Bard Class Preview

Monday, July 16, 2018

The bard—it's arguably the most iconic support character. For some reason, bards are often the butt of goofy jokes, even though they're powerful force multipliers who can contribute to just about every aspect of play. Bard is one of my favorite classes in Pathfinder, and it has some of the most exciting changes of any of the classes in the Pathfinder Playtest, but I'm going to start you with a big one first. Are you sitting down yet? OK, good:

Bards are full 10-level spellcasters.

Spellcasting

As before, bards are spontaneous spellcasters who make up for having not quite as many spells as the other spontaneous caster, the sorcerer, by having special bardic performances. But this time around, bards don't have a delayed spellcasting progression. Instead, they have one fewer spell in their repertoire and one fewer spell slot per day at each spell level, compared to the sorcerer. That's pretty awesome already, but here's the even cooler part: bards have collected all sorts of esoteric bardic knowledge since forever, right? With an offbeat spell list that combines mental magic, a handful of unique additions, and a little bit of healing, bards are the primary occult spellcasters, blending mental and spiritual essences. That brings bards, whose spell list has grown with far less than that of wizards, to the forefront among the other primary spellcasters. This has given us the opportunity to create a bunch of cool never-before-seen bard spells for the playtest. Also, as I mentioned in the spells blog, bards can replace the Somatic Casting and Verbal Casting components of spellcasting by playing a musical instrument, in case you want a bard who plays the violin to cast his spells! But what about their performances? How do those come into play?

Compositions

Compositions are a special type of spell that only bards gain. You might be thinking these are probably powers like other classes, right? Not so! In exchange for their slightly lower number of spells bards get, most of their compositions are cantrips, usable at will, meaning you no longer need to worry about running out of bardic performance rounds per day. Not only that, they're often cast with a single action. They start out with a composition that will likely look familiar.

Inspire Courage Cantrip

Cantrip, Composition, Emotion, Enchantment, Mental
Casting [[A]] Verbal Casting
Area 60-foot aura
Duration 1 round

You inspire your allies with words or tunes of encouragement. You and all allies in the aura gain a +1 conditional bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls, and saves against fear.

Usually, a bard can cast only one composition per turn and have only one active at a time.

Bards have powers and Spell Points in addition to their compositions. Many bard powers allow you to manipulate and customize your performances as you desire, including increasing the duration, granting a more significant bonus (an extremely powerful benefit), or having multiple compositions active at a time. Typically, these extra benefits require a successful Performance check to activate and provide an even more powerful effect on a critical success. Take for example, lingering composition.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Lingering Composition Power 1

Enchantment, Power
Casting [[F]] Verbal Casting; Trigger You finish casting a cantrip composition with a duration of 1 round.

You attempt to add a flourish to your composition to extend its benefits. Attempt a Performance check. The DC is usually a high-difficulty DC of a level equal to the highest-level target of your composition, but the GM can assign a different DC based on the circumstances. The effect depends on the result of your check.

Success The composition lasts 2 rounds.
Critical Success The composition lasts 3 rounds.
Failure The composition lasts 1 round.

But altering your performances with special modifications like this is just one of several paths represented by a new bardic class feature…

Muses

A bard's inspiration comes from a unique place—his muse. There are three muses in the Pathfinder Playtest. The first is maestro, focused on powers that alter compositions. Next is lore, focused on Occultism, willpower, and unusual knowledge. The third is polymath, focused on being a jack of all trades with increased skills and ability to handle unexpected situations, including the ability to keep a spellbook to prepare a small number of new spells to add to your repertoire each day. As befits the individualistic nature of a performer's muse, none of the initial muse abilities are exclusive, so you can use your feats to traverse as deeply as you want into the abilities from each path; your muse merely represents a starting point on your bardic journey.

For example, if you select the maestro muse at 1st level, you gain the Lingering Composition bard feat (granting you the lingering composition power detailed above) and add soothe to your spell repertoire, but any bard can take this feat or learn this spell—selecting the maestro muse just grants them as a default.

Bard Features

As a bard, you gain spellcasting and occult spell proficiency at the same levels as the other spellcasters, new spell levels at every odd level except 19, expert proficiency in occult spells at 12th level, master proficiency at 16th level, and legendary proficiency at 19th level. You also have the most trained skills at 1st level except for rogues, just barely edging out rangers. Finally, you begin play at 1st level with two compositions, the inspire courage cantrip (which has been detailed above) and the counter performance power.

