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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    This is a discussion. if your going to post don't simply reply to my question with "becuz there bards dur" i want a fully thought out reply to this simple question. Every time my buddies and i decide to playa good game of dnd (all six of us) they fill all the necessary roles except for a sneaky type anything or a pure caster (no rouge no wizard no sorcerer) so to remedy this and to have fun i play a bard. then everyone gets all mad because "bards suck, there stupid". we don't house rule very much and stick with the core rules so just the PHB classes. give me your personal opinion on the bard
    Oskar is going DOWN BABY!

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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    They're pretty weak in core, but can become very powerful outside of core due to better support.
    Last edited by Pharaoh's Fist; 2009-07-04 at 04:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    Bards aren't specialists. D&D rewards specialists, making you exceptionally good at one thing - bards, at least in core, cannot do this.

    That being said, there's plenty of ways to optimize a bard. Tossing around Dragonfire Inspiration for 9d6 fire (or sonic!) damage on every attack your party makes, with spells as backup and some party facing, may make them change their mind.
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    because they don't (didn't) get full casting, lack of 9th level spells is considered a cardinal sin amoung full casting classes.

    A PRC now fixes this by giving Bards 9th level spells so some people no longer believe bards to be as bad.
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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    Because Bards focus mainly on helping allies, therefore rarely actually doing much damage on their own.

    {Scrubbed}
    Last edited by Roland St. Jude; 2009-07-05 at 08:20 PM.
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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    It has decent BAB, useful spellcasting (sightly better than Ranger's), Light Armor proficence and Arcane Spellcasting at the same time, Bard's Songs, a lot of useful skills...

    I cannot see why they may be a bad class. They are versatile and cool. And here it says they are Tier 3. I belive they are.
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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    I'm not really sure why either, but then again, I'm not sure about half the things people think concerning D&D (like why so many people think monks suck, but that's getting off topic). The only reason I could think of is because they don't really specialize in anything, but they are fun to roleplay.

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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Alien View Post
    It has decent BAB, useful spellcasting (sightly better than Ranger's), Light Armor proficence and Arcane Spellcasting at the same time, Bard's Songs, a lot of useful skills...

    I cannot see why they may be a bad class. They are versatile and cool. And here it says they are Tier 3. I belive they are.
    The post also ranks Fighters as Tier 4-5...which is totally reasonable according to class vs class balance in 3.5e. I think bards are only as bad as they looked; in my playing group nobody like bards because of limited spellcasting until 4e bards came out, but now they're apparently OK.

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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    If you want your bard to take off, grab the following things:

    Badge of Valor item: +1 to Inspire Courage
    Song of the Heart feat: +1 to Inspire Courage
    Inspirational Boost spell: +1 to Inspire Courage
    Masterwork Instrument: +1 to Inspire Courage if you pick the right type. These are found in the Complete Adventurer.
    Words of Creation: Doubles your Inspire Courage Bonus. You take some nonlethal damage though, but you can work around that easily.
    Dragonfire Inspiration feat: converts your Inspire Courage bonus of x into elemental damage of xd6. Default is fire, if you have the blood of, say, a silver dragon from being a Silverbrow Human, you can toggle between fire and cold damage.
    Melodic Casting feat: allows you to use a Perform check in place of Concentration for spells, as well as letting you cast spells while you sing.
    Lingering Song feat: Your bard song lasts for 10 rounds after you finish singing.
    OR
    Harmonizing Weapon enchantment: Your weapon will hold a song for you for 10 rounds. This allows you to use regular Inspire Courage and Dragonfire Inspiration at the same time.
    Gloves of the Balanced Hand item, gives you TWF if you don't have it already.
    Snowflake Wardance feat: adds your Charisma modifier to attack rolls with light slashing weapons that you wield in one hand. Costs one use of bardic music to activate as a swift action.

    So basically you have an IC bonus of 12 at 9th level when you can pull this all off. That's +12 attack and damage, as well as +12d6 fire or cold damage.

