Bard talents

Written by Martin K.

These are additional talents for the core book bard. Also have a look at the Blade talent and additional battle cries, songs and spells.

New Talents

FFXIV Bard Crop2Acrobat

Your gracious movements and precise steps aren't just for show. The impressive feats you show with the sword on stage are battle-tested.

You gain a +1 bonus to AC and PD.

Adventurer feat: Add your Dexterity modifier to disengage checks.

Champion feat: You take no damage from missed attacks against your AC or PD.

Epic feat: Increase your AC and PD bonus to +2.

Bowstring Harmony

No wild elf is considered an adult before they have fletched their first bow. For their bards, the bow is not just an instrument of war, it is an instrument of music, and each shot creates a fine harmony.

You don't take a penalty to attack with bows, and you can use your battlecries as flexible ranged attacks as the harmony of your bow inspires your allies.

Adventurer feat: Your ranged attacks deal miss damage equal to your level.

Champion feat: While you have a bardic song active, you gain a +1 bonus to ranged attacks with your bow.

Epic feat: Once per battle, while you have a bardic song active, you can reroll a ranged attack with a bow.

Dance of Damnation

Concerned citizens of the Dragon Empire claim that the infernal tunes the adolescents listen to these days are evil enough to create a rift to the abyss and doom civilization. They are correct.

Once per day, when you use a bardic song, summon a demon of up to your level that remains under your control as long as you sustain the song. If you fail the sustain check, the demon returns to the abyss, unless the sustain roll is a natural 1, in which case you lose control and the demon is free to choose to do as he or she pleases. You control the demon according to the summoning rules.

Since there are no low-level demons in the core book, you can use a normal-strength animal like the giant scorpion (level 1) instead and roll a d6 on the demon ability table to make it an abyssal creature.

Adventurer feat: When you have summoned a demon, you can reroll one sustain roll for your bardic song for each relationship point you have with the diabolist.

Champion feat: When you chant a daily bardic song, roll a d12. If the result is lower than the escalation die, you gain a free use of this ability.

Epic feat: While you have an active bardic song, demons are unable to harm you as long as you don't attack them.

Dirty Trickster

You play the bumbling fool who can't tell a sword's business end from the hilt. Turns out those who fall for the trick end up with steel between their ribs while you tumble past them.

Whenever you make a bard melee attack (a flexible attack which can trigger your battlecries), you attack the target's AC or MD, whichever is lower.

Adventurer feat: Once per battle, when the escalation die is 2+, reroll an even miss on a melee attack roll.

Echo of the Tunnels

The bards of the subterranean races, especially dwarves, have learned to use the echo of the caverns to strengthen their bardic magic.

Once per battle, you can let a bardic song continue without actively sustaining it for 1d2 turns. This even works if you are knocked unconscious, stunned or silenced. If you are conscious at the end of the effect, you can actively sustain it again or trigger the Final Verse.

If you are underground, such as in a dwarven cavern, roll 1d4 for the bonus duration instead, and you can use the ability at-will.

Champion feat: When underground, any daily bard song or spell becomes Recharge 16+.

Epic feat: While you have a song active, you gain a +1 bonus to attack with bard spells.

Gift of Inspiration

Once per battle or scene, as a quick action, you can gift a d6 inspiration die to an ally. Until the start of your next turn, the ally can add the die result to one d20 roll, such as an attack, a save or a skill check. You sing an inspiring tune for this talent, so the ally has to be able to hear your voice. It also breaks any attempt at stealth.

Adventurer feat: When the escalation die is even, you gain an additional use of Gift of Inspiration at the start of your turn.

Champion feat: You gift a d8.

Epic feat: You can choose to gift a d4 to two different allies.

Jack of All Trades

You are crafty and well-traveled, and picked up a few tricks here and there. You gain a one point "Jack of All Trades" background, which you can use in any situation that calls for a skill check. This background improves to 2 points at champion level and 3 points at epic, but you can't improve it further.

Adventurer feat: When you attempt a skill check that someone else has already failed this scene, roll twice and take the better result.

Champion feat: You are a master at improvising with the tools at hand to solve problems. If you need something that's rare or exotic, this requires a successful icon relationship roll. For example, the Emperor could ensure that you happen to have just the right official document at hand.

Epic feat: Once per day, when you succeed at a Jack of all Trades skill check in battle, increase the escalation die by 1.

Jester

Comedy and satire sounds like an easy and fun profession, but it requires artistic talent and a fine sense of timing and a deep understanding of the human (elven, dwarven...) mind. It is a tricky tool to wield, as it can soothe like a bandage or cut like a knife. You gain a 5-point background to represent your training in seedy taverns, with a travelling troupe, or at a noble's court.

Once per battle, as a quick action, you can prank an opponent to distract and confuse him or her and make your escape from a sticky situation. Whether it's a pointed taunt, a lewd gesture, a ridiculous sword maneuver, or some gadget like a smoke bomb, feel free to improvise. The prank can give you or an ally a disengage check, but it deals no damage. With a Charisma + level vs. MD attack roll, it can also impose conditions like dazed, hampered and stuck. If you entertain the other players with your prank, they can award you a +1 to +3 bonus to the roll.

