Posted by : David Guyll January 19, 2010

You know the drill: more spells, a couple feats, and a trio of magical instruments. A lot of the spells seem to add in various controller effects such as forced movement, or "encouraging" a monster to move in a specific manner. Almost all of them are linked to instruments, which is a shame since after so many lame-ass bards in past editions I like my bards wading into battle hacking things apart with vibro-swords.

Staggering note is a new at-will attack that deals a minor amount of damage, but lets you push a target while allowing an ally to make an attack with a bonus at any point during the forced movement.

Strike up the dance is a level 15 spell really plays up a controller theme by letting you slam up to three targets with some psychic damage, negating their movement, and sliding them either at the start or end of their turn. The best part is thats it only ends on a save, so you get at least one shot at essentially moving up to three monsters wherever the fuck you want and locking them down. If they have shitty luck, well...

Cherub's song is a level 22 spell that lets you fly and creates a zone on you that lets your allies fly. As an added bonus, you get to add your Con modifier to the speed.

As for feats, one gives you a bonus on all untrained skills, while the other grants save bonuses to allies affected by majestic word. Not bad, I suppose.

The magic items follow a similar pattern as the rest of the bardic instruments: they each have a set enhancement modifier and some form of nifty effect that you can trigger while resting to give your allies a bonus. One lets you ramp up defenses against mind-affecting shit like charm, psychic, and fear attacks, another lets you give all allies temp hp, and the war drum (my favorite) gives a speed bonus in addition to letting them reduce forced movement effects.

Decent addition for instrument-themed bards. Despite my preference for weapons, I'd certainly take some of the spells, especially cherub's song since allowing everyone to fly is too damned cool. I doubt I'd pick any of the feats, though Saving Breath is somewhat tempting (especially if I were to play a goliath bard).

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