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Ceddric
08-30-2007, 10:14 AM
I am thinking of making a permadeth character for the first time and am leaning toward bard. I would like the focus to be cc since I think this would be most advantageous when running with a permadeath group.

Does anyone have any builds that they consider to have high survivability?

All the twf builds make me nervous when thinking about permadeath lol.

EinarMal
08-30-2007, 11:49 AM
Do you have access to 32 pt. builds?

If so I would probably recommend Dwarf for the most survivability while still being pretty good at CC. I would guess in perma death you really shouldn't worry about level 14 elite giant hold conditions as that is very unlikely to ever happen!

So, in that case getting a solid AC is the way to go. Dwarfs have a lot more hit points and good saves against spells. They are very tough to kill at low levels.

Dwarf Bard 13/Fighter 1
Stats:
Str 14
Dex 13
Con 15
Int 8
Wis 8
Cha 16 (+ All Level Ups)

Reasoning: I would splash a level of fighter so you could use dwarven axes and your racial enhancements to make you more well rounded in combat. With 16 starting charisma you will be ok as a CC caster and the 14 strength is enough to make you viable at combat. The dex is for you armor bonus which will help A LOT in mid levels. I started with odd stats as tangleroot is the ticket here for the +3 Con/Dex items.

Feats:
1-Toughness
2-(FB)Power Attack
3-SF Enchantment
6-SF UMD
9-MT
12-IC Slashing

Reasoning: Toughness with enhancements is a no brainer and power attack is nice at times especially if you pick up Carniflex and occasionally go two handed. SF Enchantment will boost your spell DC. SF UMD will help you use scrolls like raise dead (eventually).

Enhancements:
Dwarven Axe Attack I - 2 AP
Dwarven Axe Damage I - 2 AP
Dwarven Con II - 6 AP
Dwarven Toughness III - 6 AP
Fighter Toughness I - 1 AP
Inspired Attack III - 12 AP
Inspired Damage III - 6 AP
Bard EOM II - 3 AP
Bard Concentration II - 3 AP
Bard Song Magic III - 6 AP
Bard Lyric of Song I - 1 AP
Spellsinger - 4 AP
Dwarf Spell Defense II - 3 AP

So you will have good spell points and hit points and be decent in melee and crowd control. Most of all you will be tough to kill and can heal others pretty well also. As a spellsinger that gets you +2 UMD, +1 Spell DC, and +100 spell points.

Hit points at level 9:
Con (20=15 + 3(Tangleroot) + 2 (Enh))

20(Heroic) +48(8 Bard) +10(Fighter) +45(Con) +11(Tough) +35(Enh)=169

That is a pretty solid hit point total at level 9 with only a con item. At the same time you can CC cast and fight and be a good asset to any party. I would take a more balanced approach to a perma death character and not min/max as much. You need hit points, AC, saves in addition to being good at CC spells. That is why I would go Dwarf for the extra hit points and better spell saves. You give up 1 DC from a human in CC spells but will be much harder to kill.

Quartzite
08-30-2007, 05:27 PM
Personally, given that Permadeathers are always looking for healers I'd make a 14-16ish Con, 18ish Cha Human or Drow. Focus on CC and healing, even at the expense of melee capability, maybe pick up Repeater proficiency.

If you'd rather fight, Dwarf/ Warforged would be good for the Con boost (WF if you have a healer for it). Elves are too fragile to melee in permadeath, imo. Human could manage it, though, and would be the best all-round choice.

EinarMal
08-31-2007, 06:38 AM
Personally, given that Permadeathers are always looking for healers I'd make a 14-16ish Con, 18ish Cha Human or Drow. Focus on CC and healing, even at the expense of melee capability, maybe pick up Repeater proficiency.


It is nice to be able to heal others but you also have to stay alive yourself. To me you need to build a solid well rounded character as you cannot depend on others in all cases. I would not min/max a permadeath character as he suggests by going all out for Char/Con.

