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wiglin
08-01-2007, 04:38 PM
I made this bard after the enhancement changes in mod 3.4

This is more of an advanced player build, not necessarily suited for a newer player as it does include raid gear, favor, micromanagement etc.

I envisioned a buff focused support melee. Apparently I've made a tank.
Your criticism is welcomed; But this is my bard and it is perfect for me. If I play it to full efficiency I can solo anything. And thats basically how I leveled and got my 1750 on her. This bard has very low ac. I depend on displacement and hitpoints. If you have access to DQ loot this build is perfect for a Torc, since you will get aggro and get near unlimited spellpoints. I apologize if its has too much raid loot for your tastes. I belong to a raid guild and this is what I've got.


Animate (32) Human - True Neutral - 14 Pure Bard

Stats:
Srength: base 18 +3 level +6 belt +2 favor tome +1 human = 30
Dex: base 8 +1 tome +5 boots = 14
Con: base 16 +2 tome +5 item +1 human = 24
Int: base 8
Wis: base 8
Cha: base 14 +2 tome, +3 feat, +5 helm = 24

Feats:
Lev1: Greatsword
Lev1: Power Attack
Lev3: Extend
Lev6: Skill Focus: UMD
Lev9: Toughness
Lev12: ImprovedCrit Slashing

Enhancements:
Inspired Attack III
Inspired Damage III
Lingering Song I
Human Adapt Str. I
Human Greater Adapt Con I
Human Improved Recovery I
Human Versatility I
Bard Song Magic II
Bard Energy of the Music II
Bard Charisma III
Bard Wand and Scroll Mastery IV

Hitpoints: (Raged, always running. 5min durations)
84 base
20 heroic
112 constitution
16 toughness
10 draconic
30 greater false life
-----
272hps (not bad!)

Mana:
375 base
161 cha bonus
40 Energy of music
75 Wiz III
-----
651 Not great, but can keep a decent-pace party displaced/raged/hasted

Okay onto the fun stuff:

To-Hit:
10 BAB
+5 Greatsword
+8 Songs
+11 Strength (raged, always raged)
+1 Haste
-5 Power Attack
-----
+30 to-hit (Can be short duration buffed to +34 with Divine Power clickies. I do not recommend Tensors scrolls for reasons being: loss of spell casting ability, and having to swap your weapon to a scroll and then back rather than just swapping say a bracer clickie. Situationally if you find yourself needed the boost you may not want to wait the 1 round penalty of requipping the weapon. Plus, you may fail the scroll.. zzz... 6 seconds.

Also note: This build does not restrict you to Greatswords. Quarterstaffs make excellent 2handed blunt weapons for skeletons and rust monsters. You will maintain the same tohit with them as with greatswords.

Damage:
+11 Strength (mmm rage)
+10 Power Attack
+6 Songs
+5 Two hander strength bonus
+5 weapon
-------
+37 dmg... yummy.

Skills:
I maxed Preform, Jump, Balance, UMD, Concentration and some others..nothing special.

UMD Capabilities:
17 rank
7 cha bonus
4 GreaterHeroism
5 seven-Finger gloves (raidloot, used cartouche until acquired)
2 good luck trinket (swap out POP after inital buffs)
3 Skill focus
-----
38 UMD. I only fail Heal scrolls on a roll of 1.

Healing:
I dont use spells much. Id rather spend my mana on displacements to prevent damage. Many Sorcerors/Wizards do not know the power of displacement as they do not heal. Bards do. Displacement is fantastic.
I do not wand heal often. I prefer to use heal scrolls. They arent that drastically more expensive than wands. They are way more efficient. Shoot off the scroll and get back in the fight. Its alot more fun than chasing someone chain casting a wand. With the human healing I enhancement and scroll mastery 4 you will heal scroll yourself for 169, and others for 154. Your uber haggle skill will help you buy these for cheap cheap. And as I stated previously, this isn't a starter build.

Saves: (Greater Hero, songs, resist 4, haste, rage, good luck +2)
Fort 23
Reflex 22
Will 18
----
Nothing spectacular. You do have freedom of movement, and Gianthold content seems to lack the need for a high will save. Beholders may cause trouble but those are usually charged as a group and die fast. The only real high level beholder is the guy in POP elite. Maybe you can pull the switch outside the room for that one (:
Or maybe you could strap a pally to your back. Its about all some pallies are good for.


