I am trying to make the PC in my campaign somewhat balance. Most everyone has a magic item that is sort of tailored to their class. Thief has a cloak of invisibility, Cleric has a magical mace, Ranger a bow, two Dwarf tanks have magical weapons and armor, and mage has a magic staff.
But I am at an utter loss as for something for the groups bard. He hasn't really done anything in combat. Well other than sit in the back ... like usually in the doorway, sometimes even behind the mage, and sing out songs to boost the rest of the group.
I am just looking for ideas. Don't care what edition or what it is. Just sort of stuck in my thought process and looking for help. The more random and strange the better.
level 6 -7 somewhere in there
3rd ... but anything will do I can just adapt it.
Have you asked the player?
If you have Netflix, get ahold of Jim Henson's The Storyteller and watch The Soldier and Death. The main character is like a bard in many ways. He's given a deck of cards that never loses for the owner, a sack into which he can command creatures, and a whistle that makes anyone stop and listen to him. The important bit here is that the whistle is not a physical object, but just a way of whistling with his mouth. The inspiration to take from this is that the bard's items could be anything, including just a talent or boon like a special way of whistling.
Yes Centauri I asked the player. He said he wanted to be surprised in finding an item for himself, much like everyone else in the group.
question: the rest of the party's magic items seem to be somewhat combat oriented. What does the bard do in combat?
If he/she fights like a rogue (sneaking around for flanking opportunities, etc) then maybe a cloak of invisibility would work for the bard too.
If he/she fights more like the dwarves then maybe a magic weapon would be OK.
If he/she sits back and plays music to buff the party then maybe a musical instrustment that increases the "caster level" of his/her abilities.
A bard being a jack-of-all-trades maybe a Robe of Useful Items (from its many pockets the bard can pull out various mundane items).
He has a lute, but all he has done is sing so far.
I was thinking a magical instrument, but I don't want him to feel like he is being cheated. Everyone else gets weapons & armor and he gets a new lute.
No I do.
If he had expectations of a great magic item, like everyone else has. But he didn't saying anything it will be a surprise when he gets one that is "weak" compared to the rest of the party. Granted the bard is a bit weaker than the rest, well at least he plays it that way.
I honestly don't know what weapons he has, if any. As I have said all he has done is sing songs and cast a few spells. Which if he wants to be a support/buffer PC I am fine with that. Would just like to make him maybe a bit more useful to the rest of the PC.
I think the songblade was one of the best additions to the bard class I'd ever seen. A magical sword, symbols and runes cut along the blade, when it moves the air whistles through it, producing a musical note. It can be used as a sword, an impliment, a musical instrument, and it looks badass.
If the bard's primary combat role is using his bardic abilities to buff the party, by giving him a magic lute you are giving him a magic weapon...
For 3.5, there a number of bard-specific magic items, mainly instruments, and I believe they start around 7th level or so if I remember right. Most of them give the bard bonuses when using his singing/playing abilities and have the power to cast a specific spell or two. Although each one is a different type of instrument there won't be any problem refluffing them as a lute.
Also, bards can get some decent use out of most of the items that are useful for other arcane spellcasters. Alternately, since the bard is largely a support character, anything that helps him in that role is useful.
Here's an idea you might consider.
What if you gave the Bard a small harp that could enhance his buffing abilities in combat, enhanced his performance ability (some kind of + to his performance skills) so that he could achieve more fame as a Bard, and had the ability to fire crossbow bolts in a pinch (using the stats for a hand crossbow).
Just thought that might be an interesting idea that would not only help him (and the party) in combat, but also in social interactions/encounters.
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