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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Zman's Bard Fix(3.5)

    This is part of a larger fix aimed at bringing all classes to Tiers 2-4. See my Homebrew signature for details on my other classes.

    The Bard, he's already Tier 3, pretty much ideal, I'm just trying to give him a few options and make him a bit better. Nothing Tier changing.


    Bard
    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special |0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th

    1st|+0|+0|+2|+2|Bardic Music, Bardic Knowledge, Countersong, Fascinate, Inspire Courage +1|2|—|—|—|—|—|—

    2nd|+1|+0|+3|+3|Instill Fear|3|0|—|—|—|—|—

    3rd|+2|+1|+3|+3|Inspire Competence|3|1|—|—|—|—|—

    4th|+3|+1|+4|+4|Power in Performance|3|2|0|—|—|—|—

    5th|+3|+1|+4|+4|Spellbreaker Song|3|3|1|—|—|—|—

    6th|+4|+2|+5|+5|Suggestion|3|3|2|—|—|—|—

    7th|+5|+2|+5|+5||3|3|2|0|—|—|—

    8th|+6/+1|+2|+6|+6|Inspire Courage +2, Resilient Performance|3|3|3|1|—|—|—

    9th|+6/+1|+3|+6|+6|Inspire Greatness|3|3|3|2|—|—|—

    10th|+7/+2|+3|+7|+7|Instill Terror|3|3|3|2|0|—|—

    11th|+8/+3|+3|+7|+7|Spellshatter Song|3|3|3|3|1|—|—

    12th|+9/+4|+4|+8|+8|Song of Freedom|3|3|3|3|2|—|—

    13th|+9/+4|+4|+8|+8||3|3|3|3|2|0|—

    14th|+10/+5|+4|+9|+9|Inspire Courage +3|4|3|3|3|3|1|—

    15th|+11/+6/+1|+5|+9|+9|Inspire Heroics|4|4|3|3|3|2|—

    16th|+12/+7/+2|+5|+10|+10||4|4|4|3|3|2|0

    17th|+12/+7/+2|+5|+10|+10||4|4|4|4|3|3|1

    18th|+13/+8/+3|+6|+11|+11|Mass Suggestion|4|4|4|4|4|3|2

    19th|+14/+9/+4|+6|+11|+11||4|4|4|4|4|4|3

    20th|+15/+10/+5|+6|+12|+12|Inspire Courage +4|4|4|4|4|4|4|4

    [/table]
    Alignment: Nonlawful
    Hit Die: 1d6

    Class Skills:
    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 (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex),and Use Magic Device (Cha).
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int modifier) × 4
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier

    Spells Known
    {table]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th

    1st|4|—|—|—|—|—|—

    2nd|5|21|—|—|—|—|—

    3rd|6|3|—|—|—|—|—

    4th|6|3|21|—|—|—|—

    5th|6|4|3|—|—|—|—

    6th|6|4|3|—|—|—|—

    7th|6|4|4|21|—|—|—

    8th|6|4|4|3|—|—|—

    9th|6|4|4|3|—|—|—

    10th|6|4|4|4|21|—|—

    11th|6|4|4|4|3|—|—

    12th|6|4|4|4|3|—|—

    13th|6|4|4|4|4|21|—

    14th|6|4|4|4|4|3|—

    15th|6|4|4|4|4|3|—

    16th|6|5|4|4|4|4|21

    17th|6|5|5|4|4|4|3

    18th|6|5|5|5|4|4|3

    19th|6|5|5|5|5|4|4

    20th|6|5|5|5|5|5|4

    [/table]
    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 and shields (except tower shields). A bard can cast bard spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. However, like any other arcane spellcaster, a bard wearing medium or heavy armor or using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component (most do). A multiclass bard still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.

    Spells: A bard casts arcane spells, which are drawn from the bard spell list. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. Every bard spell has a verbal component (singing, reciting, or music).

    To learn or cast a spell, a bard must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a bard’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the bard’s Charisma modifier.

    Like other spellcasters, a bard can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Bard. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score. When Table: Bard Spells Known indicates that the bard gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Charisma score for that spell level.

    The bard’s selection of spells is extremely limited. A bard begins play knowing four 0-level spells of your choice. At most new bard levels, he gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Bard Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a bard knows is not affected by his Charisma score; the numbers on Table: Bard Spells Known are fixed.)

    Upon reaching 5th level, and at every third bard level after that (8th, 11th, and so on), a bard can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the bard “loses” the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least two levels lower than the highest-level bard spell the bard can cast. A bard may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the level.

