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Class Traits
Bard (main)
Role: Leader. Your spells inspire and invigorate your allies. Your spells also include significant control elements, making controller a natural secondary role.
Power Source: Arcane. You channel magical power through words and music, studying long and hard to master the power contained in the lore and sagas of old.
Key Abilities: Charisma, Intelligence, Constitution
Armor Proficiencies: Cloth, leather, hide, chainmail; light shield
Weapon Proficiencies: Simple melee, longsword, scimitar, short sword, simple ranged, military ranged
Implement: Wands
Bonus to Defense: +1 Reflex, +1 Will
Hit Points at 1st Level: 12 + Constitution score
Hit Points per Level Gained: 5
Healing Surges per Day: 7 + Constitution modifier
Trained Skills: Arcana. From the class skills list below, choose four more trained skills at 1st level.
 Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Arcana (Int), Athletics (Str), Bluff (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Dungeoneering (Wis), Heal (Wis), History (Int), Insight (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Nature (Wis), Perception (Wis), Religion (Int), Streetwise (Cha)
Build Options: Cunning bard, prescient bard, valorous bard
Class Features: Bardic Training, Bardic Virtue, majestic word, Multiclass Versatility, Skill Versatility, Song of Rest, words of friendship
“The clash of blades, a note. A battle fought, a verse. The hero’s war, a song.”

Description

Bards are artists first and foremost, and they practice magic just as they practice song, drama, or poetry. They have a clear sense of how people perceive reality, so they master charm magic and some illusions. Sagas of great heroes are part of a bard’s repertoire, and most bards follow the example of many fables and become skilled in a variety of fields. A bard’s artistic ability, knowledge of lore, and arcane might are widely respected, particularly among the world’s rulers.

Art and magic share a sublime beauty, and, as a bard, you seek the place where the two meet. You might be a naturally talented wanderer who casts impressive spells almost instinctively, a student of a bardic college who learned ordered systems of magic and epic poetry, a warrior skald who mixes skill at arms with thundering music, a dashing performer known for putting on a good show even for your enemies, or a perfectionist who seeks the consummate formula that blends art and magic into a higher force.

A steady rhythm beats in the back of your mind as you brandish your sword. Your eyes and ears pick up the motion of the villains that surround you, and one glance tells you everything you need to know to defeat them. You whistle three staccato notes, letting your allies know the symphony of battle is about to begin.

Bard Overview

Characteristics: Your powers are a mix of ranged, melee, and close attacks, giving you plenty of options whether you choose to lead from the front or the rear. Your attacks can provide bonuses and extra movement to you and your allies, or they can charm and deceive your enemies.

Religion: Many bards revere Corellon, patron of both artists and wielders of arcane magic. Cunning bards also honor Avandra and Sehanine, who are credited with inspiring trickery in the heroes of old. Valorous bards are more likely to revere Bahamut, Kord, or Moradin. Evil bards often worship Lolth, Tiamat, or Zehir.

Races: Half-elves are sometimes said to be the best bards, partly because their ability score bonuses favor the valorous bard and partly because their Dilettante racial trait complements the bard’s Multiclass Versatility. Gnomes and tieflings both make excellent cunning bards.

With their naturally high Charisma scores, dragonborn make admirable bards. Proud and honorable, many choose the Virtue of Valor in order to emulate the battle exploits of racial warrior-heroes. Dragonborn bards keep alive the sagas of ancient Arkhosia.

With their innately superior Constitution and Charisma scores, half-elves make excellent bards. Such characters gravitate to diplomatic roles, including the half-elf emissary paragon path (page 21). Though half-elves can readily exploit the Virtue of Cunning and the Virtue of Prescience, most are drawn to the Virtue of Valor so that they can inspire allies to greatness.

Creating a Bard

Also see: Feats/Bard, Paragon Paths/Bard, Epic Destinies/Bard, Rituals/Bard and Feats/Multiclass

Your choice of ability scores, class features, and powers suggests one of two builds based on the storied virtues of cunning and valor. All bards use Charisma for their attacks. Intelligence increases the effect of tricky attacks, and Constitution is best for powers that inspire allies.

Cunning Bard

The heroes of the past whom you hold as exemplars overcame adversity and escaped danger using their wits, by tricking their foes and concocting cunning stratagems. You seek to emulate those heroes, combining your winning personality with a keen intellect. You use Charisma for your attack powers, so make it your highest score, followed by Intelligence to improve the effects of your tricky powers. Constitution is a good third score. Look for powers that let you put your cunning to work. Most cunning bards focus on ranged attack powers, using a wand from a safe distance to orchestrate the flow of battle.

