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scifugitive
10-23-2007, 11:39 AM
The Perfect Performer: Creating Your Perfect Bard
By: Saramants, the Bard


Introduction

The class known as bard is a tough choice for your character to make. It is one of the least understood and least used of the classes, seen as weak and ineffective. This is not true.

In this guide are four different types of bard, all strong in spirit and perfectly created to fit the niche of your choosing. Simply pick what you want your character to be: a lone player, a fast healer, a dangerous magician, or a quick and stealthy fighter. Then read that section. That’s all. In each section are the races, skills, spells, feats, enhancements, extras and even emotions that will help you create your dream performer.

Bard One: The Charismatic Loner

As a loner, you martial all of your defenses to fight alone (mostly). You dream of being a front-line battle tank, but realize that that is not always a reality. Still, your focus is on fighting, and you hone your skills, feats, and enhancements not towards spells and concentration, but towards fighting and flexibility. When you do fight with a party, you are one of the main fighters, but in the second tier, like the ranger. You are brave, but smart enough to let the fighters and barbarians be cannon fodder. Dexterity is your best friend, as it will allow you to be dangerous with weapons finesse in melee but also deadly from a distance with your ranged weapons. You use your wide range of class skills to fill in gaps created by fighting alone, such as spot, search, and disable device.

Races that fit this bardic lifestyle best: Elf, Drow

Favorite Emotions: /anger, /flex, and /lfh

Preferred Stats:
• Strength: 10
• Dexterity: 18
• Constitution: 12
• Intelligence: 8
• Wisdom: 8
• Charisma: 14

Skills needed:
• Balance
• Disable Device
• Haggle
• Move Silently (max out)
• Perform (max out)
• Search (max out)
• Spot (max out)
• Tumble (max out)

Feats of note for this bard:
• Ability Increase: Dexterity (Available at Levels 4 and 8)
• Great Fortitude
• Iron Will
• Luck of Heroes
• Mobility
• Negotiator
• Point Blank Shot
• Precise Shot
• Rapid Shot
• Shot on the Run
• Snake Blood
• Two-Weapon Fighting
• Weapons Finesse
• Weapon Focus (style of your choice)

Favored enhancements:
• Race enhancements to enhance Dexterity
• Bard Charisma
• Bard Extra Song (I, II, III, IV)
• Bard Music of the Dead
o Must first have Bard Virtuoso
• Bard Music of Makers
o Must first have Bard Virtuoso
• Bard Perform Skill (I and II)
• Bard Tumble
• Bard Virtuoso
o Must first have Bard Extra Song I and II, Bard Perform Skill I and II
• Bard Wand and Scroll Mastery
• Bard Wand Heightening
• Skill Focus: Perform

Spells that sizzle with this bard:
*(Remember, you must pay to retrain one spell at a time, waiting three days in between each spell change. For this type, I highly recommend starting out with Summon Monster I and Cure Light Wounds, changing it out as soon as you can for the higher spell)
Level 1
Charm Person
Detect Secret Doors
Expeditious Retreat
Feather Fall
Level 2
Blur
Cat’s Grace
Eagle’s Splendor
Soundburst
Level 3
Charm Monster
Displacement
Haste
Slow
Level 4
Cure Critical Wounds
Dominate Person
Hold Monster
Shout
Level 5
Shadow Walk
Summon Monster V

Special extras (if you can get them): Magical items you can wear that cast spells. You will need your spells to heal yourself and conjure a monster to fight at your side, so your jewelry and clothes need to earn their keep. You can wear about nine objects (not including armor and shields) that can either boost your armor class, skills or stats. There are bracers of grease, gloves of chill touch, helms of mage armor, boots of expeditious retreat, and others that allow you 1-5 charges of useful spells at no cost to you. And, as you rest up at a shrine (or later in a tavern), they recharge right along with you. Often found in treasure drops, they are also occasionally found at brokers (in the marketplace), second hand shops (in certain houses like Kundarak) and of course the auction house.

Bard Two: The Field Medic

You are in essence the de facto cleric of the group. You have the capability of fascinating enemies (even earth elementals) so that your cohorts can get the help they need in the midst of battle, and you can also boost the party’s skills so that they need healing less. And you have subsets of both divine and arcane spells to help comrades that clerics don’t have. It is the smart party that asks this type of bard to join their fight.

