Battalion Bard (3.5e Prestige Class)
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Battalion bards animate a large assortment of instruments in order to orchestrate masterful arrangements that influence immense crowds of people, allies and enemies alike. Due to their ability to enhance the fighting capabilities of large waves of people, they are often hired to supplement military powers, although there are plenty who travel abroad as a one-man band.
Becoming a Battalion Bard
Battalion bards enjoy performing in front of large crowds, gathering fame and glory alike.
|Skills:||Bard level 10 OR Perform (Any instrument) 16 ranks.|
|Special:||Must know Summon Instrument spell.|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+2||Conjure Animate, Instrument, Battalion's Fanfare x2|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+3||Battalion's Fanfare, Entropic Music|
|3rd||+2||+1||+3||+3||Battalion's Fanfare, Improved Conducting, Melodic Casting|
|4th||+3||+1||+4||+4||Battalion's Fanfare, Masterful Instrument Enchanter, Improvised Arrangement|
|5th||+3||+1||+4||+4||Battalion's Fanfare x2, Greater Entropic Music|
|6th||+4||+2||+5||+5||Battalion's Fanfare, Master Conductor|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level)
All of the following are class features of the Battalion Bard:
Conjure Animate Instrument:: What is a band without its instruments? A Battalion Bard magically enchants an instrument to become animate and play at the bard's will. This process requires 1 hour to perform, and you cannot enchant or create large instruments (Such as pianos and organs). Alternatively, a Battalion Bard may instead create an animate instrument out of thin air, using the Summon Instrument spell. Doing so requires 3 hours to conjure such an instrument, and you may conjure instruments that require two hands. A Battalion Bard may not create an instrument that they do not have knowledge of, but the bard does not need the ability to play it in order to use it for performing a Battalion's Fanfare song, but nothing else. Instruments created this way are permanent. Each instrument has an AC of 18, HP equal to half of the Battalion Bard's, and uses the bard's saves when they must do so. Any number of instruments can occupy the same square, have the ability to fly 30ft with perfect maneuverability, can be used for perform checks, and can play other bardic songs so long as the instruments used can actually be played by the bard. They may move while playing a Battalion's Fanfare song. As a free action, the bard may choose for the instruments to disappear or reappear to a square adjacent to her, although doing so interrupts any songs played by the instruments. Playing any song of the Battalion's Fanfare requires a minimum of 5 instruments, of which a bard may have up to 8 instruments out at a time. Using said instruments does not affect how other bardic songs would normally function in any way (Such as Inspire Courage). The bard must have a line of sight of the instruments and be within 30 ft of them in order to conduct them properly.
Battalion's Fanfare:: Boisterous yet majestic, the Battalion Bard bids her instruments to play glorious arrangements that affect all who hear it, excluding the bard herself. At level 1 and level 5, a Battalion Bard may learn two songs from the list below. Every other level allows the bard to learn one song from the list below. Each song has a radius of 200ft from the instruments. The bard must initiate each song using a standard action, and you cannot cannot cast spells, activate magic items by spell completion (such as scrolls), spell trigger (such as wands), or command word, unless you have a feat that says otherwise (such as Melodic Casting). Each song must be maintained each round, which uses another standard action. Whenever the Battalion Bard is subject to an attack, the bard must make a Concentration check (DC 5 + Damage Dealt), or the song immediately ends. Also, if the bard must make a Reflex save or balance check, then the bard must make a Concentration check equal to the DC of the appropriate save/check in order to keep the instruments playing. You can only play one song at a time, including other bardic songs, unless stated otherwise. All of these songs are mind-affecting abilities, although willing allies with immunity can still gain the benefits of each song. Any Will save made against any song has a DC (15 + 1/2 Character Level + Charisma modifier). Those who fail the Will save are entitled to save again the round after the next one, but those who succeed in the Will save must save again the round after the next one so long as they are in range. Allies may willingly choose not to be affected by any song without needing a Will save, unless stated otherwise. Allies may choose to change their mind when it is their turn and either become affected by the song, or resist it with a Will save, although they cannot Will save again upon failure. Also, any ally or enemy that becomes deaf can no longer be affected by any of the Battalion's Fanfare songs. A song may be ended at any time as an immediate action. Starting or maintaining a song does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Whenever a song ends, or a creature leaves its range, its effects immediately end. Being subject to a grapple ends any song being played immediately, unless the bard has access to the Master Conductor class ability. The effects of the song always ends immediately when a creature is no longer affected. In other words, feats such as Lingering Song do not extend a song's duration when a creature can no longer be affected by it.
