Page 103 - Grand Line, Part 3

3rd Apr 2012, 6:00 AM
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Grand Line, Part 3
Average Rating: 4.83 (6 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 3rd Apr 2012, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Guest author: DragonTrainer

Story time! Tell a Bard story, or a story about a "traveling BLANK" character.

140 Comments:

Demonu 3rd Apr 2012, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
Demonu
YES!

Another oppotunity for my pointless ramblings.

But first, I'm going to mow my lawn. See you in 2 hours or so.
Bugle 3rd Apr 2012, 8:13 AM edit delete reply
A bard story? I've got one...

A long time ago when I was first learning to DM (way back before 4.0 was a thing and 3.5 was still going strong), I was visting some friends out of state. And I suggested doing a one shot to introduce a few of them to the game. They asked me what they should do, and I said "oh, you can make your character's just about anyone! Just try to keep party balance in mind. I mean, you wouldn't want to all be bards, am I right?"

"Hey guys, let's all be bards!"

"Me and my big mouth."

So the 4 of them started working on a party of first level bards. I honestly can't remember everything about the party anymore, but one of them was a gnome whose instrument of choice was the flute... which doubled as a blow pipe. And one was a half orc whose instrument was a triangle. And he had 18 strength. And his motto was "I punch things. Really hard. And they die."

It got pretty silly.

Unfortunately, the one shot didn't really happen, but the making of characters was fun enough in its own right.
Masterweaver 3rd Apr 2012, 6:06 AM edit delete reply
My most famous pony character is a pegasus that fights monsters for a living. THat is...

...not all, actually. I also made her hilariously bad at household chores, terrified of sociopaths, AND ironically enough not one to take lead in the bedroom. Also she's a child by rape (but her mother loves her so she's only slightly traumatized), and grew up ina manehatten ghetto. Currently she's married to a unicorn with her own slew of problems.

I don't like one-dimensional characters.
kriss1989 4th Apr 2012, 3:36 PM edit delete reply
kriss1989
...what system was this?
Guest 5th Apr 2012, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
Freeform forum. Although I did make a BESM sheet for her for fun... but that basically dissappeared due to a forum crash.
Mrmantacos 3rd Apr 2012, 6:30 AM edit delete reply
I was a bard in a campain and my DM wanted me to actually say things for my attacks that have words. I kept shouting "YOUR MOTHER WAS A NICE LADY" and when I rolled a twenty he made it so one enemy broke into tears, another has a mental breakdown, and the last one's head exploded. Twas an interesting day.
Kaleopolitus 3rd Apr 2012, 6:56 AM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
I laughed far harder at this than I should have.
Anagram of Omega 3rd Apr 2012, 4:17 PM edit delete reply
Your mother has a job and is a respected member of the community.

Eh? Eh? Grim Adventures? Anyone?
Brony Is Magic 6th Apr 2012, 5:50 AM edit delete reply
YOUR MOM WENT TO COLLEGE!
BadHorse 3rd Apr 2012, 6:34 AM edit delete reply
My Bard characters are never bards.

I once played a Bard who was the smartest half-orc around, and was essentially a lawyer. He head perform: oratory as his skill, but because I wasn't looking at the class very closely (and I didn't really care), he either didn't have the skill ranks for bardic music, or the charisma for spells, or both.

In the first combat, the players start calling on me to make with the flashy flashy, and I look down and say "oh... I can't." Jawdropp'd.

My current Bard plays just like a real bard, but isn't.

He's a slightly mad mercenary that carries around a battle standard from his (possibly) destroyed company, believing it to be magical. He doesn't realize that he's behind the magic. He doesn't play an instrument, but he does sing battle songs during combat. So he's still a singer, I guess. I could have had him "shout orders," I suppose, but it's a 1st level game and I made the character as a young, ineffective mercenary rather than a grizzled leader type.
Shikome Kido Mi 4th Apr 2012, 4:06 PM edit delete reply
I think you can use Oratory for bardic music, so you must have just not raised it enough.
Zuche 3rd Apr 2012, 6:36 AM edit delete reply
Backstory must ignore mechanics at some point, though there's always someone claiming to have been the world's foremost assassin before starting a 1st level adventuring career. It still works just fine if it's clear that the player is overstating accomplishments. I'm sure Trixie's opponent was quite large for a Teddy Bear.
Duder-Skanks 3rd Apr 2012, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
Obviously they take their cues from Samus Aran and the like
Zuche 3rd Apr 2012, 7:05 AM edit delete reply
I suppose it's no worse than a god-king who has tired of a thousand years on the throne and just wants to kick around the countryside for a bit.
darkwulf23 3rd Apr 2012, 7:10 AM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
According to dnd world, a wizard is trained enough to set out on his own when he is able to use only 4 spells if you count the two daily, and a bunch of parlor tricks. Any other place, that means the wizard flunked out of magic school.
Zuche 3rd Apr 2012, 7:32 AM edit delete reply
Leaving aside rituals for the moment, this might depend on how liberally you permit players to utilize the Arcana skill in play. I prefer to have it replace both cantrips and rituals. The results can be similar, but I find it easier to encourage creative play through the skills.
darkwulf23 3rd Apr 2012, 8:18 AM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
OK, you're going to have to a bid more specific on how you do that. Like where do you use the checks and for what purpose. And how do you prevent Arcana from becoming broken or is used in almost every skill check like a swiss army knife. Sounds like a good idea, I just like to know the limits.
Zuche 3rd Apr 2012, 10:31 AM edit delete reply
I treat all skills as Swiss Army knives, knowing how easily one can put those handy little items to improper use.

For example, I cringed at the Diplomacy skill challenge featured in the DMG, because the author of it completely misunderstood the tools. Threatening the Duke was clearly going about things the wrong way, but the player's mistake was in how Intimidate was applied. Being the glowering presence in the background (or the tower of strength, if Athletics is more your speed) provides support to the position your more diplomatic associates wish to make. Such things won't count toward successes on a challenge, but they can open new avenues toward success or give a bonus to other skill checks.

This is getting long, so I'd prefer to answer Arcana in another post while I drive the preliminary point home: Players should be encouraged to come up with means to use their skills as often and as creatively as they can. Don't worry about people trying to use their best skills every chance they get, even if you have to occasionally rule against the possibility of specific uses of given skills. That's what they should be doing, as sure as it's what they do in combat with their powers.
Guest 3rd Apr 2012, 10:40 AM edit delete reply
I use Arcana in the same way. Its actually really easy to keep balanced and encourages creative play. Here's how it works.

First, you must be trained in Arcana in order to use the skill for improvised magic.

Second, Arcana checks should not allow the players to do anything directly offensive. Don't let them roll an arcana check to throw a fireball or drop a thunderbolt on their enemies. That's what their attack powers are for. You could, of course, let them call lightning to activate a lightning-powered-elemental-warship; but be sure to make it take several minutes so that it's completely impractical in combat.

Third, make the use of Arcana take a Standard action. Players hate giving up their chance to attack enemies in combat, so that'll ensure most players won't go nuts on their arcana checks in battle when they should be throwing fireballs. However, if speed is of the essence and the player is in desperate straights - you can let the check take a minor action in exchange for a +5 or higher to the DC. Make sure you impress upon them that it is their desperation that allows this sudden rush of speed, they can't rely on using minor action arcana checks regularly.
Stairc [Also Guest Above] 3rd Apr 2012, 10:42 AM edit delete reply
Fourth, 4e has Easy, Moderate and Hard DCs for each level. I use them as a base for the following.

Easy DC: Things that are cool but have little to no affect on actual gameplay. There's no harm from letting a character with a sweet Arcana skill pull a rabbit out of a hat or set off a few multicolored explosions. Now, if the players figure out a cool way to make use of this, like setting of a signal for an airship to bombard their enemies, that's fine - reward their creativity. It's still an Easy DC.

Moderate DC: Things that have a moderate gameplay effect. Perhaps aiding someone in putting out a magical fire, or trying to give and elemental ship a slight boost to its speed. Basically, things you always want the party to have at their fingertips. Nothing here should break your encounters, because a wizard who puts even slight effort into optimizing his intelligence score is going to hit the moderate DC just about all-the-time.