Item Setup:
Neck: Torc de Prince Raiyum III (mana regen, Wiz III)
Cloak: Resistance 4
Trinket: Head of Good Fortune
Goggles: Spec ops or Visors of concentration ( +10 concentration)
Helmet: +5 cha (hoping to upgrade to Skull Fetish Mask)
Belt: Belt of brute Strength (+6 str, greater false life)
Ring: Heavy Fort
Ring: Con +5
Boots: Dex +5 (hotswappable to feather fall, or stride if not hasted)
Gloves: Seven-Finger Gloves (+5 umd, -10% spell failure)
Bracers: Bracers of Demons Consort (couldnt find anything better)
Armour: Marilith Chain (DR-5, Seeker +6, warning spell failure!)
Weapon: Cloudburst (Crossing my fingers for Sword of Shadows)


The Good:
This bard has extremely fantastic soloability. Great UMD. Disgusting DPS.
If you want a toon that can do everything... This would be it.

I believe one of the main high points in this build is flexibility. The human stat enhancements are perfect for squeezing more out of a stat (such as I did with con and str) and can be redistributed to reflect whatever tomes/loot you acquire in time.

The Bad
The armour I wear gives me 20% spell failure. This is reduced to 10% by the gloves. Its a slight annoyance but my main during combat spell is Displacement which has no failure. Haste has a failure, but its a mild annoyance which doesnt seem to happen very often.
The armour isnt required by the build by far... But its **** sexy. And seeker is fantastic.

I have no lingering song enhancements. But if your the kind of player to play a bard you know all about micro management. Its really easy to refresh them while the parties moving from Fight A to Fight B.

A bad point of this bard is it requires raidloot to be perfect. However, its not gimped by far without it. But then no build is perfect without it. Thus forth why raid loot exists. (:
Aundair

wiglin
08-01-2007, 04:40 PM
See Below

wiglin
08-01-2007, 04:40 PM
Granted, Dwarves are the new master race, good at everything, bad at nothing. The new Warchanter enhancement appears to be perfectly aimed at the Dwarven Bardbarian builds. But I believe there's an alternative path. Having played a Dwarven Axesinger to 14 and having learned a few lessons about how the build works, this is how I would go about a Warchanter build.

Rage Against the Dwarf Machine: A Human Warchanter

Level 14 Neutral Good Human Male
(1 Fighter \ 13 Bard)

Strength 18 + 3 (lvls) +1 enh + 2 (favor tome) + 6 (item) = 30 (+10)
Dexterity 8 +4 (item) = 12
Constitution 14 +4 (item) = 18 (+4)
Intelligence 8 = 6 skill points/bard level
Wisdom 8 +4 (item) = 12
Charisma 16 +2 enh +4 item = 22 (+6)

Obviously, the above is representing common items and farmable raid loot. With gear I own and tomes I can buy on the AH, the numbers look like this:

Strength 18 + 3 (lvls) +1 enh + 2 (favor tome) + 6 (item) = 30 (+10)
Dexterity 8 +6 (item) = 14
Constitution 14 +1 (tome) +5 (item) = 20 (+5)
Intelligence 8 = 6 skill points/bard level
Wisdom 8 +4 (item) = 12
Charisma 16 +2 enh +6 item = 24 (+7)

I'll use the "easy mode" stats for rest of the build calculations, but be aware that the potential is slightly higher.

HP: 10 (ftr) + 78 (13 bard) + 20 (heroic) +10 (draconic) + 56 (con bonus) = 174 HP + 30 Greater False Life = 204 HP

SP: 350 (13 bard) + 75 (mental tough) + 75 (improved mental tough) + 132 (Cha bonus) + 40 (Energy II) + 100 (magi item) = 772 SP

Skills
Balance 10 ranks
Concentration 17 ranks
Diplomacy 10 ranks
Haggle 10 ranks
Jump 10 ranks
Perform 17 ranks
Tumble 4 ranks
Use Magic Device 17 ranks

Feats & Progression:

Level 1 (Bard)
Feat: (Human Bonus) Mental Toughness
Feat: (Selected) Skill Focus: Use Magic Device
Spell (1): Cure Light Wounds

Level 2 (Fighter)
Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Weapon Focus: Slashing Weapons

Level 3 (Bard)
Feat: (Selected) Power Attack
Spell (1): Hypnotism

Level 4 (Bard)
Ability Raise: STR
Spell (1): Expeditious Retreat

Level 5 (Bard)
Spell (2): Blur
Spell (2): Heroism

Level 6 (Bard)
Feat: (Selected) Extend Spell
Spell (1): Otto's Resistable Dance
Spell (2): Rage

Level 7 (Bard)
Level 8 (Bard)
Ability Raise: STR
Spell (2): Cure Moderate Wounds
Spell (3): Haste
Spell (3): Good Hope

Level 9 (Bard)
Feat: (Selected) Improved Mental Toughness
Spell (3): Displacement

Level 10 (Bard)
Level 11 (Bard)
Spell (3): Cure Serious Wounds
Spell (4): Freedom of Movement
Spell (4): Otto's Sphere of Dancing

