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D&D 5E Rogue, Bard, Assassin, Tinker, (Tailer, Spy)

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
I c
Yea, I was definitely one of the people voting for them to be full casters; I like the idea of song being a magical source on par with arcane, divine, and primal (druid).

Although I do feel the warlock base (pact magic and invocations) would be even better for bards, just replace invocations with bard songs.
I could see that. Would have definitely been a step in the right direction as opposed to "full caster."
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Yea, I was definitely one of the people voting for them to be full casters; I like the idea of song being a magical source on par with arcane, divine, and primal (druid).
I love the idea of music being a source of magical power as potent as arcane study or devotion to a god or the spirits of nature or what have you. The problem for me is that the bard’s relationship with music is extremely noncommittal, especially in 5e. Yes, they get proficiency with several musical instruments and can use them as spellcasting foci, but there’s nothing about bard casting that’s intrinsically tied to music, or even to performance. They also have a spell list that just doesn’t feel bard-like to me, and Arcane Secrets giving them access to everyone else’s spell list doesn’t help. Furthermore, I’m a big proponent of different power sources having different gameplay feels. Yes, bardic performance should be a source of magical power on par with wizardry, but it shouldn’t feel or play exactly like a wizard with a slightly different spell list. And just having known spells instead of preparing spells isn’t enough to make that difference to me (also I think if bards are going to cast spells, it actually makes more sense for them to be prepared casters than known casters IMO).
Although I do feel the warlock base (pact magic and invocations) would be even better for bards, just replace invocations with bard songs.
I think it says something that “use the warlock chassis” gets suggested as a fix for basically every class. The warlock is, in my opinion, the single best-designed class in 5e, and every class could benefit from following its lead. Of course, if you actually do that you get 4e, and everyone gets mad for some reason.
Right. I get that.

Unbelievably, and it may not be a popular view, but it is entirely possible for a "majority" of feedback -or the "avidly vocal minority" of a playtest sample, more likely- to be wrong.
I emphatically agree. A lot of my biggest issues with 5e come from compromises on the design vision that were made in service to the majority opinion (which doesn’t even reflect the majority opinion these days).
Since when and why did people think a Bard was supposed to walk into a "full caster" role? That is so very not what I think -nor history, legend or game history support- a bard "should" be/is.
I think it’s the natural conclusion of the bard as jack of all trades. If the bard is going to be the generalist, they need to be competent in all roles, which includes the party caster role. I don’t think that’s a good design choice for the bard, but it’s what the class has been shoehorned into.
 
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TwoSix

Unserious gamer
I love the idea of music being a source of magical power as potent as arcane study or devotion to a god or the spirits of nature or what have you. The problem for me is that the bard’s relationship with music is extremely noncommittal, especially in 5e. Yes, they get proficiency with several musical instruments and can use them as spellcasting foci, but there’s nothing about bard casting that’s intrinsically tied to music, or even to performance. They also have a spell list that just doesn’t feel bard-like to me, and Arcane Secrets giving them access to everyone else’s spell list doesn’t help. Furthermore, I’m a big proponent of different power sources having different gameplay feels. Yes, bardic performance should be a source of magical power on par with wizardry, but it shouldn’t feel or play exactly like a wizard with a slightly different spell list. And just having known spells instead of preparing spells isn’t enough to make that difference to me (also I think if bards are going to cast spells, it actually makes more sense for them to be prepared casters than known casters IMO).
Fair, although I'm not a big fan of tightly reifying narrative concept into mechanics, as I expressed in the "Classes should mean something in the setting" thread the other day. I certainly wouldn't mind a more differentiated spell list with more unique spells to generate different gameplay, though.


I think it says something that “use the warlock chassis” gets suggested as a fix for basically every class. The warlock is, in my opinion, the single best-designed class in 5e, and every class could benefit from following its lead. Of course, if you actually do that you get 4e, and everyone gets mad for some reason.
Absolutely agree. Use the warlock as the base for casters, and the rogue as the base for martials (linear damage increase, one attack, baked in bonus action and reaction abilities) and I'd be really happy.
 


ART!

Hero
Brief thoughts:

Why does every rogue know Theive's Cant? That should be in one or more subclasses, but not a default rogue feature.