Races that fit this bardic lifestyle best: Dwarf, Halfling

Favorite Emotions: /beg, /dance2, /gather, /laugh, /lfh (looking for ham) and /sleep

Preferred Stats:
• Strength: 8
• Dexterity: 14
• Constitution: 12
• Intelligence: 14
• Wisdom: 8
• Charisma: 16

Skills needed:
• Concentration (max out)
• Diplomacy
• Haggle
• Heal (max out)
• Hide
• Move Silently
• Perform (max out)
• Repair (max out)
• Use Magic Device (max out)

Feats of note for this bard:
• Ability Increase: Charisma (available at Levels 4 and 8)
• Empower Healing Spell
• Empower Spell
• Greater Dragonmark of Healing (Halfling only)
• Great Fortitude
• Improved Mental Toughness
• Least Dragonmark of Healing (Halfling only)
• Lesser Dragonmark of Healing (Halfling only)
• Luck of Heroes
• Magical Training
• Mental Toughness
• Point-Blank Shot
• Quicken Spell
• Skill Focus: Performance

Favored enhancements:

• Race enhancements to enhance Dexterity and Charisma
• Bard Charisma
• Bard Concentration (I and II)
• Bard Energy of Music (I and II)
• Bard Extra Song (I through IV)
• Bard Lyric of Incredible Song
• Bard Song Magic (I through IV)
• Bard Spellsinger
o Must first have: Bard Energy of Music I and II, Bard Concentration I and II, and the Empower Spell feat
• Bard Wand and Scroll Mastery
• Bard Wand Heightening

Spells that sizzle with this bard:
*(Remember, you must pay to retrain one spell at a time, waiting three days in between each spell change)
Level 1
Cure Light Wounds
Expeditious Retreat
Remove Fear
Sleep
Level 2
Cure Moderate Wounds
Blur
Heroism
Hypnotic Pattern
Level 3
Cure Serious Wounds
Dispel Magic
Good Hope
Remove Curse
Level 4
Break Enchantment
Cure Critical Wounds
Freedom of Movement
Neutralize Poison
Level 5
Cure Light Wounds, Mass
Greater Heroism

Special extras (if you can get them): Wands, wands and more wands. You will not be able to outfit your bard with every spell you need for boosts and removals. Keep your eye out for free potions, trade collectibles for half-charged wands, and even trade treasure drops with comrades. You will probably never have enough wands, but this should help you supplement your perfect field medic abilities.


Bard Three: The Fatal Attraction

This bard uses his or her magic capabilities to become a fearsome spell-casting foe, and chooses spells that focus more on enemies than on boosts. The bard’s ability to bypass spell failure with light armor, you have a higher armor class than the other magic users. As with other magic users, while you can do solo adventures just fine with a little strategy, it is best to fight with at least one other player, preferably a healer.

Races that fit this bardic lifestyle best: Drow, Human

Favorite Emotions: /clap, /dance, /laugh, /point and /sit

Preferred Stats:
• Strength: 8
• Dexterity: 12
• Constitution: 12
• Intelligence: 10
• Wisdom: 14
• Charisma: 16

Skills needed:
• Balance
• Concentration (max out)
• Diplomacy (max out)
• Heal
• Hide
• Move Silently
• Perform (max out)
• Tumble
• Use Magic Device (max out)


Feats of note for this bard:
• Ability Increase: Charisma (available at Levels 4 and 8)
• Combat Casting
• Discipline
• Improved Mental Toughness
• Improved Mobile Spellcasting
• Magical Training
• Mental Toughness
• Mobile Spellcasting
• Spell Penetration

Favored enhancements:
• Race enhancements to enhance Dexterity and Charisma
• Bard Charisma
• Bard Extra Song (I through IV)
• Bard Improved Spell Penetration
• Bard Music of the Dead
o Must first have Bard Virtuoso
• Bard Music of Makers
o Must first have Bard Virtuoso
• Bard Perform Skill (I and II)
• Bard Spellsinger
o Must first have: Bard Energy of Music I and II, Bard Concentration I and II, and the Empower Spell feat
• Bard Virtuoso
o Must first have Bard Extra Song I and II, Bard Perform Skill I and II
• Bard Warchanter
o Must first have Bard Inspired Attack I, Bard Inspired Damage I, and a Weapons Focus feat (slashing, bludgeoning, or piercing)

Spells that sizzle with this bard:
*(Remember, you must pay to retrain one spell at a time, waiting three days in between each spell change. For this type, I highly recommend starting out with Summon Monster I, and changing it out as soon as you can get a higher Summon Monster spell)
Level 1
Cause Fear
Charm Person
Focusing Chant
Otto’s Resistible Dance
Level 2
Blindness
Daze Monster
Hold Person
Soundburst
Level 3
Charm Monster
Crushing Despair
Displacement
Slow
Level 4
Dominate Person
Freedom of Movement
Hold Monster
Shout
Level 5
Mind Fog
Summon Monster V

Special extras (if you can get them): Potions of mnemonic enhancement, of any quantity. You will be using your spell points faster than you think you will, and these potions (only available through ransacking and the auction house) are invaluable during those long dungeon crawls between shrines. Also keep an eye out for any potions or weapons that enhance your spells’ abilities, such as greater cacophony (for sonic spells) and efficacy (for light and healing spells). They make what spells you choose to use more powerful.


