My archaeologist background bard was flavoured to cast spells through stories, legends, and poetry from his dig sites. I also pretty specifically had him most interested in learning and ancient history ("it belongs in a museum!" was his bond), with no real interest in being a horndog. All that to say I wholeheartedly agree with your post, I had such fun with the character and loved exploring what a bard could be.


What was their subclass? That’s a really cool idea. I played a Spirit Bard and I really liked the Tales from Beyond mechanic, which seems like it could fit with an archaeologist character.


I haven't really engaged with the spirit bard, sounds interesting though! I used the college of whispers, as I really played into the cursed temples and scary stories vibe.


If you play it again, Spirit Bard (fairly new. It's in Van Richten's) would be *really* fitting for that. The main level 6 feature is "Tales from Beyond" where you spend a bardic inspiration to get one of one of 10 random buffs, set as like "Tale of the Clever Animal" that gives a bonus to a wis/int/cha check.


Was playing one the other day, there’s a total of 12 tales which rely on what your bardic inspirations max is


Played a Spirits bard, reflavored so that the tales from beyond were all animalistic stories, and it manifested when she drew an animal from her bag of tricks. She was very much of the “telling the stories of those that can’t speak for themselves”, i.e. animals, plants, and the land. Probably closer to a stereotypical Druid than anything else, but using music and spoken word. Wish I’d gotten to play her longer, but the campaign folded when the DM dropped off the face of the earth.


Even better, they get "Tales from Beyond" at level 3! But you unlock more tales the higher your bardic inspiration die gets


Tales from Beyond are 3rd level ability.


Please tell that played well! I have a spirits bard that I'm starting in a few weeks and I'm so excited - her name is Ankha and she's a Reborn and channels the stories she learned from other ghosts in the Ethereal Plane to share her stories and Bardic Inspirations.


Role-playing challenge: think up the lyrics to an in-universe parody of [this](https://youtu.be/k1BneeJTDcU) Bo Burnham song, based off your character's experiences. Lean into the whole Jack Skellington vibe!


I do quite a bit of live rapping/freestyling on stage IRL, and my last bard basically just Weird Al’d the enemies, mocking then ruthlessly throughout combat to the tune of whatever song was stuck in my head at the moment. He was more of a socially awkward comedian on the run for insulting too many people in power than anything resembling your stereotypical skirt chasing bard.


I played a Spirits bard in Curse of Strahd! She used tarokka cards to weave stories spirits trapped in Barovia would tell her. It was a great setting for such a flavorful bard college. One of my favorite characters I've ever played.


I love that!!! What an amazing character! Mine uses a silver planchette with inlaid nightshade blossoms as her focus.


I played a Lore Bard in my last campaign. He was a old halfling bard, who had heard stories of other adventuring parties that cam though his Inn. He was like the elderly person in the nursing home telling stories.


I had a vague idea of a Lore Bard that owned a tavern in a politically advantageous crossroads that allowed him to spy on people and sell secrets. I was planning on playing him as never fighting people directly, but influencing and manipulating (both magically and not) people to fight on his behalf.


Ahh yes the old Deckard Cain build...."Stay awhile and listen...."




I was hoping to do something like that as a half-orc; someone who isn’t taken seriously in her profession owing to her lineage but is actually quite competent at (and impassioned about) what she does. Only campaign I’m in right now is a Strahd run that doesn’t really lend itself to that, and even that’s on hiatus thanks to some stuff going on with the DM right now. Would love to start a new game.


Are you me? I've been building a character the exact same way. An explorer who pays the bills by telling stories of the ancient cultures he's discovered at local taverns to earn a few coins to keep him going. It sounds like just such a fun idea, I haven't been able to put him into play yet though.


Similar starting point (and interesting direction on yours!), but I think they're a bit different. Mine was a washed-up scholar who used to be on top about 100 years ago (he was an elf), just trying to make the next big discovery to reclaim that lost glory (and to cure his dhampir condition).


>My archaeologist background bard was flavoured to cast spells through stories, legends, and poetry from his dig sites. I also pretty specifically had him most interested in learning and ancient history ("it belongs in a museum!" was his bond), with no real interest in being a horndog. That is funny. Usually archaeologists like to go down and dirty and will date anything. Knowing the kind of stories and jokes typically told around archaeological dig sites, he must have had some pretty deep humor. Groundbreaking research leads to rock-solid jokes after all.


I definitely intended for him to currently be out of touch with most anyone else current, it hasn't been fleshed out but I imagine he might've fit in back in his youth! There were a lot of really awful archaeology puns though, but he sure thought they were inspired!


There is a sht ton of sexual harassments in the field. Ive found that is the same case with geology/ paleo/biology fieldwork. People are sexual but no less and no more than any other group of artist/researchers that work away from home and have an open mind. Source ( lots of fieldwork and dating in the fields mentioned while being in one of the field mentioned). Source for sexual harassments? [https://news.stanford.edu/2021/03/30/harassment-archaeology-occurring-epidemic-rates/](https://news.stanford.edu/2021/03/30/harassment-archaeology-occurring-epidemic-rates/) (There are articles before and after.) Also, friends have told me.


ROFLMAO > down and dirty > date >deep humor > groundbreaking > rock-solid


I can't read "it belongs in a museum" with any voice other than Ezreal's.


Haha not quite! He was based loosely off Indiana Jones, and his voice was loosely inspired by Sean Connery.


