View Full Version : HB Request: Alternate Bardic Music

2008-03-20, 03:55 PM
I've always wondered why, despite the many different playstyles, instruments, and songs, bardic music all has the same effect no matter what you do. Couldn't a bard do just more than just provide a few static bonuses to his allies attacks and skill checks? I'd like to see some possible alternate bardic music effects based on variations in music style, maybe different kinds of buffs, or some negative buffs to lay on enemies, or whatever. I'm trying to write thse myself, but am having a difficult time coming up with plausible effects.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-03-20, 03:59 PM
The problem with variable music is that it basically tranforms a bard into the class equivalent of Knowledge or Perform. If every instrument set provided a different bonus, a bard using that variant that gave you muchas Perform (X) skills would be tremendously powerful.

2008-03-20, 04:02 PM
Even if they could only use one instrument or song at a time?

And I kind of figured instruments themselves would only provide small bonuses, not alter effects too much. For example, a horn of some sort might give a greater range to the bardic music effect (or at least in a cone), while a stringed instrument might have the effect last longer.

Songs... still figuring other effects they might have...

Azerian Kelimon
2008-03-20, 04:24 PM
Well, for songs, SOMEBODY, must have created the Rockstar class, or else I'M going to go and make it. Freebird MUST have effects.

As for that kind of effects, here goes, distribute as you want:

-Multiply all effects by 1.5
-Extend range by 1.5
-Allow you to focus the effects on a single person and triple them
-Cause an equivalent debuff on the enemies
-Offer one significant bonus on a single aspect of the music, ignoring the rest (Doubling or tripling the AB or damage)

Hunter Noventa
2008-03-20, 04:26 PM
Complete Adventurer actually has a selection of instruments, the masterwork variants thereof have differing effects, like increasing the bonus granted by a specific ability.

And do I smell some new feats...Power Ballad...Rock Opera...

Azerian Kelimon
2008-03-20, 04:29 PM
Meh. FEATS? Let's get to work on a spellcaster that uses music! I Dib on Unskinny bop, Sweet Child o' Mine, Knockin' on heaven's door, Paranoid, and Paradise city.

Quick! To the homebrew forums!

*Batman theme. Oh, wait, we're already there...*

Realms of Chaos
2008-03-21, 02:45 PM
I believe Monte Cook's Complete Book of Eldritch Might (or something along those lines) has a spellsong variant for bards. However, this is simply a replacement for spellcasting.

What you have to understand is that a bard's variability is in thier spells. Whether they hit a high note to cast shout or a wavering low note for ventriloquism is what really determines what is going on.

To make this translate into instruments, I suggest the following.

First of all, come up with a list of perform checks to be used for spellcasting.
Next group bard spells together into an equal number of clumps of related spells.
Give each clump a favored instrument perform check and an opposed perform check (for example, a group containing shout and ventriloquism may have oratory as a favored check and dance as an opposed check).
In order to cast a spell, make a perform check against a DC of 15 + spell level, using any perform check other than the opposed perform check. If using the favored perform check, you gain a +2 bonus on the roll and a +1 bonus to the spells save DC (if any) if you succeed.
Speech is no longer required for spellcasting (unless using perform [oratory] or something similar) although you may not spellcast in an area of magical silence.

As a possible addition to the system, consider the following rules for exotic instruments.

Choose which instruments you are going to make exotic.
For each instrument, choose one spell of each spell level 1st-6th that is not on the bard spell list.
For each exotic instrument, make a feat that approximates that given below.

[Insert instrument here] Mastery
You have learned how to play the [Insert instrument here]
Prerequisites: Perform (appropriate perform skill) 4 ranks.
Benefits: Add the following spells to your bard spell list.
1st- [Insert spell here]
2nd- [Insert spell here]
3rd- [Insert spell here]
4th- [Insert spell here]
5th- [Insert spell here]
6th- [Insert spell here]
You must still select these spells as spells known as normal. In order to cast these spells, you must use a(n) [Insert instrument here] and succeed on a Perform (appropriate perform skill) check.

As for the bardic music alone, however, you can just leave it alone. If you use my system, bards will be investing in all sorts of perform skills and playing one should be alot more enriched.