3.5/Pathfinder feel for the 4e Bard.

27 posts / 0 new
Last post
I recently became fascinated by the bard (k-dum-tsh).

After having a bit fun with the 4e Bard and Skald I decided to take a look-see at what the old Bards had to offer, where all these features originally came from.
Since I have the Pathfinder Core at home I decided to look at his class features and eventually made my self a Pathfinder Bard.

I. Love. This. Class.

After making 5 different bards in 2 different systems while listening to medival celtic flute and lute music I was a bit saddened by one thing; that after this I would always think "ahhh, but I wish I had the other system's bard's features..." when playing a bard. No matter which system I'd play, I'd always feel like something the other Bard has was missing. Both bards have something the other one is lacking, and this gave me an idea.

Can I make a 3.5-style bard using 4e? Now there's an idea. I tried a few things, and instead of making a Skald with some modifications or a Bard with some modifications, I ended up with a hybrid. I made a Bard|Rogue.

One problem: The 3.5 Bard could go melee, or he could go spellcaster/controller, he could even go archery, and he was the only core arcane caster that had healing spells on his class list. He was so versatile and could go so many ways that I knew that I could never make a perfect mash-up of all the builds, but I could pick one of them and go from there, that's how I ended up with a hybrid.

I went with the melee build, the one that is as much a spellcaster or a performer as it is a rogue, since that was the one I felt like I'd have the most fun playing. Eventually I had all the features I wanted: I had the melee prowess, I had the skills, I had the auras and after tinkering a bit I only had one problem: I had a healing spell I couldn't get rid of, and no way to "Fascinate" my target.
This is why I'm on the homebrew forum; I gave myself a bonus feat.

Note that this was made for my HYBRID bard. Since there is no Hybrid Skald I was stuck with Majestic Word and nothing I could do about it, except homebrew:

True Bard
Prerequisite: Bard, Majestic Word Feature
Benefit:
  You lose your Majestic Word power, and instead you gain the Fascinate Feat Power.

Fascinate      Feat Power
You weave arcane maginc into yourperformance, enchanting your target. 
Encounter (special) · Implement, Arcane, Charm
Standard Action     Ranged 10
Target:
 One non-hostile creature
Attack: Charisma vs. Will
Hit: The target becomes Fascinated. The target sits quietly and observes the performance until the start of your next turn. You can end this effect as a free action. While fascinated the target takes a -5 penalty to passive perception and cannot take any immediate actions. Any potential threat grants the target a saving throw against this effect. Any obvious threat, such as somone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a weapon at the target automatically breaks the effect. If the effect is broken by a threat the target can take a standard action as an immediate interrupt. A creature can only be targeted by this spell once per day, and must be able to to see or hear you for the duration of the effect.
You can use this power as many times per encounter as you would be able to use your Majestic Word power 
    You can target one additional creature at level 6, 11, 16, 21 and 26.
Sustain Standard: You maintain the performance. 

"You can use this power as many times per encounter as you would be able to use your Majestic Word power" This line is not only crucial for scaling reasons, but this also means that a Hybrid Bard can take it with the appropriate limitations.

Remember, the spell is only broken if the target SEES that there's a threat. Remember that it's aldready distracted, can't make reactive perceptions checks and takes a penalty to passive perception. Go behind him, roll a stealth check (for melee) or Arcana check (for spell) to conceal your attack and get one free attack. You just got your self some combat advantage and time to position yourselves if you where heading into a combat encounter anyways.


The rest of the old class skills such as Bardic Performance, Bardic Knowledge etc are pretty much taken care of by the Bard features and the new powers that came with the Skald. (I'll work on "Suggestion" sometime later, most likely as a level 6 utility power)

I was pretty happy with my result, and after all this work and tinkering I just had to bring my build here. 'cause I love you guys, and when I do something that I put so much heart in I have to share it with you :D

When I made a Pathfinder Bard I only leveled it up to level 3, and I've never played 4e above Heroic tier, so there's probably a lot missing here that I haven't accounted for. As of now I'll just do the Fascinate, and then later I'll do Suggestion.

