D&DNext: Bard

What are we speculating? What are we wishing for?

It seems obvious that the classes are being reduced to their most iconic and memorable facets, whether these be trope, mechanic or capability related. I like the idea, and I'm on board for a new game, but I'm nervous about which particular aspects of the bard through history we are going to see focused on.

I'm, personally, hoping for a bard that is more rogue than wizard. I like the imagery of the bard circa AD&D2E, where he was a foppish dandy, stylish utilitarian or poetic gallant.

The most obviously unique aspect of bard-building in past incarnations of the game was instrument choice, which never came to meaningful fruition in 4E. I would like to see instruments supported in such a way as to bring them back into focus for the bard class. Instruments are iconic to bards the way that bludgeoning weapons are iconic to clerics, spellbooks are iconic to wizards, and daggers are iconic to rogues. -- Not everyone plays the stereotype, but the iconic imagery exists.

3XE had a lot of influence on the perception of bards and the way that they interact with the game mechanically, where bards are heralded as the best 5th man. Some would argue that his skillfulness, magical aptitude and his capable combat prowess made him iconic for being nothing more than second best at everything, but I always liked how it felt to be the bard because the working day was simply easier if you were a part of the action. You were useful, always had something to contribute, and your very presence made everyone else better at what they did. Ultimately it wasn't your breadth of able contribution that made you famous, it was the essence of your charm that made +1's and experiences memorable. I would love this basic aspect of the bard as "party modifier" to be the prime aspect of the class that the designers choose to highlight.

I've just been thinking a lot about what makes a bard A BARD after you strip away any and all redundancy.

Thoughts?



Danny

I'm all for instrument specialization, and even like the idea of a non-singing bard using poetry or dance (useful under certain conditions, at a disadvantage under another onessince you needn't be heard, but must be seen)). I envision bardic music as taking effect after a song (as 4e bardic rituals) or during it (like 2e-3e bard songs), with a little room for improvisation and variations in a song (like 4e powers, usable only while playing a song). Traditional arcane spells would be few and low level, as for a jack of all trades, more for usefulness than for power. A more roguish bard certainly has a great appeal to me.
Usually, I don't bump threads, but I think every class (or at least every one which we know they are aiming to include in the core PHB) should have a thread in the first page, if not a sticky thread.
Bard is one of the classes where there isn't an iconic idea of what the class is or many examples from stories you can point to, but something that a lot of people like the idea of. I really think there are three unrelated classes that are all under the bard tent, and they really need to be broken out. The first is the rogue/bard, the dashing scoundrel, the second is a fighter/bard, a war chanter, the third is the wizard/bard, a user of musical magic. Hopefully D&D next lets you build any of these three or even mix and match two a bit. Trying to do all three ends up with the 3e bard, which was so broad as to be very weak in most situations.

The Bard, to me, is the epitome of the Face archetype. Not only is he massively personable, and charming, but he's so charming that his very presence pushes his team onto greater things.

He's skilled, but not massively so, he can fight, but not massively well. Instead, he encourages his allies to be better, while making his enemies question why they're even fighting.


He's very similar to the Warlord, but with a greater tendency towards magic, and being a Diplomacy/Bluff archetype, whereas the Warlord is more of a Intimidate/Diplomacy archetype. 
I agree with the interpretation of Face (A-Team for those who don't know) as an example of a bard.

I'll also cite Shakespeare from his depiction in Skakespeare Code (Doctor Who), and Geofrey Chaucer from A Knight's Tale (hated the movie but does a fine job of illustraiting my point) as great examples of how I imagine Bards acting. 

To me their the magic/skillful version of a Warlord.  I want there to be incentives for playing classes with a high Cha beyond kicking butt as a Sorcerer. 

Mechanically I want to see them expressed in combat as buffers and debuffers.  As a non-4e fan I thought it did the class great.  With a more loose interpretation of HP as your ability to keep on fighting an inspiring speach or a song dedicated to how awesomely you're kicking evil's face in can be a way of regaining HP and boosting attacks or saves.  Also giving enemies minuses and causing them to lose action, become dazed and what not with regards to demoralizing foes.  Basically bards are that playlist you make for going to the gym or on a road trip. 