Hard DC: Things with significant gameplay effects but occur infrequently. For example, extending the duration of an ally's daily flight spell by a round or two. You might also allow a spellcaster to attempt to disrupt a magical construct or creature in some way. Remember, this is a Hard DC standard action, so the effects they can pull off with a successful arcana check can be significant. They're giving up attacking to do it if they're in combat. If you want to encourage creativity, this should come with benefit. If they're out of combat, things become even easier to manage.

Super-Hard-DC: Sometimes the players are desperate and have come up with a brilliant plan that might give them a chance to escape a TPK. However, it involves doing something significant. For example, my players were once cornered on an island where time was tied into space itself - so walking towards the island's center sent the players backwards in time. Each step carried them a few months into the past. Walking back towards the island's edge carried them back to the 'present' again. In order to escape from the mad Psion cornering them, the group decided to try and bend the time field in order to jump themselves 5 minutes into the past. Naturally, this is an insanely complicated maneuver; but it was a creative solution. I made it a dual challenge, with most of the players trying to stall the psion with conversation while the rogue helped the wizard work on concealing his casting. Once the players had successfully stalled in real time by roleplaying for 10 minutes - I let the wizard try his checks. He managed to clear the hard DC on 4 checks out of 6 for a character 5 levels higher than him - a string of great luck and his dedicated boosts to Arcana - and the players jumped back in time.
Stairc 3rd Apr 2012, 10:45 AM edit delete reply
On another occasion, the players were trapped beneath a block that was slowly crushing them, but were right near a reverse-gravity field. I had done this one intentionally - with the solution being to use the Super-Hard-DC to expand the reverse-gravity field in order to work on the stone crushing them and send it hurling toward the ceiling long enough for the players to escape.

This use of Arcana checks has been great for my game. I love it. It encourages lots of creative play. And the way to keep it balanced is pretty simple.

When in doubt you can always just use the following. If the players want to try something, just try to figure out in your head what you want their chances of succeeding to be and make sure it's tied to the logic of the world in some way. If what they want to do is complicated and would bring them a huge advantage, make it super-hard. If what they want to do is simple and would help them out of a tough spot, make it moderate.
Kaleopolitus 3rd Apr 2012, 1:21 PM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
Hang on there. They spent 10 minutes, to go 5 minutes back into the past?

Wouldn't that have put them at 5 minutes into the conversation?
darkwulf23 3rd Apr 2012, 9:28 PM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
Ah hell, they are stuck in a 5 minute time loop. And you thought it sucked for Phil in Groundhogs day.
Zuche 3rd Apr 2012, 12:48 PM edit delete reply
As for Arcana specifically (well, more that and other knowledge skills), I ask players to be very specific in what outcome they want and what they're offering to achieve it. "I make an Arcana check," is not an acceptable statement unless it directly precedes, "--to determine what we'll need to attempt [x]."

Sometimes you just work with a skill check. You want to employ the Suggestion cantrip? That's a hard difficulty check based on the level of the target. Oh, you're a wizard? Moderate difficulty, then, or easy if you're an enchanter. Disguising your appearance will favour illusions, but most effects will simply be set at moderate difficulty for a wizard, hard for anyone else. By paragon level, it seems reasonable that everyone has picked up a few tricks.

Rituals pay more toward skill challenges, and the cost is not simply a problem you solve by throwing money at it. (That said, the cost should always be something the PCs can measure and, preferably, feel.) You need to factor in timing and location, and you need to create a connection between your actions and your goals. A divination may require a spider's web, a hand delicate enough to manipulate it, an eye skilled enough to discern its pathways, and feet steady enough to accurately trace such routes around a larger skein. Warding rituals may require someone to serve as a sympathetic framework, with a degree of risk if the proxy does not prove sturdy enough.

Ultimately, if it advances the story and the players put some effort into creating the action, go for it. This is one of those times balance should be left to tournament play.
terrycloth 3rd Apr 2012, 10:25 AM edit delete reply
"I didn't get kicked out!"

"Face it, Gandalf. Wizard school had too many rules and not enough nap times."
Kingkirby 3rd Apr 2012, 10:42 PM edit delete reply
Rincewind would love it in the dnd world, wouldn't he?
Disloyal Subject 21st Nov 2013, 5:20 PM edit delete reply
That always bugged me. I usually start the party around 5th level, give or take 1, or either 2nd or 8th. If they start at first, then, story-wise, they're still apprentices,, flunked, orphans, etc. If they do start off higher, they each get 2 magic items - usually a wondrous item and a weapon or piece of armor - plus masterworks as fitting the setting. I make up that deficit by getting the Monty Haul out of my system on the first major encounter.
Karilyn 3rd Apr 2012, 6:39 AM edit delete reply
Karilyn
Sounds like a legitimate and well thought out backstory. She's a regular John Steinbeck Stephanie Meyer. I have seen nary such writing skill before. Bravo! BRAVO!
Zuche 3rd Apr 2012, 6:51 AM edit delete reply
Nah, if she was Stephenie Meyer, Trixie would have skilfully fended off the Ursa Major's advances with a promise to let him date her first-born child.
dzamie 3rd Apr 2012, 6:57 AM edit delete reply
dzamie
Also, the wand on her cutie mark would be surrounded by sparkles, not stardusts.
Zuche 3rd Apr 2012, 7:11 AM edit delete reply
...Wait a second. Trixie Stardust?

Perchance, does she play guitar?
Colin 3rd Apr 2012, 7:22 AM edit delete reply
That *does* look like a guitar in the second-to-last panel...
darkwulf23 3rd Apr 2012, 6:59 AM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
Sorry, got nothing. The closet I got was that wizard I was talking about last post, and even then haven't got the chance to test drive him yet.
Boden King 3rd Apr 2012, 7:07 AM edit delete reply
YES! I have a bard story. Sadly I need to get to class, but after that, story time.
Zuche 3rd Apr 2012, 7:12 AM edit delete reply
Well played, Scheherazade, well played.
The Guest 3rd Apr 2012, 10:25 AM edit delete reply
A bard character based on Scheherazade would be awesome.

Bard: If I get killed, you'll never hear the resolution to this story.
DM: ... An errant lightning bolt kills the dire wolf.
Zuche 3rd Apr 2012, 12:51 PM edit delete reply
My poor ribs, they did not enjoy the laughter as much as I did. Thank you.
Boden King 3rd Apr 2012, 11:06 AM edit delete reply
This is the story of why I hate Half elf Bards.

My friends and I are doing the Harkenwold campaign to ease ourselves into D&D, this is our first time playing D&D. We're in Tor's Hold training the militia. I imagine this takes ten minutes for normal players. Players tell the DM they want to train the militia, roll dice, be on your way. We were there for three sessions. We were ready to leave but couldn't leave the job half done. So finally our DM tells me about a shortcut for training the troops. If I had a bard helping us, I would be done in five minutes (musical training montage). I ask around the tavern if any bards are in town, there's one.

I head out to meet this bard. He's a half elf, name's... I forgot, so let's just call him Antonio, Antonio the Bard. Antonio agrees to help me, saying, "I, Antonio the World Famous Bard, will help you train the troops. For a measly five gold." (I'm making him out to be a bigger ham than he was) So I pay him ten gold to ensure quality help. Tells me to meet him in an hour at the field we were using for training. An hour later and (everyone together now) he didn't show up.

My character at the time was Belnen Deathserpent, a Dragonborn fighter. A big, tough, strong Dragonborn, and not very forgiving. I head back to his house and bang on the door, no response. So I kick the door down and the house is empty. He was gone and there was no signs of where he went. Except for the tunnel in the fireplace. That tunnel lead us to the next major town we were suppose to visit and I my next encounter with Antonio the Bard. But that's a story for later.

