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Revised Bard


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


When beta came out, i tweaked the bard a bit and it has turned out well
let me know what you think

BARD

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d8.

Class Skills:
The bard’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Ranks Per Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Class Features:
All 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 also proficient with light armor and shields (except tower shields). A bard can cast bard spells while wearing light armor and using a shield without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spell caster, a bard wearing medium or heavy armor or using a shield failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. A bard still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.

Spells: 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 verbal component (singing, reciting, or music) 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 bard’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the bard’s Charisma modifier. Like other spell casters, 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 4–3. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score. The bard’s selection of spells is extremely limited. A bard begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of the bard’s choice. At each new bard level, he gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table 4–4. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a bard knows is not affected by his Charisma score. The numbers on Table 4–4 are fixed.) Upon reaching 5th level, and at every third bard level after that (8th, 11th, and so on), a bard can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the bard “loses” the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged. A bard may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the level. As noted above, a bard need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level

Level Base
Attack
Bonus Fort
Save Ref
Save Will
Save Special

1 +0 +0 +2 +2 Bardic Knowledge,Bardic
performance, cantrips,
countersong, distraction,
fascinate, inspire courage
+1,Bard Powers

2 +1 +0 +3 +3 Well-versed, Bard Powers
3 +2 +1 +3 +3 Inspire Confidence
4 +3 +1 +4 +4 Bard Powers
5 +3 +2 +5 +5 Inspire Courage +2,
Loremaster1/day
6 +4 +2 +5 +5 Suggestion, Bard Powers
7 +5 +3 +6 +6
8 +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 Dirge of Doom, Discordant
Performance, Bardic
Countersong
9 +6/+1 +3 +7 +7 Inspire Greatness
10 +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 Bard Powers
11 +8/+3 +4 +8 +8 Inspire Courage +3,
Loremaster 2/day
12 +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Song of Freedom, Smoothing
Performance
13 +9/+4 +4 +9 +9 Bard Powers
14 +10/+5 +5 +9 +9 Frightening Tune,
Paralyzing Show
15 +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 Inspire Heroics
16 +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Bard Powers
17 +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Inspire Courage +4,
Loremaster 3/day
18 +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Mass Suggestion, Bard
Powers
19 +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Jack of all Trades
20 +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Deadly Performance

Spells per Day
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
2 - - - - -
3 - - - - -
3 2 - - - -
4 3 - - - -
4 4 - - - -
4 4 2 - - -
4 4 3 - - -
4 4 3 1 - -
4 4 3 2 - -
4 4 3 3 - -
4 4 4 4 - -
5 4 4 4 1 -
5 5 4 4 2 -
5 5 5 4 3 -
5 5 5 4 3 1
6 5 5 4 4 2
6 6 6 4 4 3
6 6 6 5 4 4
6 6 6 6 5 5
6 6 6 6 6 6

Table 4-4: Bard Spells Known Spells Known
Level 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1 4 2 - - - - -
2 5 3 - - - - -
3 6 4 2 - - - -
4 6 4 3 - - - -
5 6 4 3 - - - -
6 6 4 4 2 - - -
7 6 5 4 3 - - -
8 6 5 4 4 1 - -
9 6 5 4 4 2 - -
10 6 5 5 4 3 - -
11 6 6 5 4 3 - -
12 6 6 5 5 4 2 -
13 6 6 5 5 4 2 -
14 6 6 6 5 4 3 -
15 6 6 6 5 4 3 1
16 6 6 6 6 5 4 2
17 6 6 6 6 5 4 3
18 6 6 6 6 5 5 4
19 6 6 6 6 5 5 5
20 6 6 6 6 6 6 6

Bardic Knowledge: At 1st level, a bard selects one Knowledge skill. He gains 1 bonus skill point to place in that Knowledge skill and an additional skill point every time he gains a level. In addition, a bard adds 1/2 his level (minimum 1) to all Knowledge skill checks and
may make such checks untrained.

