PDA

View Full Version : Clubber the Battle Bard (STR 2WF Strategist Warchanter 13/1)



maddong
08-12-2007, 12:38 PM
Levels had to be changed due to poor math on my part. New build I came up with after reading about the BS dual stunning blow and weighted applying to main hand. I prefer maximizing bard levels for maximum party benefit (better songs, longer buffs = better party overall), but ran into problems with GTWF.

Human Bard 14 (GTWF taken at 15) vs Bard 12/Fighter 2 (fighter taken at 8 & 13)

S18 + levels
D15 (will require a +2 tome at level 8 or 12 or a later respec after +2 tome)
C14
I8
W8
C10 (need items/enhancements to cast spells, easy to do at level 1)

Feats:
1 stunning blow
1 two weapon fighting
3 weapon focus bludgeon
6 power attack
9 extend spell
12 improved two weapon fighting
vs
3 weapon focus bludgeon vs weapon focus slash
12 improved crit bludgeon vs khopesh vs toughness
1 improved two weapon fighting (at level 8)
2 greater two weapon fighting (at level 13)

Enhancements:
Inspired Bravery II (3)
Inspired Attack III (12)
Inspired Damage III (6)
Extra Song II (3)
Lingering Song III (6)
Warchanter (4)
Human Strength (2)
= 36 points + whatever
vs
Inspire Attack II (6)
Fighter Strength (2)
Item Defense I
Stunning Blow I
Trip I
Critical Accuracy I
= 36 points + whatever

Weighted +10 dual stunning blow and random 5% stuns. At 14 you can put the seeker +10 pick in your main hand (-4 hit if pure bard). Ouch?

+7 hit/+7 dam (+9/+8 if pure bard) song adds to both hands, additional +1 hit from focusing chant.

Downside is you are a bit squishy so you must be careful with aggro (fight 'em stunned and displaced with heavy fort of course).

Quartzite
08-12-2007, 05:36 PM
Kind of similar to my build, except that I'm a WF with THF. I'm still focusing on weighted/ stunning blow and have still taken the same level split. Of course, there are no static Mauls that have exceptional stats. You have the option of Hammer of the Leaden Clouds and the Tenderizer, plus any random item.

It is a very squishy build, I've been able to fit Toughness into mine and I had the luxury of taking Fighter at 2. Not to mention having WF Tactics Enhancements. Overall I think yours would be very interesting. I think he'd do even better rerolled as a WF or even a Dwarf once the level cap raises.

I plan on going 14/2 at level 16 (considering by having a level of Fighter you miss level 6 spells anyway). I think you would benefit a lot from a 14/2 build at 16. It means you get 2 extra feats on top of your current build without losing much.

Then at level 18 I'll be getting my level 6 spells with a 16/2 split. Depending on the level 6 spells that are released I might consider going 16 Bard/ 2 Fighter/ 2 Barb by 20.

Looks like a good build overall, it's just a pity that your stats are so tight. 10 Base Cha must really hurt. 14 is bad enough for me! I probably would have dropped Str to 16 in favour of Cha. I personally never think that +1 hit/ +1 damage is worth 6 build points in DDO where + modifiers are so easy to come by, unless you have nothing better to spend it on, that is.

I would have gone for:
S16 + levels
D16
C14
I8
W8
C14

As a more balanced approach.

EinarMal
08-12-2007, 06:59 PM
New build I came up with after reading about the BS dual stunning blow and weighted applying to main hand. :) I prefer maximizing bard levels for maximum party benefit (better songs, longer buffs = better party overall).

