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D&D General Rulings, not Rules: How Will You Solve the Bard / Half Elf Dilemma?

How would you rule on the AD&D (1e) Bard / Half-Elf Conundrum

  • 1. Ban bards. With extreme prejudice.

    Votes: 8 11.1%
  • 2. Characters are not multiclass nor dual class, but "pre-bard" until they become a bard.

    Votes: 13 18.1%
  • 3. Both humans and half-elves follow the rules for dual-classing until they become bards.

    Votes: 12 16.7%
  • 4. Half-elves may multiclass (Fighter/Thief) into bard.

    Votes: 21 29.2%
  • 5. Use a custom/Dragon/3PP Bard class that doesn't have the fighter/thief prerequisite.

    Votes: 11 15.3%
  • 6. Other- I will explain my own awesome ruling in the comments. JUST WAIT FOR IT!

    Votes: 7 9.7%

  • Total voters
    72
  • Poll closed .

ECMO3

Explorer
So another thread has gone by wherein we all marveled at the clarity and interoperability of the 1e Gygaxian Ruleset, each of us remarking, "Those rules are as clear as an unmuddied stream; verily, the rules are as easy to apply as soft butter on a hot griddle!"

Unfortunately, we did manage to find one rule that didn't quite click. So I did a quick canvas of this site (some of the history) and some other hidden places where grognards congregate before spawning* to see how other people dealt with the rule in question, so that I could present this as a poll.

*Grognards spawn by telling young'uns about the good ol' days until the grognards die off and the young'uns realize that they are the ones kvetching about how people just aren't doing it right anymore. Such is the virtuous cycle of getting people off my lawn.

Let me present the various rules from 1e... this is the BARD EDITION:

1. A bard must be human or half-elven. ...Bards begin play as fighters, and they must remain exclusively fighters until they have achieved at least the 5th level of experience. Anytime thereafter, and in any event prior to attaining the 8th level, they must change their class to that of thieves. Again, sometime between 5th and 9th level of ability, bards must leave off thieving and begin clerical studies as druids; but at this time they are actually bards and under druidical tutelage. Bards must fulfill the requirements in all the above classes before progressing to Bards Table 1.
(PHB 117)

2. 6-sided Dice for Accumulated Hit Points shows an asterisk after the initial "0" to indicate that the bard has as many hit dice as he or she has previously earned as a fighter (plus the possible addition of those earned as a thief if that class level exceeds the class level of fighter).

3. The game assumes that only non- or semi-human characters can be multi-classed, and only certain class combinations are possible, depending on the race of the character. ...Fighter/thief: By combining these two classes- the armor, weapons, and combat capabilities of the fighter with the stealth and other abilities of the thief - a very effective character is created, even though thieving functions restrict the character to leather armor and no shield. Hit points are good. Dwarves, elves, gnomes, half-elves, halflings, and half-orcs may be fighter/thieves.
(PHB 32-33)

4. Unlike multi-classed characters who are of non- or semi-human race, the character with two classes must be human. To attain the second class, the character must switch his or her profession at some point. Thereafter no progression in the original class is possible.
In order to switch from one class to another, the character must have an ability score of 15 or more in the principal attribute(s) ability of the original class and a 17 or 18 in the principal attribute(s) of the class changed to. Note that nearly any combination of classes is thus possible, i.e. cleric 8 fighter, cleric & paladin, cleric & ranger, etc. Alignment will preclude some combinations.
When the character opts to cease his or her old profession and become a new class, the character retains the number of hit dice (and the commensurate hit points) due to a character of the level of his or her class. However, all other functions of the character are at 1st level of experience, for that is his or her ability in the newly espoused class. Furthermore, if, during the of any adventure, the character resorts to the use of any of the cap s of functions of his or her former class, the character gains no experience for the adventure. Having switched classes, the character must perform strictly within the parameters of his or her new profession. Reversion to the former class negates all experience potential for the new class with respect to the course of recent activities, i.e. the adventure during which original profession functions were resorted to.
At such time as the character has attained a level of experience in his or her new class which exceeds the character's former class level, the following benefits are gained:
1. A hit die appropriate to the new class is gained for each increase in level of experience, up to the maximum normal for the class in question (and thereafter hit points are likewise gained), and
2. The character may mix functions freely and still gain experience, although restrictions regarding armor, shield, and/or weapon apply with regard to operations particular to one or both classes.

(PHB 33)

4. Half-elves can be druids, but cannot multi-class with druid. Half-elves are the only race other than humans that can be druids.
(PHB 14, 17).

So here's the basic problem if you haven't seen it already- the rules for the weird 1e bard class seem to exactly track the rules for human dual-classing, which is not available for half-elves. The rules even include the hit die rule (you don't get more hit points as a thief until you exceed your level as fighter) and the strange notion of abandoning one class to start another.

On the other hand, it says that half-elves can be bards.

So here's the question, and the poll question today:

How would you rule on this issue? How does a half-elf become a bard? I've located these possible rulings-

1. Ban bards. This is my solution. This is ALWAYS my solution. Give that (1) I came up with it, and (2) it involves getting rid of bards (a/k/a the mosquito of the D&D classes), this is the ideal answer.

