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Man With Dog
2010-11-22, 09:59 AM
Hiya Guys,

There was a post made a little while back about making a Bard that was combat useful, but i cant locate it to scrape idea's from it.

We all have the friends that say Bards are useless, and mine are no exception but i know they can be very useful with the right feats and abilities.

I am hoping the DM will allow me to use a Silverbrow Human (if not i think i need to use the 'Dragontouched' feat.

As i said i dont recall all of what was said so i was hoping someone could maybe give me a run down of what would be useful and how to make thie bard useful.

Most books allowed (v3.5 of course) (MoI and ToB are not allowed) and the party consists of: Cleric - Fighter - Rogue - Mage so far.. Me wanting to take the bard.

Any help greatly received :smallsmile:

Flickerdart
2010-11-22, 10:21 AM
In Core, Bards are underwhelming if your campaign doesn't involve a lot of talking, but out of core they're awesome. Since you have the four bases covered, Bards are an excellent fifth member because it's trivial to buff the rest of your team. Dragonfire Inspiration swaps the Inspire Courage bonuses to +d6es of fire damage, which can be buffed to insane heights very easily. Snowflake Wardance gives you +CHA to attack, and there are many ways to stack additional CHA to attack or damage so you can be totally awesome at fighting if you want. Sublime Chord makes you a full caster if your mage turns out awful.

AstralFire
2010-11-22, 11:23 AM
And let's not forget Words of Creation: The number one reason more Bards get into heaven than Paladins.

dextercorvia
2010-11-22, 01:27 PM
If you are going for Dragonfire Inspiration (as opposed to casting, consider dipping DFA instead of taking the Dragontouched feat (they get it for free).

HunterOfJello
2010-11-22, 01:35 PM
Bards got quite a bit of love in the splat books, so an optimized Bard can be a fun character in a party. The aspect which makes them seem like a Fool is the fact they they aren't a fighter, wizard, cleric or rogue since they're actually all 4 mixed into one.

I suggest thoroughly reading The Bard Handbook (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=8284.0) and optimizing your character as much as possibile. There's a Magic-Blooded Red Dragonspawn Venerable Dragonwrought Lore Drake Desert Kobold Bard in my current campaign and none of the characters mind his ridiculousness because of his Bard status.

~

If you want to be a Human I would suggest going for the Draconic template if your DM allows LA buyoff. For +1 LA you get dragonblood subtype, +2 str +2 con +2 cha (PERFECT for bards), darkvision, low light vision, 2 natural weapons, and you get to keep your bonus skill points.

Morph Bark
2010-11-22, 01:39 PM
And let's not forget Words of Creation: The number one reason more Bards get into heaven than Paladins.

Note that the Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia is a Lawful Good plane and officially a Bard wouldn't get access to it unless it'd be a "fallen" Bard. :smallwink:

grimbold
2010-11-22, 01:42 PM
asides from having sick non-core stuff (may i recommend of song and silence a guide book to bards and rogues?)

bards are the most fun class to play if well optimized and the campaign is rp heavy.

HunterOfJello
2010-11-22, 01:44 PM
Note that the Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia is a Lawful Good plane and officially a Bard wouldn't get access to it unless it'd be a "fallen" Bard. :smallwink:

Who wants to go to the LG afterlife anyway? I bet you have to pray 3 hours every day there.

The Chaotic Good afterlife is where it's at. An adventurer's afterlife should be full of beer, clean hookers and partying every night.

~

Also, your avatar just made me crack up loudly in the middle of the computer lab. I hope you're happy. :smalltongue:

Tokuhara
2010-11-22, 02:12 PM
Note that the Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia is a Lawful Good plane and officially a Bard wouldn't get access to it unless it'd be a "fallen" Bard. :smallwink:

Or Bard/Paladins who took Devoted Performer...

Zaakar
2010-11-22, 03:41 PM
Have a look at Snowflake Wardance (I think it's from frostburn) if you wanna go melee. Knowledge Devotion might also be nice since all knowlede skills are on your skill list.

Man With Dog
2010-11-22, 05:19 PM
I dont mind necessarily being Melee or not.

I just wanted to prove Bards can turn their hand to be useful in most groups and knew you were the guys to point out the good points.
I wont be allowed a draconic LA buy off - most i may be allowed is the Silver Brow Human which i believe gives me the Dragon Subtype.

The bits i have noted so far are:
Possible Feats (if Silver Brow is allowed)
Feat Human: Dragonfire Inspiration
1st Level: Melodic Casting
3rd Level: Song of The Heart.

Perhaps anyone have any better idea's?
I also thought a whip as a weapon - perhaps the 1D6 version with the dagger on it

Keld Denar
2010-11-22, 05:27 PM
I've had pretty good sucecss with a halfling (use the Glimmerskin and Strongheart varients) bard with Dragonfire Inspiration. Pretty much convinced my whole party of old school gamers that bards can bring the boom. Use a sling and stack up your racial +3 to hit (+1 size, +1 from the +2 dex, +1 racial with thrown or slung weapons) and get all of your damage from DFI. My guy does 1d3 + 3d6, and only because my DM won't let me pick up the other nifty toys that really tweak it into high gear.

