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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Building a Better Bard - A Re-Imagining - "Turning is Learning" (Swords & Wizardry)

I've been giving some thought to using the Cleric's "Turning Undead" Table with some of the Bard's special abilities. It's remarkably flexible.

Let's look at it in depth:

It gives a "challenge level" vs "character level" chart.

Let's look at this chart as a way to resolve the "Lore Ability" checks historically associated with D&D Bards.

Say the Bard is looking for general lore about the City of GreenDuck. It's a large, ancient and continually inhabited city. Basic info / legends would probably be a CL 1, while having knowledge of the sewers beneath the city may be a CL 3 and knowing useful secrets of the Mad Mage's Crypt may be 5 or higher.

Command words could be given a set difficulty based upon the rarity of the item, or the DM could roll a D12 to set it.

A "T" result automatically returns some useful information while a "D" result reveals something specific - like: "The Green Demon of Nstytul's Never Completed Dungeon has a weakness for Dwarven Ale and will never turn down a drink". Even with a "T" or "D" result on the chart the player must still roll a D20, with a roll of a "1" indicating failure. No one ever has complete knowledge.

I'm thinking on how to use the chart with "Charm" / "Fascinate" abilities.

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