2. Bards are neither multi-class nor dual class, but "pre-bard" when they are a fighter or a thief.

3. Allow humans to dual class (and change their minds) into bard, and half-elves to dual class (but not change their mind) into bard.

4. Rule that half-elves "multiclass" into Bard as Fighter/Thieves.

5. Run a custom bard class in 1e that doesn't have these insane requirements.

6. Other- explain in the comments.
Originally in the 80s I allowed half elves to multiclass as fighter/thieves and then change to Bard any time they met the prerequisites even though this was not RAW. In the 2000s when I picked up 1e again I let any multiclass become a Bard. This was mostly because I wanted a halfling Bard in my game based on Olive Ruskettle from the Azure Bonds novels.

One other inconsistency you missed by the way - Bards require a 15 dexterity, but dual classing from fighter to thief (as needed before becoming a Bard) requires a 17 dexterity. This begs another question - can the human Fighter with a 15 or 16 dexterity waive this 17 dex requirement and dual class to thief as a "pre bard".
 

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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
That text does not exist in my copy of the PHB (I used one which lists itself as '6th Printing, January 1980'). So I am not certain exactly where the author quoted that from. Perhaps it was added in later editions of the book...

Not that I disagree with the general thought, but the original text which we played by doesn't actually say anything about maintaining your initial alignment being necessary. Though SOME classes obviously do state something like that with more or less force. It is also a bit unclear when they talk about maintaining alignment if it means in ALL AXES or only in one. The Monk is quite specific about its lawfulness requirement. I guess you could argue about whether switching to another class would violate that... It is kind of moot, as the ability requirements would be absurd for most games!

PHB 33:
After generating the abilities of your character, selecting his or her race, and deciding upon a class, it is necessary to determine the alignment of the character. It is possible that the selection of the class your character will profess has predetermined alignment: a druid is neutral, a paladin is lawful good, a thief can be neutral or evil, an assassin is always evil. Yet, except for druids and paladins, such restrictions still leave latitude - the thief can be lawful neutral, lawful evil, neutral evil, chaotic evil, chaotic neutral, neutral, or even neutral good; and the assassin has nearly as many choices. The alignments possible for characters are described below ...

DMG 25:
If a druid changes his or her alignment - that is, becomes other than neutral - then he or she is no longer a druid at all!
 

PHB 33:
After generating the abilities of your character, selecting his or her race, and deciding upon a class, it is necessary to determine the alignment of the character. It is possible that the selection of the class your character will profess has predetermined alignment: a druid is neutral, a paladin is lawful good, a thief can be neutral or evil, an assassin is always evil. Yet, except for druids and paladins, such restrictions still leave latitude - the thief can be lawful neutral, lawful evil, neutral evil, chaotic evil, chaotic neutral, neutral, or even neutral good; and the assassin has nearly as many choices. The alignments possible for characters are described below ...
I just mean that the text underlined in the previous post isn't rules text. I agree that the PHB talks about alignment, but it is ENTIRELY UNCLEAR that this applies at any point after the PC is first created! The phrase opening the paragraph being significant (I highlighted it).
DMG 25:
If a druid changes his or her alignment - that is, becomes other than neutral - then he or she is no longer a druid at all!
Right, and this would appear to clear up the possible alignment alterations of DRUIDS, but the paragraph in question is only discussing the alignment changes of clerics (druids being a special case of cleric). Nowhere does it state that classes like thief are equally bound to their alignment restrictions. It is clear from the PHB that the restrictions stated in their class descriptions MUST apply at character generation, but nothing really clearly states that thief which became lawful good would no longer be a thief.

Not to nit-pick, but all of this stuff has been litigated in play a dozen times over. I wouldn't say any particular interpretation is 'against the rules', just that the rules as such are pretty much swiss cheese...
 

ECMO3

Explorer
Nowhere does it state that classes like thief are equally bound to their alignment restrictions. It is clear from the PHB that the restrictions stated in their class descriptions MUST apply at character generation, but nothing really clearly states that thief which became lawful good would no longer be a thief.
I think it does state such for Paladin and Ranger, but I am not 100% sure.

I also think if you change alignment in any class you lose a level and go to the lowest possible XP at that level.
 

Voadam

Legend
Clerics Page 20:

"The cleric can be of any alignment (q.v.) save (true) neutral (see Druid hereafter) alignment, depending upon that of the deity the cleric serves."

Druid Page 20:

"They are the only absolute neutrals (see ALIGNMENT), viewing good and evil, law and chaos, as balancing forces of nature which are necessary for the continuation of all things."

Paladins Page 22:

"A paladin character is a fighter sub-class, but unlike normal fighters, all paladins must begin as lawful good in alignment (q.v.) and always remain lawful good or absolutely lose all of the special powers which are given to them."

and

"Law and good deeds are the meat and drink of paladins. If they ever knowingly perform an act which is chaotic in nature, they must seek a high level (7th or above) cleric of lawful good alignment, confess their sin, and do penance as prescribed by the cleric. If a paladin should ever knowingly and willingly perform an evil act, he or she loses the status of paladinhood immediately and irrevocably. All benefits are then lost, and no deed or magic can restore the character to paladinhood; he or she is everafter a fighter."

