Bards are a companion-oriented class with no particular focus on one of the three major offensive approaches (melee combat, ranged combat and magic). Rather, they gain various powers that benefit all three fields and focus on making the best of the current situation. An additional class-exclusive feature—random starting skills—further cements the unpredictable nature of the class.
Bards are poorly equipped and suffer from a difficult early game (which can be somewhat offset by smart companion use), but pick up the pace towards mid- and late-game, getting extremely proficient in multiple areas. Their powerful class powers favor fast-leveling races, while a potentially high number of starting skills and good skill modifiers synergize with high-Learning races.
Bards get minor bonuses for all stats and a medium boost to Charisma and Appearance. They get an additional starting talent, which increases the chances to successfully pursue the Heir line; taking the necessary talents is a widely accepted approach as Bards receive a pair of blessed seven league boots, widely regarded as the best Heir gift of all classes.
Basic Information Edit
Base Stats Edit
Unlike any other class, Bards do not have a fixed starting skill set. They are guaranteed only to start with Music and the usual common and racial skills. For every other skill (except Necromancy, Tactics, Bridge building, Law and Courage) there is a 25% chance to appear on the starting list. There are no lower and upper limits for random skills—it is possible to start with no extra skills or all extra skills; however, both of these outcomes are incredibly rare.
On average, every random skill will start at proficiency level 25, while Music will be trained to level 80.
Bards' possibly great skill set and superb class powers are somewhat offset by the lack of a good crowning gift. Of possible artifacts, only the boots of the divine messenger and the cloak of Oman are notable thanks to almost non-existent variation in artifacts of their respectable item types.
HP, PP, To-hit Growth by Level Edit
Melee to-hit: Medium
Ranged to-hit: Medium
- Heir gift: blessed seven league boots.
- Bard's luck: As stated in the in-game manual, Bards possess the "knack to stumble upon strange items". In practice, Bards will find more variation in item modifiers: to-hit/to-damage bonuses in weapons/missiles and DV/PV bonuses in armor.
- Bard's charm: Pets/companions are less likely to turn on Bard PCs upon triggering fireball traps. Bards cannot harm companions by running into them in the dark.
- Extra skills: Bards receive two additional skill increases on level-up.
- Level 6: One additional skill increase on level-up.
- Level 12: Receive 1d3 levels in 6 randomly chosen weapon skills.
- Level 18: Receive spell knowledge in 4 randomly chosen spells. The exact value of spell knowledge is determined by the following formula: 80 + 10 * Le + 20 * Ma. Drinking potions of boost learning and potions of boost mana or equipping stat-boosting items right before the level-up is considered a useful tactic. Note that the PC is not guaranteed to get knowledge in 4 different spells (in case of the same spell is chosen twice or more times, the spell knowledge will stack).
- Level 25: Receive/improve 6 random skills.
- Level 32: Hit point regeneration is doubled. This does not decrease the number of turns between natural HP gain, but gives 2 hit points on each gain. Maximizing natural HP regeneration with potions of troll blood will significantly increase the effect of this class power.
- Level 40: Power point regeneration is doubled. This does not decrease the number of turns between natural PP gain, but gives 2 power points on each gain. Maximizing natural PP regeneration with potions of raw mana will significantly increase the effect of this class power.
- Level 50: Receive a one-time permanent boost of +6 to all attributes.
|Human||Troll||High Elf||Grey Elf||Dark Elf|
|Gray Elf||Fairy dragon|
|Dark Elf||Giant spider|
|Mist Elf||Mist wolf|