I learned two things from this: never trust an Half elf Bard, and our DM is one magnificient railroading SOB. I didn't realize what he did until the next day. I tip my hat to him.
Zuche 3rd Apr 2012, 12:55 PM edit delete reply
Nicely done. Nicely told as well.
Boden King 3rd Apr 2012, 12:58 PM edit delete reply
Wow, I thought I fouled up the story. Thanks.
MirrorImage 3rd Apr 2012, 3:16 PM edit delete reply
MirrorImage
Did anyone else read this in a faux-French-English accent? You know, that deep half-whisper...

PUSS IN BOOTS. That's the analogy I'm going for. I swear, I read "Antonio's" lines in the voice of Puss in Boots from Shrek.
Anon 3rd Apr 2012, 4:19 PM edit delete reply
I didn't realize it at all until you pointed it out. That's the best way to get your party back on track; make them want to chase the train.
Zuche 3rd Apr 2012, 7:07 AM edit delete reply
Huh. I can't believe I missed that joke, what with how it's pointed out by that last panel. Thanks for pointing it out.
Kaleopolitus 3rd Apr 2012, 7:09 AM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
Ah... You sure know how to make people tell their best stories~...
darkwulf23 3rd Apr 2012, 7:36 AM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
You mean ask for them?
Kaleopolitus 3rd Apr 2012, 7:47 AM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
Pretty much, yeah.
darkwulf23 3rd Apr 2012, 7:33 AM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
Dash: "That's bull, how can you defeat a paragon level monster by your self before your first level when you have your cutie mark to help with your talent?"

Trixie: "Well, you see, as a filly, I managed to stumble across this powerful artifact lying in an abandoned cemetery, and it happened to be the one thing needed to destroy the Ursula Major before he can bring forth destruction across the country side."

Dash: "Well I guess that makes sense."

Twilight: "Yea but you also found a powerful artifact just laying around like that, not even guarded by traps and monster?"

Pinkie: "You would think the ancient ponies would be smarter than that and not leave such important and potentially destructive weapons for any pony to find."

Trixie: "I know right, I mean you have got to at least make it a challenge for me and not give every pony such a powerful nuke. What pony would be so foalish as to commit such a blunder?"

DM: "Shut up."
Nixitur 3rd Apr 2012, 9:26 AM edit delete reply
Well played.
Urthdigger 3rd Apr 2012, 7:37 AM edit delete reply
Urthdigger
I've never once played a Bard, which is a bit surprising because I tend to play personalities that would fit well as a bard.

My last character was a priest of Olidommara, specializing in Trickery (illusion) and Charm spells, and with a hefty cha bonus. His role was to buff the party, seduce barmaids, bluff their way past enemies, and on rare occasions heal the party when they bitched loudly enough about it. If it wasn't for the fact that the party needed at least one healer, I may have just gone straight up bard.
darkwulf23 3rd Apr 2012, 7:44 AM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
See, that's how you play. Any one can make the bard spoony. Try making the fighter nuts. Or make the wizard the Casanova of the group. Hell, make the bard the only sane one. Anything to get away from the stereotype classes.
Kaleopolitus 3rd Apr 2012, 7:49 AM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
Tandem the Spoony! *highfive*
DragonTrainer 3rd Apr 2012, 9:49 PM edit delete reply
DragonTrainer
Counter Song! *Starts singing Iron Maiden*
masterofgames 3rd Apr 2012, 11:47 PM edit delete reply
masterofgames
Anything and everything! (Guile's Theme)
InvisibleDale 3rd Apr 2012, 8:00 AM edit delete reply
Boy do I have a bard story for you. Back in the Old Days (tm) of 2nd Ed AD&D, the game had what was known as "kits" which were ways of changing the predominate classes into specialized classes. Think of them as pre-prestige classes.
I was playing a Gallant kit, which allowed my bard to wear heavy armor and use weapons like a fighter. He was still a bard, just tanked up a bit.
The campaign I was in had a traveling tourney that he followed and participated when he wasn't carousing around (another story). He participated in the jousting tournament and was fairly good at it.
The DM of this campaign liked critical hits and fumbles and like to come up with novel descriptions of what happens when they occur. When I would compete, I basically would roll my THACO to compare with my opponent, with whosoever was higher wins. During one contest, I rolled a natural 1. The commentary went something like this: "As you ride out to begin the first round, you lance slips from your grip enough that it dips down, striking the ground by the tip and lifts you up into the air from your mount. Your momentum is enough that you make an arch in the air while continuing at the same speed as before. You lance snaps at the apex, which you let go and begin falling. Make a Dex check."
I looked the DM in the eye, unbelieving what I just heard, shook my head to relieve the shock, picked up my die, prayed and rolled. Natural 20.
Color text: "Your horse, which has been pacing your progress, is still underneath your position. As you descend, you find the target of your saddle approaching quickly. By a miracle of the gods or by blind luck, you land in the saddle at the place just before the turnaround. You stop your horse, turn around and notice that there is no sound. Everybody in the stands are awestruck, even the opposing team."
I look again at the DM and say, in character, "I meant to do that."
And that is how the Roland Roll-over was created.
Joe England 3rd Apr 2012, 10:16 AM edit delete reply
Nice.
Jet 3rd Apr 2012, 1:25 PM edit delete reply
Jet
I laughed hard. Nice one.
Kaleopolitus 3rd Apr 2012, 1:45 PM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
9.6/10, good job!
banjo2E 3rd Apr 2012, 3:12 PM edit delete reply
banjo2E
First rule of performing arts: If you make a fatal mistake, and recover from it, you performed a trick, and the act is better than if you'd done the entire thing perfectly.
InvisibleDale 3rd Apr 2012, 7:21 PM edit delete reply
One quick story. Same bard, traveling with a witch, and amazon and an honest-to-gods Neutral necromancer who became a bael norn, wrote a song based on the three characters. The title? "The Witch, the Bitch and the Lich" of course.
masterofgames 3rd Apr 2012, 8:14 PM edit delete reply
One of my bards wrote a stage play about a vampire rouge who stole from corrupt merchants.

The title? "Bat Man and Robbing"
Snowy 3rd Apr 2012, 8:09 AM edit delete reply
my bunions are saying Mary Sue, is that right?
Lyntermas 3rd Apr 2012, 8:34 AM edit delete reply
Lyntermas
My last mini-alt-script predicted that Trixie didn't know what she was talking about claiming to fight an Ursa Major, but I didn't know it was gonna be this bad. Draconic blood? Last descendant of a unicorn civilization? Might as well make her a good drow that wishes to combat the evils of her race.

As for my own take on Trixie, school stuff is bogging me down, so it might be a while before I finish.
XandZero2 3rd Apr 2012, 8:40 AM edit delete reply
While on the topic of long, drawn out backstories, I would like to post a warning to the thread.

If your party is the type to write long, drawn out backstories, don't take turns GMing.

I had an IK group a while back (think strong steam-punk element mixed with fantasy) that lacked a dedicated GM. We all had no idea how to make an adventure, so we thought it'd be best to take turns GMing - while still playing our characters too.

Long story short - that was a big mistake.

Just think what would happen if Trixie were calling the shots in FiD.

-Yeah, that Ursa Major?

No prob.

Trixie goes complete god-mode while leaving the rest of the party in the dust, then when someone finally says - "Hey, you can't do that!"

"Don't question the GM!"

That's basically how our campaign went. We had a gunmage that got waaaaaaaaaaaaay too carried away with his character. Basically ended up channeling Kameya waves through his handguns.

To be fair though, my quest was up next, and I was planning to do something similar with my Trollkin Paladin (only I was going to go god-mode and temporarily evil)

Guess that would have probably been more fair for the party though, seeing as my character was going to turn into one of the central antagonists...

Heh, heh, heh...(;
darkwulf23 3rd Apr 2012, 8:54 AM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
I see your munchkins have taken over OZ.
Drake 3rd Apr 2012, 9:11 AM edit delete reply
"We represent the RPG guild, the RPG guild!"
Colin 3rd Apr 2012, 11:51 PM edit delete reply
"Follow the Yellow-tracked Rails! Follow the Yellow-tracked Rails!"
NikkyDash 3rd Apr 2012, 9:12 AM edit delete reply
I've played quite a few bards before, but my favorite was my stereotypical teenage girl bard. She only got one session in, after that, we never continued the campaign. But still.

