Barbarian & Bard
Design & Development
by Logan Bonner and Mike Mearls
Logan: Now that the Insiders out there have had a chance to see previews of the barbarian and bard, we’re going to share some of the major decisions that shaped the final forms of these classes. I did most of the initial work on the bard, and I’ve gotten some interesting barbarian tidbits from Rob Heinsoo. Let’s start there.
The first version of the barbarian was created way back in an early version of Orcus, after the decision to use “green buttons, red buttons, and black buttons” -- what we now know as at-will, encounter, and daily powers. Even then, the rages were dailies instead of fitting into a 3E-style class feature. The coolness of those dailies made the Orcus designers realize the daily powers for the other classes needed to be bigger and more exciting, and that eventually shaped the primal power source as a whole, especially its theme of transformation.
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About the Authors
Logan Bonner traded the Great Plains of Kansas for Seattle when he landed a job at Wizards of the Coast. As a mechanical designer, he has worked on Dungeon Tiles, D&D Miniatures, Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide, and Adventurer’s Vault.
Mike Mearls is the Lead Developer for the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. His recent credits include H1: Keep on the Shadowfell and Player’s Handbook II (v.3.5).