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    Default All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    So, recently, me and a few friends have come up with an....unusual idea for a stand-alone d&d session. We're playing 3.5 and noticed that the famous Tomb Of Horrors dungeon had been revised for D&D 3.5. And that got me thinking. I instantly wanted to try and test it out, but didn't feel like my current game would be enough fun to try it in.

    So, of course, the next logical step was to do an all bard party. What else?

    But yeah. All bards. Tomb of Horrors.
    I think yes.

    Now, we're not doing this to watch the party die within the first round of combat. (Ok, maybe just a little bit.) But I actually want a semi-viable (Or, as viable as possible) party composition.

    So. We're going to need some nice diversity.

    It says it is intended for 4-6 9th level characters.

    So, because we're running all bards, we're going to go to the suggested max, as well as adding an extra level for each bard.

    So we've got 6 10th level bards.

    So, what sort of bards do we build to diversify this party?

    Cores, Completes, and Races of (Stone, Wild, Destiny) Are allowed.

    LA is allowed, but just don't make anything higher than ECL 10.

    Prestige classes are allowed, but they must progress bard abilities.

    Any suggestions?

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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    does ze bards have to be Bard/Bard PrC or can we have a multiclass

    Bard/<insert non-Bard base class here>/Bard PrC?

    this *might* help our poor suckers (read Bards)
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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    1 or 2 caster bard (going sublime chord or multiclass sorc or wiz?), 1 skillmonkey bard (multiclass factotum or rogue?), 1 "gish" bard (think bard\pala or bard\warblade etc, maybe going into abjurant champion?), 1 healer bard (multiclass cleric? Maybe arcane devotion with some healing domain?)....

    Than keep going untill you have covered everything a good party "needs", then sprinkle in the rest of the bards where you need more of what you already have.

    Then equip them all accordingly with magic items (alot of wands!) and go get em'!
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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    Bard can still do all the ToH-obviating tricks like spamming Summon Elemental and Acid Splatter to trap-test and melt obstacles. As long as someone gets trapfinding, there shouldn't be a problem. (Any more than usual, anyway.)

    EDIT:
    For builds, let's see... most of the IC abilities are off the table, so maybe:
    Bard 6/Lyric Thaumaturge 4: Focus on cranking control spells and Save-or-X DCs, aim for Sublime Chord at ECL 11.
    Rogue 1/Bard 4/Unseen Seer 5: Sneak attack, divinations and skillmonkeyhood
    Bard 4/Paladin 2/Lyric Thaumaturge 4: Grab Sonic weapon, Wraithstrike and maybe Born of Three Thunders, aim for LT 5, before stepping off into Abjurant Champion.
    Rogue 1/Bard 4/Mindbender 1/Unseen Seer 1/Earth Dreamer 3: super-perception abilities, sneak attack and trapmonkeying.
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-11-16 at 12:52 PM.

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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    #1:
    • Bard 10 (gives inspire courage +2)
    • Song of the heart feat (+1 to inspire courage, total +3)
    • Badge of Valor (item, MiC) (+1 to IC, total +4)
    • Inspirational Boost (spell, SpC) (another +1, total +5)
    • Words of Creation (feat Book of exalted cheese) (doubles IC bonus, total +10)

    #2 The same but also grab
    • Dragonfire inspiration trasnform that +10 to hit and damage to +10d6 fire damage
    • Draconic heritage (battle dragon) transforms +10d6 fire damage to +10d6 sonic damage


    #3,4,5,6 - whatever you want ;) they get +10 to hit +10 to damage +10d6 sonic damage on every attack after #1&2 start singing.

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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    Pure bard all the way to 20, with correct application of ACFs and such is a better jack-of-all-trades than Factotum, with one very notable exception:

    You need to get trapfinding on at least one of those bards, and there's no bardly way to do so.
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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    you need a miner bardadin (running A-Game paladin)


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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Talya View Post
    You need to get trapfinding on at least one of those bards, and there's no bardly way to do so.
    Quote Originally Posted by eggs View Post
    For builds, let's see... most of the IC abilities are off the table, so maybe:

    Rogue 1/Bard 4/Unseen Seer 5: Sneak attack, divinations and skillmonkeyhood
    At Unseen seer 2, pick up find traps (Clr 2, Divination).
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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    Don't put your hand up the statue's nose!

    Also I love bards. Do them justice.

    Perform (Oratory) can be quite comedic.

