Bard

Contents

Image used by permission of Yama Orce.

You are a master of artistry, a scholar of hidden secrets, and a captivating persuader. Using powerful performances, you influence minds and elevate souls to new levels of heroics. You might use your powers to become a charismatic leader, or perhaps you might instead be a counselor, manipulator, scholar, scoundrel, or virtuoso. While your versatility leads some to consider you a beguiling ne’er do- well and a jack-of-all-trades, it’s dangerous to dismiss you as a master of none.

Key Ability

Charisma. At 1st level, your class gives you an ability boost to Charisma.

Hit Points

8 plus your Constitution Modifier. You increase your maximum number of HP by this number at 1st level and every level thereafter.

Roleplaying the Bard

During combat encounters…

  • You use magical performances to alter the odds in favor of your allies. You confidently alternate between attacks, Healing, and helpful spells as needed.

During social encounters…

  • You persuade, prevaricate, and threaten with ease.

While exploring…

  • You’re a font of knowledge, folktales, legends, and lore that provide a deeper context and helpful reconnaissance for the group’s adventure. Your spells and performances inspire your allies to greater discovery and success.

In downtime…

  • You can earn money and prestige with your performances, gaining a name for yourself and acquiring patrons. Eventually, tales of your talents and triumphs might attract other bards to study your techniques in a bardic college.

You Might…

  • Have a passion for your art so strong that you forge a spiritual connection with it.
  • Take point when tact and nonviolent solutions are required.
  • Follow your muse, whether it’s a mysterious fey creature, a philosophical concept, a psychic force, or a deity of art or music, and with its aid learn secret lore that few others have.

Others Probably…

  • Relish the opportunity to invite you to social events, either as a performer or a guest, but consider you to be something of a curiosity in their social circles.
  • Underestimate you compared to other spellcasters, believing you are little more than a foppish minstrel and overlooking the subtle power of your magic.
  • Respond favorably to your social charm and abilities, but remain suspicious of your beguiling magic.

Initial Proficiencies

At 1st level, you gain the listed proficiency ranks in the following statistics. You are untrained in anything not listed unless you gain a better proficiency rank in some other way.

Perception

Expert in Perception

Saving Throws

Trained in Fortitude

Trained in Reflex

Expert in Will

Skills

Trained in Occultism

Trained in Performance

Trained in a number of additional skills equal to 4 plus your Intelligence modifier

Attacks

Trained in simple weapons

Trained in the longsword, rapier, sap, shortbow, shortsword, and whip

Trained in unarmed attacks

Defenses

Trained in light armor and unarmored defense

Spells

Trained in occult spell attacks

Trained in occult spell DCs

Table 3–5:Bard Advancement
Level Class Features
1 Ancestry and background, initial proficiencies, occult spellcasting, spell repertoire, composition spells, muse
2 Bard feat, skill feat
3 2nd-level spells, general feat, lightning reflexes, signature spells, skill increase
4 Bard feat, skill feat
5 3rd-level spells, ability boosts, ancestry feat, skill increase
6 Bard feat, skill feat
7 4th-level spells, expert spellcaster, general feat, skill increase
8 Bard feat, skill feat
9 5th-level spells, ancestry feat, great fortitude, resolve, skill increase
10 Ability boosts, bard feat, skill feat
11 6th-level spells, bard weapon expertise, general feat, skill increase, vigilant senses
12 Bard feat, skill feat
13 7th-level spells, ancestry feat, light armor expertise, skill increase, weapon specialization
14 Bard feat, skill feat
15 8th-level spells, ability boosts, general feat, master spellcaster, skill increase
16 Bard feat, skill feat
17 9th-level spells, ancestry feat, greater resolve, skill increase
18 Bard feat, skill feat
19 General feat, legendary spellcaster, magnum opus, skill increase
20 Ability boosts, bard feat, skill feat

Class Features

You gain these abilities as a bard. Abilities gained at higher levels list the requisite levels next to the features’ names.

Ancestry and Background

In addition to the abilities provided by your class at 1st level, you have the benefits of your selected ancestry and background.

