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Tyger
2009-08-21, 10:46 AM
I am contemplating joining into a friend's 3.5 D&D game, and want to play a shmoozing, slick talking, suave and sophisticated character. The DM is a bit on the conservative side, with a tendancy to have very... engineered... plot lines in place. His last couple efforts have yielded surprising flexibility, so there is hope that this one will continue along that trend.

I want a character who can adequately use my "outside the box" thinking in regard to most encounters (as a player I prefer to find creative solutions to problems, which rarely if ever include "I hit it with my axe!").

I've looked over the stats of both of these characters, and either would fit the bill for what I want to pull off. Any ideas?

Please note, I do not want to get into a million Prestige Classes, nor do I want to achieve ultimate godhood or anything of that nature. Our group has a pleasant mix of optimizers and non, and it works for us. So I don't want to plan a Bard 1 / Rogue 3 / Beguiler 1 / Mindbender 1 / Radiant Servant 1 / Seeker of the Song 2 / Sublime Chord 4 / Archmage 1 / Shadowdancer 1 / etc / etc... Just a single classed (with maybe one PrC thrown in for fun) character.

And before anyone mentions it, yes, I know about Shadowcraft Mages, and think they are really, really cool. I might look at this as an option, as nothing says "shake up the plans" like well done illusions. :)

Kylarra
2009-08-21, 10:47 AM
If you're not interested in prestige classing out, I'd just go Beguiler. Bard is nice, but really only shines when utilizing a few prestige classes (imo).

kamikasei
2009-08-21, 10:53 AM
Beguiler is much more solid. Bard is just all-round less effective without careful optimization. Beguiler works very well straight out of the box.

Depending on the levels you expect the game to reach the old one-level Mindbender dip may be a good idea (the tradeoff is missing Beguiler's capstone ability, which won't matter if you're not going to reach 20 anyway), but other than that there's no need to PrC and even that is just an option or bonus, not a need.

Fax Celestis
2009-08-21, 11:00 AM
WHY NOT BOTH!

Beguiler 5/Prestige Bard (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/prestigiousCharacterClasses.htm#prestigeBard) 15. Done and done.

Keld Denar
2009-08-21, 11:12 AM
Beguiler definitely has the simplicity aspect going for it. Either Beguiler20 or Beguiler5/Mindbender1/Beguiler+14. Both work very well.

Bard often gets a bit more complicated. In order to be at the higher levels of effectiveness, you need a lot of rather obscure sourcebooks like Dragon Magic or Frostburn or the Eberron Campaign Setting, depending on your goal.

The better "caster/song" style bard builds look a little something like this:
Bard5/Mindbender1/Bard+2/Virtuoso2/SublimeChord2/Virtuoso+8

It looks a little complicated till you break it down. The 1 level of Mindbender is awesome for Telepathy, which plain old kicks ass, even without Mindsight (LoMadness pg 127). Then you add a bit more Bard till you are ready for Virtuoso. Virt is nice because its a bardic PrC that advances SpC while giving some different tricks. The biggest thing is that the 1st level loses spellcasting, which is normally bad, your real spellcasting oomph comes from Sublime Chord, so you want to get that dead level out of the way. Normal Bard20s start to really lose power in upper levels due to the fact that there abilities just become too unfocused to contribute effectively in many situations. This is where Sublime Chord comes in. Its a bardic PrC that basically turns you into a late game sorcerer. This is GREAT, its like kicking on the late game afterburners for your bard and soaring into the stratosphere. Comes at a perfect time when your normal bardy stuff is just starting to lack, and brings you up just far enough to be really effective. Unfortunately, Sublime Chord has pretty crappy class features past 2, so jumping back into Virtuoso to progress your SC casting while picking up those tasty alternative songs is just awesome.

But yea, it is a bit complex. Pick whichever one you think will be most fun.

Wulfram
2009-08-21, 11:15 AM
If you want to use weapons, or make music, the Bard. Otherwise Beguiler.

UserClone
2009-08-21, 11:33 AM
WHY NOT BOTH!

Beguiler 5/Prestige Bard (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/prestigiousCharacterClasses.htm#prestigeBard) 15. Done and done.

You would need Beguiler6 to qualify, due to the low BAB, but otherwise a solid gameplan.

