Bards.

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Jake
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Bards.

Postby Jake » Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:40 pm

Hello everybody.

Unsurprisingly, I like the idea of bards. I think they have a wonderful flavour and enormous roleplay potential.

However, based on their modifiers they have a poorly defined combat role that makes playing them effectively quite difficult and less appealing as an option.

(Having not played a bard, and hearing about their various pitfalls from other players only, this may be misguided conjecture.)

I breifly discussed a few ideas for changes to them with Ben at saga, and I thought I'd put em up for discussion.

Give bards songs, or stories each threshold. These could grant an effect that lasts 5 mins, until sunrise, or until a new song is sung to all those that hear the entirety of the song/tale.
It would give bards a stronger, support style caster role, and give them something that no other class is capable of.

eg.
The Undying:
The Bard sings the song/tells the tale of a cohort of soldiers that bravely fought against impossible odds, continuing to victory despite broken limbs, missing eyes and debilitating wounds.
All those that hear the song/tale are able to fight as if under the effects of frenzy for the next five minutes. This song may be sung in battle.


Also, possibly controversial, allow Bards to cast magic as Sorcerers with a diminished spell list? It would fit the feel of Bards learning 'folk-magic' and entertainers tricks, rather than studying magic of a specific sphere as mages do.

Probably not the most radical of ideas, but I think they might make bards a bit more appealing. Discuss.
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Ben
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Re: Bards.

Postby Ben » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:11 pm

I like the idea of them having an "Inspire" mass effect and being able to gain others each threshold.

I was also thinking maybe make Bards Absolute spheres only to represent their magic being more about affecting people than the world (and then make Rangers Elemental only, connected to nature rather than light/shadow) and maybe change Bards mods to be -1 to stealth, +1 martial, 0 academic.
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Re: Bards.

Postby Will » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:17 pm

Will approves of this message, more so the songs than anything else.
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Re: Bards.

Postby Luke » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:22 pm

I think the balancing has to be really really tight on this. Mass frenzy which is optional? That's a lot of essence equivalent. I think it would be cooler to not give them abilities which mirror existing spells?
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Re: Bards.

Postby Jake » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:35 pm

Luke wrote:I think the balancing has to be really really tight on this. Mass frenzy which is optional? That's a lot of essence equivalent. I think it would be cooler to not give them abilities which mirror existing spells?


100% agree, the example is exaggerated for the sake of clarity.
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Stevie
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Re: Bards.

Postby Stevie » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:17 pm

Just considering the practical implications of this really. Obviously if we're going for the option of Songs etc in battle, they'd often have instrumental accompianments. Which can get tricky.. as I monster, do I attack the guy with a non Larp safe exsquisite looking Uke/Guitar/Lute. On events it may be less of an issue, because things can be put into safe places/cases. I think as a result of this we'd have to have the effects last for an hour and perhaps have each Song/Inspiring effect a seperate class-based purchase.

Here's a couple of ideas etc, which I think would fit quite nicely.

Bardic Class Feature: Inspire

After spending an appropriate time performing (This must be a minimum of 1 Minute, or 2 minutes where there is more than 7 participants); whether this be by song, rousing tale or interpretive dance the Bard inspires those gathered in audience. Inspiring in such a way grants special Passive and Active effects when fighting with or travelling with the Bard. Only one Inspiration can be active at any time. Each Inspiration costs 5 Essence to Perform.

One Inspiration is chosen at starting and the Bard may purchase additional Inspiriations with skill.


Inspiration of Battle - 6 Skill
Passive Effect: All those affected by the performance Regenerate 1 Hit to their worst location and 1 Point of Soul every 5 minutes. The player must be conscious and travelling/fighting with the Bard for this effect to occur.
Active Effect: Each Player affected by the Performance gains 1/2/3/4 [Indicated by the Bards Threshold] global hits at the start of each new combat.

