5e D&D Bard Archetype for Rogue - RPG Crossing
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:28 PM
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5e D&D Bard Archetype for Rogue

A recent thread about low-fantasy/low-magic games reminded me of a game/setting I had been working on, but had shelved for a time. Going over my notes I realized that I hadnít really defined what would happen to the Bard class which was an issue since one of the first rules of the setting was Ďno full castersí. Repurposing Paladin, Ranger, and Bard for the low/no-magic idea was on my to-do list. I finally decided to axe Paladins altogether because the class has a few too many Ďblatantly magical abilitiesí that were causing me headaches, and luckily WotC released a UA for a spell-less Ranger which took care of another part of the problem. That left the bard. Below are two proposed Bard Archetypes for the Rogue Class which I could use some thoughts on from more experienced DMís, players, and theory-crafters.

The first option, which I found online while searching for a spell-less Bard, was what got me thinking of doing away with the Bard class altogether and converting it to a Rogue archetype instead. At low levels I think it would be weaker than other archetypes, while at high levels it essentially grants the entire party advantage on attacks, ability checks, and saving throws in exchange for the characterís action every round. Iím not convinced that it would work well in practice, but I donít have much/any high level experience.


The second attempt is my own, very hurried, attempt to throw something together. I wanted a starting point from which to work, more than anything, and this is what I pieced together from existing Bard abilities (all from the Bard section of the 5e SRD, except the last which is a slight tweak of the Countercharm ability). Again there are a variety of problems. It lacks the bard/musician flavour for starters. Perhaps dump Jack of all Trades for Musician from the above, or maybe Expertise from the Bard class? It also relies (too?) heavily on Bardic Inspiration Dice for three of its abilities which could limit its usefulness during longer adventuring days. Perhaps replace level 9 or 13 with Font of Inspiration, or something similar.


Since I havenít DMíed a game since the AD&D days of the Ď90ís, and donít have a lot of experience playing Rogues, Iím not really sure how well either of these options compare to official rogue archetypes. Any thoughts on the idea are welcome, particularly considerations for pbp gaming.
Originality is the fine art of remembering what you hear but forgetting where you heard it.
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Old 02-02-2020, 01:34 AM
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The problem with 5e Rogues is that their baseline is very strong and the archetypes aren't, compared to other most 5e classes. When creating new Roguish archetypes, you need to keep this in mind.
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