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Rockstar

A Base Class for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

Bard F Preview

Art by Jack Holliday

Long ago, in the desolate Halls of Legends, a thriving warrior-cult practiced symbolic plays and rituals to satiate their rebellious spirits and the spirits of anyone who wanted to watch. They sang songs of bittersweet social revolution, composed painful melodies for the lost loves of their lives, and danced with all the passion of their generation. Driven by nothing other than their counter-cultural ideas and free spirits, they led a revolution that promised social change. They took up arms, rocked out, and clashed with the forces of order for the freedom of the human spirit. Though their hearts swelled and their steel was strong, they were defeated by The Man and repressed for generations. They practiced in secret and played the mournful melodies of their glory days - passing their ideas and symphonies to the next generation.


This new generation did not live in fear and soon exposed themselves as the true inheritors of the rock-and-roll souls of their predecessors. Part warrior, part musician, and all revolutionary, these “rockstars” became more and more literal in their ritual performances. Armed with weapon-instruments and the supernatural strength their passion grants them, rockstars are regional icons who rock as hard on the battlefield as they do in concert.

Hit Dice: D10.


Role: The rockstar is always center stage. He is the headliner, not some lame opening act, and fights on the front line. While he is primarily skilled at melee combat, he can also create damaging solos and rock-outs that cause sonic damage in a large radius.


Alignment: Any chaotic

Rockstars are countercultural icons, and as such, they openly rebel against any sort of authority. Non-chaotic rockstars can no longer progress in the rockstar class but retain all class features with the exception of their message class feature. Additionally, rockstars can be good or evil aligned; although, most tend to be either chaotic neutral or chaotic good. Evil rockstars are in it only for themselves and generally have depraved natures; they try to hide from the public eye.


Sidebar: Where Does This Class Fit In?Edit

The rockstar class clearly does not fit in the traditional Tolkien fantasy game. It is designed for a game where music has a strong presence and is an almost magical aspect beyond simple spellwork. This class draws much from the ‘70s, ‘80s, and even ‘90s music mythology, the covers of rock albums, and the personas of performers. Some inspirations for this class include Dazzler (Marvel Comics), Midvalley the Hornfreak (Trigun), Basara Nekki (Macross 7), Haruko (FLCL), Mariachi (Once Upon A Time In Mexico), KISS (Gene Simmon’s bass in particular), Noise Marines (Warhammer 40k), I-No (Guilty Gear), Motochika Chosokabe (Samurai Warriors), Eddie (Brutal Legend), Bluegrass (SilverHawks), Rojuro "Rose" Otoribashi (Bleach), and Johnny Guitar (Marvel Comics).


Relationship With BardsEdit

Bards and rockstars both utilize the magic of music to one degree or another. The primary difference between the two of them is their implementation of it. While they both draw their source of power from the same place, they could not be more different. Bards use spellcraft, performance of music, and their jack-of-all-trades nature to help augment a group, while a rockstar does the opposite. Rockstars are devoid of spells, care a great deal more about themselves than their allies (at least mechanically), are almost a purely martial class, and have very few skills. The relationship between bards and rockstars can be described as similar to the relationship between wizards and magi but with an even wider gap that separates them. The rockstar can be counted as a bard alternate with GM approval, depending on the setting.


Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gp (average 175 gp.). In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less and an instrument (not instrument weapon) of his choice.


Class SkillsEdit

The rockstar’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Climb (Str), Disguise (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (local) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), and Sense Motive (Wis).

Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.


Table: #-#: Rockstar

Level

Base Attack Bonus

Fort Save

Ref Save

Will Save

Special

1st

+1

+0

+0

+2

Genre, instruments, message, rock-out (1d6)

2nd

+2

+0

+0

+3

Idol, sonic shield

3rd

+3

+1

+1

+3

Solo (1d8), songs

4th

+4

+1

+1

+4

Performance persona (1/day), stylistic choice

5th

+5

+1

+1

+4

Accompaniment, message

6th

+6/+1

+2

+2

+5

Art of rock +1

7th

+7/+2

+2

+2

+5

Power solo

8th

+8/+3

+2

+2

+6

Performance persona (2/day), stylistic choice

9th

+9/+4

+3

+3

+6

Shred

10th

+10/+5

+3

+3

+7

Art of rock +2

11th

+11/+6/+1

+3

+3

+7

Can’t stop the music

12th

+12/+7/+2

+4

+4

+8

Performance persona (3/day), stylistic choice

13th

+13/+8/+3

+4

+4

+8

Pump up the volume (rock-out)

