Swords under the Sun — Blades in the Dark meets Dungeon World

Eolin

Explorer
I think to understand a Bard, expand a bit from D&D.

In general, 5e does a real good job of making Bards be the class that makes everyone else shine; the skinner can do that, but can also utterly change the story around them.

Sorcerer that weaves their magic through a magic flute or ritualistic dance.

That's the most obvious, yeah. But, how about aiming closer to the skinner?

Compare 5e College of Glamour -- in particular the Enthralling Performance ability -- with AW's Skinner, in particular the Artful & Gracious playbook move. Both can act to change the actions of other characters, and with minimal downside to the Bard or Skinner.

what's the main thing about them.
As a suggestion: It's not the music. It's the story. The Paladin is only heroic because the Bard focuses the story on their moments of heroism, the clerics faith shines due to the Bard reminding everyone they never lost faith -- even if they did. A bard shapes the world through storytelling. With every move, a bard changes and refines the story; they shape their party into the best they can each be.

Does that make sense? I don't know if this makes sense anymore, but its where I'd go with a Bard.

As an example move:
Inspiration: Your stories aid your allies. You can mark one doom to grant an ally +1D, even after they roll, whether or not anyone else has help'd or hinder'd.

What i'm going for there: The Bard helps their ally shine, even risking future badness to the Bard.
 
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loverdrive

Makin' cool stuff (She/Her)
I think to understand a Bard, expand a bit from D&D.

In general, 5e does a real good job of making Bards be the class that makes everyone else shine; the skinner can do that, but can also utterly change the story around them.



That's the most obvious, yeah. But, how about aiming closer to the skinner?

Compare 5e College of Glamour -- in particular the Enthralling Performance ability -- with AW's Skinner, in particular the Artful & Gracious playbook move. Both can act to change the actions of other characters, and with minimal downside to the Bard or Skinner.


As a suggestion: It's not the music. It's the story. The Paladin is only heroic because the Bard focuses the story on their moments of heroism, the clerics faith shines due to the Bard reminding everyone they never lost faith -- even if they did. A bard shapes the world through storytelling. With every move, a bard changes and refines the story; they shape their party into the best they can each be.

Does that make sense? I don't know if this makes sense anymore, but its where I'd go with a Bard.

As an example move:
Inspiration: Your stories aid your allies. You can mark one doom to grant an ally +1D, even after they roll, whether or not anyone else has help'd or hinder'd.

What i'm going for there: The Bard helps their ally shine, even risking future badness to the Bard.
Hmmm this makes a lot of sense. I'll draft something soon.
 

aramis erak

Legend
You know what it reminded me of? This:


The word naughty word occurs 160 times in AW 2nd edition. If a word is good enough for the Bakers, then its good enough.
The is one of the reasons I didn't buy it.
I can understand why he would use it in that work, but disagree that he should have.

I have borrowed and read it; I had trouble extracting the concepts through the language, and had to ask Luke Crane for an explanation in English of "To do it, do it." Which, while not as catchy, can be more easily explained, "To get to roll the move, narrate the action." Which seems self-evident to many, but is a conceptual leap that wasn't obvious in AW itself for a subset of readers.

I'll also note that Fiction First and difficulties are not mutually exclusive. Sentinel Comics, for example, has standard modifiers for the moves that shift the die used or require a complication to attempt. (EG: doing a basic hinder against multiple targets: either drop from mid to low die, or take some other complication.) It's a subtle effect, but the ability of the GM to shift which die for a player attempting something a little odd is why Sentinel Comics works for me.

One thing that is key in discussing the AWE/PBTA space: the design decisions the Bakers chose are divisive. Those key choices being Fiction First, playbooks, limited mechanics, and only 3 allowed difficulties: no roll autosuccess, roll for S/P/F. and autofail. (P for Partial - either success with complication, or only get part.)

For me, those three difficulties are not enough. For some they are. 'nuf on that element.

The limited mechanics: Vincent has mentioned on various forae that he wanted mechanics ONLY for the signature elements of the genre/setting; anything else is "say yes." But that very conceit (only mechanically handle the key theme elements) is a divisive idea. Many want their game rules to be fairly broad in mechanical coverage; a number in the AWE/PBTA fanbase extract the core element and use it as a more traditional S/P/F general engine. (Note that the partial success goes back at least as far as 1984, in Pendragon.) I'm on the fence; I do like being able, RAW, to mechanicalize any particular element, but it's not essential.

Playbooks are a neat idea, IMO. But they do have the problem that they severely constrain character design. They're classes as tight as many a D&D derivative. Classes are themselves a divisive issue. Playbooks being disguised classes... Or, in some non AWE/PBTA games' beginner boxes, specific PCs (Sentinel Comics Starter kit, all the FFG Star Wars beginner boxes and the L5R5 beginner box).

And before the inevitable reply, "just modify it"... I'm one who uses Rules as Written as much as I can. This is so the players I run for can make sense of the worlds their characters inhabit.

Having seen one PBTA influenced design with multiple difficulties, I'm always hopeful for more that do likewise.
 

aramis erak

Legend
Thanks! That's super flattering to hear


Honestly, I just don't understand bards. I really wanted to make one, but then I couldn't formulate, what's the main thing about them.

The simplest suggestion would be to make a Sorcerer that weaves their magic through a magic flute or ritualistic dance.
the D&D Bard is nothing like the historical bard...
The historical bards come in two distinct flavors:
Druidic priests' apprentices, learning the lore and chanting it back for the people in the Druidic period of the Celts. (A similar role exists in Islam.)
The other, more modern, is the troubador of the late middle ages, conflated with the Celtic Bards by (mostly) gamers. These were gentry or even nobles, in mufti, going on tour spinning tales and entertaining all comers... More of them are fictional than real, but they are a historic thing.
If you're looking for a trope set to turn to a playbook, the Celtic style is pretty reasonable.

Suitable moves would be extract information (via audience participation), teach a lesson (to NPCs, of course), Recite History (establish some fact or get the GM to coonfirm or deny, or turn to an oracle), Lampoon (discredit individual), New Lay (enhance someone else's reputation), Inspire (a bonus of some kind on a later action).
None of them are fast; they're all working an audience or reciting the history in chant form (as chant forms tend to be better for long term stability of memorized text).
 


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