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Old 11-26-2022, 11:17 PM   #11
sjmdw45
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Default Re: Song of Command & instruments

Another potential synergy: Song of Command + Song of the Wild might allow you to mind-control animals, since "Victory means your victim obeys your verbal commands in any language he knows for as long as you play without interruption" and "You can make your song understood to animals, who may answer you back in song of their own". It would not be unreasonable for this to work.

On the other hand, it does step on the druid's toes a little bit, and a DM could argue that understanding the meaning of your song and understanding a language are not the same thing. Personally I think the overlap is not a problem (after all, Swashbuckler Rapier Wit overlaps a bit with Song of Humiliation too), and that understanding the bard's intent is the key factor, which Song of the Wild clearly allows you to do. As GM I would allow that combo.
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Old 11-26-2022, 11:38 PM   #12
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Song of Command & instruments

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Originally Posted by restlessgriffin View Post
I'm really not sure why someone would chose to play a Bard over a Wizard.
If all you care about is casting wizard spells, there isn't a reason. You play a bard when you care about:
  • Getting a Good Price. Having a bard can mean a significant boost to loot profits.
  • Reaction (and Influence) rolls. Some encounters are better to talk your way out rather than fight or cast.
  • Being an effective generalist. The bard can fight, sneak, and do magic. They are especially effective at assisting more specialized professions and can contribute something to almost everything the party does.
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Old 11-27-2022, 09:40 AM   #13
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Default Re: Song of Command & instruments

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Being an effective generalist. The bard can fight, sneak, and do magic. They are especially effective at assisting more specialized professions and can contribute something to almost everything the party does.
For the record, I disagree with this point. The bard is a mediocre generalist, and if you're looking for someone to assist others, a wizard or cleric is your best bet. Bards do have access to some nice buffs like Keen Sight for trap detection and Resist Sound, but wizards and clerics have more and better buffs (like Shield and Great Haste) and more energy for spellcasting (thanks to Recover Energy). Bards can do okay in melee by investing in rapier, but a wizard or cleric can do the same, and wizards can Blink and Blink Other. Bards are slightly better (+1) than wizards at stealth, but wizards have a much easier time enhancing their stealth (for example, can just Hush instead of Mage-Stealth without compromising their own effectiveness, and can cast Invisibility and Wizard Eye and Apportation). Etc.

Bards really are primarily specialized as influencers, and the key to having fun as a bard is to figure out what you're going to do when you're facing Unfazeable monsters of IQ 5 or less, like puddings, whom you cannot influence mentally or socially. There's actually quite a lot of such monsters; but if you're perfectly happy with the idea of throwing alchemist's fire at them, shooting crossbow bolts, casting spells, using Tactics to boost allies, laying caltrops/setting up deadfall traps, or even just Doing Nothing (writing poetry?) while everyone else handles those monsters--if you're happy with your anti-pudding plan you'll be fine playing a bard.

Last edited by sjmdw45; 11-27-2022 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 11-27-2022, 01:28 PM   #14
Dalin
 
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Default Re: Song of Command & instruments

In my experience, most players ultimately choose a bard because they want to play the idea of a bard, not because of the particular mechanics of the bard template in DFRPG. They want to play a flamboyant, social, slightly ridiculous character who totes their lute into the acid pits of zilthus so they can compose an epic poem about the enterprise.
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Old 11-27-2022, 03:29 PM   #15
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Song of Command & instruments

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Originally Posted by sjmdw45 View Post
For the record, I disagree with this point. The bard is a mediocre generalist, and if you're looking for someone to assist others, a wizard or cleric is your best bet.
The bard has quite a few skills that are good complementary skills in a broad range of adventure applications.

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Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
In my experience, most players ultimately choose a bard because they want to play the idea of a bard, not because of the particular mechanics of the bard template in DFRPG. They want to play a flamboyant, social, slightly ridiculous character who totes their lute into the acid pits of zilthus so they can compose an epic poem about the enterprise.
I feel like it was 60% that and 40% exploiting the rules for selling stuff at 150% or whatever.