Human Bard 13/Fighter 1 (fighter taken at 14)

S18 + levels
D15 (will require a +2 tome at level 9 or a later respec after +2 tome)
C14
I8
W8
C10 (need items/enhancements to cast spells)

Feats:
1 stunning blow
1 two weapon fighting
3 weapon focus bludgeon (can change to a different category at higher level when you no longer periodically use quarterstaff for 2 hander damage)
6 power attack
9 extend spell
12 improved two weapon fighting

1 greater two weapon fighting

Enhancements:
Inspired Bravery II (3)
Inspired Attack III (12)
Inspired Damage III (6)
Extra Song II (3)
Lingering Song III (6)
Warchanter (4)
Human Strength (2)
Item Defense I
Stunning Blow I
Trip I
Critical Accuracy I
= 40 points + whatever else you want (new human versatility may be worth it)

Needed human race to work extend spell in. Needed 1 fighter level at 14 to get greater two weapon fighting. Thought extend was more worthwhile than improved crit since you are going to be auto critting anyway after your weighted +10 dual stunning blow and random 5% stuns. At 14 you can put the seeker +10 pick in your main hand. Ouch?

+8 hit/+7 dam song adds to both hands, additional +1 hit from focusing chant.

Downside is you are a bit squishy so you must be careful with aggro (fight 'em stunned and displaced with heavy fort of course).

Nrox on Thelanis, only level 3 so far. At low level I'm stacking improved recovery with wand mastery.

You cannot take GTWF at 14 unless you work in 2 levels of fighter. It requires 11 BAB which you will not have otherwise.

Quartzite
08-12-2007, 09:25 PM
You cannot take GTWF at 14 unless you work in 2 levels of fighter. It requires 11 BAB which you will not have otherwise.

In that case I'd recommend taking the Fighter level ASAP. And pick up Imp Crit: Bludgeoning at 12. Or given there will probably be another level raise soon you could take pure Bard 'til 14, then take Fighter for 15-16. I think the 13/1 split is best for the current cap though, and the 14/2 split is best for a level 16 cap.

maddong
08-12-2007, 10:02 PM
Damn, your right. Forgot about the drop at 13 for the 1/4 progression. In that case I might be tempted to go pure bard and just wait until the level cap goes up to pick up GTWF at level 15. I was looking forward to GTWF though... Maybe I should take a fighter level early and one at 14 so that I can enjoy full dual wield now before the cap goes up. If that is the case it would be tempting to change the race.

That is a tough call since bards don't get trip either and I was looking forward to item defense since I think just the 25% makes a big difference.

The double stunning blow is pretty BS though. I must take advantage of it. I must think on this.

Yeah, another advantage of the more balanced stats is that you don't need a +2 tome for your feats, a +1 will do. If you drop the strength to 16 and keep the fighter you will have a DC30 (31 with enhancement, higher if dwarf or wf) potential double stunning blow (must make 2 saves if you hit them with a dual wield swing).

Dwarf would be more reasonable than wf (feats are so tight with twf) unless you abandon the body feat which would make the lower levels very painful. The lower levels would also be frustrating with a dwarf if you didn't do the more balanced stats as I think I would be too lazy (I prefer to have fun) to start with an 8 charisma bard.

Quartzite
08-13-2007, 02:19 AM
unless you abandon the body feat which would make the lower levels very painful.


I've taken Mithral Body for now, but I'm planning on switching it out using the Dragonmark free respec later on. I am using a Carnifex at the moment, so I haven't picked up Stunning Blow yet. I'll probably keep Mithral Body until I find a decent Maul that at least competes with the Carnifex.

Personally although 12 Bard/ 2 Fighter would be good for now, I think the loss of Greater Heroism is worse than the loss of GTWF. My favourite level split for 14 is 13/1. I mean, you lose -1 from +hit and +damage from songs, but you gain a feat, which until level 15 you need. Just pretend it's a choice between Power Attack/ Weapon Focus (as a Warchanter pre-req- with the bonuses to your songs) and the song increase. Really Warchanter makes up for the missed Bard level, you'll still be ahead of non-Warchanting Bards.

maddong
08-13-2007, 03:04 AM
I think I'm going to go pure bard. I may change the weapon focus to piercing at higher level.

Schmackdown
08-13-2007, 08:21 AM
A few opinions, you can take them or leave them.

IME dual-wielding 5% weighted items and hoping for a stun while you're on the SB timer is inefficient compared to swapping to a vertigo, destruction/cursespewer/crippler, paralyzer, greater bane item, etc., and then back to the weighted piece for an active stun attempt.