Initial Proficiencies

At 1st level you gain a number of proficiencies, representing your basic training. These are noted at the start of this class.

Occult Spellcasting

You draw upon magic from esoteric knowledge. You can cast occult spells using the Cast a Spell activity, and you can supply material, somatic, and verbal components when casting spells (see Casting Spells). Because you’re a bard, you can usually play an instrument for spells requiring somatic or material components, as long as it takes at least one of your hands to do so. If you use an instrument, you don’t need a spell component pouch or another hand free. You can usually also play an instrument for spells requiring verbal components, instead of speaking.

Each day, you can cast up to two 1st-level spells. You must know spells to cast them, and you learn them via the spell repertoire class feature. The number of spells you can cast each day is called your spell slots.

As you increase in level as a bard, your number of spells per day increases, as does the highest level of spells you can cast, as shown on Table 3–6: Bard Spells per Day.

Some of your spells require you to attempt a spell attack roll to see how effective they are, or have your enemies roll against your spell DC (typically by attempting a saving throw). Since your key ability is Charisma, your spell attack rolls and spell DCs use your Charisma modifier.

Heightening Spells

When you get spell slots of 2nd level and higher, you can fill those slots with stronger versions of lower-level spells. This increases the spell’s level to match the spell slot. You must have a spell in your spell repertoire at the level you want to cast in order to heighten it to that level. Many spells have specific improvements when they are heightened to certain levels. The signature spells class feature lets you heighten certain spells freely.

Cantrips

Some of your spells are cantrips. A cantrip is a special type of spell that doesn’t use spell slots. You can cast a cantrip at will, any number of times per day. A cantrip is automatically heightened to half your level rounded up, which equals the highest level of spell you can cast as a bard. For example, as a 1st-level bard, your cantrips are 1st-level spells, and as a 5th-level bard, your cantrips are 3rd-level spells.

Spell Repertoire

The collection of spells you can cast is called your spell repertoire. At 1st level, you learn two 1st-level occult spells of your choice and five occult cantrips of your choice. You choose these from the common spells from the occult list or from other occult spells to which you have access. You can cast any spell in your spell repertoire by using a spell slot of an appropriate spell level.

You add to this spell repertoire as you increase in level.

Each time you get a spell slot (see Table 3–6), you add a spell to your spell repertoire of the same level. At 2nd level, you select another 1st-level spell; at 3rd level, you select two 2nd-level spells, and so on. When you add spells, you might add a higher-level version of a spell you already have, so you can cast a heightened version of that spell.

Though you gain them at the same rate, your spell slots and the spells in your spell repertoire are separate. If a feat or other ability adds a spell to your spell repertoire, it wouldn’t give you another spell slot, and vice versa.

Swapping Spells in Your Repertoire

As you gain new spells in your repertoire, you might want to replace some of the spells you previously learned.

Each time you gain a level and learn new spells, you can swap out one of your old spells for a different spell of the same level. This spell can be a cantrip. You can also swap out spells by retraining during downtime.

Composition Spells

You can infuse your performances with magic to create unique effects called compositions. Compositions are a special type of spell that often require you to use the Performance skill when casting them. Composition spells are a type of focus spell. It costs 1 Focus Point to cast a focus spell, and you start with a focus pool of 1 Focus Point. You refill your focus pool during your daily preparations, and you can regain 1 Focus Point by spending 10 minutes using the Refocus activity to perform, write a new composition, or otherwise engage your muse.

Focus spells are automatically heightened to half your level rounded up, much like cantrips. Focus spells don’t require spell slots, and you can’t cast them using spell slots. Taking feats can give you more focus spells and increase the size of your focus pool, though your focus pool can never hold more than 3 Focus Points.

You learn the counter performance composition spell, protecting against auditory and visual effects.

Composition Cantrips

Some of your spells are cantrips. A cantrip is a special type of spell that doesn’t use spell slots. You can cast a cantrip at will, any number of times per day. A cantrip is automatically heightened to half your level rounded up, which equals the highest level of spell you can cast as a bard. For example, as a 1st-level bard, your cantrips are 1st-level spells, and as a 5th-level bard, your cantrips are 3rd-level spells.