Rangers Page 24

"All rangers must be of good alignment (q.v.), although they can be lawful, chaotic, or neutral otherwise."
and
"Any change to non-good alignment immediately strips the ranger of all benefits, and the character becomes a fighter, with eight-sided hit dice, everafter, and can never regain ranger status."


Thieves Page 27

"All thieves are neutral or evil, although they can be neutral good (rarely), and of lawful or chaotic nature. Most thieves tend towards evil."

Assassins Page 28

"Assassins are evil in alignment (perforce, as the killing of humans and other intelligent life forms for the purpose of profit is basically held to be the antithesis of weal). They can, of course, be neutral as regards lawful and chaotic evil."

Monk Page 30:

"Therefore they must always be lawful in alignment, although they can be evil, good, or neutral with respect to their approach to lawfulness. A monk who for any reason loses this lawful alignment loses all monk abilities and must begin again as a first level character."

Bard Page 117:

"They must always remain neutral, but can be chaotic, evil, good or lawful neutral if they wish."

Changing Alignment Page 34:
"Changing Alignment
While involuntary change of alignment is quite possible, it is very difficult for a character to voluntarily switch from one to another, except within limited areas. Evil alignment can be varied along the like axis. The neutral character can opt for some more specific alignment. Your referee will probably require certain stringent sacrifices and appropriate acts — possibly a quest, as well — for any other voluntary alignment change. In fact, even axial change within evil or good, or radial movement from neutrality may require strong proofs of various sorts.
Further voluntary change will be even more difficult. Changing back to a forsaken alignment is next to impossible on a voluntary basis. Even involuntary drift will bring the necessity of great penance."

DMG Graphing Alignment Page 24:

"It is of importance to keep track of player character behavior with respect to their professed alignment. Actions do speak far more eloquently than professions, and each activity of a player character should reflect his or her alignment. If a professed lawful evil character is consistently seeking to be helpful and is respecting the lesser creatures, he or she is certainly tending towards good, while if he or she ignores regulations and consistent behavior the trend is towards chaotic alignment (see PLAYERS HANDBOOK, APPENDIX III, CHARACTER ALIGNMENT GRAPH). Such drift should be noted by you, and when it takes the individual into a new alignment area, you should then inform the player that his or her character has changed alignment (see CHANGING ALIGNMENT). It is quite possible for a character to drift around in an alignment area, making only small shifts due to behavior. However, any major action which is out of alignment character will cause a major shift to the alignment which is directly in line with the action, i.e., if a lawful evil character defies the law in order to aid the cause (express or implied) of chaotic good, he or she will be either lawful neutral or chaotic neutral, depending on the factors involved in the action.
It is of utmost importance to keep rigid control of alignment behavior with respect to such characters as serve deities who will accept only certain alignments, those who are paladins, those with evil familiars, and so on. Part of the role they have accepted requires a set behavior mode, and its benefits are balanced by this. Therefore, failure to demand strict adherence to alignment behavior is to allow a game abuse.
Lawful good characters should not be allowed to ignore unlawful or shady actions by “looking the other way”. If, for example, a party that includes a paladin decides to use poison on a monster that they know is ahead, the DM shouldn’t let the paladin be distracted or “led away for a few rounds” when it is patently obvious that the paladin heard the plan. If the player does not take appropriate measures to prevent the action, the DM should warn the paladin that his lack of action will constitute a voluntary alignment change and then let the chips fall where they may!"

Then Changing Alignment Page 25:

"Whether or not the character actively professes some deity, he or she will have an alignment and serve one or more deities of this general alignment indirectly and unbeknownst to the character. Changing of alignment is a serious matter, although some players would have their characters change alignment as often as they change socks. Not so!
First, change of alignment for clerics can be very serious, as it might cause a change of deity. (See DAY-TO-DAY ACQUISITION OF CLERIC SPELLS.) If a druid changes his or her alignment — that is, becomes other than neutral — then he or she is no longer a druid at all! Change of alignment will have an adverse effect on any class of character if he or she is above the 2nd level.
Immediately upon alignment change actually occurring, the character concerned will lose one level of experience, dropping experience points to take him or her to the very beginning of the next lower level, losing the hit die and/or hit points, and all abilities which accrued to him or her with the lost level. If the alignment change is involuntary (such as that caused by a powerful magic, a curse, etc.), then the character can regain all of the losses (level, hit die, etc.) upon returning to his or her former alignment as soon as is possible and after making atonement through a cleric of the same alignment — and sacrificing treasure which has a value of not less than 10,000 g.p. per level of experience of the character. The sacrificial amount is variable, so use your best judgment as to the total and what and where it should go — magic items to build up the NPC cleric, money out of the campaign, magic items out of the campaign, etc. Similarly, such atonement and sacrifice can be accomplished by a quest. Note that, in all likelihood, the character will desire to retain the new alignment, and it is incumbent upon you as DM to ensure that the player acts accordingly. Some equally powerful means (divine intervention, remove curse, etc.) must be used to restore the original alignment before atonement can begin.
Characters who knowingly or unknowingly change alignment through forethought or actions permanently lose the experience points and level due to disfavor. They must also accept a severe disability in alignment language during a one level transitional period. Until the character has again achieved his or her former level of experience held prior to change of alignment, he or she will not be able to converse in the former alignment’s tongue nor will anything but the rudest signaling be possible in the new alignment language. (See ALIGNMENT LANGUAGE.) Although it is possible for a character to allow himself or herself to be blown by the winds as far as alignment is concerned, he or she will pay a penalty which will effectively damn the character to oblivion.
A glance at the alignment chart will show that radical alignment change is impossible without magical means. If one is chaotic good, it is possible to change to neutral good or chaotic neutral only, depending upon desire and/or actions. From the absolute neutral alignment one can only move to some neutral-based alignment. This represents the fact that the character must divorce himself or herself from certain precepts and views and wholeheartedly embrace another set of values, and human nature is such that without radical personality alteration (such as caused by insanity or magic in the case of this game) such transition must be gradual.
It is assumed that the character’s initial alignment has been his or hers for a considerable period prior to the character’s emergence as an adventurer. This ethos will not be lightly changed by a stable, rational individual. It is recommended that you do not inform players of the penalty which will occur with alignment change, so that those who seek to use alignment as a means of furthering their own interests by conveniently swapping one for another when they deem the time is ripe will find that they have, instead, paid a stern price for fickleness."

