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NeoSeraphi
2011-05-31, 12:32 PM
I like the bard class as it is, but it has quite a few dead levels, and a couple of its songs have problems. Countersong is a bit situational, and even its ACF Spellbreaker Song only lasts 3 rounds and you can't activate it as an immediate action, so you have to kind of guess when the opponent is going to use its spells. Inspire Competence doesn't scale, and a +2 bonus to a skill check isn't going to get you far in the days past 10th level.

Note: This bard is designed to be balanced with core supplements, and I'm trying to make it good enough to stand on its own without optimization. This bard variant is not compatible with the feat Words of Creation (Book of Exalted Deeds)

So, with that in mind, I present the conductor bard! (Credit goes to Velkim for the name)


The Conductor Bard

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b99/AmiBlackstone/Anime%20Girls/elves23.jpg
"Today's music ain't got the same soul! I like that old time rock n roll!" Bob Seger, the world's greatest bard

Some bards enjoy sitting back and singing so much, they never really bothered to learn to defend themselves. While other bards can conjure up an illusion or summon an elemental to protect themselves, the conductor bard spends his time inventing new songs, and relies more on his allies to save him when danger comes. But in exchange for their continued support, he has a host of new abilities that can increase their power.

HD: d6
Alignment: Any nonlawful

Class Skills: The bardís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (n/a), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Points: 8+Int per level (x4 at first level)

{table]Level | BAB | Fort | Ref | Will | Special
1 | +0 | +0 | +2 | +2 | Bardic music, Inspire Battle +2, Inspire Defenses +2, Fascinate, Bardic Knowledge, Dancing Blade
2 | +1 | +0 | +3 | +3 | Excellent Performer, Deafening Song
3 | +2 | +1 | +3 | +3 | Inspire Competence
4 | +3 | +1 | +4 | +4 | Inspire Courage
5 | +3 | +1 | +4 | +4 | Inspire Fear, Inspire Battle +4, Inspire Defense +4
6 | +4 | +2 | +5 | +5 | Suggestion
7 | +5 | +2 | +5 | +5 | Inspire Vigor, Gentle Song
8 | +6 | +2 | +6 | +6 | Disgusting Song
9 | +6 | +3 | +6 | +6 | Inspire Superiority, Inspire Inferiority
10 | +7 | +3 | +7 | +7 | Inspire Battle +6, Inspire Defense +6
11 | +8 | +3 | +7 | +7 | Song of Swiftness, Song of Hesitation
12 | +9 | +4 | +8 | +8 | Harmony
13 | +9 | +4 | +8 | +8 | Healing Song, Extended Performance
14 | +10 | +4 | +9 | +9 | Inspire Evasion, Distracting Song
15 | +11 | +5 | +9 | +9 | Inspire Battle +8, Inspire Defense +8
16 | +12 | +5 | +10 | +10 | Song of the White Raven
17 | +12 | +5 | +10 | +10 | Inspire Freedom
18 | +13 | +6 | +11 | +11 | Mass Suggestion
19 | +14 | +6 | +11 | +11 | Power Chords
20 | +15 | +6 | +12 | +12 | Master Performer, Inspire Battle +10, Inspire Defense +10 [/table]

Class Features:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A bard is proficient with all simple weapons, plus the longsword, rapier, sap, short sword, shortbow, and whip. Bards are proficient with light armor and shields (except tower shields).

Bardic Music: Once per day per bard level, plus an additional time per day per point of Charisma bonus (minimum +0), a bard can use his song or poetics to produce magical effects on those around him (usually including himself, if desired). While these abilities fall under the category of bardic music and the descriptions discuss singing or playing instruments, they can all be activated by reciting poetry, chanting, singing lyrical songs, singing melodies (fa-la-la, and so forth), whistling, playing an instrument, or playing an instrument in combination with some spoken performance. Each ability requires both a minimum bard level and a minimum number of ranks in the Perform skill to qualify; if a bard does not have the required number of ranks in at least one Perform skill, he does not gain the bardic music ability until he acquires the needed ranks.

Beginning a Bardic Music is a standard action. Each round, the bard must spend a swift action to maintain his performance. If he does not, the song ends.

Each bardic music ability has a required minimum ranks in the Perform skill equal to the bard level it is gained +3. This also applies for songs with a scaling ability, such as Inspire Battle, Inspire Defense, and Inspire Fear. If the bard has enough ranks to use the initial song, but not enough ranks to use the scaled song when he gains the level, the bard instead uses the weaker version of the song until his ranks in Perform are high enough.

All bardic music abilities are mind-affecting abilities unless otherwise noted. All bardic music abilities have the sonic descriptor, and can only affect creatures who are able to hear the bard perform. (Unlike the PHB Bard, the Bard variant cannot perform Bardic Music with the Perform (Dance) skill, or any other Perform check that does not actually create sound). Unless otherwise noted, if a bardic music ability affects all allies, it affects the bard himself too.

The duration of any bardic music ability, unless otherwise noted, is for as long as the bard continues to perform, plus an additional 5 rounds after he stops performing.

The DC for any saving throws allowed by Bardic Music are equal to 10+1/2 the bard's level+his Charisma modifier. If a bard takes the Ability Focus feat, he must specify which specific song he is assigning it to. The bard may take the Ability Focus feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time he takes it, he chooses a new song to apply it to.

Bardic Knowledge (Ex): This ability is the same as the PHB Bard

Fascinate (Sp): This ability is the same as the PHB Bard

Inspire Battle (Su): The bard can play a heavy chord that gets his allies pumped for battle. All allies within 30 feet gain a +2 morale bonus on their attack and damage rolls. This increases by an additional +2 at level 5, and every 5 levels after (to a maximum of +10 at level 20)

Inspire Defense (Su): The bard can play a warning song that encourages his allies to stay on their guard. All allies within 30 feet gain a +2 competence bonus to their AC and saving throws. This increases by an additional +2 at level 5, and every 5 levels after (to a maximum of +10 at level 20)

Dancing Blade (Su): When the bard begins his performance, his weapon joins the fray anyway. If a bard plays an instrument that requires use of both hands, his weapon floats in the air, acting on its own. The weapon occupies the same square as the bard, and moves with him, but cannot leave his space. It attacks an enemy that comes within range. (If there are multiple enemies, the bard chooses one as a free action). The weapon cannot make attacks of opportunity. It uses the bard's Base Attack Bonus and Strength modifier to hit as usual (unless the bard has the Weapon Finesse feat and is using a finessable weapon, in which case the weapon uses his Dexterity modifier, etc). The weapon benefits from its own enhancements, as usual, but does not gain a bonus to damage rolls from the bard's Strength modifier, nor does it gain any bonuses to attacks or damage rolls from effects that target the bard instead of the weapon (Such as the bard's morale bonus from Inspire Battle). When the bard stops his performance, the weapon returns to his hand as a free action. If the bard's weapon already has the Dancing quality, he need not use this class feature.

For the purposes of the Dancing Blade class feature, a shield is not treated as a weapon.