Bardic Performance: Once per day per bard level, a bard can use his Perform skill to produce magical skill used to activate it. Bardic performance activated with Perform (act) or Perform (dance) requires line of sight to the targets of its effects and does not affect blind creatures. Bardic performance activated with Perform (comedy) and Perform (oratory) requires the targets to be able to hear the bard, and such effects are language dependent (although the bard can activate magic items that require a magic word, such as wands, while using these types of Perform to activate bardic performance). Bardic performance activated using any other type of Perform only requires the targets to be able to hear the bard. These requirements are in addition to those listed with, each bardic performance ability. Just as for casting a spell with a verbal component, a deaf bard has a 20% chance to fail when attempting to use bardic performance using a Perform skill that relies on sound. A blind bard has a 50% chance to fail when attempting to use bardic performance using a Perform skill that relies on sight. If he fails either of these checks, the attempt still counts against his daily limit. (unless otherwise noted the use of a bardic performance is a Standard Action to begin and a Move Action to maintain).

Bardic Countersong: Starting at the 8th level the bard gains the ability to counterspell as an immediate action. This counterspell acts as a targeted dispel magic against spell and spell like effects. The bard uses the number of perform ranks he has (not his bard level) as his modifier to his caster level check. The performance skill used must be verbally based. The bard may use this ability 1 time per day for every 4 bard levels the character has.

Bardic Powers (Su): A bard greatest abilities comes from what he learns and a bard is always learning. Trading tales with other bards, picking up spells from sorcerers or wizards, learning a cool fighting technique from a fighter or monk friend, how to unleash your emotion to devastate your enemies, the way of the wild and so on. As a bard progresses in levels, he is able to imitate that which he has seen others do.

Bard Powers – The bard may choose from the following:

Bonus Feat – this feat can be any that would qualify as a fighter’s bonus feat. (does not have to meet stat requirements but must meet feat pre-requisites). At 6th level and above the bard may choose weapon specialization.

Track – a bard gains the feat track and may either use ½ his bard level or his survival skill score to modify his check.

Modified Movement – A bard has learned, usually the hard way that it is better to be able to out move your enemy, than have that enemy out move you. Each time a bard takes this ability he adds 5 feet to his base move

Animal Companion – a bard may choose an animal companion just as a driud. The animal companion functions two levels lower than his bard level, on the animal companion advancement table (pg. 25). The bard may add speak with animals to his first level spell list.

Familiar - a bard may choose a familiar just as a wizard or sorcerer. The familiar functions two levels lower than his bard level, on the Familiars advancement table (pg. 51). The bard may add speak with animals to his first level spell list.

Channel Energy – A bard may channel positive or negative energy as a cleric of half his bard level. The choice of what type of energy must be made when this power is chosen. A bard may use this power 1 time per day plus his charisma modifier.

Offensive Magic – A bard may select invocation/evocation spells from the sorcerer/wizard spell list to add it to his spell list. These spell count against his number of spells known. A bard gains the ability to use spell completion items that stores the invocation/evocation spells he chooses to add to his list. The bard may not add more than 2 invocation/evocation spells per spell level to his list. The bard may only cast a number of invocation/evocation spell levels per day equal to 1/3 his bard level.

Sneak Attack – the bard gains the ability to sneak attack as a rogue at ½ his bard level.

Rage – the bard learns how to tap into his inner reserve and enter a rage state. He may enter this state a number of times equal to 1 plus his constitution modifier per day. The rage lasts for 3 rounds plus 1 round per constitution modifier. When the rage is ended the bard is exhausted for a period of time equal to 3 times the amount of time spent raging. In the rage state he gains a + 2 to str and con, +1 to will saves and a -1 to AC. After the bard has had this ability for 4 levels; his rage state improves to a + 4 to str and con, + 2 to will saves and a - 2 to AC.

Fighting Style – anytime after 4th level the bard may chose a fighting style just as a ranger

Lucky – one time per day as an immediate action the bard may add his chr modifier to any die roll, even if the result has already been announced.

Countersong (Su): A bard with 1 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his performance 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 non instantaneous 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 does not work on effects that don’t allow saves. The bard may keep up the countersong for 10 rounds. A bard can use this bardic performance ability utilizing Perform (keyboard, percussion, wind, string, or sing).

Cantrips (Sp): A bard knows a number of cantrips. He can cast these spells at will as a spell-like ability. The number of cantrips a bard knows is noted on Table 4–4 under 0 level spells known. Cantrips are treated like any other spell cast by the bard in terms of duration and other variables based on level.

