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Starsinger
2008-06-19, 04:02 AM
Ladies and gentlemen! I present to you, level 1 bards! Any and all criticism and comments welcome.

Basic information
Class Traits
Role: Leader
Power Source: Arcane. You can tap into magical effects of music, while weaving illusions about yourself, to inspire and bedazzle those who see and hear you.
Key Abilities: Charisma, Dexterity, Intelligence

Armor Proficiencies: Cloth, Leather, Hide
Weapon Proficiencies: Melee Simple, Ranged Simple

Implements: Instruments, Dancer Props
Defenses: +1 Reflex, +1 Will
Hit Points: 12+Constitution Score
Hit Points per Level Gained: 5
Healing Surges per Day: 7+ Constitution Modifier
Skills Trained: Pick Five of the Following: Arcana (Int), Bluff (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Dungeoneering (Wis), History (Int), Insight (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Religion (Int), Streetwise (Cha), Thievery (Dex)

Class Features: Soothing Song, Art of Expression, Bardic Knowledge

Class Features
Art of Expression: Nothing prevents a bard from being a musician and a dancer, but many bards choose to specialize either way. Choose Art of the Dancer or Art of the Musician at 1st level.
Art of the Dancer: When you use a power with the Dance keyword, you gain a + 1 bonus to AC and Reflex until the end of your next turn.
Art of the Musician: Once per day, you may choose to cause all allies to roll a saving throw.

Soothing Song: The Bard’s Soothing Song class feature works like a power.

Soothing Song Bard Feature
You create a song which soothes and calms the target, allowing them to fight on.
Encounter (Special) ✦ Arcane, Healing
Special: You can use this power twice per encounter, but only once per round. At 16th level, you can use soothing song three times per encounter.
Minor Action Close burst 5 (10 at 11th level, 15 at 21st level)
Target: You or one ally in burst
Effect: The target can spend a healing surge, and gain hit additional hit points equal to your Charisma modifier. At higher levels there is an amount of additional hit points regained equal to 1d6 at 6th level, 2d6 at 11th level, 3d6 at 16th level, 4d6 at 21st level, and 5d6 at 26th level.
Secondary Effect: All allies adjacent to the target regain hit points equal to your Charisma modifier; this is not subject to the additional healing dice at higher levels.

At Will powers
Level 1-At Will Spells
Distracting Dance Bard Attack 1
Your dancing serves to distract a foe, leaving him open for an ally.
At-Will ✦ Arcane, Implement, Dance
Standard Action Ranged 5
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. Will
Hit: You grant an ally of your choice a basic attack against the Target, with a bonus to attack rolls equal to your Charisma modifier.
Miss: Your ally has a bonus on attack rolls against the target equal to your Charisma modifier until the end of your next turn.

Phantasm Tango Bard Attack 1
While you dance, you conjure a phantasmal servant to attack your foe
At-Will ✦ Arcane, Implement, Dance, Illusion
Standard Action Ranged 5
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity +2 vs. Will
Hit: 1d6 +Charisma modifier psychic damage and an ally adjacent to the target gains Combat advantage against the target until the end of your next turn.
Miss: An ally adjacent to the target gains combat advantage against the target until the end of your next turn.

Sound Burst Bard Attack 1
You assault an enemy with loud noise
At-Will ✦ Arcane, Implement, Thunder
Standard Action Ranged 5
Target: One creature
Attack: Charisma vs. Fortitude
Hit: 1d8+Charisma modifier thunder damage. This is a basic ranged attack.

Rapier Wit Bard Attack 1
Your scathing retorts hurt the enemy as much as your weapon
At-Will ✦ Arcane, Weapon
Standard Action Melee weapon
Target: One creature
Attack: Charisma vs. AC
Hit: 1[W]+Charisma modifier damage. If you make a witty remark, deal additional damage equal to your intelligence modifier.

