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CycloneJoker
2011-02-20, 02:47 PM
Okay, I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll be needing a new character shortly, so I wanted to try making a melee bard. The only issue is that I have no idea how to go about doing this. All I know is that I'll be wanting Snowflake Wardance, as I'd be a falling rock magnet with Dragonfire. My group uses Pathfinder rules for races, but 3.5 rules for everything else. So, how should I go about doing this? I'll be starting somewhere between 4 and 6, and I'll also be needing to cover some skillmonkey areas. What I had been thinking was something like this:

Strongheart Halfling Bard
32 point buy
STR:6 DEX:16 CON:14: INT:14 WIS:8 CHA:20

1 Bardic Knack ACF, Jack of All Trades, Force of Personality
3 Snowflake Wardance
6 Weapon Finesse

Skills: Bluff, Tumble, Perform, Slight of Hand, Hide, Move Silently, Escape Artist, and Balance

And after that, I have no idea, and I'm iffy about skills. My intended focus was to stab people and buff. I need a way to overcome my terrible STR. Any assistance would be appreciated.

Eiko
2011-02-20, 02:51 PM
Try the bardblade.

Step one, take a bard level.
Step two, go warblade and take song of the white raven
Step three, ??????????????
Step four, PROFIT

If you're allowed ToB that is

CycloneJoker
2011-02-20, 02:54 PM
Try the bardblade.

Step one, take a bard level.
Step two, go warblade and take song of the white raven
Step three, ??????????????
Step four, PROFIT

If you're allowed ToB that is

I'm wanting to focus on Wardance, not Inspire Courage, and it doesn't give me more Inspire Courage.

Also, my DM isn't going ToB.

mabriss lethe
2011-02-20, 03:12 PM
Go ahead and go human instead of strongheart halfling. Being medium size means bigger damage dice for weapons.

Well, aside from that, I would say don't focus on wardance, stack with
wardance.

It's not hard to give inspire courage a boost, and only adds more mojo to your swing, so look into any of the bard handbooks and go to town.

The Improvisation spell (spell compendium,bard only, lvl 1.) is utter gold and just keeps getting better as you go.

Knowledge devotion is your friend: You have every knowledge skill as a class skill and a good allotment of skill points. Use it to get extra +s to hit and damage on everything. available from 3rd level on.

Crystal Echoblades are also nice. (add a wand chamber and a wand of Critical strike and you can pseudo rogue)

Two weapon fighting goes well with a combat bard, since you've got multiple sources feeding you extra bonuses to hit and damage.

CycloneJoker
2011-02-20, 03:29 PM
Go ahead and go human instead of strongheart halfling. Being medium size means bigger damage dice for weapons.

Well, aside from that, I would say don't focus on wardance, stack with
wardance.

It's not hard to give inspire courage a boost, and only adds more mojo to your swing, so look into any of the bard handbooks and go to town.

The Improvisation spell (spell compendium,bard only, lvl 1.) is utter gold and just keeps getting better as you go.

Knowledge devotion is your friend: You have every knowledge skill as a class skill and a good allotment of skill points. Use it to get extra +s to hit and damage on everything. available from 3rd level on.

Crystal Echoblades are also nice. (add a wand chamber and a wand of Critical strike and you can pseudo rogue)

Two weapon fighting goes well with a combat bard, since you've got multiple sources feeding you extra bonuses to hit and damage.

The bonus to both Cha and Dex seemed too good to pass up, though.

How can I add to it? I'm not seeing much.

Improvisation looks sweet.

Knowledge Devotion would work pretty well with Knack.

What's a Crystal Echoblade?

Hmm, I'll look into TWF.

mabriss lethe
2011-02-20, 03:49 PM
Crystal Echoblade is in Magic Item Compendium. $4k and change. A +1 Longsword, It adds half your bard level as sonic damage to your attack when you're using bardic music.

As for the stacking, I suppose I should have been more precise. Wardance grants a nice bonus, but the character really comes into its own when you start stacking multiple sources of bonus damage, like Inspire courage, Improvisation, Knowledge devotion, etc. Combat bards work best when they start piling on huge amounts of decent bonuses from multiple sources.

dextercorvia
2011-02-20, 03:55 PM
Slippers of Battledancing (http://www.imarvintpa.com/dndlive/items.php?ID=3184) are expensive, but a nice touch.

