Bards (yet again)

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SmootRK
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Bards (yet again)

Post Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:55 pm

http://www.basicfantasy.org/showcase.cgi?sid=16

[EDIT 10/14/2012] Basically Finished Product... would love others to point out any inconsistencies or needed errata. Also check out the Appendixes for a pretty cool Thief ability modifications Table.

[EDIT 09/14/2017] Revisited the project to strip out a couple things I never liked that much and to clean up the language usage throughout. I am also stripping out posts in the thread that are old/irrelevant/etc. Further commentary and discussion is certainly welcome, just as I read through the thread from beginning, there is so much unnecessary (and several years old chatter) that detracts from the topic.
While each version is tweaked slightly, the basic array of abilities would stand at:
  • Bard Song
  • Influence bonus
  • Listen (as Thief Ability)
  • Decipher Script
  • Lore
  • 2 Bonus Languages
  • Tumble/Evade
http://www.basicfantasy.org/showcase.cgi?sid=16

Also the Quasi-Class version of the Bard has been removed from the Bard document. The most up-to-date version remains within the actual Quasi-Class Supplement in the Showcase section:
http://www.basicfantasy.org/showcase.cgi?sid=51
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SmootRK
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Re: Bards (yet again)

Post Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:06 am

artikid wrote:I have a liking for the term Griot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griot)...
Never heard that one. I might have a place for such 'bards' in my campaign world.

Also, I am including a 'Cantor' option in one of the write-ups that I am doing. Clerical Bard
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Re: Bards (yet again)

Post Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:10 pm

Yes, Bards should be the name of the Base-Class version that can stand on its own (not that the other sub-class variants cannot also). I also intend to use Bard (but as an adjective) for Quasi-class, because it is always connected to another class anyhow.... Bardic Thief, Bardic Magic-User, Bardic-Ranger, etc.

The other sub-classes (of which there is one that uses some MU spells, and one that uses druidic spells) can use definite names.

Other thoughts I have had:
Magical Bard might have scroll reading ability (like the old thief class, regardless if the spell is on their own list)

Druid Bard might have Animal Turning (as druid, having forgot real name at the moment), but at reduced ability.

Jester will be described as a Bard Variant with Performance based on comedy, buffoonery, limericks, and insulting jabs. I don't see the point in a distinct class, just abilities described a bit differently... and personally, I don't know of anyone who has actually ever played a Jester, so I wonder if I should even bother??!?

I would like to take a look at the Gypsy class mentioned. There might be something I can make out of this. It seems like the existing Bard can be used 'as-is' and having just some different cultural background, but still, I have not seen the material in question so i am staying open-minded.
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Re: Bards (yet again)

Post Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:26 am

Gypsies seem like a cool character concept, but the class is not very distinct (nor very good at much).

As Written
------------------------------------------------------
High Ability Requirements
Non-Metal Armor (meaning basically Leather)
No Shield usage
One-Handed Melee Weapons +crossbows, bows
Extremely Limited Spell Use
- 3 turn casting times
- only divination spells
Knife (dagger) Fighting bonus
Lore (much like bard)
Negative Reactions from Non-Gypsy, but count on basic assistance from Gypsies.

Seems like any one of the bard choices would suffice, perhaps given to some sort of Background Mechanic. Give them a reaction modifier depending on gypsy/non-gypsy. The biggest difference is that Spell Usage thing, which I might simply make a change like, modify spell list to be primarily Divination Spells of various sorts.

So, for Gypsy Clan Characters:
I would actually suggest a Background Mechanic that grants +1 Reaction/Loyalty/etc from fellow Gypsies, and a -2 such modifier for non-gypsy. This Background also grants a simple +1 damage modifier when using knives (dagger).
This Background Mechanic, when applied to spell casters, gives a -1 caster level modifier for non-divination type spells (as determined by GM) and a +2 caster level modifier for Divination spells. This caster level modification only alters factors such as range, duration, damage, etc. of spells cast, and it does not change any other character level based functions such as number of spells per day.

Any class can be a "gypsy", although culturally they (most anyway) lean towards Thief and/or Bard, with perhaps some fighters (better use of my Gladiator/Duelist might fit well here for the lightly-armored cultural norm).
There can be normal spell caster gypsies, but the Gypsy mother/fortune-teller/mother archetype is always a Bardic Quasi-Class mix to give that Lore ability as well (I think Druid fits well here as the base class).
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Re: Bards (yet again)

Post Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:29 pm

MedievalMan wrote:Well under the Bard core class the first sentance should read Bards rather than Bard. I really don't have a lot of time to give it a good looks over. But thats the first thing that jumped out to me.