Encounter Powers
Level 1 Encounter Spells
Tasha’s Hideous Laughter Bard Attack 1
Out of nowhere you conjure the sound
Encounter ✦ Arcane, Fear, Implement
Standard Action Ranged 10
Target: One creature
Attack: Charisma vs. Will
Hit: The target is stunned (save ends).

Dramatic Tension Bard Attack 1
Sometimes you have to rely on chance, at great risk
Encounter ✦ Arcane, Weapon, Reliable
Standard Action Melee weapon
Target: One creature
Trigger: You are bloodied
Attack: Charisma +2 vs. Reflex
Hit: 2[W] +charisma modifier damage, if the target is also bloodied, instead deal 3[W] +charisma modifier damage.
Miss: The target gets to make a basic melee attack against you.

Expeditious Retreat Bard Attack 1
Out of nowhere you conjure the sound
Encounter ✦ Arcane, Weapon
Standard Action Melee weapon
Target: One creature
Attack: Charisma vs. AC
Hit: 1[W]+Charisma modifier damage, and you can shift a number of squares equal to your Speed

Phantasm Waltz Bard Attack 1
Your dance summons a squad of illusory soldiers to attack your enemies.
Encounter ✦ Arcane, Dance, Implement, Illusion
Standard Action Area burst 1 within 10 squares
Target: Each enemy in the burst
Attack: Dexterity vs. Will
Hit: 1d6 +Charisma modifier psychic damage, and the targets grant combat advantage until the end of your next turn.

Daily Powers
Level 1 Daily Powers
Sonic Lance Bard Attack 1
A focused bolt of sonic energy devastates your enemy.
Daily ✦ Arcane, Implement, Thunder
Standard Action Ranged 10
Target: One creature
Attack: Charisma vs. Will
Hit: 3d8 + Charisma modifier thunder damage, and the target is stunned (save ends).
Miss: Half damage, and the target gains no vulnerability.

Summon Monster I Bard Attack1
You summon a dire wombat guardian to destroy your foes with wombat rage.
Daily ✦ Arcane, Conjuration, Implement
Standard Action Ranged 5
Effect: You conjure a dire wombat that occupies 1 square within range. Every round, you can move the wombat 3 squares as a move action. The wombat lasts until the end of the encounter. Any creature that ends its turn next to the conjured guardian is subject to a Charisma vs. Reflex attack. On a hit, the attack deals 1d8 +Charisma modifier damage.

Battle Dance Bard Attack 1
You dance around with your weapon, looking for a hole in the enemy’s defense.
Daily ✦ Arcane, Dance, Weapon
Standard Action Melee Weapon
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. Reflex
Hit: 3[W] +Dexterity modifier damage and the target suffers a penalty to AC equal to your Intelligence modifier (save ends).
Miss: 1[W] +Dexterity modifier damage.

Flamenco Del Fuego Bard Attack 1
Your fiery dance conjures up illusory flames which damages your enemies .
Daily ✦ Arcane, Dance, Implement
Standard Action Area burst 1 in 10 squares
Target: All enemies in burst
Attack: Dexterity vs. Will
Hit: 2d8 + Charisma modifier fire damage, and takes ongoing on going fire damage 5 (save ends).
Miss: Half damage, and the target takes no ongoing damage.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-06-19, 07:27 AM
Finally, someone tried to make a bard class! Thanks, star. I'll be willing to contribute, and I call dibs on the epic tier powermaking.

Now, criticism:

Basic info: Give bard proficiency in three military weapons of their choice, ranged or melee. That way, they can do the classic swashbuckler without having to spend feats on getting a passable sword.

At wills: The miss effects go out of the window. No at will has a miss effect that is not some damage, and having something different makes bards ridiculously powerful.

Distracting dance should work like the Commander's Strike, adding CHA to damage, because if not, it becomes ridiculously powerful as the ally PA's for gross extra damage.

Phantasm tango has no bonus on the attack roll, and shouldn't grant CA, since no striker at will powers do and they are the ones supposed to strike. Make it give you a "dance partner", instead, which gives flanking for all purposes but doesn't give a bonus to AB. Of course, the miss effect is killed because it's WAY too good.