Edit: Even if you aren't going Dragonfire, don't neglect your IC. Just Inspirational Boost and a Badge of Valor will make it worth the action.

Joshinthemosh
2011-02-20, 03:56 PM
It requires five ranks in Perform Dance but Slippers of Battledancing DMGII pg. 272. And also below. Enjoy Cha to hit and damage one light and one handed weapons. Two Weapon Fight to your heart's content.

Edit: Swordsaged by an edit. Blast it

SLIPPERS OF BATTLEDANCING
These slippers imbue the wearer with a shocking grace
and a deadly fl uidity in battle.
Description: These soft, open-toed slippers are made
of supple leather and look very comfortable.
Activation: This item is continuously active while
worn, provided that the wearerís armor is no heavier than
light. No action on the wearerís part is required to gain
the effect.
Effect: While these slippers are on the wearerís feet,
he moves with unnatural grace and alacrity, gaining
an enhancement bonus of +10 feet to his land speed.
The slippers also grant him a +5 competence bonus on
Tumble checks.
A wearer who has at least 5 ranks in Perform (dance)
accesses the true benefi t of the slippers of battledancing. As
long as he uses his base land speed to move (a fly, swim,
burrowing, or climb speed), he gains a +2 insight bonus
on initiative checks. If he moves at least 10 feet as part of
a move action, he can use his Charisma modifi er instead
of his Strength or Dexterity modifi er for attack rolls and
damage rolls with one-handed or light weapons (both
melee and ranged).
Aura/Caster Level: Moderate transmutation; CL 7th.
Construction: Craft Wondrous Item, 5 ranks in PerPerform
(dance), longstrider, catís grace, eagleís splendor, 16,875
gp, 1,350 XP, 33 days.
Weight: 1 lb.
Price: 33,750 gp.

CycloneJoker
2011-02-20, 04:01 PM
Ah, I get it. Since I'm going Knack/JoaT, and having to skillmonkey a bit, what would be the best Knowledge to get high? Also, how can you jump Inspire to really high?

I was actually planning to use them, along with an explosive weapon, and a repositioned Boots of Sidestepping, just for added mobility, but it's probably a bad idea.

Kalaska'Agathas
2011-02-20, 04:06 PM
Crystal Echoblade is from the Magic Item Compendium, and gives you half your Bard level to damage. Another thing you might consider is going for a Spring Attacker (I know it's feat intensive, maybe your DM would be willing to roll Bounding Assault and Rapid Blitz into Spring Attack?) and wear a pair of Slippers of Battledancing, from the Dungeon Master's Guide II, which replaces Strength or Dex for attack and Strength for damage when you've moved 10 feet already that round. This would obviate the need for weapon finesse, also.

Also, Swordsaged.

Edit: to boost Inspire Courage, you're going to want the feats Words of Creation and Song of the Heart, a Badge of Valor, and various other things. Check out the Inspire Courage Handbook (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=9830.0) for more.

mabriss lethe
2011-02-20, 04:19 PM
If you're going to use Knowledge devotion you'll need at least a point in..
Knowledge religion for undead
kn arcane for Magical beasts, dragons and constructs
kn local for humanoids
kn dungeoneering for aberrations and oozes
kn nature for animals, fey, giants, monstrous humanoids, plants, vermin
kn the planes for outsiders and elementals.

gorfnab
2011-02-20, 04:21 PM
How about Bard 8/ Paladin of Freedom 2/ Sublime Chord 2/ Abjurant Champion 5/ Sacred Exorcist 3?

Daftendirekt
2011-02-20, 04:22 PM
If you're going to do those Slippers of Battledancing, maybe work Scout into the build for some skirmish dice? Side note, is there any other class or PrC that gives skirmish? Apart from halfling monk sub. level...

dextercorvia
2011-02-20, 04:33 PM
If you're going to do those Slippers of Battledancing, maybe work Scout into the build for some skirmish dice? Side note, is there any other class or PrC that gives skirmish? Apart from halfling monk sub. level...

Highland Stalker

CycloneJoker
2011-02-20, 04:43 PM
I could go for 3 levels of Scout for the additional movement, +1 AC, and a Skirmish die. Any others? I'd rather not grab Track, as it's useless, really. Pally of Freedom sounds good, just for the extra sweet Cha usage. I'd like to advance Spellcasting, if at all possible.

Daftendirekt
2011-02-20, 04:53 PM
'd like to advance Spellcasting, if at all possible.