Prance of Desperation: The Battalion Bard bids her instruments to incite adrenaline and urgency into those nearby. Each ally within range is put on edge, increasing their combat skills to their peak, but is extremely draining and physically demanding. All willing allies within range gain a +8 Morale bonus to attack and damage rolls, a +6 Dodge bonus to AC, a +4 Morale bonus to all saves, immunity to fears, and a +10ft morale bonus to movement. However, each round every ally affected by the song take 5d4 points of Nonlethal damage, and if the song ends at any point, then each affected ally becomes fatigued for two rounds.
Mercy's Lullaby: The Battalion Bard instills caution and pity unto either nearby allies, enemies, or both, and is chosen by the bard when the song begins. This choice can only be changed if the song is stopped, then played again. Anyone who willingly resists the song (Allies included) must make a Will save to negate its effects. Allies who succeed their Will save do not need to Will save again in subsequent rounds unless the song is stopped and started again. Those affected take a -2 penalty to attack and damage rolls, and any melee or ranged attacks made can only deal nonlethal damage. However, they gain a +4 Morale bonus to AC and Fortitude saves, and a +8 Morale bonus to resist being tripped, grappled, or disarmed.
Carnivorous Bloodhunt: The Battalion Bard uses her instruments to attune the discontent and malice of allies onto target creature within range. Allies under this effect gain a +4 Morale bonus to attack and damage rolls on target creature, a +8 Morale bonus on all saves made against target creature, can flank target creature even if the creature is otherwise immune to being flanked, and ignore any damage reduction from the target. However, affected allies take a -4 penalty on attack and damage rolls against anyone other than the target, take a -2 AC penalty towards anyone other than target creature, and are always considered flanked by anyone other than the target, even if they are otherwise immune to being flanked. The chosen target must make a Will save or be compelled to not leave the range of the song by any means.
Snow Angel's Grace: The Battalion Bard invokes an atmosphere of freedom and whimsy that liberates the spirits of nearby allies. As such, each ally gains a +2 Morale bonus to attack rolls, a +4 Dodge bonus to AC, a +4 Morale bonus to Reflex Saves, a +40ft Morale bonus to movement, and are constantly under the effect of the Freedom of Movement spell, except that it can only be dispelled or otherwise nullified by stopping the song.
Nightwatch Vigilance: The Battalion Bard manipulates its instruments to create a menacing tune, putting each ally's reflexes on edge. Every affected ally gains a +2 Morale Bonus to attack rolls, a +2 Dodge bonus to AC, a +4 bonus to Reflex saves, gain the benefits of Improved Uncanny Dodge, and their Initiative increases by 5. This increase in Initiative does not take effect until the Initiative cycle has gone full-circle (In other words, everyone has taken their turn). If the song ends, then their Initiative revert to its original value, but again does not take effect until the Initiative cycle has gone full-circle.
Anthem of Bloodshed: The Battalion Bard utilizes her instruments to tap into the rage and hatred of both allies and enemies. All willing allies spring into a frenzy of rage identical to a Barbarian's Mighty Rage class ability, except that they do not gain the usual temporary hitpoints, the rage does not end until the song ends, and instead gain the ability to pounce. Any enemies within range may willingly make a Will save in order to tune their minds to the song, thus gaining the benefits of the song. They may not make another Will save later in order to gain the benefits of this song, nor can they be affected if they are immune to mind-affecting abilities.
