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onthetown
2010-05-16, 02:53 PM
Some of you might know that I play an enchanter (now bard, but still focused on spells) in a campaign. I tend to hear that enchantment is a school you should drop under almost every circumstance, and a lot of people find bards to be underpowered and pointless, but I love this one.

The DM had spent a few days planning out today's adventure and intended for it to be difficult:

Human Ranger/Wizard 10
Human Ranger/Sorcerer 10
Half-Elf Magus 10
Human Bard (my enchanter) 10

VS

Some sort of noble human guy, a fighter of level 20, and his high-level lackeys.

The lackeys were guarding the treasury with the item we needed, which was located in the heavily-guarded mansion of the noble fighter guy. We had to somehow get in and get the crystal shard we were hunting for and get out alive.

We learned that noble fighter guy was building an army using said crystal shard as an empowerment, so I decided to try the diplomatic route.

The bard took charge of the party, cast Glibness on herself, then walked up to the guards of the mansion and told them she had heard about the "secret" army and wanted to help out. They let her and the party through into a waiting room. A few hours later, Glibness had worn off and the noble fighter guy came through to ask us why we were there. She pulled another Bluff and rolled a 19, +21 in total for all my ranks and ability mods and whatnot, giving her a 40. The guy didn't catch it and wanted to enlist us. Just as we were closing up the conversation and he hadn't really dropped any clues about the shard, the bard used Charm Person because he blatantly looked like a fighter so she knew that it might be easier than they thought to trick him.

The level 20 fighter's Will save didn't quite cut it with my bard's 27 Cha (I'm pimped out on magic items). It was a 23 to pass and he only got 17. I now had an epic friend.

Noble fighter guy proceeded to tell us just about everything when she asked it, chalking it up to simple curiosity. The bard asked if she could see it and he let us down to the treasury. He was still under the effects of Charm Person so, when the bard told him she could identify the shard's powers for him, he happily let her walk up to it and touch it. As soon as she had it, she and the ranger/wizard Teleported out, followed by the magus and the ranger/sorcerer. They were safely back on their airship and proceeded to escape before the poor guy could collect his wits.

We are now safely in the north of the world and I doubt the guy still has a clue what went on.

The DM was incredibly generous and gave the entire party the amount of XP they would get for defeating a 20th level fighter. We're all level 11 and ready to take on the next adventure.

Bards have their uses. :smallamused:

Lord Loss
2010-05-16, 02:59 PM
:smallcool:EPIC WIN.:smallcool:


On the downside, a level 20 character is quite :smallfurious: at you.

Run for the hills!

Forever Curious
2010-05-16, 03:02 PM
Diplomacy: With charisma like these, who needs AC?

IlexGarodan
2010-05-16, 03:08 PM
As the Dungeon Master of the campaign, I have a few words to say..

Staff of Bard character's ancestor: 400,000 gold
Material components for Glibness: 20 gold
Scroll of Charm Person for a Bard: 25 gold
Charming a 20th level Fighter Lord into letting you take a MacGuffin in his posession: Priceless.

There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's Enchantment.


Needless to say, that was an epic win. Fortunately (or unfortunately for me), the party is now thousands of miles away, well out of the Lord's reach. Dammit! :smalltongue:

onthetown
2010-05-16, 03:15 PM
Yes... we are far, far away and never going near that country again, and we will be leaving that world soon...

The Glyphstone
2010-05-16, 03:16 PM
Enchantment is an excellent school - if you have the cooperation of your DM. The problem is that said cooperation isn't a given, and in the presence of a DM who doesn't like non-combat solutions, it becomes an entirely useless school - in addition to one 8th level spell making it useless. Thus, most people recommend banning it above other options because it's likely the smallest loss.


In exceptions, though, such as here, yes - enchantment is awesome. On the other hand...you've got a 20th level character mad at you, once he figures out he's been bamboozled. 20th level characters have A LOT OF MONEY that they can use to pay bounty hunters, divining wizards, other mercenaries, etc. I could see an entire campaign being built up around his attempts to retrieve the heirloom...you're out of his personal "i am here to kick your ass" reach - you're still within reach of his money, if he wants to spend it.

Keld Denar
2010-05-16, 03:16 PM
Wait...bards are weak? That hasn't been true since 2e, and even then...

