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Elemental Musician–a d20 Character Build using Eclipse

violin-fire-iceI saw this image in my collection, have no idea who did it or how I got it or even when but I thought it was awesome and would make a great ‘battle bard’ style character. An Elemental Musician if you will.

So, lets see how this turns out using Eclipse?

Getting Started

I am making this lady a human. She looks like it in the picture. So, we start with 48cp, Plus 6 for first level feat, plus 6 for bonus feat for human. That’s a total of 60cp. We won’t add any disadvantages, doubt we need to.

Starting: 60cp

We also have 4 skill points (bonus for been human again) in addition to any granted by Intelligence. We won’t worry too much about that here though.

The Basics

Hit Dice: Been more combat orientated I think a d8 is a good idea. 4cp

Warcraft: I am going with a cleric style combat, so none for now. Will buy from level 2 onwards though. In fact, thinking will pay the 3cp now though so as to make it cheaper going forward. 3cp

Saves: Ref +2, 6cp. The other’s are not important right now imo.

Skills: base of 4sp for been a human. Thinking we add another 12cp for skill points at this level. Total of 16sp. 12cp

  • at level one should we have Perform (Stringed/Violin) at 4 ranks

Simple Weapon Proficiencies: 3cp

Light Armour proficiency: 3cp – note below that her limited magic list is not impeded by armour. GM’s may want to allow this for Light Armour only though.

This totals 31cp


Bard Progression. Charisma based. Spontaneous caster(studies) removing other limitation increases cost to 10cp per level

We specialise this to requiring a focus (a violin) but me as a GM rules this is only a corruption (the character will undoubtedly have the Call Instrument Spell or similar). We corrupt this for cost, brining the total down to 6cp (2/3 of 10 is 6.3 – I am feeling a bit generous). Total now is 6cp per level.

We don’t need to add any more corruptions. The character’s spell list will be quite limited comprising of some basic spells and then focused almost exclusive on elemental magic (Burning Hands, Fireball that kind of thing)

Starting off she can cast 2 level 0 spells and knows 4 of them

We will give her:

  • Detect Magic
  • Ray of Frost
  • Dancing Lights
  • Summon Instrument

Even though adding Summon Instrument means she will never truly be without her Violin, it still counts as a corruption as it will cost her a spell use that day to cast it in an emergency. Also it doesn’t last that long either.

Total Magic cost is 6cp per level

Special Abilities

Presence: creates the effect of Endure Elements within 10 feet, but only while she is playing music. This has a base cost of 6cp, but is corrupted to requiring her to play the violin which further cannot be currently used for other purposes (i.e. spell casting). Corrupted to extend base radius to 15feet. Cost 6cp

Mystic Artist: As this is more or less a variant bard build, I add this. This is only for her Violin Skill (stringed instrument?). She can use this a total of once per level per day. Save DC (10+Cha+Half Skill). 6cp.

  • This would give her the Emotion (Inspiration Abilities, the GM also changes Mind Affecting Save Bonus/Pen to Saves vs. Fire/Cold ), Block (Synergy – only vs. Elemental fire/water/cold etc.). As her skill improves she will get other abilities in this chain automatically.

Fortune: For reflex saves just like a rogue. 6cp

Total 18cp

Grand Build Total: 59cp. Leaving 1cp left over for skills.


Magic is a big part of the character so more magic and spells would be common improvements. Later levels (3,5,7, etc.) might see her getting Elemental Resistances or Damage Reduction vs. fire and cold. As her skill improves, she will get greater mastery over Emotions – fire and cold represent love and hate equally well.

Other options could be Improvise Weapon (using her Violin as a club in an emergency),  Privilege – as she gains in skill and reputation more people will know her / love her / fear her etc. This would equate to getting respect from guards (or bad guys) and the like, getting free meals at Inns. Basic stuff.


Any other ideas? Post it in the comments



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