Chronicler (3.5e Prestige Class)

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There's always time for a story.
—The Chronicler, Kenku Chronicler, Chronicle of a Storyteller

Orators that interact with their surroundings through embellishing or altering the truth and magically making it true. As their powers develop, they gain the ability to manipulate time and events with their storytelling, changing the past slightly to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. They learn to foretell the future of people they meet and can even change their fate by changing the story.

Becoming a Chronicler[edit]

Chroniclers are bards that wish to tell fascinating tales of history that is everywhere. Many join to gain some manner of control over their own lives by changing the lives of others. The original chronicler was trained by a great and powerful creature that is said to have known all of history, including the history that hasn't happened yet.

For chroniclers, stories aren't just fables and myths; they're the truth, but they can be changed. Charisma and Intelligence are the most essential ability scores for a chronicler, having to be able to both remember and tell great stories.

Entry Requirements
Alignment: Lawful Neutral or True Neutral only.
Skills: Perform (Oratory) 13 ranks.
Feats: Iron Will.
Spellcasting: Ability to cast 3rd-level Arcane Spells.
Special: Bardic Knowledge class feature, Bardic Music class feature.
Table: The Chronicler

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Bardic Discipline, Tell Me Your Name
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Talk Until Sunrise
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Learn the Past
4th +3 +1 +1 +4 Remember the Future
5th +3 +1 +1 +4 Always Changing
6th +4 +2 +2 +5 Always Time
7th +5 +2 +2 +5 Cryptic
8th +6/+1 +2 + 2 +6 Fated
9th +6/+1 +3 +3 +6 Fast Talker
10th +7/+2 +3 +3 +7 Master Teller

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level)
Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (n/a), Spellcraft (Int), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha).

Table: The Epic Chronicler
Level Special
12th Bonus Feat
14th Bonus Feat
16th Bonus Feat
18th Bonus Feat
20th Bonus Feat

Class Features[edit]

Chroniclers are manipulators of time through stories, and as such they have the ability to learn the stories of many things merely by observation or questioning. All of the following are class features of the chronicler.

Bardic Discipline (Ex): A chronicler that is Lawful Neutral or True Neutral counts his levels in chronicler for the purposes of Bardic Knowledge and Bardic Music. They can also continue gaining levels in bard if they are lawful neutral.

Tell Me Your Name (Su): By asking simple questions about a person, a chronicler can learn much more than they are told.

By making a bardic knowledge check against a DC of 10 + the subject's level + the subject's Charisma modifier - the chronicler's charisma modifier, the chronicler can discern the subject's class, level, race, and a good portion of his personal background. The chronicler is free to do with this information what he wishes, though it cannot sway his alignment along the moral axis. (Good and Evil uses for this information are allowed, they simply can't be drastic enough to chnage the character's alignment.)

The chronicler must concentrate on the subject for two full rounds to gain the benefit of this ability.

When the chronicler gains the "Remember the Future" class feature at level 4, the chronicler can also use this ability to learn up to his level in potential futures for a person in the same way.

Talk Until Sunrise (Su): At level 2, a chronicler with 15 or more ranks in Perform (Oratory) can expend two uses of his Bardic Music ability to captivate an audience with a story so thrilling that nothing else matters. The chronicler must target himself and at least one other subject, but can expand the audience to equal his chronicler level in number, including the required subject but not including himself. For example, a 3rd level chronicler must target himself and can have an audience of three. Every two audience members after the first requires another use of Bardic Music.

Everyone affected by this ability is immune to attack and damage from any source, direct or indirect. They also cannot take any action that would break their concentration on the chronicler, including any full round, standard, move, swift, immediate, or quickened actions. Subjects cannot concentrate on or cast spells nor can they craft items while affected by this ability. A number of targets equal to half the chronicler's level are heal of a number of hit points equal to the chronicler's perform check. The chronicler selects these subjects.

Unwilling subjects may make a will save against the chronicler's perform check to negate the effects. This is not a mind-affecting ability, but targets immune to mind-affecting abilties gain a +4 on their will save to resist. This is a language dependent ability, but the chronicler can be considered to be speaking in all languages he knows if he has an audience that speaks multiple languages. If the chronicler does not speak any language that a target understands, then the target cannot be affected by this ability.

When enemies attempt to attack the chronicler or his audience during the duration of this ability, they must make a level check modified by their wisdom modifier and any bonuses they have to will saves against the chronicler's perform check.

The chronicler can maintain this ability for a number of rounds equal to his level. Ending the effects of this ability prematurely does not store the unused rounds for later, but sacrifices any remaining time.

Learn the Past (Ex): At 3rd level, a chronicler can learn the full history of any group, place, or event simply by making a Bardic Knowledge check against a DC set by the DM. The more obscure the knowledge, the higher the DC.

Using this ability requires three full rounds and provokes attacks of opportunity.

Remember the Future (Su): At 4th level, a chronicler can learn up to his level in possible futures for any group, place, or event that he knows the past of by making a Bardic Knowledge check against the original DC + 5.

Using this ability requires three full rounds and provokes attacks of opportunity.

Always Changing (Su): A 5th level chronicler can attempt to change any history or future that he knows of by expending two Bardic Music uses and making a perform check against the original DC to gain knowledge of the event through Learn the Past or Remember the future + 10. The change has to be minor and must be based on a die roll. Minor changes are changes that happen by changing a die roll by adding or subtracting 2 from the result. This could make changes like making a specific attack miss or increasing or decreasing damage slightly.