Sound Burst is okay. Me likey.

Rapier Wit: While I like the Dashing swordsman idea, it's not good to give a player a tremendous damage advantage via inconstant mechanics. Maybe make the attack target Will, because the remark opens up holes in the enemy defense?

Encounter powers:

Hideous laughter is brutally powerful. Seriously, STUN on a per encounter LEVEL ONE power? There's a nerf in order. Daze would be a neat effect.

Dramatic tension is pretty good. It's okay as is, since a retort if you miss will hurt, REALLY bad.

Expeditious retreat should be an utility. You should craft a new power there, it really isn't an attack power.

Phantom waltz is very good, perhaps even too much. What about making it give a to-hit penalty instead?

I'll comment on the dailies later.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-06-19, 07:39 AM
Okay, daily time.

Sonic Lance seems okay.

Summon Monster seems very out of place. I'd make a new thing. Monster summoning is a Shaman/Druid schtick.

Battle dance is a bit too strong. Make it give half Int as a penalty.

Flamenco del Fuego is good, I say. That said, I'd like to know what you want to mean with it. As is, it means "Flamenco of fire". If you want it to mean "Fiery Flamenco", it would be "Flamenco Fogoso". The name gets points for originality. Speaking of which, d'you want help with making the little flavor text? I can brew up some original ideas if you want.

Starsinger
2008-06-19, 07:57 AM
Flamenco del Fuego is good, I say. That said, I'd like to know what you want to mean with it. As is, it means "Flamenco of fire". If you want it to mean "Fiery Flamenco", it would be "Flamenco Fogoso". The name gets points for originality.

Tiny nitpick now, more response later. del is "of the" so it's "Flamenco of the fire"

exodus_dragon
2008-06-19, 08:36 AM
I like the bard idea, of course im not a bard player but its pretty cool. I just hope no one hit on the monk yet. because i havea wonderful idea to put into place..... I CALL DIBS ON MONK lol. again cool idea with the bard i have no comments for it.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-06-19, 09:14 AM
Tiny nitpick now, more response later. del is "of the" so it's "Flamenco of the fire"

Same thing really. Since "Del" is a shortened form of "De el", it's the same thing with "Of fire" or "Of the fire", due to how ellipsis can stand in to represent the merge of the two words.

Also, some level 2 utilities.

Level 2 Utility Powers

Veil Dance Bard Utility 2
An enrapturing dance which comes from far, far away shields you and an ally from harm, making it difficult for enemies to connect with their attacks.
Encounter ✦ Arcane, Dance
Standard Action Personal
Target: You and up to one ally adjacent to you.
Effect: You (And your ally) gain concealment until the end of your next turn.
Sustain Minor: The effect persists until the end of your next turn.


Shifting Steps Bard Utility 2
Like coordinated dancers, you and your allies switch places in the dance.
Daily ✦ Arcane, Dance
Standard Action Personal
Target: You and up to 5 allies separated by no more than 6 squares each.
Effect: You may switch places with one ally who is up to 6 squares away from you. Additionally, if you and a third ally both accept to it, you may further swap places with another ally, once again at no more than 6 squares away. You may repeat this with up to 5 allies.

Song of the Pure Heart Bard Utility 2
A spellbinding song restores you or an ally's strength.
Encounter ✦ Arcane
Standard Action Touch
Target: You or an ally.
Effect: The target of this power may spend a healing surge.


Bad To The Bone (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Djj7jW6ny2M) Bard Utility 2
Focusing your powers into your instrument, you play a song, The heavy and mighty chords spurring you and your allies into new levels of skill and valor.
Daily ✦ Arcane
Standard Action Close Burst 10
Target: You and all allies in the burst.
Effect: The targets may spend a healing surge. If they do, they do not, however, gain the benefit of a normal surge. Instead, they gain a +2 bonus to all attack rolls, and a +4 bonus to damage.


