Excerpts 01/07/2005


Complete Adventurer
By Jesse Decker



No player will want to be without the Complete Adventurer, the latest accessory for the D&D game that lets characters of any class get the most out of their skill ranks. Primarily a player resource, it looks at nearly every aspect of the D&D game with skills in mind, offering new combat options, new spells, new equipment, and new classes. DMs can also use this book as a resource for creating or optimizing single creatures or even entire campaign worlds. Our sneak peek includes a look at the spellthief character class, the Fochlucan lyrist prestige class, expanded skill descriptions, and new feats.

Chapter 2: Prestige Classes

Tyrea Neylia, a Fochlucan lyrist

This chapter presents a host of new prestige classes that provide skilled and often stealthy career choices for characters of every class. Spellcasters will find prestige classes that let them blend their spells and skills into deadly new abilities. Fighters and other combat-oriented characters will find ways to use their existing skills to improve their martial prowess. Rogues and other skill-focused characters will find ways to blend their already impressive abilities with those of other classes. Several of these prestige classes favor multiclass characters, accentuating the ideas of versatility and adventure that pervade this book.

Fochlucan Lyrist

Warrior, thief, spy, poet, woodland champion -- the Fochlucan lyrist is a legendary figure who serves as the herald and teacher to great kings, the champion of the common folk, and the keeper of lore long forgotten elsewhere. Only the best and brightest are invited to become Fochlucan lyrists, and those who eventually win the approval of the Fochlucan College's masters are remarkable individuals indeed, skilled in swordplay, magic, and diplomacy.

Those who aspire to join the Fochlucan College face a long and difficult road. The great bards who lead the school choose only individuals who have demonstrated skill at arms and stealth, learning and cleverness, superb talent with the lute and an ear for the stories of old. Finally, all applicants must first study the lore of the druids, learning the ways of growth and the hidden secrets of nature. Few indeed can stand up to the rigorous scrutiny of the Fochlucan masters.

Fochlucan lyrists adventure to gain information. They are spies and rumormongers, ever on the watch for news of events that may upset the balance they seek to preserve. A lyrist can serve as a diplomat, messenger, or assassin, as needed. The Fochlucans strongly believe in fostering the careers of other adventurers whose viewpoints align with their own, and many lyrists attach themselves to adventuring companies specifically for the purpose of guiding their comrades to oppose the right enemies and advance the interests of the Fochlucan College.

Adaptation: This class is a fusion of the druid and bard base classes. An interesting variation would be to adapt the class into a fusion of the druid and ranger base classes.

Hit Die: d6.

Fochlucan Bandore

In the same vein that most folk consider the Fochlucan College to be the most famous of the bardic colleges, the most well-known and most often encountered of all the famed instruments of the bards is the Fochlucan bandore. (This item and the other instruments of the bards are described in detail in Complete Arcane.)

This three-stringed masterwork lute grants a +2 circumstance bonus on Perform (string instruments) checks and a +1 competence bonus on bardic music checks for countersong, fascinate, and suggestion. The instrument can be played by anyone to produce light once per day. Any character with at least 2 ranks in Perform (string instruments) can use the bandore to cast flare, mending, and message each once per day.

Faint transmutation, faint evocation; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, flare, light, mending, message, creator must be a bard; Price 1,900 gp; Weight 3 lb.

Requirements

To qualify to become a Fochlucan lyrist, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Skills: Decipher Script 7 ranks, Diplomacy 7 ranks, Gather Information 7 ranks, Knowledge (nature) 7 ranks, Perform (string instruments) 13 ranks, Sleight of Hand 7 ranks, Speak Language (Druidic).

Alignment: Neutral good, neutral, chaotic neutral, or neutral evil.

Spells: Ability to cast 1st-level arcane and divine spells.

Special: Bardic knowledge and evasion abilities.

Class Skills

The Fochlucan lyrist's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (any) (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (n/a), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.

The Fochlucan College

Perhaps the most famous of the bardic colleges, the Fochlucan College serves as a beacon of learning and diplomacy in a dark and restless land. Many have accused the Fochlucan masters of fomenting intrigues among the nearby kingdoms and using their famed neutrality to conceal the real extent of their meddling and manipulation. By advising mighty rulers and undertaking the tutoring of royal heirs, the Fochlucan bards turn the fate of kingdoms with nothing more than quiet words and whispered secrets.

The Fochlucan College itself is located on the shores of the misty Loch Firrnen, a few miles from the town of Oakenway. The College is a rambling old stone building that resembles something between a minor lord's manor house and a decrepit old monastery. Green ivy covers its walls, and old lanterns hanging from its eaves warm its chill, misty nights with golden light.