So Paladins and Rangers become fighters. Monks become new first level characters. Druids become not druids at all (but what do they become? clerics, 1st level characters, or other) and not specified for thieves, assassins, or bards.
 

pming

Hero
Hiya!

Er... o_O

What's so confusing? The Bard Class is just that; Bard. Under it, it specifically says "Be a fighter. Then switch to thief. Then on to bard". Simple. Ignore all the "non-bard" stuff...like multiclassing/dualclassing. Because they do not apply to a Bard. The Player simply rights down "Fighter 1st(Bard)" under Class. Then, at the appropriate level, it will say "Fighter 6th / Thief 1st (Bard)". Then "Fighter 6th / Thief 7th (Bard)". Then "Fighter 6th / Thief 7th / Bard 1st". Simple.


^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

Voadam

Legend
Hiya!

Er... o_O

What's so confusing? The Bard Class is just that; Bard. Under it, it specifically says "Be a fighter. Then switch to thief. Then on to bard". Simple. Ignore all the "non-bard" stuff...like multiclassing/dualclassing. Because they do not apply to a Bard. The Player simply rights down "Fighter 1st(Bard)" under Class. Then, at the appropriate level, it will say "Fighter 6th / Thief 1st (Bard)". Then "Fighter 6th / Thief 7th (Bard)". Then "Fighter 6th / Thief 7th / Bard 1st". Simple.


^_^

Paul L. Ming
A couple ambiguities remain.

Is a 1st level fighter (bard) restricted by the bard armor, weapon, and alignment restrictions?

When the fighter (bard) switches to thief (bard) can they use fighter abilities like non-thief weapons and armor?
 

Stormonu

Legend
Yeah, the strict True Neutral requirement was present in 1e and 2e. I could have sworn that the human sacrifice bit was part of the Druid's class description in the 1e PHB, for the last thirty years. specifically because I thought it was a rule that I specifically needed to ignore and I was specifically glad that it had been "removed" in 2e.
I think you may be remembering from the Celtic Gods section of Legend & Lore/Dieties & Demigods

The cleric of most of there deities are druids, which are fully detailed in PLAYERS HANDBOOK. All religious services are performed by there druids in wooded areas made holy by the planting of mistletoe and holly. In there areas are deep natural weils or dug pits where sacrifices are thrown.
Human sacrifices are made 4 times a year. These humon sacrifices are made on November 1 (called Samain) celebrating winter's start; February
1 (called imboic) celebrating winter's leavetaking; May 1 (called Beltane) celebrating spring's planting; and August 1 (called Lugnorad) celebrating of harvest. Condemned criminals are typical sacrifices.
 

ECMO3

Explorer
Upon reviewing my copy of the Player's Handbook, I appear to be mistaken-- which is odd, because I remember the argument with my first DM very clearly whereupon he insisted that just because it was printed in the book, in black and white, didn't mean we were using it.

Which is odd, that conversation didn't come up when my first PC was blatantly illegal by-the-book.

I'm sorry. And a little disconcerted.
Don't sweat it ... you are right they have to be true nuetral .... but then half elves could multiclass into Druid-Rangers (on publication of unearthed Arcana) ..... and of course Rangers had to be good .... which creates a hell of a quandary for a would-be Druid/Ranger.

I will say until 2E and the shadow druids, most of the druids depicted in original TSR material were on the good side of true neutral. It was rare they were working with the BBEG and often that they were working with the good-aligned protagonists. The Harpers for example were Rangers and Druids.
 

I think it does state such for Paladin and Ranger, but I am not 100% sure.

I also think if you change alignment in any class you lose a level and go to the lowest possible XP at that level.
Correct, but other classes like Thief don't really have language similar to the Paladin or Ranger, or Monk. Neither does the DMG or PHB seem to have a general rule stating that you would lose your class or whatever. Yes, you do lose a level, there's no doubt about that.
 