Bad to the Bone might be WAY too powerful, but I had to do George Thorogood's song justice.

stupnick
2008-06-19, 02:13 PM
ok real quick, one fix i would suggest. Bards should be given the choice for Stealth. Since 1st edition bards have always been given some form of rogue skills. I would include Stealth as a choice for the bard.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-06-19, 02:46 PM
Since 1st edition, bards were jacks (as in, Jacks of All Trades). Not anymore, now they're their own niche. Thus, no need for Stealth, which would be ridiculous anyway, how are you gonna hide prancing around and playing music?

Yakk
2008-06-19, 03:44 PM
Huh?
"At higher levels there is an amount of additional hit points regained equal to 1d6 at 6th level, 2d6 at 11th level, 3d6 at 16th level, 4d6 at 21st level, and 5d6 at 26th level."

Is the Bard supposed to heal better or worse than the Cleric?

Because that seems to scale too fast.

Next:

Phantasm Tango Bard Attack 1
While you dance, you conjure a phantasmal servant to attack your foe
At-Will ? Arcane, Implement, Dance, Illusion
Standard Action Ranged 5
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity +2 vs. Will
Hit: 1d6 +Charisma modifier psychic damage and an ally adjacent to the target gains Combat advantage against the target until the end of your next turn.
Miss: An ally adjacent to the target gains combat advantage against the target until the end of your next turn.

Badly worded. The same power, worded right:

Phantasm Tango Bard Attack 1
While you dance, you conjure a phantasmal servant to attack your foe
At-Will + Arcane, Implement, Dance, Illusion
Standard Action Ranged 5
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity +2 vs. Will
Hit: 1d6 +Charisma modifier psychic damage
Effect: An ally adjacent to the target gains Combat advantage against the target until the end of your next turn.

Personally, your split between Dancer and Musician should have ... more to it.

What if Dance abilities where mostly melee, while Musician where mostly ranged?

You could even add some fun shifting...

The +2 vs Will seems ... huge. The damage is low. But free combat advantage can be huge...

This one:

Level 1-At Will Spells
Distracting Dance Bard Attack 1
Your dancing serves to distract a foe, leaving him open for an ally.
At-Will ? Arcane, Implement, Dance
Standard Action Ranged 5
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. Will
Hit: You grant an ally of your choice a basic attack against the Target, with a bonus to attack rolls equal to your Charisma modifier.
Miss: Your ally has a bonus on attack rolls against the target equal to your Charisma modifier until the end of your next turn.

I could see a player preferring a miss to a hit. :)

...

I could see 3 kinds of Bard. Body, Voice and Instrument?

...

A level 1 encounter power that does 2[W]+Stat is already pretty standard.

Attacks vs AC that are Weapon are balanced with +0. The +2 proficiency bonus cancels out with the expected +2 AC over other defenses.

A Weapon attack vs a non-AC stat, with an additional +2, is huge. That's like a weapon attack with +4 accuracy right there.

The bloodied requirement might be enough.. but they you do 3[W] when you are both bloodied...

"Expeditious Retreat" -- that is already a Wizard utility power name, isn't it? :)

...

I'm guessing the Bard is designed as a Leader sub Striker, right?

...

You did it again with Battle Dance. Weapon vs non-AC -- that's already a +2 to hit. Your ability does 3[W] damage, with a +2 to hit, and it applies a -int to AC for (save ends) turns... And does about half damage on a miss (1[W]+stat vs half 3[W]+stat is about equal).

...

The powers described aren't that leader-ish -- more striker than leader, really.

...

Avoid low-level attack powers that don't do damage, and instead debuff (like your no-damage stun). They don't exist in core 4e yet, introducing them seems a bit over-kill. :)

...

Implements.

Instruments are a clear tool. Weapons are a clear tool. What implements should a bard use for Vocal or Dance powers?

...

Good work -- I'm just attacking weak spots, I'm not saying that it doesn't kick ass!

...