One of my few 4e characters was an LFR half-orc bard inspired by Nathan Explosion.  He specialized in debuffing, splash damage, and the limited selection of necrotic, fire, and cold powers for bards.  The imagery from the show involving those listening being incited into insanity and rage by face melting metal is just one thing I want from a bard.
The most essential elements to bards are:

Musical talent
Jack-of-Trades
a mix of spell and swordsmenship
Being the face

For me the way I picture it, I picture the popstar of my choice, backed up by special effects (magic), with some fencing training singing my favourite songs, not some noble dandy in leotards. I will never play a character in a leatard, never!!! I'll feed my character to a manticore first.

I'm thinking something more along the lines of David Bowie Prince of Goblins. Including the mask he wears during his dance with Sarah. Jared will always be my iconic male bard, and a singing version of Harelqiun as my iconic female bard.

Anyway most of his powers should simple be based on songs he sings, which buff, debuff, heal, charm, create illusions, and sonic/thunder attacks. He has access to limited spells and he can sword fight, and he gets a jack of a trade feature for certain skills. Some songs will make the bard a better fighter, others a better skill/out of combat guy depending on his choice of songs.

Also kits could focus more on one aspect over another, like war chanter scarifices spells for a higher attack bonus and more damage to melee attacks, a Jester scarifices buffing and charm songs for a constant debuff effect no matter what other kind of song he or she is singing, a scandrol would scarifice something for higher skills and sneaking abilities, while a choirsinger would have buffed healing, but less fighting ability, and of course the goblin prince kit would have the babe and a labyrinth in exchange for vulneriblity 10 vs. pretty brunettes.
Bard = Gabriel (Xena)?
A non-musical variant would be nice.
A non-musical variant would be nice.



Doable via refluffing in 4e, and doable via careful spell selection and choosing Oratory as your Perform skill in 3e.

I already know my wish for the bard, 'removal' is off the table ...
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
For the sake of being difficult:  Just why is a musical, jack-of-all-trades party buffer called a 'bard'? Granted that is the direction the class has taken over the course of D&D.  But it seems that its gotten further and further from anything that was ever called a bard either historically or in fiction (not counting franchise fiction based upon the D&D rule-set).

Personally, if you are going to call somehing a 'bard' - it ought to be more of a chronicler and 'face' - lots of social skills, lots of other skills.  But singing during combat?  Casting spells? 


Not only should a non-muscial bard be possible, it ought to be the default. They didn't call Shakespeare "The Bard" because of his fine singing voice.    The term bard refers to the writing (and recitation) of poetry and prose.

I know - we went down this path out of  a desire to make sure that they (as with all classes) had an equal role to play in combat - because what happened outside of combat was deemed irrelevant to class design.

So - what is essential to the bard.

First - I think (as do several others in this thread) that the idea of a 'face' character is key.  Bards are the ones who have the social skills.
Second - a major part of being a bard was that they, far more than anyone else, were literate.  They not only wrote the chronicles of the times, they read them.  This allowed them to know far more about the history and legends of their time.    This can be seen as bonuses to knowledge skills (in a game with skills) or abilities such as the bardic lore of earlier editions.
But both of these are non-combat traits.

So what do they do in combat

They have been seen as fighters, rogue, bards, druids, illusionists and leaders in the past.  But how much do any of these really relate to essential 'bardism'?  Not much - I think that any connection of these to bards comes from their having been given those characteristics in a prior edition, not from any a priori connection from any of these to the bard concept.

Thus:  An alternate approach.

Imagine that the game has 'something' - theme, template, kit, whatever - that gives a character a strong set of fluff and some non-combat type abilities to better 'flesh out' your character.

Further imagine that one of these is "Bard".  Taking this theme (whatever) gives you some bonuses to your social and knowledge skills, as well as some performance based fluff (spoken, written, singing, etc. as desired).

You think Bards should be leaders who buff and inspire the party?  Take a warlord type class and the bard theme.
You think Bards should wield illusionist magic?  Take an illusionist and the bard theme.
You think Bards should be fighters?  Take a fighter (or ranger) and the bard theme.
You thiink Bards should be arcane spellcasters?  Take a sorcerer and the bard theme.
You think Bards should have a mixture of these?  Multiclassand take the bard theme.

And if you really want to be able to sing your spells, you can reskin it to your hearts content.

Doable via refluffing in 4e, and doable via careful spell selection and choosing Oratory as your Perform skill in 3e.

