log in or register to remove this ad

 

5E [GUIDE] A party without music is lame: A Bard Guide

mellored

Explorer
3rd level spells:
Dispel Magic - were you thinking maybe of counterspell when you wrote this?
Hmmm.... possibly.

Dispel magic is exceedingly powerful, especially with the bonus the bard gets. A bard has a very good chance to dispel a very powerful effect, without having to use a higher spell slot. Dispel can be used on creatures, objects or just magical effect. Thus magic traps, gone. A buffed enemy, completely unbuffed. A spell that just locked down your party, undone.
I agree it's powerful, but it really depends on how many magical traps/barriers/objects you come across. They arn't common in the campaigns i've seen.
And hitting the caster with say... fireball is usually better then dispelling his buff.

But i will reword it.

Dispel in my mind is easily a gold spell by your rankings. Counterspell is at least blue. If only because counterspell also gets the bard bonus, meaning you can give the finger to that lich/illithid/drow/etc every time it tries to cast a spell.
At lest in the campaigns i've seen, spells arn't that common.
And using a spell to maybe stop stop a spell is iffy.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

mellored

Explorer
[MENTION=4036]Jeremy[/MENTION]ECrawford A spell learned via Magical Secrets counts as a bard spell, so it can be replaced upon gaining a level later.
 



Z. H. Darkstar

First Post
This is a tough call to make. Allowing you to trade up your Magical Secrets would enable you to cherrypick your four favorite spells of 6th-9th level, with two more added to Lore Bards.

The DM in me wants to say no, but the munchkin in me desires yes...
 

This is a tough call to make. Allowing you to trade up your Magical Secrets would enable you to cherrypick your four favorite spells of 6th-9th level, with two more added to Lore Bards.

The DM in me wants to say no, but the munchkin in me desires yes...

If you take Crawford's words literally, a Magical Secret spell becomes a bard spell for you. You can trade away your Magical Secrets for one level and then get it back later as a known spell, same as you could for any other bard spells. You cannot, however, freely trade it for a different Magical Secret.
 



mellored

Explorer
[MENTION=6801209]mellored[/MENTION]

What are your thoughts / impressions about the College of Swords and College of Satire from UA?

http://media.wizards.com/2015/downloads/dnd/04_UA_Classics_Revisited.pdf

Sword seems slightly worse then valor.
You don't have shields and TWF doesn't stack with the flourishes. Your going to be starved for bonus actions.
With defensive flourish it's better to have a flat +2AC shield and use your bonus action to give someone else the die.
Trick Shooter Flourish's bonus is only 1 attack, and even then only a dagger attack.
Unnerving Flourish... might be a bit broken. Dominate anyone you defeat for 1 save and a die? Though i guess if you fail you leave them alive and simply frightened.... hard to say with that one...

Though it does seem better for multi-classing. Rogue + trick shooter, or paladin + defensive flourish.


Satire is pretty good.
Tumble is crazy good mobility. Both dash and disengage as a bonus action beats the rogue.
Detect thoughts is a good spell for many types of campaigns.
Fools luck depending on how vengeful your DM is. It's certainly useful to be able to boost your own save, but it might be worse if your DM makes you take a penalty next time someone cast hold person on you. Probably best to ignore it in most of the time and just give out dice normally.
 

Raak

First Post
Thanks for replying Mellored! I heavily used your handbooks (4e and 5e) when they were on the WotC forums, so I was happy to hear that some of your stuff had made it over here.

I'm currently in a party that is Level 5. We have a Wizard (ranged), Warlock (ranged), Fighter (ranged), Sorcerer (ranged), Druid (mixes it up between wild shape and spells), Barbarian, and me - Bard. Large group, I know! It is primarily an urban intrigue campaign, but the DM throws his fair share of combat into the mix in the form of mini-dungeons between the intrigue.

