Born in a unique harmony with the Well of Souls, bards are inherently in tune with the resonance that exists between all things. With training, this ability manifests in the ability to alter the relationship between creatures, objects, the environment and even themselves, tapping into the power of the Well the perform alterations to reality itself.
Sound interacts most strongly with resonance, so bards have adapted music and song to aid in the uses of their powers, resulting in the development of a disproportionate number of techniques that rely on sound or the emotion music stirs. The idea of a bard with a flute or a lute has become iconic despite musical talent having no bearing on bardic capabilities.
‘Bard’ is a term for specific such folk who attend or have attended the Bardic College of Harpsfell and have their training directed toward an adventuring lifestyle of supporting heroic deeds, but so-called ‘wild bards’ appear in the rest of the world, sometimes self-taught, sometimes unaware they are using the powers of the Well at all, but always with a touch if innate magic unrelated to the eight elements.
The bard class can represent…
- Students and graduates of the bardic college
- Local wisefolk and magical healers
- Scholars who have picked up a few tricks from their studies.
- ‘Normal’ people born with strange powers
- Charismatic leaders who use supernatural abilities to aid their followers.
|Level||Class Features||General Features|
|1||Bardic Lore, Bardic Knack, Bardic Secrets, Ritualist||Feat, 3 Expertise Points, +2 to two Ability Scores|
|4||Bonus Feat||+2 to one Ability Score|
|5||Bardic Knack||Feat, 1 Expertise Point|
|8||Bonus Feat||+2 to one Ability Score|
At 2nd level and every other level thereafter, a Bard gains a bonus feat from the Bard bonus feat list or that have the [Bard] keyword.
Bards accumulate a vast array of piecemeal knowledge throughout their training and careers. Bard is always considered trained in any Knowledge skill even if they have no ranks in it.
Whenever a bard would make a Knowledge check with a Knowledge skill they have ranks in, they may also roll 1d20 + character level + INT modifier and take the highest result. They may also use this roll instead of rolling a check of a Knowledge skill they do not have ranks in.
Bards gain access to special abilities called Bardic Knacks starting at 1st level and every other level thereafter.
The bardic traditions involve philosophies revolving around how best to direct their efforts and abilities to change the world. The choice of philosophy influences the bard’s approach to this quest as reflected by their choice of the direct the action,be the distraction, or moment of clarity abilities:
|Direct The Action – Standard Action – 3FP|
In the First Philosophy of bardic tradition concerns identifying a hero who might being light to the world and standing behind them, guiding their destiny as a mentor and adviser.
One ally within 5 squares that can hear you may perform a Simple Strike against one enemy within reach or range.
|Be the Distraction – Standard Action – 3FP|
In the Second Philosophy of bardic tradition, the bard stands side by side with their chosen hero, having a direct hand in carving out their destiny.
Choose one enemy within 5 squares that can hear you. Until the start of your next turn, if that enemy makes an attack that does not target you, or uses an ability that allows a saving throw does not include you as a target, that attack roll or save DC is reduced by 2 and cannot score a critical hit.
|Moment of Clarity – Full Round Action – 3FP|
In the Third Philosophy of bardic tradition, the bard steps forward and becomes the hero they seek, gathering others around them and actively seeking their own goals.
Regain 3SP. Until the start of your next turn, you grant combat advantage to all enemies that attack you.
Starting at 1st level, a Bard gains the ability to cast Bardic Secrets spells at the listed level. At first level, they know 3 first-level secrets. At each additional level, through study, improvisation or the so-called ‘will of the Well’, they learn an additional secret.
Bonus Spell Points
A Bard gains additional bonus spell points each Bard level equal to their CHA modifier.
Bards are taught or teach themselves the basics of rituals as part of their initial learning process. A Bard starts play knowing the alter wardrobe ritual and a number of Level 0 or Level 1 Common or Uncommon rituals equal to their INT modifier.