue studying the deep connection between Magic and Music while opening the doors to the power of the Divine Magic, but without a god.


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