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The prestige bard is a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. She relies on wit, agility, and no small amount of magic to see her through her daring adventures.
Virtually all characters who become prestige bards are already multiclass characters, usually mixing rogue and wizard or rogue and sorcerer. Some dabble in barbarian or fighter as well, depending on their social backgrounds.
NPC prestige bards may serve as heralds, tale-tellers, spies, ne'er-do-wells, or all of the above. Some worj in troupes, others form colleges, but most share a strong streak of independence.
Compared to the standard character class, the prestige bard gains her bardic music abilities later in her career, but has a greater range of spells available.
Hit Die: d6.
To qualify to become a prestige bard, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
- Alignment: Any nonlawful.
- Base Attack Bonus: +3.
- Skills: Knowledge (any one) 4 ranks, Perform (any one) 8 ranks.
- Special: Ability to cast at least one 1st-level arcane spell from each of the divination, enchantment, and illusion schools.
The prestige bard's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (n/a), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Points at Each Level: 6+ Int modifier.
|Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+2||Bardic music (countersong, fascinate, inspire courage +1), bardic knowledge||-|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+3||-||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|4th||+3||+1||+4||+4||-||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|5th||+3||+1||+4||+4||Inspire courage +2||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|6st||+4||+2||+5||+5||-||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|8th||+6||+2||+6||+6||-||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|9th||+6||+3||+6||+6||Song of freedom||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|10th||+7||+3||+7||+7||Inspire courage +3||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|11th||+8||+3||+7||+7||Inspire heroics||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|12th||+9||+4||+8||+8||-||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|14th||+10||+4||+9||+9||-||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|15th||+11||+5||+9||+9||Inspire courage +4||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
All the following features are class features of the prestige bard class.
- Weapon and Armor Proficiency: As the standard bard in the d20 system. A prestige bard can cast any arcane spells in light armor without the normal arcane spell failure chance.
- Spellcasting: When a new prestige bard level is gained (except at 1st, 3rd, 7th, and 13th level), the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if she had also gained a level in whatever arcane spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class.
- A prestige bard casts arcane spells from the schools of divination, enchantment, and illusion at +2 caster level. She casts arcane spells from the schools of evocation and necromancy at -2 caster level.
- Bardic Knowledge (Ex): As the standard bard ability of the same name.
- Bardic Music: As the standard bard ability of the same name, except that the minimum number of ranks in Perform required is increased by 5 (8 ranks for countersong, fascinate, or inspire courage; 11 ranks for inspire competence, and so forth).