If the bard has the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, he may have two weapons dancing simultaneously, however the strain on his concentration results in him taking a -2 penalty to attack rolls with each weapon (This penalty replaces whatever normal penalty he would suffer for wielding two weapons). The bard may only have two weapons dancing simultaneously if one or more of them is a light weapon. (The Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting feat does not allow the bard to have two one-handed weapons dancing at the same time)

Author's Note: If this ability is unbalanced, please tell me. The main reason I made it was so that bards who didn't use the Perform (Sing) skill could still attack in battle, as that always bothered me about PHB bards. I wanted to make it so if a bard wanted to play a lyre or a drum or a flute he wouldn't have to take himself out of combat

Deafening Song (Su): Sometimes, the bard chooses his lyrics carefully in order to convey just the right message and encourage his audience to think clearly and reflect on important social issues. And sometimes he just wants to be as loud and crazy as possible. At 2nd level, the bard gains the ability to play a Deafening Song. If a bard plays the Deafening Song, he creates an aura of magical silence, centered on him, for 30 feet. Anyone who is outside the 30 feet radius, but is still 60 feet or less away from the bard, must make a Fortitude save or be deafened for the duration. Unlike most of the bard's bardic music, Deafening Song is not a mind-affecting ability.

Excellent Performer (Ex): The bard excels greatly on the stage, even when compared to other classes who can Perform such as rogues or monks. Starting at 2nd level, the bard receives a bonus equal to his class level on Perform and Profession checks made to earn a living.

Inspire Competence (Su): A bard of 3rd level gains the Inspire Competence ability. The bard can use his music and his expertise to assist his allies. A bard may not inspire competence in himself. The ally must be within 30 feet. The bard grants the ally a bonus on one skill check of the bard's choice equal to the bard's class level. The bard may not use this ability to enhance the Autohypnosis, Bluff, Concentration, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Hide, Intimidate, Listen or Move Silently checks. He may only inspire competence on a check for a Knowledge, Spellcraft, Psicraft, or Martial Lore check if he made the corresponding check himself or made a successful DC 20 Bardic Knowledge check to gain some relevant information.

Inspire Courage (Su): A 4th level bard gains the Inspire Courage ability. The bard can sing a song of steadfast determination and bravery to encourage his allies to get back on their feet. The bard gains immunity to fear for as long as he sings, and allies within 30 feet gain a +4 morale bonus on their saving throws versus fear. If the bard is allied with a paladin who is within the area of effect, he may instead increase the morale bonus the paladin's Aura of Courage provides by +4, using the paladin in his lyrics as a beacon of hope and inspiration to his other friends.

Inspire Fear (Su): At 5th level, the bard learns how to use his music to harm his enemies rather than help his allies. When a bard plays the Inspire Fear song, all enemies within 30 feet must make a Will save or become shaken for the duration. If the bard is at least 10th level, his enemies instead become frightened if they fail their save, and shaken if they succeed it. If the bard is at least 15th level, his enemies instead become panicked if they fail their save, and frightened if they succeed it. This ability is treated as a Will (partial) effect for the purposes of the Mettle class feature. Enemies who are immune to fear are immune to Inspire Fear.

Suggestion (Sp): As the PHB Bard's ability.

Inspire Vigor (Su): Instead of learning some healing spells, by 7th level the bard has learned to use his music to help jump start his allies' natural healing abilities. When the bard uses this ability, all allies within 30 feet gain Fast Healing equal to 1/2 the bard's class level, to a maximum of Fast Healing 10 at 20th level.

Gentle Song (Sp): A bard who is not in battle is able to play soft, non-adrenaline fueled lyrics and chords that allow others to relax and smile without worry or care. By spending one use of his bardic music, a bard may project a calm emotions effect. Everyone within 30 feet who hears the bard playing (including the bard, because of how relaxing playing this music is) must make a Will save or be affected as if by the calm emotions spell, with a caster level equal to the bard's class level.

Disgusting Song (Su): At 8th level, the bard's music is able to hit what is known as "the brown note", and cause physical sickness in those who hear it. When the bard uses his Disgusting Song ability, enemies within 30 feet must make a Fortitude save or be nauseated for the duration. If they succeed their saving throw, they are instead sickened for the duration. This effect is treated as a Fortitude (partial) effect for the purposes of the Mettle class feature. Unlike most of the bard's Bardic Music, Disgusting Song is not a mind-affecting ability.

Inspire Superiority (Su): At 9th level, the bard can launch into a bursting melody that makes his allies feel mightier than the strongest dragon. All allies within 30 feet gain 2 bonus d10 Hit Dice. They roll 2d10 and add twice their Constitution modifier to it, and gain the amount as temporary Hit Points. Every ally receives a +2 competence bonus on attack rolls and a +1 competence bonus on all saving throws. Their effective Hit Dice are treated as being two higher for the purposes of whether abilities such as Frightful Presence or sleep affect them.

Inspire Inferiority (Su): At 9th level, a bard's jeering and disrespectful comments cut deep and result in weakened fighting spirit. All enemies within 30 feet of the bard must make a Will save or receive 2 temporary negative levels. These negative levels never result in actual level loss, but cannot be removed by any means until 5 rounds after the bard stops singing.

Song of Swiftness (Sp): An 11th level bard can get his allies moving quickly. When the bard plays the Song of Swiftness, his allies gain the benefits of the haste spell for the duration, though this does not stack with the actual spell of the same name. This ability also dispels slow.

Song of Hesitation (Sp): An 11th level bard can use his taunts to cause his enemies to over-analyze their every move and action, to the point where they haven't even decided how to attack by the time they are cut down. When a bard sings the Song of Hesitation, all enemies within 30 feet must make a Will save or be slowed, as the spell, for the duration. This ability dispels haste, and replaces the transmutation descriptor with the mind-affecting descriptor. Creatures immune to transmutation effects are not immune to Song of Hesitation.

Harmony (Ex): By 12th level, the bard has learned to use lyrics with double-meanings to effectively increase the morale of his allies while simultaneously debilitating his foes. When a bard starts a bardic music ability, he may expend an additional daily use of bardic music to include a second effect in the song, with a different target. (So, he may simultaneously sing a song that affects his allies and a song that affects his enemies, but not two songs that affect his allies or two songs that affect his enemies). The bard may not use this ability to play any song at the same time as he plays Deafening Song.

Song of Cleansing (Sp): A 13th level bard can sing a soothing melody that restores an ally to almost perfect condition. This song may only target a single ally within 30 feet, and has a duration of instantaneous. It requires a full-round action. The targeted ally is treated as if he had received the benefits of a heal spell cast by the bard, as well as break enchantment (caster level for both is equal to the bard's class level). However, Song of Cleansing does not actually restore hit points (it only removes the negative conditions normally removed by the heal spell). Undead or other creatures harmed by positive energy are not affected by Song of Cleansing.

Extended Performance (Ex): Starting at 13th level, any bardic music's effect now lasts for one minute after the bard stops performing.

Inspire Evasion (Su): Once per day, as an immediate action, a bard of 14th level or higher may expend a use of his bardic music to help his allies get out of the way. This does not require any ranks in the Perform skill, but his allies must be within 30 feet and able to hear and understand him. The bard grants himself and all allies within 30 feet who have a base Reflex save of at least +3 the evasion ability (as the PHB rogue) for 1 round.

If the bard or an ally who hears this has a base Reflex save of at least +7, they instead gain the improved evasion ability (as the PHB rogue) for 1 round.

