View Full Version : Need help with Bards

2007-11-13, 06:22 PM
Ok before i start anything, I will go on the record that I LIKE BARDS it just seems that no matter what i try, i really can't seem to capture the whole"jack of all trades" mentality that they are supposed to be so if anyone has any ideas on what i can do i'd be open to some suggestions

2007-11-13, 06:25 PM
They don't really do that that well. My best bards have been ones that took an aspect and ran with it. With Arcane Strike, Words of Creation, and Song of the Heart feats, you can run a fairly gishy sort of dancing weapon master, which is exactly the route I took with my latest (and favorite) one. Spending a feat on Spiked Chain and/or a level each in Swashbuckler and Exotic Weapon Master really does the build well, too.

2007-11-13, 06:41 PM
I'm looking at it from more of a DM standpoint, what i meant was how can i tinker with the class a bit more to give it that flavor?

2007-11-13, 07:15 PM
Rename the Factotum as a bard?

2007-11-13, 08:00 PM
Well, simply, the bard is not the Jack-of-all-Trades the factotum is. They are still great NPCs (from a DM standpoint), and excellent hirelings and cohorts, who can heal better than the factotum (the biggest problem I usually have when the group is missing a role), and can contribute without overshadowing (songs, songs, songs and more songs).

Basically, with a bard you have a few good options to run with an aspect of your character as far as PrCs go:

Virtuoso and Seeker of Song focus on your music. One lets you make everything your slaves (with a song that lets you dominate and uses your perform check as the DC, at the cost of a single caster level), and the other lets you buff/blast everything in sight by striking a chord on your lute. Both are fun and useful.

War Chanter and Battle Skald make you a battlefield buffer, excellent in military campaigns, but their usefulness dwindles when not with large groups. Great for NPCs though.

The Caster aspect can be met most easily with Lyric Thaumaturge/Seeker of Song, especially with the right feats. You are basically a sorcerer with less spells but a better HD and some really cool music options.

Now, to actually answer your question: The best way to make the Bard a jack of all trades is to use the Chameleon PrC or, to a lesser extent, Master of Masks. Of course these aren't mutually exclusive either.

At low levels, Bard suits the Jack of All Trades thing in this way: You buff your party, which makes them all closer to the fighter when they need to hit things, you can cure a bit if you don't have a cleric, and you have a little arcane might/knowledge to make up for the lack of a wizard. The problem is that your don't have trapfinding, which can suck, but you do have summon monster...

At high levels: PrC. If you go the Chameleon, you are really a jack-of-all-trades, but even going the caster route can give you some of the flavor (casters can make any class obsolete by copying things with a spell, and you can do the same).

But, as has been said, if you want a true jack of all trades, use the Factotum and Chameleon. They do it far better. The bard is what the bard is: A performer/caster who can make the best diplomancer the world has ever seen.

P.S. UMD is your friend.

2007-11-13, 08:12 PM
Where can i find the Chamleeon PrC?

2007-11-13, 08:20 PM
Chameleon is in Races of Destiny.

Most of the others are in the Completes.

2007-11-13, 08:33 PM
the "jack-of-all-trades" means that when you play bard your suppose to take high INT, CHA and DEX... most of the skills that are governed by an ability are covered by that... if you take those 3 in your highest ability score then not only do you get high scores from DEX and CHA things but you also get uber amounts of skill points. but not as much as the rogue.

you also get spells
but not as much as wiz/sor

you also get a moderatly high BAB
but not as good as fighters/Barbies or Rangers

2007-11-13, 08:54 PM
joshu: The flipside is that bards have less call to jam everything into DEX. After all, their purpose in life doesn't include sneak attacking everything that breaths or running on roofs. Thus, they are free to invest more heavily in INT.

Not that its exactly a fair trade, in my opinion.

2007-11-13, 09:04 PM
Oh, Just remembered the PHBII has an interesting bard Variant. You give up bardic knowledge for the ability to add 1/2 your bard level to all skills checks that you can make untrained (or with skills you are trained in), instead of using skill ranks. It's called Bardic Knack.

2007-11-13, 09:13 PM
I'm looking at it from more of a DM standpoint, what i meant was how can i tinker with the class a bit more to give it that flavor?

My usual bard fix is the Martial Bard; d8 HP, 1 EWP at first level, maneuvers as a Swordsage, no spellcasting, but access to all cantrips at will.

For a jack of all trades... hmm. 8+Int Skills, Trapfinding, d8 HP, cast Cure spells as a swift action, +1 Spell known to each spell level, add utility things like Knock? That increases skills, health, and spell utility.