Friday, 25 January 2013

EMO DnD Classes pt 8: Bard

Back on character classes.

Elves, Dwarves, Halflings and Tako (tako done but might be revamped to be compatible with current thoughts - i also saw cool other versions of octopus pcs on 2 other blogs).

Even though Id rather not have Paladins and my alignment system or rangers I should probably do them anyway just because people like them. Even my most evil player thought so. Not a fan of barbarian did consider berserkers. Names like rune-master and beast master evoke a lot to me too.

Also Psion but might just do as a alternate spell list for shaman. Also considered whole gonzo sf class list (psion, explorer,  expert, mutant, robot). A psion has a spell list stripped from others and perhaps new ones if Im bothered but will avoid duplication with new spells. But in some ways the Shaman will be similar with fetch and astral powers being compatible with psion way of seeing things. But shamen could do some strange things psions wouldn't. Joe Campbell once described yogic and meditation practices as civilized shamanism - taught en mass rather than with tribal variations.  But more to chew on.

Tertiary Classes: Paladin, Ranger, Assassin, Shaman (these would all be kinda masterclasses)

If I kept going more Id do some monster non humans 1: Goblinoids (kobold, goblin, hob goblin, bugbears).

non humans 2: Created (Orc, Mutants, Shape Shifters, Ghouls - not really thought this one out - could do Githyanki) not sure here giants and gnomes possible too. I once considered a race of imortal gender shifters like orlando. Shape shifters?

Animal folk:  Beast peoples including lizard men, goat men, reptilians, gnolls, etc. Intelligent animals like Narnia,  or were beast or animal and nature spirits like original oriental adventures. Nature spirit folk.

Too many classes are a bit silly and why I started own system was to simplify (sigh) but might make some options fun for one off characters occasionally or allow system to do SF too. Many might read some species as alternate fighters some as spell casters. Githyanki could be like elves but have psion spells.

But for now back to Basics. Bards in 1st ed were kinda unfeasible and second ed probably my favorite. I would consider some divergent powers for them but leave as this for now. I need to play test this a bit too.

For the record spell progression for my bards and elves start them with 4 cantrips only at 1st lv, always a bit behind other classes. Spell bonus from Charisma might let you cast a 1st lv spell at 1st level. Only get one new spell per level. Will put in these charts with spells later. Some bardish NWP might be needed.


Legend making performers and jacks of all trades  

HD: 1d6 Prime Stat: Cha
WP: 2 (+1/2nd Lv)
NWP: 6 (+1/ Lv) 

No-WP mod: -3
Languages: 4d4 (+1/ lv) S=spoken and W=written

Spells: Choose as priest or druid or wizard or sorcerer magic systems
NWP: Any
Shield: Buckler or small (usually hand free for instrument or torch)
Armour: Light
Weapon: Any Sword, Dagger, Club, Sling, Short Bow, any Crossbow, any Gun, Garrote, Shuriken, Dart, Whip, Net, Hatchet, Hand Axe, Lasso, Bolo, Dirk, Blowpipe, Chain, Rock, Staff,  Short Spear, Javelin, Dart, Warhammer, Hammer, Mace
Fight as: Priest

Save as: Priest

Bards are entertainers, teachers, wanderers and scholars who study many skills from many schools. Not experts at any ability they are modest fighters, secondary spell casters,  practice a wide range of skills and have additional powers based on performance. Not quite as good as a rogue without special combat abilities but bards develop faster at martial skills faster than some classes. They may select a magic spell caster style from priest or druid or wizard or sorcerer magic systems. Different cultures have different styles of bards with different magic. Bard may study magic under a practitioner of the same system of magic such as a Bard with Druidic spells could study under a Druid for new spells levels or skills. A bard may wish to be able to learn as a wizard and use their books or dont bother  and be a practitioner of sorcerery instead. A pious bard could be a ritual musician or singer from a great cathedral complex or monastery. Bards get the most languages of any class. Their singing powers grow as they raise level and if performing may improve party members abilities. As the bard grows he may open his own school and network of bards.

- Bards get +4 on any instrument NWP, +2 on any based on charisma or performance. If total NWP  score 20 the bard doesn't have to roll unless they wish to try superior rolls.
- Bards often gain superior usage from sound based magic items and magical instruments. Minimum effectiveness = levelx10%. At 15th lv becomes 150% effective minimum.
- May choose once from druid, priest, wizardry or sorcery magic systems
- Bards use spell table for elves and bards for numbers of spells
- Wizard and sorcerer types get 4 cantrips to start and a new spell each level
-A bard gets a student 1st lv bard at 6th, local fame
-7th lv a bard gets 1d4 HD of followers from random class or pets, and again every level now on
-10th when he is able to have his own bardic school or theatre and attracts 2d4 students 
-15th national fame 
-18th can establish a college or stadium with 6d4 student bards from many lands
-20th is performer of international and otherworldly fame