Distracting Song (Su): By 14th level the bard is extremely good at coordinating with his allies and can now use his music to help them catch the enemy off guard. All enemies within 30 feet must make a Will save or be treated as flanked for the duration of the song. Additionally, any enemy spellcaster attempting to cast a spell (regardless of whether he succeeded his saving throw) must make a Concentration check opposed by the bard's Perform check. If the bard wins the check, the spell fails and the spellcaster loses his prepared spell/spell slot.

Song of the White Raven (Su): A 16th level bard has gained the ability to use his music to lead his allies to victory. The bard may not be performing during the round he uses this ability. Once per day, as a full-round action, the bard may expend one daily use of his bardic music for each ally he designates to be targeted by the effect of this ability (including himself). Each ally who is affected by the ability may use an immediate action to charge an enemy designated by the bard (The bard himself must charge this enemy as well). The bard and his allies do not provoke attacks of opportunity for this movement and do not count each other when determining if they have a straight line to charge. If the bard hits the enemy with a melee attack at the end of the charge, the enemy must make a Fortitude save (DC 10+1/2 the bard's level +the bard's Charisma modifier +2 for each ally other than the bard who hit the enemy during this charge). If the enemy fails this saving throw, he is stunned for 1 round.

Inspire Freedom (Su): At 17th level, the bard may use his music to help his allies feel the beat and step livelier. All allies within 30 feet gan the benefits of the freedom of movement spell for as long as the bard sings.

Mass Suggestion (Sp): As the PHB Bard

Power Chords (Ex): At 19th level, the bard's musical ability is terrifying and captivating. Increase the DC for all saving throws allowed by all the bard's class features by 4.

Master Performer (Sp): At 20th level, the bard has become the ultimate minstrel and his enemies, even if they are frightened or sick or weak, want nothing more than to jive along with his catchy tunes. All enemies who fail a saving throw against the bard's bardic music abilities are affected by the Irresistible Dance spell for a number of rounds equal to the bard's Charisma modifier (minimum of 4 rounds, no save)


Alternate Class Feature: Song of Destruction
Level: 7
Replaces: A bard with the Song of Destruction ACF does not gain the benefits of the Gentle Song class feature.
Benefits: A bard with the Song of Destruction class feature is able strum his chords and use the power of his magical ministrations to create the illusion of devastating power. By consuming one daily use of his bardic music class feature and making a Perform check, the bard is able to cast shadow evocation, as the spell, as a spell-like ability, with a caster level equal to his bard level. Unlike most of his bardic music, the Song of Destruction is not a mind-affecting ability. The DC for the Will save to disbelieve the Song of Destruction is equal to the bard's Perform check, though if the spell he mimics also allows a saving throw, the DC for that spell is equal to 10+the spell level+the bard's Charisma modifier (13+Cha for fireball, for instance).


Magical Performance
Prerequisites: Bardic Music class feature, Inspire Fear
Benefit: You gain the use of two new songs, the Song of Spellpower and the Song of Magical Weakness. Activating either song consumes one of your daily uses of bardic music as normal and lasts as long as a song for you.
The Song of Spellpower grants your allies (but not you) a bonus to their caster level equal to the bonus your Inspire Battle class feature grants, but it cannot raise their caster level higher than their character level + that bonus. (In other words, if a caster is already boosting his caster level above his character level by some other means, the bonus from your song overlaps but does not stack with that boost)

Ex: Mark the wizard and Joseph the cleric are both level 5 casters. Simon the level 6 bard plays Song of Spellpower for them. Mark's caster level increases by +4, to its maximum granted by this feat of +9. Joseph's caster level also increases, however, when he casts a cure spell, which his caster level is normally increased for due to his Healing domain power, his caster level is still only 9.

The Song of Magical Weakness is an enemy-affecting song. Enemies with a caster level within 30 feet of you must make a Will save (DC 10+1/2 your bard level + your Charisma modifier, +4 if you have the Power Chords class feature) or have their effective caster level decreased by an amount equal to the bonus provided by your Inspire Defense feature for as long as you sing and five rounds after. (1 minute if you have the Extended Performance class feature. This duration also applies to the Song of Spellpower)

Veklim
2011-05-31, 01:03 PM
I like this. Quite a lot. Cutting out the spellcasting completely is an interesting move, and the balance between ally and enemy abilities is a good way of giving the bard free choice and many options within a class that has essentially no choices to make throughout progression.:smallwink:
Dancing blade is interesting, what would happen if the blade he has is already a dancing sword or the like? Would there be no difference or an additional effect? What about if he uses 2 weapons to fight with?
Might also wanna move deafening song to 2nd level, it's quite powerful and 1st level is looking a bit cluttered, excellent performer is nice but doesn't warrant the only ability of a level after all in the previous one.:smallconfused:
Master Performer made me chuckle, quite nice too and not overpowered. :smallbiggrin:

NeoSeraphi
2011-05-31, 01:06 PM
I like this. Quite a lot. Cutting out the spellcasting completely is an interesting move, and the balance between ally and enemy abilities is a good way of giving the bard free choice and many options within a class that has essentially no choices to make throughout progression.:smallwink:
Dancing blade is interesting, what would happen if the blade he has is already a dancing sword or the like? Would there be no difference or an additional effect? What about if he uses 2 weapons to fight with?
Might also wanna move deafening song to 2nd level, it's quite powerful and 1st level is looking a bit cluttered, excellent performer is nice but doesn't warrant the only ability of a level after all in the previous one.:smallconfused:
Master Performer made me chuckle, quite nice too and not overpowered. :smallbiggrin:

Hm...Alright, I'll edit the Dancing Blade ability to say if he has the Two-Weapon Fighting feat and is using two weapons they can both be affected, and make it so the Dancing ability supercedes his class feature.

An excellent idea with the Deafening Song ability, I shall change it immediately.

And thanks for the compliment on Master Performer, I thought it was the perfect capstone for a bard to have.

Guest#1
2011-06-01, 12:29 AM
as a frequent barder (the verb of playing a bard) i have only one complaint. if he can't cast spells, then he can't use glibness, therefore putting him at a disadvantage when trying to come up with an excuse as to why he was in the princess's bedroom (or really any other situation involving lying.) I vote it should have 2 names. if it uses mostly enemy affecting music, it should be "The Minor Bard"...if it's music is mostly ally affecting, it should be called "The Major Bard"

Cipher Stars
2011-06-01, 12:54 AM
Yay kewl pic and formatting improvement!

NeoSeraphi
2011-06-01, 09:44 AM
as a frequent barder (the verb of playing a bard) i have only one complaint. if he can't cast spells, then he can't use glibness, therefore putting him at a disadvantage when trying to come up with an excuse as to why he was in the princess's bedroom (or really any other situation involving lying.) I vote it should have 2 names. if it uses mostly enemy affecting music, it should be "The Minor Bard"...if it's music is mostly ally affecting, it should be called "The Major Bard"

Ah yes, but Glibness is only a third level spell. I don't know about you, but ALL of my characters carry Potions of Glibness, at least 2 as soon as I can afford it. And I just want one name for the class...I appreciate the thought, but Minor and Major don't really seem to strike me that well. The musical reference needs to be..not just obvious, but blatant, you know?