Last edited by sir_pudding; 11-27-2022 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 11-27-2022, 07:51 PM   #16
restlessgriffin
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Default Re: Song of Command & instruments

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Originally Posted by sjmdw45 View Post
Another potential synergy: Song of Command + Song of the Wild might allow you to mind-control animals, since "Victory means your victim obeys your verbal commands in any language he knows for as long as you play without interruption" and "You can make your song understood to animals, who may answer you back in song of their own". It would not be unreasonable for this to work.

On the other hand, it does step on the druid's toes a little bit, and a DM could argue that understanding the meaning of your song and understanding a language are not the same thing. Personally I think the overlap is not a problem (after all, Swashbuckler Rapier Wit overlaps a bit with Song of Humiliation too), and that understanding the bard's intent is the key factor, which Song of the Wild clearly allows you to do. As GM I would allow that combo.
Interesting. Doesn't sound legal though since I'd think you would end with completing one song and beginning another. On the other hand I do like the idea, even though I think it may not be RAW legal. Honestly, I'm all for power ups for the Bard. Combinations seem like they could be really fun. Out of genre but this would be a song mashup!

EDIT: Even if this isn't necessarily RAW, I like it. This will allow a Bard to communicate and control animals, though it takes time and effort. I'm also in favor of "multi-professions" so it would be good to have a Druid/Bard. I really think it would be cool to have Druid/Bard "pied-piper" Control swarms of rats or bats. Use Druid abilities to locate animals and use animal handling capabilties.

Last edited by restlessgriffin; 12-03-2022 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 12-03-2022, 12:21 PM   #17
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At our table we've always ruled that bards with wind instruments can play with brief pauses to sing commands. We interpret the "without interruption" to mean that the bard is engaged in the musical casting with their full attention.
OK, I'll go with that as it's the only way to explain using Song of Command with an instrument such as a whistle, flute, or horn.
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Old 12-03-2022, 01:00 PM   #18
sjmdw45
 
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OK, I'll go with that as it's the only way to explain using Song of Command with an instrument such as a whistle, flute, or horn.
I just want to note that even then, what Jag claims to be able to do is impossible: control people without speaking, only musical notes.

Last edited by sjmdw45; 12-03-2022 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 12-04-2022, 08:28 AM   #19
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Default Re: Song of Command & instruments

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I just want to note that even then, what Jag claims to be able to do is impossible: control people without speaking, only musical notes.
"Poetic license", he mostly plays a few notes for Concentration, then sings the command to continue the song, resumes with playing the further Concentration in musical notes and sings any further commands. He avoids the alerting "everyone nearby with incantations and gestures".

Admittedly anyone watching his "performance" and paying attention to the words is tipped off. Far from ideal.

One thing I wonder, can Bards suffice only using song and no instrument? If so why bother with the instrument? Extra weight, bulk, and more points spent.

Honestly, once I start really tinkering with the rules (for now I want to stick close to RAW), I thing the must speak command in language understood by listeners/target will be one of my first changes. Why bother with the instrument.

I really ope we'll see power ups for Bard sometime down the road.. I'd love to see something like Song of Healing (to buff healing capabilities), Sonic Blast (usable only with wind instruments, dmg by sound ), etc.
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Old 12-04-2022, 10:20 AM   #20
sjmdw45
 
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Default Re: Song of Command & instruments

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Originally Posted by restlessgriffin View Post
"Poetic license", he mostly plays a few notes for Concentration, then sings the command to continue the song, resumes with playing the further Concentration in musical notes and sings any further commands. He avoids the alerting "everyone nearby with incantations and gestures"...

One thing I wonder, can Bards suffice only using song and no instrument?
Yes, they can just sing: Adventurers pg 18 says "Bard-Song abilities require you to sing or play a musical
instrument at skill 14+." Like you, I assume this is what Jag _actually_ does: sings AND plays.

Note that a wizard with Charm-20 is even less conspicuous: no incantations, no gestures, no music, not necessarily even any verbal orders (e.g. could use flash cards to give orders more subtly, or rely on the default "protect me" proclivity). But yeah, Charm costs a lot of FP especially if maintained for more than a minute. Bard Song is clearly better in some ways.

A bard would be a ton of fun as a secret agent on a James Bond-type solo adventure.
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