Bard

Bard #

A Bard is a performer and storyteller. Bards use performances to aid allies through inspiration, and sometimes through more potent means.

Some bards are musicians, singers, or orators. But others are performers by deed instead of song - through blade flicks, quick steps, and poses, they can strike an inspiring figure. Some do this intentionally, but others simply live their performance.

Examples of Bard Skills: Troubadour, Luteist, Rhythm Artist, Former Squad Leader, Pirate Captain, Swashbuckler, Folk Hero

A typical Bard Skill should cover at least some of these:

  • Appear to have noble bearing.
  • Convince someone to help you.
  • Gather information in a city.
  • Fast-talk someone.
  • Get a crowd’s attention.
  • Inspire others.
  • Navigate a noble court.
  • Perform for a crowd.
  • Recall a historical fact.
  • Trick someone into believing something.

Uncommon Terms in Bard Abilities #

Performance: A kind of practiced song, oratory, or action. Bards may prepare a certain number of these in a day.

Sustain: A Sustain is a special kind of 3d6 roll, like a Save or a Recharge. On a success, the ability it’s tied to lasts one round longer.

Attributes #

Bards have the following attributes.

Base Attributes #

Attribute Value
Volition 3
Vitality 4
Initiative Medium
Rolled
Recovery
(1d8 x Level) + (Vitality x Tier)
Average
Recovery
(4 x Level) + (Vitality x Tier)
HP/Level 5 + Vitality*
Other +1 PD and Fast Initiative
OR
+1 MD and AC
Recoveries 8
Save Bonus 0

*See level chart.

Base Defenses by Armor #

Type AC PD MD
None 13 15 14
Light 14 15 13

Melee Stances #

Miss damage equal to level

  • Swift, Measured: d8 damage

Ranged/Other Stances #

No miss damage.

  • Rapid (N): d6 damage
  • Close (N): d6 damage
  • Aimed (F): d8 damage
  • Focused: Can’t make melee/ranged attacks. +1 on Sustain rolls.
Level HP Guile and
Relationships
Total Perks Performances Tier Multiplier
1 (5 + Vitality) x 3 3 1 Adventurer 3 1x
2 (5 + Vitality) x 4 3 2 Adventurer 4 1x
3 (5 + Vitality) x 5 3 3 Adventurer 4 1x
4 (5 + Vitality) x 6 3 4 Adventurer 5 1x
5 (5 + Vitality) x 8 4 4 Adventurer
1 Champion
5 2x
6 (5 + Vitality) x 10 4 4 Adventurer
2 Champion
6 2x
7 (5 + Vitality) x 12 4 4 Adventurer
3 Champion
6 2x
8 (5 + Vitality) x 16 5 4 Adventurer
3 Champion
1 Epic
7 3x
9 (5 + Vitality) x 20 5 4 Adventurer
3 Champion
2 Epic
7 3x
10 (5 + Vitality) x 24 5 4 Adventurer
3 Champion
3 Epic
8 3x

Class Features #

All Bards have Guile, Bardsongs, Flourish, Active Performance, and Minstrel.

Guile #

Bards use Guile to power many of their abilities, especially some Flourishes. Every Bard has 3 Guile in Adventurer Tier, 4 Guile in Champion Tier, and 5 Guile in Epic Tier. It’s restored during a Quick Rest.

Once per turn, you can spend 1 Guile as a free action on or outside your turn to give 1 Disadvantage to an attack against your PD.

  • Champion Perk: If the attack against your PD misses, if you’re sustaining a song, the sustain roll gains 1 Advantage.
  • Epic Perk: You have one extra maximum Guile.

Bardsongs #

Bardsongs are powers that create effects that last as long as the song is sustained. These are usually songs, but don’t have to be, as long as they have an audible component. For the purpose of various abilities, these count as Spells (and offensive Bardsongs count as Ranged Spells).

Every Bardsong has the Sustain keyword. If you don’t spend the action or the Sustain roll fails, the song’s effect ends at the end of your turn and the effect listed under Final Verse takes effect.

You can only have one Bardsong effect active at once. Some Bardsongs have effects when you successfully roll to Sustain instead of active effects; these only happen if you actually roll to Sustain.

  • Adventurer Perk: You may spend a move action to attempt a quick-action Sustain (instead of spending the quick action). If you do, the Sustain roll gains 1 Advantage.
  • Champion Perk: You may choose to ignore the Final Verse of a Bardsong to gain 1 Advantage on the Recharge roll for that Bardsong (or give it 13+ Recharge if it’s normally Daily).
  • Epic Perk: One encounter per day, you may use two Bardsongs at once. Both need to be sustained with the appropriate action.