TWF without Quick Draw limits your ability to pimp your cache of uber weaponry. If you don't have a cache of uber weaponry and are going to be swapping primarily between two sets or just leaving it at the two 5%'ers, obviously you don't need it.

GHeroism hooks you up with +2 to saves/skills and fear immunity over GHope if you flex your IC. I don't think that's significant, and frankly, I find not having it is great b/c then I don't have to cater to people that whine for it. Especially offensive after I've just busted out the IC/IG.

I'm not sure why the +1/+2 to IC is all anyone can focus on re: Warchanter and melee bards, especially those that go TWF. I'd have to take two nigh-worthless feats on my TWF 10/4 build to get a DR song that would eat into my Fascinate/buff song count, and a +1/+2 boost to IC that can be mitigated with a higher + weapon on the swap. There are better ways to build a melee bard w/TWF than Warchanter, IMO.

I'm a big fan of the TWF strategist approach, though- I took bard 1, fighter 2, then bard until I could get IC, last level fighter to get gTWF. Combine the strategy stuff w/Fascinate, some heavy fort and good resist equipment, and you're pretty much a self-contained agent of destruction.

Quartzite
08-13-2007, 08:49 AM
I'm not sure why the +1/+2 to IC is all anyone can focus on re: Warchanter and melee bards, especially those that go TWF. I'd have to take two nigh-worthless feats on my TWF 10/4 build to get a DR song that would eat into my Fascinate/buff song count, and a +1/+2 boost to IC that can be mitigated with a higher + weapon on the swap. There are better ways to build a melee bard w/TWF than Warchanter, IMO.

I agree that having to get PA and WF is a bit steep for TWF builds at the moment. Then again, PA applies fully to your offhand, so it's not as bad for TWF when compared to THF as people think if you have the +hit for it. WF is a pain to have to take, but it DOES make up for lost BAB by being a Bard. Once a Bard has TWF, ITWF, GTWF and Extend really PA, WF and Imp Crit are the more worthwhile feats anyway. Not to mention a Bard feels like a "real" Battlebard with Warchanter. I do understand your argument, though, and especially for a TWF build. THF builds take PA regardless, so 1 feat for +1/+2 is nice (It's like WF and WS to your whole party)!

maddong
08-13-2007, 08:56 AM
I agree with GH. I have made a 13/1 battle bard back in Jan that I still play (2 hander) and I only cast GH on myself. I just expect people to "settle" with the +8/+7 songs.

I have 17 songs and I don't use the damage reduction song much unless a quest has too many shrines. The most annoying thing about it is the shorter duration.

As far as how many levels of bard.... If I'm inviting a bard into a group it is for the song buff. If I knew your bard build I'm going to pick the bard based mostly on the song, because that helps every melee in the group. So if I know you are a 10/4 non warchanter then your song is at most 2+2+2/2+2 or +6 hit/+4 damage. At that point I'd almost rather have a sorcerer that is willing to GH (which is what some people preferred at level 10 in the days... I actually still preferred one bard to be song b****). But +9/+8 is something that makes the melees drool, and if you have the choice is the way to go in a melee heavy group. That is like a free stackable bless, greater weapon focus, and greater weapon spec for everyone in the party compared to your bard (which is more than the difference between having your bard in the group and everyone just get GH).

Is there definitive swap time on quick draw vs non? I've always heard that it wasn't worth it. And yeah, in reality I probably would set up some offhand quickslots (ditch the main weapon so that it only swaps the offhand).

Schmackdown
08-13-2007, 11:38 AM
As far as how many levels of bard.... If I'm inviting a bard into a group it is for the song buff.
It is a pervasive, and understandable, opinion that the +9/+8 will always be better than +6/+4 for a meleeing support build. I can't really see the argument for the extra +3 to hit at present, as my build is behind on the BAB front vs. straight melees, and I don't have any problem hitting with just my IC/IG boosts. That gap is eradicated with one shot from a destruction weapon or sunder anyway. The extra +4 on the damage side is significant, and I can understand it for THF- I just don't think it provides enough ROI on a TWF build, especially one that's not planning on a bunch of fighter levels for the feats.