Besides, even without glibness, this bard's role hasn't changed from Party Face. With his dependence on Charisma intact, and his Skill Points high, he could easily have room to max both Diplomacy and Bluff, and I'm sure whatever DC the DM sets for you wouldn't be too bad by the time you GET Glibness as a spell. (Bards get 3rd level spells known at 7th level, so that's 10 ranks in Bluff already. Assuming around 20 Charisma by that point, that's +15 to your Bluff checks, which is already half of what Glibness gives you anyway.)


Yay kewl pic and formatting improvement!

Ah, thank you. Yes, the whole class was a bit of a mess so I spoilered it, and got around to finding a picture and a quote.

Veklim
2011-06-02, 05:37 AM
How about 'The Conductor Bard'? Entire combats will run to his tune after all...

Guest#1
2011-06-02, 03:17 PM
awesome idea

Centric
2011-06-02, 05:34 PM
This is an interesting version of the bard (I like bards). I like the changes you've made to the music system and find them much in keeping with the theme of a bard as a performer, but a fighter as need arises as well. Harmony I like in particular because it's just something a bard should be able to do as he grows in experience, to layer the magic of his songs.

I'm still a little new to DnD, so I can't offer anything constructive, but this looks really great. I'd suggest Maestro Bard or just plain old Maestro.

NeoSeraphi
2011-06-03, 10:18 AM
How about 'The Conductor Bard'? Entire combats will run to his tune after all...

Yes. +1, using. A tip of my hat to you, good sir.



I'd suggest Maestro Bard or just plain old Maestro.

Thank you for your comment and suggestion, but I prefer Velkim's suggested name. Sorry.

NeoSeraphi
2011-06-03, 10:21 AM
By the way, what do you all think of the capstone? In terms of fluff and mechanics.

Veklim
2011-06-03, 10:45 AM
Fluff makes perfect sense. Mechanics are simple and effective, not too overpowered but certainly worth having. It's not unlike a spell reserve feat effect tbh, but the level spell it imitates is still rather high. With that in mind, I'd say the target should only be affected for 1D4+1 rounds as per the spell of the same name, you're giving a bard level 6 touch range spell as an area effect up to 20 times a day, it doesn't need to be able to work for hours at a time on top of that.

NeoSeraphi
2011-06-03, 10:49 AM
Well, yes, I am, but I added a saving throw to it when there originally was none. How about...1 minute as the duration? It's a 20th level ability after all, and it became available to the original bard as early as 16th level. It's still mind-affecting, and plenty of things are immune to that in epic, after all.

Veklim
2011-06-03, 11:32 AM
True, true, but the effect needs a quicker cut-off than 'as long as the bard keeps making noises' :smallwink:

Allow me to expand upon why I think a long lasting area effect irresistible dance is a bad idea...
You may take NO ACTIONS other than to dance about like a fool.
You take -4 to AC
You take -10 to reflex saves
You lose all shield bonuses to AC
You provoke an attack of opportunity each round at the beginning of your turn

This on a single person is a nasty effect which basically cuts them out of combat for 1D4+1 rounds (usually enough time to finish everyone else off and toy with the dancing fool), the way your capstone reads, any enemy within hearing distance of you who fails a single save against any of your bardic music effects is dancing for 5+concentration rounds (max rounds = as long as you can be bothered to keep making noises). 1 minute is still far too much, considering the usual length of a combat doesn't get past 8 or 9, even nasty slogging combats at high levels.
Cha mod rounds could really be a better compromise IMHO.

Veklim
2011-06-03, 11:34 AM
Well, yes, I am, but I added a saving throw to it when there originally was none.

Touch attacks often don't have a save, because the targets touch AC becomes the save instead. The bardic music doesn't need a touch attack, because it's an area effect, meaning the addition of a save only brings it back in line with a level 6 bard spell :smallbiggrin:

NeoSeraphi
2011-06-03, 11:57 AM
Alright. Charisma modifier per rounds sounds good.

Edit: Alright, updated. The bard's Master Performer now lasts for a number of rounds equal to his Charisma modifier, with a minimum of 4 rounds. (Which I don't think is unfair, seeing as if you failed a save at level 20 against a bard whose save stat was 17 or less, you deserve it anyway)

Veklim
2011-06-03, 12:04 PM
hehehe, well said.

Looks fine to me now. This is a really funky re-tooling and I'm sorely tempted to put it up for playing in my next campaign. I have a couple of bard fanatics so if you can wait until after sunday I'll send you their reactions to this class too!

NeoSeraphi
2011-06-03, 12:14 PM
Hey, thanks a lot! It took a real long time, actually, to come up with a bunch of different songs, and I had to rewrite Harmony a few times before I thought it was perfectly balanced. I'm glad you like it.

Everyone feel free to use my Bard without asking or anything, but I would like some feedback from playtests, please!

Gideon Falcon
2011-06-04, 04:06 PM
I myself think it might need a few class features that can be chosen from, sort of personal touches to their performances. Another idea is that you could have the sickening and nausea effects upgrade to being not a disgusting description, but more of a 'brown note' type effect that disrupts their systems. This would mean that it is no longer a mind-affecting effect.

Also, a good ACF to replace White Raven song would be to allow harmonics to combine two songs that affect allies, but not two songs that affect enemies. The songs might also have their effects lessened slightly.

Veklim
2011-06-04, 04:15 PM
Not a bad idea, perhaps make a bunch of meta-music effects and offer one every 4 levels.
Using multiple bardic music uses to allow them to do stuff like gaining 1D6 sneak to the dancing weapon, adding sonic damage, removing the mind-affecting descriptor from songs, making all enemies within hearing considered flanked, giving all allies a mind-link effect for duration, etc.
Make the existant framework adaptable and a little more fluid, perhaps allowing multiple effects at the level you can weave 2 songs....?

It's cool as is mind you, but it's certainly a thought...

NeoSeraphi
2011-06-04, 05:37 PM
This idea sounds interesting...I'm in the middle of relocating at the moment but once I get settled in my new place I'll come back and take a look at this as a possibility.

KaelesFree
2011-06-14, 07:41 PM
First off, I would like to say, this is an amazing class. I have never run a bard, never seen a bard in action, never even thought of a bard, but this class makes me want to do one immediately.

I do however have some suggestions, mostly born out of playing music and thinking of ways it could apply in a spell based system.

Namely, music has an extreme emotional effect on those that hear it. The right song can encourage you to fight better, have more courage, or even lose faith in yourself. This is already seen in the class. However, they can do so much more than that, especially when you consider effects out side of battle. Songs can evoke happy memories, dredge up you saddest day, incite deep feelings of hatred, or lull you into a deep slumber.

Ignore their usefulness in battle, think about if you could rally a gathering, calm a mob, woo a maiden, or remind a rabble of a cause.

Just some small aspects of music that seemed to be, as of yet, untouched.

NeoSeraphi
2011-06-14, 07:44 PM
First off, I would like to say, this is an amazing class. I have never run a bard, never seen a bard in action, never even thought of a bard, but this class makes me want to do one immediately.

I do however have some suggestions, mostly born out of playing music and thinking of ways it could apply in a spell based system.

