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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Duke Malagigi's Avatar

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    Default Bards as I see them. Crossposted on RoE forums. Elan need not apply.

    Crossposted on Realms of Evil forums under the screen name Agrippa.

    After looking over the core bard class, I realized that it wasn't so much for bards per say but for minstrels and troubadours and decided to make a more Celtic influenced bard class. Don't worry, I have nothing against the core bard class, just the name should be changed to something like minstrel or troubadour instead. That and I gave bards a better hit die, better armor and weapon proficiencies and the skirmish class ability. I'd also like some help with designing new types of bardic music. Well, here it is.

    Bard



    In ancient Celtic society and myth there was a particular social class known as bards. Their duties were as warriors, poets, lore masters, musicians, religious officials, advisors and diplomats. Examples of the bard class would include the legendary Bricru, who nearly caused bloodshed between the heroes of Ulster out of envy for gifts their king had given them.

    Adventures: The most common reasons for bards to roam are to learn the lore and music of other lands and to act as champions for their people and gods.
    Characteristics: Need help with this.
    Alignment: Any. Those of Lawful alignment tend to be supporters of rather strict laws and regulations both in religious and secular affairs putting the welfare of the clan, tribe or in some cases country above that of any individual, even themselves or their families. Chaotic bards tend to be much more individualistic in outlook and often times serve as attorneys in civil cases against the government and as political activists. Good bards are known for restraint, mercy and moderation in temperament while Evil bards are petty and cruel, often times pitting brother against for sport or out of spite.
    Religion: As the ancient bards, like the druids worshiped gods like Lugh, the Dagda, Morrigan, Math and Goibniu, bards in D&D would worship similar gods. Gods of war, music and learning serve as the best focus for bardic devotion. Cosmic Entities under a more Celtic guise would also suffice.
    Background and races*: Elven bards from Tir Saoise are the most common and archetypal bards on the planet acting as social jacks of all trade. Ogrish bards while bigger, clumsier and cruder than their elven brethrens. The goblin bards of Corkwi act as masters of revels and sing songs decrying "excessive merriment" and extolling the virtues of hard work, prudence and temperance to regulate public behavior.
    Other Classes: Need help with this.
    Abilities: As befits their religious role, Wisdom is the most important ability as it determines the strength of the bard's divine spellcasting. Intelligence is valued highly due to the role bards have as scholars and lawyers. Charisma is important for bards as it aids them in diplomacy and as musicians. Strength and Dexterity are also important for bards due to their martial and athletic nature.

    Alignment: Any
    Hit Die: 1d8

    Class Skills:
    The bard’s 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), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (n/a), 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

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

    1st|+0|+2|+2|+2|Inspire Courage +1, Skirmish +1d6, Fascinate, Countersong, Bardic Knowledge, Bardic Music|4|1|—|—|—|—|—

    2nd|+1|+3|+3|+3|---|4|2|—|—|—|—|—

    3rd|+2|+3|+3|+3|Inspire Competence|4|3|1|—|—|—|—

    4th|+3|+4|+4|+4|Bonus Feat|4|4|2|—|—|—|—

    5th|+3|+4|+4|+4|Skirmish +2d6|4|4|3|—|—|—|—

    6th|+4|+5|+5|+5|Suggestion---|4|4|3|1|—|—|—

    7th|+5|+5|+5|+5|---|4|4|4|2|—|—|—

    8th|+6/+1|+6|+6|+6|Inspire Courage +2, Bonus Feat|4|4|4|3|—|—|—

    9th|+6/+1|+6|+6|+6|Inspire Greatness|4|4|4|3|1|—|—

    10th|+7/+2|+7|+7|+7|Skirmish +3d6|4|4|4|4|2|—|—

    11th|+8/+3|+7|+7|+7|---|4|4|4|4|3|—|—

    12th|+9/+4|+8|+8|+8|Song of Freedom, Bonus Feat|4|4|4|4|3|1|—

    13th|+9/+4|+8|+8|+8|---|4|4|4|4|4|2|—

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

    15th|+11/+6/+1|+9|+9|+9|Inspire Heroics, Skirmish +4d6|4|4|4|4|4|3|1

    16th|+12/+7/+2|+10|+10|+10|---|4|4|4|4|4|4|2

    17th|+12/+7/+2|+10|+10|+10|---|4|4|4|4|4|4|3

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

    19th|+14/+9/+4|+11|+11|+11|---|4|4|4|4|4|4|4

    20th|+15/+10/+5|+12|+12|+12|Inspire Courage +4, Bonus Feat, Skirmish +5d6|4|4|4|4|4|4|4[/table]

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A bard is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, plus the whip. Bards are proficient with medium armor and shields (except tower shields).

    Spells: A bard casts divine spells, which are drawn from the druid 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 Wisdom 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 Wisdom 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 Wisdom score. When Table: Bard Spells Per Day 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 Wisdom score for that spell 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 as well as religious, diplomatic and legal matters. (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.

    Type of Knowledge
    {table="head"]DC|Type of Knowledge
    10|Common, known by at least a substantial minority of mystics or scholars 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]

    Skirmish (Ex): Bards rely on mobility to deal extra damage and improve their defenses. A bard deals an extra 1d6 points of damage on all attacks he makes during any round in which he moves at least 10 feet away from where he was at the start of his turn. The extra damage applies only to attacks made after the bard has moved at least 10 feet. The skirmish ability cannot be used while mounted. The extra damage applies only against living creatures that have a discernible anatomy. Undead, constructs, oozes, plants, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to extra damage from critical hits are not vulnerable to this additional damage. The bard must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. The bard can apply this extra damage to ranged attacks made while skirmishing, but only if the target is within 30 feet. Additionally, bard gains a +1 competence bonus to Armor Class during any round in which he moves at least 10 feet. The bonus applies as soon as the bard has moved 10 feet, and lasts until the start of his next turn. The bonus damage increases by 1d6 and the Armor Class bonus increases by 1 at 5th level and every five levels afterward.