Inspiration of Mind - 8 Skill
Passive Effect: All those affected by the performance regenerate 1 Essence every 10 minutes, the player does not have to meditate to gain this benefit. The player must be conscious and travelling/fighting with the Bard for this effect to occur.
Active Effect: Each Player affected by the Performance gains 1/2/3/4 [Indicated by the Bards Threshold] temporary Essence at the start of each new combat.

Inspiration of Logic - 8 Skill
Passive Effect: Those affected by the performance gain the use of 1 of the following for the next hour. Sense Power/DNW/DS/Diagnosis/I.D Liquid. If you already possess the skill in question, you gain an additional rank in the skill. (YOU CANNOT GAIN 2RANKS IN I.D LIQUID!!! STOP TRYING TO BLOW UP THE SYSTEM.)
Active Effect: Should the group who listened to the performance focus their efforts on a particular task/problem, they gain a "Lucky Idea" in respect of this. Limited to 3 Lucky Ideas.


There is probably a huge host of things you could do with this, but I REALLY like the idea of them being selected like vow/stances and I LOVE the idea of each Inspiration having both a Passive and Active effect. Of course I can see that these are quite good (Mind is OP) and I've not really fine tuned Skill/Essence costings (which is something to be done over time and with all the refs etc providing input, rather than my rough napkin math at work).

Anyway, I think this is a good base to work off. Thoughts?

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Ben
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Re: Bards.

Postby Ben » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:30 pm

When a spell becomes mass (usually for negative effects) the essence cost varies somewhat but generally it quadruples the cost.

E.g. Fire Dart to Fire Storm 1 the essence cost quadruples (Fire Bolt x6, Fire Strike nearly x7)
Fire Blast is 5, Inferno is 20 (x4)
Quicksand is 3, Swamp is 10 (x3.333)
Freeze 5, Wave of Ice 20 (x4)
Fear 2, Terror 8 (x4)
Chant of Agony is 8, Mass Agony is 20 (x2.5)
Pacify is 8 , Passive Aura is 15 (x2ish)
Holy Smite is 3, Holy Storm 18 (x6)


A few ideas

5 essence
Song/Tale of Bravery (immune to fear for 5 minutes)
Song/Tale of Vigor (+1 dex or +1 hit per location for 5 minutes)
Inspirational Song/Story (+1 soul for 5 minutes)

10 essence
Calming Tale/Lullaby (Mass Sleep to those who listen and relax while story is being told)
Heartwarming Song/Tale (restores entire soul to those who listen to the entire song/story)
Terrifying Story/Song (casts the equivalent of Contingency Other: Fear on everyone who listens to the story/song - the caster can activate this once per person at will until sunrise)

20 essence
Song/Tale of Bonding (mass Charm Person on those who listen to the entire story)
Song/Tale of Protection (grants Aura to allies who remain within hearing. Only lasts while song/tale is being sung/told: maximum 5 minutes)

Song of Ice and Fire (Fire Storm and Ice Storm 5)
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Luke
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Re: Bards.

Postby Luke » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:43 pm

PersonallyI don't think classes in HoP don't really get many things that make them special, it's an old argument but essentially your class determines what abilities from the list you can buy, not what extra abilities you get. Classes are ultimately your skill order and your ability order (Martial, Aca, Stealth, then Cunning, Magic etc).

Celebrants get a bit of froop. Warriors get a bit of froop. Serkanians get a lot of froop. But over all I think it would be damaging to basically invent new abilities for just a bard. The reason they have a poorly defined combat role is because their mods suck, not their abilities. If you want to be a power played bard then play a high mage with an instrument or a penchant for acting. You don't need new abilities to feel bardy, in the same way that Druids don't have any spells mages can't have. A warrior and a knight have the same skills and abilities. Influence lists are another element of it.

Honestly, I would just delete Bard from the system. It doesn't add anything that mages can't do except for a link to influencing people... which a mage can do...

Really there's a risk of making bards too-special. Unless we want to move all of HoP to a system where class means more then go ahead and make up songs, but in which case its worth adding stances to druids (discussed), unqiue set of spells to mages/high mages, improving vows, and giving scouts some abilities too. Which means that now Bards feel Bardy but their mods will still suck and so they wont have a defined combat role.

