Emyralda's Most Recent Harrow Draw: +2 to one Cha-based d20 roll
Emyralda awoke with a start, nearly falling from her seat next to her father at the front of the vardo. Guiltily, she glanced at her father from the corner of her eye, hoping that he hadn't noticed her lack of vigilance. She was supposed to be keeping an eye out for bandits and other dangers as their caravan traveled through the Lurkwood, heading toward the Red Mountains.
Emy struggled to recall the strange dream that woke her as they rode along, the images in her mind dissipating like smoke in the wind. For the past two months, the caravan had been traveling north, far from their normal routes in southern Varisia. All at the behest of Emyralda's great-grandmother Iylamora, the raunie of their tribe, who would say only that the Harrow dictated their path. Realizing that she could not remain focused on her task, Emyralda decided to ask her great-grandmother about her dream. Promising to send her younger brother to take her place, the young woman nimbly jumped down from her seat, making sure not to let her brightly-patterned skirts get caught up in the wheel, and walked to the back of the vardo as it slowly rolled forward. She hopped up onto the back step, and knocked lightly on the wooden door. "Babicka," she called softly, "may I enter?"
After a moment's pause, a faint voice answered, "Enter, child." Holding onto the gently swaying vardo, Emyralda opened the low door and ducked inside. As always, she found her great-grandmother seated at a low table in the center of the small room, gazing at her Harrow cards spread before her as incense wafted through the air. And as always, the sway of the moving vardo seemed to disappear as she entered Iylamora 's sanctum.
"Tell me, child, of this dream that disturbs you," Iylamora said by way of greeting, still gazing at the Harrow cards. Emyralda was not surprised, her great-grandmother always seemed to know what she was going to ask before she even knew herself. Plopping down on the cushion set across the table from her great-grandmother, Emyralda smiled mischievously as she replied, "Why don't you tell me about my dreams, oh wise and powerful seer?"
"Your dream is what has led us here," Iylamora answered mysteriously, pausing before she continued. "This is the path that the Great Dreamer has set before you. The Harrow shows that you will meet five companions, although the cards currently only identify three of them.” The old woman placed three cards face down. Closing her eyes, she touched one of the cards as she spoke in a low voice, “The first is the Weary Knight, his soul broken but still struggling to protect the innocent. The second,” she continued, touching the middle card, “is the Philosophical Sellsword, a wordly warrior interested in the words of thinkers and idealists.” The ancient woman touched the third card, and a tone of pity entered her voice, “The third is one of the Forlorn, a conjurer trained in human lands who has lost nearly all those she held dear. She appears timid, but her shyness hides a fiercely loyal heart.”
The old woman opened her eyes and fixed them on Emyralda. “Ever since you were young, you have been trained in the mystical traditions of our people - the magic of song, the magic of dance, and the magic of the Harrow. Now it is time for you to use the gifts that the Great Dreamer has given you. Find any of the three that I have Seen and they will lead you to the others. Together, you must make a stand against a darkness that threatens this land."
"Oh, is that all?" Emyralda asked facetiously in a small voice. After a moment, she asked in a stronger voice, "And where am I to meet these boon companions?"
"At our next stop," Iylamora replied solemnly. "Cauldron."
Weight: 110 lbs
Emyralda is a stunning Varisian beauty with warm dusky skin and dark auburn hair. Her large, expressive eyes are pools of deep violet. Lithe and graceful, she typically dresses in flowing Varisian garb of blue, green, and violet, with a pocketed scarf of orange and red along with her elegantly embroidered multi-colored kapenia.
(Note: Ability Scores generated using 20-pt buy)
Initiative: +3 [+2 Dex; +1 trait]
AC: 15 (10 + 2 Dex + 2 armor + 1 shield)
Skill Ranks Per Bard Level: 6 + 1 (Int) + 1 (human)
• Acrobatics +9 (Versatile Performance - Perform (dance))
• Appraise +1 (0 ranks + 1 Int)
• Bluff +8 (1 rank + 3 class + 3 Cha + 1 trait)
• Climb +4 (1 rank + 3 class + 0 Str)
• Diplomacy +8 (1 rank + 3 class + 3 Cha + 1 trait)
• Disguise +3 (0 ranks + 3 Cha)
• Escape Artist +6 (1 rank + 3 class + 2 Dex)
• Fly +9 (Versatile Performance - Perform (dance))
• Intimidate +8 (1 rank + 3 class + 3 Cha + 1 trait)
• Heal +1 (0 ranks + 1 Wis)
• Knowledge (arcana) +6 (1 rank + 3 class + 1 Int + 1 BK)
• Knowledge (dungeoneering) +2 (0 ranks + 1 Int + 1 BK)
• Knowledge (engineering) +2 (0 ranks + 1 Int + 1 BK)
• Knowledge (geography) +6 (1 rank + 3 class + 1 Int + 1 BK)
• Knowledge (history) +6 (1 rank + 3 class + 1 Int + 1 BK)
• Knowledge (local) +6 (1 rank + 3 class + 1 Int + 1 BK)
• Knowledge (nature) +6 (1 rank + 3 class + 1 Int + 1 BK)
• Knowledge (nobility) +2 (0 ranks + 1 Int + 1 BK)
• Knowledge (planes) +2 (0 ranks + 1 Int + 1 BK)
• Knowledge (religion) +6 (1 rank + 3 class + 1 Int + 1 BK)
• Perception +5 (1 rank + 3 class + 1 Wis)
• Perform (dance) +9 (3 ranks + 3 class + 3 Cha)
• Perform (sing) +7 (1 rank + 3 class + 3 Cha)
• Profession (fortuneteller) +5 (1 rank + 3 class + 1 Wis)
• Sleight of Hand +7 (2 ranks + 3 class + 2 Dex)
• Sense Motive +1 (0 ranks + 1 Wis)
• Spellcraft +5 (1 rank + 3 class + 1 Int)
• Stealth +6 (1 rank + 3 class + 2 Dex)
• Swim +0 (0 ranks + 0 Str)
• Use Magic Device +9 (3 ranks + 3 class + 3 Cha)
Note: Bardic Knowledge - Emyralda adds half her class level (minimum 1) to all Knowledge skill checks and may make all Knowledge skill checks untrained.
