Endowed Orator (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Endowed Orator[edit]

Just words? What is in a word but the power to move a man's soul? I can think of no greater power.
—Dylan Cutler, half elf bard

Kings, Generals, Warlords; all are more than masters of battle; they are masters of men because they command respect or fear simply by speaking. Orators are bards who recognize this fact and strive to master the spoken word, and through it, all who hear them.

Becoming an Endowed Orator[edit]

Leaders are not made they're born; as such, Bards don't so much choose to become Orators as they're simple born to it. Showing a natural talent for leadership from a very early age, Orators take to their destiny like slipping on a fit coat. Bards who chose this path find accumulation of wealth, military might, and political power easy to achieve, but the heavy is the crown. with such power comes a great burden & often make one a target for assassination, so a modicum of paranoia usually follows.

Entry Requirements
Alignment: Any non-lawful. Orators are passionate in there convictions, this passion is channeled through there speeches.
Race: Any.
Skills: Speech 9 ranks, Diplomacy 9 ranks, Sense motive 9 ranks.
Feats: Leadership
Special: Minimum 16 Charisma, Ability to perform bard songs.
Table: The Endowed Orator

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +0 +2 +2 Gifted speaker, Long winded speaker, tongues
2nd +2 +0 +3 +3 Voice of inspiration
3rd +3 +1 +3 +3 Silver tongue
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Voice of reason
5th +4 +1 +4 +4 Double Talk, Pointed Words, Long Winded Speaker
6th +5 +2 +5 +5 Voice Of The Master
7th +6 +2 +5 +5 War Of Words
8th +6 +2 +6 +6 Voice Of A Generation
9th +7 +3 +6 +6 Subversive Speech
10th +8 +3 +7 +7 Voice Of God, Long Winded Speaker

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level)
Bluff (cha), Diplomacy (cha), Intimidate (cha), Listen (wis), Perform: speech (cha), Sense motive (wis).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Endowed Orator.

Level 1
Gifted speaker: Orators don't so much speak a language as they do weave it into a tapestry of brilliance and awe. Upon achieving this class they gain a permanent +2 inspiration bonus to all speech based skill checks reflecting their gift of communication.

Long winded speaker: Sometimes a filibuster is in order. When these situations arise the Orator finds himself up to the challenge. Orators gain an additional use of bard song every level just as a bard would, but they also gain an additional song at 1st, 5th and 10th level.

Tongues: Since the Tower of Babble language has been one of the greatest barriers to progress. Orators have overcome this. Such masters of language are they that they can even speak languages unknown to them. By expending a use of bard song Orators may grant themselves the effects of the tongues spell. There are restrictions. This will not grant them the ability to speak exclusive languages like Druidic, nor will it grant them the ability to speak languages from other plains like celestial or zephyr, it will how ever grant them every terrestrial language from Gnomish to Draconic even if they have never herd it.

Level 2
Voice of inspiration: at this level your words are so moving as to be almost melodious. You may now perform bard songs simply by speaking aloud. This only works if you are speaking boisterously in a manner that would draw attention to you. Climbing up on a rock during a battle and giving an inspirational speech about how they may take our lives but they may never take our freedom would work; whispering in a rogues ear about how awesome his skills are while hiding behind some bails of hay would not.

Level 3
Silver tongue: Quick is the wit of every Orator. They always know what to say and how to say it. No matter how farfetched there story may be. Audiences believe it simply because of how the orator presents it. Because of this they have developed a reputation for having a silver tongue. This ability takes that to a quite literal level. Upon achieving this level all sound bast attacks, spells, and even weapons with sonic damage wielded by the orator count as silver for the purposes of bypassing DR; additionally, Orators with this ability can make listeners believe even farfetched stories. As orators weave their yarn they may make a Perform: Speech check against the listener, if the listener fails, it means the orators words made there imaginations run wild and rational though was over come by hope, fear or rage. This is not a supranational power; you are just a really good liar. Farfetched is not the same as impossible and there are some things that no one will believe. The final decision of what the target will believe is up to the DM but DMs should be encouraged to be lenient; Orators can be very convincing.

Level 4
Voice of reason: Your soothing words flow over angry mobs and raging barbarians like warm water soothing there souls and restoring order to chaos. You may expend a use of bard song to make a perform check against all with in sound of your voice. If you succeed they are calmed and barbarians are forced out of rage. Anyone in this state of calm has a circumstantial -2 penalty against diplomacy checks as they are thinking more rationally and are more likely to head your words.

Level 5
Double talk: Like a preacher in the pulpit you can work yourself in to a fervor speaking quickly and igniting the fire in the hearts of your compatriots. You may use 2 bard songs at once as though you where only using one. You must still spend a use of bard song for each song if required. This will allow you to grant your party 2 bonuses at once and can be very useful in many situations. this ability may not be used to activate the Pointed Words ability (below) twice in the same round.