Deadly Performance (Su): A bard of 20th level or higher with 20 or more ranks in a Perform skill 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 and be within 30 feet. The target receives a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 bard’s level + bard’s Cha modifier) to negate the effect. If a creature’s saving throw succeeds, the target is stunned for 1d4 rounds and the bard cannot use deadly performance on that creature again for 24 hours. If its saving throw fails, the target dies. A bard can use this bardic performance ability utilizing any type of Perform.

Distraction (Su): A bard with 1 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his performance to counter magical effects that depend on sight. Each round of the distraction, he makes a Perform check. Any creature within 30 feet of the bard (including the bard himself ) that is affected by an illusion (pattern) or illusion (figment) 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 distraction is already under the effect of a non instantaneous illusion (pattern) or illusion (figment) magical attack, it gains another saving throw against the effect each round it sees the distraction, but it must use the bard’s Perform check result for the save. Distraction does not work on effects that don’t allow saves. The bard may keep up the distraction for 10 rounds. A bard can use this bardic performance ability utilizing Perform (act, comedy,dance, or oratory).

Dirge of Doom (Su): A bard of 8th level or higher with 8 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his performance to foster a sense of growing dread in his enemies, causing them to take a number of penalties. To be affected, an enemy must be able to hear the bard perform and be within 30 feet. The effect lasts for as long as the enemy hears the bard and remains within 30 feet, and it persists for 3 rounds after the bard stops playing or the enemy leaves the area. Affected enemies are shaken and take a –2 penalty on ability checks, attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks. A bard can use this bardic performance ability utilizing Perform (keyboard, percussion, wind, string, or sing).

Discordant Performance (Su): A bard of 8th level or higher with 8 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his performance to cause his enemies to become confused. To be affected, an enemy must be able to see the bard perform and be within 30 feet. The effect lasts for as long as the enemy sees the bard and remains within 30 feet. Each enemy within range receives a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 bard’s level + bard’s Cha modifier) to negate the effect. If a creature’s saving throw succeeds, the bard cannot attempt to confuse that creature again using discordant performance for 24 hours. If its saving throw fails, the creature becomes confused as long as the bard keeps performing (up to a maximum of 1 round per bard level). At the end of an affected creature’s turn, it is allowed a new Will save to overcome the effect, making it immune to discordant performance for 24 hours
if it does. A bard can use this bardic performance ability utilizing Perform (act, comedy, dance, or oratory).

Fascinate (Sp): A bard with 1 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 danger 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. Each creature within range receives a Will save (DC 10 + ½ bard’s level + bard’s Cha modifier) to negate 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 Perception 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. A bard can use this bardic performance ability utilizing any type of Perform.

Frightening Tune (Sp): A bard of 14th level or higher with 14 or more ranks in a Perform skill 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 + ½ bard’s level + bard’s Cha modifier) to negate the effect. If a creature’s saving throw succeeds, the bard cannot use frightening tune on that creature again for 24 hours. If its saving throw fails, the creature becomes frightened for 1d4 rounds plus the bard’s Charisma modifier. A bard can use this bardic performance ability utilizing Perform (keyboard, percussion, wind, string, or sing).

Inspire Courage (Su): A bard with 1 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his performance 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 perceive the bard’s performance. The effect lasts for as long as the ally perceives the bard‘s performance 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 5th level, and every six bard levels thereafter, this bonus increases by 1 (+2 at 5th, +3 at 11th,
and +4 at 17th). Inspire courage is a mind-affecting ability. A bard can use this bardic performance ability utilizing any type of Perform.

Inspire Competence (Su): A bard of 3rd level or higher with 3 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his performance to help an ally succeed at a task. The ally must be within 30 feet 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 she continues to hear the bard’s music. Certain uses of this ability are infeasible, such as Sneak attempts. 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. A bard can use this bardic perform Type of Perform.

Inspire Greatness (Su): A bard of 9th level or higher with 9 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his performance to inspire greatness in himself or a single willing ally within 30 feet, granting 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, and four at 18th). To inspire greatness, a bard must perform and an ally must hear or see him perform. The effect lasts for as long as the ally witnesses the performance 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. A bard can use this bardic performance ability utilizing any type of Perform.