That also keeps you in the back, less likely to accidentally eat a full attack from something which is generally the number one leading cause of death amongst adventurers. It also tends to keep you out of the direct spotlight, if you don't want to be seen as showboating.

Callista
2010-11-22, 05:29 PM
I like bards. They're walking buffs. And if you get hungry, they're extra rations. :smallbiggrin:

John_D
2010-11-23, 03:50 AM
Bards (or more accurately, bluff checks) are crazy broken in 3.5.

A lie that is impossible to believe is only a +20 to the bluff DC. Glibness, castable at bard level 7, is a +30 to bluff checks, so you're still +10 ahead and as a bard your bluff is going to outstrip the sense motive of more or less anyone around.

*bard walks into throne room*
"He's not the king! I'm the real king! Guards, seize that imposter!"

The most beautiful thing about this is everyone will believe it including the king himself.

Eldariel
2010-11-23, 04:37 AM
Bards, out of core, can be great:
- Party Buffers
- Spellcasters (offensive or defensive)
- Warriors


The tricks to pimping out Inspire Courage a bit:
- Inspirational Boost [Spell Compendium]
- Song of the Heart [Eberron Campaign Settings]
- Words of Creation [Book of Exalted Deeds]
- Mw. Instrument [Complete Adventurer]
- Badge of Valor [Magic Item Compendium]
- Vest of Legend [Dungeon Master's Guide II]

Off the top of my head. That more or less gives you (Base+5)*2 Inspire Courage. Add to that Dragonfire Inspiration for +Xd6 energy damage instead. Mentioned Silverbrow Human is fine. Even further, Dragonfire Inspiration stacks with normal Inspiration. I bet you can see what that leads to. Though of course, feel free to hold yourself back.

Also, don't forget your other songs; Inspire Greatness is very useful (extra HD yay) and benefits of many of those items, Fascinate/Suggestion has its uses (thanks to the stupidly high DC from Perform), and some Songs you can trade for can be decent. Healing Hymn from Complete Champion is special in that it's "free"; you give up Fascinate which you can later pick up from a Prestige Class again. It's not a terribly efficient one, but it's alright. Spellbreaker Song [Complete Mage] is very probably better than Countersong. If you want a nice debuff to your songs, get Haunting Melody [Eberron Campaign Settings] for a handy AoE debuff.


For spells, the big thing is prestige classes. Notably, Sublime Chord [Complete Arcane] enables you to be a Bard with really high level spells. Virtuoso [Complete Adventurer] advances Sublime Chord casting while also advancing your Bardic Music. The combination I'd suggest for a Bard interested in any higher level casting later on is Bard 9/Virtuoso 1/Sublime Chord 2/Virtuoso +8.

Note that Sublime Chord 2 offers the wonderful Song of Arcane Power so it's worth picking over the Virtuoso-levels. Virtuoso offers quite a few new songs but only few of them are useful (Jarring Song is situationally good, Song of Fury has some uses and Melody of Revelation is actually quite solid; rest are fringe cases you won't mind having but will rarely if ever use). Should be fairly apparent, which ones. This one gets 9th level spells eventually, which is cool. You become more or less a Sorcerer eventually.

The rest comes down to spell list; Bard-list has some really cool exclusives like Improvisation [Spell Compendium], Glibness and company along with some of the Wizard/Sorc all-stars so making a compilation of those (and of course, using spells you get earlier than Wiz/Sorc like Irresistible Dance and Heroisms with Sublime Chord) will take you a long way. Use Magic Device is the finishing touch allowing you to do pretty much everything on this front.


Finally, Snowflake Wardance is a decent offensive use of the Songs for a warrior-type Bard. Get that along with Dragonfire Inspiration on a TWF chassis and you can deal quite impressive damage. Very feat intensive and requires lots of focus though, limiting your casting and buffing options greatly.

JaronK
2010-11-23, 05:05 AM
Bards take work to make right... but they're incredibly potent. As a one level dip, consider Inspire Awe. You drop Inspire Courage (OUCH) but gain the ability to make anyone shaken as long as they're within range... save DC equal to your perform check (read: impossibly high). Add in the Requiem feat and it works on undead too despite their normal immunity. With Haunting Melody they go straight to Frightened. And if you can tack on Imperious Command and 5 levels of Dread Pirate or Scarlet Corsair, you can then make everyone within 30' cower. Note that fear effects always stack unless they say otherwise, and you always keep the worst condition for the duration of the longest effect. This means everyone cowers as long as they're in range. Congratulations, everyone who can be feared is totally helpless (and undead are Frightened). Nothing stops you from doing this all day long if you so desire (as long as you don't stop). Base it on perform oratory so you just talk creepily all day long and freak everyone the heck out.

This goes best in a party designed around killing the sort of stuff that's normally immune, like constructs and whatnot.

