Tabletop Games: Playing a Bard in D&D

May 26, 2017

I like magic. This blog is called Druid Georgi for Pete’s sake! (I just googled “for pete’s sake” apparently it can either be invoking Saint Peter as an alternative to that Christ guy OR  come from the phrase “for pity’s sake”. I just thought it was interesting.)

Anyway magic! In D&D you can pick between a bunch of different classes. Some classes are tanky type classes; like the Fighter, Barbarian and Monk. Others are dexterous; Rogue, Ranger. There are the healers; Cleric and Paladin. And then there are the magic-users; Druid, Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard, Mystic and Artificer. Did I miss any?

So I’ve been working my way through the magical classes in various games. I’ve played a Druid called Ineko, a Sorcerer called Erynne and I’m currently playing a Bard called Mae. I’ll say this now, I didn’t get on with the Bard when I first started playing her, after having played a powerful Sorcerer and a pretty kickass Druid I was a bit frustrated at the lack of everything Mae couldn’t do.

So here’s how I played her. I’m not saying that this is the way all Bards should be played, it’s just working for me!

First of all, Mae’s a human which gives her a plus one to ability scores when you first start. So my starting stats were: Strength: 10. Dexterity: 16. Constitution: 14. Intelligence: 11. Wisdom: 10. Charisma: 16.

Guild Merchant background gave me a fancy cart and Mule who I named Hamish.. (That’s not important for building a Bard I just really like Hamish.)

I picked a Rapier as a finesse weapon I could do extra damage with. Finesse weapons mean that you can pick either the Strength or Dexterity modifiers to add to your attack and damage rolls which was perfect because I’d decided to tank out my Dexterity.

Let’s talk about starter spells. First level Bards know 2 Cantrips and 4 Spells.

For my Cantrips I picked Mage Hand and Vicious Mockery. Vicious Mockery does a teeny bit of ranged damage and the Mage Hand is useful if you’re a little bit scared to touching things that might explode…

And Spells I think I picked: Sleep, Thunderwave, Cure Wounds and Identify. I say “I think” because you can change one spell every time you level so I’ve swapped out some of these spells to better ones at later levels. I would totally recommend the Sleep spell though. It’s great for slowing down big groups of enemies.

In the lower levels of the Bard I really struggled to play. In the past ranged characters have been my jam so I found it frustrating not being a range magician, not having access to many damage dealing spells and not having a lot of health to charge in to close combat. It meant I was doing a lot of Vicious Mockery in the first few sessions.

Things came alive for me at 3rd level, you get Expertise which gives you a boost on two abilities of your choice. It depends on your party and character I guess. But for Mae, not looking like a fool is important so I boosted her Acrobatics and the rest of her party are pretty intimidating but not charismatic at all so I boosted her Persuasion to counter that. It also fits with her background.

At 3rd Level you pick a College. The only way to pick one is to read about them! You’ve got Lore and Valour and from Unearthed Arcana: Glamour and Whispers. I picked Lore, it fits with Moe’s backstory and gives you extra skill proficiencies at different levels but I can’t remember which ones I picked, sorry! Here’s a list of all my proficiencies it would be two of those: Acrobatics, Arcana, History, Insight, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, and Stealth. You see I’ve got a lot.

At 6th Level the College of Lore gave me an awesome benefit that really helped me play my Bard. The Additional Magical Secrets! This gives you the ability to pick two spells from any other magical class which are not included in your Bard “Spells Known” count. Basically I got my pick to two free spells from the entire list of spells (under 3rd level). So I picked Eldritch Blast and Lightning Bolt. Now I’ve got my ranged spells I feel pretty happy.

Here’s a look at my character sheet as it stands at 6th Level.


And the spell sheet… Leomund’s Tiny Hunt is the best thing, it gives you 8 hours in a safe haven. If you decide to play a Bard, pick it! It will save your life.


That’s all for now! Thanks for reading this nerdy content! And sorry if this isn’t your thing… I really think everyone should play D&D at least once. Don’t judge it ’til you try it!

See Ya!

Druid Georgi

My name's Georgi. I'm all about stories, nature and not being a horrible person. Grab a coffee, scroll around and laugh at my expense. My life motto is, 'Imagine if I'd done tried or whatever.'