Inspire Heroics (Su): A bard of 15th level or higher with 15 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his performance 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 perform and an ally must witness the performance 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 witnesses the performance and for 5 rounds thereafter. Inspire heroics is a mind-affecting ability. A bard can use this bardic performance ability utilizing any type of Perform.

Jack of All Trades (Ex): At 19th level, the bard can use any skill, even if the skill requires him to be trained. In addition, all skills are now considered class skills. If the bard has 5 or more ranks in a skill, he can take 10 on the skill, even if it is not normally allowed.

Lore Master (Ex): At 5th level, the bard becomes a master of lore and can take 10 on any Knowledge skill check that he has ranks in. A bard can choose not to take 10 and can instead roll normally. In addition, once per day, the bard can take 20 on any Knowledge skill check as a standard action. He can use this ability one additional time per day for every six levels he possesses beyond 5th, to a maximum of three times per day at 17th level.

Mass Suggestion (Sp): This ability functions like suggestion, above, except that a bard of 18th level or higher with 18 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. A bard can use this bardic performance ability utilizing any type of Perform.

Paralyzing Show (Sp): A bard of 14th level or higher with 14 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his performance to paralyze his enemies. To be affected, an enemy must be able to see the bard perform and be within 30 feet. Each enemy within range receives a Will save (DC 10 + ½ bard’s level + bard’s Cha modifier) to negate the effect. If
a creature’s saving throw succeeds, the bard cannot use paralyzing show on that creature again for 24 hours. If its saving throw fails, the creature becomes paralyzed for a number of rounds equal to the bard’s level. At the end of an affected creature’s turn, it is allowed a new Will save to overcome the effect, making it immune to paralyzing show for 24 hours. A bard can use this bardic performance ability utilizing Perform (act, comedy, dance, or oratory).

Song of Freedom (Sp): A bard of 12th level or higher with 12 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his performance to create an effect equivalent to the break enchantment spell (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. A bard can use this bardic performance ability utilizing Perform (keyboard, percussion, wind, string, or sing).

Soothing Performance (Sp): A bard of 12th level or higher with 12 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his performance to create an effect equivalent to the mass cure light wounds spell (caster level equals the character’s bard level). In addition, this performance removes the fatigued, sickened, and shakened condition from all those affected. Using this ability requires 1 minute of uninterrupted concentration and performance, and it functions on all targets within 30 feet. A bard can use this bardic performance ability utilizing
Perform (act, comedy, dance, or oratory).

Suggestion (Sp): A bard of 6th level or higher with 6 or spell) to a creature that he has already fascinated (see above spell).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 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 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. A bard can use this bardic performance ability utilizing any type of Perform.

Well-Versed (Ex): At 2nd level, the bard becomes resistant to the bardic performance of others. The bard gains a +4 bonus on saving throws made against bardic performance, sonic, and language dependent effects.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Talk about a jack-of-all-trades. :)

I think what you're doing here is very interesting- giving the bard little bite-sized versions of his buddies' class features. "It rubs off after awhile".

Mechanically, most of it looks alright except for the sneak-attack, the channel energy and the barbarian rage.

"As a rogue of half his level" is a big deal. By level 20, that's 5d6 points of sneak attack; the same as the ranger variant I just wrote. Most of the abilities you're giving are about as good as feats, so you should go with that as a base line: just 1d6 of SA would be more than powerful enough. In fact, it's so good that you might want to put a minimum level on it (otherwise 1 bard level becomes better than 1 rogue level in almost every way).

"Channel energy as a cleric of half his level" has the opposite problem: pretty handy at 1st level, not worth much at 20th. My suggestion there is to let him do it just as good as a cleric, but only once per day.

I'm at a loss as for how to make barbarian rage more workable as a bite-sized ability, though. You've kind of got me there. I might come back to that later.

This is a minor note, but familiars aren't as good as animal companions, and their powers don't scale much with level anyway (most of their stats are directly based on the bard's stats- even if he's a bard1/fighter19). You could probably just let him have a familiar without the -2 to his effective level.

"Lucky" is a neat little power that would be interesting in play.

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