From my experience you are often running in odd groups with less than 6 people. That makes being versatile really important. By making a more balanced character that can CC/Heal/Fight to me you will be more helpful in these odd groups. The Dwarf above will be -1 DC behind someone with 18 cha but will have roughly 50+ more hit points with dwarven toughness and con enhancements. That is a huge advantage as you cannot always stay back heal/CC without ever getting hit.

Just my opinion though...to me you really have to almost treat the game like maybe a cap of level 8. Most of you time in permadeath will be spent with characters below level 10 for sure. The typical Drow/Human Bard can easily be 1-2 shotted even with 14 starting Con. It just takes one failed save on a niac's or an orge crit and you are done. You cannot always avoid those situations.

Sydril
08-31-2007, 08:05 AM
It is nice to be able to heal others but you also have to stay alive yourself. To me you need to build a solid well rounded character as you cannot depend on others in all cases. I would not min/max a permadeath character as he suggests by going all out for Char/Con.

From my experience you are often running in odd groups with less than 6 people. That makes being versatile really important. By making a more balanced character that can CC/Heal/Fight to me you will be more helpful in these odd groups. The Dwarf above will be -1 DC behind someone with 18 cha but will have roughly 50+ more hit points with dwarven toughness and con enhancements. That is a huge advantage as you cannot always stay back heal/CC without ever getting hit.

Just my opinion though...to me you really have to almost treat the game like maybe a cap of level 8. Most of you time in permadeath will be spent with characters below level 10 for sure. The typical Drow/Human Bard can easily be 1-2 shotted even with 14 starting Con. It just takes one failed save on a niac's or an orge crit and you are done. You cannot always avoid those situations.


Einer's points are accurate on pretty much all counts here. Versatility, survivability and player acumen are all very important in playing a pd character.

~Zornochio
08-31-2007, 04:50 PM
...given that Permadeathers are always looking for healers ...

In my experience most of us tend to focus more on buffs/cc than healing. Nice to have but The few healbots I played never actually got to heal much and didn't have anything to do :).

You don't want any bard advice from me because if my bards make it to the mid-levels its 100% luck :) (I still think of 5-8 as mid levels by the way)

Quartzite
09-01-2007, 02:59 AM
It is nice to be able to heal others but you also have to stay alive yourself. To me you need to build a solid well rounded character as you cannot depend on others in all cases. I would not min/max a permadeath character as he suggests by going all out for Char/Con.

From my experience you are often running in odd groups with less than 6 people. That makes being versatile really important. By making a more balanced character that can CC/Heal/Fight to me you will be more helpful in these odd groups. The Dwarf above will be -1 DC behind someone with 18 cha but will have roughly 50+ more hit points with dwarven toughness and con enhancements. That is a huge advantage as you cannot always stay back heal/CC without ever getting hit.

Just my opinion though...to me you really have to almost treat the game like maybe a cap of level 8. Most of you time in permadeath will be spent with characters below level 10 for sure. The typical Drow/Human Bard can easily be 1-2 shotted even with 14 starting Con. It just takes one failed save on a niac's or an orge crit and you are done. You cannot always avoid those situations.

A human can still take Toughness. A low level Dwarf only gets 5 more HP from Enhancements. And Con and Cha even out between a Drow and Dwarf. I totally agree that survivability is important for a PD character, which is why I'd focus on survival. PD revolves around team play, too, though. A Bard should be focused on keeping himself and his team-mates alive. Not on killing things.

Healing helps keep yourself and others alive. HP helps keep yourself alive. CC keeps yourself an others alive. And range keeps yourself alive (snipe things from the doorway with a Repeater).

Remember at lower levels how godly repeaters were? I think a survivable repeater bard focused on casting is the way to go for PD. A bard's AC is never going to be spectacular, remember most PD guilds are against twinking.

In my opinion I'd make a Human Bard, take Toughness and probably spell focus: enchantment. Then at level 3 pick up Repeaters, you should be able to afford something by then. For stats, assuming a 28 point build I'd take 10,14,14,10,10,16. Put another 2 in Dex if you have 32-points. A Drow could get the same as a 32-point build human 10,16,14,10,10,16 but you miss the extra feat. A 32-point dwarf is an option, but it means losing wisdom to get the same stat-lnik as above (to pick up con and toughness enhancements). IMO Con as a stat doesn't really shine until higher levels, by level 8, Dwarven Con II gives a grand total of 8 HP.

