Dungeoneering Basics - Bard
In the show Noobs and Dragons, “Lord” Alastair Lockwood is the resident Bard, and acts as the front line fighter, swinging around two swords, while also having some magical abilities to back him up, such as holding foes in place, or transforming himself with magic. Are all Bards melee combatants though? Or is Alastair an anomaly?
For a long time now, the Bard in Dungeons and Dragons has been considered a 'jack of all trades' class, which in some editions of the game has meant that they're also a 'master of none,' but in more recent versions of the game, Bards have had a chance to shine. Not only do they gain an impressive amount of skills, but they also have decent hit dice for their health, and they have a wide array of support magic to assist them. Bards also have the ability to grant their allies buffs in battle through the power of their song, inspiring them by granting bonus dice to their actions.
After a few levels, Bards get to focus their talents on a Bardic College, which grants them more class features. While Alastair chose the College of Swords, to assist with melee combat, as he found himself on the front lines frequently, there are many other areas of focus for Bards, including ones that grant them bonus spells from other classes, or even Colleges that give them an emphasis on big, heavy weapons to use with strength. It seems there's a College for almost any Bard out there.
While the Human noble on our show tends to use minor healing magic, and some debuff powers, such as Hold Person, many Bards choose spells to charm those around them, turn invisible to escape detection, or even spells that confuse their opponents. Without access to heavy artillery spells, the Bard class has the ability to take spells that are more utility in nature.
If you'd like some examples of how a Bard plays, make sure to check out our podcast Noobs and Dragons, which releases every Wednesday. Follow along as Alastair, Jandar and Tilly traverse the region of Narquelion, in an attempt to solve the mystery of a Dream Journal, given to them by a friend.