One of the largest problems with most DnD editions besides Basic and 4e (the good editions) is that 'angry fighter', 'sneaky fighter' and 'regular fighter' are different classes, but 'storm mage', 'illusionist', 'necromancer' and 'enchanter' are all the same class.
Blame people who value tradition over good game design.
>>44560426 That's super complicated. In 1e AD&D they were in the appendices like psionics and the planes. They were meant to fill a specific conceptual role modeled loosely after the folkloric and quasihistorical figures from which they draw their name. Sort of like monks and (particularly) druids but way more complicated and involving dual classing. They were what one might think of as an advanced prestige class and as such they had diverse and quirky abilities beyond the scope of what would be expected from a thief or assassin.
In 2e they actually were as you say: a rogue subclass like the thief. Not a thief kit as you probably imagine (although there were performer kits for thieves), but conceptually and, to some extent, mechanically built off the same framework. A bit like a paladin and a fighter or an enchanter and an invoker but somewhat more divergent.
3e abandoned the superclass approach and since the abilities of bards had traditionally been distinct from thieves and because of the inherited spellcaster/nonspellcaster division (going back to the prototypical ancestry of the game) it made sense to make them a separate class.
It made even more sense to keep them separate in 4e, as the primary role of a bard is clearly that of a leader rather a striker.
In 5e it would make sense to have it be a background (and in fact there is an entertainer background that anyone can take, rogues included) but there is now a tradition of bards as a performance based support class.
>>44560653 You could do it in 5e using archetypes and backgrounds (the arcane trickster and eldritch knight use a solution a bit like how 2e handled bards) but I would find it unsatisfying.
What I think OP might be getting at is that he doesn't understand the conceptual necessity having a separate bard class to begin with. Is so, what is it about the idea of a bard that sufficiently differentiates it from a rogue to make the class's existence feel satisfying or even necessary to you?
>>44560725 >what is it about the idea of a bard that sufficiently differentiates it from a rogue to make the class's existence feel satisfying or even necessary to you?
The idea of a bard is absolutely nothing like the idea of a rogue. The bard is an arcane class: it emphasises the use of magic to strengthen your allies. That is about as far from the Rogue class as can be, since the Rogue is about using ambush and flanking tactics to hurt the enemy, and secondarily about dealing with traps and obstacles.
If anything, Bard would be a subclass of Sorcerer or Wizard, not Rogue. Even in AD&D the bard played more like a Wizard than a Rogue. The only thing the Bard has in common with the Rogue is that they both have a lot of skills, and skills are a minor, secondary feature.
>>44560426 It's a sacred cow designed using rules that are obsolete ported to a system where they don't really fit. Many classes in d&d have no place anymore, but no one wants to be the one to kill the cow
Because anything D&D/d20 related is badly written entry lvl roll-playing game, that sucks even at "gamist" aspect it theoretically has focus on, that is only popular because it's most known, baby first rpg and sticks to people who don't go any further
>>44560426 The class exists so that you can play some awesome fucker like Egill Skallagrímsson. Or at least, it did, until guys who thought like you bleached it in 2E, replacing badass warrior-poet with "magical minstrel".
>>44560426 The problem with this is that bards have done vastly different things in different editions. I'll just go over the ones I know
2e: A jack-of-all trades that has some genuine spellcasting capabilities, but can still sock-it-to-em when he's blown his load and/or when he's fighting something likely to disrupt spells mid-cast (which was much easier in 2e)
3e-PF: Suck at life and cry, but still exist as a distinct class because of tradition
4e: Support and heal through magical inspiration, while either hitting things with a sword, or blasting things with magical-psychic energy (depending on CC choices)
5e: Fullcaster focused almost exclusively on support and control. Can either poach other spell-lists, or hold a sword as a side benefit.
I'm going to assume you're talking about one of the many iterations of 3e where they were genuinely vestigial.
But it evolved back into something useful? Is there any example of this in nature? Like a proto-snake that decides to actually use its leg-stumps for jumping and that eventually leads to them becoming wings or something.
>>44560455 This is very true. The idea that martial classes need to be hyper-specialized while magical classes can be extremely versatile is part of why I think most editions of D&D will never be reasonably balanced.
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