13th Age Character Builds: Battlethunder Bard



In this series by ASH LAW, we feature two different builds for every 13th Age character class, at all levels. ASH suggests how the builds might be used, and offers tips on playing each character. Stats are based on the point-buy method, and the characters have no non-standard elements.

This time, we look at two different takes on the Bard.



Download the Battlethunder Bard character sheets here.

This bard is all about getting stuck into the fight, a daring warrior who enhances their weapon attacks with battle cries and bardic songs.

This ‘battlethunder’ bard uses battle cries to fulfil a leader-style role, granting their allies little boosts here and there as a side-effect of their bardic weapon attacks. This bard sings bardic songs rather than use spells, and can usually maintain songs over several rounds of melee combat.

In battle you’ll want to get stuck in on the front line, with your melee attacks triggering battle cries and your songs providing constant benefits to the whole party.

If you want to play a character who is all about singing their way to victory, this is it.



When you (the player) sing, gain a bonus to maintain songs (just rewrite the words to your favorite songs and sing to entertain the GM and the other players with your ‘combat karaoke’).


You get extra bardic songs.


Tell a story to reroll icon dice.


High elves get to teleport, useful for getting to fallen allies or quickly reaching enemies.


Charisma and Dexterity are all-important for this bard – you use Dexterity for your melee attacks instead of Strength: Str 8 (-1) Con 14 (+2) Dex 18 (+4) Int 10 (+0) Wis 8 (-1) Cha 18 (+4).

1st level

Attributes: Str 8 (-1) Con 14 (+2) Dex 18 (+4) Int 10 (+0) Wis 8 (-1) Cha 18 (+4)

Racial Power: highblood teleport

Talents: songmaster, spellsinger, storyteller

Feats: soundburst

Spells & Songs: song of heroes, song of spilt blood, soundburst

Battle cries: stay strong! pull it together!


2nd level

New spell (charm person), new feat (pull it together!).

3rd level

New song (song of aid replaces charm person), new battle cry (hang tough!), level-up spells/songs (song of heroes, song of spilt blood), new feat (hang tough!).

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Charisma, Dexterity, Constitution), new song (song of thunder), all spells/songs now 3rd level, new feat (toughness).

5th level

New song (song of magic), level-up spells (song of thunder, song of aid), new feat (song of thunder).

6th level

New battle cry (stay true!), all spells/songs now 5th level, new feat (soundburst).

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Charisma, Dexterity, Constitution), new song (song of blood and legends), level-up spells (song of thunder, song of aid, song of heroes), new feat (hang tough!).

8th level

New battle cry (victory is ours!), all spells/songs now 7th level, new feat (song of thunder).

9th level

New song (song of destinies), level-up spells (song of thunder, song of aid, song of heroes), new feat (soundburst).

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom), new battle cry (the time is now!), all spells/songs now 9th level, new feat (overworld two-step).


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