Namely, music has an extreme emotional effect on those that hear it. The right song can encourage you to fight better, have more courage, or even lose faith in yourself. This is already seen in the class. However, they can do so much more than that, especially when you consider effects out side of battle. Songs can evoke happy memories, dredge up you saddest day, incite deep feelings of hatred, or lull you into a deep slumber.

Ignore their usefulness in battle, think about if you could rally a gathering, calm a mob, woo a maiden, or remind a rabble of a cause.

Just some small aspects of music that seemed to be, as of yet, untouched.

Because you haven't read the bard class, I'll go ahead and let you know: Wooing, Inspiring and Rallying are all part of the fascinate and suggestion abilities, which I left in the class. Wizards was apparently wise enough to realize that inspiration is the primary ability of the bard, so they did something right. And the thing they did right, I didn't change.

As for the calming thing, very well. I'll update right now and add a calm emotions effect.

Cipher Stars
2011-06-14, 08:00 PM
I have never run a bard, never seen a bard in action, never even thought of [playing] a bard, but this class makes me want to

^ I have to agree with this.

NeoSeraphi
2011-06-14, 08:05 PM
^ I have to agree with this.

Well thank you! I hope you enjoy your playing of bards then. For me, a supporter/debuff character in the party is vital, but being restricted to spellcasters is a bit off, especially when most casters will forsake it in favor of rending the earth, etc.

MesiDoomstalker
2011-07-13, 09:31 PM
I'm going to ask my DM if I can use this for my backup character (in all fairness, there is a fairly good chance I will die in the campaign at the moment).

NeoSeraphi
2011-07-13, 09:55 PM
I'm going to ask my DM if I can use this for my backup character (in all fairness, there is a fairly good chance I will die in the campaign at the moment).

Thank you very much! But please, tell me what you like about this character.

MesiDoomstalker
2011-07-13, 10:29 PM
Thank you very much! But please, tell me what you like about this character.

I alwasy liked the concept of Bards but hated that I can't really "build" them. Now your fix doesn't change that much but it makes up for it by giving me acutal choices to make every round. Which is awesome so I don't have to do anything to "build" him but I can still focus on defensive abilities or offensive abilities or whatever and its all self contained in the class. I can focus my feats and equipment other things. Haven't got that far yet but it will probably more for RP reasons than for crunchy reasons.

NeoSeraphi
2011-07-13, 10:32 PM
I alwasy liked the concept of Bards but hated that I can't really "build" them. Now your fix doesn't change that much but it makes up for it by giving me acutal choices to make every round. Which is awesome so I don't have to do anything to "build" him but I can still focus on defensive abilities or offensive abilities or whatever and its all self contained in the class. I can focus my feats and equipment other things. Haven't got that far yet but it will probably more for RP reasons than for crunchy reasons.

Well, it's important to note that you're giving up spellcasting so that kind of removes most of a bard's feat choices...

MesiDoomstalker
2011-07-13, 10:34 PM
Well, it's important to note that you're giving up spellcasting so that kind of removes most of a bard's feat choices...

I'm going to let you in on a little secret, I don't like the idea of spell casters having limited number of spells per day. Just in general. Now I realize that your bard still has limited uses of music per day, and I know WHY they are limited, but that doesn't mean I don't like it. The main difference between limited spells per day and limited music per day, is that music can last longer due to concentration and stuff like that.

Cipher Stars
2011-07-16, 08:22 PM
http://www.toplessrobot.com/Futurama_Fry_Looking_Squint-thumb.jpg

hmm...

I think it could do with 8 skill points. As the spell-casting bard always had things like glibness and such (Don't they also have invisibility or something?) to get them out of bad situations caused by bedding the kings daughter, So this non-caster bard should have more skill to give almost the same effect. They seem to have every skill in the book as class skill... removing some things like spellcraft is probably warranted.

Veklim
2011-07-17, 08:24 AM
Whereas I'd be inclined to agree on the 8 skills thing, I'm not so sure about removing spellcraft, these guys ARE magic users after all, they just don't use spells... There are many applications for spellcraft which involve other people's magic, identifying items and understanding existant magical effects and these guys need to know that sort of stuff, including being able to anticipate enemy casters.

EDIT:
@ NeoSeraph, we ARE missing the (Ex), (Su), (Sp) stuff from these abilities mind you, only just noticed but it's probably a good idea to put these in. I'm pretty sure they're all rather self-explanatory but I reckon they should still be there dude.

NeoSeraphi
2011-07-17, 09:23 AM
8+Int skill points, as well as Ex, Sp and Su clarifications, added.

MesiDoomstalker
2011-07-17, 02:28 PM
8+Int skill points, as well as Ex, Sp and Su clarifications, added.

Ok now that some of these abilites are SLA's, I know which feats I would take (Extended SLA anyone?)

NeoSeraphi
2011-07-17, 02:35 PM
Ok now that some of these abilites are SLA's, I know which feats I would take (Extended SLA anyone?)

Well, actually they don't have a duration. (You could argue that it's Concentration + 5 rounds, but since it doesn't require Concentration, I'd doubt it)

And anyway, I already give a free extend at level 13

MesiDoomstalker
2011-07-17, 02:42 PM
Well, actually they don't have a duration. (You could argue that it's Concentration + 5 rounds, but since it doesn't require Concentration, I'd doubt it)

And anyway, I already give a free extend at level 13

Oops, my bad :smallredface: plus (as far as I know) there is not Extend SLA. But Quicken on the other hand... :smallbiggrin:

NeoSeraphi
2011-07-17, 02:47 PM
Oops, my bad :smallredface: plus (as far as I know) there is not Extend SLA. But Quicken on the other hand... :smallbiggrin:

And see, that's just a great use of a horribly over-looked feat. Quickened Song of Swiftness+Song of Hesitation (with Harmony) followed by a charge would be a great way to start any encounter.

MesiDoomstalker
2011-07-17, 02:54 PM
And see, that's just a great use of a horribly over-looked feat. Quickened Song of Swiftness+Song of Hesitation (with Harmony) followed by a charge would be a great way to start any encounter.

That is (almost) exactly what I was thinking! More the Quickened Song of Swiftness but when combo'ed, ZOMG! it would be funny! :smallbiggrin:

NeoSeraphi
2011-07-17, 08:41 PM
Magical Performance
Prerequisites: Bardic Music class feature, Inspire Fear
Benefit: You gain the use of two new songs, the Song of Spellpower and the Song of Magical Weakness. Activating either song consumes one of your daily uses of bardic music as normal and lasts as long as a song for you.
The Song of Spellpower grants your allies (but not you) a bonus to their caster level equal to the bonus your Inspire Battle class feature grants, but it cannot raise their caster level higher than their character level + that bonus. (In other words, if a caster is already boosting his caster level above his character level by some other means, the bonus from your song overlaps but does not stack with that boost)

Ex: Mark the wizard and Joseph the cleric are both level 5 casters. Simon the level 6 bard plays Song of Spellpower for them. Mark's caster level increases by +4, to its maximum granted by this feat of +9. Joseph's caster level also increases, however, when he casts a cure spell, which his caster level is normally increased for due to his Healing domain power, his caster level is still only 9.