This isn't a hard truth, I just think it's worth having some system direction on the class issue before making any changes...
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Ben
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Re: Bards.

Postby Ben » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:38 pm

I'm happy to make changes to any part of the system if people want them.

As long as the new rules fit the system and don't unbalance it then I'm happy.

Moving towards an event system means changes are inevitable: rules created for a linear club are no longer necessarily as appropriate.

A Bard could just decide "I want to do X" open a ritual circle and then sing/tell a story over a few minutes and get the benefit. This is giving a bit of framework to that: they can still open a circle in order to try to do anything they want but here are some set things they can do without having to guess at how much essence is appropriate.

Giving Bard -1 to Stealth makes them better in a fight. They don't have a defined combat role (except possibly buffing beforehand) but then nor does any class. If you can take a lot of damage and have a shield you're in the front, if you have access to life magic you'll be called on to heal, mage or bowman you're probably trying to keep out of the way and attack from range and anyone in light armour with short weapons and no magic will be trying to sneak up. Your class gives you modifiers and abilities (and sometimes restrictions/RP opportunities) but that's it. It lets you create an efficient spend to be powerful at one part of the game. For hybrid classes you're a jack of all trades. For non-specialists you're never going to be quite as good at one part of the game as Warrior/Scout/High Mage/Celebrant...but if you want a rounded character that doesn't matter. I have/had powerful characters due to them having lots of skill, not due to being well spent: all have spent a lot of skill in areas where they pay +2 and I'm sure some people will see that as wasted.

Anyway, I like adding to the system in places where its seen as lacking something. Getting rid of classes doesn't seem popular (I tried to get rid of Mage and Arch Celebrant and was shouted down): more classes means more choice. Choice is good.
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Stevie
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Re: Bards.

Postby Stevie » Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:03 pm

(Psst.. I would happily get rid of Mage/Arch Celebrant.. Hell, I would let you chuck Bard and possibly Ranger in there and I wouldn't have any qaulms. Actually.. while we're on it Thief too... and maybe Knight. To be honest, I would have Thief/Knight/High Mage/Arch Celebrant as advanced classes. You can't start them, but after 30 skill as a Scout/Warrior/Mage/Celebrant respectively you could select to [for want of a better word] take your Paragon Class for those familiar with DnD. Less clutter.)

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Ben
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Re: Bards.

Postby Ben » Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:27 pm

You get to the point where you might as well just choose from 3 classes (Fighter, Rogue, Wizard). Or simpler yet just choose your modifiers (as long as they equal an average of 0). Simpler still, get rid of modifiers too.

There are systems like this. They're not batter or worse than HoP, just different.
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Stevie
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Re: Bards.

Postby Stevie » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:00 pm

Ben wrote:You get to the point where you might as well just choose from 3 classes (Fighter, Rogue, Wizard). Or simpler yet just choose your modifiers (as long as they equal an average of 0). Simpler still, get rid of modifiers too.

There are systems like this. They're not batter or worse than HoP, just different.


-10, +5, +5 Done.

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Re: Bards.

Postby Ben » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:52 pm

Old school Dragonkin stats
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Re: Bards.

Postby Dellam » Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:44 pm

Have to say, I'm really into the idea of having bards with more song/story/poetry oriented. I don't normally weigh in I know but bards do require some kind of separation in terms of class and it's a good way to do it.

As for the point of making bards to special well, don't we all want characters to be special in some way? Yes, we do that through roleplay but there will always be a desire to vary through stats so well...yeah! I like the selection ben came up with for song effects and more varied stuff can be added through uniques (admittedly I was planning to do this for a bard anyway so possibly a teeeensy bit biased)
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Re: Bards.

Postby Thom » Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:10 am

Bard Ability:

Performance:

Essence cost: 1+

The Bard opens a weak ritual circle, in which he performs a song/story/other. Anyone in the audience including the Bard may gain benefits at ref's discretion as per a ritual.


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