Champion feat: You can use the prank as an immediate interrupt against an attacker.

Epic feat: You can target 1d3 enemies with your prank.

Nature's Tune

Your music has a soothing effect on animals. Whenever you use a spell that affects one creature with up to a certain number of hit points (like Charm Person), you can target 1d3 beasts with a total hit points up to twice that number instead.

You can also befriend an animal and enchant it as a companion (as per the Wizard's Familiar talent). Bards prefer either singing birds or dancing animals like monkeys or even snakes to aid in their performances. Your familiar gives you a +2 bonus to performance skill checks and has one other ability from the Wizard list. You can gain more abilities with familiar feats.

Champion feat: Your soothing magic also affects a second type of creature. If you choose humanoids, choose a specific race.

Epic feat: Choose a third type.

Never Trust a Bard

You're a conniving thief with the best of them. Other bards might be heroic chanters who inspire their friends, but you'll have none of that. Every half-elf for themselves!

Switch all your battle cries for Rogue powers of the same level. If you have at least one Rogue power that requires momentum, you gain the Momentum class feature and need to keep track of it.

Once per battle, you can Sneak Attack as a Rogue of the same level.

Adventurer feat: Increase your damage die with daggers (melee and thrown) to d6.

Champion feat: You gain a second use of Sneak Attack per battle.

Epic feat: You gain a +2 bonus to hit with melee attacks against enemies that are confused, dazed, stunned, vulnerable to your attack, or weakened.

Resounding Battlecry

Once per battle, when you use a battlecry that targets one ally, you can affect a number of allies equal to the escalation die or your Charisma modifier, whichever is lower.

Adventurer feat: You can include yourself as a target.

Rolling Thunder

Leave the flutes and the violins to the elves and the court musicians in Axis, you're out to smash your enemies like a rolling stone.

When you hit with a melee attack, deal extra thunder damage equal to your level. When you use a spell that deals thunder damage, increase the damage die by one step, such as d6 to d8 (1d12 becomes 2d6).

Adventurer feat: Any daily spell that deals thunder damage becomes Recharge (16+).

Champion feat: Deal your level in thunder damage on a miss with a melee attack.

Epic feat: Increase your critical threat range by 2 with spells that deal thunder damage.

Silver Tongue

Bards have a reputation as sweet talkers, but you take it to a whole new level. Once per session, you can captivate your audience with a story that is so outrageous, so overwhelming that it becomes the truth because your audience simply wants it to become true, at least in their minds. This is essentially a stunt, but this talent creates a success without the usual hard skill check. If your audience is not willing to listen, like a bunch of cannibals hungry for gnome stew, your DM can still require a check.

You also gain 5 points towards an appropriate background.

Adventurer feat: Once per session, you can reroll a failed skill check in a social interaction.

Champion feat: You can reroll the failed skill check of an ally instead, replacing your own skill check with his or hers.

Epic feat: With a successful icon relationship roll, your stories do rewrite reality. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility.

Sly Flourish

Your combat style is all about putting on an air of bravado. Choose two of the following three bonuses:

  • You can use Charisma instead of Strength or Dexterity for attack and damage rolls with melee attacks.
  • Two additional background points in martial arts performance or stage fencing.
  • Starting from 3rd level, you also have access to Fighter maneuvers. You can switch battlecries, bard songs or spells for fighter maneuvers two levels lower. When making a flexible attack, you can trigger either a bard battlecry or a fighter maneuver. You do not need to announce this choice before you roll.

Adventurer feat: You can swap your first Fighter maneuver at first level, and it does not suffer a level penalty.

Additional feats

Some of the talents in the core book don't offer feats, so here are some you can use.

Loremaster

Adventurer feat: Take the third benefit you didn't choose OR increase the background points from the second option to four.

Champion feat: Once per scene, when you roll a natural even failure on a knowledge check, reroll it.

Mythkenner

Adventurer feat: Take the third benefit you didn't choose OR increase the background points from the second option to four.

Champion feat: Once per scene, when you roll a natural even failure on a myth or religion check, reroll it.

Songmaster

Adventurer feat: When the GM or all players agree that you delivered an entertaining description of the song, you also raise the effect by 2 levels, make a Daily song Recharge 16+ or get an additional effect beyond the song's rules description.

Champion feat: Once per scene, you can reroll an even miss on a singing skill check.

Spellsinger

Champion feat: You gain the adventurer feat benefits of all bardic songs and spells.

Epic feat: You gain the champion feat benefits of all bardic songs and spells.

Storyteller

Adventurer feat: Once per session, you can gain a clue based on how stories are "supposed to" resolve. For example, if you learn that the evil overlord you are chasing has a beautiful daughter, you can judge from your knowledge of stories that she will fall for the dashing hero and betray her father. Of course, this doesn't mean that she will necessarily agree to that interpretation, or that you are the dashing hero rather than the plucky comic relief who gets spared by the ambitious evil princess for making a clumsy pass at her that amuses her enough to keep you alive.

 


 

 

Version 0.2; 2 March 2017

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