View Full Version : Bard arcane spell failure issues

09-20-2012, 10:21 AM
I recently TR'ed and made a new bard. I have an existing drow bard that has worked fairly well. This time I rolled a human bard and found myself in an unexpected world of hurt: spell failure unless I use buckler shields and cloth armor. With the drow bard's arcane fluidity enhancements, this was never an issue. Is there any way to eliminate or reduce spell failure for a human bard? Thanks in advance.

09-20-2012, 10:46 AM
You should be able to wear any light armor. This includes chainmail since the changed it to Light Armor. Medium armor and up will give you arcane spell failure.

Medium armor stops if/when you get Warchanter 2.

Other than that, you can buy/craft items which reduce your arcane spell failure %.

09-20-2012, 11:52 AM
Take note of the items you are wearing. When examining an item, see if it has something other than 0% for "Arcane spell failure". If it does, avoid putting it on! :)

That being said, there are plenty of magic items which reduce the chance of arcane spell failure. Hunt around www.ddowiki.com to find which item suffixes and/or prefixes are the ones which will help you with this problem.

09-20-2012, 12:36 PM
Pretty sure bards are supposed to completely ignore arcane spell failure from "light" armor, even if it has a listed ASF chance.

09-20-2012, 01:44 PM
buckler shields

This is likely the problem, from the comment I assume you use shields regularly and bards can't use shields without spell failure (just light armor and medium if you got warchanter II pre).

The elven arcane fluidity enhancement also lowers shields spell failure % so this is likely why you haven't noticed this before.

My advice is to either craft a pair of gloves (or trinket, can recommend the "Blasting chime" for bards) with "casting dexterity" it has a low crafting level so should be easy to make (can also be found on "Fanged gloves" that is unbound so look at the AH or if you're into raid grinding "Seven fingered gloves").

If you don't have a named shield you like to use it is even easier to just craft "Twilight" or "Greater twilight" on the shield itself to lower your spell failure for that specific shield.

At epic just use a blue slot for any shield you want to use, new slot less epic items have made this harder though.

09-20-2012, 02:25 PM
Thanks for the help all. The good news is that bards do not experience spell failure from light armor afterall!

Level 1 bard feat:
Armored Casting (passive): The Bard has simpler spells, allowing him to cast while in light armor without Arcane Spell Failure. This effect will extend to any spells granted to you by the Sorcerer or Wizard class. This does not extend to heavier armors (the Mithral property will reduce Medium armor to Light armor, permitting this feat) or shields.

09-20-2012, 07:32 PM
Yep- your shield (one of them, anyway) is almost certainly the culprit.

My now level 22 Bard has dealt with a 5% ASF for most of her career, as shields were one of the all-too-few slots for + Devotion gear. I happened across a nifty mithril light shield that had a VERY nice + to Devo (and +3 or +4 to all resists too) some time back. The mithril reduces the ASF from 10% or maybe even 15% down to 5%, so I thought the risk was worth taking that she'd blow the occasional healing spell but that those she did successfully cast would be substantially enhanced.

EDIT: replaced "buckler" with "shield"- thank you to Lrd for catching my mistake.

09-20-2012, 08:48 PM
If you really need a shield for your bard that won't impair casting, try the Skyvault shield from Gianthold Tor.

09-20-2012, 10:57 PM
For low-mid levels, I'd recommend a Heavy Mithral Shield (5% ASF), with Arcane Casting Dexterity (-5% ASF) crafted onto either ring, gloves or trinket.

Or indeed if the shield is for a panic button, the most protective Tower shield you can lug around - master's touch works on tower shields as well, though no proficiency is needed to block with one.

Also, here is a list of the spells that can be cast without fear of ASF: http://ddowiki.com/page/Category:Arcane_Spells_without_a_Somatic_Component

09-21-2012, 02:04 AM
Nope, not the bucklers, bucklers have 0 ASF.

09-21-2012, 02:41 AM
Nope, not the bucklers, bucklers have 0 ASF.

As I said before my assumption from the comment was that the OP used other shields but settled for buckler since he/she got to much spell failures otherwise. Some named bucklers also actually have a 5% spell failure, such as the Swashbuckler (which is probably the only buckler I'd ever use so it's not that hard to believe this is what's being used by the OP).

If you really need a shield for your bard that won't impair casting, try the Skyvault shield from Gianthold Tor.

Fanion was recently updated (u14) and I think it's a fair bit better, 0% spell failure and quite a bit of good stuff on it, can also be bought straight out of the AH if you have a bit of patience for good deals on the pieces.