Brave explorers and scavengers of lost or forgotten knowledge, chroniclers are quintessential adventurers, exploring the world for esoteric truths, magical and mundane relics and artifacts, and new and mysterious vistas, be they wonderful or terrible. For some, this journey is purely about the wealth, for others the glory of discovery, and still more are stirred by the irresistible drive to uncover the bones of the ages and legends of forgotten epochs in an effort to chronicle the deeds of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

The chronicler class attracts any who see the world as a great mystery to be unraveled, and thus has a diverse and varied following, from fighters and bards to wizards and clerics, and everything in between. However, due to their role as historians and preservers of posterity, hopefuls must be literate and scholarly—for chroniclers are more than mere treasure hunters.

Role: The chronicler’s missions often thrust her into the role of party leader, and adventures typically result from, and revolve around, his endless quests.

Alignment: A chronicler’s alignment largely determines her motivations. Good characters tend to view their missions as noble ventures, neutral characters seek to preserve knowledge for knowledge’s sake, and evil characters are driven by an urge to accumulate wealth and add to their own glory.

Hit Dice: d8.


To qualify to become a chronicler, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Skills: Linguistics 3 ranks, Perform (oratory) 5 ranks, Profession (scribe) 5 ranks*.

Special: Must have authored or scribed something (other than a magical scroll or other device) for which another person (not a PC) paid at least 50 gp.

Class Skills

The chronicler’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Ranks at Each Level: 8 + Int modifier.

Table: Chronicler
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +0 +1 +1 Bardic Knowledge, deep pockets, master scribe
2nd +1 +1 +1 +1 Live to tell the tale, pathfinding
3rd +2 +1 +2 +2 Bardic performance, improved aid
4th +3 +1 +2 +2 Epic tales
5th +3 +2 +3 +3 Whispering campaign
6th +4 +2 +3 +3 Inspire action (move)
7th +5 +2 +4 +4 Call down the legends
8th +6 +3 +4 +4 Greater epic tales
9th +6 +3 +5 +5 Inspire action (standard)
10th +7 +3 +5 +5 Lay of the exalted dead

Class Features

The following are class features of the chronicler prestige class.

Bardic Knowledge (Ex)

This ability is identical to the bard class feature of the same name, and levels in this class stack with levels in any other class that grants a similar ability.

Deep Pockets (Ex)

A chronicler collects items as well as lore, picking up small amounts of this or that throughout her travels. As a result, she may carry unspecified equipment worth up to 100 gp per class level. This can be any kind of gear that can reasonably fit into a backpack, including potions and scrolls (but not any other sort of magic item). As a full-round action, the chronicler may dig through her pockets to retrieve an item she specifies at that time, deducting its value from the allocated amount of cost. This item cannot weigh more than 10 pounds. When the total remaining cost reaches 0, the chronicler can retrieve no more items until she refills her deep pockets by spending a few hours and an amount of gold to bring her total up to 100 gp per class level.

In addition, if she takes 1 hour to pack her gear each day, she gains a +4 bonus to Strength to determine her light encumbrance. This does not affect her maximum carrying capacity. The efficient distribution of weight simply encumbers her less than the same amount of weight normally should. Finally, the chronicler gains a +4 bonus on Sleight of Hand checks made to conceal small objects on her person.

Master Scribe (Ex)

A chronicler adds her class level as a bonus on all Linguistics and Profession (scribe) checks, as well as Use Magic Device checks involving scrolls or other written magical items. A chronicler can make Linguistics checks to decipher text as a full-round action and can always take 10 on Linguistics and Profession (scribe) checks, even if distracted or endangered.

Live to Tell the Tale (Ex)

At 2nd level, once per day per two class levels, a chronicler can attempt a new saving throw against any ongoing condition against which she failed a saving throw in a previous round, even if the effect is normally permanent. This ability has no effect on conditions that do not allow saving throws or against instantaneous effects.

Pathfinding (Ex)

Beginning at 2nd level, a chronicler develops an excellent sense of direction and skill at leading others through difficult terrain or by following ancient maps. A chronicler gains a +5 bonus on Survival checks made to avoid becoming lost and to Intelligence checks to escape a maze spell. In addition, she always uses the “road or trail” overland movement modifier even when in trackless terrain, whether on foot or mounted. With a DC 15 Survival check, the chronicler can extend this benefit to one companion per class level.

Bardic Performance (Su)

At 3rd level, a chronicler gains this ability, which functions like the bard class feature of the same name, except that the chronicler’s effective bard level is 2 lower than her class level. Levels in this class stack with levels in any other class that grants a similar ability to determine her effective bard level.

Improved Aid (Ex)

chroniclers frequently serve as the companions of great heroes, standing by their sides and recording their deeds, but often lending a crucial helping hand. Starting at 3rd level, a chronicler using the aid another action grants a +4 bonus, rather than the normal +2.