Level 12 (Bard)
Ability Raise: STR
Feat: (Selected) Improved Critical: Slashing Weapons
Spell (4): Hold Monster

Level 13 (Bard)
Level 14 (Bard)
Spell (4): Dimension Door
Spell (5): Greater Heroism
Spell (5): Mind Fog

Summary of Spells:

1: CLW*, Expeditious Retreat, Hypnotism, Otto's
2: CMW**, Heroism***, Rage, Blur
3: CSW, Haste, Displacement, Good Hope
4: Dim Door, Freedom of Movement, Otto's Sphere, Hold Monster
5: Greater Heroism, Mind Fog

*CLW gets swapped out for Focusing Chant once you have CMW
**CMW gets swapped out for Glitterdust once you have CSW
*** Heroism gets swapped out for Hypnotic Pattern once you have Good Hope

Enhancements:
Enhancement: Bard Extra Song II
Enhancement: Bard Inspired Attack III
Enhancement: Bard Inspired Bravery II
Enhancement: Bard Inspired Damage III
Enhancement: Bard Lingering Song III
Enhancement: Fighter Critical Accuracy I
Enhancement: WARCHANTER (Assuming 4 AP's)
Enhancement: Human Adaptability Strength I
Enhancement: Human Versatility IV
Enhancement: Bard Energy of the Music II
Enhancement: Bard Charisma II

With the above, the build achieves the following:

Song buff: (as a 13 Bard, I should be -1 off the top buffs due to way Inspire works) - 15 songs per rest.

To hit: +8 (IC +2, IG +2, IA III +3, Warchanter +1)
Damage: +8 (IC +3, ID III +3, Warchanter +2)

[Could someone correct this math if I'm off on it? I'm not 100% on how IC and Improve IC works/stacks.]

To Hit:
+10 BAB
+10 Strength bonus
+8 Song buffs (I believe these do NOT stack with Good Hope or Greater Hero)
+1 Haste
+1 Rage
+1 Weapon Focus
+5 Weapon
+4 Divine Power (from scroll)
--------------
+40/+40/+45/+50

-5 for Power Attack. Those are SICK numbers, by the way. Your full-BAB melees will be having a field day with you in the group. Even w/o Divine Power, you're looking at +36 to hit on the first swing; +31 with power attack on.

Damage:
+15 Str (1.5x for two-hander - Rage does not affect this I don't think)
+8 Song buffs
+5 Weapon
------------
+28

+10 for Power Attack = +38 per swing. Using a Greataxe, that's 39-50 on regular hits; crits for 117 - 150.

By the way, have I mentioned that as a Human, you get the new HV boosts? If you don't need to save it for UMD boost or something, you can add +5 to hit or +5 to damage, depending on your choice, for 20 secs x 5 per rest.

UMD:
17 ranks
6 Cha bonus
3 Skill Focus
3 Cartouche
1 Rabbit Gloves
4 Greater Hero
1 Focusing Chant (assuming this stacks)
---------------
+35 UMD (+5 HV boost). You can scroll lvl 7 spells on a roll of 4.

AC is more or less meaningless. Going two-handed as a bard means you're going to get hit anyway -- wear robes and rely on Displacement and Stoneskin for defense.

------

The Dwarven Warchanters will have higher to hit, damage, and HP -- IF they can find room for all those dwarven enhancements. I could not. I think the higher starting Cha will also help through the lower levels where CC is a possibility. And HV was practically MADE for this build -- to hit, damage, saves, or skills depending on what you need at any given time.

In any case, I'm not planning on retiring Viserys anytime soon. But this guy should absolutely rock the house.

/gren

wiglin
08-01-2007, 04:43 PM
After reading several threads regarding strength basedbattle bards and the new warchanter enchancements available for bards post Module 4.2, I manufactured a strength based, war(forged)chanter battlebard. Constructive criticism is welcomed!

================================================

a.k.a "Warforgedchanter", a true neutral, 32ptWF, 14Bard

S 30 (18base+3Levels+2Favor Tome+5Item+2Extended rage spell)
D 12 (8base+4Item)
C 24 (14base+2WF Enhancement+1Tome+5Item+2Extended rage spell)
I 8 (8base)
W 8 (6base+2Nightforge helm)
CH 22 (14base+2Bard Enhancement+1Tome+5Item)

Warforged Racial Abilities: Immunities (sleep, nausea, exhaustion, poison, disease, paralysis effects, energy drain, DQ wrack, or spells that target humanoids), extended time underwater before drowning, automatic stabilization if incapacitated, composite plating (+2AC, light fortification), healed by Arcane (full effect) or divine/bard spells (at –35%).