I feel like demoralizing enemies should be a basic bard feature.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Maybe on uncanny dodge (as a slightly higher level add-on), but with having cunning action available, I don’t think they should be able to do a 10 ft. disengage on every saving throw - I can’t see it fitting against, say, being charmed.
My intent was actually just Dex and strength saves, or when they use uncanny dodge.
I imagine conditions like blinded, prone, restrained, maybe even stunned that last for a round or can be ended on a save or something. Maybe non-condition effects like attack penalties, speed penalties, inability to take reactions, etc.
Makes sense, yeah.
Yeah, I think lots of attacks makes sense for the Jack. If you look at rogue-type classes in video games, their damage often comes from making lots of attacks that don’t individually do a lot of damage, but have a high crit chance. I think that would be a strong direction for the Jack. Dual-wielding, extra attacks, ways to gain Advantage on the attack rolls, maybe an expanded crit range, and debuffs or other rider effects they can apply on a hit, or maybe on a crit.
I like it. I’d say extra attack, at-will once-turn minor debuff, expanded crit range, and major debuff on a crit.
The bard was a half-caster at first in the playtests. Apparently feedback showed a demand for them to be full casters though. I think this followed from the idea of the bard being jack of all trades. There was a lot of demand for the bard to actually be good at all trades, and half-casting just wasn’t enough to make them a good fit for the caster role.
I also think that the bard should have access to the highest level of magical power. I’d be fine with a spell regression that is normal full caster up to level 5 spells, and then a mix of ritual spell access and mystic arcanum above that.
Right. I get that.

Unbelievably, and it may not be a popular view, but it is entirely possible for a "majority" of feedback -or the "avidly vocal minority" of a playtest sample, more likely- to be wrong.

Since when and why did people think a Bard was supposed to walk into a "full caster" role? That is so very not what I think -nor history, legend or game history support- a bard "should" be/is.
Legend absolutely supports it. The Bard should be able to do miracles. That’s what high level casting is supposed to be.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
One exercise – which I previously did with the ranger & sorcerer – is to go back to the descriptive text in the 5e PHB (which tends to be very good) for the class in question, with an eye for how that descriptive text could be manifested more completely in the rules.

For the Bard, I'll break it down into bite-sized chunks...

Whether scholar, skald, or scoundrel, a bard weaves magic through words and music to inspire allies, demoralize foes, manipulate minds, create illusions, and even heal wounds.

The current design achieves all these things. It can cast bestow curse, it can Inspire (i.e. manipulate fate) of allies and potentially enemies with bane or the Lore Bard's Cutting Words, can heal with a word, and manipulate the masses with mass suggestion.

Music and Magic: In the worlds of D&D, words and music are not just vibrations of air, but vocalizations with power all their own. The bard is a master of song, speech, and the magic they contain. Bards say that the multiverse was spoken into existence, that the words of the gods gave it shape, and that echoes of these primordial Words of Creation still resound throughout the cosmos. The music of bards is an attempt to snatch and harness those echoes, subtly woven into their spells and powers.

Music has a weak presence in the core Bard class, mainly embodied with the very cool Countersong ability, along with some music instrument proficiencies & being able to use instruments as arcane foci. The expectation seems to be that the player and/or DM will flavor the Bard's spellcasting as musical in nature. On the face of it, that works.

However, if we look at the Rune Knight fighter subclass, there is a whole categorization of giant runes baked into the class which distinguish the flavor of magic which the Rune Knight is drawing upon. Musical magical power seems a natural place to include such distinctiveness in the bard, but the conservative design missed this opportunity.

To better embody the flavor text they're using to describe the Bard's connection to music and what that means in the D&D-verse, there's definitely design space to explore that.

The greatest strength of bards is their sheer versatility. Many bards prefer to stick to the sidelines in combat, using their magic to inspire their allies and hinder their foes from a distance. But bards are capable of defending themselves in melee if necessary, using their magic to bolster their swords and armor. Their spells lean toward charms and illusions rather than blatantly destructive spells. They have a wide-ranging knowledge of many subjects and a natural aptitude that lets them do almost anything well. Bards become masters of the talents they set their minds to perfecting, from musical performance to esoteric knowledge.

The Bard is being described as something of a "jack" right here, but it's important to note that the scope is tighter than the Rogue – specifically balancing (a) magic, (b) combat, (c) music, and (d) "esoteric knowledge." Here at least, that "jack-ness" is not attached to skills.

My observation is that while (b) combat is successfully off-loaded to the Valor Bard, however (d) "esoteric knowledge" is not successfully off-loaded to the Lore Bard. The problem with the Lore Bard is that the knowledge doesn't feel "esoteric", but rather replicating what others can do, and Peerless Skill is moving into territory outside of that original flavor description.

