View Full Version : I know it sounds stupid...

2007-08-22, 09:31 PM
Balance me a Bard without spells?
A guy in my campaign wants the bardic music but not the spells. Balance it out please :D

2007-08-22, 09:51 PM
Dunno if I can help you there, but introduce your player to the Seeker of the Song prestige class in Complete Mage (maybe Arcane). It requires a 10th lvl Bard, so you'd have to figure that part out, but after that, the class does big, interesing music effects without any spellcasting progression.

2007-08-22, 10:29 PM
Bard+Ranger stuff...like the fighting styles and what not.

2007-08-22, 10:58 PM
Just create a trade off for Bardic Music uses and Spells. For every X Spells given up, you get Y Bardic Music Charges.

2007-08-23, 04:43 AM
I'm working on a music-less Bard variant at the moment, but it'll be a while before it's completed. The Bardic music works like Turning Undead (i.e. rolling for the max hit dice affected, and you can only affect a certain number of hit dice etc) and you combine various Bardic Notes into Bardic Melodies and Bardic Ballads that combine the power of the notes for a penalty in using them all at once. I hope to have it completed soon, so watch out for it.

2007-08-23, 05:41 AM
I'm envisioning something Link-esque. Very similar to a bard, gets a variety of songs, teleportation, summon mount, a utility courage song. I'll have to dig into the books and such though, I haven't played a bard since 2e.

2007-08-23, 06:31 AM
Play a Warblade with White Raven maneuvers and always carry a lute?

2007-08-23, 07:53 AM
get him more songs and a higher hit die...
you can also make "songs" that have same effect like spells...

2007-08-23, 05:27 PM
Can it acually be done?

maybe throw in a buncha fighter and ranger stuff in there and throw in some more hit-dice and skill points and then finally give him more sneak attack.

2007-08-23, 07:02 PM
So its looking like...

Increased Hit Die
Rogue Skill Points
More Uses of Music per Day.


2007-08-23, 07:06 PM
I think a bit underpowered myself... I'd rather have more potential uses for my bardic music than more uses for the same things. Though both would be nice.

I think bardic spellcasting is often under-estimated; with the right list, the bard can do some pretty cool stuff.

2007-08-23, 08:22 PM
I think a bit underpowered myself... I'd rather have more potential uses for my bardic music than more uses for the same things. Though both would be nice.

I think bardic spellcasting is often under-estimated; with the right list, the bard can do some pretty cool stuff.
I agree. HP, skills, and more uses of bardic music doesn't make up for the loss of spellcasting. Bards aren't known for casting, but it's a very important class feature.

I'm not sure exactly what would make up for the loss of spells. I think adding a lot more bardic music might do it. Probably with a multiple option menu of features to pick from. Some of the later music choices would have to be fairly strong too. That's in addition to an increase in bardic music per day. You might also give them some of those bardic music feats free too.

Extra skills fit the class. I don't see bards as having a lot of HP though. I don't think I'd increase their HD size.

Fax Celestis
2007-08-23, 09:09 PM
Try my Prodigy base class (http://corporation.walagata.com/fax/wiki/index.php/Prodigy).

2007-08-23, 09:55 PM
in the Dark Sun campaign setting Bards don't cast spells but have other bonuses to make up for this. bonuses to things like smuggling, lying, and using poison. its a really kewl take on the Bard and the only one my players use

2007-08-24, 11:55 AM
I'd just give him unlimited bardic music, plus sneak attack on even levels. If that's too much, you could scale the sneak attack back to every three levels. Don't give him sneak attack at first level, though, or he'd be too much better than the rogue.

2007-08-24, 12:20 PM
Well, there is a feat in Complete Adventurer that allows you to trade Bardic Music uses for spells (at a rate of (1+spell level) uses of Bardic Music to cast a spell you know), so you could simply use that in reverse...i.e. each Lvl.1 spell you would otherwise be able to cast = 2 uses of Bardic Music, each level 2 = 3 BM, etc.

