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