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rezplz
2009-08-21, 12:17 PM
I've always liked bards for their flavor - but whenever I play them, they seem to lack function. So I was wondering if there would be a way to play a bard and get both flavor and function out of it.

I'm not really looking to multiclass, unless if there's a prestige class that I MUST HAVE. I would prefer to keep things core, but I'm allowed to use the complete series so I might look into that.

Myshlaevsky
2009-08-21, 12:20 PM
What do you mean by function? Effectiveness? I once played an effective bard by using him to talk to people and tie them up for multiple rounds while the rest of the party dropped an invisible elephant on them.

rezplz
2009-08-21, 12:26 PM
What the crap man. Who the hell's gonna do a retarded strategy like that? ;P

Anywho. I know they can be useful out-of-combat, as the party face. But when my friend's DMing - the only time I get to actually play a character - that doesn't seem to come into play. So I'm looking for how a bard could help kick ass in combat and pull his own weight.

Myshlaevsky
2009-08-21, 12:27 PM
What the crap man. Who the hell's gonna do a retarded strategy like that? ;P

Anywho. I know they can be useful out-of-combat, as the party face. But when my friend's DMing - the only time I get to actually play a character - that doesn't seem to come into play. So I'm looking for how a bard could help kick ass in combat and pull his own weight.

I think the melee bard build is usually based around Snowflake Wardance, but you might be able to make a thrower using Dragonfire Inspiration?

I know Solo, an old poster on these forums, once made a decent melee bard using Snowflake Wardance and Iajutsu Focus, but you'd need to have that skill houseruled in.

rezplz
2009-08-21, 12:28 PM
Yeah, all of that just went straight over my head. D: I only know core, so you're going to have to explain what all of that actually means, please.

Frosty
2009-08-21, 12:30 PM
Yeah, all of that just went straight over my head. D: I only know core, so you're going to have to explain what all of that actually means, please.

Core only, you can't make bards that good. They don't have the tools. you need a lot of feats, spells, and items from many others books to give him the power.

Myshlaevsky
2009-08-21, 12:33 PM
Yeah, all of that just went straight over my head. D: I only know core, so you're going to have to explain what all of that actually means, please.

Snowflake Wardance lets you add your Cha mod to one-handed slashing weapon attacks by expending a use of the bardic music ability.

Iajutsu Focus is a skill that lets you add a certain number of +xd4 or +xd6 (can't remember) damage to attacks when your opponent is flatflooted, by making a skill check.

Dragonfire Inspiration (I think) lets you add +xd6 elemental damage to allies' attacks.

rezplz
2009-08-21, 12:34 PM
What books are those from? And for the snowflake wardance, I use up one bardic music to add CHA to my weapon attack/damage once?

Frosty
2009-08-21, 12:41 PM
Snowflake Wardance lets you add your Cha mod to one-handed slashing weapon attacks by expending a use of the bardic music ability.

Iajutsu Focus is a skill that lets you add a certain number of +xd4 or +xd6 (can't remember) damage to attacks when your opponent is flatflooted, by making a skill check.

Dragonfire Inspiration (I think) lets you add +xd6 elemental damage to allies' attacks.

AND your own attacks. Don't forget that.


What books are those from? And for the snowflake wardance, I use up one bardic music to add CHA to my weapon attack/damage once?
From Frostburn. You use one music to do it for a number of turns = to half your ranks in Perform methinks?

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-08-21, 12:43 PM
Here is what you must do:

Race: Silverbrow Human (Races of the Dragon)

Feats
Snowflake Wardance: 1 use of bardic music lets you add Cha mod to attack for a number of rounds equal to your ranks in Perform: Dance (Frostburn)
Power Attack
Dragonfire Inspiration (Races of the Dragon)
Haunting Melody: One use of bardic music means everyone who can hear you must make a aill Save or be shaken (Lords of Madness?)
Song of the Heart (+1 to IC)
Melodic Casting: Let syou cast spells and etc while singing. Lets you use Perofrm instead of Concentration for Concentration checks related to spellcasting.

