View Full Version : Bard (Incantation Class)

2007-12-31, 06:19 PM
Bard. The most laughed at base class, other than possibly monk. In 1st ed, they were a Prestige Class, as we now define the term (requiring levels in Fighter and Thief). They fell mightily from there. 2nd ed Bards were laughingstocks. 3rd ed bards, and even 3.5 bards, are seen as underpowered, despite being an arcane spellcasting class.

With my revamping of the magic system into an Incantation system, I saw an opportunity to bring bards up to par with the rest of the classes in terms of power. Each of my incantation classes has their forte, and the Bard's forte is mind-affecting save-or-loose and applying penalties. Sure, they don't do a whole lot of damage, but as any Batman Wizard will tell you, Save or Loose > Damage any day of the week. It is also kept fairly balanced by being almost exclusively Mind Affecting, which means there are whole categories which are immune to their effects. Even during such times, the Bard can still buff their party to great effect, so they'll always have something to do.

Bard v1.0

Hit Die: d6

Class Skills (6 + Int Mod) X 4 at 1st level: Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (n/a), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).


+2|Bardic Music +1/-1 | 1

+3|Bardic Knowledge | 2

+3|Bardic Music: Inspire Competence | 2

+4|Uncanny Dodge | 3

+4| Bardic Music +2/-2 | 3

+5| New Invocation (lesser) | 4

+5| Bardic Music: Inspire Might | 4

+6| Bonus Feat | 5

+6| Bardic Music +3/-3 | 5

+7| Evasion | 6

+7|Bardic Music: Inspire Defense, New Invocation (greater) | 7

+8|Manipulate Item | 7

+8| Bonus Feat | 8

+9| Bardic Music +4/-4 | 8

+9|Improved Uncanny Dodge | 9

+10| New Invocation (greatest) | 10

+10|Bardic Music: Inspire Resistance | 10

+11|Bonus Feat | 11

+11| Amplify | 11

+12| Bardic Music +5/-5, Improved Evasion | 12
Class Features:
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A bard is proficient with all simple weapons, plus the longsword, rapier, sap, short sword, shortbow, and whip. Bards are proficient with light armor. They are not proficent in shields.

Incantations Bards are subject to ASF for their incantations, except in light armor. This does not count as a feat for purposes of qualifying for other feats, however.

All of a Bard's incantations are considered to be Mind Affecting abilities dependent on being able to hear the Bard. All incantations requires the Bard to play on his instrument, although a Performance check may or may not be required, depending on the incant. The music is the focus for a Bard's magic, if he cannot make music, he cannot make magic.

Bardic Music (Ex): Bardic Music is different from Incantations in that it is not magical in nature, it is the bard's ability to uplift the morale of his allies, or dampen the morale of his opponents.
Bardic Music is always considered to be a mind-affecting sonic effect which always applies Morale bonuses or penalties. It is not magical in nature, therefore SR does not apply.
To use Bardic Music, the Bard must make a Performance check, DC 15+ (bonus or penalty to be applied)
Bardic Music bonuses or penalties apply for as long as the Bard spends a Standard Action each round playing music, plus his class level in rounds after the music stops.

At 1st level, the Bard may apply his bonus to the attack rolls of his allies, or as a penalty to the attack rolls of all enemies who can hear his music. At 3rd, he may apply it to skill checks (other than his own). At 7th, he may apply it to damage rolls. At 11th, he may apply it to AC. At 17th level, he may apply it to saving throws.

Bardic Knowledge (Ex): A Bard soaks up knowledge by virtue of his vocation: to listen to and repeat tales. He is well versed in a wide variety of topics. The more well-versed he is, the better he can cross-reference and come up with the answer. For every Knowledge skill he has over 5 ranks in, he gets a +1 untyped bonus to all Knowledge checks made to identify or recognise something. For all Knowledge skills he has over 10 ranks in, he gains an additional +1, then an additional +1 for 15 and 20 ranks respectively. Thus if a Bard had Knowledge (Arcana) at 20 ranks, Knowledge (religion) at 14 ranks, Knowledge (Nature) at 6 ranks, and Knowledge (the Planes) at 4 ranks, he would have a total bonus of +7 to all knowledge skills (4 from Arcana, 2 from Religion, and 1 from Nature). This bonus may only be applied to a Knowledge skill which the Bard has ranks in.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 4nd level, a bard retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a bard already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead

Bonus Feat: At 8th level, the bard gains a bonus feat. This may be taken from the Fighter's feat list, or a bard may take an Invocation which he qualifies for instead. He gains another feat at 13th and 18th.

Evasion (Ex): At 10th level or higher if a bard makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a bard is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless bard does not gain the benefit of evasion

Manipulate Item (Ex): At 12th level, a bard learns the knack of tricking magic items into functioning for them. They may always take 10 on any Use Magic Device check, even under duress.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 15th level and higher, a bard can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the bard by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has barbarian levels. If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level a rogue must be to flank the character.

Amplify(Ex): At 19th level, a Bard learns how to increase the effectiveness from his Invocations. He may double the range, number of targets, or number of hit dice he can affect with an Invocation.

Improved Evasion (Ex): At 20th level, a bard's Evasion ability improves. She still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth she takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless bard does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

2007-12-31, 06:45 PM

Comprehend Languages
Charm Person (max HD = Bard levels, only one charmed person at a time)
Hedious Laughter
Hypnotic Music (Hypnotic Pattern, but sonic rather than sight)
Remove Fear
Sleep (max HD = Bard levels)
Calm Emotions
Daze Monster (single target, HD = bard level)
Sound Burst
Whispering Wind
Countersong (counters any continuous sonic effect with contested Perform check)
Phantom Noise

Primal Song - affect animals and magical beasts with Bardic Music
Glibness (If a magical effect is used against you that would detect your lies or force you to speak the truth the user of the effect must succeed on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) against a DC of 15 + your caster level to succeed. Failure means the effect does not detect your lies or force you to speak only the truth.)
Legend Lore (no material component required)
Crushing Despair

Analyze Dewomer
Requium Song - able to affect Undead with Bardic Music, even if immune to mind-affecting
Green Song - able to affect Plants with Bardic Music
Blend Song - Able to give allies multiple Bardic Music Effects
Phantom Instrument - Conjures an instrument from thin air to play
Freedom of Movement
Dominate (max hd = bard level)
Zone of Silence
Cat's Grace (affects all allies)
Eagle's Splendor (affects all allies)
Suggestion, Mass

Cocaphany - may apply penalties to multiple stats with Bardic Music
Song of Discord
Power Word: Stun
Irresistable Dance (Range is LoS, duration is as long as bard keeps playing, each round may add another target)
Greater Enthrall - creature must have more HD than you, or a Wisdom higher than your Charisma to be aware of their surroundings.