Tuesday, September 2, 2014

In a Fevered, Trance-like State, I Fixed the Bard

Bards and skalds can be found in any court. But those that adventure have a certain set of skills. This is pretty generic; I imagine it would be good for 0D&D, B/X/LotFP, DCC, etc.

  • They can remember things others forget. This is because they use rhyme and verse to memorize epic tales, news, bon mots, and other things that get them fed. If a bard wants to see if he knows something about the thing that the party really wants details on, the DM can roll 2d6 and add in the Bard's Int mod as well as a circumstance mod. High rolls give clues.
  • They can weave magic into their lyrics. This does not work during a fight.  That takes too long and you will be cut, Jack. It might work during a battle, if the bard is, like, say, playing on a mountaintop while armies clash below. It will work on a captive audience. Literally tied up is best, but the partons at a quiet pub or a lord's court will do.
    • You learn one song each level. It just comes to you.
  • They can be blind, yet skillful swordsmen. This is a choice you make at character generation. 
  • You can conceal a weapon in your instrument, should you decide to become a wandering assassin bard. This isn't a rules thing; I just wanted to remind you that bards are  a lot cooler when they aren't about singing in a fight. 


Here are the bard songs of power:

  1. Ballad of Bravado: give each listener a d30. They can roll this during a fight, provided it happens by the next dawn, and replace any to-hit or stunt roll with it. Then it turns into a d24, and works its way down the die chain.
  2. Canticle of Kings: Listeners might kowtow to the regal might of a hero of sufficient character and bloodline.
  3. Carol of Cheer: Listener has a chance to shake off any melancholy or insanity
  4. Chant of Chivalry: Induces listeners to take up causes, enforce justice, or go to war for a pretty face.
  5. Coronach of Canceled Time: Reduces listeners to a metaphysical melancholy that will ensorcel them into a state of suspended time.
  6. Dirge of Dancing Dead: Placates mindless undead into a swaying stance-- even if they don't have auditory organs left.
  7. Jeremiad of Justice: Listener likely to admit guilt that the bard suspects them of. 
  8. Keen of Killers: All listeners are enraged and do an extra die of damage.
  9. Modony of Manipulation: listeners are charmed. +4 to reaction rolls against the bard.
  10. Serenade of Seduction: Listener may become ridiculously enamored of the bard
  11. Threnody of Thoughts: Listeners hear the secrets of the dead spirits of this place. Let the players ask a question each. 
I'll think up more someday if this post seems to have garnered interest.


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