ACF: Bardic Knack. Gives 1/2 your bard level, rounded up, in place of skill ranks on all skills. Must have 1 rank in trained skills to use. (PHBII)

Spells:
Inspirational Boost: Gives +1 to Ic (Spell Compendium)
Improvisation: Gives a floating pool of luck points equal to 4 times your caster level. At any time, you can add 1/2 your caster level, rounded down, worht of points to a single attack roll, skill check, or ability check. (SpC)

Items:
Badge of Courage: Gives +1 to IC (Magic Item Compendiium)
Arbmands of Might: (4,100) Gives a +2 bonus on damage if you PA for -2 or more. (Sourcebook unknown)
Gloves of the Balanced Hand: Gives you TWF for 8,00 GP. Dual wield and go to town with your damage! (MiC)

Weapon:
Crystal Echoblade: Adds your bard level in sonic damage to the weapon. Is a +1 longsword otherwise.

Enchantment:
Harmonizing Weapon
Holds your song for 10 rounds while you do other things.

Myshlaevsky
2009-08-21, 12:44 PM
What books are those from? And for the snowflake wardance, I use up one bardic music to add CHA to my weapon attack/damage once?

Snowflake Wardance is from Frostburn, but I don't know about the other two. I believe Iajutsu Focus is from the 3.0 book Oriental Adventures. Check this.

You use up one bardic music to add Cha mod to your attack roll with a one-handed slashing weapon. You must not be wearing medium or heavy armour or using a shield.

Doc Roc
2009-08-21, 12:44 PM
Dragonfire inspiration is the one you want. Here's a nice example with reference citations (Joe of Ark) (http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AYdLcxsM7Nx0ZGc2NzhibjNfNTdjZjVtODNmOA&hl=en)

Iaijatsu, while excellent, is difficult to pursue without it as a class skill which really limits who can do it. That's more of a factotum thing, to be entirely honest, for a variety of reasons.

rezplz
2009-08-21, 12:46 PM
Unfortunately, we're only using core and the complete series - we're not using any other books in our campaign.

Frosty
2009-08-21, 12:48 PM
I can't find Silverbrow Human in Races of dragon. What page is it on?

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-08-21, 12:49 PM
I can't find Silverbrow Human in Races of dragon. What page is it on?
It might be in Dragon Magic.

ErrantX
2009-08-21, 12:51 PM
Dragon Magic, page 6 for Silverbrow humans. Dragonfire Inspiration is also in Dragon Magic, not Races of the Dragon.

-X

Ernir
2009-08-21, 12:52 PM
In core, Bards are not very powerful. They just aren't.

The quickest fix you can find in just the Complete Series is to take Sublime Chord, a PrC from Complete Arcane. Increases the Bard's power by making it function more like a Sorcerer.

Aside from that, the good Bard stuff is scattered all over the books. Of all the PHB classes, I guess Bard is the one that gains the most from the words "all WotC 3.5 books allowed.".

You have...
Song of the Heart (feat, Eberron Campaign Setting. Adds +1 to your Inspire Courage.)
Words of Creation (feat, Book of Exalted Deeds. Doubles your Inspire Courage bonus.)
Dragonfire Inspiration (feat, Dragon Magic IIRC. Instead of Inspire Courage adding +x to attack and damage rolls, it now adds xd6 elemental damage.)
Song of the White Raven (feat, Tome of Battle. While in a White Raven stance, initiate Bardic Music as a swift action.)
Snowflake Wardance (feat, Frostburn. Expend Bardic Music use to gain your charisma to Attack Rolls, has restrictions.)
Slippers of Battledancing (item, Dungeon Master's Guide 2. Replace charisma with strength on attack and damage rolls, restrictions, other benefits.)
Crystal Echoblade, Harmonizing weapons (items, Magic Item Compendium. Various effects.)

And so on. And I am definitely forgetting/unaware of something. The more books you open up, the better your bard gets. =/

Signmaker
2009-08-21, 12:53 PM
Oh, bards can be quite effective when built right. *whistle*

I don't believe that anyone has mentioned the amazing Slippers of Battledance yet. DMG II, well worth the look.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-08-21, 12:54 PM
Slippers of Battledancing (item, Dungeon Master's Guide 2. Replace charisma with strength on attack and damage rolls, restrictions, other benefits.)
Must move 10 ft or more per round to gain the effect.


