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D&D doesn't need bards


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They all reappeared in 1st edition (the Bard gets a base class variant in Dragon #56), and they all reappeared in 2nd edition (with Monks and Assassins found in The Scarlet Brotherhood sourcebook), arguably with the exception of the Illusionist. A Mage specialized in the school of Illusion just doesn't feel quite the same.
You don't need to be needlessly pedantic. I was talking about classes that were in the core rules.

2e specifically removed Barbarians, Monks, Assassins etc. from the core rules.

You should probably expect to be alone in that regard.
I don't care. There's a reason we start counting at 1st edition. OD&D is more like a prototype or proof-of-concept model than a working, viable edition. It's so bare-bones minimalist that it's barely even playable.
 

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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I don't care. There's a reason we start counting at 1st edition. OD&D is more like a prototype or proof-of-concept model than a working, viable edition. It's so bare-bones minimalist that it's barely even playable.

Who is this "we" you speak of?

The reason for the naming isn't because we don't count OD&D (or, for that matter, don't think about the B/X branch), it's a more simply reason.

There was OD&D (which was just called "Dungeons & Dragons," of course).

Then there was Holmes Basic in 1977, which was a codification of OD&D. Holmes Basic specifically referred to the upcoming Gygax expanded rules in, wait for it, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Get it? There was the Basic (beginner) and then Advanced ("the reader is referred to the more complete rules in ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS" Holmes 6).

From there, we had a later splintering of editions (blah blah blah Gygax Arneson TSR lawsuit).

Two games:
Dungeons & Dragons (B/X, BECMI, RC).
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.

Therefore, when Zeb Cook was tasked with cleaning up the rules and the verbiage of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, it was released as the second edition ... not of D&D, but of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.

As stated at the beginning of the foreword of the 2e PHB: "It has been a long time getting here. I don't mean the months, perhaps even years, you may have waited for a revised, expanded, and improved 2nd Edition of the AD&D game."

Since that time, because of the way Second Edition was named, we've just kept with the same nomenclature. But whether you want to view OD&D - 1e as a single, evolving edition, or as separate editions, there is no "we" that doesn't could OD&D because it's not a working, viable edition. That's ... crazy talk. Especially given that people still play this game that you claim is not viable. :)
 

fearsomepirate

Adventurer
I like the 5e Valor Bard, do not particularly care for the Lore Bard, and actively dislike the power creep introduced in XGtE, which introduces selfish uses of your Bardic Inspiration that are so powerful that nobody who picks them even wants to help teammates. Let's see, I could give you +1d10 to a d20 roll, or +5d6 to my next damage roll. Not a tough choice, bucko. And that's on top of being a full caster. Both the Swords and Whispers options are so much more powerful than Valor (who can't use Bardic Inspiration selfishly anyway) that it really turns Valor into a joke option.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
d20 Legend fo the 5 rings had a class like amny here seem to want the bard to be - was it called Courtier? Anyway, it had absolutely superb courtly and diplomatic abilities and was next to useless on adventures outside of the social stage. This was a VERY BAD idea! Basically, gameplay got divided into 2 sphere, one where all players but the courtier could leave the table, and the other where the courtier could leave the table. Each group was so much better at their chosen tasks that the others were more of a hindrance. Not fun. It might be simulationist (simulating what, exactly?) but was the opposite of heroic and fun.
At one point I played around with a homebrew RPG where you effectively pick multiple classes which were mroe mechanical frameworks then themed. One of them contributes mechanically solely to combat, another solely to social, and another solely to exploration & discovery. And then you theme the features of all of them based on the three you picked. So a D&D blaster/utility arcanist might be a Glass Cannon for combat, a Learned Sage for social, and a Eldritch Master for discovery. But you could just as easily be a Charlatan for social, or a Skirmisher for combat and flavor all of these short-ranged magical-type attacks (floating daggers, etc.). Or a Glass Cannon with Nature Adept and Lone Wolf for an archer ranger. You could advance in all three, so everyone who have a role no matter what was going on.

The idea originally came thinking about a SF game, where there was an additional role about starship combat. So it might be that the deadeye sniper is good with in-person and ship-guns, but it's just as viable that different people have those roles.
 

Starfox

Adventurer
At one point I played around with a homebrew RPG where you effectively pick multiple classes which were mroe mechanical frameworks then themed...
This is a way I think a class system could be made much better. Instead of saying "A fighter is someone who is great at fighting, gets lost in his own backyard, can't understand spells at all, and lacks social graces" You say: This characters fighting style is armored melee. His exploration style is persistance, he never gives up. His magic style is antagonistic, he refuses to even consider magic and thus gains resistance to it. His social style is direct and threatening. And so on, effectively giving each character a "class" in each of the pillars considered important in that game. This could then be worked into some kind of rock-paper-scissors metagame where different choices work differently well against each other.

PF2 and 5E does this to a limited extent with backgrounds, parts of both games that I like.
 

pemerton

Legend
This is a way I think a class system could be made much better. Instead of saying "A fighter is someone who is great at fighting, gets lost in his own backyard, can't understand spells at all, and lacks social graces" You say: This characters fighting style is armored melee. His exploration style is persistance, he never gives up. His magic style is antagonistic, he refuses to even consider magic and thus gains resistance to it. His social style is direct and threatening. And so on, effectively giving each character a "class" in each of the pillars considered important in that game. This could then be worked into some kind of rock-paper-scissors metagame where different choices work differently well against each other.
This is (roughly) how The Dying Earth RPG works. It's three spheres of activity are social, combat and magic.
 

Benjamin Olson

Adventurer
I like the 5e Valor Bard, do not particularly care for the Lore Bard, and actively dislike the power creep introduced in XGtE, which introduces selfish uses of your Bardic Inspiration that are so powerful that nobody who picks them even wants to help teammates. Let's see, I could give you +1d10 to a d20 roll, or +5d6 to my next damage roll. Not a tough choice, bucko. And that's on top of being a full caster. Both the Swords and Whispers options are so much more powerful than Valor (who can't use Bardic Inspiration selfishly anyway) that it really turns Valor into a joke option.

Valor started out as a joke option if the other people at your table squandered the inspiration you gave them. Subsequent subclasses were just designed with the fact that this might be the case in mind.
 

fearsomepirate

Adventurer
Valor started out as a joke option if the other people at your table squandered the inspiration you gave them. Subsequent subclasses were just designed with the fact that this might be the case in mind.

I never had that experience, since our Paladin really liked rolling damage dice. The more, the merrier!
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
I agree with the OP. It doesn't need them as a base class, for sure.

As a prestige/advanced/pick up a few abilties over a few levels add-on thingy. Sure.

As a complete class of its own they should be a half-caster, at best.

But definitely not a necessary archetype for a core game.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
You don't need to be needlessly pedantic.

You do know you are on a messageboard, right? I am pretty sure that, in this environment, the phrase "needlessly pedantic" holds no semantic content.

Ultimately, I go by the old saying: "Do not meddle in the affairs of bards, for your name is funny, and scans to Greensleeves."
 

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