Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Larius Firetongue's School of Sorcery Excerpt: the Bard Class



In some lands they are known as sha’ir, poets who communicate with spirits in exchange for knowledge and magical power. In others they are skalds, warriors who retell the deeds of legendary heroes to inspire their fellows in battle. And in the distant south they are griots, lorekeepers who pass down the history and traditions of their people. Whatever form they take, bards are learned folk who express their knowledge through performance and magical powers.

Prime Attribute: Intelligence and Charisma 13+ (a bard character gains a +5% experience bonus only if all of their prime attributes are 13 or higher)
Hit Dice: 1d6/level (a bard gains just one hp/level after 9th)
Armor/Shield Permitted: Bards can only wear leather armor and use shields.
Weapons Permitted: Bards can use any weapon they can get their hands on, although they need at least one hand free in order to play an instrument and cast spells.
Attack Tables: Bards use the Magic-User, Thief, and Assassin attack table.

Table: Bard Advancement


Level
Experience
Hit Die (d6)
Saving Throw
Class Abilities
1st
0
1
15
Spell Casting, Social Butterfly
2nd
2,000
2
14
Citizen of the World
3rd
4,000
3
13
Fascinate
4th
8,000
4
12

5th
13,000
5
11
Thief Magic Items
6th
20,000
6
10

7th
40,000
7
9

8th
60,000
8
8

9th
90,000
9
7
Establish College
10th
130,000
9+1 hp
6

11th
200,000
9+2 hp
5

12th
400,000
9+3 hp
4

13th
800,000
9+4 hp
4

14th
950,000
9+5 hp
4

15th
1,100,000
9+6 hp
4

16th
1,250,000
9+7 hp
4

17th
1,400,000
9+8 hp
4

18th
1,550,000
9+9 hp
4

19th
1,700,000
9+10 hp
4

20th
1,850,000
9+11 hp
4



Table: Bard Spells


Level
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6h
1st
1
-
-
-
-
-
2nd
2
-
-
-
-
-
3rd
2
1
-
-
-
-
4th
2
1
-
-
-
-
5th
3
1
1
-
-
-
6th
3
2
1
-
-
-
7th
3
2
2
1
-
-
8th
4
2
2
1
-
-
9th
4
3
2
2
-
-
10th
4
3
3
2
1
-
11th
5
3
3
3
2
-
12th
5
4
3
4
3
-
13th
5
4
4
4
4
1
14th
6
4
5
4
4
2
15th
6
5
5
4
4
3
16th
6
5
5
4
4
3
17th
7
5
6
5
4
3
18th
7
6
6
5
5
3
19th
7
6
6
5
5
3
20th
8
6
7
5
5
3


Requirements and Limitations

Musical Dependency for Spellcasting

Bards can only work their magic when able to perform. They tap into the collective consciousness of mortal culture and emotion as expressed through song, tales, and all manner of art throughout the ages. Much like a cleric’s holy symbol or a druid’s mistletoe, a bard needs a musical instrument to focus their spells. Singing, dancing, and similar performances are an exception to this, but require the bard's hands to be free as they gesticulate for dramatic effect.

Class Abilities

Spell Casting

Bards cast spells from a specific list. Like magic-users they carry a spellbook known as a bardic journal which they use to prepare their spells each day. The spellbooks of bards and magic-users are cross-compatible yet limited; a magic-user can transcribe spells from a bardic journal provided that said spell is on the magic-user spell list, and vice-versa.

The contents of bardic journals appear much like a private diary, with haphazard notes, musical sheets, and all manner of trivia with little rhyme or reason.

Saving Throw Bonuses

Bards gain a +2 bonus on saving throws vs. mind-controlling and sound-based effects.

Social Butterfly

Whether they’re a warrior-poet, traveling minstrel, or esteemed spiritualist, bards find it easy to influence people. As long as they’re in a settlement of at least 100 people, a bard can find basic accommodations at an inn or similar place of service for a party of five provided they entertain patrons.

Additionally, a bard can roll 1d20 once per day whenever they’re in a similarly-sized settlement (magic schools, roaming armies, and the like count for this). If the result is less than or equal to their Charisma, they pick up a piece of information about latest gossip and upcoming events which folks might otherwise only volunteer to trusted friends and not complete strangers.

Citizen of the World

Bards pick up many phrases, stories, and speech patterns of different lands as well as their writing. Starting at 2nd level a bard gains fluency in a bonus language, and another language at every even-numbered level thereafter.

Fascinate

A bard’s performance is mesmerizing, whatever form it takes. When outside of combat a bard is capable of entrancing 2d4 + level in Hit Dice worth of spectators. Those with Hit Dice greater than or equal to the bard’s can roll a saving throw to resist, but those affected become distracted and unaware of their surroundings. This can allow thieves to sneak around or enemy soldiers to mount a surprise attack.

This effect immediately ends if at least one member of the audience is attacked or killed in an obvious fashion, or if a person or event interrupts the bard’s performance.

