#RPG #DnD5e – Grimdark – The Bard (Cunning Man)


Art by Grace Liu

Bard (Cunning)

In a low magic setting the magical side of a bard is not something we can really incorporate, but there is a tradition of ‘cunning men’ who were associated with magic but who were, in all likelihood, conmen, tricksters and people with secret or hidden knowledge – albeit of a different sort to that found amongst artisans and guildsmen.

As such we need to reinterpret the Bard into being something more about patter, confidence tricks, diplomacy, etiquette, storytelling and, yes, music. This kind of career would be one that would be suitable for nobility, scions of noble houses and – if the setting is as sexist as the times in which it mirrors – for women.

Some things we could keep, other things we would have to change – most notably the spellcasting.

Class Features:

Hit Points: 5+Con Bonus.
Heroism: 1d8/Level

Light Armour.
Simple Weapons, One-Handed Ranged, Longswords, Rapiers, Shortswords.
Saving Throws: Dexterity/Charisma
Skills: Any three.

Five of the following, multiples are permitted – Fine clothes, costume, musical instrument, writing gear (pen, ink, parchment or book), jewellery worth 50 gp, rapier, longsword, dagger, pistol, hand-crossbow, 10 shots for a weapon, diplomat’s pack, entertainer’s pack, leather armour…

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