    As noted above, a bard need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level.

    Bardic Knowledge: A bard may make a special bardic knowledge check with a bonus equal to his bard level + his Intelligence modifier to see whether he knows some relevant information about local notable people, legendary items, or noteworthy places. (If the bard has 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (history), he gains a +2 bonus on this check.)

    A successful bardic knowledge check will not reveal the powers of a magic item but may give a hint as to its general function. A bard may not take 10 or take 20 on this check; this sort of knowledge is essentially random.

    {table]DC|Type of Knowledge

    10|Common,known by at least a substantial minority drinking; common legends of the local population.

    20|Uncommon but available, known by only a few people legends.

    25|Obscure, known by few, hard to come by.

    30|Extremely obscure, known by very few, possibly forgotten by most who once knew it, possibly known only by those who don’t understand the significance of the knowledge.

    [/table]

    Bardic Music: At will, a bard can use his song or poetics to produce magical effects on those around him (usually including himself, if desired). While these abilities fall under the category of bardic music and the descriptions discuss singing or playing instruments, they can all be activated by reciting poetry, chanting, singing lyrical songs, singing melodies, whistling, playing an instrument, or playing an instrument in combination with some spoken performance. Each ability requires both a minimum bard level and a minimum number of ranks in the Perform skill to qualify; if a bard does not have the required number of ranks in at least one Perform skill, he does not gain the bardic music ability until he acquires the needed ranks.

    Starting a bardic music effect is a move action. Some bardic music abilities require concentration, which means the bard must take a move action each round to maintain the ability. Even while using bardic music that doesn’t require concentration, a bard cannot cast spells with verbal componens, activate magic items by spell completion (such as scrolls), or activate magic items by magic word (such as wands). Just as for casting a spell with a verbal component, a deaf bard has a 20% chance to fail when attempting to use bardic music.

    Countersong (Su): A bard with 3 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his music or poetics to counter magical effects that depend on sound (but not spells that simply have verbal components). Each round of the countersong, he makes a Perform check. Any creature within 30 feet of the bard (including the bard himself) that is affected by a sonic or language-dependent magical attack may use the bard’s Perform check result in place of its saving throw if, after the saving throw is rolled, the Perform check result proves to be higher. If a creature within range of the countersong is already under the effect of a noninstantaneous sonic or language-dependent magical attack, it gains another saving throw against the effect each round it hears the countersong, but it must use the bard’s Perform check result for the save. Countersong has no effect against effects that don’t allow saves. The bard may keep up the countersong for 10 rounds.

    Fascinate (Sp): A bard with 3 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his music or poetics to cause one or more creatures to become fascinated with him. Each creature to be fascinated must be within 90 feet, able to see and hear the bard, and able to pay attention to him. The bard must also be able to see the creature. The distraction of a nearby combat or other dangers prevents the ability from working. For every three levels a bard attains beyond 1st, he can target one additional creature with a single use of this ability.

    To use the ability, a bard makes a Perform check. His check result is the DC for each affected creature’s Will save against the effect. If a creature’s saving throw succeeds, the bard cannot attempt to fascinate that creature again for 24 hours. If its saving throw fails, the creature sits quietly and listens to the song, taking no other actions, for as long as the bard continues to play and concentrate (up to a maximum of 1 round per bard level). While fascinated, a target takes a –4 penalty on skill checks made as reactions, such as Listen and Spot checks. Any potential threat requires the bard to make another Perform check and allows the creature a new saving throw against a DC equal to the new Perform check result.

    Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a ranged weapon at the target, automatically breaks the effect. Fascinate is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting ability.

    Inspire Courage (Su): A bard with 3 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use song or poetics to inspire courage in his allies (including himselfs), bolstering them against fear and improving their combat abilities. To be affected, an ally must be able to hear the bard sing. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the bard sing and for 5 rounds thereafter. An affected ally receives a +1 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 morale bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls. At 8th level, and every six bard levels thereafter, this bonus increases by 1 (+2 at 8th, +3 at 14th, and +4 at 20th). Inspire courage is a mind-affecting ability.

    Instill Fear: A Bard wih 5 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use song or poetics to instil fear in his enemies. To be affected an enemy must be able to hear the bard sing. The effect lasts for as long as the opponent hears the bard sing and 2 rounds thereafter. An affected opponent is shaken. A will save each round equal to the Bards perform skill +10 negates the effect. Once a successful save is made an opponent cannot be affected again for 24hrs by the Bards Instill Fear.

