Mythos Bardic Masterpieces

Bardic masterpieces are new options for bardic performance that any bard or skald can gain in place of a feat or a bard/skald spell known, provided he meets the prerequisites. Masterpiece descriptions adhere to the following guidelines. Bardic masterpieces first appeared in Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Magic.

Masterpiece Name: In addition to the name of the masterpiece, this line indicates which Perform skill or skills the masterpiece relies upon. A few of the masterpieces below have the option of relying on a Craft skill instead.

Prerequisites: Like feats, masterpieces have prerequisites that a bard must meet in order to learn them. Only bards may learn masterpieces.

Cost: Each masterpiece has an associated cost to learn it. Typically, a bard must forfeit one of his bard spells known of a specific spell level or select it in place of a feat. The bard can spend a bard spell known of a level higher than the listed level to learn a masterpiece (for example, spending a 4th-level spell known to learn a masterpiece that requires spending a 3rd-level spell known).

Effect: This brief description summarizes what occurs when a bard performs the masterpiece. Unless otherwise stated, a masterpiece's effects are supernatural. Unwilling creatures may attempt a Will save against the effect of a masterpiece; the save DC for masterpieces is equal to 10 + 1/2 the bard's level + the bard's Charisma bonus. Masterpieces that duplicate spells use the bard's caster level for the spell's caster level.

Use: This line specifies how many bardic performance rounds the bard must use to activate the masterpiece. In some cases, the bard can extend the duration of the masterpiece by expending additional rounds of bardic performance, just as if it were any other use of bardic performance. The bard expends the listed number of bardic performance rounds when he starts performing the masterpiece; if he is interrupted, the attempt fails and the spent performance rounds are lost.

Action: This line indicates the type of action performing the masterpiece requires. If it only requires a standard action to activate, being able to activate a bardic performance more quickly (at 7th level, activation is a move action, and at 13th, it becomes a swift action) applies to the masterpiece as well. Unless otherwise stated, effects or feats that extend the duration of bardic performance (such as the Lingering Performance feat) do not apply to masterpieces.


Chaos at the Heart of Everything (Dance, String, Wind)

You imitate the piping of Azathoth's court, those servitors of the Outer Gods that calm the Blind Idiot God.

Prerequisites: Perform (dance, string, or wind) 9 ranks.

Cost: Feat or 3rd-level bard spell known.

Effect: Your performance calms even hostile aberrations and extraplanar creatures within 90 feet. If a creature succeeds at its saving throw, it is immune to this performance by you for 24 hours. There must be no enemies other than you and your allies present.

Affected creatures are fascinated and do not attack you or your allies while you perform. The effect ends immediately upon any further hostile action against any of the targets. This is a mind-affecting compulsion effect. This performance has audible and visual components.

Use: 1 bardic performance round per round of fascination.

Action: 1 standard action.

Portrait of Perfect Likeness (Craft [painting], Dance, Wind)

You imitate an unearthly creature with uncanny clarity through your art.

Prerequisites: Craft (painting) 8 ranks or Perform (dance or wind) 8 ranks.

Cost: Feat or 3rd-level bard spell known.

Effect: You assume the form of an aberration. You must have seen that creature up close (a minimum of 30 feet). You are effectively disguised as that specific aberration. This performance otherwise functions as beast shape I except that you can still access your gear.

If your alignment differs from that of the aberration, you become shaken for as long as the performance lasts. This cannot make you frightened, but if your game uses the dread rules, it increases your dread by 1 stage, and your stage of dread can't decrease while you perform. If you have at least 10 ranks in a prerequisite skill, the spell improves to beast shape II. At 12 ranks, the spell improves to beast shape III. At 14 ranks, the spell improves to beast shape IV. This performance has audible and visual components.

Use: 1 bardic performance round per minute.

Action: 1 minute.

Semblance of the Key and the Gate (Craft [sculpture], Dance, String)

You evoke the unfathomable omnipresence of Yog- Sothoth through your art.

Prerequisites: Craft (sculpture) 17 ranks or Perform (dance or string) 17 ranks.

Cost: Feat or 6th-level bard spell known.

Effect: You open a gate as the spell, except it can reach alien planets on your plane of existence as well as other planes. You must provide an offering as normal for any creature called through it. This performance has visual or audible components, as appropriate for the skill.

Use: 1 bardic performance round per round.

Action: 24 hours.

Third Eye Masterpiece (Act, Craft [painting], Dance)

This performance is a bafflingly complex meditation on the infinite interconnections within and beyond the known universe, evoking images of horrific entities hidden in plain sight.

Prerequisites: Craft (sculpture) 9 ranks or Perform (dance or string) 9 ranks.

Cost: Feat or 3rd-level bard spell known.

Effect: You can see invisible creatures, including ethereal creatures (as see invisibility). In addition, if a creature is scrying upon or otherwise remotely viewing any location within 60 feet of you, you can also perceive a fleeting glimpse of that creature. This might incite dread, if the creature is a Great Old One or other apropriate entity, even if you can’t clearly identify it.

You can clearly glimpse these viewers (although not their surroundings) with a successful Perception check against DC 5 + viewer's caster level. You can identify a glimpsed viewer's plane of existence with a successful Knowledge (planes) check against DC 20. This performance has audible and visual components.

Use: 1 bardic performance round per minute.

Action: 1 standard action.


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