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

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
401 to 450 of 692 << first < prev | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | next > last >>

MadScientistWorking wrote:


Truth be told Inspire Courage is such a boring ability that I'm surprised you didn't just replace it with something else. Even in Pathfinder 1 the more useful buffing abilities that you could gain access from classes to usually did something more than just add static modifiers to attack, damage, and saves.

It *is* very convenient for GMs, as they can keep the intended difficulty of their encounters by just increasing the appropriate monster stats by one when the party starts using this ability.


Maveric28 wrote:

Overall, I like it... I'm a big fan of "Bard: the Musical," and this teaser seems to make the classic "Elan-Bard" work better. If you want a bard that walks into a dungeon and sings at things, this is definitely the way to go. Kudos!

However... I was hoping for the Bard becoming a gateway to the long-awaited Rogue-Sorcerer gish. At present Bards are great for caster-rogues IF you like the performance aspect. But there seems to be no option for a classic AD&D-themed Rogue/Wizard who amplifies his stealth, thievery and subterfuge with spellcasting. So unless you want a bard who sings, dances, or tells jokes to activate his powers, there is still no avenue for creating a spell-using thief. It's my only critique so far. I know PF didn't have it before, but as an old Grognard, I've been hoping for a class that would enable creating this character concept for some time. (Before you all start suggesting it, obviously multiclass rogue/sorcerers don't work very well, as multiclass sorcerers lack any real spellcasting power, and multiclass rogues give up far too many skill points). So unless PF2 includes some really kick-ass multiclassing options, this desired concept is still un-achievable.

So... to sum up. Want a singing Bard who uses some aspect of music or artsy-performance to do his thing? This is it. You want a rogue-y caster who uses magic to do his sneaking and stealing without singing or dancing his way into your hearts? ... This ain't it.

Pathfinder had the spellcaster rouge. Its called the Investigator and it works ridiculously well.
Mats Öhrman wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:


Truth be told Inspire Courage is such a boring ability that I'm surprised you didn't just replace it with something else. Even in Pathfinder 1 the more useful buffing abilities that you could gain access from classes to usually did something more than just add static modifiers to attack, damage, and saves.
It *is* very convenient for GMs, as they can keep the intended difficulty of their encounters by just increasing the appropriate monster stats by one when the party starts using this ability.

Except we don't actually know if the Bards won't be able to give out +5 bonuses with regularity. Mark says they don't but anyone fishing for bonuses in PF 1 quickly learns that spell boosts scale faster and are easier to obtain.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Maveric28 wrote:

Overall, I like it... I'm a big fan of "Bard: the Musical," and this teaser seems to make the classic "Elan-Bard" work better. If you want a bard that walks into a dungeon and sings at things, this is definitely the way to go. Kudos!

However... I was hoping for the Bard becoming a gateway to the long-awaited Rogue-Sorcerer gish. At present Bards are great for caster-rogues IF you like the performance aspect. But there seems to be no option for a classic AD&D-themed Rogue/Wizard who amplifies his stealth, thievery and subterfuge with spellcasting. So unless you want a bard who sings, dances, or tells jokes to activate his powers, there is still no avenue for creating a spell-using thief.

You can use Oratory as a performance in PF1, no reason yet to doubt you can in PF2. You just infuse magic, confidence, and vocal training in your well chosen word as you tell your friends to kill the enemy or perform that Athletics check to grapple with exceptional focus and fervor. No music or silly performances required.

If you avoid the Maestro line of feats I don't think you'll even have more than two performances and those are pretty useful and also possible to ignore. Mostly do your own thing, occasionally yell an encouraging word at your friends or slap down a Suggestion spell by counterscreaming a denial.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I would say I prefer Rogues having the option to get spellcasting ability rather than the Bard having the Rogue-but-with-spellcasting niche. I think it would otherwise dilute the class identities.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Bard being an occult caster makes a lot more sense when you think "Occult magic is the magic that affects the head and the heart" than "Shoggoths."

I wonder how we're going to deal with that sort of paired, opposing connotations within the game. I mean, it's there, since the playtest occult sorcerer is an aberrant bloodline. I guess eldritch horrors tend to drive you mad rather than blasting you with rays and stuff, so it may be that shoggoths and their like are naturally adept with occult magic.

In Lovecraft, a lot of eldritch horrors are associated with music. There's the music of Erich Zann for obvious reasons, but the piping of flutes is associated with the blind idiot god, Azathoth.

