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Thread: 4e Warlords Vs 3.5e Bards

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    4e Warlords Vs 3.5e Bards

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    I've always enjoyed a good storyteller musician in D&D... they are great characters with a lot of fun abilities. They were one of those characters that was useful (if not in excess) in many situations. Need a healer? They could do that a little with bard spells. Need a sneaky dude? A fast talker? A scholar? A warrior? A bard could be all of those. And yet he still had a niche that was his own with his performance powers. And Bards are wonderful NPCs.

    With Bards being delayed to a later rules release, we have Warlords in their place. While both bards and warlords support their allies in combat, bards were passive, while warlords are active. Not only do they give some bonuses to their allies through inspirational speech and tactical presence, Warlords also directly allow their teammates to take actions out of turn, and they manipulate the battlefield by moving opponents and allies around.

    I miss the Bard, and can't wait for it to come back, but for now I've got a new love in the Warlord.

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    I only skimmed the Warlord, but my first impression is that I liked the changes. Bards made great NPC's and, for most, lousy characters.

    My view on the bard is an outgoing whimsical character that unfortunately has nothing to brag about and often nothing to do at all. I can do that! Oh, well, yes cleric, you do that better. I can do that! Oh, well, yes, mage you do that better. I can do that! Oh, well... you get the idea. How does someone lead a group (to which they might be suited) when they have to constantly swallow their own pride.

    Now taken as individuals, hirelings and NPCs they are excellent support or a one man party.

    I always like what they did with bards in Darksun too. Part assassin, part arms dealer and the only poison master.
    "Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth." - JFK

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    Quote Originally Posted by Engar View Post
    My view on the bard is an outgoing whimsical character that unfortunately has nothing to brag about and often nothing to do at all. I can do that! Oh, well, yes cleric, you do that better. I can do that! Oh, well, yes, mage you do that better. I can do that! Oh, well... you get the idea.
    Bards remind me of "Vorpal Kickasso" in the Goblins webcomic, who "multiclassed" in every single core class and therefore had only an eleventh of a level in each.

    In 1st and 2nd edition, they were basically humans who changed class twice times (Fighter to Thief to Druid I think), and got kewl powers on their third try. Or ... you could just stay in one class and get really good at one thing.

    So, yeah, I never saw the point of the Bard class except as comic relief (e.g. Elan from Order of the Stick.)
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    I suppose that since the 4.0 rules are so combat orientated there is no place for the Bards...

    ...personally I think they where a fun and useful class to role-play.

    The writers of 4.0. have appeared to forget that some people like role-playing characters that aren't combat orientated.

    With the general powering up of all the classes the Warlord is basically a Bard, but with a different name.... and because there is no perform skill, no ability to sing, play instruments....

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    We'll have to see how the bard turns out when it comes to 4e. I'm sure it will be balanced with the rest of the races to be useful in its own way in combat and non-combat situations, and different enough from the Warlord to make a distinction.

    Developer for Darkage Warlord, a Pen & Paper Games exclusive Medieval Wargame.

    If you are in the DC metro area and like to trade D&D minis (1.0 or 2.0), please send me a PM!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grinnen Baeritt View Post
    The writers of 4.0. have appeared to forget that some people like role-playing characters that aren't combat orientated.

    With the general powering up of all the classes the Warlord is basically a Bard, but with a different name.... and because there is no perform skill, no ability to sing, play instruments....

    I disagree with the first line I've quoted. They seem to have saved the bard class for a future supplement -- taking a class that many love and using it as a bankable draw for that upcoming supplement.

    Second bit... Singing and playing instruments can be done, you don't need rules for either. If you want to play a Warlord in my game who uses a musical instrument, I'll find a way to make it work.

    4E D&D is WotC's product but it's our game. They can't make me play it any way that I don't want.
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    In all the design notes I've read, the stuff that didn't make the initial cut was the stuff that was too generic, or not unique enough. Gnomes didn't make it because they were dwarf/elf/halfling crossovers, and didn't add anything that one of those three races couldn't have added. Bards and Druids didn't make it because they were hybrids of everything, and were either gimp to balance out the fact that they could fit any role (Bard), or way too overpowered because they could do any role as well as anyone (Druid). Barbarians and Sorcerers just weren't different enough from Fighters and Wizards, so they're giving those extra attention to give them a more unique role.

