Bard, the Sword and Music Master
Bards are skilled combatants with magical abilities that arise from their songs and musical expertise.
They are quick-witted and captivating individuals. They wander the land collecting lore and
telling stories. Many were orphans and runaways who became apprenticed to a wandering bard.
When bards join an adventuring group, it is because they wish to partake in the heroic deeds which they so often tell others about. In doing so, they hope to earn great renown.
Bards can use their music to make everyone in the group more competent with their weapons, more difficult to hit, more likely to avoid the effect of enemy spells, or more competent with their own spells. They can also harm, hypnotise or curse enemies and counter enemy spells.
Hit Dice, Proficiencies, Alignment
D10 Hit Die. Proficient with light armour, light shield, heavy shield. Starts with simple-weapons proficiency plus four selectable weapon-group proficiencies. Bards can be of any alignment.
Bard abilities: A bard can use bard abilities a number of times per day equal to (Intelligence modifier + Charisma modifier + Level)/2 with a minimum of once per day. There are five free-action abilities, called Bard Songs, and five standard-action abilities, called Bard Spells (available from level 2). Activating a new Bard Song replaces the current active one, if any.
Bard abilities cannot be used in silence areas, when mute, in heavy or medium armour or while holding a tower shield. When two Bards are present in the party, only one Bard song can be active at any time. The use of a Bard Spell does not interrupt a Bard Song. The effect of Bard Songs also applies to the Bard himself. Bards can activate their songs and spell-like abilities while holding a light shield or heavy shield (but not a tower shield), while wielding a two-handed weapon or while wielding several weapons at the same time.
Fast Bard Spells: The bard can activate the bard spells Cursed Dirge, Pipes of Pain and Heavenly Melody with a move action rather than a standard action.
Song of Valiance: For 4 rounds, all allies gain +1 circumstance bonus to their attack roll and to their disarm, grapple, bullrush, sunder, trip and feint rolls. Increases to +2 from bard level 11. Supernatural ability.
Sanctuary Score: For 4 rounds, all allies gain +1 dodge bonus to AC, or +2 from bard level 11. Supernatural ability.
Courage Canticle: For 4 rounds, allies gain +1 circumstance to Saving Throws (+2 from level 11). Supernatural ability.
Arcane Rhyme: For 4 rounds, spells cast by allies gain +1 to Difficulty Class (+2 from level 11). Supernatural ability.
Battle March: For 4 rounds, all melee damage dealt by allies increases by +2 (+4 from level 11). Supernatural ability.
Cursed Dirge: Single living target takes a -4 to all attack rolls and saving throws for 1+1d4 rounds. Mind-affecting effect. Willpower negates. The Difficulty Class is 10 + Charisma modifier + Half of Level. Spell-like Ability.
Pipes of Pain: As the cleric spell Sound Burst. All targets in a circle of radius 10 feet take 1d8 points of sonic damage (no save) and are stunned for one round, unless they succeed on a Fortitude saving throw. The damage increases to 2d8 at character level 4 and 3d8 at level 6. The Difficulty Class is 10 + Charisma modifier + Half of Level. This is a Spell-like ability.
Heavenly Melody: As the wizard spell Hypnotic Pattern. Mind-affecting effect over a radius of 10 feet. Enemy targets with a total hit dice of 2d4 + 1 per level (up to 2d4+15) in the area of effect are fascinated for four rounds. Creatures with the lowest HD are affected first. Willpower negates. The Difficulty Class is 10 + Charisma modifier + Half of Level. This is a Spell-Like Ability. Fascinated creatures take no actions, but unlike the Sleeping condition they are not helpless and not vulnerable to a coup-de-grace. As with the Sleeping condition, striking a fascinated creature removes the effect and allies can shake the creature free of the spell using a standard action.
Zone of Silence: As the cleric spell Silence. Long Range. Duration 4 rounds + 1 per two levels. 20' radius circle. All creatures in the area of effect become silenced. Silenced creatures cannot cast spells with a verbal component and they are immune to sonic damage (like the damage from Sonic Burst and Shout), mind-affecting sound effects (like Bard Songs) and language-dependent effects (like the spell Control Person). Silenced creatures also take a -1 penalty to Armour Class, unless they have the Blindsight ability. Spell-like Ability.
Countersong: Taken as part of a Ready Versus Spell action, Countersong forces opposed rolls with the enemy spellcaster or psionics user. This is a Supernatural ability. The spellcaster makes a concentration roll (1d20 + Level + Constitution modifier) while the bard makes a counterspell roll (1d20 + Level + Charisma modifier). If the bard's roll is higher, the spell is countered.
Lingering Song: The Bard Songs last an extra two rounds.
Requiem: Heavenly Melody and Cursed Dirge can even affect the undead (but not constructs).
Improved Dirge: +2 on the Difficulty Class of Cursed Dirge.
Improved Pipes: Pipes of Pain deals 4d8 points of sonic damage from level 8.
Sickening Pipes: You gain access to a version of Pipes of Pain that deals the same damage and makes targets sickened for 2d4 rounds, instead of stunning them for one round.
Improved Melody: Heavenly Melody affects 3d4 + 1 per level of HD, up to 3d4+15.
Improved Countersong: +4 on counter rolls (compensates for a mage's Superior Concentration). Moreover, if your countersong is successful, the victim takes damage points equal to 1d6 per spell level of the countered spell.
Armoured Musician: You can use bard abilities while wearing medium armour (but not heavy armour). Requires: Bard Level 6, Medium Armour Proficiency.
Bard Stamina: You gain two additional bard-ability uses per day.
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