The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2019

    Default Bard that affects friend and foe, both negatively

    I'm starting a campaign with a group of friends, and one player tends to be a bit of a griefer. I'm trying to throw him a bone and also give a controlled environment for this behavior by designing a special bard class for him that debuffs enemies but also hits the party, but it's really important that the party still comes out ahead. We're all in a place where we can actually be emotionally mature about how this goes and lean into the roleplay, so I'm not worried about hard feelings but want to create moments where people realize that he caused them to fail at something.

    What's the best way to balance/implement this? I was thinking about having multiple exposures to his performances inoculate the party to their effects, or just have them affect the party at half intensity, but this seems like something you all would have great insight about and I want to get it right.

    If it helps, the "performances" are going to be horrible smell auras of different types, like a bad breath effect that makes people fail diplomacy checks because they just want to get away from this dude and will agree to anything unless they pass a will save. I have a lot of crazy ideas but want to keep things a little simple because I've never made a class before.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    gooddragon1's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    In the playground

    Default Re: Bard that affects friend and foe, both negatively

    +Everything has to roll twice to confirm critical hits.
    +Everything deals less physical damage.
    +Half of all damage received goes through all protections: energy resistance, energy immunity, damage reduction, hardness, etc. (Basically half of damage becomes untyped)
    +Everything gains a miss chance.
    +Reduce spell resistance of everything.
    +Each round, every combatant has a 50% chance to teleport a random (valid, reroll if invalid like a wall) direction up to 10 feet (roll 1d2, 1 is 5 feet, 2 is 10 feet) [the bard player will probably really like this one], incidentally this breaks grapples for free.
    +Everything loses 1 attack of opportunity per round (minimum 0)
    +Obscuring Mist spell
    +Everything takes half of all conditional damage like sneak attack, skirmish, favored enemy, precision damage... regardless of whether the circumstances are met (this both halves damage dealt by these abilities while allowing them to function against things that should be immune to them)[you'll need to be careful with the wording on this one to specify how it works, and maybe only allow certain things to make it easier to work with]

    Utility possibilities:
    +The silence spell
    +everyone can't move more than 10 feet per round by physical movements (slows enemies down, but can be useful as slowfall)
    +bright webs, not as strong as regular, give small penalty to attack rolls, provide light as a torch, requires time to remove from self, lasts a good duration, reveals hidden enemies, maybe percent chance each round to immobilize swarms if they are small enough (diminutive or fine)

    Try and make it so that the party can skew the effects in their favor. If saving throws are associated, it will likely be best for the bard to use effects like reduced spell resistance that won't likely affect allies or fewer of them.

    This is actually a principle of magic the gathering (probably other stuff too), effects that affect all players, but you get to build around them since you own them where the opponent doesn't.

    Behold! The Classic!


    People just returned it to their hand at the end of the opponent's turn. This kept the opponent locked down and the owner was largely unaffected.
    Last edited by gooddragon1; 2019-09-22 at 08:15 PM.
    There is no emotion more useless in life than hate.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2019

    Default Re: Bard that affects friend and foe, both negatively

    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    +Everything has to roll twice to confirm critical hits.
    +Everything deals less physical damage.
    +Half of all damage received goes through all protections: energy resistance, energy immunity, damage reduction, hardness, etc. (Basically half of damage becomes untyped)
    +Everything gains a miss chance.
    +Reduce spell resistance of everything.
    +Each round, every combatant has a 50% chance to teleport a random (valid, reroll if invalid like a wall) direction up to 10 feet (roll 1d2, 1 is 5 feet, 2 is 10 feet) [the bard player will probably really like this one], incidentally this breaks grapples for free.
    +Everything loses 1 attack of opportunity per round (minimum 0)
    +Obscuring Mist spell
    +Everything takes half of all conditional damage like sneak attack, skirmish, favored enemy, precision damage... regardless of whether the circumstances are met (this both halves damage dealt by these abilities while allowing them to function against things that should be immune to them)[you'll need to be careful with the wording on this one to specify how it works, and maybe only allow certain things to make it easier to work with]
    These are all amazing, and are giving me a lot of ideas for more. Thank you! The teleport will be hard to justify but is by far the most fun idea on here, especially since there's a scout in the party.

    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    Utility possibilities:
    +The silence spell
    +everyone can't move more than 10 feet per round by physical movements (slows enemies down, but can be useful as slowfall)
    +bright webs, not as strong as regular, give small penalty to attack rolls, provide light as a torch, requires time to remove from self, lasts a good duration, reveals hidden enemies, maybe percent chance each round to immobilize swarms if they are small enough (diminutive or fine)

    Try and make it so that the party can skew the effects in their favor. If saving throws are associated, it will likely be best for the bard to use effects like reduced spell resistance that won't likely affect allies or fewer of them.
    Poisons might be a good way to go about this, since antidotes and spells can be kept on-hand or used prophylactically. Silence is also a good call, especially because the party isn't super magic-heavy. I should probably come up with a spell list for this guy that's a little skewed from the normal bard fare, too.

    Your web idea is a bit out there, but again that's super creative and is giving me a better idea how much is really possible here. Thank you so much!

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