Counter Performance Power 1

Composition, Enchantment, Fortune, Mental, Power
Casting [[R]] Verbal Casting or [[R]] Somatic Casting; Trigger You or an ally within 60 feet must roll a saving throw against an auditory or visual effect.
Area 60-foot aura

You protect yourself and allies through performance. Choose an auditory performance if the trigger was auditory or a visual performance if it was visual, then roll a Performance check for the chosen performance. You and allies in the area can use the higher result of your Performance check or their saving throws.

Since you need to use only a reaction to cast counter performance, rather than needing to activate it ahead of time like in Pathfinder First Edition, creatures that rely on visual or auditory effects will have a really hard time messing with you!

Bard Feats

Bard feats tend to fall in two categories: feats associated that are loosely associated with one of the three muses, and those that grant you a new composition.

For instance, the Cantrip Expansion feat at 4th level allows you to add two cantrips from the occult spell list to your spell repertoire, which can come in handy for those bards with the lore or the polymath muses. The powerful 14th-level Allegro feat, on the other hand, grants you the following cantrip to add a spring to an ally's step.

Allegro Cantrip

Cantrip, Composition, Emotion, Enchantment, Mental
Casting [[A]] Verbal Casting
Range 30 feet; Targets one ally
Duration 1 round

You perform rapidly, speeding your ally. The ally is quick and can use the action to Strike, Stride, or Step.

There's plenty of favorites in there from among bardic masterpieces from Ultimate Magic too, like house of imaginary walls, which Cosmo used with his goblin bard to mime a box around my ranger, trapping me with a dangerous enemy while Cosmo remained safe and sound.

In a nutshell, bards now have a vast number of quality-of-life improvements, while fundamentally staying true to the way they worked before. Fellow bard fans, what do you think?

Mark Seifter
Designer

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Sovereign Court

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Finally! Oh, I could just sing!


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Wow. :)


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I can see a sorceror with a'Muse bloodline' being a lot of fun.

As for the Bard itself. I quite like it! Need to see the occult spell list and class feats!

Basically OCCULT SPELL LIST! AWESOME!


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Fun, flavourful. Cantrip haste is mildly terrifying, but more importantly...

Blog wrote wrote:

...primary occult spellcasters...

...a bard who plays the violin to cast his spells!

Erich Zann! Erich Zann!

Grand Lodge

I'm dying to know what first level feat the Lore muse gives you.


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Inspire taking an action should be fine under the new system; caster bards will have two actions to cast a spell, and martial bards will still have room to move and attack. Amusingly it means that bards don't get much benefit from agile weapons like their iconic rapier... Bring on the falchion-toting half-orc bards?

I assume bards are intended to still be capable of getting into the fight with a weapon if they so choose like clerics, correct?

Scarab Sages

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Isn’t rapier finesse, but not agile?

Paizo Employee Designer

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Arachnofiend wrote:

Inspire taking an action should be fine under the new system; caster bards will have two actions to cast a spell, and martial bards will still have room to move and attack. Amusingly it means that bards don't get much benefit from agile weapons like their iconic rapier... Bring on the falchion-toting half-orc bards?

I assume bards are intended to still be capable of getting into the fight with a weapon if they so choose like clerics, correct?

A rapier isn't agile anyway. It's deadly, which benefits greatly from buffs like inspire courage.


So do they have occult or arcane spell list?

From how I read it, it seems like arcane.


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Why is the lingering composition performance check expressed so oddly? Why not X+level rather than the ' convoluted high difficulty based on highest level or GM messing with you?'

Anyway, the article rather begs the question: as a primary Spellcaster with extra Spellcaster powers and extra Spellcaster feats, what happens to combat-focused bards in PF2? Lots of people built bards (or tried to build bards) that were combatants rather than support monkeys. And while a 5e style full casting bard is somewhat interesting (if you like music magic theme), I'm curious where the dervishes and archaeologists go.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:

Inspire taking an action should be fine under the new system; caster bards will have two actions to cast a spell, and martial bards will still have room to move and attack. Amusingly it means that bards don't get much benefit from agile weapons like their iconic rapier... Bring on the falchion-toting half-orc bards?

