Prestige Classes


"Music is life ... and death."

-Lalage Amatifa, lyric thaumaturge

The lyric thaumaturge understands better than most how the natural harmonics of the universe pervade all things. Music might be its most pleasing form, but magical energy has harmonics of its own. The lyric thaumaturge has learned to make her magic and her music resonate into harmonic chords that enhance the effects of both.


Bards are specialists in combining magic and music into a symphony of power. However, levels in other arcane spellcasting classes can enhance the lyric thaumaturge's spell selection immensely. Though bard/wizard and bard/sorcerer are the most likely combinations, a bard/warmage can make good use of her lyric thaumaturge abilities on the battlefield, and a bard/warlock can add eldritch blasts to her combat repertoire.


Music is more than an expression of emotion - it is the life blood of the universe. Reality has a rhythm that forms the foundation for countless melodies, each of which is unique. You have discovered how to combine the harmonics of music and magic so that they resonate together, granting you additional spell power and the ability to deal damage with your music.


Your combat tactics remain much the same as they were before you adopted this prestige class, but now you can deal damage with your songs as well as your weapons. Use your sonic might to soften up your foes, or apply the Captivating Melody feat to ensure that enemies fall prey to your targeted enchantments or illusions. If foes are still standing once you have exhausted those options, drop back to a support role and use your remaining spells and your bardic music to boost your allies' combat prowess.


You first realized the harmonic relation of magic to music when you cast a spell while the notes of a song you had just played still hung in the air. On some inaudible level, the two merged, creating an incredibly beautiful chord that you could feel rather than hear. Thereafter, you continued to experiment with spells and songs, and you found even more such harmonizing combinations. Eventually, another bard heard your song at a performance hall in a large city and joined in as though he too knew the harmonic chords. The audience called your joint performance magical, but you knew it was more.

Your new friend suggested that you further your studies at the little-known bardic college called the Arcane Chord, where he had honed his technique You applied and were accepted, and then your training began in earnest. You learned to use the resonating chords of magic to open your mind to new spells and to weave music and magic together to make your spellcasting more potent.

As you gain more experience as a lyric thaumaturge, be sure to maximize your Perform ranks to keep all your options open. Any feats that improve your bardic music are appropriate options, as is Combat Casting.


The Arcane Chord bardic college can provide you with needed training and access to its music archives and library at any time. You can stay as long as you wish at the college, as long as you are willing to give at least one performance a day for the junior students. Once every two years, you are also asked to teach a six-week course at the school. The college maintains a store of magic items that alumni can borrow for adventuring. Borrowed items must be returned within one year. You must reimburse the college at full value for any items you can't return before the deadline.


"I had never heard such a melody before. It seemed to reach inside me and resonate with my heartbeat. Had it continued longer, I think I might have died."

-Jendrak Lerin, theatre owner

Lyric thaumaturges make excellent allies for PC parties thanks to their wide spell selection and enhanced damage-dealing capability. Alternatively, an evil lyric thaumaturge can prove a potent challenge for a PC party, especially if he has allies whose abilities he can boost with bardic music.


The College of the Arcane Chord is quite small as bardic colleges go and has only one campus located in a remote part of the world. All the faculty members and most of the students live on campus throughout each three-month term. Alumni rotate in and out to serve as teachers and administrators, and they use their on-campus time to conduct their own research into arcane harmonies. Alumni are provided with meals at half the normal rate charged at an inn.

The head of the college is the Dean of Arcane Melody. Below her are three melodious scribes, who transcribe the songs that alumni have written for the music library, and two counselors, who advise students on course selection and development of their performance skills. The college boasts a specially reinforced outbuilding in which students can practice their spellcasting.

Any alumnus who serves with distinction as a teacher for at least two terms might be asked to join the permanent staff as an instructor, counselor, or scribe. Even permanent staff members sometimes take sabbaticals to go adventuring, though, since traveling provides a great deal of grist for the songwriting mill.

NPC Reactions

Most people can't tell the difference between a lyric thaumaturge and a bard, so their receptions are generally the same. Communities appreciate bards, both for the entertainment they can provide and for their supportive music and magic. Thus, attitudes are usually friendly toward a lyric thaumaturge as well. Those few who do know the power that a lyric thaumaturge can wield tend to be a bit more wary about welcoming one into their midst. Attitudes in this case might range from indifferent to friendly.


Characters who have ranks in Knowledge (arcana) or the bardic knowledge ability can research lyric thaumaturges to learn more about them. When a character makes a successful skill check or bardic knowledge check, read or paraphrase the following, including the information from lower DCs.

DC 10: Some bards learn to enhance their magical ability by using music.

DC 15: Lyric thaumaturges can wreak terrible destruction with their enhanced spell selections and their unusual musical effects.

