Not all Bard are eager singers making their way thought the world with silver tongues. There are those who spend their entire lives out exploring the world, seeking out adventure and newness for their own sake. These fellows rely on their wits to keep them alive. A healthy dose of magic and bladework never hurts either.
The Quintessential Bard
Author Shannon Kalvar
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2003
Explorers search out new places and things for the joy of discovery. They constantly search for rumours, myths and legends to lead them to their next adventure. Some are scholars, questing for obscure truths. Others come from more colourful backgrounds, drawn into the world by their love of adventure and an insatiable wanderlust.
Bards are uniquely well suited for exploration no matter what their background. Their diverse skills give them an edge that other classes simply do not enjoy. By combining solid combat skills with appropriate exploration abilities plus healing and minor magic a Bard can deal with just about anything his travels might throw at him. Add to that his Bardic Lore ability (representing either long scholarly study or the practical Wisdom of the road) and the Bard becomes a one-man exploratory party.
Adventuring: Explorers are adventurers in the truest sense of the word. They seek out and explore anything new that thing they can find. They boldly go where angels and demons both fear to tread. If there is an ancient ruin, a forgotten city, or a cryptic map you can pretty much bet that an explorer is going to make a direct path to it. In a party, he brings diverse talents and a strong focus on practical adventuring skills that can only be matched by a Rogue.
Role-Playing: Explorers are typically daring, confident and very bold. They view life as a constant series of challenges to overcome, each one more exciting than the last. Every day becomes another chance to learn something new. Every night is a chance to talk to other people and learn their stories. Every inn is a wellspring of new places to go and new rumours to track down.
Benefits: Bardic explorers have a lot in common with their Roguish cousins. As such, Rogue is always considered a favoured class for them. This counted as an additional favoured class and does not affect the base favoured class of their race.
Penalties: Explorers are less well-versed in music than their compatriots. Perform is always a cross-class skill for them even if they multi-class or join a prestige class with Perform as a class skill.