An equally common thought is that a melee bard build is still a support character, mostly because it's got that big lute in the party lineup, and any fighter levels are just a feeble attempt at being a wannabe-combatant. IME people have generally turned the corner on the bard/rogue builds to understand that they can provide 99.9% of the trapsmithing necessary in a given party. Well-built melee bards can provide 99.9% of the fighting necessary in a given party, too. Would you want a 12/2 displaced gTWF bard/fighter in your party, or a lvl14 fighter with a sword and board? I think most in the game right now would take the full fighter, but I can speak from experience that the bard mix would likely be a far better choice for most quests if played competently, regardless of party makeup. If I had a choice between a 14 bard and a 12/2 or 10/4 bard/fighter and I knew both players were capable, I'd take the latter every time b/c IMO the intangibles more than make up for the IC gulf.

(Aside: I can count the number of *good* melee bards I've partied with, MC or no, on one hand. Finding a good bard is rare anyway, and finding one that can fight as well as he think he can is rarer still. So I can understand why everyone else, and even me in most situations would take the 14 bard for the better IC.)

So if you start considering these melee builds to be fighters first and bards second, regardless of level distribution, not having the extra +3/+4 might be more palatable, as you're getting a different kind of support than just IC. Say you took the 12/2 build and went Virtuoso rather than WC. You have a ton of songs for Enthrallment, and the wiz behind you is able to land mass holds and Otto's easily as a result of it. Or you eschewed Focus for Quick Draw, and can curse/cripple/shatter/stun/trip/destruct anything at a moment's notice. Or IC: Pierce to up your Puncturing chances. There are ways to support the party other than IC- most are just subtle, and will result in more agnostic "wow, that went really smoothly" comments than "we rocked those dudes thanks to your Warchanter buff" praise. But most good bards are used to that sort of half-acknowledgement anyway.

I think where we differ in our opinion is whether or not those build elements chosen over the WC prereq's are worth it over the +4 to damage; all I'm saying is that the +9/+8 looks great on paper, and the melees are going to love you for it. But the intangibles gleaned from alternate feat and action choices in a TWF setup might easily outweigh that extra IC boost in everyday questing, especially if one has access to a bunch of high-end or specialized weapons.

I agree with GH. I have made a 13/1 battle bard back in Jan that I still play (2 hander) and I only cast GH on myself. I just expect people to "settle" with the +8/+7 songs... If I'm inviting... I'd almost rather have a sorcerer that is willing to GH.
I don't think GHeroism really compares to IC simply due to the complete lack of a damage mod. And as an aside: I'm guessing that even if you did drop a phat +9/+8 on a party, you'd still get fighters that ask for GHeroism. I would surmise that these people want it for the +2 to saves and skills, but in all honesty I think they ask for it because they have no idea what the song buffs are doing for them. That little bronze icon is like a security blanket for the ignorant.

I think I'd take another improved crit over PA if I took more weapon feats on my build, and I don't think I'd ever take a focus.


Is there definitive swap time on quick draw vs non? I've always heard that it wasn't worth it.
Quick Draw used to be a joke back in the broken block-attack days, but since they've added the delay to stop that little hack it's started to really shine. If you time the swap correctly there's nearly zero latency between swapping and your next attack. Without QD there's enough of a pause to make you not want to swap again. My experience, anyway. If I were you, I'd just fire up a quick test fighter with TWF and QD, then run around in the Basement testing the timing a bit to see if you can even see a difference. For me, it's the ultimate twitch TWF facilitator.

FWIW, in my book the TWF vs. THF debate focuses way too much on DPS and not nearly enough on situational utility. Dual-wielding good weighted and vertigo items makes mowing through fascinated mobs almost trivial. Being able to start off a boss fight with a crippling destructor in one hand and a shattering cursespewer in the other, with holy/PG or greater bane weapons at a ready swap really shortens things considerably. That's five swaps for a single weapon fighter. The way I see it, if you're going TWF because you think it's hot for DPS, overall you probably would have been better off going THF instead. Embracing the flexibility of TWF that the OP alluded to is a more effective approach, and IMO Quick Draw is the key to getting the most out of that flexibility. That, in turn, is just another feat that's hard to wedge in on a WC build, and another reason why I think WC is a tough fit for the TWF melee bards out there.

