I'm trying to start my first full run, and despite having a few things figured out in advance, like party members and key plot decisions spoiled to me, I'm having a hard time deciding what class my charname should be. My final BG2 party will probably consist of all the evil NPCs (Korgan, Edwin, Viconia, Dorn and Hexxat); it's not that I envisioned to be evil, but coincidentally I like them the most. As I wanted make my party the most distinct possible, covering all bases from roles to weapons shared and making them all diverse, I looked upon threads covering the roster and Bards came up a lot, and indeed a Bard charname would make a lot of sense. Also, I'm reading the Kingkiller Chronicles and Kvothe could be an awesome charname, so I'm taking much inspiration from him - tbh, I'm almost reproducing him - and I look forward to roleplay a class I never cared about before.
Still, there are a few qualms I have about bards. I know they are decent spell casters until high level magic starts to pour in. But for RP reasons, in spite of being an arcane second to Edwin, I'd also like to be a decent melee fighter, at least from BG2 onwards. I know, that's what Blades are for. But unfortunately I never liked kits, at least for charname. Sorry, but there's this thing that I can't stand opening the character screen and reading "Blade" instead of "Bard", or "Kensai" instead of "Fighter". Specialization schools are cool, tough.
So, is it possible to a kitless Bard be in a close fighting league with a Blade? How would a Bard would compare in melee to, let's say, Dorn and Korgan?