Oh, bards can be quite effective when built right. *whistle*

I don't believe that anyone has mentioned the amazing Slippers of Battledance yet. DMG II, well worth the look.
Actually...

Ernir
2009-08-21, 12:59 PM
Unfortunately, we're only using core and the complete series - we're not using any other books in our campaign.

Ah. Oops.

Complete Adventurer and Complete Mage have a few goodies. Melodic Casting (cast spells while using Bardic Music) is in CMage, and a few specialized instruments and feats are in CAdv.

Lyric Thaumaturge is a fine PrC in CMage, and I keep seeing people using Virtuoso from CAdv to advance the improved casting you get from Sublime Chord.

fliprushman
2009-08-21, 01:06 PM
If you want to make an effective bard in combat, you need to figure out in what area of combat you want to focus in. A bards greatest strength is that he is so versatile.

If you want to focus on spellcasting, then you will find that a bard is great at battlefield control. Many of the spells available to them cause the enemy to either fight on your side or stand there and take it like a little !@#$#

If you want to focus on melee, use existing weapons or opt for a better weapon with a feat. After you have chosen your melee weapon, begin to focus on picking spells, feats, and skills that complement this choice. You won't be a straight up fighter, but you can take over the roll for a limited time to help out. Your songs will also help you in this role.

If you want to focus on archery, you will want to do a take a bit from both aforementioned examples, disabling spells and feats, skills and such to augment you ability to use a bow.

This is by no way a complete list of things a bard can do because you can focus on your music too but first I would like to hear what aspect of combat you want to focus on. That way we can fine tune the class to what you want it to be.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-08-21, 01:11 PM
There's always Bard/Ur Priest/Sublime Chord/Mystic Theurge

ericgrau
2009-08-21, 01:24 PM
I've always liked bards for their flavor - but whenever I play them, they seem to lack function. So I was wondering if there would be a way to play a bard and get both flavor and function out of it.

I'm not really looking to multiclass, unless if there's a prestige class that I MUST HAVE. I would prefer to keep things core, but I'm allowed to use the complete series so I might look into that.

Option 1: Powerful prestige class(es).

Option 2: These are all strong options; I'm not just trying to make a long list. Whip to trip (pump strength), and disarm things that have a disarm penalty. Like holy symbols, spell component pouches, bows, etc. And b/c whips are cool. Get batman spells on your list instead of the weaker +X buffs. They're good even at the lower bard level, and quite interesting and functional. Buff or sing only outside of combat. Craft magic items as well as a full caster level, like +X items and skillmonkey items. Be a skillmonkey for that matter. UMD, tumble, knowledge, etc. Grab CLW wands and be the between battle healer, plus utility scrolls for misc applications. 1 level dips nd feats can tack on more utility abilities, but it's not necessary. Bards probably have more different functional & strong options than anyone, you just gotta find which options to use and which are just a boring waste of rounds. Like in-combat songs and sword swinging are not so hot w/o prestiges.

woodenbandman
2009-08-21, 01:47 PM
A good Bard build for core/completes only is Bard8/Virtuoso2/Sublime Chord2/Virtuoso +8. It gets you the bardic music of a 16th level bard plus 9th level spells. You could from there focus on your Inspire Courage (with items and a few things outside of core/completes) and spells. If you want a battle bard, sub out some of those bard levels for barbarian and go into Abjurant Champion and Eldritch Knight after level 12.

Fax Celestis
2009-08-21, 01:53 PM
Okay, he has Monkey Grip, but he's also got a Huge (literally) greatsword. (http://pifro.com/pro/view.php?id=3495) And a whole mess of tricks up his sleeve. (warning: Pathfinder + BoXM)

Amadi
2009-08-21, 01:54 PM
Allright, I am going to assume 28 Point Buy here (For stats), and create you a core+completes only example build. Not something that you should follow exactly, but to give ideas on what bards can and cannot do. I'll also add notes to explain my choices.

