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Thread: help me build a bard
Thursday, 11th September, 2008, 01:54 AM #1
help me build a bard
my stats are
i want a bard who wont be useless in combat but still have alot of options in out of combat situations. as a near full time DM ive never been able to sit down and play a bard so any advice on good feats and what equipment i should use are also helpful. a prestige class that is very bardish would be cool if you know any.
also only WOTC books
Last edited by lexoanvil; Thursday, 11th September, 2008 at 01:58 AM.
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Thursday, 11th September, 2008, 02:00 AM #2
Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)
"If you can't believe in yourself, believe in me who believes in you."
"Go beyond the impossible, and kick reason to the curb"
Kamina, from Gurren Lagann
Thursday, 11th September, 2008, 02:05 AM #3
Thursday, 11th September, 2008, 02:38 AM #4
Whip and Whip dagger (shared proficiency, bard effectively gets both) are very useful weapons for a Bard, and can work nicely for a disarm or trip build.
The only REQUIRED bard feat, if available, is Song of the Heart from the Eberron Campaign Setting. Haunting Melody, same book, is pretty cool, too.
For equipment, look to Magic Item Compendium. A crystal echoblade is a longsword that adds half your bard level to damage while your bardic music is playing. A +1 market price enhancement you could put on that or a whip is harmonizing. It picks up your bardic music after you stop performing it and carries it for 10 (?) rounds longer.
If you really want to focus on melee, there's two cool bard options. One is a CWarrior prestige class that gives cool new songs and full BAB, the Warchanter. Ask the DM to let the levels stack for the peuposes of inspire courage, which I think at the time of printing still didn't scale with Bard level. It's a requirement for the class, so it's a reasonable request. The other is multiclassing with Crusader or Warblade (Tome of Battle) and taking Song of the White Raven. It's a useful multiclassing feat, and lets you start inspire courage as a swift action if in a White Raven stance.
There's lots of useful spells, the most useful being Inspirational Boost (Spell Compendium) for +1 to your current inspire courage use.
Thursday, 11th September, 2008, 03:24 AM #5
Thursday, 11th September, 2008, 03:52 AM #6
Thursday, 11th September, 2008, 03:57 AM #7
Thursday, 11th September, 2008, 09:49 AM #8
Time Agent (Lvl 24)
Assuming the 18 gets stuck in Cha, a 16 Dex means you'll be fairly effective with ranged attacks and finesseable weapons.
So, take WeapFin and use a Rapier and Dagger as your main melee weapons, while picking a bow for your ranged weapon of choice (assuming you have the $$$).
Rapier & Dagger would work best with TWF, but that can be feat intensive if you want to go all the way with it. For a Bard, I'd just take the TWF and be done with it.
Point Blank Shot and Precise shot are essential if you want to be an effective sniper, but it isn't necessary for a fun PC. The group I'm adventuring with currently has 2 Clerics who insist on firing their X-Bows into melee at least once per skirmish, and neither currently has either feat. Yes, the front-liners have been ploinked. Its HI-larious.
A Whip (esp. a bladed or dagger version), OTOH, lets you strike from a distance without worrying about "firing into melee" because its a reach weapon, and it too can be used with TWF. Since it, too, is finesse-able, using it TWF with a Rapier can be quite effective.
You can cast in Lt armor, so that feat from CompArc that boosts your armored spellcasting potential could be beneficial...if you get proficiency in a heavier armor. Or you can save your ducats and eventually buy something in Mithril.
If you take the feat Devoted Performer, you can multiclass with Paladin and Bard. Fun stuff!
Reach Spell lets you use your Cure spells- unique among arcane casters- at range by converting them into Rays. Given your Dex, you ought to be able to keep your meatwall...er...comrades healthy on the front line. Some of your other spells it would work for include Invisibility, Gaseous Form and Remove Curse. For a further boost, using Split Ray would double the effectiveness of those spells. (I don't know that I'd do that, though- that's boosting your spells 3 levels, and you don't have that many levels to work with. YMMV.)
Arcane Strike lets you convert spells into bonuses to attack and damage for your melee strikes.
Reserve feats let you set aside a spell of a specific kind supernatural power- usually some kind of attack- and a boost to caster levels for specific kinds of spells. Bonus, since the powers granted are supernatural, you don't have to worry about SR, ASF, grappling, etc.