Tbf to Tricklash, Ezreal himself is inspired by Indiana Jones


Fair enough then. I didn't know the character so had to look up the voice line, and it didn't quite fit how I usually imagine it!


"I named the dog Sword Coast"


Pretty cool as arch people (and other fieldwork people like geology/biology) are not less or more sexual than people in other professions. Most of the "archaeologist are dirty" stories Ive heard or seen have more to do with loneliness in the field or straight up sexual harassments than just people being hyper sexual.


Where did this even come from??? Is there actually a sexual reputation for archaeologists? Is there any adult that genuinely believes a profession has a bearing on how sexual people are? Don't get me wrong, I can see the reasonable explanation like what you suggest. Long months doing field work out of cabins and tents in remote areas... I'm just surprised to see it coming out of the blue like this, that geologists and archaeologists are allegedly an especially dirty lot. Obviously I'm not an archaeologist.


Dude can i borrow this idea


Is it really that common outside jokes and memes? Wow. I haven’t been playing for that long and the bards I’ve encountered are a cynical washed-up musician, a pop-idol, Draco Malfoy with a violin, a skald and a hippie nerd… and only one of them was slightly promiscuous.


It was Draco, wasn't it.


…it was the hippie


That tracks.


I have literally never seen the lustful bard trope in practice. In my experience it's far more common for the Bard to be a chaotic, fast-talking trickster. I do think it's a valid complaint that common depictions of bards tend towards artists, entertainers and scoundrels while underplaying the scholarly aspects of the class.


I have unfortunately seen it done so many times i literally made a rule in my games about playing characters like that. It was pretty much always a younger person, and nearly everything they did was "for the meme" or "because it's cool" Shop games can be rough.


It’s not that common outside of the jokes. Flirty and fun? Sure. Sexual Predator? Nah. Very, very rarely is that ever a problem.


I saw it a few times in college, but not for several years now. Was definitely a thing at one time, though, which led to all the memes


I've played three. * A sardonic, joyless, spirit medium haunted by ghosts who don't have unfinished business, but don't want to go to the afterlife, so they just hang around and annoy the medium. * A lawyer specializing in pirate law and conflict resolution, who is not very good at said job because pirates don't care for their own makeshift laws. * And Maximilian Pendrake, gentleman adventurer and exemplar of the time-honored art of the suplex. Medium was ace and annoyed because the ghosts of the lovers annoyed him with their lovey-dovey BS 25/7. Lawyer was with pirates 24/7 and maintained professional relationships and neutrality amongst crews (except in cases where his life was in danger). And I'm not sure if Maximilian even knew what sex was; he was too chivalrous to tolerate self-thottery.


I've had: 1. A snake-oil salesman who used real magic to "demonstrate" fake potions, then bounced to the next town. (Lore) 2. A former gladiator who specialized in "playing to the crowd" and tripping up his opponent to win and gain fame. (Valor) 3. A sea captain who would use dance and sea chanties as he diced up the enemy. (Swords) 4. A natural leader unknowingly tapping into magic and Kalashtar ancestry to motivate and persuade. (Eloquence) 5. An infiltration and interrogation expert using all manner of disguise and subterfuge to get what she was after. (Whispers) 6. A writer/storyteller who stumbled upon a darker world during extensive research for "the next great horror novel" gaining unseemly powers. (Spirits) And several others (in fairness, I *only* play Bards). The variety of potential characters and "performance" types, archetypes, motivations, personalities... it's near enough to endless. And I've never played a "horny Bard" even once.


Agreed. I think that one of my favorite depictions was of a Half-Orc Bard who uses a club to play his war drum into battle. Strength Bard just playing his battle rhythms.


Ive made this exact character before! Inspiring his allies, and instilling fear in his foes.


it's basically what my bard does. buff up teammates and heal the hell out of them (and manage to somehow slow dragons). she will sometimes tell silly two line insult rhymes, use bardic power to be a persuasive asshole, pull out a lute, and collect stories of our npc-turned-folk-hero we sort of became obsessed with. my bard only once used a girlish charm to get a sneak attack on some jerks. i don't think she fits the total bard stereotype?


There was a class in Pathfinder 1e called the Skald which was half barbarian/half bard. They could inspire rage instead of inspire courage


In Pathfinder, a party of 4 or more with a bard can be OP. You get a lot of tools to work with there. Being the "flirty" bard would be missing all the benefits available.


To be fair... pathfinder Bards have so many cool archetypes. Archaeologist, Fey Courtier, Daredevil, Sorrowsoul Studious Librarian Wit... I have played 4 pathfinder Bards, and only one was anything close to a 'horny' bard stereotype, in that she was a court spy


I haven't played Pathfinder, but I did love the Skald in the Adventure Card Game. That is the inspiration for one of the Bards I have waiting for another one of my characters to bite the dust.


I played with a guy who did my favorite bard interpretation - he was this old dude multiclassed (maybe gestalted? it's been a while I don't recall) with monk, and his performance was just recitations of the teachings of his temple.


I have no weapon to bring, ba-rump-ba-dum-dum. To decapitate your king, ba-rump-ba-dum-dum, ba-rump-ba-dum-dum, ba-rump-ba-dum-dum.


The first miniature I ever got in one of those 3.5 booster packs of minis was an orc drumming. I loved the idea of an orc bard, but 3.5 was so finicky about optimization that it was hard to run it. Did it anyways. I loved that mini!


He was playing to his strengths.


I hope it was a Valor Bard. Gotta inspire the others to battle!


