Class: Bard

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The Bard
Level Special Mana Refresh Rate Max Grade Paths Spells Known
1 Performance 3 1 Initiate 1 3
2 Rudiment 6 1 Initiate 1 4
3   8 2 Initiate 2 5
4 Rudiment 10 2 Apprentice 2 6
5   13 2 Apprentice 2 7
6 Rudiment 15 3 Apprentice 2 8
7   17 3 Apprentice 3 9
8 Rudiment 20 4 Apprentice 3 11
9   22 4 Journeyman 3 12
10 Bard Talent 24 4 Journeyman 3 13
11   27 5 Journeyman 4 14
12 Bard Talent 29 5 Journeyman 4 15
13   31 6 Journeyman 4 16
14 Bard Talent 34 6 Adept 4 17
15   36 6 Adept 5 19
16 Bard Talent 38 7 Adept 5 20
17   41 7 Adept 5 21
18 Bard Talent 43 8 Adept 5 22
19   45 8 Master 6 23
20 Bard Talent 48 8 Master 6 24



Elise, iconic bard
"Let me sing you the song of my people."

Some say that songs are magical, and that - rooted both within the mysteries of music and magic - there is common ground between them. Those that study the artistry of music find that, on occasion, they are able to conjure magic through means that seem otherwise entirely mundane. These are the bards, and while the extent of such magics are somewhat limited, they are relatively unique.

However, music is a cultural artifact, and as such, bards typically find themselves wandering the world, seeking out the sounds and stories of new cultures to add to their repertoires. As their understanding of the depths of music grows, so, too, does their understanding of the magic behind it, and they accrue some degree of magical talent. While never as powerful as a mage, bards can certainly hold their own in terms of spellcasting, and their ability to bolster their allies with song leads most bards to never want for adventuring companions.

Game Rule Information

Bards have the following game statistics.

Force Alignment: Magic.

Force Resistances: PR 5 + level, TR 5 + level.

Abilities: Charisma is the most important ability for a bard.

Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + Con score.

Hit Points at Each Additional Level: 7 + Con modifier.

Healing Surges: 8 + Con modifier.

Defenses: Fort +0, Ref +4, Will +4, Det +0.

Starting Age: Simple.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the bard.


Weapons: Any three.

Armor: Light, mystic.

Implements: Canes, wands.


Bards are casters, which means that they make use of spells, expressions of power ripped from the leylines that metaphysically cross the material plane. As casters, mages must expend mana to cast spells, a metaphysical resource produced by the strength of her will and personal conviction. So long as she is not actively engaged in spellcasting, the bard's mana replenishes naturally over time.


Magic Paths
Path Secondary Ability Description
Artifice Cha Artifice is the art of manipulating magical energies and binding them to items, or otherwise manipulating the magics inherent in objects.
Conjury Wis Conjurations heal creatures, weave protections of both physical and magical natures, and can conjure obstructions and barriers.
Malediction Cha Maledictions are baleful magics, impeding creatures or harming them in subtle ways, or even calling forth the dead.
Sorcery Brv Vulgar magics, sorceries are powerful but obvious, with a wide variety of effects with clear applications.
Thaumaturgy Brv Thaumaturgy deals with the direct manipulation of energies and the elements, giving the mage command over the forces of nature.
Wizardry Wis Subtle magics, wizardry is an art, one whose effects are incredibly varied, which often require clever thinking to utilize to their fullest.


Spells are a combination of the bard's will to modify the world and the power imparted by accessing leylines; as such, so long as the mage has sufficient mana to fuel the spell, it will always function. The mana, minimum Intelligence, and minimum secondary ability needed to use a spell are indicated on the table to the right.

Spell Stats by Grade
Grade Minimum Intelligence Minimum Secondary Ability MP Cost
Initiate 11 10 1
Apprentice 14 11 4
Journeyman 17 12 9
Adept 20 13 16
Master 23 14 25
Archmage 26 16 36

The bard has an amount of mana at her disposal based upon his caster level, per the class table, above.

Although casting spells is mentally taxing, the bard's mana naturally replenishes over time. At the end of any turn on which she does not cast a spell, the bard regains mana equal to 10% of her maximum amount, minimum 1.