    Spend two rounds singing, a different song each time, then buff the party with Haste, cast some other spells if necessary, and then wade in and TWF everything in sight to death.

    I'm not sure about half the things people think concerning D&D (like why so many people think monks suck, but that's getting off topic).
    MAD is, I think, one of the most pressing issues.
    Last edited by Pharaoh's Fist; 2009-07-04 at 05:16 PM.

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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    I'm gonna agree with Pharaoh on this one. In core, you can't boost your Inspire Courage enough to be WORTH the action required to put it up, you're spellcasting lags several levels behind a wizard (you don't even GET spells really till 2nd level...0th level bard cantrips are crud outside of Prestidigitation). Also, there are almost NO feats in core that aide bards in customization. You need at LEAST the Completes + MIC + SpC to bring bards up to a reasonable level, and then you need things piecemeal like the Ebberon Campaign Setting (Song of the Heart), Dragon Magic (Dragonfire Inspiration), Tome of Battle (Song of the White Raven) and various other books to keep options up.

    Outside of Core, Bards can do ANYTHING they want. Strikers, Controllers, Healers, Buffers, Archers, Melee, anything.
    Last edited by Keld Denar; 2009-07-04 at 05:15 PM.
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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    In core, bards don't really get too far past the '5th wheel' concept, which is probably where you're getting the complaints from. They're firmly supported by splatbooks, however. As stated before, you've got Sublime Chord offering 9th level spells, Dragonfire Inspiration offering MASSIVE party benefits, and various PrCs like Seeker of the Song (jam spellcasting) and Stormsinger(you SING lightning, and is one of the few methods of having d20s be your damage dice) offering quirky ways to make your bard a potent force.
    Last edited by Signmaker; 2009-07-04 at 05:24 PM.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    They just suck at combat. The key to combat is getting the most out of every action. Bards have a lot of options, but none are very strong and all require you use up an action. They also (unintuitively enough) LACK versatility in their spell selection because practically all their combat spells grant will saves.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck. (monks too)

    when your party is full of barbarians, fighters and a cleric who somehow sucks at healing we needed somebody who wasnt but ugly either ( everyone has low charisma + there dwarves and half orcs) so an attractive gnome bard with max hit points and an armload of weapons seemed a good idea. and he's the only one who's kept the party alive and moving (stealing us a keelboat, interrogating a prisoner, using the 0 level spell sending to coordinate our sniper to kill three baddies and saving out helpless npc)
    Oskar is going DOWN BABY!

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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    Classes in D&D are generally considered powerful when they're good at what they're meant to do. For example, the crusader can tank well. The knight can tank, too.

    They're considered overpowered when they can do anything well. The wizard and cleric, for example.

    The core bard is still a caster, so he still has something to contribute. He has decent spells as well, but he's not excellent at anything.

    With non-core support (Spell Compendium, Frostburn for Snowflake War Dance, Dragon Magic for Dragonfire Inspiration, Tome of Battle for Song of the White Raven), they can end up doing some cool melee action in addition to their buffing.

    While I do believe that some classes are inherently bad, a group who really needs it will find a use for it. I don't think the bard is in the horrible suck category.
    Last edited by AslanCross; 2009-07-04 at 05:19 PM.


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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck. (monks too)

    Quote Originally Posted by Theres View Post
    when your party is full of barbarians, fighters and a cleric who somehow sucks at healing we needed somebody who wasnt but ugly either ( everyone has low charisma + there dwarves and half orcs) so an attractive gnome bard with max hit points and an armload of weapons seemed a good idea. and he's the only one who's kept the party alive and moving (stealing us a keelboat, interrogating a prisoner, using the 0 level spell sending to coordinate our sniper to kill three baddies and saving out helpless npc)
    Even more reason why your bard is actually awesome in that set up. Yes, even as Core.