    Inspire Competence (Su): A bard of 3rd level or higher with 6 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his music or poetics to help an ally succeed at a task. The ally must be within 30 feet and able to see and hear the bard. The bard must also be able to see the ally.

    The ally gets a +2 competence bonus on skill checks with a particular skill as long as he or she continues to hear the bard’s music. Certain uses of this ability are infeasible. The effect lasts as long as the bard concentrates, up to a maximum of 2 minutes. A bard can’t inspire competence in himself. Inspire competence is a mind-affecting ability.

    Power in Performance

    At 4th level whenever the Bard is under the effects of his or her Bardic Music he or she gain their Charisma Modifier to hit, damage, and AC.


    Spellbreaker Song (Su): A bard of 5th level or higher with 8 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his music or poetics to unweave any spoken spells. Starting a Spellbreaker somg is a Standard Action and requires a Move Action to maintain. All spells cast with a verbal component suffer a 20% Arcane Spell Failure chance as if cast while deafened. This ability affects all casters withing 30' allies and enemies alike.

    Suggestion (Sp): A bard of 6th level or higher with 9 or more ranks in a Perform skill can make a suggestion (as the spell) to a creature that he has already fascinated (see above). Using this ability does not break the bard’s concentration on the fascinate effect, nor does it allow a second saving throw against the fascinate effect.

    A Will saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 bard’s level + bard’s Cha modifier) negates the effect. This ability affects only a single creature (but see mass suggestion, below). Suggestion is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting, language dependent ability.

    Resilient Performance

    At 8th level while the Bard is under the effects of his or her Bardic Music he or she receives her Charisma Modifier as an untyped bonus to their saves.


    Inspire Greatness (Su): A bard of 9th level or higher with 12 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use music or poetics to inspire greatness in himself or a single willing ally within 30 feet, granting him or her extra fighting capability. For every three levels a bard attains beyond 9th, he can target one additional ally with a single use of this ability (two at 12th level, three at 15th, four at 18th). To inspire greatness, a bard must sing and an ally must hear him sing. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the bard sing and for 5 rounds thereafter. A creature inspired with greatness gains 2 bonus Hit Dice (d10s), the commensurate number of temporary hit points (apply the target’s Constitution modifier, if any, to these bonus Hit Dice), a +2 competence bonus on attack rolls, and a +1 competence bonus on Fortitude saves. The bonus Hit Dice count as regular Hit Dice for determining the effect of spells that are Hit Dice dependant. Inspire greatness is a mind-affecting ability.

    Instill Terror: A Bard of 10th level can use song or poetics to instil terror in his enemies. To be affected an enemy must be able to hear the bard sing. The effect lasts for as long as the opponent hears the bard sing and 2 rounds thereafter. An affected opponent is Frightened. A will save each round equal to the Bards perform skill +10 negates the effect. On a successful save the opponent is the target of Inspire Fear and subject to a second saving throw to avoid being Shaken. Once a successful save is made an opponent cannot be affected again for 24hrs by the Bards Instill Terror.

    Spellshatter Song (Su): As Spellbreaker song, but the range is now 60' and the chance of Arcane Spell Failure is 40%.

    Song of Freedom (Sp): A bard of 12th level or higher with 15 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use music or poetics to create an effect equivalent to the break enchantment spell (caster level equals the character’s bard level). Using this ability requires 1 minute of uninterrupted concentration and music, and it functions on a single target within 30 feet. A bard can’t use song of freedom on himself.

    Inspire Heroics (Su): A bard of 15th level or higher with 18 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use music or poetics to inspire tremendous heroism in himself or a single willing ally within 30 feet. For every three bard levels the character attains beyond 15th, he can inspire heroics in one additional creature. To inspire heroics, a bard must sing and an ally must hear the bard sing for a full round. A creature so inspired gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws and a +4 dodge bonus to AC. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the bard sing and for up to 5 rounds thereafter. Inspire heroics is a mind-affecting ability.

    Mass Suggestion (Sp): This ability functions like suggestion, above, except that a bard of 18th level or higher with 21 or more ranks in a Perform skill can make the suggestion simultaneously to any number of creatures that he has already fascinated (see above). Mass suggestion is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting, language-dependent ability.

    Ex-Bards
    A bard who becomes lawful in alignment cannot progress in levels as a bard, though he retains all his bard abilities.