Playstyle? Hypno, charm, and then tumble away from enemies while your repeater reloads, then get off a round of shots, then tumble away again. By not focusing on strength you are able to be a good kiter if ever things turn south. Anything that puts a Bard into melee is bad for PD, in my opinion, I have a Warforged Battlebard with Toughness and a level of Fighter, and it's still just not enough.

I agree with you on most points, Einar, I just think that my suggested build is a better road to the self-sufficiency required for PD. Instead of living in melee combat, you are built to avoid melee combat. Because trust me- your dwarf would still get one-shot crit by an Ogre or Niac's in WW elite at level 3-4...

Quartzite
09-01-2007, 03:01 AM
In my experience most of us tend to focus more on buffs/cc than healing. Nice to have but The few healbots I played never actually got to heal much and didn't have anything to do :).

You don't want any bard advice from me because if my bards make it to the mid-levels its 100% luck :) (I still think of 5-8 as mid levels by the way)

The thing is, a Bard focused can focus on healing, CC and some buffs. I just don't think melee is the way to build a PD bard. Charm is the best way to kill things as a PD bard, followed by range.

EinarMal
09-01-2007, 01:57 PM
A human can still take Toughness. A low level Dwarf only gets 5 more HP from Enhancements. And Con and Cha even out between a Drow and Dwarf. I totally agree that survivability is important for a PD character, which is why I'd focus on survival. PD revolves around team play, too, though. A Bard should be focused on keeping himself and his team-mates alive. Not on killing things.

Healing helps keep yourself and others alive. HP helps keep yourself alive. CC keeps yourself an others alive. And range keeps yourself alive (snipe things from the doorway with a Repeater).

Remember at lower levels how godly repeaters were? I think a survivable repeater bard focused on casting is the way to go for PD. A bard's AC is never going to be spectacular, remember most PD guilds are against twinking.

In my opinion I'd make a Human Bard, take Toughness and probably spell focus: enchantment. Then at level 3 pick up Repeaters, you should be able to afford something by then. For stats, assuming a 28 point build I'd take 10,14,14,10,10,16. Put another 2 in Dex if you have 32-points. A Drow could get the same as a 32-point build human 10,16,14,10,10,16 but you miss the extra feat. A 32-point dwarf is an option, but it means losing wisdom to get the same stat-lnik as above (to pick up con and toughness enhancements). IMO Con as a stat doesn't really shine until higher levels, by level 8, Dwarven Con II gives a grand total of 8 HP.

Playstyle? Hypno, charm, and then tumble away from enemies while your repeater reloads, then get off a round of shots, then tumble away again. By not focusing on strength you are able to be a good kiter if ever things turn south. Anything that puts a Bard into melee is bad for PD, in my opinion, I have a Warforged Battlebard with Toughness and a level of Fighter, and it's still just not enough.

I agree with you on most points, Einar, I just think that my suggested build is a better road to the self-sufficiency required for PD. Instead of living in melee combat, you are built to avoid melee combat. Because trust me- your dwarf would still get one-shot crit by an Ogre or Niac's in WW elite at level 3-4...

By level 6 the 5/1 Dwarf with 15 starting Con and toughness enhancements would be 30 hit points ahead. That is pretty significant in my opinion. Not to mention +3-4 to saves against spells and a better fort save. By level 9, if you can get there, you are looking at ~50 more hit points. Dwarven toughness III alone gives you 30 + Fighter Toughness I for 5 and Con is another 9 and one level of fighter is 4.

The problem with your reasoning is that in some teams the Bard is the best fighter that you have. Sometimes you are two manning quests with a wizard or rogue. I just don't think not ever fighting and being able to melee is a good idea from my personal experience with PD. I suppose you could kite things around but I just find that annoying personally, but I guess some people can play that way. My build was not melee focused, but can CC and melee when needed.

Both builds will work but like I said I would take the more versatile approach personally. Every hit point counts as well even 5 may not sound like much but it can make the difference. I just think Dwarfs with the hit point and save advantage would be worth more than 1 DC to spells and an extra feat.