I made a Disney Princess Strength HalBard and she was a damn riot. Talking to animals, doing musical numbers, lying to devil's. Just a blast to play lol.


I raise your half orc bard my own Goliath bars, who consistently beats people with his lute and is forever buying new ones


He needs to track down a bag of holding and just fill it full of lutes to always have a replacement available.


But then people might accuse him of being a lute hoarder?


He could also leave lute boxes or crates all over the world.


Congrats I just laughed so hard I may have peed a little. Have an inspiration die for that.


then he can donate one! swiftly. with force.


I played a Goliath bardbarian similar to this. He grew up listening to heroic tales round the camp fire and wanted to strike out and find his own tales to tell


My gnome bard assembled a one-man-band setup and was a street performer before joining the party. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f4/One-man\_band\_street\_performer\_-\_5.jpg


I had a tortle bard dual wielding to play a whole drum kit he’d had attached so he could play on the move. Tanky CC focused combat bard I ticked as many options as possible lol


Str bard droppin his taiko mixtape


hunting horn


Now I want to make a half-orc and really pump up their Intimidation and play the bagpipes in battle.


Mind if I steal this?


Nope. The more the merrier.


In the old I DM this is the basis for the Goblin/Hobgoblin faith. Magubliyet is the drummer of the gods.


You need to find better groups if *everyone* does that. It's still a joke here, but has all but died out at actual tables.


It is a joke, but it's a pervasive joke, and it's a joke that Critical Role (Scanlan) has given more breath to. There are plenty of new fans for whom that was their first introduction to the bard class...


That could be good as he is portrayed as regretting his lifestyle choices after being confronted by his bastard daughter, who literally wanted to kill him for being that way. Or it could be bad, people will miss the nuance and want to play an amorous bard because of him, not realizing it's a tired trope that was intentionally exploited for comedic effect.


I mean, that takes like 200 hours into the campaign to actually reach. I imagine a lot of people don't make it that far. In reality, CR started as a home game, and a lot of the characters are pretty stereotypical of their class. Vax is Edgy, Grog is dumb, Scanlan is horny. Just like any other campaign, CR is still just friends playing a game, and should not be taken as the Pinnacle of DND any more than any other campaign. It's entertaining to be sure, but that doesn't mean it's perfect.


It was a home game and, for most of the party, their first game. Scanlan is a fantastic example of a bard…despite his philandering. Sam’s ability to improvise so many amazing songs or to be the voice that brings some laughs/happiness to the party by making jokes and whatnot when the rest of party was down made Scanlan great. I love Grog. The big, strong dummy might be a stereotype, and I think he’s the prime example of how playing a class pretty much exactly as expected can still be fun. As for Vax…I didn’t care for him. Idk if that’s a popular opinion or not. The edginess just felt forced.


It's a trope that had legs BEFORE that and isn't because of him. Like Jaskier in the Witcher was a character far before crit role


I mean holy hell the joke has more connection to rock stars than anything. The charismatic musician = attractive and horny association has existed since the first time someone performed music in front of people and people go really attracted to them.


Yeah, I feel like a lot of people, especially OP, are bitching about this portrayal of bards because oral tradition and revered storytellers are a thing in some cultures, but so are rockstars in other cultures. Bards are a fictional construct and not specifically modelled after one or the other. The horny rockstar bard is an overdone meme at this point, but it's just as "legitimate".


100% agree. If I want to make a flirty character, I make a flirty character regardless of class. My current bard idea I’ve yet to play is one who wants to learn about all the different cultures in the land, learning languages and cuisine and traditions from all over.


Lorekeepers are fun. Roleplay between Lore Bards and any Outland background is a lot of fun.


I do love roleplay, haven’t had the chance to play a bard yet (I have about 3/4 different ones planned out 😂) as I’m long-term DM, but my partner is going to start doing some one shots so I can explore a bit :)


I hope it goes well for you, Loremaster.


Thank you, mighty Odinn.


In playing a hermited 500 year old Stats druid, another player is a scroll-carrying lore bard. The dynamic is definitely interesting. I mostly just drive him nuts by turning into a ferret and hiding in his scroll bag, but it came in handy when we got separated and I was able to locate him by using Locate Object on the scrolls


>...and cuisine and traditions from all over. A Culinarian Bard, now that's interesting!


I started writing a recipe book for him too, it’s buried in a notebook somewhere lol


I'm currently playing a swords bard. While she *is* a poorly behaved hedonist, so is the party rogue. Both of us were circus performers and all of the crazy drunken antics we get into are primarily for the purpose of annoying the shit out of the stuffy, aristocratic cleric in our party. Like that time we visited the cleric's father (a noble) for an audience. Could I have made a scene by trying to fuck the butler? Sure, but it was far more fun to go full Borat and offer said butler a live, squirming chicken I had trapped in a bag as a gift.


😂😂😂 see, I love me some hedonists, but they’re so much better when they’re like you (and presumably your rogue?) - having FUN with it and not sticking to the ‘one trick pony’, you know?


I made one, almost like bilbo baggins styled character but made him a bard who traveled to a town where he learned the world is mostly water so he hopped on a pirate ship because they liked his shanties and he became an honorary pirate without having to do any pillaging and plundering and had many chances to explore the multiple cultures and landscapes of the world. Very fun. Also gave him an Irish accent and played him with a bit of cluelessness and a bit of blissful ignorance.


He sounds like a fun character to play!


