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paladin_carvin
2009-01-07, 03:09 AM
So, here is the deal. I am trying to get my father-in-law to play D&D in a with my fiance and the rest of her family. To make things easier, I'm making the characters for them (with their input, of course). He is a very intelligent person (he's a college professor working on his PhD... he's also quite witty) as well as an talented musician (vocal and a few more instruments) and thespian (has been major roles in local performances of 1776 and 12 Angry Men, among others). So I am torn between making him a bard or a wizard. So, I was thinking 'why not make some kind of variant?' The problem is, I'm very bad at balancing class ideas.

Here is what I am thinking so far. I want magic based on Int and requiring a spellbook etc. (in other words, exactly like a wizard). I don't need an exact list of spells, though a general idea of 'power' would be nice; I need to know number of spells more than which spells are available. The spell list will include most, if not all, the bard spells. It will include many from the wizard list. Abj; most, Conj; at least a few, Div; most, Ench; most, Evoc; eeeh... not many Illus; most if not all, Necro; nearly none, Trans; some, Univ; probably everyone of them. Mixing the two is the real trouble, since 1st level bard spells are weaker than 1st level Wizard. I will be considering him a dedicated spell caster (caster level goes up every level, not every other level). I do skills a bit weird, so don't worry about balancing that. As for Bardic traits, these I'd like keep: Bardic knowledge and Bardic Music. Wizard physical traits (d4 hit dice, arcane failure by all armour, very limited weapon proficiency) are fine and actually preferred. I think alignment should be non-chaotic. I am not worried about 'power gaming' with the class, but I still don't want it to dominate.


Yes, I know I'm asking a lot... but, I've seen you guys do some good stuff and I know here I won't hear a long list of complaints about things uninvolved with my question (ie, why don't you do skills like this, why 3.5, this won't ever be balanced... etc). Playgrounders, while we argue topics like that, are mature enough to only talk about them where and when it is appropriate. (For the record, asking about my game and the situation surrounding it, while technically not on topic, is more than fine. It's the bickering that is so common on other sites that makes me seek sanctuary here.)

To everyone who helps, I thank you in advance.

Caldarin
2009-01-07, 01:22 PM
Actually, not to mess up your homebrewing efforts, but there is a class that fits that description (sort of)
have you ever heard of the Beguiler? it's like a warmage, but instead of specializing in evocation spells, they do all illusion and enchantment

they're in the PHB II

other than that, will the guy keep bardic music? because that's the only thing that makes a bard different than a really weak wizard. That and the fact that they can wear armor and are marginally better at fighting


what about bard spell progression (i.e pretty slow), but with the wizard's spell book, wizards hd, and make the casting based off of intelligence rather than charisma.

paladin_carvin
2009-01-07, 04:44 PM
Actually, not to mess up your homebrewing efforts, but there is a class that fits that description (sort of)
have you ever heard of the Beguiler? it's like a warmage, but instead of specializing in evocation spells, they do all illusion and enchantment

they're in the PHB II

other than that, will the guy keep bardic music? because that's the only thing that makes a bard different than a really weak wizard. That and the fact that they can wear armor and are marginally better at fighting


what about bard spell progression (i.e pretty slow), but with the wizard's spell book, wizards hd, and make the casting based off of intelligence rather than charisma.

I've never liked the beguiler. I rechecked it, and I still don't like it. It feels unbalanced- it's a magic rogue, it doesn't quite seem right to me. All of the 'bonus' features are not what I'm looking for. I might look to the spell list for help, though. Being that everyone playing knows little to nothing about D&D, I will be calling the class 'Bard' even if it is quite different from the official bard. Thus, he will need Bardic music and bardic feel... He will also be the only Arcane in the group (the others being a druid, a ranger and a fighter) so access to the level appropriate arcane stuff is important.

RTGoodman
2009-01-07, 07:49 PM
It's not "homebrew" per se, but Unearthed Arcana (and, thereby, the SRD) has a Bardic variant called the Bardic Sage. You can find it HERE (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#bardVariantBardicSage) , but here's the breakdown:

-Different alignment requirement (NG, N, or NE)
-Good Will, poor Fort, Reflex
-Int/Cha-based split spellcasting, plus extra Divination spells
-Bonus to Bardic Knowledge check
-Slightly diminished bardic music (lasts fewer rounds, but that's it)

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-01-07, 07:49 PM
One very simple fix would be to allow him to play a bard that can learn spells off the bard, beguiler, and sorcerer/wizard lists. Give him one extra spell of each level per day so he can handle the primary arcanist role, and he should be fine.

playswithfire
2009-01-07, 11:06 PM
Forgive the lame name. This is essentially taking a Bard 10/Sublime Chord 10 and evening out the higher level spells a bit while increasing the number of low level spells. Since this bard version should be dropped from 6+INT to 2+INT skills per level, that's 52 less skill points, which the bard could use to qualify for Sublime Chord, so it should be fairly balanced. The extra low level spells are offset by dropping it to a d4 and having it incur ASF in light armor.