Basically, I had her freak out at anything remotely disgusting that we had encountered or that the other players had done, she spoke with a valley girl accent, was blonde (though her intelligence was 14), acted like she knew everything, acted like she should be treated like a princess, and was constantly trying to get the teenage fighter's attention.

She also played one mean harmonica.
J 4th Apr 2012, 9:46 AM edit delete reply
Every campaign I've ever run has had at least one Evil character. People sometimes ask me why I keep inviting people to play who are going straight to Chaotic Evil Rogue or something similar, even though it always leads to pointless, time-consuming inter-party conflict. The answer is simple: so that if somebody plays the character you're describing, he'll say "Hey, everybody, look over there!" and sneak attack her in the throat.
Trance 3rd Apr 2012, 9:12 AM edit delete reply
I once played a bard, Marquis. He was a traveling bard raised by some gypsies in early life then given his bardic training by a dragoness for a few years before being abandoned. So he was a traveling street performer. He ended up going to one of the richer cities in the campaign, gained the friendship of the ruler and things were going well, and started a romance with a random local girl who performed as a violinist at a local tavern.
Then the DM started to use the prophetic dream feat I'd taken to mess with me, seeing the girl die in several ways, and other events involving my own characters doom. She died after a few days, of an illness. then her room was suddenly covered in blood, like it was normal one second, then after the body had been removed, bam blood everywhere. So yeah, that happened. He abandoned the town shortly after (the town had a teleporter for a fee) and traveled for a few days meeting a friend who was going to the city I had left so I went with him. We ended up trying to hunt a few bounties after that using the teleporter for fast travel, ended up losing money on the deal, but I saved an innocent kid by paying his bail and gave a pick-pocket a way to make a legitimate living.
Then He was killed in his sleep by a half-dragon, the end.... Seriously, it was a PC that killed him too. Just went and killed him in his sleep.
The end.
Demonu 3rd Apr 2012, 9:44 AM edit delete reply
Demonu
Deciding to post here instead of hogging the top comments because that wouldn't be very nice, methinks.

Anyway, story about a bard.

This story takes place when a good friend of mine, let's call him Dave for convenience sake, asked if he could join in on a game one night. Of course he could, because the more, the merrier.
Now, to give you an image of the kind of guy Dave is: you mix a nerd and a musician, add gratuitous amounts of rock, metal and humour, let it stir for the greater part of the teenage years and season with a touch of testosterone.

Now Dave had never played DnD before but he was very interested in the roleplay aspect of it. So I suggested to him to create a bard so he could go all out and do whatever he wanted with it. And he did. Oh boy, he did. His bard pretty much was (the personality of) Aquaman from "Batman: the Brave and the Bold" equipped with a lute and the entire cast, nay, show of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann backing him. Because if Dave was going to play a bard, he wasn't going to have any of that spoony or sensitive troubadour stereotype. No, he was going to play him the only way Dave knew how to play: the MANLY way. A wide chested, beer drinking, son of a gun with a beard that would shame most Vikings. Whereas I would use diplomacy, skill and manipulation to resolve a situation, Dave would try to be as ballbustingly awesome and try to make the other's head explode (which happened eventually, more on that later (maybe))

Now, before I go on with what he actually did during the game session, please keep in mind 4 things:
The 2 main things about my campaigns: 1) if you can roleplay it well enough, we'll let it slide and 2) if it's awesome enough, we'll let it slide.
But for this, 2 other were in effect: 3) neither I or anyone else at the table had much experience with bards so if a dispute came up, I would wing it most of the time and 4) Dave was a first time player so I decided to be a bit more lenient to him.
So if you read something that blatantly contradicts any rules, just remember that we were winging most of it most of the time.

So Dave's bard, like any other PC in my group, had a dream: he wanted to create music that would transcend time and be remembered and played forever. And what better to write legendary songs about than the legendary characters of legends that are awesome and legendary? So he occasionally joined the main group as something of a sixth ranger on their adventures.

Now the 2 most noticable traits of Dave's bard was that his main contributions to the group was that he could grant different buffs depending on which song he played and that his instrument of choice was a lute. As a sign of good will, I had made his lute almost indestructable so that he wouldn't become (nearly) useless to the party if he lost/broke his lute. So most of the time, Dave would hang back with the cleric and the wizard and support the group with his songs. I mentioned earlier that Dave is a musician and he actually brought his guitar with him to the table so that he could play it while the rest was rolling dice. On its own, a pretty neat addition to liven things up a bit but Dave is also a nerd. So he played rock/metal covers of iconic themesongs whenever he would play. The one I liked most, because it was just so fitting, was that if he used Countersong, he would play TROMBE from Super Robot Wars because TROMBE overrides everything.

He was having a ball with everything but somehow, an enemy had snuck up on him and the healer. The others were too far to intervene so it was up to Dave to defend the cleric. I figured he would use a song, magic or an attack with his short sword but Dave looked at me.
Dave: "My guitar is indestructable, right?"
Me: "Your lute is magically enhanced, yes."
Dave: "Good. I assault the enemy with my lute."
Me: "You have a sword, you know."
Dave: "Real bards fight with their instruments!"
So yeah, he attacked using his lute. Because, you know, it's a blunt instrument and could thus be used like a mace.

Later, he one-upped himself in a similar fashion. After some adventuring, I had them found some treasure, including a magical lute. It would boost his effectiveness overall but Dave wasn't having any of it.
Dave: "I'm not giving up Lucille."
Me: "Who?"
Dave: "My guitar."
Me: "Your lute."
Dave: "Yeah, that too."
Me: "Why won't you take the new lute? It's better than your current one in every way."
Dave: "Maybe, but Lucille was my first."
Me: "Okay, let's stop it right here before this gets too awkward."

He did take the lute with him but now there was a new problem: he could only use 1 instrument at a time so he had to choose. So he alternated between using the magical lute for songs and Lucille for when he was pressured into close combat. Of course, Dave decided that could be better. After some levels, with the help of the players, he could now dual wield. So Dave would wade into battle wielding 2 lutes and beat the crap out of anyone who dared to come close.
Me: "The enemies flee in terror before you."
Dave: "Cool. Why?"
Me: "Because you have a +5 to intimidation and the enemies lose their will to fight you."
Dave: "I don't remember getting that bonus."
Me: "Dude, would you go up against someone who's insane enough to dual wield 2 wooden instruments against someone with an actual weapon?"

There's a lot more that he did that would make the group drop their jaw in admiration but that's going to have for a next time because I'm already running late for an appointment.
Talk to you guys later.
darkwulf23 3rd Apr 2012, 9:55 AM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
Wait, where is the guy with the applauding gift. You're needed as soon as he finishes the story.
Kaleopolitus 3rd Apr 2012, 9:57 AM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
Words cannot describe.
Ranubis 3rd Apr 2012, 11:24 AM edit delete reply
Ranubis
A) Hey, it's my theme song!

B) Now THAT I'd a bard I'd want on my team! Actually, I think this guy deserves his own class. How about BARDbarian?
Zuche 3rd Apr 2012, 1:05 PM edit delete reply
"OutRAGEous!"

Magnificent tale. It's easy to see why there will be continuations to it.
Jet 3rd Apr 2012, 1:37 PM edit delete reply
Jet
Yup, Dave (or his identical clone) would definitely be welcome in my games.
DracoS 4th Apr 2012, 12:21 AM edit delete reply
If he brings an acoustic guitar and plays Trombe again, could you record it? Acoustic Trombe sounds like it'd be...SO AWESOME.
PrincessSpectra 4th Apr 2012, 9:13 AM edit delete reply
PrincessSpectra
This reminds me of the time we got one of my friends to play something other than his usual human fighter. He rolled a bard, and the DM let him use a summoned guitar as a club. He somehow managed to get the last hit on *every single enemy* we fought by bashing it upside the head with a guitar.

Edit: Oh, and at least a few times, he yelled "EL KABONG!" before bashing them upside the head.
Demonu 4th Apr 2012, 4:07 PM edit delete reply
Demonu
Sorry, DracoS, but Dave only plays electric guitar.