HP Lovecraft, The Dreams in the Witch House wrote:
Eventually there had been a hint of vast, leaping shadows, of a monstrous, half-acoustic pulsing, and of the thin, monotonous piping of an unseen flute—but that was all. Gilman decided he had picked up that last conception from what he had read in the Necronomicon about the mindless entity Azathoth, which rules all time and space from a curiously environed black throne at the centre of Chaos.

Shoggoths themselves are associated with musical piping as well.

HP Lovecraft, at the mountains of madness wrote:
Through the desolate summits swept raging intermittent gusts of the terrible antarctic wind; whose cadences sometimes held vague suggestions of a wild and half-sentient musical piping, with notes extending over a wide range, and which for some subconscious mnemonic reason seemed to me disquieting and even dimly terrible.

I believe there are other scenes of musical villainy in other stories, though I can't remember the exact instruments. At any rate, blasphemous processions of things that should not be heralded by the yadda yadda tend to be relatively frequent.

On top of that, several stories involve artists in a notable role, like the Call of Cthulhu, or Pickman's Model, and he makes a big fuss about "mental sensitivity" in a lot of stories which, IIRC, he links to poetic tendencies.

While it's not exactly what people think of, the original mythos stories at least set a sort of basis of ideas that could be related to a bard.

Also. King in Yellow in story was a play after all.


Also remember with skill feats, most classes could probably fulfill a sneaky role if you want.


Quick question, will bards still get proficiency in shields without spending feats?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am now torn between a playtest bard with a blasphemous flute to up the occult flavour and a dwarf with bagpipes. Choices, choices....

Paizo Employee Designer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Neriathale wrote:
I am now torn between a playtest bard with a blasphemous flute to up the occult flavour and a dwarf with bagpipes. Choices, choices....

Clearly the only option is to play both as two of your five characters!

Scarab Sages

CrystalSeas wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:
I'm curious about composition and how some people are reacting to it. I never associated it in particular with the scale of the work - it's simply a piece of music. I wonder if that impression of scale is regional or occupation based or specific to musicians, or whether it's just me?
I use it the same way: a "composition" doesn't imply length to me. Her writings, and her compositions both imply creative works of varying lengths, one with words and the other with musical notes.

Sure, a single-line jingle is technically a composition, much as you could call a single-line poem an «opus» or two stones atop each other a «building» or a quick orison a «ceremony». It still strikes me as disingenuous, since «composition» is not used for musical pieces of all lengths in PF2, but specifically for tunes so short you can toss them out in a third of a round.

Anyway, I find the «muse» part a much greater sin of nomenclature. If you want to stick to roles like «maestro» and «polymath», call it an ambition rather than a muse. If you insist on using the term «muse», call them beauty or art instead of «maestro» and maybe knowledge or even science instead of «polymath».

Paizo Employee Designer

7 people marked this as a favorite.

«Composition» is used for magical performance effects of various lengths in PF2.

Scarab Sages

Ah, my mistake, then. Thanks for clarifying. I guess there are not many words that work for all kinds of performances, other than «performance», which doesn't work because it is also used for non-magical arts. «Incantation» sounds properly magical but too much focused on singing.

My point on the muses remains, though.

«Wow, such a brilliant piece! Where do you get your inspiration? Who's your muse?»

Raises eyebrow «Maestro.»


Muse is a super umbrella of generality.

In game, the character can choose a proper ambition/passion/muse, and connect that concept to their Muse to inherit it's mechanics.

You have to take a step back to see it.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Catharsis wrote:


«Wow, such a brilliant piece! Where do you get your inspiration? Who's your muse?»

Raises eyebrow «Maestro.»

Or it could be how your muse inspires you. It inspires you to be a Maestro.


Is one's muse an actual concrete being or force or merely an abstraction?

Given the former, if Shelyn is my muse, does she prefer Maestra?


Mark Seifter wrote:
(not that you couldn't make some kind of maddening bard focused on the flip side as well!)

You mean like Debie Gibson, Tiffany, or Hanson?

Paizo Employee Designer

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Catharsis wrote:

Ah, my mistake, then. Thanks for clarifying. I guess there are not many words that work for all kinds of performances, other than «performance», which doesn't work because it is also used for non-magical arts. «Incantation» sounds properly magical but too much focused on singing.

My point on the muses remains, though.

«Wow, such a brilliant piece! Where do you get your inspiration? Who's your muse?»