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    Thumbs up Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    When\if you go thorugh this module with a bunch of bards, please let us all know what happened and how it worked out for you.

    Sounds fun.
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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    How about spell compundium?
    If you cant get trapfinding, you need some way of getting summons/livestock/commoners to "test the waters". And you'll be doing it a lot, so I hope its cheap.
    To be honest, playing smart and cautious has much more to do with winning ToH than damage numbers and skill checks. Spend your WBL on smart alchemical/wonderous items and you will be happier than if you try to optomize a bard.

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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahenobarbi View Post
    #1:
    • Bard 10 (gives inspire courage +2)
    • Song of the heart feat (+1 to inspire courage, total +3)
    • Badge of Valor (item, MiC) (+1 to IC, total +4)
    • Inspirational Boost (spell, SpC) (another +1, total +5)
    • Words of Creation (feat Book of exalted cheese) (doubles IC bonus, total +10)

    #2 The same but also grab
    • Dragonfire inspiration trasnform that +10 to hit and damage to +10d6 fire damage
    • Draconic heritage (battle dragon) transforms +10d6 fire damage to +10d6 sonic damage


    #3,4,5,6 - whatever you want ;) they get +10 to hit +10 to damage +10d6 sonic damage on every attack after #1&2 start singing.
    I see those IC tips a lot but wonder how kosher they really are: both words of creation and DFI refer to the IC bonus the bard would normally have, I read that as being according to the class description and thus excluding bonuses from spells, items, and feats.

    Tactical use of alter self to get other forms of movement, or insane natural armor (see Tren) is highly recommended. Really, bards can do anything!

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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwendol View Post
    I see those IC tips a lot but wonder how kosher they really are: both words of creation and DFI refer to the IC bonus the bard would normally have, I read that as being according to the class description and thus excluding bonuses from spells, items, and feats.
    Even then you're looking at +7 to hit, +7 to damage , +2d6 sonic damage.

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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragrun View Post
    does ze bards have to be Bard/Bard PrC or can we have a multiclass

    Bard/<insert non-Bard base class here>/Bard PrC?

    this *might* help our poor suckers (read Bards)
    First off. WOW. Love the massive response.

    Adressing this first.

    No.

    Bard is the only base class you're allowed to take.

    EDIT: We may allow 1 level in another class.

    But for now, assume not.
    Last edited by MidgetMarine; 2012-11-16 at 03:52 PM.

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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Norin View Post
    When\if you go thorugh this module with a bunch of bards, please let us all know what happened and how it worked out for you.

    Sounds fun.
    I will.

    I plan to record everything and then type it up.

    :D

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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahenobarbi View Post
    #1:
    • Bard 10 (gives inspire courage +2)
    • Song of the heart feat (+1 to inspire courage, total +3)
    • Badge of Valor (item, MiC) (+1 to IC, total +4)
    • Inspirational Boost (spell, SpC) (another +1, total +5)
    • Words of Creation (feat Book of exalted cheese) (doubles IC bonus, total +10)

    #2 The same but also grab
    • Dragonfire inspiration trasnform that +10 to hit and damage to +10d6 fire damage
    • Draconic heritage (battle dragon) transforms +10d6 fire damage to +10d6 sonic damage


    #3,4,5,6 - whatever you want ;) they get +10 to hit +10 to damage +10d6 sonic damage on every attack after #1&2 start singing.
    Remember to have one or more bards pick up Creaking Cacophony for no save sonic vulnerability, turning 10d6 into 15d6.


    Reserve feats would be nice. One of the best ones to take is Summon elemental, but you'd need some shenanigans to get it by 10th level. If you do get your hands on this, then have the elemental touch and stand on everything before you do. The touch of healing reserve feat would also be nice, since it would make healing a bit easier.

    One of them could be a bardsader, or take the War Chanter PrC.

    There would be a lot more variety if more sources were allowed. If Libris Mortis was allowed one of the bards could be a Dirgesinger, which could be useful, and if Frostburn was allowed then that would open up Snowflake Wardance. At least include the bard variants from SRD: The Fey bard ACF means an animal companion that could help take the front line.

    I think the best chance you have to survive involves using lots of cheese. For example, give as many bards as possible the Leadership feat, and give the followers a teamwork benefit or two from PHB2. The Wild Cohort feat would also be useful.

