Friday, May 8, 2009

Alternate Power Source Class: 4e Divine Bard

Its what you have all been waiting for:

The first prototype for my alternate power source classes: The Divine Bard

I will go through each step, as to make it clear how to alter the power source, and hope to get as much feedback as possible. This build is inspired by a 3.x option found on this page.

Step one: Main Ability Scores
Bards typically have charisma as their main score and intelligence and constitution as secondary abilities. Divine classes have wisdom as one of their scores, usually the main one, but charisma is a vital part of the bard, so I would put wisdom in the place of intelligence, which is the common ability for arcane classes. Note: This is written for the builds in the PHB2. In Arcane Power several powers are added that use wisdom as a main score, if you are using Arcane Power, especially the virtue of prescience, then do not switch intelligence for wisdom, or use it at your (and your DM's) discretion.

Step two: Class Skills
Bards are known for their wide range of skills, so there is little to add. The only difference is that instead of arcana, religion is automatically trained, though arcana is still trainable.

Step three: Proficiencies
Divine classes do not seem to have enough of a theme to make a solid difference. The only change to be made would be the addition of holy symbols to their list of implements, and possibly the removal of wands.

Step four: Defense Bonuses
All of the divine classes get a bonus to fortitude, reflex, and will, except for the cleric, who only has will. The bard already has reflex and will, so for the sake of keeping it balanced nothing is changed in this category.

Step five: Class Features
This is what I think is the most difficult part of this, for fear that I would "unbalance" the class. I would like to make "Words of Friendship" into A Channel Divinity and add an altered version of the avenger's "Channel Divinity: Divine Guidance" where the trigger is a bloodied ally within range making an attack roll, change the requirements (obviously), and change the name to "Inspire Courage". This may be adding too much to the class without balancing it, but I guess I'll have to wait for some feedback to see.

Sample Character soon!

Well, there you have it! the first draft of the divine bard rules. Next, I have to refine it and get it just perfect, adjust the fluff to match, and then test it out if I can talk my DM into letting me. Please leave a comment, as I really would like input on this project.


Erik Billeci said...

Go ahead... I guess I should back off limiting books... I just wish they weren't so damn expensive!

trollsmyth said...

My first thought is that you're doing something similar to what I was thinking with a B/X hierodule class, but reading further, I don't think that's the case. Are you planning on making your own features and powers, or cherry picking from existing ones?

trollsmyth said...

(To get the email alerts, sorry.)

MacGuffin said...

@Erik he he, thanks!

@trollsmyth- I am trying to keep the class the same as I can, while making it fit into a different power source mechanically, and once that is done, add fluff to make it work. I'm not sure what you are referring to, but I'm gonna look it up and check it out.

Oddysey said...

What I'm wondering is, what's going on here non-mechanically? A divine bard is . . . a character who channels the divine through music? Or to put it another way, while I'm interested in what you're doing here, the point isn't clear to me.

MacGuffin said...

@Oddysey- Yes, channeling His deity's power through song, but I was going to settle the Fluff side of it after the mechanical was all sorted out. The crunch is the easier part for me.

Just changing the mechanics to make it fit with the other divine classes, and later fluffing it to fit as well.

Tim Jensen said...

As a suggestion, to avoid confusion, you may want to change the class's name to Chorister or something.

MacGuffin said...

@tim Sorry, but the whole point of changing the power source was not making a new class, but adjusting the existing classes to fit a different power source.

First mechanically, then fluffily.

Its the same thing, but different.

Got it?

NOBODY UNDERSTANDS ME!!! *runs out of the room*

But seriously: Its still a bard, to change it's name would imply that it is something else.

trollsmyth said...

Yeah, I think there's a cognitive leap here you've made but some of us are having trouble following you on.

What is your goal? Simply to make a bard who's special abilities are fueled by a god or generic divine power? Wouldn't that be a completely different class, or at least imply a different play style from the usual bard? If it doesn't, why do it?

I think if we had a better idea of what you wanted out of this, what the goal is for play at the table, we might have a better handle on how well you've hit or missed the mark, and what sort of suggestions and constructive critiques we might make.