Mongoose87
2010-05-16, 03:47 PM
Enchantment is a funny school. If you know what kind of campaign you're running, and that it won't be undead or (*insert Immune to Mind-Affecting foe here*), then they're good.

Flickerdart
2010-05-16, 03:52 PM
A 20th level fighter leader could have had access to Mind Blank every morning from a Wizard or Psion friend. However, he didn't, which is his fault and your gain.

Eldariel
2010-05-16, 04:37 PM
Enchantment is an excellent school - if you have the cooperation of your DM. The problem is that said cooperation isn't a given, and in the presence of a DM who doesn't like non-combat solutions, it becomes an entirely useless school - in addition to one 8th level spell making it useless. Thus, most people recommend banning it above other options because it's likely the smallest loss.

The real reason why it's often suggested for dropping is that most other schools replicate most of what you can do with Enchantment quite efficiently; Enchantment simply doesn't have a lot of stuff you need, and it doesn't add much depth to your arsenal. Oh, and Planar Bound Succubi are good for more than just concubines.

Bards, on the other hand, kick butt and have a ridiculous reputation for their power, which is only somewhat true in Core and even there, they're better off than 60% of the classes.

onthetown
2010-05-16, 05:21 PM
Ah, finally some clarity... I was beginning to wonder if I was the only person who loved enchantment here! Luckily my DM encourages roleplaying so it's a great choice in our campaign. Bards and enchanters a'plenty. I do hear a lot about bards being underpowered, though. Maybe I'm just looking at the wrong threads.

And don't worry about him hunting us down... It takes a bit of explaining, but the short version is that the party is 6,000 years in the past during the Blackmoor era of Mystara to get the last two crystal shard thingies. We jump worlds a lot, too (I'm too restless to stay in one campaign setting for 20 levels, hahah...), so we'll probably be leaving him very soon. We'll be so unheard of that the poor guy will probably be wondering if it was all just a very bad hallucination after a long night of drinking. :smallwink:

Tinydwarfman
2010-05-16, 05:26 PM
I do hear a lot about bards being underpowered, though. Maybe I'm just looking at the wrong threads.


To be fair, in core, bards really aren't very good. They get a lot of splatbook support. In core however, they really don't have very much to compete with outside of casters, as they have casting and some decent class features. It's a stereotype I really don't understand that much, unless you play in the kind of groups that ban monk because it has so many class features.

Zergrusheddie
2010-05-16, 07:14 PM
Yeah, Diplomacy + Bluff can be completely insane. My Beguiler did stuff like that too. Bluff is used to make the people listen to you and Diplomacy is used to let them into their secret lair.

We were sent by a band of giants to go assassinate the leader of an opposing tribe. It was essentially Red and Blue vs. Purple and we were working for Purple. We set off and because we didn't have someone with Track, we sort of "bumble about looking for signs of a camp." Through some highly impressive rolls, we manage to waltz into the tent of the Jarl. By impressive, I mean a string of ones by everyone.

The Jarl orders essentially a platoon into his tent. While this was going down, Still Glibness and I assume the role of the party face. "Lord, we have been sent my Blue to warn you of an eminent attack by the Purple band. Chief Blue wouldn't dare give us any identification least we be attacked by Purple spies."

Up comes a Beguiler's nemesis, the Zone of Truth! Thinking that I am utterly screwed, I read Glibness again and see that he needs to beat my caster level + 15. Thankfully, an 11 does not make it. The warriors leave us alone with the Jarl. Through a surprise round and miraculously high rolls for attack, damage, and initiative, we manage to kill the Jarl. Our BSF cut off the Jarl's head and shouted something about a pathetic warrior.

We are about to Teleport out as the warriors are charging into the tent again and I think that one more bluff couldn't hurt; "Lord Blue sends his deepest regards!" With Glibness, I was looking around a minimum of 50+ so they believed it.