Raises eyebrow «Maestro.»

Performance is the name of the entire skill, yeah, so it can't work in that regard.

For the muses, it's like if your witch patron choice you picked Shadow, you wouldn't say "Shadow" you would say "Count Ranalc" (or whoever). For the muses, your Maestro-themed muse might be Shelyn, or a powerful grig, or a choral angel, or just your own inner song, though you wouldn't say "Maestro."


5 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Is one's muse an actual concrete being or force or merely an abstraction?

Given the former, if Shelyn is my muse, does she prefer Maestra?

Any of the above and more; it seems that the title for a Muse isn't really what your Muse is, but rather what your Muse inspires you to be. Your Muse might be an adventure novel you read as a child and keep with you at all times, which inspires you to be a polymath. It was explained better in a post by Mark that has since been buried.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I feel the single action Inspire Courage takes is a bit of an abstraction. It doesn't take literally 2 seconds to do, but it's something that can be while you do other things; it still takes effort to do, so you can't quite do as much.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Neriathale wrote:
I am now torn between a playtest bard with a blasphemous flute to up the occult flavour and a dwarf with bagpipes. Choices, choices....

I don't understand the distinction. ;)


Stone Dog wrote:
Neriathale wrote:
I am now torn between a playtest bard with a blasphemous flute to up the occult flavour and a dwarf with bagpipes. Choices, choices....
I don't understand the distinction. ;)

Azathoth is Scottish.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
For the muses, it's like if your witch patron choice you picked Shadow, you wouldn't say "Shadow" you would say "Count Ranalc" (or whoever). For the muses, your Maestro-themed muse might be Shelyn, or a powerful grig, or a choral angel, or just your own inner song, though you wouldn't say "Maestro."

I realize the muses are OOC game terms, but that shouldn't prevent them from adhering to linguistic logic. «The shadows are my patron» is a coherent thing to say, whereas «The shadows are my hobby» would be ambiguous and weird — sneaking in the shadows, exploring shadowy places, casting shadows, breeding shadow creatures, etc. could conceivably be hobbies (albeit weird ones), since they're activities, which is the expectation for a hobby. «Shadows» by themselves are not an activity and therefore cause cognitive dissonance in this context.

Similarly, «Art is my muse» and «My ambition is to become a maestro» are coherent things to say whereas «Maestro is my muse» causes cognitive dissonance, in that «maestro» is not the object class to fill the role of «muse», as it were. It's like saying «My favorite color is Egypt».


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Catharsis wrote:
«The shadows are my hobby»

I feel called out.


Catharsis wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
For the muses, it's like if your witch patron choice you picked Shadow, you wouldn't say "Shadow" you would say "Count Ranalc" (or whoever). For the muses, your Maestro-themed muse might be Shelyn, or a powerful grig, or a choral angel, or just your own inner song, though you wouldn't say "Maestro."

I realize the muses are OOC game terms, but that shouldn't prevent them from adhering to linguistic logic. «The shadows are my patron» is a coherent thing to say, whereas «The shadows are my hobby» would be ambiguous and weird — sneaking in the shadows, exploring shadowy places, casting shadows, breeding shadow creatures, etc. could conceivably be hobbies (albeit weird ones), since they're activities, which is the expectation for a hobby. «Shadows» by themselves are not an activity and therefore cause cognitive dissonance in this context.

Similarly, «Art is my muse» and «My ambition is to become a maestro» are coherent things to say whereas «Maestro is my muse» causes cognitive dissonance, in that «maestro» is not the object class to fill the role of «muse», as it were. It's like saying «My favorite color is Egypt».

Yeah, that's bothered me too. Should be easy to fix.

Paizo Employee Designer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Catharsis wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
For the muses, it's like if your witch patron choice you picked Shadow, you wouldn't say "Shadow" you would say "Count Ranalc" (or whoever). For the muses, your Maestro-themed muse might be Shelyn, or a powerful grig, or a choral angel, or just your own inner song, though you wouldn't say "Maestro."

I realize the muses are OOC game terms, but that shouldn't prevent them from adhering to linguistic logic. «The shadows are my patron» is a coherent thing to say, whereas «The shadows are my hobby» would be ambiguous and weird — sneaking in the shadows, exploring shadowy places, casting shadows, breeding shadow creatures, etc. could conceivably be hobbies (albeit weird ones), since they're activities, which is the expectation for a hobby. «Shadows» by themselves are not an activity and therefore cause cognitive dissonance in this context.