If you wish to go a bit more whackadoo, you can take a couple of Feats in one of the Heritage lines. The Celestial, Infernal and Draconic Heritage lines all contain feats that convert spell levels into some kind of attack power- usually an area effect attack. Bonus, they're supernatural like the Reserve feats.
The last 3 options are more viable if you multiclass into a full-spellcasting arcane class that also uses Charisma, like the Sorcerer, Warmage, and Battle Sorcerer. Reminder- the latter 2 are also armored spellcasters.
FWIW, don't forget to load up on Sonic spells- most critters don't stand up to them too well, and Eagle's Splendor (and its Mass version) doesn't only work for you, but for any Paladin, Cleric, Sorcerer, Marshal, Wilder, etc. in your party.
Thursday, 11th September, 2008, 10:42 AM #9
Gallant (Lvl 3)
Now Dannys almost got me wishing I was playing a bard myself!
DnD didn't make the last save.
"If only nerdrage could be harnessed, the world would have all the renewable energy it would ever need."
Friday, 12th September, 2008, 01:31 AM #10
Sorry, did fall asleep. Ok, I'll assume you want a melee fighting bard to serve as back up Fighter or even a replacement for one, based on the original post. I'll do it with longsword, feel free to adjust to a more unique weapon later.
Stats: Str 14, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 18
Progression: Bard 6 --> Crusader 2 --> Bard x (if it goes to high levels, you may want to add two more Crusader levels towards the end for BAB +16 and a fourth attack)
Level 1: Force of Personality (cha instead of wis on mind-affecting will saves; CAdv), Melodic Casting (Perform instead of Concentration, cast spells and UMD while performing; CMage)
Level 3: Song of the Heart (+1 bonus/DC for all musics, basically; ECS)
Level 6: * Multiple options
Levels 7-8: Crusader 2.
Level 9: Song of the White Raven (multiclassing feat, swift inspire courage; ToB)
* (Note, all of these are good feats to have eventually)
Option 1: Haunting Melody (ECS) - Take the Never Outnumbered skill trick and keep intimidate maxed out. Enjoy making scores of enemies shaken with the melody, then wading in and scaring them off with intimidate (fear stacks), granting yourself and allies AoO's as they flee for a round
Option 2: Snowflake Wardance (Frostburn) - Requires perform (dance) ranks, lets you add cha to attack rolls on top of str. If going this route, maybe work towards the Dervish prestige class. Also, you can't use a shield with this feat, so you may want to go for Two Weapon Fighting.
Option 3: Battle Dancer (PH2) - Just generally useful, as long as you move 5 ft or attack it remains active, if you do both on any given round while your music is active, you get +2 attack.
Variant: If you don't have Tome of Battle, replace the Crusader levels with Paladin levels and Song of the White Raven with the Devoted Performer feat. If you don't feel like doing alignment limbo, just use Paladin of Freedom (UA or here: Variant Character Classes :: d20srd.org) and save a feat.
Level 0: Pick up Prestidigitation, Message, Detect Magic, and whatever else you like
Level 1: Pick up Inspirational Boost, Joyful Noise (SpC), Grease (just cause), and whatever else you like. Consider Phantom Threat and Critical Strike (both SpC)
Level 2: Pick up Bladeweave, Sonorous Hum (SpC), Alter Self (if not banned, as it should be), and whatever else you like. Consider Sonic Weapon, Mindless Rage, Battle Hymn, and Warcry (all SpC), and Mirror Image and Suggestion.
Maneuvers (5 known, 5 readied, 2 granted):
1 Vanguard Strike (DS, Strike)
1 Douse the Flames (WR, Strike)
2 Mountain Hammer (SD, Strike)
2 Shield Block (DS, Counter)
2 Battle Leader's Charge (DS, Strike)
Stances (2 known, RotM gained at Crusader 2):
1 Martial Spirit (DS) or 1 Leading the Charge (WR)
3 Roots of the Mountain (SD) (readied)
Gear: Work towards a Crystal Echoblade, make it +1, and add Harmonizing (all MIC), and at that point try to retrain Melodic Casting. For armor, you want Mithral Breastplate. Stats that need improving are cha, dex, con, and maybe str, basically in that order.
Skills: Perform (dance for Snowflake Wardance, oratory or singing otherwise), UMD, and Tumble are necessary, Intimidate, Bluff, and Diplomacy are nice to have. Not much need for Concentration as long as you have Melodic Casting. Since your int isn't high, consider trading bardic Knowledge for Jack of All Trades (basically, use half your bard level as fake ranks in skills if you have less actual ranks in them).