Bard, the Sword and Music Master
Bards are skilled combatants with magical abilities that arise from their songs and musical expertise.
They are quick-witted and captivating individuals. They wander the land collecting lore and
telling stories. Many were orphans and runaways who became apprenticed to a wandering bard.
When bards join an adventuring group, it is because they wish to partake in the heroic deeds which they so often tell others about. In doing so, they hope to earn great renown.
Bards can use their music to make everyone in the group more competent with their weapons, more difficult to hit, more likely to avoid the effect of enemy spells, or more competent with their own spells. They can also harm, hypnotise or curse enemies and counter enemy spells.
Hit Dice, Proficiencies, Alignment
D10 Hit Die. Proficient with light armour, light shield, heavy shield. Starts with simple-weapons proficiency plus four selectable weapon-group proficiencies. Bards can be of any alignment.
Bard abilities: A bard can use bard abilities a number of times per day equal to (Intelligence modifier + Charisma modifier + Level)/2 with a minimum of once per day. There are five free-action abilities, called Bard Songs, and a number of standard-action abilities, called Bard Spells (available from Bard level 2). Applying a new Bard Song effect on a creature removes any earlier Bard Song effect affecting that creature.
Bard abilities cannot be used in silence areas, when mute, in heavy or medium armour or while holding a tower shield and a weapon. When two Bards are present in the party, their Bard Songs can affect different characters and creatures but any single creature can only be affected by one Bard Song effect at any time.
The use of a Bard Spell does not interrupt a Bard Song. The effect of Bard Songs also applies to the Bard himself. Bards can activate their songs and spell-like abilities while holding a light shield or heavy shield (but not a tower shield), while wielding a two-handed weapon or while wielding several weapons at the same time.
Bard can equip musical instruments in their Arms body slot. Musical instruments provide various benefits, such as an ability-score increase, Armour-Class increase or the ability to cast a Wizard spell as a Spell-Like Ability. In addition, musical instruments offer benefits related to their type: Bagpipes, Lute, Flute or Harp.
Bagpipes increase the radius of Pipes of Pain by five feet and the range from Close to Medium. Harps empower the effect of Healing Song, increasing the effect by 50%, and they increase the Difficulty Class of Dancing Rhyme by one point. Flutes enhance the effect of Cursed Dirge from four points to six points and they increase the area of effect of Zone of Silence by five feet. Lutes enhance the effect of Heavenly Melody by increasing the maximum number of affected Hit Dice by two points and they increase the Difficulty Class of Aria of Chaos by one point.
Song of Valiance: For four rounds, all allies in a 50' radius gain a +1 bonus to their attack roll and to their disarm, grapple, bullrush, sunder, trip and feint rolls. This bonus increases to +2 from level 8 and +3 from level 15. Supernatural ability.
Sanctuary Score: For four rounds, all allies in a 50' radius gain a +1 bonus to Armour Class (+2 from level 8, +3 from level 15). Supernatural ability.
Courage Canticle: For four rounds, all allies in a 50' radius gain a +1 bonus to Saving Throws (+2 from level 8, +3 from level 15). Supernatural ability.
Arcane Rhyme: For four rounds, allies in a 50' radius gain +1 to the Difficulty Class of their spells (+2 from level 8, +3 from level 15). Supernatural ability.
Battle March: For four rounds, allies in a 50' radius gain a +2 bonus to Damage Rolls (+4 from level 8, +6 from level 15). Supernatural ability.
Cursed Dirge: Single living target takes a -4 penalty to all attack rolls and saving throws for 1+1d6 rounds. Mind-affecting effect. Willpower negates. The Difficulty Class is 10 + Charisma modifier + Half of Level. Spell-like Ability.
Pipes of Pain: As the cleric spell Sound Burst. All targets in a circle of radius 10 feet take 1d8 points of sonic damage (no save) and are stunned for one round, unless they succeed on a Fortitude saving throw. The damage increases to 2d8 at character level 4 and 3d8 at level 6. The Difficulty Class is 10 + Charisma modifier + Half of Level. This is a Spell-like ability.
