|Smirking at what exactly, guy?|
Ok, Bards, so...
1. Late-era bards w/magic powers: Music as magic out on an adventure looks silly. There's literally never been any pictorial or cinematic depiction of this that didn't look ridiculous. (Noise Marines don't count).
2. Late/middle-era bards as "encouraging you to fight via music"--again, if you picture this happening in a dungeon it's a preposterous image and has never not looked hokey. If goblins are attacking, put down the lute and pick up a rock.
3. Old-era bards who are just travelling thief/fighters. These are just journeyman thief/fighters, the fact they have a day job doesn't make them a new class--why should it?
A duellist is just a kind of fighter, a burglar is just a kind of thief. What's the point?
4. Bard-as-charisma-wizard. Sure, a character can be charming, but the idea that the performer is somehow especially charming suggests a charisma that translates far away from the culture where said performer is famous for performing. While it's easy to picture a performer being charming to people who like lute music in some farming hellhole somewhere, it isnt going to translate when you're doing things other than trying to impress the mayor at festival time. It's not like being in a band helps you convince TSA not to search your bags.
1. It does look silly if it happens in a dungeon during a goblin attack. Outside of a dungeon, though, I say it can work just fine. In "Secret of Kells" animated movie the scene where a fae girl transforms a cat into a spirit by singing "Pangur Ban" looks cool. So, the party needs to rescue someone from a locked tower, it's hard to climb, it's suicidal to attack, the bard steps forward and sings, and music makes his magic happen, putting guards to sleep or summoning mist or whatever - I can see it working.
2. Yes, this, too, is preposterous in a dungeon. It can work if you view it like Jedi Battle Meditation in "Knights of the Old Republic", which is as 3rd edition D&D as it can possibly get, with skills and feats and all. It works when you gather an army and it's on the march and you raise their spirits with drums or battle songs or whatever. It doesn't work when goblins attack in a dungeon, unless you want to play silly. Sometimes playing silly is okay.
3. Sure, playing a bard as a thief or a fighter or a mage who has a day job is fine. Like playing a pirate or a duelist or a knight - basically it's a thief or a fighter but with some fluff. You can add some stuff like this thief is an important member of Thieves' Guild, or this fighter is in the brotherhood of bards so he has some sort if diplomatic immunity, you can't just throw a bard in jail because the next month in every tavern of every town of your neighbouring contries everyone will sing the new ballad about you being a petty tyrant, and also fat and bald and impotent. But it doesn't require a new class, agreed.
4. The charisma-wizard thing seems as natural to me as intelligence-wizard thing. Sure, the mage is smart, but it takes more than just a well-operating brain to summon fire and ice and monsters and transform people into statues, and it takes more than a silver tongue to be a magic-using bard. It's more like someone who's so in tune with music, which is basic and primitive enough that pretty much any culture knows and uses it and is affected by it, - so that this someone can feel and use the very sort of music that would affect this audience before him. Which is, in my view, how charisma works - you meet someone, you feel what makes them tick, you do the thing that makes them tick.
And playing someone like this would be fun for everyone, I'd say.
|Why would anyone want any of this to happen?|
1 & 2 Seem to center around the difference between the actual english word "Bard" and the image it conjures in the mind--which means an either court-bound or travelling medieval-ish poet/musician ---and a much broader definition that only gamers use, which is "music->magic". I have no opposition to someone doing magical effects via some suitably cool-looking music playing, like, you hit a gong and it causes an earthquake. All your examples seem like a VERY poor fit for the english word "bard" though--and I think the associations make it a bit like saying "Well I have a knight but he rides shoes instead of a horse and wears cloth instead of armor (because cloth protects you from cold, so it's a kind of armor) and he wields a paintbrush instead of a sword". Like: why are we using the word "bard" for this kind of PC that's only interesting with a completely different image unrelated to the word "bard" or its english-language associations?
As for "silly is ok" at that point you're arguing you might as well have literally any class, like a ceiling-toucher class made of people who are good at touching ceilings. That's fine to play a silly game, but it's not a good argument that it's as essential to fantasy RPGs as wizards and fighters.
