DS Bard



Jan 30, 2004 13:15:45
I hereby present my take on bard class without spellcasting. If you have suggestions, please post them.

Hit Die: d6.

Class Skills
Same as in Player's Handbook.
Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int modifier)


Feb 02, 2004 10:52:35
Waiting for feedback...


Feb 02, 2004 16:18:35
what's 'chance'?


Feb 02, 2004 21:09:45
Very good conversion in my opinion. Simple and straightforward, adapting what the bard of 2e seemed to be.

The Poisonmaking ability is especially interesting, and I was not aware such mechanics (as an ability, not a craft skill per say as presented in Song and Silence) had precedent. As such, I think it is a very good representation of the athasian bard's ability and exclusivity in this domain. Just as spellcasters are the only ones who can use the craft(alchemy) skill in 3.5, making the bard the only on who can use this ability makes sense.

Also, I notice this ability allows for poison to be crafted at far less expensive costs than poison buying costs of the DMG, which I believe is a very nice thing, as poisons are EXCEEDINGLY expensive in D&D (who ever buys poison anyways? costs hundreds of gps to get one chance to maybe reduce stat of someone your trying to kill anyways, and probably will)

I'm a bit surprised though to see that this ability creates 1d4 doses, and not simply 1 dose, as most craft skills would do. Is that the actual Modern mechanics, or your own?

I also like the way the bard level figures in the maximum DC of the poison.

The save against poison bonus, though not an especially powerful ability, also makes sense, and resembles that of the rogue against traps in some ways, making a like between both roguish classes.

The chance ability (lucky in Complete warrior) makes a nice ability of moderate power for the bard too.

Is there a reason you did not give Poison Use to your Bard? I think you could grant him that ability at 2nd or 3rd level.

The rest seems nice enough.

Personnally, I always had lots of problems with the bard class of Athas. Though I think this version of the class is probably one of the best conversion from DS2e, I don't fully understand the logic between the existence of a poisonous entertainers on Athas.

I might post more on this later, but sufficient to say, athasian bards are more of a semi-secret organisation in my version of Dark Sun that even the official version of Athas described, and as such, athasian bards are a prestige class in my campaigns, with a ''tell no secrets'' twist as the athas.org's bard has.

But for now, very good conversion.


Feb 02, 2004 21:22:09
Originally posted by Hill Giant
what's 'chance'?

An ability which basically allows a reroll of most rolls once (or more) per day.


Feb 03, 2004 11:38:50
Thanks for the even better feedback Sheid-Nad.

The 1d4 doses was in the original d20 modern web enchancement, however it makes me upset too. Since 3.0E random results cannot govern such things.

The poison use can be given at 2nd or 3rd levels as you said.
For a cleaner layout, you can also imbue the poisonmaking ability with the same benefits of poison use.

OOpss... there is a mistake in my first post. The bard has good Will Saves too.


Feb 05, 2004 8:43:19
Ok. I've put a lot of thoughts into the bard (see Bard Theory topic), and I have tried to come up with a version of it that incorporated the "secretive" and "fallen" aspects of the class as well. I'll explain more later.

Note that I stated earlier that I made the bard a prestige class (which was true), but I'm starting to think a base class is more appropriate after all, as most base class go through some training anyways (except maybe rogue, which in itself is logical as they are rogues...) and so the bard could still benefit from tutelage in the secrets and abilities of the bards before his first level. Also, it is far easier to convert this class on a base 20 level scale, since it matches the standard bard. And lastly, bards were a core class in DS2e, are a core class in D&D3.5, so lets try to keep up...

So here it is. I took inspiration from your work, Kelsen, and from the Complete Warrior book's non-spellcasting variants of the ranger and paladin as well to create this:

(I have no idea how to do tables properly, so I'll just list things and work out the table later when I get some help on the matter...)