Similarly, «Art is my muse» and «My ambition is to become a maestro» are coherent things to say whereas «Maestro is my muse» causes cognitive dissonance, in that «maestro» is not the object class to fill the role of «muse», as it were. It's like saying «My favorite color is Egypt».

Shadow is one of the patrons that sort of works for this, but Agility is pretty weird there, for instance. Agility isn't really your patron, they just grant you agility-related spells.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
gwynfrid wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
I'm not sure why you'd consider that a problem, since it's not like Spell-like or Supernatural abilities were on anyone's spell list in PF1.
Because we get posts where people say that these spell like abilities are spells! Except they're not spells. They're spell-like abilities. But in our aversion to name things what they are and instead use the same name for different things we're pretending the spell like abilities are spells and that calling them spells makes things clearer when in fact it makes things less clear. As does the name Spell Points given they have nothing to do with spells and are only used by powers.
If the term "power" was replaced by "spell-like ability" with no other modification, would that solve your issue?

It would be clearer then it currently is (despite what d adman walking says), but having spell points work with spell's and simply making powers be spell's would be even clearer.

Regardless, this wasn't my derail so I'd like to drop it. I was responding to the claim that powers work exactly like spell's when they clearly don't.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Bluenose wrote:
Cantriped wrote:
Crayon wrote:
I would argue, however, that they were not primarily spellcasters until 3e and personally preferred their more rogue-like iterations.
I could counter-argue that bards were originally a prestige class (that required you have levels in Druid, Thief, and Mage IIRC). Meaning most of your Experience Points were spent in spell-casting classes. So a more accurate homage would be to axe the Bard as a class and make them a prestige archetype instead.
Fighter - Thief - Druid were the three classes.

Nope. The bard from 1st edition AD&D required 5-7 levels of fighter, followed by 7-9 levels of thief. Then you became a bard. Bards had all of the powers of druids, and got druid spells, and music, and a percent chance to legend lore that increased as they gained levels. They used the rules for "characters with 2 classes". Characters with 2 classes were different from multi-class characters. You basically switched classes and had to abide by all of the strictures of the new class until your level in the new class exceeded your level in your previous classes.

Personally, I really like full caster bards because they are more like the characters from fiction that I think of when I think of bards, such as Deth from the Riddle Master of Head, or Koth from the King Killer Chronicles.


Half-elves could become 1e AD&D bards, too. I always wanted to attain that goal, rules system be damned.

Then they wussed out and made Bards into their own class. Water under the bridge and all of that. ;)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Catharsis wrote:

I realize the muses are OOC game terms, but that shouldn't prevent them from adhering to linguistic logic. «The shadows are my patron» is a coherent thing to say, whereas «The shadows are my hobby» would be ambiguous and weird — sneaking in the shadows, exploring shadowy places, casting shadows, breeding shadow creatures, etc. could conceivably be hobbies (albeit weird ones), since they're activities, which is the expectation for a hobby. «Shadows» by themselves are not an activity and therefore cause cognitive dissonance in this context.

Similarly, «Art is my muse» and «My ambition is to become a maestro» are coherent things to say whereas «Maestro is my muse» causes cognitive dissonance, in that «maestro» is not the object class to fill the role of «muse», as it were. It's like saying «My favorite color is Egypt».

I'm not sure about the term Muse in this context either. Although my concern is different. Basically to me, muse implies an entity, either a person or some magical being. So by using it for a class feature, they take the name away from being used as the name of a creature like a musical fey or outsider, or possibly some kind of bard familiar that assists with their performance (oh, I like that idea). Inspiration seems like it might be a better choice to describe the class feature while allowing a muse to be someone or something that helps with the creative process.

This is a pretty minor issue though. Mechanically, the bard looks pretty neat. In 3e and PF bards are kind of an odd man out. The only other real concern I have is what does this change to full caster do for the in game descriptions of bards? This seems like it might change their role in the world quite a bit. I'm also curious as to what is actually on the occult spell-list and how well does it fit the bard.


13 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm gonna be honest here, trying to tie the current Bard class to a 40 year old concept that was a poor representation of what the word bard means back then (if your first idea for what a bard is is the D&D class, the second is "what they call Shakespeare") seems... inadvisable.

Gygax had a lot of ideas that can and should be forgotten.


So there’s this brand new occult spell list, evoking Eldritch ritual, sanity blasting horror and psychic potency.

