Such Happiness In Thought Happens

February 5, 2008

My new Bard class

Filed under: Role playing — Tags: , — Duane @ 7:48 pm

So here is my rationale for the Bard class modifications that I made. I am quite happy with it actually, I just need to decide what higher level abilities to give the class. The Bard class (which can be found HERE) has always been one of my favourites as you can cast spells, some fighting prowess and sneaky stuff if need be as well. In BG2 my character was a bard and when most of the way through I was going up levels more often than the other members of the party (but that was 2e rules). As always, if you are not into RPGs, it would not be worthwhile reading any further.

Anyway, for all the other classes I went back to what each class should be about (the class concepts found HERE) and decided the bard should be about music, entertainment and knowing stuff. Now the core bard class has bardic music as their key ability and it was alright, but there was nothing special about it. So I stumbled across the thought that there are three main types of music – vocal, stringed and wind (I didn’t want too many that’s why I didn’t go for percussion, plus I had three types for Greenbonds, so three seems to fit best). Then for each main music type you could have specific abilities for each – i.e.  with vocal the inspiring others, countersong and fascinate abilities from the core bardic music abilities. With stringed you could shatter objects (especially handy if the villain is holding some type of item that the PCs don’t want the villain to use), “pluck” a person’s strings, and then break the strings binding a person. Lastly with wind they could first have access to a different type of weapon. This could then be coated with a poison of some type, and also there is the soothing sounds of the pipe to lull people to sleep. I still need one more ability for the wind instruments, so if you have a suggestion let me know.

And to make each bard different from the others, why should they learn each ability at certain levels? So that’s why there is so much choice available – to make no bards essentially alike at lower levels. At higher levels all bards should know these abilities. But none of these abilities were really offensive in nature. So along came the Screech ability. Using vocals, stringed or pipe instrument a bard could create such a piercing sound as to cause discomfort at lower levels, and at higher levels actual physical damage. Plus the possibility of duration deafness.

As to what magic bards could cast, I have always liked the idea of Monte Cook’s (you can see I really like Monte’s work with the incorporation of various elements) alternate bard with spellsongs. So at this point this is the way bards will cast their magic. This might still change, still ruminating over it. The last thought about magic is what type of magic do bards cast – arcane, divine or something else? With the recent change I have made to the witch core class (more on that at a later time) I decided to have three magic types – arcane, divine and innate. Innate magic is for bards and witches. Bards ennounce their magic through their music. And to help with spell flexibility bards learn spellsongs depending upon their need. So a bard who needs healing when no cleric around, could discover a spellsong that heals (of course this depends upon what spellsong options they have open, which I am still thinking over). Divine magic is the normal cleric, greenbond (my version of the druid), and arcane magic is what people learn without access to deities – mages (yesterday’s class), mage blades and runethanes (magic through the power of words and symbols).

In regard to bardic music and bardic knowledge, look at the Perform ability. My reasoning is that anyone can make music for money, you don’t need to be a bard, you just need to know how to use a musical instrument. So what benefit do bards get for playing music? What about influencing their audience. So the bard’s companions could take benefit of their companion’s livening up the crowd to make gathering information easier or haggling over a price. A bard themself would be more effective than their companions as they are the source of the audience’s reaction.
As to bardic knowledge this is still in though mode. Due to the druid changes to resemble more Celtic origins, bardic knowledge will probably change in its aspect. Wht I mean by this is I need to make a difference between bardic knowledge and druidic knowledge. Now one way I have to do that is the Akashic Memory that druids will have access to (more on that in another post hopefully this week) so that would cover older knowledge. Plus druids are grilled in learning things during their apprenticeship. Which to me is what bardic knowledge is at the moment. So where does that leave bardic knowledge? Still not 100% sure, but I am thinking of making bardic knowledge, local/new knowledge that bards pick up in their travels and from talking to people who tell the bard information that the bard can string seemingly non-related info into a coherent whole. But this is still under development at the moment.

All I have left is to decide some higher level abilities to cover the holes, decide on the skill list and spellsongs. I think this makes the bard more versatile, while holding to what a bard is meant to be – entertainment, music and knowledge.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] So I decided to have bards be more musical oriented and knowing about local knowledge (see more HERE) , while the druid was for judgement, ancient/old knowledge, etc. The write up on my website is […]

    Pingback by My new Druid class « Such Happiness In Thought Happens — February 7, 2008 @ 5:56 pm


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