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Untold wonders and secrets exist for those skillful enough to discover them. Through cleverness, talent, and magic, these cunning few unravel the wiles of the world, becoming adept in the arts of persuasion, manipulation, and inspiration. Typically masters of one or many forms of artistry, bards possess an uncanny ability to know more than they should and use what they learn to keep themselves and their allies ever one step ahead of danger. Bards are quick-witted and captivating, and their skills might lead them down many paths, be they gamblers or jacks-of-all-trades, scholars or performers, leaders or scoundrels, or even all of the above. For bards, every day brings its own opportunities, adventures, and challenges, and only by bucking the odds, knowing the most, and being the best might they claim the treasures of each.

Role: Bards capably confuse and confound their foes while inspiring their allies to ever-greater daring. While accomplished with both weapons and magic, the true strength of bards lies outside melee, where they can support their companions and undermine their foes without fear of interruptions to their performances.

Alignment: Any

Hit Points: 8 per level

Starting Wealth: 3d6 × 10 gp (average 105 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills

Bards receive 1 rank in the following; Acrobatics (Dex), Artisan (Int/Wis/Cha), Awareness (Wis), Bluff (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (All) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Bards in technological areas receive 1 rank in Use Computers as well as the listed above.

Skill Ranks Per Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Table: Bard
Level BAB Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spells Per Day
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Bardic knowledge, 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 Spur ally 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 Killer joke 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 Safe haven 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, adoring fan 5 5 5 5 5 5

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the bard.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Bards receive proficiency with two of the following weapon groups (Swords, Polearms, Bows, or Pistols) in addition to Simple weapons, and receive proficiency with light armor.


Table: Bard Spells Known
Level 0th 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1st 4 2
2nd 5 3
3rd 6 4
4th 6 4 2
5th 6 4 3
6th 6 4 4
7th 6 5 4 2
8th 6 5 4 3
9th 6 5 4 4
10th 6 5 5 4 2
11th 6 6 5 4 3
12th 6 6 5 4 4
13th 6 6 5 5 4 2
14th 6 6 6 5 4 3
15th 6 6 6 5 4 4
16th 6 6 6 5 5 4 2
17th 6 6 6 6 5 4 3
18th 6 6 6 6 5 4 4
19th 6 6 6 6 5 5 4
20th 6 6 6 6 6 5 5

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 (DC) 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 on Table: bard. 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 on Table: Bard Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a bard knows is not affected by his Charisma score (See Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells).

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.

Cantrips (Sp)

Bard’s learn a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, as noted on Table: Bard Spells Known under “Spells Known.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they do not consume any slots and may be used again.

Bardic Knowledge (Ex)

A bard adds half his class level (minimum 1) to all Knowledge skill checks.

Inspire Courage (Su)

At 1st level, as a standard action the Bard can begin inspiring their allies, granting them bonuses on certain actions. Maintaining this performance is a free action every round thereafter. All allies who are able to see or hear the Bard’s performance receive a +1 bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls, and Will Saves. At fifth level and every six levels thereafter this increases by 1 to a maximum of +4 at seventeenth level.

Distraction (Su)

At 1st level, Bards can pull allies’ attention away from harmful effects, illusions, or other effects which require attention (visual or audible). When a saving throw is rolled against an ability (such as a gaze attack, illusion, or language-based effect) the Bard can choose to make an Artisan check against the saving throw DC in order to distract their allies – putting all of the attention on them instead.

Fascinate (Su)

At 1st level, by using their own bravado they can force others to look their way. They must select an opponent within 90 ft. who is capable of seeing/hearing them, and is not currently distracted. Opponents being targeted must make a Will Save, the DC against this is equal to 10 + the Bard’s ranks in Artisan (any) + Bard’s Charisma modifier. On a failed save, the enemy is fascinated for 1 round per Bard level. Using this ability is a standard action, and enemies can only be affected by this ability once per day.

Fascinate is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting ability. Fascinate relies on audible and visual components in order to function.

Versatile Performance (Ex)

At 2nd level the Bard chooses a certain type of Artisan skill they’ve acquired, allowing them to expand their usage. Choose two skills, and the Bard is able to use their related Artisan skill instead of the skills themselves in order to complete their checks (example, using Artisan {Acting} in place of Bluff). These skill and Artisan choices are up to GM’s discretion, however the skill choices should be tangentially related to the Artisan skill.

At sixth level and every four levels thereafter, the Bard chooses one more skill to use Artisan for.

Well-Versed (Ex)

At 2nd level, the Bard becomes resistant to certain harmful effects. They receive a +4 bonus on saving throws against bardic performances, sonic effects, and language-dependent effects.

In addition to this at fifth level and every five levels thereafter the Bard increases their Sonic Resistance by 5 (to a maximum of Sonic Resistance 20 at twentieth level).

Inspire Competence (Su)

At 3rd level level the Bard can give an ally recommendations and assistance on a skill, so long as they are within 30 ft. of them. This grants the ally a +2 competence bonus on a skill check being attempted. This can be used as an immediate action once per round, so long as the Bard is already using and maintaining their Inspire Courage.

Spur Ally (Ex)

At 4th level the Bard can as an immediate action once per round force an ally within 30 ft. to move out of turn. This ally is able to move half their speed immediately, however on their turn they can only move at half speed if they choose to move.