Seeing how I've got a couple of minutes to spare, here are some small segments involving Dave's bard and the stunts he pulled. As I noted before, Dave only occasionally joins the group so these aren't coherent stories, but more like the highlights of his exploits.

1) The group had been hired as extra muscle/bodyguards for the royal family of a small country. And by coincidence (and totally not contrived convenience) Dave was also in town. So of course he got pulled in with the group for the quest of the evening. The castle and country had come under siege from a neighbouring country whose king/tyrant wanted to conquer the peaceful small country. The group's task was to escort the queen and young princess out of the castle and to keep them safe until they could find shelter within an allied country. The group + 2 NPC's were running across the outer wall when the enemy's siege weapons fired a flaming boulder at the wall, right where they were. Everyone ducked for cover while those who could tried to conjure a protective barrier. Everyone except Dave. His bard firmly planted his feet, grabbed Lucille (his lute), turned her overhead and told me: "I hit the boulder with my lute."

Yeah, he was going to try and smack a FLAMING BOULDER back to where it came from. I had him roll for it. Dave glanced at his dice with a piercing gaze, almost like he was trying to get the dice to drop their testicles and become MANLY dice. Of course, he rolled a natural 20.

"You hit the boulder with your lute, sending it away from the castle. Every soldier who watched you swing gets a bonus for morale and a spontaneous burst of chest hair growth."

But that boulder still had to go somewhere. I had him roll again to determine where the boulder was going to land. So his dice kissed their loved ones goodbye and swore that they would bring blazing glory to Dave or die trying. Dave clutched his dice firmly in his hand, infused them with the burning desire for victory and let them loose.
Another goddamn natural 20.

"You smacked the boulder back to where it came from and hit one of the siege weapons. Upon impact, it explodes, killing those around it and causing great disturbance and panic among the ranks."

"Upon seeing the explosion, I pose on top of the wall, holding Lucille in my stretched out arm like a boss."

Have I mentioned yet that Dave has a flair for the melodramatic?


2) Some time later, the group had safely escorted the queen and princess to an allied country. They remained as bodyguards until further notice and eventually would have to sneak back into the conquered country to rescue the king/assassinated the tyrant. All the plans for that would be discussed the following day but that evening, there was a feast, celebrating the safety of the royal family (or 2/3 of it for sure), a job well done for the group and because the nation would go to war the following days. Might as well have a good time before you risk your neck. Anyway, after everyone is done eating, the king asks the group if they would be willing to liven things up a bit. Show their skills, spells or whatnot. So we have a display of swordmanship, something akin of a stageshow and the rogue showing just how skilled he is at sleight of hand and picking pockets. And then we come to Dave. Of course, a song is the most obvious thing for him to do. So he picks up the magical lute (for the bonuses), turns to the king and says:

"I shall play you the song of my people."

He plays this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KAl-b5RfOM&feature=fvwrel
With the group as second vocals.

Pretty much everything happens exactly the same as in that clip, only, you know, in a DnD setting (them lucky dice rolls)


There are some more but those are the ones I can remember of the top of my head. For the rest, I'll have to go look for my notes.
Guest 4th Apr 2012, 7:38 PM edit delete reply
i don't even...

wow
macdjord 7th Apr 2012, 11:08 PM edit delete reply
Oh, please, we've got to hear more about this Dave. He's made of awesome.
Demonu 8th Apr 2012, 7:49 AM edit delete reply
Demonu
When the occasion arises, I'll post some more. But it's got to be related to the present comic or if Newbiespud asks for such stories, otherwise it's irrelevant spamming.
Qin the Kirin 3rd Apr 2012, 9:54 AM edit delete reply
i played a bard. but i dont have the skill to do it rigth. every time the Dm ask me to play a song o recite a poem. the resto of the players start to sing or improvise poem before i cant thing on something you cant "shine" when every one is an artist T-T
Jason Shadow 3rd Apr 2012, 10:57 AM edit delete reply
Sadly, I have no bard story, so instead I'll comment on one of the most recent developments in the comic.

Trixie claims she has draconic blood, eh? Well, if she's to be belived, this kind of explains a lot. Were this Pathfinder (it's not, but still), then that would give her the Draconic bloodline, which I suppose is as good as any for her... certainly better than Arcane or Destined, which would be the next most logical choices. More specifically, she'd most likely be descended from a Blue Dragon, since the D&D 3.5 Monster Manual (and Draconomicon, and Races of the Dragon [I like dragons, okay?]) describe that particular color, and its descendents, as "vain and prideful". Plus her coloration would fit that, too.

Then again, this is neither Pathfinder or D&D 3.5, and as such, actual draconic heritage amounts to little, if it's even possible - I'm kinda shaky on the subject of 4e. Of course, if Friendship is Witchcraft is to be believed, then "Dragon-ness is recessive", so I suppose it-

Wait a minute. I'm overthinking this, aren't I?
Bronymous 3rd Apr 2012, 2:29 PM edit delete reply
Bronymous
If not you, then me. Of course I would have had to say something Dovahkiin related.
moocow1452 3rd Apr 2012, 11:08 AM edit delete reply
You haven't properly played a Bard until you've used "Summon Greater Instrument" to pull your axe from the ether and start kicking ass. (And by axe, I mean a Gene Simmons style Battle Axe Guitar). The imitation checks of pulling it out of nothing as a free action were worth it.
masterofgames 3rd Apr 2012, 9:42 PM edit delete reply
masterofgames
So. It has come to this. A challenge of Summon Greater Instrument has forced me to finally create an acount so that I may tell my tale.

So I was playing a bard in a fairly small party, just me, a barbarian, and a paladin.

I focused almost entirely on my music, ultimately leading to me getting summon greater instrument so that I would never be unable to buff the two front line fighters.

The barbarian had taken a few obscure feats that gave him crazy awesome boosts to thrown weapons. This ultimately led to him being unarmed pretty much 24/7, as the moment he picked up a weapon, he usually had to throw it away. Violently. He got Improvised Ranged Weapon as a feat to make up for it. He also had freakishly high strength.

The paladin wielded a greataxe, and had a really high crit rate. He wanted to be a cavalier, so he put most of his skill points in Ride, and got some feats that gave him giant combat boosts when mounted. He also got one that let him use his mount as his weapon, leading to more of his foes being trampled than chopped. What can I say? The man loved his one man stampedes.

We usually did okay, so long as we stuck to fighting humanoids.

A war? Lovely! No shortage of weapons for our barbarian to take from the fallen and chuck half a mile at the annoying enemy casters keeping behind the main force.

A bandit camp? Marvelous! Nice long stretches of open space between the tents for our paladin to litter with roadkill.

A demon? Well... the phrase "We challenge you to a rock off!" was used at least once...

So then this one time we were traveling to a new town to use our moderate fortunes to get all the latest toys we finally met the requirements for at the local arms dealers.

Then this dragon swoops out of the sky and snatches the paladin's horse.

Turns out we had unknowingly been upsetting the dragon's plans to plunge the kingdom into a civil war, letting him just march in, mop up, and take over when it was over and everyone was weakened.

Paladin is up first, he holds his action until the dragon is close enough to him to attack. Barbarian is up next. "I grab the paladin's axe." The paladin was understandably a bit miffed at this, but finally grudgingly handed it over when reminded, "You aren't going to hit the dragon at this distance, and certainly not on foot. Besides, you don't need it anyway, didn't you say you were going to get a better one when we got to town?"

Barbarian throws the axe. He rolls nice. He nails the dragon in the leg. Making him drop the horse. Oops.

Then the dragon is up, he spits a huge jet of fire at us. Knowing that we would never be able to take such an attack and still be able to win without casualties, I talk fast. "How far away is the dragon?"

Turns out he's a ways away. "Then shouldn't the fire take a few seconds to reach us?" DM thinks for a second, then lets fate decide and flips a coin. "Sure, why not?"

I'm up next. "Summon Greater Instrument!"

"... Why?"

"We need a shield, I'm summoning one."

"How?"

"A gong."

"..."

"... What? It's a big one..."

