This is what the Vindictive Soliloquy masterpiece does:

Your bombastic speech creates booming reverberations of sound.

Prerequisite(s): Perform (act), Perform (oratory), or Perform (sing) 10 ranks.
Cost: Feat or 4th-level bard spell known.

Effect: You provide an impassioned monologue from the point of view of a noble queen, voicing her inner turmoil at being betrayed by her own sister and calling for justice to strike from the heavens. If you perform this masterpiece with the Perform (sing) skill, it is a tempestuous aria instead of a rousing soliloquy.

Upon completing the performance, you may conjure bolts of lightning as though you had cast call lightning storm, except the bolts are made of elemental thunder and deal sonic damage rather than electricity damage. The bolts do not increase in damage if outdoors in a stormy area. Instead, in any environment, you may attempt a DC 25 Perform check as part of the standard action to call a bolt.

If your Perform check is successful, that bolt deals 5d10 points of sonic damage instead of 5d6.

Use: 5 bardic performance rounds.
Action: 5 full rounds.

Now the way I read it, it's saying that you can do the damage while you are performing, but someone else could easily see this as only coming into effect after the 5 full rounds are complete.

So this masterpiece is either a decent alternative for a 4th level spell for bard, or completely useless as it would simply take too long.

Which one is the correct interpretation?


1 Answer 1


It takes 5 full rounds to complete the performance, and only once it is completed do you gain the benefits. The benefits do, however, persist for 1 minute per level (or until used), so they aren't entirely useless as you can perform the performance up to 10 minutes before the combat in which you intend to use the bolts at the minimum level to acquire the performance via losing a spell known. The masterpiece does consume 5 rounds of bardic performance per use, however.

In comments you have indicated that you believe the caster level of masterpieces scales with the perform skill of the character employing it. This is not, in fact, the case. I recommend you read the rules on masterpieces in general, which can be found here.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That, too, was my reading: that the masterpiece is an almost-okay precombat buff for a class normally lacking in direct damage. It might be worth adding that the masterpiece also makes the bard suddenly useful during longer or planned engagements (75d10 points of sonic damage (albeit in 5d10 increments) isn't bad for siege-breaking, for example!) \$\endgroup\$ Jun 30, 2017 at 1:59
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ So basically this would have this spell fall under "useful, if you know whats coming" or something like that. And im guessing how many bolts you can use scale with how many ranks you have in perform...whatever you used to get it, correct? \$\endgroup\$
    – Masakan
    Jun 30, 2017 at 2:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Masakan It's "as though you had cast call lightning storm," so the effect is employed at the bard's caster level. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 30, 2017 at 2:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ OOOOH! That is rather useful! I would have to get creative on how to make it effective but definitely worth a level 4 bard spell. \$\endgroup\$
    – Masakan
    Jun 30, 2017 at 2:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Masakan (Keep in mind that call lightning storm is itself normally just a 5th-level druid spell, so a bard's throwing away one of his 6 ever 4th-level spells at level 10 at the earliest for a spell a druid can cast at level 9. It's almost okay if that's the bard's only thing that hurts folks and no one else can do better—each 5d10 bolt still takes a standard action to drop on a 5-ft. square, for instance. It's why I suggested using it during sieges… there the bard likely has on his side time, protection, and a whole mess of unused rounds of bardic music!) \$\endgroup\$ Jun 30, 2017 at 2:45

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