Blast to My EverCrack Past: WotC Unveils The Bard

For subscribers to D&D Insider (yeah, I caved), the new Ampersand article has a sneak peek of the Bard class.

Those who took the time to read my About Me page know that I have a sordid past involving a rather serious addiction to crack.

EverCrack, that is.  Oh, I mean, EverQUEST.  Ever…QUEST.  Riiight.  Quest.  I always forget that.

Reading over the new bard class for 4th edition really brought back some memories about playing a bard in EQ.  I hope you’ll indulge me…

Jack of All Classes… Master of None

The EverQuest Bard

Part of the fun of being a bard was that you could pretty much be whatever you wanted on any given day.  Party’s healer gone linkdead?  Sure, the bard can heal!  What, you can’t see your health bar moving?  I never claimed to be a cleric!  Don’t have an enchanter for crowd control?  No problemo – the bard has tunes to soothe the savage zombie!   Just don’t distract her while she’s twisting if you want to stay alive.   Cazic Thule called the name of everybody else in your Plane of Fear raid and the only one left tanking is the one in the fruity colored armor?  Never fear, the bard’s deftdance can save the day – and the raid!

The 4e Bard

The 4e bard continues with the Jack of All Trades theme with his Multiclass Versitility.  This could make for some interesting builds for folks willing to spend some time pondering the possibilities.   Half-elves are the recommended class for bards since they already have the Dilettante racial trait.  Bards also get a bonus to untrained skill checks, because seriously, they’ve probably sung a song about lockpicking at some point in their life.

Who Works During Everybody Else’s Downtime?  The Bard Does!

The EverQuest Bard

Everybody else gets to sit and heal up and regain their mana between fights.   They get to go AFK and have a smoke or a pee break.   They get to refresh their beverage and grab more munchies.   What’s the bard doing?  Oh yeah, the bard is twisting songs so you get health AND mana at the maximum rate possible.  Sure, there are songs that do both simultaneously, but they’re not as good as the separate songs.   Let me twist those for you.  No prob!  I’M SORRY MR. WIZARD, BUT THE REASON YOU’RE NOT GETTING THE DAMN MANA SONG IS BECAUSE YOU’RE SITTING ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE ROOM!   *cough*  I’m not bitter.

The 4e Bard

The 4e Bard has a lot of healing power, as Dave mentioned in his write-up.  The class feature Song of Rest allows party members who listen to the bard’s music during a rest to regain more hit points when they use their healing surges at the end of the rest.   This begs the question – is the bard considered to be RESTING during a short rest if he has to sing or play his lute?

Good Bards ROCK, Bad Bards Suck

The EverQuest Bard

A good bard in EQ was hard to find, mainly because there were so many other classes that did more DPS and were easier to play.  Playing a bard well involved skill, fast fingers, and a heaping amount of luck.   Those who were crazy enough to take on the challenge could win a duel against any other class, solo kite herds of monsters, and fill the place of just about any class in a dungeon.  (Except the healer.  We weren’t that cocky!)

Bad bards were the norm, however, which made life hard for the rest of us who had to hear these insults hurled at us:

  • Ew, no, we don’t need a BARD in our party.
  • “Just play the mana song, okay?”
  • “We don’t need a bard.  We have 5 warriors and a cleric.”
  • “Just play the running song and get us there and we’ll give you a couple plat.  We don’t need any help once we’re there.”
  • “Why give the bard a weapon that a rogue could use?”
  • “The enchanter is down – OMG, what do we DOOOOOO?”

Also to be added to the list of “bad bards” are bard NPCs, other than the ones in the bard training houses.  You can find the bard NPCs by listening for the screams of death coming from the local inn.  Go on, walk in.  You’ll see the dead bard, lute in hand, and an ugly troll sitting in the corner waiting for her to respawn.  All an NPC bard could do was melee with a lute for a bludgeoning weapon.  A tragedy indeed.

The 4e Bard

I’m looking forward to reading up on the playtests of the 4e bard because I can see how promising the class can be in the right hands!  A good bard can fill in any of the missing skills in her party and really round out their list of strengths.

The bard has a lot of powers that can “save the day” – but I guess you’ll have to read the D&D Insider article to see them all.

Random Shout-Out

…because how funny would it be?

I’d like to give a shout out to anybody who played on Druzzil Ro between 2000 and 2004(ish).  My original wood elf bard was Gaeerina Dua’Mustela and was part of the guilds Justice Knights, Crusaders of Mystic Ro, Bushido, and L’Malla.  After quitting and subsequently relapsing, my second bard I acquired from a L’Malla guildie.  Her name was Markessa Riknueth.  If you happen to be one of my old servermates or guildmates, drop me a line to say howdy!

About e

Since 2008, E. Foley of Geek’s Dream Girl has been helping geeks from around the world find love. She writes amazing online dating profiles for her fellow geeks and guides them through the perilous waters of the dating scene and out the other side. She's totally proud to report that she's even caused a couple geek weddings! She lives in Maryland with DaveTheGame, her adorable cats, Mr. Peanut & Don Juan, and Titania, Queen of the Cocker Spaniels. (Email e, or follow @geeksdreamgirl on Twitter.)

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