    Bardic Music: 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 standard action. Some bardic music abilities require concentration, which means the bard must take a standard action each round to maintain the ability. Even while using bardic music that doesn’t require concentration, a bard cannot cast spells, 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. If he fails, the attempt still counts against his daily limit.

    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 himself), 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.

    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.

    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.

    Making a suggestion doesn’t count against a bard’s daily limit on bardic music performances. 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.

    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.

    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 [/I]break enchantment spell[/I] (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.

    Bonus Feat: At 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th level, a bard gains a bonus feat. At each such opportunity, he can choose a fighter bonus feat, a skill related feat or a Bardic Music related feat. The bard must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including BAB minimums.

    These bonus feats are in addition to the feats that a character of any class gets from advancing levels. The bard is not limited to the categories of fighter bonus feat, skill related feats or Bardic Music related feats when choosing these feats.

    *In my revised versions only.

    Ex-Bards
    A bard who ceases to revere their gods or betrays his or her community all spellcasting abillity. He or she cannot thereafter gain levels as a bard until she atones (see the atonement spell description).
    Last edited by Duke Malagigi; 2008-02-11 at 12:41 AM.
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    That sort of person is not worthy of being a Game Master of any sort. The GM is there to entertain and bring enjoyment to the player group, thus being entertained and enjoying himself likewise. Soneone that finds pleasure in making others unhappy is a sad case indeed. That kind of GM should be left alone to lurk in online MMP games to ambush newbies' characters as they enter the setting :]

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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    KingGolem's Avatar

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    Default Re: Bards as I see them. Crossposted on RoE forums. Elan need not apply.

    I like it. I think works very well as a more mature and serious interpretation of the bard, not to mention that it seems a bit more balanced now.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Bards as I see them. Crossposted on RoE forums. Elan need not apply.

    uhm just some ... excerpts:

    Alignment section: "Evil druids"? -> "Evil bards"
    Backgrounds and races: "Eleven" -> "Elven"

    "druid spell list"? you sure? i'm asking because the ^ above ^ "evil druid" thing and i started to think that you copied the druid and written it over to bard.

    "In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Wisdom score. When Table: Bard Spells Per Day 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 cast from charisma or wisdom??? (i think wisdom in this case)

    this sounds like a cleric-ish bard to me. or like some sort of librarian commander. good thing but i don't know if it's balanced. maybe you should make a new bard spell list just to avoid that druid confusion. the fact that all saves are good (+2) doesn't work for me there should be at least one bad save (i suggest reflex to be the bad one +0). i would also remove the dex-thief(escape artist, hide, move silently, sleight of hands) skills as this is more a honorific lead-singer than a jack of all trades.

    PS: i didn't read the things after the skirmish feat as that seemed like good old bard to me (except for the bonus feat thing in the end).
    My combat role is Lurker.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Duke Malagigi's Avatar

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    Default Re: Bards as I see them. Crossposted on RoE forums. Elan need not apply.

    Rigon, I corrected my first post for spelling misuse of class names. However, I'm leaving in Hide and Move Silently as they would be highly useful for skirmishers and ambushes.

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Atticus Bleak's Avatar

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    Default Re: Bards as I see them. Crossposted on RoE forums. Elan need not apply.

    Well, if you want it based of the actual definition of "bard," then they shouldn't necessarily be good at combat at all. The Celtic and pre-Anglo-Saxon tribes would have traveling poets who were soldiers, and they had poets who simply hung around the kings castle or the local Mead-Hall and sang the great epics...

    On the class note, its actually really good. I'm honestly impressed, altho it seems a bit overpowered, with all good saves...Plus having Bardic Music (the center and main ability of current core bards) AND a primary-caster level spell list, even limited by the number today...I would have to playtest to tell you if it was really overpowered though.
    ..."With my sword raised high, I salute you. With my glass in hand, I toast you. With my head bowed in respect, I mourn you. You will be missed Gary."

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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Bards as I see them. Crossposted on RoE forums. Elan need not apply.

    So... you took a bard, gave it a good fort save, gave it extra spells per-day, upped it's HD a size, gave it more weapon proficiencies, gave it bonus feats, and removed the the alinement restriction. Oh, and the bardic spell list was replaced with a druid spell list. Since this is divine spell casting the 'bard' no longer has to worry about spell failure and can wear heavy armor if they chose, unlikely true with skirmish but still a new possibility.

    Not too bad, sort of like the lightning warrior wizard fix I saw a few days back.


    Still... I might understand this with the fighter, but is the bard really so bad as to need this bump? If you want balance you'll have to start pruning so that the existing Bard can do something this can't. It feels like this is a Bard/Scout gish with a spell list swap for flavor.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Duke Malagigi's Avatar

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    Default Re: Bards as I see them. Crossposted on RoE forums. Elan need not apply.

    Maybe troubadours should get Evasion, Uncanny Dodge, Improved Uncanny Dodge, Defensive Roll, Improved Evasion, Opportunist, Skill Mastery and Slippery Mind from the rouge class. This would be in addition to core bardic abilities including arcane spellcasting.

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