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    Canonfire :: View topic - 3.5e Bards
    Canonfire Forum Index -> Greyhawk- D&D 3.0e/3.5e/d20/Pathfinder
    3.5e Bards
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    Novice

    Joined: Oct 25, 2002
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    Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:47 am  
    3.5e Bards

    I'm looking for a completely rewritten Bard class for 3.5e that essentially is modeled on the 1e version with its Bardic Colleges and Druid Spells. I've found a couple by doing a web search for "Old Lore Bards" but in each case no author or source is cited. I believe Frederick Weining did a version, and I'm interested in seeing that. In any case, I'd like to know of and see any and all possibilities that you are aware of, including published versions. Thanks!
    _________________
    Michael Falconer - http://ulmo.mux.net/greyhawk/
    "Because by fate even the gods are cast down, weep ye all with me."
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    Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:44 am  

    I've posted mine here before, I can PM it if you like. Or you can just go to my website.

    By the way, what is the general concensus for my version?

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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 18, 2002
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    Wed Nov 08, 2006 8:25 pm  

    Have you tried the Fochluchan Lyrist from Complete Adventurer, p47? It is modeled on that bard, but uses the new rules on PrCs and multiclassing.

    You need thief type skills, bard and druid levels, and then you get better at bardic knowledge, and druid spell casting.

    ROB
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    Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:14 am  

    Yep, it's worthless. For the title they took the first college and the first level title of that college and then slapped some ridiculous requirements together...

    Can you tell I don't really like the class as written. My biggest gripe is that no allowance was made to expand into the other colleges, an important part of the class IMO, especially the original classs restriction on associating wth bards of a lesser college.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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    Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:40 pm  

    A very simple fix for the 3.5e bard is to alter the Prestige Bard from Unearthed Arcana. As it is part of the SRD now, I have posted it below. Just change the "+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class" feature to read "+1 level of existing spellcasting class" to allow for bards of a druid, sorcerer, wizard, or cleric background. The wizard background mirrors the abilities of 2e bards almost exactly, while the druid background favors 1e bards closely, particularly if you as a dm imposes taking a certain amount of fighter and thief levels and one level of druid before taking any Prestige Bard levels. Allowing clerics the option to take Prestige Bard levels fits well into certain religions, notably that of Lydia.

    To keep things more on par with other PrC's, I'd recommend requiring 2-4 levels of fighter, 2-4 levels of rogue, and 1 level of druid before the character takes any Prestige Bard levels. Characters will then have to be at least 5th level in total before thinking about acquiring their first Prestige Bard level upon attaining enough XP to gain 6th level. You can increase the requirement by whatever amount of fighter or rogue levels to correspond with the original 1e bard class requirements too, but you probably should lower the levels needed by one so as to account for the needed druid level. All in all, it’s a very simple fix.

    PRESTIGE BARD
    The prestige bard is a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. She relies on wit, agility, and no small amount of magic to see her through her daring adventures.
    Virtually all characters who become prestige bards are already multiclass characters, usually mixing rogue and wizard or rogue and sorcerer. Some dabble in barbarian or fighter as well, depending on their social backgrounds.

    NPC prestige bards may serve as heralds, tale-tellers, spies, ne'er-do-wells, or all of the above. Some work in troupes, others form colleges, but most share a strong streak of independence.

    Compared to the standard character class, the prestige bard gains her bardic music abilities later in her career, but has a greater range of spells available.

    Hit Die: d6.

    Requirements
    To qualify to become a prestige bard, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
    Alignment: Any nonlawful.
    Base Attack Bonus: +3.
    Skills: Knowledge (any one) 4 ranks, Perform (any one) 8 ranks.
    Special: Ability to cast at least one 1st-level arcane spell from each of the divination, enchantment, and illusion schools.
    Class Skills
    The prestige bard's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (None), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha). Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.
    Table: The Prestige BardLevel Base Attack
    Bonus Fort
    Save Ref
    Save Will
    Save Special Spells per Day
    1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Bardic music (countersong, fascinate,
    inspire courage +1), bardic knowledge —
    2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 — +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
    3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Inspire competence —
    4th +3 +1 +4 +4 — +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
    5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Inspire courage +2 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
    6th +4 +2 +5 +5 — +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
    7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Inspire greatness —
    8th +6 +2 +6 +6 — +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
    9th +6 +3 +6 +6 Song of freedom +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
    10th +7 +3 +7 +7 Inspire courage +3 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
    11th +8 +3 +7 +7 Inspire heroics +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
    12th +9 +4 +8 +8 — +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
    13th +9 +4 +8 +8 Mass suggestion —
    14th +10 +4 +9 +9 — +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
    15th +11 +5 +9 +9 Inspire courage +4 +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class


    Class Features
    All the following are class features of the prestige bard class.
    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: As the standard bard. A prestige bard can cast any arcane spells in light armor without the normal arcane spell failure chance.