Race: Human

Reasoning: The bonus feat is important, and skills help you as well. Often regarded the best core race.

Stats:
Str: 8
Dex: 14
Con: 14
Int: 14
Wis: 8
Cha: 16

Reasoning: Strength isn't very important unless you want to focus in melee combat. Charisma is your most important stat, as you want high spell save DCs. Wisdom doesn't help your skills and bards have good will saves naturally. Dexterity and Constitution help you survive, and Intelligence lets you have a lot of skills. Use all your stat increases from levels on Charisma.

Feats:
01st(Base): Melodic Casting (Complete Mage)
01st(Human): Spell Focus (Conjuration) (Player's Handbook)
03rd(Base): Obtain Familiar (Complete Arcane)
06th(Base): Greater Spell Focus (Conjuration) (Player's Handbook)
09th(Base): Lingering Song (Complete Adventurer)

Reasoning: Melodic Casting is phenomenal, it reduces the amount of skills you need to max, and allows you to cast while singing. Spell Focus (Conjuration) and Greater Spell Focus (Conjuration) are maybe not the best feats in the world, but considering your limited options they are really nice as they boost the save DC of your best spells: Glitterdust and Grease (More on that later.). Obtain Familiar is absolutely brilliant - It allows you to get a familiar as a sorcerer/wizard does, but because they have the same skills and BaB as their master does, your familiar will actually be better than the wizard's! Lingering Song allows you to start singing one song, stop it and start another, giving your allies the benefit of both of them, which can turn battles around.

Skills:
Perform (Sing): Maximum
Spellcraft: Maximum
Hide: Maximum
Move Silently: Maximum
Listen: Maximum
Bluff: Maximum
Diplomacy: Maximum
Use Magic Device: Maximum
Sense Motive: 5
Balance: 5

Reasoning: These are the skills I like most, basically. Perform is very good as you can use it in place of concentration to avoid losing your spells. Move Silently / Hide allow you to work as the party scout - And make your familiar stealthier as well! Diplomacy and Bluff help you out of combat. 5 Ranks in Sense Motive give you synergy bonus to Diplomacy, and 5 ranks in Balance means you don't lose your dexterity bonus to AC when balancing. (Just take those when you can, you have 1 leftover point/level after maxing your other skills.)

Spells:
0th level:
Summon Instrument (Allows you to summon flygels to block pathways, etc.)
1st level:
Grease (Really, REALLY strong spell. Cast this under your opponents feet and watch them fall. Makes them really easy targets for the rest of your party.)
Charm (Absurdly useful out-of-combat spell. Less useful in combat.)
2nd level:
Glitterdust (This thing blinds opponents. Just don't hit your team and you're good to go.)
Hold Person (If the target fails his saving throw, he's as good as dead.)
3rd level:
Dispel Magic (Really good spell for countering enemy wizards.)
Haste (Buff this on your allies and they love you even more.)

Reasoning: Your role in combat is to support your allies, and these spells do just that. They either make your allies stronger, or incapacicate your enemies. A hasted fighter augmented by your Inspire Courage is a scary sight for a prone foe indeed!

Items:
As goog Cloak of Charisma as you can afford, Masterwork Drum (Complete Adventurer) and Mithral Chainmail are very good choices. Also get a Wand of Cure Light Wounds, as they are cheap and allow you to replace the party cleric as out-of-combat healer. Wands of other spells can be handy, as well. Beyond these core items, anything that strikes your eye as an interesting choice should work.

I hope this mini-guide helped you in your journey to bardhood. :smallsmile:

Doc Roc
2009-08-21, 01:56 PM
Why monkey grip? Just take strong-arm bracers instead, Fax. Same effect, non-stacking. Cheap, too. MiC.

rezplz
2009-08-21, 01:56 PM
flip: Thanks for the options. Problem is, I'm not sure exactly what I want to focus on yet. I guess I have a preference for spells, then melee, and then archery.


wooden: What book is virtuoso from? And I'm guessing batman spells are stuff like grease that's good in specific situations if you plan right?

