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Rajah
2015-11-12, 12:43 PM
Hi guys,

Not a D&D specific question but any game that has bards, really.

I have an idea about a storytelling bard. One that writes plays, books, tells stories, does readings, etc. Staying clear of magical music, though he does have an instrument.

Social interactions and social roleplaying is pretty straightforward and not a problem. I am more interested in a good way to translate his writing into magic. Do his words carry magic themselves? His writings? His stories? If so, how? Like tell a story about fire to cast a fire spell?

Any and all suggestions are welcome. Thanks for the advice!

Talion
2015-11-12, 12:56 PM
I'm not a bard player myself (my native charisma is too poor) but might I suggest the use of Epics (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_(genre))? Seems like a good place to start, since they're part story, part poem, which, if used selectively, could be read off quickly enough (stanza by stanza) to matter in short combats while still having potential for significant length in less time restrictive functions.

The Glyphstone
2015-11-12, 01:00 PM
He doesn't play a magic instrument; instead, his talent at writing - and telling - stories is so incredibly skillful and compelling that even the cosmic forces of the universe sit up and take notice when he starts to speak. And when he starts telling a story where the characters are very similar to himself and his companions except for some very small change...their wounds have healed, they are stronger and faster, or the pebble he throws in real life is a ball of fire in the story...it's such a good story that the universe gets confused which one is actually happening. Eventually, the story ends and reality reasserts itself, but until then, magic.

Honest Tiefling
2015-11-12, 01:00 PM
Would Perform (Oratory) or similar skills be sutiable? DnD allows it. And I personally think a story telling bard is acceptable. So Acceptable that I might steal it...Ahem. Other then that, story telling is probably the first function of a bard, to deliver news and to make sure people remember the history of great heroes, so that their glory lives on forever. Sometimes the instrumental stuff is just a bonus.

Mark Hall
2015-11-12, 01:30 PM
Or, possibly, scrolls. After all, he writes magic. He may have a proficiency for creating scrolls, and passing the magic on to other people. Perhaps even creating scrolls as non-class-specific items (in 3e parlance, he writes scrolls that are effectively potions, usable by anyone).

Joe the Rat
2015-11-12, 01:49 PM
Would Perform (Oratory) or similar skills be sutiable? DnD allows it. And I personally think a story telling bard is acceptable. So Acceptable that I might steal it...Ahem. Other then that, story telling is probably the first function of a bard, to deliver news and to make sure people remember the history of great heroes, so that their glory lives on forever. Sometimes the instrumental stuff is just a bonus.

Just make sure you have your St. Crispin's Day speech queued up, lest you fall back on sounding like a cheerleader.

I used this idea for a backup game character, very loosely based on Tolkein (collector of stories and master linguist). Which is hilarious, given the amount of singing that goes on in his stories.

Fri
2015-11-12, 02:55 PM
I played a journalist bard once. Basically her bardic music is rousing speeches (pretty much quoting verbatim famous speeches that seems to be relevant to the effect, I'm not that good) and "damaging" songs or powers are basically insulting remarks or speeches.

Regitnui
2015-11-12, 02:59 PM
This is kinda like me IRL. I enjoy wordplay; euphemism, puns, tongue twisters, etc. I also keep a notebook and pen with me. In-game that could be like a wizard's spellbook, but filled with things he has written. For flaws, he could be pedantic, or a little too sharp-tongued (not like me).

Mechanical advantages; perhaps an 'omniglot' where they get extra languages, scroll crafting, perhaps a 'arcane sight' feature for runes or written spells. Sepia Snake Sigil and Arcane Mark kinds of spells.

Rajah
2015-11-13, 09:05 AM
Lots of good ideas here, thanks. Have to run some of these homebrewed perks past the DM.

Vitruviansquid
2015-11-13, 09:15 AM
Short forms of stories like parables and fables, even proverbs, can make substitutes for magic spells.

Geddy2112
2015-11-13, 10:08 AM
I play virtually all of my bards like this. Slam poets, history based skalds, myth/legend keepers, and that guy at the local pub with all of the tall tales. Orators make great political/religious leaders as well. It is mechanically no different to use words instead of music notes to inspire courage, fascinate, or provide the verbal component for spells.

Tetraplex
2015-11-14, 04:22 PM
There's a (Pathfinder) prestige class for just this concept called the Chronicler. Roleplay wise I see nothing wrong with the concept either, and love the idea of Tolkien on an adventure.

BWR
2015-11-14, 05:19 PM
Pathfinder-specific but the bardic masterpieces (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/bard/bardic-masterpieces/masterpieces) sound like something you'd be interested in. That and the Seeker of the Song PrC from 3.5 , refluffed to oratory rather than song.