If not taking that route, then Inspire Courage is absolutely awesome. There's tons of ways to boost the value of it... and remember the only range limit is how far away people can hear it. Note that real life war drums were designed to be across entire battlefields. In a group with a significant number of martial types (either actual party members, or various summoned minions, or undead if you've got requiem) the damage boost from a single bard is extremely large. This only gets more ridiculous if you're playing a military game with actual armies of any kind. Heck, consider an entire party of TWF Bards supporting a single Necromancer, all using different Dragonfire Inspiration energy types. Yowza.

JaronK

riddles
2010-11-23, 07:32 AM
you don't even have to take dragonfire inspiration for your bard to be awesome.

I've played a Skald character previously (bard 5/barbarian 1) with optimised inspire courage.

Round 1: inspirational boost + inspire courage + badge of valor (cheap magical item that inspiring bards NEED) = +4/+4 hit/damage
Round 2: charge + Power Attack for 4 = +12 damage (which is the average damage you'd roll on DFI). this gets better later with leap attack.

if your fighter and cleric are power attackers, consider standard inspire courage to save you the feat expenditure.

Callista
2010-11-23, 10:16 AM
Bards (or more accurately, bluff checks) are crazy broken in 3.5.

A lie that is impossible to believe is only a +20 to the bluff DC. Glibness, castable at bard level 7, is a +30 to bluff checks, so you're still +10 ahead and as a bard your bluff is going to outstrip the sense motive of more or less anyone around.

*bard walks into throne room*
"He's not the king! I'm the real king! Guards, seize that imposter!"

The most beautiful thing about this is everyone will believe it including the king himself.Hehe... Well, the hilarity is lovely, sure, but remember the bard can only charm the people who are actually in his presence. Once he's thrown the king out and people start thinking, they'll discover his fast talk. Of course, if he's just doing this to get at the hidden compartment under the throne that's hiding the Artifact of Doom, then it's still pretty epic.

Tyger
2010-11-23, 10:27 AM
you don't even have to take dragonfire inspiration for your bard to be awesome.

I've played a Skald character previously (bard 5/barbarian 1) with optimised inspire courage.

Round 1: inspirational boost + inspire courage + badge of valor (cheap magical item that inspiring bards NEED) = +4/+4 hit/damage
Round 2: charge + Power Attack for 4 = +12 damage (which is the average damage you'd roll on DFI). this gets better later with leap attack.

if your fighter and cleric are power attackers, consider standard inspire courage to save you the feat expenditure.

All true, but imagine that same attack with both... :)

That's the true sickness of Inspire Courage. Its effects last for five rounds (ten if you take Lingering Song) after you stop. When you have DFI, you can start singing a standard Inspire Courage (lets say +4/+4 using your numbers) then next round, stop that song and start singing a DFI version. So for the next four (or nine) rounds, those power attackers are doing +12 damage, and +4d6 fire damage at their regular hit bonus.

Of course, the true beauty of DFI shines when we're talking full attacks and TWFers in particular, but that's almost always the truth (except pimped out charge builds of course, though most of them incorporate Pounce anyway).

Morph Bark
2010-11-23, 11:54 AM
Who wants to go to the LG afterlife anyway? I bet you have to pray 3 hours every day there.

The Chaotic Good afterlife is where it's at. An adventurer's afterlife should be full of beer, clean hookers and partying every night.

I agree on that. Typical Paladins though... yeesh.


Also, your avatar just made me crack up loudly in the middle of the computer lab. I hope you're happy. :smalltongue:

"I have a question, sir! Was everyone wearing their awesome protective shades to prevent damage to the eyes should the computers go haywire with sparks flying?" :smalltongue:

The answer is... "yes"!

Mark Hall
2010-11-23, 11:58 AM
The Chaotic Good afterlife is where it's at. An adventurer's afterlife should be full of beer, clean hookers and partying every night.

"When the adventure's done, and ye've solved all the lores, then it is time for ale and whores." :smallbiggrin:

However, even in core, Bards are pretty awesome. Out of combat, they have a wide variety of knowledges and other skills to keep the party on track, to say nothing of their social skills. In combat, they have a variety of buffs and debuffs to make them highly useful. Inspire courage gets mentioned, but their spell list is good for it, too. Even when they're out of spells, though, they can start tripping people effectively with whips... only 2 pounds, and you can stand behind the fighters and trip and disarm to your heart's content (and just drop the whip if countered).

1st level spells:
Grease (perennial favorite debuff; works great with whips)
Charm Person
Hideous Laughter
Remove Fear (great at lower levels, as fear can scatter a party pretty easily, making them easy to grind up)

2nd level:
Alter Self
Blindness/Deafness (the wizard killer; permanent, Fort save, medium range)
Glitterdust
Heroism (better than Inspire courage at low levels, and lasts for 10 minutes/level. You can't sing through the party, but you can make your first hour memorable)
Hold Person
Scare
Silence
Sound Burst (not a horribly awesome spell, but you're making a free longsword attack against everyone in a 10' spread, AND you have a chance to stun them)
Summon Swarm

3rd level:
Charm Monster
Glibness
Haste
Slow
(I don't suggest Good Hope; while it has a damage bonus that Heroism lacks, it also has 1/10th the duration)

4th
Dominate Person
Freedom of Movement
Hold Monster
Shadow Conjuration

5th
Shadow Evocation

6th
Irresistible Dance

Keep in mind this is me browsing the list at work, and is only the SRD spells. It doesn't include a lot of the non-combat buffs (except glibness), and none of the Summon Monster spells.