    Bards have a lot of gems that most people miss. For instance, they can get most of the defensive Illusion spells (Blur, Blink, Displacement, Mirror Image, and the ever-useful Invisibility); they get Grease which is one-third of the utility belt of the Batman Wizard; they get Haste which is superb as a buffing ability, and has most of the healing spells of a Cleric which they can use in a pinch. They have Use Magic Device which is one of the reasons a Rogue is so useful in its job, and they are dependant on Charisma for their spells as well as having a very decent amount of skill points so they can devote themselves to UMDing stuff and working properly.

    Even though this goes against action economy, using a Wand of Cure Serious/Critical Wounds while invisible without the need of an UMD check while the others dish damage and blast people around. Plus, they got pretty nice healing spells nonetheless (Break Enchantment and Neutralize Poison), and with some talent they can even throw a blast or two (with Shadow Evocation, although blaster spells aren't the Bard's expertise). Furthermore, if you lead your party well, you can pretty much end a battle before the five turns after you stop singing Inspire Courage are over.

    As well, if your party is composed mostly of melee fighters, Inspire Courage is a definite boon. Consider that, per each hit which adds your bonuses from the song to Attack and Damage, you are "attacking" and dealing damage equal to the bonus of the song. So, in the end, you technically do damage.

    That's merely Core. When you get to out of Core, things get funnier, as explained earlier: the boost to Inspire Courage, making high dice of elemental damage with Dragonfire Inspiration, getting 9th level spells with Sublime Chord, casting while singing so your song never gets interrupted, a wider list of wands and scrolls when necessary... The point is that Bards aren't actually meant to fight in the midst of battle; they are fit for buffing a lot and then remaining on the sidelines, finding moments where it can shine. And even with just plain Core, it can work: the Cleric is too busy buffing itself and outpacing the Fighter, and you'll be actually assisting the Batman Wizard to make the buffing job even easier, allowing him to go straight to battlefield control while you work with the remaining buffs.

    And if your enemy is weak against mind-affecting spells and has a pathetic Will save, it can be a target for coup-de-grace. Try recalling that to your pals when they say Bards suck. Recall to them (and specifically the odd cleric in your party) that melee begins to suck later on.

    Methinks that the main reason why people such as your fellow friends say that the Bard sucks is because they measure classes' utility merely in combat, while forgetting that there is more to combat than swinging a sword and dealing "OMGWTFBBQ" damage. Remind them of split-second Diplomancy and how a battle can begin from a hostile situation to a free use of Mass Dominate Monster, if only because your Charisma, skill points, and spells aid you to it (though that one is mostly out-of-Core)
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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    As one of the people who does not like Bards, let me chime in with a counter opinion.

    1) Personal opinion - As a concept, bards don't seem to fit well. As Elan said, they sing at their enemies, for Pete's sake! It is kind of a silly class. Look at movies to get an idea of what I'm talking about - Matrix has a feel of Monk, or Fighter, or Sorcerer to it. Mission: Impossible has a lot of Rogue to it. Dragonheart has Fighter, maybe even Paladin to it. Harry Potter has lots of Wizard to it. I'm sure you can look around and find a few movies that have a feel of Cleric to it, especially it if involves horror movies with demons or ghosts or vampires. There is something cool about swords slashing, fists flying, and horribly flashy magic crackling off the fingertips of the heroes (or villains).

    But bards?

    They're the frickin' score! They're the music! Sure, a good movie has good music to it, but putting the music as one of the protagonists in the movie?!? And the villain decides to take a swing at him (or her) instead of the hulking barbarian swinging the huge axe?? That's like Spaceballs and Dark Helmet taking out the cameraman!

    Yes, the bard, the actual Celtic or Greek bard (and probably lots of others) was a special individual in society, but he was definitely not a hero. He sang about the heroes, he passed on information and stories. He was about the equal of today's rockstar.

    Imagine how that would go down.

