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D&D 5E Bards Should Be Half-Casters in 5.5e/6e

The 4e and 5e Bard areJacks of all trades. The 3.5 Bard worked about as well as any of the not “broken good” elements of 3.5 worked.
I think the 3.5 bard was a bit less miserable than the 3.0 one, but overall it was still not getting the ADnD 2nd edition bard feeling. Especially with the complete bard's handbook.
It went feom jack of all trades to just a singer.
So
ADnD 2e: jack of all trades with reasonable power
4e: jack of all trades with reasonable power
5e: jack of all trade with reasonable power. Leaning slightly more towards caster.

If I did 6e I would scale spellcasting slightly back, but not by reducing the progression. Maybe by giving less known spells and instead some abilities that are powered by spell slots. And then getting fixed spells from subclasses.
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I think the 3.5 bard was a bit less miserable than the 3.0 one, but overall it was still not getting the ADnD 2nd edition bard feeling. Especially with the complete bard's handbook.
It went feom jack of all trades to just a singer.
I disagree. The 3.5 was one of the few classes in the phb that worked but wasn’t broken, and had a broad enough set of skills that it could do a lot of different things. And it could throw up the inspire courage and then it just stayed around, leaving them free to be a healer, fighter, controller, etc.
So
ADnD 2e: jack of all trades with reasonable power
4e: jack of all trades with reasonable power
5e: jack of all trade with reasonable power. Leaning slightly more towards caster.

If I did 6e I would scale spellcasting slightly back, but not by reducing the progression. Maybe by giving less known spells and instead some abilities that are powered by spell slots. And then getting fixed spells from subclasses.
Something like that could work for sure. For me, I’d just build a new Bard from the ground up, based more on Irish fianna and fili, and others whose words are power, who keep stories, etc.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
You keep bringing up how many cultural issues you have with D&D. I would very much love to see Yaarel's PH. How would you solve all the issues you think D&D should fix?

By the way, there is stuff in the 5e Players Handbook that I love! The 5e spontaneous spellcasting system for the Wizard is the best ever of any edition. The mythologically accurate Celtic-esque 5e Bard as a fullcaster is fun and versatile for the concepts of other cultures as well. And the 5e Paladin is the funnest ever.



We are now towards 10 years of D&D 5e!

The main cultural issues that I had when the Players Handbook came out have already found solutions.

Xanathars came out with the "cosmic force" Cleric. This 5e formulation seems even better than earlier editions of a "philosophical" or "faith empowered" Cleric, because the concept of a cosmic force encourages Cleric character concepts that feel more plausibly a "sacred" way of life. This allows reallife players to come up with a Cleric character concept that they feel comfortable and enthusiastic about.

Tashas came out with floating ability scores. This allows the creation of character concepts that better match the players own cultural perspectives, including my own.

It is important to me, that these two rules become part of the core rules of the Players Handbook (and 5e SRD). For example, the Cleric class description merits a rewrite to be about a "cosmic force". Different settings will have different cosmic forces that define its worldviews. In Dark Sun, the cosmic forces are the four elements, and the life of planet Athas as a fifth element. In Forgotten Realms, the cosmic forces are gods, each with its own portfolio of cosmic forces. Generally, each Cleric Domain is a legitimate sacred force. Recentering the flavor of the Cleric class to be about a cosmic force makes the Players Handbook more useful to more settings, without the feeling that Forgotten Realms (or WotC corporate intellectual property) is strong-arming player choices. The results of a cosmic force as the concept is better for the game, because it makes one think more carefully about in-world within the setting. One thinks about why the force is sacred, and what a sacred community would look like that holds that force to be sacred. The focus is on the people of the community and their sacred customs and the places of their institutions. Best yet, a "sacred force" can accommodate the sensibilities of many reallife ethnicities, so there is more room within the game for many reallife players to be comfortable and enthusiastic about playing D&D.