Bards: They'll be your Huckleberry.

stainboy
2010-11-23, 12:10 PM
The one time bards take the spotlight is diplomacy and infiltration, but socialocity specialists in D&D tend to be disruptive. Every class can participate in combat, but if you're magically disguised or infiltrating an enemy camp or trying to talk your way out of a fight any character who isn't built for it is useless. Well, useless at best. Usually they're a liability. If the bard is in the spotlight, the rest of the party is watching TV.

I'm not suggesting that socialocity has no place in D&D but with the core rules it's a one-man show. Bards would be a lot more fun if they had ways to enable other characters to participate in non-combat encounters. Aside from, you know, Inspire Competence: Bluff.

Tvtyrant
2010-11-23, 01:02 PM
I always feel sad that Bard doesn't have planar binding; they get Glibness and no room to gallop with it!

Eldariel
2010-11-23, 01:20 PM
I always feel sad that Bard doesn't have planar binding; they get Glibness and no room to gallop with it!

Which is why you play Sublime Chord who veritably gets it.

Tvtyrant
2010-11-23, 01:48 PM
Which is why you play Sublime Chord who veritably gets it.

Did not know that. Succubus familiar here I come!

Also, for core 3.5 Bards are interesting in that their strengths shift with every benchmark. At low levels you can be a reasonably effective melee combatant (especially using combat reflexes and a whip; you smack any casters in the face to break their concentration and make trip and disarm attempts). At midlevels you buff people, and though you fall behind full-casters at high levels you can run up and Dance people quite well.

Morph Bark
2010-11-23, 01:54 PM
(especially using combat reflexes and a whip; you smack any casters in the face to break their concentration and make trip and disarm attempts).

A whip does not threaten though, so you can't make AoOs with them.

Felhammer
2010-11-23, 02:03 PM
I've always liked Bards because I've always loved the idea of the Jack-Of-All-Trades style character. My Music is inspiring, my magic enchanting, my skills mystifying and my combat prowess underwhelming. Bards truly are the gods' gift to adventuring parties!

Mordokai
2010-11-23, 02:03 PM
This thread is golden :smallsmile: I'm learning much and I would like to learn more, so keep 'em coming people!

ZeroGear
2010-11-23, 03:06 PM
I'm currently playing a combat bard myself, a traditional sword and board version. We are level 3, and I am a Song-touched human, a variation of the Silverbrow human (having song dragon blood instead of silver dragon blood, getting a bonus to sing instead of disguise, and able to use light instead of feather fall). I am well on my way to become war chanter, and so far have combat expertise, extra music, dodge, and weapon focus (longsword) as feats (and meager fortitude as a flaw).

Form personal experience, I can tell you that even in core, bards can be decent in combat. One commonly overlooked fact is that the bardic music ability affects bards as well, not just the other members of the group. Although try may not hit as hard as the fighter, they can still do a lot, even in core. Just ask those orcs I killed.

Greenish
2010-11-23, 03:15 PM
I'm currently playing a combat bard myself, a traditional sword and board version.Traditional sword & board bard?

What tradition is that?

Tyger
2010-11-23, 03:15 PM
A whip does not threaten though, so you can't make AoOs with them.

Good point there, which raises an interesting question. Does the Whip-Dagger threaten??

ZeroGear
2010-11-23, 03:28 PM
Traditional sword & board bard?

What tradition is that?

I meant in the standard line of thinking. You know, longsword and heavy steel shield. People tend to forget that AC penalties do not apply when you are not wearing the shield. And I do not think you have it strapped to your arm all the time. Think Legend of Zelda here.

And yes, twilight shields can be useful, but my spells do not generally get used during combat (except maybe cure light wounds).

CockroachTeaParty
2010-11-23, 04:14 PM
Yep, in my experience, anybody who chuckles at the concept of a bard in a party is just begging to be proved incredibly, horribly wrong. Even the relatively simple task of optimizing Inspire Courage makes any party obscenely deadly. I'm yet to see an IC-optimized bard with Dragonfire Inspiration enter the mix, and I'm almost afraid to do so. The day my players learn of that combo is the day I weep, for no NPC shall survive...

So yeah, bards rule.

Mark Hall
2010-11-23, 04:27 PM
Traditional sword & board bard?

What tradition is that?

The awesome one. Shields are very undervalued in D&D in general, and there's a reason they were common for a long time.

