D&D 5E Advice Needed: Lore Bard Level 4

cdkenn590

Villager
First-time DnD player and poster looking for advice. Currently a Level 3 College of Lore Bard. A relatively small party with me, a Twilight Domain Cleric and Hexblade Warlock. We're still low level, but noticing combats have been a slog as I've been playing mainly buff and leaving it to the other two.

I know it goes against "standard" bard practices but was thinking of trying to find ways to take some more combat-focused spells vs party buffs. At Level 4 I was wondering about taking the Magical Initiate Sorcerer feat instead of ASI or a buff feat since there would be some nice overlap between charisma-based spellcasting while not stepping on the toes of our Warlock. What do you guys think?

In addition what cantrips and spells would you recommend if I do take this feat. My bard currently has Mage Hand, Message, Vicious Mockery, Dissonant Whispers, Healing Word, Heat Metal and Suggestion.
 

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NotAYakk

Legend
There isn't really a feat that will let you deal decent damage in combat.

The best sorcerer cantrips are 1d10 (so +3 damage per hit, 6 at level 5-10). Still, you won't be doing great damage.

If you have 16 cha/14 dex, a rapier does 7.5 damage already and is almost as accurate as firebolt.
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
First-time DnD player and poster looking for advice. Currently a Level 3 College of Lore Bard. A relatively small party with me, a Twilight Domain Cleric and Hexblade Warlock. We're still low level, but noticing combats have been a slog as I've been playing mainly buff and leaving it to the other two.
Honestly, with only 3 players, and two of them being poor damage dealers, fights are going to be slow. Ideally, your DM will tune fights to feature more high damage glass cannon type monsters, because your party has a lot more survivability than offense.

I can't think of a specific level 1-2 sorcerer spell that's a buff that would provide a lot more offense to the party.
 

ehren37

Legend
Magical initiate Warlock would be good. You pick eldritch blast and Hex. Alternately Spell Sniper with EB.

The hexblade is likely in melee, and it's not like anyone can claim "ranged damage" as their niche in a 3 person party, where everyone needs to pull double duty as you're 2 members down from the standard. Thematically it works as you ask the hexblade for a hookup with their dealer. Maybe their patron will give em a referral bonus!
 

At level 4, upcast thunderwave or shatter is not half bad. The sorcerer can´t do a lot more. I second reliant ranged damage by chosing hex and eldritch blast and maybe booming blade or greenflame blade for melee.
You can probably learn it from your fellow warlock (for roleplaying`s sake).
You might even consider multiclassing hexblade (easy to justify with another one in the group) or some different patron (yes, there are great other patrons out there), for better spells and extra features, but that would shove bard 6 further away.

My advice however would just be increasing cha, dex or taking resilient con to have a better chance of controlling the battlefield. Damage is not everything in a combat.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Bards are more meant to be the "fifth member" of a four-person troupe, providing buffs to the group and filling in when one of the others get low on abilities or hp. Working with a group of only two others, you've got big shoes to fill. You're really more needed on the front line.

It may actually be a better idea to multiclass into a melee class like the fighter, ranger or paladin to beef up your combat ability - or accept your "role" and look for non-combat ways to resolve encounters.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
Rather than use your feat on Magic Initiate here, I would hang on and wait for your Magical Secrets at level 6; you can pick up a couple of heavy offense wizard spells like lightning bolt and fireball if you feel like that's what's needed.
 

ehren37

Legend
Rather than use your feat on Magic Initiate here, I would hang on and wait for your Magical Secrets at level 6; you can pick up a couple of heavy offense wizard spells like lightning bolt and fireball if you feel like that's what's needed.
Which is great for 2 rounds a day, but then it's back to doing 2d4 on a failed save. With that small a party, you need decent at will damage.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Which is great for 2 rounds a day, but then it's back to doing 2d4 on a failed save. With that small a party, you need decent at will damage.
At level 5:

XBE gives the Bard (1d6+2)*2 = 11 DPR(+6 over baseline)
Fire Bolt gives the bard 2d10 = 11 DPR (+6 over baseline)
+2 dex gives the Bard 1d8+3 = 7.5 DPR (+2.5 over baseline)
Light XBOW gives the Bard 1d8+2 = 6.5 DPR (+1.5 over baseline, but free)
Baseline is 2d4 = 5 DPR

At level 4, however:
Baseline is 2.5 DPR
Light XBOW is 1d8+2 6.5 DPR (+4 over baseline! And free!)
Firebolt is 5.5 DPR (+3 over baseline)
XBE is 11 DPR (+8.5 over baseline)

The immediate problem is solved by using a light crossbow or a rapier instead of your cantrip to do damage.

At level 5, the warlock gets extra attack, the cleric and bard both get level 3 spells. At level 6 the bard gets magical secrets.

Things change a bunch.
 

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