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Old 01-22-2021, 09:38 AM   #1
Shostak
 
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Default Why the Bard Talent?

If one looks at the talent entry for Thief, it says that it is not a talent at all, but a profession. So why isn't Bard the same? After all, just like how the abilities that let one function as a thief are described by other talents, the same could be said of bards. Though a typical bard is unlikely to have all of these, a number of talents come to mind as relevant:
  • Carousing
  • Charisma
  • Courtly Graces
  • Diplomacy
  • Language
  • Literacy
  • Mimic
  • Mundane Talent [Musical Instrument]
  • Mundane Talent [Singing]
  • Poetry
  • Sex Appeal
  • Writing
Requiring bards to buy up the component talents puts them on par with not only thieves, but mercenaries, merchants, assassins, sea captains, etc. And, by eliminating Bard, you can avoid the ridiculous stacking of Sex Appeal's reaction bonus with that of Bard's.
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Old 01-22-2021, 09:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: Why the Bard Talent?

I'd agree if Sex Appeal was renamed and the gender restriction removed.

I've been tempted to play an androgynous elf who appeals to all genders just to twerk that rule. (I've dabbled a bit with androgynous halflings, but unfortunate implications abound.)
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why the Bard Talent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
twerk that rule
So the Bard talent also conveys the ability to shake one's booty? ~_^
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Old 01-22-2021, 06:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Why the Bard Talent?

Rather than use mundane talents, I replaced BARD with a new talent called MUSICIAN and dumped all the 'sex appeal' elements. In my game, there are at least three paths to a bard-style character using a combination of the talents Anthony has listed along with one or more of the talents MUSICIAN, POET or (another new one) MAGICIAN.
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Old 01-22-2021, 07:17 PM   #5
Shostak
 
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Default Re: Why the Bard Talent?

Is that the traditional sleight-of-hand magician, or actual thaumaturgy?
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Old 01-22-2021, 07:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Why the Bard Talent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
Is that the traditional sleight-of-hand magician, or actual thaumaturgy?
The former. The talent is performance-based, focusing on 'tricks' rather than true magic. The clever MAGICIAN may know a bit of both.

For a wizard to call another wizard a magician is a serious insult, however.
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Last edited by TippetsTX; 01-22-2021 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:30 PM   #7
Shadekeep
 
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Default Re: Why the Bard Talent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
If one looks at the talent entry for Thief, it says that it is not a talent at all, but a profession. So why isn't Bard the same? After all, just like how the abilities that let one function as a thief are described by other talents, the same could be said of bards.
It's a fair cop and it does seem to make more sense the way you break it down. After all, a traditional bard combines a musician with a storyteller with a social commentator, plus a number of other things often thrown in on top. If it's a talent then probably Thief, Druid, Assassin, and a number of other common fantasy classes could be argued to have dedicated talents as well, each of which is a syncresis of existing talents.

Probably it was done to simplify creating a bard character, rather than stipulating a set of prerequisites for the career, since most other careers are single mundane talents. And taking the Bard talent doesn't convey nearly as many related talents as something like Thief or Druid might, so it doesn't break the system the way it is now. But I do agree it's something of an odd case.
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Old 02-04-2021, 10:21 PM   #8
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Default Re: Why the Bard Talent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
If one looks at the talent entry for Thief, it says that it is not a talent at all, but a profession. So why isn't Bard the same?
That seems an excellent idea. It makes a lot of sense, increases player choice and greatly reduces the stereotyping in the present Bard talent.

One issue: In practice buying even a modest subset of those talents is going to cost a fortune compared with Bard. Basically 1 memory point is a lot, but TFT doesn't have anything cheaper than 1. There's probably a lot of talents in TFT that could be justified at a price of 1/2.
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Old 02-08-2021, 07:50 AM   #9
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Default Re: Why the Bard Talent?

Three versions of a 32-point bard without the Bard talent.

Courtly Bard
This stereotypical bard character, has ample Face skills so as to be valuable in play, yet enough ST and DX to be viable in a game that features regular combat—though clearly not a frontline fighter.
ST 10
DX 11
IQ 11

Talents:
Charisma (2)
Courtly Graces (1)
Literacy (1)
Mimic (1)
Mundane Talent: Musical Instrument (1)
Mundane Talent: Singing Expert (2)
Poet (1)
Sword/Knife (2)
Medic Bard
This a cappella entertainer sacrifices combat readiness for healing capability and an alternate layer of interpersonal skills.
ST 10
DX 11
IQ 11

Talents:
Charisma (2)
Detect Lies (2)
Knife (1)
Literacy (1)
Mundane Talent: Singing Expert (2)
Physicker (2)
Poet (1)
Rogue Bard
This character combines strong vocal ability and original lyrics with sneakiness.
ST 10
DX 11
IQ 11

Talents:
Charisma (2)
Knife (1)
Literacy (1)
Locksmith (1)
Mundane Talent: Singing Expert (2)
Pickpocket (1)
Poet (1)
Silent Movement (2)
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Old 02-11-2021, 11:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: Why the Bard Talent?

Professional musician weighing in:

I think of Bard / Master Bard as being talents representing musical training, which includes not only the technical knowledge of how to play an instrument and/or sing, but also repertoire, theory, how to play as part of an ensemble, stage presence and etiquette... You could cover all that with a simple "mundane talent" but me and my mostly-complete Master of Music degree might be a little offended!

I also think that the +1 to reaction rolls for Bard talent (+2 for Master) is ENTIRELY appropriate. I can cite multiple occasions from my own experience where my musical skills opened doors for me, literally or metaphorically - not even limited to formal auditions; basically, people have heard me making pretty noises, gone "oh we want more of that!" and invited me to their Thanksgiving dinners or whatever. Now, imagine how much more often that might happen in a world where you can't conjure a perfect rendition of any song you can think of, out of the shiny gadget in your pocket...

Over in the Mundane Talents section, 3 IQ points for "full mastery" (hah!) of one musical instrument seems pretty fair, in terms of the amount of time and effort it takes to acquire that level of skill. However, for character building I'd say: let IQ points spent on Bard talent "count towards" instrument mastery - so a Master Bard (with a total of 4 points invested in Bard talents) has "fully mastered" one instrument (3 points) and dabbles in another (1 point), or is reasonably competent on two (2 points each).

TL;DR I like the Bard talents as they stand.

Last edited by Anomylous; 02-11-2021 at 11:21 PM.
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