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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Bard with Inspire courage build

    Hi, I'm making a 100% support character and I like a build around Inspire courage and buffs/debuffs in general.
    I want to get Inspire courage at max rank because there are 2 feats that double the boost so it'd be a +12(?) just from these, plust various +1 from other feats and a spell.
    I hate going bard for 20 levels, but the question is: do the Vest of Legends (item) and Chaos music (feat) stack? The first gives +5 bard levels regarding inspire courage, the second +4... if they stack, I can go bard for just 11 levels and then take a prestige class to add some extra spell, if not I have to go bard till the 15 with just the vest... what do you think?
    Last edited by Mellforce; 2019-11-25 at 11:42 AM.

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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    Couple thoughts:

    First, I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say there are two feats that double Inspire Courage. The only one I'm aware of is Words of Creation, which has interpretation issues you'll need to work out with your DM, namely does it only double the base value, or all modifiers (Inspirational Boost, a Masterwork Horn, etc.).

    In terms of boosting Inspire Courage, I do believe that both Vest of Legends and Chaos Music stack, though the latter is Dragon Magazine material so check availability. You also might want to look into picking up Song of the Heart, either directly or through swapping out another type of Bardic Music. If you have the dragonblood subtype, Dragonfire Inspiration turns you IC bonus into d6s of fire damage (which you can change to other elements with Draconic Heritage), and can potentially be used with IC if you have a means to sing two songs at once.

    On the topic of prestige classes, there are a number that advance Bardic music progression. My particular favorites are Lyric Thaumaturge, which is a straight improvement over Bard, giving you more casting. If you want to get to full 9s casting, the Sublime Chord is your friend.

    That about covers it. If you want a deep dive into all things Bard, I find the handbook by JoshuaD to be very thorough.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    Quote Originally Posted by RaiKirah View Post
    Couple thoughts:

    First, I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say there are two feats that double Inspire Courage. The only one I'm aware of is Words of Creation, which has interpretation issues you'll need to work out with your DM, namely does it only double the base value, or all modifiers (Inspirational Boost, a Masterwork Horn, etc.).

    In terms of boosting Inspire Courage, I do believe that both Vest of Legends and Chaos Music stack, though the latter is Dragon Magazine material so check availability. You also might want to look into picking up Song of the Heart, either directly or through swapping out another type of Bardic Music. If you have the dragonblood subtype, Dragonfire Ispiration turns you IC bonus into d6s of fire damage (which you can change to other elements with Draconic Heritage), and can potentially be used with IC if you have a means to sing two songs at once.

    On the topic of prestige classes, there are a number that advance Bardic music progression. My particular favorites are Lyric Thaumaturge, which is a straight improvement over Bard, giving you more casting. If you want to get to full 9s casting, the Sublime Chord is your friend.

    That about covers it. If you want a deep dive into all things Bard, I find the handbook by JoshuaD to be very thorough.
    Yes i was refering to world of creation, and focused performace that doubles the bonus for one member. I think that the double bonus of these feats only applies to the base number, so the base +4 becomes +8 with word of creation and +12 with world of creation + focused performace for one member, +8 for the others. And on top of this +12 I add song of heart using the eberron variant, bedge of valor and the ispiration boost spell, so it's +15 for one member and +11 for the others. With Dragonfire Ispiration that's a lot of D6s!

    The issue with Lyric Thaumaturge is that icreases your daily uses of bardic music but it stops the progression of Ispire courage... but if the Vest and Chaos music stack I'd love to go for it as soon as I hit 11 on the bard.

    I read all of the handbook by JoshaD and I based my build on that but it doen't say anything about the 2 thing stacking or not
    Last edited by Mellforce; 2019-11-25 at 01:03 PM.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    Do you know any prestige class that keeps the inspire courage progression?

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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    Quote Originally Posted by Mellforce View Post
    Do you know any prestige class that keeps the inspire courage progression?
    Battle Howler of Gruumsh, Heartfire Fanner (Dragon Mag 314), Virtuoso (lose one level of spell casting, though)
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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    Quote Originally Posted by Mellforce View Post
    Do you know any prestige class that keeps the inspire courage progression?
    Uncanny Trickster also does, sorta

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    Damn, they have bad requisites.... with the uncanny trickster i lose one level progression and with the virtuoso I'm not sure if I can increase the inspire courage bonus...