I wouldn't give Bards Sneak Attack...it's too much of a combative ability.

Increased Skills is a definite, but I'd steer clear of increased HD myself.

As bizarre as it might sound, the Summon Familiar ability could be part of the "replacement package", so to speak...the idea of a Bard with an intelligent companion is a viable one (even though he's no longer a spellcaster)...perhaps even a Companion Familiar ability like the Arcane Heirophant has...

...hmm, yeah, that'll be my official suggestion, I think:

Increase skill points/level to 8+Int mod and gain the Companion Familiar ability (as per Arcane Heirophant...see Races of the Wild). Lose all spellcasting.

2007-08-24, 07:44 PM
Or an animal companion. Monkey! Trick: Music Box!

Sorry, but monkeys are cute.

Anyway; I've worked on an idea years ago, for 3.0. It was basically a battle-bard, with bardic music and a whole range of dagger/rapier special stuff. Feats and features. Choosing a combat style, as in: Either daggers or rapier.

Looked kind of nifty, and made the bard quite the choice for either dueling or dagger-minnigunning, didn't give her a large part in the damage dealt, but certainly made her more versatile and self-sufficient.

2007-08-25, 12:32 AM
The earlier suggestion of a familiar seems to have merit, and then I started thinking animal companion... that seems a bit too wild though, but how about Leadership? It kind of feels like a natural bonus feat for a Charismatic, interaction-based class. It's just one bonus feat, and it doesn't allow you to skip any fancy prereqs, unless you ignored the 6th-level entry requirement, and gave it much earlier. Might make a compelling reason to play a bard if you got to have a spiffy sidekick right from the getgo. Needs a bit of attention though, so maybe if you went with just a cohort, no followers, and the cohort only progressed based on your bard level (no dipping).
You might also look at the ninja in terms of good skills progression throughout:
Theatrics: Starting at 6th level, a bard gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, and Perform checks. This improves to +4 at 12th level and +6 at 18th level.

If you want a drastic combat ability and don't mind lifting blatantly from another class, I've always felt that the archivist's dark knowledge class ability would mesh well with the bardic lore flavour of the bard.

2007-08-25, 12:26 PM
I like the idea of a bard having a cohort, maybe more to do with music. There's a lot of feats out there that give new bard songs; maybe give some bonus feats (every 3-4 levels) that can be used to choose either a new bard song, extra music, better bardic knowledge, luck feats, or those funny feats that allow you to affect different creatures. That would really help in the lack of magic.

Also, give him a fan base! Like leadership, but they don't obey orders blindly (they do what they think the bard wants, even if he doesn't want it.)

2007-08-25, 01:13 PM
Telepathy? Speed Increase? Dreamwalking? Translocation?

I think more HD, familiars and SA are not suitable for bards.

2007-08-25, 02:08 PM
Full BAB + unlimited music per day?

Captain van der Decken
2007-08-25, 02:35 PM
^ Sounds like a good idea to me. Might want to increase the HD though.

2007-08-25, 02:40 PM
With d8 HP per level they might overshadow rangers a bit. Only d6 would encourage them not to keep in melee to much - they will be support and light attackers with decent offense but weak defense.

But heck, rangers are already a bit on the weak side. You can add d8 HP to my changes, if you think bard's too weak after them.

2007-08-25, 06:48 PM
I really don't like the idea of making a bard a combat class, so I'd say no to full BAB. And really, better hitdice aren't quite the solution either. I like the idea of a cohort, though. Perhaps give them Leadership or something like it at level three.

2007-08-25, 08:28 PM
Maybe you could turn Bards into a Swashbuckler with Bardic Music?

2007-08-26, 12:57 AM
You could just use the Fell Caller variant from Iron kingdoms and ignore the racial prerequisite. they get the bardic abilities and stuff, but instead of spells they get special sonic attacks

2007-08-26, 04:27 AM
Maybe you could turn Bards into a Swashbuckler with Bardic Music?

That's the reasoning behind my full BAB idea.