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Pigkappa
2010-01-26, 07:37 PM
My bard just reached level 7, so he's going to learn two level 3 spells. I've never really optimized, but since the party thinks I'm pretty useless (the "I-just-cast-Scorching-Ray" warmage, in particular...), I want to choose two decent spells.

My feats are terrible; Extra Music (sounded good at level 1, totally useless at high levels...), a feat which gives +2 to Bluff and Disguise, Dodge, a feat which allows me to hide spells I cast while I'm singing.

Level 1 and 2 spells: Charm Person (very bad choice since our opponents are never "persons" =_=), Grease, Disguise Self, Expeditious Retreat, Minor Image, Glitterdust, Invisibility, Suggestion (very bad choice for a bard -_-).

My stats are awful. Very high Cha (25; had to steal a +6 Charisma mantle for that, and it was difficult...), 16 Dex, 10 Str/Wis/Cos (maybe 12 Cos, I can't remember), 8 Int (the concept of the character is Elan :smallbiggrin:)
I've already got a Badge of Valor, and I also have 4k or 5k gold pieces available.

When I first built this character, I thought to focus on the social aspect - I have very good Disguise and Bluff checks, more then 20 in both IIRC. Anyway I found out that these skills are totally useless in the campaign; I don't think I ever rolled Bluff against an NPC in the last 5 sessions (I did roll bluff several times versus the party's monk anyway), nor did I succesfully use Charm person. So, I don't think Glibness would be useful to me.
Also, since we nearly always fight a monster at a time, mass-crowd control are quite useless.

We already have a Warmage blaster and a Cleric who can prepare Dispel Magic (too bad he usually doesn't...).

For spells, all books are allowed. I don't think I'll take anything that breaks the game, but I don't think that's possible with level 3 Bard spells without metamagic (surprise me!)...

Ernir
2010-01-26, 07:45 PM
Haste and Glibness. :smalltongue:

Swooper
2010-01-26, 07:45 PM
Haste, Confusion, Major Image, Slow, Fear and Displacement are all solid core choices. Can't remember anything good from the SpC except Unluck.. I'm sure someone else will add to this list.

Stompy
2010-01-26, 07:49 PM
What is your party composition (and would they benefit greatly from haste)?


My feats are terrible; Extra Music (sounded good at level 1, totally useless at high levels...), a feat which gives +2 to Bluff and Disguise, Dodge, a feat which allows me to hide spells I cast while I'm singing.

Ask your DM if you can retrain feats as per the PHB2, or with his/her own custom system of retraining.

Optimystik
2010-01-26, 08:00 PM
Unluck, Haste, maybe Allegro. SM 3 has some gems as well.

Pigkappa
2010-01-26, 08:02 PM
Ask your DM if you can retrain feats as per the PHB2, or with his/her own custom system of retraining.

No, I can't retrain feats sadly. Except for spells and feats, we have to stay in core as much as possible (also, no metamagic reducers are allowed, except for the rods.


What is your party composition (and would they benefit greatly from haste)?

Cleric of Kord focused to fighting, Monk, Warmage blaster, Scout with two weapons (going to be a Dervish). Haste could be a good idea I think.

Slow and Fear are mass save-or-suck, and I don't think that's really convenient when there's only an opponent at a time (likely with decent Will save). Also, I've already got Grease and Glitterdust for that.

shadow_archmagi
2010-01-26, 08:03 PM
Imagine that I posted an image here that had a thousand jet-fighters firing rockets into a black hole that was exploding and the explosion's flames were in the shape of the word GLIBNESS


Seriously. The "The bluff is way out there, almost too incredible to consider." modifier is only +20 to their sense motive. That means that with zero ranks in bluff, and no charisma modifier, you could cast this spell, walk up to the mayor, and say "I'm actually you from the future! I look different because of time travel complications! I'm off to sleep with my wife." and he'd have a fifty-fifty chance of believing you if he had no ranks in sense motive.

WITH ranks in bluff (and a +2 for that feat, and a 26 in CHA) you're pretty much un-unbelievable.

Go ahead. Explain to everyone in the party that, contrary to all evidence, you've secretly been the reason behind all their successes. They can't possibly sense your lies now.

