4E Bard Review
In the latest Ampersand column, Bill Slavicsek posts some info on the new Bard class from the upcoming PHB2. Unfortunately, it is only available to D&DI subscribers. Fortunately, I am a D&DI subscriber and will review it. Granted, I can’t get too in-depth because it is subscriber information only, but I will do my best.
Is it much different than the 3E Bard?
The answer is, definitively, yes. The bard’s role has been set so that he/she is no longer set to just hover in the back, granting allies bonuses while not doing much else but fill the role of a minor healer. Instead, they are put into more of a leadership role, telling allies where to move on the field of battle and giving them the confidence they need in combat.
Then is the bard still an inspiring musician?
Again, the answer is yes. Their musical abilities allow their allies to perform tasks better as well as being a morale booster. The bard’s musical genres have been narrowed down to singing and playing instruments, unlike 3.5 where you had to put ranks into performing on multiple instruments.
Speaking of Perform checks….
They are no more. Instead, the bard’s performing meshes with their spells. You no longer make a check; you simply perform as part of a spell.
Can the bard still heal people?
Is the bard still a “jack-of-all-trades”?
Oh my, yes. They have an ability available to them now that can make them a more well-rounded class than any other in the PHB.
Is the bard still relegated to being the back?
I like the bard but, in my opinion, the 3.5 bard was not meant to be an up-front fighter. In 4e, the bard gets more hit points and can wear heavier armor, such as chainmail. They can also use more weapons than previously allowed.
Would you play a bard in 4e?
Again, yes. It’s definitely made into a more viable class than in 3.5 and I would be very happy to play one.