BARD&D: Music Points

So we're playing that all-Bard AD&D campaign, and I've created a sort of Hero Point mechanic for it called Music Points. In the interests of showing my work, here's what it looks like. A few notes follow the house rules.

Every game session, your starting Music Points are equal to your Fame (as per Complete Bard Handbook). If you end a session with more than your Fame level (adjusted for that session’s performances), take any points above the starting number and drop them in the Pool for the next session.

How to gain Music Points
Any time you do something cool or fun, or role-play well, or make a good song choice, or anything that would impress your fellow gamers, the GM may award you one or more Music Points. When your band does something awesome, the GM may do the same but put those points in the Pool. Any time the band plays a gig that changes its Fame, Points equal to that Fame level are dropped in the Pool.

How to use Music Points
Any use of Music Points must come with a musical component and must be justified as such. Rerolls must be for actions that had music in them, or have something to do with groupies (followers), or be about roadie work, for example. The GM is meant to be flexible on this issue, and it should add a bit of fun.
* = Pool only. # = Both Individual use and Poole use.

Spend Music Points to achieve the following effects:

I Wanna Rock... ROCK!: Reroll any combat or non-combat action (you must accept second result).

It’s a Kind of Magic: Trade for one point of Mana.


Calluses: Ignore up to 1 point of damage per level.

The Power of Rock: +1 damage for every 2 levels on one attack.

#Noodling: Pick a card from Adventure Deck. (If Pooled use, the card is laid face up in the middle of the table and can be used by the players for a collaborative action.)

Instrumental Solo: Perform one minute of a solo to delay all NPC actions; they are essentially stunned until the solo ends. Other player characters may perform actions so long as they do not interact with NPCs, which breaks the spell for those NPCs.

#I Don’t Give a Damn About My Bad Reputation: Sure you do. Makes an NPC recognize you (in terms equal to your Fame).

#Groupies: Make a Groupie (per point spent) help you in an action (note that these will be unskilled 0-level NPCs).

Crowd surfing: For a second there, you’re lighter than normal, jumping as high as the roof of a one-story building, gliding on thin ice, or almost walking on air.

#The Universal Language: Makes any action that only works on NPCs who speak your language work on animals, monsters, undead, etc.

Base Line Support: Each of the other players may take 1 Music Point from the Pool.

Copyright Infringement: Automatically learn a spell from seeing another Bard cast it. Cost = 1 Point per spell level.

*Dance choreography: Spend 1 Point per participating player (at least 2) at the start of combat to win initiative and surprise opponents. This is a free attack before the first actual round of combat.

*Props: Name an object that might be useful in the environment either at the start of a fight or a battle of wills (antagonistic interactions), if it is a venue. Cost at GM’s discretion depending on how well it is justified.

*Under My Spell: Playing an appropriate song, create an effect that mimics that of any spell (Wizard or Priest). Cost is equal to the spell (or spells, if combined effect) level(s), modified by difficulty, appropriateness of song, and whether or not the Bards can normally cast any of the effects.

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"Mana" refers to spell slots, so if a Bard can cast 2 1st-level spells, they have 2 Mana points in the bank. I just don't like magic where you have to prep a spell in the morning and hope that's the one you'll need.

The Adventure Deck is borrowed from Savage Worlds, and I've hand-picked cards that work in the context of a Bardic band (removed most combat cards, for example, and of course the ones that refer to SW mechanics).

We've played one session with Music Points, and they worked well enough. Players still have to learn how much to use them (as opposed to hoarding them), but the learning curve should be pretty steep, going forward.

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