I assume bards are intended to still be capable of getting into the fight with a weapon if they so choose like clerics, correct?

A rapier isn't agile anyway. It's deadly, which benefits greatly from buffs like inspire courage.

Woops, my mistake.

...I still want to play a falchion-toting half-orc bard.


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willuwontu wrote:

So do they have occult or arcane spell list?

From how I read it, it seems like arcane.

"bards are the primary occult spellcasters"


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Will there be a Composition that would allow Bards to be Skalds? It seems like the Skald is a natural offshoot of the Bard now, and I have a player who was really looking forward to playing a Skald in my next game (which I'm holding off on until 2nd edition and we'll be doing stuff with the Playtest).

Let's see. We've got the Druid left... and that's pretty much it. So I suppose the last Blog on the 30th will likely be either a racial Blog or some other element touched upon previously.

Thank you for posting these :)


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I have always liked the bard. The preview looks awesome. Can't wait for the play test.

Sovereign Court

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I like the three muses outlining some of the popular styles of bard play. They give a sense of character starting out and something to build on as you level.

I really like the cantrip-based casting for performances. A bard should be able to sing all day long if he wants to.

Edit: And I hope you count as your own ally. A bard using Allegro and Lingering Composition together for self-haste would be a lot of fun.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Tangent101 wrote:

Will there be a Composition that would allow Bards to be Skalds? It seems like the Skald is a natural offshoot of the Bard now, and I have a player who was really looking forward to playing a Skald in my next game (which I'm holding off on until 2nd edition and we'll be doing stuff with the Playtest).

Let's see. We've got the Druid left... and that's pretty much it. So I suppose the last Blog on the 30th will likely be either a racial Blog or some other element touched upon previously.

Thank you for posting these :)

There isn't a composition that literally enrages people, but other than that, the level 2 Ulfen bard in one of my playtest games is pretty skaldish in flavor. He even has all martial weapon proficiencies and armor (not that bard grants those of course).


Hey can we get the Bards HP, I needs it for my spreadsheet!


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Maybe consider adding a battle muse? Or is that better for a future option Mark?


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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Paizo, when I said "the Bard needs to be fixed", I really didn't expect you guys to go so above and beyond! The performance update is particularly amazing- it's less of a fire and forget, and more of a "keep playing the music until you can't anymore"- using 1 action per round really gives the player the feeling of playing their music! A really good change, and MILES better than 5e's monstrosity of a bard.


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Voss wrote:

Why is the lingering composition performance check expressed so oddly? Why not X+level rather than the ' convoluted high difficulty based on highest level or GM messing with you?'

I'll ditto that this feels _really_ weirdly written for rules text, and a bit different from everything else we've seen which is probably not great.

Voss wrote:
And while a 5e style full casting bard is somewhat interesting, I'm curious where the dervishes and archaeologists go.

One thing I am happy about here at least is that the music theme seems to have translated better than the 5e Bard, which is an absurdly good class but feels a bit "here's a load of spells, oh here's some performance stuff as well" IMO.

Also that a sweep weapon + singing a composition might actually feel like a combat dancer, which I've wanted to make for a long time.


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Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Mark -- The first sentence under "Bard Feats" has the word "associated" twice. It would probably read better if you are able to get rid of the first occurrence.


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Please consider removing the redundant word "casting" from your spells.

"Casting [[A]] Verbal Casting" is not any more clear than "Casting [[A]] Verbal" unless there is some other term that can go there such that specifying "casting" is necessary.


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This is the most uncomfortable I have been about any of the changes so far. I really liked playing bards as competent melee fighters after they spent some time buffing the team. Won't making them full casters necessitate balancing them in a way that makes them less effective in hand-to-hand?


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willuwontu wrote:

So do they have occult or arcane spell list?

From how I read it, it seems like arcane.

I'm thinking that "bards are the primary occult spellcasters" would indicate that they use the Occult spell list?


...and doesn't making them full casters reduce their distinctiveness from the sorcerer?


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BardWannabe wrote:
This is the most uncomfortable I have been about any of the changes so far. I really liked playing bards as competent melee fighters after they spent some time buffing the team. Won't making them full casters necessitate balancing them in a way that makes them less effective in hand-to-hand?

If Clerics can fight in melee, then so can Bards. You're right that that makes balance trickier, but it isn't a paradigm that's going to change.