With a few bluff checks and diplomacy, the team managed to turn a catastrophe into a strategic advantage AND cause the Reds and Blues to go to war. :smallsmile:

aivanther
2010-05-16, 07:17 PM
Really, enchantment gets a bad rap in my opinion. The assumptions behind why it's bad seems to 1) you don't get to cast spells in or get to have role play situations at all(not my usual experience) and 2) mind blank (I rarely have games get to the point where everyone has a lvl 8 spell to blow). Enchantment can be a LOT of fun, especially in roleplay situations with a decent DM, or just general interesting commands (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0383.html).

onthetown
2010-05-17, 08:12 AM
With a few bluff checks and diplomacy, the team managed to turn a catastrophe into a strategic advantage AND cause the Reds and Blues to go to war. :smallsmile:

Glibness, Bluff, Diplomacy, and possibly Charm Person are the only things any class should ever need if the DM is willing. :smallamused:

Eldariel
2010-05-17, 08:21 AM
Glibness, Bluff, Diplomacy, and possibly Charm Person are the only things any class should ever need if the DM is willing. :smallamused:

So all you need is an unconscious DM? :smallbiggrin:

Greenish
2010-05-17, 08:22 AM
Well, Diplomacy rules as written are ridiculous. It's DC 35 check to get any opponent ever from Hostile to Indifferent in a full round action. (Well, DC 25 with -10 modifier for rushing.) Another round will make the Archfiend and you BFFs.

Also, level 20 fighter (who didn't even use his WBL on basic defenses against magic) is hardly a challenge to a level 10 party of casters.

onthetown
2010-05-17, 08:56 AM
Well, Diplomacy rules as written are ridiculous. It's DC 35 check to get any opponent ever from Hostile to Indifferent in a full round action. (Well, DC 25 with -10 modifier for rushing.) Another round will make the Archfiend and you BFFs.

Also, level 20 fighter (who didn't even use his WBL on basic defenses against magic) is hardly a challenge to a level 10 party of casters.

I didn't use Diplomacy; I used Charm Person, then feigned innocent curiosity about the shard and my new best friend led me right to it. But one of the ranger's Diplomacy skill is through the roof, so had it failed we might have been able to get through it like that anyway.

A level 20 fighter + all his high-level lackeys + my DM building them = a huge challenge. Because I focus on casters he builds enemies to give me a good challenge... if we had actually started fighting, we would have felt like we were only level 5 and it would have been TPK. Which would have been interesting, to say the least...

That said, he was the stereotypical Stupid Fighter. This is more or less the conversation that happened in game after he was Charmed, which was incredibly ironic considering he was talking about how no mage could get past him:

Bard- "I love your mansion. And all the guards. But don't you have mages guarding the treasury?"
Fighter- "Oh, no. I don't need magic to protect my possessions."
Bard- "...Why?"
Fighter- "I have the most powerful guards and they're strong enough to defeat any mage, and they'd have to get through me next!"
Bard- "..."
Fighter- "I like you."
Bard- "I love you. So, do you need me to see what the shard's powers are? I can identify it for you as long as I can touch it."
Fighter- "Sure! Right this way!"


So all you need is an unconscious DM? :smallbiggrin:

It would certainly be worth trying sometime. :smallbiggrin:

Greenish
2010-05-17, 09:04 AM
I didn't use Diplomacy; I used Charm Person, then feigned innocent curiosity about the shard and my new best friend led me right to it. But one of the ranger's Diplomacy skill is through the roof, so had it failed we might have been able to get through it like that anyway.I was referring to your "Diplomacy … are all you need".

A level 20 fighter + all his high-level lackeys + my DM building them = a huge challenge.A couple of skill checks in which you auto-succeed and two spells. A huge challenge. Right.

Because I focus on casters he builds enemies to give me a good challenge...…Like fighters with no magical defenses?

jpreem
2010-05-17, 09:26 AM
The biggest problem for charm person to me seems to be that if it is not silenced and stilled then when you use it in a social situation: everybody just saw that you cast a spell. If any of them had ranks in spellcraft then the worse. If you are charming just one guy then hmm maybe he will react like - Oh you just casted a mind affecting spell on me, but thank you probably it was for the best ( Well he is your best buddy now). BUt when you are in a court, then other fellows who you did not target and say heard you casting a spell before starting to smooch the captain of the guard or whatnot should be rightly cautios.
Glibness on the other hand is awesome. Cast it on yourself and you can go on an bulls****ing rampage. + 30 bluff, you can tell almost anyone almost anything and the will believe you :smallbiggrin:

Greenish
2010-05-17, 10:39 AM
The biggest problem for charm person to me seems to be that if it is not silenced and stilled then when you use it in a social situation: everybody just saw that you cast a spell.Conceal Spellcasting skill trick (or False Theurgy and a good excuse). Gotta love beguilers. :smallcool:

El Dorado
2010-05-17, 11:24 AM
In our group, the fighter (bad cop) begins the interrogation. The bard casts the spell while the prisoner is distracted and then "rescues" him (good cop).

onthetown
2010-05-17, 11:27 AM
I was referring to your "Diplomacy … are all you need".
A couple of skill checks in which you auto-succeed and two spells. A huge challenge. Right.
…Like fighters with no magical defenses?