Languages: Common, Varisian, Shoanti
Harrowed: You get a +2 bonus on all Will saves made to resist charm or compulsion effects.
Once per day, you may draw a card from a Harrow deck you own. At any one time for the rest of that day, you may apply a +2 bonus on any d20 roll modified by the card’s suit. For example, if you drew a card from the suit of Wisdom, you may apply a +2 bonus on a Will save or a Wisdom-based skill check. If you drew a card from the suit of Dexterity, you could apply this +2 bonus on an Initiative check, a Reflex save, a Dexterity-based skill check, or a ranged attack roll. You may assign this +2 bonus after you make the roll, but you must do so before you know if the roll was a success or not.
If you don’t have an actual Harrow deck handy to draw from to determine your bonus, you can randomly determine the ability score by simply rolling 1d6 (1 = Strength, 2 = Constitution, 3 = Dexterity, 4 = Intelligence, 5 = Wisdom, 6 = Charisma). (human bonus feat)
Lingering Performance: The bonuses and penalties from your bardic performance continue for 2 rounds after you cease performing. Any other requirement, such as range or specific conditions, must still be met for the effect to continue. If you begin a new bardic performance during this time, the effects of the previous performance immediately cease. (1st level feat)
Harmonic Spell:. You can weave bardic music effects into your spellcasting in such a way that your spellcasting and bardic performance become indistinguishable. Whenever you cast a spell while you are maintaining a bardic performance, you can maintain the bardic performance for that round without expending one of your rounds of performance for the day. In addition, you can switch from one bardic performance to another as a swift action when you cast a spell while maintaining a bardic performance. (3rd level feat)
Harrow Born (Varisian): You grew up around the mysterious fortune-tellers known throughout Ustalav and Varisia. You start play with a harrow deck passed down from a relative. Because of your skill with fortune-telling, you gain a +1 trait bonus on initiative checks. [Race Trait]
Extremely Fasionable: You really know how to make a good impression when you’re dressed well. Whenever you are wearing clothing and/or jewelry worth at least 150 gp (and not otherwise covered in gore, sewage, or other things that mar your overall look), you gain a +1 trait bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks. One of these skills (your choice) is a class skill for you. [Equipment Trait]
+2 to one ability score: Human characters get a +2 bonus on one ability score of their choice at creation, to represent their varied nature. Emyralda’s bonus is to Charisma.
Medium: Humans are Medium creatures, and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Humans have a base speed of 30 feet.
Bonus Feat: Humans select one extra feat at 1st level. Emyralda's bonus feat is Harrowed.
Skilled: Humans gain an additional skill rank at first level and one additional rank whenever they gain a level.
Languages: Humans begin play speaking Common.
Favored Class: Humans can choose any one class as their favored class at 1st level. Once made, this choice cannot be changed. Emyralda's favored class is bard. Whenever she takes a level in her favored class, she receives either +1 hit point, +1 skill point, or one spell known from the bard spell list (this spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level the bard can cast). (Emyralda has chosen bonus 0-level spells at levels 1-3).
Bardic Performance: 11 rounds per day (8 rounds + Cha modifier)
At 1st level, a bard learns to counter magic effects that depend on sound (but not spells that have verbal components). Each round of the countersong she makes a Perform (sing) skill check. Any creature within 30 feet of the bard (including the bard herself) that is affected by a sonic or language-dependent magical attack may use the bard’s Perform check result in place of its saving throw if, after the saving throw is rolled, the Perform check result proves to be higher. If a creature within range of the countersong is already under the effect of a noninstantaneous sonic or language-dependent magical attack, it gains another saving throw against the effect each round it hears the countersong, but it must use the bard’s Perform skill check result for the save. Countersong does not work on effects that don’t allow saves. Countersong relies on audible components.