So the gong shields us from the fire. Unfortunately the fire melts the chains keeping it fastened to the supports, so the gong falls, then flops over. On top of me. Oops.

Fortunately I was far enough away that it only trapped my legs under it. Paladin decides he may as well use his readied action to heal me. Which he does while standing over me. On the gong. Squishing me further. Oops.

Then the dragon prepares a charge.

Barbarian seems unsure of what to do, so I yell at him. "HEY!" He turns and looks at me. I gesture to the gong. "THROW it you idiot!"

The entire table pauses to ponder the implications of this. Then, befire the DM can say no, the barbarian shrugs, walks over, picks it up, winds up discus style, and chucks the gong at the dragon. DM trys to run damage controll. "The dragon is a ways away, it will take a few seconds to reach him."

I smirk. "Perfect. Take it away paladin."

The paladin just looks at me. "Huh? What good am I going to be from here?"

"Dude, you were standing on the gong."

"... So?"

"Dude. You were on the gong, when he threw it."

"... So?"

"DUDE! You. Are. Riding. The. Gong!"

"... Oh. OH!"

Yeah, he finally gets it.

"Using my mount as my weapon, I attack the dragon!"

DM blinks. "... What."

The paladin rolls. Crit. Confirm. The gong decapitates the dragon.

From then on, my concert posters had my new personal logo on them, a huge armored guy riding a gong at a dragon and punching it in the face. Concerts also included a reinactment of the battle with my only illusion spell as a lead in to the opening number. The fans loved it.

Said tactic ALSO became our standard opening number in battle... well, at least until I started launching alchemest fire en mass out of a summoned church pipe organ.

"Fire in the hole! Literaly!"
Kaleopolitus 4th Apr 2012, 1:35 AM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
MY GOD. You truly are the master of games, I laughed my ass off xD
Demonu 4th Apr 2012, 5:56 AM edit delete reply
Demonu
A fine Fastball Special if I've ever seen one. My hat's off to you, good sir.
Ranubis 4th Apr 2012, 7:11 AM edit delete reply
Ranubis
Awesome story! Pity the paladin lost his horse, but I guess he got an upgrade of a flying weapon.
masterofgames 4th Apr 2012, 11:09 AM edit delete reply
masterofgames
And then I got it into my head that the 1812 overture uses a rather large cannon as an instrument...
darkwulf23 4th Apr 2012, 2:08 PM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
I am so going to try to get away with that. The argument alone would be worth it.

And if that doesn't work I'll settle for the plastic pipes that the blue men use.
Aegis Steadfast 4th Apr 2012, 11:57 AM edit delete reply
Aegis Steadfast
That was just a pure mix of awesome and genius, nicely done.
masterofgames 4th Apr 2012, 3:57 PM edit delete reply
masterofgames
Thanks all. Yeah, it was pretty awesome. I'm a little surprised that nobody is commenting on my pipe organ morter gun though...
darkwulf23 4th Apr 2012, 5:23 PM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
Your barbarian just threw a gong with a paladin riding it like a war horse, still more awesome than a pipe organ mortar gun.
Vulpis 24th Jul 2012, 2:55 AM edit delete reply
Indeed--a pipe-organ mortar is downright *cliche*...there's a reason why massed rocketlaunchers are refered to as calliopes, after all.

But the Heavy Metal Frisbee with Surf-Paladin? *That* is EPIC Style.
TerribleTransit 4th Apr 2012, 7:30 PM edit delete reply
This is easily one of the greatest tales I have ever read. Bravo.
Vulpis 24th Jul 2012, 2:52 AM edit delete reply
That....was Epically Beautiful. And deserves a real poster to be made out of it.
Pastshelfdate 9th Nov 2013, 7:39 AM edit delete reply
Thank you, so much, for sharing this. I'm passing it along to gamer friends, with credit to you, of course. :-)
Joe England 3rd Apr 2012, 11:34 AM edit delete reply
Heh. I like how Trixie referring to herself in the third person actually makes more sense in this context than in the show.
Digo 3rd Apr 2012, 12:11 PM edit delete reply
Once there was a bard named Rundell. He was a decent lute player... except he did't own a lute... or really any musical instrument. So after barely making a singing check to get that +1 attack bonus to the party he decided to spread out his talents into new areas by multi-classing.

Into Ranger...

And Cleric...

And Favored Soul...

And Rogue...

...you know, he really was never a good bard anyway. The player dumped him and now plays a Cleric/Druid/Rogue/Master of Masks and is pretty happy with it.

True Story.
terrycloth 3rd Apr 2012, 1:06 PM edit delete reply
The last bard I played was in Eberron. I played her as a new-agey 'power of crystals' type, which makes a lot more sense in Eberron where everything really is powered by crystals. Just not the crystals she was using.

I took the feats to let you combine bard song with almost everything else you'd want to do, so she was pretty much always singing. Sometimes, since the rule was 'it only counts as another use if you stop singing', she'd keep singing between battles.

That meant she couldn't talk, though (I'd picked singing so that she could use a ginormous spear as her main weapon). She could only *sing*. So I had to sing most of the contributions towards in-party chatter and strategizing.

Her crowning moment of awesome was when she took down a twenty foot giant with a first level 'hideous laughter' spell, saving the party. It wasn't the first try, but what *else* was she going to do? Poke it with a stick?
Limitless Zero 3rd Apr 2012, 1:26 PM edit delete reply
Limitless Zero
Bard stories eh? Well the character I played in Erin Palette's adventure was pretty bardlike. His/my contributions to the adventure were: wussing out at the sight of flame, fixing things with ponykinesis, messing things up with ponykinesis, a musical number that, with enough laughter points from the whole team, saved the day, and an offscreen rhyming piece for the flier as deterrance from *spoiler* (which I'm still writing and intend to post on friendshipisdragons at some point).
Brainstorm 3rd Apr 2012, 2:42 PM edit delete reply
Brainstorm
I know I'm still in awe of that musical number - I mean, off the top of your head, bro? Are you SURE your character is destined to be a historian?
masterofgames 3rd Apr 2012, 9:55 PM edit delete reply
masterofgames
... I demand a full reinactment in the comments!
Darkside 3rd Apr 2012, 2:16 PM edit delete reply
We had, unintentionally, an Arcane party campaign in 4e once. There was an orb wizard, a cosmic sorcerer, a defensive swordmage (my guy), and our bard, whose variant I can't remember.

Anywho, we had great fun in battles because it was decided that the bard was essentially just taunting everyone to death, i.e.:

"You mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!"
*Bandit falls over, blood leaking out his cranial orifices*
mage wolf 3rd Apr 2012, 3:06 PM edit delete reply
first off, dragon blood? DRAGON BLOOD!?
is it just me or is trixie a little-bit charlie sheen crazy?

now-then ah have been banned from useing bards in mah group cause ah tend 2 be more the stephen lynch stile bard.
and no ah aint givin no examples o mah songs cause ah like it hear with y'all an ah aint getin kicked out.

PrincessSpectra 4th Apr 2012, 9:37 AM edit delete reply
PrincessSpectra
I take it you've never read the description of Sorcerer in the Player's Handbook? Having Draconic ancestry was pretty much the default reason given for having the ability to cast Arcane spells without training.
MirrorImage 3rd Apr 2012, 3:13 PM edit delete reply
MirrorImage
Except that was defeating the big boss using the artifacts of destiny - it was the artifacts that defeated Nightmare Moon, the Mane 6 were just the catalysts.

Though who's to say Trixie didn't just kill steal anyways?
Xenotype 3rd Apr 2012, 4:38 PM edit delete reply
The fact that she's STILL level 1.
mage wolf 3rd Apr 2012, 3:14 PM edit delete reply
ah was worried when spud said the folks from a one peice web-comic would be fillin in,(being ah fan o stories with a plot makes me anti one peice) but ah gave y'all three pages 2 see if y'all would hurt the one thing on the interweb ah love.

y'all are dooin great and ah am lookin forward 2 havin y'all hear while spud rests up.
Dragonflight 3rd Apr 2012, 4:14 PM edit delete reply
Bard stories. Hehe...