Class Granted Feats: Simple (all) and marital (longsword, shortsword, rapier, shortbow) weapon proficiencies, Shield (all except Tower) proficiencies, Bard music, Fascinate, Inspire confidence, Inspire competence, Suggestion song, Improved inspire courage, Inspire Greatness, Song of Freedom, and Bard spells.

Level Feats:
(1) Great axe (--->Swap out for greatsword if Sword of Shadows or Cloudburst is obtained)
(3) Power attack
(6) WF: Slashing
(9) Extend
(12) Toughness (--->Swap out for IC: Slashing if Sword of Shadows or Cloudburst is obtained) or SF: UMD

Enhancements:
(Level/Enhancements Selected)
1: WF Healers friend I, Energy I, Extra song I
2: Inspired damage I, Inspired bravery I ,CHA I
3: WF CON I, Inspired attack I,
4: Extra song II
5: Energy II
6: CHA II, Inspired bravery II
7: Warchanter, Inspired damage II
8: Inspired attack II
9: Extra songs III
10: Extra songs IV
11: Music of the Dead and Making
12: Inspired damage III
13: WF CON II
14: Inspired attack III

Spell Points: 657 (375base+132CHA+40Energy II+100Magi item)

Bard spells:
1) CLW (swap for grease after freedom of movement is learned), expeditious retreat, remove fear, detect secret doors.
2) Glitterdust, rage, blur, heroism (swap out for CMW once GH is taken).
3) Haste, displacement, CSW, good hope.
4) Freedom of movement, dimension door, Otto’s sphere, break enchantment.
5) GH, mind fog, shadow walk.

Skills:
Perform 32 (17base+6CHA+4Greater Heroism (GH)]
UMD 30 (17base+6CHA+3Goldencartouche+4GH)
Concentration 28 (17base+7CON+4GH)
Balance 22 (17base+1DEX+4GH)
Jump 31 (17base+10STR+4GH)

Hit Points: 262 w/o false life items (i.e., 20Heroic+84Bard+98Constitution+10Draconic+16Toughn ess+20Inspire greatness+14Greater heroism)

Saves:
Fortitude :19 (+4Bard+7CON+1Bard song+3C06 resistance trinket+4Extended GH)
Reflex: 18 (+9Bard+1DEX+4Trapblast goggles+4Extended GH)
Will: 17 (+9Bard-1WIS+5Nightforge helm+4Extended GH)

Base Attack Bonus: 10/10/15/20
+10 STR
+1 Weapon focus: slashing
+2 Carnifex (+2 greataxe, 17-20 critical range, x3 damage; Delerah's tomb end reward)
+3 Improved inspired courage
+2 Inspire greatness
+3 Inspired Attack III
+1 Warchanter
________________________
+32/+32/+37/+42–or- +27/+27/+32/+37 with power attack when using Carnifex

Note that with a divine power clicky or UMD'd divine power scrolls, your BAB could further be increased to:

+36/+36/+41/+46–or- +31/+31/+36/+41 with power attack when using Carnifex

Base Damage with Carnifex (primary weapon):
+2 Carnifex
+15 STR
+1 Weapon focus: slashing
+3 Improved inspired courage
+3 Inspired damage III
+2 Warchanter
________________________
1d12+26; i.e., 27-38 damage on normal hit, 81-114 damage on critical hit.
(With power attack on, damage: 1d12+36; i.e., 37-48 damage on normal hit, 111-144 damage on critical hit)

Armor Class:
<20+ extended blur/displacement/haste spells+ Stoneskin (UMD’d scrolls).

================================================

Build Pros:
1) Survivability
-WF racial abilities are incredible! Moreover, heavy fortification status is easily obtained by equipping a commonly available moderate fortification item.
-Self- and party buffing with Bard songs/spells such as blur/displacement, haste, and greater heroism (among others).
-Self-healing with spells and standard cure wands (at reduced benefit) or UMD’d repair wands (full benefit; UMD is high enough that repair light/moderate/serious wands can be used without failure!).
-Can be healed by multiple party members (bard, cleric, paladin, ranger, sorcerer, wizard) if incapacitated.
-True neutral alignment helps reduce damage taken from high-end content mobs that employ unholy weapons/arrows. True neutral alignment also affords a slight boost in AC if Stability docent and shields are equipped.
-Can hot-swap docents quickly to tailor protection depending on mob.