The Players Handbook mentions races that are significant to the Norse cultural heritage, elves and dwarves. The design direction since Tashas empowers whatever abilities are important to an individual character concept. In this case, elves that are high Charisma, Intelligence, and Wisdom (and not Dexterity) are central to Norse cultural heritage, and the Bard (voice-only, without musical instrument, plus maybe a voice-only Paladin-style oath-as-cosmic-force Cleric) is excellent for a Norse elf. The Dwarves that are high Intelligence, Wisdom, and Strength are appropriate, and the Druid and Wizard are reasonable for a Norse dwarf. (The Norse dwarf is human-height, but the mechanics are Medium, and the precise height is easy to handwaive.) The floating ability scores of Tashas allows the player to decide what abilities are more appropriate − and often more importantly for sensitive situations what abilities are inappropriate. As a DM, I am taking full advantage of the official floating ability scores for worldbuilding my settings. I feel the race design works better if all races are more like the Tashas Custom Lineage, giving the player a choice of a race feat and a race trait (half of a feat). But even now, the floating abilities is plenty of flexibility.

What Xanathars and Tashas brings to the game resolves my two main issues.



The only issue remaining is a base class Psion! I was disappointed when 5e came out without a Psion in the Players Handbook. But in hindsight, perhaps that is beneficial. I can see the designers trying hard to come up with a Psion class that satisfies psionic fans. But it is the psionic fans themselves who are divided about what a Psion should look like. Hopefully, this time-consuming process of UAs and feedback will eventually result in a Psion that most psionic fans either love or can live with. Happily, psionic content has been trickling out since the 5e Monster Manual defined psionic as a specific kind of innate spellcasting, which feels accurate to me. I am calling the psionic power source a "cultural issue" in the sense that it is the theory of magic that is closest to the Norse cultural heritage and is the one that feels the most "correct" to my cultural sensibilities. In D&D terms, the Norse figures like æsir and jǫtnar are sorta like psionic archfey, but more elemental, being aspects of the sky (airy wind, watery clouds, fiery sun, etcetera) and land (earthy cliffs, watery glaciers, etcetera). For other cultures (especially under Hellenistic influence), employing "material components" and "gods" for magical rituals is a thing. But it isnt my thing. Psionic as innate spellcasting is the part of the game that feels the most "right" to me. I see the 5e designers are trying hard to make psionics work!



So, empowering players to build more ethnically and spiritually diverse Cleric concepts, and more ethnically diverse race concepts, plus the psionic source: that is pretty much it for the main issues that I have with the original Players Handbook.

Especially with the contributions of Xanathars and Tashas, I am happy with the D&D 5e tradition.
 
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I disagree. The 3.5 was one of the few classes in the phb that worked but wasn’t broken, and had a broad enough set of skills that it could do a lot of different things. And it could throw up the inspire courage and then it just stayed around, leaving them free to be a healer, fighter, controller, etc.
I do agree that it worked and was not overpowered... but it lost what was fun for me and one of the few classes that were nerfed heavily.

So comparably it sucked, because it was overshadowed by others. 3.5 improved things a lot, but in 3.0 it was a disaster.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I do agree that it worked and was not overpowered... but it lost what was fun for me and one of the few classes that were nerfed heavily.

So comparably it sucked, because it was overshadowed by others. 3.5 improved things a lot, but in 3.0 it was a disaster.
Yeah I never played 3.0, and my memories of 2 are pretty hazy at this point, so fair enough.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
In 5e they are not real full casters in my opinion actually. Full casters (sorc, wiz, some druids, some cleric) all gain abilities to either get more spells over the course of the day (spell points, arcane recovery, natural recovery) or have a very powerful spell like feature (channel divinity).

I view a "fullcaster" as reaching slot 9 spells. Both the Bard and the Wizard are fullcasters.

The design space where the Wizard recovers spell slots and so on, is sorta like the design space where the Bard gets Inspiration effects. In both cases, it is extra magic.
 

I view a "fullcaster" as reaching slot 9 spells. Both the Bard and the Wizard are fullcasters.