I think the move for me would be toning down the presence of (a) magic, in order to make room for more (c) music and possible (d) "esoteric knowledge" in the core class.

One interesting (and I suspect deliberate) omission from 5e was Monster Knowledge Checks. There are traces of it in the Battlemaster Fighter, but mostly it's in a grey zone up to each DM. The Bard and/or the Ranger might be interesting places to explore some incarnation of Monster Knowledge Checks, perhaps manifesting in different ways. That's one possible way to bring more (d) "esoteric knowledge" into the core Bard class.

Learning from Experience:
True bards are not common in the world. Not every minstrel singing in a tavern or jester cavorting in a royal court is a bard. Discovering the magic hidden in music requires hard study and some measure of natural talent that most troubadours and jongleurs lack. It can be hard to spot the difference between these performers and true bards, though. A bard’s life is spent wandering across the land gathering lore, telling stories, and living on the gratitude of audiences, much like any other entertainer. But a depth of knowledge, a level of musical skill, and a touch of magic set bards apart from their fellows.

A couple words have appeared so far: "scholar", "hard study", and "depth of knowledge" that 5e interprets withe the skill/proficiency rules. I think attempting to manifest that flavor with the same mechanics as other classes is what leads to the Bard poaching the rogue's Expertise.

If I were playing a bard in a more indie game, for instance, I'd almost want to lean into the "yes, but" or "yes, and" improv idea where the bard player can make certain declarations about the world and its people, and those become partially binding fact for the DM to play with. Obviously, that's further afield than D&D, but there may be a sophisticated design move to make that achieves the right D&D-balance with just a touch of such indie game thinking.

Only rarely do bards settle in one place for long, and their natural desire to travel—to find new tales to tell, new skills to learn, and new discoveries beyond the horizon—makes an adventuring career a natural calling. Every adventure is an opportunity to learn, practice a variety of skills, enter long-forgotten tombs, discover lost works of magic, decipher old tomes, travel to strange places, or encounter exotic creatures. Bards love to accompany heroes to witness their deeds firsthand. A bard who can tell an awe-inspiring story from personal experience earns renown among other bards. Indeed, after telling so many stories about heroes accomplishing mighty deeds, many bards take these themes to heart and assume heroic roles themselves.

This is a potent paragraph of flavor which, in my mind, describes a bard evolving directly from their experiences in adventure in a way that works parallel to (but separate from) the usual XP/leveling system. Achieving design of that sort of class feature within D&D – and without treading on Rogue's skill monkey niche – is tricky.

However, if you're familiar with The Bard's Tale series of games, part of your leveling in those video games involves learning new songs – which are tied in some way to the unfolding narrative. It felt very on-brand for a Bard, in my experience, and we could draw inspiration from that.

One ambitious way to translate this idea would be presenting a series of Songs (e.g. Song of the Untraveled Hill, Song of the Lost Companion, Song of the Fallen Foe) that you learn as you level, but have story requisites before you can learn them. But then you're pushing into unorthodox design space for 5th edition.

Summing up the changes re-reading the Bard flavor text suggests to me...
  • More magical music class feature(s), emphasizing the bard learning from experience.
  • More "esoteric knowledge" class feature(s), possibly inspired by indie game design and/or monster knowledge checks.
  • Remove Expertise.
  • Achieve better balance between magic, combat, music, and "esoteric knowledge" in the base class, potentially opening design space by reducing Spellcasting and/or Magical Secrets.
EDIT: There's also a line about "practice a variety of skills" which stands out. The flavor seems to distinguish the Bard as being ok (or at least not piss poor) at a variety of things, whereas the Rogue is good at several things and great at a few. So the flavor seems to support Jack of All Trades, but does not support Expertise.
 
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Stormonu

Legend
Personally, I think bards should only get up to 7th level spells, but they should have more options to things to do with Bardic Inspiration (turning it into something like the number of Sorcery points or Ki points would do nicely, and then various abilities that cost between 1 to 5 points to use).
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Fair, although I'm not a big fan of tightly reifying narrative concept into mechanics, as I expressed in the "Classes should mean something in the setting" thread the other day.
I think narrative elements are made far stronger when supported by gameplay. That doesn’t mean the mechanics should be designed to simulate story elements, but in my opinion they should be designed with a particular feel in mind.

