Bards usually don’t end up as wandering minstrels or street performers—any expert with a Perform skill can fill that role. Instead, some bards use their magical abilities to unearth ancient lore, while others use their interpersonal skills and bardic music to advance their careers as spies, ambassadors, diplomats, and chroniclers. As such, bards find employ as adventurers, as well as in governments and among the mercantile houses.
Zilargo produces a large number of bards, since the gnomes’ love of knowledge makes them particularly well suited to this class. In other areas, bards appear most often in the large cities and towns throughout Breland, Karrnath, Thrane, and (particularly) Aundair. Bards with wilder ties are found in the Eldeen Reaches, particularly among the druid sect of the Greensingers. Bards of the archaeologist archetype are widespread in Eberron, frequently serving as field agents of Morgrave University and similarly knowledge-hungry factions. Celebrity bards resemble modern pop idols, and most have similarly busy schedules.
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort||Ref||Will||Special||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|1st||+ 0||+ 0||+ 2||+ 2||Bardic Knowledge, Bardic Performance, Cantrips, Countersong, Distraction, Fascinate, Inspire Courage+ 1||1||–||–||–||–||–|
|2nd||+ 1||+ 0||+ 3||+ 3||Versatile Performance, Well-Versed||2||–||–||–||–||–|
|3rd||+ 2||+ 1||+ 3||+ 3||Inspire Competence+ 2||3||–||–||–||–||–|
|4th||+ 3||+ 1||+ 4||+ 4||–||3||1||–||–||–||–|
|5th||+ 3||+ 1||+ 4||+ 4||Inspire Courage+ 2, Lore Master 1/day||4||2||–||–||–||–|
|6th||+ 4||+ 2||+ 5||+ 5||Suggestion, Versatile Performance||4||3||–||–||–||–|
|7th||+ 5||+ 2||+ 5||+ 5||Inspire Competence+ 3||4||3||1||–||–||–|
|8th||+ 6/+ 1||+ 2||+ 6||+ 6||Dirge of Doom||4||4||2||–||–||–|
|9th||+ 6/+ 1||+ 3||+ 6||+ 6||Inspire Greatness||5||4||3||–||–||–|
|10th||+ 7/+ 2||+ 3||+ 7||+ 7||Jack-of-all-Trades, Versatile Performance||5||4||3||1||–||–|
|11th||+ 8/+ 3||+ 3||+ 7||+ 7||Inspire Competence+ 4, Inspire Courage+ 3, Lore Master 2/day||5||4||4||2||–||–|
|12th||+ 9/+ 4||+ 4||+ 8||+ 8||Soothing Performance||5||5||4||3||–||–|
|13th||+ 9/+ 4||+ 4||+ 8||+ 8||–||5||5||4||3||1||–|
|14th||+ 10/+ 5||+ 4||+ 9||+ 9||Frightening Tune, Versatile Performance||5||5||4||4||2||–|
|15th||+ 11/+ 6/+ 1||+ 5||+ 9||+ 9||Inspire Competence+ 5, Inspire Heroics||5||5||5||4||3||–|
|16th||+ 12/+ 7/+ 2||+ 5||+ 10||+ 10||–||5||5||5||4||3||1|
|17th||+ 12/+ 7/+ 2||+ 5||+ 10||+ 10||Inspire Courage+ 4, Lore Master 3/day||5||5||5||4||4||2|
|18th||+ 13/+ 8/+ 3||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||Mass Suggestion, Versatile Performance||5||5||5||5||4||3|
|19th||+ 14/+ 9/+ 4||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||Inspire Competence+ 6||5||5||5||5||5||4|
|20th||+ 15/+ 10/+ 5||+ 6||+ 12||+ 12||Deadly Performance||5||5||5||5||5||5|
Hit Dice: d8
Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (All) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Points per Level: 6 + Int modifier.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A bard is proficient with all simple weapons, plus the longsword, rapier, sap, short sword, shortbow, and whip. Bards are also proficient with light armor and shields (except tower shields). A bard can cast bard spells while wearing light armor and using a shield without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a bard wearing medium or heavy armor incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. A multiclass bard still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.
Starting Gold: 3d6 × 10 gp (average 105 gp).
Spells: A bard casts arcane spells drawn from the bard spell list. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. Every bard spell has a verbal component (singing, reciting, or music). To learn or cast a spell, a bard must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a bard’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the bard’s Charisma modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a bard can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given above. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score.
The bard’s selection of spells is extremely limited. A bard begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of the bard’s choice. At each new bard level, he gains one or more new spells, as indicated here. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a bard knows is not affected by his Charisma score.
Upon reaching 5th level, and at every third bard level after that (8th, 11th, and so on), a bard can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the bard “loses” the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least one level lower than the highest-level bard spell the bard can cast. A bard may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the level.
A bard need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level.
The bards of Eberron can customize their bardic music abilities by means of feats, and they have a couple of appropriate archetypes.
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