Stats are?
Cha primary obviously. Int secondary for all (lore, etc)
Dex and Con for Dance bards (hence the idea that we make Dance bards the Melee bard).
Wis and Con for Voice bards?
Dex and Wis for Instrument bards?

That still leaves the problem of "what do Voice bards get for an Implement/Weapon bonus".

...

This might be too strong:
Blade Dance, Bard Attack 1
At-Will + Dance, Weapon
Standard Action, Melee
Attack: Dex vs AC
Hit: [W]+Cha damage, target provokes a melee OA from an ally
Damage increases to 2[W]+Cha at level 21.
Miss: Bard shifts 1

(Remember, a chance to attack is different than an attack. With a 50-50 chance to hit, this does about 1.5x standard damage on a hit: much like Cleave. The "overpowered" component is the shift of 1, but only on a miss -- I thought that would fit the theme of the power.)

Ceiling009
2008-06-19, 03:46 PM
Stealth skill on their class list? or Stealth like powers? I wouldn't have any problems if the bard has stealth on his class list... otherwise... how is (s)he going to run away from adoring... or angry fans?

Azerian Kelimon
2008-06-19, 04:46 PM
Yakk: Phantasm tango shouldn't grant CA, full stop. My opinion is that it should do something less powerful, since it's an at will.

Distracting dance, we agree there. It's b0rked.

You're right about the powers with a Weapon keyword attacking another defense being pretty strong, but consider a rogue has Piercing strike an no one complains from the massive To-Hit boost it gives. I don't see that much of a problem there.

Your proposed Blade Dance is absolutely brutal. It's MUCH more powerful than Cleave, because you forgot something: The biggest part of your damage comes from stats and bonuses. Thus, chance of hitting or not, Blade Dance is FAR too powerful, outmatching the Illusionary Ambush, the Commander's Strike, or the Viper's Strike (The closest thing to it, which IS NOT GUARANTEED TO GIVE AN AO, which makes a world of difference). It deserves a tremendous whack with the nerf bat.

Finally I'm very much against dividing the bard in three. All of the classes are supposed to have TWO big variants, not to mention there's pretty much no way to make a vocal implement (What would it be, a megaphone?), even though acrobatic/dancing gear can serve as a dancer implement. I say we keep it simple and down to Dancing and Musician bard, with Musician being Vocal plus instruments.

Yakk
2008-06-19, 05:22 PM
Dance bards should be able to sing as well. :)

Note that existing classes have a min. of 2 flavors -- both the Warlock and the Wizard have 3.

Piercing Strike is a 1[W]+Stat attack with no other to-hit bonus. That's ok.

Getting attack vs non-AC defense with a weapon (value: +2 to hit), another +2 to hit (total value: +4 to hit)... that is similar in power to Precise Strike (Fighter Encounter 3), which does 1[W]+Stat damage (!).

Phantasm Tango is a level 1 at-will power. (It only does 1d6+Stat, which is worse than [W]+Stat generally, but still!)

... and ya, it is close to Viper's Strike. And better. Hmm.

Blade Dance, Bard 1 Attack
At Will + Weapon, Dance
Range: Melee Touch
Attack: Dex vs AC
Hit: Do Dex bonus damage. Target provokes an OA from any adjacent creature. That attack gains a power bonus to hit and damage equal to your Charisma bonus.
Miss: Shift 1 square

Similar to Furious Smash...

Negatives compared to Furious: vs AC, not vs Fortitude. Bonus applies only to an OA, not an arbitrary attack.
Positives compared to Furious: Generates an OA. Shift on miss.

Note that the OA provoked can be from yourself.

Damage per attack:
50-50 chance for 0 damage
50-50 chance for Dex + ([email protected]+cha hit and damage)

A free basic attack +CHA hit and damage ... is about double damage, compared to a basic attack.

(Generally, you'll have someone adjacent to the target who does more damage than you do with an OA, hence it being leader-esque.)

Azerian Kelimon
2008-06-19, 05:39 PM
That's much better. However, I'd scrap the CHA bonus to hit (The CHA bonus to damage MIGHT stay, but the other one goes out), since it makes it all too easy to PA and get a tremendous bonus to damage, elevating it far above other at-wills.

