Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My least Favorite Class: The Bard

This is by far my least favorite class as outside of middle and late second edition I have yet to see an version I really like.

Through I heard good things about them I have never seen the 0e Dragon Bard, Labyrinth Lord or the Swords and Wizardry takes on the class

The AD&D 1e Bard was a rules bending , prestige class like piece of crud no one I know played. Total crud ...

and the 3x Bards while playable not only suffer from having their own spell list with many unfitting spells but they have an annoying "buff" method. I do like the concept of inspiring people, the implementation left much to be desired in the book keeping department ...

Now the Pathfinder Bard is a bit better, its easier to use the "Performances" and they are a lot more versatile however the annoying resource issue is still there . Also while the .alt Bards are pretty cool but IMO it still suffers from the spell list problem. Its not bad, its just not quite what I needed ..

Now of all the Bards, I'd say the 2e version was most interesting, there were a wide range of very interesting .alt bards in the form of kits and late on, the generally hateful Skills and Powers supplement, redeemed itself a bit and became a pretty good tool kit for all sorts of concepts, including Fighter/Mages.

Also , importantly it used exactly the same magic system as a Wizard so the magic issue was done away with. And yes there were Bard spells. Nothing stopped Wizards from learning them and that was how it should be....

Now if I were designing a Bard I get rid of the spells and make it more like the Marshal from the Miniatures Handbook. Buffs would be immediate broad based and not require tracking rounds per day.

I don't know if they'd have magic (probably not) but if they did, the spell levels would align exactly with Sorcerer or Wizard and be interchangeable with whatever the class was ...

Well that my opinion anyway...

If you have a most disliked class or some thoughts on the Bard, fire away


  1. BaRD was my favorite 1e class. To me it was the ultimate adventurer class, being able to use weak magic, have some theif abilities and hold his own (for a time) in combat.

  2. The versatility was cool but we never played D&D at that high a level. I also thought the rules were hackish as presented in the PHB.

    The 2e Bard however was like you said for me. Also some of the kits were realy cool, Meistersingers, Skaads, Blades, all of those had a lot of play potential IMO.