This is the entire class, hope you like it :D
There are 2 encounter powers that I've yet to pick, and the utility powers are pretty much exchangable, but please bare in mind that  this is my actual character for a game that's about to start. It's very accurate to my personal taste for this particular game and all very... personal in general.

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======

Tumnus the Tentuvus, level 5
Changeling, Bard/Rogue
Hybrid Bard Option: Hybrid Bard Will
Becomer Option: Athletics Bonus
Birth - On Another Plane (+2 to Arcana)
Theme: Wizard's Apprentice

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 8, CON 11, DEX 18, INT 14, WIS 12, CHA 18

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 8, CON 11, DEX 15, INT 14, WIS 12, CHA 15


AC: 19 Fort: 13 Ref: 18 Will: 19
HP: 43 Surges: 6 Surge Value: 10

TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +11, Athletics +8, Bluff +13, Diplomacy +11, Stealth +11, Thievery +11

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +10, Dungeoneering +7, Endurance +6, Heal +7, History +8, Insight +9, Intimidate +10, Nature +7, Perception +7, Religion +8, Streetwise +10

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Wizard's Apprentice Attack: Color Orb
Changeling Racial Power: Changeling Disguise
Changeling Racial Power: Changeling Trick
Feat Power: Fascinate
Bard Attack 1: Cutting Words
Rogue Attack 1: Piercing Strike
Bard Attack 1: Dirge of the Damned
Bard Utility 2: Beguiling Ballad
Rogue Attack 5: Go for the Eyes

FEATS
Bonus: True Bard
Level 1: Ritual Caster
Level 2: Becomer
Level 4: Bard of All Trades

ITEMS
Magic Leather Armor +1 x1
Adventurer's Kit
Climber's Kit
Thieves' Tools
Woodwind
Footpads
Gambler's gear
Gambling cheats
Wavestrider Boots
Bard's Songblade Dagger +2 x1
Spidersilk Mantle +1 x1
Knock
Last Sight Vision
Lullaby
====== End ======


Build Notes:

I picked Changeling for the Dex/Cha bonus, and reasons specific to my campaign.
Originally I had "Dualist's Panache" instead of Becomer. But since Become gives me a +2 racial bonus to a skill and one language, and no longer needed the background benefit to learn the language I wanted to learn and therefor gained two racial bonuses and a really cool feature in exchange for +4 Athletics.

Bard Attack 1: Dirge of the Damned
Bard Utility 2: Beguiling Ballad

These two spells are really flavourful. One of them is reminescent of the old Bardic Performances and the other one kinda reminds me of how the Bard could enchant creatures in a magical way, like Fascinate, Suggestion and even Distraction. 

Lullaby is actually the Sleep spell mixed with the old feat Spellsong.

Piercing Strike I picked for accuracy, and I've actually yet to decide on the other at-will power. It'll definetly be a ranged implement power, but I don't know which one.

I am trained in 6 skills and I think I have an avarage of ca. +9 in each spell. That's pretty impressive xD

The only thing i'd like to add to this specific character would be Imposter's Armor, but I'll have to ask my DM since it's not available as a Leather armor.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
I'd suggest allowing them to use either power off the same pool of uses. Class feature powers are not the kind of thing you remove with a feat. Treat it like a channel divinity feat the number of uses doesn't increase but they can use either power a total number of times as an un-feated character could use the original power.

In fact it could be re-formatted to a low level utility power. 
Not a bad idea, but seeing how one is more used in combat and the other out of combat, what is the difference between that and just givin him both powers?
Remember you can't randomaly fascinate a orc charging your way; the creature must have the will to pay attention to your performance. I like the idea, but wouldn't that be adding a feature and therefor disrupting the balance of the class?

I was wondering about the spells. The 3.5 bard could cast many of the same spells as the sorcerer or wizard... Should we add that in or try to stick to making only minor changes?

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
Simple if it hasn't been at least five minutes since you tried to fascinate someone then you're down a majestic word or two when the fight starts. Thus the old sing-and-sting starts to be a question of whether the sting is worth the sing.

However it would probably be simpler to make this a bard utility. I mean how many times in an encounter can you generally use fascinate anyway so why not just make it a second or sixth level bard utility? 
I'd suggest allowing them to use either power off the same pool of uses. Class feature powers are not the kind of thing you remove with a feat.



