Fochlucan Lyrist build help

FoxWander

Adventurer
First off- this is a character for my wife (Lady Sabelle here)- she can't post at the moment so she asked me to post this for her.

OK, so this is for what the DM says will be a "very high powered" game. Our group is small, so she plans to fill two caster roles for the party- mainly cleric but she also likes bard. Dual casting classes usually mean you give up a lot in each but, with the following build, my wife and I were able to design a Fochlucan Lyrist that gives up only a single cleric level and still gets 11-14 levels of bard! We're asking for opinions and suggestions for this build.

Please note that this character is starting out at 1st level and has to be playable all the way through. It uses the PrCs Green Whisperer, Divine Oracle and Fochlucan Lyrist and requires a little tweaking /interpretation of the rules. (*See Main Issues Below) The requirements for these PrCs are very skill heavy (62 skill points total) but we use a house rule of “once a class skill, always a class skill (otherwise it’s 80+ skill points). Items underlined are PrC requirements.

The character is a Petal (Tiny Fey, ecl 2, MM3) with epic worthy stats: 8 Str, 26 Dex, 17 Con, 18 Int, 18 Wis, 26 Cha. *2 free racial HD ( house rule) gives 1 extra Feat. She took the FR regional feat: Artist. From there she's got the Regional Background: Bardic Tutelage (Forgotten Realms: Champions of Valor) which allows you to get ANY one bonus language. She picked Druidic, which the build needs for Lyrist. *DM approval required. (Again see Main Issues below)


  1. Cloistered Cleric 1........Domains: Time, Planning, Knowledge. Feats: Persistent Spell, Divine Meta-Magic, Skill Focus: Knowledge (religion)
  2. Bard 1.......................Bardic Music
  3. Cloistered Cleric 2........Feat:Melodic Casting
  4. Cloistered Cleric 3........+1 Con
  5. Cloistered Cleric 4
  6. Green Whisperer 1........Feat:Song of the Heart (*See Main Issues Below)
  7. Green Whisperer 2
  8. Green Whisperer 3........+1 Wis
  9. Divine Oracle 1.............Feat: Extra Turning or Subsonics.
  10. Divine Oracle 2.............Prescient sense (as Evasion? *See Main Issues Below )
  11. Fochlucan Lyrist 1
  12. Fochlucan Lyrist 2........Knowledge Devotion, +1 Wis
  13. Fochlucan Lyrist 3
  14. Fochlucan Lyrist 4
  15. Fochlucan Lyrist 5........Feat ??
  16. Fochlucan Lyrist 6........+1 Wis
  17. Fochlucan Lyrist 7
  18. Fochlucan Lyrist 8........Feat ??
  19. Fochlucan Lyrist 9
  20. Fochlucan Lyrist 10.......+1 Wis

BAB: 16
Cleric CL: 19
Bard CL: 14 (or 11)
Domains: Time, Planning, Knowledge, Oracle
Fly Speed: 60’

The build starts out with 11 turn attempts so it can persist 1 spell right off the bat. If the DM nerfs this for 1st level, she'll just switch Divine Meta-Magic with the Extra Turning feat or Knowledge Devotion. 2nd level as Bard starts out with 4 Bardic Music uses because of the Artist feat. For later levels, possible feats are Travel Devotion and/or Mobile Spell Casting but we would welcome any other suggestions.

Main Issues:
  • PrC: Green Whisperer (Dragon Magazine #311, page 70, requirements: any neutral alignment, Knowledge (nature) 8 ranks, Perform 8 ranks, and Survival 5 ranks). Quick -version- it's a 5- level dual-caster PRC designed for bard/druid. It boosts Bardic Music and gives bonuses to affect animals. Level 5 would let you affect plants but we're not going that far.