The design space where the Wizard recovers spell slots and so on, is sorta like the design space where the Bard gets Inspiration effects. In both cases, it is extra magic.
That is ok. It is just that for me it is a big difference.

Ediit: it is because the bard uses that extra magic to support others. It is also the kind of magic, the bard has access to. Only magical secrets allows them to steal very powerful spells.
Probably magical secrets should be scaled down a bit. While I think, the level 6 extra magical secrets of the lore bard (the only one I consider full caster) allowing to gain a level 3 spell is ok, the normal magical secrets are a bit too much. Being limited to 2 level 4 spells at 10th level, two level 5 spells at 14th level and 2 level 6 spells at level 18 may be more in line with the expectations of a dabbler in magic and scales the bard's power quite a bit down while not really limiting the versatility.
 
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Laurefindel

Legend
I view a "fullcaster" as reaching slot 9 spells. Both the Bard and the Wizard are fullcasters.

The design space where the Wizard recovers spell slots and so on, is sorta like the design space where the Bard gets Inspiration effects. In both cases, it is extra magic.
That’s exactly what they are;

Full-caster (e.g. wizard, bard) one level in this class = 1 spellcaster level. A 12th level full-caster casts like a 12th level spellcaster. That’s the base reference.

half-caster (e.g. ranger, paladin) one level in this class = 1/2 full spellcaster level. A 12th level-half caster casts like a 6th level spellcaster.

third-caster (e.g. arcane trickster, eldritch knight): one level in this class = 1/3 full spellcaster level. A 12th level third-caster casts like a 4th level spellcaster.

this works for multiclassing, but fractions are dropped
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
I 100% agree and have said in many-a-thread that Bard's should have been made 1/2 casters. I'd go further to say they should have been sent back to their myth/legend/historic roots and been made primarily natural/druidic style spells.

Now, I do not have a system for my setting that uses all of these same classes (at least not in the same ways) and I differentiate my types/sources of magic differently than D&D insists on sticking with. Assuming a D&D Divine/Arcane magic split is more a matter of narrative fluff and types of spells than something really concrete. It seems to me the organization that would have made the most sense, and was really fairly obvious, for 5e should have been:

Granted Magic
Wisdom-based Full Caster: Cleric - all spell levels, channeling abilities, domain powers
Wisdom-based Half-Caster: Warlock - half spell levels, pact abilities, extra powers from patron
Wisdom-based Third-caster: Paladin - third spell progression, smite, uses magical connection to invoke auras

Innate Magic
Charisma-based Full Caster: Sorcerer - all spell levels, metamagic abilities, element/origin powers
Charisma-based Half-Caster: Bard - half spell levels, inspiration abilities, extra powers from the cosmic music
Charisma-based Third-Caster: Ranger - third spell progression, hunter's quarry (nature smite), uses magical connection and/or training to enact rituals (natural/druidic, divine, or arcane spell effects)

Learned Magic
Intelligence-based Full Caster: Wizard -all spell levels, arcane/occult abilities, school powers
Intelligence-based Half-Caster: Druid -half spell levels, nature abilities, extra powers from circle
Intelligence-based Third-Caster: Swordmage (Eldritch Knight)- third spell progression, spell strike (arcane smite), uses magical training to evoke individual-buffs/transmutations (speed, strength, dim-door, improve AC, etc...)

...yeah. That should work.
 

Maybe the bard archetype is too vague for it to be effectively translated into a class. One could imagine a celtic loremaster type focused on ritual (out of combat) magic (perhaps as a druid subclass?). Or a swashbuckler, but then we already have the rogue. Or a medieval minstrel...but it seems like that should be more of a sidekick than a hero.
 

Ashrym

Hero
Additionally, the bard's spell list is thematic and great at lower levels (Tasha's Hideous Laughter, Vicious Mockery, Charm Person/Monster, Disguise Self, Gift of Gab, Suggestion, etc), but at higher levels they start to not fit as well (Teleportation Circle? Since when do Bards teleport? Forcecage? Regenerate/Resurrection? Prismatic Spray/Wall??? Foresight? POWER WORD KILL!?!? What the hell do any of these (or many of the others that I didn't mention in order to save space) have to do with being a bard?!?!).

