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Bard Character Class

Bards imbue their performances with magic.

 

Bardic performance: You automatically have the performance skill (this is in addition to the skills you choose in step six of character creation). Choose two main types of performance (I suggest choosing ones that use different senses). Options include playing musical instruments, singing, oratory, recitation, feats of skill and dexterity, comedy, juggling, circus arts, dance, and theater. You have the equipment needed for your two main types of performance. This can include a musical instrument, theatrical costuming, juggling balls, and dancing shoes.

 

Bardic training: Choose four abilities off the following list. You are considered an expert when using your chosen abilities. These abilities are used by rolling mind unless otherwise stated.

  • Magical performance: Choose one of the following magical effects. When you are engaged in one of your main types of performance, you can choose to imbue that magical effect into your performance. It is easier to create magic that only lasts while you continue perform. With increased difficulty, ongoing effects can be created, but attempting this increases the severity of the limitations, side effects, or complications that come with partial success or failure. This magic only affects those people who are able to perceive your performance. You may take this ability multiple times if you desire.
    • Healing and restoration: You can create magical healing effects. Possibilities include mending wounds, curing poisons, removing curses, and healing diseases that can be healed by magic.
    • Harm and affliction: You can cause magical harm. This is the opposite of healing. Possibilities include causing wounds, poisoning, inflicting curses, and infecting others with disease.
    • Enhance: You can create magical effects that enhance others’ abilities. Possibilities include increasing their size, strength, dexterity, intelligence, wisdom, ability to attack, ability to defend, and ability to use a skill. When you cast this, pick a specific thing that you are enhancing. Depending on the situation, these magical effects may be considered preparation or helping. This magic can also be used to remove others’ enhancements.
    • Diminish: You can create magical effects that diminish others’ abilities. Possibilities include diminishing their size, strength, dexterity, intelligence, wisdom, ability to attack, ability to defend, and ability to use a skill. When you cast this, pick a specific thing that you are diminishing. This magic can also be undo others’ diminishing.
    • Distraction: Your performance holds others’ attention. Possibilities include inhibiting another’s ability to use their senses (for example, it might be hard for someone to look away from your performance), making it hard for someone to focus on anything but you, and limiting others’ ability to act. This magic can also be used to have the opposite effect and help others focus.
    • Protection: You can create magical effects that protect people. Possibilities include purifying food and water, increasing endurance, creating a sanctuary, shielding noncombatants from harm, granting resistance to one type of damage (such as poison or fire), and defending others against mental or emotional manipulation. Depending on the situation, these magical effects may be considered preparation or helping. You can also use this magic to reduce or remove others’ protections.
    • Communication: You can create magical communication effects. Possibilities include voice amplification, sending messages, telepathy, discerning lies, visiting someone’s dreams, and magical translation. This magic can also be used to block communication.
    • Emotion manipulation: You can use magic to manipulate others’ emotions. Possibilities include causing others to feel emotions like fear, friendship, confusion, anger, and paranoia. The subjects of this magic still have free will. This magic can also be used to protect you from emotion manipulation.
    • Mind control: You can use magic to manipulate others’ minds. Possibilities range from subtle suggestions to controlling others’ actions. To do this, you need to be able to communicate with the subject of your commands; the more complicated your instructions, the better you need to be able to communicate for them to be successfully followed. This magic can also be used to protect you from mind control.
    • Transportation: You can create magical transportation effects. Possibilities include speeding travel, magical mounts, hovering, flying, way finding, enabling people to easily traverse hazardous terrain, helping people carry heavy loads, creating large floating disks that carry things for you, and teleportation. This magic can also be used to hinder transportation.
    • Magic analysis: You can use your magic to directly sense and understand and remove others’ magic. Possibilities include detecting magic, identifying the functions of magic items, counterspelling, analyzing the properties of ongoing magical effects, and dispelling ongoing magical effects.
    • Unusual effect: Choose a magical ability off the mage arcane training list or the cleric magical ability list. You can cast this type of magic with your magical performance.
  • Melee weapons: You are familiar with the common melee weapons of your cultural region. Example melee weapons from a European human cultural region would be swords, spears, axes, maces, flails, and daggers. You own two of these weapons and are considered an expert when using them to fight. You may take this skill again to be familiar with the melee weapons of a different cultural region. These skills are rolled with body. The limitation is that you need to be holding one of these weapons to use this ability.