    Spellcasting: When a new prestige bard level is gained (except at 1st, 3rd, 7th, and 13th level), the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if she had also gained a level in whatever arcane spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class.

    A prestige bard casts arcane spells from the schools of divination, enchantment, and illusion at +2 caster level. She casts arcane spells from the schools of evocation and necromancy at -2 caster level.

    Bardic Knowledge (Ex):As the standard bard ability of the same name.

    Bardic Music: As the standard bard ability of the same name, except that the minimum number of ranks in Perform required is increased by 5 (8 ranks for countersong, fascinate, or inspire courage; 11 ranks for inspire competence, and so forth).
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:52 pm  

    That's a possibility, remove the word arcane from all spellcasting references. The only problem is requiring specific numbers of fighter and rogue levels. This specifically violates one of the cardinal rules of prestige class design. Much better to require abilities like evasion or a number of fighter feats.

    EDIT: I mean to say, a specific number of feats that a fighter may select as bonus feats.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:48 pm  

    If one wishes to maintain the feel of 1e, I proposed that there be class and level requirements. It was very specifically stated as an option for those who wanted to maintian a closer requiremtnt to 1e requirements. I thought that was pretty obvious in the post. Besides, diverging from a design tendency to fit with a campagin or rules set(going for the 1e feel in this case) ideal is more important than stringently sticking to the design in the first place if it doesn't suit what you want to do with it.

    While PrC's are specifically written to be as free-flowing as possible, there are obvious class and level tendencies built into them to begin with, such as the lowest minimum level of a certain class or classes required to gain the feats, skills, abilites, etc. to even qualify for a certian prestige class. While PrC's don't outright list specific class and level requirements, it is very purposely and obviously built into each and every one of them to maintain at the very least the minimum requirements.

    I stick with the regular design format, but those who want something that fulfills their personal vision of something, I recommend breaking with the pack and doing what you want. You can of course always rewrite the Prestige Bard requirements to force minimum level applicants to take certain class levels to begin with so as to have the feats, skills, abilites, etc. needed to even qualify for the PrC, which is very well within the confines of the PrC format. The point is, rather than take the time to wheedle out the ultimately perfect requirement formula, just impose class and level requirements in the first place, which allows the player to choose whatever skills, feats, and abilities that apply to the vision of their character without any specific requirements other than those posed.

    The beauty of the 3x system and PrC format allows for variances beyond that of the hard rules of 1e and 2e however. The fighter levels could easily be replaced with ranger or barbarian levels, as the fighter class really doesn't provide any key ability access until 4th level, where access to the weapon specialization feat(one of the very few limited warrior type class/level feats) is gained. If you favor a more civilized bard where there is formal martial training you might require fighter levels be taken. If the bard is from a more rural area, ranger levels might be the norm. In less civilized or uncivilized areas, requiring the warrior training be fulfilled using barbarian levels minght be the norm. The player is more free to choose among them to suit the character background, but the dm is also well within their rights to impose such requirements as well if they suit the character background.
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    Sun Nov 12, 2006 1:15 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    The point is, rather than take the time to wheedle out the ultimately perfect requirement formula, just impose class and level requirements in the first place,


    So, you're advocating laziness in prestige class design. You refuse to work within the rules that specifically state no class, level or attribute requirements for a prestige class because what, that's just too much trouble to spend an extra 30 seconds to dictate that the class requires a BAB of +8, three (or more) feats form the fighter bonus list, 2d6 sneak attack, evasion and uncanny dodge? There, you have requirements that favor 5 fighter and 5 rogue levels as a very efficient path to the fulfiling the requirements, in any 3.x variant. Ranger and barbarian also work as suitable substitutes for fighter levels here.