Heavenly Melody: As the wizard spell Hypnotic Pattern. Mind-affecting effect over a radius of 10 feet. Enemy targets with a total hit dice of 2d4 + 1 per level (up to 2d4+15) in the area of effect are fascinated for four rounds. Creatures with the lowest HD are affected first. Willpower negates. The Difficulty Class is 10 + Charisma modifier + Half of Level. This is a Spell-Like Ability. Fascinated creatures take no actions, but unlike the Sleeping condition they are not helpless and not vulnerable to a coup-de-grace. As with the Sleeping condition, striking a fascinated creature removes the effect and allies can shake the creature free of the spell using a standard action.
Zone of Silence: As the cleric spell Silence. Long Range. Duration 4 rounds + 1 per two levels. 20' radius circle. All creatures in the area of effect become silenced. Silenced creatures cannot cast spells with a verbal component and they are immune to sonic damage (like the damage from Sonic Burst and Shout), mind-affecting sound effects (like Bard Songs) and language-dependent effects (like the spell Control Person). Silenced creatures also take a -1 penalty to Armour Class, unless they have the Blindsight ability. Spell-like Ability.
Healing Song: As the cleric spell Cure Moderate Wounds, but the number of bonus points is not limited to 10. Medium Range. Undead creatures are not affected. Spell-like Ability.
Aria of Chaos: From Bard level 8. Mind-affecting effect. 20' radius circle. All enemy creatures in the area of effect are confused for 2d6 rounds if they fail on a Willpower save. If a target fails on its saving throw by five points or more, it gains the berserk condition instead. Each round, creatures with the berserk condition must attack the creature nearest to them. The Difficulty Class is 10 + Charisma modifier + Half of Level. Medium Range. Spell-like Ability.
Dancing Rhyme: From Bard level 15. Mind-affecting effect. 10' radius circle. Willpower negates. All enemy creatures in the area of effect start dancing in place. Victims take a -4 penalty to AC and -10 penalty on Reflex saving throws. Subjects also lose any AC bonus obtained from holding a shield. Lastly, they trigger attacks of opportunity every round on their turn. Duration: 1d4+1 rounds. The Difficulty Class is 10 + Charisma modifier + Half of Level. Close Range. Spell-like Ability.
Lingering Song: The Bard Songs last an extra two rounds.
Improved Dirge: You receive a bonus of +2 on the Difficulty Class of Cursed Dirge and the effect's duration increases by one round.
Improved Pipes: Pipes of Pain deals two extra points of damage, and from Bard level 8 it deals 4d8 points of sonic damage instead of 3d8.
Sickening Pipes: You gain access to a version of Pipes of Pain that deals the same damage and makes targets sickened for 2d4 rounds, instead of stunning them for one round. In addition, the range of Pipes of Pain increases from Close to Medium, or from Medium to Long when the Bard is using Bagpipes.
Improved Melody: Heavenly Melody affects 3d4 + 1 per level of HD, up to 3d4+20.
Improved Silence: The radius of Zone of Silence increases from 20' to 30'.
Improved Healing: Healing Song increases from 2d8 to 3d8.
Improved Chaos: The radius of Aria of Chaos increases from 20' to 30'. Requires Bard level 8.
Improved Dance: The duration of Dancing Rhyme increases by two rounds. Requires Bard level 15.
Armoured Musician: You can use bard abilities while wearing medium armour (but not heavy armour). Requires: Bard Level 6, Medium Armour Proficiency.
Bard Stamina: You gain two additional bard-ability uses per day.
Fast Bard Spells I: The bard can activate the bard spells Cursed Dirge, Pipes of Pain and Heavenly Melody with a move action rather than a standard action.
Fast Bard Spells II: The bard can activate the bard spells Zone of Silence, Healing Song, Aria of Chaos and Dancing Rhyme with a move action rather than a standard action. Requires: Fast Bard Spells I.
March 2011-2018. Last Update 1 October 2018. All rights reserved.