Chivalrous March: The Battalion Bard rallies nearby allies in an enthusiastic march of glory and fanfare. As such, each affected ally gains a +2 Morale bonus to attack and damage rolls, a +2 Dodge bonus to AC, and a +2 Morale bonus to all saves. However, each affected ally gains an addition +2 bonus to each of these stats for each ally that is adjacent to her, up to a limit of +8 additional bonus.
Magic's Melody: The Battalion Bard fills the atmosphere with an arrangement to nourish the mind of nearby allies, while disrupting the minds of nearby enemies. All affected allies gain a +4 Competence bonus to Intelligence and Wisdom, and may cast spells without expending their daily uses of spells. This effect does not allow spells that do not have any more uses to be cast. However, enemies within range must make a Will save or take a -4 penalty to Intelligence and Wisdom, and be unable to cast spells or use a spell-like abilities that requires a period of time to cast longer than a Swift action. Note that this song cannot be used outside of an encounter.
Entropic Music: Waves of musical energy emenate from the animate instruments, enveloping the Battalion Bard as she gracefully conducts her instruments. At 2nd level, whenever the Bard is currently performing a Battalion's Fanfare song, or any other bardic song played through her animated instruments, she and her instruments gains a 20% chance to dodge all melee and ranged attacks, grapples, and any spell, both from allied or enemy sources (including spells casts by the bard that target herself or her instruments).
Improved Conducting: At 3rd level, a Battalion Bard grows more accustomed and more confident in conducting her instruments. A Battalion Bard may choose to instead maintain her current Battalion's Fanfare song as a Move Action rather than a Standard Action.
Bonus Feat: At 3rd level, a Battalion Bard gains Melodic Casting as a bonus feat, even if you do not qualify for it.
Masterful Instrument Enchanter: At 4th level, a Battalion Bard can easily animate instruments or conjure animate instruments. As such, a Battalion Bard may instantly enchant any non-large instrument. Creating an animate instrument through Summon Instrument only takes 1 hour to achieve.
Improvised Arrangement: Sometimes, the maestro must perform her arrangements to conform to her audience, rather than the other way around. At 4th level, the Battalion Bard pulls from her musical expertise in order to create a masterful arrangement of music on the spot. This song counts as a Battalion's Fanfare song, except that it may be played along with other bardic and Battalion's Fanfare songs, provided that enough animate instruments are available to do so. An Improvised Arrangement can only affect allies. Choose 2 normal effects from the list below, and 1 special effect from the list below that will be the benefits of the song.
- +3 Morale bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls.
- +3 Dodge bonus to AC.
- +2 Morale bonus to all saving throws.
- +10ft Morale bonus to movement.
- +4 Morale bonus to resist being grappled, disarmed, and tripped.
- Immunity to fears and mind-affecting abilities (Excluding any song played by the bard)
- Gains 2 bonus Hit Dice (d10s) as temporary HP (apply the target's Constitution modifier, if any,
to these bonus Hit Dice), and Fast Healing 5.
- At the start of each affected ally's turn, they have a 20% chance of being able to take an additional
standard action until the end of their turn.
You may also invent your own Normal and Special effects, but they should not be anymore powerful than those listed above, and the DM has the final say on the song's effects.
Greater Entropic Music: As the Battalion Bard perfects her ability to conduct her instruments, the waves of musical energy become stronger and more coordinated. At 5th level, whenever the bard is currently performing a Battalion's Fanfare song, or any other bardic song played through her animate instruments, she and her instruments gains a 50% chance to dodge all melee and ranged attacks, grapples, and enemy spells. Allied spells or spells cast by the bard that target herself or her instruments do not provoke the 50% chance of missing.
Master Conductor: At 6th level, a Battalion Bard reaches the peak of her conducting ability. A Battalion Bard can maintain her current Battalion's Fanfare song as a Swift Action. Also, the number of animate instruments you may have at one time increases to 10. This means that you may play one Battalion's Fanfare song and one Improvised Arrangement song at the same time, and you may initiate both songs with a single Standard Action. Additionally, being grappled does not end a song that is currently being played.
Playing a Battalion Bard
Battalion Bards in the World
Battalion Bard Lore
Characters with ranks in can research to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
Battalion Bards in the Game