The following traits are common to original bards and skalds.
1st-level original bards and skalds have hit points equal to 12 plus the bard's Constitution score, healing surges per day equal to 7 plus the bard's Constitution modifier, and a +1 bonus to Reflex and Will defenses. Bards gain 5 hit points per level.
Original bards and skalds begin with cloth, leather, hide, chainmail, and light shield armor proficiencies, simple melee, longsword, scimitar, short sword, simple ranged, and military ranged weapon proficiencies, and wand implement proficiency.
Signs of InfluenceEdit
At the DM's discretion, an original bard or skald may receive the Signs of Influence class feature. A bard with the Signs of Influence class feature gains benefits in places such as towns where bards are revered. A bard chooses two of the below options at 1st level, a third option at 13th level, and a fourth option at 17th level.[HotF:53]
Attract Attendants: "Whenever you are in a village, town, or other civilized location that reveres bards, up to three servants will attend to your needs while in that location. These servant run errands for you, help you with physical tasks (such as moving chests of treasure or cleaning), and carry out any mundane task that a servant could reasonably be asked to perform."[HotF:53]
Demand Audience: "Whenever you are in a village, town, or city that reveres bards, you can receive an audience with someone representing the ruling power within 24 hours, and you are guaranteed safe passage to that audience by the local authorities. You can use this ability no more than once a month in a particular settlement."[HotF:53]
Ritual Beneficiary: "Whenever you are in a village, a town, or some other civilized location where a person lives who is capable of casting rituals, once per day you can have any ritual cost for free if it normally has a component cost of 150 gp or lower, provided that the ritual caster is not hostile toward you. The ritual cannot by one that produces a permanent item."[HotF:53]
Travel in Style: "Whenever you are in a village, town, or other civilized location where horses, carts, and carriages can be obtained and where bards are revered, you can procure horses for you and up to seven of your allies, plus a single cart or carriage at no cost, from someone in that location. Before you can use this ability again, you must return the horses and cart or carriage, leave them at a predetermined location, or pay for them.
"At the DM's discretion, you can obtain other modes of transportation of a similar value when available. For example, when visiting Cendriane, you might be able to obtain griffons to carry you to the city of Mithrendain, provided that the eladrin valued the use of griffons similar to that of horses and carts in the mortal world."[HotF:54]
Welcome Guest: "Whenever you are in a village, a town, or a city that has a public inn where bards are revered, you can use your influence (and perhaps the promise of a performance) to obtain meals and a comfortable room for you and up to seven of your allies for the duration of your stay in that location."[HotF:54]
Song of RestEdit
Original bards and skalds with the Song of Rest class feature can sing or play an instrument during a short rest to grant extra healing to themselves and to allies that can hear them. A character can only be affected by one Song of Rest at a time. A character affected by a Song of Rest regains additional hit points equal to the Song of Rest user's Charisma modifier for each healing surge the character spends at the end of the short rest.[PHB2:67][HotF:57]
Words of FriendshipEdit
Original bards and skalds with the Words of Friendship class feature gain use of the words of friendship encounter power, which adds a +5 power bonus to one Diplomacy check the bard makes.[PHB2:67][HotF:57]
Original bards gain Ritual Caster as a bonus feat. They have mastered one 1st-level bard ritual—that is, a ritual with bard as a prerequisite—plus one other 1st-level ritual of their choice, and possess a ritual book containing those mastered rituals.
In addition, once per tier per day, original bards can perform a bard ritual of their level or lower without expending components. The must still pay any costs other than components, and use any required focus.[PHB2:67]
An original bard chooses one of the following options and gains the corresponding triggered ability.
|Bardic Virtue option||Triggered ability|
|Virtue of Cunning[PHB2:67]||Once per round, when an enemy misses an ally of the bard, and the ally is within a number of squares from the bard equal to 5 + the bard's Intelligence modifier, the bard can take a free action to slide that ally 1 square.|
|Virtue of Prescience[AP:6]||Once per encounter, when an enemy hits an ally within 5 squares of the bard, the bard can take an immediate interrupt action to grant the triggering ally a power bonus equal to the original bard's Wisdom modifier to the defense targeted by the triggering attack, until the end of the triggering enemy's turn.|
|Virtue of Valor[PHB2:67]|| Once per round, when an ally of the bard bloodies an enemy or reduces an enemy to 0 hit points, and the ally is within 5 squares of the bard, the bard can take a free action to grant temporary hit points to the triggering ally equal to 1 + the bard's Constitution modifier.|
Level 11: 3 + Constitution modifier temporary hit points.
Normally, a character cannot take more than one multiclass feat. Bards with the Multiclass Versatility class feature may take multiple multiclass feats, though no more than one for each class.[PHB2:67]
Skalds with the Deceptive Duelist class feature can use Charisma instead of Strength for both the attack roll and the damage roll when making a melee basic attack with a one-handed weapon.[HotF:56]
Master of Story and SongEdit
Skalds with the Master of Story and Song class feature learn additional bard daily attack powers at levels 1, 15, 19, 25, and 29. The number of daily attacks the skald can use does not increase, and the skald cannot use more than one bard daily attack power of any particular level per day.[HotF:57]
Skalds with the Skald's Aura class feature gain use of the skald's aura power, which allows the skald and nearby allies to spend a healing surge, or let an adjacent ally spend a healing surge, as a minor action.[HotF:56]
|At-will attack spells and exploits|
|Encounter attack spells and exploits||Daily attack spells and exploits||Utility spells and exploits|
|Unleveled spells and exploits|
The bard was previewed in an Ampersand article. [D369:66] Half of the powers were listed, up to level 10. Of these powers, only Majestic Word had an issue as it contained the effect for Words of Friendship instead.
Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition Edit
In Third Edition Dungeons and Dragons, the bard class continued its change from a druidic loremaster in first edition into a jack-of-all-trades (retaining mainly the original Bardic Knowledge ability, an almost universal chance to know anything based on character level and Intelligence).
In Third Edition D&D, bards now could be any non-lawful alignment, meaning Bards could no longer be Lawful Neutral, but now could be Chaotic Good and Chaotic Evil. This was explained on the grounds that a bard wanders freely and is guided by intuition and whim. The rules also state that a bard's powers are incompatible with law and tradition, although authentic historical bards were in fact keepers of traditions and knowledge; this portrayal of the bard might be a misinterpretation, creative or unintended, of the laws which put a bard above a common free man due to their erudition and place as sacred speakers of rote and history.
The D&D bard, despite the roots of the word itself, is inspired more by wandering minstrels who were indeed considered "rogues" of a sort (for instance, attempting to earn free food and rooms at inns through doing odd jobs like killing rats, singing, or just wooing the bartender). D&D bards are described as not necessarily opposed to tradition, but to the staleness and risk of corruption that comes with a settled life.
Bardic magic also changed once again. Now, like the sorcerer, the bard casts arcane magic but without a need for spellbooks or preparing specific spells; unlike Second Edition AD&D, bards are now limited to a list of specific bardic spells. Unlike wizards and other arcane spellcasters, they can cast a small number of healing spells like Cure Light Wounds (a relic of the druidic origins of the class)
.excerpt from Wikipedia
Alignment: Any Neutral(1st and 2nd editions) Any non-lawful(3rd and 3.5 editions)