Composition cantrips are special composition spells that don’t cost Focus Points, so you can use them as often as you like. Composition cantrips are in addition to the cantrips you choose from the occult list. Generally, only feats can give you more composition cantrips. Unlike other cantrips, you can’t swap out composition cantrips gained from bard feats at a later level, unless you swap out the specific feat via retraining.

You learn the inspire courage composition cantrip, which boosts your allies’ attacks, damage, and defense against fear.

Muses

As a bard, you select one muse at 1st level. This muse leads you to great things, and might be a physical creature, a deity, a philosophy, or a captivating mystery.

Enigma

Your muse is a mystery, driving you to uncover the hidden secrets of the multiverse. If your muse is a creature, it might be a dragon or otherworldly being; if a deity, it might be The God of Enlightenment, Self-Perfection, Knowledge, Healing, and Inner Strength or God of Magic and Knowledge. You gain the Bardic Lore feat and add true strike to your spell repertoire.

Maestro

Your muse is a virtuoso, inspiring you to greater heights.

If it’s a creature, it might be a performance-loving creature such as a choral angel or lillend azata; if a deity, it might be a god or goddess of art, beauty, love, or music. As a bard with a maestro muse, you are an inspiration to your allies and confident of your musical and oratorical abilities. You gain the Lingering Composition feat and add soothe to your spell repertoire.

Polymath

Your muse is a jack of all trades, flitting between skills and pursuits. If it’s is a creature, it might be an eclectic creature like a fey; if a deity, it might be god or goddess of fortune or lust or revenge. As a bard with a polymath muse, you are interested in a wide array of topics but rarely dedicated to any one, and you rarely make up your mind—you want to try everything. You gain the Versatile Performance feat and add unseen servant to your spell repertoire.

Bard Feats 2nd

At 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter, you gain a bard class feat.

Skill Feats 2nd

At 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter, you gain a skill feat. Skill feats have the skill trait. You must be trained or better in the corresponding skill to select a skill feat.

General Feats 3rd

At 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter, you gain a general feat.

Lightning Reflexes 3rd

Your reflexes are Lightning fast. Your proficiency rank in Reflex saves increases to expert.

Signature Spells 3rd

Experience allows you to cast some spells more flexibly.

For each spell level you have access to, choose one spell of that level to be a signature spell. You don’t need to learn heightened versions of signature spells separately; instead, you can heighten these spells freely. If you’ve learned a signature spell at a higher level than its minimum, you can also cast all its lower-level versions without learning those separately. If you swap out a signature spell, you can choose a replacement signature spell of the same spell level at which you learned the previous spell. You can also retrain specifically to change a signature spell to a different spell of that level without swapping any spells; this takes as much time as retraining a spell normally does.

Skill Increases 3rd

At 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter, you gain a skill increase. You can use this increase either to increase your proficiency rank to trained in one skill you’re untrained in, or to increase your proficiency rank in one skill in which you’re already trained to expert.

At 7th level, you can use skill increases to increase your proficiency rank to master in a skill in which you’re already an expert, and at 15th level, you can use them to increase your proficiency rank to legendary in a skill in which you’re already a master.

Ability Boosts 5th

At 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter, you boost four different ability scores. You can use these ability boosts to increase your ability scores above 18. Boosting an ability score increases it by 1 if it’s already 18 or above, or by 2 if it starts out below 18.

Ancestry Feats 5th

In addition to the ancestry feat you started with, you gain an ancestry feat at 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter.

The list of feats is in your ancestry’s entry.

Expert Spellcaster 7th

Your proficiency ranks for occult spell attack rolls and spell DCs increase to expert.