I originally started out as a Lore Bard since we originally had a Paladin, but that player swapped out to Wizard later on. So, I've been towing the line with melee a little more to support the Barbarian and hold the front line. I'm feeling too squishy to do that with Lore Bard, though.

I want to be able to primarily support our barbarian since I'm one of the only buffers/healers while still protecting our back line. I've been considering Cleric (1) / Lore Bard (19) to be a little tougher - though the delayed spell progression irks me. Alternatively, I've been thinking of switching to Valor Bard and giving that a go. I'd lose out on Cutting Words, though, which I've seen a lot of use out of since I picked it up.

With my composition, what do you think would work best for my role in the group while hopefully remaining a Bard?

Thanks!
 

mellored

Explorer
With my composition, what do you think would work best for my role in the group while hopefully remaining a Bard?
Lore 5/Knowledge Cleric 1 would probably be best. Valor has it's advantages, but in more of an intrigue game, the bonus skills from lore, knowledge, and guidance should help more.

Plus you have 3 good attackers (fighter, barbarian, and warlock) to make good use of bless. Druid might be a good target on occasion too, though wild shape tends to be more about tanking then dealing damage.

Command: "Confess" would also fit pretty well.
Even detect poison can be useful in such situations.

So you get a lot more from cleric besides the armor. Though i would wait till after bard 5 for hypnotic pattern and extra inspiration dice. If your not already there.
 

Elredion

Villager
Hey guys, first time poster/table top player here, looking for a little Lore Bard advice (I'm loving the class so far).

Our party consists of a Devotion Pally, Life Cleric, Open Palm Monk, and little ol' me, the Lore Bard. I've decided to go for more spell damage and combat control oriented build to fill the roles our party lacks. Flavor wise, my character wields a rapier and hand crossbow. I'm a variant human and I started with defensive duelist and it works nicely for RP and combat. I intend to focus on thunder damage (provided by the bard spell list) and lightning (through magical secrets). I also intend to train in poisoner's tools for whatever that's worth.

We just hit level 4 and I picked up +2 cha immediately to max out charisma at 20. So my current stats are 20 cha, 14 dex, 14 con, 14 int, 10 wis, 8 str. My questions involve my plan for future picks:

Level 5: Fear or Hypnotic Pattern better with this pickup? (Leaning towards Pattern)

Level 6: Lightning Bolt/Eldritch Blast through secrets. Eldritch Blast worth it without Hex? (I feel we need consistent magical damage) Is lightning bolt significantly worse than fireball? That would make me a sad bard :'(

Level 8: Very torn here for my next ability score improvement. +2 Dex for my secondary damage source, armor, skills, and initiative? Or Warcaster for somatic casting with my weapons and advantage on concentration saves (throwing Tasha's laughter as OA seems nice too)? Crossbow expert is something I also want to eventually pick up. Any suggestions on order of these or something else entirely would be much appreciated.

Level 10 secrets: Pretty set on Counterspell and Destructive Wave (*drool*)
 

mellored

Explorer
Our party consists of a Devotion Pally, Life Cleric, Open Palm Monk, and little ol' me, the Lore Bard. I've decided to go for more spell damage and combat control oriented build to fill the roles our party lacks
Good choice.
You got enough defense and healing with the pally/bard.

Level 5: Fear or Hypnotic Pattern better with this pickup? (Leaning towards Pattern)
Hypnotic pattern has more range. You probably don't want to be up close without armor.

Level 6: Lightning Bolt/Eldritch Blast through secrets. Eldritch Blast worth it without Hex? (I feel we need consistent magical damage) Is lightning bolt significantly worse than fireball? That would make me a sad bard :'(
Lighting and fireball do the same damage, but different shapes. Generally fireball is easier to use, but not a huge difference.

Eldrich blast will be better then your weapons and vicious mockery, with or without hex. Hex adds a bit, but be aware that it takes your concentration, so you can't use both it and hypnotic pattern/greater invisibility/polymorph. Overall i would pass and keep your concentration for something else.