Flourish #

Flourishes are blade movements, stances, and poses that inspire and create openings for allies. Every Flourish is a quick action by default.

Every Flourish has a Style entry. This indicates an extra bonus gained if you either fulfill the noted Style Condition, spend 1 Guile, or are using this Flourish through Active Performance. Style Conditions are used when the Flourish is triggered from Stylish Strike, Hilarious Insult, or Arrow of Verse and are based off of the attack roll. When noted, Style entries can be exempt from any of these three methods.

You gain the following ability:

Stylish Strike
Melee, At-Will, Standard

Make a basic melee attack. After you do so, you may active one Flourish as a free action instead of a quick action, using the attack’s roll for the Style Condition.

  • Adventurer Perk: You may use a basic ranged attack instead of a basic melee attack with Stylish Strike. If you do so, the type changes from Melee to Ranged.
  • Champion Perk: You may choose to deal half damage with Stylish Strike to gain 1 Advantage on the attack roll.
  • Epic Perk: After you use Stylish Strike, Hilarious Insult, or Arrow of Verse, if you use any other Flourishes before the end of your turn, you can use the same attack roll as the Style Condition as if they were activated from that ability.

Active Performance #

You may spend a standard action to either automatically succeed at a quick-action Sustain (instead of spending the quick action) or generate the effect of a Flourishes (and activate its style entry).
  • Adventurer Perk: Once per day, you may spend one standard action to do both of the above effects.

Minstrel #

Pick one icon at random at the beginning of the day, and choose positive or negative at random. You get an extra relationship die with that icon for that day.
  • Adventurer Perk: You can choose positive or negative instead of picking at random.

Talents #

Every Bard selects three Talents.

Balladeer #

Your flattery of the powerful is helpful, but often backfires. At the beginning of every day, you gain 2 Positive Relationship Dice with an Icon of your choice (referred to as Ballad dice). When you use your first Relationship Die in a day with that icon, roll a 11+ save. On a failure, you generate a Twist with an opposed Icon.
  • Adventurer Perk: You can ignore any Twists from 1’s and 6’s with your Ballad dice.
  • Champion Perk: When you use a Ballad Die, you may also give the roll 1 Advantage or Disadvantage.
  • Epic Perk: You can choose to gain 2 extra Ballad Dice with another icon at the start of the day, but you need to roll the 11+ save to generate Twists for every die rolled with either icon instead of just the first if you do.

Bandleader #

You’re used to making decisions for your troupe and taking the brunt of the consequences. You can use your Bard skill for any social skill checks that it wouldn’t normally cover. For any that it would cover, you gain 1 Advantage.

You can treat your Guile as if it were also Prowess (so you can Spend 1 to give disadvantage to attacks vs. AC as well as PD).

  • Adventurer Perk: You can use any Bardic Song effect that would normally only affect an ally on yourself.
  • Champion Perk: If you spend a quick action after you use a Flourish, the ally it affects gains 1 Advantage on one attack made before the start of your next Turn.
  • Epic Perk: Allies who are under the effect of any of your Bardic Songs gain miss damage equal to your level on any ability that already has miss damage.

Loremaster #

You’re a connoisseur of old tales and histories, which has its uses. You can use your Bard skill for any knowledge skill checks that it wouldn’t normally cover. For any that it would cover, you gain 1 Advantage.

You can treat your Guile as if it were also Focus (so you can spend 1 Guile to give disadvantage to attacks vs. MD as well as PD).

If you have both Loremaster and Mythkenner, you get +1 MD (once, not once per talent).

  • Adventurer Perk: If you need to make any knowledge skill check during battle, you may add Escalation to it.
  • Champion Perk: Once per day, you can spend 1 less recovery when you Push your Limits for a skill check.
  • Epic Perk: Once per day, you may reroll a Recharge.

Mythkenner #

You’re a master of oral storytelling, and as such, you’re especially good at embellishing and improvising. If you tell a short story about the appropriate Icon when you use a Relationship Die, you can add or subtract 1 from its value.

You can treat your Guile as if it were also Focus (so you can spend 1 Guile to give disadvantage to attacks vs. MD as well as PD).

If you have both Loremaster and Mythkenner, you get +1 MD (once, not once per talent).

  • Adventurer Perk: You don’t generate Twists if you turn a Relationship Die into a 1 or a 6 using this ability.
  • Champion Perk: You gain another Relationship Die.
  • Epic Perk: You can Spend 1 to use this Talent on an ally’s Relationship Die.