Not true. Several of the feats in Class Compendium: Feats article let you swap class features (e.g. School of Magic Apprentice lets you trade Arcane Implement Mastery for School of Magic Apprentice, and Templar's Domain causes you to lose Healer's Lore and gain a 1st-level divine domain feature), as does Skald Training training in Heroes of the Feywild (lose majestic word, gain skald's aura).

Anyway, I've homebrewed a few 3.5E inspired bard powers myself, such as inspire courage, inspire greatness, and inspire heroics (2nd, 6th, and 16th level utility powers respectively). I implemented fascinate in a slightly different way (as a 1st level daily power), and also came up with a feat to emulate suggestion. Here's a slightly tweak version that's compatible with the True Bard feat above:

Bardic Suggestion
Prerequisite: 6th level, True Bard feat
Benefit:
 You gain the bardic suggestion feat power.

Bardic Suggestion      Feat Power
You thread a spell of compulsion into a creature already enchanted by your performance.
At-Will · Arcane, Charm, Implement
Standard Action     Ranged
10
Target:
 One creature subject to your fascinate power
Attack: Charisma vs. Will
Hit: The target takes a single standard action or move action of your choice.
Special: The only powers you can make the target use are at-will powers.
I like the "suggestion", and I'm sure as hell that it's more balanced than the one hour duration of the orginal spell xD

I would love to see your utility powers, if you wouldn't mind ^^

For this particular character I'll keep the feat like it is. We have a healer and I'd rather not "steal his role", I know that's how I would feel if I we're playing a leader and some skill monkey with sneak attack would start healing for me x)

But for general use and purposes the "same pool of usage" probably works great, bu nbnmare is right; swapping out entire class features is the new cool these days; all the cool kids are doing it. 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
Erm... guys...
What is the difference between what we just made and


Lullaby
Your audience grows sleepy with your soothing performance.

Component Cost: 25 gp, plus a focus worth 20 gp
Market Price: 125 gp
Key Skill: Arcana
Level: 3
Category: Exploration
Time: 10 minutes
Duration: As long as you play plus 10 minutes
Prerequisite: Bard


Your performance makes your audience drowsy. Make an Arcana check. The result determines the penalty to Insight checks and Perception checks of each creature that can hear you other than you and your allies.






















Arcana CheckResult Penalty
19 or lower-2
20—29-4
30—39-6
40 or higher-10



Affected creatures are also considered distracted, which might allow an ally (or you, after you stop playing) to make Stealth checks to hide from them even without superior cover or total concealment.
Focus: A musical instrument you play as part of performing the ritual. 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
Then use that then. I honestly think you guys are going a little nutty trying to make feat powers when you could just add the powers you're making to the bard list.
Well, replacing an ability you won't use via feat you give to yourself as a bonus feat is bascially doing just that xD

What do you mean "trying to make" and "little nutty". I'll have you know that a) We just made that power and b) we are for more than just a "little nutty" 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
Then use that then. I honestly think you guys are going a little nutty trying to make feat powers when you could just add the powers you're making to the bard list.



Sure, bardic suggestion could possibly be a 1st at-will attack power, but considering the 3.5E bard doesn't gain suggestion until level 6 it kind of breaks with the spirit of things a bit too much. If it were higher level it would need to be an encounter power, and again that's not really in keeping with the original.

Anyway, here are my homebrewed 3.5E inspired utility powers (sorry for the lack of flavour text). The first one, inspire courage, is intended to replace song of courage (which is similar but only grants the attack roll bonus - IMO rather underpowered compared to something like disruptive words).

Inspire Courage      Bard Utility 2
(Insert flavour text)
Daily · Arcane, Zone
Standard Action     Close
 burst 5
Effect: The burst creates a zone of bolstering song that lasts until the end of your next turn. When you move, the zone moves with you, remaining centered on you. While in the zone, you and any ally gain a +1 power bonus to saving throws against charm and fear effects, and a +1 power bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls.
Sustain Minor: The zone persists.