Lore Master (Ex)

At 5th level, the Bard is able to take a 10 on any Knowledge skill they possess ranks in if they so choose. In addition once per day they can instead choose to take 20 on the Knowledge check. They can use this one additional time per day for every six levels they possess (max of 3/day at seventeenth level).

Suggestion (Sp)

At 6th level the Bard is able to use Suggestion (as per the spell) on an opponent they’ve affected with Fascinate. This is a standard action and is an Enchantment (Compulsion), Mind-Affecting, and Language-Dependent ability which relies on audible components. The opponent receives a Will Save versus 10 + 1/2 Bard’s level + Charisma modifier to negate the effect.

Dirge of Doom (Su)

At 8th level the Bard can rattle their foes within 30 ft. and as a standard action all within that range of the Bard and able to hear/see them take a -4 penalty to attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws. This is a mind-affecting and fear effect.

Inspire Greatness (Su)

At 8th level the Bard can select an ally within 30 ft. in order to grant them extraordinary powers. One additional ally can be chosen every three levels thereafter (maximum of 4 at eighteenth level).

Allies chosen for Inspire Greatness receive a +5 bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, and skill checks. In addition to this the ally receives a number of temporary hit points equal to the Bard’s level plus their Charisma modifier. This effect lasts until combat has concluded.

Jack of All Trades (Ex)

At 10th level, the Bard receives a bonus to every skill equal to 1/4 level (minimum of 1), and all skills they didn’t previously have a rank in have at least 1 rank in it this level. At sixteenth level the bonus to all skills increases to 1/2 level. At nineteenth level the Bard can take 10 on any skill at any time, with no restrictions on timing.

Soothing Performance (Su)

At 12th level the Bard can use their performance to create an effect equivalent to the mass cure serious wounds spell, using the bard’s level as the caster level. In addition, this performance removes the fatigued, sickened, and shaken condition from all those affected. Using this ability is taxing and requires the Bard to spend 4 Stamina Points, and the targets must be able to see and hear the bard throughout the performance. Soothing performance relies on audible and visual components.

Killer Joke (Sp)

At 13th level the Bard learns how to tell jokes and japes so bad – they physically hurt. This functions as Mind Thrust IV with a save DC of 10 + 1/2 Bard’s level + Charisma modifier. This is an audible effect and affects all enemies within 30 ft. of the Bard. This ability costs the Bard 2 Stamina Points, and is a standard action to use.

Frightening Tune (Sp)

At 14th level the Bard can use their performance to cause fear in their enemies. To be affected, an enemy must be able to hear the bard and be within 30 feet. Each enemy within range receives a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the bard’s level + the bard’s Cha modifier) to negate the effect. If the save succeeds, the creature is immune to this ability for 24 hours. If the save fails, the target becomes frightened and flees for as long as the target can hear the bard’s performance. Frightening tune relies on audible components.

Inspire Heroics (Sp)

At 15th level the Bard can inspire tremendous heroism in themselves or a single ally within 30 feet. For every three bard levels the character attains beyond fifteenth, they can inspire heroics in one additional creature. To inspire heroics, all of the targets must be able to see and hear the bard. Inspired creatures gain a +4 morale bonus on all saving throws and a +4 dodge bonus to AC. The effect lasts for as long as the targets are able to witness the performance. Inspire heroics is a mind-affecting ability that relies on audible and visual components.

Safe Haven (Ex)

At 16th level the Bard can establish a safe haven. This safe house must be an area no larger in volume than a cube that is a number of feet per side equal to 10 feet per Bard level. The safe house can be arranged any way they like and it can be part of a larger building, like a secret room or an underground cave. Objects within this safe house can’t be located by any effect that is less powerful than a discern location spell. This protection from being located also applies to creatures in the safe house and the entire area is protected from scrying effects (though not mundane snooping) like a mage’s private sanctum.

(This effect is identical to the Vigilante’s Safe House social talent)

Mass Suggestion (Sp)

At 18th level this ability functions just like suggestion, but allows the bard of to make a suggestion simultaneously to any number of creatures that they has already fascinated. Mass suggestion is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting, language dependent ability that relies on audible components.

Deadly Performance (Su)

At 20th level the Bard can use their performance to cause one enemy to die from joy or sorrow. To be affected, the target must be able to see and hear the bard as they act for 1 full-round and be within 30 feet. The target receives a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the bard’s level + the bard’s Cha modifier) to negate the effect. If a creature’s saving throw succeeds, the target is staggered for 1d4 rounds, and the bard cannot use deadly performance on that creature again for 24 hours. If a creature’s saving throw fails, it dies. Deadly performance is a mind-effecting, death effect that relies on audible and visual components.

Adoring Fan (Su)

At 20th level, the bard can use his performance to convert even the toughest audience. To be affected, a target must be able to see and hear the bard perform for 1 full round and be within 30 feet. The target can attempt a Will save (DC = 10 + half the bard’s level + the bard’s Charisma modifier) to negate the effect. If a creature succeeds at the saving throw, the bard cannot use this ability on that creature again for 24 hours. On a failure, the creature is dominated (as dominate monster) for as long as the bard keeps playing and is charmed (as charm monster) for 1d4 hours thereafter.

Adoring fan is a mind-affecting, compulsion effect that relies on audible and visual components.