3e SRD:Bard

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Making a Bard

Alignment: Any nonlawful.

Table: The Bard

Hit Die: d6

Level Base Attack Bonus Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Bardic Music, Bardic Knowledge, Countersong, Fascinate, Inspire Courage +1 2
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 3 0
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Inspire Competence 3 1
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 3 2 0
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 3 3 1
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Suggestion 3 3 2
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 3 3 2 0
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 Inspire Courage +2 3 3 3 1
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 Inspire Greatness 3 3 3 2
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 3 3 3 2 0
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +7 3 3 3 3 1
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Song of Freedom 3 3 3 3 2
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 3 3 3 3 2 0
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 Inspire Courage +3 4 3 3 3 3 1
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 Inspire Heroics 4 4 3 3 3 2
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 4 4 4 3 3 2 0
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 4 4 4 4 3 3 1
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Mass Suggestion 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 4 4 4 4 4 4 3
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Inspire Courage +4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

Class Skills
The bard's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Alchemy (Int), Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int, exclusive skill), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intuit Direction (Wis), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Int, all skills, taken individually), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Pick Pocket (Dex), Profession (Wis), Scry (Int, exclusive skill), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (Int), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha, exclusive skill).

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A bard is proficient with all simple weapons. Additionally, the bard is proficient with one of the following weapons: longbow, composite longbow, longsword, rapier, sap, short composite bow, short sword, shortbow, or whip. Bards are proficient with light armor, medium armor, and shields. For arcane spell failure, do not count light armor and shields. Medium and heavy armor and shield penalties still apply as normal.

Spells: A bard casts arcane spells. The bard casts these spells without needing to memorize them beforehand or keep a spellbook. Bards receive bonus spells for high Charisma, and to cast a spell a bard must have a Charisma score at least equal to 10 + the level of the spell. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a bard's spell is 10 + the spell's level + the bard's Charisma modifier.

Table: Bard Spells Known
Level 0 1 2 3 4 5 6
1st 4
2nd 5 2*
3rd 6 3
4th 6 3 2*
5th 6 4 3
6th 6 4 3
7th 6 4 4 2*
8th 6 4 4 3
9th 6 4 4 3
10th 6 4 4 4 2*
11th 6 4 4 4 3
12th 6 4 4 4 3
13th 6 4 4 4 4 2*
14th 6 4 4 4 4 3
15th 6 4 4 4 4 3
16th 6 5 4 4 4 4 2*
17th 6 5 5 4 4 4 3
18th 6 5 5 5 4 4 3
19th 6 5 5 5 5 4 4
20th 6 5 5 5 5 5 4

* Provided the bard has sufficient Charisma to have a bonus spell of this level.

Bardic Music: Once per day per level, a bard can use song or poetics to produce magical effects on those around him or her. While these abilities fall under the category of bardic music, they can include reciting poetry, chanting, singing lyrical songs, singing melodies, whistling, playing an instrument, or playing an instrument in combination with some spoken performance. As with casting a spell with a verbal component, a deaf bard suffers a 20% chance to fail with bardic music. If the bard fails, the attempt still counts against the daily limit.

The Bardic Music effects are:

Inspire Courage: A bard with 3 or more ranks in Perform can to inspire courage in his or her allies. To be affected, an ally must hear the bard sing for a full round. The effect lasts as long as the bard sings and for 5 rounds after the bard stops singing (or 5 rounds after the ally can no longer hear the bard). While singing, the bard can fight but cannot cast spells, activate magic items by spell completion (such as scrolls), or activate magic items by magic word (such as wands). Affected allies receive a +2 morale bonus to saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 morale bonus to attack and weapon damage rolls. Inspire courage is a supernatural, mind-affecting ability.

