Barding it up around town

I’ve always thought Bards made cool characters in books, but implemented horribly in roleplaying (and most computer) games. The 4e PHB2 introduce a Bard class that doesn’t suck. We’ve had a Bard in my regular game, and he’s been essential to our party’s success. Our bard’s a true hero; he drops a Majestic Word when needed, stores critical hits for use later, and literally dominates the bad guys. The new bard is much better than sword-swinging lute-players of old. Now that Bards have come back in style, I’ve thought about playing one myself sometime. The question that still remains…would it be cool if brought my banjo, mandolin, or guitar to the table and strummed out some spells, or would it be hella annoying?

Beyond my regular group, can I do this at a con game, or should I grow a goatee first? Assuming it’s social acceptable to bring an instrument to a game, is it okay to freestyle or should the reptoire stick to applicable popular music (like Allen Dean Foster’s excellent Spellsinger series)?

All jokes aside, I know some groups have experimented with background or battle music, but has anyone been in a situation where a player is the one making music. Assuming he/she had passable talent, was it a good idea or just distracting?

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2 thoughts on “Barding it up around town

  1. I know this is extraordinarily out of date, but oh well.

    In one of the first sessions I ever DMed my friend was playing a bard and would play his guitar when his character was. Now I don’t know if it was because I was tired, inexperienced or because the guitar was annoying as hell, but I found it intensely annoying and distracting.

  2. @Jonty,
    Yes, there is certainly a potential for annoyance there. I’m hoping someone has figured out how to do it tastefully where it adds to everyone’s enjoyment.

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