The final section of my series on AD&D 1st Ed. house rules considers the thief, the assassin, and the bard.
• The bard is a sub-class of thief, and a class just like any other. A player character bard begins at 1st level and does not need to be a thief or a fighter first. (In fact, since bards are a thief sub-class, the thief/bard multi- or dual-class is not possible.) A bard requires Strength 9, Dexterity 12, Intelligence 13, Wisdom 12, and Charisma 15. Dexterity and Charisma are considered the bard's prime requisites. Humans and half-elves may be bards, and half-elven bards may reach a maximum level of 16th in the bard class.
• Bards have all of the capabilities described in the 1st Edition Player's Handbook (additional languages, charm/fascinate, legend lore/item knowledge). They may become proficient in any weapon (as a fighter) and may wear armor up to chain (but cannot use a shield). Spellcasting in armor is permitted. Bards advance in all of the thieving skills as a thief of one-half their actual experience level, except for Read Languages and Read Scrolls (bards use their full bard level for these abilities, and moreover, a bard's understanding of magic is superior to that of a thief's, such that 10th level and greater bards are able to read any scroll, arcane or divine, and their chance of backfire is only 15% rather than 25%).
• Bards cast both druidic and illusionist spells. A bard's caster level for druidic spells is equal to one-half his actual level rounded up (i.e. a 1st level bard is equivalent to a 1st level druid, and the bard's druidic caster level improves by one on each odd-numbered level). A bard's caster level for illusionist spells is the same as his effective thieving level, i.e. one-half his actual level rounded down (equivalent to a 1st level illusionist at the 2nd bard level, equal to a 2nd level illusionist at the 4th bard level, etc.). Bards are never able to cast druid spells more powerful than 5th level or illusion spells above 4th level.