Purpose: Some people have a drive to perform. Music in their soul. An urge to create. To deny that aspect of themselves would be to wither in sadness and boredom. Such people have found a way to strike a chord with the hearts and minds of their audience, to reveal new possibilities, or lament lost past ones. They are the bards and though only a few bards can live their lives as a titled 'bard', often as travelling performers, there are many who still perform such a role in their home villages in between harvesting vegetables and tending to the chickens.
Some bards are leaders in their society. They might be tactical geniuses who can make people excited about their strategic plans for their army. They could be political powerhouses or religious authorities that can inspire large swathes of people to follow their principles as well as their orders. Wherever they are and whatever their day job is, its rare to find a real bard who isn't at least well-known in their local area. It is, after all, hard for them to maintain a low profile.
Blessings of the Performer
Nightsinger: Bards have an innate connection with the sounds of the world and can spend a point of glamour to influence the odd noises about them to good effect. A bard using Nightsinger must roll Expression + Wyrd versus the target's Composure + Wyrd. If successful, they give the listener a -2 penalty to their Resolve, Empathy and Subterfuge checks. Obviously this doesn't affect deaf people. The bard also gains a free performance specialty under Expression. Changeling Nightsinger Kith: Winter Masques page 72.
Heavenly Articulation: A bard can spend a glamour to increase the likelihood of striking all the right notes by making either Expression or Persuasion rolls become an exceptional success upon gaining three successes rather than the usual 5. This lasts for a single scene.. Changeling Ghandharva Kith: Winter Masques page 108.
Master of Recovery: No one can cover a faux pas on the stage like a bard. By spending a point of Glamour the bard may reroll any failed dice on an Expression roll as they spontaneously find the right words to recover. The bard's attempts to harvest glamour from an audience gains a 9-Again. Changeling Minstrel Kith: Night Horrors: Grim Fears page 43.
Fiddler's Delight: A bard can spend a glamour and pick a target while singing or playing an instrument to force a contested roll with the bard rolling Expression + Wyrd and the target rolling Composure + Wyrd. If the target fails, the target can't act while the bard continues playing unless he is attacked or the scene ends as the music itself seems to fixate the mind. Changeling Thusser Kith: Winter Masques page 110.
Class Restricted MechanicsRestricted Class Merits: Barfly (*), Cacophany Listener (*** or ****), Despairing Speaker (*****), Encyclopediac Knowledge (****), Fighting Finesse (**), Hypnosis (***), Ingratiating Wanderer (**), Inspiring (****), +Multitasking Performer (***), Mystic Speech (Custom: +1 bonus to psychic powers and rituals when spoken) (*), Performance Underminer (**), Powerful Lungs - gain a +2 bonus to project one's voice over great distances including screams (**), Siren Song (***), Social Chameleon - Specify (* to ***), Well-Travelled (*).
Psychic Powers: Aura Reading (** or *****), Mind Control (*****), Mind Reading (*** or ****), Psychic Illusions (*****), Telepathic Communication (****), Telepathic Rapport (***), Thought Projection (*** or ****).
Rituals: Curse of Ill Fortune (***), Favorable Fortune (***), Luck Magic (** or ****).
Fighting Style: Armored Fighting (** or ****), Dirty Fighting (* to *****), Fencing (* to ****).
+Multitasking Performer: Some bards have the ability to continue their performance even while they are riding a horse or in the middle of a fist fight. Use common sense with this, of course. A bard still can't play on a drum while fighting with a sword though they could chant, hum, tap dance or deliver witty one-liners.
+Performance Underminer: Performers are well aware of the number of thought processes that can make you choke before an audience and some are skilled enough to use such tactics against others. A bard can spend a minute in conversation with them to subtly make a few statements to make them worried about their likely performance. The bard makes a Manipulation + Expression roll versus the target's Wits + Subterfuge to manipulate them into being plagued with nagging anxieties that give them a -2 penalty to all Expression or Athletics rolls made to perform.
+Despairing Speaker: While some bards are inspiring, others turn their talents to dragging people down into a pit of despair. The bard spends ten minutes in conversation with the target and rolls Presence + Socialise - target's Composure to use the inverse of normal socialising tactics to slowly make a person more ill at ease with themselves and the world around them. Just as a great socialiser can infect people with cheer, so they can infect others with woe. The victim loses a willpower point at the end of this discussion. Multiple people can be targeted so long as they listen to the speech or engage with the conversation (use the highest Composure out of the lot for efficiency's sake unless there's a couple of important NPCs or any PCs involved). This roll can be opposed by anyone who chooses to argue the point and lift people's spirits through a contested Presence + Socialize roll though they need to see what the bard is doing which may first required an opposed Manipulation + Subterfuge roll. If that other person wins this roll, no one loses any willpower points.