Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bards in Generica

DM Note: This class has only been playtested a little, and most likely still has holes and inconsistencies in its design. Feel free to point any out in the comments. Thank you.

There is no class more divisive than bards. Some people love them. A great deal more hate or dislike them.

I think the “jack of all trades” mindset with bards has actually crippled the class. A bard plays at being a rogue, but does not get the benefits of one. A bard has the appeal of a wizard, but with less capacity for spells. A bard fits into the role of a leader, but isn't as adept as a cleric.

Flavour wise, they’re better than any other class at doing one particular thing: Performing. Other classes aren’t busting out lutes, or using their knowledge of tall tales to gain an advantage. Why not go all in with that concept. So here’s a bard that is defined as being almost 100% support. Instead of being a dabbler in many things, they do one thing, really really well.

Bards in Remlia

"Oh, you're absconding with our cleric's body? Let me play you the song of my people"
-Remlian bard, one round before being eaten to death by a business of dire-raccoons.

"Bards make queer adventuring folk. They don't fight much, they're no good with a blade in a pinch, and I 'aint never seen one castin' charms or hexes. Half the time I wanted to put me boot through their lutes. But while I journeyed with one we never had to sleep in stables, me belly was always full, and we was all generally more pleased with things when they were done. Can't complain, I suppose"
-Dwarf from the Praxis-Territories.

"Yug Nagyup!!!"
-Goblin curse against bards, roughly translates to "Play Freebird!!!".

The party is always hale and hearty with a bard along.
Generica Bard

The bard is a master of performance, influence, lore, and deception. She is a positive force in a company of heroes, ensuring their (and her) story will be heard.

Race: In Remlia, bards are typically human or halflings. Tiefling bards are also not uncommon, considered a travelling novelty. In systems which treat race as class, bards are human or human-ish.

Hit Points: Bards gain hit points as rogues/thieves do.

Attacks: Bards do not gain bonuses to attack rolls outside of their ability modifiers. They do not start play with any weapon proficiencies.

Skills: Bards have access to skills as rogues/thieves do. They start play with a +5 class bonus to performance and persuasion.

Saves: Bards are especially good at getting out of tight spots, and are wise to the trickery of fey creatures. They add their proficiency bonus to Dexterity saving throws, and have advantage on saves against being charmed or put to sleep. If you’re using an older 5-save system, they save 2 points better than magic-users.

Equipment: Bards start play with 1d4 instruments (player’s choice). They are proficient with all of these 1d4 instruments. They also start play with a thick notebook, an ink pot, and quills. They get to roll 1d4 + 1 times on the ‘Random Trinket’ table.

Bard’s Chant: Bards are best at assessing a situation and encouraging their allies/discouraging their foes. This can take the form of song, chant, playing their instrument, or even just stirring advice. Once per round, as an action (or reaction) the bard can grant an ally within 60 ft of her, that can see or hear her, advantage on an any roll. The bard can also use this to grant disadvantage to an enemy creature’s roll (same distance).

Grand Experiences: Bards are famous for embellishing tales of their companions’ heroism. While the bard is in the party, everyone earns 10 + level percent more experience (Ex: A 3rd level bard earns herself and her party 13% more experience. If they receive 200xp each, the total is bumped up to 226xp each).

Stupid Hat: Bards often adopt the peculiar fashions of esoteric nobles and scions of forgotten civilizations. This makes them stand out like sore thumbs, but it attracts the attention of the ruling class. The bard starts play with a really ugly, stupid looking hat. While wearing this hat, the bard has advantage on all rolls dealing with nobles or royalty, but they take a -1 penalty to AC from all attacks.

Leveling Up: Bards in Generica cannot advance past 10th level. Afterwards they must multiclass to keep leveling up.

Prof. Bonus
Spell Slots
Bard’s Chant, Grand Experiences, Stupid Hat
Bardic Spellcasting, Busking
Custom Song
Ability Score Increase
The Perfect Bluff
Custom Song
Musical Patron
Ability Score Increase
Custom Song
Bardic Spellcasting: As an action you can cast any spell in the spell list provided you are able to cast spells of that level. This spell can be decided on in the moment, and does not need to be prepared. The spell is played like a song, and only requires a verbal component. Bards are able to cast any spell, from any other class, so long that it is of a level equal to half of your current level, rounded down (Ex: a 4th level bard can cast up to 2nd level spells. At 4th level she has access to 2 spells per day).

Busking: Once per day, when in town you can play music for renown, gossip, and money. When in a public area with people in it, you can make a perform skill check. Success on a DC 10 earns you 1d6 gold pieces. DC 15 earns you 2d6 gold pieces and the positive attention of an innkeeper. DC 20 earns you 2d10 x 5 gold pieces, and a choice bit of information/secrets valuable to the current adventure (NPC info, secret passages, tactics of an enemy, the GM’s gotta give you something).