DC 20: A lyric thaumaturge knows how to combine music with magic to empower her arcane spells and make them difficult to resist.

DC 30: Characters who achieve this level of success can learn important details about specific lyric thaumaturges in your campaign, including notable members, the areas where they operate, and the kinds of activities they undertake.

Characters wishing to locate a lyric thaumaturge or the College of the Arcane Chord can ask in any city where bards perform. A successful DC 20 Gather Information check produces someone who knows where to find a lyric thaumaturge, and a successful DC 25 check locates someone who can give directions to the college.


Lyric thaumaturges are as easy to introduce into a campaign as any other bards. Since bards spend a great deal of time traveling, even an NPC bard with whom the PCs are acquainted can easily show up with new powers after a few months' absence. Alternatively, allowing the PCs to encounter an evil lyric thaumaturge can demonstrate the abilities of this prestige class quite dramatically.

Anyone who enjoys the supportive abilities of the bard but chafes at the abbreviated spell list or longs for more damage potential in combat should appreciate a chance to play this prestige class. If you have a lyric thaumaturge in your group, she should find even ordinary combat encounters more interesting with her expanded abilities.


Although the lyric thaumaturge is designed specifically to augment the bard class, you could drop the bardic music prerequisite and allow characters other than arcane spellcasters to pick up some spells and special abilities. To use this option, simply replace the bardic music cost in the special ability descriptions with a daily use of another class feature.

Sample Encounter

A lyric thaumaturge can be encountered on a battlefield, using her bardic music to give moral support to the troops as well as deal damage to the foe. Alternatively, she might be found traveling with an adventuring group or in the court of a ruler, using her special talents to entertain as well as protect.

EL 7: Lalage Amatifa (CG female half-elf bard 6/lyric thaumaturge 2) has been traveling for some time in search of a mystic pool where sound and light meld of their own accord. She plans to tap the harmonics of the pool and create a song that carries the water's power.

Hit Die: d6.


To qualify to become a lyric thaumaturge, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 6 ranks, Perform (any) 9 ranks, Spellcraft 6 ranks.

Feat: Melodic Casting.

Spellcasting: Ability to cast 2nd-level arcane spells.

Special: Bardic music 5/day.

Class Skills

The lyric thaumaturge's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: The Lyric Thaumaturge

Level Base
Special Spellcasting
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Bardic music, bonus spell +1 level of bard spellcasting ability
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Captivating Melody +1 level of bard spellcasting ability
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Spell secret +1 level of bard spellcasting ability
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Bonus spell +1 level of bard spellcasting ability
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Sonic might +1 level of bard spellcasting ability
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Spell secret +1 level of bard spellcasting ability
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Bonus spell +1 level of bard spellcasting ability
8th +6 +2 +6 +6 +1 level of bard spellcasting ability
9th +6 +3 +6 +6 Spell secret +1 level of bard spellcasting ability
10th +7 +3 +7 +7 Bonus spell +1 level of bard spellcasting ability
Class Features

As a lyric thaumaturge, you focus on spells and magical effects that harmonize with your bardic music ability. You have a wider array of spells available than bards do, and your bardic music makes your spellcasting more potent.

All of the following are class features of the lyric thaumaturge prestige class.

Spellcasting: At each level, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known) as if you had also gained a level in the bard class. You do not, however, gain any other benefit the bard class gives you.

Bardic Music: You gain one extra daily use of your bardic music ability per lyric thaumaturge level. You can use bardic music from this class to create any effect you know as a bard.

Bonus Spell: Your knowledge of magic grants you the ability to cast more spells than the average bard. At 1st level, you gain one additional 1st-level and 2nd-level bard spell slot.

At 4th level, you gain one additional 3rd-level and 4th-level bard spell slot.

At 7th level, you gain one additional 5th-level spell slot.

At 10th level, you gain one additional 6th-level spell slot.

If you aren't currently capable of casting the noted level of spell, you gain the extra spell slot when that spell level becomes available to you.

Captivating Melody: At 2nd level, you gain Captivating Melody as a bonus feat.

Spell Secret: Thanks to your facility for blending music and magic, you gain additional spells known for each spell level as you gain levels. These spells must be drawn from the sorcerer/wizard list and are thereafter treated as part of your class spell list.

At 3rd level, you gain one additional 1st- and one 2nd-level spell known.

At 6th level, you gain one additional 3rd- and one 4th-level spell known.

At 9th level, you gain one additional 5th- and one 6th-level spell known.

If you aren't currently capable of casting a certain level of spell, you gain access to the spell secret when that spell level becomes available to you.

Sonic Might (Sp): Beginning at 5th level, you can expend a use of bardic music to add 1d6 points of sonic damage per spell level to any spell with the sonic descriptor.