Many magic spells also have secondary effects that depend upon resonance. Your resonance value for a given spell is equal to your ability modifier for the spell's path's secondary ability. When you make a magical attack, if you hit by an amount equal to your resonance value or less, or if you miss by an amount equal to your resonance value or less, the target suffers the spell's resonance effect. Note that only spells that call for a magical attack use resonance.

The bard begins with three known spells. She gains knowledge of additional spells each level, as per the class table, above. At fourth level and every four levels after, she can trade out up to two spells for new spells from any path she can access.

If you would gain access to a path, you can choose to instead gain a bonus feat, which must be a feat for which you qualify. If you would gain access to a path and already have access to six paths, you gain a bonus feat instead.

The bard's key ability for his magical attacks is her Intelligence; if her secondary ability score for the spell's path is greater than her Intelligence, she can use that instead.


Although able to cast spells, the primary power of a bard is to channel magickal energies into song. By doing so, the music has significant supernatural effects, similar in nature to spells.

As a standard action, you can begin to perform a song. Maintaining a song after it is begun is a move action. A song either affects you and all allies that can hear you, or all enemies, within Medium range (100 feet). Due to the magickal nature of songs, you do not necessarily have to be in an environment that allows for the passage of sound (like underwater or in space), though supernatural effects that create silence will prevent the effects of your songs.

If the song you are performing affects enemies rather than allies, you must make a performance check (d20 + your Charisma modifier + your level bonus); the result of this check is used to determine if your song affects a given creature within the area. Your result must meet or exceed the indicated Defense of a creature in order for your song to have an effect.

While you are performing, at the end of each of your turns, you lose mana equal to your refresh rate, and you are considered to have cast a spell that turn. If you run out of mana, the performance immediately ends.

You gain knowledge of one song, chosen from the bardic song list.


As a bard, you study the nature of music; as you gain experience, the depth of your understanding of music grows.

At each of the levels indicated on the class table, you can choose one ability from the following list. Unless otherwise specified, each ability can only be taken once.

▶ Accompaniment

When another creature is using performance within Close range (30 feet), you can accompany them if you know the song they are using. While you use this ability, you and the original creature only lose half the amount of mana you would normally lose for maintaining a performance (rounded down, minimum 1).

While using this ability, both you and the original performer are considered the performer for purposes of the song's effects (for instance, if you are accompanying another bard playing mage's ballad, you do not regain mana from the effect).

▶ Counterpoint

While you are performing, you can make a performance check as a standard action to attempt to suppress a language-dependent mind-affecting effect until the end of your next turn. (A suppressed effect has no effect, but its duration continues to elapse; when the suppress is removed, the effect resumes.)

▶ Harmonize

While using your performance ability, you can play an additional song; each song you play has its full effects. You can choose to start playing up to your maximum number of songs when you begin a performance, or add a new song to an existing performance as part of the action to maintain the performance; dropping a song from a performance is a free action. You make a separate performance check for each song, if necessary. When you lose mana due to performance, you lose that much mana for each song you are playing.

You can take this ability multiple times. Each time you do, you can play up to one additional song with a given performance.

▶ Song

You learn another song from the bard song list of your choice.

You can take this ability multiple times. Each time you do, you select a new song to learn.


The following are bard spells, ordered by path, then by grade.


The following are bard songs, which can be used via the bard's performance ability.

Arcane Refrain

You and all allies within range gain a +1 feat bonus to force attack damage potency.

Battle Chant

You and all allies within range gain a +1 feat bonus to physical attack damage potency.

Cantus Firmus

You and all allies within range gain grit. (A creature with grit ignores effects on a miss from attacks targeting Fortitude.)

Life's Anthem

When you begin performing this song, you and all allies affected by it may spend a healing surge.

You and all allies within range who spent a healing surge gain potency 2 fast healing.

Mage's Ballad

All allies within range regain mana equal to their refresh rate at the end of their turns.

Allies who do not have mana gain no benefit from this song.

Matador's Theme

You and all allies within range gain evasion. (A creature with evasion ignores effects on a miss from attacks targeting Reflex.)

Rousing Melody

You and all allies within range gain compress equal to your refresh rate.

Slow Dance

All enemies in range whose Determination you beat with your performance check gain lag equal to your refresh rate.


You and all allies within range gain a +30 feat bonus to movement speed.

Witch Hunt

All enemies in range whose Will you beat with your performance check suffer a -1 feat penalty to recharge rolls.


The following are a selection of feats that are relevant to bards.


Design Notes

t20 v4.

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