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.