EinarMal
08-13-2007, 12:22 PM
Quick draw does work pretty well, I would suggest like Smackdown says to make a level 1 fighter and try it out.

As far as stunning blow it is great on paper. Personally I found it less effective in game for me. I found with lag and the pace of the game that it is not easy to always even get a roll.

So, to me there are three factors with stunning blow, you have to have a target mostly stationary so you can be sure to get a roll. You have to actually hit the target (not usually that much of a problem) and then they have to fail the save.

I know some people love it and it works well for them I personally did not really like it. I am not sure if you've ever played a stun/trip build. If not I might suggest rolling a Dwarf fighter to about level 4 so you can try it out with trip/stunning blow/quick draw.

Schmackdown
08-13-2007, 12:48 PM
I know some people love it and it works well for them I personally did not really like it. I am not sure if you've ever played a stun/trip build. If not I might suggest rolling a Dwarf fighter to about level 4 so you can try it out with trip/stunning blow/quick draw.
Hmmm, while I'd do the QD testing at a low level, I don't know about getting a good feel for the Stunner in that range. If I redid my build one of the only things I would have looked into was taking SB later in the chain, as it wasn't nearly as effective as I thought it would be early on. On a melee ranger I'm bringing up, it really only became useful around level 6 or 7. I don't know why that is, exactly, as I'd think the DC would scale with STR increases pretty well, but that's been my experience on all three Tactical characters I've built.

My advice about using Stunning Blow... first off, if you have any sort of latency or performance issues like EM mentions where you don't even know if it actually got thrown correctly, you should probably steer clear of Tactics entirely. You should always see the white 'Miss' or a save icon if you throw it and they're not stunned. Second, it's an insta-kill when it lands, but you have to connect. If that means hitting that Rakhasha with a disruptor or timing your stunner to be attack number 4, do so, as it's a bummer to whiff and not even get a roll to stun. Making sure you're squared up is prudent, as is taking advantage of flanking if possible. Third, equip the best weighted weapon you can for the actual attempt. A 5% hammer with a 30STR and nothing else is a 30DC. Add on some tactical enhancements and that might be 32-35. That's going to connect more often than not if you land the hit.

IME Stunning Blow is like a limitless Hold Monster that lands more often. It can be an excellent addition to any melee bard's arsenal, and is particularly suited to a TWF build. Its cooldown timer leaves a lot to be desired, but even that is manageable if you have other local CC methods available, and especially if you can switch-hit SB and Trip with another Tactician in the group.

maddong
08-13-2007, 12:53 PM
Quick Draw used to be a joke back in the broken block-attack days, but since they've added the delay to stop that little hack it's started to really shine. If you time the swap correctly there's nearly zero latency between swapping and your next attack. Without QD there's enough of a pause to make you not want to swap again. My experience, anyway. If I were you, I'd just fire up a quick test fighter with TWF and QD, then run around in the Basement testing the timing a bit to see if you can even see a difference. For me, it's the ultimate twitch TWF facilitator.

FWIW, in my book the TWF vs. THF debate focuses way too much on DPS and not nearly enough on situational utility. Dual-wielding good weighted and vertigo items makes mowing through fascinated mobs almost trivial. Being able to start off a boss fight with a crippling destructor in one hand and a shattering cursespewer in the other, with holy/PG or greater bane weapons at a ready swap really shortens things considerably. That's five swaps for a single weapon fighter. The way I see it, if you're going TWF because you think it's hot for DPS, overall you probably would have been better off going THF instead. Embracing the flexibility of TWF that the OP alluded to is a more effective approach, and IMO Quick Draw is the key to getting the most out of that flexibility. That, in turn, is just another feat that's hard to wedge in on a WC build, and another reason why I think WC is a tough fit for the TWF melee bards out there.

After your feedback I would maybe go 13/1 as a warchanter (losing 1/1 song) and make a try at quick draw with the bonus feat. That also gives you access to trip which the pure bard doesn't have for more tactics.