Suggested Class Feature: Virtue of Cunning
Suggested Feat: Advantage of Cunning
Suggested Skills: Arcana, Bluff, Intimidate, Perception, Streetwise
Suggested At-Will Powers: misdirected mark, vicious mockery
Suggested Encounter Power: blunder
Suggested Daily Power: stirring shout

Prescient Bard

You have the foresight to navigate the twisting roads of luck and fate, emulating those heroes who were able to sense the truths beyond mere reality. By manipulating luck and glimpsing the future, you help your allies exploit every advantage, attacking your enemies' weakest defenses and avoiding mishaps in combat. You wield a ranged weapon, with which you can cast spells at enemies from a distance while inspiring allies. As with other bards, you use Charisma for your attack powers, so it should be your highest ability score. Choose Wisdom as your second-highest score, since it enhances the effects of powers that use the Virtue of Prescience. A decent Intelligence score is useful for improving your Armor Class and Reflex defense, as well as boosting the knowledge skills that you often use.

Suggested Class Feature: Virtue of Prescience
Suggested Feat: Extended Prescience
Suggested Skills: Arcana, Diplomacy, History, Insight, Perception
Suggested At-Will Powers: guiding strike, jinx shot
Suggested Encounter Power: prophesied strike
Suggested Daily Power: arrow of warning

Valorous Bard

To your mind, the ancient heroes most worthy of emulation are those whose courage in the face of overwhelming odds carried them to victory. Your own fortitude and forceful personality inspire similar valor in your allies. Your highest ability score should be Charisma, since you use it for attack powers, followed by Constitution to improve your powers of inspiration. It’s a good idea to make Intelligence your third score. Choose powers that emphasize valor and endurance in the face of adversity. Most valorous bards focus on melee and close attack powers, wielding a sword in the thick of battle and leading by example.

Suggested Class Feature: Virtue of Valor
Suggested Feat: Strength of Valor
Suggested Skills: Arcana, Athletics, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Perception
Suggested At-Will Powers: guiding strike, war song strike
Suggested Encounter Power: shout of triumph
Suggested Daily Power: slayer’s song

Bard Class Features

Bards have the following class features.

Bardic Training

You gain the Ritual Caster feat as a bonus feat, allowing you to use magical rituals. You own a ritual book, and it contains two rituals of your choice that you have mastered: one 1st-level ritual that has bard as a prerequisite and another 1st-level ritual.

In addition, you can perform one bard ritual per day of your level or lower without expending components, although you must pay any other costs and use any focus required by the ritual. At 11th level, you can perform two bard rituals per day of your level or lower without expending components; at 21st level, you can perform three.

Bardic Virtue

Bards praise many virtues in their stories, telling tales of people whose particular qualities set them above common folk. The valor of dauntless heroes and the cunning of great minds are among these virtues, and a bard can choose to emphasize either quality.

Choose one of the following options. The choice you make gives you the benefit described below and also provides bonuses to certain bard powers, as detailed in those powers.

Virtue of Cunning: Once per round, when an enemy attack misses an ally within a number of squares of you equal to 5 + your Intelligence modifier, you can slide that ally 1 square as a free action.

Virtue of Valor: Once per round, when any ally within 5 squares of you reduces an enemy to 0 hit points or bloodies an enemy, you can grant temporary hit points to that ally as a free action. The number of temporary hit points equals 1 + your Constitution modifier at 1st level, 3 + your Constitution modifier at 11th level, and 5 + your Constitution modifier at 21st level.

Majestic Word

The arcane power of a bard’s voice can heal allies. You gain the majestic word power.

Multiclass Versatility

You can choose class-specific multiclass feats from more than one class.

Skill Versatility

You gain a +1 bonus to untrained skill checks.

Song of Rest

When you play an instrument or sing during a short rest, you and each ally who can hear you are affected by your Song of Rest. When an affected character spends healing surges at the end of the rest, that character regains additional hit points equal to your Charisma modifier with each healing surge. A character can be affected by only one Song of Rest at a time.

Words of Friendship

Bards use magic to honey their words and turn the simplest argument into a compelling oration. You gain the words of friendship power.

Implement

Bards use wands to direct and control their spells. When you wield a magic wand, you can add its enhancement bonus to the attack rolls and the damage rolls of bard powers and bard paragon path powers that have the implement keyword. Without a wand, you can still use these powers.

Songblades and some magic musical instruments can be used as implements for bard powers and bard paragon path powers. Bards treasure these magic musical instruments not only for the power they offer, but for the wondrous melodies they produce in the hands of a skilled musician.

Bard Powers

Your powers are called spells, and you create them by gracefully mixing art, magic, and weapon skill.

Class Features

Each bard has the powers majestic word and words of friendship.

