Monday, January 2, 2012

Building a Better Bard - LotFP Weird Fantasy Style - Prelude

I had a conversation with a fellow blogger last night via Google chat about LotFP Weird Fantasy RPG rules.  There was some clarification that was needed for one of the rules, which wasn't as clearly stated as it should have been, but we both pretty much knew where Raggi was going.  Bad math (either on our side or Raggi's, it was after midnite and I wasn't rechecking math) might have also played an issue.  Still, the conversation got me thinking about Weird Fantasy again.  Which inevitably led to thinking about Bards.

There are no Bards in Weird Fantasy (no Paladins, Rangers or Druids either, but I digress).  I happen to like bards.  I even wrote one for Swords & Wizardry that made the last issue of KnockSpell.  So, if I'm going to tinker with Weird Fantasy Cannon, I may as well start with a class I really enjoy.

One of the huge strengths of Weird Fantasy is the Specialist class.  The "pip" system is really neat, and I think it could be used fairly well with a Jack-of-All-Trades sort of class, like the Bard.  We just have to define his "pip" powered abilities.

He's a bard, so Charm is a must.   Some type of Lore ability.  Spellcasting, but using the "pip" system, so it is far from powerful but possibly useful (i've got an idea for this), Pick Pockets (expanded to include all types of "sleight of hand" activities) - an Inspire type of ability would be fairly powerful in the Weird Fantasy rules, as only Fighters advance in combat ability.  Or maybe not so powerful, as most classes should be avoiding toe to toe combat in any place.

Thoughts?  Ideas?  Suggestions?  Threats?  heh

Let me know what you think, I'm open for input.  It's in the brainstorming stage at the moment...


  1. My thought is that I would actually restrict the choice of available character classes to the Specialist class only, with then a chargen system that would allow for the selection of a given set of Skills/Talents amongst a wide choice. Players would hence build their character based upon their skills rather than their class, like in classless sytems à la RuneQuest.

  2. I think that is workable within an extended framework of the Specialist class, but a bit beyond my current goals.

    That being said, a list of alternate skills / talents for the Specialist would be the first step in that direction. The issue would be in the balance.

    Not that Raggi is all that concerned with balance (the poor halfling for example) but a total class rebuild would need to be broadly balanced.

    It might make for a cool second project. I'll stick with getting my feet wet with the Bard at the moment tho ;)

  3. From a few months ago:

    The Bard, a Weird Fantasy Specialist

    In my approach, I didn't want the bard to have magic powers (unless granted by a magic item).

  4. It's a nice take on the Bard Beedo. I might borrow from it if you don't mind.

    I intend on spell casting for this bard, but tied to the pip system, and possible consequences for failed rolls (especially if it's a damaging type spell)

  5. I'm hoping to use it as a Norse Skald when I start play testing The Black City, a Viking inspired setting I've been working on. The low magic and jack-of-all-trades approach works in LOTFP.

    I could see a Celt-inspired bard with more song-oriented magic powers. I'll be sure to check back and see how it comes along!


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