In any case, Furious isn't as good as it seems. As you level up, the enemies get bigger, clumsier, and a LOT stronger and resilient (Much higher CON and STR, in layman's terms). By the epic tier, it's progressively better to target AC than fortitude, with Reflex in general being the lowest stat, in contrast to Will being the lowest one in the heroic tier.

Daracaex
2008-06-19, 07:34 PM
In the game Final Fantasy Tactics, they had bards and dancers. The bard's powers allowed him to buff up his party members, giving them bonuses. The dancer, however, used her power to hinder opponents, granting almost the same bonuses that the bard gave, but in reverse.

I guess what I'm trying to suggest is to make the instrumental bard have powers that help the party and the dancing bard getting powers to debuff the enemy. That adds a bit more depth to it than instrument=range, dance=melee.

Yakk
2008-06-19, 10:25 PM
That's much better. However, I'd scrap the CHA bonus to hit (The CHA bonus to damage MIGHT stay, but the other one goes out), since it makes it all too easy to PA and get a tremendous bonus to damage, elevating it far above other at-wills.

That reduces the ability to garbage. Work out the odds that the damage actually lands, presuming a ~50% hit chance against a stat without a weapon, and a ~50% hit chance against AC with a +2 proficiency weapon.

The power of Furious is that you leverage it with a per-encounter ability by another player. You repeat Furious until your ability lands, then your ally pulls out a per-encounter or per-day, and gets a +3 to +7 bonus to hit (depending on the size of the Str stat, and the level of the player).

Which is enough to turn a 50% chance of hitting into a 65% to 80% chance of hitting. Which is both a 30% to 60% increase in damage, and gets leveraged onto the selective ability to use a high-power attack.

The Blade Dance described is a variant on the "Hit it right there" Warlord ability. That requires no hit roll, and grants an int-bonus-to-damage.

This one requires a hit roll to work, deals dex damage immediately, then grants cha-to-hit and cha-to-damage on a basic attack (admittedly, Heavy Blade Opportunist kicks in at high levels, allowing at-wills).


In any case, Furious isn't as good as it seems. As you level up, the enemies get bigger, clumsier, and a LOT stronger and resilient (Much higher CON and STR, in layman's terms). By the epic tier, it's progressively better to target AC than fortitude, with Reflex in general being the lowest stat, in contrast to Will being the lowest one in the heroic tier.

I don't believe you? In any case, that's a matter of the monsters being badly designed.

In general, AC is supposed to be ~2 points higher than the other saves. Some monsters can differ with regards to this. Take a look in the DMG for the creature creation rules. They are quite explicit.

(Note that some creature types have weaknesses to one or another attack. Brutes, for instance, have an AC weakness. You should expect them to have more Fortitude than AC, even at low levels. Strikers? Artillery? Soldiers? Not so much.)


In the game Final Fantasy Tactics, they had bards and dancers. The bard's powers allowed him to buff up his party members, giving them bonuses. The dancer, however, used her power to hinder opponents, granting almost the same bonuses that the bard gave, but in reverse.

I guess what I'm trying to suggest is to make the instrumental bard have powers that help the party and the dancing bard getting powers to debuff the enemy. That adds a bit more depth to it than instrument=range, dance=melee.

Sadly, Debuffing is a controller thing moreso than a Leader thing.

As a Leader, you are about boosting your own allies. Some powers might follow a secondary path...

Should the Bard be yet another Leader/Controller? (like the Cleric)?

...

That does generate an idea.

Dancer: Melee range, leader sub striker.
Instrument: Long range, leader sub controller.

So Dancer powers help the Bard move around, deal damage, and boost the party. Some Dancer moves are Weapon moves, some are Implement.

A Dancer can only be using a single hand for a tool or weapon in order to Dance properly.

Instrument powers tend to be Close Burst or Close Blast powers. They boost players and weaken enemies.

That sound good?