Jarazix
2009-08-21, 11:38 AM
Why not prestige bard from UA

ErrantX
2009-08-21, 11:56 AM
If you're keeping it simple, then I would suggest Beguiler, for the myriad of reasons stated above. They're pretty great out of the box, and finding any single level prestige class option that grants caster progression at level 1 that isn't a pain to get into, I'd suggest it so you can get your advanced learning at higher levels (meaning higher level spells). Mindbender is pretty typical, but alignment restrictive. Spellthief wouldn't be terrible with the Master Spellthief feat from CSc. That way you can get some awesome steal spell stuff happening for you, and that's a bonus that will grow with you and you won't lose a caster level due to the feat.

Otherwise, I'd second Keld's bard build above (with or without Mindbender, I'd recommend once again the Spellthief class/Master Spellthief feat). I know a lot of DM's prefer to keep it to at most 2 base classes and 2 prestige classes, and that fits the bill.

What will be more powerful? Bard with Keld's build and some moderate optimization tricks. What would be more simple? Beguiler. I'd personally recommend the Beguiler with Master Spellthief.

-X

RagnaroksChosen
2009-08-21, 12:09 PM
Im going to go out on a limb here and say bard...

though it depends how many non casters are there in this party?

Tyger
2009-08-21, 12:20 PM
Im going to go out on a limb here and say bard...

though it depends how many non casters are there in this party?

Now that is a good question.

We're starting at level one, so this is mostly conjecture, but...

1) Psion of some kind - he's a relatively big optimizer, so this will be interesting.
2) Dream Dwarf Wizard (going for IoSV asap) - this guys takes the advice in the various guides to heart and usually goes with stuff straight from the CO boards, though he doesn't usually abuse it as much as one could.
3) Wolfen (reflavoured gnoll - we're playing in the Rifts universe, using D&D rules) Archer (probably a ranger) - this guy never optimizes, ever. But he has fun!
4) ToB Crusader - relative newcomer to the group, but thus far hasn't done much in the way of optimization.

So we have an intersting mix. Ordinarily I'd go with a rogue to round this out, but I love my casters!

RagnaroksChosen
2009-08-21, 12:24 PM
Now that is a good question.

We're starting at level one, so this is mostly conjecture, but...

1) Psion of some kind - he's a relatively big optimizer, so this will be interesting.
2) Dream Dwarf Wizard (going for IoSV asap) - this guys takes the advice in the various guides to heart and usually goes with stuff straight from the CO boards, though he doesn't usually abuse it as much as one could.
3) Wolfen (reflavoured gnoll - we're playing in the Rifts universe, using D&D rules) Archer (probably a ranger) - this guy never optimizes, ever. But he has fun!
4) ToB Crusader - relative newcomer to the group, but thus far hasn't done much in the way of optimization.

So we have an intersting mix. Ordinarily I'd go with a rogue to round this out, but I love my casters!

Hands down bard.

Seems to me you will have your BC covered with The wizard and potentialy the psion.
so you can add some dmg via range or melee and you add some skills via you bard stuff.. I think you will be a more over all help to that group as a bard rather then a beguiler...

ErrantX
2009-08-21, 12:33 PM
I think I will have to agree with RagnaroksChosen here as well.

Bard would bring a lot to the table, consider a bard 7 / spellthief 1 / virtuoso 2 / Sublime Chord 2 / virtuoso +8. Consider things like Dragonfire Inspiration as well as Song of the Heart and definitely Master Spellthief.

-X

RagnaroksChosen
2009-08-21, 12:36 PM
Also in that group i would sugest picking up bardic knack from phb2 and or jack of all trades... make ayou a realy nice skill monkey...

With bards i would suegest pcikign 2 aspects of the bard and working on them.

For that group i would sugest music and skills.

Defiently pick up the feat that lets you cast whiling singing or playing... Pick up some buff/utility rather then BC..

Thespianus
2009-08-21, 12:36 PM
What about Spellthief 1/Beguiler X/Unseen Seer Y , with the Master Spellthief feat?

Unseen Seer advances Sneak Attack 4/10, 10/10 casting, gives you 3/4 BAB and Advanced Learning (any divination spell from any spell list) at levels 2, 5 and 8. Then again, there's not much other synergy, I guess. It's just that I like the Unseen Seer. ;)

EDIT: Ok, yeah, maybe the party composition invites a Bard rather than a Beguiler. I might have to concede that point. :)

Jalor
2009-08-21, 12:39 PM
Beguiler 5/Mindbender 1/Beguiler 14 OR Bard 6/Lyric Thaumaturge 4/Sublime Chord 2/any full-casting PrC 8.