    Give me some more help, I want this character to be just a support with the max Inspire courage possible and utility spells, NO DAMAGE of any kind. Don't wanna go the "fear route" either, just be a good trickster that plays miracles, powers up allies and solves problems, even out of battle. No violence. The only debuff I took so far is the feat "Doomspeak".

    If I have to go 11 levels in bard, then should I look at Lyric thaumaturge or Sublime Chord?
    As normal bard spells I like all the buffs, base invisibility (as I don't attack) and things like Phantom steed, alter self, Dimension door, Glibness... so I don't know if I should go Sublime chord to get something like Time stop or Limited Wish... or go for the Lyric Thaumaturge and give up to 7-8-9 level utility spells?

    My idea so far for the feats:

    1 Melodic casting, Focused Performer (Human), Dragonfire Indpiration (flaw)

    3 Focused performance

    6 Doomspeak (I see it as a sermon to the wicked that makes them waver)

    9 Words of creation

    Song of heart is free in the Eberron variant.

    I should take chaos music at lvl 15 after 4 levels in the prestige class in order to benefit from it, right?

    Shouls I work around the Vow of non violence feat?
    Last edited by Mellforce; 2019-11-26 at 02:53 PM.

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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    Bard 10 / Sublime Chord 10 with a Vest of Legends gets you 9ths and full bardic music (as Sub Chord gives half progression). Full Bardic Knowledge (consult with your GM on if something like Bardic Knack would transfer).

    There's plenty of great Sorc/Wiz utility spells that don't do damage and/or help in combat while still being a technical pacifist.

    4: Dimension Door, Solid Fog, Bestow Curse, Stone Shape
    5: Wall of Stone, Telekinesis, Private Sanctum, dealer's choice between things like Dominate Person, Hold Monster, Fabricate
    6: Greater Dispel, Antimagic Field, Globe of Invulnerability, Legend Lore, True Seeing, Disintegrate (objects)
    7: Forcecage, Magnificent Mansion, Arcane Sight / Greater Scrying, Reverse Gravity, Limited Wish
    8: Prismatic Wall, Moment of Prescience, Irresistable Dance, Polymorph Any Object
    9: Foresight, Astral Projection, Time Stop, Shapechange, Wish

    Just off the SRD; a mix of battlefield control, benefits, save or lose (but not die), swiss army tools, and no save just lose.

    I'd avoid the Vows because they tend to also impose your ethic on the party; if they're good with it, it's all right.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    smile Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    Quote Originally Posted by BaronDoctor View Post

    <snip>
    8: Prismatic Wall, Moment of Prescience, Irresistible Dance, Polymorph Any Object
    <snip>
    You can pick up Irresistible Dance as a 6th level spell because of how Sublime Chord can pick the spells from the Bard spell list.

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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    Bard/Sublime Chord is the most straightforward and powerful build you can do. If you feel like getting fancy (and your DM lets Best of Legends and Chaos music stack like they should being untyped bonuses from different sources) then you've got three levels you can burn on anything you feel like, as you get 3rd level spells at lvl 7 from Bard. A level of Marshal let's you add your CHA bonus to a variety of things as an Aura, a level of Warlock can get +6 to Social Skills via Beguiling Influence, a level of Dragonfire Adept gets you the dragonblood subtype without needing to use your race, as well as lets you get +6 to all knowledges with Draconic Knowledge, numerous prestige classes have fun things in the first three levels, etc.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    Quote Originally Posted by BaronDoctor View Post
    Bard 10 / Sublime Chord 10 with a Vest of Legends gets you 9ths and full bardic music (as Sub Chord gives half progression). Full Bardic Knowledge (consult with your GM on if something like Bardic Knack would transfer).

    There's plenty of great Sorc/Wiz utility spells that don't do damage and/or help in combat while still being a technical pacifist.

    4: Dimension Door, Solid Fog, Bestow Curse, Stone Shape
    5: Wall of Stone, Telekinesis, Private Sanctum, dealer's choice between things like Dominate Person, Hold Monster, Fabricate
    6: Greater Dispel, Antimagic Field, Globe of Invulnerability, Legend Lore, True Seeing, Disintegrate (objects)
    7: Forcecage, Magnificent Mansion, Arcane Sight / Greater Scrying, Reverse Gravity, Limited Wish
    8: Prismatic Wall, Moment of Prescience, Irresistable Dance, Polymorph Any Object
    9: Foresight, Astral Projection, Time Stop, Shapechange, Wish

    Just off the SRD; a mix of battlefield control, benefits, save or lose (but not die), swiss army tools, and no save just lose.