Custom Song: Bards are unlike other casters. Their power comes solely from themselves and their collected stories and songs. A custom song can be played once per day as an action, and has a minute duration equal to 1 + your bard level. You can end a custom song as a swift action. Unless otherwise stated, you are immune to the effects of your custom song. When you first receive a custom song, roll on the tables below: a d4, a d8, a d10, and another d12. With each result combined you should have your custom song’s title, tone, and effect.

Bards gain a custom song at 3rd, 6th, and 9th level. If this feels too infrequent at the table, GM's are encouraged to adjust as they see fit. GM's are also encouraged to expand the Custom Song table with new names, effects, and tones as the game progresses; crossing off taken entries and writing in new ones.

Song Title (d4)
Song Subject (d8)
Song Tone (d10)
Song Effect (d12)
Lady’s - twice as effective against female creatures.
Joy - Allies within 10 ft of you have resistance against fear.
The ghosts of all creatures that have died in the immediate area (DM’s discretion) in the past 1d4 days appear before you, lending their aid to you.
King’s - twice as effective against nobility.
Sorrow - All creatures within 30 ft of you have disadvantage on saving throws
Your song allows all allies that can see/hear you to push through the pain of battle, gaining damage resistance.
Pauper’s - twice as effective against commoners.
Hymn - All non-evil clerics, paladins, cultists within 60 ft gain 5 temporary hit points.
Your song charms 1d4 creatures that you can see. These creatures will act friendly to you for the rest of the song’s duration. If harmed or attacked, the effect ends.
Dragon’s -twice as effective against dragons.
Lament - You have disadvantage on saving throws.
2d6 creatures that can see/hear you are overcome with sadness. They must make a Con save (Hard DC) or fall prone, weeping for the song’s duration.

Fairie’s - twice as effective against fey creatures.
Ballad - Allies that can hear you heal an amount of hit points equal to your level.
Your song imbues all allies that can see/hear you with heightened awareness, while dulling the senses of nearby enemies. Allies get +1 to all rolls, Enemies get -1 to all rolls.

Soldier’s - twice as effective against those in heavy armour.
Waltz - All allies within 25 ft get a 10 ft bonus to their speed.
Your song strikes dread into those who hear it. All creatures who can see/hear you must save vs fear. Functions similar to Turn Undead (except non-lethal).

Accursed's - twice as effective against undead.
Dirge - All creatures within 30 ft of you are slowed.
Your song is meant for you and you alone. For the song’s duration, you have a +5 bonus to all rolls and AC.

Bruiser’s - twice as effective against large creatures.
Samba - All creatures within 30 ft of you are immune to opportunity attacks.
Your song riles up the blood of martial combatants. All fighters/barbarians/rangers/monks in your party fly into a rage (they gain the rage power temporarily).

March - At the start of the song, you can command 1 creature you can see to move up to its speed in any direction as a swift action.
Your song causes magic to weaken and dissipate. All spells cast by creatures who can see and hear you no longer function.  

Aside - No effect.
Your song causes every creature that can hear and see you to suddenly remember their mothers. For each creature, roll on a random reaction table. Creatures also have disadvantage to all rolls for 1d12 rounds.

Your song enrages your allies. All allies that can see or hear you get disadvantage to all rolls, but if they succeed their rolls are treated as critical successes (maximum damage, flawless execution, etc).

Your song’s cadence vibrates at just the right frequency. One target that can see or hear you must make a Constitution save (moderate DC). If they fail, they are immediately knocked unconscious.

The Perfect Bluff: You've become adept at weaving tales and telling pretty lies. Now, you have the perfect lie. Once per game (as in, once per whole campaign) you have the ability to tell a perfect lie or perform the perfect bluff, which anyone will believe without question. This bluff has the ability to topple kingdoms, incite war, or bring tyrants to their knees, weeping. Devilish, Demonic, and Celestial beings are allowed to make a save against believing such a lie, but they do so at disadvantage.

Much like a wish spell, or a sacred artifact, this is a power with many unforeseen consequences, and should be used carefully.

Musical Patron: You’re now talented and noteworthy enough to receive a letter of patronage from a person or institution devoted to honing the skills of musicians, poets, and storytellers. Provided you can reach them (Identity and location provided by the DM), you gain access to a household and all of its amenities. This includes a room, a monthly stipend, provided meals, and access the wisdom of various instructors and libraries. You’re also now trained in the playing an additional instrument, which is loaned to you for free.
However, you will be required to perform for your patron at her/his leisure. Failure to do so may result in your patron abandoning you and retaking any possessions given to you.
Bards dressed in the Gran-Remiel style. Note the stupid hats.
Bard dressed in the Figaro style. Also, stupid hat. 
Catperson bard. Ostentatious clothing, stupid hat. 
Stupid hat. 

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