Clerics Page 20:

"The cleric can be of any alignment (q.v.) save (true) neutral (see Druid hereafter) alignment, depending upon that of the deity the cleric serves."

Druid Page 20:

"They are the only absolute neutrals (see ALIGNMENT), viewing good and evil, law and chaos, as balancing forces of nature which are necessary for the continuation of all things."

Paladins Page 22:

"A paladin character is a fighter sub-class, but unlike normal fighters, all paladins must begin as lawful good in alignment (q.v.) and always remain lawful good or absolutely lose all of the special powers which are given to them."

and

"Law and good deeds are the meat and drink of paladins. If they ever knowingly perform an act which is chaotic in nature, they must seek a high level (7th or above) cleric of lawful good alignment, confess their sin, and do penance as prescribed by the cleric. If a paladin should ever knowingly and willingly perform an evil act, he or she loses the status of paladinhood immediately and irrevocably. All benefits are then lost, and no deed or magic can restore the character to paladinhood; he or she is everafter a fighter."

Rangers Page 24

"All rangers must be of good alignment (q.v.), although they can be lawful, chaotic, or neutral otherwise."
and
"Any change to non-good alignment immediately strips the ranger of all benefits, and the character becomes a fighter, with eight-sided hit dice, everafter, and can never regain ranger status."


Thieves Page 27

"All thieves are neutral or evil, although they can be neutral good (rarely), and of lawful or chaotic nature. Most thieves tend towards evil."

Assassins Page 28

"Assassins are evil in alignment (perforce, as the killing of humans and other intelligent life forms for the purpose of profit is basically held to be the antithesis of weal). They can, of course, be neutral as regards lawful and chaotic evil."

Monk Page 30:

"Therefore they must always be lawful in alignment, although they can be evil, good, or neutral with respect to their approach to lawfulness. A monk who for any reason loses this lawful alignment loses all monk abilities and must begin again as a first level character."

Bard Page 117:

"They must always remain neutral, but can be chaotic, evil, good or lawful neutral if they wish."

Changing Alignment Page 34:
"Changing Alignment
While involuntary change of alignment is quite possible, it is very difficult for a character to voluntarily switch from one to another, except within limited areas. Evil alignment can be varied along the like axis. The neutral character can opt for some more specific alignment. Your referee will probably require certain stringent sacrifices and appropriate acts — possibly a quest, as well — for any other voluntary alignment change. In fact, even axial change within evil or good, or radial movement from neutrality may require strong proofs of various sorts.
Further voluntary change will be even more difficult. Changing back to a forsaken alignment is next to impossible on a voluntary basis. Even involuntary drift will bring the necessity of great penance."

DMG Graphing Alignment Page 24:

"It is of importance to keep track of player character behavior with respect to their professed alignment. Actions do speak far more eloquently than professions, and each activity of a player character should reflect his or her alignment. If a professed lawful evil character is consistently seeking to be helpful and is respecting the lesser creatures, he or she is certainly tending towards good, while if he or she ignores regulations and consistent behavior the trend is towards chaotic alignment (see PLAYERS HANDBOOK, APPENDIX III, CHARACTER ALIGNMENT GRAPH). Such drift should be noted by you, and when it takes the individual into a new alignment area, you should then inform the player that his or her character has changed alignment (see CHANGING ALIGNMENT). It is quite possible for a character to drift around in an alignment area, making only small shifts due to behavior. However, any major action which is out of alignment character will cause a major shift to the alignment which is directly in line with the action, i.e., if a lawful evil character defies the law in order to aid the cause (express or implied) of chaotic good, he or she will be either lawful neutral or chaotic neutral, depending on the factors involved in the action.
It is of utmost importance to keep rigid control of alignment behavior with respect to such characters as serve deities who will accept only certain alignments, those who are paladins, those with evil familiars, and so on. Part of the role they have accepted requires a set behavior mode, and its benefits are balanced by this. Therefore, failure to demand strict adherence to alignment behavior is to allow a game abuse.
Lawful good characters should not be allowed to ignore unlawful or shady actions by “looking the other way”. If, for example, a party that includes a paladin decides to use poison on a monster that they know is ahead, the DM shouldn’t let the paladin be distracted or “led away for a few rounds” when it is patently obvious that the paladin heard the plan. If the player does not take appropriate measures to prevent the action, the DM should warn the paladin that his lack of action will constitute a voluntary alignment change and then let the chips fall where they may!"