    I'd avoid the Vows because they tend to also impose your ethic on the party; if they're good with it, it's all right.
    Thanks for the tips, the spells list in particular. I love things like magnificent mansion and prismatic wall. Reverse gravity is awesome.
    But I'm afraid I can't go 10/10, if I want the max bonus of inspire courage I have to go 11/9 using a vest of legends (+5 bard level) and chaos music (+4) so i can get to the lvl 20 Inspire courage boost.
    So I get to chose just 3 spells of 7th, 2 of 8th and 1 of 9th... for the 9th I think shapechange is the strongest but maybe Time Stop fits the character better!

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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    Quote Originally Posted by Mellforce View Post
    ...and with the virtuoso I'm not sure if I can increase the inspire courage bonus...
    Quote Originally Posted by Virtuoso
    Bardic Music: Virtuoso levels stack with bard levels for the purpose of determining...the value of the bonus granted by inspire courage (if the virtuoso has that bardic music ability).
    So it specifically does increase IC!
    (I have a similar build going that is Bard 9/Virtuoso 1/Sublime Chord 2/Virtuoso +8, specifically because it grants IC increases! Check with your DM; YMMV as to whether or not Virtuoso can increase Sublime Chord casting.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel7284 View Post
    You can pick up Irresistible Dance as a 6th level spell because of how Sublime Chord can pick the spells from the Bard spell list.
    And indeed per the wording from Sublime Chord they must choose the Bard version if available.
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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    Yeah Virtuoso does indeed count as Bard for IC, I saw it now, thanks!

    You confirm that the only way to get the base +4 IC is by going at last 11 Bard or 8 Bard / 3 Virtuoso (with vest of legends + chaos music)? Are there more options to increase my Bard level for IC other than these 2?

    I was thinking to skip Irresistible Dance because it requires touch and I have 8 str and a -2 from noncombatant flaw...

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    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    For a pure support character, I would actually suggest something like wizard/heartfire fanner/war weaver, not bard (edit: if you're starting at a high enough level, that is). War Weaver with Inspire Courage is just perfect.

    If you're not into War Weaver, there's a build in my signature that has good Inspire Courage with just four levels of bard. It uses Ruby Knight Vindicator and Song of the White Raven to get Dragonfire Inspiration, Inspire Courage, and haste or creaking cacophony up in the first round. It's more of a melee buffer than a pure support character, but you could play it as support, no problem.

    Finally, for what it's worth, Words of Creation definitely affects the bonus from Song of the Heart and using a masterwork war horn, as per the general rule that effects are applied in the most beneficial order. You can get IC +6 before multipliers, +12 for the entire group, and +18 for a single individual with Focused Performance.
    Last edited by ExLibrisMortis; 2019-11-26 at 05:37 PM.
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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    You can't get doomspeak at level 6. It requires 8 ranks in intimidate, which is cross-class. So usually a bard can't get it before 15th level, unless you can get intimidate as a class skill. Few bardic classes get that.
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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    Quote Originally Posted by Hiro Quester View Post
    You can't get doomspeak at level 6. It requires 8 ranks in intimidate, which is cross-class. So usually a bard can't get it before 15th level, unless you can get intimidate as a class skill. Few bardic classes get that.
    Unless you squeeze 1 level of Human paragon! You get to choose 10 skills as class skills and the Adaptive Learning Ability means you can keep one of them as a class skill permanently ;-)
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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    Quote Originally Posted by Hiro Quester View Post
    You can't get doomspeak at level 6. It requires 8 ranks in intimidate, which is cross-class. So usually a bard can't get it before 15th level, unless you can get intimidate as a class skill. Few bardic classes get that.
    I didn't notice that, thanks! Then i'll take it at level 15 and I need to find something else for level 6.
    We are good/neutral alignment group so I could take Sacred vow (for the vow of nonviolence)... other ideas?
    Using Inspire courage doesn't break the vow right?
    Last edited by Mellforce; 2019-11-27 at 12:28 PM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    smile Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    Doomspeak is a nice debuff, but you should probably confirm with your DM that they are okay with you re-flavoring it as a sermon because RAW it might be not terribly compatible with being exalted...