Pointed words: A sharp tongue cuts deeper than any sword. This ability proves that. Make a Perform: Speach check, speak a harsh word, & spend a use of bard song to deal 1d6 x half your bard level (including levels of Orator) sonic damage to a single target with in range of your voice. They take damage even if rendered deaf or unable to hear however supernatural or magical effects such as the Silence spell can stop this damage. A fort save with a difficulty of your perform check negates. Level 6
Voice of the master: Your voice is so pleasing that people find it difficult to fight the urge to do as you command. Any mind effecting spell, magical or supernatural ability you use gains a +2 inspirational bonus to DC.

Level 7
War of words: You can stir rage in the heart of people pushing them to the brink of rage. When in a situation where mobs are at a fever pitch you can force them over the edge in to blind rage causing all out bedlam looting and rioting they may even attack each other indiscriminately. Whenever you are addressing a large number of people (25 or more) you may expend a use of bard song to drive them over the edge in to a mad riot. The DC is 10 +1 for every 5 people in the crowd. If you succeed they riot ceaselessly for 5 minute x your Charisma modifier although you can chose to lessen the time. If there are more people in the crowd than your perform check would allow you to incite this power fails, although they may still riot of there own accord especially after being riled up at DM discretion.

Level 8
Voice of a generation: You are seen as a great leader, followers look to you for guidance and inspiration in the lowest of times and your words give them comfort in even the depths of despair. You gain a permanent +2 Inspiration bonus to your leadership score. Your minions can not be turned against you by mundane means and gain a +2 inspiration bonus on all saves against magical attempts to do so.

Level 9
Subversive speech: You can now incite rebellion, commanding the loyalty of minions who once belonged to another master, undermining there authority, and turning there own foot soldiers against them. You can expend a use of bard song to make a perform check against your target deriding him as a cruel king or false prophet, the target gets a will save vs. your perform check, if he fails his minions turn against him in a blind rage for a number of rounds equal to your perform check. Successful will save negates.

Minions include but is not limited to summons, constructs, undead, higherlings, slaves, servants, cohorts, followers, animal companions, mounts and pets. Creatures who share a spiritual bond with their master such as a wizard or sorcerer's familiar, a paladin's mount, or a Druids animal Companion are immune to this effect.

Level 10
Voice of god: It is said that no mortal can hear the voice of god and live. This ability allows you to channel that power against your enemies. you can make your Pointed Words ability do 1d6 Holy (or unholy) damage instead of sonic damage. The type of damage is based on the alignment of whatever deity you chose to worship. Worshipers of neutral deities can chose either holy or unholy at the moment they acquire this ability, once chosen it can never be changed. Clerics mush chose the same type of damage as they chose for their channel ability; Additionally, your Pointed Words ability may now effect a number of targets up to to your charisma modifier. You may chose which targets you effect & which are exempt. If you do not worship a deity you can not use the Holy (or unholy) damage ability of this power, but you may still selectively target multiple targets with your Pointed words.

Spellcasting: At each level, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level and spells known as if you had also gained a level in bard. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing an Endowed Orator[edit]

Orators are a roll play heavy class. They shine brightest at the negotiating table. This class is likely to amass it's true power politically rather than magically growing it's base of followers at frightening rate and inspiring loyalty to a near cult like level. Players who enjoy roll play over point and shoot combat will find the class especially enticing. As master manipulators they can be anything from traveling merchants fleecing anyone them meet to religious leaders converting followers to their cult. Some may chose to put down roots in a particular town & build their kingdom around it, but most often Orators go where there destiny takes them.

Combat: Orators are not combat oriented in the traditional sense although when one does venture on to the battle field enemies tremble and allies rally behind them. They are commanders, combing the mass buffing ability of bards with the inspirational leadership of a paladin making any army they lead a formidable force.

Advancement: This class tends to stay pure bard although there are a few that favor sorcerer as they will already have the exceptional charisma score needed to be a powerful caster. A rare few Clerics or paladins may chose to splash a level of bard to take this class as it does have an element of faith to it.

Resources: Members of this class are quite solitary in regards to other orators. They rarely want to share the spotlight with anyone much less other orators. In the rare case when they do join forces such alliances are short lived as neither one is willing to concede authority to the other unless one is significantly more powerful than the other (4 or more levels in difference).

Endowed Orator's in the World[edit]

Orators are few and far between. Not everyone can ever achieve the inherent leaderships skills needed to be be one. Those that do manifest are commonly famous, becoming kings, warlords, or wealthy merchants. They are always eager to talk with you, especially when it comes to maters of business, politics, or religion & as masters of deception, they tend to be very acutely aware of when they are being taken for a ride.

NPC Reactions: NPC would either revere or fear this character, very rarely would they react neutrally.

Endowed Orator Lore[edit]

Little is known about orators outside the class but diligent research would reveal a few facts and tips.

Characters with ranks in Knowledge History can research the orator to learn more about their renown. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge History
DC Result
11 Orator's have the ability to manipulate emotions with there words.
16 Orator's can actually harm you with words.
21 It's rumored that they can actually turn your own friends against you.
26 Legend has it that they can kill you with a singe word.

Endowed Orator's in the Game[edit]

Adaptation: This class can easily be a PC if your game group is receptive to roll play but if your group would rather fight then talk, the orator would better serve as an antagonist.

Sample Encounter: Leader of a cult, Usurper to the king, Benefactor of a guild or city, General of an army.

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