Its chief practitioner is the bard.

Whut?


I'll probably end up needing to ban this class in my campaigns since it looks like they still want to restrict the fluff to musicians who have magic for no discernible reason.


15 people marked this as a favorite.
Milo v3 wrote:
I'll probably end up needing to ban this class in my campaigns since it looks like they still want to restrict the fluff to musicians who have magic for no discernible reason.

I'll probably ban Wizards since they still want to restrict the fluff to heavy readers who have magic for no discernible reason.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Milo v3 wrote:
I'll probably end up needing to ban this class in my campaigns since it looks like they still want to restrict the fluff to musicians who have magic for no discernible reason.

Did you read the blog post? Bards get their spellcasting from piecemeal collection of occult knowledge and lore they're exposed to over the years, and Bards are by no means exclusively musicians - they weren't in P1e, and they especially aren't in the playtest.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Friendly Rogue wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
I'll probably end up needing to ban this class in my campaigns since it looks like they still want to restrict the fluff to musicians who have magic for no discernible reason.
Did you read the blog post? Bards get their spellcasting from piecemeal collection of occult knowledge and lore they're exposed to over the years, and Bards are by no means exclusively musicians - they weren't in P1e, and they especially aren't in the playtest.

Agreed, and it's by no means obvious why music and dabbling in random occult lore is a more nonsensical basis and medium to learn, channel, and express magic than memorized/"prepared" arcane symbology. Just think of the the spell formula as an audio waveform.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

So, bards are steeped in minute fragments of the Mythos, slowly going insane as they plumb further depths of cosmic knowledge?

I can dig it.


Arachnofiend wrote:

I'm gonna be honest here, trying to tie the current Bard class to a 40 year old concept that was a poor representation of what the word bard means back then (if your first idea for what a bard is is the D&D class, the second is "what they call Shakespeare") seems... inadvisable.

Gygax had a lot of ideas that can and should be forgotten.

Not saying that archaic version of Bard should make a comeback. Just that I missed that achievement. ;)


Xenocrat wrote:
I'll probably ban Wizards since they still want to restrict the fluff to heavy readers who have magic for no discernible reason.

Studying magic leading to learning magic is a discernible reason. Stumbling into massive amounts of hidden occult magic that no one else in existence can seem to find including the people who specifically study magic, with the only discernable reason being because they're performers.... that's a pretty massive stretch to my "personal" verisimilitude. Why do you need to sing or play the friggin lute to learn occult spells when that has nothing to do with the flavour of occultism? It's a complete backwards step when it comes to occult flavour compared to Occult Adventures.

Friendly Rogue wrote:
Did you read the blog post? Bards get their spellcasting from piecemeal collection of occult knowledge and lore they're exposed to over the years, and Bards are by no means exclusively musicians - they weren't in P1e, and they especially aren't in the playtest.

Except that occult lore doesn't seem to have anything else to do with the rest of the classes fluff. They just randomly find occult lore that doesn't seem to exist outside of their own class it because they're performers...?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Xenocrat wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
I'll probably end up needing to ban this class in my campaigns since it looks like they still want to restrict the fluff to musicians who have magic for no discernible reason.
I'll probably ban Wizards since they still want to restrict the fluff to heavy readers who have magic for no discernible reason.

I might ban Clerics since they still want to restrict the fluff to clergy who have magic for no discernible reason.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I mean I'm kind of happy I can, at least in the playtest, give occult magic a colloquial name like "Black Music" or something. It's creepy, it's wrong, it's soothing, and it's beautiful.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Elleth wrote:
I mean I'm kind of happy I can, at least in the playtest, give occult magic a colloquial name like "Black Music" or something. It's creepy, it's wrong, it's soothing, and it's beautiful.

Aklo Cantos has something of a ring to it ... ;)


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Elleth wrote:
I mean I'm kind of happy I can, at least in the playtest, give occult magic a colloquial name like "Black Music" or something. It's creepy, it's wrong, it's soothing, and it's beautiful.

I do like the idea that the dark figure you meet at the crossroads at midnight to trade a price that may well be too high for musical skill might be something with a bunch of mouths and tentacles rather than a western style devil.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Milo v3 wrote:
Friendly Rogue wrote:
Did you read the blog post? Bards get their spellcasting from piecemeal collection of occult knowledge and lore they're exposed to over the years, and Bards are by no means exclusively musicians - they weren't in P1e, and they especially aren't in the playtest.
Except that occult lore doesn't seem to have anything else to do with the rest of the classes fluff. They just randomly find occult lore that doesn't seem to exist outside of their own class it because they're performers...?