Then Changing Alignment Page 25:

"Whether or not the character actively professes some deity, he or she will have an alignment and serve one or more deities of this general alignment indirectly and unbeknownst to the character. Changing of alignment is a serious matter, although some players would have their characters change alignment as often as they change socks. Not so!
First, change of alignment for clerics can be very serious, as it might cause a change of deity. (See DAY-TO-DAY ACQUISITION OF CLERIC SPELLS.) If a druid changes his or her alignment — that is, becomes other than neutral — then he or she is no longer a druid at all! Change of alignment will have an adverse effect on any class of character if he or she is above the 2nd level.
Immediately upon alignment change actually occurring, the character concerned will lose one level of experience, dropping experience points to take him or her to the very beginning of the next lower level, losing the hit die and/or hit points, and all abilities which accrued to him or her with the lost level. If the alignment change is involuntary (such as that caused by a powerful magic, a curse, etc.), then the character can regain all of the losses (level, hit die, etc.) upon returning to his or her former alignment as soon as is possible and after making atonement through a cleric of the same alignment — and sacrificing treasure which has a value of not less than 10,000 g.p. per level of experience of the character. The sacrificial amount is variable, so use your best judgment as to the total and what and where it should go — magic items to build up the NPC cleric, money out of the campaign, magic items out of the campaign, etc. Similarly, such atonement and sacrifice can be accomplished by a quest. Note that, in all likelihood, the character will desire to retain the new alignment, and it is incumbent upon you as DM to ensure that the player acts accordingly. Some equally powerful means (divine intervention, remove curse, etc.) must be used to restore the original alignment before atonement can begin.
Characters who knowingly or unknowingly change alignment through forethought or actions permanently lose the experience points and level due to disfavor. They must also accept a severe disability in alignment language during a one level transitional period. Until the character has again achieved his or her former level of experience held prior to change of alignment, he or she will not be able to converse in the former alignment’s tongue nor will anything but the rudest signaling be possible in the new alignment language. (See ALIGNMENT LANGUAGE.) Although it is possible for a character to allow himself or herself to be blown by the winds as far as alignment is concerned, he or she will pay a penalty which will effectively damn the character to oblivion.
A glance at the alignment chart will show that radical alignment change is impossible without magical means. If one is chaotic good, it is possible to change to neutral good or chaotic neutral only, depending upon desire and/or actions. From the absolute neutral alignment one can only move to some neutral-based alignment. This represents the fact that the character must divorce himself or herself from certain precepts and views and wholeheartedly embrace another set of values, and human nature is such that without radical personality alteration (such as caused by insanity or magic in the case of this game) such transition must be gradual.
It is assumed that the character’s initial alignment has been his or hers for a considerable period prior to the character’s emergence as an adventurer. This ethos will not be lightly changed by a stable, rational individual. It is recommended that you do not inform players of the penalty which will occur with alignment change, so that those who seek to use alignment as a means of furthering their own interests by conveniently swapping one for another when they deem the time is ripe will find that they have, instead, paid a stern price for fickleness."

So Paladins and Rangers become fighters. Monks become new first level characters. Druids become not druids at all (but what do they become? clerics, 1st level characters, or other) and not specified for thieves, assassins, or bards.
Right, Paladins, Rangers, and Monks have an absolute prohibition on leaving the allowed alignment range and will lose their class identity if they actually do change. Druids apparently EFFECTIVELY have the same thing, though it is the DMG, not the class description, which imposes that restriction. Clerics certainly will suffer worse than other characters by changing, but could continue to function, albeit they might change allegiances to a new god. I'd imagine it will be VERY difficult to convince said god or its followers to grant them spells beyond level 3!

Thieves and Assassins are much more ambiguous. While the PHB says what their alignments 'are', it doesn't contain any 'lose your class benefits' verbiage. Nor does the DMG address this. I mean, presumably a lawful good thief would run into some obvious impediments, but a lot of his abilities don't seem INHERENTLY evil. I would think you could still practice these things as a lawful or chaotic good PC. You might need to make up for past misdeeds, deal with unsavory associates, etc.

Assassins have a whole extra problem in that their one class special ability seems to be rather 'evil', OTOH you can always argue that ganking evil dudes by whatever means is not exactly the most vile of all acts... In any case the whole 'assassination power' is a pretty oddball and hard to incorporate ability in the first place, and seems vastly more appropriate as a way to adjudicate NPC assassination missions than anything else. It is pretty unclear how you would even use it in normal play.

If it was me, I would rule that thieves and assassins retain their class abilities, but they obviously have to live by their new alignments, and that could be pretty tough. TBH I'm not sure how you would enforce the other interpretation, that it is simply impossible to change your alignment if you are a member of these classes, as that would conflict with RP.
 

Hiya!

Er... o_O

What's so confusing? The Bard Class is just that; Bard. Under it, it specifically says "Be a fighter. Then switch to thief. Then on to bard". Simple. Ignore all the "non-bard" stuff...like multiclassing/dualclassing. Because they do not apply to a Bard. The Player simply rights down "Fighter 1st(Bard)" under Class. Then, at the appropriate level, it will say "Fighter 6th / Thief 1st (Bard)". Then "Fighter 6th / Thief 7th (Bard)". Then "Fighter 6th / Thief 7th / Bard 1st". Simple.


^_^

Paul L. Ming
It is nothing like this simple. What rules does this "pre-bard" follow in terms of mixing classes? The ONLY rules for such which appear to be even close would be the Dual Class rules! So, you cannot simply ignore those, or you won't really be able to play the character at all once he switches to thief. Once you cross that line to using those rules, then where do you know to stop using them? Nothing says "use this part of the DC rules, but not these other parts."
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
Right, Paladins, Rangers, and Monks have an absolute prohibition on leaving the allowed alignment range and will lose their class identity if they actually do change. Druids apparently EFFECTIVELY have the same thing, though it is the DMG, not the class description, which imposes that restriction. Clerics certainly will suffer worse than other characters by changing, but could continue to function, albeit they might change allegiances to a new god. I'd imagine it will be VERY difficult to convince said god or its followers to grant them spells beyond level 3!

