Nu sculon heriġean heofonriċes WeardNow we must praise heaven-kingdom's guardian,Meotodes meahte and his modġeþancthe Measurer's might and his mind-plans,weorc Wuldor-Fæder swa he wundra ġehwæsthe work of the Glory-Father, when he of wonders every one,eċe Drihten or onstealdeeternal Lord, the beginning established.He ærest sceop ielda bearnumHe first created for men's sonsheofon to hrofe haliġ Scyppendheaven as a roof, holy Creator;ða middanġeard moncynnes Weardthen middle-earth mankind's guardian,eċe Drihten æfter teodeeternal Lord, afterwards made—firum foldan Frea ælmihtiġfor men earth, Master almighty.– "Cædmon's Hymn", by Cædmon c. 658-680 CE
I've decided to start rewriting the Carolingia classes as part of the total reworking of the hack that I plan to do, and the old Chanter seemed like a good place to start, since I really don't like it much and I think I'm going to remove conventional GLOG spellcasters from the game entirely, or nearly so.
Starting Equipment: A harp or other instrument, a leather helm, a small shield, and a weapon of your choice.
Skills: Music, Poetry, and 1d3: 1. Folklore, 2. Religion, 3. History
A: Battle Cry, Beloved Voice, Legend-Smith
B: Tales of Heroism, +1 to-hit
C: Boiled Alive, Songs of Lore, +1 Save
D: Weeping Stones, +1 to-hit
Battle Cry: If you call out a battle cry at the beginning of a fight, your allies each regain 1 hitpoint immediately and gain +1 to-hit for the rest of the battle, while your enemies take a -1 penalty to Morale for the rest of the battle. However, if in a dungeon or other dangerous area, this immediately provokes a wandering monster check.
Beloved Voice: When you let it be known that you are a teller of tales and a singer of songs, you gain +1 to reaction rolls with intelligent beings. This can be accomplished by reciting a song or poem, even if the listeners do not understand the language it is in. There will always be food and space in the mead hall for you, provided you perform.
Legend-Smith: If you compose and recite a poem or song regarding an adventure (or misadventure) that the party got into, all involved characters gain 10 XP. Yes, you must actually write it and recite it. No, it does not have to be good, or long. It just has to exist. You cannot gain this XP for multiple events that happened in the same session.
Tales of Heroism: You know two of the following tales, rolled on 1d8, and may roll another for each further template of Bard you gain. Reciting a tale takes 10 minutes, at the end of which, everyone who heard it gains the detailed benefit. No one may benefit from any particular tale more than once per day, and you may perform no more than [templates] tales per day. Bonus points if you actually recite an excerpt from the poem. At the DM's discretion, you may make a poem you composed about the game into a Tale of Heroism, with a negotiated benefit.
1. Beowulf: Gain +1d4 to-hit and +1d4 damage on the next attack you make this day.
2. Cædmon's Hymn: Regain 1d4+level hitpoints.
3. The Dream of the Rood: Reduce the damage of the next attack that hits you this day by 1d4.
4. The Wanderer: Ignore the next 1d4 obstacles that would impede your overland travel on this day.
5. Widsith: If at least one person present speaks a language, all people present are conversant in it for the next 1d6 hours.
6. The Battle of Maldon: During the next fight you participate in on this day, all retainers and levies gain +1 Morale.
7. Wulf and Eadwacer: During the next fight you participate in on this day, when you would roll Death and Dismemberment, roll twice and take the lower.
8. The Seafarer: Adverse weather conditions will not affect your sailing or put your ship in danger for the next 1d12 hours.
Boiled Alive: In social situations, delivering a sufficiently cutting insult (and you know the drill at this point; you have to come up with the insult yourself or crowd-source it from your fellow players) will cause the target to wake the next day with a face covered in boils.
Songs of Lore: You have a [templates]-in-6 chance of knowing a fact, determined by the DM, about any person, object, creature, polity, or place if you hear the name or a detailed description.
Weeping Stones: The reaction bonus from Beloved Voice increases to +2 and now applies to all creatures, not just intelligent ones, as well as inanimate objects. You gain a further +1 reaction with beasts and inanimate objects for each hour you play and sing to them. On a reaction roll of 12+, beasts will become your loyal companions and natural things will obey your orders. This may not be used to make them act against their nature or harm their kin, but you could ask a stone to split or a tree to move a root, and it would do so.