If all else fails, maybe team up with your DM to homebrew a feat similar to the other Swift feats (ambusher, avenger, hunter) to have bard and scout levels stack for some of each others' class features?

CycloneJoker
2011-02-20, 05:26 PM
So here's the build I'm looking at:
Strongheart Halfling (with Pathfinder Halfling as base)
Knack AFC
1: TWF, Jack of all Trades
3: Snowflake Wardance
6: Knowledge Devotion
9: Either Melodic Casting or Song of the Heart

With the stats above, and one Knowledge skill, the rest are undecided.

Equipment: Echoblade (4310), Stunning Surge light weapon (2000) or another decent weapon, Badge of Valor (1400), and a Masterwork Lute (100). 7810, I have 2190 GP left at level 5.

Any ideas? Does that look decent?

dextercorvia
2011-02-20, 05:38 PM
Nitpick, I only put you at 1190 left at 5. I'd probably pick up an Eternal Wand of Shield, or a Wand of CLW (Lesser Vigor if you can make the UMD check)

CycloneJoker
2011-02-20, 05:45 PM
Nitpick, I only put you at 1190 left at 5. I'd probably pick up an Eternal Wand of Shield, or a Wand of CLW (Lesser Vigor if you can make the UMD check)

Typo, sorry.

This is probably a REALLY stupid question, but what is an Eternal Wand

dextercorvia
2011-02-20, 06:00 PM
One part Wand, one part Command Word Misc. Magic Item from the MIC. They cost slightly more than a standard wand of the same spell. Instead of getting 50 charges, they can be use 2/day. Only up to 3rd level spells, but you don't need the spell on your list. Any Arcane caster can use any Eternal Wand.

CycloneJoker
2011-02-20, 07:13 PM
One part Wand, one part Command Word Misc. Magic Item from the MIC. They cost slightly more than a standard wand of the same spell. Instead of getting 50 charges, they can be use 2/day. Only up to 3rd level spells, but you don't need the spell on your list. Any Arcane caster can use any Eternal Wand.

Useful. So, as far as I can figure, I have +2 Inspire, and can have up to four. 1 for being a bard, and one for giving up the useless Competence for the sweet Song of the Heart, and an additional +1 from Badge of Valor, and +1 from that one spell.

dextercorvia
2011-02-20, 09:57 PM
Useful. So, as far as I can figure, I have +2 Inspire, and can have up to four. 1 for being a bard, and one for giving up the useless Competence for the sweet Song of the Heart, and an additional +1 from Badge of Valor, and +1 from that one spell.

Song of the Heart requires Inspire Competence*. You can trade out your level 6 ability for it though. Later you will be able to afford the Vest of Legends which treats you as a Bard 5 levels higher for determining Bardic music abilities. That is especially useful if you plan to Prestige out of Bard into something that doesn't advance music.

*I know some of the early IC optimization lists trading it as an option, but I believe the consensus is that it isn't that kind of bonus feat.

CycloneJoker
2011-02-20, 10:02 PM
Song of the Heart requires Inspire Competence*. You can trade out your level 6 ability for it though. Later you will be able to afford the Vest of Legends which treats you as a Bard 5 levels higher for determining Bardic music abilities. That is especially useful if you plan to Prestige out of Bard into something that doesn't advance music.

*I know some of the early IC optimization lists trading it as an option, but I believe the consensus is that it isn't that kind of bonus feat.

Oh, lame. Oh well, I can just give up Suggestion for it.

Kalaska'Agathas
2011-02-20, 11:45 PM
Useful. So, as far as I can figure, I have +2 Inspire, and can have up to four. 1 for being a bard, and one for giving up the useless Competence for the sweet Song of the Heart, and an additional +1 from Badge of Valor, and +1 from that one spell.

Don't you need Inspire Competence to qualify for Song of the Heart?

Edit: Swordsaged.

Further Edit: You want Suggestion. It is awesome.

CycloneJoker
2011-02-20, 11:54 PM
Don't you need Inspire Competence to qualify for Song of the Heart?

Edit: Swordsaged.

Further Edit: You want Suggestion. It is awesome.

But with a high Charisma, I can cast is quite a bit, and aren't more uses of "You guys don't suck" or "pretty stabby snowflake" more important?

Zaq
2011-02-21, 01:16 AM
I'm wanting to focus on Wardance, not Inspire Courage, and it doesn't give me more Inspire Courage.