The bard spell list isn't disjointed. It's inclusive. Bards don't get the entire list. The PC gets the spells learned and those only include spells you might think are not thematic only if you as the player choose to add those to your character. That falls into a self-fulfilling prophecy if that's how you feel about those spells.

Which leads to my next point: what you consider thematic for the bard doesn't necessarily mean another player feels the same way. A lot of spells in D&D are self-referential and don't draw on traditional mythology or folk-lore. Bard spells do, right up to power word kill.

The original bard spell progression from Strategic Review cast MU spells up to 7th level (the same spell level as most classes). Every wizard spell was a bard spell except for the highest levels. The 5e appendix optional bard was similar except it forced dual-classing first for the fighter and thief components before become a druid with extra powers.

Every druid spell was a bard spell except for the highest levels and druid spells were implemented to be somewhere between a magic-user and a cleric at the time. Then came the bard remade article from Dragon Magazine for players who wanted to play a bard but removed some of the thief flavor in favor of a stronger Celtic / Welsh inspiration (drawing from The Song of Rhiannon, for example). That optional bard could cast druid spells (the spell table went up to 7th level druid spells) and added illusionist spells up to 4th level on a second chart.

In all 3 cases bards were strong spellcasters. The difference in comparison to paladins and rangers is drastic. If we maintain that gap (which we saw in edition after edition) then moving bards down to more limited spell caster would imply moving other classes back down too if status quo is an objective.

2e bard just learned any wizard spell up to 6th level spells (again, other spell casters were limited to spell levels from 5th-7th level depending on spell casting ability score so the spell levels matched. This was the first official bard and could definitely learn spells on the list to which you refer to as anti-thematic. Bards used to have access to a lot of spells you consider anti-thematic.

I would argue the 5e spell list actually matches your idea of a bard better than those original lists. To answer your questions better (and shorter) those spells have to do with actual mythology and folklore and class roots in D&D from older editions.

Bards did not lose this in 3.x either. 3.x is the only version of the D&D bard that fell behind in spell levels because that's the first edition where wizards (formerly magic-users) weren't the only class that had access to 8th and 9th level spells. It's also not the full story because PrC's were what lead to 4e's paths and 5e's subclasses and popular PrC's such as the sublime chord allowed for learning other spells, and spells up to 9th level like other spell casters. 3.5 also used an awkward mechanic that gave different spells at different levels so bards had 8th level spells native to the bard spell list as lower level spells gained at similar levels. Plus the magical song abilities padded out spell power in addition to spells. The entire thing made for a decent spell caster similar to the 1e Dragon version or the 5e version that we have now.

4e used rituals for some of the anti-thematic spells you mentioned. I'll ask you this: what edition of D&D do you think bards could not learn and cast teleport? Because they've been able to teleport for 35 years now. ;-)

This also feels like the reason why Wizards of the Coast gave Bards Magical Secrets, because they figured "Well, we don't know what spells they should get at higher levels, so we might as well let them steal spells from anyone's spell list, and flavor it as 'Jack of All Trades'". In fact, the only high level (6th level) spell that I think really fits Bards is Otto's Irresistible Dance, and that could just be bumped down one level to a 5th-level spell, which half-casting bards eventually would get access to.

They gave bards magical secrets because:
  • It was popular in 3.5 bard PrC's.
  • It helped recreate some bard PC's from earlier editions where those spells were available.
  • It enabled customizing the bard towards the character concept (ie thematics) the player was looking for.
  • It facilitated the JOAT concept.
The higher level spells grant access to my idea of bard concepts even if they might not match yours. If they don't match yours just don't take them. ;-)

What role do bards fill in the game? They're primarily support characters, but a lot of the time they're not supporting through their spells (their spells are primarily de-buffing in nature), and are instead spamming Bardic Inspiration to help their team-mates.

