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SixOfSpades' rogue thoughts.


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#1 Guest_Guest_SixOfSpades_*

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 12:33 PM

For me, what makes Bards worthy of being Bards is the ability to sing different songs for different occasions: One might make the party more powerful offensive fighters, another might improve their AC, another might boost their Saves and/or Magic Resistance, another might improve their resistance to mind-affecting spells, yet another might make them more effective against Demons and Undead, still yet another might slowly Heal the party, etc., etc., etc.

Not only would this make Bards in general more powerful (which is sorely needed), it would make playing them more interesting. As it is, each kit has basically a single style of play--
Blade: Slog through low-level fights, get to boss enemy, buff the crap out of myself, then Dualwield & Offensive Spin 'em to death.
Jester: Cast Invisibility, sing until they're all stupid, then call in my friends.
Etc.
The ability to change songs (via a Special Abilities menu), however, would give Bard what they're supposed to be all about: Versatility. Which in turn makes the class more fun to play.

In addition, I am sick to death of Bards not being able to FIGHT. What good is being able to wear Chainmail and tote Halberds around if you use the same combat values as a Thief?!? I propse an outright break from D&D rules: Straight Bards get an additional 1/2 attack per round at Level 8, and another at Level 16.

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Alignments: I can understand how somebody might want to play a Lawful Good Bounty Hunter who brings criminals to justice. If so, however, choosing the LG alignment should result in a complete and TOTAL inability to Pick Pockets, at the very least. At the start of the game, a spell is cast on the PC that sets PP to 0, and grants permanent immunity to anything that changes PP score. This will block Potions and the Gloves, at least, I don't know if the user will still be able to put points into PP on Level-ups.

#2 Andyr

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 12:42 PM

New songs are a possibility. :)

As for LG and Pick Pockets... I'd rather leave this up to players to RP than force them to do anything. Though I will concede I see some reasoning to your point.

For bards and additional attacks; do you mean only kitless Bards? I am not too keen on messing with D&D rules like that... bards can fight reasonably, especially when seld-buffed, and the Blade is a more combat-oriented kit.
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#3 Guest_Guest_SixOfSpades_*

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 01:38 PM

Forgot to say that the varying kits of Bards should be able to have varying levels of maximum proficiency in each Song--also, the various Harps and Horns in the game could be altered to go in the Shield slot (not providing any AC, though), so they could apply positive and negative modifiers on different Songs while equipped. The extra Attacks per Round I mentioned would vary according to kit; kits specialized for non-combat purposes (such as the Jester) would not recieve the full +1 ApR.

I went digging, and found what I'd written up on the subject:

Suggested changes to the straight Bard: Expand racial options to include Elves and Gnomes (should Gnomes retain the "gotta-be-Illusionist" limitation?), allow them to wear Splint Mail, Helmets, and Small and Medium Shields, and also provide an array of different Bard Songs, not just one (Change which Song you want to sing by right-clicking the Bard Song button). If these new songs are implemented, we will have to go through each of the existing Bard kits to determine which Songs they will know; only pure Bards will be able to use all of the Songs. Also, have the game make sure Bards cannot Sing if they have been Deafened or Silenced. Out of the songs below, all the songs that affect enemies will increase in effectiveness (i.e., impose penalties to their Saving Throws) as the Bard gains levels, with additional bonuses determined by the Bard's Charisma. Singing Bards gain a -2 AC bonus.

  • Tarentella: Gives all allies within the Bard's sight range bonuses to hit, damage, and attacks per round.

  • Ritard: Gives all allies within earshot bonuses to AC, Saving Throws, and certain resistances and/or immunities.

  • Dance of Chaos: All enemies within earshot must Save vs. Spell to avoid Confusion.

  • Soothing Lullaby: Enemies within earshot must Save vs. Spell or fall asleep, creatures that are immune to Sleep will be Slowed.

  • Lament for the Damned: All allies within earshot are Protected from Evil, and each hit does an extra +6 damage to Demons and Undead.

  • Melody of the Nightingale: Allies within earshot, including the Bard himself, are healed 1 hitpoint per round.

  • Fortissimo: All creatures in the Bard's sight range must Save or be Deafened, which causes 50% Spell Failure.

  • Steadfast Vigilance: All allies within earshot will Detect Traps and Illusions, with a skill percentage check determined by the Bard's level (a true Thief might have his % chance actually go down because of this). The Bard cannot sing this song if any party members are fighting or casting a spell.

  • Loyalty to the Cause: Allies are immune to mind-affecting spells & abilities, including Charm, Confusion, Feeblemind & Stun.

  • Enchanter's Waltz: Enemies must Save or be Charmed. Charmed enemies will remain Charmed (duration varies with Bard's level) after the Bard stops singing.

