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- Jul 2012
- Lost in my imagination
Rewriting Core Project 1:The Bard [PEACH]
I'll start out by saying that I love the bard as is, but I've decided to rewrite all of core to be in the upper tiers (1-3; yes I know the bard is already tier 3, bear with me) and I really shouldn't leave anything out, even if I love it as is; so I do it first to get it out of the way.
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special 1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Bardic music, bardic knowledge, countersong, fascinate, inspire courage +1 2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Charismatic Strike 3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Bardic Knack, inspire competence 4th +3 +2 +4 +4 Charismatic Health, inspire courage +2 5th +3 +2 +4 +4 Uplifting song 6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Suggestion 7th +4 +2 +5 +5 Shadow Song, charismatic will 8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 Inspire courage +3, dirge of doom 9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 Inspire greatness, charismatic reflex 10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 Battle Shriek 11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +7 Greater spellbreaker song, song of reality 12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Song of freedom, charismatic fortitude, inspire courage +4 13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Piercing performance 14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 Frightening tune 15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 Inspire heroics, melodic attack 16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Protective Melody, inspire courage +5 17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Charismatic defense 18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Mass suggestion 19th 14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Mindbending melody 20th 15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Deadly Performance, inspire courage +6
Alignment: Any nonlawful
Hit Die: d6.
Class Skills:The bardís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are 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), Intimidate (Cha), 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 (None), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), 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.
Class FeaturesAll of the following are class features of the bard.
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 and with a shield without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. However, like any other arcane spellcaster, a bard wearing medium or heavy armor still 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.
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 level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a bardís spell is 10+the spell level+the bardís 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: The Bard 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.
Spells per day
Level 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 1st 2 - - - - - - 2nd 3 0 - - - - - 3rd 3 1 - - - - - 4th 3 2 0 - - - - 5th 3 3 1 - - - - 6th 3 3 2 - - - - 7th 3 3 2 0 - - - 8th 3 3 3 1 - - - 9th 3 3 3 2 - - - 10th 3 3 3 2 0 - - 11th 3 3 3 3 1 - - 12th 3 3 3 3 2 - - 13th 3 3 3 3 2 0 - 14th 4 3 3 3 3 1 - 15th 4 4 3 3 3 2 - 16th 4 4 4 3 3 2 0 17th 4 4 4 4 3 3 1 18th 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 19th 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 20th 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
1.Provided the bard has a high enough Charisma score to have a bonus spell of this level.
Level 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 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 ó 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
Bardic Knowledge (Ex)
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.
DC Type of Knowledge 10 Common, known by at least a substantial minority 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 donít understand the significance of the knowledge.
Once per day per bard level, 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 doesnít 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.
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, they make 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 bardís 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 bardís Perform check result for the save. Countersong has no effect against effects that donít allow saves. The bard may keep up the countersong for 10 rounds.
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, they can target one additional creature with a single use of this ability.
To use the ability, a bard makes a Perform check. Their check result is the DC for each affected creatureís Will save against the effect. If a creatureís 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 themselves), 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 4th level, and every four bard levels thereafter, this bonus increases by 1 (+3 at 8th, +4 at 12th, +5 at 16th and so on). Inspire courage is a mind-affecting ability.
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 bardís 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 canít inspire competence in themselves. Inspire competence is a mind-affecting ability.
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 song 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.
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 they have already fascinated. Using this ability does not break the bardís concentration on the fascinate effect, nor does it allow a second saving throw against the fascinate effect.
Making a suggestion doesnít count against a bardís daily limit on bardic music performances. A Will saving throw (DC 10 + Ĺ bardís level + bardís 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.
Shadow Song (Su)
A bard of 7th level or higher with 10 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use music or poetics to partially hide themselves or a single willing ally within 30 feet, granting them a 20% miss chance. For every three levels a bard attains beyond 7th, they can target one additional ally with a single use of this ability (two at 10th level, three at 13th, four at 16th, and five at 19th). Shadow song is an Illusion (Glamer) effect.
Dirge of Doom (Su)
A bard of 8th level or higher can use their performance to foster a sense of growing dread in his enemies, causing them to become shaken. To be affected, an enemy must be within 30 feet and able to see and hear the bard's performance. The effect persists for as long as the enemy is within 30 feet and the bard continues their performance. This performance cannot cause a creature to become frightened or panicked, even if the targets are already shaken from another effect. Dirge of doom is a mind-affecting fear effect, To be affected, the target must be able to see and hear the bard.