I feel like barbarians would be good for horny characters. - Tapped into primal instincts, they don't know of or don't care about civilized customs. It's better for unhinged perversion should your table be okay with that kind of character.


Paladins are charismatic and immune to STDs so as long as you don't take the Oath of Celibacy, horny paladin is a go


And also abs.


I also think it's over done. It just creates a flat character with no real personality. How is your horny bard different from the millions of others


I will say I have played a lore bard 1-20, I have played a variety of bards in one shots, I have played tables with lots of bards truly never seen a horny bard. I’ve seen horny barbarians, I’ve seen a v awkwardly horny Wizard…but never a horny bard flirty and fun sure but I’ve never gone “ew”


So I ran a campaign with both the literal definition of a "Murder Hobo" and the literal depiction of the "Horny Bard" The Bard was a Teifling College of Swords Bard, who played Guitar and in his backstory wrote that his souls was a millenia old demon who possosed the body of his offspring, but only if his offspring was born on a specific day of the year. So his reason for seducing people was to get as many people pregnant to maximize his chance of his offspring being born on the right day?? Idk I just remembered how crazy he was in combat and when I got to play I made my own College of Swords Bard years later. The Murder hobo was a dirty(the player always described his clothes as dirty/grimy) Monk that could barely speak common (players choice) stole from every settlement he passed through, and murdered a diplomat when he got to the city and framed someone else. If you can't tell I had a hard time saying no with that campaign and it went off Rails so often and felt like I was running 3 games at once most of the time.


Honestly, that Bard character concept sounds really cool if you play it right. Basically if he wants to keep ‘living’ he *has* to have as many kids as possible, he has (in his mind) no other choice. He’s not just a horny bard for the sake of being horny, there’s an actual reason behind what he’s doing. Yeah, you could think of alternatives for how he could accomplish his goal, but this is how the bars decided to go about it and it would be interesting to explore that as a character. Does he ever get tired of doing it every day nonstop?Does he feel bad about knowing that his kids are gonna have a pretty shitty upbringing with no father, but in the end he has no choice but to move on? It just sounds like a really cool twist on an otherwise really overdone and bland character trope. The monk, however, just sounds like a typical murderhobo


> I’ve seen horny barbarians In our 6-player campaign, everyone has hooked up at some point. Even our elderly grandmother type bard gave her human husband a "potion of vitality" to revitalize their romance in their 90s. But, our Barbarian has had sex with every man over 7' of height we've encountered. Goliaths, Aasimar, whatever. If she can't see the top of your head, our barbarian's gonna bone you. LOL


Only flirty bard I've ever seen in a real game was a joke gone wrong that became the central plot point. We all rolled up characters and our DM realized we were all half bloods of some type (a tiefling, a genasi, a half orc, and a half dhampir) so he joked that we got together cause we all had the same dad but different moms. We ended up having the whole campaign revolve around us trying to stop our horndog level 20 bard dad from sleeping with all of the gods


I had a Goblin bard with a Spanish accent. His whole deal was that he was desperately searching for someone to love, but he was so ugly that he couldn't successfully get a date or accomplish a seduction. Genuinely sweet guy, but just objectively unattractive to behold. So I think that's an inversion of the trope.


Ive seen the stereotype online but never seen a horny bard in real play, except scanlan from CR that is


This. I played one, thinking it would be fun. That aspect of the character got boring very quickly


"How is your horny bard different from the millions of others?" Mine has a coaster.


While I do see your point, I don't think your bard has to be different from all the others, since most people won't be playing in more than 3 or more different groups.


Yeah, playing against type can be fun, especially if this is 3,765th game, but playing *to* type can also be a lot of fun; I think a lot of people lump flirty and playful with amorous, but either way, that kind of personality can be a lot of fun to play. I played one that was flirty but it became very clear he talked a big game that he didn't back up. Damned if it wasn't one of my most just plain old *fun* characters. Sometimes we forget we're just a bunch of adults sitting around pretending to do shit; not every aspect of every character needs to be the most developed. If people are having fun and staying appropriate, let 'em play. Who cares if they're playing into the stereotype.


This is the most Arctic cold, uncontroversial take possible.


Yeah, I played a kobold bard with the chef feat and his shtick was being completely aware of how fragile he was so he made food and hyped everyone else up while playing off what he could do. Super fun build I didn't expect to enjoy as much as I did


Yeah, horny bard is just a meme. Some people actually wind up doing it, but overall this is just a joke that OP thought was what everyone actually expects of a bard. Says right in the PHB: >Whether scholar, skald, or scoundrel, a bard weaves magic through words and music to inspire allies, demoralize foes, manipulate minds, create illusions, and even heal wounds. The bard is a master of song, speech, and the magic they contain. Nowhere in there does it say you're a hornyboi


I don't think anyone thought the PHB was going to dictate how horny a certain class would be. Outside of it generally being a meme, having an extremely horny bard in one of the few animated DnD series could make it feel like it's more common than it actually is.


What OP thinks is the result of jokes made by people at their table. Just because the PHB doesn't lean into it doesn't mean much.


Yeah exactly- it’s the community surrounding them making OP feel uncomfortable or frustrated


What's written in the phb and what people actually do are 2 totally different things buddy lmao, you really don't know how creepy and weird some neckbeards in this community are


Horny neckbeards are gorny no matter the class though.