No more than a handful of its collegians are present at any given time -- the strength of the organization lies in the learning and skill of its individual members, not in any muster of warriors. Members are welcome to stay as long as they like but are expected to contribute to the college's upkeep. The customary donation is 50 gp a month (for itinerant members) or 200 gp a month (for members living on the premises).

A small number of servants keep the College in order and prepare meals, but there are no guards or soldiers. Instead, its defense lies primarily in the reputation and influence of its members. Should trouble come anyway, the College is well defended by the handful of lyrists or guests who happen to be visiting at any given time. In case of serious trouble, the Fochlucans turn to the creatures of the surrounding forest. Through ancient pacts, the sylvan denizens of Loch Firrnen's forests are pledged to defend the bards' house against attack.

The College is governed by the Yew Circle, a small council composed of the five most senior Fochlucans currently enrolled in the order. All five are nominally equal, but if the Circle's opinion is divided on any important matter, the Eldest of the Circle -- the Fochlucan who has served the longest in the college -- decides the issue. Currently, the Eldest of Fochlucan is Yew Master Hurlich Stennarden, a half-elf who has belonged to the College for better than fifty years. The masters of the Yew Circle rarely meet, since they are not often at the College at the same time.

The Fochlucans are affiliated with several other bardic colleges in neighboring lands, including the College of Mac-Fuirmidh, the Doss School, and the High College of Anstruth, oldest and most knowledgeable of the colleges.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the Fochlucan lyrist prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Fochlucan lyrists gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Spells per Day/Spells Known: At each level, a Fochlucan lyrist gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if she had also gained a level in any one arcane spellcasting class and any one divine spellcasting class to which she belonged before adding the prestige class level. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If she had more than one arcane spellcasting class or divine spellcasting class before becoming a Fochlucan lyrist, she must decide to which class to add each Fochlucan lyrist level for the purpose of determining spells per day, spells known, and overall caster level.

For example, a 2nd-level rogue/5th-level bard/4th-level druid/3rd-level Fochlucan lyrist can cast arcane spells as an 8th-level bard and divine spells as a 7th-level druid.

Bardic Knowledge (Ex): A Fochlucan lyrist can attempt to recall some relevant piece of information about local notable people, legendary items, or noteworthy places. See the bard class feature, page 28 of the Player's Handbook. She adds her Fochlucan lyrist class level to her bardic knowledge checks, so her bardic knowledge checks have a bonus equal to her bard level + her Fochlucan lyrist level + her Int modifier.

Bardic Music: A Fochlucan lyrist adds her lyrist level to her bard level to determine the number of times per day she can use her bardic music, the bardic music abilities she can employ, and the power of those abilities. For example, a 2nd-level rogue/5th-level bard/4th-level druid/3rd-level Fochlucan lyrist can use her bardic music eight times per day, can use any bardic music ability an 8th-level bard could use (assuming she meets the Perform skill rank requirements), and is treated as an 8th-level bard for adjudicating the effects of those abilities (such as number of targets, save DC, and so forth).

Unbound: A Fochlucan lyrist's druid oaths are relaxed, allowing her to wear light metal armor with no loss of spellcasting, supernatural, or spell-like abilities. A lyrist also suffers no experience point penalty for multiclassing.

Table 2-10: The Fochlucan Lyrist

Level Base
Attack
Bonus
Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Special Spells per Day/Spells Known
1st 1 0 2 2 Bardic knowledge, bardic music, unbound +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class and +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
2nd +2 +0 +3 +3 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class and +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
3rd +3 +1 +3 +3 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class and +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
4th +4 +1 +4 +4 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class and +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
5th +5 +1 +4 +4 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class and +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
6th +6 +2 +5 +5 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class and +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
7th +7 +2 +5 +5 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class and +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
8th +8 +2 +6 +6 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class and +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
9th +9 +3 +6 +6 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class and +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
10th +10 +3 +7 +7 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class and +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

Sample Fochlucan Lyrist

Tyrea Neylis: Female half-elf rogue 2/bard 4/druid 4/Fochlucan lyrist 2; CR 12; Medium humanoid (elf); HD 8d6 plus 4d8 plus 3; hp 45; Init +1; Spd 30 ft.; AC 18, touch 12, flat-footed 17; Base Atk +9; Grp +8; Atk +10 melee (1d6, +1 spell storing quarterstaff); Full Atk +10/+5 melee (1d6, +1 spell storing quarterstaff); SA sneak attack +1d6, spells; SQ animal companion (dire weasel), animal companion benefits, bardic knowledge +7, bardic music 6/day (countersong, fascinate, inspire courage, inspire competence), evasion, half-elf traits, low-light vision, resist nature's lure, trackless step, trapfinding, wild empathy +7, woodland stride; AL NG; SV Fort +8, Ref +12, Will +16 (+18 against enchantments); Str 8, Dex 13, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 20, Cha 16.