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 themselves or a single willing ally within 30 feet, granting him or her extra fighting capability. For every three levels a bard attains beyond 9th, they 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 targetís Constitution modifier, if any, to these bonus Hit Dice), a +2 moral bonus on attack rolls, and a +1 moral 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.
Greater Spellbreaker Song (Su)
A bard of 11th level or higher with 14 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his music or poetics to unweave any spoken spells. Starting a Greater Spellbreaker song is a Standard Action and requires a Move Action to maintain. All spells cast with a verbal component suffer a 40% Arcane Spell Failure chance as if cast while deafened. This ability affects all casters within 60 feet allies and enemies alike.
Song of Reality (Su)
A 13th level bard can reveal the truth with their music. Within a 30-ft radius of the bard everything is visible as if with a true seeing spell. The effect lasts for as long as the bard sings and for 3 rounds thereafter.
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 characterís 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 canít use song of freedom on themselves.
Frightening Tune (Su)
A bard of 14th level or higher can use his performance to cause fear in his enemies. To be affected, an enemy must be able to hear the bard perform and be within 30 feet. Each enemy within range receives a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the bard's level + the bard's Cha modifier) to negate the effect. If the save succeeds, the creature is immune to this ability for 24 hours. If the save fails, the target becomes frightened and flees for as long as the target can hear the bard's performance. To be affected, the target must be able to hear the bard.
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 themsleves or a single willing ally within 30 feet. For every three bard levels the character attains beyond 15th, they 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 they have already fascinated. Mass suggestion is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting, language-dependent ability.
Mindbending Melody (Su)
A bard of 18th level or higher with at least 21 ranks in a Perform skill can dominate a humanoid that he has already fascinated. This ability functions like a dominate person spell with a caster level equal to the bardís class level. The target can make a Will save (DC 10 + bardís class level + bardís Cha modifier) to negate the effect. A mindbending melody is a mind-affecting, language-dependent, enchantment (compulsion) ability.
Deadly Performance (Su)
A bard of 20th level or higher can use his performance to cause one enemy to die from joy or sorrow. To be affected, the target must be able to see and hear the bard perform for 1 full round and be within 30 feet. The target receives a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the bard's level + the bard's Cha modifier) to negate the effect. If a creature's saving throw succeeds, the target is staggered for 1d4 rounds, and the bard cannot use deadly performance on that creature again for 24 hours. If a creature's saving throw fails, it dies. To be affected, the target must be able to see and hear the bard.
Charismatic Strike (Ex)
Though their confidence a 2nd level bard can strike their opponents easier and harder. A bard gets their charisma bonus on attack and damage rolls in addition to their Strength or Dexterity.
Bardic Knack (Ex)
Starting at 3rd level, when making any skill check, a bard can use 1/2 of their bard level (rounded up) in place of the number of ranks they have in the skill (even if that number is 0). For example, a 5th-level bard would have the equivalent of 3 ranks in Appraise, Balance, Bluff, and so on (but only for the purpose of making skill checks). They canít take 10 on checks when they use bardic knack (to take 10 requires use of the bards actual ranks in the skill). If the skill doesnít allow untrained checks, they must have at least 1 actual rank to attempt the check.
Charismatic Health (Ex)
A 4th level bard's force of personality bleeds into their very health. They get Charisma to hit points instead of Constitution.
Uplifting song (Su)
A bard of 5th level or higher can, by expending one of their daily bardic music uses, fly for a time. They gain a fly speed equal to their base land speed with good maneuverability. This last for a number of rounds equal to their bard level.
Charismatic Will (Ex)
Starting at 7th level a bard can use their Charisma instead of Wisdom for their Will saves.
Charismatic Reflex (Ex)
Starting at 9th level a bard can use their Charisma bonus instead of Dexterity for their Reflex saves.
At 10th level a bard can let out an ear splitting screech to damage and daze their enemies. To do this the bard must make a special Perform check. The result of this check is the fortitude save DC for this effect. The war singer targets a single person within 30-ft and if they fail the save, they take 3d6 points of sonic damage and are dazed for 1 round. Using this ability is a swift action, and they can do it a number of times per day equal to their charisma modifier.