Also, my DM isn't going ToB.

Wardance, while great, isn't something you can "focus" on. You either have it or you don't. More CHA makes it better, but there's only so much you can do about that.

If you can spare the feats, Arcane Strike and/or Netherese Battle Curse (CWar and LEoF respectively) are great for melee bards.

dextercorvia
2011-02-21, 01:20 AM
But with a high Charisma, I can cast is quite a bit, and aren't more uses of "You guys don't suck" or "pretty stabby snowflake" more important?

For your character, I would say definitely. It isn't more uses, however, it is more efficacious uses.

As a Sp ability, it has all of the drawbacks of the spell except the save DC scales with bard level. But that is only useful if you aren't PrC'ing into something else.

CycloneJoker
2011-02-21, 01:28 AM
Wardance, while great, isn't something you can "focus" on. You either have it or you don't. More CHA makes it better, but there's only so much you can do about that.

If you can spare the feats, Arcane Strike and/or Netherese Battle Curse (CWar and LEoF respectively) are great for melee bards.
LEoF? Arcane Strike seems kinda "meh," as by the time I can afford it, I'll probably have better things to do with spells. Still, I ,might be able to find use for it. Thanks.

For your character, I would say definitely. It isn't more uses, however, it is more efficacious uses.

As a Sp ability, it has all of the drawbacks of the spell except the save DC scales with bard level. But that is only useful if you aren't PrC'ing into something else.

Nice, so I can get Knowledge Devotion and Song of the Heart at the same level. I'm probably going to PRC out at 14 at the absolute latest. What's a good PrC for melee bards?

dextercorvia
2011-02-21, 01:37 AM
Abjurant Champion advances casting. Warchanter advances music. Both are Full BAB. Warchanter is really only worth it for two things:Combine Songs and Inspire Legion. Inspire Recklessness would be cool except that the bonus is a morale bonus so it doesn't stack with IC. I would go Abjurant Champion.

Daftendirekt
2011-02-21, 01:42 AM
Heh, I had to think what LEoF was too. Lost Empires of Faerun. I really like that book, actually, particularly the Olin Gisir (nothing to do with your situation, just a neat class)

CycloneJoker
2011-02-21, 02:36 PM
I do not have that book. What is this "Battle Curse?"

Zaq
2011-02-21, 03:04 PM
You're in luck. No book required. (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20050202a&page=1)

CycloneJoker
2011-02-21, 03:11 PM
You're in luck. No book required. (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20050202a&page=1)

Thanks.

With the feat tax, I'd think I'd be better off with Arcane Strike, which is actually looking better and better.

gorfnab
2011-02-21, 03:19 PM
Still going to recommend Bard 8/ Paladin (of Freedom) 2/ Sublime Chord 2/ Abjurant Champion 5/ Sacred Exorcist 3 - 16 BAB, 9th level spells, cha synergy, and some potential Inspire Courage options. Also this build opens up the possibility of taking Divine Might at 18 level for an extra Cha to damage in exchange for a use of turn undead.

CycloneJoker
2011-02-21, 03:35 PM
Still going to recommend Bard 8/ Paladin (of Freedom) 2/ Sublime Chord 2/ Abjurant Champion 5/ Sacred Exorcist 3 - 16 BAB, 9th level spells, cha synergy, and some potential Inspire Courage options. Also this build opens up the possibility of taking Divine Might at 18 level for an extra Cha to damage in exchange for a use of turn undead.

I'm drawing a blank on Sacred Exorcist. Can you elaborate on it? Also, I can only use music 10 times without the vest and lute, but that is workable. I like the paladin idea.

dextercorvia
2011-02-21, 03:39 PM
I'm drawing a blank on Sacred Exorcist. Can you elaborate on it? Also, I can only use music 10 times without the vest and lute, but that is workable. I like the paladin idea.

3/4 BAB, grants Turn Undead, Full Casting, d8?HD

nedz
2011-02-21, 03:43 PM
If you're going to do those Slippers of Battledancing, maybe work Scout into the build for some skirmish dice? Side note, is there any other class or PrC that gives skirmish? Apart from halfling monk sub. level...

Add one level of Unseen Seer for 2d6+1AC Skirmish and you qualify for Improves Skirmish (Move 20' for 4d6+3AC). Not sure this fits your build though US is more of a rogue/skillmonkey option.