Lappy9000
2010-01-26, 08:04 PM
My stats are awful. Very high Cha (25; had to steal a +6 Charisma mantle for that, and it was difficult...), 16 Dex, 10 Str/Wis/Cos (maybe 12 Cos, I can't remember), 8 Int (the concept of the character is Elan :smallbiggrin:)Gu-bwah? You clearly need to play in my campaigns with a Charisma like that.

You bard may be better than you think...

Pigkappa
2010-01-26, 08:14 PM
Seriously. The "The bluff is way out there, almost too incredible to consider." modifier is only +20 to their sense motive.

Yeah, that's what RAW says. My DM disagrees. If something makes no sense (something like "I'm a Lammasu so I'm Lawful so you should trust me"), that a -100, or I can't even roll Bluff for that.

And, after all, I partly agree with him. Since it's easy to have a +50 to Bluff at level 7, and few people in the world will have more than +20 Sense Motive, this means I can just say anything I want and solve all quests involving people who speak Common this way. Really too much unrealistic.

(yes, I do know the Charisma is really high. I had a good chance to be killed while I was stealing that +6 Mantle. The rest of the stats aren't really good anyways, the skills are awful, and so are the feats.)

El Dorado
2010-01-26, 08:15 PM
Displacement. Good for tanks and squishies.

Haste. Helps your cleric get the most out of divine power when he full attacks.

Charm Monster. Get the most out of your 25 (yeesh!) Charisma. Actually, this one's probably a better 8th level choice, when you can drop Charm Person.

Dispel Magic. as good as your cleric's and you'll always have it when you need it.

Regarding feats, Extra Music is good, especially if you're planning to take Lyric Spell (Complete Adventurer), which lets you burn bardic music uses for spells.

qcbtnsrm
2010-01-26, 10:45 PM
Yeah, that's what RAW says. My DM disagrees. If something makes no sense (something like "I'm a Lammasu so I'm Lawful so you should trust me"), that a -100, or I can't even roll Bluff for that.

And, after all, I partly agree with him. Since it's easy to have a +50 to Bluff at level 7, and few people in the world will have more than +20 Sense Motive, this means I can just say anything I want and solve all quests involving people who speak Common this way. Really too much unrealistic.

You think that is less realistic than your teammate conjuring giant balls of fire which incinerate your opponents? It is no less realistic than say Charm Monster, which is a more powerful effect, and which is available to the Wizard at the same level. The Bard's version is somewhat better in some ways, as it has no SR or save. But it does have a skill check, and it doesn't really have any effect greater than say... Suggestion. And that is how it should be, as this kind of (pseudo-)enchantment is the Bard's one true forté. The Bard should be able to talk his way out of at least a portion of the encounters you run into.

Otherwise your DM is basically saying your class sucks, and I'm going to nerf your class abilities to make it so. It really is similar to him putting 50 Spell Resistance on everything you run across so that the Wizard doesn't get too out of hand. And I would strongly suggest that you find a way to convince you DM to either stop crippling you or to allow you to retrain or something to bring your character more in line with the game he is running. This is obviously affecting both your fun and the fun of the other players

That all said, if you can try to get the Spell Compendium allowed. There are a number of really tasty choices in there. Given your listed scenario mostly combat and mostly vs bosses, two really good choices, at 3rd level are:
Ray of Dizziness, which reduces the number and type of actions the target can take (no save).
Unluck, which requires the target to roll every roll twice and take the worst of the two rolls. This should cripple any target.

Then at level 8 you can retrain one spell of 1st level or lower. So you can toss that evidently useless Charm Person and get either:
Improvisation, which gives you a luck pool of points you can spend to improve various rolls.
Inspirational Boost, which as a swift spell gives a 1 to all the effects of your Inspire Courage bardic song.

Darrin
2010-01-26, 11:11 PM
My feats are terrible; Extra Music (sounded good at level 1, totally useless at high levels...)


It'll become more useful if you pick up Snowflake Wardance or Dragonfire Inspiration.



For spells, all books are allowed. I don't think I'll take anything that breaks the game, but I don't think that's possible with level 3 Bard spells without metamagic (surprise me!)...

