View Full Version : Looking for help with a bard

03-01-2014, 12:22 PM
I am currently looking to create a bard, as the class has always appealed to me. Unfortunately, I have little to no experience with them, and am hoping that the helpful forum community can give me some advice and guidance. This character will be making up the second member of a duo, the first member being an artificer, so I am looking to make a bard which can hold its own in battle while also keeping both of us alive through healing.

However, I have no idea how to go about this. It seems to me that either human, half-elf, or half-orc would be the ideal races for this. Human would provide healing amplification and an additional feat, half-elf would give healing amplification and increased saves in the form of the paladin dilettante, and half-orc would grant bonuses to melee combat.

I also gave some thought to whether I should remain a pure bard or introduce other classes into the mix. The most logical multiclassing options seem to me to be some combination of one or two levels of fighters for additional feats and access to their useful enhancements as well as perhaps one level of wizard for an extra feat as well as magical training and useful enhancements. Multiclassing is not my forte though, so I have no idea how viable a (for example) 17 bard/2 fighter/1 wizard would be compared to a 20 bard.

Any suggestions regarding races and class distribution would be greatly appreciated (since I'm sure that I made some incorrect assumptions about what is best), but I must insist that any multiclass options have the vast majority of the levels be bard. Additionally, if someone could suggest a feat list and give some generic advice regarding the bard enhancement trees (i.e. which ones to focus on and which ones to avoid), that would be fantastic.

Thank you very much for your time

03-02-2014, 03:19 PM
In my experience, bards are fairly feat starved usually - I really like going human for the heal amp, extra feat, and extra skill point.

Pure 20 bard isn't a bad way to go, as you'll get wail of the banshee and the heal spell at level 20. If you did this, I suggest you spend points in str, con, and cha and pretty much dump the other stats. I prefer to go 2hf with master's touch, taking feats like power attack, 2 handed fighting, IC: slash, possibly quicken or extend, etc. For crowd control, I wouldn't invest any feats into making your spells better...bards just can't get their DC's very high without extreme investments/past lives. Just use your songs to stop stuff in their tracks. This would be a good way to learn what a bard is capable of.

Another option would be 18/2 bard/rogue. Play similar to the above build, but now you have evasion. You could put some points in dex, or you could invest more heavily in int and be able to trap (sounds like not necessary since you're playing with an arty).

16 bard/2 fighter/2 rogue - another similar play build as above, but now you have extra feats from the fighter levels. I'd play this one as a 2hf and use all magic on rage/haste/displace/blur/cures. This is a very nice build with good survivability, trap skills, evasion, solid dps

Theory build I haven't ever made: 16 bard/3 rogue/1 something else (fighter, sorc, wiz?? I guess it depends what you want out of this last level) - dex based dual wielding of daggers or kukris due to rogue level 3 enhancement.

EDIT: enhancement trees: even on a melee bard, I have a hard time justifying using the warchanter enhancement tree..it just isn't very good in my opinion. I'd say things you should definitely aim to get are: song of capering, spellsong vigor (tier 5 of spellsinger tree), and song of heroism (this one is about all that I like from the warchanter tree).

03-03-2014, 08:58 AM
EDIT: enhancement trees: even on a melee bard, I have a hard time justifying using the warchanter enhancement tree..it just isn't very good in my opinion. I'd say things you should definitely aim to get are: song of capering, spellsong vigor (tier 5 of spellsinger tree), and song of heroism (this one is about all that I like from the warchanter tree).

In warchanter tree; rough and ready adds some much needed ac and prr, and action boost sprint is a must have. For the most part, warchanter is not great, but there are some nice apples in the low hanging fruit.

If you are considering one or more levels of fighter, also consider a purple dragon knight. They offer cha to damage for several weapons, and used with master's touch makes for an interesting cha based bard with decent melee. For cormyr is a nice racial ability that gives your cha bonus to damage to you and the entire party for 2 mins, which is really nice for fights going sideways or red names. Currently borked, but supposedly fixed in the update coming next week. Pdk are human, so you get the extra feats from human and fighter as well as the healing amp. You do have to start at 15 and your weapon selection is limited, so that might be a deciding factor for you.

03-03-2014, 09:44 AM
For a duo I would go STR and take a dwarven base with 6-8 fighter levels, TWF, SB, Quick Draw, Sap, and if you can fit them in, CE/Improved Trip. Prep everything ahead of time with Fascinate/Enthrall, then roll it up with tactics. No need to worry about spell DCs or SR because nothing you'll use needs either- just keep your Perform as high as you can. This will work best if your buddy is a shootist or melee, but if they are looking forward to kiting through BB's all the time, I think your only recourse is a ranged build. Or a friend with some more imagination.

I tend to marginalize bard enhancement tree options that only impact me and not the party, so that takes out a good chunk of the Warchanter tree. Spellsinger leverages and enhances your existing songs a lot better imo, and devoting most of your points there doesn't preclude you from joining the fracas.

03-03-2014, 12:04 PM
In my TR project for a caster I was planning on turning him into a pale master. I was going through a bard PL to get the bonus to enchantment DC's. However I had soooo much fun running him I have continued playing him for an epic life and a half.

He is a melee bard build (I call him a heavy metal bard). I am farming out my martial epic PL's with the build before continuing on my caster path.

I went 17 bard/2ftr/1clc H-Orc. He is a THF build using the House C Flaming Great Axe. I am sure you can get something better, but I got the stuff for AGA but didn't want to bind it to a character that will eventually not use it anymore.

If I were to do it again I would probably go only 1ftr and go FvS instead of Clc.

I originally went 2 ftr to get tactics enhancement but found that I have have not taken those.

I went as a Str build. The Clc is for DM. Between Skaldic Rage, and DM I typically am in the mid 50-s to high 60's in Str.

The build is completely self-sufficient. Runs in the Legendary Dreadnought Destiny and hits like a truck. I have often been in the top half in kills, or I just run around fascinating and dancing the caster to let someone else keep a blitz going. Though I'd have to say, first time through I did the Fatesinger Destiny and it was awesome to have a build that could actually use that Destiny. If I was not farming Martial PL, I would totally be in Fatesinger likely.

I have I think 19 points in the HOrc tree for the THF bonus and actually took chest blessing, though I will likely drop that next Epic TR. Most points are in Spell Singer, with enough in Warchanter to get the Frozen FuryI think (that one attack to freezes opponents) and the Heroism song. The Frozen Fury with the HOrc what I think Brutality I see my damage nearly double on helpless opponents. While not a fighter and doing fighter damage I see this build swing got 2k+ hits. I think that is pretty awesome for a bard.

He is so much fun I intend on making a heavy metal bard build on another toon later. I have pretty great healing for a non healer, great buffs, songs, damage avoidance, spirit boost (best boost I think), good to great dps. This is just an all around fun build, and I don't even have top of the line melee gear having been a caster most of the time.

03-03-2014, 02:31 PM
I have a 18 Bard / 1 Fighter / 1 Cleric. It is a lot of fun except for his saves and no real PRR. The first thing I am doing when the nee update lands is making him some heavy shadow armor so he can get the DR. I will have to slot ASF reduction some where but that will help him out in terms of survivability