I think the goal should be for the narrative to be recognizable from gameplay alone. For example, if you fight a group of monsters that come in large numbers, move slowly, are easy to hit but don’t seem to go down except when you crit or otherwise do a lot of damage in one hit, and attack first by grappling you and then once you’re grappled make an attack that does fairly low damage but forces you to make a Constitution save on a hit, and on a failure you gain a condition that causes your maximum HP to decrease over time, I bet you could make a pretty good guess what that monster is, even without a single word of description. Maybe you won’t get the details exactly right, but you’ll probably be in the right ballpark.

And if I add in some details that you might or might not discover from fighting them
(they’re vulnerable to fire damage, they only have middling HP but when reduced to 0 can make a save to remain at 1 unless you crit or exceed a damage threshold)
you’ll probably be able to get it. If I add in just a few narrative details
(their attack is a bite, the condition you acquire from it is a disease, and if you die from this disease you become one of these monsters)
I bet that will confirm your suspicions about what it is.
(It’s a Ramero-style zombie.)

That, to me, is the mark of a well-designed mechanic.

Absolutely agree. Use the warlock as the base for casters, and the rogue as the base for martials (linear damage increase, one attack, baked in bonus action and reaction abilities) and I'd be really happy.
Now on that I am in strong agreement.
 
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steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Legend absolutely supports it. The Bard should be able to do miracles. That’s what high level casting is supposed to be.
Here's where we differ in interpretting narrative stuff from the game mechanics...I would posit that "doing miracles" is what any/all casting is supposed to be. That magic, of any type, functions/works is a spectacular thing. You don't have to legit be raising people from the dead or conjuring elementals (that's fairly high magic, still, right? 5th level? 6th?) for magic to be "impressive."

To the "bards are/should be full casters because they're supposed to be jacks of all trades. So they need to be 'good' at everything." Being "good" at everything and having full access to all levels of casting are not the same thing. The "jack of all trades" thing, by its very definition, means you are "good" at doing a bunch of different things. You are NOT, by definition, "the best" at anything.

I would submit that "full casting" is being "the best" at [your particular sort of] magic. Seeing as the game doesn't see fit to actually give the Bard its own kind of magic, they're just another "arcane caster," they have no business with full access to all spell levels.

To use an example/another angle, I can safely say -without any hint of arrogance- I am a pretty darn good cook. I can make a phenomenal dinner for two, multi-course dinner party for 4-6-10, or even (not often, but a few times a year) whip up catering for large gatherings/events/holidays. My repertoire is broad. I have several "signature dishes" friends expect and enjoy when they come over -for everything from an informal cocktail hour to Thanksgiving/Xmas feast. My collection of cookbooks is diverse. I can say with all confidence, I am a "good cook."

That doesn't mean you could through me in a restaurant's kitchen and say, "Go to town! You know all of this. Just make everything for this restaurant's intercontinental menu, any number of people that come in, any of day of the week." I have not been to -let alone successfully graduated from- the Culinary Institute of America (or France or anywhere else). I am not certified nor have the experience to be considered -nor would I necessarily be able to step into the role of- "chef."

The Bard can be a perfectly "good cook," perhaps even "above average" if they focus their diversity of talents into that area. They are also an adequate gardener, have a passing knowledge of first aid, history, mythologies, and general wildlife/animal idenitfication/behaviors, etc...

The Bard is not, nor should be expected to be (if we are using/keeping with a "jack of all trades" design sensibility), the chef, professional farmer or botanist, EMT or surgeon, professor or park ranger/zoologist.

Bard can certainly "lean into" any of those areas (subclasses), but solely at the expense of some expertise in one of the others. And, even then, they'd still be better than Joe Schmoe from da Block.

Long story, long. I do not think "they're a jack of all trades" can justifiably be used as an explanation for the "full caster" decision. But, that's just me.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Brief thoughts:

Why does every rogue know Theive's Cant? That should be in one or more subclasses, but not a default rogue feature.
I disagree, but think it should be more broad. Rogues all knowing secret languages if a fun note for the class, just don’t limit it to thieves cant.
I feel like demoralizing enemies should be a basic bard feature.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Here's where we differ in interpretting narrative stuff from the game mechanics...I would posit that "doing miracles" is what any/all casting is supposed to be. That magic, of any type, functions/works is a spectacular thing. You don't have to legit be raising people from the dead or conjuring elementals (that's fairly high magic, still, right? 5th level? 6th?) for magic to be "impressive."

To the "bards are/should be full casters because they're supposed to be jacks of all trades. So they need to be 'good' at everything." Being "good" at everything and having full access to all levels of casting are not the same thing. The "jack of all trades" thing, by its very definition, means you are "good" at doing a bunch of different things. You are NOT, by definition, "the best" at anything.