Inspire Greatness      Bard Utility 6
(Insert flavour text)
Daily · Arcane
Standard Action     Close
 burst 5
Target: You or one ally in the burst
Effect: The target gains a number of temporary hit points equal to your Charisma modifier. Until the end of your next turn, he or she also gains a +2 power bonus to attack rolls, and a +2 power bonus to Fortitude.
Sustain Minor: The power bonuses persist if the target is within range.

Inspire Heroics      Bard Utility 16
(Insert flavour text)
Daily · Arcane
Standard Action     Close
 burst 5
Target: You or one ally in the burst
Effect: Until the end of your next turn, the target gains a +4 power bonus to saving throws, and a +4 power bonus to AC.
Sustain Minor: The power bonuses persist if the target is within range.

Also, this is my version of fascinate. I tried to find a balance between the effects of the original, and the style and power level of other level 1 bard daily attack powers (e.g. they all grant an encounter long effect, and an effect on a miss).

Fascinate      Bard Attack 1
(Insert flavour text)
Daily · Arcane, Charm
Standard Action     Ranged
 10
Target: One creature
Attack: Charisma vs. Will
Hit: The target is stunned and takes a -4 penalty to saving throws (save ends). This effect ends if the target is attacked by you or your allies.
Miss: The target is dazed until the end of your next turn.
Effect: Until the end of the encounter, whenever you hit an enemy with an attack, that enemy can take either a move action or a standard action during its next turn, but not both. It can still take minor actions and free actions as normal.

I didn't do inspire competence or song of freedom as they already exist; inspire competence is a level 2 utility in PH2, and song of freedom is the level 10 utility break enchantment in Arcane Power.

I haven't yet converted any of the new bardic performances introduced by Pathfinder, but the level 22 utility aura of reverence in HotFW is a good substitute for Pathfinder's frightening tune.
You did a very, very, very good job.

The utility powers are exact replicas of their older-version counterparts, completely soaked with 4e.
 
Fascinate's effect is beautiful. I love it how limitation like this affect gameplay. Although making it an level 1 daily attack and saying "You must hit him, but your allies can't" makes make little sense, makes its usage completely different and at the same time makes it lose it's flavour. Fascinate is a avoid-combat utility power, if it is so, why on earth would you hit the target?
Love that it has a miss effect.


Do you homebrew a lot? I don't think I've spoken to you before?

I ask 'cause you have nighe flaveless 4e vocabulary. A lot of the homebrewers tend to pharse things a bith their own way. Bot those powers... They read if they've just come fresh from the Online Combendium 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
Each of the powers I've introduced is a daily power. Since we can't easily replicate the 3E bard's "one use of bardic music per day per level", letting them use each power once per day seemed the easiest compromise. In fact, a level 1 4E bard can use fascinate just as often as a level 1 3.5E bard.

Also, the stunned condition seems a good way to match the original class feature (i.e. no actions), and a "save ends" stunned effect is a tad too powerful for a level 1 encounter power. Perhaps it could use a sustain minor instead, but then it wouldn't work as well with bardic suggestion (which also requires a sustain minor), and would stand out from the existing bard level 1 encounter powers.

If the player is a skald, perhaps the effect could be changed to: "Until the end of the encounter, your skald's aura gains the following effect: Whenever you or an ally hit an enemy in the aura, that enemy can take either a standard action or a move action during its next turn, but not both. It can still take minor actions and free actions as normal."


Regarding homebrew in general, I've homebrewed a tonne of stuff, and have been doing it for quite some time, but haven't really posted that much of it online yet. I did contribute to a number of Baldur's Gate 2 mods back in the mid 90s (check out the kit mods at The Gibberlings 3); at first we just focused on converting pnp 2E kits into kits for the game, but later we got more creative and adapted a number of 3E prestige classes back into the 2E system. My personal highlight was completely reworking the BG2 monk so that it had practically every class feature available to the 3E monk.

I tend to be something of a stickler when it comes to writing stuff up. I studied English Language at college and I'm pretty good at adapting someone else's vernacular; when I write a power, a class feature, a feat, etc I'll look at existing examples that do something relatively similar (even if it's just something at the same power level), and try to phrase what I write in the same way. My main issue is coming up with decent flavour text, as the lack of such above shows.
If Fascinate becomes a replacement for Majestic Word, it should have use in or out of combat.

How about...

