I agree with this post and this conclusion. A Bard is just a normal Fighter until he chooses to switch to Thief, at which point we check to make sure he fulfills the Bard prerequisites. There is no such thing as a "pre-Bard". This is supported by the Dragon 56 Sage Advice column which confirms that while still a Fighter they have no weapons or armor restrictions, "because they're not bards yet."No rules. He's a Fighter. Just like any other Fighter. Well, from a "mechanical" perspective (see below).