They are the JOAT, or renaissance class. They are primarily support and function in a role based on mythology, history, folk-lore, and legend. Classes were implement to fit archetypes, not roles.

Also, have you tried spamming bardic inspiration? Starting with 3/day (generally) isn't spammable. Getting up to 5/rest isn't spammable when spell slots are more numerous, skills are more resource free, and cantrips or rituals exist. There's enough bardic inspiration to make it useful, but it's still a limited resource.

In fact, the bardic niche in 5e is so incohesive, that of the 8 official bard subclasses, 3 of them focus their main/beginning mechanical effects on enhancing their own weapon combat (the Colleges of Valor, Swords, Whispers), two more share practically the same thematic niche but achieved slightly differently (College of Eloquence and College of Glamour), the College of Lore just asks the question of "What if I was even more a Jack of All Trades?"

That's like saying wizards are an incohesive niche because there are diviners, evokers, or illusionist and then there's also blade singers or war mages so there's an issue with the class. Subclasses are meant to help fill archetypes. Variety exists because there seems to be a lot more bard archetypes than you seem to be acknowledging. ;-)

Valor is based more on the classic skald or warrior bard.
Swords is based more on maneuverability and a swashbuckler.
Whispers is the shadowy manipulator.
Eloquence comes from the Greek philosopher poets.
Glamour is the musician.
Lore is the classic Celtic/Welsh concepts.

Archetypes, not roles.

The subclasses are disjointed, the higher level spells are a jumble, and the class can't decide whether it wants to be a part-martial spell-and-slash class, or a primarily buffing/debuffing musician/storyteller.

The class doesn't decide that. The player does based on his/her/their idea of what his/her/their bard represents from whatever mythology, history, legends, or folk-lore on which he/she/they are basing the PC.

The classes and subclasses are tools to help players build a character. They are not there to force characters into someone else's idea of the character that person is going to play.

If I want a bard from Bard's Tale or a bard from Song of Rhiannon then I would like to have the tools to create either. I can be a buffing/debuffing musician story teller or I can be a magical warrior or I can be a magic-user calming the storms of druids during the Milesian invasion or I can be another concept the class covers.

5e's implementation allows for a lot of bard concepts. That's not different than any other class covering multiple concepts.

The theme is . . . disjointed at best (incoherent at worst), even if the mechanics are solid. (Another minor gripe, there's absolutely on reason for Song of Rest to use a different die-size than Bardic Inspiration.)

Again, only the one theme you have in your idea of the class and missing the part where most of the spells are not accessible. Players can only take so many spells and if a player cares about the theme then the player will select spells, skills, and a college to match that concept.

seriously, why do bards only get subclass features at 3rd, 6th, and 14th level?!?!

Because subclass features are just a class feature and they get a universal class feature at 10th level instead in the form of magical secrets. Magical secrets is designed to support the subclass choice.

Another (fairly minor) issue that would be solved by this if if the class kept Magical Secrets, they wouldn't get the Paladin's/Ranger's/Artificer's 4th-5th level spells before the classes they're meant for (which can be an issue for balancing new spells for those classes, as they tend to be slightly more powerful than full-caster spells of the same level).

That's not a valid point. Spells are sorted by spell level regardless of class. Iconic spells are a bit more sometimes but the general level is the same even if it's a bit of a level band instead of a flat metric. It's not different than access to an iconic spell like fireball, however. Having a slower spell access progression is irrelevant to how the spell level mechanic is applied, and there's more access in the form of domains than there is in magical secrets.

As I pointed out above, bards used to have huge spell list access. Magical secrets is imported from popular 3.5 PrC's directly into the class and helps recreate older edition bards. This is a bit of a different topic, but it's a good ability that tends to get over-rated. Adding a ranger or paladin spell doesn't have the same impact as it does when a ranger or paladin takes the spell because the bard doesn't have the other class features to support it any more than when a lore bard picks up fireball and still can't fireball as well as an evoker.