Fascinate
Encounter (Special)   Arcane, Charm
Minor Action  Close burst 5 (10 at 11th level, 15 at 21st level)
Target: One enemy in burst
Effect: The target cannot make attacks and has -10 to Perception until the end of your next turn. You also slide the target 1 square. This effect also ends if the target is attacked.
Special: You can use this power twice per encounter, but only once per round. At 16th level, you can use this power three times per encounter, but only once per round.

So, this should look familiar. Very much like majestic Word. I can't say if its balanced or not, but is taking a creature out of combat for one round equal to a good dose of healing? Granted, this would be more detrimental to an elite or a solo. This might change the Bard in a controller.
Well, your take on the power is similar to tasha's forcible conscription, which is a level 5 wizard daily attack power. The differences are that tasha's is a ranged 10, the effect ends if the target is attacked, there's an aftereffect that causes the target make a basic attack against a target of your choice, and the target is dazed on a miss.

I would at least add "This effect also ends if the target is attacked." onto the effect.


On another note, here are a couple of 3.5E-inspired alternative class features:

Bardic Knowledge
This class feature replaces Skill Versatility.
    Benefit: When you make a knowledge check, you treat the DC for common knowledge as 10 instead of 15.

Bard Cantrips
This class feature replaces Multiclass Versatility.
    Benefit: You gain two wizard cantrips of your choice.
ciaran, WotC worked really hard at taking almost all stuns out of the game over the course of this year, and I'd like to honor that by not giving myself a STUN TWICER PER ENCOUNTER x) Jesus that **** is powerful, it's an effect and no way of breaking the spell... Shiza!

Bard Cantrips
nbnmare, you read my mind!
I'm actually taking the Resourceful Magician Paragon Path just to be able to get the wizard cantrips! :D :D :D
I'm sad to say that it has limited usage, seeing how the Skald is what people are going to use for the 3.5 feel, and Hybrid Bard doesn't get the Multiclass Versatility class feature. 
I think it's amazing that you thought about giving the bard cantrips though. I was wondering, if Dark Sun gets "Wild Talent Master" feat, then why don't we have:

Masterful Spellcaster:
Prerequisite: Any arcane class other than wizard.
Benefit: You gain 2 wizard cantrips of your choice. These choices can be retrained. The number of cantrips known increases to 3 at Paragon Tier and 4 at Epic tier.


Bardic Knowledge has to be tweaked, since knowledge DC scale with level, and 4e already allows "take ten" in non-strenous situtions. I've always found that Versatile Performance and Bardic Knowledge got covered by Skill Versatility and then the Utilty power called "Bardic Knowledge".

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
I modified my version of the power to reflect the suggestions. Input?

Bardic Knowledge has to be tweaked, since knowledge DC scale with level, and 4e already allows "take ten" in non-strenous situtions.



The benefit should be applicable at all levels: you still get common knowledge checks at paragon and epic, there is simply a respective +5 and +10 DC modifier to the check.

I've always found that Versatile Performance and Bardic Knowledge got covered by Skill Versatility and then the Utilty power called "Bardic Knowledge".



You mean bardic lore, right? There's also the Bardic Knowledge feat in PH2, which I completely forgot about; I guess I'll have to rename the class feature. How about this? 

Bardic Trivia
This class feature replaces Skill Versatility.
    Benefit: Once per day, you can reroll a single failed knowledge check. In addition, you treat the DC for common knowledge as 10 instead of 15.

Also, thinking about it, since we're adding a more controller-y feel to the bard, Bard Cantrips may be a better replacement for Song of Rest than for Multiclass Versatility.


EDIT: Just remembered: there was a variant 3.5E bard back in Dragon #337 called the Harbinger, which replaced the leader-type bardic performances with more controller-esque effects (instill fear, encourage failure, dishearten, dirge of binding, and drain prowess). I think I'll have a go at converting those to 4E tomorrow.

EDIT 2: I'll probably attempt the diresinger from Libris Mortis' diresongs (song of sorrow, song of bolstering, song of grief, song of horror, and song of awakening) at some point, too.
My sincere apologies go to Ciaran. It doesn't matter how many time you tell yourself "Don't write stuff on the internet when you're moody", you eventually end up doing it anyways.