    Leader: Okay, the chopper lands in fifteen, so listen up! We got four hostages that need to be rescued, nine terrorists, and a computer hacker that's accessing government secrets and downloading them as we speak! You people are the best of the best, but for this to work, you need to work as a team! We've got Jones, who is an expert on infiltration and close-combat, James, who handles heavy firepower support, Christian, who is our best hacker, Karl, our medic, and Simmons, our rockstar.
    Simmons: Yo.
    Jones: Oh, thank you God, we've got a rockstar! Here I was thinking we wouldn't have a chance!


    2) More objective look - Without looking at anything outside of the PHB, the Bards suffer because, as it was pointed out already, they aren't specialists. If they have to, they can fight, but they get d6 hit points, light armor, +3/4 BAB, and a less than impressive array of weapons. Plus they need Charisma, Intelligence, and Dexterity for a good build, and everyone needs Constitution. That leaves Strength (so they aren't going to be doing a lot of damage when they do hit) and Wisdom (luckily, they do have good Will Saves) as dump stats. With sneak attack, the rogue is a better melee combatant, without it, it's a toss-up. So that means the bard is only better in combat than the sorcerer or the wizard.

    The bard IS a decent backup skill monkey. At 6+Int for skills, only the rogue is better, and the bard has bardic knowledge for an added bonus. In non-combat situations, the bard can be actually quite useful, doubly-so if the rogue has a less than stellar reputation.

    In spells, the bard suffers from both a lack of power and a lack of specialization. The bard starts with 0th-level spells, gaining 1st-level spells at 2nd level and then advancing up to 6th-level spells at 16th level. So the bard is always behind a primary spellcaster. The bard spells, however, focus mostly on enchantment and illusions, with a bit of healing. Illusions and enchantments can misdirect and mislead a monster, but level-appropriate encounters, or worse, boss-monsters, will be difficult to let the bard be the obvious deciding factor. In short, the bard is a support role - buffing up the other characters, healing them if necessary, maybe misdirecting or otherwise throwing off the antagonists, which ends up either giving the rest of the party an edge in combat or costing the "bad guys" their edge.

    3) Conclusion - From a mechanical viewpoint, the bard isn't a bad character, although aside from social situations, it rarely shines. Its role as support means that the rest of the group will perform adequately without it, but will not lose a tactical advantage. In a group of five (fighter, cleric, wizard, rogue, bard), the loss of any one of the other five can seriously hamper the party's chance of success (until you get to the higher levels, of course, then the fighter and the rogue become less useful while the cleric and the wizard are able to do the most).

    In combination with the bard's role of support, the flavor of the bard can seem to many (such as the OP's friends) to be distracting and less than optimal. On a personal note, having played bards, played in groups with bards, and played without bards, I find I enjoy the game more without the bard at all, but that if someone wants to play a bard and have fun with it, more power to them.
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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    I think it's the lack of specialization thing in Core. And I don't mean power wise, as they handle well enough compared to say, Fighters. It's that nothing they do seems really cool mechanically, in Core.
    Last edited by AstralFire; 2009-07-04 at 05:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    The concept itself. It's a guy specialized in singing for Gygax sake! Sure some people may be into it, but for most other people, a bard in the middle of the pointy stick and pure magic wielders is pretty much a joke.

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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oslecamo View Post
    The concept itself. It's a guy specialized in singing for Gygax sake! Sure some people may be into it, but for most other people, a bard in the middle of the pointy stick and pure magic wielders is pretty much a joke.
    Considering Perform can be literally anything, that's a fairly minor complaint. You can have Perform (Sing), sure. Or you can be a Dwarf/Orc with Perform (War Drums), and beat people to death with your light maces drumsticks.* Or you can be a 'Go Not Gently Into That Dark Night' type with Perform: (Oratory).

    *You won't be terribly effective, particularly in core, but it's an option, and a much more logical one than the singing dandy with the lute running around a battlefield.

    Or you can take ranks in Perform (Redneck Joke)...
    Last edited by The Glyphstone; 2009-07-04 at 06:24 PM.