Countersong: A bard with 3 or more ranks in Perform can counter magical effects that depend on sound (but not spells that simply have verbal components). As with inspire courage, a bard may sing, play, or recite a countersong while taking other mundane actions, but not magical actions. Each round of the countersong, the bard makes a Perform check. Any creature within 30 feet of the bard (including the bard) who is affected by a sonic or language-dependent magical attack may use the bard's Perform check result in place of his saving throw if, after rolling the saving throw, the Perform check result proves to be better. The bard may keep up the countersong for 10 rounds. Countersong is a supernatural ability.

Fascinate: A bard with 3 or more ranks in Perform can cause a single creature to become fascinated with him. The creature to be fascinated must be able to see and hear the bard and must be within 90 feet. The bard must also see the creature. The creature must be able to pay attention to the bard. The distraction of a nearby combat or other dangers prevents the ability from working. The bard makes a Perform check, and the target can negate the effect with a Will saving throw equal to or greater than the bard's check result. If the saving throw succeeds, the bard cannot attempt to fascinate that creature again for 24 hours. If the saving throw fails, the creature sits quietly and listens to the song for up to 1 round per level of the bard. While fascinated, the target's Spot and Listen checks suffer a –4 penalty. Any potential threat (such as an ally of the bard moving behind the fascinated creature) allows the fascinated creature a second saving throw against a new Perform check result. Any obvious threat, such as casting a spell, drawing a sword, or aiming, automatically breaks the effect. While fascinating (or attempting to fascinate) a creature, the bard must concentrate, as if casting or maintaining a spell. Fascinate is a spell-like, mind- affecting charm ability.

Inspire Competence: A bard with 6 or more ranks in Perform can help an ally succeed at a task. The ally must be able to see and hear the bard and must be within 30 feet. The bard must also see the creature. The ally gets a +2 competence bonus on his skill checks with a particular skill as long as he or she continues to hear the bard's music. The DM may rule that certain uses of this ability are infeasible. The bard can maintain the effect for 2 minutes (long enough for the ally to take 20). Inspire competence is a supernatural, mind-affecting ability.

Suggestion: A bard with 9 or more ranks in Perform can make a suggestion (as the spell) to a creature that he has already fascinated (see above). The suggestion doesn't count against the bard's daily limit on bardic music performances (one per day per level), but the fascination does. A Will saving throw (DC 13 + the bard's Charisma modifier) negates the effect. Suggestion is a spell-like, mind-affecting charm ability.

Inspire Greatness: A bard with 12 or more ranks in Perform can inspire greatness in another creature. For every three levels the bard attains beyond 9th, the bard can inspire greatness in one additional creature. To inspire greatness, the bard must sing and the creature must hear the bard sing for a full round, as with inspire courage. The creature must also be within 30 feet. A creature inspired with greatness gains temporary Hit Dice, attack bonuses, and saving throw bonuses as long as he or she hears the bard continue to sing and for 5 rounds thereafter. (All these bonuses are competence bonuses.)

The target gains the following boosts:

  • +2 Hit Dice (d10s that grant temporary hit points).
  • +2 competence bonus on attacks.
  • +1 competence bonus on Fortitude saves.

Apply the target's Constitution modifier, if any, to each bonus Hit Die. These extra Hit Dice count as regular Hit Dice for determining effects such as the sleep spell. Inspire greatness is a supernatural, mind-affecting enchantment ability.

Bardic Knowledge: A bard may make a special bardic knowledge check with a bonus equal to his level + his Intelligence modifier to see whether he knows some relevant information about local notable people, legendary items, or noteworthy places. This check will not reveal the powers of a magic item but may give a hint as to its general function. The bard may not take 10 or take 20 on this check; this sort of knowledge is essentially random. The DM will determine the Difficulty Class of the check by referring to the table below.

DC Type of Knowledge
10 Common, known by at least a substantial minority of the local population.
20 Uncommon but available, known by only a few people in the area.
25 Obscure, known by few, hard to come by.
30 Extremely obscure, known by very few, possibly forgotten by most who once knew it, possibly known only by those who don't understand the significance of the knowledge.


A bard who becomes lawful in alignment cannot progress in levels as a bard, though he retains all his bard abilities.

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