Cantor of Dirges (3.5e Class)

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The Cantors of Dirges[edit]

NOTE!!!: This Class is based on a gestalt build utilizing Cleric, Bard, Dread Necromancer, Seeker of Song and Dweomerkeeper. This class is meant for being used in a gestalt campaign or boss like character.

A Cantor of Dirges is a female bard which utilizes music to communicate with her gods and chant spells. They are Divine Casters devoted to dark gods and devoted to art. They love to create monuments, sculptures and paintings out of their slain foes to express their belief. They utilize blood, bones and everything else, rarely wasting precious material. Cantors of Dirges view many things differently to other hereoes and villians. They see beauty in death, glory in greed and they think of weakness as a sin. This class fits perfectly into an evil aligned gestalt campaign.

Making a Cantor of Dirges[edit]

Cantor of Dirges are selfsufficient in terms of healing. Their strongest point for a party lies in their ability to control the battlefield with their melodies and support their allies with walls of undead as puffer. Their greatest weakness are clerics and paladins as their turn ability might interfere with their minions and leave them vulnerable to attacks.

Abilities: Abilities are Charisma based.

Races: Any(female).

Alignment: Any evil.

Starting Gold: As cleric

Starting Age: Simple.

Table: The Cantor of Dirges

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st 0 2 2 2 Accumulated Knowledge, Charnel Touch, Dirge Music,Inspire Courage, Lullaby of Eternal Sleep, Spellbreaker Song, Rebuke Undead 3 2
2nd 1 3 3 3 Banshee 4 3
3rd 2 3 3 3 Inspire Competence 5 4
4th 3 4 4 4 Fear Aura 6 5 3
5th 3 4 4 4 Scabrous Touch 6 6 4
6th 4 5 5 5 6 6 5 3
7th 5 5 5 5 6 6 6 4
8th 6/1 6 6 6 Undead Mastery 6 6 6 5 3
9th 6/1 6 6 6 Inspire Greatness 6 6 6 6 4
10th 7/2 7 7 7 6 6 6 6 5 3
11th 8/3 7 7 7 Rapture of the Song, Seeker Songs, Supernatural Spell 6 6 6 6 6 4
12th 9/4 8 8 8 Arcane Sight, Combine Songs 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
13th 9/4 8 8 8 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
14th 10/5 9 9 9 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
15th 11/6/1 9 9 9 Subvocalize 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
16th 12/7/2 10 10 10 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
17th 12/7/2 10 10 10 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
18th 13/8/3 11 11 11 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
19th 14/9/4 11 11 11 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
20th 15/10/5 12 12 12 Cloak of Mysteries 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Same Skills as Bard, Cleric and Intimidate (Cha).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Cantor of Dirges.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Cantor of Dirges are proficient with all simple weapons, with all types of armor (light, medium, and heavy).

A cantor who chooses the War domain receives the Weapon Focus feat related to his deity’s weapon as a bonus feat. She also receives the appropriate Martial Weapon Proficiency feat as a bonus feat, if the weapon falls into that category.

Aura (Ex): A Cantor of Dirges is often feared by others and therefore is granted a specific aura at first level. She can choose what kind of powerful aura (chaotic, evil, good, lawful etc) she is granted by her deity despite his alignment. This ability works similar to the Cleric's Aura ability and helps the Cantor of Dirges to conceal herself from the detect evil spell.

Deity, Domains, and Domain Spells: A Cantor of Dirges’s deity influences her alignment, what magic she can perform, her values, and how others see her. A Cantor of Dirges chooses three domains from among those belonging to her deity. A Cantor can't select an alignment domain except if her alignment matches that domain.

If a Cantor is not devoted to a particular deity, she still selects three domains to represent her spiritual inclinations and abilities. The restriction on alignment domains still applies.

Each domain gives the Cantor access to a domain spell at each spell level she can cast, from 1st on up, as well as a granted power. The Cantor gets the granted powers of the three domains selected.

With access to three domain spells at a given spell level, a Cantor prepares one or the other each day in her domain spell slot. If a domain spell is not on the Cantor spell list, a Cantor can prepare it only in her domain spell slot.