Table 3–6: Bard Spells Per Day
Your Level Spell Level
Cantrips 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
1 5 2
2 5 3
3 5 3 2
4 5 3 3
5 5 3 3 2
6 5 3 3 3
7 5 3 3 3 2
8 5 3 3 3 3
9 5 3 3 3 3 2
10 5 3 3 3 3 3
11 5 3 3 3 3 3 2
12 5 3 3 3 3 3 3
13 5 3 3 3 3 3 3 2
14 5 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
15 5 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2
16 5 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
17 5 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2
18 5 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
19 5 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 1*
20 5 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 1*

* The magnum opus class feature gives you a 10th-level spell slot that works a bit differently from other spell slots.

Great Fortitude 9th

Your physique is incredibly hardy. Your proficiency rank for Fortitude saves increases to expert.

Resolve 9th

You’ve steeled your mind with resolve. Your proficiency rank for Will saves increases to master. When you roll a success at a Will save, you get a critical success instead.

Bard Weapon Expertise 11th

You have become thoroughly adept with bardic weapons.

You gain expert proficiency in simple weapons, plus the longsword, rapier, sap, shortbow, shortsword, and whip.

When you critically succeed at an attack roll using one of these weapons, or with an unarmed attack, while one of your compositions is active, you apply the critical specialization effect for that weapon.

Vigilant Senses 11th

Through your adventures, you’ve developed keen awareness and attention to detail. Your proficiency rank for Perception increases to master.

Light Armor Expertise 13th

You’ve learned how to dodge while wearing light or no armor. Your proficiency ranks for light armor and unarmored defense increase to expert.

Weapon Specialization 13th

You’ve learned how to inflict greater injuries with the weapons you know best. You deal 2 additional damage with weapons and unarmed attacks in which you are an expert. This damage increases to 3 damage if you’re a master, and 4 damage if you’re legendary.

Master Spellcaster 15th

You’ve mastered the occult. Your proficiency ranks for occult spell attack rolls and spell DCs increase to master.

Greater Resolve 17th

Your unbelievable training grants you mental resiliency.

Your proficiency rank for Will saves increases to legendary. When you roll a success at a Will save, you get a critical success. When you roll a critical failure at a Will save, you get a failure instead. When you fail a Will save against a damaging effect, you take half damage.

Magnum Opus 19th

You have tuned your spellcasting to the highest caliber.

Add two common 10th-level occult spells to your repertoire. You gain a single 10th-level spell slot you can use to cast one of those two spells using bard spellcasting.

You don’t gain more 10th-level spells as you level up, unlike other spell slots, and you can’t use 10th-level slots with abilities that give you more spell slots or that let you cast spells without expending spell slots.

Legendary Spellcaster 19th

Your command of occult magic is the stuff of legends.

Your proficiency ranks for occult spell attack rolls and spell DCs increase to legendary.

Bard Feats

At every level that you gain a bard feat, you can select one of the following feats. You must satisfy any prerequisites before selecting the feat.

If you need to look up a bard feat by name instead of by level, use this table.

Feat Level
Allegro 14
Bardic Lore 1
Cantrip Expansion 2
Deep Lore 18
Dirge of Doom 6
Eclectic Polymath 12
Eclectic Skill 8
Effortless Concentration 16
Esoteric Polymath 2
Eternal Composition 18
Fatal Aria 20
Harmonize 6
House of Imaginary Walls 10
Impossible Polymath 18
Inspire Competence 2
Inspire Defense 4
Inspire Heroics 8
Inspirational Focus 12
Know-It-All 8
Lingering Composition 1
Loremaster’s Etude 2
Melodious Spell 4
Multifarious Muse 2
Perfect Encore 20
Quickened Casting 10
Reach Spell 1
Soothing Ballad 14
Steady Spellcasting 6
Studious Capacity 16
Symphony of the Muse 20
Triple Time 4
True Hypercognition 14
Unusual Composition 10
Versatile Performance 1
Versatile Signature 4

1st Level


Bardic Lore Feat 1

Prerequisite(s) enigma muse

Your studies make you informed on every subject. You are trained in Bardic Lore, a special Lore skill that can be used only to Recall Knowledge, but on any topic. If you have legendary proficiency in Occultism, you gain expert proficiency in Bardic Lore, but you can’t increase your proficiency rank in Bardic Lore by any other means.