2) Soloist Character or Party Catalyst
-The Warforgedchanter’s DPS is adequate to good – helpful when soloing or when off-DPSing in a group.
-When in trouble, the Warforgedchanter’s exit plan would be to kite around the mob, fascinate, heal up, and then pick off enemies one at a time.
- The Warforgedchanter can and buff and heal self- or party members. At level14, the Warforgedchanter's bard buff combinatoin of Inspire courage+greatness+warchant+extended rage spell tops out and yields: +10Attack/+9Damage/DR5/-/-2AC/+20HP/+1Fortitude and Will saves/+4Saves vs. fear/+2Saves vs. charm! That's roughly equivalent to a 4 minute area of effect rage that grants +18STR/Toughness feat and a 2 minute DR5/- that can be employed a maximum of 6times/shrine!
-With the builds adequate UMD, using RR or alignment items is not a problem. That is, you will be able to employ all of the “of Pure Good” items for extra damage on attacks if one so chooses. I personally recommend obtaining Carnifex for adequate to good all around DPS with a slashing weapon. A holy quarterstaff of pure good would be ideal for undead/skeletons and a flaming quarterstaff for rustmonsters.

3) Equipment and Inventory Space
This build can effectively equip more stat enhancing items onto the character at any given time than other builds, as WF immunities negate the necessity of needing to carry selected protection equipment (e.g., disease, poison, underwater action, etc.). More space is always a good thing.

Build Cons:
1) Reduced benefit from non-repair spell- and wand-based healing (-35% benefit).
2) Less hit points than a toughness spec’d out dwarf – although this applies to all non-dwarf races.
3) Very low AC. This character’s AC is comparable to the robe wearing Barbarian. Damage will be mitigated via buffs (blur/displacement/haste, stoneskin scrolls), heavy fortification status (equip a mod fort item) and smart play (fascinate first for no fail CC and pick off foes one at a time when soloing, or off-tanking when in group).
4) Social stigma of being a Warforged Bard! Be prepared to brush off the “jukebox” comments!

wiglin
08-01-2007, 04:46 PM
s mentioned in my questions thread -- which has been enormously helpful, so thank you all -- I am one of the lucky ones with an 8th slot. Lucky, I say, because I'm addicted to trying out new builds -- and have deleted more capped characters than I have active ones.

I had been wanting to try a melee bard concept for some time, but couldn't delete anyone to make room. Plus, the advent of Mod4 really stirred some thoughts, so I began working on this build a few days ago. It is still relatively incomplete, but I have it rolled up for some firsthand experience with it. I thought to post it for comments, feedback, suggestions and questions.

I realize that the concept of a dwarven battle bard is hardly new on these boards; it's been around for quite some time. I'm not claiming to break any new ground here -- just exploring my own version of the idea.

Without further ado:

Viserys -- 32-pt Dwarven Axesinger

Level 14 True Neutral Dwarf Male
(1 Fighter/13 Bard)

BAB: 10/10/15/20

Strength 16 +2 (lvls) +2 (favor tome) + 6 (raid item) = 26 (+8 bonus)
Dexterity 14 +1 (tome) +5 (item) = 20 (+5)
Constitution 14 +2 (enh) +1 (tome) +5 (item) = 22 (+6)
Intelligence 10
Wisdom 8 +2 (item) = 10
Charisma 14 +1 (lvl) +1 (enh) +1 (tome) + 5 (item) = 22 (+6)

HP: 20 (heroic) + 10 (1 ftr) + 78 (13 bard) + 84 (con bonus) = 192 hp without false life.

SP: 330 (base 13 bard) + 132 (Cha bonus) +75 (Mental Toughness) + 20 (Energy I) + 100 (Magi items are everywhere!) = 657

Note on Items: I happen to have all of the +1 tomes, and all of the +5 items. I don't believe they're all that rare at the high levels these days. I did not include +6 items, which I also own, because those tend to be far harder to come by. Please adjust the stats accordingly if you're looking to just use +4's instead; those won't destroy the build.

Major Skills: Max Perform, UMD, Haggle. Ranks in Balance, Jump.

Level 1 (Bard)
Feat: (Selected) Skill Focus: Use Magic Device
Spell (1): Cure Light Wounds

Level 2 (Fighter)
Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Power Attack

Level 3 (Bard)
Feat: (Selected) Mental Toughness
Spell (1): Hypnotism

Level 4 (Bard)
Spell (1): Expeditious Retreat

Level 5 (Bard)
Spell (2): Blur
Spell (2): Rage

Level 6 (Bard)
Feat: (Selected) Extend Spell
Spell (1): Remove Fear
Spell (2): Heroism

Level 7 (Bard)
Level 8 (Bard)
Spell (2): Glitterdust
Spell (3): Haste
Spell (3): Good Hope

Level 9 (Bard)
Feat: (Selected) Toughness*
Spell (3): Displacement

Level 10 (Bard)
Level 11 (Bard)
Spell (3): Cure Serious Wounds
Spell (4): Freedom of Movement
Spell (4): Otto's Sphere of Dancing

Level 12 (Bard)
Feat: (Selected) Improved Critical: Slashing Weapons
Spell (4): Hold Monster