Pure Bard Human Advantage:
+1 Spell DC
More sp
Free Feat

Dwarf 13/1 Advantage:
Eventually +5 saves versus spells with enhancements
Better fort save
More hit points starts out around 10 grows to ~50 by level 9
Can fight more effectively

The Dwarf can still heal and CC cast, -1 DC is not the end of the world. The difference is survivability of the Dwarf cannot be matched and only increases as you level. I just don't see how the human makes a better PD Bard. The +1 spell DC to me is just not worth the extra Dwarf survivability. It doesn't mean the Dwarf Bard has to be 100% melee, it is just more balanced between CC/Healing/Fighthing. If you really like kiting around and doing ranged combat I guess you could go that route as a human. I just personally hate that style and find that most groups feel that way as well. There is nothing more annoying to me personally than some dude hoping around backwards all over the place.

hazur
09-01-2007, 03:04 PM
Greetings,

I made a bard for PD once. Here is what I did:

Now this is not a "pure bard". I added a level of cleric, which is particularly powerful at lower levels in the right group (my group had both a caster and a cleric, this may not be the best option for you).


Character Plan by DDO Character Planner Version 2.70
DDO Character Planner Home Page (http://www.rjcyberware.com/DDO)

Hazur
Level 6 Chaotic Good Human Male
(1 Cleric \ 5 Bard)
Hit Points: 76
Spell Points: 415
BAB: 3\3
Fortitude: 6
Reflex: 3
Will: 5

Starting Feat/Enhancement
Base Stats Modified Stats
Abilities (Level 1) (Level 6)
Strength 8 8
Dexterity 8 8
Constitution 16 16
Intelligence 10 10
Wisdom 8 8
Charisma 18 21

Starting Feat/Enhancement
Base Skills Modified Skills
Skills (Level 1) (Level 6)
Balance -1 -1
Bluff 4 5
Concentration 3 4
Diplomacy 4 5
Disable Device n/a n/a
Haggle 8 13
Heal -1 -1
Hide 3 7
Intimidate 4 5
Jump 3 7
Listen -1 -1
Move Silently 3 7
Open Lock n/a n/a
Perform 8 13
Repair 0 0
Search 0 0
Spot -1 -1
Swim -1 -1
Tumble 3 7
Use Magic Device 8 13

Level 1 (Bard)
Feat: (Selected) Greater Spell Focus: Enchantment
Feat: (Human Bonus) Mental Toughness

Level 2 (Bard)
Enhancement: Bard Extra Song I
Enhancement: Bard Inspired Damage I
Enhancement: Bard Lingering Song I
Enhancement: Human Versatility I
Enhancement: Bard Song Magic I
Enhancement: Bard Energy of the Music I
Enhancement: Bard Charisma I

Level 3 (Cleric)
Feat: (Selected) Extra Turning
Enhancement: Cleric Extra Turning I
Enhancement: Bard Wand Mastery I

Level 4 (Bard)
Enhancement: Bard Inspired Attack I
Enhancement: Human Versatility II
Enhancement: Bard Lyric of Song I
Enhancement: Cleric Divine Vitality I

Level 5 (Bard)
Enhancement: Bard Extra Song II
Enhancement: Human Adaptability Charisma I

Level 6 (Bard)
Feat: (Selected) Extend Spell
Enhancement: Bard Energy of the Music II
Enhancement: Bard Wand Mastery II




This is the build until level 6. Level 6 is where we met our unfortunate end to a quest we should not have been doing yet as a PD group, but we got overzealous because we ripped through stuff our level. :)

The PD party I was in did not acquire any items from outside our characters. We only used loot we got ourselves and took it really slow. A lot of the loot on this character was WW/STK/TR end loot and he did just fine with it. If you managed to continue this build past 6, I would recommend enhancement re-specing into spellsinger. At 8 I would put another point into charisma, 9 I would pick up the other spell focus for enchantment.