Magical secrets are also few in number and exist at higher levels. Taking 1 or 2 spells from the ranger list is only a very small portion of the list and not as significant as it might appear.

So, what do you think? Should the bard be based more off the Artificer than, say, the Wizard? Any ideas similar to this, or ones that would promote this same general idea? Anyone have any criticisms of this?

I think you have a clear idea on what you think a bard is. The issue I have with making a change to the class in a future edition is that the current implementation can let you play your concept and let me play mine, but changing the class let's you play your concept and forces me to give mine up to play your concept too. That doesn't seem like a move in the right direction for the class.

Another concern I would have is that the current implementation of the bard is a lot more popular than the 3.x version that you seem to want to recreate. It doesn't make sense to move from a popular implementation to a less popular implementation.

I would be more inclined to possibly break the archetypes up a bit. A person can make a fighter subclass and call it a herald or make a rogue subclass and call it a troubadour or make a second class and call it a minstrel or do all of that, but that's going to give up a strong bard concept that doesn't work well with the JOAT/Renaissance class concept as a subclass of another spellcaster so a full spellcasting bard is still going to be desirable anyway to fill that concept.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Maybe the bard archetype is too vague for it to be effectively translated into a class.
Oh I think there is only a need to sharpen the focus a smidge. And give Jack of All Trades to the Ranger.
One could imagine a celtic loremaster type focused on ritual (out of combat) magic (perhaps as a druid subclass?).
The storytelling lore master with a harp is a perfectly good archetype
Or a swashbuckler, but then we already have the rogue.
The rogue covers pretty narrow ground as a swashbuckler.
Or a medieval minstrel...but it seems like that should be more of a sidekick than a hero.
It does!? Why!?
 

Now I see the problem of the premise:

The bard as it has been for decades is not fitting for a bard. I want something different.

There are people out there who want the bard to mainly stay as it is. The 5e bard captures the feel well. It coul be tweaked slightly, but the OP proposal would change the feel of the DnD bard. That was the mistake of 4e in many cases (interetingly the bard was one of the classes that actually did capture the feel well).

So the premise should have been:

I want a class with half spellcastng that focusses on oratory and performances and less on spellcasting.

Actually, in 5e we have 2 classes that add spellcasting to an existing class.
If 6e will have subclasses at level 1, I would see no problem in having a bard class that can decide at level 1 to have less spellcasting in exchange of having more song like abilites.

In DnDnext, the were iterations of the bard that had less spellcasting, exactly what you wished. But it was not not liked very well. Probably because the design space was too narrow. Maybe not every bard should sing...

And then different abilities for different types of bards were created and then it stepped on spells too much and then the designers thought, maybe just give them back high level spells including magical secrets (note how magical secrets cone at a point where other classes get subclass abilities instead) and then you arrived as the bard we have today.

So for 6e the question is: should spells generally be the go to option for adding supernatural abilities to a class.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
You know what? I was just rereading (for the million and a half'th time) the 1e PHB and saw, to my complete surprise, that Druid's were actually more related to Charisma, too. Makes complete sense that that would lead/connect to the Bard's reliance on Charisma (just as an archetype) and it's initial connections to druidic magic.

Yeah, they are a subclass of Cleric and, yes, Wisdom was important...but only a minimum of 12 (i think it was) ! Like the Paladin (which has always had obvious attachment to clerical magic), to be a druid in 1e you had to have a much better Charisma. Minimunm of 15 for a druid!! That's not an insignificant abiltiy score in 1e. 15's were not a common thing (by natural rolls).

Given this "new" eye-opening information, I think I would amend my previous list -since making druid's half-casters left a bad taste in my mouth, though they certainly have enough non-spell supernatural power bells and whistles to make up for it...

Now, I"m thinking it would look like this...

