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Saturday, December 6, 2014

OD&D and just a little comment about the Bard

In the early 80's we read the first of the Keith Taylor "Bard" books about:

Felimid Mac Fal, vagabond, roustabout, poet, and magician. Felimid is a poet of the Old Irish Blood a fully trained bard of Erin. A man who saw the bard's pretty face and the harp on his back might think him a simple minstrel. That mistake could cost him his life.
This character is also an excellent swordsman and carries a magic sword that has a curse. It doesn't hurt him, but it would kick in for anyone else who tried to use the sword.

We thought that he was a pretty good representation of the OD&D Bard who was described in The Strategic Review as:

A Bard is a jack-of-all-trades in Dungeons and Dragons, he is both an amateur thief and magic user as well as a good fighter. He is supposedly able to extract himself from delicate situations through the use of diplomacy, but since this does not always work he is given the innate ability to charm creatures. A Bard has the thieving abilities of a thief one half his level rounded off to the lower level, thus a Bard 11th level would have the abilities of a 5th level thief. Elves, Dwarves, and Hobbits may be Bards but cannot progress beyond the 8th level. Elves receive an extra 5% on their charm and lore scores and receive all the extra benefits of an elven thief. Dwarves and Hobbits receive only their additional thieving benefits. A Bard may use any weapon and for purposes of hit probability he advances in steps based on four levels like clerics. For purposes of saving throws they are treated like clerics as well.
They also could wear leather or chainmail armour.

We always like the bard as a character class and found that they worked very well in the campaign.

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