I removed the Fascinate, Suggestion, Song of Freedom and Mass Suggestion bardic music abilities, since the increased casting should cover that and replaced them with a few other things that I thought fit better.

Bard of the Word
{table=head]Lvl |BAB |Fort |Ref |Will |Special |Lvl0 |Lvl1 |Lvl2 |Lvl3 |Lvl4 |Lvl5 |Lvl6 |Lvl7 |Lvl8 |Lvl9
1 |0 |0 |2 |2 |Bardic Music, Bardic Knowledge, Countersong, Inspire Courage +1|2 | | | | | | |- |- |-
2 |1 |0 |3 |3 | |3 |0 | | | | | |- |- |-
3 |2 |1 |3 |3 |Inspire Competence|3 |1 | | | | | |- |- |-
4 |3 |1 |4 |4 | |3 |2 |0 | | | | |- |- |-
5 |3 |1 |4 |4 | |3 |3 |1 | | | | |- |- |-
6 |4 |2 |5 |5 |Moving Words |3 |3 |2 |0 | | | |- |- |-
7 |5 |2 |5 |5 | |3 |3 |2 |1 | | | |- |- |-
8 |6/1 |2 |6 |6 |Inspire Courage +2|3 |3 |3 |1 | | | |- |- |-
9 |6/1 |3 |6 |6 |Inspire Greatness|3 |3 |3 |2 |0 | | |- |- |-
10 |7/2 |3 |7 |7 | |3 |3 |3 |2 |1 |- |- |- |- |-
11 |8/3 |3 |7 |7 | |3 |3 |3 |3 |1 |0 |- |- |- |-
12 |9/4 |4 |8 |8 |words of Arcane Power|3 |3 |3 |3 |2 |1 |- |- |- |-
13 |9/4 |4 |8 |8 | |4 |3 |3 |3 |3 |2 |1 |- |- |-
14 |10/5 |4 |9 |9 |Inspire Courage +3|4 |4 |3 |3 |3 |3 |2 | | |
15 |11/6/1 |5 |9 |9 |Inspire Heroics|4 |4 |4 |3 |3 |3 |2 |1 | |
16 |12/7/2 |5 |10 |10 | |4 |4 |4 |4 |3 |3 |3 |2 | |
17 |12/7/2 |5 |10 |10 | |4 |4 |4 |4 |4 |3 |3 |2 |1 |
18 |13/8/3 |6 |11 |11 |Thundering Words|4 |4 |4 |4 |4 |4 |3 |3 |2 |
19 |14/9/4 |6 |11 |11 | |4 |4 |4 |4 |4 |4 |4 |3 |2 |1
20 |15/10/5|6 |12 |12 |Inspire Courage +4|4 |4 |4 |4 |4 |4 |4 |4 |3 |2
[/table]
Hit Die:d4
Skills: whatever you do equivalent to 2+INT

Moving Words (Su): As a swift action, a Bard of the Word can expend a use of bardic music to still a spell he casts before the end of this turn without increasing the spell level

Words of Arcane Power (Su): See the Sublime Chord's Song of Arcane Power

Thundering Words (Su): A bard of the word with 20 or more ranks in a Perform skill learns the use of Thundering Words. Using this ability costs two uses of bardic music. As a standard action, thundering words creates a 30-foot cone and all creatures within that area take sonic damage equal to the bard of the word's perform check.
All affected creatures are entitled to a Reflex save (DC bard of the word level + Int modifier) for half damage.

Part of me wants to play more on the words thing, like having him only have perform(oratory) and perform(sing) as class skills, so you can't be a dancing Bard of the Word or increase caster level by 1 for spells with the sonic descriptor, but that's probably unnecessary

paladin_carvin
2009-01-08, 04:57 PM
Hmm... ok, after viewing things, I think I need to model things after the wizard, not the bard. Decrease the wizard powers (mostly spell selection, familiar and bonus feats) and then add in bard skills, music and knowledge. If you guys have any further input, it would be great. If it seems that I didn't listen, I did. I just took the ideas and worked with them to make my thoughts realized.

Edit: I obviously posted this before reading your post, plays with fire. I need to look it over.