The Song of Magical Weakness is an enemy-affecting song. Enemies with a caster level within 30 feet of you must make a Will save (DC 10+1/2 your bard level + your Charisma modifier, +4 if you have the Power Chords class feature) or have their effective caster level decreased by an amount equal to the bonus provided by your Inspire Defense feature for as long as you sing and five rounds after. (1 minute if you have the Extended Performance class feature. This duration also applies to the Song of Spellpower)

Veklim
2011-07-18, 03:31 PM
Thanks for the update, this is about as good as homebrew gets in my opinion. Nice feat too, only I'd be careful about making too many feats which add extra songs to the mix, sooner or later you're BOUND to get some horrific combination of effects. That said...


Quickened Song of Swiftness+Song of Hesitation (with Harmony) followed by a charge would be a great way to start any encounter.

...well, that's just funny!

NeoSeraphi
2011-08-04, 08:25 PM
Thanks for the update, this is about as good as homebrew gets in my opinion. Nice feat too, only I'd be careful about making too many feats which add extra songs to the mix, sooner or later you're BOUND to get some horrific combination of effects. That said...



...well, that's just funny!

Your kind words are appreciated. This was really my first attempt at homebrew on this site and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Pyromancer999
2011-08-04, 10:29 PM
Pretty good class overall. Still, I'd suggest something that let them use Arcane spells.

Also, disappointed that there are no Tune Troopers, even though this is a Conductor class.

Veklim
2011-08-06, 08:10 AM
Tune Troopers..?
*interest piqued*
Tell me more! :smallbiggrin:

Pyromancer999
2011-08-06, 08:37 AM
Tune Troopers..?
*interest piqued*
Tell me more! :smallbiggrin:

Basically, it's from this game for the iPod Touch, where the main character turns songs from your iPod into creatures he can fight with. There's different types of Tune Troopers, which are a bit more elaborated on here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Song_Summoner:_The_Unsung_Heroes). Conductors in the game use the power of music to heal and attack in combat(resulting in a healer with a few offensive and boosting abilities, amongst other things, and are also the only ones that can create Tune Troopers from songs. If at all possible, I think they'd make an interesting addition to this class.

NeoSeraphi
2011-08-06, 12:04 PM
Unfortunately, my class as it is is complete. I'm satisfied with how it looks now and I have no interest in changing it. Sorry.

eftexar
2011-08-06, 02:40 PM
I would suggest you make Inspire Evasion stack with the evasion class ability. Lets say the target has evasion and a reflex of +3, he would get improved evasion from this. The main reason I think this is that the evasion class ability itself often stacks this way. Not only that but it would help the rogue out as well, if you have one in the party.
Additionally why do Inspire Evasion and Song of the White Raven have once per day limitations. This seems severely restricting considering you already have limitations to overall uses per day. Why not, instead, if you think they are more powerful than the other abilities, require the use of two bardic music uses instead of one.
I really do like this class though. The PH bard really didn't feel like a 'bard', if you know what I mean. Besides I like the idea of removing spellcasting entirely. It never fit with the bard.

Pyromancer999
2011-08-06, 02:51 PM
I would suggest you make Inspire Evasion stack with the evasion class ability.


Unfortunately, my class as it is is complete. I'm satisfied with how it looks now and I have no interest in changing it. Sorry.

Something tells me these statements don't agree. Still, I support the notion, although one can just tweak it to suit one's needs.

eftexar
2011-08-06, 02:56 PM
My bad... I, uh, sort of hit post reply without noticing a second page.

NeoSeraphi
2011-08-06, 03:00 PM
It's fine. As I told Pyromancer, I'm happy with how the class works already. Granting Improved Evasion wouldn't really be viable, as a bard's voice can only help you so much. If you didn't get out of the way in time, you just didn't get out of the way. I don't really know how Improved Evasion is supposed to work. (Dodging enough to take half damage even on a natural 1, despite not moving from your square?) But I certainly don't think someone yelling is going to give you that kind of skill.

As for why Song of the White Raven is only once per day, it's because it's copying the White Raven 9th level maneuver. That's a really powerful ability (and the ability itself is pretty powerful). So like class features that grant 9th level spells as a spell-like ability, I put a once per day limitation on this one.

Veklim
2011-08-08, 05:31 PM
I don't really know how Improved Evasion is supposed to work. (Dodging enough to take half damage even on a natural 1, despite not moving from your square?) But I certainly don't think someone yelling is going to give you that kind of skill.

I agree certainly, but imp. evasion is basically representative of the character's innate and sub-conscious reaction to danger. The not moving to do it always seemed wrong to me too though...

Song of the White Raven is perfectly sensible as a 1/day effect, and the difference power-wise is HUGE between granting everyone evasion (they still have to succeed the save to get any benefit at all) and allowing it to stack for imp. evasion (whereby the character can still avoid half a 10d6 fireball's worth of pain on a roll of a 1).

On a completely different note, I'm having half-formed ideas for a conductor bard prestige class... @ Pyro, would you mind if I have a stab at it, as long as it comes together in my head?

NeoSeraphi
2011-08-08, 05:35 PM
See, here's the part I don't get. I already grant Improved Evasion if someone has at least a +7 Reflex save. So I guess what you're asking is to let it stack, which would require a level 14 conductor bard to consider a character within 30 feet who had evasion, but not improved evasion, nor +7 Reflex save, an ally.

It's a pretty unlikely scenario. Regardless, as shown in the generic classes section of Unearthed Arcana, Improved Evasion has a base requirement of Evasion, and +7 base Reflex save. I'm not going against that.

Pyromancer999
2011-08-08, 08:01 PM
@ Pyro, would you mind if I have a stab at it, as long as it comes together in my head?

Actually, sort of already did it. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=210538) Feel free to comment on the feat on its original thread, or if you feel your idea is too different and/or better, then feel free to take a stab at it yourself.

NeoSeraphi
2011-08-12, 10:33 PM
Updated to add more bardic music uses per day at the suggestion of a player who playtested this class.

ScrambledBrains
2011-11-08, 01:11 PM
Inspire Evasion (Su): Once per day, as an immediate action, a bard of 14th level or higher may expend a use of his bardic music to help his enemies get out of the way. This does not require any ranks in the Perform skill, but his allies must be within 30 feet and able to hear and understand him. The bard grants himself and all allies within 30 feet who have a base Reflex save of at least +3 the evasion ability (as the PHB rogue) for 1 round.

If the bard or an ally who hears this has a base Reflex save of at least +7, they instead gain the improved evasion ability (as the PHB rogue) for 1 round.



You have a typo here. It says "May expend a use of his bardic music to help his enemies get out of the way."

NeoSeraphi
2011-11-08, 01:47 PM
You have a typo here. It says "May expend a use of his bardic music to help his enemies get out of the way."

Ack!

...Wait...

Idea...

...Inspire BULLRUSH! :smalltongue:

ScrambledBrains
2011-11-08, 02:49 PM
Ack!

...Wait...

Idea...

...Inspire BULLRUSH! :smalltongue:

XD New idea for a song, I take it?

NeoSeraphi
2011-11-08, 02:59 PM
XD New idea for a song, I take it?

