[NOTE: I would prefer if only people at least vaguely familiar with RetroQuest answer this thread. I'm plenty familiar with both the historical and fantasy conceptions of bards out there, and I know what they can do in other games. What I'm looking for is things that would translate well into my game.]
Okay, I decided to put bards into RetroQuest, much to Jowy's delight... but this presents a problem. Thieves thieve, wizards wiz, warriors war, but what, exactly, do bards do?
I'm of two minds here:
One is the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) school of thought... simply run with the idea that a bard is going to know a little bit of everything, and give them a Luck based bonus that is applied to fighting, thieving, and magic, making them better at stealing than warriors and better magic than thieves, but not as good at anything as the class which specializes in that area.
The other is the MIRACLE (Making It Ridiculous And Complicated, Lexy? Exactly!) school of thought... adding a whole new system for bards to be good at. What I have for solid ideas here is this: a new type of item, musical instrument, which can be equipped and used to play songs that have some effect on the game. I'm a little bit leery of "magic songs," especially if they do nothing but replicate existing magic spells... I don't want my game to have wizards and bards, the other wizards.
What I'm thinking is this: different types of songs will inspire different ends in combat. You play a song, then for X turns afterward, that song takes affect. Play a rousing battle march, and for the song's duration, your side gets combat bonuses. Play a peaceful song, and during the affected time, neither side can attack. Sound the retreat, and your side gets a bonus to flee.
Only one song can take affect at a time, so competing bards would drown each other out, the winner's effectiveness being lessened by the loser's, whose song would not be felt at all.
Obviously, this sort of ability would take on whole new dimensions when I add some sort of grouping and emphasize the team-vs-team aspect of it.
Anyways, what does everyone think about that two ideas, and any others they may have?
May 13 2002, 7:35 am