Glibness might break the game a wee little bit, but you'll have an absolute blast while doing it.

Pigkappa
2010-01-27, 07:35 AM
It'll become more useful if you pick up Snowflake Wardance or Dragonfire Inspiration.


I don't think that's gonna happen, since I have no ranks in Perform(Dance) (with 8 Int, I don't really have a lot of skill points, and I'm trying to max out UMD, Perform(Banjo), and I need some more ranks in Hide, Move Silently and some other skills), nor I have the Dragonblood subtype.

I think I'm gonna choose two between Summon Monster 3, Ray of Dizziness and Haste. When I reach level 8, I'm likely going to lose Charm Person and gain Inspirational Boost (that means I'll grant +4 to hit when I'm playing my banjo, really nice).

Is Summon Monster 3 better than the other two spells, considering we are at level 7 (and not level 5, when a wizard would usually take that spell)?

Nich_Critic
2010-01-27, 07:56 AM
Summon monster 3 is a solid spell, but a little bit late. I think it might be underpowered if you don't do anything to buff it. The one round casting time (ONE round, not FULL round) makes it difficult to use.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2010-01-27, 09:07 AM
Ray of Dizziness is a solid choice, especially if you typically fight only one or a few opponents at once. Charm Monster or Confusion may be useful, and Haste is great if you have several full-attackers in your party. Phantom Steed is just awesome and will still be good in the higher levels.

Ernir
2010-01-27, 09:14 AM
Phantom Steed is just awesome and will still be good in the higher levels.

Nah.

It will be EVEN BETTER in the higher levels. \o/

Killer Angel
2010-01-27, 09:18 AM
Yeah, that's what RAW says. My DM disagrees. If something makes no sense (something like "I'm a Lammasu so I'm Lawful so you should trust me"), that a -100, or I can't even roll Bluff for that.

And, after all, I partly agree with him. Since it's easy to have a +50 to Bluff at level 7, and few people in the world will have more than +20 Sense Motive, this means I can just say anything I want and solve all quests involving people who speak Common this way. Really too much unrealistic.


:smallsigh:
You need to remind (and then remind that to your DM, too), that:
1) yes, you can easily bluff a thing almost too incredible to consider
2) a successful Bluff check indicates that the target reacts as you wish, at least for a short time (usually 1 round or less).

It's not game breaking, neither unrealistic: it gives you the time to gain an advantage in combat, or gaining a round Vs a guard that wants to arrest you, you can distract a demon, etc.
They will almost always believe you. For one round, before they'll think well about it.

Splendor
2010-01-30, 08:15 AM
Charm Monster, Glibness.
Charm Monster gives you pretty much any henchmen you want for 7 days and then on the 7th day you use glibness and convince your henchmen to "not resist" your next Charm Monster spell you cast on him.
Other usefull ones include Dispel Magic, Insignia of Healing, Remove Curse, and Displacement.

And since you get an additional 2nd level spell at 7th level. Heroism, Reveille (MoF 113), or Alterself as the best ones. I also like to use DarkWay.

Also make sure you took Loresong, 1st level Bard spell. Dragon magazine 335 page 76. 1 min casting time, duration: 1rd/lv, choose one skill and gain a +4 competence bonus with an additional +1 bonus for each 2 caster level and allows you to use even trained skills that you have no ranks in. (nice in a pinch to make knowledge checks or open locks)

Raging Gene Ray
2010-01-30, 11:23 AM
Also make sure you took Loresong, 1st level Bard spell. Dragon magazine 335 page 76. 1 min casting time, duration: 1rd/lv, choose one skill and gain a +4 competence bonus with an additional +1 bonus for each 2 caster level and allows you to use even trained skills that you have no ranks in. (nice in a pinch to make knowledge checks or open locks)

Sounds like Improvisation from SC: 1 std. action to cast, 1rd/lvl grants you a pool of luck points equal to your caster level that you can use on any skill checks, stat checks, or attack rolls. It limits itself because you can only apply up to half your caster level in luck points to any single one of those.

Also...don't use Summon Monster III...unless you have some really good idea about how to use it.