Keld Denar
2010-11-23, 04:40 PM
They are undervalued in D&D because the benefit vs expenditure is REALLY low. Losing out on the extra .5 Str bonus, 2:1 PA, and slightly larger damage die generally isn't worth the extra 2-7 AC. Also, Animated shields are rather cheap once it starts mattering.

And yea, DFI can really mess with a DM. My group of 6 underoptimized PCs tore up a bastion filled with ~13 10th level elf paladins with magical stun and confusion arrows, each with ~100 HP, primarily due to my 3d6 DFI. The druid's fleshraker pet alone with its 7ish attacks could drop one elf per round if it could charge. Its damage alone wasn't much, but my DFI more than doubled it.

I'm not saying this is the GREATEST example, but it does show about how many HP an unoptimized party can chew through in a rather short period of time with such a force multipler factored in.

Greenish
2010-11-23, 04:47 PM
The awesome one. Shields are very undervalued in D&D in general, and there's a reason they were common for a long time.Yes, but bard? :smallconfused:

Coidzor
2010-11-23, 04:55 PM
Good point there, which raises an interesting question. Does the Whip-Dagger threaten??

Nope. :smallfrown: Just does lethal and doesn't get blocked by wearing armor like regular whip stuff.

Eloel
2010-11-23, 05:22 PM
And let's not forget Words of Creation: The number one reason more Bards get into heaven than Paladins.
I thought the stick not fitting through the gateway to heaven was the #1 reason. :smallbiggrin:

Mark Hall
2010-11-23, 06:53 PM
They are undervalued in D&D because the benefit vs expenditure is REALLY low. Losing out on the extra .5 Str bonus, 2:1 PA, and slightly larger damage die generally isn't worth the extra 2-7 AC. Also, Animated shields are rather cheap once it starts mattering.

That's the major part of them being undervalued.... mechanically, they're not given much value. For instance, two-handed weapons get an advantage when Power Attacking... but shields do not when using Expertise. Yes, Expertise is sub-par, even if you give shields a 2:1 exchange, but it's the fact that there's little mechanical consideration for shields that gets to me.... they're a +x to AC, and another place to hang armor enchantments. They're subpar weapons, even if you cover them in spikes... essentially, they're considered less than they were actually used in combat.



Yes, but bard? :smallconfused:

You apparently missed the memo: Bards are AWESOME.

Eldariel
2010-11-23, 07:31 PM
That's the major part of them being undervalued.... mechanically, they're not given much value. For instance, two-handed weapons get an advantage when Power Attacking... but shields do not when using Expertise. Yes, Expertise is sub-par, even if you give shields a 2:1 exchange, but it's the fact that there's little mechanical consideration for shields that gets to me.... they're a +x to AC, and another place to hang armor enchantments. They're subpar weapons, even if you cover them in spikes... essentially, they're considered less than they were actually used in combat.

I find shields really just should:
1) Allow parrying of some sort. Especially for allies. Obviously shields are better for protection than weapons.
2) Work against spells. In real life, we didn't have spells so they didn't become relevant for the question at hands but if shields are to protect you, they should protect you against both of the common types of attack; magic and physical. Not all spells but e.g. Fireball or Scorching Ray? Yeah, I'd say especially an enchanted Shield should be able to do that. There's a feat for this but it's a huge two-feat investment.
3) Gain some bonus somewhere. Expertise is fine. Frankly, it isn't even that bad since Expertise adds to Touch AC too; you can easily become quite unhittable with it. That said, for all this to be useful, it requires point #1 to be addressed; fact is that Fighter with a shield is worse at protecting his allies than a Fighter with a two-hander (since two-hander can be a reach weapon, you can actually make getting past you quite hard with one, and the extra damage output means you can eliminate targets getting past you more swiftly). That's just wrong.

What the game really needs is some kind of mechanic for interposing yourself with someone trying to get past you ('cause really, THAT DOES NOT TAKE A FRIGGIN' FEAT), and something for blocking physical or magical attacks aimed at adjacent allies. Bleh.

Paseo H
2010-11-23, 08:01 PM
Actually, Mount Celestia sounds like a pretty chill place at least in some places. Except, of course, for the odd evil adventuring party using plane shift. :p I actually kind of felt sorry for those guys.

Anyway, why does it have to be one or the other? Elan is a prime example of why bards are both Rule and Fool. Hell, I think that's one of the best things about them.

Mark Hall
2010-11-24, 11:33 AM
I find shields really just should:
1) Allow parrying of some sort. Especially for allies. Obviously shields are better for protection than weapons.
2) Work against spells. In real life, we didn't have spells so they didn't become relevant for the question at hands but if shields are to protect you, they should protect you against both of the common types of attack; magic and physical. Not all spells but e.g. Fireball or Scorching Ray? Yeah, I'd say especially an enchanted Shield should be able to do that. There's a feat for this but it's a huge two-feat investment.

This is something that heartened me about 4th edition... shields explicitly added to your reflex defense.