Level 13 (Bard)
Level 14 (Bard)
Spell (4): Cure Critical Wounds
Spell (5): Greater Heroism
Spell (5): Shadow Walk

Enhancement: Bard Inspired Attack III
Enhancement: Bard Inspired Damage III
Enhancement: Bard Lingering Song III
Enhancement: Dwarven Axe Attack II
Enhancement: Dwarven Constitution II
Enhancement: Bard Charisma I
Enhancement: Bard Wand Mastery IV
Enhancement: Bard Song Magic III
Enhancement: Extra Song I
Enhancement: Energy of Music I

Spells: (Key spells emphasized)
Level 1 Spells: Cure Light Wounds (swap for Grease), Hypnotism, Expeditious Retreat, Remove Fear
Level 2 Spells: Blur, Rage, Heroism (swap for Cure Moderate Wounds), Glitterdust
Level 3 Spells: Haste, Good Hope, Displacement, Cure Serious Wounds
Level 4 Spells: Freedom of Movement, Otto's Sphere of Dancing, Hold Monster, Cure Critical Wounds
Level 5 Spells: Greater Heroism, Shadow Walk

CLW goes away once I get CSW; but that might be Hypnotism that gets swapped out instead -- I'll have to see. Heroism gets swapped out once I get Greater Heroism.

To Hit:
+10 BAB
+8 Str bonus
+5 Weapon
+1 Inspire Courage
+1 Improved Inspire Courage
+3 Inspired Attack III
+2 Dwarven Axe Attack II
+2 Inspire Greatness
+1 Rage spell
-5 Power Attack
-----------------------
+28/+28/+33/+38

NOTE: Can use Tenser's Transformation scroll to get +14 BAB. Greater Hero does not stack with Inspire Courage.

Damage:
+12 Str bonus in THF mode
+5 Weapon
+1 Inspire Courage
+2 Improved Inspire Courage
+3 Inspired Damage III
+1 Rage spell
+10 Power Attack in THF mode
--------------------------
+34 damage (1d12 + 34 = 35 - 46)

UMD: KEY SKILL
17 ranks
+6 Cha bonus
+3 Skill Focus
+3 Golden Cartouche
+1 Rabbit Gloves
+4 Greater Hero
-------------------
+34 buffed. Not quite reliable on Heal scrolls -- requires a 6. Raise Dead and lvl 5 spells are no problem. Lvl 7 scrolls are 50/50 shots -- requires a 10. I could see carrying a few Summon Monster VII or maybe a Greater Restoration but that's about it.

Notes:

As should be fairly obvious, this is a standard approach to the battle bard that focuses on buffing with a subspecialty in healing. Leveraging the uberified Dwarf platform for DDO, it achieves very decent melee capabilities -- but brings that gift to the rest of the party as well. Note that while "Raging" (i.e., Tenser's), Viserys will have +32 to hit on the first swing with Power Attack active -- those are numbers close to my DPS Fighter.

My plan longterm is to play this guy like the Naked Barbarian builds -- no AC, wearing Robes for elemental resists/heavy fortification/etc. But that sounds crazy! It may be. I do have backup in +5 Mith BP and the 20 Dex to fill it out -- however, here's why I'm leaning towards going in robes.

I didn't list the AC numbers, because no matter what, they're going to be inadequate. With 20 Dex, I'm looking at 25 AC prior to adding in deflection, etc. I think if I really stretched, I might hit 32 AC. Considering that my fighters sporting 49 AC get hit almost every time in Gianthold elite quests, I highly doubt that 32 AC is going to get the job done.

The alternative, then, is (a) don't get hit, and (b) if I do get hit, have enough HP to take it, and (c) have good exit strategies. Viserys can do all of that -- and is perfectly suited to do so.

First, Displacement. It's almost safe to say that this build revolves around Displacement. 50% miss rate is far higher than I am able to achieve on my tank builds with 50+ AC.

Second, for a d6 class, Viserys has very very good HP's -- over 200 with false life items/wands/clickies. (More on the Variant build below). With Heavy Fortification (easy to find on Robes), I should be able to take a couple of hits from all but the hardest of the hard-hitting boss mobs.

Third, unlike the naked barbarian, Viserys has truly excellent exit strategies -- Fascinate and self-healing. If I take too much aggro, I can disengage, run around and Fascinate. The Barbarian cannot. If not under Tenser's, I can heal myself.

Fourth -- and this part is important -- I make every other melee in the party even better with my buffs. The tank who was at +28 to hit and +18 to damage before I joined is now +33 to hit and +24 to damage thanks to my songs. The THF Fighter in the party who was at +33 to hit and +35 damage is now +38 and +41. I will dish out good damage, yes, but they will dish out even more. That helps them keep aggro in the first place, so I have less to worry about.