Abilities: Charisma, Intelligence, Dexterity.
Alignement: Any Neutral
Hit Die: d6

Class Skills: Appraise, Balance, Bargain, Balance, Bluff, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Disguise, Escape Artist, Forgery, Gather Information, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (all), Language Listen, Move Silently, Perform, Profession, Search, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hands, Spot, Tumble, Use Magic Device, Use Psionic Device, Use Rope. (Skill in italic script come from my d20 conversion of Dark Sun)
Skill Points: 6+Int mod (x4 at fisrt level)

Weapons: All Simple plus "some roguish weapons, not determined yet"
Armor: Light

Base Attack Bonus: As Rogue
Saves: Fort: bad Ref: good Will: good


1- Bardic Music: As PHB, but with some adjustments to the level of the abilities (see below) and some new abilities.
1- Fascinate: As PHB.
1- Countersong: As PHB.
1- Bardic Secrets: As Bardic Knowledge of PHB.
1- Poisonmaking: The bard, and only the bard, can use Craft(Alchemy) checks to craft Poisons. See Kelsen's description of this ability for how to set DCs for crafting poisons. However, material costs to craft poisons equal one-sixth the value of the poison (as Song and Silence description). Time required for crafting depend on the market value of the poison, as per the Craft skill. The maximum poison DC a bard can craft is equal to 10+half the bard's level+bard's Int mod. Finally, a bard has a 5% chance (non-cumulative) of poisoning himself each day he spends crafting poison.

2- Inspire Courage +1: As PHB.
2- Instill Doubt -1: Bards of Athas as often pledge their talents to hinder others as to help them. Starting at 2nd level, a bard with 3 ranks or more in Perform may use his Bardic music to instill doubt into his enemies. All enemies of the bard within 90 feet who can hear the bard play must make a Will save against a DC of 10+half bard's level+bard's Cha mod or suffer a -1 morale penalty to attack rolls and saves against charm or fear effects. This penalty lasts for as long as the bard plays and 5 rounds after she stops.
2- Poison Resistance +1: Working with toxins and venoms gives the bard some resistance to the effects of Poison. A Bard adds this bonus to saves against poison.

3- Inspire Competence: As PHB.
3- Instill Failure: One target within 30 feet of the bard may be distracted from its task by the bard's music. The bard must be able to see the target and it must be able to hear the bard's music. The target needs to make a Will save against a DC of 10+half bard's level+bard's Cha mod or suffer a -2 penalty to skills checks of one particular skill for as long as the bard plays.
3- Poison Use: At 3rd level, a Bard no longer risks accidentally poisoning herself while brewing poison or applying it to a blade.

4- Undetectable Alignement: At 4th level, a bard's motives and intentions become very hard to determine, even by supernatural, magical or psionic means. The bard is considered to be continually under the effect of an undetectable alignement spell.

5- Poison Resistance +2

6- Suggestion: As PHB.

7- Lucky 1/day: At 7th level, a bard can reroll any one attack roll, skill check, ability check or save once per day.

8- Inspire Courage +2
8- Instill Doubt -2
8- Poison Resistance +3

9- Inspire Greatness: As PHB.
9- Instill Weakness: One target whom the bard sees and who can hear the bard must make a Will save against a DC of 10+half bard's level+bard's Cha mod or take a -2 penalty on all attack rolls, damage rolls, saves and checks for as long as the bard sings and 5 rounds after she stops. The bard can affect one additional target with this ability for each 3 levels beyond 9th.

10- Bardic Enchantements: Though bards are not spellcasters, they have learned long ago how to weave some spells within their music, and some minor enchantements to benefit themselves. As a standard action, a bard can gain a +4 enhancement bonus to Dexterity, Intelligence or Charisma for 1 minute per level of the bard. This ability can be used once per day.

11- Poison Resistance +4

12- Song of Freedom: As PHB.

13- Slippery Mind: As rogue ability of PHB.

14- Inspire Courage +3
14- Instill Doubt -3
14- Poison Resistance +5

15- Inspire Heroics: As PHB.
15- Instill Panic: The bard can use her music to make a target fall under uncontrollable fear. The bard must see her target and the target must be able to hear the bard's music. The target must make a Will save against a DC of 10+bard's level+bard's Cha mod or become panicked for as long as the bard plays and five rounds after she stops. Even if the target's Will save succeeds, it becomes shaken and remains so for as long as the bard sings. The bard may affect one additional creature for every 3 levels beyond 15th.

16- Lucky 2/day

17- Poison Resistance +6

18- Mass Suggestion: As PHB.

19- Mind Blank: At 19th level, the bard achieves complete silencing of her mind. She is considered to be continually under the effect of a mind blank spell.

20- Inspire Courage +4
20- Instill Doubt -4
20- Poison Resistance +7

There you go. Any comments?