The virtuoso fascinate benefits don't really sound exciting to me. If your party uses fascinate correctly you pretty much win the encounter anyway. I kind of view it as 7 AP for 3 extra songs. Which would be more useful if you could be a spellsinger or warchanter too (due to the 3rd buff song). But if you don't believe the feat cost is worth WC then the virtuoso will need at least 1 fighter level also since otherwise you don't have trip (or can you select trip as a feat?). If not doing WC I agree and would do:
1 stunning blow
1 two weapon fighting
3 quick draw
6 extend spell
9 improved two weapon fighting
12 improved critical piercing or trip if that is possible so you can stay pure
If you are able to pick trip up as a feat then you'd only be 1 damage behind the warchanter hybrid on your song.

maddong
08-13-2007, 01:05 PM
The biggest problem I've had at level 3 with stunning blow is the ac misses when doing elite content and such with my bard. My twitch is pretty good and I'm used to throwing trips into my attack sequences. I just didn't know about the BS of dual wielding trips/stuns before.

The reason it is more effective at high level is because your DC is scaling up linearly (well slightly better if you go from a DC 14 to a DC 30+) with the weighted weapons/increased strength bonus/potential enhancements. Against monsters with weak saves (trip vs fighters, stun vs mages) their saves are far from linear. Also at higher levels you are having more opportunities to do it on a dual hit so they have to save twice to block it (especially if you have GTWF with dual hits on the run).

Yeah, and no SR.

Schmackdown
08-13-2007, 01:25 PM
The virtuoso fascinate benefits don't really sound exciting to me.
That's because Enthrallment, and everything else Virtuoso, is utterly craptastic for the most part. Though I guess you could also see it as the first bard AC boost. I was really only using that example as an alternate support method for a melee bard. While it does rip through places like Cabal when coupled with a mass-hold caster, overall it's no better than...

If your party uses fascinate correctly you pretty much win the encounter anyway. I kind of view it as 7 AP for 3 extra songs.
Not only that, Fascinate currently lasts about twice as long as Enthrallment. Yeah, I hardly ever use it over the straight Fascinate. But I do use the hell out of the songs, and I didn't think I would when I picked it up to mess around with it, as I was OK with 12/rest. But I find that I use all 17 quite frequently, and it meshes well with Fascinate being my sole method of CC. Anyone that spends the APs to get Extra Song IV should also pick up Music of the Dead, to the point that I'd almost expect it to be a de-facto part of Virtuoso, even though you have to opt-in.

IMO Stunning Blow is worth the feat slot, but Trip and Sunder are not- great to use if you're taking that fighter level, but otherwise not so much. All Tactics are underused, though, as far as I'm concerned. Which I don't get, as they're really cheap and can be quite effective.

Two things about that last post- one, I get(and often fail) a STR save against worg and piker trips- I would assume that mob fighter types would get the same. Regardless, just about everything under the sun lands on enemy casters. Two, there's a save involved with an actively thrown stun, but I don't know if there is one for the 5% chance scenario. I only say that because while I was dinking around with the passive-stun dual-5% approach, I wouldn't see any random saves popping up for no apparent reason, which to me would indicate a save on that 5%. I'd land it in a passive fashion every once and a while, though. It wasn't often enough for me to use it on a regular basis, but I thought the lack of save was why people found the setup so appealing- finesse builds could use it with 8STR and sans the SB feat, and land stuns with aplomb.

maddong
08-13-2007, 01:43 PM
You are essentially using the virtuoso to make up for your lack of bard levels in # songs. If you were a pure bard would you still need it? Or would you just dump the points into racial enhancements (which I think are hard to afford with a bard).

Aren't the enemy trips based on PNP str (or dex whichever is higher) check resists where as the ones we do are reflex saves?

I don't think the 5% gives a save. People love it so much because it is kind of like adding a vorpal to both of your weapons. So if you want stack it with a vorpal or use a stat damager or a plain dpser, whatever you prefer. When you get to the point where a mob only gets cursed on a 1 I'd probably just keep the weighted in the offhand with your opening destruction and ditch the curse.