Lingering Composition Feat 1

Prerequisite(s) maestro muse, focus pool

By adding a flourish, you make your compositions last longer.

You learn the lingering composition focus spell.

Increase the number of Focus Points in your focus pool by 1.

Reach Spell [one-action] Feat 1

Bard Concentrate Metamagic

You can extend your spells’ range. If the next action you use is to Cast a Spell that has a range, increase that spell’s range by 30 feet. As is standard for increasing spell ranges, if the spell normally has a range of touch, you extend its range to 30 feet.

Versatile Performance Feat 1

Prerequisite(s) polymath muse

You can rely on the grandeur of your performances rather than ordinary social skills.

You can use Performance instead of Diplomacy to Make an Impression and instead of Intimidation to Demoralize. You can also use an acting Performance instead of Deception to Impersonate. You can use your proficiency rank in Performance to meet the requirements of skill feats that require a particular rank in Deception, Diplomacy, or Intimidation.

2nd Level


Cantrip Expansion Feat 2

Study broadens your range of simple spells. Add two additional cantrips from your spell list to your repertoire.

Esoteric Polymath Feat 2

Prerequisite(s) polymath muse

You keep a book of occult spells, similar to a wizard’s spellbook, and can use its spells to supplement your spell repertoire. Add all the spells in your repertoire to this book for free.

You can use the Occultism skill to Learn Spells and add them to your spellbook by paying the appropriate cost, similar to a wizard.

During your daily preparations, choose any one spell from your book of occult spells. If that spell is already in your spell repertoire, you can treat it as an additional signature spell that day. If it isn’t in your repertoire, treat it as though it were until your next daily preparations.

Inspire Competence Feat 2

Prerequisite(s) maestro muse

You learn the inspire competence composition cantrip, which aids your allies’ skills.

Loremaster’s Etude Feat 2

Bard Fortune

Prerequisite(s) enigma muse, focus pool

You magically unlock memories, making them easier to recall. You learn the loremaster’s etude composition spell. Increase the number of Focus Points in your focus pool by 1.

Multifarious Muse Feat 2

Bard

Your muse doesn’t fall into a single label. Choose a type of muse other than that of your own. You gain a 1st-level feat that requires that muse, and your muse is now also a muse of that type, allowing you to take feats with the other muse as a prerequisite. You don’t gain any of the other effects of the muse you chose.

Special You can take this feat multiple times. Each time you do, you must choose a different type of muse other than that of your own.

4th Level


Inspire Defense Feat 4

Prerequisite(s) maestro muse

You learn the inspire defense composition cantrip, which protects you and allies.

Melodious Spell [one-action] Feat 4

Bard Concentrate Manipulate Metamagic

You subtly weave your spellcasting into your performance.

If the next action you take is to Cast a Spell, attempt a Performance check against all observers’ Perception DCs. If your Performance check is successful against an observer’s Perception DC, that observer doesn’t notice that you are Casting a Spell, even though normally spells have sensory manifestations that would make spellcasting obvious to those around you, and verbal, somatic, and material components are extremely overt. You hide all of these as part of an ordinary performance.

This hides only the spell’s spellcasting actions and manifestations, not its effects, so an observer might still see a ray streak out from you or see you vanish.

Triple Time Feat 4

Bard

You learn the triple time composition cantrip, which speeds up you and your allies for a round.

Versatile Signature Feat 4

Prerequisite(s) polymath muse

While most bards are known for certain signature performances and spells, you’re always tweaking your available repertoire. When you make your daily preparations, you can change one of your signature spells to a different spell of that level from your repertoire.

6th Level


Dirge of Doom Feat 6

Bard

You learn the dirge of doom composition cantrip, which frightens your enemies.

Harmonize [one-action] Feat 6

Bard Concentrate Manipulate Metamagic

Prerequisite(s) maestro muse

You can perform multiple compositions simultaneously. If your next action is to cast a composition, it becomes a harmonized composition. Unlike a normal composition, a harmonized composition doesn’t end if you cast another composition, and you can cast another composition on the same turn as a harmonized one. Casting another harmonized composition ends any harmonized composition you have in effect.

