Admiral Yacob wrote:I haven't followed this thread in detail, mostly because it doesn't matter for my group, but this is, IMO, the best bard I've seen. It has both in and out of combat uses which I like and still maintains all the feels of the bard. Will it still require a minor action to maintain the song while singing? My thought would be yes because it is fairly powerful now with the +1 SP.
No minor action will be required to maintain the song -- I've gotten rid of that mechanic completely, and it's one of the reasons I'm glad to be rid of Song of Captivation. The cost of a minor action to maintain a song is too hard to balance, you either have to have huge buffs or basically cripple melee bards, assassin/bards etc. If you have a look through the earlier posts, the majority of the discussion is about this mechanic.
On average, I would say +1 SP is worth less than +1 to damage, how much exactly is a bit tricky. Doubles or better get rolled 44% of the time, but you only get stunt points when you succeed. Most attacks will be successful though. I estimate that +1 SP is worth approximately 0.75 damage per successful attack on average. Some of the time you'll already have "enough" stunt points and so the extra Stunt Point won't be a huge advantage, other times it will make a big difference.
Of the Set 2 specialisations, bards have the most requirements, significantly more than either the Champion or the Assassin. So I think they are entitled to a better ability at Novice level.
Also, if you compare with the mage spell Invigorate, it has a similar effect and only costs 1 MP per round to maintain. I think Song of Valor should be stronger than Invigorate as it is one of the bard's defining abilities. Having a single spell that "replaces" the bard just seems a bit much.
I was probably going to add a Communication (Performance) test to Song of Valor to balance it a little better, depending on what people thought of the idea.
Loswaith wrote:In addition, I'd likely limit stunt points still to a maximum of 6, simply to avoid it allowing the mighty blow and leathal blow stack
Given that Invigorate doesn't specify that restriction, I don't think Song of Valor should either.
Loswaith wrote:I also see no real reason not to add the willpower bonus to morale as well as courage, it tends to be less used however inspiring troops would be a useful approach as well (unless you have plans for that being part of the music talent).
Possibly. PCs in general don't make Morale checks, it's up to the player when they run. So adding to Morale I picture as more of a Champion ability as the leader of NPC troops rather than the bard, who I tend to picture as working in small groups or with elite troops. It's not an unreasonable suggestion, I'm just not sure how I feel about it. I like having some distinction between Rally and Song of Valor.
Loswaith wrote:The +2 bonus for Communication(deception) is fairly large, as most bards would likely also have the deception focus, resulting in a +4 bonus, making them realy only need a 3 communication to hit the +7 point (alternatively because of the bonus a bard could ignore taking the deception focus alltogeather, which seems a bit out of sorts for a bard to do). I have similar concerns for empathy, though thats of less use in general, I cant realy see why a bard would be any more perceptive to someones emotions than anyone else with training (hence the focus), though also cant come up with a solid enough reason for them not to be either.
The motivation is that the bard has spent more time and has more experience in the art of deception as it is such an intrinsic part of their role.
I was basing the +2 on the Berkserker and Templar's Novice abilities -- they both get a solid +2 bonus. However, after reading your comment I realised that those bonuses are to resistance rolls and hence more situational, whereas the bard's bonuses are to tests that they will actively be using most of the time, so I think there is a strong argument for dropping the bonus back down to a +1, particularly looking at the Novice Shadow ability in the set 3 playtest. So I think I will do that, and drop back to a +1 bonus.
A couple of ideas I was considering were giving a reroll to Communication (Deception) test or upping the focus bonus to +3 but these have both appeared in alternate forms in the Set 3 playtest so I'll stick with the current mechanic, but reduced to a +1.
Loswaith wrote:While my take on it is that stunt points are they are designed to realy only be generated by the roll directly tied to the action, not on resistance rolls or ancillary opposed rolls. Also extra rolls on stunts dont usualy generate any stunt points.
I was of the same opinion until I read through the stunt descriptions again and noticed that stunts like Lightning Attack and That Makes Me Wonder explicitly state that the additional tests do not generate stunts, whereas there is no such qualifier specified for Taunt. I wouldn't allow a Taunt to generate a second Taunt, but I would allow Sway The Crowd to be used off a Taunt for example.
Loswaith wrote:Allowing taunt to be used as an action kind of muddies that rationale, but given the increased penalities on it to normal taunt, it should likely not be the case.
Well, I think the increased penalty is commensurate with having it as the Master ability of a specialisation, so for the moment I'll stick with it and see how it goes in some playtesting.
shonuff wrote:I like the redone bard a lot.
shonuff wrote:The only thing I would consider doing differently is changing Dexterity as a prerequisite to Cunning -- especially because one of the prerequisites for Music is a Cunning focus.
None of the bard-specific abilities are based on Cunning or Dexterity, so I could see it going either way. I mainly went with Dexterity because it was already there and that is a stat that is likely to be high anyway. Cunning does fit with the lore though, as bards are supposed to be educated in history and cultural lore.
shonuff wrote:Consider that stolen'd.
Well, seeing as I borrowed from a couple of your ideas that seems fair.
shonuff wrote:As to increasing the taunt range, I probably wouldn't bother. 10+Com just seems to add an extra level of complexity that will probably be glossed over anyway. That, and I think your idea about being up close is spot-on.
I'll leave it as is then.
As I mentioned earlier, I was thinking of adding a TN 14 Communication (Performance) test as part of the activate action for Song of Valor. That way there is some chance of failure and bards have more reason to invest in Communication, and they get something for the focus that they had to pick to actually acquire the Music talent. I'm curious as to what people think of that idea?