The chronicler does not know if his attempt to change the events worked until after the events take place or until someone else who knows of the event but does not know of the change tells the chronicler of the changed event.

Using this ability requires two full rounds and provokes attacks of opportunity.

Always Time (Su): At 6th level, a chronicler with 19 or more ranks in Perform (Oratory) can expend two uses of his Bardic Music to manipulate time. The chronicler and all living creatures withing a radius of 5 feet times the chronicler's level are affected. The chronicler has the option to stop time or simply slow it. If time is stopped, all those affected feel as though up to half the chronicler's level in rounds have passed when no time has passed at all. If time is slowd, up to half the chronicler's level in rounds seems to all affected to be up to half the chronicler's level in minutes.

To activate this ability, the chronicler must succeed on a perform check against a DC of 25 + twice the number of rounds being altered. (In the case of time stop, the effective number of rounds made to seem like; In the case of time slowing, the number of rounds made to seem longer.)

The chronicler can maintain this ability as long as he concentrates. To maintain this effect while performing other actions, the chronicler must succeed on a concentration check against the original DC every round.

Cryptic (Su): A 7th level chronicler can attempt to ensure that one future he saw for a person he has used his "Tell Me Your Name" ability on comes to pass. By making a Perform (Oratory) check against a DC of 25 + the character's level, the chronicler can tell the person their own future story in such a way that the person will not realize the story was about them until after it happens. If the chronicler succeeds, knowing the story will make certain that the events unfold almost exactly as the chronicler told them. The chronicler will not be certain of his success or failure in his attempt until after the events unfold.

Using this ability takes five minutes, during which neither the chronicler nor his subject may engage in any other activity. They both provoke attacks of opportunity, and if an attack of opportunity is successful, it breaks both their concentration and the attempt is wasted. After an attempt, whether successful or not, another attempt on the same subject cannot be made by any chronicler for 24 hours.

Fated (Su): At 8th level, a chronicler learns his own story from beginning to end. He cannot use any of his chronicler class features on himself, but he is permanently immune to death affects and gains a +1 competence bonus on all rolls.

Fast Talker (Ex): At 9th level, a chronicler can tell a good story faster. Tell Me Your Name and Always Changing take only a full round action, Learn the Past and Remember the Future take only two full rounds, and Cryptic takes only 2 minutes.

Master Teller (Su): The chronicler has knowledge of so many stories and is so wise that they can learn and tell stories with exceptional ease and ability. At level 10, the chronicler permanently gains a +5 untyped bonus to all Perform (Oratory) and Bardic Knowledge checks.

The epic chronicler gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic chronicler feats) every 2 levels after 10th.

Epic Chronicler Bonus Feat List: Additional Magic Item Space, Augmented Alchemy, Efficient Item Creation, Epic Leadership, Epic Reputation, Epic Skill Focus, Epic Will, Extended Life Span, Great Charisma, Great Intelligence, Great Wisdom, Legendary Commander, Penetrate Damage Reduction, Polyglot, Spell Stowaway, Superior Initiative


If a Chronicler becomes any alignment other than lawful neutral or true neutral, the chronicler loses all class abilities and cannot gain any more levels in this class until he atones (see the atonement spell description).

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Chronicler[edit]

Combat: Chroniclers avoid combat, using their abilities to subdue opponents rather than engage them diretly. When confronted with arms, they will often try to demoralize their opponent.

Advancement: Chroniclers will general only multiclass when they have mastered being chroniclers. After level ten they usually continue gaining levels in Bard, take up Loremaster, or begin researching some other casting class, like Wizard or Sorcerer.

Resources: Chroniclers are few and far between, but they often frequent libraries and taverns to learn stories. Bards, chroniclers, and loremasters often swap stories when they encounter each other. Knowing people's past can be a valuable asset all its own.

Chroniclers in the World[edit]

Don't be silly, it's only been a minute.

Chroniclers are noncombatants. I actually recommend they be used as NPCs by a DM to give the party resources in an adventure. If the party comes to a dead-end, they can just search for their resident chronicler. PCs that are chroniclers should be focused on gaining information rather than being effective in combat.

NPC Reactions: Chroniclers are storytellers and resources. NPCs enjoy their company and are entranced by their tales. Many don't realize what chroniclers are unless the chronicler reveals himself.

Chronicler Lore[edit]

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

Knowledge (History)
DC Result
11 Chroniclers are great story tellers and often seem to know about people they've never met before.
16 Chroniclers tell stories that some same are prophecies of the future.
21 Chroniclers are rumored to be able to stop time.
26 Chroniclers can change your past by changing your story.

Chroniclers in the Game[edit]

Chroniclers are wise and learned people. Whether its the hobo who wants to tell you about the end of the world or the old man in a tavern telling children fantastic tales of gret heroes, almos every village, town, and city has at least one.

Adaptation: Chroniclers can be used to great effect, changing minor things to give the PCs an edge. Rather than casting a long and complicated spell, just tell a story and the world is the way you want it.

Sample Encounter: If you want this to be an enemy, the party would have to piss off the local storyteller somehow. Inciting a chronicler is no easy task, but it can happen. One of the worst things a chronicler could do is waste a party's time, which can be devastating despite its seeming simplicity. When you're on a schedule to save the world the last thing you want to do is lose two days have a chronicler tell you a story of some bimbleheaded nincompoops that let everyone in the world die.

EL whatever: <-Encounter scenario and character info on sample NPC including stat block. The CR of the NPC is typically the same as the EL for the encounter->

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