Oh, and as for feats: consider Song of the Heart. That's an extra +1 to Inspire Courage (and the DCs for most other uses of Bardic Music)...

Finally, do you know of the masterwork instrument rules in Complete Adventurer. If you use a Masterwork Drum to Inspire Courage, it's another +1 to attack and damage. The logic is the drum is one of the best instruments for war...something to do with all the hitting.

Or you could just take Leadership and remember to optimize your cohort.

There's also a feat in Complete Mage called Captivating Melody, it lets you burn a use of bardic music to boost the save DC of any Illusion or Enchantment spell (like Charm Monster) by 2. That's the equivalent of 4 feats (Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus for two schools) .

Sliver
2010-01-30, 12:11 PM
Tell your DM that you screwed up and didn't know what to expect of the game and would really like to remake your character so that you will have fun being more useful, and the group will have fun with you actually helping them.

OverdrivePrime
2010-01-30, 01:11 PM
Tell your DM that you screwed up and didn't know what to expect of the game and would really like to remake your character so that you will have fun being more useful, and the group will have fun with you actually helping them.

^^This.

Also, do everything you possibly can to get enough exp for 8th level so you can reselect at least one of those spells.

Mongoose87
2010-01-30, 01:17 PM
It's not particularly optimal, but your party will love you every time they roll a one, if you take "Alter Fortune."

Splendor
2010-02-02, 09:41 PM
Improvisation vs Loresong

Improvisation
+faster casting time
+can be used on multiple skills
-bonus not as high (1/2 caster level)
-cannot use trained skills untrained

Loresong
+bonus higher (4 + 1/2 levels)
+allows use of trained only skills
-cannot be used immediately (1 min casting time)

Flarp
2010-02-03, 01:06 AM
Honestly, 3rd level spells is where core bard starts getting really sexy.

With that Charisma, you're probably the party face, which means you should almost certainly take Glibness.

Other than that, there are many, many solid support spells you can take at this level. Haste comes to mind.

Charm Monster is awesome - Summon Monster is not.

Displacement is pretty good, depending on what enemies you're facing.

For debuff/illusory bards, Major Image, Fear, Confusion, and... is Slow 3rd level? I forget.

Saintheart
2010-02-03, 03:32 AM
I might be going in the wrong direction here, but if you've got Perform (Lute) or something similar and you're looking for a cheap way to put another +1 on your Inspire Courage effect between now and levelling up to 8, go pick up a Masterwork Lute. Only 150 gp. Can't remember which book it's from, but it makes your Inspire Courage effect function as if you were one class level higher. Level 7 gives you a base +1 Inspire Courage effect; at Level 8 it rises to +2. Therefore the Masterwork Lute turns you into a Level 8 bard for Inspire Courage, which then becomes your base. Then, as you know, +1 comes from the Badge of Valor on top of that, then another +1 from Inspirational Boost IIRC, then another +1 from Song of the Heart.

EDIT: I think the book is Complete Adventurer for the masterwork instrument.

Roderick_BR
2010-02-03, 05:52 AM
No, I can't retrain feats sadly. Except for spells and feats, we have to stay in core as much as possible
And classes, apparently, because warmage and scout are as core as retraining.

Tytalus
2010-02-03, 06:07 AM
It isn't nearly as hopeless as others make it out to be. With your immense CHA, your spells' save DCs are fantastic, making you an excellent debuffer.

My suggestions:

- Get a Lesser Metamagic Rod of Sculpting (Complete Arcane, MIC: 3k gold) and start off the next battle with a Sculpted Glitterdust. I just hope it works with your "mostly core" game. An alternative is taking the Sculpt Spell feat next level. Either way, Sculpted Glitterdusts win fights.

- Get a masterwork instrument to improve your Inspire Courage (CAdv), as suggested before.

- Great spells are Slow, Unluck (SC) and Alter Fortune (PHB2). Slow and Unluck are very good debuff spells and make excellent use of your high CHA. Alter Fortune is simply a life-saver. Usually, I'd also recommend Haste (as many others did), but in your particular case, these seem more useful. Glibness is another really great choice, but it appears that it will do little given your DM's attitude towards Bluff. Summon Monster III is rubbish compared to any of these, by the way, and a waste of your precious Spells Known.