It would be pretty awesome, but no...I'm too lazy to write more songs for this class...it's got almost 20 already

Guest#1
2011-12-23, 05:16 PM
It would be pretty awesome, but no...I'm too lazy to write more songs for this class...it's got almost 20 already

to fill out the idea a little more, one ally gets to make an immediate charge and attack. Also, couldn't you recruit fans of the conductor bard to help with song ideas? I for one would enjoy it.

Acidic_Cakes
2011-12-23, 08:58 PM
I utterly love this. I have always been quite fond of Bards, flavor-wise, but tended not to play them, as I've always found bardic music to be way too limited. "Okay, so I can give my allies a bonus to attack, and I can charm opponents, and that's...pretty much it." I've always wanted a bard with a large variety of musical abilities that would be just as useful at buffing as a full spellcaster. This class is just about everything I wanted in that category.

Pyromancer999
2011-12-25, 03:01 AM
Esto mira comi tema necromancia a mž.(Spanish for this looks like thread necromancy to me)

Veklim
2011-12-25, 10:26 AM
Aye, but it makes a very pretty corpse don't you think? :smalltongue:

On a more serious note, the addition of Cha mod to bardic music uses is a big help for the first few levels. My partner (and frequent bard player) loves this class, she's waiting for me to kill off one of here characters so she can try it out!

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-25, 06:49 PM
I appreciate these comments, but please, if anyone else has any other praise, just PM it to me. I don't want anyone getting infractions over my old homebrew.

NeoSeraphi
2012-03-19, 06:16 PM
As per the suggestions of a PEACHer, I have removed the language-dependent descriptor from the Bardic Music ability, as well as cleaned up some of the other mistakes I noticed while I was back here.

Edit: Also added the Song of Destruction ACF, and removed the [mind-affecting] descriptor from Deafening Song and Disgusting Song.

Deepbluediver
2012-03-19, 10:25 PM
You really like your spell-less fixes don't you? First this, and then the ranger.
Although I admit that the lack of spells solves the ASF chance issue succinctly.

But back to the important stuff.
I totally understand the desire to cram things into the early levels, but do you really need 6 (yes, SIX!) abilties right at first level? It seems like you could easily space some of that out a bit for a smoother progression, especially Inspire Battle and Defense, since you made them seperate buffs anyhow.
Plus, without spells, the bard is definitely spending more time in combat, meaning he shouldn't lack for stuff to do. Unless you want them to be a buff-only class, in which case I question the point of the armor and weapon proficiencies at all.

Also, this is less important, but would it really upset things if you left in the option for a dancing bard? I would understand that you could say that for a singing/instrument bard you have to hear them, and for a dancing bard you have to see them, which in itself if more tricky, but if a player wanted to spend a few points to make themselves resistant to a zone of silence where's the harm?

Dancing blades is an interesting solution to the music-in-combat; I admit the fluff of floating, independently-acting weapons seems odd for first level, where most players barely even register a blip on the magical detecto-meter, but I guess it works. Mechanicaly...at low levels I would worry about how it compares to other action-economy issues. It's not more powerful than the things the high-tier classes can do...at high levels. But it's always been my experience that at lower levels the classes tend to be closer together in power and versatility anyway. Although with medium BAB and limited weapon and armor proficencies, the bard won't exactly be the champion of the battle field, so I guess it's ok. (boy, this is turning into one long string of "on the other hand...", isn't it?)
Totally countermanding my previous point, maybe we should just require all bards to sing, and if they can also play an instrument and/or dance, then it adds a bonus to perform check, bardic music, etc.

I kind of worry about the lag-time for some of the bardic music abilities, especially once they last a full minute. It seems like a bard could nova his daily uses by burning one a round, buffing the party up to ridiculous levels, then rushing the BBEG, trying to defeat him him/her/it within 30 seconds. If there's something in your write up to prevent this, I apologize, the forum seems to be throwing a hissy-fit at my computer right now, and won't let me go back to double check your original post.

Healing song seems a little confusing; I realize we want to avoid the Iron Heart Surge problem of just removing "conditions" (though personally I find it hilaroius) but surely there was another word we could pick since it doesn't actually...y'know...heal?

I think most of the rest of it looks pretty good. I like the Harmony ability in particular, though this is one of those things that I might worry about. It's still not more powerful than a wizard, but if you are buffing the party, debuffing the enemy, and attacking all at once, you might make some of the other melee'ers feel a little redundant. I can picture it now, the huge, hulking barbarian is standing there thinking "day-um, I'm gettin' outclassed by th' girl with th' flute...." :smalltongue:

NeoSeraphi
2012-03-19, 10:50 PM
You really like your spell-less fixes don't you? First this, and then the ranger.

Actually, my Paladin of the Wild/Disorder was the first piece of homebrew I ever made, and that was a spell-less paladin fix. Then came the bard. Then came all of my other works, then the ranger.



But back to the important stuff.
I totally understand the desire to cram things into the early levels, but do you really need 6 (yes, SIX!) abilties right at first level? It seems like you could easily space some of that out a bit for a smoother progression, especially Inspire Battle and Defense, since you made them seperate buffs anyhow.
Plus, without spells, the bard is definitely spending more time in combat, meaning he shouldn't lack for stuff to do. Unless you want them to be a buff-only class, in which case I question the point of the armor and weapon proficiencies at all.


I'm confused. You say "The bard needs more to do in combat" but then you say "Don't give him two different options from level 1". You're contradicting yourself here.

Bardic Music itself isn't truly a class feature, so that drops the number of features the bard gets down to 5 at 1st level. Dancing Blade is necessary to balance bards who choose to play instruments with bards who choose to sing, and bardic knowledge is the iconic ability of the class.

So really, there are simply three abilities at level 1. The other 3 are integral to the class, almost like part of its chassis. The three abilities at level 1 are fascinate (the only out-of-combat thing a bard can do at this level now, whereas the PHB bard was charming at level 2), Inspire Battle and Inspire Defense.

So the bard has exactly two different abilities he can use each battle, and unless he has at least 12 Charisma, he won't even be able to use them both during the same day without a feat.

I question the logic of your argument here. A sorcerer has the ability to cast 9 different spells per day at level 1 (assuming at least 13 Charisma, and I do assume that pretty strongly), so what's the big deal with giving a bard two different buff options at level 1, when he can only use them 1+Cha per day anyway?



Also, this is less important, but would it really upset things if you left in the option for a dancing bard? I would understand that you could say that for a singing/instrument bard you have to hear them, and for a dancing bard you have to see them, which in itself if more tricky, but if a player wanted to spend a few points to make themselves resistant to a zone of silence where's the harm?

Music is one thing. The entire idea of a bard is a person who gains mystical power through music. I accept this as fact and move on. But a bard who is able to dance, and, though he creates no sound, influence those around him? This of course completely ignores facing (which I oppose strongly) and just sacks realism into a corner (which is the problem with spellcasters to begin with).

I refuse to incorporate a visual-only theme for my bard. It is, quite frankly, too unbelievable.