    ACF's
    Spoiler
    Show


    Knave

    Level: 1st
    Lose: Spellcasting
    Gain: Disable Device and Open Lock as Class Skills. Special Ability(As Rogue) at 2nd, 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, and 16th levels.

    Last edited by Zman; 2013-02-07 at 10:04 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Zman's Bard Fix(3.5)

    Changelog:

    1-31-13
    Added Spellbreaker and Spellshatter Songs

    2-7-13
    Added Knave ACF.
    Last edited by Zman; 2013-02-07 at 10:05 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Zman's Bard Fix(3.5)

    you should add Dragonfire Inspiration in. Bard is only borderline T3 without it
    My Homebrew: found here.
    When you Absolutely, Positively, Gotta Drop some Huge rocks, Accept NO Substitutes

    PM Me if you would like a table from my homebrew reconstructed.

    Drow avatar @ myself

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    nonsi's Avatar

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    Default Re: Zman's Bard Fix(3.5)

    Bardic Music
    reducing action cost is very nice.
    Alleviating spellcasting restriction is also a good call.
    At-will, however, is bad. Consider the following alternative:
    ===========================================
    Bardic Music can be practiced with any selected application of the Perform skill, as long as the result is audible in some manner (vocal/instrument/drums/clicking etc).
    At 1st level, this pool capacity is 1. At 4th level and every 3 levels thereafter, a bard's Bardic Music pool increases by +1 (2/3/4/5/6/7/... at levels 4/7/10/13/16/19/...). This number is reset once per hour.
    ===========================================
    The idea is to give the Bard a lot more lasting power throughout the day as levels increase, but not to let a player burn out everything within a single encounter.


    Power in Performance
    This is very nice, but could be OP at low levels.
    Cap it to ½ level.


    Resilient Performance
    Resilient Performance needs no change, but I’d call it Bolstering Performance.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Zman's Bard Fix(3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    Bardic Music
    reducing action cost is very nice.
    Alleviating spellcasting restriction is also a good call.
    At-will, however, is bad. Consider the following alternative:
    ===========================================
    Bardic Music can be practiced with any selected application of the Perform skill, as long as the result is audible in some manner (vocal/instrument/drums/clicking etc).
    At 1st level, this pool capacity is 1. At 4th level and every 3 levels thereafter, a bard's Bardic Music pool increases by +1 (2/3/4/5/6/7/... at levels 4/7/10/13/16/19/...). This number is reset once per hour.
    ===========================================
    The idea is to give the Bard a lot more lasting power throughout the day as levels increase, but not to let a player burn out everything within a single encounter.


    Power in Performance
    This is very nice, but could be OP at low levels.
    Cap it to ½ level.


    Resilient Performance
    Resilient Performance needs no change, but I’d call it Bolstering Performance.
    I'm curious, why is At will so bad for the Bard?

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    you should add Dragonfire Inspiration in. Bard is only borderline T3 without it
    Hmm, it's so specific. I could add some kind of alternative.
    Last edited by Zman; 2013-01-02 at 05:45 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Zman's Bard Fix(3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zman View Post
    I'm curious, why is At will so bad for the Bard?
    Because then, instead of having a hero that from time to time bolsters himself/companions with battle cries, you'll just have this dumb schmo that sings all the time - not exactly heroic.
    Also, when things become routine around the gaming table (start of an encounter... checking for traps...), that's when the gaming spirit goes down (not counting scenarios when the DM says "you didn't say you Bardic Music..." - them endless arguments).

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Zman's Bard Fix(3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    Because then, instead of having a hero that from time to time bolsters himself/companions with battle cries, you'll just have this dumb schmo that sings all the time - not exactly heroic.
    Also, when things become routine around the gaming table (start of an encounter... checking for traps...), that's when the gaming spirit goes down (not counting scenarios when the DM says "you didn't say you Bardic Music..." - them endless arguments).
    I disagree, it gives the Bard something to do. And it's certainly not fun to have a poor ability that you can only use once a day. Also, having keyed more abilities off of it it becomes more of a mainstay. I will agree that the competence song will get old, I may have to change that one.

    Also, it doesn't have to be singing, it can be storytellng, poetry, rhetoric, humming, dance, etc and can be refluffed many ways.

    Edit: As to powerful performance, it isn't really overpowering at any level. The bard will never be a powerhouse, not even with an 18 charisma at level one.
    Last edited by Zman; 2013-01-02 at 10:36 AM.

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