Wisdom-based casters:
  • Cleric: full access to Cleric/Divine magic spell list
  • Warlock: half-caster progression with Warlock spell list thematic to various types of patrons (some typical arcane effects, some typical divine, some nature/druid, some dark/occult) + additional at-will invocations + supernatural powers determined from patron.
  • Paladin: third-caster progression to Paladin spell list, includes many Cleric/Divine magic spell list, cross discipline abjurations, and a few paladin-specific things (including smites) + additional supernatural powers: auras, lay on hands, resistances/immunities (disease, fear, etc... all the typical paladin stuff)

Charisma-based casters:
  • Druid: full access to Druid/Nature magic spell list
  • Sorcerer: half-caster progression with Sorcerer spell list thematic to various types of origins (some typical arcane effects, some typical divine, some nature/druid, some dark occult) + additional at-will metamagics + supernatural powers determined from origin
  • Bard: third-caster progression to Bardic spell list, includes many Druid/Nature magic spell lists, cross-discipline enchantments/illusions, and a few Bard-specific things (including [spell]"songs") + additional supernatural powers: fascination, countering enchantments, legend lore.

Intelligence-based casters:
  • Wizard: full access to Mage/Arcane magic spell list
  • Swordmage: half-caster progression with Swordmage (or whatever name you prefer for a base Ftr/MU class) spell list thematic to various types of "Practices" (some typical arcane effects, some typical divine, some nature/druid, some dark/occult) + additional at-will "evocations" + supernatural powers determined by Practice.
  • Ranger: a third-caster progression to Ranger spell list, includes many Rituals from all spell lists, cross-discipline divinations and transmutations, and a few Ranger-specific things (including [hunter's] "marks") + additional supernatural powers: something like primieval awareness, animal empathy, resistances/immunities (elements/-als, fae/sylvan things, etc...), thematically appropriate things.
Yes. I think I like that better. Like Druids with Charisma, Rangers in 1e, while yes needing wisdom also, needed decent intelligence scores and since I always prefer a non-magic Ranger, their skillset has always looked to me to be something more dependent on their knowledge, via training and/or experience, than some "wisdom/enlightenment" kind of thing (though "judgement" is, clearly, always important).
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
So for 6e the question is: should spells generally be the go to option for adding supernatural abilities to a class.
Oh, that's a HARD no, here.

Rangers? No spells (just skills and learning). Paladins? No spells (just channel/be granted divine powers).

Warlocks? No spells! Really. They "receive" powers from their patron...which may include a few spells. But they aren't spending their time researching and learning and training with things. The patron tells them what to do and "gives" them magic to do it. But they are more or less built around supernatural abilities from supernatural beings. They really don't need/shouldn't have a dependency on spell use.

Or Sorcerers!! They have innate magic that is just a part of them/resulting from their origins. They just have magic to use/turn into a few [thematically related] "At will" powers...some of which can be shaped and changed (metamagics) into spells/spell-like abilities. But they, also, aren't spending time (necessarily, by D&D's formation/archetype of the class) researching and learning and training with things. They just "have magic" they figure out how to work with more and more easily.

So, either Sorcerer OR Warlocks should be removed as "spell-dependent arcane magic-user" of any substantial progression.

Barbarians? No magic!!!

So, no, abso-tively not, 6e should NOT make spells the ubiquitous way to incorporate supernatural abilities (which, imho, Barbarians and Rangers need not have, regardless) into all classes.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Again, no. That's not what I'm saying. Read the OP, please. I gave some examples of how to make up for the loss of 6th-9th level spells there. Stop painting me as a "Evil, bard-nerfing, music-is-magic minstrel killer". You're mistaking me for someone else/painting me as someone that I am not. @Snarf Zagyg is the one that dislikes bards (or at least, jokes a ton about how much they hate bards), not me.

That's right. The reason I chose not to participate in this thread is I think it sets up a false dichotomy.

Should Bard be half casters, or full casters? Those are the two options we have for the Destroyers of Fun?

I say ... no. I say ... reject those surly bonds that are forced upon you by Bards, Bard-lovers, and their sycophants. There are numerous deep lakes that would be bettered by an influx of bards at the bottom.

