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Wednesday, 17th April, 2002, 07:26 AM #1
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Ideas for Alternate Rangers & Bards for a Low-Magic Setting
I'm currently in the middle of working on a 3E interpretation of Lankhmar (more interpretation than straight conversion), & I'm having a bit of trouble trying to provide alternate versions of the ranger & bard classes sans spellcasting ability. I was wondering if you all could provide me with some advice on how to do this.
I considered giving a bonus feat at each level when a spell level was gained, but I'm not too sure that this work work. The ranger would get 4 bonus feats (not bad), but the bard would get 7 (1 each for 0-6 spell levels--a bit high).
Skills & Powers worked great for Lankhmar since spellcasting could simply not be purchased (though many class abilities are now skills). I'm stuck!
I'd appreciate any advice on how to iron this out. I'm only concerned with giving equivalent class abilities for the lost spellcasting ability---not sure how to work that out.
I appreciate any advice you could offer.
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Thursday, 18th April, 2002, 06:24 AM #2
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Take a look at the WoT game - it has both.
Luminous beings are we... not this crude matter. ~ Yoda
Thursday, 18th April, 2002, 02:50 PM #3
Ideas for Bards
I would look at WoT and also check out he Wizards site and look under Star Wars. They have posted new versions of the Scoundrel and Noble class. you could definitely get some good ideas there. posted below is a variant Bard with some interesting ideas, I do not know who the author is.
StormWorld variant Bard
It is said that music has a special magic, and the bard proves that saying true. Wandering across the land, gathering lore, telling stories, working magic with his music, and living on the gratitude of his audience: such is the life of a bard. When chance or opportunity draws them into a conflict, bards serve as diplomats, negotiators, messengers, scouts, and spies.
A bard?s magic comes from the heart. If his heart is good, a bard brings hope and courage to the downtrodden and uses his tricks, music, and magic to thwart the schemes of evildoers. If the nobles of the land are corrupt, the good bard is an enemy of the state, cunningly evading capture and raising the spirits of the oppressed. But music can spring from an evil heart as well. Evil bards eschew blatant violence in favor of manipulation, holding sway over the hearts and minds of others and taking what enraptured audiences ?willingly? give.
Adventures: Bards see adventures as opportunities to learn. They practice their many skills and abilities, and they especially relish the opportunity to enter a long-forgotten ancient tomb, to discover ancient works of magic, to decipher old tomes, to travel to strange places, to encounter exotic creatures, and to learn new songs and stories. Bards love to accompany heroes (and villains), joining their entourage to witness their deeds firsthand?a bard who can tell a marvelous story from personal experience earns renown among his fellows. Indeed, after telling so many stories about heroes doing mighty deeds, many bards take these themes to heart and assume the role of hero themselves.
Characteristics: Bards CANNOT cast spells.
A bard works magic with his music and poetry. He can encourage allies, hold his audiences rapt, and counter magical effects that rely on speech or sound.
Bards have some of the skills that rogues have, although they are not as focused on skill mastery as rogues. Bards listen to stories as well as tell them, of course, so they have a vast knowledge of local events and noteworthy items.
Alignment: Bards run the spectrum from free-booting wanderers searching for daring-do to staunch upholders of tradition and cultural heritage. Therefore Bards have no alignment restrictions.
Religion: Bard's tend to follow the religion of their cultural heritage.
Background: There are essentially two different backgrounds for Bards. Aboriginal or collegiate.
Most Bards are trained by the lorekeeper or elder Bard from their tribe or village, whether that village is a human barbarian settelement or that of a Goblin raiding tribe.
Other bards are more formally trained and are a part of the vast society of scholars and historians that have perserved history and culture over the centuries. An apprentice bard learns his skills from a single experienced bard, whom he follows and serves until he is ready to strike out on his own.
Since bards occasionally congregate in informal ?colleges,? the apprentice bard may meet many of the more prominent bards in the area. Still, the bard has no strong allegiance to bards as a whole. In fact, some bards are highly competitive with other bards, jealous of their reputations and defensive of their territory.
Races: All races have bards of some form or another. Including Mongrelmen
Table *?*: The Bard
Base Fort Ref Will
Level Attack Bonus Save Save Save Special
1 +0 +0 +2 +2 Bardic music,
2 +1 +0 +3 +3 Natural Linguist
3 +2 +1 +3 +3
4 +3 +1 +4 +4 Natural Linguist
5 +3 +1 +4 +4
6 +4 +2 +5 +5 Natural Linguist
7 +5 +2 +5 +5
8 +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 Natural Linguist
9 +6/+1 +3 +6 +6
10 +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 Natural Linguist
11 +8/+3 +3 +7 +7
12 +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Natural Linguist
13 +9/+4 +4 +8 +8
14 +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 Natural Linguist
15 +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9
16 +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Natural Linguist
17 +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10
18 +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Natural Linguist
19 +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11
20 +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Natural Linguist
Tongues of the World
GAME RULE INFORMATION
Bards have the following game statistics.