Majestic Word Bard Feature
You utter words laden with preternatural inspiration, restoring your ally’s stamina and making wounds seem insignificant.
Encounter (Special) Starr Arcane, Healing
Minor Action Close burst 5 (10 at 11th level, 15 at 21st level)
Target: You or one ally in burst
Effect: The target can spend a healing surge and regain additional hit points equal to your Charisma modifier. You also slide the target 1 square.
 Level 6: 1d6 + Charisma modifier additional HP.
 Level 11: 2d6 + Charisma modifier additional HP.
 Level 16: 3d6 + Charisma modifier additional HP.
 Level 21: 4d6 + Charisma modifier additional HP.
 Level 26: 5d6 + Charisma modifier additional HP.
 Special: You can use this power twice per encounter, but only once per round. At 16th level, you can use this power three times per encounter, but only once per round.
Words of Friendship Bard Feature
You infuse your words with arcane power, transforming even the simplest speech into compelling oratory.
Encounter Starr Arcane
Minor Action Personal
Effect: You gain a +5 power bonus to the next Diplomacy check you make before the end of your next turn.

Spells

Level 1 At-Will

Guiding Strike Bard Attack 1
Your weapon stroke guides your allies, showing them where to focus their attacks.
At-Will Starr Arcane, Weapon
Standard Action Melee weapon
Target: One creature
Attack: Charisma vs. AC
Hit: 1[W] + Charisma modifier damage, and the target takes a -2 penalty to the defense of your choice until the end of your next turn.
 Level 21: 2[W] + Charisma modifier damage.
Template:Misdirected Mark
Vicious Mockery Bard Attack 1
You unleash a string of insults at your foe, weaving them with bardic magic to send the creature into a blind rage.
At-Will Starr Arcane, Charm, Implement, Psychic
Standard Action Ranged 10
Target: One creature
Attack: Charisma vs. Will
Hit: 1d6 + Charisma modifier psychic damage, and the target takes a −2 penalty to attack rolls until the end of your next turn.
 Level 21: 2d6 + Charisma modifier damage.
Template:War Song Strike
Template:Jinx Shot

Level 1 Encounter

Blunder Bard Attack 1
You fog your foe’s mind, causing it to stumble past your allies.
Encounter Starr Arcane, Charm, Implement
Standard Action Ranged 5
Target: One creature
Attack: Charisma vs. Will
Hit: 1d6 + Charisma modifier damage, and you slide the target 2 squares. During the slide, you or one of your allies can make a melee basic attack against the target as a free action, with a +2 power bonus to the attack roll.
 Virtue of Cunning: The power bonus to the attack roll equals 1 + your Intelligence modifier.
Template:Fast Friends
Template:Inspiring Refrain Template:Shout of Triumph
Template:Firemetal Shot Template:Prophesied Strike
Template:Focused Sound Template:Prophetic Action
Template:Thunder's Calling

Level 1 Daily

Template:Echoes of the Guardian Template:Slayer’s Song
Stirring Shout Bard Attack 1
Your shout of wrath stabs into your foe’s mind. Each time your allies hit that foe, they draw strength from its weakness.
Daily Starr Arcane, Healing, Implement, Psychic
Standard Action Ranged 10
Target: One creature
Attack: Charisma vs. Will
Hit: 2d6 + Charisma modifier psychic damage.
Effect: Until the end of the encounter, whenever an ally hits the target, that ally regains hit points equal to your Charisma modifier.
Template:Verse of Triumph
Template:Arrow of Warning Template:Echoing Roar
Template:Malevolent Mischief Template:Saga of Rivalry
Template:Satire of Fortune

Level 2 Utility

Template:Hunter’s Tune
Inspire Competence Bard Utility 2
Your magic channels the skill of ancient experts to help with the task at hand.
Encounter Starr Arcane
Minor Action Close burst 5
Target: You and each ally in burst
Effect: Choose a skill. Until the end of the encounter, each target gains a +2 power bonus to his or her next check using that skill.
Template:Song of Courage Template:Song of Defense
Template:Canon of Avoidance Template:Clockwork Precision
Template:Concerted Effort Template:Moment of Escape
Template:Words of Protective Fate

Level 3 Encounter

Template:Charger’s Call
Cunning Ferocity Bard Attack 3
The mark of your weapon on your target’s hide gives strength to your allies’ attacks against the same foe.
Encounter Starr Arcane, Weapon
Standard Action Melee weapon
Target: One creature
Attack: Charisma vs. Reflex
Hit: 1[W] + Charisma modifier damage, and each ally within 5 squares of you gains a +2 bonus to damage rolls against the target until the end of your next turn.
 Virtue of Cunning: The bonus to damage rolls equals 1 + your Intelligence modifier.
Template:Dissonant Strain Template:Impelling Force
Template:Cruel Fate Template:Entangling Opening
Template:Recitation of Foreknowledge Template:Rhyme of the Blood-Seeking Blade
Template:Song of the New Dawn

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|- | colspan="2" style="vertical-align: top;"|Level 13 Encounter |- | style="vertical-align: top;"|

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|- | colspan="2" style="vertical-align: top;"|Level 25 Daily |- | style="vertical-align: top;"|

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|- | colspan="2" style="vertical-align: top;"|Level 27 Encounter |- | style="vertical-align: top;"|

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