General Prestige Class : Sublime Chord

Music is not just a pleasant sound, it is also the expression of mathematical relationships fraught with significance. A member of the sublime chord prestige class sees music, even the powerful music of a skilled bard, as nothing more than a stepping-stone to true universal insight into the legendary song of creation heard at the dawn of time. Music and magic are actually one and the same, and an astute student who unravels the riddles of meter and pitch simultaneously reveals hidden secrets of great power.

All sublime chords must have some foundation in the bard's art, since bardic music is the first step in mastering the power of the First Song. However, music is only one tool for understanding the infinite; a sublime chord must also study mathematics and the precise movements of the stars and planets in which the music of the spheres is evident. In exchange for abandoning her continuing study of bardic music, a sublime chord instead masters a number of spells far more powerful than most bards can ever use. While most sublime chords receive the majority of their training as bards, a small number of sorcerers and wizards are drawn to this class, enticed by the notion of an ultimate truth linking the power of song and the power of magic.

Sublime chords are often drawn to colleges, universities, and other gatherings of learned folk. In some places, such as the Starry Lyceum in the city of Osterhaven, they gather in small circles of musical scholars. The Starry Lyceum is dedicated to the pursuit and preservation of knowledge, and its members are known for their efforts to recover lost secrets and prevent the fading of ancient songs and star-taught wisdom. Ostensibly neutral in the affairs of the world, the sublime chords of the Lyceum make their learning and lore available to all who seek it - a policy that often runs counter to those who would seek to govern or dominate other people by fostering ignorance.

NPC sublime chords are encountered in much the same variety of adventures and roles in which one finds NPC bards. They blur the line between bard and wizard, and are often mistaken for mages who wield mysterious song-based magic. As scholars without peer, NPC sublime chords are especially interested in recovering lost lore and exploring arcane mysteries, and they often join adventuring parties with similar interests.

Adaptation: The Starry Lyceum can serve as the focal point for the inclusion of this prestige class. However this organization is more than a group; it is really a way of life. Its members are scholars, bards, and mages in search of) fundamental truth and dedicated to the preservation of knowledge. In your campaign, you can easily substitute any similar college for the Starry Lyceum. For example, in the FORGOTTEN REALMS setting, the scribes of Candlekeep or the Vault of Sages in Silverymoon would serve quite well in place of the Lyceum for any sublime chord characters.


To qualify to become a Sublime Chord, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:

Class Skills

The sublime chord's class skills are Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Knowledge (all skills taken individually), Listen, Perform, Profession, Search, Speak Language, Spellcraft, and Spot.

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All the following are class features of the sublime chord prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Sublime chords gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

As with bard spells, the somatic components for a sublime chord's spells do not incur an arcane spell failure chance as normal for arcane spells if the sublime chord is wearing light armor.

Sublime Chord Spells Known

Spells per Day: A sublime chord has the ability to cast a small number of arcane spells, all of 4th level or higher. To cast a sublime chord spell, a character must have a Charisma score of at least 10 + the spell's level, so if she has a Charisma of 13 or lower, she cannot cast any sublime chord spells. Bonus spells are based on Charisma, and saving throws against these spells have a DC of 10 + spell level + the sublime chord's Cha modifier. A sublime chord can choose spells from the sorcerer/wizard spell list or the bard spell list; if a spell appears on both lists at different levels, she uses the bard version of the spell. A sublime chord's caster level for both her sublime chord spells and the spells she gains from other arcane spellcasting classes is determined by adding her sublime chord level to her level in another arcane spellcasting class. If she had more than one arcane spellcasting class before becoming a sublime chord, she must choose to which class to add her sublime chord levels for the purpose of determining her sublime chord spellcaster level. A sublime chord prepares and casts spells just as a sorcerer does, including the ability to replace a known sublime chord spell with a new spell at every even-numbered class level beginning at 4th.

Bardic Knowledge: A sublime chord continues to collect the odd bits of lore and knowledge that bards acquire. She can add her sublime chord class level to her bardic knowledge checks, so her bardic knowledge checks have a bonus equal to her bard level + her sublime chord level + her Int modifier.

Bardic Music: A sublime chord expands her repertoire of bardic music to encompass new songs or poetics of strange and wondrous power. These effects function just as the bardic music effects. Each use of a sublime chord song expends one daily use of the character's bardic music ability.

A sublime chord adds one-half her class level (rounded down) to her bard level to determine her number of daily uses of bardic music.

Song of Arcane Power (Sp): A sublime chord of 2nd level or higher with 12 or more ranks in a Perform skill learns how to use her bardic music to assist her spellcasting. As a move action, she can prepare to cast a spell by giving voice to the song of power. The next spell she casts gains a bonus to its caster level based on the result of the sublime chord's Perform check:

Perform Check ResultCaster Level Increase
9 or lower+0
10 to 19+1
20 to 29+2
30 or higher+4

The spell to be enhanced by the song of arcane power must be cast by the end of the sublime chord's next turn, or else the song fades with no effect (other than consuming a bardic music use).

Song of Timelessness (Sp): A sublime chord of 6th level or higher with 16 or more ranks in a Perform skill knows the song of timelessness. As a standard action, she can envelop a single creature within 60 feet in a field of timelessness, provided she has line of effect to the target. The subject is entitled to a Will save (DC 10 + sublime chord level + Cha modifier) to negate the effect.

If the subject fails its save, it is frozen in a shimmering aura of timelessness and can take no actions. However, no force can affect it - weapons cannot reach it, spells that target it automatically fail, and if the ground it is standing on is somehow taken away, it would not even begin to fall. A sublime chord can keep her target frozen in time for as long as she maintains the power by continuing to perform, up to a maximum of 1 minute per level. When she stops performing, the subject immediately returns to normal. As far as the creature is concerned, no time seems to have passed.

Song of Cosmic Fire (Sp): A 10th-level sublime chord with 20 or more ranks in a Perform skill learns the song of cosmic fire. Using this ability costs a sublime chord two of her daily uses of bardic music. The song of cosmic fire creates a 20-foot-radius spread of fire anywhere within 100 feet of the sublime chord (provided she has line of effect to the fire's point of origin). Creatures in the area take damage equal to the sublime chord's Perform check result. All affected creatures are entitled to a Reflex save (DC 10 + sublime chord level + Cha modifier) for half damage.

Seeker of the SongHit Die: d6
1st+0+0+0+2Bardic lore, bardic music21----
2nd+1+0+0+3Song of arcane power22----
6th+3+2+2+5Song of timelessness4332--
8th+4+2+2+6-4433 2-
9th+4+3+3+6-44432 1
10th+5+3+3+7Song of cosmic fire54433 2

Source: Complete Arcane

General Prestige Classes