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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    Quote Originally Posted by Mellforce View Post
    I didn't notice that, thanks! Then i'll take it at level 15 and I need to find something else for level 6.
    We are good/neutral alignment group so I could take Sacred vow (for the vow of nonviolence)... other ideas?
    Using Inspire courage doesn't break the vow right?
    You could pick up a Draconic Aura for more AoE buffing. Senses (If I'm remembering which gives Initiative and Spot/Listen correctly) is pretty dope, and there are other fun options.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel7284 View Post
    Doomspeak is a nice debuff, but you should probably confirm with your DM that they are okay with you re-flavoring it as a sermon because RAW it might be not terribly compatible with being exalted...
    You are right, I'm conflicted about that feat aswell... I want to RP a guy who THINKS to be enlightened and to know the way to make the world better, but in fact has a limited vision and his self confidence of being always in the right is not necessarily objective. But he doesn't notice it and always believes to be the only one aware, the only one who opend his eyes. An exalted guy indeed. Sometimes he still manages to arouse enthusiasm in his allies and here comes the IC maxing, but a apart from that he's just a trick maker, he avoids any kind of damage.
    If Doomspeak can't be seen as to reproach with peremptory epithets someone you despise because evil, I'll drop it with no problems.


    Quote Originally Posted by RaiKirah View Post
    You could pick up a Draconic Aura for more AoE buffing. Senses (If I'm remembering which gives Initiative and Spot/Listen correctly) is pretty dope, and there are other fun options.
    Draconic Aura is amazing! Even more as I am a Silverbrow Human... I think I'll go for it!
    Last edited by Mellforce; 2019-11-27 at 01:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    Dragon magazine #301 have the "Meter and Measure" article, which introduces concept of Masterpiece Performances; for the purposes of Inspire Courage, it includes:
    • While We Blindly Hang Our Faces Down - increases bonuses of Inspire Courage to +3; Market price 8500 gp
    • The Red Gates - effect of Inspire Courage lasts for 10 rounds after a Bard stop singing; Market price 1000 gp
    • Captain Marsud's Ghost - Inspire Courage with it gives +8 bonus to saves against charms and fear effects; Market price 9000 gp

    EDIT:
    Also - if you will use Dragonfire Inspiration - how about the Power Surge (Dragon #313) and Empower Supernatural Ability (Tome of Magic) feats? Power Surge would allow either add +1 damage, or x1.5 duration, and ESA is mostly like Empower metamagic- but works only 1/day (unless you will take it several times)
    Last edited by ShurikVch; 2019-11-30 at 11:54 AM.

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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    Quote Originally Posted by Mellforce View Post
    Song of heart is free in the Eberron variant.
    Just keep in mind that song of the heart requires inspire competence, so if you're getting it for free with the eberron variant, you need to get it at level 6 or onward, you can't get it at level 3.
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    I play a similar bard in a 3.5/pathfinder game so I can provide information. Just make sure with your dm if you can use pathfinder stuff if the ones you want to use are from pathfinder.

    feats
    flagbearer (the most important feat of the build)
    extra performance
    master performance
    improved initiative
    song of the hearth
    lvl 10 retraining rules in ultimate campaign allows to reroll a feat, remove extra performance depending what your dm interpretation is on removing a feat that is a requirement of another feat, if you can keep master performance, take discordant voice instead of extra performance
    lvl 11 extra performance
    lvl 13 skill focus (any knowledge) or grand master performer, probably grand master performer
    lvl 15 eldrich heritage
    lvl 17 improved familiar

    the most important item to buy and the first you should buy is Banner of the kings. It's is expensive at 18 000 gp but it really brings the build to the next step.

    later on, you can buy Dervish Sikke. It's good but really not as urgent.

    I also liked Badge of Valor item (1400 g, magic item compendium 208)

    the best race is Aasimar (emberkin) to have the pyrotechnics as a free /day spell and others stuff like favored class option to treat bard as higher lvl for determining the effects of performances

    rod of extend lesser is good at low lvl.
    buy a masterwork horn, natural (wind instruments)(100G/3lb), (song and Silence 46): you put in around your neck, for inspire courage +1 touch and damage -2 charm save +2 perferm checks involving it's use (because masterwork)

    lute (complete adventurer 126) +1 effective bad lvl for bardic music, can target one more target with fascinate ability and inspire heroics abilities
    keyboard of bones, masterwork +2 perform for diplomacy and intimidate

    depending if you use 3.5 or pathfinder rules on instrument, you can buy masterwork intrument that grants a +2 to perform checks and it's only 50 gp

    the lvl 1 spell inspirational boost=swift, bonus granted by inspire courage ability increase by 1

    my 2 traits were strength of the sun : during the day, you gain +1 trait bonus on all charisma-based checks
    Reactionary +2 trait bonus on initiative checks

    you have to boost your initiative if you can, to boost everyone before they start attacking

    if you can, take 2 flaws to have 2 extra feats

    bardic masterpieces that worth it:
    minet of the midnight Ivu
    lullaby of the ember the Ancient, the (sing)
    Symphony of the Elysiuan Hearth (keyboard, wind)
    house of the imaginary Walls, The (Act)

    for versatile performance I have keyboard instruments, took sing at lvl 6 and dance at lvl 10. To help remember to roll a stat I put beside each appropriate skills to roll perform instead like Diplomacy (roll perform instead)

