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Unorthodox Bards
 
$4.50 $3.38
Average Rating:4.1 / 5
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Unorthodox Bards
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Unorthodox Bards
Publisher: The Le Games
by William S. I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/07/2006 00:00:00
I found this useful, I use it rarely for my bards


QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Unorthodox Bards
Publisher: The Le Games
by Erica B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/19/2006 00:00:00
This book was great. It gave several wonderful alternates to the bard in the player's handbook, as well as adding extra dimension to a seldom used class.


LIKED: The artwork was fantastic, and I loved the formatting of the files: landscape for screen, portrait for printing, and a cut and paste word document. Incredibly useful!

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Unorthodox Bards
Publisher: The Le Games
by Chris G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/30/2006 00:00:00
Unorthodox Bard

The Bard is my favorite class. It has been that way since first edition though back then it was much more difficult to be one. Then in second edition they made the bard a regular class and the best supplement the Complete Bard?s Handbook. Now that third edition is out I?ve had the opportunity to play a single calls bard from first to twentieth level. I am one of the few to do this and have gained some great insight into the class and its strengths and weaknesses. May people say the Bard is a weak class and I reply that the Bard is strong but it?s tough to play. Most people seem to want the Bard to be something it is not. There is a series of books out now in the Unorthodox series. I have reviewed a fair amount of them and I have been pretty critical on them. So I have been waiting to see what they do with my favorite class for a little while. The Bard does not get enough support and I have made attempts to get everything that expands the class.

The Unorthodox series by The Le Games is a series of class books. Unlike other class books they usually only consist of new variants of the core classes. I say usually because the Unorthodox Bard is the one that breaks that. It does have the five new bard variants but it also has two new prestige classes and two artifacts. Unorthodox Bards comes in a zip file a little under five megs in size. Inside is a read me file, a PDF for on screen viewing and a PDF for printing, and a rich text version of the book. The art in the book is pretty average for the series but the layout has more white spaces then I remember in the others. The book is well book marked.

Unorthodox Bard starts with the five variant classes. The new classes are always very close to original; they rarely change hit die, skills or skill points, base attack, or saves. Usually it is the special abilities that are altered.

The Minstrel is a typical archetype of the Bard. Many people have complained that the Bard is too Minstrel oriented, but this alternate core class really shows the true differences. And the difference is the spells. Instead of getting the traditional bard spells the Minstrel gets spell like abilities that use its music. The class is not going to be more combat oriented then the Bard but its abilities are very much in line with the ideas behind the class.

The Skald is another great Bard archetype. They get better hit points and good fort save instead of a good reflex save. They also don?t have the bard like spells. They get the ability to inscribe magic runes. It is a great detail that really fits the archetype.

Soothsayer has more powers that deal with divination. They get the Bard spell casting as well as the knowledge domain. As they gain levels they get some really good divination powers. This seems like a better way to do traditional divinations.

The Spellsinger takes the idea that a Bard needs a verbal component to cast spells and runs with it. They don?t get bardic knowledge or the bard songs but they do get the spell casting as well as additional musical spell powers.

Toubad?war is a lover and a fighter. It gets a mix of love and war abilities along with the traditional bard spells. IT does get less skill points and a good fort save instead of a good will save.

The Muse is a prestige class that is very easy to gain. All one needs is Bardic music ability and some ranks in the perform skill, any perform skill. Each level they can choose a different song that inspires allies in a different way. There are only five levels and only five different options.

The Protectorate is another prestige class. It has the exact same requirements as the Muse. It is another five level prestige class that gains abilities but not spells as one takes levels in it.

The book is a definite improvement over the other books in the series. I found the classes and prestige classes very fitting in the theme of bards and that abilities these classes gain cannot be gained through multi classing or feats.



LIKED: nice variety

DISLIKED: Just doesn't take the class far enough to explore the bard

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Unorthodox Bards
Publisher: The Le Games
by Scott G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/11/2006 00:00:00
For some unexplained reason, the introduction to this book recommended that long reviews be posted to ENWorld.com. I purchased this product at RPGNow.com, and I would rather post my full review here. It isn't as if a reviewer is going to quoting pages of material for anyone else to copy for free. Nonetheless, I have fulfilled by the wishes of the Le.
Unorthodox Bards is a clever collection of variant bards for D&D 3rd and 3.5 Edition campaigns. This book isn't as thorough nor as a varied as the old Complete Bard's Handbook for 2nd Edition, but this is a fun little ebook in its own right.
The artwork is surprisingly good. The interior illustrations are small but wonderful monochromatic portraits.
There are a total of seven classes described in this tome, five of them being beginner classes and two being prestige classes. Flavor text is almost completely gone -- some readers will like that and others will not. All classes follow the theme of focusing on music and performance rather than the grifting aspects of the bards. The Soothsayer could use some more work, but the other classes seemed very well developed.
The baubles and urus of power appear in other books like Synergy Artifacts, but they are particularly useful here because they match the bards' adaptability well.


LIKED: There are several good points. The artwork is small but impressive. The classes seem well balanced and mostly well developed. Baubles and urus offer much more freedom in the creation of magic items.
None of these new bard classes are by themselves compelling enough for me to roll a new character. I think they would be most useful to the gamemaster who wants to a different flavor of bard in every culture that is visited during a campaign.

DISLIKED: Clarification on the requirements of these classes would have been much appreciated. Nothing is mentioned on the subject in the book's very short introduction, and individual class descriptions are confusing in this regard. Also, I found other editing errors that caused me a fair amount of confusion elsewhere in the text.
My standard complaint with every OGL product I've read is that they focus too strongly on D&D 3.5. Over half of the gamers I know refuse to play this version, but writers of OGL products seem to be in denial of this fact. I'm not asking anyone to violate copyrights here, but I would like to see at least some suggestions or guidelines for use in other systems. Andrew Hind always does this in his articles for Knights of the Dinner Table Magazine. Some alternate free systems are available right here on RPGNow!

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Unorthodox Bards
Publisher: The Le Games
by Patrick T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/11/2005 00:00:00
Some neat ideas for Bard characters. Not playing one at the moment, so I haven't had much occasion to use this stuff. Still, a fairly interesting treatment.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Unorthodox Bards
Publisher: The Le Games
by A. F. Y. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/09/2004 00:00:00
Great fun! This just gave me a bunch of character ideas ;)

LIKED: The amount of sub-classes to pick from

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Unorthodox Bards
Publisher: The Le Games
by Steve S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/28/2004 00:00:00
If you can't figure out what type of character to roleplay, these source booklets are a great inspiration. If you need a new villain or NPC for your D-20 game, look no further! These are great!!!

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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