It's not a hot take but it's an important take to be said and heard until we have a lot of other tropes to turn to in addition to silly horny bard. I'm surprised it's not more common really, given that almost all cultures at some point have had a strong and very important oral history tradition. I love it and hope OP can create a meaningful powerful character that honors their cultural heritage. I'd also love to do one in a similar vein (but different culture) based around Homer. Lots of great history to mine here that isn't just horny.


I played a bard a few times. True neutral, functionally asexual, was never really shocked or thrilled about what was happening. People liked the no-fucks-given attitude and insisted he should be some sort of chaotic. Since then I've thrown him into games as an NPC, including games other than D&D. "What is Flitz doing in Blades in the Dark?" Flitz has been everywhere, man, he doesn't care because he's seen it all before.


I've played with sexual bards before and it depends on the player, one didn't just want to have sex with everything but flirted and used their sexuality to minipulate people to get what they wanted and to help the party and she was far from a nice person but was played really well by the player. You can tell who's playing the sexual bard for a reason beyond some juvenile fantasy and it can be played well. With that said it's not something I'm a fan of. I'm currently playing a bard in one of my games and he's a middle aged gnome. He is the performer and story teller for his clan. He is a quintessential dad, all his children are grown up and have lives of their own so he's going through a midlife crisis and decided to adventure to find new songs and stories to teach the kids of his clan. He uses dad jokes for cutting words and offers encouragement as inspiration for the party.


The Dad Bard, yes! I do that, too. All dad jokes all the time.


Wearing new balance shoes and calf socks, carrying enough sunscreen, neosporin, and cheesy crackers to keep the party going under any circumstances, and wielding the fabled Mustache of Authority.


Dad bard is everything.


Reducing bards to this one specific character is generally missing a wide range of possibilities and different vibes and themes one could explore with that class. I have a bard character [which I hadn't gotten to use yet] whom is a reborn performer whose personality changed dramatically upon her [semi-failed] resurrection, making her a quiet, solemn person, whose songs always ends up being haunting and eerie, sometimes having different lyrics from what she knows, or in a language she doesn't even understand... [And obviously I think it's a cool character.]


The Bard has a reputation as a sex fiend because, mechanically, they're the best at it. When social encounters are resolved by die rolls, the class with an obscene Persuasion/Deception/Seduction check is going to be best at it. The class is and has always been a skillmonkey focusing on social skills. Players tend to like sex and tend to be mostly unsuccessful at procuring it (a common human affliction), so they like roleplaying a successfully promiscuous "stud" in their power fantasy. I personally don't like role-playing sexual encounters (it makes me a bit uncomfortable TBH) and Bard is still my favorite 5e class. I don't think most people are interested in playing sexual predators - all of the in-game encounters that I've come across have been consensual.


Exactly this. A similar thing happens with Barbarians - they have a reputation as dumb muscle because they're extremely MAD (I mean Multiple Attribute Dependent, but they're also the other kind of mad) and so of course they have fewer points into the mental attributes. Pair that with Barbarians having the lowest amount of options for skill choices and bonuses, and it's really difficult mechanically to make one good at anything besides lifting rocks and taking hits without severely gimping their usefulness in combat. When they're typecast by the mechanics, it's almost inevitable that their reputation matches too.


Agree. Almost all charisma classes fall in to the trap to some degree but bard is by far the most optimized for social encounters. And to a lot of people social encounters means seduction. So the stereotype exists for a reason, but people should be given the benefit of the doubt and allowed to explore their characters without people making fun of their choice to play bard.


> The Bard has a reputation as a sex fiend because, mechanically, they're the best at it. Also they're based on Troubadours of medieval (~12th century) France, who kinda got around. There's lots of stories of troubadours who would woo the wives of kings, barons, etc...and then catch hell and need to flee town. But then from the next town over they'd write songs about how the king was a cuck lol. Edit: Importantly though, they're not *just* sexfiends. Troubadours were poets and heralds of Chivalry and "Courtly Love", which [had a whole bunch of rules](https://www.medieval-life-and-times.info/medieval-knights/medieval-courtly-love.htm). Namely, one of the rules of Courtly Love is that there's nothing stopping one man from loving multiple women (or women loving multiple men) and that "love" should be treated as a near-universal right to everyone. That aside though they'd be hired by other nobles to write for them, or write for themselves, treatises on politics and society. Some examples: the king's a jerk, the king's a pretty great guy, the knights/heroes are amazing, this particular noble pissed me off once, the peasants are oppressed, alcohol is pretty great, living in a particular town is awesome/awful, a particular profession is great, etc. Bonus points awarded because your songs were poetry, so writing an entire song in double entendre about how you sampled the "fine peaches of Provence" would be exactly the kind of things a Troubadour would be all about. If you include innuendo about how the queen finds the king's eggplants too bitter, or how you were visited by a gargoyle at night, bonus points abound. It'd be super low-brow to just write/sing directly about how the princess sleeps around. In popular culture, the closest example of a "proper" Bard is probably Dandelion/Jaskier from Witcher. He's a goofy horndog, but beneath that he is university educated, takes his craft very seriously, and writes about a huge array of subject matter.


Totally agree! I am currently running a Battle Bard based off Vikings and as opposed to being this seductive maiden who sings these sweet songs, she's a brute who would rather bathe in your blood while screaming to her gods in an attempt to inspire her allies and intimidate her enemies.