I would submit that "full casting" is being "the best" at [your particular sort of] magic. Seeing as the game doesn't see fit to actually give the Bard its own kind of magic, they're just another "arcane caster," they have no business with full access to all spell levels.

To use an example/another angle, I can safely say -without any hint of arrogance- I am a pretty darn good cook. I can make a phenomenal dinner for two, multi-course dinner party for 4-6-10, or even (not often, but a few times a year) whip up catering for large gatherings/events/holidays. My repertoire is broad. I have several "signature dishes" friends expect and enjoy when they come over -for everything from an informal cocktail hour to Thanksgiving/Xmas feast. My collection of cookbooks is diverse. I can say with all confidence, I am a "good cook."

That doesn't mean you could through me in a restaurant's kitchen and say, "Go to town! You know all of this. Just make everything for this restaurant's intercontinental menu, any number of people that come in, any of day of the week." I have not been to -let alone successfully graduated from- the Culinary Institute of America (or France or anywhere else). I am not certified nor have the experience to be considered -nor would I necessarily be able to step into the role of- "chef."

The Bard can be a perfectly "good cook," perhaps even "above average" if they focus their diversity of talents into that area. They are also an adequate gardener, have a passing knowledge of first aid, history, mythologies, and general wildlife/animal idenitfication/behaviors, etc...

The Bard is not, nor should be expected to be (if we are using/keeping with a "jack of all trades" design sensibility), the chef, professional farmer or botanist, EMT or surgeon, professor or park ranger/zoologist.

Bard can certainly "lean into" any of those areas (subclasses), but solely at the expense of some expertise in one of the others. And, even then, they'd still be better than Joe Schmoe from da Block.

Long story, long. I do not think "they're a jack of all trades" can justifiably be used as an explanation for the "full caster" decision. But, that's just me.
See, this line of thinking is what lead to the bard being worthless in 3.Xe. Being ok at everything just doesn’t work in a game built around having a team of characters all specialized in different areas. If you’re ok at everything, you’ll always get passed up for someone who’s good at one of those things and bad at the others. The thinking with the 5e bard was, they need to be good at everything, even if they aren’t the best at it. Full casting is really baseline competence for a party caster. Half-casting is a nice bonus to support a character in a non-casting role, but it isn’t enough to fill the party caster role. And other casters still have features that make them stand out compared to the bard. The wizard has their spell book and can add new spells to it outside the ones they automatically get for leveling up, plus they get Arcane Recovery. Sorcerers have Metamagic and flexible casting to turn unneeded low-level slots into sorcery points and/or high(er) level slots. Druids and clerics get their domain/circle spells. Warlocks get to play a completely different resource game. Bards just get full casting progression and nothing else special (well... apart from Arcane Secrets, which I don’t think they should get anyway.)

And to be clear, I don’t really like the bard being a full caster. But, as I said back then, if Jack of All Trades is going to be the Bard’s shtick (which I don’t think it should be), then they need full casting progression.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Full casting is really baseline competence for a party caster. Half-casting is a nice bonus to support a character in a non-casting role, but it isn’t enough to fill the party caster role.
And this is where we disagree...or maybe agree with each other, but disagree with the game's design/take. lol. Full casting is, absolutely, baseline for a party caster.

My contention is, the Bard is not, nor should ever be considered, a party caster. Your next sentence kinda sums up my thought rather nicely...

"Half-casting is a nice bonus to support a character in a non-casting role..." which a precisely why the Bard should have been a half-caster.

They aren't a "party caster" but what they are "the best" at?...They are the Support class. Even moreso than Clerics or Druids. The bard, in their "jack of all trades/being good at a bunch of things" makes them the quintessential "Support" class.

They aren't there to be on the front line...but they can be. They aren't there to find/dismantle ALL of the traps...but they can help/be another set of eyes and hands. They aren't there to be "the party caster"...but they can absolutely do some of it...lil' divination, lil' illusion, lil' enchantment... free up the party mages for more fireballs, conjurings, serious arcane stuff. Need healing? I can do that. Little magical inspiration for defense or damage boost in combat? I can do that, too. "Woah, can you guys read this? Let me see. Hey, check out this scroll...if I'm reading this right...Incendiary Cloud [FWOOMSHROARBURNYBURN!] Whoops. Sorry."
And to be clear, I don’t really like the bard being a full caster. But, as I said back then, if Jack of All Trades is going to be the Bard’s shtick (which I don’t think it should be), then they need full casting progression.
Fair. I disagree...or rather, agree it shouldn't be the shtick. Being the best Support class is the Bard's shtick. "Jack of all Trades" is just one element of being that and full casting progression, imo, definitely isn't/doesn't have to be.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
And this is where we disagree...or maybe agree with each other, but disagree with the game's design/take. lol. Full casting is, absolutely, baseline for a party caster.