Hit Die: d6
Speak and Read, modern and Ancient languages are considered class skills for bards. All other skills are unchanged
Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) ??4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the bard.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Unchanged.
Spells: Bards of StormWorld do not cast spells or weild traditional forms of magic. Though many of their abilities are supernatural the Bard has no true understanding of magical forces.
Languages: ALL (ancient, modern and secret) languages are class skills for Bards.
Natural Linguist: Starting at second level and every two levels after, a Bard learns to speak a new language. The bard is not limited by her intelligence modifier and may exceed the number of language slots allowed. The bard must spend skill points in order to be literate in this new language but is not limited in the number of languages she may be literate in.
Tongue of the Worlds: upon reaching twentieth level, a Bard may use the ability ?Tongues of the World?. This is a supernatural ability (SU) and operates just like the spell Tongues as cast by a Mage of the same level as the Bard, at will.
Bardic Knowledge: Unchanged.
Bardic Music: Once per day per level + CHA Bonus, a bard can use her song or poetics to produce magical effects on those around him. While these abilities fall under the category of bardic music, they can include reciting poetry, chanting, singing lyrical songs, singing melodies (fa-la-la, etc.), whistling playing an instrument, or playing an instrument in combination with some spoken performance. As with casting a spell with a verbal component (see Components, page 151 PH), a deaf bard suffers a 20% chance to fail with bardic music. If he fails, the attempt still counts against his daily limit.
Ranks in Perform Name of Bardic Music Ability
3 Ranks Inspire Courage, Countersong, Fascinate
4 Ranks Fharlaghn's Lullaby
5 Ranks Jig of Vigor
6 Ranks Inspire Competence
7 Ranks Comrades Story
8 Ranks Calm Animals
9 Ranks Suggestion
10 Ranks Healing Lullaby
11 Ranks Stunning Performance
12 Ranks Inspire Greatness
13 Ranks Hymn of Haste
14 Ranks Song of Dread
15 Ranks Terrify
16 Ranks Battle Hymn
17 Ranks Harvest Reel
18 Ranks Suppress Magic
19 Ranks Summoning Sonata
20 Ranks Sirens Song
21 Ranks Eyrie of Eagles
22 Ranks Chant of the Hero
23 Ranks Shield of Music
Inspire Courage: Unchanged.
Fharlaghn's Lullaby: A bard with 4 or more ranks in Perform can use his music or poetics to cause creatures to fall asleep. This ability only works against creatures not already engaged in combat, and on creatures that normally need sleep. All creatures within range of the bard?s performance (anyone within 5 feet per level) must succeed at a Will save equal to 13 + Cha. modifier) or fall asleep for a number of minutes equal to the bard?s level. Note that even a bard?s allies are susceptible to this effect, although they gain a +2 bonus to their saving throw, if they are aware of what he is doing. Creatures with reason to be suspicious of the bard also gain a +2 to their save. If creatures hostile to the bard make their saving throw, they may attempt to disrupt the attempt by heckling the performance (as for the Enthrall spell). Each heckler who makes a successful Charisma check against DC 10 grants a +2 bonus to the saving throws of other listeners. To induce sleep, a bard must perform for at least a minute. This is a magical effect, and spell resistance applies.
Jig of Vigor: A bard with 5 or more ranks in Perform can use his music or poetics to wash fatigue and weariness from his allies. All allies within 30ft of the bard who listen for at least 10 minutes move from Exhausted to Fatigued, and Fatigued characters move to are considered to be rested. Characters who attack, strain themselves, or leave the area of the bards performance before 10 minutes of time lose all the benefits of Jig of Vigor. All characters must refrain from exerting themselves (e.g. sit and rest, NO combat). Jig of Vigor is a supernatural ability.
Inspire Competence: Unchanged.
Comrades Story: A bard with 7 or more ranks in Perform can use his music or poetics to convince an otherwise indifferent or unfriendly NPC that the bard is the NPC's countryman, and that they are really very similar. The bard first makes a bardic knowledge check (DC 15) to learn an appropriate tale or song to perform. The bard then makes a Perform check. The NPC receives a will savings throw, with a DC of the bards Perform check. If the throw fails, the NPC moves to the next, more beneficial Attitude noted on the table on page 149 in the Dungeon Masters Guide. If either the bardic knowledge check fails, or the NPC makes his save, then the NPC moves to the next, less beneficial attitude. Comrades Story is a supernatural, mind-affecting ability.