  • Ranged weapons: You are familiar with the common ranged weapons of your cultural region. Example ranged weapons from a European human cultural region are bows, crossbows, and throwing daggers. You own one of these weapons (with appropriate ammunition) and are considered an expert when using it to fight. You may take this skill again to be familiar with the ranged weapons of a different cultural region. The limitation is that you need to be holding one of these weapons to use this ability. In addition, bows require two hands to use and crossbows require two hands to reload.
  • Specialized weapon: You are familiar with the use of a single unusual weapon that has a special advantage. Choose the weapon and its advantage. Examples include strange fantasy weapons like double-ended swords (advantage: can attack with both ends as if attacking with two weapons), less common regional weapons like slings (advantage: a ranged weapon that can be used while holding a shield) and bullwhips (advantage: a weapon that can also be used as a tool to grab onto nearby items and people), and fantasy versions of modern weapons like guns (advantage: multiple shots before reloading). You own one of these weapons (along with any applicable ammunition) and are considered an expert when using it to fight. The limitation is that you need to be holding one of these weapons to use this ability.
  • Unarmed combat: You are an expert at one school of unarmed combat. Fighting techniques may include punching, kicking, head butts, elbow jabs, and other related actions. The limitation is that unarmed combat is only effective against unarmored areas of your opponent (this means that you need to seek out vulnerabilities in well-armored opponents).
  • Knowledgeable: You are extremely knowledgeable. Three times a day, you are considered prepared when you use the arcana, culture, nature, or technology skills. You may take this ability twice if you desire.
  • Charismatic: You have a natural talent for social skills. Three times a day, you are considered prepared when you use the animal handling, deception, diplomacy, intimidation, or performance skills. These skills are rolled with mind. You may take this ability twice if you desire.
  • Swashbuckling: You are an expert at using daring and flamboyant combat maneuvers. Possibilities include lunges, feints, parries, disarming (only if they have a held weapon or shield), tripping opponents (only opponents with legs), repositioning opponents (only if they are appropriately sized), knocking over nearby objects, and using your environment to your advantage. The limitation is that you must be attempting something that is daring and flamboyant in order to use this ability.
  • Derring-do: You are practiced at accomplishing feats of derring-do. Three times a day, you are considered prepared when you attempt a daring maneuver with the acrobatics, athletics, climbing, escaping, flying, riding, or swimming skills. These skills are rolled with body. You may take this ability twice if you desire.
  • Specialty: Choose one specific effect that is part of an ability that your character already has. Your character is particularly good at that effect and is considered always prepared when using this specialty. For example, a character skilled at transportation magic, could be particularly good at casting flying spells, or a character who has derring-do might be particularly good at leaping. This specialty should be significantly more specific than the ability it is based on.
  • Physical intuition: Your character has an intuitive, physical understanding of something that is normally a mental task. Choose one mind based skill or ability; your character can now use this skill or ability by rolling body.
  • Special technique: Your character knows a special technique that makes it easier for them to do a specific physical task. Choose one body based skill or ability. Your character can now use this skill or ability by rolling mind.
  • Skillful: Choose two additional skills off the skills list.
  • Arcane training: Choose a magical ability off the mage arcane training list. In order to use this magic, you must also choose a magical limitation. This ability is used by rolling mind (unless otherwise stated in the ability). You may take this ability twice if you desire.
  • Martial training: Choose a physical ability off the fighter martial training list. This ability is used by rolling body (unless otherwise stated in the ability). You may take this ability twice if you desire.
  • Divine magic: Choose a magical ability off the cleric divine magic list. To use this magic, you must choose a deity, and you cast spells with your holy symbol as clerics do. This ability is used by rolling mind (unless otherwise stated in the ability). You may take this ability twice if you desire.
  • Natural sympathy: Choose an ability off the druid training list. This ability is used by rolling mind (unless otherwise stated in the ability). If it is a magical ability, your magic has the same limitation as druid magic (you gain the required symbol or object to cast spells as an expert). You may take this ability twice if you desire.
  • Disreputable: Choose an ability off the rogue training list. This ability is used by rolling body (unless otherwise stated in the ability). You may take this ability twice if you desire.

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