Oh my god that is awesome. I made mine (Luci) to be half of twins, abandoned at birth (I mean, you gotta start somewhere), who grew up in/around a tavern. They're good kids, both took a different approach at coping. Luci knows how to work a crowd and is extremely convincing, but she has no sexual interest in anyone. Playing an asexual bard made it very clear from the get-go that she is not 'just a horny bard'.


Yes!! That's amazing! I love that idea, way to flip the trope on its head! My bard, Astrid, is currently in a relationship with a female wizard who actually used to be a man. She thought that was the craziest and coolest thing that could happen, so she was instantly attracted to that, plus, Astrid likes blow up magic and that wizard is an evocation.


I have an Orc Bard, background knight. War chants, gongs, drums, war horn. Same type of vibe, he’s on a mission to introduce orcish culture to the world


That's so metal!


Same! But mine has a long fiddle and does mongolian throat singing. Wanna start a band?


All we need is a bassist


Best I can do is a gnome who plays the jug


Which subclass are you using for your bard?


Rune Knight Fighter/Homebrewed Swords Bard Basically my DM is letting me take my Fighter subclass features as Bard subclass features (the DM and I have a back and forth over what I want for the story, what they are willing to let me do, and how powerful the rest of the party becomes.) I'm not too worried about that last part, as we have a Hexblade/Paladin, a Spores Druid, a reworked Barbarian/Warlock, and an Ancestral Barbarian/Soulknife Rogue, so I'm just trying to keep up lol


Sounds awesome!


The righteous bard-barian.


I like the idea of a bard thats more like the happy mask salesman from majoras mask. He seems quirky and goofy at first, but is responsible for very strong magic. Bards can be historians who tell their stories with magical songs. Songs that speak to the hearts of those who hear it, and are drawn in to the magic sewn between the notes. Bards are as serious as the player makes it.


His instrument is a 792 key piano


I don’t think most people actually play bards like this. It is just a joke. I play my bard as young, a little naive. Very much compassionate and still rather innocent.


What's funny is that I think this is a meme partially over-stated by popular depictions like Critical Role's Scanlan. I've never seen a bard actually played that way in my three-dozen-plus full games as DM or player. There was ONE in a one-shot, when the whole gimmick was that we were all drinking in real life and made ridiculous characters. But even then, the bard wasn't the biggest offender of the party.


Also, The Witcher. Jaskier is the most stereotypical bard ever, specially in the games.


I always enjoyed endulging in the stereotype with my eloquence bard a bit, but since we have a fade to black rule it's just some minor flirting


Yeah when so think of bards I think Thom Merrilin, Hoid, especially in stormlight chronicle, Kvothe(to an extent), Paul Bettany as Chaucer in A Knight’s Tale, or my favorite bard of all, Fiddler from Malazan book of the fallen.


If your table gives you that reaction when you play a character, you should only have to ask once for them to stop and explain that your character is not that stereotype. If they persist, you need to involve the DM and then maybe find a new table.


I mean... Idk how much of that actually happens at tables, and how much is just memes tho. The bards I've DMed for / played with have been nothing like that. Hell, two of them have been what I would call the polar opposite of that: One was a doting old granny character. One was a dour, grizzled war vet. It's just memes mostly, I'm sure. Like.how barbs are always portrayed as dumb smashing-machines.


Or how paladins are always lawful stupid.


Not really gonna comment on the rest but i feel its a bit much to conflate the cliche sort of sexually promiscuous bard as a sexual predators. Theres nothing wrong with a character who likes the seggs as long as others at the table are fine with it, promiscuouty isnt evil.


The kind of people who's first priority on entering every bar they ever enter is to hit on the waitress are generally sexually predatory. That's the real world analogue for the majority of the Horny Bard trope - not a classical swashbuckling romantic figure but a sleazy pickup artist.


I really don't know. When the whole schtick is trying to find more exotic creatures to bang, I wonder how often the player stops to think "Does the dragon *want to fuck me*?" Big Seduction Community Pickup Artist vibes.


Player Characters tend to understand that if the Dragon doesn’t at least _tolerate_ their presence, they’d already be dead. And, sometimes, the Dragon _does_ want a lay. Even if only to learn how to better manage the Humans in the nearby valley.


"If I roll a 20 she *has to*, she just *has to*."


If I were a dm and a bard rolled a nat 20, I'd have the dragon say yes and then ask the player how the everloving fuck they're going to have sex with something 100x their size. Donkey made it work, doesn't mean the tiefling bard can.


Because of the *implication*


People liken Bards to rock stars and that sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll stereotype is culturally pervasive. Additionally, DND is heavily European folklore inspired. So think Dandelion from the Witcher. Musician with sex appeal is a tale as old as time.


"I know this is a popular trope due to reasons, but I can't feeling like I'm expected to fall in the "seducing Bard" category. And the fact..." No. That's just in your head and nobody actually cares what you do. Outside of Scanlan on the Vox Machina cartoon, I've never even seen a "horny bard" in action. Play one the way you want to, and everyone will be fine. I've played a lore bard up into high levels and am currently trying to flex my creative muscles and problem solving as a dad joke-slinging creation bard. Not once have I ever "rolled to seduce" or felt pressured that was the right play. And even if it was, I'm not going to flirt with my fucking DM.


I’ve created a bard that travels around chronicling the tales of knights and local heroes. His back story is that he wanted to be a knight growing up but was of a lesser class so he became kind of a fanboy and could rattle off stats and heroic acts of the like.


