|Great PC games, shame about the class
1. First and foremost, when bards use their bardy powers, the player says something like "I sing away your cares and worries!" or "I strike up the lute with an epic lay that sets the foes to flight!" The thing is, when any other class casts a spell, the other players don't care what the mumbo-jumbo is. With a bard, though, you expect to hear an actual song, against all reason, and that creates a nagging itch.
NO, bard player, do not sing at the table. Not even if you're good at it - not unless everyone signed up for an adventure game that every now and then becomes an awesome singer concert. Nor should you specify that you are singing some made-up fantasy song like "The Ballad of the Owlbear and the Hive of Bees." That's still way too damn twee. It's embarrassing, like having two players describe how their characters are making out.
2. Wizards can cast a spell, clerics pray, and the effect happens. But a song should last longer than a one-minute combat round and especially longer than a ten-or-six-second one. So fire-and-forget bards are unsatisfying and need-to-stay-on bards are no fun to play.
|I wish you'd prove me wrong...
4. That lute is also as sensitive as a baby's bottom and with one misaimed blow, one dunking in cold water, there goes the bard's meal ticket. Unless you go all munchkin and demand to play a cast-iron vuvuzela bard, a triangle bard, or the ultimate in powergaming: an acapella bard.
5. At the end of it all, if I go back to my analysis of miracles, the bard's most characteristic powers just make him or her a secular cleric. Dispelling evil ... calming storms and savage beasts ... swaying minds ... even the fortifying effects of music can be seen as healing if character hit points represent some amount of confidence and morale.
So maybe the bard works best after all as a cleric? Oh, and not to forget this decidedly historical version of the bard class for Old School systems, envisioned as a kind of rogue/faceman/sage hybrid by Dave Baymiller. Yeah, I stumbled across it while searching for embarrassingly effete bard pics online, what of it?
Anyway, I've said my piece. If anyone wants to stand up for the bard, let's hear it!