In the 3.5 D&D game I'm running right now, there was another player who was in it for the first half or so (family needs pulled him away from the weekend gaming group after that.)

The player had built a High Elf magic user/bard who had mastered the whole "Rei Ayanami" speech pattern. The elf girl spoke softly, and apparently very earnestly... but everything she said was either absolutely honest, or insightfully sarcastic, but delivered with a wonderfully harmless tone of voice.

As she went on, she started composing songs about the PC's. They were adventuring in a world which believed Demons had been destroyed a thousand years ago, but the PC's discovered they'd really just been biding their time. So they needed to get the populace ready.

In order to do that, the elf bard began composing songs about the PC's adventures. Over time, because she wanted to be sure the messages were remembered, she pumped maximum points into her signing ability.

By the time she left, she was promoted to the head of continental Intelligence, which she used to train schools of bards, all armed with songs about the party and the things they fought.

The final result? No matter *where* they go, unless the people they meet have been living in a cave, they have instant notoriety. Imagine trying to get stuff done when the whole town declares a holiday because you walked through their gates. Or try to be stealthy when every random citizen you meet instantly makes the check on your popularity to figure out who you are?

The best ongoing gripe is the thief, who does it because it's challenging. Except it stopped being fun when, if she gets caught, the people who caught her immediately free her and *give* her what she was stealing, on the assumption that this Great Heroine of the Land must obviously need it for something of Real Importance... :D
xuincherguixe 3rd Apr 2012, 4:57 PM edit delete reply
Sadly, I'm sure I will have some good bard stories in a few weeks. But not right now.
Qazarar 3rd Apr 2012, 5:01 PM edit delete reply
One fateful campaign I was playing as a wizard multiclassed into bard, although he acted like a bard mostly. He was a stage performer doing illusory tricks as well as music.
He got into an illusion duel with a high level mage from the get-go, and then when he lost, swore vengeance against him. He basically became my arch rival.
At a later point in time time, he then get's flung back in time while chasing the mage, who also came back to the past, as he is apparently orchestrating the entire thing for laughs.
At least once in the past, he was able to use his bardic skill to win over the crowd that had previously been calling for his blood in an arena battle.
He then uses his storytelling skill to acquire the aid of his legendary great-grandfather, total badass and thief king.
It was an interesting adventure to say the least.
Sharp Note 3rd Apr 2012, 7:39 PM edit delete reply
Sharp Note
I am currently playing a pegasus bard. Comes from a noble family, left home to get better than his sisters, both musical prodigies.

He has both Vicious Mockery and is the only healer on the team. So between keeping everyone alive, he taunts enemies. To death.(Not really since this is a nice campaign and we don't murder ponies when we can help it. Monsters and constructs die horribly though.)

And in-game yesterday we had some time off in ponyville, so after getting a fire resistant ruby vest made at carousel boutique, we were ambushed by a wild party, he rolled a 20 to dance awesomely, and everyone passed out and had a mass dream where we were furless bipedal freak things. Then we had to outrun the apocalypse in a city both on fire and falling into the ground a building at a time. When we woke up we were ponies again and on the train to Canterlot we had planned to ride. In short, you don't need combat to have a awesome day in D&D. Oh, and bards can dance.
~dance~ ~dance~ ~dance~
darkwulf23 3rd Apr 2012, 8:31 PM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
Furless bipedal freak things. Hate to meet one of those in a dark alley.

Oh wait
MirrorImage 3rd Apr 2012, 8:41 PM edit delete reply
MirrorImage
That sounds like the perfect way to introduce a FNV:Novac setting.

"Something's been killing off our livestock at night. String-Loose Lyra seems to think it's some kind of furless monkey thing, but no one believes her. She thinks everything is because of these 'huuumans.'"
Bronymous 4th Apr 2012, 9:38 AM edit delete reply
Bronymous
I would read that story.
CommandoDude 3rd Apr 2012, 8:30 PM edit delete reply
Yikes. Can you say Mary Sue or what? Her 'backstory' reads like a bad fanfiction.
darkwulf23 3rd Apr 2012, 8:35 PM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
Why is everybody surprised at that? This is Trixie we're talking about. And apparently the person who's playing her Nat has a habit of coming up with stuff like this.
xuincherguixe 3rd Apr 2012, 9:33 PM edit delete reply
You do realize that not everyone here has read Grand Line 3.5 right?
darkwulf23 3rd Apr 2012, 11:49 PM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
I haven't either, and I still figured out how she played her characters.
kriss1989 4th Apr 2012, 6:05 PM edit delete reply
kriss1989
"Gracefully."
darkwulf23 4th Apr 2012, 7:33 PM edit delete reply
darkwulf23
Though now I'm starting to read 3.5 and watch one piece. One piece is kind of amusing but 3.5 is great.
JR Klein 3rd Apr 2012, 8:40 PM edit delete reply
I'd like to make a bard character whose Perform skill is "epic poetry". He'd travel with the group to write a tale a-la The Odyssey about their exploits.
Kingkirby 3rd Apr 2012, 10:49 PM edit delete reply
my groups' campaigns never have bards (mostly because my usual dm encourages us NOT to play bards because he thinks they suck. I personally beg to differ), but we always have at least one large ham type of character. Once, a friend of mine played a paladin in a gestalt campaign, and he wound up criting an attack using smite evil on a cleric of urgathoa... using our holy book as an improvised weapon. His character was also not supposed to be the brightest person, and ended up confusing "martial law" with "martian law" and nicknamed all of our characters according to roman gods.

That was a fun campaign for sure.

Then, I later ended up playing a scout/dervish with a different group and pretty much acted as a wandering dancer who killed his enemies with a bladed scarf while dancing. Unfortunately, the dm felt he was broken, so he ended up basically getting killed off.

And now, in a totally different campaign (an Ironclaw one, to be precise), I'm going to start playing as a Hobgoblin (assassins who disguise themselves as a clowns/court jesters), and plan on hamming it up as much as I can. After all, what's better than a psychotic killer clown?
Kaleopolitus 4th Apr 2012, 1:39 AM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
Call the Hobgoblin Shaco, then we┬┤ll talk.
EricaC78 4th Apr 2012, 7:20 AM edit delete reply
Trixie's claim about having draconic blood isn't too farfetched. Isn't that basically how sorcerers who use Draconic magic work? Of course, the rest is pure cliche.

As for a bard story, I have only played one, for a very short period of time. My friend was running a weekly game, and we had just experienced our first death in the party. Now, in order to get the guy's new character into the party, we needed to find a plausible reason for it.

The solution came from our in-game leader. There would be a tournament in order to select a new party member. However, he managed to convince the DM to allow each of us to create a second character. He claimed that it was just so we could easily play a new character if our current one died, but I'm pretty sure he wanted to use both characters at the same time.

Anyway, I created a tiefling bard for this, because I wanted to try something different from the rogue I was playing. The backstory involved my bard being a genius inventor and musician, and creating a steampunk bass guitar. The plan was for me to play my bass guitar whenever I used a power that used an instrument implement. However, I made two mistakes: 1) I forgot that I wasn't actually any good at playing bass, and 2) I failed to give him a likeable personality.

So anyway, the session when he was created, the town we were in received notice that it was going to be attacked by pirates. After considering various plans, we came to the agreement that it would be best to negotiate with the pirates(I believe we were trying to convince them to focus their efforts on fighting the corrupt king). Having the highest Diplomacy, my bard was chosen as the negotiator.

Long story short, I screwed up the negotiations through a mix of poor roleplaying and bad rolls, and the party ranger had to fight the pirate captain in solo combat before we could form an alliance with them.

My bard left the party to tour around the kingdom with a couple of his musician buddies, and he was replaced by a dragonborn sorcerer who was never played and only served as a sacrifice for my rogue's deity.
Guest 4th Apr 2012, 10:19 AM edit delete reply
There was once a bard I played with whose medium of choice was interpretive dance. It was surreal, to say the least. Moreso because the player actually did the dances.
kriss1989 4th Apr 2012, 3:35 PM edit delete reply
kriss1989
Years ago, I've sadly lost the papers over the years, one of my characters, a bard, kept a journal of sorts in character that I wrote IRL. Nobody ever bothered to check out what I was writing (or circulating via printing press). Which is too bad otherwise they would have seen "The Adventures of the Amazing Silverquill and Friends!"