Skills and Feats: Climb +6, Concentration +14, Decipher Script +10, Diplomacy +14, Gather Information +14, Hide +10, Knowledge (nature) +13, Listen +14, Move Silently +15, Perform (string instruments) +16, Search +2, Sleight of Hand +10, Spot +6, Survival +7; Eschew Materials, Green Ear[1], Scribe Scroll, Toughness, Weapon Focus (quarterstaff).

[1] New feat.

Languages: Common, Druidic, Elven, Sylvan.

Sneak Attack (Ex): Tyrea deals an extra 1d6 points of damage on any successful attack against flat-footed or flanked targets, or against a target that has been denied its Dexterity bonus for any reason. This damage also applies to ranged attacks against targets up to 30 feet away. Creatures with concealment, creatures without discernible anatomies, and creatures immune to extra damage from critical hits are all immune to sneak attacks. Tyrea can choose to deliver nonlethal damage with her sneak attack, but only when using a weapon designed for that purpose, such as a sap (blackjack).

Animal Companion (Ex): Tyrea has a dire weasel named Fanger as an animal companion (see Monster Manual, page 65). Its bonus trick is defend.

Animal Companion Benefits: Tyrea and Fanger enjoy the link and share spells special qualities.

Link (Ex): Tyrea can handle Fanger as a free action. She also gains a +4 circumstance bonus on all wild empathy checks and Handle Animal checks made regarding her dire weasel.

Share Spells (Ex): Tyrea can have any spell she casts on herself also affect Fanger if the latter is within 5 feet at the time. She can also cast a spell with a target of "You" on her animal companion.

Bardic Music: Use bardic music six times per day. See the bard class feature, page 29 of the Player's Handbook.

Countersong (Su): Use music or poetics to counter magical effects that depend on sound.

Fascinate (Sp): Use music or poetics to cause one or more creatures to become fascinated with her.

Inspire Competence (Su): Use music or poetics to help an ally succeed at a task.

Inspire Courage (Su): Use music or poetics to bolster her allies against fear and improve their combat abilities.

Evasion (Ex): If Tyrea is exposed to any effect that normally allows her to attempt a Reflex saving throw for half damage, she takes no damage with a successful saving throw.

Half-Elf Traits: Half-elves have immunity to magic sleep effects. For all effects related to race, a half-elf is considered an elf.

Resist Nature's Lure (Ex): Tyrea gains a +4 bonus on saving throws against the spell-like abilities of fey.

Trackless Step (Ex): Tyrea leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked.

Trapfinding (Ex): Tyrea can find, disarm, or bypass traps with a DC of 20 or higher. She can use the Search skill to find, and the Disable Device skill to disarm, magic traps (DC 25 + the level of the spell used to create it). If her Disable Device result exceeds the trap's DC by 10 or more, she discovers how to bypass the trap without triggering or disarming it.

Woodland Stride (Ex): Tyrea can move through natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain at her normal speed and without damage or other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that are magically manipulated to impede motion still affect her.

Bard Spells Known (3/4/3; caster level 6th): 0 -- dancing lights, daze (DC 13), ghost sound (DC 13), lullaby (DC 13), mage hand, summon instrument; 1st -- alarm, charm person (DC 14), disguise self, undetectable alignment; 2nd -- detect thoughts (DC 15), invisibility, mirror image.

Druid Spells Prepared (caster level 6th): 0 -- create water, cure minor wounds, detect magic, know direction, purify food and drink; 1st -- entangle (DC 16), longstrider, pass without trace, shillelagh, speak with animals; 2nd -- animal messenger, cat's grace, spider climb, tree shape; 3rd -- cure moderate wounds, sleet storm, speak with plants.

Possessions: +2 mithral chain shirt, ring of protection +1, +1 spell storing quarterstaff (poison), masterwork shortbow with 20 arrows, cloak of Charisma +2, periapt of Wisdom +2, boots of elvenkind, divine scroll of protection from energy, masterwork lyre, 27 gp.

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