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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Umael View Post
    Personal opinion - As a concept, bards don't seem to fit well.
    It is my opinion that bards do not fit in well because people have very little idea of how to flavor them (as you proved in your following paragraph.) This is not the fault of the people, but I don't think the bard can really be blamed either.

    Yes, the bard, the actual Celtic or Greek bard (and probably lots of others) was a special individual in society, but he was definitely not a hero. He sang about the heroes, he passed on information and stories. He was about the equal of today's rockstar.
    Orpheus.
    Taliesin.
    Merlin was also depicted as a bard in some tales.
    Those are a few examples of heroic or at least epic bardic figures.

    A bard is not a traditional hero, no. But if you say that, you must also point out the cleric, the druid, and even the wizard and sorcerer. The latter two are more often shown than the former two, perhaps, but even then they are more likely to show up as an antagonist or helper instead of a hero.

    It may be more difficult to make a bardic character who doesn't just seem silly like Elan, but I do think it can be done, and done both in a fascinating and heroic manner.

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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    I think the biggest problem is:

    They can't cast spells as well as a sorcerer.
    They can't buff as well as a cleric/druid.
    They can't deal raw damage as well as a fighter/barbarian.
    They can't deal extra (ie. sneak attack) damage like a rogue.

    As others have said, support outside the core rules gives the bard a lot of versitality. However, inside core, the bard finds itself overshadowed by every other class.

    Of course, if you're playing by houserules which disallow sorcerers/wizards or clerics/druids, then you'll find the bard's magical abilities invaluable. A lot of the overpowered/ underpowered comments are in comparison to other classes.

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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Glyphstone View Post
    Considering Perform can be literally anything, that's a fairly minor complaint. You can have Perform (Sing), sure. Or you can be a Dwarf/Orc with Perform (War Drums), and beat people to death with your light maces drumsticks.* Or you can be a 'Go Not Gently Into That Dark Night' type with Perform: (Oratory).
    The name of the class is "bard". Bard in like the guy who sings. Of course you can twist the concept of the class untill kingdom come, and I could make my wizard write his spell in blood over a giant sword instead of a spellbook, or I could refluff the barbarian into some crazy kung gu specialist instead of savage warrior, but there's still some dude with a tiny weenie rapier and a lute in the PHB, and his main ability is still called "bardic song". That alone makes new players quickly skip to the next page, and therefore keep skipping said page during all their gaming life.

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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    By the way, there is a bard prestige class in Libris Mortis that gives you some cool songs. Is this class worth the five levels?

    Also, there is a specification about instruments in Song and Silence that gives something nice to every instrument: Lutes let the bard use TWO songs at the same time. Anyway, this rule does not appear in any 3.5 book. Is it too powerful? In 3e they were a worse class.
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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    Bards are spellcasters, which means they are better then non spellcasters.

    Bards are not full spellcasters, which means they are worse then full spellcasters. That's pretty much how things work in D&D 3.x.
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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Alien View Post
    By the way, there is a bard prestige class in Libris Mortis that gives you some cool songs. Is this class worth the five levels?

    Also, there is a specification about instruments in Song and Silence that gives something nice to every instrument: Lutes let the bard use TWO songs at the same time. Anyway, this rule does not appear in any 3.5 book. Is it too powerful? In 3e they were a worse class.
    1. The Dirgesinger seems like a decent PrC. There are better bard ones, but it seems alright.

    2. Uh... I'm not sure I'd allow such specializations, but I'd need to see them to make a sound judgment. It could be very cool though.

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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oslecamo View Post
    The name of the class is "bard". Bard in like the guy who sings. Of course you can twist the concept of the class untill kingdom come, and I could make my wizard write his spell in blood over a giant sword instead of a spellbook, or I could refluff the barbarian into some crazy kung gu specialist instead of savage warrior, but there's still some dude with a tiny weenie rapier and a lute in the PHB, and his main ability is still called "bardic song". That alone makes new players quickly skip to the next page, and therefore keep skipping said page during all their gaming life.
    Bardic Music, actually, if we're going to follow the book word-for-word. There's plenty of types of music besides singing. The only ability that's called anything about a song is Countersong, which is horrid. The text of the bardic music ability even mentions 'song or poetics'.

