Thursday, May 23, 2024

Inspired: 1E Bard mod for Hack'D

I was thinking earlier about how to make a bard in Hack'D, and looked back at the 1E bard. The original bard had a huge cost of entry - several levels of fighter, thief, and (eventually) druid to become a bard. In Hack'D terms, you'd need the following rough equivalents:

Traits: Might 2, Mind 2, Reflex 2 (I consider 2 the rough equivalent of a 15 in 1E)

Tags: Charisma, Inspire, Lore, Mystic (Common, Wild), Nature, Thievery

You'd need 6 trait points (which you have at level 1, so no great shakes there), but you'd need 7 tags (!), which you can never have. So, in the game as written, this is an impossible class.

At first, I was thinking that level 4 would be a great place to 'unlock' the bard (since that would feel like old school D+D in some way)... but it's just not possible. The math doesn't math.

However... the game caps at level 6, but I could always consider an elite designation a character could take after earning level 6. If I was to use my modified XP progression (which is in the Companion), you achieve level 6 at 3,000 XP. If we put in a new final tier - let's say the 'elite archetypes' become available at 6,000 XP. You get a seventh tag, but this also grants you the archetype (and its bonuses). You'd now be a true bard. This would give some kind of bardic voice that can charm in incredible ways, and your name and reputation would grant remarkable bonuses. I'd have to really think about it, but I like this as a true prestige designation. This could also work for a designation like 'warlord', 'paladin', and 'archmage' (or arch druid, grandfather of assassins, and that sort of thing). 

This also aligns better with 1E D+D thinking - getting to level 10+ was really endgame... and a bard was at least comparable to a level 10 character. This would give the game a level 6+ tier, but still keep 6 as the official end of progression (which is comparable to level 12 in 1E to me).

I'd have to think more about this, but I'm tempted to make a character and start working towards his earning the title of bard... 


  1. Does he not require a Fighter skill (like Warrior) or are you assuming his xp will be from defeating foes rather than awards for roleplaying etc ?

    1. Yeah, that's a good point. The 'fighter' is under-represented in the build, with the exception of the might 2 requirement that at least gives access to decent weapons and basic armor. I'm not sure where to make the sacrifice to pick up the warrior tag.

    2. Lore seems like the only one that's not a traditional 1E skill - but seems sort of vital to the idea of a bard to me. The idea that there were no levels of MU and only an INT 12 required seem to suggest 'lore' is not how the original class was envisioned by Gary. I guess that's where the swap would happen. I could also see it as 'lore or nature' as the requirement... city bard/country bard option, as it were. You have to study 'something' in depth. That would open up warrior then.

  2. Had a go at a renown class - don't know if its underpowered:

    Req. Traits: Might 3, Reflex 3
    Req Tags: Nature, Companion (animal), Archer, Stealth, Sharpshooter or Enemy, Rapid Shot or Dual Wield
    As a Ranger, you may blend in with the natural surroundings as if invisible, when immobile. As an avatar of nature, animals see you as neither prey nor foe, unless attacked.

  3. Oops - Rapid Attack not Rapid Shot