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2E Wemic Bards and Game Balance

Let's start by putting the standard 2E bard and my Wemic bard side by side.

Standard Bard (base) Wemic Bard (changes) Balance Score
Ability Scores: Dex 12, Int 13, Cha 15 Int 14 small minus -0.5
Alignment: Part Neutral same neutral 0
Combat: fights as rogue same neutral 0
Armor up to chain, no shield No armor, medium shield, good natural AC neutral 0
Any weapon Limited weapons minus -1
Free NW Profs: Singing, Musical Instrument, Local History, Read/Write Native Language No Read/Write small minus -0.5
NW Prof extras: Each extra slot spent on Musical Instrument gives two instruments, not one. Same; plus two NW Profs are required, and chance of success with required profs rises with level. plus +1
Wizard Spell Casting: any spell available Very limited spells, very limited opportunity to learn new spells if no other Wemic bards are around. big minus -2
Wizard spell research = ?? Wizard spell research = yes small plus +0.5
Thief-style Skills: Allocate additional 20 points at 1st level and 15 more each level thereafter same neutral 0
Climb 50% Exchange for Running 50% plus +1
Hear Noise 20% same neutral 0
Pick Pockets 10% Exchange for Move Silently 10% neutral 0
Read Lang: 5% Exchange for Read Emotions 5% plus +1
Influence Reactions same neutral 0
Inspire Allies Two rounds instead of three plus +1
Counter Sound Attacks same neutral 0
No restriction on possessions. Must remain unencumbered. minus -1
ID Magic Items Exchange for Memorization small plus +0.5
Build Stronghold and Gain Followers at 9th level Removed minus -1
Use Scrolls and other Written Magic Items at 10th level Removed minus -1

It is simplistic, to say the least, but let us assign a score of -0.5/+0.5 to each small minus/plus, of -1/+1 to each minus/plus, and -2/+2 to each big minus/plus. That yields a total of -2, seeming to indicate that the Wemic Bard is less powerful. Considered up to level 8, since two minuses don't kick in until levels 9 and 10, the balance is still 0 -- a balanced score.

But my allocations are certainly arbitrary, and leave room for disagreement. Are Running and Read Emotions are better than Climb Walls and Read Languages? How much better? Limited spell selection is a big minus only if the GM rules that Wemic bards are scarce; if learning new spells is no challenge for the bard character, it makes the character more potent.

Comments? Questions? I am always grateful for feedback! e-mail me: Cayzle

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