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Buffyanne
06-13-2014, 02:21 AM
So I think I am going to give up on my Drow assassin and TR into a swashbuckler since the line looks fun to play and promises to be far more survivable. However I have invested 3 rogue past lives already into this character not to mention the trapping gear so I want to keep some trapping abilities. I am brainstorming some splashes and looking for some advice. It seems the feats I'll want for syre are.....

SWFx3
Precision
IC Pierce
Dodge

With consideration to Shield Mastery, Improved Shield Mastery, Extend, Toughness, Empower Healing, Inspire Excellence.

So I seem almost compelled to take 2 levels of fighter for the feats and that would let me get them all except for one of extend, toughness, empower healing. I've kicked the tires on 16 bard/2 rogue/2 fighter. Getting the L6 Otto's spell seems to make more sense now with CdG. I am just not sure how practical fascinate will be in a group setting to trigger CdG since everyone breaks fascinate these days. Seems like it makes sense to have another auto immobilize method. I can probably live without extend though I really like it for discplacement, the alternative being to splash deeper and go 4 fighter but that's seems to be giving up a lot as there I would go 13 Bard/4 Fighter/ 3 Rogue.

Stat breakdown will probably go along the lines of....

Str - 12
Dex - 14
Con - 14
Int - 14
Wis - 8
Cha j- 18

With level ups going into Cha. Kinda of monkish in that I have to spread stats around so much but with the high search requirements in quests now I don't really want to skimp on INT. Then again maybe I won't be able to get up to high enough levels of search with only 2 levels of rogue. Could also go 13 Bard/5 Rogue/2 Fighter which would be a pretty good increase to rogue skills across the board at the sacrifice of spells like GH, though of course that will be scrollable. I have a +5 INT tome on this character so will have plenty of skill points each level. Anwya, thoughts about mixes are appreciated.

mna
06-13-2014, 03:17 AM
Could also go 13 Bard/5 Rogue/2 Fighter which would be a pretty good increase to rogue skills across the board at the sacrifice of spells like GH, though of course that will be scrollable. I have a +5 INT tome on this character so will have plenty of skill points each level. Anwya, thoughts about mixes are appreciated.

... well, Greater Heroism is also singable if you put some points into Warchanter. And then there's the human racial tree.

Sufficiency of skill points is sort of connected to what skills you think important. Such as, I can't quite live without Spot yet, but I'm told some can...?

HolyHamGrenade
06-13-2014, 03:32 AM
I'm glad you made this thread, Buffyanne, I've been thinking about this too. I think there's some really interesting mixes to be had here.

I've personally been mulling a rogue-heavy build even though it's still meant to be a Swashbuckler build. The build I've been thinking of is Rogue 13/7 Bard. You still get displacement from Bard and can go full Swashbuckler, but you also get Defensive Roll and Improved Evasion from Rogue. Defensive Roll, when you spend some enhancement points into Thief Acrobat, has a chance equal to your Reflex Save to reduce damage taken by 50% (from all sources as far as I know) when you are below 50% max hp (this is the part that got boosted by the enhancements). If you're investing heavily into reflex save for this build, that might make improved evasion less desirable, so you could take Opportunist for 3% more double strike and 10% fortification bypass. Also of note, you get the ability to tumble through enemies (minor convenience at best, I'd imagine) and immunity to knockdowns and slippery surfaces.

My hesitations with this build are that you miss out on Otto's Sphere and Otto's Irresistible, which as you brought up, are really helpful in getting Coup-de-Grace in a group setting since Fascinate will just be getting broken constantly. On the other hand, in a group setting you'll need the enemies CCed less since you are in a group and this build should be even more survivable than a pure Bard Swashbuckler. My other hesitation is that it's mostly Rogue levels and that bothers me since at heart I'm focused on the Bard side of it.

Not sure if what I'm gaining in this build is worth what I'm losing, but I'm putting it out there for those with more experience and knowledge to help me out. Once again, very glad you made this thread.

As to your post, Buffyanne, 2 levels of rogue should definitely be sufficient to get your trapping skills up, at least as far as I know. The only places that I'm not sure of that on are the higher level/newer quests on Epic Elite. I have very little knowledge of their trap/search DCs.

mna
06-13-2014, 05:14 AM
As to your post, 2 levels of rogue should definitely be sufficient to get your trapping skills up, at least as far as I know. The only places that I'm not sure of that on are the higher level/newer quests on Epic Elite. I have very little knowledge of their trap/search DCs.