The weaknesses of the build are a few -- but they're conscious sacrifices.

1. Low Charisma = CC spells unlikely to be effective.
2. Lowish SP Pool = 657 is a reasonable amount, but not enough for serious healing and constant Displacement and CC. Again, don't do CC.
3. Greataxe + Fascinate = not a great combination. This requires some skill to judge distancing. OTOH, if I'm fascinating, I'll let the tanks do the initial breaking then join in.
4. UMD = with only 22 Cha, it tends to be on the low side. That means Heal scrolls are a 50/50 proposition in likely combat gear. (I don't plan wearing the Cartouche 24/7 as a frontline combatant).

The one concern I do have is that because of low UMD, in-combat healing is going to be limited to spells and wands. 50/50 is simply too unreliable to be whipping out Heal scrolls. And CSW/CCW is going to be a bit low due to Song Magic only at 30% and no heal crit enhancements. But the big one is Heal -- without Heal, I just can't see being the main healer on a lot of end-game quests, especially with only 650ish SP at 14. Using scrolls is fine, but there, the 50/50 shot on those in combat gear is going to be a major problem.

So... with that in mind, I do have a variant in the works as well. Same stats, but different feats and different enhancements.

VARIANT APPROACH: The Bard-barian

In light of some of the discussion on the questions thread, I've created an alternative variant approach to the build. With the first approach, I think I tried to tread the line a bit too much between beatdown and healing. I would call the build above more of a Battle Bard approach.

The variant is something I think of more as the Bard-barian approach. It plays extremely similarly to a barbarian. Barbarian Rage is similar to Tenser's Transformation (can't use clicky's = can't cast spells). Expeditious Retreat is similar to Barbarian runspeed; Displacement is kinda like Barbarian DR boost, etc.

The variant swaps out Empowered Healing for Toughness. Optionally, it can swap out ALL of the feats for the following set (this would take it to the extreme of melee DPS and sacrifice some of the bardic side):

Extend
Improved Crit: Slash
THF
ITHF
Toughness
Power Attack

At 15, when the next feat comes online, I would take Greater THF. Losing Mental Toughness and especially Skill Focus hurts, but this would maximize the damage output available for a bard-type of character.

And the enhancements look very different:

Variant Enhancement Set:

Enhancement: Bard Inspired Attack III
Enhancement: Bard Inspired Damage III
Enhancement: Bard Lingering Song III
Enhancement: Dwarven Axe Attack II
Enhancement: Dwarven Axe Damage II
Enhancement: Dwarven Constitution II
Enhancement: Bard Charisma I
Enhancement: Bard Wand Mastery IV
Enhancement: Dwarven Toughness I
Enhancement: Fighter Toughness I

This variant gives +26 hp to the above base so 192+26 = 218, going to 248 with a Greater False Life item. It also takes the Axe Damage enhancements and gives up the Song Magic line. In fact, five of the ten enhancements are found in Dwarven tank builds -- Axe Attack, Damage, Constitution, Toughness, Fighter Toughness. (I am also toying with dropping Axe Damage II to grab Dwarven Toughness II and Extra Song I plus Fighter Attack Boost I).

Personally, I find myself leaning towards the variant -- especially the all-out pedal-to-the-metal Bard-barian build. Rather than try to be a healer and fail, why not focus on the battle side and shore that up even more? I'll still have the buffs, still have the Wand Mastery IV for scrolls & wands, and focus more on doing the "Let me axe you a question..." thing.

Anyhow, all comments and feedback are welcome. Thanks!

/gren

wiglin
08-01-2007, 05:22 PM
Edited build 6-11-07 (Final split at 14 = Bard 13/Fighter 1

I wanted to build a TWF Drow Bard who could keep up pretty well with the big boys in terms of DPS. I mostly will be using songs and buffs, but on appropriate mobs I should be an OK CC caster. I will mostly wand heal, except in emergincies. I picked up heighten so that I would have more CC options in terms of spells.

Drow Male Neutral 13 Bard / Fighter 1

Abilities:
Strength 14 (18 = 14 + 4 buff)
Dexterity 18 (30 = +2 Levels + 2 Enh. +2 tome + 6 item)
Constitution 12 (18 = +1 tome + 5 item)
Intelligence 10
Wisdom 8
Charisma 16 (26 = 16 + 1 Level + 3 enh. + 6 item)

I decided to put two level ups in dex and eventually two in charisma. I've decided to bolster the CC ability of this character and focus more on dex, cha, con, then strength in that order.

Skills:
Balance, Concentration, Jump, UMD, Perform, Hide, MS, Diplomacy

I am maxing UMD, Perform, Diplomacy,Concentration and spreading the spare points around to the other things.

