Memories of Connor's Adventures

Orlando the Adventurer pulled a Scimitar from beneath his Robes and smiled...

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Dungeon Mastery: The Bard

The bard has evolved from the spiritualism of early human culture. Where Druids are considered a tree worshiping faction breaking off from clerics they are not. Clerics, Druids, and Bards are individual spiritualist developments branching from a common Origin.

1d4 | 0 | 1 / -
2d4 | 1400 | 1 / 1 / -
3d4 | 2800 | 2 / 1 / -
4d4 | 5600 | 2 / 1 / 1 / -
5d4 | 11200 | 3 / 1 / 1 / -
6d4 | 22400 | 3 / 2 / 1 / -
7d4 | 44800 | 4 / 2 / 1 / -
8d4 | 100000 | 4* / 2 / 1 / 1 / -
9d4 | 150000 | 5 / 2 / 1 / 1 / -
10d4 | 200000 | 5 / 3* / 1 / 1 / -
11d4 | 250000 | 6 / 3 / 1 / 1 / -
12d4 | 300000 | 6 / 3 / 2* / 1 / -
13d4 | 350000 | 7 / 3 / 2 / 1 / -
14d4 | 400000 | 7 / 4 / 2 / 1* / -
15d4 | 450000 | 8 / 4 / 2 / 1 / -
16d4 | 500000 | 8 / 4 / 2 / 1 / 1* / -

*A bard may make a spell of this level permanent as a tattoo.

Bard Spells: Bards may undertake a charisma check to learn any spell within their spell level capacity they might overhear cast by a druid, cleric, or wizard. If they fail they cannot learn that spell from that spell caster.
Bards do not learn spells from scrolls or spellbooks.

Savingthrows: As normal human base saves +1vs spells/ level; +1vs selelected other save slot/ level.

Weapons: Club, staff, Spear
Armor: Leather

Prime Requisite: Charisma


  1. I would beg to differ. There is a living bardic tradition still among us today, dating back to Odin worshippers, and coming to us via the German school of guitar play and the seven string guitar still in use by the Russians and East European Roma. There are two schools of guitar play - the Spanish, with its classical chords and accompaniment to dance, and the Germanic, with its emphasis on picking individual string and accompaniment to sonnet style poetry. The legend goes that Wotan (Vodan, Odin) wanders the earth disguised as a grizzled old man, preferring the drinking company of soldiers and outlaws. If you make a mistake of drinking with him, you will wake up with a severe case of wanderlust and an inclination to bardom. You woukd leave your life to wander the world as a soldier or an outlaw, or both. Songs run the gamut, but here is a modern example:

    It often happens, paratrooper's flight,
    Can get as short as a sudden ambush might,
    And in the night sky stars are diamond light,
    and you can grab then from this height.

    And if you watch the sky when moon is bright,
    You'll see the transports flying in the night...

    People here confuse bards with minstrels. I would propose that a Bard worthy of his sald, could handle himself with a sword, spear, short bow, and a light crossbow, as well as wearing chain mail and a shield. They would NOT normally be proficient with fighting on horseback, wearing plate armor, or using long bows or heavy crossbows, weapons that require additional military training.

  2. A different bard to be sure. Mine is a little more primitive. Hence the lack of god worship. I thought you would have been all over my savingthrow variation. Rather than fixed tables, your bard can contribute bonuses as desired...

  3. Saving throw variation kinda makes sense. Reflects the magical nature of the bard and does quite nicely to duplicate the heroes of the primitive folklore.

  4. And now all I need is some group and their DM to betatest it in a BECMI game. ;)

  5. I hadn't had a player yet, who wanted to play a bard, and the game system I use is a 1sr Ed AD&D / AH Edition Runequest Hybrid, but if any play should wax bardic, I will make your version of the Bard one of the Bard schools in Midlands, my campaign.

    Incidentally, Druids were far more than tree worshippers. That is the image of the Druid that was resurrected in the 19th Century during the fascination with the Mystical. Historic Druids of the British Isles were exterminated by the Romans, but were documented by the Julius Caesar, and either Claudius or Pliny the Younger. Julius Caesar wrote an article about them in his The Gallic Wars, I think. Ancient Roman literature has been translated into modern English and you can still read it.

    In a long article, Julius Caesar recalls his conversations with the Druids and how they pose a special threat to the Roman Empire. They believed in Reincarnation (Caesar did not use that word) and were not afraid to die, in fact, were looking forward to death, since they will be reborn and live again. They had to memorize their scriptures and recite them by rote as a way of indoctrination and to keep underground. They held power by providing vital services and by terrorizing the local population through their use of human sacrifice. Another thing that distinguishes them from the Druids of Fantasy, is that they were not agronomists, but early veterinarians. They did congregate in the Oak Groves, and Romans used that to their advantage by attacking Druids there and by cutting down the groves (much like Kit Carson did with the native American fruit tree groves).

    After I read it, it occurred to me, that historic Druids were the product of their day and were influenced by the religious movements from around the world. There WAS global cultural exchange of ideas in antiquity. Thus, Buddha statues built hundreds of years BC showed Buddha reclining in the pose of "Wise and Knowledgeable Man" used by the sculptors in Ancient Greece, who had their own language to express the qualities of the people whom they were immortalizing in stone. So, Druids had beliefs in Reincarnation from Ancient India, Recital of the Scripture from the Middle East, that will later become a feature if Islam, Animal Husbandry services of the Persian Zoroastrians, who not only healed the animal, but provided an additional "magical" service for the people of fermenting milk into cheeses and such for the sake of food preservation. I am not sure if Druids were into food processing as well. The element of fanaticism, that Druids scared Romans with and the informal power through intimidation that they held over the local people makes them quite a modern sect as well, as well as Julius Caesar's thinking and writing. You get to realize that society, culture, and technology changed a great deal over the centuries, but how we think and perceive the world, has not. Caesar was as modern in his thinking as we are, and could probably have pulled off a political career in our world, had he been transplanted to our world here. The point is, if we brought a bunch of assault rifles and modern weapons into the ancient world, the ancients would have very quickly figured out that these are not ***magical*** items, would learn to use the weapons even without our help, and would turn them against us to kill or enslave us. Humanity.

    1. The problem with making this a bard college is it is more a precursor to that structure. This is bard (neolithic).

  6. Oh no, no bard college! Nothing so structural. The People of the River may have the bards of the Wotan-worshipping variety. The Leonian folk may have genteel minstrels from the old country, who just MIGHT have a bard college, but their magic is questionable. Finally, the Children of the Land, the indigenous primitives, may have your folk-hero primitive bards with just a touch of the shamanistic story-teller vibe.

  7. Hope you let me know how that goes.