14th

+14/+9/+4

+4

+4

+9

Art of rock +3

15th

+15/+10/+5

+5

+5

+9

Pump up the volume (solo)

16th

+16/+11/+6/+1

+5

+5

+10

Performance persona (4/day), stylistic choice

17th

+17/+12/+7/+2

+5

+5

+10

Certified platinum

18th

+18/+13/+8/+3

+6

+6

+11

Art of rock +4

19th

+19/+14/+9/+4

+6

+6

+11

Sonic symphony

20th

+20/+15/+10/+5

+6

+6

+12

Performance persona (5/day), stylistic choice, the show must go on

Class FeaturesEdit

The following are the class features of the rockstar.


Weapon and Armor ProficienciesEdit

The rockstar is proficient with all simple weapons and all instruments, as well as light armor but not shields.


Instruments (Ex):Edit

Thanks to the special training the rockstar has, he may treat an instrument as a martial weapon, rather than an exotic weapon, with the following profile:


Weapon

Cost

Dmg (S)

Dmg (M)

Critical

Range

Weight

Damage Type

Special

Weapon

Type

Drumstick, pair*

56 gp

1d2

1d4

19-20 x2

-

1 lb.

P

Instrument

Light

Guitar (“The Axe”)

10 gp

1d6

1d8

19-20 x2

-

7 lbs

B or S

Instrument

2 Hands

Keytar

25 gp

1d6

1d8

19-20 x2

-

7 lbs

S

Instrument

2 Hands

Mic & Cord

50 gp

1d4

1d6

x2

-

3 lbs

B

Instrument, reach, trip, grapple

2 Hands

Saxophone

20 gp

1d8

1d10

x2

-

6** lbs

B

Instrument

1 Hand

Violin Bow***

15 gp

1d4

1d6

19-20 x2

-

1 lbs.

P or S

Instrument

1 Hand

Violin

( is a shield.)

15 gp

+1 shield bonus

-1 Armor Check Penalty

5 % arcane spell failure chance

5 lbs

Instrument

1 Hand

  • These two drumsticks are spike tipped. When used as a pair, the penalty for dual wielding them is reduced by -2 (minimum 0). A wearable drum is provided with this to allow for use with the rockstar class features.

    • This is an average. Alto can weigh 3-4; tenor can weigh as much as 8; and a bari can weight up to 15.

Message:Edit

Everyone has a message they want people to heed. Some have shallow messages, like the pop star who encourages everyone to party or the rapper who tells people to objectify women and glamorize violence. Others have deeper messages, like a glam rockstar bringing attention to the struggle of his generation or an Irish singer-songwriter who shines light on the history of her people though tragic folk-ballads. When the rockstar rocks out or does a solo, it projects his thoughts and emotions into the minds of creatures affected by the rockstar’s rock-out and solo class feature.


At 1st level, this effect is purely superficial. At 5th level, the message causes a creature, the first time in a 24 hour period that takes damage from a rock-out or solo attack, to make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 rockstar level + Charisma modifier) or be overcome with the emotions of the message.


At 1st level, the rockstar should select the most fitting emotion that ties with his message. Once the choice is made, it applies to all rock-out and solo attacks and cannot be changed. He must choose the following list of emotions:


  • Joy/Happiness/Hope: The creature’s attitude towards the rockstar is improved by one step.

  • Sorrow/Sadness/Bitterness: The creature takes -4 penalty on Will saves for the next 1d4 rounds.

  • Intimidation/Anger/Rage: The creature is shaken for 1d4 rounds.


Genre (Ex):Edit

Every musician has a speciality that he is passionate about. This becomes the rockstar’s genre. The rockstar must pick or develop a rock genre at 1st level. Depending on what genre a rockstar chooses, he can use his Perform skill in place of a single other skill. While it is up to the player to select his genre and the associated skill (For example: the death metal genre and the Intimidate skill) there are a few guidelines. The skill must be a rockstar class skill, cannot be Knowledge (local), and the player must be able to rationalize his choice to his GM.