Steady Spellcasting Feat 6

Bard

You don’t lose spells easily. If a reaction would disrupt your spellcasting action, attempt a DC 15 flat check. If you succeed, your action isn’t disrupted.

8th Level


Eclectic Skill Feat 8

Prerequisite(s) polymath muse, master in Occultism

Your broad experiences translate to a range of skills. You add your level to all skill checks in which you are untrained. You can attempt any skill check that normally requires you to be trained, even if you are untrained. If you have legendary proficiency in Occultism, you can attempt any skill check that normally requires you to have expert proficiency, even if untrained or trained.

Inspire Heroics Feat 8

Prerequisite(s) maestro muse, focus pool

Your performances inspire even greater deeds in your allies.

You learn the inspire heroics metamagic focus spell.

Increase the number of Focus Points in your focus pool by 1.

Know-It-All Feat 8

Prerequisite(s) enigma muse

When you succeed at a Knowledge check, you gain additional information or context. When you critically succeed at a Knowledge check, at the GM’s discretion you might gain even more additional information or context than normal.

10th Level


House of Imaginary Walls Feat 10

You erect an imaginary barrier others believe to be real. You learn the house of imaginary walls composition cantrip.

Quickened Casting [free-action] Feat 10

Bard Concentrate Metamagic

Frequency once per day

If your next action is to cast a bard cantrip or a bard spell that is at least 2 levels lower than the highest level bard spell you can cast, reduce the number of actions to cast it by 1 (minimum 1 action).

Unusual Composition [one-action] Feat 10

Bard Concentrate Manipulate Metamagic

Prerequisite(s) polymath muse

You can translate the emotion and power of a composition to other mediums. If your next action is to cast a composition spell, you can use a different kind of performance than usual for the composition to change any of its somatic components to verbal components or vice versa. As usual for composition spells, this changes whether the composition is auditory or visual.

12th Level


Eclectic Polymath Feat 12

Prerequisite(s) Esoteric Polymath

Your flexible mind can quickly shift spells. If you add a spell to your repertoire during your daily preparations using Esoteric Polymath, when you prepare again, you can choose to keep the new spell from Esoteric Polymath in your repertoire and instead lose access to another spell of the same level in your repertoire.

Inspirational Focus Feat 12

Your connection to your muse has granted you unusual focus.

If you have spent at least 2 Focus Points since the last time you Refocused, you recover 2 Focus Points when you Refocus instead of 1.

14th Level


Allegro Feat 14

Bard

You can quicken your allies with a fast-paced performance.

You learn the allegro composition cantrip.

Soothing Ballad Feat 14

Prerequisite(s) focus pool

You soothe your allies’ wounds with the power of your performance. You learn the soothing ballad composition spell. Increase the number of Focus Points in your focus pool by 1.

True Hypercognition [one-action] Feat 14

Prerequisite(s) enigma muse

Your mind works at an incredible pace. You instantly use up to five Recall Knowledge actions. If you have any special abilities or free actions that would normally be triggered when you Recall Knowledge, you can’t use them for these actions.

16th Level


Effortless Concentration [free-action] Feat 16

Requirement(s) You haven’t acted yet on your turn.

You can maintain a spell with hardly a thought. You immediately gain the effects of a Sustain a Spell action, allowing you to extend the duration of one of your active bard spells.

Studious Capacity Feat 16

Prerequisite(s) enigma muse, legendary in Occultism

Your continued study of occult magic has increased your magical capacity, allowing you to cast spells even when it seems impossible. You can cast one spell each day even after you’ve run out of spell slots of the appropriate spell level, but you can’t use this ability to cast a spell of your highest spell level.

18th Level


Deep Lore Feat 18

Prerequisite(s) enigma muse, legendary in Occultism

Your repertoire is vast, containing far more spells than usual.

Add one spell to your repertoire of each level you can cast.

Eternal Composition Feat 18

Prerequisite(s) maestro muse

The world is a stage upon which you are always playing. You are permanently quickened; you can use your extra action only to cast a composition cantrip that requires 1 action to cast. While in exploration mode, you can declare that you are performing an eligible composition cantrip while using any exploration tactic. Even before your first turn in a combat encounter, that cantrip is active as if you had cast it on your previous turn.

