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Old 09-01-2017, 08:39 AM   #1
JMason
 
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Default Bards, songs, and spells

So, it looks like DFPRG has cleaned up Bard abilities a bit, but there are some things I still don't quite "get" and was wondering if I'm missing something.

First, it looks like bard song abilities require continual singing/playing, and the effects end if they don't. This is defined as a series of concentrate manuvers.

Spells, on the other hand seem to be simplified so that a bard needs to sing to CAST, but the effects happen for their normal duration regardless if the bard keeps singing.

Assuming I got the above correct, there is a bit of a situation that I'm not quite sure on. "Concentrate" is normally combat maneuver, that is it takes up a characters action for that combat turn. Except that isn't true for maintained spells. These (for whatever reason) can be concentrated on, but still allow a second spell to be cast (at a penalty).

My question is, how does Bard Song work into this? If you are playing an interment to maintain a bard song ability (a concentrate maneuver), can you still sing/cast a spell? Is this at -3, as if it was another spell? My reading of RAW makes me think that you CAN'T really do anything other than concentrate on your playing/maintaining ability's effect. But maybe I've missed something.
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Old 09-01-2017, 04:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: Bards, songs, and spells

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Originally Posted by JMason View Post
First, it looks like bard song abilities require continual singing/playing, and the effects end if they don't. This is defined as a series of concentrate manuvers.
Only Command says this, the other songs are different:
  • Song of Command- requires Concentrate to maintain.
  • Song of Echoes- Free Action
  • Song of Humiliation-Free Action
  • Song of Sending-Concentrate to establish communication, free actions to speak to the subject thereafter..
  • Song of Terror- Concentrate maneuver, not maintained.
  • Song of the Wild- Free action
So except for Command and Terror, you can definitely take another maneuver while singing, including Concentrate for casting, as long as you can do it and still play or sing.
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Old 09-02-2017, 02:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: Bards, songs, and spells

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
So except for Command and Terror, you can definitely take another maneuver while singing, including Concentrate for casting, as long as you can do it and still play or sing.
All Bard spell casting requires you to sing. I would be reluctant to allow a character to cast a spell whilst using a Bard Song.
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Old 09-02-2017, 08:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Bards, songs, and spells

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All Bard spell casting requires you to sing. I would be reluctant to allow a character to cast a spell whilst using a Bard Song.
Why not? They are still singing.
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Old 09-02-2017, 09:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: Bards, songs, and spells

They're singing a Bard song, not singing to cast a spell. Different purposes.

It's like - I'm holding a sword in my hand, I can't hold a dagger at the same time (with the same hand).
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Old 09-02-2017, 09:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: Bards, songs, and spells

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They're singing a Bard song, not singing to cast a spell. Different purposes.

It's like - I'm holding a sword in my hand, I can't hold a dagger at the same time (with the same hand).
If you have an ability with Accessibility (Only while holding a weapon), you can still attack with the weapon.

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Old 09-02-2017, 01:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Bards, songs, and spells

That's not the same thing. I can't wield this weapon if I'm holding that weapon.

Anyway, a sensible Bard will play an instrument to trigger 'Bard song', as that is permissible, if they want to cast spells in parallel
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:25 AM   #8
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Default Re: Bards, songs, and spells

Okay, I'm still trying to work this out. It looks like singing might be a free action, and let you attack with a weapon or take some other action. But you can't very well sing two things in the same second, so singing and casting on the same turn seems to be out.

But is playing an instrument a "free action"? In which case you could play an instrument for you Song ability, and still cast a spell, but I'm not sure that I consider playing a free action.

And it looks like most of the Songs require the Bard to be singing or speaking anyway:

Command - This already states it requires a series of concentrates. And to send the commands the Bard must sing or speak (while playing). So, I don't see how they could also cast a spell. I guess they could have given a command, but keep the effect up by playing. In this case, can they cast a spell (at -3 for concentrating on another spell), or no?

Echoes - This says it is a free action. I can see this if they are sining, and how that would let the Bard sing, find the target, and attack. But what about casting a spell? Again, can playing an instrument be a free action, which would let them also sing a spell? If not then this one is a "singing only" ability.

Humiliation - This one requires that the subject share a language with you, but does that mean that it must be sung, or that the Bard can play an instument and then speak an insult? It's called out to be a free action, but I'm still not sure that playing an instrument is free... so "singing only" ability?

Sending - This states that it works "...as if you were singing gently into the recipient’s ear". So another "sining only" and preventing the use of spells.

Terror - This one is described as "chanting", so I guess that is "singing only"?

Wild - Another that isn't quite clear if you must be singing or could play and speak. In either case you can't cast a spell while communicating, but while the animal is speaking or you have a pause in the conversation?

Maybe this is all just trying to overly complicate things, but in my last G:DF game I had a Bard that was never happy about the limitations of their abilities, so I want to make sure I fully understand what the intent of the rules are here.

My take at this point is that even "free actions" are going to prevent spells from being used on the same turn that a Song ability is being used.
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Old 09-07-2017, 09:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: Bards, songs, and spells

I don't see anything that prevents spell casting, except Command and Terror. If you are singing or playing to cast a spell spell then you also satisfy the requirement of "only while singing or playing" for these abilities. I rather wish they had included the under the hood for this stuff because it would be more obvious, but as far as I can tell these are mostly straightforward abilities with an accessibility.
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