Spellcasting: A Cantor of Dirges casts divine spells, which are drawn from the dread necromancer's spell list and the divine variant bard's list. Like a sorcerer, she can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time. When a Cantor of Dirges gains access to a new level of spells, she automatically knows all the spells for that level given on the dread necromancer's spell list and bard's spell list. To cast a spell, a Cantor of Dirges must have a Charisma score of 10 + the spell's level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Cantor of Dirges's spell is 10 + the spell's level + her Charisma modifier. Like other spellcasters, a Cantor of Dirges can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given in Table 1—1: The Cantor of Dirges. In addition, she receives bonus spells for a high Charisma score (see Table 1—1 on page 8 of the Player's Handbook). A Cantor also gets one domain spell of each spell level she can cast, starting at 1st level. When a Cantor prepares a spell in a domain spell slot, it must come from one of her three domains.

Spontaneous Domain Casting: The Cantor of Dirges can choose one of her Domains to spontaneously cast domain spells from it's list by expending a spell slot of equal or higher level.

Accumulated Knowledge :Throughout their search for the melody of rebirth Cantors of Dirges accumulate many skills and tales which they utilize in their every action. When making any skill check, you can use 1/2 your cantor level (Rounded up) in place of the number of ranks you have in the skill (even if that number is 0). You can't take 10 on checks when you use accumulated knowledge (to take 10 you have to use your actual ranks). If the skill doesn't allow untrained checks, you must have at least 1 actual rank to attempt the check.

Charnel Touch (Su): Negative energy flows through a Cantor's body, concentrating in her hands. At will, but no more than once per round, she can make a melee touch attack against a living foe that deals 1d8 points of damage, +1 per four class levels. This touch heals undead creatures, restoring 1 hit point per touch, +1 per four class levels. A Cantor can use the spectral hand spell to deliver this attack from a distance.

Dirge Music: Once per day per Cantor level, a Cantor can use her song or poetics to produce magical effects on those around her (usually including herself, if desired). While these abilities fall under the category of bardic music and the descriptions discuss singing or playing instruments, they can all be activated by reciting poetry, chanting, singing lyrical songs, singing melodies, whistling, playing an instrument, or playing an instrument in combination with some spoken performance. Each ability requires both a minimum Cantor level and a minimum number of ranks in the Perform skill to qualify; if a Cantor does not have the required number of ranks in at least one Perform skill, she does not gain the dirge music ability until she acquires the needed ranks.

Starting a dirge music effect is a standard action. Some dirge music abilities require concentration, which means the Cantor of Dirges must take a standard action each round to maintain the ability. Even while using dirge music that doesn’t require concentration, a Cantor cannot cast spells, activate magic items by spell completion (such as scrolls), or activate magic items by magic word (such as wands). Just as for casting a spell with a verbal component, a deaf Cantor has a 20% chance to fail when attempting to use dirge music. If she fails, the attempt still counts against her daily limit.

For all effects Dirge Music stacks with Bardic Music and similar abilities.

Inspire Courage (Su): A Cantor with 3 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use song or poetics 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 hear the Cantor sing. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the Cantor sing and for 5 rounds thereafter. An affected ally receives a +1 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 morale bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls. At 8th level, and every six bard levels thereafter, this bonus increases by 1 (+2 at 8th, +3 at 14th, and +4 at 20th). Inspire courage is a mind-affecting ability.

Lullaby of Eternal Sleep (Su): If you have 3 or more ranks in a Perform skill, you can use your music or poetics to create an area conducive to healing. To be affected, an ally must be able to see and hear you perform. The effect lasts as long as you continue performing and for 5 rounds thereafter. An affected ally who casts any conjuration (healing) spell gains a +1 profane bonus on the roll for each rank you have in the Perform skill. This ability has no effect on spells cast from wands, scrolls, or other magic items. In addition, if you use this ability for 1 full minute before you and your allies retire for the night, everyone in the group heals naturally as if he had completed 24 hours of bed rest (thus recovering twice his character level in hitpoints). If the music is interrupted, the magic of the song is lost. Either use of Lullaby of Eternal Sleep counts as one daily use of your dirge music ability. This is a spell-like ability.

Spellbreaker Song (Su): You can use your music or poetics to interfere with spells that have verbal components. Doing this costs one daily use of your dirge music ability and requires a standard action to start. Enemy spellcasters within 30 feet of you take a 20% spell failure chance when casting any spell that has a verbal component (as if they were deafened). You can maintain your spellbreaker song for 3 rounds. This ability follows all the other appropriate rules for dirge music.

