D&D 5E On the Necessity for More Bard Threads

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Welcome to the next installment in an intermittent series of posts, Snarf Presents Hawt Taek Thursdays. Today's edition is brought to you courtesy of the ineffable madness that lies at the heart of Bat Country. So let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism, to rain on the roof and a fresh pot of hot coffee, to games without Bards and soulless dead-eyed elves, to absinthe and high-proof Wild Turkey and good-hearted DMs and players, to music and warm bodies and the cold side of the pillow... and to the "good life", whatever it is and wherever it happens to be for you.

Take a momentary break from reiterating the common truths of the universe, and what happens? Some sort of twisted Bard lovefest? People inquiring about how they can use the very excellent LEVEL UP: Advanced 5th Edition to make their Bards better? What will they think of next? If I take a small breather to enjoy Arbor Day, everyone here starts killing puppies?

NO! No puppy killing, and no Bards. Primarily because, as is well-known and cannot be reasonably disputed, Bard-love is the single greatest cause of puppy death.

Let's be clear. Hate is a four letter word. There's only two things I hate.*

First, those miscreants and one-true-wayers that are intolerant of other people's choices when playing D&D.

Second, Bards.

Because when you stare into the abyss long enough, the Bard stares back at you.

Much like our tailbone, the Bard is not just a useless vestigial appendage of D&D, but it also is pretty close to our posterior (if you know what I mean). Sure, there are those Bard-lovers out there, like Satan, and Brad**, that try to deceive you with some song and dance like, "This time the Bards are different! With their full casting and lore and cutting words! They've come a long way since Gygax exiled them to the back of the book!"

Do not believe their lies. Everyone knows that wherever you find a Bard, you find a LYRE. You can try and make the Bard all nice, you can make them full casters just like Wizards and Clerics, but you cannot remove the true essence of despair and neediness that motivates the Bard and those who advocate for them.

No Bard-lover was ever born who isn't a sucker for fudging their die rolls and making every their action a variation of the tune from the Sound of Music ... Mi, a name I call myself .... MI MI MI MI MI! Few people truly understand the psychology of dealing with the lovers of Bards. Your normal D&D player will smile and try to get along with others at the table when a reasonable suggestion is made ... we play well with others. But this is wrong to the Bard. It arouses contempt in the Bard-heart. Instead, the Bard will hear any reasonable suggestion and argue about how much more pithier and funnier and charisma-ier than thou they can be.

You must always be on constant lookout for those who advocate for the Bard. If the Bard was a die, it would be a d4; sure, the d4 might be a part of the history of the game, but have you ever wanted to roll a d4? Does a d4 even roll? Or is the d4 something you must tolerate because someone will say, "It's always been that way, and we've always had a d4," knowing that it's the one die that doesn't roll, shouldn't be in the game, and will repeatedly hurt your tender feet as you step on them like ersatz caltrops sprinkled across the floor for the unwary.

The Bard is that d4- both useless, and occasionally painful.

I think – no, I’m positive – that Bards are the most worthless class in all of D&D.*** You know, in the nearly fifty years of the Bard's existence from an article in The Strategic Review and being shunted to the appendix of the PHB to its current place as the jack of all trades and the master of annoying me, the Bard has demonstrated every loathsome characteristic of personality and even discovered a few new ones. Bards are physically repulsive and intellectually stunted ... in fact, Bards are morally reprehensible, vulgar, insensitive, selfish, stupid, they have no taste, a lousy sense of humor and, moreover, Bards smell even worse than 15,000 unshowered Druids at a jam band festival.

Normally, the Bard-lovers skulk in the shadows, properly embarrassed of their unfortunate predilection. But the recent publication of the most excellent LEVEL UP: Advanced 5th Edition and the concomitant desire to discuss Bards and their powers has brought them back into the light.

So, what do you think?

A. Should we have more Bard discussion, so we can properly identify Bards and ensure that they are removed, with extreme prejudice? Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

B. Should we banish the Bards to the shadows? We shall not speak of Bards, and will pass over them in silence.

*Okay, three. But I don't have the time today to talk about elves. I don't even have the time to list all the various types of elves. High elves, grey elves, wild elves, sun elves, Keebler elves, elves on shelves ... ugh.

**Every table has a Brad. If you don't know who is the Brad at your table, you're the Brad.

***The Artificer was created solely to provide the Bard some company. Now that I've said it, you know it's true.

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A typical bard.



Ah! At last a subject worthy of my oh-so-precious time and superior mind!

I love the bard, partly because it has been always been sort of an experiment since the beginning. In 1e it was kind of a proto-prestige class and as far as I know, the only one of its kind. In 2e it was the only class mixing rogue elements (skills!), warrior elements (magic items!) and the ability to use the niche-protected, sacrosanct wizard spells. In 3e it was the only 2/3 caster (because 0.66 is such an easy number to work with) with an early access to many spells (making them full casters in the enchantment domain), and the only (core) class able to cast spells in armor without fail. In 4e... actually I have no idea what the 4e bard did, but I'm sure it was special.

And in 5e, it became just another caster class. I can't say I wasn’t a bit disappointed. The late artificer class is the most "experimental" class of 5e, working in quirky ways I would have expected the bard to work. See @Snarf Zagyg , I don't think the artificer was added to keep the bard company. I think it was made to SUPPLANT it and USURP its way to coolness without the Cha requisites, like a real backstage villain!*

hum, meeting** starting soon, more to come later...

*Ironically, my profession is closer to that of a backstage artificer than that of a spot-lighted bard.
**Interestingly enough, about upcoming plays and shows here at the theatre.
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Naw. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of the Lawful Stupid Paladin, TwoSix, at least it's an ethos.

Better than some Bard who believes in nothing. NOTHING. And will probably come back in the middle of the night and cut off your chonson.
I have never agreed with Paladin once (oh!)
Auras are awful on like seventy-five fronts (oh!)
But when all is said and all is done
Paladin has beliefs, Bard has none

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