I really wish we saw more of the Bard's original trope: a character who travels with the party because they want to create first-hand accounts of the extraordinary feats this band of heroes will accomplish. *I will sing your tale and you will become legends! (And I, a famous artist in the process!)*


I played a bard as a non‐nonsense bureaucrat who would "inspire" his team by reciting laws, ordinances and penal codes during a fight. He was also an expert forger and smuggler who helped people cross boarders with legal documentation and paperwork. Couldn't play an instrument, traded those for other skills.


Lol, love the law reciting bard concept! Could also be like a cop reading your laws before an arrest as well. Or a lawyer going over penalties your enemies might expect to discourage their foes.


Agreed. I like them seen as a Warrior Poet.


Every culture has a robust oral tradition of lore keepers. From Scandinavian Skalds telling sagas to Homer’s epic odes. And the proliferation of history podcasters like Mike Duncan and Dan Carlin has allowed the continuation of this tradition in a modern mode. I drew on the Homeric tradition when making a lore bard, but quickly realized I essentially made a Mike Duncan character.


You play your bard how you want. If you want them to be the comic relief clown that fine. If you want them to be a serious poet who likes fine wine and reading in a library that's fine as well.


I very much agree with this as the horny bard is not the only way to play Bard. I'm actually about to start the game as a Spirit Bard and instead of the horny bard/musician stereotype, I'm instead going for the fraud spirit medium angle where they aren't so much an entertainer as well, but instead a master of lying and bullshit just to make people happy in the end.


Curious, was this the stereotype before critical role? Watching it now and of course scanlan is 200% the stereotype. Chicken or egg?


Back in *AD&D* 2e, the bard was a type of rogue, so bards have almost always had an heir of being sleazy, lascivious vagrants who play nice music and go whoring between performances.


This stereotype vastly predates CR


I don't understand why anyone would want to sexualize D&D, it's cringe at the highest level. I would not participate in such a group personally. However, if the group are all okay with it, have at it. The concept just makes my skin crawl.


I'm sorry you've had negatice experiences with this stereotype. People should be allowed to play their own characters. Personally, I've played two bards. The first was a somewhat more stereotypical bard in that he was a less-than-honourable traveling entertainer and a bit of a drunkard, but he never seduced anyone or chased any skirts. He consideres his art to be pure. My second bard was a spy/secret agent in the service of his queen. He was professional, honourable, and always a dapper gentleman. He eventually multiclassed into oath of the crown paladin due to his stronk patriotism. The second one was one of my favourite characters ever truth be told.


Thank you for this. I had a rogue who ended up multiclassing to bard because she was the best qualified in the group to pick up new languages and customs when the party went to new places. A friend of mine played a bard who was also an attorney. Vicious mockery on opposing witnesses. It took the internet to expose me to the assumption that bards are all promiscuous.


Bards are horny Barbarians are dumb and stressed Rogues are untrustworthy thieves Paladins are righteous and hate fun I think every class has those stereotypes that are just dumb and don't add anything to the experience. But they're stereotypes because they're the first impression someone has of the class.


I almost wonder if it's the other way around for some people. They want to play a certain type of character, so they choose the class with that stereotype. It's not "I am a rogue so I have to be edgy and untrustworthy", but "I want to be edgy and untrustworthy, so I shall play a rogue." (Or Warlock, stuff like that.) I know that if I want to play a dumb and angry character, I'm going to pick a barbarian. Bookish dweeb? Wizard or Artificer. I'll get more creative with things like Clerics or Monks, but even then, the subclass you choose will likely be a reflection of your characters personality. So in short, it's not that people that play bards independently decide to be horny. It's that horny people choose bard *because* they're horny.


And the most logical path for said class to take. Bards are smooth talkers and thus are great at wooing people. Barbarians live in closed off communities and don't know much of anything about civilised customs. Paladins have an oath to uphold, said oath doesn't need to be overly limiting.


I think sypha from castlevania is a good representation of the kind of bard you're talking about. I suppose the stereotype comes from the high charisma bards will have since they are more often able to say stupid things and get away with it. Bards as orators and lore keepers are way underutilised.


Last bard I played was con artists. Seemed to fit with the high charisma to get people to do things you wanted. I would also consider a cult leader to be a bard.


Bard with the Criminal Background sounds like some fun to play.


Yea, only made it 3 sessions in before group fell apart but I will definitely revisit the concept.


Pretty sure that the majority of players don’t actually play bards that way…


I mean I agree but I don’t know what it has to do with your culture of oral tradition.. it’s a game, it’s not like real life knights or monks were/ are anything like depicted in the game I think you’re taking it far more personally than it is. But yeah the bard trope is overplayed and boring my favorite depiction of bard has been this dude who played a dragonborn bard who loved making instruments out of the bones of particularly annoying or cool enemies.


I've always wanted to play a Bard based on a Viking skald, who recites epic poems of ancient heroes and inspires her allies with promises of glory in Valhalla. Bards have so much to offer, yet people seem to insist on the stereotypes.


So you have an oral tradition 😏


I personally enjoy doing a lore bard who works for some kind of library and is on a personal mission to catalogueand acquire ancient relics or forgotten lore for the library. So far no expectations from others to be a sexual deviant.


I feel the same way, its mainly the horny bard trope I find distasteful and annoying that it’s the “standard” for most peoples idea of a bard.


