UMD modification


Hrm, I always felt that your high Use Magical Device character was basiclly talking the magic device into functioning. In P&P a high charisma character with a philter of glibness and a few low level illusion spells is nearly the equivelent of a reality-warper. The uttely outlandish things they can convince NPC’s of, if only for a short while, borders on the surreal.

You basicly tricked the item into functioning through raw persuasion.


to further stress the role of Charisma, monsters will use it for the DC of their spellabilities.

only mobs with an actual spell-casting class use Int or Wis

I side w/ Kaldor on this one: it’s a “balance” issue,

qotd -

// -------------------------------------------------------------------------
// We only punish rogues, so other classes cast for free :)
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An interesting theory indeed.

What would be thy opinion on my earlier statement (based on Max Weber’s definition of Charisma), that Charisma represents inborn talents (and talent of speech is only one of them), rather than only oratory skills?


“Hey… You wanna work for me, gorgeous…?”

“I’m a scroll”


“… Oh my Ao, you’re so charming, I can’t resist. METEOR SWARM!

Or even worse:

“You’re gonna cast your spell on my enemies!”

“You’re not a spellcaster”

“You’re gonna do it!”



















“Screw you, I’m casting the spell right now. METEOR SWARM!… Wait, what?!


Rogue: “wait, let me get my Wizard decoder ring”


Rogues do indeed get the shaft, particularly in 2nd and 3.5 as NWN2 portrays it. 2nd just made them unceccessarily weak, and in NWN2, Sleep anywhere and a lack of spell compoents/cost of spell components allows a Vanican caster to do everything a Rogue can.

Hrm… I wonder if someone will get around to finishing a module that tackles that…


…oh crap… that’s me…

/em slinks off stage…


That’s pretty much how I understood the notion.

Of course, kevL probably has the right of it - a thin veneer to justify gameplay and story segregation.


To a degree. If we’re trying to keep things “in universe” so to speak, then it would be a logical conclusion to come to. The reality is most likely 2nd edition made bards very difficult to play effectivly beause their spellcasting stat and the class’s primary stat were different. So they made charisma a spellcasting stat to help bads be more enjoyable and useful to a party. Sorcerors were possibly - and I’m just spitballing here, I certainly don’t have access to Steve Winters’s brain - an attempt to give players a spellcaster more akin to what you were seeing in video game RPG’s at the time, particularly JRPGs.


“What do you mean Wizard decoder ring? I’m an archmage with centuries of experience, and I’ve never heard of-”

“Meteor Swarm!!”



There were no bards or sorcerers in AD&D / aka 2e. Charisma was not used for spell casting by any of the classes: fighter (subtypes: ranger, paladin), magic-user (subtype: illusionist), thief (subtype; assassin), monk, or cleric (subtype: druid). Intelligence was used for arcane and Wisdom for divine. There was a popular computer game called “The Bard’s Tale” in the 80’s though and I wonder if that played a role in bards being introduced into D&D.


Kaldor AD&D 2e did have the Bard class it did not on the other hand have the Assassin class. The Assassin sub class was eliminated from the game in 2e. I remember TSR trying to get R. A. Salvatore to stop calling the character Artemis Entreri an Assassin after the book Streams of Silver. Also the Bard class in the 1e was a class as early as June 1978 as per the players handbook. You are correct about the Sorcerer sub class. It did not appear until the 3e. So the Bard class in AD&D did predate the game “The Bard’s Tale”. I hope this helps folks.


If you like I can grab my 1ed AD&D handbooks out and give you page numbers…

FWIW there were a number of different bard classes at that time just they weren’t official. Before they invented Warhammer, Games Workshop had a monthly magazine that was all rpg called White Dwarf. In it they had reader’s homebrew classes as a regular feature. If you look long enough you may just come across a best of White Dwarf soft-back book or two.


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The AD&D Player’s Handbook does not have a Bard class in it.

Edit. You are right that it does, but only as a supplemental class in an appendix. So yeah, not official. Good to know though. There was always unofficial stuff floating around. Seems like Dragon magazine had stuff. But long ago.


Oh, we’re not talking the AD&D 2nd edition I played in middle school I assume? I am looking at my old, yellowed, wrinkled bard character sheet and the bard in my PHB. I loved that gimp! He was so terrible compared to the rest of our party =X


I am talking this: AD&D Player’s Handbook


That’s the first edition, in the second edition they were moved away from appendix and added to the core rules.

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Newbie . :slight_smile:


My book! I will always be happy with that big bold blue font. I have the black reprints too, but they just didn’t have the same charm.


You had to take 5-8 levels of fighter, then multi-class and take 5-9 levels of thief (and get no xp for the adventure if you used your fighter skills while your thief level was less than your fighter level), and then, finally, you could multi-class again, and be a bard!

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My mistake on the numbering system then. There was D&D and then in 1977 there was the Basic Set and AD&D. My mistake referring to AD&D as 2e when there actually was an AD&D 2e.