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Quote:
You also have the most trained skills at 1st level except for rogues, just barely edging out rangers. Finally, you begin play at 1st level with two compositions, the inspire courage cantrip (which has been detailed above) and the counter performance power.

Can we *please* don't let spellcasters have more skills than the Fighter? Please?

Also:

Quote:
You perform rapidly, speeding your ally. The ally is quick and can use the action to Strike, Stride, or Step.

The Allegro wording is terrible. It would be better like this:

Quote:
You perform rapidly, speeding your ally. The ally gets one action he can use only to Strike, Stride, or Step.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I love this take on the bard class! It really matches what I think of when I think bard.

My only two nitpicks are:
1) the clunky wording on the DC of the lingering composition.

2) The wording on Allegro. It says your ally is quick and can use the action to Strike, Stride, or Step. What action? The preceding sentence doesn't make it clear that an extra action has been granted.

Otherwise, absolutely love this. Keep at it guys and gals!

Sovereign Court

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Mimo Tomblebur wrote:
...and doesn't making them full casters reduce their distinctiveness from the sorcerer?

The sorcerer is all about their highest level spell slots, Spontaneously Heightening spells so they can have 5 or 6 powerful options. The Bard seems to be all about their unique cantrips and making them more effective.


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Aiken Frost wrote:
Quote:
You also have the most trained skills at 1st level except for rogues, just barely edging out rangers. Finally, you begin play at 1st level with two compositions, the inspire courage cantrip (which has been detailed above) and the counter performance power.

Can we *please* don't let spellcasters have more skills than the Fighter? Please?

Also:

Quote:
You perform rapidly, speeding your ally. The ally is quick and can use the action to Strike, Stride, or Step.

The Allegro wording is terrible. It would be better like this:

Quote:
You perform rapidly, speeding your ally. The ally gets one action he can use only to Strike, Stride, or Step.

The wording is the way it is because Quick is a status effect that doesn't stack with other abilities that give Quick and can be countered by Slow.

Sovereign Court

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Aiken Frost wrote:

The Allegro wording is terrible. It would be better like this:

Quote:
You perform rapidly, speeding your ally. The ally gets one action he can use only to Strike, Stride, or Step.

How does that stack with abilities that give you an extra action you can use to Stride or Jump?

Scarab Sages

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Aiken Frost wrote:
Quote:
You also have the most trained skills at 1st level except for rogues, just barely edging out rangers. Finally, you begin play at 1st level with two compositions, the inspire courage cantrip (which has been detailed above) and the counter performance power.

Can we *please* don't let spellcasters have more skills than the Fighter? Please?

Also:

Quote:
You perform rapidly, speeding your ally. The ally is quick and can use the action to Strike, Stride, or Step.

The Allegro wording is terrible. It would be better like this:

Quote:
You perform rapidly, speeding your ally. The ally gets one action he can use only to Strike, Stride, or Step.

Quick is a condition that gives you an extra action that can only be spent on certain things.

edit: ninja’d


Those Muses looks very cool


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As expected, Bards have become occult full casters. Looks like PF2 is going for a single rate of spell progression for all classes, which should be much easier to learn/use.

VERY happy to see Bards have gone the Barbarian route and ditched their limited amount of performance rounds. Always was unthematic to say that a low level bard couldn't even last a minute when trying to perform. Also like that you normally spend an action each round actually playing the music, though lingering composition will likely be common and make that a bit more difficult to track.

And Lingering Composition is... I don't even know how to interpret or run it. Having a weird and finicky DC as part of a commonly used ability is not fun. My one big disappointment in this blog.

Very happy to see performance checks actually get used as part of the class. Always felt like there wasn't enough connection between the performance skill in PF1 and the actual performance of the Bard's abilities.

Muses look very interesting and I can't wait to try them out during the playtest.

Interesting to note that spellcasting proficiency specifies proficiency in occult spells. Here's holding out hope for at least some nuance to spellcasting proficiency rather than just, "you're good at every spell now." Though I still feel like spellcasting proficiency increases should start earlier than level 12, which is beyond most games.

Bardic Masterpieces becoming standard bard feats sounds amazing, as I always wanted to love them in PF1, but too many things always seemed to try to get in the way.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Azih wrote:
Maybe consider adding a battle muse? Or is that better for a future option Mark?