- A good feat to shoot for is Song of the Heart (already mentioned) to improve your Inspire Courage bonus even more. Make the switch for Inspirational boost ASAP and you are looking at a nice +5 to hit / damage next level. With Glitterdust, Unluck, Slow, Grease, your opponents should be blind, slowed, prone/balancing and otherwise in serious trouble on top of that. If your party mates won't love you for this, it'll be easier to find a better (i.e., decent) group than to optimize even further.

Zanticor
2010-02-03, 07:10 AM
Many votes for slow I see! Haste is great but I would never choose slow as your debuf if you can choose Confusion. There is no better way to shut down a combat situation then having your opponents starting to hit each-other. Remember that if two of your opponents are confused, standing close to each-other and one of then trows above 70%, you don't have to roll the d100 anymore. One attack the other and the one attacked has to hit him back. Extra bonus if they are two wizards. You can just start casting Tasha's hideous laughter on yourself and your team when you see two old bearded guys starting to hit each-other with their quarterstaves while their ravens are trying to separate them (I know I did). If you think the 15 foot radius is to small you can buy that Rod of sculpting.
Another nice debuff is Loves Lament. A third level bard spel from the spell compendium. 1d6 wis damage is nice but 1d4 round nauseated is hilarious. It's a 60 feet cone that makes your hobgoblins cry about their long lost love or their mother's lack of nurturing skills. Confusion is a better spell but this one far more flavorsome.
About charm monster: First check your DM. Not everybody lets you control the actions of your friendly monster. My DM just ignores the charm and continuous hacking into my team-members while saying nice things to the enchanter. Same story with dominate monster (which you should take on level 10). If the monster gets a save every time (or every round) you order it to attack its old friends, it becomes far less effective.

Zanticor

Pigkappa
2010-02-03, 07:51 AM
Thanks for the advices, I think I'm going to take ray of dizziness and haste. Mass debuff isn't very nice IMHO since we fight an opponent at a time; I don't want to have any cohort or monster permanently charmed, because those slow down the game too much; sculpting glitterdust is quite useless since I think I will usually be able to hit just the monster without having to sculpt anything (already done that a lot of times with grease). It's been explicitly stated that retraining is not allowed.

Jayabalard
2010-02-03, 08:35 AM
Charm Monster, Glibness. Looks like someone may have not read the rest of the thread.... I kind of doubt that would work very well based on how his GM treats bluff.


You think that is less realistic than your teammate conjuring giant balls of fire which incinerate your opponents?Yes.


It is no less realistic than say Charm Monster, which is a more powerful effect, and which is available to the Wizard at the same level.Charm explicitly targets something and affects it's mind. Fireball explicitly creates a ball of fire. Glibness just makes you talk good.

Lysander
2010-02-03, 09:57 AM
How about Major Image? Make really believable illusions, trick monsters, lead enemies into ambushes and traps, create talking decoys. Illusions spells are great for weak characters because their power comes from the player's imagination.

Mark Hall
2010-02-03, 03:28 PM
Ok, you're a bard. This means you are awesome. You've also got a 25 Charisma at 7th level, which means your spell DCs are pretty good. That said, looking at 3rd level spells, you're going to want things that buff your party, seconded by spells that debuff your enemies.

Good Hope, for example. At +2 to a wide variety of things, lasting 7 minutes, and affecting 7 people. "I can just Bard Song!" True. But this will continue whether you're singing or not, and covers a wider variety of things than Inspire Courage. Since you have a good-sized party, and have mentioned that your DM tends to go for singular "Boss" Enemies, this helps more than Crushing Despair against your opponents (which "wastes" effect in trying to affect multiple people, and has a save). Likewise, Haste over Slow, with the added benefit that, combined with Good Hope, all of your people hit hard and fast.

Charm Monster looks like it would be good, but given your description of his reaction to bluff, I'd be willing to bet it's not going to do as well as you'd like.

Now, you also get a 2nd level spell. Depending on your DM, Silence is a great choice. It cripples (or at least hinders) spellcasters unless they move, and sometimes even then.