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


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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
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!*

Now, I wanted to make a special shout-out to Laurelfindel, who correctly noted my drive-by of the Artificer. Poor class, collateral damage and all that.

Here's the thing though- the Artificer is kind of like the Detroit Lions of 5e. All the other classes (the Vikings, the Bills, the Browns and so on) can talk about how they get the shaft, how unfair it is, and so on.

But the Lions? No one even cares enough about them to realize how bad they suck. That's right. Sit back for a second, because I'm about to drop some knowledge on you- the Detroit Lions have won one (1) playoff game since ... 1957. Once. They went an entire season without winning a single game. But not only are they terrible, no one even bothers to mention them as cursed, or unlucky, or even give them a nickname like, "The Factory of Sadness." They are not only the worst, but they aren't even interesting enough for people to hate, or care about.

That's the artificer, right there. The artificer would be so lucky as to be hated like the bards. Heck, I bet the artificer looks longingly at all the monk threads with people complaining about DPR and wistfully says, "Hey, can we talk about my DPR?"

I am positive that 95% of the time that the Artificer is brought up, people do a doubletake and say, "Wait a minute ... did they actually make the Artificer a class? Are you sure?"
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
The Artificer was almost cool. Almost. There are some neat ideas there but the poor mechanics and mechanical interactions really bog the class down. Oh well, that's what house rules are for I suppose. 🤷‍♂️
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Hr. This has gotten uncomfortable.

There's a point when the humor of tearing things down starts looking a bit... sad. Like, is that how to build social cache - by ripping up things that, despite the assertion, some folks probably love?
 

Bolares

Hero
Artificer is one of my favourite classes....

Forrest Gump Reaction GIF
 

Bolares

Hero
I just love the flavor of their spell casting. Using tools as focuses opens so many avenues for roleplay... and handign magic itens as infusion is a fast way to make the partu love you. Sure their DPR sucks, but if you give the paladin a magic weapon and teleporting shoes, they will smite the world in your name :ROFLMAO:
 




loverdrive

Makin' cool stuff (She/Her)
Snarf, your shtick is getting old. Find some new material.

Now, I'd be interested in actual discussion of bards. I could never understand what's their deal. Like, what's their theme, especially in 5E? Lute-wizard doesn't seem to be different enough from, y'know, wizard and all these different colleges make my brain hurt (or maybe that's because I drink too much?)

Could somebody enlighten me? It's not like I hate'em, I just can't comprehend the concept of a fantasy bard.
 



Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
I just love the flavor of their spell casting. Using tools as focuses opens so many avenues for roleplay... and handign magic itens as infusion is a fast way to make the partu love you. Sure their DPR sucks, but if you give the paladin a magic weapon and teleporting shoes, they will smite the world in your name :ROFLMAO:

I must confess that my group has gotten lazy with describing spellcasting. After 20+ years, we just cast fireball. There is not a lot of sense of novelty nor awe anymore than when we open a beer can. Artificers made me... reimaginate(?) things and sparked new descriptions, even of a lowly cantrip.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Snarf, your shtick is getting old. Find some new material.

Now, I'd be interested in actual discussion of bards. I could never understand what's their deal. Like, what's their theme, especially in 5E? Lute-wizard doesn't seem to be different enough from, y'know, wizard and all these different colleges make my brain hurt (or maybe that's because I drink too much?)

Could somebody enlighten me? It's not like I hate'em, I just can't comprehend the concept of a fantasy bard.
I've read more than one fantasy novel that ties the idea of music to that of magic, which, by itself, is a pretty cool idea. I don't hate bards, but I do find it difficult to really get into character concepts based specifically on musical instrument use. That's just me though, and everyone else's MMV, of course.
 


loverdrive

Makin' cool stuff (She/Her)
I've read more than one fantasy novel that ties the idea of music to that of magic, which, by itself, is a pretty cool idea. I don't hate bards, but I do find it difficult to really get into character concepts based specifically on musical instrument use. That's just me though, and everyone else's MMV, of course.
Magic music is a really cool thing, I'm not arguing with that.

What I'm puzzled with is their identity. Like, what makes bard a bard and not a wizard? Or a rogue?
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Magic music is a really cool thing, I'm not arguing with that.

What I'm puzzled with is their identity. Like, what makes bard a bard and not a wizard? Or a rogue?

Excerpt from The Original Sin- How I am Going To Create The Bard and Ruin D&D Forever
(Doug Schwegman, The Strategic Review, Feb. 1976)

I believe it {THE BARD- Snarf} is a logical addition to the D&D scene and the one I have composed is a hodgepodge of at least three different kinds, the norse ‘skald’, the celtic ‘bard’, and the southern european ‘minstrel’. The skalds were often old warriors who were a kind of self appointed historian whose duty was to record the ancient battles, blood feuds, and deeds of exceptional prowess by setting them to verse much like the ancient Greek poets did. Tolkien, a great Nordic scholar, copied this style several times in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (for example Bilbo’s chant of Earendil the Mariner). The Celts, especially in Britain, had a much more organized structure in which the post of Bards as official historians fell somewhere between the Gwelfili or public recorders and the Druids who were the judges as well as spiritual leaders. In the Celtic system Bards were trained by the Druids for a period of almost twenty years before they assumed their duties, among which was to follow the heroes into battle to provide an accurate account of their deeds, as well as to act as trusted intermediaries to settle hostilities among opposing tribes. By far the most common conception of a Bard is as a minstrel who entertained to courts of princes and kings in France, Italy and parts of Germany in the latter middle ages. Such a character was not as trust worthy as the Celtic or Nordic Bards and could be compared to a combination Thief-Illusionist. These characters were called Jongleurs by the French, from which the corrupt term juggler and court jester are remembered today.

*************
Arguably, the biggest issue with the current Bard incarnation (other than its existence) is that it is a full caster. While magic has always been a small part of the Bard identify, it was a small part of the identity.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Magic music is a really cool thing, I'm not arguing with that.

What I'm puzzled with is their identity. Like, what makes bard a bard and not a wizard? Or a rogue?
That is the issue, yeah. I struggle a little bit with it as well. I'm much more likely to use some level in Bard, reskinned, as part of a MC build because there are a lot of cool widgets to play with than I am to actually play a Bard full stop.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
That is the issue, yeah. I struggle a little bit with it as well. I'm much more likely to use some level in Bard, reskinned, as part of a MC build because there are a lot of cool widgets to play with than I am to actually play a Bard full stop.

Honestly, the closest thing to a classic D&D bard (for those poor people who need to wallow in the filth) would be something akin to an Arcane Trickster base with Charisma-casting and a bard spell list.
 

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