Oh, if that's what you're worried about, you may need to go high-Int cleric/artificer/rogue or FvS/ranger/rogue some such.

After all, rogues get no extra advantage to basic trap skills past level 2, and even that level 2 is just qualifying for the skill boost in Mechanic. It's just skill points after that, which you can get cross-class with enough Int. 12 Cleric / 6 Ranger / 2 Rogue is fairly good, doable as f2p, and gets three stacking class-based Awareness lines (they don't stack if they're exactly alike, but, Arcane Archer, Warpriest and Mechanic awareness do all differ slightly) in addition to +6 Search from Find Traps.


Remember, if a skill is a class skill even for the 1-level splash you took your first level as, you can thereafter push it up to 23 ranks by level 20, if you have enough skill points to do so at 2/rank. This is how all the Tempest Trapmonkeys (1 rogue, first level; 18 Ranger, 1 Fighter) can get 23 ranks of Disable Device and UMD.

Rangers and bards both get a fair number of base skill points per level... though I don't think there's a skill boost in any bard tree?

My trapper bard has 2 rogue for Evasion, skill boost currently from human racial, and some ranger levels too - it's a trapbardcher.

HolyHamGrenade
06-13-2014, 05:22 AM
mna, I was responding to Buffy's post in my comment about the 2 rogue levels. Here's the bit I was responding to:


Then again maybe I won't be able to get up to high enough levels of search with only 2 levels of rogue.

mna
06-13-2014, 08:10 AM
mna, I was responding to Buffy's post in my comment about the 2 rogue levels. Here's the bit I was responding to:

Exactly. But the difference between Rogue 1 and Rogue 2 in that regard is that Rogue 2 can get a Skill Boost (temporary +6 max). Both can get it to permanent 23 ranks +3 from enhancements.

HolyHamGrenade
06-13-2014, 09:05 AM
Exactly. But the difference between Rogue 1 and Rogue 2 in that regard is that Rogue 2 can get a Skill Boost (temporary +6 max). Both can get it to permanent 23 ranks +3 from enhancements.

I really just have no idea what conversation is happening here. I was unaware there was even a comparison happening between going only 1 rogue or 2 rogue. I was simply telling Buffy that 2 rogue, who had expressed the worry that 2 levels of rogue might not be enough to get full trapping skills, would be sufficient.

Buffyanne
06-13-2014, 09:19 AM
I'm glad you made this thread, Buffyanne, I've been thinking about this too. I think there's some really interesting mixes to be had here.

I've personally been mulling a rogue-heavy build even though it's still meant to be a Swashbuckler build. The build I've been thinking of is Rogue 13/7 Bard. You still get displacement from Bard and can go full Swashbuckler, but you also get Defensive Roll and Improved Evasion from Rogue. Defensive Roll, when you spend some enhancement points into Thief Acrobat, has a chance equal to your Reflex Save to reduce damage taken by 50% (from all sources as far as I know) when you are below 50% max hp (this is the part that got boosted by the enhancements). If you're investing heavily into reflex save for this build, that might make improved evasion less desirable, so you could take Opportunist for 3% more double strike and 10% fortification bypass. Also of note, you get the ability to tumble through enemies (minor convenience at best, I'd imagine) and immunity to knockdowns and slippery surfaces.

My hesitations with this build are that you miss out on Otto's Sphere and Otto's Irresistible, which as you brought up, are really helpful in getting Coup-de-Grace in a group setting since Fascinate will just be getting broken constantly. On the other hand, in a group setting you'll need the enemies CCed less since you are in a group and this build should be even more survivable than a pure Bard Swashbuckler. My other hesitation is that it's mostly Rogue levels and that bothers me since at heart I'm focused on the Bard side of it.

Not sure if what I'm gaining in this build is worth what I'm losing, but I'm putting it out there for those with more experience and knowledge to help me out. Once again, very glad you made this thread.