Epic Tales (Su)

A 4th-level chronicler can inscribe a tale so evocative and so moving that it conveys the effects of bardic music through the written word. To create an epic tale requires the chronicler to expend a number of rounds of her bardic performance ability equal to twice the duration of the epic tale (maximum duration of 10 rounds), and any relevant Performance skill check is made with Profession (scribe) instead. An epic tale affects only the reader, but it grants all the benefits that would normally apply for hearing a performance. A chronicler may apply the effects of any feats that affect bardic music to her epic tales. An epic tale retains its supernatural potency for 1 day per class level. It requires 1 hour to inscribe, a full-round action to activate, and a duration equal to 1/2 the number of bardic performance rounds expended during its creation. Once activated, an epic tale’s magic is consumed.

Whispering Campaign (Ex)

chroniclers influence the world through their control of information and ability to shape public perception. At 5th level, as a special use of bardic music, the chronicler can create the effect of a doom spell as cast by a sorcerer of her class level by denouncing a creature in person. This is a language-dependent effect.

Alternatively, the chronicler can denounce a particular target (an individual or a definable group of creatures) to others. This form of bardic music creates the effect of the enthrall spell, but at the end of the performance all creatures who failed to save shift their attitude toward the target of the oration by one step (in the direction of the chronicler’s choice) for 1 day per class level.

Inspire Action (Su)

As a special use of bardic music, a 6th-level chronicler can exhort any one ally within hearing to a sudden surge of action, allowing her ally to immediately take an extra move action. This does not count against the ally’s number of actions on his own turn.

At 9th level, she can enable an ally to immediately take a standard action instead.

Call Down the Legends (Su)

At 7th level, once per week as a full-round action, a chronicler can summon 2d4 4th-level human barbarians, as if she used a bronze horn of Valhalla; these summoned barbarians serve her with complete loyalty. The barbarians are constructs, not actual people (although they seem to be). They arrive with the normal starting equipment for barbarians and attack anyone the chronicler designates.

Greater Epic Tales (Su)

At 8th level, the chronicler’s written word gains power. This ability functions like the chronicler’s epic tales ability, except that if read aloud, the bardic music takes effect as if the author had used the ability, but the effects are targeted by the reader and use the reader’s Charisma score where applicable.

Lay of the Exalted Dead (Su)

Once per week as a full-round action, a 10th-level chronicler can summon 1d4+1 5th-level human barbarians, as if she used an iron horn of Valhalla. The summoned barbarians serve her with complete and unquestioning loyalty. They are constructs, with the incorporeal subtype (they take 50% of the damage from corporeal sources, and no damage from non-magical sources). They arrive wearing +2 studded leather and wielding +1 ghost touch great axes (allowing them to deal full damage to corporeal creatures) and attack anyone the chronicler designates. To the chronicler and their allies, these exalted dead appear like a noble troop of spectral warriors. Her enemies, however, behold the terrible wrath of the ancient heroes and must succeed at Will saves or become shaken for 1 round per summoned barbarian (DC 15 + the chronicler’s Charisma modifier).

Variant Class Features


Chronicler’s Versatility

Not every chronicler is a fighting skald that would find thematically fit summoning berserkers to fight for her as with a horn of Valhalla. Instead, every member of this class should be able to choose equivalent abilities in place of call down the legends and lay of the exalted dead, inspired by different magic musical instruments and even other kinds of items, depending on her main performance type.

At 7th level, a chronicler selects one Perform skill that she has ranks in and gains supernatural abilities tied to one magic item related to the selected skill, up to a value of 50,000 gp (so the call down the legends and lay of the exalted dead abilities of a standard chronicler would require competence in Perform [wind instrument).

At 10th level, this ability improves to that of a magic item up to a value of 70,000 gp. All powers that reproduce spells are cast using the chronicler’s level as casting level unless otherwise specified; if a power allows a saving throw, the save DC is equal to 15 + the chronicler’s Charisma modifier. Some items’ powers can be tuned up or down to give equal advantages to different chroniclers. A few examples follow.

Band of Triumph (Oratory)

Announcement of Victory (Su)

At 7th level, once per day, a chronicler can point her finger and mentally designate one or more creatures or objects in a 60-foot cone as enemies, after which she shouts a few words of defiance. Selected targets in the area are affected by shout. All other objects in the area are unharmed, and all other creatures in the area receive the benefits of the chronicler’s inspire courage bardic performance for 3 rounds. The chronicler needs not to expend rounds of performance for this effect.

Lift the Spirits (Su)

At 10th level, the chronicler’s announcement of victory functions as greater shout on the designated targets, and the inspire courage bonus provided to other creatures increases by 1.

Book of Perfect Jokes (Comedy)

Unbound Satire (Su)

At 7th level, a chronicler can cast hideous laughter three times per day. In addition, once per day, the chronicler can make a brutal verbal tirade mocking a creature, causing it to become enraged per the rage spell.