Bards have always been associated with magical lore, especially considering in P1e one of their key class abilities is Bardic Knowledge. Bards are just as much collectors of lore, orators, and scholars as they are performers who prance around the battlefield while tooting a flute - the fact that they're not shoehorned into being exclusively musicians is part of the reason why they're my favorite class.

Besides, the P1e Bard spell list focused heavily on spells that affect the mind and evoked occult themes on their own, including Hideous Laughter, Mad Hallucination, Mad Sultan's Melody... Bards are more than qualified to be considered Occult if you ask me.

Paizo Employee Designer

12 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Elleth wrote:
I mean I'm kind of happy I can, at least in the playtest, give occult magic a colloquial name like "Black Music" or something. It's creepy, it's wrong, it's soothing, and it's beautiful.
I do like the idea that the dark figure you meet at the crossroads at midnight to trade a price that may well be too high for musical skill might be something with a bunch of mouths and tentacles rather than a western style devil.

As they say, there is a thin line between genius and madness...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
S. J. Digriz wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
Cantriped wrote:
Crayon wrote:
I would argue, however, that they were not primarily spellcasters until 3e and personally preferred their more rogue-like iterations.
I could counter-argue that bards were originally a prestige class (that required you have levels in Druid, Thief, and Mage IIRC). Meaning most of your Experience Points were spent in spell-casting classes. So a more accurate homage would be to axe the Bard as a class and make them a prestige archetype instead.
Fighter - Thief - Druid were the three classes.

Nope. The bard from 1st edition AD&D required 5-7 levels of fighter, followed by 7-9 levels of thief. Then you became a bard. Bards had all of the powers of druids, and got druid spells, and music, and a percent chance to legend lore that increased as they gained levels. They used the rules for "characters with 2 classes". Characters with 2 classes were different from multi-class characters. You basically switched classes and had to abide by all of the strictures of the new class until your level in the new class exceeded your level in your previous classes.

Personally, I really like full caster bards because they are more like the characters from fiction that I think of when I think of bards, such as Deth from the Riddle Master of Head, or Koth from the King Killer Chronicles.

The AD&D players handbook is a little foggy on this, because it literally says, “...bards must leave off thieving and begin their clerical studies as druids; but at this time they are actually bards and under druidical tutelage.” So they take Druid, but they actually start taking bard levels. Janky, right? Gotta love good old High Gygaxian. ;-)


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Elleth wrote:
I mean I'm kind of happy I can, at least in the playtest, give occult magic a colloquial name like "Black Music" or something. It's creepy, it's wrong, it's soothing, and it's beautiful.
I do like the idea that the dark figure you meet at the crossroads at midnight to trade a price that may well be too high for musical skill might be something with a bunch of mouths and tentacles rather than a western style devil.
As they say, there is a thin line between genius and madness...

Maybe there’s a reason Robert Johnson never talked about what he saw at the crossroads... :-)


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Milo v3 wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
I'll probably ban Wizards since they still want to restrict the fluff to heavy readers who have magic for no discernible reason.

Studying magic leading to learning magic is a discernible reason. Stumbling into massive amounts of hidden occult magic that no one else in existence can seem to find including the people who specifically study magic, with the only discernable reason being because they're performers.... that's a pretty massive stretch to my "personal" verisimilitude. Why do you need to sing or play the friggin lute to learn occult spells when that has nothing to do with the flavour of occultism? It's a complete backwards step when it comes to occult flavour compared to Occult Adventures.

Friendly Rogue wrote:
Did you read the blog post? Bards get their spellcasting from piecemeal collection of occult knowledge and lore they're exposed to over the years, and Bards are by no means exclusively musicians - they weren't in P1e, and they especially aren't in the playtest.
Except that occult lore doesn't seem to have anything else to do with the rest of the classes fluff. They just randomly find occult lore that doesn't seem to exist outside of their own class it because they're performers...?

A wizard studies magic directly in formulaic, organized ways to apply mental discipline and symbology to alter the world and other minds. A bard studies an eclectic mix of psychology, ritual, hedge magic, and other sources to learn how to use force of personality and the rhythms and inspiration of music (or poetry, or oratory, or comedy, or...) to create magic that taps into the spirit world or manipulates minds. Magic and song as a combination are at least as old as the Odyssey and the sirens. Instrumental music in folklore is used in to soothe and control beasts, summon and banish spirits (shamanistic drums), and probably more that I'm forgetting.