A system that handles shields exceptionally well, IMO, is Hackmaster Basic. Armor decreases your defense, but increases your Damage Reduction. Shields increase your defense and damage reduction, and trying to fight without a shield means a sizable hit to your defense (the difference between a small shield and no shield is 8... -4 for no shield, +4 for a small one), but a blow that misses someone without a shield does no damage, while missing someone WITH a shield does half damage (i.e. you took it on your shield). Shields can break under a strong enough blow. It makes for a more complex system, but whether or not to take a shield is a major question.

grimbold
2010-11-24, 12:11 PM
anyway back to bards
bardic song also can lead to you playing a bard who does not sing neccesarily
you could have a bard who plays guitar or somesuch
i like to base my bards off rock starts
Jimmy Paper and Robert Tree any body?

Greenish
2010-11-24, 12:56 PM
You apparently missed the memo: Bards are AWESOME.I did not. I'm just having hard time wrapping my head around the idea of a bard using a shield. (And even more on such character being described as "traditional".)


Two great things combined doesn't always equal awesome.

El Dorado
2010-11-24, 01:28 PM
Historically, the bard's string instrument occupied his shield slot. :smallwink:

dextercorvia
2010-11-24, 01:57 PM
Historically, the bard's string instrument occupied his shield slot. :smallwink:

Which is why we need a shieldrum now.

El Dorado
2010-11-24, 02:16 PM
Which is why we need a shieldrum now.


Don't forget the harpbow.

Dr.Epic
2010-11-24, 02:18 PM
I can get pretty creative with bards and rogues so I've never really run into a situation were I was in trouble.

Mark Hall
2010-11-24, 03:11 PM
I did not. I'm just having hard time wrapping my head around the idea of a bard using a shield. (And even more on such character being described as "traditional".)


Two great things combined doesn't always equal awesome.

Egill (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egill_Skallagr%C3%ADmsson) would disagree with you. :smallwink:

CodeRed
2010-11-24, 04:20 PM
I'm really surprised no one's mentioned the War Chanter out of Complete Warrior yet. Yes, I know, spellcasting always trumps melee so in most games Sublime Chord is THE PrC for a bard but if you want to melee with a bard, War Chanter's the way to go if you can handle losing out on spells.

A War Chanter with a melee-focused group can be scary even without Dragonfire Inspiration. The capstone ability is just awesome. Everyone within 60ft uses the highest BaB character's BaB instead of their own. Rogues/Monks etc., rejoice! Also it gives +2 on damage rolls. As well, lvl 5 in the class lets you play two songs at once so you can give everyone perfect BaB and DFI at the same time!

Prime32
2010-11-24, 06:17 PM
I'm really surprised no one's mentioned the War Chanter out of Complete Warrior yet. Yes, I know, spellcasting always trumps melee so in most games Sublime Chord is THE PrC for a bard but if you want to melee with a bard, War Chanter's the way to go if you can handle losing out on spells.

A War Chanter with a melee-focused group can be scary even without Dragonfire Inspiration. The capstone ability is just awesome. Everyone within 60ft uses the highest BaB character's BaB instead of their own. Rogues/Monks etc., rejoice! Also it gives +2 on damage rolls. As well, lvl 5 in the class lets you play two songs at once so you can give everyone perfect BaB and DFI at the same time!The really crazy stuff comes when you put a war chanter in the middle of a group of commoners or cheap summons and suddenly they're all killing machines.

Eldariel
2010-11-24, 06:21 PM
Good point there, which raises an interesting question. Does the Whip-Dagger threaten??

Sorry, forgot to answer this: It does.

JaronK
2010-11-24, 07:16 PM
The really crazy stuff comes when you put a war chanter in the middle of a group of commoners or cheap summons and suddenly they're all killing machines.

Undead. They get half rate BAB, and you can have a ton of them that you keep up. The War Chanter's ability is AMAZING on them. You'll need the Requiem feat of course. Yet annoyingly, the "Inspire Legion" ability only works within 60', meaning that unlike Inspire Courage, it can't inspire a legion. How annoying is that?

It's also pure hilarity if a War Hulk is in the group.

JaronK

Tyger
2010-11-24, 07:16 PM
I don't want to completely derail this thread, but I asked if the whip-dagger threatens, and two illustrious members responded. The problem is they responded with completely opposite answers, one no, one yes. So I turn to the rest of you for your ideas, hopefully backed up with a source and a rule. :smallbiggrin:


Nope. :smallfrown: Just does lethal and doesn't get blocked by wearing armor like regular whip stuff.


Sorry, forgot to answer this: It does.

sombrastewart
2010-11-24, 07:27 PM
Group I used to play with a lot more often than I do now has a saying:

"Some evil guy can have a really sweet setup, then along comes a bard and jacks everything up."

JaronK
2010-11-24, 07:33 PM
Crazy build idea: Bard 4/Crusader 1/Warchanter 4/Jade Pheonix Mage 1/Sublime Chord 2/JPM+8. It's a little wonky (you don't gain most of the fun Warchanter abilities, but Inspire Recklessness is pretty awesome). But it's a great inspirational caster/gish type with +18 BAB, 9th level spells, some much needed caster level boosting, and great group buffing. Your choice on whether it's better to go with the Inspire Awe variant for bards (which is MUCH better than the Warchanter's verison, but loses Inspire Courage).