Level 8: Very torn here for my next ability score improvement. +2 Dex for my secondary damage source, armor, skills, and initiative? Or Warcaster for somatic casting with my weapons and advantage on concentration saves (throwing Tasha's laughter as OA seems nice too)? Crossbow expert is something I also want to eventually pick up. Any suggestions on order of these or something else entirely would be much appreciated.
Are you sure you don't want to be a valor bard instead? Without multi-attack you won't get very far with a rapier and crossbow, even if you take crossbow expertise.

Perhaps you can reflavor eldrich blast as a x-bow attack.

If you want to stay closer to melee, i suggest medium armored first, warcaster second.
Otherwise inspiring leader is a great feat even in a defense heavy party, assuming the pally doesn't have it.
+2 dex if you can't decide.
 

Elredion

Villager
Are you sure you don't want to be a valor bard instead? Without multi-attack you won't get very far with a rapier and crossbow, even if you take crossbow expertise.

Perhaps you can reflavor eldrich blast as a x-bow attack.

If you want to stay closer to melee, i suggest medium armored first, warcaster second.
Otherwise inspiring leader is a great feat even in a defense heavy party, assuming the pally doesn't have it.
+2 dex if you can't decide.
Yes I'm sure! I've already reached level 4 and picked college of Lore

Rapier and crossbow are just secondary damage, in case they are immune to magic, I get silenced, or someone is in my face (need a finesse weapon for defensive duelist). Plus I can get lucky and come across a magic weapon, which combined with poisons might even push the damage past eldritch blast. I've already found some fire xbow bolts

Inspiring leader does sound great though! Thanks for the advice
 

DO NOT waste a magical secret on Eldritch Blast. You'll be getting only a small fraction of the power of a real Hexed Agonizing Repelling Eldritch Blast like a warlock would have. Steal something that will actually be useful, like Conjure Animals or Counterspell or Spike Growth or Fireball or Vampiric Touch.

If you absolutely have to steal an attack cantrip, steal Fire Bolt instead of Eldritch Blast. It's the same damage as EB and it benefits more from advantage from Help or being Hidden. (Since EB will only get advantage on the first d10, whereas Fire Bolt will get advantage on all the d10s since they happen simultaneously.)

But really, if you want to do at-will damage, just take Conjure Animals and have your animals tear things to shreds while you spend your action to Hide.
 

Elredion

Villager
DO NOT waste a magical secret on Eldritch Blast. You'll be getting only a small fraction of the power of a real Hexed Agonizing Repelling Eldritch Blast like a warlock would have. Steal something that will actually be useful, like Conjure Animals or Counterspell or Spike Growth or Fireball or Vampiric Touch.

If you absolutely have to steal an attack cantrip, steal Fire Bolt instead of Eldritch Blast. It's the same damage as EB and it benefits more from advantage from Help or being Hidden. (Since EB will only get advantage on the first d10, whereas Fire Bolt will get advantage on all the d10s since they happen simultaneously.)

But really, if you want to do at-will damage, just take Conjure Animals and have your animals tear things to shreds while you spend your action to Hide.

I understand that the Bard EB will never compete with Warlock EB. That's not my intention. My intention is to do what Bards do best and fill roles that are lacking in my party. EB fills the consistent magical damage niche nicely. It also allows me to take out multiple low health creatures who are trying to escape (it's happened to us a lot already). Base EB is still a top 3 cantrip IMO and the notion that it "won't be useful" seems a little ridiculous.

As for your suggestion of fire bolt, I have considered it but leaning towards EB for flavor reasons. Your argument about Help advantage is valid, however no one in my party actually uses Help and no one has a familiar. As for Hide, I could easily make the argument to my DM that the EB bolts fire simultaneously and since my position is not revealed at the time of casting, they would all receive advantage.

