In most cases, "bard" shouldn't be anything more than a base class with an alternate spin, especially when using the idea of comfort healing hit points (although these days I'd use a simpler mechanic than the ability checks in that old post: roll 5+ on d6, add a +1 for a high appropriate ability score or appropriate background; success means recovery of 1 hp, max 1 point/day.) Just like a barbarian or a samurai, a basic minstrel or bard doesn't need any mechanical differentiation; just use the Fighter or Thief. My Charmer class would work for a secular bard, too. If you really want spells, use the cleric, druid, or illusionist, or do some class switching if you have a 16+ ability score. Maybe you could even use the clerics without spells idea to put together a decent bard.