Class Acts: Bards
By Thilo Graf
This Class Act from Abandoned Arts has 4 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content for 10 new bardic masterpieces, so let’s take a look!
- The Cadence of Chaos: Dazzle all but you within earshot and deal nonlethal damage to all sans save within 30 ft.
- Druapin’s Dissonance: In Displacement vs. one attack and reduce the miss chance on subsequent uses by 5% until you rest. Neat one!
- Gan’s Gleeful Harmony: +4 to saves vs. negative emotion spells and suppress such effects for the duration of the performance.
- Honeylawn’s Eulogy: Affect up 10 HD with deeper slumber.
- The Infernal Elegy: Cause dying enemies in range to suffer from the effects of bleed without save. Those that die are condemned to the lower plains, making restoring them to life rather difficult and even if the act works, draining 2d6 of their Con. Devious and evil – I approve! (Way of the Wicked-bards, take heed!)
- The Ninth March: Grant all listeners the endurance feat for an hour or double the benefits of the endurance-feat. Combine that with Abandoned Art’s “Feats of Endurance” for extra fun that might go a bit too far for some DMs…
- The Shadowed Step: Hide in a creature’s shadow – willing or unwilling. Great to escape lethal conditions or for infiltrations. Gold!
- The Song of Sorrows: You are sickened and count as evil while you hold this song’s power in you. You can hold it for up to 30 minutes and elect to give birth to a greater undead via a shriek. Cool imagery!
- Terquin’s Walz: Each failed attack against you gains you a +1 dodge bonus to AC, up to +3 while maintaining the performance.
- Viceroy’s Victory: When an opponent fails an attack, his confidence is temporarily undermined, denying him/her/it the dex-bonus to AC until his/her/its next round.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to Abandoned Art’s 2-column no-frills standard and like all class act-series pdfs the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Bardic Masterpieces have unfortunately been mostly ignored by 3pps so far, which is a pity since they, in my opinion, greatly add to the bar becoming more unique and not just a rogue/sorceror-blend. The effects these masterpieces have are nice, I considered one of them overpowered…and yet, a nagging feeling remained that, while good, they do resort a bit too often to duplicating spells in a relatively straight manner. A certain Dissonance and the Infernal Elegy being two examples where the spells they replicate have been enhanced by unique properties, thus making them, I think, much more interesting and e.g. options like the “Shadowed Step”, which do something wholly new, are the way to go. Since this is the only true gripe I can field against this pdf, I’ll settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform.
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