Ciaran was only contributing, and that he chose my cause one worthy of contributing gives me a special feeling. He contributed, and for some reason I bashed him for not doing everything "my way" when he was instead creative and apropriate.

I am so sorry my friend, we have commented on many of the same posts, which means a lot of the things I work on wouldn't be the same if it wasn't for you. I hope we can keep on homebrewing together in the future. 

For some strange reason I'm still gonna keep the original post here, perhaps as a reminder of how although a person makes one post that's completely inapropriate, it does not mean he has to be a douche all the time. These are supposed to be spoiler boxes, don't know what's wrong with them...

Show

ciaran, you're about to witness what happens when you try to replace someone's homebrewed power on the homebrew forums, when the maker of the original power is really cranky (and will probably apologize for this post when he reads it later):

The changes from my fascinate to your fascinate power:

+ a -5 penalty to perception (not just passive perception)
+ a slide
- targets multiple enemies
- wall of text of how to break the spell and what the consequences are of doing so
- Provokes an opportunity attack
- Does not benefit from implements with stuff like added range or other properties
- an attack roll
x I've yet to add the "the target must be able to see or hear the performance for the duration of this effect" etc. to my version.
x Mine has the usage of telling a story to a guard to make it easier to slip past him, your has the usage of dazing the orc that is focused on slicing your tank to pieces, whether he's paying attention to your performance or not.
x You did use the correct keywords, wheras I didn't remember the "Charm" keyword.

so to make it bluntly: It's the same power but less flavourful, less reminiscent of the old 3.5 ability, less useful and I don't like it.

Next time try to use phrases like "What if we make the effect of Fascinate "You lose one action" and take away the attack roll? That would make it look more like majestic word..."

Why would we want it to look like majestic word anyways? These powers have nothing in common, I'm just exchanging it with Majestic Word since in this campaign I don't want to take the healing role away from the actual healer. As stated before, if this were an official thing they'd probably just ADD it to the class without subracting anything at all.

Regarding Solos and Elites: My version grants a saving throw if the party isn't careful. Solos and Elites have a bonus to saving throws so that should break the effect.

The Bard IS a controller, and we are not trying to come up with a feature that's "the equal to a good dose of healing", we are taking looks at what could, would or should make the Bard more reminiscent of the 3.5 bard.

Nice effort, but what a miss.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
made some blue updates to my first post. Check it out.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
You're right, song of rest should've been the first thing we replaced.

If you are thinking about making changes to the bard to make it more nostalgic, start with the skald.
Although I do think Skald's Aura can stay as it is, even though it allows players to regain hit points.

Essentially, Word of Friendship is this version's Fascinate (look at the keywords Arcane and Charm)


nmare, try this one on for size:

Bardic Trivia:
Prerequisite: Bard
Benefit: When you roll a knowledge check, you can treat a d20 roll of 2 through 7 as if you had rolled an 8. A natural 1 is still treated as a 1.

This feat is based on Wood Elf Agility and I think it catches exactly what we need with far less of a hassle, since it affects the roll and not the DC.
 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
You guys talked about using the Stunned condition instead of the "Fascinated" conditions. This is why I havent done so:

Stunned sounds overpowered. This is already a 2/encounter power, and saying "stunned" might get some people worked up. It's limitations are in the "non-hostile creature" target line, but I'm afraid a lot of people would ignore it and say that a stun twice per encounter is just rediculus. 
The target does not grant combat advantage: Since targeting the creature breakes the effect, the attack wont have CA for the attack against a fascinated target, and therefore noting that it grants combat advantage is unessecary.
It can take immediate actions: When the effect breakes it takes an immediate action, this could not be done if the creature were stunned
Flavour: I dont want players to look at the creature as stunned, (as in mortal kombat "FINISH HIM") I want them to think fascinated, like Dora and... that Clown fish when they were fascinated by that... fishingpole fish-thing in Finding Nemo, or anyone using Enigma's device in the old Batman Forever.
 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
Okay... so I've converted most of the harbinger and dirgesinger abilities, adapted the revised version of fascinate in the first post of the topic to work with skald's aura, borrowed and slightly altered a countersong power from another thread, tweaked some of the existing powers I previously posted, created a bunch of feats, and wrote it all up as a .doc file. The download is here.

