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Author Topic: Bards need to be taken back to their origins  (Read 2122 times)

Dropbear

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Bards need to be taken back to their origins
« on: January 15, 2022, 09:39:44 PM »
I’m all alone here probably, but I think the bards of 1E were the most awesome, fun to play, and cool. The bards in further editions were kind of wish-washy in both design and intent. Arcane bards with wizard spells really leave me feeling cold. And I dislike those 4E archer bards the most of all.

OSE bards kinda attempt to go back to their beginnings by giving them clerical spells, but still leave something to be desired for me.

I feel like Castles & Crusades bards, using the class and a half multiclassing rules, move towards the original design of bards best of all out of anything I have read in a while. I also really like the Hyperborea bards, as well.

Anyone else feel this way?

Pat

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Re: Bards need to be taken back to their origins
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2022, 10:07:05 PM »
I think bards need to be taken back to their origins, but the origins I'm thinking of are a bit older.

I like the C&C bard, but it's really just a spellless but tough version of the 3e bard. The 1e bard is another interesting example that does capture at least some of the Celtic feel with the druid spells, lore, and so on; but even that version is a bit too much of a minstrel. Not familiar with the OSE or Hyperborean bards.

Taliesin is my idea of a bard. The problem is that requires cultural context and an alternate method of knowing and magic, and has to fight against the rockstar dilettante archetype that's become too strongly associated with bards in D&D and its influences.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2022, 10:09:07 PM by Pat »

jeff37923

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Re: Bards need to be taken back to their origins
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2022, 10:17:01 PM »
The sweet spot for me is the AD&D 2E Bard and the D&D 3.x Bard. Functional jack-of-all-trades with access to a lot information from medieval media and social interaction.
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Wrath of God

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Re: Bards need to be taken back to their origins
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2022, 10:51:48 PM »
Yeah, I must say within D&D I doubt it's easy to bring it back to Celtic context. Then of course Druids with their nature worship from the very get go were some weird hippy cult in D&D, not original augurs and tribal memory keepers. Sure they were associated with oaks - but most of priesthood in Northern Indoeuropean culture cared about oaks as those were holy trees (that's why Saint Boniface cut one when preaching among Saxons). Going from there to nature-tree magic was already quite off.

And augury does not works that well for RPG for obvious reasons.

So I'd probably go with what's already there - D&D as it's own genre, with own archetypes. Which means bard is somehow musical quasi-magician.
I sort of enjoy them being truly jacks of all trades. It would sort of pull together their insane history through edition - druidic, divine, rougish, magical magic boosters, arcane lore, arcane leader in 4e, psychic spellcaster in PF2. Put it all into big mixer and crush together.

I'd go more with sage as basic social role, with minstrel being just on many options of jacky nature of bard, but their overall combat-utlity roles I'd well how to say it. If we were using 4E, he'd be able to take powers from each power source and class (though with power limits stronger than them) and be forced to take them from at least 3 sources. Mess.

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Gog to Magog

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Re: Bards need to be taken back to their origins
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2022, 10:03:24 PM »
AD&D 2E is also my sweet spot for the Bard. I honestly hate the 'magic music' version of Bard in any iteration from video games to tabletop. I hate it. It's just so insipid and makes combat a farce.

If I want to fight people with music, I'll play a dubstep, bass-dropping, flesh-liquefying Noise Marine, thank you very much.
He said only: "Men shall die for this". He meant the words.

Dropbear

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Re: Bards need to be taken back to their origins
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2022, 10:09:48 PM »
The overuse of Vicious Mockery in the 5E games I have been a part of as of late makes me want to gag…

Bedrockbrendan

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Re: Bards need to be taken back to their origins
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2022, 11:03:47 PM »
The sweet spot for me is the AD&D 2E Bard and the D&D 3.x Bard. Functional jack-of-all-trades with access to a lot information from medieval media and social interaction.

Same for me. I still have fond memories of the Complete Bard's Handbook for 2E. They were a bit on the ren-faire side, but they fit and were great in the hands of a player who knew how to make them 'sing'

Aglondir

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Re: Bards need to be taken back to their origins
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2022, 11:31:30 PM »
The overuse of Vicious Mockery in the 5E games I have been a part of as of late makes me want to gag…

One of the several reasons why I won't play 5E anymore.

cavalier973

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Re: Bards need to be taken back to their origins
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2022, 09:43:33 AM »
Interesting that the guy with the nickname “the Bard” was a playwright instead of a musician.

My view of bards comes from “The Chronicles of Prydain”, where bards played harps, but were more known as the keepers of ancient lore. Fflewdur Fflam spends most of the series acting as one, but isn’t officially a bard. Adaon in “The Black Cauldron” is the son of the Chief Bard, Taliesin, as I recall, but in that story has not yet taken the test to enter the profession. He gives Taran a brooch that increases the wearer’s insight and perception, but Taran eventually realizes that Adaon had these attributes already.

Banjo Destructo

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Re: Bards need to be taken back to their origins
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2022, 10:29:49 AM »
Does this mean you think players should gain levels in thief & fighter and then switch to bard?  Or just that bards should be more like the powers of old without all the strange restrictions?

HappyDaze

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Re: Bards need to be taken back to their origins
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2022, 10:32:18 AM »
The overuse of Vicious Mockery in the 5E games I have been a part of as of late makes me want to gag…
Oh yes, vcious mockery seems to fly freely around 5e games, and I'm not talking about the spell.

RandyB

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Re: Bards need to be taken back to their origins
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2022, 11:05:51 AM »
AD&D 2E is also my sweet spot for the Bard. I honestly hate the 'magic music' version of Bard in any iteration from video games to tabletop. I hate it. It's just so insipid and makes combat a farce.

If I want to fight people with music, I'll play a dubstep, bass-dropping, flesh-liquefying Noise Marine, thank you very much.

I cannot agree more. "Music is magic" is revulsive and yes, insipid. And any other similar adjectives you care to invoke.

Dropbear

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Re: Bards need to be taken back to their origins
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2022, 11:09:57 AM »
Does this mean you think players should gain levels in thief & fighter and then switch to bard?  Or just that bards should be more like the powers of old without all the strange restrictions?

Yeah, I liked the 1E Bard best.

Pat

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Re: Bards need to be taken back to their origins
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2022, 11:21:07 AM »
AD&D 2E is also my sweet spot for the Bard. I honestly hate the 'magic music' version of Bard in any iteration from video games to tabletop. I hate it. It's just so insipid and makes combat a farce.

If I want to fight people with music, I'll play a dubstep, bass-dropping, flesh-liquefying Noise Marine, thank you very much.

I cannot agree more. "Music is magic" is revulsive and yes, insipid. And any other similar adjectives you care to invoke.
On the other hand, magic as poetry is awesome.

Just to be clear, I'm talking about legendary examples like Taleisin from Celtic and other mythos. D&D has never done that type of magic very well. The default magic-user is a scholarly type, learning from books. Conversely, the ancient wizards from pre-literate traditions were often just as if not more powerful, but more wise than book-learned, and very knowledgeable about the world and natural history. Attempts like 3e's sorcerer were... really bad. And things like bloodlines and warlocks are a different more modern archetype, closer to superheroes.

Hzilong

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Re: Bards need to be taken back to their origins
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2022, 04:20:47 PM »
I would disagree that “music is magic is cringe”. Sure a lot of how it is presented in modern fiction is less than stellar. But there have been some good adaptations. See the guzheng assassins in Kung Fu Hustle.
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