Fax Celestis
2009-08-21, 01:57 PM
Why monkey grip? Just take strong-arm bracers instead, Fax. Same effect, non-stacking. Cheap, too. MiC.

Pathfinder's starting wealth is atrociously low. ECL 5 gives me 10,500 gold to work with, and Strongarms are about 2/3rds of that.

sofawall
2009-08-21, 02:50 PM
Dragonfire inspiration is the one you want. Here's a nice example with reference citations (Joe of Ark) (http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AYdLcxsM7Nx0ZGc2NzhibjNfNTdjZjVtODNmOA&hl=en)

Iaijatsu, while excellent, is difficult to pursue without it as a class skill which really limits who can do it. That's more of a factotum thing, to be entirely honest, for a variety of reasons.

I think I recognize that build :P

Mark Hall
2009-08-21, 02:51 PM
Truthfully, I've seldom had a problem with making a bard useful, even sticking with just core. They're seldom powerhouses, but I've seldom had a problem with them being "useful". IME, being a bard is not about saying "I killed everything" or even "I charmed our way out of the problem" but, instead "I provided the little extra that pushed us to the top." My bard frequently has the highest damage total in the game... because every hit with Bardic Music adds 1 or more to my total, and if they only hit because I gave them a +1, I claim it all.

A few, core-only, tricks:

1) You don't need a lot of charisma compared to other casters. It's nice, but in a point-buy system, you can skimp on it; a 15 initially, going up from there with improvements, is adequate. For Charisma skills, the skill points quickly outstrip the bonus, even at an 18, so having a point or two lower doesn't hurt that much... and having more points elsewhere is great.
My newest bard, in Pathfinder, has a 15 Cha, an 8 Wisdom, a 12 Int, and 16s in Strength, Dex, and Con... though, without his racial adjustments, he'd have 14s in Dex and Con. If I were going a knowledge-type bard, I'd pump intelligence at the expense of Charisma, but this is more of a fighty bard. Avoid having any big penalties... a bard can survive a -1 on a stat, but a -2 on any stat is bound to mess them up in their trick of "Anything you can do, I can do kinda... I can do everything kinda, can you?"

2) With a lower charisma, choose your spells wisely. Choose spells that don't have a save, but still help your party. For a fighty bard, Summon Monster means something to flank with you. Cure Light Wounds is great at low levels, when HPs are a bit more precious. Grease is useful even with your lower save numbers, because they have to make the save again and again. Remove Fear is a buff that keeps your low will save fighters from fleeing when you need them most. None of these are uber-powerful, especially with your saves, but they provide that little bit extra from low-level spells. For 2nd level, look at Heroism, Mirror Image, the ever-popular Glitterdust, Invisibility, and Summon Swarm... things without saves (Glitterdust avoids blinding by saving, but will outline invisible creatures no matter what), that help incrementally. Wizards rule the save-or-suck field... you make sure that everyone gets the job done.

3) Skill points are your friend. Use Magic Device is a fun skill to have, and lets you fill almost any role necessary with a relatively easy check... a 14 or better at 1st level (assuming a +2 attribute and a +4 from skill... by 5th level, it's a 10 or better). Once you get some money in, live off wands... high-level gear is great, but with wands, you can spam the heck out of lower-level spells. Don't neglect knowledge skills... a little bit of knowledge, combined with Bardic Knowledge, will let you get away with a lot.
Branch out in your skills, as well. Bards should be the member in the party that everyone looks at and says "Ok, how the heck do we do this", and answer "I put skill points in Use Rope just for this purpose!" Spend the points to be trained in almost everything, just so you can use them when the time arises.
This is the opposite of what almost everyone else will tell you. "Find you thing and specialize in it." Do that. But also generalize. Throw a point or two into everything. Take feats that let you do this cheaply. Take "Open Minded", which gives you a few skill points to throw into things. If you don't say "Dammit, I need a few more skill points" every time you level up, you're not playing a bard.... you're playing a set of skills that happens to coincide with bards.
Oh, and be a synergy whore. The way synergy is set up, putting 5 ranks into some skills is like getting a free feat (one of the skill-improving ones, but still... it's a free feat). And even if you never spend another point on those skills, you're skill reaping the benefit of those bonuses.
And languages! Throw point after point into languages. Why? Because DMs, being tricksy creatures, like to throw in puzzles like "Speak 'friend' and enter", written in Infernal... and if ANYONE in the party should know what word in Infernal corresponds to "friend", it should be the bard. (Incidentally, the word is Krz'dn'chk, which means "Being who is too powerful for you to beat, but thinks you might be useful at some later point, and so is not going to destroy you now unless you tick him off." Place emphasis on the silent [AND INVISIBLE!] z, and you'll have it right; otherwise, you refer to yourself as a cheese blintz.)
Oh, and just so you know, your performance should be something that doesn't require an instrument... singing or chanting are popular. Yes, there are great magical musical instruments, and you may want to consider getting some skill in instruments, but in your "building phase", sticking with one, no-instrument-required Performance skill helps you quite a bit, as you can fight and music at the same time.