Rebuke Undead (Su): A Cantor of Dirges can rebuke or command undead creatures by channeling negative energy through her body. See the cleric class feature described on page 33 of the Player's Handbook.

Banshee (Su):Starting at 2nd level, a Cantor of Dirges begins her journey into undeath. The first symptom is her body's increased resilience to physical harm. She gains DR 2/bludgeoning and magic. As the Cantor increases in level, this DR increases in effectiveness to DR 4 at 7th level.

Furthermore when you sing or use some other Perform skill, you can inspire fear in enemies within 30 feet of you. Any opponent in range must succeed on a Will saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 your Cantor level + your Cha modifier) or become shaken for a number of rounds equal to your ranks in the Perform skill. This is a mind-affecting fear effect. Using this ability counts as one of your daily uses of bardic music.

Inspire Competence (Su): A Cantor of 3rd level or higher with 6 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use her music or poetics to help an ally succeed at a task. The ally must be within 30 feet and able to see and hear the Cantor. The Cantor must also be able to see the ally.

The ally gets a +2 competence bonus on skill checks with a particular skill as long as he or she continues to hear the Cantor’s music. Certain uses of this ability are infeasible. The effect lasts as long as the Cantor concentrates, up to a maximum of 2 minutes. A Cantor can’t inspire competence in herself. Inspire competence is a mind-affecting ability.

Fear Aura (Su): Beginning at 5th level, a Cantor radiates a 5-foot-radius fear aura as a free action. Enemies in the area must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 her class level + her Cha modifier) or become shaken. A creature who successfully saves cannot be affected by that dread necromancer's fear aura for 24 hours. A Cantor himself becomes immune to fear related effects.

Furthermore a Cantor can infuse his aura with negative energie and emit a burst of negative energy from her body, harming living creatures within 5 feet of her. This burst deals 1d4 points of damage per class level. A successful Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 her class level + Cha modifier) reduces damage by half. Undead creatures within this burst are healed the same amount of hit points as the damage she deals to living creatures. A Cantor can use this ability twice at 8th level.

Scabrous Touch (Su):Starting at 6th level, once per day a Cantor of Dirges can use her charnel touch to inflict disease on a creature she touches. This ability works like the contagion spell (see page 213 of the Player's Handbook), inflicting the disease of her choice immediately, with no incubation period, unless the target makes a successful Fortitude save (DC10 + 1/2 her class level + her Cha modifier). The DC for subsequent saving throws to resist the effects of the disease depends on the disease inflicted; see page 292 of the Dungeon Master's Guide for details. Activating this class feature is a swift action. The effect lasts until the Cantor makes a successful charnel touch attack. The spectral hand spell enables a dread necromancer to deliver a scabrous touch attack from a distance.

Undead Mastery (Su):All undead creatures created by a dread necromancer who has reached 8th level or higher gain a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength and Dexterity and 2 additional hit points per Hit Die. In addition, when a dread necromancer uses the animate dead spell to create undead, she can control 4 + her Charisma bonus HD worth of undead creatures per class level (rather than the 4 HD per level normally granted by the spell). Similarly, when a dread necromancer casts the control undead spell, the spell targets up to (2 + her Cha bonus) HD/level of undead creatures, rather than the 2 HD/level normally granted by the spell.

This ability also grants the Corpsecrafter feat.

Each undead you raise or create with any necromancy spell gains a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength and +2 hit points per Hit Die.

Inspire Greatness (Su): A Cantor of 9th level or higher with 12 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use music or poetics to inspire greatness in herself or a single willing ally within 30 feet, granting him or her extra fighting capability. For every three levels a Cantor attains beyond 9th, he can target one additional ally with a single use of this ability (two at 12th level, three at 15th, four at 18th). To inspire greatness, a Cantor must sing and an ally must hear her sing. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the Cantor sing and for 5 rounds thereafter. A creature inspired with greatness gains 2 bonus Hit Dice (d10s), the commensurate number of temporary hit points (apply the target’s Consitution modifier, if any, to these bonus Hit Dice), a +2 competence bonus on attack rolls, and a +1 competence bonus on Fortitude saves. The bonus Hit Dice count as regular Hit Dice for determining the effect of spells that are Hit Dice dependant. Inspire greatness is a mind-affecting ability.

Rapture of the Song (Su): At 11th level a Cantor of Dirges is so in tune with the power of the primal music that she gains special insight, physical fortitude, and resistance to magic while in the throes of her song. A seeker gains a +2 insight bonus to Armor Class whenever she uses a music ability.