I already know my wish for the bard, 'removal' is off the table ...




Look on the plus side; we've finally found a single thing we agree on.


Damn bards.
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.

Doable via refluffing in 4e, and doable via careful spell selection and choosing Oratory as your Perform skill in 3e.

I already know my wish for the bard, 'removal' is off the table ...




Look on the plus side; we've finally found a single thing we agree on.


Damn bards.



Guess there had to be something.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I already know my wish for the bard, 'removal' is off the table ...



They have stated they aim to include every D&D class that has ever appeared in a PHB 1.
I wouldn't mind a a Bard (or type, like the 5th Ed Ranger is covering 3 archetpes so far) with some of the original Druidical tutelage action.

I also really like my 2nd Ed Al-Qadim Rawun (bard). 
To me, the incarnation of Bard that makes the most sense is the Skald from Heroes of the Feywild:  one basic aura through which all of your buffs, debuffs, and heals are channeled.  Not that I think heals should be mandatory for bards, but it's a sensible option, keeping the spirits up and whatnot.

As for being a jack-of-all-trades, I really don't see why that needs to be part of the package.  Maybe an option, but not the default?

I don't feel like normal arcane spells should be part of the mix -- those should come from multi-classing.  A shouty-type damaging ability would be good, though.

As for fighting prowess, a middle-of-the-road baseline, with the option to grow into a swashbuckling superstar if that is how you want to build it.
If your position is that the official rules don't matter, or that house rules can fix everything, please don't bother posting in forums about the official rules. To do so is a waste of everyone's time.
For the sake of being difficult:  Just why is a musical, jack-of-all-trades party buffer called a 'bard'? Granted that is the direction the class has taken over the course of D&D.  But it seems that its gotten further and further from anything that was ever called a bard either historically or in fiction (not counting franchise fiction based upon the D&D rule-set).

Personally, if you are going to call somehing a 'bard' - it ought to be more of a chronicler and 'face' - lots of social skills, lots of other skills.  But singing during combat?  Casting spells? 


The ancient bards were chroniclers but they were also sacrosanct and if you offended them or harmed them their retaliation was in the form of curses even if they were dead it would also undermine your social standing and undermine your sexual prowess, make your facial hair grow too fast for petty ofenses and similar things pretty fun magic.

There is a direct connect.

Much of history and learning was tied up in singing to make it easier to remember.
The origin story of Tolkein for example is entirely musical (the language of creation probably has to be sung)
The root words for  Incantation and Enchantment are both musical (cant)- heck any spell caster is likely singing.
Music wasnt just entertainment it WAS magic and the divine and history too.



  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 



I could never really connect with this concept.
 
Monte Cook actually presented a variant build for the Bard class in 3XE (printed under his own Malhavoc Press) that appeared to be well received as the Bard "players were looking for." -- Perhaps we'll see a revisit in the 5E incarnation?

The class was built around Spellsongs as the central mechanic, which surely pleased many.  

Danny

I wouldn't mind a a Bard (or type, like the 5th Ed Ranger is covering 3 archetpes so far) with some of the original Druidical tutelage action.

I'm not against the idea. I like variety.


To me, the incarnation of Bard that makes the most sense is the Skald from Heroes of the Feywild:  one basic aura through which all of your buffs, debuffs, and heals are channeled.  Not that I think heals should be mandatory for bards, but it's a sensible option, keeping the spirits up and whatnot.

I agree that the one basic aura through which all of your effects may be administered was a sound and applicable design decision, I'm just not sold on the melee focus of the Skald in general. I know that there is precedence for the warrior skald, but he's beefier than the iconic bard IMO.

As for being a jack-of-all-trades, I really don't see why that needs to be part of the package.  Maybe an option, but not the default?

The jack-of-all-trades bit is key to the soul of the class and should be reflected in the skill modules moreso than anywhere else IMO.

I don't feel like normal arcane spells should be part of the mix -- those should come from multi-classing.  A shouty-type damaging ability would be good, though.

I agree on both points.

I feel that access to spell-use should be multi-classing dependant, but I would very much like for the Bard to finally overcome the terrible suffrage of having to invest in multiple implements/weapons/etc to produce on an expected level.

A shouty-type damaging ability would be awesome, and in 4E terms it should have been a basic attack of some type.