Battle effectiveness if you build towards it with your stats is something we already have in PF2 (it's hard to get used to, though, coming from PF1, at least for a time), especially with combat buffs to hand out. If you directly want further combat prowess, multiclassing a bit with a martial class will cover you really well. I think that's a very strong build. Not to say nobody's ever going to do a battle muse, but I think it's not really as useful a concept (in terms of not being as needed, and thus possibly being pretty toe-steppy if it did exist).


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KingOfAnything wrote:
Aiken Frost wrote:

The Allegro wording is terrible. It would be better like this:

Quote:
You perform rapidly, speeding your ally. The ally gets one action he can use only to Strike, Stride, or Step.
How does that stack with abilities that give you an extra action you can use to Stride or Jump?

Quick(Strike, Stride, Step, Jump) is how it stacks.

Paizo Employee Designer

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BardWannabe wrote:
This is the most uncomfortable I have been about any of the changes so far. I really liked playing bards as competent melee fighters after they spent some time buffing the team. Won't making them full casters necessitate balancing them in a way that makes them less effective in hand-to-hand?

Nope. Clerics and druids have always been able to do it. If anything, I think melee wizard is pretty reasonable to build toward in PF2 aside from HP concerns.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm really impressed by the composition mechanic, and look forward to playing this in PF2. This blog has moved bards to the top of my "want to play" list.


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KingOfAnything wrote:


Edit: And I hope you count as your own ally. A bard using Allegro and Lingering Composition together for self-haste would be a lot of fun.

Based on the Seelah character sheet and the write up for Retributive Strike I don't think you count as your own ally anymore, but this might not be the exact rules text here, and maybe it was written with PF1 terminology in mind.

Scarab Sages

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Charon Onozuka wrote:

As expected, Bards have become occult full casters. Looks like PF2 is going for a single rate of spell progression for all classes, which should be much easier to learn/use.

VERY happy to see Bards have gone the Barbarian route and ditched their limited amount of performance rounds. Always was unthematic to say that a low level bard couldn't even last a minute when trying to perform. Also like that you normally spend an action each round actually playing the music, though lingering composition will likely be common and make that a bit more difficult to track.

And Lingering Composition is... I don't even know how to interpret or run it. Having a weird and finicky DC as part of a commonly used ability is not fun. My one big disappointment in this blog.

Very happy to see performance checks actually get used as part of the class. Always felt like there wasn't enough connection between the performance skill in PF1 and the actual performance of the Bard's abilities.

Muses look very interesting and I can't wait to try them out during the playtest.

Interesting to note that spellcasting proficiency specifies proficiency in occult spells. Here's holding out hope for at least some nuance to spellcasting proficiency rather than just, "you're good at every spell now." Though I still feel like spellcasting proficiency increases should start earlier than level 12, which is beyond most games.

Bardic Masterpieces becoming standard bard feats sounds amazing, as I always wanted to love them in PF1, but too many things always seemed to try to get in the way.

You level faster in 2e and the goal is to make it so higher levels are more played. So the bonus at 12 is less extreme than it seems. Also, DMW (I think it was him) did an analysis on save progression and it matched up with the caster bonuses.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Azih wrote:
Maybe consider adding a battle muse? Or is that better for a future option Mark?
Battle effectiveness if you build towards it with your stats is something we already have in PF2 (it's hard to get used to, though, coming from PF1, at least for a time), especially with combat buffs to hand out. If you directly want further combat prowess, multiclassing a bit with a martial class will cover you really well. I think that's a very strong build. Not to say nobody's ever going to do a battle muse, but I think it's not really as useful a concept (in terms of not being as needed, and thus possibly being pretty toe-steppy if it did exist).

Gasp, is this the first time a developer has directly referenced multi-classing in PF2???


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BardWannabe wrote:
This is the most uncomfortable I have been about any of the changes so far. I really liked playing bards as competent melee fighters after they spent some time buffing the team. Won't making them full casters necessitate balancing them in a way that makes them less effective in hand-to-hand?

I think you'll just have to buy basic combat boosts such as proficiencies with general feats, and focus your bard feats on abilities that enhance your combat that way. Or cast early buff spells, then use your actions in later rounds for attacks, and switch to spamming cantrip buffs only after your spells have run out.


I happen to know a bard in a long-running campaign that has an animal companion (through feats). Between the action to direct their bird an the one to continuously cast performances, they look like they would be more or less unable to do anything themselves under the new ruleset.