Yeah I saw that you added in that little caveat about Bards and what races can play them. Which is good, Bard is one of those classes that you really can fit to almost any race.
I hate when I have those really obvious typos!! :shock:

Overall, I don't use class restrictions by race, never liked them, even back when I played in the 80's. This is what I wrote in my house rule document about race/class:
Character Races
Importantly, there are no class restrictions for any race. All available classes are open to all races used. Ignore any such references in the core rules or various supplements. While the racial stereotypes remain the cultural norm for most members of a race, individuals from various races, especially those rare individuals that become adventures, are free to become any class even if they might be ill-suited for such endeavors. Within their respective racial communities, such individuals may be treated as peculiar at least, or even ostracized or outlawed in some instances, but this is a factor of role-play, rather than a game-mechanic consideration.

Note that the races listed here have more stringent ability score requirements than as they are found in the Core Rules or various sources. This may effectively limit some class choices for certain races in some situations.
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Re: Bards (yet again)

Post Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:32 pm

Some GMs use those controls to enforce a sense of order in the campaign, enforcing such roles such as Dwarves are tough cranky warrior types, or halflings are nearly always burglars. I enjoy such stereotypes and roles (for the culture the different races may come from), but I don't really think such rules (or the old race level limits either) really help or advance the game in any way productively.

One of the things I like about BFRPG is that Solo decided not to have level limits, rather giving humans a small XP bonus. If one really still needed such a control over a race pursuing a class that would seem foreign to them, then perhaps another such penalty could be imposed. A Dwarf MU might need an additional +10% XP to acquire levels....
but, I don't even bother with that. I will just have other members of those races throw eggs and rotten tomatoes at such heretics.
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Re: Bards (yet again)

Post Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:55 pm

MedievalMan wrote:Ah well they still seem strong for a 1,500 exp progression especially when compared to the stock Fighter. Poor guy gets the short end of the stick every time. That's why I am thinking about allowing Fighting Styles into my game. To make fighters feel appreciated.
I heartily agree that Fighters need something extra in BFRPG (or B/X for that matter). Fighters fight, so having Specialization from Combat Options is a must for me. I also like the idea that Fighters can get some coordinated tactics.
For instance, stuff like :
Shield Wall, Two or more fighters with shields can work together to add some extra AC bonus from their companions. A Fighter gets +2 AC from each additional adjacent warrior (2 max duh, one on each side), but gets a -1 to attack with anything other than a spear or pole-arm weapon. If three fighters work together, the ones on each end get +2 AC, one in center gets +4 AC bonus. Works especially well if the fighters can form a ring (minimum, 4 such shielded warriors - each gets +4 AC bonus)

Back to Back Fighting, each fighter gets +2 AC bonus because he need not worry about flanks as much and can focus on his frontal attackers.

2nd Rank Archers. The frontal Fighters (shielded and usually heavily armored) give additional +2 AC bonus to the archers, because they are actively fighting defensively and deliberately blocking attacks aimed at the Archers.
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Re: Bards (yet again)

Post Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:25 am

Bear in mind also that the main bardic abilities, namely Bard Songs, generally only affect others (and primarily their allies) in very indirect ways. This was a purposeful design concept. I gave this core class Bard an evasion skill, but otherwise, their abilities do not have an impact in combat except by indirect methods (enhancement of allies or penalty on foes). Even the Thief has a Backstab/Sneak Attack mechanic.

When I get around to spell choice for the other Hybrid Bards, the choices will generally follow this line of thought as well. Charms, Detections, Buffs, but not Fireballs, Heals, etc.

I wrote these with the mind-set that Bards are social, and absolutely reliant upon their companion party members for survival. A bard on his own will surely have a lot of trouble adventuring; even a thief can go off and sneak around and pick off lone targets via backstab. If anything was to be dialed back, it would be their ability at combat, perhaps even making them fight worse like using the MU column (lovers not fighters).

That all said, I have no problem also tweaking the progression up more, I expected that the 1500 Cleric equivalent might not be enough. Perhaps a new progression based upon 1750 for 2nd level might make a good middle ground?
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Re: Bards (yet again)

Post Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:20 pm

It has been a while, but after a few discussions that included Bards (including Solo's nice version). I have gone back into this to clean up language and strip out a couple parts that I didn't like very well.

Feel free to comment about it.

http://www.basicfantasy.org/showcase.cgi?sid=16
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