As for fighting prowess, a middle-of-the-road baseline, with the option to grow into a swashbuckling superstar if that is how you want to build it.

Sure.


The ancient bards were chroniclers but they were also sacrosanct and if you offended them or harmed them their retaliation was in the form of curses even if they were dead it would also undermine your social standing and undermine your sexual prowess, make your facial hair grow too fast for petty ofenses and similar things pretty fun magic.

There is a direct connect.

Much of history and learning was tied up in singing to make it easier to remember.
The origin story of Tolkein for example is entirely musical (the language of creation probably has to be sung)
The root words for  Incantation and Enchantment are both musical (cant)- heck any spell caster is likely singing.
Music wasnt just entertainment it WAS magic and the divine and history too.

QFT


I could never really connect with this concept.

LOL I must own a poster of this.



Danny

I already know my wish for the bard, 'removal' is off the table ...

Yeah, well... we're all stuck with a class or two we could do without. Hehe

Danny

2nd had a few non-musical bards from the Kit book.  the jongleur(acrobat/juggler) the Herald, the blade the riddlemaster.  Likely a few others.
Believe the goal for the bard is to base it on the essential Dnd nature of the bard, so what ever they do in designing the bard it has to be recogizable as a bard to bard fans, who really are target demographic, not to those that don't like bards.

They targeted the 4e realms to appease realms haters and created a major back lash from Realms fans and which cost the company money, they do not want to make the same mistake when making the bard.
Bard = Gabriel (Xena)?



Heh, well she sure started out that way, I consider her a transitional character... ie she realyl started fully bard, but by the end she was pretty close to being a Xena skirmishing ranger.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Believe the goal for the bard is to base it on the essential Dnd nature of the bard, so what ever they do in designing the bard it has to be recogizable as a bard to bard fans, who really are target demographic, not to those that don't like bards. They targeted the 4e realms to appease realms haters and created a major back lash from Realms fans and which cost the company money, they do not want to make the same mistake when making the bard.

Agreed.

Danny

I am hoping for Support spells and Illusion and summon spells that do NOT exist for any other class. Bards are suppose to be the most flavorful of all magic users for how different they are. Singing and playing an instrument is required to do magic so forcing players to take checks in perform.

Having feats and such that substitute in Cha instead of STR like Snowflake Waltz for example.

Skill performence and magical powers like the ability to force characters out of fear effects etc.


Bards SHOULD in theory be the difference between people cowering in a corner peeing themselves and crying to their mothers at the sight of horror and Standing up looking the horror right in the eye and Demanding that they.

"bring it!"

That is what having a bard in the party "Should" be like!
I am hoping for Support spells and Illusion and summon spells that do NOT exist for any other class. Bards are suppose to be the most flavorful of all magic users for how different they are. Singing and playing an instrument is required to do magic so forcing players to take checks in perform.



No.  You shouldn't force that.  That'd be what we'd call a 'skill tax' or 'skill point tax', plus it makes it that much harder to reflavor the character into what you want it to be.  Performing should absolutely, positively, NOT be required.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
In many way the bard is the ideal adventurer-hero, he's not super powerful, but he's learned and canny, he understands the power of words, legacy, and history, he can inspire greatness in others and remind them of what they are capable of by telling tales of past heroes. They educate and inspire first and foremost.

A good bard class should try to capture that.

A good bard player should keep that in mind.

 

No.  You shouldn't force that.  That'd be what we'd call a 'skill tax' or 'skill point tax', plus it makes it that much harder to reflavor the character into what you want it to be.  Performing should absolutely, positively, NOT be required.



Unless it's free.


Using the 4E skill system, for example, bards could get Perform + X of their choice the way rogues get Stealth + X of their choice.
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.

No.  You shouldn't force that.  That'd be what we'd call a 'skill tax' or 'skill point tax', plus it makes it that much harder to reflavor the character into what you want it to be.  Performing should absolutely, positively, NOT be required.



Unless it's free.


Using the 4E skill system, for example, bards could get Perform + X of their choice the way rogues get Stealth + X of their choice.



I've been opposed to mandatory skill trainings since 4e day one.  My rogue may not be sneaky, so don't force him to be.  Same with the bard; if I'm reflavoring it into someone who doesn't perform, forcing me to take a perform skill screws up the whole thing.