I think the trip feat would be worth it if switching to a vertigo is as fast as you say with quick draw. I never used vertigo on my previous battle bard because it felt like too much of a hit to go from a greater bane down to something that I could potentially miss with with power attack on (despite my high strength and +8/+7).

Schmackdown
08-13-2007, 02:38 PM
You are essentially using the virtuoso to make up for your lack of bard levels in # songs. If you were a pure bard would you still need it? Or would you just dump the points into racial enhancements (which I think are hard to afford with a bard).
Right, it brings the songs up to snuff- I just didn't know I needed those extra five songs before I got them. I could get by easily on 12, but having the extra headroom is just a lot nicer, and to get them I only had to step down the points I devoted to fleshing out Tactics. I was also surprised that I didn't miss those more.

On my 14 bard and 12/2 rogue builds I took Spellsinger. I'd have taken Warchanter on the pure bard if my STR wasn't a wack 10, but it was planned as a 28-point build back when you couldn't freak on the move and the sneak was actually useful for positioning. I don't know why Virtuoso would be appealing for any full bard over either WC or SS unless you were that hardcore into your songs that you needed all 21 to get you to the next shrine.

Aren't the enemy trips based on PNP str (or dex whichever is higher) check resists where as the ones we do are reflex saves?
While I'm lying on my back I have plenty of time to see my die roll had popped up with a big "Strength failure!" and my STR mod. I do think it would be a DEX save if it was higher, though. Another aspect of the Trip mechanic I'm not clear on- we get a Balance check to get up, but I don't know if mobs do or if they just do a STR/DEX check again. IME Improved Trip really ups the time they're prone, though, and cursing does to a lesser extent as well.

I don't think the 5% gives a save.
I don't think it does either, and if you have experience landing it often then maybe I'm just massively unlucky or not doing something right. I hear people swear by dual-wielding them. Most of the time I'm waiting for a stun to land I feel like I could have been beating on the mob with a paralyzer, bane weapon, elemental, etc. And it's confirmed that the 5% stacks for each hand? I didn't know that either. I knew the +10 to active trip or stun was applied to each hand, but not the percentage to stun or tendon slice or whatnot.

When you get to the point where a mob only gets cursed on a 1 I'd probably just keep the weighted in the offhand with your opening destruction and ditch the curse.
My full debuffing setup takes a little longer to get going than most b/c my crippling item is also my destructor, and mainhand is my cursing/shattering dwarven axe. So by the time I see a boss is crippled, they've had to make enough saves that they're often cursed as well, and I'll fire off a Sunder(~28% success rate with a Shatter/4 item on a cursed mob, but hey, it's free) before I swap to bane or Holy/PG weapons.

I think the trip feat would be worth it if switching to a vertigo is as fast as you say with quick draw. I never used vertigo on my previous battle bard because it felt like too much of a hit to go from a greater bane down to something that I could potentially miss with with power attack on (despite my high strength and +8/+7).
I wouldn't do much weapon swapping at all if I didn't have QD, regardless of TWF/THF/SWF status, so I'd have stayed with the greater bane as well. That's where the whole shared-benefit aspect of the TWF approach comes in, though. Was your other bard a TWFer? I usually just couple the weighted and vertigo 10's as a combo, and will try a trip if the opening stun misses or they save. Now that I think about it, that's the only weapon set that has either weighted or vertigo items in it- the other six are all debuffers, picks or power 5's. I just use the tactical weapons as a starting point whenever I'm not on a timer and then swap out from there.

THF gets all the DPS glory and STR/PA benefits, and I think is easier to plan out and appreciate in use, because you can crunch the math. Sometimes I think TWF bard builds are almost a natural due to the intangibles both the style and class can bring to a group.

maddong
08-15-2007, 02:18 PM
I've only played THF'ers in the past because I always thought TWF was a waste of feats. The dual stun/trip is what has attracted me with the offhand weighted/vertigo. I've abandoned my TWF bard for now and am playing an elven displacement fighter TWF. Will come back to the bard at some point.