Thieves and Assassins are much more ambiguous. While the PHB says what their alignments 'are', it doesn't contain any 'lose your class benefits' verbiage. Nor does the DMG address this. I mean, presumably a lawful good thief would run into some obvious impediments, but a lot of his abilities don't seem INHERENTLY evil. I would think you could still practice these things as a lawful or chaotic good PC. You might need to make up for past misdeeds, deal with unsavory associates, etc.

Assassins have a whole extra problem in that their one class special ability seems to be rather 'evil', OTOH you can always argue that ganking evil dudes by whatever means is not exactly the most vile of all acts... In any case the whole 'assassination power' is a pretty oddball and hard to incorporate ability in the first place, and seems vastly more appropriate as a way to adjudicate NPC assassination missions than anything else. It is pretty unclear how you would even use it in normal play.

If it was me, I would rule that thieves and assassins retain their class abilities, but they obviously have to live by their new alignments, and that could be pretty tough. TBH I'm not sure how you would enforce the other interpretation, that it is simply impossible to change your alignment if you are a member of these classes, as that would conflict with RP.
Stop giving them experience until they start following their alignment
 

Stop giving them experience until they start following their alignment
Obviously you can do whatever, you could have giant bolts of lightning come down from the sky and fry them too. Its sort of really more a question of 'what works' in these cases. The rules are not really clear. I mean, I'd consider ALL such cases carefully, regardless of what the rules say to begin with. Likewise with the whole Bard thing, a working game is vastly more interesting than adherence to some fairly arbitrary rules that some guy in Lake Geneva wrote up.
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
Obviously you can do whatever, you could have giant bolts of lightning come down from the sky and fry them too. Its sort of really more a question of 'what works' in these cases. The rules are not really clear. I mean, I'd consider ALL such cases carefully, regardless of what the rules say to begin with. Likewise with the whole Bard thing, a working game is vastly more interesting than adherence to some fairly arbitrary rules that some guy in Lake Geneva wrote up.
That was kind of standard I thought back in the day. And sometimes lose a level. Could be wrong. And I do get mixed up between 1E and 2E
 

Shroompunk Warlord

Archdruid of the Warp Zones
Needless to say I prefer the 2e Bard. Retroactively speaking, I change their spell access to more resemble their 3.X spell list than the AD&D Wizard list-- using a combination of Mage schools and Priest spheres-- but this is part of a larger project of tailoring the magical classes more to my liking.
 

That was kind of standard I thought back in the day. And sometimes lose a level. Could be wrong. And I do get mixed up between 1E and 2E
Sure, I think I even said something similar (maybe it was in the previous thread) WRT what happens if you treat the character as a 'pre-bard' and then they, for example, don't meet the bard alignment restrictions or ability score requirements, at the time they're supposed to switch. Just stop giving them XP, and if its fixed, then start again. I'm pretty sure that was a stock answer to various of these kinds of questions 'back in the day' and I would assume it must have been written down someplace. Maybe in a 1e book somewhere (DMG has a lot odd corners to it) or in Sage Advice, or maybe in some random module, lol. Or maybe it is just received wisdom handed down at some con and spread around.
 

pming

Hero
Hiya!
It is nothing like this simple. What rules does this "pre-bard" follow in terms of mixing classes?
No rules. He's a Fighter. Just like any other Fighter. Well, from a "mechanical" perspective (see below).
Then he changes to Thief when appropriate. He's now a "Dual Classed" character an follows the Dual Class restrictions (re: uses the new class stuff until that class exceeds the former class)...but, again only from a "mechanical" perspective. I come to this conclusion as it explains under the "Hit Dice" section of Bard:

"...has previously earned as a fighter (plus the possible addition of those earned
as a thief if that class level exceeds the class level of fighter)."


That tells me the 'rules' for Dual Classed Hit Points are used, combined with the initial explanation of the Bard:

"As this character class subsumes the functions of two other classes, fighters
and thieves, ..."


The reason I treat the Bard as "special" is twofold; one, it's an Optional class in the Appendix... and two, that last quote specifically saying 'subsumes the FUNCTIONS of...'. I read that "functions of" as saying "The PC is a Bard...but just use the abilities and stuff for Fighters, then Thieves, then Druid/Bard". Otherwise it probably would have been written more specifically in regards to pointing the Player to the rules for Dual Classing. At least that's how I've always interpreted it.

The ONLY rules for such which appear to be even close would be the Dual Class rules! So, you cannot simply ignore those, or you won't really be able to play the character at all once he switches to thief. Once you cross that line to using those rules, then where do you know to stop using them? Nothing says "use this part of the DC rules, but not these other parts."
As I said... I don't think it intends for all the Dual Class rules to be used because it says "subsumes the functions of...". That is the most telling. Combine that with the part where it says:

"...bards must leave off thieving and begin clerical studies as druids; but at this time they're actually bards and under druidical tutelage".