CycloneJoker
2011-02-21, 03:51 PM
I'm not liking the exorcist, and I might do better with Scout 1, unseen seer 2 for Sublime Chord. 1 less BAB, but a lot nicer things, like Skirmish and an extra 9th level spell.

CycloneJoker
2011-02-21, 06:59 PM
What's the appeal of Sacred Exorcist, anyways? Turning seems overrated.

Zaq
2011-02-21, 07:09 PM
Turning sucks if you don't pump it to obscene levels.

Divine feats, on the other hand, can be awesome. (Yes, there's more to it than just DMM.) How does adding your CHA to damage for every attack in a round 3 + CHA times per day sound on a melee bard? Divine Might does just that.

CycloneJoker
2011-02-21, 07:25 PM
Turning sucks if you don't pump it to obscene levels.

Divine feats, on the other hand, can be awesome. (Yes, there's more to it than just DMM.) How does adding your CHA to damage for every attack in a round 3 + CHA times per day sound on a melee bard? Divine Might does just that.

Assuming I have 13 Str and Power Attack. Which are kinda worthless on a bard. Or, at least this one.

Zaq
2011-02-21, 07:39 PM
Power Attack isn't awful on a melee bard, actually. While Snowflake Wardance precludes the use of a two-handed weapon, you can still generally get enough bonuses to hit (between IC, adding multiple stats to attack rolls, sometimes adding the same stat two or three times, etc.) that you can afford a few points of PA. I guess if your race makes 13 STR difficult, I can see it, but it's far from a wasted feat.

CycloneJoker
2011-02-21, 08:49 PM
Power Attack isn't awful on a melee bard, actually. While Snowflake Wardance precludes the use of a two-handed weapon, you can still generally get enough bonuses to hit (between IC, adding multiple stats to attack rolls, sometimes adding the same stat two or three times, etc.) that you can afford a few points of PA. I guess if your race makes 13 STR difficult, I can see it, but it's far from a wasted feat.

I see your point. Still, PA won't work here. Divine Might looks fun in general, though.

Daftendirekt
2011-02-22, 12:27 AM
Before this thread, I always saw bards as nothing but "5th characters". I always thought it would be fun to play one, but not because it'd be good.

You guys have shown me otherwise. I really want to make something like this now.

dextercorvia
2011-02-22, 12:59 AM
Melee Bards are good, but a caster bard can rival a sorcerer at high levels, and isn't as squishy at low levels.

Diplomancer Bards break the game at level 2.

MeeposFire
2011-02-22, 01:15 AM
Before this thread, I always saw bards as nothing but "5th characters". I always thought it would be fun to play one, but not because it'd be good.

You guys have shown me otherwise. I really want to make something like this now.

Welcome to the wide world of "holy crap bards are freaking sweet"! Don't feel bad every once and a while I need to reintroduce this concept with my friends who say "bards suck".

Daftendirekt
2011-02-22, 01:32 AM
Reminds me of my hengeyokai monk/drunken master/warshaper/fist of the forest (well, that's what it was going to be if carried all the way. I abandoned the character because as badass as she was, I didn't give her much personality). Only ever got her halfway into warshaper (about level 10 I believe).

What a beast.

Point being, people also think monks suck :P

CycloneJoker
2011-02-22, 10:07 AM
Melee Bards are good, but a caster bard can rival a sorcerer at high levels, and isn't as squishy at low levels.

Diplomancer Bards break the game at level 2.
Really? Caster Bards? How, sublime chord?

Welcome to the wide world of "holy crap bards are freaking sweet"! Don't feel bad every once and a while I need to reintroduce this concept with my friends who say "bards suck".

I used to only think Dragonfires were good. Glad to be wrong.

dextercorvia
2011-02-22, 11:16 AM
Really? Caster Bards? How, sublime chord?


Yeah, with some combination of Unseen Seer, Mindbender, Lyric Thaumaturge, and Virtuoso.

CycloneJoker
2011-02-22, 11:21 AM
Yeah, with some combination of Unseen Seer, Mindbender, Lyric Thaumaturge, and Virtuoso.

What and/or where are those last two?

dextercorvia
2011-02-22, 11:22 AM
Complete Mage and Complete Adventurer

gorfnab
2011-02-22, 02:08 PM
Really? Caster Bards? How, sublime chord?

The build I normally use for a caster bard is Bard 6/ Lyric Thaumaturge 2/ Virtuoso 2/ Sublime Chord 2/ Virtuoso 8.