It's very much still a work in progress - there's still stuff to be added, adjusted, or possibly thrown in the bin!
mhbjarkistef:

Well, you were right about the cranky part.

Since we're talking about (at least what I thought we were talking about) replacing a role-defining class feature, that being the 2/encounter healing, I thought it appropriate to make it equally powerful in any and all arenas. This is why I blandly wrote mine the way I did. It needs to be as potent as the class feature it means to replace. Heals don't require attack rolls. Heals are useful anywhere.  Your version is situational, and actually restores the bard to his old role of "I'm contributing, but no one, not even me, is really sure what my job is".

Your response has more points than I than I have the patience to address, and I'm not sure I fully understand your +-x system of bullet points. It seems the earlier posters were correct: Fascinate should be a utility power, not replace a role-defining class feature. I appologize for attempting to help your cause.
I've updated the compiled .doc file with several changes and additions. Grab the new version here.

The big change is that the new levelled utility powers have all been tweaked to tie into skald's aura. Unlike the utility powers presented in Heroes of the Feywild, many of them are sustainable - hopefully making for a neat 3.5E-esque mechanic. This also allows for the addition of several new feats that only affect sustainable bard daily utility powers (naturally these will also work with existing sustainable bard daily utility powers, such as hunter's tune, song of defense, and symphony of misfortune).

Another change is that fascinating song can be sustained. I'm not sure why I didn't do this before, considering the 3.5E fasincate can be sustained.

I've also added several new powers and feats inspired by various 3.5E prestige classes; specifically, Seeker of the Song, Sublime Chord, War Chanter, and Warrior Skald.

Oh, and there's a bonus for 3.5E cleric fans on the last page .
I've uploaded another new version, which you can download here.

This time, I've combined all the alternative class features (except fascinating song), a couple of the feats, and some new options into a new all purpose "Bardic Knacks" alternative class feature. You can select one of the options provided by this feature instead of Master of Story and Song, Skill Versatility, Song of Rest, and words of friendship. There's also a feat that allows you to gain additional options (EDit: Rendered obsolete by another update). 

Naturally, a PH2 bard should be allowed access to these options as well, being able to replace Multiclass Versatility as well as Skill Versatility, Song of Rest, and words of friendship.


EDIT: More changes! The link above has been updated.

I've realised that the Loremaster (now renamed as Bardic Tuititon) option renders Skill Versatility pretty much useless, since you can use Loremaster to gain the Jack of All Trades feat (double the bonus of Skill Versatility). I've therefore added a revised version of Skill Versatility to the article that simply gives you Jack of All Trades. I've also included a modified version of Bard of All Trades; it still grants a +3 bonus to untrained skill checks, but has an additional once per day benefit as well, and now has Jack of All Trades as a prerequisite.

Bardic knacks have been altered so that most allow you to simply select from a range or category of feats. Most of the options which granted specific benefits are now feats, several of which are available to non-bards; Marcher's Chant and Team Specialist seem suitable for warlords, while Trustworthy nature and Urban Savant are a good thematic fit for rogues. Unnerving Manners is particularly appropriate for barbarians and slayers, and players building an urban-themed ranger might want to consider Unnerving Manners and Urban Savant as well.

The intention of bardic knacks was to go back even further into the history of D&D and allow 2nd Edition-style "kits" through the selection of certain sets of talents. The results also somewhat resemble the 3.5E rogue's Special Abilities (indeed, they serve as a good prototype for a 3.5esque scoundrel or thief). Some possible "kits" include:

Blade: Bardic Practicioner, Troupe Leader (Marcher's Chant), Weapon Savvy x2 (Light Blade Expertise, Two-Weapon Defense)

Charlatan: Multiclass Specialist, Skill Versatility, Urban Cunning (Trustworthy Nature), words of friendship

Chorister: Bardic Ritualist, Bardic Tuition, Divine Reverence x2 (Disciple of Inspiration, Disciple of Light)

Dabbler: Multiclass Specialist x4 (Combat Virtuoso, Multiclass Ingenuity, Multiclass Versatility, any multiclass feat)

