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17 Bard Spells $3.00
Average Rating:3.5 / 5
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17 Bard Spells
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17 Bard Spells
Publisher: The Le Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/09/2011 08:06:23
If you know The Le Games, then you know what you have here. 17 new spells for Bards. Quality varies, but all are solid. IF you are really into bards then this is a good choice but there are other options for the price.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
17 Bard Spells
Publisher: The Le Games
by Chris G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/20/2006 00:00:00
17 Bard Spells

Bard spells seem to have the most flavor and depth. The class has a solid foundation for its archtype more so then any of the other major casters except perhaps the Druid. The spells though are less combat oriented many times and this can cause problems for some groups. I am not one of them so I lo0ok at this product with high favor because of the ways it can help expand the Bard to even more non combat bits of fun.

17 Bard Spells is another in a long series of PDFs by The Le Games. The PDFs have a nice lay out and come in a variety of options so they can be used on screen, printed out, and even use the copy and past options. The Le Games seems to be the only or one of the few that still makes multiple files versions of his books.

17 Bard Spells is a book that gives one seventeen new bard spells. These spells I find to be more creative and a better fit then many other bard spells. They are the types of spells that a player can get creative with but not the type that are going to be useful in a dungeon crawl. The rules on some of them are a little odd and could use some refining. But I think a player that enjoys a bard for being a bard will really get a kick out of many of these spells.

The book is in itself a magical bard book so it has a built in simple way to get these spells to a bard player. It is a neat idea but since bards do not learn spells like a Wizard and are so limited to the amount of known spells I think something better could have been done here. The three cantrips are all pretty interesting. The first is groom which is a good idea since it cleans someone. It does it better then prestidigitation does. Invitation is very creative spell that creates invitations to invite people to a Bard?s performance or something like that. It is a spell that can easily bring new plot lines to the party. The last cantrip is Switch and it switches whatever is in two places like buckets. I can see it being useful for con games and the like.

Of the first level spells the first seems a bit powerful. Honest Aura allows bluff checks to succeed unless a natural one, two, or three is rolled. There are spells that just give bonuses to bluff and I think those are just easier to deal with. Walking Echo is a simple illusion that will help a Bard avoid pursuers.

Seductive Kiss is a second level spell that is a far more interesting version of Charm Person. I would love to see some of the classic spells done like this with more flavor and character in them.

Those are some of the fun spells in here. Not all of them are great and many will take a more clever player to find a fun and good use for them. For people wanting Bards to have more bard like spells and not just the occasional wizard spell that kind of fits their niche; this book is for you.



LIKED: Creative spells

DISLIKED: Rules not always the best

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
17 Bard Spells
Publisher: The Le Games
by Andrew B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/28/2006 00:00:00
The poor, misunderstood bard. He doesn't get much love...or respect. He's a support class without much support, and I'm always glad to see new bard related supplements.

To this end, The Le Games gives the bard their ?17? treatment, which usually means that the book in question contains more than 17 of whatever it offers. In this case, however, the precedent has been broken. 17 Bard Spells actually contains 17 Bard Spells. As with the rest of The Le's products, these new rules come at a very inexpensive price. This book is also one of the better looking products I've seen from this publisher. A lot of the art looks like clip art, but its GOOD clip art. The layout is simple but clear, with nice bookmarking throughout.

17 Bard Spells presents its new spells as part of an item called ?the manual of the minstrel.? This is a spellbook with a very clever illusion-based security feature. There is also a magical journal hidden in the back of the book where previous owners have detailed their exploits. These are neat ideas, but one obvious question comes to mind: what use do bards, who are spontaneous casters, have for a spell book? The rules answer this by giving characters that possess the book a number of bonus spells per day. Not bad, but it still doesn't fully answer the problem that bards can't really learn spells from books. Finally, the book grants a HUGE experience award to anyone that reads it, making it somewhat on par (though not quite) with a minor artifact. That's not a flaw, but it does make the book harder to drop into any given campaign.

I'm either hot or cold on most of the spells. Spells like Switch (which allows the caster to magically swap the contents of two containers) and Perfect Addiction aren't overtly powerful, but they could certainly be put to good use by a clever player.

