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Bard
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Bard is an arcane leader class in fourth edition Dungeons & Dragons.[PHB2:66]

Primary Role: leader, Secondary Role: controller

Key Abilities: Charisma, Intelligence, Constitution

SubclassEdit

A 1st level character must choose between using the rules for the original bard class or for its subclass, the skald.

SkaldEdit

Skald is the subclass of bard introduced in Heroes of the Feywild. Skalds have a dual arcane and martial power source.[HotF:54]

Class traitsEdit

A 1st level bard begins with 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. A bard gains 5 hit points per level.

Class proficienciesEdit

A 1st level bard begins 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.

Class skillsEdit

A bard begins trained in:

Plus any four of the following skills:

Class featuresEdit

Bards and skalds may also receive the Signs of Influence class feature at the DM's discretion.

Bardic TrainingEdit

[PHB2:67]

Bardic VirtueEdit

[PHB2:67]

Deceptive DuelistEdit

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]

Majestic WordEdit

Bards with the Majestic Word class feature gain use of the majestic word encounter power.[PHB2:67]

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]

Multiclass VersatilityEdit

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]

Signs of InfluenceEdit

At the DM's discretion, a bard 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]

Skald's AuraEdit

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]

Skill VersatilityEdit

Bards with the Skill Versatility class feature gain a +1 bonus to untrained skill checks.[PHB2:67][HotF:57]

Song of RestEdit

Bards 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

Bards 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]

Bard powersEdit

Bard powers, having arcane or martial power sources, are also called spells or exploits.

At-will attack spells and exploits
1st level
Encounter attack spells and exploits Daily attack spells and exploits Utility spells and exploits
1st level
1st level
2nd level

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)

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