Feats
TWF, WFin, Extend, Heighten, (FB) ITWF, IC Piercing

Enhancements:
Drow Melee Damage I
Bard Energy of Music I
Bard Inspired Damage I
Bard Extra Song I
Bard Lingering Song I
Bard Inspired Attack I
Drow Elven Dexterity I
Drow Melee Attack I
Bard Wand Mastery I
Bard Charisma I
Bard Energy of Music II
Bard Extra Song II
Bard Lingering Song II
Drow Melee Damage II
Bard Inspired Damage II
Bard Inspired Attack II
Drow Elven Dexterity II
Drow Melee Attack II
Bard Wand Mastery II
Bard Charisma II
Bard Inspired Damage III
Bard Inspired Attack III
Bard Charisma III


Strengths:
- Hi to-hit means my woudning weapons land very frequently
- With songs and enhancements I will do very good physical damage as well with +6 damage song + 4 strength + 3 Weapon + 2 Racial bonus + 1 Rage = +16 damage or better if I find a better strength item or weapon. This is great for overcoming DR so that my rapier does a minimum of 17 damage on a normal hit.
-I will end up with a decent charisma of around 26 so I can still do pretty well in the CC department.

Weaknesses:
-Compared to the Dwarf battle bards I have less hitpoints. I plan to manage this through Blur/Displacement, Heavy Fortification, and stat damaging weapons not drawing as much agro as a Great-axe etc... At level 14 before any false life I should have around 154 hitpoints (eek). Obviously I am not planning on tanking, but should be able to avoid getting one hit killed and can of course heal myself. I am also smart enough to run into the fray after the tanks so that helps as well as does attacking a mob that is already fighting the tank.
-Spell points are also a bit low compared to a higher charisma Bard with at least MT.

So far the build is working out great, I do very well in melee and ok as a Bard as well. For I think some reasonable trade-offs to spell points and CC I am a much better fighter. At level 14 you will end up with around +30 or better to hit while TWF and getting 6 attacks per round, 7 at level 15 or one more with a tensers buff. The physical damage output is comparable to a two handed fighting build, and on top of that you get more chances to apply special weapons like two wounders, vorprals or whatever you might have.

EinarMal
08-01-2007, 06:15 PM
Edited build 6-11-07 (Final split at 14 = Bard 13/Fighter 1

I wanted to build a TWF Drow Bard who could keep up pretty well with the big boys in terms of DPS. I mostly will be using songs and buffs, but on appropriate mobs I should be an OK CC caster. I will mostly wand heal, except in emergincies. I picked up heighten so that I would have more CC options in terms of spells.

Drow Male Neutral 13 Bard / Fighter 1

Abilities:
Strength 14 (18 = 14 + 4 buff)
Dexterity 18 (30 = +2 Levels + 2 Enh. +2 tome + 6 item)
Constitution 12 (18 = +1 tome + 5 item)
Intelligence 10
Wisdom 8
Charisma 16 (26 = 16 + 1 Level + 3 enh. + 6 item)



After further playing and the warchanter enhancements I would recommend the following now, what I am actually playing. I posted something similiar to this after the original build you listed in a different thread that was lost.

Drow Male Neutral 12 Bard / Fighter 2

Abilities:
Go strength instead of dex so starting strength of 16 and level ups into strength. I think I have:

16 Str
17 Dex
12 Con
10 Int
8 Wis
14 Cha

Skills:
UMD
Perform
Diplomacy
Balance
Jump

Feats:
TWF
Extend
(FB) WF Piercing
Power Attack
ITWF
IC Piercing
(FB) GTWF

Enhancements:
Warchanter Stuff
Usual Song stuff
Drow Weapons
Misc...

Daemonis
08-10-2007, 03:04 PM
I also updated the Warforgedchanter based upon my experience with the build to date. Pls. check out this thread if you are interested:

http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=115924

Myxalplyx
08-21-2010, 07:00 AM
***Back from the Dead***

Just wanted to thank you Wiglin for all the old days of fun and for the build info. Yeah, this is old as hell but still. I used to roll with you and Paleale way back in the beginning with my one 28pt build that I still have (Redlady Rage - Dwarven Barbarian).

I have a warforged bard (Or War-forged Chanter as mentioned above) who I have been playing lately and have been having fun with. While browsing the forums, this post reminded me how affective Displacement is. Granted, at lvl 11 my bard with his Tower shield has around 42 AC but still, I didn't like to use displacement because it doesn't last long. I save most if not all of my mana just for this now and it makes my game play SOOO much better. Just wanted to say thanks bud! ;)

bartosy
08-21-2010, 08:01 PM
wow this is 3 years ago.. and basicly we barely moved an inch with the bard class.. sigh..

GgChris1
08-24-2010, 04:23 PM
Thank You Wiglin :)
That Really Aprrecirated :D