There needs to be a 4th spell list.

My recommendation - Fix the lack of iconic bard spells through subclass spell list. Its what Tasha's did to fix Sorcerer, it can work here.

The Lore bard is already getting Arcane, Nature (primal) and Religion (divine) skills - give them a subclass list that gives them the option to take, say Bane (divine) or Faerie Fire (primal) as first circle spells, Enhance Ability (divine) or Silence (primal) for second circle, Speak with Plants (primal) at third circle, etc.
I think doing it through schools rather than tags is an attempt to put the cart before the horse. That a well designed class will have a custom spell list that will correlate with but not be a perfect match for any school that isn't named after that class.
 

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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter

CRAZY IDEA


ARCANE- Universal Magic for Artificers and Wizards
DIVINE- Outer Planes for Clerics and Paladins
ELEMENTAL- Inner Planar Magic for Sorcerers
MENTAL- Transitive Planar and Far Realm Magic for Bards, Truenamers, and Psions
PRIMAL- Material Planar Magic for Druids and Rangers
SHADOW- Corrupted Planar Magic for Warlocks and Shadomages
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
And I hate bards being forced to have all their healing spells prepared constantly. Healing bard was one potential flavour in 5e, but there were options which didn't have healing at all. This is just pigeonholing them and forcing them into this particular niche.

To me, this Bard is feeling more like a wizard with a guitar than an actual bard.
Bard is a wizard with a guitar. Ranger is a wizard with a bow. Neo-vancian casting is consuming every unique and interesting character feature and it bores me to tears.
 

Staffan

Legend
Might just make a better bard by picking fighter, then multiclassing rogue. Then taking a bit of druid.
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That said, I would rather see each class have their own distinct spell list. I mean, if we're getting hacks like "Arcane spells from these four schools plus these specific divine spells" as early as the core rules, that's a sign that the lists don't do what you want them to.

Another option would be to steal from Arcana Evolved, Monte Cook's alt-3e. AE used a similar scheme for spells as for weapons, splitting them into Simple, Complex, and Exotic spells combined with liberal sprinkling of various tags. All casters would have access to all Simple spells, and often something like "All complex psychic spells" or "All complex and exotic Air spells".
 


Since when are bards meant to be the dedicated party healer?

At this point their identity is so far removed from their early incarnations in 2e and 3e that it's unrecognisable. What happened to that jack of all trades, dabble in skills and magic while not being the master of either class from earlier editions?

Now they feel more like wizards with healing and guitars.

Except for the healing, the bard is very close to the 2e bard in playstyle and feel.
With half of the arcane list and prepared spells they are getting even closer.

The only thing I miss is additional magical secret at level 6 for the lore bard, so you can have fireball +1 from the arcane list.
I'd really want that back. The rest is more than cool.

Lets just forget the 3e bard...
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
The easiest way I've found to not have your Bard feel like a "Wizard with a Guitar" or your Ranger feel like a "Wizard with a Bow" is to actually give your characters personalities that are not the same as the personalities you give your Wizards when you play them.

I have never once seen a Ranger at any of my tables feel like a "Wizard with a Bow" because nobody plays their Ranger like a Wizard. Wizard characters tend to have personalities in one direction... Rangers have personalities, interests, and foci in a different one. Out on adventure the Ranger character's attentions are on certain things, the Wizard's attentions are on other things. During downtime the Wizards tend to do wizardly things, the Rangers do rangerly things. And neither of those things are remotely similar.

So even if a Ranger's class features are put in the PHB under the Spells mechanical format, when you are playing the game you can just do your Ranger actions like Ranger actions and don't emphasize the whole "I'M CASTING A SPELL, LOOK AT MY WIGGLY FINGERS AND BOOMING VOICE SPEAKING IN A WEIRD ARCANE TONGUE!" thing.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
The easiest way I've found to not have your Bard feel like a "Wizard with a Guitar" or your Ranger feel like a "Wizard with a Bow" is to actually give your characters personalities that are not the same as the personalities you give your Wizards when you play them.

I have never once seen a Ranger at any of my tables feel like a "Wizard with a Bow" because nobody plays their Ranger like a Wizard. Wizard characters tend to have personalities in one direction... Rangers have personalities, interests, and foci in a different one. Out on adventure the Ranger character's attentions are on certain things, the Wizard's attentions are on other things. During downtime the Wizards tend to do wizardly things, the Rangers do rangerly things. And neither of those things are remotely similar.