JaronK

Prime32
2010-11-24, 07:55 PM
On warchanter, going from memory...

Warblade 8/Purple dragon knight 2/War chanter 10
Feats: Leadership
(the first 8 levels don't really matter as long as it's full BAB)

Give your cohort 10 levels of kensai. Have him use his Invest ability to transfer 10 points of his BAB to you. Now use Inspire Legion. You both have +30 BAB, as does everyone else in your party.

AstralFire
2010-11-24, 09:03 PM
I don't want to completely derail this thread, but I asked if the whip-dagger threatens, and two illustrious members responded. The problem is they responded with completely opposite answers, one no, one yes. So I turn to the rest of you for your ideas, hopefully backed up with a source and a rule. :smallbiggrin:

The whip-dagger does not threaten.

Pages 74-75 in Sword & Fist (the only appearance of the weapon):


A character who takes an Exotic Weapon Proficiency in the whip is also proficient in the whip dagger. (You do not need to take a separate feat to use the whip dagger if you already have a feat for the whip.) The whip dagger is heavier than a standard whip and deals normal damage due to the barbs that run along its length and the dagger-like tip (which inflicts deep wounds when accelerated to strike by a proficient user).

Unlike standard whips, armor bonuses and natural armor bonuses do not hinder its ability to deal damage.

Although you keep it in hand, treat it as a ranged weapon with a maximum range of 15 feet and no range penalties. Because the whip dagger can wrap around an enemy’s leg or other limb, you can make trip attacks with it. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the whip dagger to avoid being tripped. You get a +2 bonus on your opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent (including the roll to keep from being disarmed yourself if you fail to disarm your opponent).

Bolded portion is the only section where the whip-dagger differed with the 3.0 whip; its update to 3.5 would logically conclude that this remains the only difference.

JaronK
2010-11-24, 09:05 PM
Okay, that Kensai/War Chanter combo is hilariously awesome. Would you get extra iterative attacks that way? You're not epic after all...

JaronK

AstralFire
2010-11-24, 09:22 PM
Okay, that Kensai/War Chanter combo is hilariously awesome. Would you get extra iterative attacks that way? You're not epic after all...

JaronK


A base attack bonus is an attack roll bonus derived from character class and level or creature type and Hit Dice (or combinations thereof). Base attack bonuses increase at different rates for different character classes and creature types. A second attack is gained when a base attack bonus reaches +6, a third with a base attack bonus of +11 or higher, and a fourth with a base attack bonus of +16 or higher. Base attack bonuses gained from different sources, such as when a character is a multiclass character, stack.

Answer is: No. While the pattern is clearly established that it is every five, it does not actually say you get a new iterative attack every 5 BAB +6.

ShneekeyTheLost
2010-11-24, 10:30 PM
With ToB explicitly barred, it'll be a bit more difficult to make a traditional BardBlade/WarChanter, but still easily viable without the Warblade

War Chanter is hella fun. Particularly the capstone. Basically, everyone affected by the song has an effective BAB of the guy who has the highest BAB of everyone being affected by the song. That means if you have your full-BAB meat shield within range, everyone effectively has his BAB as well. Including iterative attacks.

This is... a lot of fun. Particularly when you've got 3/4 BAB 'striker' type classes (rogue and monk specifically can use this a LOT, but anyone who doesn't have as much BAB as necessary), it can give extra attacks without being a haste effect.

Now combine that with Combine Songs while twisting DFI and Inspire Courage, and judicious use of IC optimization, mentioned earlier. Now everyone has +!! to attack, damage, as d6's (make sure to take the Battle Dragon heritage so damage is Sonic rather than Fire), AND everyone has the same BAB as the highest BAB in the party.

Can you say 'ouch'? Heh, gets better with a bit of minionmancy.

Okay, so the party caster wants to toss out a bunch of Summon Monster mooks. Now, your song affects them. His little Celestial Badgers now have +!! to attack, damage, as d6's sonic damage, and also have the same BAB as the meat shield. All of them. Suddenly, they're not simply a speedbump, but they can rip the face off of any mook on the board, assuming they get the first shot in.

Just remember, the only thing it doesn't give them is extra hit points. Which does kinda suck when they get hit.

CodeRed
2010-11-25, 01:13 AM
With ToB explicitly barred, it'll be a bit more difficult to make a traditional BardBlade/WarChanter, but still easily viable without the Warblade

War Chanter is hella fun. Particularly the capstone. Basically, everyone affected by the song has an effective BAB of the guy who has the highest BAB of everyone being affected by the song. That means if you have your full-BAB meat shield within range, everyone effectively has his BAB as well. Including iterative attacks.

This is... a lot of fun. Particularly when you've got 3/4 BAB 'striker' type classes (rogue and monk specifically can use this a LOT, but anyone who doesn't have as much BAB as necessary), it can give extra attacks without being a haste effect.

