Saturday, July 11, 2015

Review and Commentary On The Prodigy (Bard) From Ivanhoe Unbound For Your Old School Campaigns

Kirt Dankmyer is either a madman or a genius or maybe a bit of both, his latest OSR effort is focused on the Bard but this is another take on the class. Music is one of the most powerful forces of life and these PC's are the focal point for that genius. But that same genius damns them as rogues and outcasts. In this you have part of what makes the Prodigy something very special. For that energy that burns brightest within them also burns them out as well and should they stay in one place for too long it can consume their minds and hearts.
 This is only an eight page pdf but it packs a nice punch for a fun roguish adventurer of musical powers and abilities that both can entertain and bring the fun adventure side to this genius. Why do I like the Prodigy? Because its got lots of useful bits and pieces that with the right player could become a perfect vehicle to allow parties to get embroiled in the deep end of country, court life,and urban pseudo European locations. But is that the limit of the class? Not at all, I think that when you start looking into this class it has potential for all kinds of AD&D 1st edition or OSRIC style games.

The layout and artwork is bare bones but that's not why you'll want to get this .98 pdf, instead your getting this as another addition onto the bardic PC class that allows for a roguish genius to be added into your old school games. This is a perfect addition to parties where the elements of a thief can come into play but you get a real PC that burns with the power of music to make a bit of extra coin and entertain as well. But there's a bit of a sleazy element at play here as well, in fact quite a bit of it. This is a class that is at home in the bar room as well as the court. But there's more, because the road is always calling with this class. So where could this class be useful? Well the obvious answer is for the primarily  historical rpg  and adventures but that goes without saying. So anything from the early Stone age  to the Seventeenth century are the realms of the Prodigy, but he could be just as at home in the seedy gin joints of the Roaring Twenties to the sweat halls of today as a DJ. The energy of music is pretty universal and one of the unexplored parts of rogues and thieves especially the guilds is their connections to performers and musicians. Don't believe me well go look at the relations between fences, pawns, and musical instruments. But that's not all, the prodigy could be used as a part of a post apocalyptic adventuring party as well. A way of getting into and welcome by post apocalyptic communities who might otherwise be very hostile to the party of adventurers. Musicians and entertainers are always welcome to the grind and tedious nature of the wastelands but due to the very nature of the PC class they're always going to be on the move.
This same sort of energy and creative crack of musical lightning will also make them welcome in interstellar courts where the nature of the intrigue and FTL makes the prodigy a useful and coveted asset to the courts and court life of a backwater planet. In point of fact the Prodigy is ideally suited as a force of adventuring prowess and focal point for clever DM's to exploit by their very nature. Imagination and exploitation work hand and hand to make this a very interesting and clever way to motivate adventurers into the deep end of the pool. In point of fact with some clever slight of hand a DM could draw higher level Prodigies into full blown courtly intrigues on a grand scale with their weirdly adaptable abilities into a game of White Star or a similar old school space game.Even though this material is for OSRIC a clever DM could easily adapt this class to most of the major retroclones on the market with a bit of slight of hand on their part.
But through all of this is The Prodigy (Bard) From Ivanhoe Unbound worth the money for yet another version of the Bard PC class? Yes I think so because it makes a certain amount of sense to add in a PC class that can and will pull a party out of the mid campaign doldrums and into a high energy as well as high adventure point. And that's exactly what   The Prodigy (Bard) From Ivanhoe Unbound does in spades!

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