  • My Heart Will Go On: All enemies within earshot, provided they are not Deaf, must Save vs. Spells or flee from the Bard as fast as they can. Those who make their Save will try to kill the Bard as quickly as possible.

My reasons for the suggested changes above should be intuitive. I'm more a proponent of expanded Racial choices than expanded Alignment choices--to me, it seems obvious that any race that can be a Fighter, Thief, or Mage (especially if they're the only race that can tripleclass the three) should be allowed to be a Bard. The greater choice of armor matches the Bard's weapon selection more closely than the existing version--it's kinda silly that the most 'versatile' class will get struck down with the palsy if he tries to pick up a Small Shield.

More junk from my archives:

ACOLYTE: Bards have always been renowned for being quick learners, and their study of the arcane arts of magic is no exception to their mental skills. Some Bards take their studious nature a step further, and focus their time toward learning the higher levels of Wizard spells; though they can never be as skilled at the most powerful spheres of magic that true Wizards can, a worthy Acolyte can certainly hold his own--and get a little physical combat in on the side, as well.

ADVANTAGES:
* Altered Bard spell progression, granting a Level 39 Acolyte 5 Level 9 spells per day
* Can use all Mage/Sorcerer items
* Gains ToB HLAs of Extra 6th, 7th, and 8th level spells

DISADVANTAGES:
* Only 1/2 normal Pick Pockets score
* Bard Song improves at 1/2 normal rate
* Cannot wear any armor that blocks Wizard spellcasting
* Does not get ToB HLAs of Use Any Item, Enhanced Bard Song, or Set Spike Trap
* Does not recieve Bardic ApR bonuses


SOLDIER: Apart from the need for a better name, Soldiers are worthy of replacing Blades for the title of "Fighter-Bard." Forsaking their training in petty Thievery and casting Wizard spells, Soldiers have yielded to the taunts of their comrades and learned to actually contribute during combat. Soldiers bear all but the heaviest armors with ease, know how to take a punch, and can come right back with powerful, accurate blows of their own, as their skill with weapons is little less than a true Warrior.

ADVANTAGES:
* Uses D8 Hit Dice
* Gets extra hp for a CON above 16
* Can get an 18(xx) STR
* Can wear any armor except Full Plate
* Can put 3 proficiency stars into any weapon, and the full amount into the Weapon Styles
* -1 bonus to THAC0 every 4 levels (stops after Level 20)
* Additional 1/2 ApR at Level 24
* Gains ToB HLAs of Whirlwind, Power Attack, Deathblow, and War Cry

DISADVANTAGES:
* Bard Song improves at 1/2 normal rate
* Cannot Pick Pockets
* Only gets 3 Wizard spellslots for Levels 1-3, 2 in Level 4, and none in levels 5-6
* Only 3 Lore per level
* Cannot choose ToB HLAs of Use Any Item, Enhanced Bard Song, Scribe Scrolls, Magic Flute, or any of the advanced Traps


HIGHWAYMAN: The prospect of earning easy money without actually working for it never fails to attract the most base, conniving rascals, who are always willing to learn more tricks to benefit themselves, usually at the expense of others. The line between Thief and Bard blurs to the point of nonexistence with the Highwayman, who can still cast spells, sing his Bard Song and use larger weapons--but only just barely.

ADVANTAGES:
* Able to Hide in Shadows, Move Silently, Pick Pockets, Open Locks, Set Traps, and Find & Disarm Traps
* Able to Backstab, to a maximum of x3
* 20 Thieving points per level (does not recieve level-based Pick Pockets score)

DISADVANTAGES:
* Limited to the Thief's armor selection
* Cannot use 2-Handed Swords, Halberds, Warhammers, Flails, Longbows or Heavy Crossbows
* Bard Song progresses at 1/2 normal rate
* Does not recieve Bardic ApR bonuses
* Only gets 3 Wizard spellslots of Levels 1-5
* Does not get Enhanced Bard Song or Scribe Scrolls



#4 NiGHTMARE

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 04:06 PM

I'm afraid allowing elvish and gnomish bards is rather difficult, since race/class selections are hard coded.

EDIT: BTW we have plenty of other possible bard kits, it's just they haven't been implemented yet (either that or we're keeping them LoI exlusive) :).

Edited by NiGHTMARE, 22 December 2004 - 04:13 PM.


#5 Andyr

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 04:31 PM

As for horns and harps equipped as shields - the new store has an item which you equip as a shield (actually, the tress from the screenshot thread) and I plan to make some more. :)

I'm not sure about altering the existing instruments because they're of the x-use-per-day variety; though I am in favour of more items with passive equipping effects.
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