    Even if you hamstring yourself to exactly what the (often atrocious) artwork in the PHB depicts, which isn't even fluff or rules, "Music Soothes The Savage Beast" is a classical fantasy trope, as evidenced by Harry Potter ripping it off, so the "bard' with the enchanted lyre/lute that lulls his foes to helpless sleep instead of stabbing them is pefectly viable as an archetype. Without that picture, there's no evidence at all of what type of music said Bard is employing to utilize his abilities. If we do use the pictures as evidence, what happens when a player wants to play a trained warrior with an sword or a polearm? The Fighter picture shows a Axe, therefore a fighter with a Halberd would be 'twisting the concept to kingdom come'?
    Last edited by The Glyphstone; 2009-07-04 at 06:59 PM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Umael View Post
    1) Personal opinion - As a concept, bards don't seem to fit well. As Elan said, they sing at their enemies, for Pete's sake! It is kind of a silly class. Look at movies to get an idea of what I'm talking about - Matrix has a feel of Monk, or Fighter, or Sorcerer to it. Mission: Impossible has a lot of Rogue to it. Dragonheart has Fighter, maybe even Paladin to it. Harry Potter has lots of Wizard to it. I'm sure you can look around and find a few movies that have a feel of Cleric to it, especially it if involves horror movies with demons or ghosts or vampires. There is something cool about swords slashing, fists flying, and horribly flashy magic crackling off the fingertips of the heroes (or villains).

    But bards?

    They're the frickin' score! They're the music! Sure, a good movie has good music to it, but putting the music as one of the protagonists in the movie?!? And the villain decides to take a swing at him (or her) instead of the hulking barbarian swinging the huge axe?? That's like Spaceballs and Dark Helmet taking out the cameraman!

    Yes, the bard, the actual Celtic or Greek bard (and probably lots of others) was a special individual in society, but he was definitely not a hero. He sang about the heroes, he passed on information and stories. He was about the equal of today's rockstar.
    Just because it's music doesn't mean it can't be magical in a world where magic exists. Heck, according to The Silmarillion I believe Middle Earth is the result of a ridiculously awesome song. I honestly can not see how it's any more silly than rubbing some sulfur and bat dung in your hand and ending up with a fireball.

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    1. The Dirgesinger seems like a decent PrC. There are better bard ones, but it seems alright.
    I'd say otherwise. It's not very good, at least not a concept I'd work with. It does not allow spellcasting progression (which is quite decent despite spoken otherwise), Song of Sorrow is a non-progressing reversed Inspire Courage (it would have been brutal if it stacked like Inspire Courage), Song of Bolstering is horrible if there's no undead around (or Clerics to turn, which should tell you how terrible is this song), and Song of Awakening is essentially a souped-up Animate Dead spell-like song which has a time limit, but that allows for a more reasonable undead (retains supernatural abilities and class features), but requires a fresh corpse for it. Which means, essentially it'll end requiring the corpse of your fallen ally, or a pretty strong enemy around.

    Song of Grief and Song of Horror are decent (the DC scales, which makes it worthwhile as it ends up at a DC 33 on level 20, and scales off proportion afterwards), but eventually immunity to mind-affecting and ability damage kill off the potential of these abilities. It ends up crippling your buffing talents to grant you de-buffing talents which eventually die out after reaching the necessary levels.

    As often pointed, Sublime Chord and Virtuoso are the prestige classes that most, if not all, Bards should consider. Sublime Chord grants 9th level spellcasting progression which makes the Bard a full spellcaster and grants near-full access to the sorcerer/wizard list for activation of magic items (which means a slight advantage compared to a pure Rogue on that one), and Virtuoso has the double virtue (pun intended) of 9/10ths spellcasting increase and better abilities while still increasing your Inspire Courage bonus.

