"In planning a revision of the the bard class, a path could have been chosen toward one of the two possible extremes: either to rework the material in the Players Handbook without altering any of the basic structure underlying the class, or to literally start from scratch and design an entire new class, perhaps having only its name and a few of the most basic characteristics in common with the official version. In the end, the path chosen lies between the extremes but ends up closer to the second one than the first."So where does Goelz find his bardic inspiration? From the celtic bard, particularly Evangeline Walton’s of the Welsh Mabinogion tetralogy (which gives it a particularly illusionist bent). Goelz also points out that the Welsh would never see the bard as a thieving type, especially (as he points out) given the connotations associated with "Welshing" on a bet, and the British propensity to think of the Welsh as thieves.
From "Singing a New Tune," Dragon #56 (December 1981)
So what we have in Goelz's bard is a quintessential entertainer—a musician, charmer, inspirer, and loremaster, capable of both illusionist and druid spells.
In reviewing this version of the bard, it seemed only right to create a BX/LL version of it as well (in addition to the BX/LL version I created based on Schwegman's original). I have done that, with some tweaks to fall in line with the other version. The Schwegman-inspired version I'm calling "The Bard (Version I)," and it can be used with or without the LL AEC rules (without, the bard has MU spells; with, the bard has druid spells). The Goelz-inspired version requires use of the LL AEC rules (at least for spells, since it uses both illusionist and druid spells). I'm still thinking through my vision of the Marsh-inspired harpist class (which will likely require an entire set of spells created specifically for it). The first two should be appearing on the blog early in this coming week. If I'm lucky, the harpist (or some form of it) will come later in the week, or the beginning of the week following.