Other spells seem too close to existing core spells. Silent Sneak, for example, is probably workable, but it fills a niche already covered by Silence. Seductive Kiss, as far as I can tell, is just Charm Person with a flavorful descriptor.

There are also a few spells that are either too powerful or just oddly designed. Honesty Aura is way too powerful for a 1st level spell. It basically grants the bard an 85% chance of succeeding at every Bluff check for a number of minutes, regardless of the skill ranks of the bard or his targets. It is a clunky spell, and it doesn't work within the standard d20 rules at all.

Improvised Spell is a good idea, but it lacks mechanics. Basically, it allows you to just make a spell up on the spot, without giving much instruction on how to adjudicate this. A secondary effect allows the bard to cast this spell to duplicate the effects of a lower level spell.

Overall, though, there are some clever spells in this book. Like the bard itself, these bard spells are not overly powerful, but they offer a creative player a lot of options.


LIKED: With 17 spells at a mere $2 and change, 17 Bard Spells is certainly worth the download. Creative players and GMs will find a couple spells usable right out of the box, and the rest should work fine with a little tweaking. Even the poorest of the spells in this collection should serve as inspiration for a GM looking to make some homebrew bard spells.

DISLIKED: The Ley continues to play fast and loose with d20 rules. A few of these spells are just poorly designed. Thankfully, these are in the minority.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
17 Bard Spells
Publisher: The Le Games
by Derek K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/22/2006 00:00:00
The Manual of the Minstrel contains 17 bard-specific spells. It is a brightly-colored book that appears quite useless to non-bard characters, but when a bard uses it, or even approaches it, its supposed power is made quite clear. The drawings inside dissuade non-bards from the text within; the bell attached to the bookmarker rings for bards but ignores other classes. The spells are obvious bard-centric.

Tony DiGerolamo is the writer of ?17 Bard Spells,? and the 7 levels of bard spells are all represented here (although in some cases, there is only one new spell for some of the higher spell levels).

The spells are all certainly playable and usable; most the material is well-balanced, but some spell schools seemed a bit questionable (I don?t know if ?instant hangover? really should belong to the necromancy school).

Some of these spells, especially the earlier-level spells, seemed more annoying than useful. While it certainly may be interesting for a bard to be able to cast ?invitation? and instantly create and send a number of invitations to his or her upcoming performance, I don?t know how often a spell like this would be used in a gaming session. ?Perfect addiction? allows the bard to cause a target to become addicted to an item (food or drink) or activity (like gambling), and while this certainly may produce some interesting in-game scenarios, I don?t know how often a player will chose to use this spell at the table (especially with the accompanying 100 gp cost). (Although I could see how some of these spells could be used by a DM/NPC to interesting result.)

Spells like ?roadside repast,? which creates a feast for the bard and his or her companions, or ?the amazing escape trick,? which allows the bard to instantly teleport to a prepared safe location at the utterance of a trigger word (spoken by someone other than the bard), might be more useful in the hands, or spellbook, of a PC.

?Improvised spell? is one of the final spells in the Manual of the Minstrel. Its description is a bit vague; a bard can use this spell to ?make up a 1st to 3rd level spell on the spot.? There is little direction given to help players and DMs in determining just what a 1st level spell would be, versus a 2nd or 3rd level spell. Something like this is just too open-ended for a structured spellbook.

Overall, ?17 Bard Spells? is a nice package, and if nothing else, can provide the DM with a few ideas for interesting NPC spellcasting.


LIKED: This is a nicely-structured package; The Le Games is notorious for putting together products that are easy to read and use, and "17 Bard Spells" is no exception. And for ease of use, the bard class listing is listed in an appendix at the back of the supplement.

DISLIKED: Some of the clip art artwork has appeared in other gaming supplements, and the type of artwork was inconsistent.

As for the content, I don't know how useful some of this would be for players. "17 Bard Spells" might be better targetted at DMs.

A spell list at the beginning of the supplement and incorporating these spells in the the bard class listing in the supplement would have been appreciated.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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