It’s Music Week, and that pretty much means it’s time for bards. I knew that for today’s Obscure Arcana I was going to want to do something with bardic music, but I couldn’t decide what. Perhaps something that altered the way your performance worked? Or maybe something that enhanced your performance? What if it just used your daily rounds of performance as a resource, so it could have more powerful effects?
In the end…I couldn’t decide. So I decided to do them all, and then some. In theory, each of the spells below could probably serve as a template for at least half a dozen spells, using the same or similar mechanics, but this time I thought a sampler platter would be better. Who knows, though, you might see more of these in the future.
You magically alter your own performance, causing it to manifest in an unusual way. Alter performance is cast as a free action as part of initiating a bardic performance, and modifies that performance. You choose whether the performance will have an audible component, a visual component, or both. In the case of a performance that is normally audible becoming visual, the spell creates fanciful colors or images, “translating” the sound into a visual effect. Similarly, a performance that is normally visual is made audible by magically creating noise. All of the normal rules for the new type of component the performance is using apply (for example, if the spell is used to make a performance have an audible component, the target must be able to hear it, and if the bard is deaf, there is a 20% chance of failure, etc.). All other aspects of the performance remain the same.
With this spell, you can augment your inspire courage bardic performance ability. The spell is cast as a free action made as part of the inspire courage ability. If the performance is using audible components, the spell has a verbal component. If the performance is using visual components, the spell has a somatic component. The bonuses granted by that use of the inspire courage ability are increased by +1. This increase to the bonus lasts until you fail to maintain the performance or until the spell’s duration ends, whichever comes first.
This spell uses magic to blend two separate performances into one. While this spell is in effect, you can maintain up to two bardic performance abilities at a time. You must still activate those performances, and each performance uses up one daily round of your bardic performance ability (so if you have two bardic performances activated at the same time, you use two rounds of performance each round).
The two bardic performance abilities must be different (for example, you can use inspire courage and countersong at the same time, but not two separate instances of inspire courage), and they do not stack with each other. You can end one of the two performances, or both of them, and start new performances without ending the spell’s effect. Maintaining both songs requires a move action, instead of a free action (although if you choose to maintain only one of the songs, and let the other lapse, you need use only a free action, as normal).
When the spell’s effect ends, if you are currently maintaining two bardic performance abilities, you may choose one to continue maintaining. Otherwise, they both end immediately.
This spell fills your mind with images of the most glorious triumphs, tragic losses, undeniable passions, and other great moments and subjects of song and story. This brief flash of inspiration grants you 4 additional rounds of your bardic performance ability, which must be used by the end of the day.
The additional inspiration provided by magical muse tires mortal minds, and each successive casting of the spell is less effective. For each time that you have previously cast magical muse in a given day, it grants you one less round of bardic performance (so the second time you cast it, it grants you only 3 rounds, and the third time it grants 2, etc.).
This spell enhances your performing ability, allowing you to completely terrify your target. As long as the spell is in effect, as a standard action, you can expend one daily use of your bardic performance ability to attempt to terrify a single creature within 60 feet of you who can see and hear you. The target must succeed on a Will save (with the DC equal to what terrifying performance’s DC would be) or else become frightened for 1d4+1 rounds. If the target has more Hit Dice than 4 + 1/2 your caster level (rounded down), it is immune to this effect. This is a mind-affecting, emotion, and fear effect.