The Bard, Take 2: Bard Class for Fantasy AGE

After getting feedback on the Swashbuckler and realizing that there was a good deal of design space for it, I decided to try making Bard a class as opposed to an archetype. I think by how easily it came together that there is definitely a niche for it as the class that focuses on roleplaying rather than combat. Some have commented that the Performer’s Tumble may be a little too much, but I am willing to see what comes of it during playtesting, I just may have to introduce this as a NPC.

BARD

Primary Abilities: Accuracy, Communication, Dexterity, and Intelligence

Secondary Abilities: Constitution, Fighting, Perception, Strength, and Willpower

Starting Health: 20 + Constitution + 1d6

Weapon Groups: Bows, Brawling, Light Blades, and Staves.

LEVEL 1

Bard Song: You are able to work your magic through your music. You choose a song you will be using and then use the Activate action to begin your Bard Song mode. While Bard Song is active, you gain the benefits of the song and you are treated as having an arcane device for the purposes of casting spells.

The first song you have is the Song of Valor. Allies with 12 yards of you that can see and hear you gain a +1 bonus on attack rolls while Bard Song is active. Ending Bard Song is a free action.

Class Cross-Training: You are treated as a Mage and Rogue for the purpose of taking talents.

Magic Training, Bard: You coax the magic in the world around you to spring forth with your music. You choose two magic talents, but unlike a mage, you are limited to choosing between Air, Healing, Heroic, Fate, Divination, or Shadow Arcana.

You also use Communication instead of Willpower for calculating Spellpower, regaining MP, and determining the effects of spells.

Magic Points, Bard: You start with a number of magic points equal to 5 + Communication + 1d6. You spend magic points when you cast spells. You regain them through rest and meditation. You gain more magic points as you rise in level. From levels 2 to 10, you gain Communication + 1d6 magic points whenever you gain a new level. From levels 11 to 20, you gain only your Communication in MPs because increasing your power at higher levels is not as easy.

Performer’s Tumble: You can prepare yourself to dodge an attack. You use a Ready action and can select one attack roll against you until your next turn that must succeed an opposed test vs. your Dexterity (Acrobatics) in order to hit.

Starting Talents: You become a Novice in one of the following talents: Command, Intrigue, or Oratory. You also start as a Novice in Music.

LEVEL 2

Stunt Bonus: Your biting wit gets the better of your foes. You can perform the Taunt stunt for 1 stunt point instead of the usual 2.

69bbd96ce1f99ad355ccbe1f2c742f19LEVEL 3

New Talent: You become a Novice in a new talent or gain a degree in a talent you already have.

LEVEL 4

New Specialization: You may choose one specialization for your class. You gain the Novice degree of its specialization talent.

LEVEL 5

New Talent: You become a Novice in a new talent or gain a degree in a talent you already have.

Stunt Bonus: You know how to work a room. You can perform the Sway the Crowd stunt for 1 stunt point instead of the usual 2.

LEVEL 6

New Specialization Talent: You gain the Journeyman degree in the specialization talent you gained at level 4.

Song of Friendship: You and your allies gain a +1 bonus to Communication (Etiquette, Investigation, Persuasion, and Seduction) tests while Bard Song is active.

LEVEL 7

New Talent: You become a Novice in a new talent or gain a degree in a talent you already have.

LEVEL 8

New Specialization Talent: You gain the Master degree in the specialization talent you gained at level 4.

Song of Captivation: Once per round while Bard Song is active, you can attempt to captivate one enemy within 16 yards that can see and hear you. This is an opposed test of your Communication (Performance) vs. the target’s Willpower (Self-Discipline). If you win, the target can take no actions on his or her next turn.

LEVEL 9

New Talent: You become a Novice in a new talent or gain a degree in a talent you already have.

Stunt Bonus: You are not easily flustered. You can perform the Tower of Will stunt for 3 stunt points instead of the usual 4.

LEVEL 10

Expert Diplomacy: When making Communication advanced tests,􏰊􏰂􏰃 you can add your focus bonus to your Stunt Die if you have an applicable ability focus. If you have the same focus twice, this bonus increases to +3 as well.

SPECIALIZATIONS

CHRONICLER
Requirements: You must have Intelligence 2 or higher and Lore (Novice).

Novice: You are a collector of histories. If you fail an Intelligence (Historical Lore) test, you can re-roll it, but must keep the results of the second roll.

Journeyman: You are a master of the written word. Any tests that require you to understand a written work, such as Intelligence (Cryptography, Research, and Writings) only takes half as long to complete. You can also copy written works twice as fast and create very convincing forgeries of documents that you are familiar with or have a copy of, however, the GM is the ultimate arbiter.

Master: You can call upon the heroes of old with the Song of Heroes Returned. Once per day while Bard Song is active, you can make a TN 17 Communication (Performance) ability test for every unconscious ally within 10 yards. If you succeed, your ally gains health equal to the Stunt Die + your Communication.

FIREDANCER
Requirements: You must have Dexterity and Willpower 2 or higher.

Novice: You dazzle onlookers with your performance. Allies and enemies only need to see you in order to be effected by your Bard Song. You can also take the Fire Arcana talent.

Journeyman: You become inured to heat and flame. You reduce the damage you take from fire and fire effects, such as Fire Arcana spells, by an amount equal to your Willpower x 2.

Master: You learn to call fire with your song, and learn the Song of the Dancing Dragon. You can cast Fire Arcana spells for -1 MP (minimum 1 MP) while Bard Song is active.

SKALDsavage
Requirements: You must have Communication and Accuracy or Fighting 2 or higher.

Novice: You take up arms alongside your allies. You can take the Armor Training talent and reduce the Strain for casting spells in armor by 2.

Journeyman: You spur your allies’ steps onward with ballads, sagas, and songs. You and your allies move 1-1/4 times faster than normal when traveling overland and not in combat.

Master: You inspire your allies into a frenzy with the Song of Fury. A number of allies equal to your Communication within 12 yards that can see and hear you gain +2 bonus on Willpower (Courage) and Willpower (Morale) tests, and +1 bonus on your damage rolls in melee combat. However, they suffer a –1 penalty to Defense and to Perception tests while Bard Song is active.

You also ignore 4 strain while casting spells in armor.

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