General Prestige Class : Dirgesinger
Dirgesingers voice melodies not of celebration and joy, but of sorrow and grief. They seek to spread this melancholy outlook far and wide, believing that only those who give in to their sadness can truly understand the world.
Dirgesingers hold high position in death-obsessed cultures. Serving as members of a secret guild or as part of a hierarchy of death priests, they are entrusted with the serious responsibility of composing suitable laments for the dead. The more important the deceased, the more sorrowful and moving her lament is expected to be. No one will remember the dead queen more few short generations, but a great lament might be sung a thousand years hence.
However, most dirgesingers do not belong to any special hierarchy or guild. Instead, they are rootless wanderers who travel from place to place, wrapped in inconsolable grief from some personal tragedy. These sad wanderers seek to express their grief through songs that teach the hearts of their listeners the meaning of true sorrow. Some of these fallen bards want nothing more than for others to understand the depths of their loss. A few are sinister creatures who believe that, since joy has been extinguished for them, they must in turn extinguish the joy of others by using their powers to teach folk the folly of love, the futility of hope, and the finality of the grave. Dirgesingers of this last sort often associate themselves with powerful undead, serving in the courts of vampire lords or lich-kings.
All dirgesingers must have at least some expertise as a bard. Some are also trained as rogues or clerics before entering this class.
To qualify to become a Dirgesinger, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Alignment: Any non-good
- Skills: Knowledge (religion) 4 ranks, Perform (any) 8 ranks
- Feats: Requiem.
- Special: Bardic music class feature.
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the dirgesinger prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dirgesingers gain no proficiency with any weapons, armor, or shields.
Dirgesong (Su): A dirgesinger gains the dirgesong ability.
Dirgesong follows the same rules as bardic music (see Bardic Music, page 29 of the Player's Handbook). Dirgesinger levels stack with bard levels for the purpose of determining how often a character can use dirgesong or bardic music. Dirgesinger levels do not stack with bard levels for determining which bardic music effects and spells a bard has access to. Each of these songs counts as a use of bardic music.
Song of Sorrow: A dirgesinger can evoke sorrow and lament in his enemies. To be affected, an enemy must be able to hear the dirgesinger perform. The effect lasts for as long as the enemy hears the dirgesinger perform and for 5 rounds thereafter. An affected enemy takes a -2 penalty on Will saving throws and a -2 penalty on attack rolls and weapon damage rolls. A successful Will save (DC 10 + the dirgesinger's ranks in Perform) negates the effect and makes the character immune to that dirgesinger's song of sorrow ability for 24 hours. Song of sorrow is a mind-affecting ability.
Song of Bolstering: At 2nd level and higher, a dirgesinger can bolster undead creatures against turning, much as an evil cleric does. All undead within 30 feet of the dirgesinger gain a bonus on their turn resistance equal to the dirgesinger's class level plus the dirgesinger's bard class level. The bolstering lasts for as long as the dirgesinger performs and for to rounds thereafter. An undead dirgesinger can bolster himself in this manner.
Song of Grief: A dirgesinger of 3rd level or higher can use song or poetics to inspire maddening grief in a living creature. The creature must be within 60 feet of the dirgesinger and able to hear him. Unless the target succeeds on a Will save (DC to + the dirgesinger's ranks in Perform), she becomes confused for as long as the dirgesinger performs and for 5 rounds thereafter. Song of grief is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting ability.
Song of Horror: At 4th level and higher, a dirgesinger can strike a horrifying chord in the hearts of his enemies. Any enemy within 60 feet who can hear the dirgesinger must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + the dirgesingers ranks in Perform) or take 1d6 points of Strength damage and 1d6 points of Dexterity damage. A creature that is affected by a dirgesinger's song of horror or a creature that successfully saves against this effect cannot be affected by the same dirgesinger's song of horror for 24 hours.
Song of Awakening: At 5th level, a dirgesinger can animate the recently slain corpse of a creature within 30 feet. This requires the dirgesinger to make a Perform check (DC 10 + target creature's HD). The slain creature can have no more Hit Dice than the dirgesinger's character level. If the attempt fails, the dirgesinger can try again in a later round. The corpse to be awakened must have been dead for no more than 1 hour.
The awakened creature's type becomes undead, and it retains any subtypes it had. The creature retains all class features, as well as any supernatural or spell-like (but not extraordinary) abilities it possessed in life (though any spells cast or daily uses expended before the creature's death count against its normal limits). The awakened creature is completely loyal to the dirgesinger and obeys any commands given it (if no commands are given, it simply attacks the dirgesinger's foes). The creature remains animate as long as the dirgesinger continues to perform.
A dirgesinger can animate no more than one awakened corpse at a time. If he awakens a second one while the first is still active, the first one falls dead as if the dirgesinger had ceased to perform.
|Dirgesinger||Hit Die: d6|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+2||Song of sorrow|
|2nd||+1||+0||+0||+3||Song of bolstering|
|3rd||+2||+1||+1||+3||Song of grief|
|4th||+3||+1||+1||+4||Song of horror|
|5th||+3||+1||+1||+4||Song of awakening|
Source: Libris Mortis