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Bards need to be taken back to their origins

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Persimmon:

--- Quote from: zend0g on January 19, 2022, 08:50:05 PM ---
--- Quote from: HappyDaze on January 19, 2022, 04:19:17 PM ---1e bards were a myth. They were written to use the dual classing rules, and the ability score restrictions of those rules along with random generation made 1e bards almost impossible to qualify for.

--- End quote ---
I lost count of campaigns that sputtered out before the poor bard player actually got to being a bard especially if they were trying to make the most of their fighter and thief levels.

--- End quote ---

I had one bard, a half-elf, who got into the teens in level as a bard.  But he was the only one and he was part of a party that (mostly) reached high level together.  I recently dug out his character sheet because I want to convert him to C&C for a high level adventure I wrote.  Since none of our C&C PCs are above 8th level, I'm converting a few AD&D characters over.

Pat:

--- Quote from: Persimmon on January 19, 2022, 10:38:29 PM ---
--- Quote from: zend0g on January 19, 2022, 08:50:05 PM ---
--- Quote from: HappyDaze on January 19, 2022, 04:19:17 PM ---1e bards were a myth. They were written to use the dual classing rules, and the ability score restrictions of those rules along with random generation made 1e bards almost impossible to qualify for.

--- End quote ---
I lost count of campaigns that sputtered out before the poor bard player actually got to being a bard especially if they were trying to make the most of their fighter and thief levels.

--- End quote ---

I had one bard, a half-elf, who got into the teens in level as a bard.  But he was the only one and he was part of a party that (mostly) reached high level together.  I recently dug out his character sheet because I want to convert him to C&C for a high level adventure I wrote.  Since none of our C&C PCs are above 8th level, I'm converting a few AD&D characters over.

--- End quote ---
We mostly played bards as pre-created characters when doing one-shots or short campaigns that started at high levels. There's at least one in the H-series.

I've never quite been able to wrap my head around what the bard's weird progression is supposed to represent. First you, you're a fighter. Are you a soldier? Is this supposed to be some martial training by the druids? Then you're a thief. Okay, that makes no sense, but thief was often a stand-in for general sneaky types. But why sneaky? Then you go away and study with the druids, and come back with music, magic, and lore.

Become a bard or druid did involve extensive study. Natural history was science before science became a formal field, a massive collection of lore that was passed down by rote memorization and mnemonic techniques. This includes epic legends and stories, knowledge of nature from herbs to seasons, jurisprudence, and more. Bards got social protections, and a pass when they said things that challenged authority. In legend, bards were wizards and wonder-workers, distinct from the more scholarly sorcerers and alchemists of the early modern period. There's a little of that in the class, but it's hard to get it to cohere into something that isn't just a game artifact.

Dropbear:

--- Quote from: zend0g on January 19, 2022, 08:50:05 PM ---
--- Quote from: HappyDaze on January 19, 2022, 04:19:17 PM ---1e bards were a myth. They were written to use the dual classing rules, and the ability score restrictions of those rules along with random generation made 1e bards almost impossible to qualify for.

--- End quote ---
I lost count of campaigns that sputtered out before the poor bard player actually got to being a bard especially if they were trying to make the most of their fighter and thief levels.

--- End quote ---

I managed to play one. Fighter 5/Thief 5/Druid 5/Bard 7.

The rules as written in the PHB do not state a level requirement for Druid (it states the character is a bard under Druidic tutelage), but my DM ruled that I had to level that too as per fighter & thief - he did not know I was going for Bard until I hit Thief 5 and said I was ready to switch over. We hit all 21st level total before the game was ended.

Dougal ended up being one of the most fun characters I have ever had the chance to play to high level. And sadly one of the only ones. The only other character that made it that high was my noble rogue in the PF1 campaign another group played through.

The major complaint I heard about Bards in 1E was it took too long to get to the class and the requirements were steep, although I have run plenty of games where there were characters that could meet those requirements. Bards using druidic magic still seem more appropriate to me than arcane bards, never have been a fan of that direction.

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