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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    Bards and trap finding:
    Bards get UMD. UMD 19+ should be possible at level 10. Buy a wand of Find Traps. Actually since its ToH, buy one each.
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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    Besides touch of healing, take wands of lesser vigor and healing belts, maybe some wands of summon monster I. Get other magic items to duplicate other things. In ToH, combat isn't as big a deal. I'd recommend getting a few scrolls of greater planar binding, to summon Tulani Eldrin (they have at will cure moderate wounds, telekinesis, Empowered Chain Lightning, at will, as well as Power Word Kill 1/day to get rid of some of the weaker monsters, permanent true seeing to boot, and to top it off, they have 18th level bardic music abilities and Words of Creation). Maybe a few other outsiders with casting as well.

    Tulani have charisma 26 (a pit fiend has the same, so it is reasonable to expect everything you'll want won't have a better modifier), so you'd need to have someone pump that, though Improvisation (CAd, bard 5) gives you +5 at CL 10, Charisma at least 20 is to be expected, using blinding beauty and eagle's splendor could give you another +9, Guidance gives +1 and it is reasonable to assume that the Tulani would want to, so you'll probably succeed.

    Remember, just because you'll all bards doesn't mean you have to go in singing, ToH has no random encounters so you'll be able to rest whenever you need to, this means that going nova if possible on every encounter and then resting is very viable, and investing in a few times/day items can be worth while, and traps are set off just as easily by celestial monkeys as by 20th level fighters, so investing in a lot of low level wands will pay off (take speak language to speak the language of some creature that can manipulate objects, pull levers, etc, so you can have your monkey pull the obviously trapped level [and lever] instead of you).

    ToH has a reputation of being lethal, though in 3.5, it really isn't as lethal as some people say it is, so long as people don't blunder forwards without stopping to look and check first, and with 3.5, you can do that indefinitely.
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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by nedz View Post
    Bards and trap finding:
    Bards get UMD. UMD 19+ should be possible at level 10. Buy a wand of Find Traps. Actually since its ToH, buy one each.
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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by MidgetMarine View Post
    No, Bard is the only base class you're allowed to take.
    The reason for bringing up A-Game Paladin is that A-Game paladin is a Bard in all but what you write on the character sheet.


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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    Yeah. We're definitely going to need some way to find traps.
    :D

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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    To find traps, always send something expendable (summoned thing) first, use wands of find traps, have true seeing active (of items of it ready to use), and try everything else before actually touching something itself (send summons to do such, use mage hand, etc).

    Now that I think about it, a hand of the mage might be really useful.
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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by MidgetMarine View Post
    So we've got 6 10th level bards.

    So, what sort of bards do we build to diversify this party?

    Cores, Completes, and Races of (Stone, Wild, Destiny) Are allowed.
    OK... we can do this:
    Anti-Trapper: Bard-10. Focus on casting. Feats:
    1: Sanctum Spell (to qualify for Summon Elemental at 9th, and Magic Sensitive at 6th, so you can actually have both feats)
    3: Whatever you want. Extend Spell, maybe?
    6: Magic Sensitive (to see magical traps) (Complete Mage)
    9: Summon Elemental (to trip mechanical traps) (Complete Mage)
    Get a Ring of Invisibility, and use it constantly. In combat, you Summon Elemental, and then Bardic Music as much as you can. You stay invisible the entire time. When your elemental dies, you stop bardic music just long enough to replace it.

    Meatshield: Bard-10. Focus on casting. Feats:
    1: Sanctum Spell (to qualify for Summon Elemental at 9th
    3: Spell Focus(Conjouration)
    6: Augment Summoning
    9: Summon Elemental (Complete Mage)
    Get a Ring of Invisibility, and use it constantly. In combat, you Summon Elemental, and start casting mass buff spells for as long as the elemental lasts.

    Everyone does the same thing. You have three Trapfinders and Three Meatshields in your party of 6. Everyone goes invisible, constantly, and Summons elementals. The trapfinders look for traps, the Meatshields put mass buffs in their spell repetoir. Traps are handled by mass murdering sacrificing the heroic actions of your disposable minions brave planar allies.

    Oh yes, and make sure everyone grabs at least one sonic damage spell that can affect objects for trashing traps too hard for the elementals to affect. Otherwise, spread your spells out among as many different buffs as you can find.

    And have someone do some skillmonkery as well. Everyone buys a wand of CLW, of course.
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Default Re: All Bards. Tomb of Horrors. What could go wrong?

    And I may have just wrangled myself a DM to run this. :D :D

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