Liner Notes: The Role of Bards In A Setting

Medieval fantasy settings have bards. It’s something that many players or Dungeon Masters might not even note anymore, especially as the class has been a staple of Dungeons & Dragons for so long now. It’s been my experience, in fact, that the class really only comes up – in regards to how it fits the game – when the subject is “How do the various classes balance against eachother?”

Like any other class, however, there is a ton of potential there for character backgrounds and conflict to be found if you just go digging around enough.

Bards as presented in most fantasy games may be more than a mere performer, just as a fighter is something more than a soldier and a wizard more than a hedge-mage, but looking to their mundane origins can be very useful. So let’s start with the traditions.

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Showstopper, Still Watching Too Much Daredevil, and Power Is Neither Created Nor Destroyed…

You can find the ever-growing list of “Better Than Nothing” items  over on the right. Read ‘em, like ‘em, share ‘em, and comment.

Lament of Naamah

As Raxaia took her first step toward the throngs of buzzing, salivating, angry things she could feel the tension in the air behind her. They were out-numbered ten or twelve to one, if not more. The twisted creatures of the deep chattered angrily at the group, their dead and pale eyes focused on nothing, but their keen hearing more than able to locate the intruders.

Broadways closed his eyes, holding his shield before him, waiting for the tide to break and the things of the dark to swarm. He mouthed a prayer, the very act of piety made Raxaia uncomfortable. He barely tolerated her on the best days, and for her to bring her Partner’s influence to bear here was almost too much for him. It was a fortunate thing he knew enough of the world to tolerate a good tool, even if it had a dark origin.

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Data Is Beautiful – What’s In Stock For “Better Than Nothing” Items…

That’s a lot of Wonderous Items…

So, after 166 items in our “Better Than Nothing” category, we’ve put together a heat-map of the types and class distribution (more or less just for fun).

We’ve tried to keep it balanced, so there’s a little something for almost everyone–but there are some holes we’ll expect to try and plug with the next few dozen.

If you’d like to try and run any of these down, the Search tool in the right menu should work just fine and the posts have all been categorized by class.  Might take some digging, of course.  Or you could always just go to the dynamic table of contents (over on the right, as well).

Like in the Movies, Stealing Chance, and the Sound of Terror…

You can find the ever-growing list of “Better Than Nothing” items  over on the right. Read ‘em, like ‘em, share ‘em, and comment.

Hornwail Cord

“What’s to stop us just clubbin’ that pretty face flat and tossin’ whats left into the brine, neh?” First Mate Sorka’s face was a deep rouge leather, hard-baked by decades of sun out on the open waters, and Courser had never known it to hide a lie. The old boatswain meant it. They’d kill him as easy as sinning and leave him lost at sea—just another cautionary tale for the boys at the docks that dreamed of plunder.

Still, he held onto the rigging of the shilemain, the tension in the air was almost thick enough to taste. Twenty hands of all shapes and sizes, a few officers, a dead captain, and a locked captain’s chest that held the promise of easy money nobody would be looking for out here.

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Making Milestones, Part One: Trailblazing

This post is part of a two-part series on Milestones, focused on using this alternate method of rewarding Experience Points. In part one the idea of Milestones as presented in the DMG is talked about at length, especially regarding how it can help DMs influence how the game plays, and an alternate approach is given. In part two the alternate take on Milestones is expanded upon as a Variant Rule that provides characters a source of Inspiration and Experience.

There are many things to enjoy about fantasy roleplaying; some people are into it for the escapism, some for the creative exercise, some because they get a kick out of exploring the fictional world that’s being spun by the person behind the DM screen.

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Morveer Wishes He Had That, Brutal Advantages, and Messin’ With Casters…

You can find the ever-growing list of “Better Than Nothing” items  over on the right. Read ‘em, like ‘em, share ‘em, and comment.

Slipquick Silks

Kelvin moved like ink poured over a polished, smooth statue—every turn was almost oily slick and his shape in the half-light was dark and fluid. The Houngang lunged this way and that, trying to wrap their large, powerful hands around an arm or a shoulder or anything, but every time they touched him, they found him slipping this way and that.

Four giants all grasping at a man moving like water, cackling taunts and pissing them off beyond all measure.

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