[RPG] What prestige classes progress Bardic Knowledge and Spellcasting


I know there are a few such as Loremaster and Ardent Dilettante, but I was wondering if there were any others that progressed both spellcasting and bardic knowledge.

Best Answer

To the best of my knowledge, a complete list:

Class Spellcasting1 Source
Ardent Dilettante 9/10 (all except 1st) Planar Handbook
Citadel Elite 2/5 (evens; replaces bonus feats) Sharn, City of Towers
Dark Scholar² 9/10 (all except 1st) Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
Fochlucan Lyrist³ 10/10 (arcane) + 10/10 (divine) Complete Adventurer
Harper Agent 4/5 (all except 1st) Player’s Guide to Faerûn
Harper Mage 5/5 Magic of Faerûn
Harper Priest⁴ 5/5 (divine only) Magic of Faerûn
Loredelver³ 9/10 (all except 1st) Races of Destiny
Loremaster 10/10 Dungeon Master’s Guide
Moonstar Agent 5/5 City of Splendors, Waterdeep
Olin Gisir⁵ 10/10 Lost Empires of Faerûn
Ollam 3/5 (2nd, 3rd, 4th) Complete Adventurer
Paragnostic Apostle⁶ 5/5 Complete Champion
Prestige Bard⁷ 10/15 (all except 1st, 3rd, 6th, 8th, and 13th) Unearthed Arcana
Urban Savant⁵ 9/10 (all except 10th) Cityscape
  1. The Spellcasting column indicates how many of the class’s levels progress spellcasting: n/m indicates the class progresses spellcasting n times over m levels, and the following parenthetical indicates which levels progress spellcasting. For example, ardent dilettante reads “At each ardent dilettante level after 1st, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which she belonged before adding the prestige class,” hence a spellcasting entry of “9/10 (all except 1st).”

  2. Has scholarly lore class feature, which functions like bardic knowledge but does not explicitly state that it stacks with levels in bard.

  3. Cannot be entered as a single-classed bard (Fochlucan lyrist requires arcane and divine spells as well as evasion and knowledge of the Druidic language, loredelver requires trapfinding).

  4. Requires and advances divine spells. Could still be useful to a cloistered cleric or divine bard.

  5. Does not add level to bardic knowledge checks, but does get bonuses to bardic knowledge checks. Amounts to 4/10 and 3/10 progression for Olin Gisir and urban savant, respectively.

  6. Levels count double towards check.

  7. Is intended to be a replacement for the regular bard, so probably shouldn’t be advancing bard.

Honorable mentions to harper scout, merchant prince, and sublime chord, which progress bardic knowledge and have their own spellcasting. Sublime chord’s spellcasting is a substantial upgrade over bard, having 4th- through 9th-level spells from the bard and sor/wiz lists.

But for bardic knowledge/lore, the big winner here is the paragnostic apostle, which counts double (and has full spellcasting and some other solid class features to boot).