My contention is, the Bard is not, nor should ever be considered, a party caster. Your next sentence kinda sums up my thought rather nicely...

"Half-casting is a nice bonus to support a character in a non-casting role..." which a precisely why the Bard should have been a half-caster.

They aren't a "party caster" but what they are "the best" at?...They are the Support class. Even moreso than Clerics or Druids. The bard, in their "jack of all trades/being good at a bunch of things" makes them the quintessential "Support" class.

They aren't there to be on the front line...but they can be. They aren't there to find/dismantle ALL of the traps...but they can help/be another set of eyes and hands. They aren't there to be "the party caster"...but they can absolutely do some of it...lil' divination, lil' illusion, lil' enchantment... free up the party mages for more fireballs, conjurings, serious arcane stuff. Need healing? I can do that. Little magical inspiration for defense or damage boost in combat? I can do that, too. "Woah, can you guys read this? Let me see. Hey, check out this scroll...if I'm reading this right...Incendiary Cloud [FWOOMSHROARBURNYBURN!] Whoops. Sorry."

Fair. I disagree...or rather, agree it shouldn't be the shtick. Being the best Support class is the Bard's shtick. "Jack of all Trades" is just one element of being that and full casting progression, imo, definitely isn't/doesn't have to be.
I agree that bard should be the support class. I just think “support class” should look less like doing the same things everyone else can do but worse, and more like a 4e Leader class. Passing out party buffs and/or enemy debuffs, healing, etc. A “jack of all trades” isn’t a support character, it’s just second-best at everything, in a game built around characters filling specialIzed roles in the party. If the bard is going to be the generalist, they need to be competitive in every role. I thing generalist is a bad concept for bards, what they should be is a support character.
 

Greg K

Hero
I like the bard as a full caster, but I do have a few issues with the class. I dislike Jack of All Trades and Expertise as class features (but would not mind them in a subclass). I also would remove or swap out a few of the spells
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I dont really mind bards having 9th level spells...

...but I really dislike that every more ''bard-y'' features of the bards (inspiration, musical stuff, social non-spell features, song of rest) seems soooooo secondary to their spellcasting.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
They aren't a "party caster" but what they are "the best" at?...They are the Support class. Even moreso than Clerics or Druids. The bard, in their "jack of all trades/being good at a bunch of things" makes them the quintessential "Support" class.
I agree that bard should be the support class. I just think “support class” should look less like doing the same things everyone else can do but worse, and more like a 4e Leader class. Passing out party buffs and/or enemy debuffs, healing, etc. A “jack of all trades” isn’t a support character, it’s just second-best at everything, in a game built around characters filling specialIzed roles in the party. If the bard is going to be the generalist, they need to be competitive in every role. I thing generalist is a bad concept for bards, what they should be is a support character.
And here we see why they left it up to crowd sourcing. :) Personally, I prefer the bard as less rogue-y, but more buff oriented and fey magic oriented (illusions, enchantments, etc), so I'm pretty happy with the 5e direction.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
And here we see why they left it up to crowd sourcing. :) Personally, I prefer the bard as less rogue-y, but more buff oriented and fey magic oriented (illusions, enchantments, etc), so I'm pretty happy with the 5e direction.
Eh, I feel like that’s the safe route. I would much rather they picked a direction I didn’t like and commit to doing it well, rather than compromise between whatever the polls say the majority wants. A focused design whose direction I disagree with is infinitely better than an unfocused but generally inoffensive one.
 

Greg K

Hero
Brief thoughts:

Why does every rogue know Theive's Cant? That should be in one or more subclasses, but not a default rogue feature.

I feel like demoralizing enemies should be a basic bard feature.
I agree- especially, when they decided that the outdoor specialist warrior was to be handled by the Scout rogue archetype and the light armored warrior by the Swashbuckler, because rogues were the light armored skilled martial class (although honestly, in a campaign, I would replace WOTC's Rogue Swashbuckler with a Fighter variant (and its subclasses) by Khalis for Swashbucklers and several other light armored warrior archetypes).
 

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