If you are familiar with the"He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" or the "Spider-man and his Amazing Friends!" formula, you know how this goes. The named character is the most awesome and the others are comedic stereotypes.

My character in order to protect his friends identities (and his neck if they ever read one without realizing who wrote it) changed everyone's names. They were:

Bard - Silverquill naturally, who was a quick witted bard who was able to conceive of clever plans to get out of any situation. Sometimes the plans needed the help of his friends, which seemed to be the only reason he kept them around most of the time.

Fighter - Big McLargehuge (yeah I'd just discovered MST3K) who was a typical dumb brute. He also always refers to himself as "Big" as in "Big will stop you! Big is strongest man of all mans!"

Cleric - Father Faithhill. Yeah his name wasn't funny, but he was basically a combination of Mr. McGoo and the guy from Get Smart. He has no real clue whats going on but manages to bumble his way through anyway.

Monk - Dark Moonshadow. Typical 80s hero ninja. He has a brightly colored red uniform with black highlights, and whenever he speaks it starts with "Ancient wisdom say..." and then something either wholly obtuse or oddly relevant to the situation.

Wizard - Bumblebeard. You're typical absentminded old mage. Interestingly enough, this is actually how the character was played so I really didn't have to do too much work here.

So yeah, best bard I ever played. If I could find one of those old scripts I'd post a story.
Optician of Urza 5th Apr 2012, 3:22 AM edit delete reply
I have a player just like this in my 4e Dark Sun game. He died at first level after trying to "sneak up" on an id fiend, by which I mean approaching it in the direction it was facing in broad daylight and asking to make stealth rolls. He was eviscerated.
Keith 5th Apr 2012, 7:21 AM edit delete reply
I played a bard in a 3.5 game a few years ago. He was a half-sea-elf extremely weedy pretty boy (I think he had Con 7 or something), and not terribly effective. His more conspicuous achievements included talking a werewolf into suicide (unintentionally), using countersong against some sirens, being drugged and molested by a ship captain (until the GM conceded that this was in bad taste and retconned it to being robbed) and eventually being taken down by aboleths.

Fortunately, I had a backup character in the form of his not-so-little sister, who was a fighter/barbarian/ranger/champion of Gwynharwyf, had more hit points than the rest of the party put together, and on one occasion killed a giant dire narwhal thing using only a dagger.
kriss1989 6th Apr 2012, 12:08 PM edit delete reply
kriss1989
Ah narwhals, the Jedi of the Sea. I can't even imagine how dangerous a dire one is.
Smilez221 5th Apr 2012, 7:57 AM edit delete reply
In our family campaign, my father is a bard, and whenever he uses the "Vicious Mockery" ability, the rest of us will proceed to insult the enemy, usually with the good ol'-fashioned "Your momma" jokes.
TCA666 6th Apr 2012, 12:49 PM edit delete reply
One of the PCs in my Exalted game started out as a wandering bard. Now he's a heavy-metal musician with a radioactive battleaxe, and his every command ignites a crown of emerald green fire on his brow, making his orders supernaturally-compelling.

Oh, and he can control people with his music.

But believe me, I haven't even gotten to the fun part.
Vulpis 25th Jul 2012, 1:15 AM edit delete reply
So tame and underpowered as far as Exalted goes? :-)
Sorain 10th May 2012, 1:07 AM edit delete reply
Sorain
So i got known specifically to say this with authority.

There is a traveling merchant of creepy nature simply called 'Gregor'. The players once asked what his last name was, and he said "I just called myself Gregor to you, so logically that would be the last name I used, right?" This sparked about an hour of wild paranoid speculation about him. Gregor exists to serve a game play need: sometimes I want the players to have a chance to pick up or sell items, in an area or situation that it makes no normal sense in. That is when our dear Gregor (I have a picture to represent him, which looks like a Big Bad.) arrives to make some deals. He pulls all his inventory out of his coat, which he simply hangs in the air and walks inside of like it was a building. Pcs simply see blackness if they look into it. (pc's who can see in darkness, magical darkness, or true sight see him wagging his finger at them instead.) He sells everything, and buys everything. He is always 'just passing through.' He has at one point offered an item to a PC which that players other PC in a different campaign had wanted, and was then confused as to why the 'special order' wasn't wanted. Things simply don't attack him, and thus far no PC has tried. Gregor once walked into a firefight on board a flying fortress, and started negotiating a sale for healing potions with people between swings of their blades. A natural 20 (or 01, I have used him in Several systems) in a perception or notice type skill lets the PC's notice he casts their shadow, rather then his own. For a tool, he has more personality then most Big Bads.
Raxon 16th Jun 2012, 7:08 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
My bard story is not for the faint of heart. You see, while I have not created him, I have plans in my head for one Jeremias the inquisitive, an elven bard.

Now Jeremias has a low wisdom score, and he had the flaws inventive and curious. So at some point, he gets left behind with the loot, so that he doesn't sabotage the party's efforts again. Well, he gets to looking at the bags of holding, and he's mighty curious about how they work. As an experiment, he shoves each bag halfway inside the other, to see if they fit. They do, so he wonders if he can fit both bags all the way inside each other. After a few minutes of pondering, he reaches inside each bag, takes hold of the opposite bag, and pulls inward as hard as he can.

This is the story of Jeremias the inquisitive, and the joy that his stumps brought everyone.
Tatsurou 14th Oct 2012, 4:05 PM edit delete reply
I remember one bard I played that got insanely overpowered because of an artifact the DM threw in as a joke. We had Houseruled a few things, and my bard's only feat - I fought for this one - was "Knowledge: Otherworld Music." Basically, I could - in character - sing songs from anywhere I'd encountered them, even real world songs. THe artifact was a a harp that, when played, made sung words come true. The DM didn't know I was a fan of Queen. One good lyric that got a lot of use: "Dynamite with a laser beam, guaranteed to blow your mind...any time."
gnomeicecream 31st Jul 2013, 3:21 PM edit delete reply
In a campaign we played a bit back, we all made two characters because we wanted to shake things up a bit, and it made backstories a bit more interesting. So, I had Borris Ickvar, the half orc scoundrel rogue, and his wife Risette Ickvar, the elven bard. They worked for an assassins guild called "The Catering Company" that ingeniously disguised itself as...a catering company. They have a policy "No children." If they end up killing some kids parents, they adopt that kid into the group. This way, the kid isn't left to grow up seeking revenge. Or, if they still grow up seeking revenge...they are then grown up, and no longer protected by the no children policy. This is how they recruited Risette.

So, when either of the PCs were off adventuring, the other would stay behind at the bakery/inn they owned and mind their two little girls.

We came upon a village of hobgoblins in the feywild who had the mcguffin we were after. It was sacred to them, and negotiations broke down into combat. By sacred, we mean every hobgoblin in the village is now out to kill us. Unfortunately for them, we kill things better and now the only people left alive in this village are us, and the children who were to young to fight us. There are 12 child hobgoblins.

The DM has us decide as a group what to do with them, but we can't agree. The wizard wants to sacrifice them all to his dark queen, the fighter and ranger just want to leave them here in the village, and Risette, because of her backstory, is code bound to now take responsibility for them.

We end up just dividing the kids evenly amongst the party, everyone gets three. So six kids stay in the village, 3 are sacrificed to the Blood Queen, and my bard adopts her three and takes them back to her Inn/Bakery and raises them as her own with her husband.

So this family, at the end of the day, is an elven mother, half orc father, half elven 1/3 orc/human girls, and three hobgoblin boys all running an inn as an assassination front.
Pastshelfdate 27th Nov 2013, 8:00 PM edit delete reply
It's not a perfect approach, but I still like it, a lot. It's nice, sweet, and shows a real commitment to role-playing, not just treasure hunting, fighting, or even the more thoughtful questing. Thanks for this story. :)