The possibilities are endless, so long as the genre has heart and is in tune with the rockstar’s message. Some examples include glam rock, folk rock, pop rock, blues rock, British rock, arena rock, punk rock, death metal, hard rock, alternative rock, etc. The rockstar can even develop his own rock genre that is tailored to the campaign setting or his race. Some examples might include Elven soul funk or Gnomish polka metal, psychedelic gargoyle pop, Dwarven axe ska, and even Halfling battle ballards.


Rock-Out (Su):Edit

At 1st level, the rockstar can rock-out on his instrument as a standard action to deal sonic damage to all enemies around him. This deals 1d6 sonic damage + 1/2 rockstar level to all enemies within 30 feet. Using rock-out does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Creatures take half damage if they can make a Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 rockstar level + Dexterity modifier).


Idol (Ex):Edit

By 2nd level, the fame and fortune of the rockstar is on the rise. When he saunters around town, his talent proceeds him. If he makes a Perform check (DC 15), the rockstar gains a bonus on Charisma based skill checks when interacting with people he meets who hear him and are aware of his fame. This circumstance bonus to the skill check is equal to 1/2 the rockstar’s level. The chance of someone knowing the rockstar is listed on the accompanying chart. Being recognized has its drawbacks, particularly if the rockstar is infamous. Checks by anyone made to identify the rockstar with Knowledge (local) gains a +4 bonus.

Rockstar Level

% Chance of Being Recognized

1-5th

10%

6-10th

25%

11-15th

50%

16-19th

75%

20th

100%


Sonic Shield (Su):Edit

When an opponent targets the rockstar of at least 2nd level with a melee or ranged attack, the rockstar can spend an immediate action to make a Perform check. The rockstar can use the result as his AC or touch AC against the targeted attack. The rockstar must be aware of the attack and not flat-footed. The rockstar must be wielding an instrument to perform this ability.


Solo (Su):Edit

At 3rd level, the rockstar can perform a wicked solo on his instrument as a full round action to deal sonic damage to all enemies around him. This deals 1d8 sonic damage + 1/2 rockstar level to all enemies within 30 feet. Performing a solo does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Creatures take half damage if they can make a Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 rockstar level + Dexterity modifier).


Songs (Su):Edit

At 3rd level, the rockstar can string combinations of rock-out and solo attacks together to make a song. When the rockstar of 3rd level or above makes a rock-out or solo attack, he must describe the lyrical accompaniment he will provide in one of 3 ways: as a chorus, a verse, or an instrumental (where he lets his instrument do the talking).


  • Chorus: The centers of the song. (Rock-out only)

  • Verse: The varying parts of the song. (Rock-out only)

  • Instrumental: A part of the song where there are no vocals. (Rock-out or solo)


Depending on what the rockstar used during his previous rock-out or solo attack (during the same combat), he gains a bonus effect on the next rock-out or solo attack. A rockstar who performs the same kind of playing style (chorus, verse, or instrumental) as he did the previous time does not gain any additional bonus (example: a rock-out chorus to a rock-out chorus).


  • Chorus to Verse: The rockstar may roll the damage for his rock-out twice and select which he wants to take.

  • Chorus to Instrumental: The radius of this solo or rock-out is increased by +10 feet.

  • Verse to Chorus: The damage dice for the rock-out is increased to 1d8 rather than 1d6.

  • Verse to Instrumental: The rockstar may roll the damage for his rock-out/solo twice and select which he wants to take.

  • Instrumental to Chorus: A single creature, as defined by the rockstar, is subject to a bullrush attempt. The creature may be of any size (it is not limited to creatures up to one size category larger). The rockstar makes a CMB check, as if he were making a normal bullrush attempt, and this bullrush does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

  • Instrumental to Verse: The radius of this rock-out is increased by +10 feet.


Performance Persona (Su):Edit

At 4th level, the rockstar is able to solidify a persona, related to his music, who is larger than life. This alternate persona is a form he can adopt at a standard action and dismiss just as quickly. While in his performance persona, he gains a morale bonus on all Perform checks equal to 1/2 his rockstar level. This persona is generally represented by an alternate style of voice, lavish or even flamboyant attire (which changes as part of the transformation), and even drastic personality changes. These physical changes are superficial and do not provide any mechanical benefit. Some kind of superficial transitory effect generally accompanies the transformation (a bolt of lighting, a brilliant light with a guitar riff, etc.).


