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Bards - what's so essential about them?
I've searched around the forums to find the answer to this question but can't find a direct one so made this thread.
I originally played a Bard in the vanilla IWD from 2000, the only time I've taken a bard from start to finish in a AD&D computer game. A handy character as could cast spells, use every weapon & identify for free, but tbh I didn't see him as anything particularly special as such. Plus I never really liked the fact he couldn't fight while singing... I tend to like all my party members contributing directly in battle somehow.
Yes I am aware about the vanilla Bard's amazing songs (particularly the War Chant of Sith - was this in the original? I can't remember...) but I don't see them as a deal breaker to make him an essential member of the team. I've always seen him as a poor man's fighter/mage with less spells, worse fighting skills & pick pocket added in for measure.
On top in a number of threads people have mentioned a Bard being essential to an IWD party regardless of kit (for instance a Blade), as long as there is a Bard of some sort. I don't quite understand that as while the vanilla bard gets all the IWD-specific songs, the kits miss out. I'm guessing that those that say ANY bard is required/highly recommended in IWD EE are misguided, or maybe I'm missing something?