The Troubadour

The Troubadour

Troubadours. German anonymous., s. XIV. Archiv für Kunst und Geschichte. Berlin.Often confused with lay minstrels, fireside storytellers and scoundrels, the troubadour is a highly skilled chronicler of events, an orator, a counselor, and a musician. Relying on his or her ability to weave a convincing story, morality play, or sonnet, the troubadour is often seen among the upper crust of society. The adventuring or wandering troubadour has added many survival skills to an already formidable set of talents, making this character a much sought-after addition to any adventuring party.

The troubadour is compatible with either Swords & Wizardry or Labyrinth Lord core rules.

Requirements: CHA 13, INT 10

Prime Requisite: CHA

Hit Dice: 1d4

Maximum Level: 10

Attack and Save Rolls: As thief

Level Progression: As thief

Shield and Armor Restrictions: Padded or leather armor only

Weapon Restrictions: Can use only 1-handed weapons


Sign of Affection. The troubadour can motivate people to do their best and rise to any occasion. The troubadour can use sign of affection during the magic phase in combat and it has a duration of 1 turn. This ability can confer to any one person within hearing distance a bonus to hit (melee or ranged; must be chosen by the troubadour), Armor Class, and saving throws. The sign of affection can be given to a particular person only once per day. The number of different people the troubadour can affect with a sign of affection per day is equal to his or her class level plus the following Wisdom modifiers. For a Wisdom score of 13–15, +1. For a Wisdom score of 16–17, +2. For a Wisdom score of 18, +3.

The total amount of the bonus is dependent upon the troubadour’s class level.


1–3 +1
4–6 +2
7–9 +3
10 +4

Bonus to AC should be a NEGATIVE amount if using descending AC

Silver Tongue. The troubadour is very skilled at convincing people to do things. This ability works just as the spell charm person, but it has an effective range of 30 feet. It can be used once per day after the troubadour reaches 4th level. At 9th level, silver tongue can be used as the spell charm person (as noted above) or as the spell charm monster (with the same limitations as noted for charm person).

Token of Affection. At 10th level, the troubadour can craft a single item for a particular person, and this item confers onto the person a permanent bonus as noted under sign of affection. The class level of the troubadour at the time of the item’s creation determines the effect’s bonuses. The item requires 10,000 gold pieces and three months of crafting in game time to be completed. There is a 20 percent chance that the token of affection will not work when completed. The GM will roll for failure after the token is completed. If the creation of a token of affection is a failure, the item is worthless and the troubadour must start again. The token of affection affects only the person for whom it is intended; there is no bonus conferred to anyone else who possesses the token.

Tools of the Trade. A troubadour also has the following skills as a thief of the same class level: Move Silently, Climb Walls, Hide in Shadows, and Hear Noises.

7 thoughts on “The Troubadour”

  1. They were often patronized by nobles and their poetry extolled the virtues of Courtly Love as much as it could carry a political intent. A female troubadour was called a trobairitz.


  2. An excellent class. For this one, the only modification I might suggest would be to add more to it! Thanks for the contribution.

  3. Thanks for reading! Yes, I realised it was a bit short, but if my next class gets published, it will make up for it — it’s definitely on the fiddly side!

  4. Great concept! Sounds like a lot of fun & an improvement over the usual Rogue or Thief type character class. I see a lot of potential for creative expansion by players here. Good work!

  5. Very nice but why the level cap? If they had more spells and were more of a thief/magic-user hybrid class I’d get it but, as is, the level cap is too restrictive.

  6. First, thanks for reading!

    Second, great question.

    SHORT ANSWER — You can always house-rule the Troubadour to whatever you want it to be; buuut — you will have to rescale his advancement.

    LONG ANSWER — Too restrictive? In B/X? I don’t think such a thing exists.

    Let’s crunch some numbers:

    The troubadour is not a front line fighter and has a low Hit Die. He is not meant to be anywhere near where the action is since his range is hearing distance — he can be 200 feet back and still be just as effective in combat.

    He does have Hide In Shadows, should be want to wade in closer and get a crack at using Silver Tongue in combat.

    Third, let’s look at his bonus advancement. (BEWARE, MATHS AHEAD!!!) This is based on Labyrinth Lord core rules.

    At first level, the troubadour is throwing down a +1 bonus to the fighter with a Sign of Affection. At level 1 vs THAC0, that effectively means the fighter is hitting equivalently to level 3; a 5% increase in DPR potential. Plus, that same fighter gets -1 to his AC and +1 to his saving throws, somewhere between a 1-2 level increase over a bog standard fighting.

    Now, explode that out to level 10. Fighter’s THAC0 is now 12. Sign of affection is now +4. That is a 20% increase in DPR potential. The fighter is now hitting at an equivalent of level 15! And that is not taking into account the fighter’s own to-hit bonuses and any magic items he may have. -4 to AC is HUGE; and the +4 to saving throws makes his saves equivalent to Epic Level.

    Add to that a Token of Affection, and the fighter’s THAC0 goes does down to 4 when stacked with Sign of Affection. And the Token of Affection is non-Dispel-able, as it is not magical in nature. It also grants a permanent +4 increase to saves, AC, and to-hit. When stacked with Sign of Affection, DPR potential increase goes to a staggering 40%.

    Add an at-will charm person or charm monster, equivalent to a 7th level Magic-User.

    Yes, at 10th level the troubadour levels off, but the fighter can continue to benefit from Sign of Affection indefinitely. The only things where the troubadour suffers is in his hit dice and saves, but there is nothing stopping the troubadour from inspiring himself and taking the bonuses should he need them.

    Finally, yes I could have parsed out the progression to 20th level. In fact, I did, but the advancement went too slow, and to add additional class features would have made it overpowered.

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