Impossible Polymath Feat 18

Prerequisite(s) trained in Arcana, Nature, or Religion, Esoteric Polymath

Your esoteric formulas are so unusual that they allow you to dabble in magic from diverse traditions that other bards don’t understand. As long as you’re trained in Arcana, you can add arcane spells to your book from Esoteric Polymath; as long as you’re trained in Nature, you can add primal spells to your book; and as long as you are trained in Religion, you can add divine spells to your book.

Like your other spells in your book, you can add one of these spells from another tradition to your repertoire as an occult spell each day using Esoteric Polymath, but you can’t retain any spells from another tradition when you prepare again, even if you have Eclectic Polymath.

20th Level


Fatal Aria Feat 20

Prerequisite(s) focus pool

Your songs overwhelm the target with unbearable emotion, potentially Striking them dead on the spot. You learn the fatal aria composition spell. Increase the number of Focus Points in your focus pool by 1.

Perfect Encore Feat 20

Prerequisite(s) magnum opus

You develop another incredible creation. You gain an additional 10th-level spell slot.

Symphony of the Muse Feat 20

Prerequisite(s) Harmonize

You are able to weave countless performances together into a solo symphony. You are no longer limited to a single composition each turn or a single composition at a time; when you use a new composition, all previous compositions’ effects continue for their remaining duration.

Bard Composition Spells

Bards can gain the following composition spells. This section also includes their composition cantrips.

Allegro Cantrip 7

Uncommon Bard Cantrip Composition Emotion Enchantment Mental

Cast [one-action] verbal

Range 30 feet; Targets 1 ally; Duration 1 round


You perform rapidly, speeding up your ally. The ally becomes quickened and can use the additional action to Strike, Stride, or Step.

Counter Performance Focus 1

Uncommon Bard Composition Enchantment Fortune Mental

Cast [reaction] somatic or verbal

Trigger You or an ally within 60 feet rolls a saving throw against an auditory or visual effect.

Area 60-foot emanation


Your performance protects you and your allies. Roll a Performance check for a type you know: an auditory performance if the trigger was auditory, or a visual one for a visual trigger. You and allies in the area can use the better result between your Performance check and the saving throw.

Dirge of Doom Cantrip 3

Uncommon Bard Cantrip Composition Emotion Enchantment Fear Mental

Cast [one-action] verbal

Area 30-foot emanation; Duration 1 round


Foes within the area are frightened 1. They can’t reduce their frightened value below 1 while they remain in the area.

Fatal Aria Focus 10

Uncommon Bard Composition Death Emotion Enchantment Mental

Cast [one-action] verbal

Range 30 feet; Targets 1 creature


You perform music so perfect that the target may die of joy or sorrow. Once targeted, the creature becomes temporarily immune for 1 minute. The effect of the spell depends on the target’s level and current Hit Points.

16th or Lower The target dies instantly.

17th If the target has 50 Hit Points or fewer, it dies instantly; otherwise, it drops to 0 Hit Points and becomes dying 1.

18th or Higher The target takes 50 damage. If this brings it to 0 Hit Points, it dies instantly.

House of Imaginary Walls Cantrip 5

Uncommon Bard Cantrip Composition Illusion Visual

Cast [one-action] somatic

Range touch; Duration 1 round


You mime creating an invisible 10-foot-by-10-foot stretch of wall adjacent to you and within your reach. The wall is solid to those creatures that don’t disbelieve it, even incorporeal creatures. You and your allies can voluntarily believe the wall exists to continue to treat it as solid, for instance to climb onto it. A creature that disbelieves the illusion is temporarily immune to your house of imaginary walls for 1 minute. The wall doesn’t block creatures that didn’t see your visual performance, nor does it block objects. The wall has AC 10, Hardness equal to double the spell’s level, and HP equal to quadruple the spell’s level.