As to your post, Buffyanne, 2 levels of rogue should definitely be sufficient to get your trapping skills up, at least as far as I know. The only places that I'm not sure of that on are the higher level/newer quests on Epic Elite. I have very little knowledge of their trap/search DCs.

I kicked around some heavier rogue splashes too. With my play style I am not comfortable running under 50% HPs so I have never really given defensive roll a good look. Ultimately I ended up going away from a rogue heavy swashbuckler because of the enhancements. I figure I will be spending 35 to 40 in the swashbuckler tree and another 12 or so in the Drow tree. I imagine i'll want 10ish each from the warchanter and spellsinger trees and I'm at like 12 or so points left. Really not a lot to spend on rogue trees except for bonuses to trap skills and a sneak attack die. Basically I want my build to be survivable, swashbuckler and trap/search. I plan on going with short sword or rapier with buckler.

Another reason I tend to want at least 10 bard is displacement duration. I hate having to hit short clickies and constantly having to hit that is annoying to me. That's also why I like extend. In any rogue/bard the balancing act is going to be between.....

Spell selection and duration
improved evasion
Rogue skills trap/search
Sneak attack
Survivability

And really I don't know if you can get all of that especially improved evasion. That's what I am trying to figure out here


Oh, if that's what you're worried about, you may need to go high-Int cleric/artificer/rogue or FvS/ranger/rogue some such.

After all, rogues get no extra advantage to basic trap skills past level 2, and even that level 2 is just qualifying for the skill boost in Mechanic. It's just skill points after that, which you can get cross-class with enough Int. 12 Cleric / 6 Ranger / 2 Rogue is fairly good, doable as f2p, and gets three stacking class-based Awareness lines (they don't stack if they're exactly alike, but, Arcane Archer, Warpriest and Mechanic awareness do all differ slightly) in addition to +6 Search from Find Traps.

While this might be true the goal is to make a swashbuckler rogue not a cleric ranger.

HolyHamGrenade
06-13-2014, 10:00 AM
If I do roll up the 13/7 build, I doubt I would be looking to run around at or below 50%. I see it as another boost to defenses.

For your list, my build would be trading away spell list/duration (not an insignificant amount either, as you very rightly pointed out) and songs for higher survivability, improved evasion and higher sneak attack damage. Their trapping skills would probably be pretty equal, unless I'm missing something. I don't think you can get Improved Evasion anywhere but through the Rogue Special Abilities which means at least 10 Rogue levels, which probably makes it something you just won't be getting since that doesn't suit your style (and may not be worth it even outside of that, I'm still unsure).

In terms of pure dps and survivability it's probably a net gain, but the spells and duration lost give the benefits of more AoE CC options (so survivability) along with more efficiency due to longer durations. It's a really tough call, which is obviously not as tough for you since you already know that you dislike short durations on spells and that you're too tight on AP for this to be worth it.

For you, in terms of your splits listed, I'd definitely go the 16bard/2fighter/2rogue route. You could think on a 12bard/6fighter/2rogue build. Going 6 fighter allows you to get ahold of Stalwart Defense and you can get a 20% hp boost from that for survivability. Once gain, you're trading out bard levels of spells and duration, but it might be worth it. You'd wanna take the shield mastery feats with this too for sure. You'd still be getting Otto's Sphere, so there's that. Not saying you should do it, but just putting the thought out there.

CThruTheEgo
06-13-2014, 10:26 AM
It seems the feats I'll want for syre are.....

SWFx3
Precision
IC Pierce
Dodge

With consideration to Shield Mastery, Improved Shield Mastery, Extend, Toughness, Empower Healing, Inspire Excellence.

So I seem almost compelled to take 2 levels of fighter for the feats and that would let me get them all except for one of extend, toughness, empower healing.

You have 12 feats listed here that you want, which is exactly the number of feats you'll getbwith a 2 fighter splash. I would suggest, however, that you figure out what your dodge will be, including gear, before you spend the feat. Swashbucklers get a ton of dodge already and you'll likely reach dodge cap without the feat. I'd also drop toughness. 28 hp isn't going to do much for you.

I recommend taking force of personality to replace one of those. Since you're going cha based you can get a decent will save with this feat. I'd also consider spell focus enchantment to replace the other. With magister's enchantment specialist twisted (requires spell focus to get it) you end up with +4 DCs. Worthwhile if you want to use Otto's sphere.