The rockstar can remain in his rockstar persona for as long as he wishes; however, after a number of rounds equal to his Charisma modifier of being in his persona, he must make a Fortitude check (DC 10 + rockstar level) or be forced to revert to his normal form. Every time he makes a successful Fortitude save, the DC increases by +2. The rockstar may only transform once per day at 4th level. At 8th level and every 4 levels thereafter, he gains one additional use per day.


Stylistic Choice:Edit

At 4th level, the rockstar’s unique and individual talent starts to emerge and begins to influence the way he both plays and fights. To represent this, he may select one of the following stylistic choices. At 8th level and every 4 levels thereafter, the rockstar selects an additional stylistic choice.


  • Amplifier: When using the Whirlwind Attack feat with an instrument, the rockstar may perform a rock-out as a free action that deals damage only to creatures who were successfully struck by the whirlwind attack.

  • Quick Fingers: The DC to avoid damage from the rockstar’s rock-out and solo class features is increased by +2. If the rockstar is at least 10th level, this increases the DC by +4 instead.

  • Crowd Pleaser: When the rockstar uses his solo class feature, he makes any creature struck by it vulnerable to attacks from allies until the start of his next turn. Allies who attack any such creature gain a +2 morale bonus to hit and a +4 morale bonus on rolls to confirm critical hits against it. The rockstar himself does not benefit from this.

  • Larger Than Life: The rockstar can cause himself to grow one size category larger when he transforms into his Performance Persona. This functions as enlarge person and persists for as long as his Performance Persona is being used. He may chose to not add this effect when he transforms and may dismiss it as a swift action. If dismissed, the rockstar may only regain this by expending another use of his Performance Persona class feature.

  • Strumming: The rockstar can make a single rock-out attack as a swift action against a single creature. Unlike his normal rock-out attack feature, strumming does not add 1/2 the rockstar’s class level to the damage dealt and attacks only a single creature rather than a radius.

  • Hardcore: The rockstar adds +1 to all damage dealt with his rock-out and solo class features.

  • Gimmick: The rockstar’s persona has a gimmick. For a number of times per day equal to the rockstar’s Charisma modifier, the persona may cast a spell, 2nd level or lower, from either the bard or sorcerer/wizard spell list as a spell-like ability using his full rockstar level as caster level. The rockstar may only do this while in his Performance Persona.

  • Wide Range: The rockstar may select a second weapon type with the instrument special feature and apply his bonus from the Art of Rock class feature to it. The rockstar must be at least 6th level to select this stylistic choice.

  • Stage Presence: The rockstar gains an aura linked to his genre or message. This either grants all allies within 10 feet of the rockstar a +2 bonus on Will saves or all enemies within 20 feet a -2 penalty on Will saves. Once the choice has been made, it cannot be changed. The nature of the aura is determined by the player, but he should attempt to align it with his message and/or genre.

  • Intensity: When wielding an instrument that the rockstar has chosen for his Art of Rock class feature, he deals an extra 1d6 worth of the same damage type his rock-out class feature does on a critical hit. This extra damage is not multiplied.

  • Dance: The rockstar incorporates dance and physical movement into his act. This grants him a +10 foot bonus to his move speed and a +2 bonus on Acrobatics checks.

  • Background Music: Music played by the rockstar does not impose a penalty to his Stealth checks because the music seems to come from everywhere and nowhere all at once. Guards may be alerted to the presence of music but not of the rockstar’s location.


Accompaniment (Su):Edit

At 5th level, when the rockstar uses his rock-out class feature, sounds of others jam along with the rockstar’s tune. These eternal sounds match his instrument as long as he continues to play. If a harmony or multiple vocals are required, they are provided. This increases the range of the rock-out class features by +10 feet.


As an example, while the rockstar shreds on his guitar and sings, he can have a bass and drums back him up; or if he plays his mournful jazz saxaphone, he can have a matching classic piano back him up.


Art of Rock (Ex):Edit

Starting at 6th level, the rockstar selects a single weapon type with the instrument special feature. Whenever he attacks with a weapon from his chosen type, he gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls. Every 4 levels thereafter (10th, 14th, and 18th), the bonus increase by +1 to a maximum of +4 at 18th level.