Lord Loss
2009-08-21, 12:42 PM
I have to say beguiler here. Bards are much less efficient. Unless you watch american idol auditions a lot (in which case you put all your ranks in intimidate and sing (Britney Spears)... your ENEMIES WILL FLEE BEFORE YOU!!!

RagnaroksChosen
2009-08-21, 12:58 PM
I have to say beguiler here. Bards are much less efficient. Unless you watch american idol auditions a lot (in which case you put all your ranks in intimidate and sing (Britney Spears)... your ENEMIES WILL FLEE BEFORE YOU!!!


I disagree i think depending on the party a bard can be better then a beguiler.. but it realy depends on the part make up.

Gnaeus
2009-08-21, 01:49 PM
My vote would be for beguiler. Beguiler fills the skillmonkey role better than bard, because Int is a primary stat for beguiler and a secondary stat for the bard. Also, the beguiler can find traps.

Beguiler casts better than bards. While bards have a slightly better spell list, they know relatively few spells from it, while the beguiler gets their entire list + anything they pick up from Arcane Disciple and prestige classes. The beguiler gets more spells, and he gets them earlier. Finally, the beguiler gets spells above level 6, which by itself puts them way over any bard without Sublime Chord.

You only have 2 meleers in that party. You aren't really getting that big a return from your bard songs.

Kylarra
2009-08-21, 01:56 PM
I think I will have to agree with RagnaroksChosen here as well.

Bard would bring a lot to the table, consider a bard 7 / spellthief 1 / virtuoso 2 / Sublime Chord 2 / virtuoso +8. Consider things like Dragonfire Inspiration as well as Song of the Heart and definitely Master Spellthief.

-X

See, that sort of advice is kind of at odds with the request in the first post.


Please note, I do not want to get into a million Prestige Classes, ... Just a single classed (with maybe one PrC thrown in for fun) character.



Which is why I suggested Beguiler as Bards pretty much require PrCing dips to work effectively.

Tyger
2009-08-21, 02:30 PM
See, that sort of advice is kind of at odds with the request in the first post.

Which is why I suggested Beguiler as Bards pretty much require PrCing dips to work effectively.

Kylarra, I don't even know why I bothered to put that qualification in there, I knew when I typed it that 99.9% of all responders would completely ignore it. :smallsmile:

I know there is a tendancy to give someone all the options they have available to them, and to make suggestions for all possibilities, but it is certainly a tad frustrating. :smallbiggrin: Oh well, the joy of the internet, right?

Mark Hall
2009-08-21, 02:53 PM
Play a bard. Because bards are AWESOME.

Fax Celestis
2009-08-21, 03:06 PM
Play a bard. Because bards are AWESOME.

http://www.leadfoots.com/images/Awesome%5B1%5D.jpg

Mark Hall
2009-08-21, 03:12 PM
http://www.leadfoots.com/images/Awesome%5B1%5D.jpg

Pre-freakin'-cisely. That is tattooed on the buttock of every real bard. Beguilers have to make do with the "Seal of Mechanically Proficient", because they can't even touch the awesome of a bard. No, not even on their tip-toes, with a gargantuan greatspear.

Myrmex
2009-08-21, 04:28 PM
Beguiler. I've played both, and found the beguiler to do what I want to do with a dirty rotten scoundrel character- lie, cheat, steal & murder. The bard... he sings. It's dumb. No one takes a singing fop with lame spells seriously. No one take a gnome beguiler seriously, until they wake up dead.

Noble Savant
2009-08-21, 04:54 PM
Take a bard. And mix in Chameleon as soon as you can. It's one of the best ways to support out-of-box thinking and wackiness. You choose a variable feat, a variable set of class skills each day, what's not to love?

Myrmex
2009-08-21, 05:01 PM
Take a bard. And mix in Chameleon as soon as you can. It's one of the best ways to support out-of-box thinking and wackiness. You choose a variable feat, a variable set of class skills each day, what's not to love?

The singing.

vrellum
2009-08-21, 05:02 PM
If you have the PHBII there is a bard alternative that gives up bardic knowledge (which is actually a pretty good ability) for bardic knack. Works well if you don't have to maximize your skill ranks to be effective.

vrellum
2009-08-21, 05:15 PM
The singing.