How did this degrade into snark..? I was trying to get across the feel of the campaign. The point is that he built the guy to kill us if we got caught. I completely blind-sided him with the bluffs and Charm Person because I had been in a blasting mood for the past few sessions and I wasn't being given much of a chance to let the bard shine until now. Fighters don't have great Will saves and my bard has a 27 in Charisma -- her Bluff is +21 total without Glibness, so rolling a 19 kind of overshot the threshold for success. The fighter rolled low for the Will save against Charm Person.

The adventure was supposed to be us sneaking into his house and getting the shard without provoking them. I have a rogue in the roster.

The entire point of posting this thread was that I thought that I had been clever and got an epic win, but apparently not. Sorry to waste your time.

Greenish
2010-05-17, 12:12 PM
How did this degrade into snark..?I blame the weather.

Yeah, sorry, I didn't mean to diss your campaign (or you).

Mark Hall
2010-05-17, 01:12 PM
Wait...bards are weak? That hasn't been true since 2e, and even then...

Actually, Bards have never really been weak, unless you count 3.0 (and, even then, I'll bet they had some power... not wizards, but not slouches).

A 2e bard was a low-hp fighter with a pretty face at 1st level, and at 2nd level, they were on par with a 1/1 fighter/magic user (a little better, actually, since their caster level was 2), and they threw a few thieving skills on top of that, and some general sagery on top of that. To say nothing of their musical skills, which were pretty lackluster in 2e.

A 1e bard was already a medium level fighter, medium level thief, and was working on being a druid, arguably with druid powers on top of his bardic powers.

jpreem
2010-05-17, 01:13 PM
Conceal Spellcasting skill trick (or False Theurgy and a good excuse). Gotta love beguilers. :smallcool:

Me likes that skill trick too. But alas often i have been confined to core.
At least charm person is a 1st level spell so you can metamagic it.
Silenced spell + some other guy distracting the victim so s/he would not see you wiggling your fingers and what not. Should work.
Maybe also a bluff check when there are no guys with spellcraft - " Well those movements and gibberish .. it is a traditional show of deep respect in the culture of my people :smallbiggrin: It's quite charming actually :smalltongue:

onthetown
2010-05-17, 04:31 PM
I blame the weather.

Yeah, sorry, I didn't mean to diss your campaign (or you).

It's all good... I overreacted there. :smallredface:

Rainbownaga
2010-05-17, 09:34 PM
I know at least one good thing about the enchantment school.

Hint: It rhymes with blindgrape

I personally find it ironic that the ruler of the tippyverse is technically unoptimised since he can't drop enchantment.

Prodan
2010-05-17, 10:31 PM
I know at least one good thing about the enchantment school.

Hint: It rhymes with blindgrape

I personally find it ironic that the ruler of the tippyverse is technically unoptimised since he can't drop enchantment.

Grey Elf Generalist.

Drakevarg
2010-05-17, 10:52 PM
I WISH my DM was this nice about Diplomacy. I have a 7th Level Cleric who's built around talking my way out of problems (and as a side effect is nigh-useless on the front lines), and the DM has yet to let me make a legitmate Diplomacy check. His arguement is that nobody would trust me because I'm about 7'3" and wear a mask (depite said mask being enchanted to give me a +2 Bonus to Bluff). Which is total BS considering I have a +24 to Diplomacy and a Charisma of 20.

Then he goes and has the nation we're playing in conquered by a hyper-nationalistic army, making any nonviolent means of gaining power utterly pointless. >_<

At least I have my 28 Undead Minions...

pinwiz
2010-05-17, 10:55 PM
I WISH my DM was this nice about Diplomacy. I have a 7th Level Cleric who's built around talking my way out of problems (and as a side effect is nigh-useless on the front lines), and the DM has yet to let me make a legitmate Diplomacy check. His arguement is that nobody would trust me because I'm about 7'3" and wear a mask (depite said mask being enchanted to give me a +2 Bonus to Bluff). Which is total BS considering I have a +24 to Diplomacy and a Charisma of 20.