Calm Animals: A bard with 8 or more ranks in Perform can use his musical ability to calm hostile creatures with animal intelligence. This ability is similar to the Cleric?s ability to turn undead, but rather than forcing affected creatures to flee, it simply calms them. This ability only works if the creatures are not being attacked, and have not been attacked by the bard or his allies for at least a minute. For every 3 rounds the bard uses this ability, the hostility of animals typically decreases by one level: for example from Hostile to Unfriendly, or from Unfriendly to Indifferent, etc. [?] If creatures are attacked or approached in a threatening way by the party, or if companions of the creature are attacked, the effect is instantly broken. This ability does not allow the bard to command or charm animals, but merely to counteract their hostility. Similar to turning undead, the bard can affect a number of hit dice equal to 2d6 + his level + his Cha. modifier. The hit dice of the most powerful animal that he can affect depends on his Perform check result, using Table 8-16 in the PHB, and dependent on his level. [note: make a new table to replace 8-16.]The effect lasts for 10 minutes after the bard has finished singing, after which the animals react to him and his companions normally. Exceptionally intelligent animals (such as a wizard?s familiar or a paladin?s warhorse) are not affected by this ability, and neither are magical beasts. Specially trained creatures (such as a guard dog, or a trained mount) are allowed a Will save with a DC of 10 +Cha. modifier + ½ the bard?s level to negate the effect.
Healing Lullaby: A bard with 10 or more ranks in Perform can use his music (or storytelling abilities, etc.) to heal his allies. Creatures who hear the bard?s song and who then receive a normal night?s sleep rest especially peacefully and recuperate quickly from their wounds. Characters affected by this ability gain one hit point per level of the bard + one hit point per point that the bard?s perform check result exceeds 20. Although this ability can generally be used only once a day, it still counts against the bard?s limit of one use of bardic music per level per day.
Stunning Performance: A bard with 11 or more ranks in Perform can use magic to accompany his musical performance with bright flashes and sprays of light, harming those paying attention to him. Characters watching the bard at the start of his performance must make a Fortitude save vs. 13 + the bard?s charisma modifier or be stunned for 1d4 rounds. Creatures stunned in this way are not rendered immobile, but are flat-footed, can only perform a partial action each round, and suffer ?2 penalties to attack rolls, armor class, and reflex saves. This ability takes only one round for the bard to use, and even allies who are looking at the bard when he uses it must save or suffer its ill effects. This is a magical effect, and spell resistance applies.
Inspire Greatness: Unchanged.
Hymn of Haste: A Bard with 13 or more ranks in Perform can use his music or poetics to produce the effects of the Mass Haste spell. The bard can affect 1 creature/level, and the effects last as long as the bard keeps singing and the ally's can hear the bard. All allys must stay within 30 feet to benefit from Hymn of Haste. Hymn of Haste is a spell-like, mind-affecting enchantment ability.
Song of Dread: A Bard with 14 or more ranks in Perform can produce a musical piece of such dreadful nature, that all creatures within 30 feet (this includes the bard?s allies) must make a Will saving throw DC 21. All creatures failing their save run away as per the fear spell, except all creatures have a 75% chance of dropping anything they hold, as they reach to cover their ears. Song of Dread is a supernatural, mind-affecting ability.
Terrify: A Bard with 15 or more ranks in Perform can use song or poetics to inspire terror in his opponents, leaving them in such a terrified state as to make them unable to fight or perform effectively. All opponents must make a Will save, DC of the bards Perform check, or suffer a -2 penalty to all attack and damage rolls, savings throw rolls, and moral checks. Creatures with less than 5HD just give up without a fight, dropping their weapons and throwing themselves at the mercy of the party. Only creatures with an intelligence of 4 or greater are affected by this ability. Terrify is a supernatural, mind-affecting ability.
