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2/18/2021 8:41 pm  #1


Bard's Countersong Ability

So I have a player who was looking at the Bard class abilities and complaining about Mesmerize only being usable 1/day, regardless of level. That lead me to look at the other abilities more closely, and I realized that I've never really thought about Countersong, which is described as (bolding mine):
"Countersong: To recognize and identify songs of enchantment and react with opposing melodies, poetics, and/or instrumentation, if the opponent is of equal or lesser level / HD. The bard opens a channel that taps the horrible vibrations of the Black Gulf, at once muting or disrupting auditory sorceries."

So, great Hyperborean cabal: how do you interpret the last two words? Any sorcery with auditory aspects? Only other sorcerous songs, presumably of metal madness?


"Rhialto said sternly: 'Sarsem, your conduct has been less than wise. Need I remind you of this?'
'You need say nothing! In sheer disgust, discharge me from my indenture! The humiliation will be an overwhelming punishment.'
'We are not so cruel,' said Ildefonse."
Jack Vance, Rhialto the Marvellous
 

2/19/2021 10:59 am  #2


Re: Bard's Countersong Ability

Harpies, lamiae, greater gorgons, etc. Other bards, too! Not just any sorcery that has, say, a verbal component. The important distinction about this ability is that it can be done as soon as it happens, regardless of initiative.

That being said, players kill me -- what they complain about. So, the bard can use any weapon, has all these thief skills, casts spells from two schools of sorcery, and has special unique abilities. And yet... this class stinks! I don't get to do what I want! Ha!


HYPERBOREA- A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Science-Fantasy
 

2/19/2021 6:22 pm  #3


Re: Bard's Countersong Ability

Yes, I was unyielding, and pointed out the other abilities (probably important to note he's more familiar with Pathfinder, which I simply won't run). But when I carefully read Countersong I realized I'd never really read it carefully before. Thanks for the clarification!


"Rhialto said sternly: 'Sarsem, your conduct has been less than wise. Need I remind you of this?'
'You need say nothing! In sheer disgust, discharge me from my indenture! The humiliation will be an overwhelming punishment.'
'We are not so cruel,' said Ildefonse."
Jack Vance, Rhialto the Marvellous
     Thread Starter
 

2/19/2021 8:34 pm  #4


Re: Bard's Countersong Ability

Ghul wrote:

Harpies, lamiae, greater gorgons, etc. Other bards, too! Not just any sorcery that has, say, a verbal component. The important distinction about this ability is that it can be done as soon as it happens, regardless of initiative.

That being said, players kill me -- what they complain about. So, the bard can use any weapon, has all these thief skills, casts spells from two schools of sorcery, and has special unique abilities. And yet... this class stinks! I don't get to do what I want! Ha!

Mesmerize once per day is plenty....

There are often areas that simply produce discordant sounds of alien nature that the Bard is able to protect the party from. I have also had the bard able to participate in rituals with NPC's as well as leading ceremonies etc. This is role-playing but useful non the less!


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 
 

2/20/2021 7:28 am  #5


Re: Bard's Countersong Ability

mabon5127 wrote:

Mesmerize once per day is plenty....

There are often areas that simply produce discordant sounds of alien nature that the Bard is able to protect the party from. I have also had the bard able to participate in rituals with NPC's as well as leading ceremonies etc. This is role-playing but useful non the less!

Indeed, especially as tweaking one class ability has consequences I don't even want to think through. I do house-rule, but they are rules changes that have general effects, and don't affect isolated cases.


"Rhialto said sternly: 'Sarsem, your conduct has been less than wise. Need I remind you of this?'
'You need say nothing! In sheer disgust, discharge me from my indenture! The humiliation will be an overwhelming punishment.'
'We are not so cruel,' said Ildefonse."
Jack Vance, Rhialto the Marvellous
     Thread Starter
 

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