Skald #

Your bardic practices are part of a greater martial tradition. You can use any Flourish effect that would normally only target an ally on yourself.
  • Adventurer Perk: You can spend 1 Guile when using a Flourish on an ally to use the same Flourish on yourself as well.
  • Champion Perk: When you use a Flourish on yourself, it also affects one random nearby ally.
  • Epic Perk: All Natural 15+ or higher Style Conditions are now Natural 14+.

Songmaster #

You’re a practiced performer, and as such you’re proficient in avoiding interruption. You gain +1 to every Sustain roll.
  • Adventurer Perk: Once per encounter, if you describe a particular way in which you Sustain a Song, you gain 1 Advantage on your Sustain roll that turn.
  • Champion Perk: Once per encounter, when you roll to Sustain a song and succeed, you or a nearby ally can gain Temporary HP equal to your level.
  • Epic Perk: One encounter per day, you gain 1 Advantage on every Sustain roll.

Spellsinger #

Your bardic abilities have a more palpable tinge of the arcane to them than most. Your offensive Bardsongs and Spells have their damage die size increased by one step.
  • Adventurer Perk: You can use either the Sorcerer’s Wild Talent (when used with a Skill) or the Wizard’s default three Cantrips (Light, Prestidigitation, Arcane Mark) with your Bard skill. Pick which you get (Wild Talent or Cantrips) when you take this feat.
  • Champion Perk: All of your offensive Daily Bardsongs are Recharge 13+ instead of Daily.
  • Epic Perk: You gain 1 Advantage on Final Verse attacks.

Versewriter #

Your performances linger, and you know how to use periods of silence effectively. If you spend 1 Guile at the start of your turn while a Bardsong is active, you don’t have to spend any action or make any roll that turn to Sustain the Bardsong. You don’t get any benefits from successfully Sustaining it other than the continuation of the effect, though. You can do this even if you can’t normally act (due to being Dying, Unconscious, etc).
  • Adventurer Perk: You can choose to do this after a failed Sustain as well.
  • Champion Perk: If you spend 2 Guile after your Final Verse, it happens again on the following round if you haven’t started up another Bardsong.
  • Epic Perk: Once per day, this can count as a successful Sustain roll.

Performances #

You can prepare Level / 2 + 3 (round down) Performances at the beginning of any day. A Performance consists of either one Bardsong and one Flourish, one Bardsong and one Spell, or two Flourishes. You may only take Performances of a level less than or equal to your current level.
  • Epic Perk: Epic Perk: Once per day, as a free action, you can change out a Performance you’ve prepared for any other. You can only do this if the Daily/Recharge ability from the performance isn’t expended.

1st Level #

Frantic Dance #

You gain Move It! and Song of Furtiveness.

Move It!
Flourish, At-Will, Quick
Style Condition: Natural Even Hit or Miss

A nearby ally makes a disengage check or moves (provoking attacks of opportunity as normal).

Style: Either pick two targets or the target pops off instead.

Song of Furtiveness
Bardsong, Daily, Quick
9+ Sustain

Any attack against you gains 1 Disadvantage.

Final Verse: Pick one nearby ally. Until the start of your next turn, attacks against you or that ally gain 1 Disadvantage.

Raucous Comedy #

You gain Hilarious Insult and Song of Mockery.

Hilarious Insult
Spell, At-Will, Standard
Provokes

Make an attack vs MD against a nearby enemy. After you do so, you may active one Flourish as a free action instead of a quick action, using the attack’s roll for the Style Condition.

Hit: 1d4 x Level psychic damage. The target is Dazed until the end of your next turn. Miss: Psychic damage equal to your level.

Song of Mockery
Bardsong, Daily, Standard
11+ Sustain

Make an attack vs MD against a nearby enemy when you start this song or roll to successfully sustain this song.

Hit: 1d8 x Level + Volition x Tier psychic damage. Until the end of your next turn, when your target misses with one of its attacks, it takes half of its hit damage. Miss: Damage equal to your level. Final Verse: As above, but the self-damaging effect is 11+ save ends.

Rousing Oratory #

You gain Pull It Together! and It’s All Yours!

Pull It Together!
Flourish, At-Will, Quick
Style Condition: Natural 13+ Hit

A nearby ally heals damage equal to your level.

Style: The target may instead heal using a recovery.

It’s All Yours!
Flourish, Daily, Quick
Style Condition: Any Miss

A nearby enemy engaged with you or a nearby ally is Softened and Vulnerable (13+ save ends both).

Style: The conditions last until the end of the encounter.

Stirring Anthems #

You gain We Need You! and Song of Courage.