Now combine that with Combine Songs while twisting DFI and Inspire Courage, and judicious use of IC optimization, mentioned earlier. Now everyone has +!! to attack, damage, as d6's (make sure to take the Battle Dragon heritage so damage is Sonic rather than Fire), AND everyone has the same BAB as the highest BAB in the party.

Can you say 'ouch'? Heh, gets better with a bit of minionmancy.

Okay, so the party caster wants to toss out a bunch of Summon Monster mooks. Now, your song affects them. His little Celestial Badgers now have +!! to attack, damage, as d6's sonic damage, and also have the same BAB as the meat shield. All of them. Suddenly, they're not simply a speedbump, but they can rip the face off of any mook on the board, assuming they get the first shot in.

Just remember, the only thing it doesn't give them is extra hit points. Which does kinda suck when they get hit.

Except for by the time you can do that you could sacrifice the extra damage from DFI to sing Inspire Toughness to give all the summon Mooks 20 temp hp and Die Hard. The extra damage from DFI is boss if you need it to kill stuff but if all your buddy's summons are there to be meatshields or protect something, that extra hp can be worth it.

Hanuman
2010-11-25, 01:56 AM
Bards - Rule or Fool?
Simple, both.

ShneekeyTheLost
2010-11-25, 02:02 AM
Except for by the time you can do that you could sacrifice the extra damage from DFI to sing Inspire Toughness to give all the summon Mooks 20 temp hp and Die Hard. The extra damage from DFI is boss if you need it to kill stuff but if all your buddy's summons are there to be meatshields or protect something, that extra hp can be worth it.

20 hps is crap at level 20. Extra damage kills things before they get a chance to kill your mooks. Besides, if they die... so what? They're disposable summons. That's kind of their job. Heck, they're even going away in a few rounds anyways. I'd much rather have some 11d6 sonic damage tacked onto every attack. Specially if you start summoning things with Pounce and Rake which have a lot of attacks to apply that damage to, the BAB to actually hit with them, and the additional morale bonus to attack and damage they have to absolutely guarantee that they couldn't possibly miss.

You just need to remember that while it gives them the offensive power of a beatstick, it does NOT give them the survivability of a beatstick, and that you should not try to use them as a meat shield because they are just as crunchy as ever.

Prime32
2010-11-25, 11:49 AM
On warchanter, going from memory...

Warblade 8/Purple dragon knight 2/War chanter 10
Feats: Leadership
(the first 8 levels don't really matter as long as it's full BAB)

Give your cohort 10 levels of kensai. Have him use his Invest ability to transfer 10 points of his BAB to you. Now use Inspire Legion. You both have +30 BAB, as does everyone else in your party.Okay, that Kensai/War Chanter combo is hilariously awesome.You could probably improve the kensai's Invest cap with bloodlines/uncanny trickster/legacy champion, meaning +33 BAB or higher.

Siosilvar
2010-11-25, 11:40 PM
Answer is: No. While the pattern is clearly established that it is every five, it does not actually say you get a new iterative attack every 5 BAB +6.

And Epic rules make clear that 4 attacks is the maximum from BAB, even if your BAB is +21 or higher.

ZeroGear
2010-12-05, 04:12 PM
I'm really surprised no one's mentioned the War Chanter out of Complete Warrior yet.

I mentioned first thing in my post that I was aiming to become one.
Also, on the topic of bards with shields:
Make sure you have a decent strength bonus when you build one, as a shield's ACP will be subtracted from attacks made with weapon finesse.
Another good investment for combat bards is Ironskin Chant (From CA). It allows you to sacrifice a bardic music use to gain 5/- damage reduction for on round (or give it to an ally within 30ft).
Song of the Heart from Eberron is also a decent feat, increasing all the bonusses you provide by 1.
Harmonizing weapons are also a boon, letting you continue a song wile casting spells.
Subsonics (CA) is useful to keep others from noticing you are using your abilities, and less likely to be targeted (and you can inspire others to hide better and move quieter without it being a self-defeating cause).
Combat bards get fewer spells, and should focus on ones that matter.
Inspiration boost, cure spells, and master's touch are good ones to include.
Master's touch is great for emergencies when you don't have weapons that you are proficient with on hand, and can temporarily let you use medium and heavy armor, and tower shields. Cure spells are a no-brainer, and age good in a pinch. If one plpays a savage bard (variant), bull's strength is imdespensible. As far as weapons are concerned, Weapon Shift lets you get what you need when you need it.

As far as weapons are concerned, there are numerous choices:
Longswords are good if one has a decent strength, one wants to include a shield. Spears are good for those with lower strength a d wantsomething different. Rapiers and short swords are perfect for fencer type combatants. Daggers and darts are good for thorn weapons experts, while chrossbows and short bows are best used by ranged types. Whips are good all-around, and perfect for those with Improved Trip.

A note on shields: Phalanx Fighting and Formation expert let you get greater advantages when using one alongside your allies.