At 1st level, a bard can use her performance to counter magic effects that depend on sight. Each round of the distraction, she makes a Perform (dance) skill check. Any creature within 30 feet of the bard (including the bard herself ) that is affected by an illusion (pattern) or illusion (figment) magical attack may use the bard’s Perform check result in place of its saving throw if, after the saving throw is rolled, the Perform skill check proves to be higher. If a creature within range of the distraction is already under the effect of a noninstantaneous illusion (pattern) or illusion (figment) magical attack, it gains another saving throw against the effect each round it sees the distraction, but it must use the bard’s Perform skill check result for the save. Distraction does not work on effects that don’t allow saves. Distraction relies on visual components.
At 1st level, a bard can use her performance to cause one or more creatures to become fascinated with her. Each creature to be fascinated must be within 90 feet, able to see and hear the bard, and capable of paying attention to her. The bard must also be able to see the creatures affected. The distraction of a nearby combat or other dangers prevents this ability from working. For every three levels the bard has attained beyond 1st, he can target one additional creature with this ability.
Each creature within range receives a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the bard’s level + the bard’s Cha modifier) to negate the effect. If a creature’s saving throw succeeds, the bard cannot attempt to fascinate that creature again for 24 hours. If its saving throw fails, the creature sits quietly and observes the performance for as long as the bard continues to maintain it. While fascinated, a target takes a –4 penalty on all skill checks made as reactions, such as Perception checks. Any potential threat to the target allows the target to make a new saving throw against the effect. Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a weapon at the target, automatically breaks the effect.
Fascinate is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting ability. Fascinate relies on audible and visual components in order to function.
Inspire Courage (Su): A 1st level bard can use her performance to inspire courage in her allies (including herself), bolstering them against fear and improving their combat abilities. To be affected, an ally must be able to perceive the bard’s performance. An affected ally receives a +1 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 competence bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls. At 5th level, and every six bard levels thereafter, this bonus increases by +1, to a maximum of +4 at 17th level. Inspire courage is a mind-affecting ability. Inspire courage can use audible or visual components. The bard must choose which component to use when starting her performance.
Wordstrike (Su): At 3rd level, the sound striker bard can spend 1 round of bardic performance as a standard action to direct a burst of sonically charged words at a creature or object. This performance deals 1d4 points of damage plus the bard’s level to an object, or half this damage to a living creature. This performance replaces inspire competence.
Versatile Performance: At 2nd level, a bard can choose one type of Perform skill. She can use her bonus in that skill in place of her bonus in associated skills. When substituting in this way, the bard uses her total Perform skill bonus, including class skill bonus, in place of its associated skill's bonus, whether or not she has ranks in that skill or if it is a class skill. At 6th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the bard can select an additional type of Perform to substitute. The types of Perform and their associated skills are: Act (Bluff, Disguise), Comedy (Bluff, Intimidate), Dance (Acrobatics, Fly), Keyboard Instruments (Diplomacy, Intimidate), Oratory (Diplomacy, Sense Motive), Percussion (Handle Animal, Intimidate), Sing (Bluff, Sense Motive), String (Bluff, Diplomacy), and Wind (Diplomacy, Handle Animal). Emyralda chose Perform (Dance) at 2nd level.
Well Versed (Ex): At 2nd level, the bard becomes resistant to the bardic performance of others, and to sonic effects in general. The bard gains a +4 bonus on saving throws made against bardic performance, sonic, and language-dependent effects.
1st Level Spells Cast Today: 4 (Ear-Piercing Scream, Chord of Shards, Cure Light Wounds on Darian x2)
Concentration Check Modifier: +6 (+3 bard caster level +3 Cha)
Bard Spells Known:
1st Level: 4
Starting Wealth = 180 gp (bard max.) plus 1,000gp
100 gp Gold and Amber Butterfly Pendant
50 gp Gold and Amber Earrings
Traveler's Outfit (free) [5 lb]
Leather Armor (10 gp) [15 lb]
Darkwood Buckler (203 gp) [2.5 lb]
Rapier (20 gp) [2 lb]
Masterwork Darkwood Light Crossbow (375 gp) [2 lb]
--Bolts, 10 (1 gp) [1 lb] (-2 used)
Spring-loaded Wrist Sheath (5 gp) [1 lb] (+2 bonus to Sleight of Hand regarding items in sheath)
--Masterwork Alchemical Silver Dagger (322 gp) [1 lb] (+2 bonus to Sleight of Hand to hide on body)
Pocketed Scarf (8 gp) [0.5 lb] (+4 bonus to Sleight of Hand to hide small items on body)
--Harrow Deck (free - Harrow Born trait)
--Smokesticks, 3 (60 gp) [1.5 lb] [x][x]
Total: 31.5 lb carried (Light)
Enter Harrower Prestige Class. Requirements: Cannot be True Neutral; Harrowed Feat; Knowledge (arcana or religion) 5 ranks, Perform (any) 5 ranks; Ability to cast 3rd-level spells - must be able to cast at least three divination spells; Must own a Harrow deck