by: B.J. Guest
Bards are the silver tongues of the adventuring party. This class solve their problems using their wit and cunning rather than resort to violence. Though if a bard does find him/herself in a tussle, they have access to magic that can boost their teammates or defend themselves.
Bards’ key feature is their ability to inspire their compatriots in battle or in any other situation. Bardic Inspiration allows other characters to add one d6, d8, d10, or d12 (depending on the bard’s level) to an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw within 10 minutes of being inspired. Using this feature can be a great way to implement some roleplay into the game as well as for DMs to reward their players for fun and engaging roleplay.
When creating a bard, charisma being your highest score is the best bet. Charisma is a bard’s spellcasting ability and most skills that bards are known for (deception, intimidation, performance, and persuasion) are charisma based.
I think the second highest skill should be dexterity for a few reasons. Bards are only proficient in light armor so having a higher dex score will lead to a higher armor class. Bards are proficient with short swords and rapiers which have the “finesse” feature meaning that rather than adding your strength modifier to attack rolls and damage rolls for these melee weapons you can use your dexterity modifier instead. When choosing a race for creating your bard I recommend races that give some racial bonuses towards charisma and dexterity.
Having a racial bonus of +2 to charisma is a great starting off point. Also, a +1 to two different ability scores don’t hurt anything either. Half-elves are a great choice for a bard for newer players since they are relatively “normal” in the world of Dungeons and Dragons. Half-elves are also very common in most D&D worlds as well as giving newer players an easier time creating a backstory.
Fabled to be the offspring of demons, tieflings have a racial bonus of 2 towards their charisma ability scores like half-elves. Playing a tiefling bard can give a player a chance to play the mysterious outsider that comes easily with playing a tiefling.
The Aasimar are born to serve their god(s). They too have a racial bonus to charisma ability score adding two to that score. I think for great roleplaying opportunities for an Aasimar bard could be more of a music minister where the character uses his/her love of song to share thier religious beliefs.
The ever-shifting changeling people can make a great choice of race for a bard. Not only do they get a racial bonus in both charisma and dexterity, but changelings can transform themselves into a different race and gender. If you plan on playing a shifty type of bard, a changeling can be a great choice for you.
As I’ve said before in previous articles, there are no bad choices in character creation. Choose whatever you want to play as! Remember, the main purpose of D&D is to have fun!
*Dungeons and Dragons and their content is the property of Wizards of the Coast. Norse Foundry makes no claim to ownership to any of the things discussed in this article, this article is a helpful opinion guide on to how to play the game.