Dancing blades is an interesting solution to the music-in-combat; I admit the fluff of floating, independently-acting weapons seems odd for first level, where most players barely even register a blip on the magical detecto-meter, but I guess it works. Mechanicaly...at low levels I would worry about how it compares to other action-economy issues. It's not more powerful than the things the high-tier classes can do...at high levels. But it's always been my experience that at lower levels the classes tend to be closer together in power and versatility anyway. Although with medium BAB and limited weapon and armor proficencies, the bard won't exactly be the champion of the battle field, so I guess it's ok. (boy, this is turning into one long string of "on the other hand...", isn't it?)
Totally countermanding my previous point, maybe we should just require all bards to sing, and if they can also play an instrument and/or dance, then it adds a bonus to perform check, bardic music, etc.


You can compare the effect of Dancing Blade to a character who is able to concentrate on a spell and attack in the same round. With that comparison, it does, in fact, seem like a vastly powerful ability. However, bards have been able to do this since Core, as long as they chose to sing or dance rather than play a lute. The purpose of this class feature is merely to open the door to bards who want to actually play instruments, and why shouldn't it? I even had to gimp their fighting style by removing the Strength bonus to damage, which leaves a singing bard still strictly better than an instrumental bard even with Dancing Blade (because it's floating, you can't justify adding Strength to that, and while I thought about adding Cha to damage instead, I realized that just made the ability way too powerful).



I kind of worry about the lag-time for some of the bardic music abilities, especially once they last a full minute. It seems like a bard could nova his daily uses by burning one a round, buffing the party up to insane levels, then rushing the BBEG, trying to defeat him him/her/it within 30 seconds. If there's something in your write up to prevent this, I apologize, the forum seems to be throwing a hissy-fit at my computer right now, and won't let me go back to double check your original post.


Realize that the bard is a spellcaster, and I am actively removing around three to four hundred of his "class features" and replacing them with a set of songs. A set of songs that do not have a "Cast as a standard action, then have a duration of 1 round per level or 1 minute per level or 10 minutes per level, while I move on to something else". No, they have "Maintain this spell, and you do not get to stack it unless you spend more actions and even then, you drop the buff down to 1 minute".

Starting at 5th level, a wizard can completely ignore the attack rolls of creatures without ranged weapons or flight (fly) with a single standard action that lasts for 50 rounds. While the wizard enjoys this protection, he is able to continuously use his other powerful spells from aloft, with no need to worry about defending himself or maintaining concentration on his flight.

Perhaps the stacking mechanic and lag-time seems unfair to you compared to a mundane character, but I am comparing it to what the bard is losing: scaling durations that result from a single standard action.



Healing song seems a little confusing; I realize we want to avoid the Iron Heart Surge problem of just removing "conditions" (though personally I find it hilaroius) but surely there was another word we could pick since it doesn't actually...y'know...heal?


You don't think that removing the blindness, confused, deafened, dazzled, dazed, and etc etc, conditions counts as healing? :smallconfused:

The original name of the ability is "Song of Freedom", which I actually made into a song that made sense. Healing Song makes much more sense to me than Song of Freedom, but very well. If you can come up with a better name than "Healing Song", I'd be glad to put it in.



I think most of the rest of it looks pretty good. I like the Harmony ability in particular, though this is one of those things that I might worry about. It's still not more powerful than a wizard, but if you are buffing the party, debuffing the enemy, and attacking all at once, you might make some of the other melee'ers feel a little redundant. I can picture it now, the huge, hulking barbarian is standing there thinking "day-um, I'm gettin' outclassed by th' girl with th' flute...." :smalltongue:

Melee characters will always have problems standing up to magical characters. That's what homebrew is for. This class is much less powerful and versatile than the standard PHB bard, but it is, in my opinion, an option for people who think that bards should be magical without being just weaker sorcerers.

In the end, the only way a bard can offensively attack someone is by walking into melee or wielding a bow. At that point, he will need these buffs and debuffs, since he still only has d6 hit dice and light armor.

I'm glad that you like the class, though.

Veklim
2012-03-20, 06:41 AM
I've now used this class in a campaign and shall be doing so for some time since it's on an npc foil of mine who's wormed his way spectacularly into the group. The class is functional, adaptable and fun to mess about with, it functions VERY well as the party face, deals nicely with low-mid end battlefield control and has enough tricks in his mixed bag to stay interesting and give you options. It's definitely not OP, even in comparison to an unoptimised barbarian, because most of the stuff the class does aids the group just as much, if not often a lot more than it aids the bard himself.

With regards to renaming Healing Song, how about something like Rhapsody of Restoration?

NeoSeraphi
2012-03-20, 07:57 AM
With regards to renaming Healing Song, how about something like Rhapsody of Restoration?

Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately, I think you'll run into the same problem with the name here. "It doesn't remove negative levels, so why do you call it 'Restoration'?"

Deepbluediver
2012-03-20, 08:22 AM
Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately, I think you'll run into the same problem with the name here. "It doesn't remove negative levels, so why do you call it 'Restoration'?"

Yeah, I think we may want something that hasn't already been snatched up by WotC to name a spell or ability. There are lots of fun words that start with "re": rejuvinate, remedy, revivify, refresh, etc.

But since what we're doing here is supposed to be removing harmful status effects, I prefer terms that imply something different. Maybe Song of Cleansing or Song of Purification.

...

...or Song of Iron Heart Su-(no! stop that! bad DBD, bad!) :smalltongue:

NeoSeraphi
2012-03-20, 08:24 AM
Yeah, I think we may want something that hasn't already been snatched up by WotC to name a spell or ability. There are lots of fun words that start with "re": rejuvinate, remedy, revivify, refresh, etc.

But since what we're doing here is supposed to be removing harmful status effects, I prefer terms that imply something different. Maybe Song of Cleansing or Song of Purification.

...

...or Song of Iron Heart Su-(no! stop that! bad DBD, bad!)

Hahaha. :smalltongue: Song of Cleansing it is.

MesiDoomstalker
2012-03-20, 08:30 PM
Alternate Class Feature: Song of Destruction
Level: 7
Replaces: A bard with the Song of Destruction ACF does not gain the benefits of the Gentle Song class feature.
Benefits: A bard with the Song of Destruction class feature is able strum his chords and use the power of his magical ministrations to create the illusion of devastating power. By consuming one daily use of his bardic music class feature and making a Perform check, the bard is able to cast shadow evocation, as the spell, as a spell-like ability, with a caster level equal to his bard level. Unlike most of his bardic music, the Song of Destruction is not a mind-affecting ability. The DC for the Will save to disbelieve the Song of Destruction is equal to the bard's Perform check, though if the spell he mimics also allows a saving throw, the DC for that spell is equal to 10+the spell level+the bard's Charisma modifier (13+Cha for fireball, for instance).


What no scaling? I admit, its really cool at that level. But at a certain point it stops being useful. But then agian if you don't want him to become a half-hearted killer Gnome, I understand.

NeoSeraphi
2012-03-20, 10:03 PM
What no scaling? I admit, its really cool at that level. But at a certain point it stops being useful. But then agian if you don't want him to become a half-hearted killer Gnome, I understand.

The PHB bard receives neither greater shadow evocation nor shades as spells, and the prestige bard imposes a -2 penalty to caster level on evocation spells the spellcaster who takes it casts.

Bards are not meant to be using flashy blasty spells, clearly. Even if they're faking it.

Besides, Gentle Song doesn't scale, so why should the ACF that replaces it?