May Use Thief Items

Bards can use any magic items usable by Thieves, plus any magic weapons, armor (leather only), and shields.

Establish College

At 9th level, the bard may establish or become leader of a bardic college. Such places act as centers of learning for new initiates, and contain much in the way of art, music, and culture. The bard will attract students and teachers over time seeking to learn by their example.

Bard Spell List

Spells marked with an asterisk (*) are detailed in the New Spells section on page xx.

1st: Charm Person, Detect Magic, Good Cheer*, Keen Ear*, Read Languages, Read Magic, Song of the First Era*, Song of the Hopeful Knight*

2nd: Cure Light Wounds, ESP, Magic Mouth, Phantasmal Force, Righteous Castigation*, Song of the Stalwart Companions*, Tongues*

3rd: Crescendo*, Fear, Invisibility, Knock, Mirror Image, Rope Trick, Suggestion

4th: Charm Monster, Confusion, Cure Serious Wounds, Danse Macabre*, Legend Lore

5th: Charm Plants, Contact Other Plane, Quest


6th: Conjuration of Elementals, Feeblemind, Mass Charm, Song of the Last Great Hero*


New Spells

Crescendo
Level: Bard 3
Range: 30’ radius

The caster produces a high-pitched note. Targets within range take 1d6 damage per level of the cast, and fragile objects with a low natural resonance (crystals, glass, etc) shatter. A successful saving throw means that the target takes only half damage.

Danse Macabre
Level: Bard 4th
Range: 60’ radius
Duration: Concentration or until dispelled

This spell takes the form of a recited song or tale, taking 1 round to cast. Upon completion, all undead within range of the spellcaster feel an overwhelming compulsion to dance for the duration of the spell. Mindless undead are automatically affected, while intelligent undead can resist with a saving throw. Dancing undead have a 50% chance per round to fight or cast spells normally, otherwise they spend the entire round dancing. Regardless of the result, dancing undead can only move at half speed.

The caster can only affect a number of undead whose total Hit Dice is twice his own.

Good Cheer
Level: Bard 1
Duration: 8 hours
Range: 60’ radius

After casting this spell, those resting nearby the bard find their spirits uplifted. When recovering damage naturally from uninterrupted rest, a character heals 1 hit point plus 1 hit point per level of the bard provided they remain within the spell’s radius. For example, someone resting while under the benefit of this spell cast by a fifth-level Bard heals 6 hit points per day.

Keen Ear**
Level: Bard 1, Unseen 1
Duration: 6 turns
Range: Touch

The subject gains the ability to hear noise as a level 3 thief. If the character already has the ability to hear noise at an exceptional level, this grants a further +1 on his hear noise checks.


Righteous Castigation
Level: Bard 2
Duration: 1d6 turns
Range: 30’

The caster condemns the target for their shortfalls and misdeeds. If the target fails a saving throw, they suffer a +2 penalty (-2 if ascending) on Armor Class as they’re rattled by the words. Lawful targets gain a +2 bonus on their Saving Throw, and mindless beings and those of pure evil such as demons have no conscience and are immune to this spell.

Song of the First Era
Level: Bard 1
Duration: Instantaneous
Range: N/A

This spell takes the form of a recited song or tale, taking 3 rounds to cast. Upon completion the bard makes an Intelligence roll in regards to recalling information, treating their attribute as 4 points higher for this purpose. If successful, a part of the performance provides an insightful piece of lore relevant to the situation at hand.

Song of the Hopeful Knight
Level: Bard 1
Duration: Concentration or until dispelled
Range: 60’ radius

This spell takes the form of a recited song or tale, taking 1 round to cast. Upon completion all allies within range gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls. This bonus persists for as long as the bard concentrates or until the spell is dispelled.

Song of the Last Great Hero
Level: Bard 6
Duration: Concentration or until dispelled
Range: 30’

This spell takes the form of a recited song or tale, taking 1 round to cast. Upon completion a spectral spirit of 16 HD appears, who was a renowned mortal in their old life. The spirit obeys the cast only for as long as the caster concentrates on it, after which they will discorporate and return to their home plane.

Last Great Hero: HD 16; AC 3 [16]; Atk Spectral weapon or spell ray (3d6); MV Fly 15; SV 4; AL Same as caster; CL/XP N/A; Special Undead Traits

Song of the Stalwart Companions
Level: Bard 2
Duration: Concentration or until dispelled
Range: 60’

This spell takes the form of a recited song or tale, taking 1 round to cast. Upon completion all allies within the radius gain morale (if said ally is not a player character) and gain a +2 bonus on saving throws versus spells and effects which would cause fear or alter their mental state such as charm person and confusion. If any allies are under said effects when the spell is cast, they immediately gain a new saving throw to resist.

Tongues
Level: Bard 2, Magic-User 3
Duration: 1 hour per level
Range: Touch

The target of this spell gains the ability to speak and understand any verbal language, but not to read or write it.



**Keen Ear first appeared in Magical Theorems & Dark Pacts by Dyson Logos.