By concentrating on a performance and not fighting, allies in an increasing circle of influence gain bonuses. To start song effect must make a skill roll (dont bother if skill 20 or better). Affects a 10ft circle per level. One song per level per day. Lasts one round per level. Must specify song ability used each use for abilities gained as of 4th level - cant change song without starting a new one. Can move 1/2 speed max. Can talk to others if part of performance - sing monsters weakness for example. Silence spell will disrupt. Must be based on a performance based skill like play instrument or sing or poetry. If hit must resist with a Wis save or song ruined and stops. The songs of a bard may disrupt the song or performances, screams or howls of magical beings like banshee, sirens or undead or other bards of less HD than the bard has Lv. Eg 5th lv bard song effects abilities from 4HD or 4th lv .
1st +1 vs fear, morale, reaction rolls
2nd +1 to hit or skill
3rd +1 all saving throws
4th +1 damage (effectively +1 in fear, morale, reaction, hit, skill, saves or damage rolls)
5th Hypnosis - up to 1 HD per lv creatures stare stupidly if fail save
6th Fear - up to 1 HD per lv creatures flee stupidly if fail save, might use just for drama
7th Suggestion - up to 1 HD per lv creatures become obedient if fail save (dance, sleep, smile)
8th +2 all fear, morale, reaction, hit, skill, saves or damage rolls
9th Create legendary work once per month, popular may insult local leaders or enemies
10th Mass Charm - up to one person or creature charmed for duration per level
15th Lampoon - Up to level in Foes make Wis check or lose 1d4 Cha for a month
20th Gate - may gate in outer plane being by name once per month

Specialist Bardic Schools

Name - brief description
Cultural role
WP - Weapon Proficiencies
NWP - Non Weapon Proficiencies
Spell list

Imperial Troubadour – courtly romantic
Courtly entertainers of empire
Long Sword, Crossbow
Etiquette, Grooming, Sing, Seduce, Gossip, Play Lute, Song Lore
Wizard, Sorcerer or Priest
Empire SW, Common SW, Ancient SW, Elder W, Elvish W

Barbarian Skald – Heroic companion
Holy teachers of barbarian tribes
Hand Axe, Dagger
Drive Chariot or Ride Horse, Balance, Juggling, Tumbling, Chant, Play Bagpipes or harp or horn
Priest, Sorcerer or Bard
Old S, Common S, Druidic S, WildmanS, Northman S, Halfling, Dwarf, Elvish

Old Way Bard – Druidic song singers
Druidic students who become sacred speakers of tribes
Sabre, Dart
Memorize, Plant Lore, Animal Lore, Astrology Lore, Poetry, Harp
Sorcerer or Druid
Old S, Common S, Druidic SW, Wildman S, Northman S, Finch S, Frog S

Savage War Chanter – Tribal holy man
Fanatic chanter who guides the hunters
Short Spear, Hand Axe
Improvise Weapon, Survival, Track, Herbalist, First Aid, Play Trumpet or bagpipes or drums
Sorcerer or Druid
Old S, Common S, Druidic S, Wildman S, Northman S, Swine S, Horse S, Dog S

Zealous Demagogue – Urban agitator and power monger
Rabble rouser and trouble maker
Dagger, Light Crossbow
Orate, Observe, Kingdom Lore, Local Lore, Gossip, Taunt
Sorcerer or priest
Empire S, Common SW, Old S, Eastern S, Northman S,  Horde S

Appealing Courtesan – Mistress of men
Hired companion of men in power
Dagger, Brawling
Bluff, Seduce, Carousing, Story Telling, Dance, Sing
Sorcerer or Wizard or Priest or Druid
Empire S, Common S W, Horde S, Northmen S, Sea Tongue S, Desert Speech S

Wandering Minstrel – Traveling Court Singer
Traveler of the knightly kingdoms from court to court
Dagger, Club
Play Instrument, Sing, Espionage, Sneak, Hide, Listen
Sorcerer or Wizard
Empire S, Common SW, Old S, Eastern S, Northman S,  Horde S

Lonesome Shepherd - Herder of Beasts
Youths who guard flocks alone may become talented
Sling, Staff
Play flute or lyre or harp or panpipes, Animal Lore, Animal Mimic, Animal Husbandry, Animal Handling, First Aid
Druid or Sorceror
Empire S, Common S, Old S, Dog S,  Horde S, one her animal

Wailing Women - Chorus of professional mourners
Screaming women who haunt graves sites and funerals
Sabre, Sickle
Intimidate, Gossip, Inspire, Taunt, Chant, Sing
Sorcerer or Wizard or Priest or Druid
Empire S, Common SW, Old S, Eastern S, Northman S,  Horde S

Songsmith - Musical smiths
Craftsmen who make relics fit for the great
Any sword, hammer
Jewelry, Engrave, Sing, Weapon Smith, Blacksmith (or red/silver/gold), Endurance
Sorcerer or Wizard or Priest or Druid
Old S, Common S, Druidic S, WildmanS, Northman S, Halfling, Dwarf, Elvish

Dervish - dancing acrobatic mystics
Dedicated mystics who reach ecstatic states through dance
Dagger, Sabre
Dance, Acrobatics, Tumbling, Run away, Jumping, Chant
Old S, Common S, Nomad S, Wildman S, Desert S, Snake S, Horse S, Dog S

Harlequin - comedic travelling clowns
Rustic and urban piebald clowns for the common folk
Brawling, Club
Dance, Tumbling, Juggling, Stilt walking, Taunt, Poetry
Old S, Common S, Empire S, Wildman S, Underland S, Magpie S,  Rat S, Cat S

+1 per 1gp spent on scrolls, books, carousing, finding inspiration, performances, costumes, maintaining a troupe of performers, magical jewels, clothes, instruments, parties, composing great works, printing poems
+50/lv casting spells to help victory
+100 per proficiency success that helps victory
+100 for making epic performance
Double for outperforming or dueling other bards

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