We Need You!
Flourish, At-Will, Quick
Style Condition: Natural Even Hit or Miss

A nearby ally can roll a save against a save ends effect or a death save (which doesn’t count against failed death saves if it fails).

Style: The save gains a bonus equal to Escalation.

Song of Courage
Bardsong, Daily, Quick
11+ Sustain

You and all nearby allies gain 1 Advantage on attack rolls.

Final Verse: One nearby ally gains 1 Advantage on attack rolls and may treat one enemy they attack as if they were Vulnerable until the end of their turn.

Traveling Ballads #

You gain Stay Alert! and Song of Liberation.

Stay Alert!
Flourish, At-Will, Quick
Style Condition: Any Miss

Choose a nearby ally. The next attack against that ally before the end of your next turn gains 1 Disadvantage.

Style: This now applies to all attacks before the end of your next turn.

Song of Liberation
Bardsong, 11+ Recharge, Quick
11+ Sustain

You and all nearby allies gain 1 Advantage to Disengage checks. Every time an affected ally disengages from an enemy, the enemy takes damage equal to your level.

Final Verse: Every nearby ally can immediately pop off of every engaged enemy.

3rd Level #

Calming Motifs #

You gain Hang Tough! and Song of Persistence.

Hang Tough!
Flourish, At-Will, Quick
Style Condition: Natural Odd Hit or Miss

A nearby ally receives temporary hit points equal to your level.

Style: Target two allies instead of one.

Song of Aid
Bardsong, Daily, Quick
11+ Sustain

When you start this song or roll to successfully sustain this spell, a nearby ally gains 1d6 x Level temporary HP.

Final Verse: A nearby ally who gained temporary HP from this ability can heal using a recovery.

Forceful Chords #

You gain Arrow of Verse and Song of Thunder.

Arrow of Verse
Spell, At-Will, Standard
Provokes

Make an attack vs PD against a nearby enemy. After you do so, you may active one Flourish as a free action instead of a quick action, using the attack’s roll for the Style Condition.

Hit: 1d4 x Level + Volition x Tier thunder damage. Miss: Thunder damage equal to your level.

Song of Thunder
Bardsong, Daily, Standard
11+ Sustain

Make an attack vs PD against 1d4+1 nearby enemies when you start this song or roll to successfully sustain this song.

Hit: 1d10 x Level thunder damage. Final Verse: As above, but half damage on a miss.

Insistent Rhythms #

You gain Take Heart! and Song of Persistence.

Take Heart!
Flourish, At-Will, Quick
Style Condition: Any Hit

A nearby ally automatically succeeds at the next save they make before the end of your next turn.

Style: Target two allies instead of one.

Song of Persistence
Bardsong, 11+ Recharge, Quick
11+ Sustain

Any Death Save or any save made by a nearby ally against any condition or ongoing damage gains 1 Advantage.

Final Verse: A nearby ally of your choice may immediately roll a save against a condition or a Death Save and gains 1 Advantage on the roll. This doesn’t count against failed death saves if it fails.

Inspiring Slogans #

You gain Stay Strong! and Victory is Ours!

Stay Strong!
Flourish, At-Will, Quick
Style Condition: Any Natural Odd Hit or Miss

A nearby ally reduces damage from all attacks until the end of your next turn by your level.

Style: The target can’t be crit while affected by this.

Victory is Ours!
Flourish, Daily, Quick
Style Condition: Natural 13+ Hit

Until the end of your next turn, every ally gains 1 Advantage on all attacks.

Style: Increase the current escalation die value by one.

5th Level #

Polyrhythmic Steps #

You gain Follow my Lead! and Song of Chaos.

Follow my Lead!
Flourish, At-Will, Quick
Style Condition: Natural Even Hit or Miss

You and a nearby ally trade positions. Any Opportunity Attacks provoked by this movement gain 1 Disadvantage.

Style: This now does not provoke Opportunity Attacks.

Song of Chaos
Bardsong, Daily, Standard
11+ Sustain

Make an attack vs MD against a nearby enemy when you start this song or roll to successfully sustain this song.

Hit: Dazed (11+ save ends). Hit vs Staggered: Confused (11+ save ends). Miss: Dazed until the end of your next turn.

Final Verse: As above, except target 1d4+1 enemies.

Stimulating Patterns #

You gain Think Fast! and Song of the Arcane.

Think Fast!
Flourish, At-Will, Quick
Style Condition: Natural Even Hit or Miss

A nearby ally does not provoke Opportunity Attacks until the end of your next turn.

Style: Target two allies instead of one.