Inspire Competence Cantrip 1

Uncommon Bard Cantrip Composition Emotion Enchantment Mental

Cast [one-action] verbal

Range 60 feet; Targets 1 ally; Duration 1 round


Your encouragement inspires your ally to succeed at a task.

This counts as having taken sufficient preparatory actions to Aid your ally on a skill check of your choice, regardless of the circumstances. When you later use the Aid reaction, you can roll Performance instead of the normal skill check, and if you roll a failure, you get a success instead. If you are legendary in Performance, you automatically critically succeed.

The GM might rule that you can’t use this ability if the act of encouraging your ally would interfere with the skill check (such as a check to Sneak quietly or maintain a disguise).

Inspire Courage Cantrip 1

Uncommon Bard Cantrip Composition Emotion Enchantment Mental

Cast [one-action] verbal

Area 60-foot emanation; Duration 1 round


You inspire your allies with words or tunes of encouragement.

You and all allies in the area gain a +1 status bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls, and saves against fear effects.

Inspire Defense Cantrip 2

Uncommon Bard Cantrip Composition Emotion Enchantment Mental

Cast [one-action] verbal

Area 60-foot emanation; Duration 1 round

You inspire your allies to protect themselves more effectively.

You and all allies in the area gain a +1 status bonus to AC and saving throws, as well as resistance equal to half the spell’s level to physical damage.

Inspire Heroics Focus 4

Uncommon Bard Enchantment

Cast [free-action] verbal


You call upon your muse to greatly increase the benefits you provide to your allies with your inspire courage or inspire defense composition. If your next action is to cast inspire courage or inspire defense, attempt a Performance check.

The DC is usually a very hard DC of a level equal to that of the highest-level target of your composition, but the GM can assign a different DC based on the circumstances. The effect of your inspire courage or inspire defense composition depends on the result of your check.

Critical Success The status bonus from your inspire courage or inspire defense increases to +3.

Success The status bonus from inspire courage or inspire defense increases to +2.

Failure Your inspire courage or inspire defense provides only its normal bonus of +1, but you don’t spend the Focus Point for casting this spell.

Lingering Composition Focus 1

Uncommon Bard Enchantment

Cast [free-action] verbal


You add a flourish to your composition to extend its benefits.

If your next action is to cast a cantrip composition with a duration of 1 round, attempt a Performance check. The DC is usually a standard-difficulty DC of a level equal to the highest-level target of your composition, but the GM can assign a different DC based on the circumstances. The effect depends on the result of your check.

Critical Success The composition lasts 4 rounds.

Success The composition lasts 3 rounds.

Failure The composition lasts 1 round, but you don’t spend the Focus Point for casting this spell.

Loremaster’s Etude Focus 1

Uncommon Bard Divination Fortune

Cast [free-action] somatic

Trigger You or an ally within range attempts a skill check to Recall Knowledge

Range 30 feet; Targets you or the triggering ally


You call upon your muse’s deep mysteries, granting the target a greater ability to think and recall information. Roll the triggering Recall Knowledge skill check twice and use the better result.

Soothing Ballad Focus 7

Uncommon Bard Composition Emotion Enchantment Healing Mental

Cast [two-actions] somatic, verbal

Range 30 feet; Targets you and up to 9 allies


You draw upon your muse to soothe your allies. Choose one of the following three effects:

  • The spell attempts to counteract fear effects on the targets.
  • The spell attempts to counteract effects imposing paralysis on the targets.
  • The spell restores 7d8 Hit Points to the targets.

Heightened (+1) When used to heal, soothing ballad restores 1d8 more Hit Points.

Triple Time Cantrip 2

Uncommon Bard Cantrip Composition Emotion Enchantment Mental

Cast [one-action] somatic

Area 60-foot emanation; Duration 1 round


You dance at a lively tempo, speeding your allies’ movement.

You and all allies in the area gain a +10-foot status bonus to all Speeds for 1 round.

Section 15: Copyright Notice
Pathfinder Core Rulebook (Second Edition) © 2019, Paizo Inc.; Designers: Logan Bonner, Jason Bulmahn, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, and Mark Seifter.