One of the solutions to the "Bard Problem" Micheal and I discussed yesterday was coming up with feats that replicate or mimic bard class abilities or functionality so that bards (as a class) can be removed. This the "hard way" to fix this problem, as it means creating a number of feats and possibly re-writing prestige classes your players might still be interested in. Below, I've written up a few feats to get you started if this solution tickles your fancy.
Hypnagogic Voice [General]
You have the ability to induce a trance-like state in others with only your voice.
Prerequisite: Perform (oratory or sing) 4 ranks.
Benefit: You may cast hypnotism as a spell-like ability a number of times per day equal to you Charisma bonus (minimum 1/day). Your caster level equals your character level. You must speak to activate this ability, and the targets must be able to hear you.
Improved Hypnagogic Voice [General]
The hypnagogic power of your voice easily overpowers lesser folk.
Prerequisite: Hypnagogic Voice, Perform (oratory or sing) 9 ranks.
Benefit: You gain the following spell-like abilities, each usable once per day: calm emotions, enthrall, and suggestion. Your caster level equals your character level. You must speak to activate these abilities, and the targets must be able to hear you.
Inspiring Performance [General]
You supernaturally boost your allies’ morale with your musical talent.
Prerequisite: Perform (any) 4 ranks.
Benefit: You can use song or poetics to inspire courage in your allies (including yourself) as a move action, bolstering them against fear and improving their combat abilities. To be affected, an ally must be able to hear you sing. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears you sing (requiring a move action each round) and for 1d4 rounds thereafter. An affected ally receives a +1 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 morale bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls. If you have 11 ranks in a Perform skill these bonuses increase by 1, and the bonus increases by 1 again for every six additional ranks (+2 at 11 ranks, +3 at 17 ranks, and +4 at 23 ranks). You can activate this ability a number of times per day equal to you Charisma bonus (minimum 1/day). This is a supernatural, mind-affecting ability.
You are well traveled and versed in much esoteric lore.
Prerequisite: Int 13, Knowledge (any) 4 ranks.
Benefit: You may make a special lore check with a bonus equal to your character level + your Intelligence modifier to see whether you know some relevant information about local notable people, legendary items, or noteworthy places. See the table below to determine the DC for this check.
|DC||Type of Knowledge|
|10||Common, known by at least a substantial minority of the local population.|
|20||Uncommon but available, known by only a few people legends.|
|25||Obscure, known by few, hard to come by.|
|30||Extremely obscure, known by very few, possibly forgotten by most who once knew it, possibly known only by those who don’t understand the significance of the knowledge.|