Str - 12
Dex - 14
Con - 14
Int - 14
Wis - 8
Cha j- 18

With level ups going into Cha. Kinda of monkish in that I have to spread stats around so much but with the high search requirements in quests now I don't really want to skimp on INT. Then again maybe I won't be able to get up to high enough levels of search with only 2 levels of rogue.

Since you've done 3 rogue lives already you probably know this, but trapping is primarily about gear as long as you keep your skill ranks maxed. 2 levels of rogue will be plenty.

Perform, search, and disable are the only essential skills for this build. That requires 5 points per level to keep those maxed. If you need spot, then add 2 points per level. That still leaves you with 1 point per level to spend if you're starting with 14 int. You should have enough extra points from the +5 int tome to put some into open locks which will get you the vast majority of doors/chests in the game. Since you're going cha based, you also don't need to max UMD, but as with open locks, you should be able to put enough points into it to make it very effective. So 14 int should be enough, but I would definitely plan it out in advance just to make sure.

My build is similar to what you're considering, just without the rogue skills. Take a look at The Count of Monte Cristo in my sig if you want some ideas.

xaxaeb
06-13-2014, 11:36 AM
So I think I am going to give up on my Drow assassin and TR into a swashbuckler since the line looks fun to play and promises to be far more survivable. However I have invested 3 rogue past lives already into this character not to mention the trapping gear so I want to keep some trapping abilities. I am brainstorming some splashes and looking for some advice. It seems the feats I'll want for syre are.....

SWFx3
Precision
IC Pierce
Dodge

With consideration to Shield Mastery, Improved Shield Mastery, Extend, Toughness, Empower Healing, Inspire Excellence.

So I seem almost compelled to take 2 levels of fighter for the feats and that would let me get them all except for one of extend, toughness, empower healing. I've kicked the tires on 16 bard/2 rogue/2 fighter. Getting the L6 Otto's spell seems to make more sense now with CdG. I am just not sure how practical fascinate will be in a group setting to trigger CdG since everyone breaks fascinate these days. Seems like it makes sense to have another auto immobilize method. I can probably live without extend though I really like it for discplacement, the alternative being to splash deeper and go 4 fighter but that's seems to be giving up a lot as there I would go 13 Bard/4 Fighter/ 3 Rogue.

Stat breakdown will probably go along the lines of....

Str - 12
Dex - 14
Con - 14
Int - 14
Wis - 8
Cha j- 18

With level ups going into Cha. Kinda of monkish in that I have to spread stats around so much but with the high search requirements in quests now I don't really want to skimp on INT. Then again maybe I won't be able to get up to high enough levels of search with only 2 levels of rogue. Could also go 13 Bard/5 Rogue/2 Fighter which would be a pretty good increase to rogue skills across the board at the sacrifice of spells like GH, though of course that will be scrollable. I have a +5 INT tome on this character so will have plenty of skill points each level. Anwya, thoughts about mixes are appreciated.

Drop str. You'll have cha to damage. As an option add those points to dex and replace dodge with weapon finesse. Or find weapons like Elyd Edge. With enhancements you won't even need the epic version.
Regarding dodge, you'll probably want to wear cloth. Else you're wasting most of your dodge due to armor limitations. My current 3brd/4rog/1ftr split has 19 dodge with the dodge feat and no dodge gear. So at higher levels dodge and mobility feats might be a waste.

Loromir
06-13-2014, 11:52 AM
Drop str. You'll have cha to damage. As an option add those points to dex and replace dodge with weapon finesse. Or find weapons like Elyd Edge. With enhancements you won't even need the epic version.
Regarding dodge, you'll probably want to wear cloth. Else you're wasting most of your dodge due to armor limitations. My current 3brd/4rog/1ftr split has 19 dodge with the dodge feat and no dodge gear. So at higher levels dodge and mobility feats might be a waste.

How are you getting chr to damage? PDK?

HolyHamGrenade
06-13-2014, 12:19 PM
The swashbuckler enhancements (Tier 3):

Different Tack: Choose One:
Swift Strikes: You get Dexterity to Damage with weapon attacks while Single Weapon Fighting.
Two Steps Ahead: You get Intelligence to Damage with weapon attacks Single Weapon Fighting.
Smooth Flourishes: You get Charisma to Damage with weapon attacks Single Weapon Fighting.