Battle Hymn: A bard with 16 or more ranks in Perform can inspire a large number of allies to a berserk state. A number of allies up to the bard?s level * his charisma modifier can be induced into a sort of battle rage, in which they gain temporary bonuses of +2 to their Strength and Constitution as well as enjoying the benefits of the haste spell. They suffer a penalty of ?1 to their armor class (which partially offsets the +4 AC bonus granted by Haste), and they cannot flee from or cease battle until they are either victorious or dead. In battle, affected characters can only cast a spell if they succeed at a Concentration check against a DC equal to the bard?s Perform check result. The effects of the Battle Hymn last 5 rounds longer than the bard remains singing, after which each affected individual their temporary bonuses, and suffers a ?2 penalty to Constitution, Strength and Dexterity for an hour. A character effected by the Battle Hymn does not become unconscious when he reaches 0 hit points, but continues fighting until he dies at ?10. Only intelligent creatures sympathetic to the bard are affected by this ability, and creatures who wish to ignore its effects (such as spellcasters) can do so only if they succeed at a will save against 10 + the bard?s level + his Charisma modifier.
Harvest Reel: A bard with 17 or more ranks in Perform can use his music or poetics to urge plants to grow and prosper. The bard makes a Perform check, DC 20, if the check succeeds, all plant matter within 30 feet of the bard is affected as per the Plant Growth spell. Harvest Reel is a spell-like ability.
Suppress Magic: A bard with 18 or more ranks in Perform can use his magical music to suppress any other magical effects from being brought into being in his area. The bard?s Perform check effectively becomes the Spell Resistance for the area around the bard, and any spellcaster (even allies of the bard) must succeed at a Spell Resistance check (1d20 + caster level) against 10 +the bard?s level, or his spell is wasted. A spellcaster with the Spell Penetration feat gets a +2 to his check, as is normal when attempting to defeat Spell Resistance. This effect encompasses a sphere with radius equal to 5 feet per level of the caster. The bard can maintain this ability for a number of rounds equal to his level, and the effect lingers for 1d4 rounds after he has finished singing. Magical spell-like abilities (such as a medusa?s petrification effect, and the powers of a beholder?s eyes) are not suppressed by this ability. Spells that were active before entering the area (such as mage armor cast before the bard began singing) are also not affected.
Summoning Sonata: A Bard with 19 or more ranks in Perform can use his music or poetics to summon an object to him. The object must be within 1 mile of the bard, and the bard must be familiar with the object he is summoning. The object being summoned flys, as per the spell, directly to the bard, and reaches him in 3 rounds. Objects summoned in this manner cannot weigh more than 500 stone and can be no larger than the bard himself. Summoning Sonata is a supernatural ability.
Sirens Song: A bard with 20 or more ranks in Perform can use his music or poetics to charm any one creature, as per the spell. The effect of the charm lasts for as long as the bard keeps playing, plus 5 rounds. Sirens Song is a supernatural, mind-affecting ability.
Eyrie of Eagles: A bard with 21 or more ranks in Perform can use his music or poetics to levitate his party above the ground. The bard must succeed at a Perform check with a DC of 20 + the number of members he wishes to levitate in this manner. If the check is successful, those members the bard wishes to levitate do so, and are able to run and move as per the Wind Walk spell. Eyrie of Eagles is a supernatural ability.
Chant of the Hero: A bard with 22 or more ranks in Perform can inspire feats of great martial prowess in his allies. All allies within 30ft of the bard gain a +2 moral bonus to attack and damage rolls, all savings throws, and gain one addition attack of opportunity per round (this does not stack with combat reflexes). This ability must be performed with either a drum, lute, mandolin or harp accompanied by voice. Thus the bard can do nothing except move and perform Song of Hero's.
Shield of Music: A bard with 23 or more ranks in Perform can use his music or poetics to create a very powerful shield of music around his allies. So Long as all his allies hear him, and are within 30 feet, they gain the following things:
+3 to all saves
+2 deflection bonus to armor class
+2 d10 hit dice.
Shield of Music is a supernatural ability.
Fugue of Freedom
7 ranks in Perform
All your allies within earshot of this Bardic Song gain a second chance to save vs. mind-affecting enchantments. Anyone so affected may make a second saving throw one round later, to try and free themselves of the spell.
Thursday, 18th April, 2002, 05:12 PM #4
Novice (Lvl 1)
I'd stick to minor changes with the Bard.
D8 Hit points, or;
6 Skill Points per level
Fortitude Save at excellent.
Add a few more Perfrom based enchantment abilities. THe Bard's basic abilities based off of his perform still seem like they would fit Lankhmar.
Although not ALL of these at the same time!
I think you need to look at what the Bard becomes when he doesn't cast spells. Instead of a jack of all trades, he reverts to the the travelling communicator. Even though he might lose some of the magical skills, he will still have a lot skills he needs to have, especially since he can no longer rely on magic. I think the skill points and increased ability list are paramount. Depending on how you want the Bard to present itself in the setting, the HD boost or Fort boost may make sense, instead.
As for the Ranger, there are a 101 alterntives flying about the net.