Power Solo (Su):Edit

At 7th level, when the rockstar performs a solo, it becomes so powerful that it can shatter stone and break hearts. The damage for the solo class feature is increased to 2d6 rather than 1d8.


Shred (Su):Edit

At 9th level, when performing a solo or rock-out, the rockstar may choose to use an alternative damage type. He may choose acid, cold, electricity, or fire as his alternative to sonic.The rockstar must select only one, and it must thematically fit his genre and/or message. Once this selection has been made it cannot be changed. However, on a turn by turn basis, he may chose between sonic and the new damage type he gains from this class feature.


As an example, a death metal guitarist who growls about the destruction of societal norms might pick fire or acid; meanwhile, a jazz maven who blasts bittersweet melodies could chose cold. Ultimately, this change is determined by the player, but he should attempt to align it with his message and/or genre and have a rationale ready.


Can’t Stop the Music:Edit

At 11th level, the rockstar’s message is so potent that any attempts to hinder it fail. The rockstar may rock-out or perform a solo even in locations that would not normally allow him to do so. This includes underwater, in an area of silence, the vacuum of space, or even an antimagic field. This does not give him the ability to otherwise survive in said area. However, in an area of magical silence or an antimagic field (or similar effect), the rockstar’s rock-out or solo deals minimum damage.


Pump Up the Volume:Edit

At 13th level, the rockstar can chose to deal high average damage (4 + 1/2 rockstar level) for his rock-out attack rather than rolling the dice (typically 1d6 + 1/2 rockstar level). Additionally, at 15th level, the rockstar can do this with his solo ability (8* + 1/2 rockstar level). He always has the option to chose to roll his damage if he wishes, but once the dice has been rolled, he may not use this ability until the start of his next turn.

  • This number is modified by the rockstar’s power solo class feature.

Certified Platinum:Edit

At 17th level, the rockstar’s rock-out and solo class features have their radii increased by +20 feet. For rock-out, this stacks with the accompaniment class feature.


Sonic Symphony:Edit

At 19th level, the rockstar’s sonic shield can be activated as a free action.


The Show Must Go On:Edit

At 20th level, the rockstar’s martial training is able to augment his strange presence. While in his performance persona, he can continue to play any instrument he has chosen for his art of rock class features, even under circumstances that would not allow him to do so. He ignores any armor check penalties to his Perform skill, can play while blinded at no penalty, can play his instrument as normal even if it is broken, can play while unconscious (nonetheless, he ceases to play when dead), can play without the typically associated body part with no penalty (example: no penalty if he was missing an arm or he could play with his teeth with no penalty), is not at risk of taking damage while disabled if the action he takes is playing his instrument, suffers no penalties to his Perform skill while entangled or fatigued/exhausted or shaken or sickened, and never drops his instrument while panicked or stunned. This does not allow him to make attacks or anything other than produce music. (For example, this does not allow him to use his rock-out and solo class features.)

Section 15 OGL Copyright Declaration:Edit

•System Reference Document. Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and

Dave Arneson.

• Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. Copyright 2009, Paizo Inc.; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.

• The Book of Experimental Might. Copyright 2008, Monte J. Cook. All rights reserved.

• Tome of Horrors. Copyright 2002, Necromancer Games, Inc.; Authors: Scott Greene, with Clark Peterson, Erica Balsley, Kevin Baase, Casey Christofferson, Lance

Hawvermale, Travis Hawvermale, Patrick Lawinger, and Bill Webb; Based on original content from TSR.

• Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Player’s Guide. © 2010, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn

• Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Ultimate Combat. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, Benjamin Bruck, Jason Bulmahn, Brian J. Cortijo,

Jim Groves, Tim Hitchcock, Richard A. Hunt, Colin McComb, Jason Nelson, Tom Phillips, Patrick Renie, Sean K Reynolds, and Russ Taylor.

• Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Ultimate Magic. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Jason Bulmahn, Tim Hitchcock, Colin McComb, Rob McCreary, Jason Nelson,

Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Sean K Reynolds, Owen K.C. Stephens, and Russ Taylor.

• Gonzo © 2014, Little Red Goblin Games LLC; Author:Scott Gladstein, Thomas Lee Hornyak Jr, Christos Gurd, Dayton Johnson, Caleb Alysworth, and Jeremiah Zerby

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