This bard was meant to buff and CC primarily, as we had a cleric and a warforged wizard who could heal himself. There were moments where I did emergency healing with both spells and wands. Unfortunately the lack of money did not allow for a lot of wand buying, which is the main reason I had to pick up at least CLW for emergencies.

The cleric level is quite valuable. It not only allows you to toss 200+ SP onto the cleric, but you also get about 100 bonus SP and you can pick up the spells Remove Fear and Nightshield with your cleric slots. Remove Fear lasts 10 minutes base, so it is another buff added to your arsenal. Nightshield will only last a minute but some of the lower level mobs get really MM happy sometimes, which can tear you apart quickly.

The alternative to the CON would be to pick up DEX. Personally I do not recommend this. You're primarily going to stand in the back with this character and your AC is never really going to be top notch enough to block that many hits. The extra HP here helps with pesky spells. If this were not a PD bard it would be a lot different.

The CC on this bard is through charms/hypnos/fascinates. Basically you want to charm a mob or three, then hypnotize/fascinate the rest and let them beat on each other. You can use this to bypass a LOT of problem areas in quests, especially at lower levels. The wizard in my party used basically the same strategy, so it worked very well.

The hide/move silently on this character is clutch. This will allow you to sneak closer to certain groups of mobs to be able to charm/hypno them. There is a certain element of danger involved here, so the added HP and jump ability can help sometimes.

You can also easily go pure bard on this build. Simply dump the cleric level and instead of picking up Extra Turning, grab SF: Enchantment or get Extend Spell earlier and grab IMT later on.

Hope this helps,
Booser

geezee
09-01-2007, 03:30 PM
FYI remove fear is also a bard spell. I personally would never take a level of cleric to get nightshield and some spell points. If you had your heart set on MCing, sorc would prolly serve you better.

Of course, anything that delays getting longer buffs, more songs, better bard enhancements, blur, rage, higher heal spells,haste and displacement will actually detract from your survivability for most of your career compared to a pure bard.

BTW Ive partied with Booser and he's a brilliant player.

hazur
09-01-2007, 07:50 PM
Greetings,

The point of taking the level of cleric is not for nightshield hehe. Its for DIVINE VITALITY! Bards start with a high base charisma which = more DVs. With a mere 1 level of cleric (therefore DV1) and the extra turning feat and the +1 turn enhancement, you will have 4+4+3+1 = 12 DVs AT LEVEL 3! This is only going to get better with MOD 5 as your entire CHA modifier will be added to your number of turns. These give an average of over 200 SP. The 200 SP you give the party + the extra 100 SP you get for yourself = 300+ SP. You will also get better wand usage at lower levels for cleric wands. I've made this build a few times, and yes its rough waiting for the spell levels, however in my opinion depending on your group it is worth it. Our group had a wizard who got haste etc. by level 5, so rather than me having it, I could just DV him up. Also we had a cleric that I could DV up. So either way my DVs and extra 100 SP were doing a lot more good than I could have done with a bard level or a sorc level. Nightshield and Remove Fear are just a bonus on top of everything else. :)

Also, I know its a bard spell as well, however that would take up a slot you could use for something else as far as bard spells go.

My current version of this build (non PD) is level 9 and unfortunately I am coming to find that he outshines my previous pure bards by quite a bit, just with the DVs. I may just have to take a level of cleric on Booser when MOD 5 comes out as well. Large numbers of divine vitalities even at an average of 17+ SP a pop is very hard to pass up. With MOD 5 the average bard with a level of cleric could easily get about 18 DVs, at an average of 17 SP each, that's 300+ SP on average, plus the 100 that the cleric level gives you, an overall +400 SP boost to the group...not bad! :)

Regards,
Booser

P.S. Thanks Geezee, no one on the forums has ever called me a brilliant player before hehe. :)

spifflove
09-04-2007, 01:18 AM
I am thinking of making a permadeth character for the first time and am leaning toward bard. I would like the focus to be cc since I think this would be most advantageous when running with a permadeath group.

Does anyone have any builds that they consider to have high survivability?

All the twf builds make me nervous when thinking about permadeath lol.

Well there are already two wf warchanters in the sublime. Might as well make it 3 if that is where u are from.