At 4th level and higher, a seeker also gains a +2 insight bonus on saving throws whenever she uses her dirge music ability, seeker music, or a similar ability. At 7th level and higher, a seeker also gains damage reduction 2/— whenever she uses her dirge music ability, seeker music, or a similar ability. At 10th level, a seeker gains these abilities and also acts as though affected by a freedom of movement spell whenever she uses her dirge music ability, seeker music, or a similar ability.

Seeker Song (Su):At 11th level a Cantor gains all Seeker Songs in the same order as the Seeker of Songs Prc.

Supernatural Spell (Su):At 11th level, the Cantor of Dirges is so attuned to the fabric of magical music that she can manifest spell effects with almost no effort whatsoever. Once per day as a standard action, she can use any one spell with a casting time of up to 1 standard action as a supernatural ability. The spell chosen must be one that is currently available to the dweomerkeeper (that is, one that she has prepared or that she knows and has a spell slot of the appropriate level available to cast), but she can decide at the moment of casting to use this ability. The spell functions as it normally would and is expended normally, but the Cantor does not require any material components or focus item, does not provoke attacks of opportunity, and ignores the target’s spell resistance, just as if she were using a supernatural ability instead of a spell. At every odd numbered level after 11th, the Cantor gains one additional use of this ability per day.

Spells which Cost XP upon casting still cost XP to use as a Supernatural Spell

Arcane Sight (Su): Upon attaining 12th level, a Cantor of Dirges can use arcane sight at will. This ability functions like the spell of the same name, except that its duration is concentration.

Combine Songs (Su):A Cantor of Dirges of 12th level or higher can combine two types of any music to provide the benefits of both. The Cantor chooses two music abilities and activates both using the same standard action. If either or both require concentration, the Cantor can maintain concentration on both by using one standard action each round to concentrate. The normal stacking rules for bonus types apply to music abilities combined with this ability.

Subvocalize (Su):At 15th level and higher, a Cantor of Dirges can begin any music song as a swift action (see page 86). A Cantor can use this ability only if he already has one (and only one) music ability already active. A Cantor can use this ability in conjunction with the combine songs ability to start a second song and then maintain both as a standard action each round (as per the combine songs ability).

Cloak of Mysteries (Su): At 20th level, a Cantor of Dirges is wrapped in a mantle of ever-flowing magic, and all metamagic feats that she currently knows or learns in the future become easier to use. The spell level increase for applying a metamagic feat to any spell drops by 1 (minimum +1 level, or +0 level if the feat already has a +0 level adjustment). For example, a quickened fireball uses a 6th-level slot (+3 levels) instead of the usual 7th-level slot (+4 levels), but a silent fireball still uses a 4th-level slot (+1 level). A spell affected by the Heighten Spell feat is unaffected by this ability.

Ex-Cantors of Dirges[edit]

If a Cantor of Dirges becomes neutral or good aligned she looses access to all spells and abilities granted by this class until she becomes evil again.

Epic Cantors of Dirges[edit]

Epic Class Features continue progressing normally. Furthermore the class gains additional Bonus Feats at first and every three levels thereafter.

Human Cantor of Dirges Starting Package[edit]

As cleric.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Cantor of Dirges[edit]

Religion: This class is mostly tied to evil and vile gods.

Other Classes: This class is often hated by good aligned classes. Clerics and Paladins are classes Cantors get along with the worst.

Combat: Support and Battle Field Control

Advancement: This class is build around a tier 3 gastalt build and shoulnd't be further multiclassed.

Cantors of Dirges in the World[edit]

Don't fear death. Embrace it and you become part of it.
—unknown scribbles

They can be found at graveyards for funerals or battlefields after a war.

Daily Life: Enjoy the dark music, grotesque art and search for the melody of rebirth.

Notables: -

Organizations: Cantors of Dirges often assamble to inform each other about their new songs, new art tricks or information about wars.

NPC Reactions: Most npc think that Cantor of Dirges are Clerics that devout their life to religious music. Many npc have a rather good impression of Cantors as long they don't know their true face.

Cantor of Dirges Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Religion) can research Cantors of Dirges to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

<-the appropriate skills->
DC Result

Cantors of Dirges in the Game[edit]


Sample Encounter:

EL :

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