    I'd also add, although not always preferred, the Lyric Thaumaturge. It's a class meant for a bard, which expands the spell list and spell potential of a bard in a very limited way, while losing only a little of a full bard progression. It doesn't progress your Inspire Courage or Bardic Music progressions, though it's a boon for the few attack spells of the Bard (the 5th level ability boosts all spells with the Sonic descriptor by adding 1d6/spell level extra Sonic damage, which makes Shout a decent burst attack and the "add Sonic damage to weapon" buffing spells pretty brutal)

    Aside from that, PrCs aren't very forgiving to Bards. War Chanter makes the Bard a better warrior but that's kinda counter-productive, Seeker of the Song enhances your songs with reversible spells that either buff or attack (but no spellcasting progression, tho; nor Bardic Music progression either) Other PrCs are either too limited on scope, or barely recognizable. If you have the Book of Exalted Deeds and are playing a really Exalted Bard, Troubadour of Stars is pretty strong since that means you're probably having Words of Creation, which is insanely awesome on a Bard.

    Also, in the area of specialization...if D&D prices specialization so much, why the Big 6 can dabble in nearly everything and be better than a specialist with minimal effort? This is probably what you might be looking for; Bard isn't much of a jack of all trades as a Wizard/Cleric/Druid/Psion/Archivist/Erudite (and at times Artificer as well). It's mostly a question of looking at it from a very different point. Nobody likes to be the buffer and healer that can't contribute in the battle; at least the part of buffing and defending aid a bit.

    As for the "music soothing the savage beast", the closest thing to that (Fascinate) doesn't work while on a battle. Plus, the designers went trigger happy on the immunity to mind-affecting property, and only an Epic Bard comes close to breaching that immunity. You'd need to be Orpheus or something to really make Enchanting brutally worthwhile. Bard loses a lot in having a lot of specialization on Enchanting spells and mind-affecting Illusions, while not grabbing enough defensive illusions and buffing Transmutation spells which would have made the class much better.

    I still stand in that the Bard can be effective in Core. Not incredibly effective, but still reasonably effective in Core without feeling left behind. It's not like the Fighter who gets killed when it loses its magic weapon, or the Monk.
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  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Alien View Post
    By the way, there is a bard prestige class in Libris Mortis that gives you some cool songs. Is this class worth the five levels?

    Also, there is a specification about instruments in Song and Silence that gives something nice to every instrument: Lutes let the bard use TWO songs at the same time. Anyway, this rule does not appear in any 3.5 book. Is it too powerful? In 3e they were a worse class.
    Actually Complete Adventurer has some masterwork instruments that grant various bonuses, Drums give more damage, but lower the saves against fear etc.
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    Default Re: Why on Earth does everyone tell me bards suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    I'd say otherwise. It's not very good, at least not a concept I'd work with. It does not allow spellcasting progression (which is quite decent despite spoken otherwise), Song of Sorrow is a non-progressing reversed Inspire Courage (it would have been brutal if it stacked like Inspire Courage), Song of Bolstering is horrible if there's no undead around (or Clerics to turn, which should tell you how terrible is this song), and Song of Awakening is essentially a souped-up Animate Dead spell-like song which has a time limit, but that allows for a more reasonable undead (retains supernatural abilities and class features), but requires a fresh corpse for it. Which means, essentially it'll end requiring the corpse of your fallen ally, or a pretty strong enemy around.

    Song of Grief and Song of Horror are decent (the DC scales, which makes it worthwhile as it ends up at a DC 33 on level 20, and scales off proportion afterwards), but eventually immunity to mind-affecting and ability damage kill off the potential of these abilities. It ends up crippling your buffing talents to grant you de-buffing talents which eventually die out after reaching the necessary levels.
    I think that it's only issue is that Dirgesinger doesn't progress casting. The songs are all decent, some all the time, some situationally, and Song of Awakening is pretty solid. I think it's a flavorful choice, a mechanically sound choice, just not something excellent. I'd rank it a +0 PrC, good, but not amazing.

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