4) Feats and fighting. I've already stated my love for a variety of feats which give you additional skill points or skill options. Also look into some useful fighty feats. My Pathfinder Bard is taking advantage of Pathfinder's version of Arcane Strike (swift action to add +1 damage/5 levels and overcome Magic DR for 1 rnd); you might want to look into Power Attack (using your longsword in two hands), or the Improved Trip line of feats (making use of your Whip proficiency).
Since you don't have longbows, you might want to throw in Rapid Reload for a crossbow, but that's a bit much... too pricey, since you want more skill points, and better ways to use them. Point Blank shot is great if you start getting ranged touch attack wands, and Precise shot makes everyone happy.
You don't have as good of bonuses as the fighter-types. Run with it. While you're singing, flank and Aid Another. You just added +5 to hit (at first level), letting the fighter power attack more effectively. Trip people, so the rogue can sneak attack them. Cast Light on their codpiece, so the wizard (who didn't bother to memorize light, and can't see in the dark because he's a human for that extra feat) can target them more effectively. If you don't want to touch them, cast light on an arrow and shoot it at their shield.
Being a bard in combat is NOT about winning the fight single-handedly. It's about doing all the miscellaneous actions that makes sure that your party wins.

5) Stealing the spotlight. Ok, so far I've put the bard forth as kind of like a non-DMM cleric-y type... all helping others to do the things they do best, but better. Where does being a bard mean you get to shine? There are a few places where a bard is the hero of the day.

a) Social situations. These are almost self-evident, but bards have the skills to pull off the social stuff. You have the skill points to dump into these things, especially after you've abused synergy like it's a 3rd world nation. If your bard can pull off his music, you can even make your allies semi-competent in these things, via Inspire Competence.

b) Background and other information. Need to know which king is buried here? The bard knows, or can find out. Need to know the secret weakness of the Troll of Crag Keep? The bard has heard a rumor. Need to know what the heck that thing flying at you is? The bard's got a theory. This is not just Bardic Knowledge, but all your other knowledge skills combined. Be aggressive in using knowledge skills. Don't wait for the DM to say "Roll Knowledge: Arcana", especially if you've been skimping on your Knowledge: Arcana. Say "Since this thing has been sealed up for thousands of years, does Knowledge: History give me anything? What about Knowledge: Religion, since there was that big seal of Kord on the door? And Bardic Knowledge?" Do this with EVERY skill that might be appropriate, every time one might be appropriate.

c) When you get back to town. Remember, you are the one who tells everyone the tales of adventure. You figure prominently in every tale. Your name is the one that comes up the most in the songs. When people from far away hear about your party, they say "Aren't you 'Bard and Company'", not "Aren't you that adventuring group who contains a number of important people?" When you write the songs, THEY ARE YOUR LACKEYS.
Also, of course, the bard is the one who knows what everything is, how much it is worth, and how to get the best rewards.