So even if a Ranger's class features are put in the PHB under the Spells mechanical format, when you are playing the game you can just do your Ranger actions like Ranger actions and don't emphasize the whole "I'M CASTING A SPELL, LOOK AT MY WIGGLY FINGERS AND BOOMING VOICE SPEAKING IN A WEIRD ARCANE TONGUE!" thing.
Except you're still wiggling your fingers and saying magic words. Pretending you aren't doesn't change anything.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Except you're still wiggling your fingers and saying magic words. Pretending you aren't doesn't change anything.
If you as a player at the table do not say your character is wiggling your fingers and saying magic words... and instead just narrate whatever the effects of the "spell" end up being as part of your Ranger action and roleplaying... then it doesn't matter whatever the "invisible background world" is that is occurring based on how the "mechanical rules of the game" are suggesting is happening. Because you can change those mechanical rules and the narrative emphasis those mechanical rules are written to have.

What matters is what actually occurs at the table, not this invisible background world that you aren't actually playing or representing during the game. And if your mind IS constantly on that invisible background world and what you're imagining is actually happening because of the way the rulebook has suggested the default narrative method sets things... that's on you. WotC shouldn't waste their time trying to design the game trying to make you stop doing that.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
If you as a player at the table do not say your character is wiggling your fingers and saying magic words... and instead just narrate whatever the effects of the "spell" end up being as part of your Ranger action and roleplaying... then it doesn't matter whatever the "invisible background world" is that is occurring based on how the "mechanical rules of the game" are suggesting is happening. Because you can change those mechanical rules and the narrative emphasis those mechanical rules are written to have.

What matters is what actually occurs at the table, not this invisible background world that you aren't actually playing or representing during the game. And if your mind IS constantly on that invisible background world and what you're imagining is actually happening because of the way the rulebook has suggested the default narrative method sets things... that's on you. WotC shouldn't waste their time trying to design the game trying to make you stop doing that.
Its still magic. I know rules in general don't seem to be very important to you, but not everyone feels that way.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Might just make a better bard by picking fighter, then multiclassing rogue. Then taking a bit of druid.

Just kidding. But if I did play Bard I'd probably go 50% bard 50% rogue to get it playing closer to what I consider a jack of all trades class should be.
That is a fun build, even if I’d prefer the bard ditch the Jack of all trades idea, and lean more into the lore (and thus song, oration, etc) of the mythic bard.

If any class should be a Jack of all trades, it’s the Ranger.
Bard is a wizard with a guitar. Ranger is a wizard with a bow. Neo-vancian casting is consuming every unique and interesting character feature and it bores me to tears.
The fact they prepare spells makes them a wizard!? What!?
Lets just forget the 3e bard...
The 3.5 Bard is one of the very few things I don’t want to forget from 3/.5e.

I’d happily replace bardic inspiration with songs that you activate as a bonus action and last for 1 minute or longer and have an area effect like making your allies all do more damage or add a bonus to mental saves or move faster.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Its still magic. I know rules in general don't seem to be very important to you, but not everyone feels that way.
If you don't wish to handwave it, that's fine. You don't have to. But you also just have to accept that WotC will do their designs the way they want to. And if they do it such that they are insinuating "If you don't want magic then you WILL have to handwave it"... you either ignore the insinuation and play it with the magic you don't want, or you accept the idea of handwaving it and play it in the style you prefer even if it goes against what the book suggests is the default.

Speaking personally... I would much rather play the game in the style that I want. So I will handwave all rules in the book that I don't like till the cows come home. And I think anyone who doesn't do that is just setting themselves up to be miserable.
 


Micah Sweet

Legend
If you don't wish to handwave it, that's fine. You don't have to. But you also just have to accept that WotC will do their designs the way they want to. And if they do it such that they are insinuating "If you don't want magic then you WILL have to handwave it"... you either ignore the insinuation and play it with the magic you don't want, or you accept the idea of handwaving it and play it in the style you prefer even if it goes against what the book suggests is the default.

Speaking personally... I would much rather play the game in the style that I want. So I will handwave all rules in the book that I don't like till the cows come home. And I think anyone who doesn't do that is just setting themselves up to be miserable.
The more hand-waving you have to do, the less useful the book becomes, and the more money is wasted buying it.
 





I have not read the full thread, so something like this might already be mentioned somewhere.

Having more unified spell lists can make things easier, as long as you then do not create exceptions.
2 of the 3 classes we have seen already have exceptions saying you have access to list X and then listing parts of that list you don't have access to, or the subset you do have access to.
As soon as you do this you create class specific spell lists.

It is also harder for new players.
So I have access to the wizard list but only spells that are of this school....
Goes to wizard lists looks at a few spells, had to go back to the page for his class having trouble remembering the names of the schools as to this new player the names of the spell schools are a new thing.
Player goes back and forth a few times.
Player grumbles why can't they just put a (b) next to the spell name if I can cast it as a bard.
Then goes online to get himself a list of spells the bard has access to that somebody else already made.
Maybe even printing it out and putting the bard spell list in the back of his PHB.

In my opinion the only way a person can think the access to list X with the following expiations is good design is if the designer assumes you will be using a character builder (presumably DnD beyond) that will show you only the options available to you anyway, and you will never have to figure out if you have access to a spell manually in the book.
 


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