I like the idea of a traveling storyteller bard rather than a musician. The spells could be based more on rallying cries or passages from stories.


i always imagined my Bard as MAGICMAN from adventure time. WAAAAAZOOOOOO


In one of the campaigns I was in, I played a lore buff bard who more or less told stories and legends Made for quite some good moments in town settings where my DM a would allow me to tell different legends he had come up with for the setting


There are lots of tripes that are overdone. If it is a problem at the table talk to the other players about it. I’ve had similar problems playing religious based characters with a player at the table making priest jokes about my character. Had to have a talk about it with him, asking what about my actions, background, or rp ic lend credence to what he was joking about. It was a lot more about his baggage than mine.


It's the meme Bard but I've yet to play with one though. A friend plays a dwarf storyteller. I've had a dancer using illusions and diplomacy. And now I'm playing a fortune-teller/psychic bard. I love Bards and I love that there is a rich variety of ways to be a Bard.


I am still trying to figure out where that came from. In earlier editions bards were more serious Lore Keepers. Closer to Taliesin than James T. Kirk. Did this shift start in 3rd edition? Or did their powers of persuasion get to Madcap/Emma Frost level in 4th or 5th edition?


I have been itching hard to play a campaign with my Dragonborn bard who rallied his people out of slavery with the power of rock and roll and lives as Bahamut's envoy of revolution.


Last one I played was more or less asexual however knowing the typically understood Bard would utilized the expectations for role playing (which only went poorly once when the seduced Navy lieutenant didn't want a future sleep with ..they just wanted my blood for scrying purposes...oops). Otherwise if questioned about some race or sentient creature here give the obvious cliche silacious hard response. It's exhausting to be the sex house skirt chaser....and boring. But if that's the role you gotta play to get the adventure, to get the history, to find the artifact sometimes the goal is worth it....all to bring a story home to the other tabaxi who, now that he's been in the rest of the world, knows their stories are bullshit


I get you. I have a goblin bard whose magic comes from chants, poems and songs that summon the spirits of her ancestors. Her and her views on death has led to more interesting shenanigans and drama at the table than a dozen stereotypical bards.


Yeah; I get that too. I’m a creative person who’s drawn to the arts, so I really like playing bards. I’m also asexual. So it gets a little annoying. I played a bard once who was witty, a little (okay, a lot) annoying, snarky, and just loved messing with everyone, but wasn’t horny at all. Her father, however, was one of the typical “horny bards” who had essentially left a ton of broken families behind him, and she was one of the (many) products of his irresponsible actions. Once she found out who he was, she had a lot of issues questioning her own self-worth and importance, as she’d always thought he was some kind of hero. It was interesting playing a character who had to deal with the consequences of that sort of thing.


My most recent PC is a Vistani Bard in Curse of Strahd. He's a storyteller, which is a huge part of Vistani culture. His Bardic magic is flavored as being able to bend the Threads of Fate to aid him to create heroic stories, a talent he picked up from studying Madame Eva for most of his life. It's gone over great at the table.


I had a lore bard with enhance ability that I flavored as a professional wrestler. Cutting words, enhance ability and some other stuff I can't remember off the top of my head. Enemies couldn't beat my grapple and shove checks ever, unless they used legendary actions/resistances.


I ran a college of Swords bard who made a living as a travelling fencing instructor. When needed he'd do exhibition shows displaying his swordwork, but he always found the "dandy's way out" to be an insult to his talents, due in no small part to the groupies and hangers on that always came crawling around at the end of the show. After about 5th level he had enough resources and clients to never perform again, and he was happier for it. Sometimes you just wanna be really good at what you do.


I have a player that is a nimblewright bard (homebrew playable option based on the 3.5e statblock that could talk. He was buried during the spellplague and lost his innate spellcasting like Haste at will). They followed the lore keeping intent very well and they ended up helping my own world building immensely. I never would have researched so much Forgotten Realms lore without them. I can't think of a time where any bard I DM'd for was horny. People need to stop taking r/dndmemes as a window into what the majority of games are actually like and acknowledge it for what it is. Jokes. This isn't to say that a bard can't be horny AND a good story teller at the same time. My Orc valor bard had a thing for elves and had a superstitious hatred of wizards, while also being a talented painter and cementing his goblin paladin buddy in history as a slayer of giants. Your bard's libido should have no impact on their career. If it does, it's time to get off r/dndmemes


I really appreciate you taking the time to make this post. The typical stereotype of bard's has always been concerning to me. Popular media depictions don't really help that image. Bard's can be skalds, storytellers, history keepers, troubadours, politicians, elders, religious leaders, and so much more. It's a shame to see them popularly depicted as..what we hear a lot of, like you've pointed out. I get some folks like the philandering eccentric, and thats...fine. But consider: *why* is this your bard's story and personality? I often worry it's used in unhealthy ways. It's not a very good representation of what a bard can be. And it's not like there aren't examples in TTRPG's. I see tons of variation in the system/campaign setting I frequent (Pathfinder, Golarion), thanks to it's large variation in writer backgrounds. But...yeah.


My most recent bard character is an Arracocra that has no idea how money works and is super talkative, sometimes saying actually useful things. He’s so fun to play!


The issue is that this stereotype comes up because the class is charisma based, and DND historically being a guy’s-only (or mostly) hobby, it implies you’re playing someone super hot who gets all the ladies.


I’m totally with you. I could never play a Bard the way people expect you to. I much prefer Bards to be more like your “keepers of old magic”, or your “hedge witches”, spiritualists, other alternative sorts of magicians. Sometimes I don’t even want them to be especially musical or artistic; the main part of a Bard to me is a powerful force of personality.