No class skill lists, no mandatory skill training.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I like the way that the Skald's aura can be drawn upon using other character's own actions. It lends a specific feel and captures the idea that you have to actively draw inspiration from the Bard's unique magic, let it come over you and wield it as your own.

I'd love to see a Bard with an interesting and meaningful way to augment and manipulate the Aid Another mechanic, which doesn't see enough use. (This isn't to say that I want the Bard to be relegated to a pitiful sandbox of Aid Another actions, only that I'd love to see a cool way for him to interact with the Aid Another options.)


No.  You shouldn't force that.  That'd be what we'd call a 'skill tax' or 'skill point tax', plus it makes it that much harder to reflavor the character into what you want it to be.  Performing should absolutely, positively, NOT be required.

+1


I am hoping for Support spells and Illusion and summon spells that do NOT exist for any other class. Bards are suppose to be the most flavorful of all magic users for how different they are. Singing and playing an instrument is required to do magic so forcing players to take checks in perform.

Salla makes a very good point above.

Taxing and shoe-horning are definitely not what we're looking for in D&DNext.


Having feats and such that substitute in Cha instead of STR like Snowflake Waltz for example.

I'd much prefer that the Bard have a feature that provides a flavorful way of contributing something strickly offensive, but I find the overall approach of slapping a Cha modifier on everything we want the Bard to do as kinda meh. -- Also, again, I vote for class features as opposed to "optional" feat taxes that permit me to contribute things that a class feature should have provided. 


Skill performence and magical powers like the ability to force characters out of fear effects etc.

Breaking or otherwise mitigating Fear effects is good, flavorful and on-track.


Bards SHOULD in theory be the difference between people cowering in a corner peeing themselves and crying to their mothers at the sight of horror and Standing up looking the horror right in the eye and Demanding that they.

"bring it!"

That is what having a bard in the party "Should" be like!

I'm supportive of the Bard fitting a valued role, but I'm not so inclined as to make his presence so impactful that it would be a given to have a Bard in every party. -- It would be the Cleric thing all over again. -- Worse, it would be like dealing with a party tax.

I'm cool with the Bard being not-so-great in combat if there is a solid and measureable way for him to shine in social encounters that isn't as swingy as in previous editions where being a Bard is auto-win/roleplay override or an unfair demand of expertly articulating your way past the DM's ideas of diplomacy in order to "roleplay correctly" and succeed. The real draw to playing a Bard largely exists in an ill-defined conceptual limbo within the game.

Danny



I've been opposed to mandatory skill trainings since 4e day one.  My rogue may not be sneaky, so don't force him to be.  Same with the bard; if I'm reflavoring it into someone who doesn't perform, forcing me to take a perform skill screws up the whole thing.

No class skill lists, no mandatory skill training.



To me, saying 'my rogue may not be sneaky' is like saying 'my wizard doesn't cast spells'.

If you don't want to be sneaky, don't play a rogue.  If you don't want to perform (a task that does not require music), don't play a bard.


I know you're not a real fan of the whole concept of classes in general, and I think that's basically what's coming up here.  Classes, by definition, have hard-coded things that are the same for every member of the class.  I don't have a problem with skills being one of those things.

The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
A rogue is not necessarily a thief.  You *have* to acknowledge this.

The 4e rogue class is perfect for the agile, acrobatic fencer type ... EXCEPT for being saddled with Stealth and Thievery.  And, frankly, I have trouble seeing how people can argue against the freedom to make their characters how they envision them.  Mandatory skill trainings just screw it up.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Reflavoring is possible(see nonstealthy Rogue, Bard that doesn't sing or play instruments, hell, I played a Psion that didn't have psychic abilities, he was a magician and insead of projecting skills from his mind, he has little tools and stage tricks)


I've been opposed to mandatory skill trainings since 4e day one.  My rogue may not be sneaky, so don't force him to be.  Same with the bard; if I'm reflavoring it into someone who doesn't perform, forcing me to take a perform skill screws up the whole thing.

No class skill lists, no mandatory skill training.



To me, saying 'my rogue may not be sneaky' is like saying 'my wizard doesn't cast spells'.

If you don't want to be sneaky, don't play a rogue.  If you don't want to perform (a task that does not require music), don't play a bard.