Then he goes and has the nation we're playing in conquered by a hyper-nationalistic army, making any nonviolent means of gaining power utterly pointless. >_<

At least I have my 28 Undead Minions...

I may be wrong, but that sounds like your DM being a jerk to me. Charisma is about strength of personality (among other things) and a 20 should come through being tall and mask-wearing.

onthetown
2010-05-18, 10:18 AM
I may be wrong, but that sounds like your DM being a jerk to me. Charisma is about strength of personality (among other things) and a 20 should come through being tall and mask-wearing.

Never trust a man in a mask, especially if you're paranoid. But you're right... There's nothing wrong talking to a man in a mask and finding out they're quite a nice person and oh, yes, you would love to let them pass. They aren't the Cleric you're looking for.

aivanther
2010-05-18, 10:22 AM
How about a "You can talk to me, the man in the mask...or there these hordes of undead who want a new brother..." Intimidate so you can dimplomize!

onthetown
2010-05-18, 04:32 PM
How about a "You can talk to me, the man in the mask...or there these hordes of undead who want a new brother..." Intimidate so you can dimplomize!

That is beautiful. Intimidate in itself can be Diplomacy... if you count scaring somebody to death so that they'll do whatever you want to be Diplomacy.

Drakevarg
2010-05-18, 04:34 PM
That is beautiful. Intimidate in itself can be Diplomacy... if you count scaring somebody to death so that they'll do whatever you want to be Diplomacy.

My character actually owns an enchanted greatsword called the "Appeal to Force." When I have it on my person I get a +5 to Diplomacy and Intimidate. All total I have a +16 to Intimidate.

Stompy
2010-05-18, 09:23 PM
Great Story. :smallsmile:

All in all, bards are pretty awesome at non-combat. I think the main reason people discredit them is because they aren't wizards, or tend to view DnD as all the time combat.

Just remember that diplomacy has no saving throw. :smalltongue:

true_shinken
2010-05-18, 09:32 PM
Great Story. :smallsmile:

All in all, bards are pretty awesome at non-combat. I think the main reason people discredit them is because they aren't wizards, or tend to view DnD as all the time combat.

Just remember that diplomacy has no saving throw. :smalltongue:
Amen, brother. Amen!

Divide by Zero
2010-05-18, 09:57 PM
Great Story. :smallsmile:

All in all, bards are pretty awesome at non-combat. I think the main reason people discredit them is because they aren't wizards, or tend to view DnD as all the time combat.

Just remember that diplomacy has no saving throw. :smalltongue:

I'd also add that if your bard isn't contributing meaningfully in combat, you're probably doing it wrong.

jpreem
2010-05-19, 07:15 AM
Just remember that diplomacy has no saving throw. :smalltongue:

This is just an awesome way to say it :smallsmile: Ill consider sigging it if allowed :smallsmile:

Mark Hall
2010-05-19, 11:12 AM
I'd also add that if your bard isn't contributing meaningfully in combat, you're probably doing it wrong.

Definitely. Singing helps EVERYONE. Trip via whip. Flank with the rogue. Make everyone AWESOME.

Evil the Cat
2010-05-19, 05:45 PM
Enchantment and bluff/diplomacy can be a lot of fun. One recent encounter: evil wizard making constructs to enslave people to build an army. We're level 6. 1 Glibness later, and he though I had been sent by the king to be his new apprentice.

It made getting my party in for the fight much easier. Later, after he was captured, I stood there in plain sight and cast Charm Person where he could see me, and kept casting it until he failed his save.It was funny as hell when he failed his save mid sentence...

"Help, she's casting horrible mind attacking magic at me!.... and that's fine with me!"

onthetown
2010-05-19, 08:14 PM
Definitely. Singing helps EVERYONE. Trip via whip. Flank with the rogue. Make everyone AWESOME.

Trip, trip, trip, trip with the whip....

Drakevarg
2010-05-19, 08:21 PM
Trip, trip, trip, trip with the whip....

Am I the only one who hears Elan's bardic music to the tune of those Swiffer commercials? :smallconfused:

*Bluff, Bluff, Bluff the stupid Ogre!*