How to build a Bard in D&D

You really don’t need a Bard class in D&D, but some folks really like the flavor it adds to their game and setting.

Even without a class, it’s actually easy to build a playable bard in Basic.

Start with a Magic User class. Thieves don’t really get spells or magic items (high level play doesn’t count; you’re not going to play through over half a dozen levels of not being able to cast spells if you’re wanting to play a magic class).

But bards are rogues! What about the stealing stuff?

Play as a Magic User who steals stuff. Stealing is an RP choice, not a mechanic.

If you have a decent to high Dex character with moderate intelligence, go Magic User instead of Thief.

 

  • Magic Users can’t use bows, but they CAN use daggers. So, what you do is get a LOT of daggers. Throw some knives, take that Dex bonus on your attacks! If you’re using Holmes or a variant that uses weapon speed, you’ll even get an extra attack, meaning you’re able to dish out some damage as a ranged support character.
  • If you’re using Holmes’ magic system, treat your spellbook like a song-book. Your scrolls are your fake book – it’s not the full spell/song, but because you know it, you can use it to brush up.
  • If you’re using B/X’s magic system, spell imbuement is a flat cost. Costs the same to make a scroll as it does a single charge magic item. So, what you can do is imbue your instrument with charges. Just simply pour all of your ill-gotten wealth (you ARE stealing, aren’t you?!) into putting Sleep, Magic Missile, Whatever into your instrument.

 

You’re not going to get backstabs, and your hit dice and To Hit numbers are going to be crap, because you’re a Magic User, but this is about playing a Bard in a system where there’s no Bard class. (Perfect if you’re playing with a DM who hates Bards – you can be all “Aha! I fooled you! You said there was no Bard class, but I’m playing a Bard anyway!”)

If you want more flexibility in your weapons and armor, you can play as an Elf doing the above. Just enjoy never leveling up ever.

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Issue 5 Under Way + Interview W/Misha Burnett

Just about done working in all of the contributors’ feedback.

The #5 hardback cover is done.

The #5 softback cover will be done once the person who pledged for the back cover ad sends it in.

Once people who pledged for adspace send in ads, the #5 softcover interior will be done.

Once the image files are in, I can fork the workfile to strip out the print formatting to create an eBook version, which will be uploaded to Smashwords.

All backers will be sent a download code for issue 5 on Smashwords.

Shortly after the money clears, backers for physical copies will be sent their copies of issue 5.

The anticipated release date for Issue 5 is still March 31st.

Meantime, please check out this great interview with Misha Burnett over at Castalia House

http://www.castaliahouse.com/a-conversation-with-misha-burnett/

Thanks, Everyone, for Your Comments and Support

I don’t have time or energy to address everyone in the comments, but I did want to say thanks.

Needless to say (and I hope that most of you knew this), I was being hyperbolic in my post title, referring to ::fingerquote:: “FandomTM”.

Yes, it’s stuff I HAVE seen before, particularly when everyone was ready to jump down people like Jeffro or Brad Torgersen’s throat a couple years back.

And I do know that there are really great communities existing withing and emerging within science fiction, and I’m proud to have your support and be a part of those communities.

Fuck the Science Fiction Community

Bet that got your attention, didn’t it?

I thought about letting this go, but I feel like it’s incredibly important to highlight as just an example of how truly awful people in the science fiction community can be to one another.

Cirsova got mentioned in the comments of a blog post as “One of the interesting things to come from Sad/Rabid Puppies”.

Because we were brought up in a discussion about short fiction, I mentioned that we have a decent chunk of content freely available if anyone was interested in checking us out, and I pointed out that despite our fans having a conservative bent, we really only care about good stories, and I offered to field any questions.

And I got called misogynistic fascist.

By someone who is a regular columnist for Interzone Magazine.

http://archive.is/09GYG

Let that sink in a minute. An editor for a SFF publication responds in a conversation on a SFF blog where the publication was brought up and offers to field questions

AND IS IMMEDIATELY CALLED A MISOGYNISTIC FASCIST.

BY A COLUMNIST FOR A MAJOR SFF MAGAZINE.

This bothers me more than the time Nick Mamatas said I’d have to answer to Jesus for my lies, because everyone knows he’s kind of an asshole.

It even bothers me more than Joachim Boaz, who I’d had pleasant discussions with on WordPress and even plugged him a few times, blocking me on Twitter for no discernible reason.

I didn’t approach as a troll, a rando, a sad puppy, a rabid puppy, a member of Gamergate, the Alt-Right, or anything. I approached as an editor of a magazine willing to discuss what was going on in fiction and publishing.

Frankly, it blows my mind how fucking awful so many of people in our “Community” can be.

Race to the Finish Line

We’re wrapping things for Issue 5 as we reach the end of our Kickstarter subscription period.

We’ve gotten all edits in from copy editors and readers, and the near-final versions are in the hands of the authors for a last going-over.

The cover for the hardcover is done and pretty much ready to go. There’s nothing that will change that will affect the page-count there, so we were able to finish doing the cover for it.

When the kickstarter wraps, anyone who backed for an ad will send those in, so we can get those covers and interiors finished.

If you want to get in, now is the time. Tomorrow is the last day to back.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1161542777/cirsova-2017-s-5-and-6-lovecraft-swords-and-space

Lego Batman

This is just a quick review of the Lego Batman movie.

If you’re a fan of Batman, watch it.

Its story is just coherent enough that it manages to keep rolling along while delivering nonstop Batman fanservice.

Like the first Lego movie, it is painfully self-aware, and I really don’t think it’s going to stay a fresh and enjoyable approach into the Ninjago movie they had a trailer for, but if you got a kick out of narcissistic asshole Batman there, this manages to keep the funny coming.

Batman here is a grotesque, all of his worst qualities (particularly those from the 80s & 90s comic incarnations) are exaggerated and played for laughs but also to give a bit insight into just why Batman is so messed up. It ends up looking at a lot of the same themes as Dark Victory, just taking an incredibly gonzo approach to get there.

I don’t know how well it would work as an actual kids movie; there’s plenty of action and explosions and slapstick humor, but much of the comedy and entertainment value revolves around either Batman being a terrible person or Batman obscura in film, cartoons and comics. If you’re a Batman fan, it’s definitely worth a couple of bucks to see.

(Did anybody else think it was weird that they used Carrie Kelley’s character design for a Robin that was supposed to be Dick Grayson?!)