I know you're not a real fan of the whole concept of classes in general, and I think that's basically what's coming up here.  Classes, by definition, have hard-coded things that are the same for every member of the class.  I don't have a problem with skills being one of those things.


I wholeheartedly agree that playing a Bard that doesn't perform is defeating the whole purpose, but what's being presented is an issue that I acknowledge.

Forced skill training and class lists do odd things.

In 4E, a Bard was auto-trained in Arcana. For someone like me, this is the most aggravating thing in the world because Arcana is nowhere near the top of my list for auto-training a Bard in (I'm thinkin' something more along the lines of Diplomacy, if you have to), but now I have an impact on my character concept that further impacts my ability to choose skills as I see fit to define my character.

Getting bonuses to do things is fine, but limits via class lists and requiring skill investment to contribute things that should be covered as a feature messes with my customization and character uniqueness. -- Just isn't conducive to build freedom.


Danny

A rogue is not necessarily a thief.  You *have* to acknowledge this.

The 4e rogue class is perfect for the agile, acrobatic fencer type ... EXCEPT for being saddled with Stealth and Thievery.  And, frankly, I have trouble seeing how people can argue against the freedom to make their characters how they envision them.  Mandatory skill trainings just screw it up.



You don't have to steal things to have Thievery be useful to you.

A rogue is someone who can either pick locks, pockets, juggle, sleight of hand, etc, which are the things Thievery does.  All rogues can do one or more of these things, just like all rogues can fight effectively with a dagger.

There's no reason a rogue has to be a thief; but it wouldn't bother me if all rogues were thieves.  It does bother me if a character concept cannot be built in a system, but that's not the issue here; in the abstract, it doesn't matter to me if a skill is mandated for a class even if it makes that class unsuitable for some concepts, because not every class is ever going to be suited for every concept.
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
A rogue is not necessarily a thief.  You *have* to acknowledge this.

The 4e rogue class is perfect for the agile, acrobatic fencer type ... EXCEPT for being saddled with Stealth and Thievery.  And, frankly, I have trouble seeing how people can argue against the freedom to make their characters how they envision them.  Mandatory skill trainings just screw it up.



You don't have to steal things to have Thievery be useful to you.

A rogue is someone who can either pick locks, pockets, juggle, sleight of hand, etc, which are the things Thievery does.  All rogues can do one or more of these things, just like all rogues can fight effectively with a dagger.

There's no reason a rogue has to be a thief; but it wouldn't bother me if all rogues were thieves.  It does bother me if a character concept cannot be built in a system, but that's not the issue here; in the abstract, it doesn't matter to me if a skill is mandated for a class even if it makes that class unsuitable for some concepts, because not every class is ever going to be suited for every concept.



It's official, I really do not understand how you think at all ... what benefit is there to having such a restriction?  It should be an option, sure, but what possible benefit is there to having it be a requirement?
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.

It's official, I really do not understand how you think at all ... what benefit is there to having such a restriction?  It should be an option, sure, but what possible benefit is there to having it be a requirement?



The point of mandating choices (regardless of what is mandated; whether it's 'wizards cast spells' or 'rogues are trained in thievery') is to create class identity.  To make members of a given class feel like they share training and abilities; to make your choice of class a meaningful and impactful part of character creation.


Rogue A should be more like Rogue B than he is like Fighter C.


As I said earlier, I'm pretty sure the problem is that you just don't like classes Tongue Out
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.

I was pretty anti-bard for a while, but recently came around. When/if they do reprint it, I honestly hope they say something like "if someone plays a bard, they are the only one permitted to touch the radio" giving explicit class features of "pick the music". 


This music doesn't have to do anything, and id prefer it didn't give magic bonuses. Aside from being allowed to touch the radio, they should basically take the rake-ish scoundrel idea from rogues. 

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

I think bard got shackled to jack of all trades in the original game were the bard could be looked at as the first prestige class, you had be first a fighter (but not too much) then a rogue, then a druid and then you could be a bard. 
I think bard got shackled to jack of all trades in the original game were the bard could be looked at as the first prestige class, you had be first a fighter (but not too much) then a rogue, then a druid and then you could be a bard. 



Techincally, after Fighter and Thief, you were a Bard under "druidical tutelage", never the actual Druid class.

I've always dug the Bard, I had a great 2nd Ed Bard (Rawun) in an Al-Qadim campaign.