3. Ok, you conceded that we can drop it,
4. First, that isn't how musicians actually interact with the world at all. Second, the wizard-intelligence thing only makes sense because the wizard has magic. And bards having magic is silly as proved up in 1 & 2.
|Hail fellow well m...Hey where are you going?|
1. When I say/hear "bard" I think of the old legendary figures like Taliesin. Since I'm not a native English speaker, no wonder that there can be poor fits like this. I don't mind using synonyms instead of "bard", minstrel, troubadour like that class that you made up, whatever. (Or I could argue that King Arthur's knights in reality wore cloth rather than heavy armour which didn't exist back then and didn't have lances, but that would be pointless and not interesting to anyone.)
Agreed about silly games.
4. First, if we talk about magic-musicians, I say they should be stranger and different from just musicians, and it should be somehow related to their connection with music. Second, I think we agree about doing magical effects via some suitably cool-looking music playing being okay. Some mages cast spells by reciting strange words and making gestures, some call the wind by whistling, or make the dead rise by tapping a complex rhythm, or make stone and steel shatter by singing a high note like an opera tenor breaking glass. And having a mage whose powers are limited to such musical things is fun. If it's more fun when we don't call him a bard, okay. We can call him something else.
Are we still disagreeing?
|Who's the real troll here?|
1 & 2. Ok, so Taliesin is, if i understand, a travelling mythic middle-ages bard. Not an ethereal faerie singing a song to cast magic spells.
So none of your reasoning makes sense there.
4. See 1&2
The idea is: Bard --in a rhetorical framework where it's an adventuring class as essential as a wizard or a thief--doesn't have much to stand on.
Wizard-but-singing or banging an organ is really a different image altogether.
|No, you're a cringey dork|
Taliesin was something similar to Thomas the Rhymer, a historic figure with legends connected to him. Thomas was supposed to be a lover/prisoner of faerie queen for seven years and gifted with prophetic abilities by her; there's a tale about Taliesin that a king tried to imprison him, and the bard sang a song that called a terrible monster to come out of the sea and do nasty things to the king. The king wasn't impressed until the monster really did arrive.
So - historically they were travelling poets, but I like to think of them as travelling poets who could make magic happen with their poetry.
4. When we speak of adventuring class - sure. It can be a variant of any basic one. I mean, Fafhrd wanted to be a scald - here's a fighter-bard, or rather a fighter/thief-bard. Something to fleshen out the character. If we're talking about essential classes, once again, a bard isn't more essential than a burglar or duellist, or illusionist. If we want to have a mage who's specializing in casting illusions, I don't see why not have a mage who's specialty is using music for spells. If we want to have essential adventuring classes - we have fighter, who doesn't do magic, we have wizard, who does magic, we have thief or specialist who does other things - then there's no reason to make bard a separate class.
An illusionist has a job that has to do with adventuring.
A bard only has a job if we add-on to the word "bard" a bunch of associations which either aren't implied by the word (singing and the monster appears, so just a wizard basically) or which look silly (lute during goblin fight).
Isn't an illusionist just a wizard, basically, but limited to illusions?
Yes. Which is a legitimate adventuring person.
A "bard" is as much an adventuring class as a baker.
I could imagine, say, "Butcher" as an adventuring class, though probably not baker. Anyways,
if we take an essential wizard and slap some limitations on him, and call him something shorter than "wizard who uses music" to keep it simple, would there be a problem with it?
No problem: but the name can't be arbitrary. Words have associations, especially in historical or fantasy contexts.
The name should be about what the class brings to the adventuring table AND not conjure an image of something that's not an adventurer.
|Must be casual friday.|
True enough. And I suppose people could find a name suitable for such a character, I'm pretty sure you could if you needed one. Not that I ask you to give one right now, just that there are suitable names that could be used, aren't there?
It's probably conceivable, but I don't have one in mind.
Okay. So I guess we've reached the point where we agree. If it's not called a bard but has a reasonable name, and it's not silly on the level of playing a lute in the middle of goblin attacks to make everyone feel better, it can be fun, and fun things should be used in games.
Fair enough. A pleasure, Simon.
The pleasure, dear sir, is all mine!
Thank you for reading the disagree-a-thon. If you left a comment with a good disagreement and haven't gotten in touch yet, email zakzsmith AT hawtmayle dawt calm.
|The only cool bard--by Jacques Callot.|
He's dead now.