Song of the Arcane
Bardsong, Daily, Quick
13+ Sustain

Any ally who uses an Encounter or Daily Spell may roll a 13+ Recharge afterwards as a free action. On a success, it’s replenished.

Final Verse: You may either roll a 13+ Recharge to replenish a Daily Bardsong or roll a Recharge for one Bardsong.

Special: Song of the Arcane can’t be replenished by any means except Full Rest.

7th Level #

Enthralling Epics #

You gain Stay True! and Song of Blood and Legends.

Stay True!
Flourish, At-Will, Quick
Style Condition: Any Natural 15+ Hit

A nearby ally regains the use of their Background’s encounter power.

Style: The same ally also regains 1 Power.

Special: You cannot spend 1 Guile to activate the Style entry for this.

Song of Blood and Legends
Bardsong, Daily, Standard
13+ Sustain

Your nearby allies can heal using a recovery when they hit at least one enemy during their turn.

Final Verse: One nearby ally can make a basic attack as a free action and heal using a recovery if it hits.

Sweeping Crescendos #

You gain They Fall Before Us! and Song of Victory.

They Fall Before Us!
Flourish, At-Will, Quick
Style Condition: Any Natural 16+ Hit

A nearby ally gains hit and miss damage equal to your level on the next melee or ranged attack they make.

Style: The same ally may immediately make a basic melee or ranged attack.

Special: You cannot spend 1 Guile to activate the Style entry for this or activate this through Active Performance.

Song of Victory
Bardsong, Daily, Quick
13+ Sustain

Nearby mooks and enemies who are Staggered are Weakened.

Final Verse: Each nearby non-mook enemy or group of mooks affected by this takes 1d4 x Level Psychic damage.

9th Level #

Primordial Clarions #

You gain The Hour Is Now! and Song of Destiny.

The Hour Is Now!
Flourish, At-Will, Quick
Style Condition: Any Natural 16+ Hit

A nearby ally can spend two recoveries to replenish the use of a Daily ability.

Style: They only have to spend one recovery.

Special: This can only be used at Escalation 2+. You cannot spend 1 Guile to activate the Style entry for this.

Song of Destiny
Bardsong, Daily, Standard
13+ Sustain

All allies’ hits may count as a Natural 12 or Natural 13 if they so choose. All enemies’ misses count as a Natural 3.

Final Verse: You and all nearby allies may reroll any unused relationship dice or reroll and replenish one used relationship die.

Special: This can only be used at Escalation 2+.

Sample Bards #

Two sample Bards in Adventurer, Champion, and Epic tier are provided below.

Arcane Troubador

An adept of both song and spell, this bard uses the combination of the two to defeat their enemies and help their allies.

Class Attribute Choice: +1 PD and Fast Initiative
Background Ability: Elusive

Talents

  • Versewriter
  • Balladeer
  • Spellsinger

1st Level

  • Performances: Raucous Comedy, Stirring Anthems, Traveling Ballads
  • Adventurer Perk: Spellsinger

5th Level

  • Performances: Raucous Comedy, Stirring Anthems, Traveling Ballads, Forceful Chords, Calming Motifs
  • Adventurer Perks: Spellsinger, Balladeer, Versewriter, Bardsong
  • Champion Perk: Spellsinger

8th Level

  • Performances: Raucous Comedy, Stirring Anthems, Traveling Ballads, Forceful Chords, Calming Motifs, Polyrhythmic Steps, Stimulating Patterns
  • Adventurer Perks: Spellsinger, Balladeer, Versewriter, Bardsong
  • Champion Perks: Spellsinger, Balladeer, Bardsong
  • Epic Perk: Spellsinger

Dashing Hero

A master of self-image, this bard inspires and helps those around them with dashing poses and well-timed quips.

Class Attribute Choice: +1 AC and MD
Background Ability: Surprising

Talents

  • Bandleader
  • Mythkenner
  • Skald

1st Level

  • Performances: Frantic Dance, Rousing Oratory, Stirring Anthems
  • Adventurer Perk: Skald

5th Level

  • Performances: Frantic Dance, Rousing Oratory, Stirring Anthems, Insistent Rhythms, Inspiring Slogans
  • Adventurer Perks: Skald, Mythkenner, Bandleader, Flourish
  • Champion Perk: Skald

8th Level

  • Performances: Frantic Dance, Rousing Oratory, Stirring Anthems, Insistent Rhythms, Inspiring Slogans, Enthralling Epics, Sweeping Crescendos
  • Adventurer Perks: Skald, Mythkenner, Bandleader, Flourish
  • Champion Perks: Skald, Bandleader, Flourish
  • Epic Perk: Skald