    Try this http://www.angelfire.com/games5/andysgamepit/Prestige_Classes.htm. I wrote it several years ago when 3E was all new and shiny.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sun Nov 12, 2006 2:04 am  

    I'm advocating no such thing as laziness in design- there is enough of that already in published products unfortunately. Wink The point is, make the class to suit the purpose. What is the only class in 1e that has required class and level requirements? You guessed it- the bard. There is no reason not to do the same in any other rules set, be it 3.x or any other system, regardless of what is written to the contrary. Rules are meant to be guidelines, to be changed to suit your purpose as a dm. Rules are not there to shackle the dm. It's D&D, not a tax return. Fudge the rules as you want if it suits you- think outside of the box.

    As to PrC's I would certainly take more than 30 seconds when designing PrC requirements. As Falconer was merely asking for advice, that is what I gave. I think that Falconer should be the one who ultimately designs any prerequisites for his own version of the Bard class, if that is what he wants to do, which is why I didn't get too detailed. The point of the post was not to go into differing requirements for each individual tradition a Prestige Bard might come from, be it Druid, Cleric, Wizard, Sorcerer, Favored Soul, or whatever other odd-ball base spell casting class you want to use.

    If you are familiar with any of my postings, you will find that I am anything but lazy when it comes to designing PrC's. You may also notice that there are not any ability score or level requirements in any PrC's I've written and, by your own definition, they follow the rules quite exactingly. But as to designing PrC's, in the end, the rules belong to each individual dm. Imagine that, a dm doing with the rules whatever they want to. The guidelines in the DMG are there as guidielines/suggestions. Azmodeus isn't going to rise out of your flooor and take you down to fiery eternal torment if you break with the all-powerful writtten word in the DMG. As to not getting too specific regarding requirements, I'll point to this portion of the design section:

    "Make your prestige class as specific as possible, because you are designing it for your campaign, not everyone's D&D game."

    As I think Falconer should be making these final decisions, I chose not to include any as there is plenty of info to go on. I guess that makes me lazy.
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    Sun Nov 12, 2006 3:23 am  

    But ignoring a fundamental of prestige class design is like ignoring the reasoning behind giving a fighting class a good BAB. There are three things that should never be used. Not that should rarely be used, as in SW:RPG. Never. For consistency, for integration with other rules, for playability, you don't disregard basic tenets without reason. And yes, it is laziness to do otherwise, especially when there are other, subtler methods to achieve the same end. Methods that retain the style of the rest of the system.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:52 pm  

    The rules are your own. You can follow them or deviate from them as you will. Requiring whatever limits that you want implies nothing of laziness, but simply means you choose to do something in a different way, irregardless of what recommendations are written. The recommendations are there for those who have little or no experience with designing something. It's a guide plain and simple, as are all of the rules. Change anything you want to, acocourding to what works for you. Plenty of people play a conglomeration of 1e, 2e, and 3.x rules systems, using what they want and disregarding what they choose, but I guess they are all lazy, along with anybody else who doesn't agree with you.

    What I myself have personally written is subject to every design format of the PrC(because I am just too lazy to personally deviate from the format I guess). Even still, there is no reason why somebody cannot deviate from ANY written rule if it suits the type of game they want to play or suits their ultimate goal, and doing so is anything but lazy. As you seem to only want to be confrontational and prove your opinion to be the only viable one(which it is not) or the right one(which it also is not), there is no further point in discussing what amounts to gaming philosophy.

    I hope Falconer has gotten something out of the replies at any rate. Do what you want to Falconer(and everybody else)- it's your game.
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    Sun Nov 12, 2006 11:47 pm  

    It IS game design philosophy. Why introduce something that has no relation to, and is contradictory to, the rest of the ruleset?
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Mon Nov 13, 2006 5:21 pm  

    If you like a 1e feel in your game, and wish to configure the current rules set to mimic it, then go right ahead. If this means that you require class and level requirements to take a certain prestige class(the Prestige Bard in this instance) then that is just fine, even though it does not fall within the defined recommendations in the rulebook. Similarly, if you don't want to allow dwarves to be wizards in your campaign then go right ahead and set this limitation, even though it goes blatantly against the open design of 3.x as well. It is not wrong to do either of these things. It is a simple matter of choice regarding how you as the dm want to do things. Going outside of the rules is the choice of every dm. Everyone should feel free to create their own house rules, particularly if it suits exactly what they want to do.
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