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Bards often serve as negotiators, messengers, scouts, and spies. They love to accompany heroes (and villains) to witness heroic (or villainous) deeds firsthand, since a bard who can tell a story from personal experience earns renown among his fellows. A bard casts arcane spells without any advance preparation, much like a sorcerer. Bards also share some specialized skills with rogues, and their knowledge of item lore is nearly unmatched. A high Charisma score allows a bard to cast high-level spells.

Bards are very difficult to classify as they are part scholar, part thief, part spy, part spell caster and part warrior. With so many routes to focus on a common error is to try and be good at everything and that leads to being mediocre at all. To play a successful Bard a player must think about what sort of character they would want to play and select certain parts to emphasize. For example, a combat based Bard would focus on his physical attributes over Cha (which determines spell ability) and take a few spells that aid directly to fighting. On the other hand, a player who wishes to be a spy or entertainer would focuses on persuasion and more Char-based skills.

  • Hit Die: d6
  • Proficiencies: All simple weapons, all armor, and shields
  • Skill Points (x4 at 1st level): 4 + Int Modifier
  • Spellcasting: Arcane (Charisma based, armor-related chance of spell failure has to be taken into account)

The Bard's skills (and the key ability for each skill) are:

  • Concentration (Con)
  • Discipline (Str)
  • Heal (Wis)
  • Hide (Dex)
  • Listen (Wis)
  • Lore (Int)
  • Move Silently (Dex)
  • Parry (Dex)
  • Perform (Cha)
  • Persuade (Cha)
  • Pick Pocket (Dex)
  • Spell Craft (Int)
  • Taunt (Cha)
  • Use Magic Device (Cha)

Bard Spell lists and descriptions

Class Packages

Default Bard:
This bard package is built around a broad assortment of skills, feats, and spells, making the character a jack-of-all-trades who is useful in any situation.

Bard, Blade:
The blade is a combat-minded bard, more focused on fighting with two weapons and his Parry skill than performing.

Bard, Gallant:
The gallant strikes a balance between combat and artistry, often writing ballads of the deeds that he has accomplished.

Bard, Jester:
The jester prefers to use a cutting wit and a glib tongue over blade or bow.

Bard, Loremaster:
The loremaster is sage-like in many ways, but is driven to adventuring to gather more and more knowledge.

Barbarian Druid Paladin Sorcerer
Bard Fighter Ranger Wizard
Cleric Monk Rogue