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I like it. At will Compositions seems like a great idea, and requiring an action to maintain them makes a lot more sense than the "free action that didn't actually require an instrument even if all your perform skills used an instrument."

Not totally sure how I feel about Compositions as a name yet. Will probably know better once I have seen more of them. The term does have more gravitas than performance, I will say.

No surprise that bards are 10th level occult casters. But they aren't better casters than the sorcerer, so I'm happy. ;)

I REALLY liked the Muse idea when I first saw the word, but the descriptions of the available muses don't really... sound like muses. Maestro, Lore, and Polymath all sound like specializations, where Muses tend to be specific people or personified forces that inspire you to greatness. The concept of a Muse sounds more like something half-way between a deity and a rage totem, but without an anathema. Perhaps there is some flavor text in this vein, I dunno.

On the other hand, not being locked into a Muse and being able to take different feats from them is great. Artists are inspired by all sorts of things after all.

BardWannabe wrote:
This is the most uncomfortable I have been about any of the changes so far. I really liked playing bards as competent melee fighters after they spent some time buffing the team. Won't making them full casters necessitate balancing them in a way that makes them less effective in hand-to-hand?

Not really. All casters are now full BAB anyway. Barring changes to their weapon and armor proficiency, I can't see what they could lose from what they had before. I guess various things require an action to maintain, but they also become at will and Lingering Composition can let you keep them going longer.

One imagines for flavor you'll want to focus on a performance type that doesn't require an instrument in hand, but that was also true of PF1.


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BardWannabe wrote:
...and doesn't making them full casters reduce their distinctiveness from the sorcerer?

No, the Sorcerer has more spells known, more spells to cast, and can pull a custom spell list and bloodline power/spells together. Bards are going to be more stove piped.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Arachnofiend wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Azih wrote:
Maybe consider adding a battle muse? Or is that better for a future option Mark?
Battle effectiveness if you build towards it with your stats is something we already have in PF2 (it's hard to get used to, though, coming from PF1, at least for a time), especially with combat buffs to hand out. If you directly want further combat prowess, multiclassing a bit with a martial class will cover you really well. I think that's a very strong build. Not to say nobody's ever going to do a battle muse, but I think it's not really as useful a concept (in terms of not being as needed, and thus possibly being pretty toe-steppy if it did exist).
Gasp, is this the first time a developer has directly referenced multi-classing in PF2???

I flat out fielded a question about it in my Major Spoilers interview. Granted, it wasn't for the full details but the design goals.


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Cool, cool. I can definitely get on board with a lot of this. I am curious if an actor Bard is still a default option, or if it requires refluffing. Spiritual/mental definitely fits “occult”. It sounds like healing is getting snuck in from vital somehow?


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Aiken Frost wrote:


Also:

Quote:
You perform rapidly, speeding your ally. The ally is quick and can use the action to Strike, Stride, or Step.

The Allegro wording is terrible. It would be better like this:

Quote:
You perform rapidly, speeding your ally. The ally gets one action he can use only to Strike, Stride, or Step.

"Quick" is a defined status, your wording is redundant and repetitive to that definition.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Captain Morgan wrote:


I REALLY liked the Muse idea when I first saw the word, but the descriptions of the available muses don't really... sound like muses. Maestro, Lore, and Polymath all sound like specializations, where Muses tend to be specific people or personified forces that inspire you to greatness. The concept of a Muse sounds more like something half-way between a deity and a rage totem, but without an anathema. Perhaps there is some flavor text in this vein, I dunno.

On the other hand, not being locked into a Muse and being able to take different feats from them is great. Artists are inspired by all sorts of things after all.

As a bard, you have a muse that leads you to great things, which might be a physical creature, a deity, a philosophy, or something more nebulous. While there are nearly as many different muses as there are bards, muses grant a limited number of different abilities to bards based on their theme.

Lore: Your muse drives you to uncover the hidden secrets of the multiverse.
Maestro: Your muse inspires you to ever-greater heights of performance.
Polymath: Your muse flits about to almost every skill and pursuit.

So your muse could be Shelyn, the B5 muse fey, the philosophy of Tamashigo, or your own inner feelings.


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Regarding "quick," perhaps capitalizing or italicizing statuses would alleviate the confusion?

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