    Taking this depends on modifying the PrC to change the spellcaster advancement from "+1 level of Bard and Druid class" to +1 Arcane, +1 Divine. This would open the PrC to any Arcane/Divine caster willing to put ranks in the prerequisite skills but it wouldn't give you much if you weren't a nature-focused bard. It's still focused on nature magic but this gives her 3 extra levels in bard while advancing divine casting as well. However, NOT taking this isn't a deal breaker. If the DM doesn't approve the change we can replace the Whisperer with 3 more levels of Cloistered Cleric and take the Alternative Source Spell feat before 11th level to qualify for the Lyrist's "1st-level arcane" spell requirement.
  • PrC: Divine Oracle (requirements: Knowledge (religion), Skill focus: Knowledge (religion), ability to cast any 2 divination spells)
    This PrC gives Prescient sense at level 2 which is alternately Evasion. Again, we'd need DM approval to allow this to count for that Lyrist requirement.

With those slight mods we can get Fochlucan Lyrist advancing cleric and bard with almost full cleric casting! Getting Druidic from the Bardic Tutelage background is kinda cheesy BUT it's supported by the RAW. Prescient Sense may not be "evasion" exactly, but it is evasion+ so I've never heard of anyone not allowing it to sub for evasion. Finally, Green Whisperer is completely optional, but it would be nice. And switching it to arcane/divine advancement rather than the class-specific bard/druid is possibly more 3.5E appropriate.

That's the build, so what do you think? This is a somewhat cheesier build than we (especially my wife) usually do, but from talking to the DM it sounds like we'll need all the extra we can get to survive. As stated before, any advice, suggestion, or improvements would be very welcome- as would pointing out any mistakes or glaring problems we've overlooked. Thanks.
 

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Dross

Explorer
Where is this rule? Normally you have to take a level of druid to get that language.

I suspect it is because there is no clause saying you can't (which the PHB does but unsure of other books). It is the class description of "druids are forbidden to teach this to non-druids" bit that would have me say no.

Then again given the style of game, this is one thing I'd have the PC quest to get. ;)
 

Lady Sabelle

First Post
I suspect it is because there is no clause saying you can't (which the PHB does but unsure of other books). It is the class description of "druids are forbidden to teach this to non-druids" bit that would have me say no.

Then again given the style of game, this is one thing I'd have the PC quest to get. ;)

The RAW in Champions of Valor says " Bonus Languages: As region, plus any one (including dead languages)."

To support this, the Loremaster PrC also has "Bonus Languages A loremaster can choose any new language at 4th and 8th level" also with no qualifiers/ exceptions. A Loremaster is free to teach anyone she chooses and would be very likely to hang out at a Bardic Collage.

We admitted its cheesy in the original post... but to quote Oots, "I don't make the rules, I just twist them to my purposes."
 


arcseed

First Post
For my money, in a "very high powered", but small group, I'd be worrying about the action economy. If your DM isn't completely against it, I'd delay one of your feats to take leadership. Particularly since inspire courage does better the larger the group.

I'd also encourage all the other party members to take leadership.
 

Lady Sabelle

First Post
By changing Cloistered Cleric for Totem Druid (Dragon Magazine 335, page 87) the build would look like this:

  1. Bard 1.......................Bardic Music, Skill Focus: Knowledge (religion), Feat:Song of the Heart, Feat:Melodic Casting
  2. Totem Druid 1.............Totem companion, Totem shape (1/day), Nature sense
  3. Totem Druid 2.............Natural Spell, woodland stride, Feat: Subsonics
  4. Totem Druid 3.............+1 Con, Totem shape (2/day), Trackless shape
  5. Totem Druid 4.............Resist Nature's Lure
  6. Green Whisperer 1........Feat:Leadership
  7. Green Whisperer 2
  8. Green Whisperer 3........+1 Wis
  9. Divine Oracle 1.............Feat: Knowledge Devotion
  10. Divine Oracle 2.............Prescient sense (as Evasion? *See Remaining Main Issue Below )
  11. Fochlucan Lyrist 1
  12. Fochlucan Lyrist 2........ +1 Wis, Feat ??
  13. Fochlucan Lyrist 3
  14. Fochlucan Lyrist 4
  15. Fochlucan Lyrist 5........Feat ??
  16. Fochlucan Lyrist 6........+1 Wis
  17. Fochlucan Lyrist 7
  18. Fochlucan Lyrist 8........Feat ??
  19. Fochlucan Lyrist 9
  20. Fochlucan Lyrist 10.......+1 Wis

