Unearthed Arcana: Bard Colleges Breakdown

Welcome to Week 2 of November Madness (which might become Indefinite Madness, depending on how long they keep up with weekly UAs), in which the Dynamic Duo give us two new bard Colleges: Glamour and Whispers. These aren’t the first bard Colleges we’ve gotten from UA, either. I’ve also talked about the 5e bard class here in Tribality before, just as a baseline. Short version: bards needed more subclasses in a bad way, so I’m glad there’s been so much support.

RPG Mixtape: A Bard Sings In A Tavern

Hello! My name is Jac, I am an anti-hipster/music geek who spends countless hours looking for interesting music. I love sharing my findings with anyone who will listen. I appreciate all genres of music, including rap and country. I especially like music recorded in people’s homes.

Here is a song collection for game masters to play during tavern scenes of their games. The collection is light on, but not void of, electronic instruments and modern lyrical references. These songs can also be used as game masters’ inspiration during the game planning and writing process. Taverns lend themselves to different settings with unique moods, so the collection begins somber and becomes happier along the way.

D&D 5e Character Optimization – Bard

Today in Thoughts and Things, we have the optimization of the D&D 5th edition Bard Class that has been archived from the Wizards of the Coast D&D Community boards. It has since sadly been deleted, and we can present it in an easier to read format, that has been edited for your enjoyment. This is in the same vein as the Barbarian & Ranger Character Optimization articles that we have previously hosted. I like to use these when I am contemplating putting together a character in a new class to understand how they work.

The Bard Class, Part Five

The Bard Class, Part Five

At last, we come to Act V in the drama of the Bard. The narrative arc to date has been… more of a picaresque than anything, with movements in many conflicting directions, often contradicting earlier developments. In Act I (OD&D and 1e), we established the conflict: what the hell is this class? Is it a pseudo-wizard with reduced-but-potent casting

The Bard Class, Part Four

Welcome back to my ongoing eccentricity obsession series about the Bard class. This time, I’ll be talking about Fourth Edition. I suspect that some percentage of my readers, devilishly attractive lot that they are, despise all things related to Fourth Edition as the work of the unbeliever, while others praise it with the voices of angels, et cetera; this isn’t the place for an edition war, and let’s leave it at that. Within its context, the 4e Bard is objectively better than earlier versions of the Bard are within their own context.

I don’t want to harp on this, but the 4e bard plays second fiddle to no one. If I had to piccolo point of the 4e iteration, though, I’d say that marching to the drum of the Arcane Leader role means that it doesn’t feel like a fighter/rogue/(some species of spellcaster) quite as much anymore. What has come down the pipes instead is a very close cousin to the Warlord – it shares more of the Warlord’s emphasis on movement and setting up enemies as healing piñatas than other Leader classes do. Accordionly, the player in my long-term 4e campaign that played the bard chose that class right after we canceled the campaign before it, where he’d been playing a warlord. Probably the biggest difference between the two is that the Bard can justify teleportation, and the Warlord can’t.

The Bard Class, Part Three

Welcome back to the third post in this series on Bards. I promise that someday I will say everything I need to say about Bards and we can move on to some other class with a bizarre history across the editions, like the assassin or something. Heck, eventually I’ll even cover the classes that don’t change much, like the Core Four. (I tell a lie. They change a ton. Anyway.)

The Bard Class, Part Two

This time out, I’ll be writing about the Bard of AD&D, Second Edition. The bard of OD&D started as a magical and thiefly dabbler, loremaster, and diplomat, and grew into a quite potent magic-user. The 1e bard is an end goal to be attained, and is the result of dabbling in fighting and a little light crime (the thief class, that is). It leads to druid spellcasting, hyper-fast leveling for a little while, and more lore/charm stuff. It’s a very potent class, justified only in the extraordinary unpleasantness required to achieve it – but it’s the only way in the game to get 7d10+11d6+(Con bonus x 18) hit points. Assuming a +1 bonus from Con, which is I think pretty conservative if you know enough to maximize the benefit of your choices, you’re talking about an average 94 hit points at Bard 11 (requiring a total of 340k XP, equivalent to midway through Fighter 9)… yeah, it’s brutal to reach but bizarro-potent if you manage it.

The Bard Class, Part One

For my introductory post here at Tribality, I’d like to talk about the history of the bard class, from its origins in The Strategic Review (Vol 2, Number 1), down to its 5th Edition incarnation. Buckle in, folks, it’s going to take me a few posts. As with many classes, it has maintained some of the outer trappings over that time while reconfiguring almost every other part of its function.

Ballad of the Silver Six

Here is a fun little ballad I wrote with one of my players for the adventurers to start to hear about themselves after winning a huge battle and gaining fame early on (level 4 and 5). We’re not poets, but anything that helps show the impact the PCs are having on a world is good in my books.

The Silver Six met in Fallcrest from afar
With a dragonborn’s missed punch in a bar
Big Nadarr missed by a whole bunch
But little Ander hit back with a crunch

Coppernight found treasure digging deep
But kolbolds and a dragon invaded the keep
The Six won with blade, shield and magic
But the loss of many dwarves was tragic