But perhaps we need to go Galaxy-brained on this; we could solve numerous problems! In 6e, instead of worrying about issues like alignment, or unfairly tarring human-like races such as Orcs, we could instead do the most simple thing; here my modest proposal now and believe me later!

Make Bards an NPC Monster. We are all in agreement that Bards are not just evil, but irredeemably annoying and tainted by the netherworld. By making Bards the cannon-fodder "other" of 6e, we will have accomplished a great boon! Unifying the world of D&D into a common and blessed goal of fellowship and Bard-hatred. Imagine re-launching the Keep on the Borderlands, but the Caves of Chaos are infested ... with BARDS.

You're welcome!
 

That's right. The reason I chose not to participate in this thread is I think it sets up a false dichotomy.

Should Bard be half casters, or full casters? Those are the two options we have for the Destroyers of Fun?

I say ... no. I say ... reject those surly bonds that are forced upon you by Bards, Bard-lovers, and their sycophants. There are numerous deep lakes that would be bettered by an influx of bards at the bottom.

But perhaps we need to go Galaxy-brained on this; we could solve numerous problems! In 6e, instead of worrying about issues like alignment, or unfairly tarring human-like races such as Orcs, we could instead do the most simple thing; here my modest proposal now and believe me later!

Make Bards an NPC Monster. We are all in agreement that Bards are not just evil, but irredeemably annoying and tainted by the netherworld. By making Bards the cannon-fodder "other" of 6e, we will have accomplished a great boon! Unifying the world of D&D into a common and blessed goal of fellowship and Bard-hatred. Imagine re-launching the Keep on the Borderlands, but the Caves of Chaos are infested ... with BARDS.

You're welcome!

May I propose the middle road and say:
Print the bard on a perforated page, so those who don't like them may just rip them out.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
May I propose the middle road and say:
Print the bard on a perforated page, so those who don't like them may just rip them out.

I cannot abide that kind of money-grubbing behavior by Hasbro.

Obviously, they would only do that in order to get gamers to purchase the PHB over and over again for the sheer joy of ripping the Bard out.
 

Laurefindel

Legend
That's right. The reason I chose not to participate in this thread is I think it sets up a false dichotomy.

Should Bard be half casters, or full casters? Those are the two options we have for the Destroyers of Fun?

I say ... no. I say ... reject those surly bonds that are forced upon you by Bards, Bard-lovers, and their sycophants. There are numerous deep lakes that would be bettered by an influx of bards at the bottom.

But perhaps we need to go Galaxy-brained on this; we could solve numerous problems! In 6e, instead of worrying about issues like alignment, or unfairly tarring human-like races such as Orcs, we could instead do the most simple thing; here my modest proposal now and believe me later!

Make Bards an NPC Monster. We are all in agreement that Bards are not just evil, but irredeemably annoying and tainted by the netherworld. By making Bards the cannon-fodder "other" of 6e, we will have accomplished a great boon! Unifying the world of D&D into a common and blessed goal of fellowship and Bard-hatred. Imagine re-launching the Keep on the Borderlands, but the Caves of Chaos are infested ... with BARDS.

You're welcome!
Well, I guess we can't remove the bard from the game and bash it in the face at the same time, so this sounds like a reasonable solution. Of course that's just begging for an author to write a series about, hum, lets say, Playitt Do'Urden, a GOOD but misunderstood bard in a world so hostile to the typical bard's art.

Then, dual-lute-wielding bard characters will start emerging in every game, and posts about "you can't assign EVIL to a whole class!" will pop on every messageboards, and old-timers will be like "in my time, assassins HAD to be evil and paladins HAD to be lawful good and we liked it that way!", paving the way to a return of the bard as a PC class in D&D 8th edition...

you know how it goes
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Of course that's just begging for an author to write a series about, hum, lets say, Playitt Do'Urden, a GOOD but misunderstood bard in a world so hostile to the typical bard's art.

You know that there's a special place in hell reserved for you for coming up with that? I can't .... unsee ... that now.
 

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