Bard Four: The Ultimate Sidekick

Bard Spells

As the ultimate sidekick, you get to fight a lot alongside your hero. However, you prefer to boost him or her so that they can fight at their very best. Your job is to make sure they can keep going, no matter what hits them. And maximizing anything to keep you out of the enemies’ agro is a must, because even the strongest bard is only so hardy.

Races that fit this bardic lifestyle best: Halfling, Human

Favorite Emotions: /bow, /clap, /kneel, /point and /salute

Preferred Stats:
• Strength: 12
• Dexterity: 12
• Constitution: 8
• Intelligence: 12
• Wisdom: 12
• Charisma: 16

Skills needed:
• Balance (max out)
• Concentration (max out)
• Haggle
• Hide
• Move Silently
• Perform (max out)
• Tumble (max out)
• Use Magic Device

Feats of note for this bard:
• Ability Increase: Charisma (available at Levels 4 and 8)
• Discipline
• Dodge
• Improved Mental Toughness
• Mental Toughness
• Mobility
• Quick Draw
• Spring Attack
• Weapons Finesse
• Weapon Focus (style of your choice)

Favored enhancements:
• Race enhancements to enhance Dexterity and Charisma
• Bard Charisma
• Bard Extra Song (I through IV)
• Bard Inspired Attack (I through IV)
• Bard Inspired Bravery (I through IV)
• Bard Inspired Damage (I through IV)
• Bard Perform
• Bard Warchanter
o Must first have Bard Inspired Attack I, Bard Inspired Damage I, and a Weapons Focus (slashing, bludgeoning, or piercing)

Spells that sizzle with this bard:
*(Remember, you must pay to retrain one spell at a time, waiting three days in between each spell change)
Level 1
Cure Light Wounds
Expeditious Retreat
Feather Fall
Remove Fear
Level 2
Blindness
Cure Moderate Wounds
Heroism
Soundburst
Level 3
Charm Monster
Displacement
Remove Curse
Summon Monster III
Level 4
Break Enchantment
Cure Critical Wounds
Dimension Door
Neutralize Poison
Level 5
Greater Heroism
Shadow Walk

Special extras (if you can get them): The best armor your money can afford. Your great hide and move silently will only help you until you react. After that, you will have to rely on your armor class. Remember that light armor is best, because bards get no spell failure with light armor. Shoot for armor with +1 and higher enhancements, and magical abilities such as guards (that hurt enemies that hit you) and resistances (that offer some protection against magical attacks and traps). When going into a rather nasty battle, the occasional quick change into something a little heavier for a while might be necessary, so you might want to keep a piece of medium armor in your pack. Also think about investing in a sturdy steel buckler, which will aid in shielding but leave your arms free for your weapons.

Impaqt
10-23-2007, 11:52 AM
Wheres the "Guide"?

This is 4 builds.

Where is the reasoning behind your stat and spell selections?

Where are the benefits and drawbacks of perhaps multiclassing a bard?

Yvonne_Blacksword
10-23-2007, 11:58 AM
Relax...
Bard is not a pure science...
More a suggestion...
interesting, though.

scifugitive
10-26-2007, 08:33 AM
The guide is four different ways to make a bard, as stated in the introduction. Each of the four ways has a small paragraph listing the strength of that bard in-game. I didn't give the benefits of multiclassing the bard because the guide is for those that want to be a full bard. Not everyone likes to multiclass.

muffinlad
10-30-2007, 06:18 PM
Am I missing something?

You say "Also think about investing in a sturdy steel buckler, which will aid in shielding but leave your arms free for your weapons."

How exactly does this work? Does a buckler double stack with an off handed weapon? Stack with a two handed weapon?

Regs,

muffinshielder

Lost_Leader
10-30-2007, 06:33 PM
Also think about investing in a sturdy steel buckler, which will aid in shielding but leave your arms free for your weapons.

This is a PnP thing that did not make it over to DDO. Sorry to say this is false information, so no Mr. Muffin, you are not missing anything. Bucklers equip in your left hand, taking up the weapon slot.

My recommendation to bards who wish to use a shield would be a mithril buckler or mithril light shield, as they have 0% arcane spell failure. Bards get no ASF with light armor, but shields can still disrupt spells, so a steel buckler will give you 5% ASF.

muffinlad
10-30-2007, 07:20 PM
Thanks Lost Leader. I thought perhaps the Dev's had snuck in an upgrade and made bucklers worthwhile......I have a collection of +3 to +5 (with one +5 of bashing) mithral light shields for my bard, so no worries there.

Regs,

muffinwacky