As for your other suggestions:

Conjure Animals - This is concentration. Since I'm also fulfilling a battlefield controller role through spells, most of my control spells are also concentration. A lore Bard build who focuses on this seems like an interesting idea though, just not for my build

Counterspell - I said I plan to get this at 10. We haven't seen any casters yet

Spike Growth - Concentration

Vampiric Touch - Concentration

Fireball - I said I plan on getting lightning bolt. Getting both would be redundant

You haven't convinced me to not pick EB. However since I'm a noob and just theory crafting, if it doesn't pan out I can always change it out.
 

I understand that the Bard EB will never compete with Warlock EB. That's not my intention. My intention is to do what Bards do best and fill roles that are lacking in my party. EB fills the consistent magical damage niche nicely. It also allows me to take out multiple low health creatures who are trying to escape (it's happened to us a lot already). Base EB is still a top 3 cantrip IMO and the notion that it "won't be useful" seems a little ridiculous.

As for your suggestion of fire bolt, I have considered it but leaning towards EB for flavor reasons.

Okay, that's a valid reason for preferring it. You sound like you've considered the pros and cons and aren't expecting too much from it, and you like the flavor, so in that case go ahead. I was afraid that you were picking it because of its reputation, which is based mainly on stuff that you won't have access to (Quicken Spell, Hex, warlock invocations). It will be about half as strong as a basic attack sequence from a same-level fighter, but if you're the kind of player who is perfectly comfortable plinking away for half damage from complete safety, it will be useful to you. (Not criticizing--after all, I've used Chill Touch in similar scenarios to patiently kill wererats from a distance, which my DM at the time appears to find perplexing. But most people don't have the temperament for it.)
 

Elredion

Villager
Okay, that's a valid reason for preferring it. You sound like you've considered the pros and cons and aren't expecting too much from it, and you like the flavor, so in that case go ahead. I was afraid that you were picking it because of its reputation, which is based mainly on stuff that you won't have access to (Quicken Spell, Hex, warlock invocations). It will be about half as strong as a basic attack sequence from a same-level fighter, but if you're the kind of player who is perfectly comfortable plinking away for half damage from complete safety, it will be useful to you. (Not criticizing--after all, I've used Chill Touch in similar scenarios to patiently kill wererats from a distance, which my DM at the time appears to find perplexing. But most people don't have the temperament for it.)
If you have a basic Bard sequence that can compete with a fighter, let me know lol.
 

If you have a basic Bard sequence that can compete with a fighter, let me know lol.

That's kind of my point--why bother trying to compete? I'd plink away with a crossbow for d8+2, or spend my action on Hide or Dodge or Minor Illusion, rather than spending a magical secret trying to upgrade my d8+2 to a shorter-ranged 2d10, when it's probably only about a 4% increase to party DPR. I'd rather spend my magical secret on something transformative instead of redundant. But if you want to do this for flavor reasons, go right ahead.

Edit: I should add, if you want to compete with a fighter, just multiclass to Warlock 2. You'll get short-rest spell slots to use on Faerie Fire/Heroism/whatever, you'll actually get the Hexed Agonizing Repelling Eldritch Blast combo instead of a pale imitation, you can pick up temp HP on kill or telepathy, and you can use your Magical Secret on something like Spike Growth instead, to both protect your melee guys from melee monsters (difficult terrain, damage on approach) and also supercharge your Eldritch Blast (d10+CHA+4d4 per hit). That approach competes with a Sharpshooter fighter, let alone a basic fighter. Even if you're spending your concentration on something else, you'll still benefit from having Agonizing Repelling Eldritch Blast on your basic action. Bardlocks rock.
 
Last edited:

mellored

Explorer
I agree with elredion. EB's ability to hit multiple targets out weigh ls Firebolts benefit with a help action under most cases. Plus a very minor bonus for damage type.

Though if you are partying with people who give bonuses to 1 attack, such as bardic inspiration or mastermind rogue's bonus help, then Firebolt wins.

Either way they are pretty close.
 

Presents for Goblins

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top