You do know that you don't have to sing or do anything magical for that matter. Pick oration for the perform skill and play like a marshall or military commander.

Gnorman
2009-08-21, 05:50 PM
Throwing in support for Beguiler 19 / Dip 1. Likely Mindbender, taken at level 6. No complex PrC interactions, no mortifying requirements and cross-class skill necessities (at least beyond 4 points in Intimidate) and you end up as a sneaky, guileful mind-conquering hero.

Beguiler is one of the best-designed, well-balanced, and fun classes that Wizards ever came up with. That alone should be reason to play it. It's effective without being broken, entertaining without being over-the-top or comical, and it has a compelling (if mildly limited) niche that not only inspires a creative character, but a creative player. Enchantment and illusion have a wealth of roleplaying potential. Not that bards don't, but... you know.

Singing. Woo. Go Bards.

deuxhero
2009-08-21, 07:00 PM
Isn't Open Locks a class skill for Beguilers but not Bards?

Mark Hall
2009-08-21, 09:01 PM
Those who are jealous of a bard's awesome quotient frequently dismiss them as "signing". Bards need not sing.

Bards can dance... and with Tumble and Improved Unarmed Strike, they are practicing Capoeria.

Bards can use the drums... and light maces + percussion skill + two-weapon fighting is a nasty-fun combination.

Bards can orate. Don't believe that's effective? Listen to the St. Crispin's Day speech (especially with a Ghost-sound provided orchestra rising the background) and don't get stirred.

Bards can do comedy. A bard who tells puns, inspiring his allies to hit people harder.

Bards can chant, and that's a freaky one. A bunch of dwarves, lead by their bard, each chanting in unison. "I wanna be a dwarven fighter/smashing orcs and other blighters."

Bards can use stringed instruments. Bards with high enough ranks in Fiddle automatically have a golden fiddle.1

More importantly, though, bards tell stories. Bards tell the stories of our adventures, they tell stories about their unending fidelity, and they tell stories about your fighters hygeine that have to be smelled to believe. What do beguilers do? It's right in the name: they lie. Beguilers lie like dogs, and cannot be trusted. They use the fact that Wizards, bereft of any remaining awesome (having spent it ALL on bards), were forced to give beguilers mechanical crutches to get around the fact that they lie and they smell funny. And carry diseases.

It is well known that bards are all fantastically endowed paragons of their gender, while beguilers are lying, disease-ridden deviates... and not even the fun kind of deviates. The kind of deviates that even make Blackguards go "That dude has something seriously wrong with him." And I'm not talking pansy blackguards. I'm talking the kind of blackguards who were paladins until they tasted their first baby and said "Yum. I think I'll eat more of these."

So play a bard. Because bards are awesome. And beguilers cheat at cards. ALL THE TIME.



1Golden fiddle not included. Offer void in certain Crystal Spheres. Consult your local overdeity for details.

Tyger
2009-08-21, 09:49 PM
Those who are jealous of a bard's awesome quotient frequently dismiss them as "signing". Bards need not sing.

Bards can dance... and with Tumble and Improved Unarmed Strike, they are practicing Capoeria.

Bards can use the drums... and light maces + percussion skill + two-weapon fighting is a nasty-fun combination.

Bards can orate. Don't believe that's effective? Listen to the St. Crispin's Day speech (especially with a Ghost-sound provided orchestra rising the background) and don't get stirred.

Bards can do comedy. A bard who tells puns, inspiring his allies to hit people harder.

Bards can chant, and that's a freaky one. A bunch of dwarves, lead by their bard, each chanting in unison. "I wanna be a dwarven fighter/smashing orcs and other blighters."

Bards can use stringed instruments. Bards with high enough ranks in Fiddle automatically have a golden fiddle.1

More importantly, though, bards tell stories. Bards tell the stories of our adventures, they tell stories about their unending fidelity, and they tell stories about your fighters hygeine that have to be smelled to believe. What do beguilers do? It's right in the name: they lie. Beguilers lie like dogs, and cannot be trusted. They use the fact that Wizards, bereft of any remaining awesome (having spent it ALL on bards), were forced to give beguilers mechanical crutches to get around the fact that they lie and they smell funny. And carry diseases.