    If you are at low lvl, start with a shortbow

    In your save section, under will saves, add stuff for particular cases like +4 against bardic performance sonic or language dependant effects

    same for inspire courage, it's nice to have all your calculations done at each level so when you cast it, you can easily announce all the stacked effects given at the same time.

    good spells at low lvl:
    lvl 1
    saving finale
    grease
    silent image
    inspirational boost

    lvl 2
    pyrotechnics (from race)
    glitterdust
    galant inspiration
    heroism

    lvl 3
    good hope, jerster's jaunt, haste

    lvl 4 virtuoso performance, dimension door, freedom

    lvl 5 stunning finale
    Last edited by Zhepna; 2019-12-02 at 07:00 AM.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    We don't use Pathfinder, just 3.5 official material.

    Power surge mentions a supernatural attack... not sure inspire courage is an attack.

    But for now I'm happy with the build that came out, at lvl 11 I can leave the bard class getting the max bonus of inspire courage with vest of legends and caos music. Then I can focus on tricks and utility spells taking 9 levels on sublime chord.

    In terms of raw damage I bring a IC with +11 for all (words of creation = +8 >>> song of heart + bedge of valor + inspirational boost = + 11 and +15 for the guy who receives Focused performance... there are 4 physical attackers, 11d6 for every attack is a lot! I mean... if every player hits once, they are 46d6!

    EDIT: There is the Masterwork Lute! +1 bard levels for bardic music! If it stacks with the vest of legends and chaos music, I can cap the IC bonus at lvl 10 and go for a clean 10/10 bard / sublime chord :)
    Last edited by Mellforce; 2019-12-04 at 02:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    Hey, so I need a quick review and suggestions cos I have a spare feat and I'd like to figure out the next feats too.

    I'm lvl 10 eberron bard, I think I took everything I need for the best IC possible... then I'll go sublime chord. I's a pacific guy that doen't use direct violence.

    feats

    1 (Silverbrow + 1 flaw): lingering song, dragonfire inspiration, focused performer.
    3: focused performance
    6: words of creation, song of the heart (eberron)
    9: ???
    12: ???
    15: Chaos music

    Now... should i just take improved initiative? Senses aura? No melodic casting, I have enough skill poins to up my concentation and with lingering song who cares if my spells stop the music.
    Should I work around increasing my DC for save or suck spells? I mean I already get a +4 from Sublime Chord and if I get vow of nonviolence I get an other +4... vow of non violence doesn't ruin the experience of the others since only I get the restriction of not dealing damage... thing that I'd do anyway.

    Or what route you suggest now that I maxed IC?

    When I get chaos music at lvl 15 I count like a lvl 20 bard for IC, adding the vest of legends and the masterpiece lute.

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    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: Bard with Inspire courage build

    Quote Originally Posted by Mellforce View Post
    Hey, so I need a quick review and suggestions cos I have a spare feat and I'd like to figure out the next feats too.
    I would drop Focused Performer, and instead pick up Martial Study, Martial Stance, and Song of the White Raven. The ability to start music as a swift action is very useful, because you can drop IC, DFI, and Quickened haste (lesser metamagic rod of quicken) on the first round (you can use the harmonize spell instead, but that must be cast before combat). If you take Martial Study at ECL 12, you can get White Raven Tactics, but that's a bit too late; no other maneuvers are worth it, really. A single level of crusader at ECL 9 works, too. You'd get White Raven Tactics, a stance, and Song of the White Raven all at the same time.
    Spoiler: Collectible nice things
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faily View Post
    Read ExLibrisMortis' post...

    WHY IS THERE NO LIKE BUTTON?!
    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    Libris: look at your allowed sources. I don't think any of your options were from those.
    My incarnate/crusader. A self-healing crowd-control melee build (ECL 8).
    My Ruby Knight Vindicator barsader. A party-buffing melee build (ECL 14).

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