    And, as pointed out, they want to sell more books later. I agree with their decision to make each class as detailed as they can (so, only eight in the first book), rather than rush-jobbing everything from previous editions, and then be forced to print books full of stuff nobody but munchkins care about, bloating the game beyond playability, so they can stay in business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valdar View Post
    Bards and Druids didn't make it because they were hybrids of everything, and were either gimp to balance out the fact that they could fit any role (Bard).
    There is something to be said for balancing the classes on the XP table. Now the one table to rule them all has some advantages, but I like being able to create a class or to combine classes and know I can balance that.

    Bards got their XP chart pumped way up and Druids in my game are another flavor of cleric. There are no generic clerics.

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    Speaking as a bard fan, a well played bard is a great character. And, despite the fact that 3.5 made one of the worst race/class combinations the half elf bard (actually the half elf anything), they are still my favorite.

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    My first reaction was that they were just bards with a sword. I was wrong. We have had 2 games with a warlord, and they are not close enough to the bard type for me to say that any more. They're leaders, and their powers reflect that. Excellent class to have in your party. Melee is much more interesting with them in the action.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valdar View Post
    In all the design notes I've read, the stuff that didn't make the initial cut was the stuff that was too generic, or not unique enough. Gnomes didn't make it because they were dwarf/elf/halfling crossovers, and didn't add anything that one of those three races couldn't have added. Bards and Druids didn't make it because they were hybrids of everything, and were either gimp to balance out the fact that they could fit any role (Bard), or way too overpowered because they could do any role as well as anyone (Druid). Barbarians and Sorcerers just weren't different enough from Fighters and Wizards, so they're giving those extra attention to give them a more unique role.

    And, as pointed out, they want to sell more books later. I agree with their decision to make each class as detailed as they can (so, only eight in the first book), rather than rush-jobbing everything from previous editions, and then be forced to print books full of stuff nobody but munchkins care about, bloating the game beyond playability, so they can stay in business.
    I find it strange then that three races are effectively crossovers of Elf..

    No, the last quoted paragraph is the whole truth, they just want to make money by excluding the "Popular Generic Classes" and including some "New shiny ones".

    Had it been sensibly (rather than for money) they could have stuck to four basic classes in the PHB and included a lot more races. The races are space-wise very efficent (2-pages... plus a few specialised feats each.).

    I'm holding judgement on the expansion classes (and no doubt races, feats, powers etc) until I see them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grinnen Baeritt View Post
    I find it strange then that three races are effectively crossovers of Elf..
    Elves are more popular than gnomes, and there are two or three different characterizations floating around: the wise and magical elder race, the crafty woodland folk, and (possibly) the charismatic leader. So the elves of Lothlorien, the silvan elves of Mirkwood, and the kin of Elrond became Eladrin, Elves, and Half-Elves, respectively.

    Gnomes really have been kind of lost somewhere between Dwarves and Halflings; first edition made them out as smaller Dwarves, whereas third edition made them larger, more magical halflings (thus pulling elf-like traits into the mix).

    Whatever. I'd really like a toolkit for making new fantasy races, rather than simply taking whatever WotC decides to give us. But then, I guess, they couldn't sell us as many books.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grinnen Baeritt View Post
    I find it strange then that three races are effectively crossovers of Elf..
    Read the design notes. Two of those Elf races are distilled versions of some eleven separate published versions of elves.

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    I'm not sure what versions of fey (all humanoids, btw) have to do with Warlords vs. Bards, but Warlords are cool. I expect the bards of 4ed will be a pleasure to play.

    I want to get my hands on that race and/or class generator.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronpyatt View Post
    I'm not sure what versions of fey (all humanoids, btw) have to do with Warlords vs. Bards, but Warlords are cool. I expect the bards of 4ed will be a pleasure to play.

    I want to get my hands on that race and/or class generator.
    I too am shocked, shocked that a thread has meandered away from its original topic.

    As I stated in other threads, I'm playing a Tiefling Warlord in a 4e trial/mini-campaign starting soon ... thus trying two additions with one character.

    I'm not too sure about Bards, though, unless they hone the concept a bit ... maybe Arcane versions of Clerics, who aid their allies and weaken their enemies with their songs. That may mean dumping other "classic" features of the class like general spontaneous spells, just as Rangers lost their spells at higher levels to become purely combat-focussed.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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