This is what i do for my default Ranger:
Hit Die: D8
Armor/Weapon Pro: Light and shield/Simple and Martial.
Skills: 4/level and ranger list from the book.
SAves: Fort Excellent, Ref/Will poor.
Track at lvl 1
Terrain Bonuses: at levels 1, 5, 10, 15, 20.
Ranger Feats: gained at level 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20.
Favored Terrain: Each time the Ranger receives this ability, he gains a +1 to Hide, Intuit Direction, Listen, Move Silent, Search, Spot, and Wilderness Lore checks when in this type of terrain. When receiving this ability, the ranger may choose to add a new terrain bonus either to an existing terrain bonus, or a new terrain type.
Ranger Feat: The Ranger may choose from the following list of feats: Alertness, Blind Fight, Dodge, Endurance, Mobility, Run, Skill Focus(any class skill), Spring Attack.
Wisdom cannot be bought.....only faked.
Friday, 19th April, 2002, 01:27 AM #5
Bard non spell casting
Alignment: As PHB
Hit Die: As PHB
Skill Points: 6 + Int Modifier
Class Skills: As PHB
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: As PHB
Bardic Music: As PHB
Bardic Lore: As PHB
Precise Attack: Same As Star Wars Webpage Scoundrel
Skill Focus: At 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th level, the Bard gains the bonus feat Skill Focus. This feat may be applied to any class skill. The Bard may not select the same skill twice.
Friday, 19th April, 2002, 03:44 PM #6
Ranger non spell casting
Here are some sources for non spell casting rangers. One is the Scout class by Crosswalk press and the other a prestige class called the master hunter. With the master hunter class what I do in my campaign is allow players to take a feat at level four in place of gaining spell, then a 6th level they adopt the master huntsman class. In regards to the scout class there are some mistakes on the PDF version. Mistake one is the reference to shaman, it should not be there, second is the chart and the narrative contradict each other in regards to the number of feats the scout gets. I believe the chart is correct. Also I am posting a non spell casting version I created. Website links are listed below:
Hit Die: As PHB Ranger
Class Skills: As PHB Ranger including bluff and sense motive
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: AS PHB Ranger
Saves: As PHB Ranger
BAB: As PHB Ranger
Special Enemy Table: As PHB with the ability to switch-out favored enemy bonuses
1 Track, 1st favored enemy, survival
2 bonus feat
4 bonus combat feat
5 2nd favored enemy
7 bonus feat
10 3rd favored enemy, bonus combat feat
13 bonus feat
15 4th favored enemy
16 bonus combat feat
19 bonus feat
20 5th favored enemy
Track: A Wilderness Warrior gains Track as a bonus feat.
Survivor: A Wilderness Warrior gains a bonus of +2 initiative +2 Wilderness lore.
Favored Enemy: As PHB Ranger with exception to the added switch-out ability. The favored enemy switch-out ability allows the Wilderness Warrior to trade different levels of special enemy bonuses. For example a 15th level Ranger could switch his first favored enemy bonus to a new selection upon obtaining level 15.
Bonus Feats: A Wilderness Warrior gains a bonus feat at levels: (2, 7, 13, 19). These bonus feats must be drawn from the following list: Alertness, Animal Affinity, Endurance, Extra Favored Enemy, Favored Enemy Critical, Favored Enemy Strike, Forester, Great Fortitude, Horsemanship, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Run, Sharp Eyed, Skill Focus, Stealthy, and Supernatural Blow.
Bonus Combat Feats: Same as Fighter bonus feats in the PHB, these feats are gained at levels: (4, 10, 16).
A Wilderness Warrior must still meet all prerequisites for a feat, including ability score and base attack bonus minimums.
* Wilderness Warrior Bonus Feat Clarifications:
Alertness (+2 Listen +2 Spot),
Animal Affinity (+2 Animal Empathy +2 Animal Handling),
Forester (+2 Wilderness Lore, +2 knowledge Nature),
Horsemanship (+2 Handle Animal + 2 Ride)
Sharp Eyed (+2 Search +2 Spot),
Stealthy (+2 Move Silently +2 Hide)
Skill Focus: the Wilderness Warrior may receive a +3 competence bonus to any Wilderness Warrior class skill.
Sunday, 5th May, 2002, 05:33 PM #7
Novice (Lvl 1)
Just some ideas
I've been working with a friend over in montecook.com on doing nonmagical versions of the Ranger, Bard, Paladin, and Cleric.
Too much in there to post here but I'll provide a link if your interested, we'd appreciate any comments as well.
good luck fellas .
"Your focus determines your Reality" Master Qui-Gon.