Ok, I'm tired of telling you why bards are awesome. Just remember the key rules: Be aggressively helpful in your play. Be usefully self-aggrandizing. Brag humbly about the awesome that you let everyone else do, simply because they associate with you and YOU MAKE THINGS HAPPEN.
Everything you do should serve to make other people better, and make the entire party better... but if you're sitting the in back casting spells, instead of suggesting what skills would be best here, telling everyone about this monster and who designed this dungeon and why that's useful, and figuring out how to duct-tape the thief to a catapult so he doesn't fly TOO far when you shoot him over the gorge, then play a sorcerer or a namby-pamby wizard. Bards are people who DO things. They make things happen. They don't sit around and wait for the opportunity to cast a world-shattering spell... they make an opportunity to cast a low-level spell that's just as effective.

Bards are made of pure, concentrated awesome. The only time they run out is when they stop doing things and coming up with suggestions on how they can best solve any problem that comes up.

sadi
2009-08-21, 03:19 PM
Pathfinder's starting wealth is atrociously low. ECL 5 gives me 10,500 gold to work with, and Strongarms are about 2/3rds of that.

And that is 1,500 more than you get under 3.5 core if you use the starting wealth per level on page 135 of the dmg.

Fax Celestis
2009-08-21, 03:20 PM
And that is 1,500 more than you get under 3.5 core if you use the starting wealth per level on page 135 of the dmg.

*checks*

Why so it is. It's still less than I'm used to. *shakes his fist at ECL 5*

Doc Roc
2009-08-21, 04:27 PM
How much monies do you normally start with?

:: terrified look ::

Also, mercantile background sends its cordial regards ;)

Fax Celestis
2009-08-21, 04:36 PM
How much monies do you normally start with?

:: terrified look ::

Also, mercantile background sends its cordial regards ;)

Well, I'm used to starting ECL 8ish, or at ECL 1. Not in this desolate, gp-free wasteland in the middle. -_-

Frosty
2009-08-21, 04:48 PM
Well your enemies aren't very well equipped either at those levels.

EnnPeeCee
2009-08-21, 05:08 PM
Whaaat, I totally include out-of-combat stuff in my campaigns. You guys just skip it. =P

But yeah, good luck fixing up a bard, I've always had trouble with them.

rezplz
2009-08-21, 05:31 PM
I blame Jeff for skipping the non-combat stuff. >_> Whenever there's anything non-combat related he TIES UP THE HALFLING, THEREBY RUINING EVERYTHING. D:

Doc Roc
2009-08-21, 05:36 PM
I blame Jeff for skipping the non-combat stuff. >_> Whenever there's anything non-combat related he TIES UP THE HALFLING, THEREBY RUINING EVERYTHING (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HE4FJL2IDEs). D:

I corrected a typo for you.

fliprushman
2009-08-21, 08:33 PM
Well if you want to focus on spells, and have access to the completes, you will want to make a sublime chord. It's in Complete Arcane, pg 60. It will take your bards spellcasting ability and turn it up to the level that Wizards/Sorcerers are able to cast at. The drawback is you lose out on a few skills points and your bardic music abilities. But this is the route you want to go to be better at casting. You also need to max out your charisma and perform skill along with making sure you have the skill ranks to enter the prestige class.

Also you can never go wrong with a maxed UMD(Use Magic Device). That way you can use any spell in the game provided by a scroll and such. So the enemies and DM will never know what hit him ;) (he'll forget that he gave you some of those items at times.)

If you run out of spells or find yourself in a pinch, melee combat can be achieved with this character as well. You can pick up some spells or magic items that buff you for combat, you can expend a few of your feats to make this better, or you can take another prestige class. I'm also assuming that you would use the songs you do have to augment this as well, since inspire courage is such a great song to play in every combat. Also, you want at least 9 levels of bard for Inspire Greatness, but it's not only helpful to your combat abilities. 2HD will be added to your character temporarily, enough said on that subject. Having a Strength score of 14 will be the minimum you need to be effective here. You will want to take up some sort of two handed weapon. Other than that, you will be good.

In the case of archery, since you are casting spells, and you don't want to spread yourself too thin, don't worry about it. You've got everything you need now with spells and melee.