Loremaster
: Bardic Tuition x3 (Disciple of Lore, Linguist, Skill Focus), Skill Versatility

Meistersinger: Arcane Sidekick x4 (Active Familiar, Arcane Familiar, Bonded Familiar, Swift Familiar)

Muse: Bardic Practioner, Troupe Leader x3 (Song of Rest, Song of Tranquility, Team Specialist)

Occultist: Arcane Sidekick (Arcane Familiar), Bard Cantrips, Bardic Ritualist, Master of Story and Song

Finally, I've added a couple more new powers (inspire vigor and song of warding) and a handful of new feats (Encore Performance, Master of Exploits, Multiclass Ingenuity, and Song of the Mountain - the latter being the first new bard racial feat), and tweaked a few things here and there; this includes making various powers martial instead of arcane.
I've yet to read the newest update, can't wait to see it :D

Personally, Skill Versatilty is one of my favourite bard features, I can't think of anything I'd like to exchange it for. 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
Just redownloaded and reread this. Even though I probably know this I'm going to say it again: I love this!

Probably what I love the most is that every single alteration is optional. This is not an "arctype", it's just a "hey, bored of your old ____, replace it with this thing!" It's due to this fact that can't even comment on most of these things, really, since it's all optional! If a person doesn't like some if this then they'll just not choose that thing.

I'm still gonna look at the powers, and see if we can improve on them a bit.

Distracting Verse:
I don't remember Distracting Word from 3.5, so I have no idea what this is based on.
-2 penalty to skill checks is weak, but stunned (save ends) is NOT the way to balance it, even if it's a standard action. WotC went to hell and back removing most stunning effects from the first two tiers, and even considering this is just outright giving them the middle finger xD. When I think "distracting" I think combat advantage, -2 penalty to hit and to most checks in general. There are some "distracting tricks" that distract an enemy that one ally becomes practically invisible to that foe. Disrupting Verse is 4e's current version of this, but if you want something different I suggest the following (although combat advantage seems more appropriate to me).
 



















Distracting VerseBard Attack 1
In verse or in song, in gesture or dance, you distract your enemies with a touch of magic.
Daily Arcane
Minor Action - Personal
Effect: Until the end of the encounter, your skald's aura gains the following effect: Enemies in the aura take a -2 penalty to skill checks and attack rolls. In addition, one enemy in the aura treats an ally of your choice as invisible until he attacks or until the end of the encounter.


Instill fear also needs revising, simply to gain the desired flavour:




















Instill FearBard Attack 1
Just like a horror movie uses sinister music, your magic give the tone of terror.
Daily Arcane
Minor Action - Personal
Effect: Until the end of the encounter, your skald's aura gains the following effect: Enemies within the aura take a -2 penalty to all defenses, and you and your allies gain a +5 bonus to intimidate against bloodied enemies within the aura.


I feel like people haven't realized this, but Intimdate is the "best" combat skill in the game. A pacifist cleric can deal just as much damage as a rogue simply by taking a standard action to roll intimidate vs. the target's will + 10. The rules say that if the target is a standard (non-elite non-solo) bloodied creature and the roll is successfull that creatre will give up fighting. Pretty impressive, huh? :D

Encourage Failure is probably not supposed to be a standard action.

Song of discord has a typo in it, replace "enemies" with "allies".

Song of sorrow is beautifully done :D

Inspire Greatness: "Until the end of your next turn, your skald's aura gains the following effect: You grant one ally within the aura a +2 power bonus..."

Disheartening Dirge seems underpowered.

I don't know much about levels above 8, but Enchanting Melody seems a biiiiit too much, seeing how it's not an attack vs. will and automatically stuns (Which is a no-no). Seeing how my knowledge of the games balance pretty much stops here, then so will I.

Feats:
Master of Exploits and Multiclass Ingenuity. Although 3.5 will disagree, 4e requests you to change the last line of the power to "In addition, you can use Charisma for the power's attack roll, but not damage roll".

Rest of the feat are very good and very flavourful.

Thanks so much for listing me in the credits, it's so cool to see my name in something like this :D
If you plan to edit the document my name is Bjarki Stefánsson.

Thanks so much for doing this, this really blows life into the Bard class and all that it is missing in 4e :D 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.