Ultimate Ridicule (Su)

At 10th level, whenever the chronicler uses unbound satire, all other enemies within 30 feet of the enraged target begin laughing uncontrollably, as hideous laughter.

Daring Dancers (Dance)

Unfettered Movement (Su)

At 7th level, a chronicler’s footfalls become so light that she can dance gracefully on any surface and make a 5-foot step even in difficult terrain. In addition, three times per day she can use dimension door on herself only.

Dance Through Space (Su)

At 10th level, when using the unfettered movement ability to teleport, a chronicler can take other creatures with her as per dimension door.

Drums of Haste (Percussion)

Shifting Tempo (Su)

At 7th level, a chronicler can grant the effects of a haste spell on up to 5 creatures. The drums can affect up to 25 creatures per day.

Overwhelming Rhythm (Su)

At 10th level, the chronicler can affect up to a total of 25 creatures per day with either haste or slow. The chronicler must declare which effect she wishes to use every time.

Glass of Veils (Act)

Master Impersonator (Su)

At 7th level, a chronicler can study a creature for 1 minute and assume its appearance, as per the veil spell. The bonus on Disguise checks increases to +20 with this ability. The disguise is always the mirror image of the creature, however, which might reveal to astute observers familiar with the creature that something is wrong (for instance, a mole on the wrong side of the face); this increases the bonus on Perception checks to see through the disguise for creatures intimately familiar with the creature in question from +10 to +25. The chronicler can use the master impersonator ability up to three times per day, though it can provide only one veil effect at a time, so if she activates it again before the previous veil expires, the first effect ends. A chronicler can have a number of subjects memorized at the same time equal to her class level.

Troupe of Thespians (Su)

At 10th level, the chronicler can grant the benefits of her master impersonator ability to a number of creatures equal to her Charisma bonus. The chronicler still has to take time to study each subject to imitate.

Lyre of Building (Sing)

Move the Rocks (Su)

At 7th level, a chronicler can sing a magic song that negates any attacks made against inanimate construction (walls, roof, floor, and so on) within 300 feet.

This includes the effects of a horn of blasting, a disintegrate spell, or an attack from a ram or similar siege weapon. This protection lasts for 30 minutes.

The chronicler’s song can also magically construct buildings, mines, tunnels, ditches, etc. Each round of bardic performance spent this way produces the effect of 3 human workers laboring for 1 day. Both these magic songs can be used once per day.

Wall of Song (Su)

At 10th level, the chronicler’s magic songs doubles: the protection effect lasts for 1 hour, while the construction effect is equal to 6 human workers laboring for 1 day.

Samisen of Oracular Vision (Keyboard)

Vision of the Organist (Su)

At 7th level, a chronicler is able to use each one of the following three effects once per day; legend lore (maximum casting time 1 hour), scrying, or divination.

Fateful Tune (Su)

At 10th level, the chronicler can use the vision of the organist ability to cast greater scrying, vision, and foresight once per day each.

Soothing Lyre (String)

Harmonies of Perfect Peace (Su)

At 7th level, a chronicler can target all creatures within a 30-foot-radius burst with a lullaby spell. Additionally, once per day as a standard action, she can perform a soothing performance once per day, even if she is not of sufficient level to normally have access to that ability. If the chronicler can use soothing performance, her effective caster level for that ability increases by 1.

Melody of Renewal (Su)

At 10th level, when using her harmonies of perfect peace ability, the chronicler can make her soothing performance work as mass cure critical wounds.

If she could normally use soothing performance, this works instead as mass heal.

Editor’s Note

If a prestige class requires 5 ranks in a skill and I have 6 ranks in that skill, do I still meet the requirements?

Yes, because skill ranks are inclusive: if you have 6 ranks in a skill, then you have 5 ranks in that skill, and therefore meet the “have 5 ranks in [this] skill” requirement.

In the same way, if you have a BAB of +6, then you have a BAB of +5, and therefore meet the “have BAB +5” requirement.

In the same way, if you have Str 15, then you have Str 13, and therefore meet the “Str 13” feat prerequisite for Power Attack.

However, spellcasting ability is not inclusive: it is possible (mainly through the use of spell-like abilities) to be able to cast 3rd-level spells but not 2nd-level spells. If you can only cast 3rd-level spells, that does not meet the requirement of “able to cast 2nd-level spells.”

Likewise, feat prerequisites are not inclusive, as it is possible for a creature to have a feat without meeting that feat’s prerequisites. For example, a ranger can select Precise Shot as a ranger bonus feat without having the Point Blank Shot feat; he does not meet the prerequisites for Far Shot (which has Point Blank Shot as a prerequisite) because he doesn’t actually have the Point Blank Shot feat, even though he has a feat that lists Point Blank Shot as a prerequisite.


Section 15: Copyright Notice

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

scroll to top