Charismatic Fortitude (Ex)
Starting at 12th level a bard can use their Charisma bonus instead of Constitution for their Fortitiude saves.
Piercing Performance (Su)
Starting at 16th level a bard can affect even those immune to mind affecting affects with their bardic music. By expending an extra use of bardic music they can those immune for a number of rounds equal to their charisma modifier.
Melodic Attack (Su)
Starting at 15th level a bard can, in place of their final iterative attack, start a bardic music effect.
Protective Melody (Su)
A 16th level bard always has a tune in their head, protectively blocking things out. The bard is protected from all devices and spells that detect, influence, or read emotions or thoughts. It protects against all mind-affecting spells and effects as well as information gathering by divination spells or effects. Protective Melody does not, however stop limited wish, miracle, and wish spells when they are used in such a way as to affect the subjectís mind or to gain information about it. In the case of scrying that scans an area the creature is in, such as arcane eye, the spell works but the bard simply isn't detected. Scrying attempts that are targeted specifically at the subject do not work at all.
Starting at 17th level a bard gets their charisma bonus as a dodge bonus to their AC.
- Join Date
- Oct 2006
- Pittsburgh, PA
Re: Rewriting Core Project 1:The Bard
Hmm. More songs is nice, but you didn't address what's probably the bard's biggest issue-- splatbook dependance. To make, say, Inspire Courage worth it, you'll still need to dig up Words of Creation and Song of the Heart and a Badge of Valor and the inspiration spell and so on.
In addition, Melodic Casting is still a feat tax, which is kind of unfortunate. You also need to specify whether the Charismatic _____ abilities replace the original modifier or are a bonus-- I'd recommend the first option, especially for Charismatic Health. (6+ bonus health/level is absurd-- this Bard makes an absurdly powerful gish).Hill Giant Games
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- Join Date
- Jul 2012
- Lost in my imagination
Re: Rewriting Core Project 1:The Bard
- Join Date
- Jan 2012
Re: Rewriting Core Project 1:The Bard [PEACH]
theres actually only 1 thing i never liekd about teh 3rd ed BArd.. why does inspire courage start at level 1 and not increases untill level 8?
What i feel would be more approtiate is to make it start at level 1 and increases at every 4th level ( i.e. 1st, 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and lastly 20th)
+6 to a few rolls is decent and the progression just flows more smoothly IMO.
But.. I think you are putting TOO much of an emphasis on Charisma for this bard.. Cha to everything is a bit crazy.. but that is just my hatred of S.A.D. classes there, us human shavew to rely more than just 1 stat n our lives.. so why would PCs be any different?
Bieng good looking and good with words don't really protect you from getting stabbed in the gut or prevent you from getting the flu..
- Join Date
- May 2014
Re: Rewriting Core Project 1:The Bard [PEACH]
I must admit I was of the opinion that standard bard was already kewl enough as-is, there's still some interesting things here.
My only problem is that if someone takes this, and stacks all of the standard bardy stuff on top of it, it results in a monster.
I mean, at this point you can already do some pretty sweet stuff, alone by optimising inspire courage.
At level eight, one might have words of creation(big deal) song of the heart, a medal of valor, and inspirational boost, combining for a +9 inspire courage, which makes the bard a relevant participant in combat, charisma to hit and damage or no. If you stack words of creation and song of the heart-style inspire greatness, you suddenly have +6d10+6con temp hp and +15 to hit/+9 damage, at the low, low price of two uses of bardic music, although admittedly it costs 15d4 nonlethal damage, two standard and two swift actions.
This is at level 8. Before any of your changes are put into effect. I'm actually pretty sure the bard doesn't need help, although if this was intended to be run in a rebalanced core-only environment, or the players didn't want to go splat-diving for optimization, it could make sense.
With the overwhelming amount of splat-books currently available, I'd say the bard is a mighty fine tier 3 class, and leave well enough alone.
Edit: A mechanical detail: Changing Inspire Greatness to a morale bonus is somewhat annoying, as before the to-hit stacked with courage.
The bonus made sense as competence the first time around because it is fictional base attack for the fictional HD, and I suggest changing it back.
Last edited by Guard; 2014-07-18 at 06:10 PM.