Again, it's the wording. It says "clerical studies as druids..."...but they aren't ACTUAL Druids...because they are BARDS. When they are "Fighters"? Yeah...they aren't REALLY 'Fighters'...they are BARDS fulfilling the FUNCTIONS of (re: learning) a Fighter. When they are "Thieves"? Yup....they aren't REALLY 'Thieves'....they are BARDS fulfilling the FUNCTIONS of (re: learning) a Thief. Then, when they are learning "Druidic" teachings...they aren't REALLY 'Druids'...they are BARDS fulfilling some of the functions of Druid...mixed with the specifically "Bardic" stuff (music, Legend Lore, etc).

It might help to get away from thinking of a Bard as a "Fighter/Thief/Bard" and just think of it as a "Bard"....the 'levels of Fighter and Theif' are simply 'Bardic skillsets and training' that focuses on Fighting and Subterfuge.

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

Hiya!

No rules. He's a Fighter. Just like any other Fighter. Well, from a "mechanical" perspective (see below).
Then he changes to Thief when appropriate. He's now a "Dual Classed" character an follows the Dual Class restrictions (re: uses the new class stuff until that class exceeds the former class)...but, again only from a "mechanical" perspective. I come to this conclusion as it explains under the "Hit Dice" section of Bard:
OK, so you ARE following the rules for a 'Dual Classed Character' then! So, he needs a 17 DEX to switch to theif, right? If not, then how do you explain WHICH of the DC rules you are and are NOT following?
"...has previously earned as a fighter (plus the possible addition of those earned
as a thief if that class level exceeds the class level of fighter)."


That tells me the 'rules' for Dual Classed Hit Points are used, combined with the initial explanation of the Bard:
Right, so again, we BOTH AGREE, then that DC rules are in effect!
"As this character class subsumes the functions of two other classes, fighters
and thieves, ..."


The reason I treat the Bard as "special" is twofold; one, it's an Optional class in the Appendix... and two, that last quote specifically saying 'subsumes the FUNCTIONS of...'. I read that "functions of" as saying "The PC is a Bard...but just use the abilities and stuff for Fighters, then Thieves, then Druid/Bard". Otherwise it probably would have been written more specifically in regards to pointing the Player to the rules for Dual Classing. At least that's how I've always interpreted it.
But again, I reinforce, you DID invoke the DC rules, BECAUSE THERE IS NO OTHER CHOICE. You need a set of rules which governs which abilities can be used, when they can be used, how hit dice work, what armor and weapons the character can use, and when. Beyond that there are rules for gaining XP, mixing in abilities of the first class, possible XP penalties for doing so, etc. I mean, sure, you can decide on a case-by-case basis which of these rules to use or ignore, nobody is disputing that. The point is any assertion that the PHB Bard rules are clear about this and explain it is clearly not justified!
As I said... I don't think it intends for all the Dual Class rules to be used because it says "subsumes the functions of...". That is the most telling. Combine that with the part where it says:

"...bards must leave off thieving and begin clerical studies as druids; but at this time they're actually bards and under druidical tutelage".
And again, you have already lost this argument as above because you DID invoke the DC rules. Once you invoke any of them, then you have to justify how the wording tells you treat EACH of those rules if you are to support the contention that the rules presented are clear and complete. The only CONSISTENT WAY to do that is to use ALL OF THOSE RULES. Even then certain grey areas exist as have been discussed above (IE some things about alignment, exactly which stats are prime requisites for the Bard, etc.).
Again, it's the wording. It says "clerical studies as druids..."...but they aren't ACTUAL Druids...because they are BARDS. When they are "Fighters"? Yeah...they aren't REALLY 'Fighters'...they are BARDS fulfilling the FUNCTIONS of (re: learning) a Fighter. When they are "Thieves"? Yup....they aren't REALLY 'Thieves'....they are BARDS fulfilling the FUNCTIONS of (re: learning) a Thief. Then, when they are learning "Druidic" teachings...they aren't REALLY 'Druids'...they are BARDS fulfilling some of the functions of Druid...mixed with the specifically "Bardic" stuff (music, Legend Lore, etc).
I'm not disagreeing with you here, but this is really just semantics. They have to follow some sort of rule, or some DM interpretation at least. It is the question of what rules govern THAT which is in question in this thread. Simply claiming that the Bard rules cover all of that, when they don't, doesn't magically make some rules appear to fill the gaps.
It might help to get away from thinking of a Bard as a "Fighter/Thief/Bard" and just think of it as a "Bard"....the 'levels of Fighter and Theif' are simply 'Bardic skillsets and training' that focuses on Fighting and Subterfuge.

^_^

Paul L. Ming
Again, I'm not stuck thinking ANYTHING. I am simply asking specific rules questions, "what happens if X?" and seeing if the rules have something to say about that. Often they don't, even about basic core questions. And note, I'm not even disagreeing in any sense with whatever way you run it. I'm just saying that the idea that you are running it 'by the book' is not supportable, there is no 'book' on this, only some approximate guidelines (and again I'm really fine with that).
 

Awfully Cheerful Engine!

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