November Contest: Create a Bard

Hi, this is Winston from the Critical Mass Podcast over at Critical Press  The guys and I are really juiced about the new release of the Pathfinder core rules from Paizo Publishing.  There’s only one problem

Bards still suck.

This is our mission to you: using the Pathfinder core rules, make a Bardic character that can reasonably substitute for one or more of the four basic dungeon crawl classes: fighter, thief, cleric, or mage.  You have 16, that’s 2d8 maxed out, levels with which to build.  At least 8 levels must be in the Bard core class; multiple core classes are not allowed.  You may use any Prestige class or ability substitution from any published fantasy d20 book, provided you can tell us which book you used.  Links to the Pathfinder System Reference document may be found at

Entries must consist of a completed character sheet, generated using any of the ordinary methods in the core book.  Complete characters include pre-calculated attribute bonuses, saving throws, skill bonus, spell selections, and feats, as well as a description of the character’s role in the party.  Extra points will be given for explaining how skills, spells, feats, and classes work together.  Double bonus points will be given for magic items that uniquely enhance your bard’s abilities – and you have a whopping 315K gold to spend on gear.  Points will be subtracted for detailed history and backstory; this is a dungeon crawl, characters don’t even need a name.

The contest runs from November 1 to November 30, ending promptly at midnight.  The winner will be selected by dungeon crawl survival ratio, and will have his character published in an upcoming Critical Press Media publication.  Because the only bardic character we’ve ever been impressed with is Merrik Scythe from Paeter Frandsen’s “Spirit Blade”, the winner will also receive a CD set of the Spirit Blade audio drama.  Submit your entry by email to, with the entry contained in the body of the email.  Emails with attachments will be deleted unread. All entries will become the property of Critical Press Media.

Good luck, and hot dice.

Pathfinder System Reference Document

Critical Press Media is not associated with Paizo Publishing, or with Dead Gentlemen Productions, whose excellent movie “The Gamers: Dorkness Rising” inspired this contest.

Last 5 posts by Winston Crutchfield