BAB: 16
Druid CL: 19
Bard CL: 14
Domains: Oracle
Fly Speed: 60’
Totem shape 2/day

Remaining Main Issue:

  • PrC: Divine Oracle (requirements: Knowledge (religion), Skill focus: Knowledge (religion), ability to cast any 2 divination spells)
    This PrC gives Prescient sense at level 2 which is alternately Evasion. Again, we'd need DM approval to allow this to count for that Lyrist requirement.

This way we remove most of the cheese: No divine meta-magic, No Druidic language issues, and no changes to the Green Whisperer. Most of the bardic music feats can be taken at 1st lvl, allowing Leadership at 6th (as suggested). Totem Druid gives me a shapechange ability with the added bonus of a FREE Natural Spell Feat. Sure I lose the versatility of true wildshape, but with the build I'd have never gotten it anyway.:D
The questions are:
1- What feats should I take for the remaining 3 slots?
2- Is this build worth the domain and turn undead/divine meta-magic loses?
With only 2 uses of Totem shape and being a tiny creature otherwise, I'm not built for front line combat. And I can't sing/play in animal form.
It's too bad that Totem speech is an 8th level ability...:.-(
 
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Nimloth

First Post
more feats

Quicken spell for 1 of your remaining feats definitely (for action economy) and someway to be able to cast spells and maintain your bardic music. Perhaps Silent metamagic on your druid spells. Though I seem to recall a bard feat that let you cast spells while singing, or maybe I imagined it.
Edit: So that's what Melodic Castings does, I don't play bards very often.

The memory is always the 2nd thing to go with age, I just wish I could remember the 1st.

I've always thought the Fochlucan Lyrist was a good idea, but the prerequisites were a little strange.
 
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Lady Sabelle

First Post
Rremember that song of the heart requires perform 6 and subsonics needs perform 10.

Thanks for pointing that out... but we were effectively give 2 FREE racial HD so my max rank for skills should be 2 points higher. (in the original post it was incorrectly listed as 1 HD.) Please correct me if I am wrong with that assumption.
So the song of the heart is ok, but the subsonics has to be changed. Would Mobile Spellcasting Feat (Complete Adventurer, page 111) be a good choice at 3rd? (Needs Concentration 8 ranks)
 

TanisFrey

First Post
The RAW in Champions of Valor says " Bonus Languages: As region, plus any one (including dead languages)."

To support this, the Loremaster PrC also has "Bonus Languages A loremaster can choose any new language at 4th and 8th level" also with no qualifiers/ exceptions. A Loremaster is free to teach anyone she chooses and would be very likely to hang out at a Bardic Collage.

We admitted its cheesy in the original post... but to quote Oots, "I don't make the rules, I just twist them to my purposes."
I may have to steal this. I am playing in a FR game. The character is a Bard 1/Cleric 6 (of Sharess)/Half-elf Paragon 3/Divine Disciple 4. I was planing to complete the Divine Disciple and Human Paragon then was unsure of where to go. This could open up her having more bard levels. Depending if the DM will lose-en the armor restrictions for a non-druid in the class. And if I can meet the skill requirements. She needs to gain an additional 7 ranks of decipher script, 4 of diplomacy, 7 of gather info, 7 ranks of knowledge (nature), 6 in sleight of hand. Not to mention changing alignment by 1 step.

All tho I was looking at making her a Prestige Paladin of Freedom. Much easier to meet the skill and feat requirements. She need an additional knowledge (nobility) 2 ranks, and ride 4 ranks and Mounted Combat. Much easier to meet that Fochlucan Lyrist.