It is well known that bards are all fantastically endowed paragons of their gender, while beguilers are lying, disease-ridden deviates... and not even the fun kind of deviates. The kind of deviates that even make Blackguards go "That dude has something seriously wrong with him." And I'm not talking pansy blackguards. I'm talking the kind of blackguards who were paladins until they tasted their first baby and said "Yum. I think I'll eat more of these."

So play a bard. Because bards are awesome. And beguilers cheat at cards. ALL THE TIME.



1Golden fiddle not included. Offer void in certain Crystal Spheres. Consult your local overdeity for details.

Mr. Hall, you win this thread. This alone has inspired me to play the Bard. Sub-optimal? Perhaps. Awesome? You bet your last electrum piece!

UserClone
2009-08-21, 11:15 PM
Those who are jealous of a bard's awesome quotient frequently dismiss them as "signing". Bards need not sing.

Bards can dance... and with Tumble and Improved Unarmed Strike, they are practicing Capoeria.

Bards can use the drums... and light maces + percussion skill + two-weapon fighting is a nasty-fun combination.

Bards can orate. Don't believe that's effective? Listen to the St. Crispin's Day speech (especially with a Ghost-sound provided orchestra rising the background) and don't get stirred.

Bards can do comedy. A bard who tells puns, inspiring his allies to hit people harder.

Bards can chant, and that's a freaky one. A bunch of dwarves, lead by their bard, each chanting in unison. "I wanna be a dwarven fighter/smashing orcs and other blighters."

Bards can use stringed instruments. Bards with high enough ranks in Fiddle automatically have a golden fiddle.1

More importantly, though, bards tell stories. Bards tell the stories of our adventures, they tell stories about their unending fidelity, and they tell stories about your fighters hygeine that have to be smelled to believe. What do beguilers do? It's right in the name: they lie. Beguilers lie like dogs, and cannot be trusted. They use the fact that Wizards, bereft of any remaining awesome (having spent it ALL on bards), were forced to give beguilers mechanical crutches to get around the fact that they lie and they smell funny. And carry diseases.

It is well known that bards are all fantastically endowed paragons of their gender, while beguilers are lying, disease-ridden deviates... and not even the fun kind of deviates. The kind of deviates that even make Blackguards go "That dude has something seriously wrong with him." And I'm not talking pansy blackguards. I'm talking the kind of blackguards who were paladins until they tasted their first baby and said "Yum. I think I'll eat more of these."

So play a bard. Because bards are awesome. And beguilers cheat at cards. ALL THE TIME.



1Golden fiddle not included. Offer void in certain Crystal Spheres. Consult your local overdeity for details.

Question Mutha'Flippin' Answered. Beguiler, you just got served.

Mark Hall
2009-08-21, 11:21 PM
Mr. Hall, you win this thread. This alone has inspired me to play the Bard. Sub-optimal? Perhaps. Awesome? You bet your last electrum piece!

Welcome to the Awesome Club. See Fax Celestis for your card, and your tattoo.

Gnorman
2009-08-22, 01:54 AM
I summarily withdraw my objections in the face of your argument. Good show.

RagnaroksChosen
2009-08-22, 10:46 AM
Welcome to the Awesome Club. See Fax Celestis for your card, and your tattoo.

They have tattoo's? Damn beguilers acting like the bard club...

mcl01
2009-08-22, 04:20 PM
Always popular, the Beguiler 19/Mindbender 1. You get Advanced learning 1 level later, allowing you to get higher level spells. You do lose out on auto-bypassing SR though, which is a bummer.

Beguiler 20 works well too. Very simple and effective.

If you don't mind CL loss, I have an idea in mind at the moment. I'm crafting a Beguiler seductress, aspiring to be Beguiller 15/Nightmare Spinner 5. The CL loss hurts, since you're now 2 whole levels behind a wizard in terms of higher level spells, but your opponents get a -2 to their saves while scared, which is very useful. Basically, you have the ability to cause 9 + 2*CHA mod fear effects per day with essentially no save. Your ability to weave fear effects into your figments/glamers will also trigger multiple times too. After which, they take -2 to their saves for at least one turn, allowing you follow up with an enchantment spell.

Rogue/Beguiler/Unseen Seer also gives you some sneak attack and -1 spellcasting progression and -4 CL (before remedied by practiced spellcaster). You also get to add some nice divination spells to your spell list.

Reptilius
2009-08-22, 05:18 PM
Isn't there a bard build that gives everyone like +10d6 sonic to their attacks?