9 people marked this as a favorite.
ENHenry wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Elleth wrote:
I mean I'm kind of happy I can, at least in the playtest, give occult magic a colloquial name like "Black Music" or something. It's creepy, it's wrong, it's soothing, and it's beautiful.
I do like the idea that the dark figure you meet at the crossroads at midnight to trade a price that may well be too high for musical skill might be something with a bunch of mouths and tentacles rather than a western style devil.
As they say, there is a thin line between genius and madness...
Maybe there’s a reason Robert Johnson never talked about what he saw at the crossroads... :-)

The Eldritch Abomination Went Down To Georgia just doesn't quite have the same ring to it, unfortunately... Maybe we can workshop it.

Paizo Employee Designer

12 people marked this as a favorite.
Arachnofiend wrote:
ENHenry wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Elleth wrote:
I mean I'm kind of happy I can, at least in the playtest, give occult magic a colloquial name like "Black Music" or something. It's creepy, it's wrong, it's soothing, and it's beautiful.
I do like the idea that the dark figure you meet at the crossroads at midnight to trade a price that may well be too high for musical skill might be something with a bunch of mouths and tentacles rather than a western style devil.
As they say, there is a thin line between genius and madness...
Maybe there’s a reason Robert Johnson never talked about what he saw at the crossroads... :-)
The Eldritch Abomination Went Down To Georgia just doesn't quite have the same ring to it, unfortunately... Maybe we can workshop it.

The Shoggoth Went Down to Georgia?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Milo v3 wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
I'll probably ban Wizards since they still want to restrict the fluff to heavy readers who have magic for no discernible reason.

Studying magic leading to learning magic is a discernible reason. Stumbling into massive amounts of hidden occult magic that no one else in existence can seem to find including the people who specifically study magic, with the only discernable reason being because they're performers.... that's a pretty massive stretch to my "personal" verisimilitude. Why do you need to sing or play the friggin lute to learn occult spells when that has nothing to do with the flavour of occultism? It's a complete backwards step when it comes to occult flavour compared to Occult Adventures.

Friendly Rogue wrote:
Did you read the blog post? Bards get their spellcasting from piecemeal collection of occult knowledge and lore they're exposed to over the years, and Bards are by no means exclusively musicians - they weren't in P1e, and they especially aren't in the playtest.
Except that occult lore doesn't seem to have anything else to do with the rest of the classes fluff. They just randomly find occult lore that doesn't seem to exist outside of their own class it because they're performers...?
Occult Adventures wrote:


Components
Psychic magic originates from the distinctive qualities of the caster's composite being, rather than through arcane formulae or rote supplication to divine entities....

Instead of verbal and somatic components, all psychic spells have components related to the caster's inner being. The two psychic components are called emotion components and thought components. If a spell's components line lists a somatic component, that spell instead requires an emotion component when cast by psychic spellcasters, and if it has a verbal component, it instead requires a thought component when cast by psychic spellcasters. Psychic spells cast by non-psychic arcane and divine casters use any listed somatic and verbal components as normal.

Emotion Components: Emotion components represent a particular emotional state required to cast the spell. A psychic spellcaster marshals her desire in order to focus and release the spell's energy. It is impossible to cast a spell with an emotion component while the spellcaster is under the influence of a non-harmless effect with the emotion or fear descriptors. Even if the effect's emotion matches the necessary emotion to cast the psychic spell, the spellcaster is not in control of her own desires and animal impulses, which is a necessary part of providing an emotion component.

Thought Components: Thought components represent mental constructs necessary for the spell's function, such as picturing a wolf in vivid detail—down to the saliva dripping from its jaws—in order to cast beast shape to transform into a wolf. Thought components are so mentally demanding that they make interruptions and distractions extremely challenging. The DC for any concentration check for a spell with a thought component increases by 10. A psychic spellcaster casting a spell with a thought component can take a move action before beginning to cast the spell to center herself; she can then use the normal DC instead of the increased DC.

So, Psychic/Occult magic requires thought and emotion, and originate from the composite experience of the caster. Sounds like something a poet, songwriter, or artist would be best able to formulate and express to me.

401 to 450 of 692 << first < prev | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest Prerelease Discussion / Paizo Blog: Bard Class Preview All Messageboards