It would make her the second such paladin in the party but of a second god. The first is a Prestige Paladin of Freedom whom serves Sune.
 

arcseed

First Post
Some more thoughts on the build: The cleric version is a lot better, if you can convince your DM. Divine metamagic, the extra domain spell, and the generally better spell list are big boosts, and you don't really get the best features of being a druid. The one thing you might miss is the fort-save targeting druid spells. IIRC, the cleric spell list is heavily will-targeting, like the bard list.

If you go cleric, get the feat allowing the bard to cast in medium armor with no spell failure, for your mithril full plate.

You might give up Knowledge Devotion-- you won't have the actions to spare to do anything but cast spells in combat anyway.

As for mobile spellcasting-- I'm not sure. You might not need it with the 60' fly speed, but if the campaign is going to be that dangerous, you may spend a lot of time in combat rushing around casting revivify (or the druid equivalent). It really sucks when you need to revive your friend this round to keep him from losing a level, and one move action isn't quite enough.

Any remaining feats I'd spend to improve your casting-- that is what you'll be doing most of the time.

One more thing: If there's a way to sneak in a level of Sublime Chord before you start taking Lyrist levels, that would be really, really good. With the extra 2 hd, you can get the 13 listen before level 10, but that is a lot more skill points, and I think you'd have to significantly rework things to get arcane casting 3. So it probably doesn't work.
 
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Lady Sabelle

First Post
Some more thoughts on the build: The cleric version is a lot better, if you can convince your DM.

I totally agree. It's the way I really want to go. I just put the Druid build out there just in case I can't run the Cleric build, and to show that it's possible without all the cheese. I prefer to have a back up build complete in case the DM says NO on game day, so as not to slow down the group.

If you go cleric, get the feat allowing the bard to cast in medium armor with no spell failure, for your mithril full plate.

With Cloistered Cleric I don't get medium armor proficiency and as a Tiny flying creature with a 6 Str, and the Free Spirited Flaw I cant afford the 2.5 lbs mithril full plate.(That's half my light load right there!) AND I've got a 28 Dex so I don't want to lose the +9 to AC. But it was a good thought.

Any remaining feats I'd spend to improve your casting-- that is what you'll be doing most of the time.

Any suggestions on what those feats might be?
 

Lady Sabelle

First Post
One more thing: If there's a way to sneak in a level of Sublime Chord before you start taking Lyrist levels, that would be really, really good. With the extra 2 hd, you can get the 13 listen before level 10, but that is a lot more skill points, and I think you'd have to significantly rework things to get arcane casting 3. So it probably doesn't work.

Yeah I looked at Sublime Chord. Only way to do it is with Alternative Source Spell Feat. And I'd lose another level of Cleric. I don't know how the sudden access to 4th and 5th level spells would work...
Sample Bard spell per day:
1st: 4
2nd: 2
3rd: 0
4th: 3
5th: 2

That's just too weird!!!
 

arcseed

First Post
With Cloistered Cleric I don't get medium armor proficiency and as a Tiny flying creature with a 6 Str, and the Free Spirited Flaw I cant afford the 2.5 lbs mithril full plate.(That's half my light load right there!) AND I've got a 28 Dex so I don't want to lose the +9 to AC. But it was a good thought.

Oh, right. Oops. I'm used to dealing with more normal stat ranges.

A completely legit build with no cheese (if I understand green whisperer correctly) would be:

1-2: Bard
3: Druid
4-5: Rogue
6-10: Green Whisperer
11: Sublime Chord
12-20: Fochlucan Lyrist

This gets you skills to the necessary levels, even without the extra hit dice, gets you actual evasion, and has enough skill points as long as you have 14 int. You cast as a druid 15, bard 7, and sublime chord 10 -- which gets you 9th level sorcerer spells. Bardic Music is at level 16.
 

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