CThruTheEgo
06-13-2014, 12:39 PM
Regarding dodge, you'll probably want to wear cloth. Else you're wasting most of your dodge due to armor limitations. My current 3brd/4rog/1ftr split has 19 dodge with the dodge feat and no dodge gear. So at higher levels dodge and mobility feats might be a waste.

No need to go cloth. Swashbuckler tier five grants +6 to max dex bonus, as well as +6 reflex. Black dragonscale and shadowscale, the only two armors worth considering, both start with a max dex bonus of 19, raising that to 25 with the tier five and to 27 with a blue augment. On a bard/rogue combo 27 is the dodge cap with the new ship buff.

EDIT: With 18 bard levels the core grants +5 dodge cap, but the other 5 cores grant +1 max dex bonus so these even out.

Toro12
06-13-2014, 03:20 PM
I've been kicking around the rogue bard swasher as well.
Still no firm plans other than probably going to go 5roge to get the dagger range/multiplier and stack that with SBs second baseline.

Deciding on going dex to damage or charisma. Ill get dex to hit with assassin baseline. Leaning to charisma At the moment but that changes by the hour.

Odd thing I'm probably going to do is drop trap skills all together and go full on social skills. Max diplo , bluff , haggle, intim. Just for the flavor.

Swf x3 , extend , empower heal, IC pierce , precision.

I liked the idea of the rune arm adding d6 sonic and tinkered with the idea of splashing 2 arti but decided against it knowing that getting spell power on non weapons is tricky. Probably go buckler route for a spell power slot and its offhand stun which I think is better than the slap from open hand.

Sorry that is an offhand 1sec trip not a stun with the buckler

CThruTheEgo
06-13-2014, 03:48 PM
I've been kicking around the rogue bard swasher as well.
Still no firm plans other than probably going to go 5roge to get the dagger range/multiplier and stack that with SBs second baseline.

They are both competence bonuses, so will not stack. However, swashbuckler adds 1 crit multiplier to kukris while knife specialization adds 1 threat range, so you'd end up with a 13-20x3. But I personally wouldn't want to use kukris anyway.

Buffyanne
06-13-2014, 05:59 PM
You have 12 feats listed here that you want, which is exactly the number of feats you'll getbwith a 2 fighter splash. I would suggest, however, that you figure out what your dodge will be, including gear, before you spend the feat. Swashbucklers get a ton of dodge already and you'll likely reach dodge cap without the feat. I'd also drop toughness. 28 hp isn't going to do much for you.

I recommend taking force of personality to replace one of those. Since you're going cha based you can get a decent will save with this feat. I'd also consider spell focus enchantment to replace the other. With magister's enchantment specialist twisted (requires spell focus to get it) you end up with +4 DCs. Worthwhile if you want to use Otto's sphere.

Since you've done 3 rogue lives already you probably know this, but trapping is primarily about gear as long as you keep your skill ranks maxed. 2 levels of rogue will be plenty.

Perform, search, and disable are the only essential skills for this build. That requires 5 points per level to keep those maxed. If you need spot, then add 2 points per level. That still leaves you with 1 point per level to spend if you're starting with 14 int. You should have enough extra points from the +5 int tome to put some into open locks which will get you the vast majority of doors/chests in the game. Since you're going cha based, you also don't need to max UMD, but as with open locks, you should be able to put enough points into it to make it very effective. So 14 int should be enough, but I would definitely plan it out in advance just to make sure.

My build is similar to what you're considering, just without the rogue skills. Take a look at The Count of Monte Cristo in my sig if you want some ideas.

Yes, thanks I took a look at your build prior to posting. I like the general idea you have just want to be able to search/disable. I notice in your twists you don't include legendary shield mastery. I would think you take that putting 2 feats into shield mastery since it doubles your benefits. With that in mind my twists are leaning toward legendary shield mastery, reign and sound burst. As such I don't think sf enchanc will be useful for me. Force of personality is definitely something I might consider though. I too have settled on either light black dragon or shadow armor.

After playing the last two days in epic groups and seeing some swashbucklers in my parties I have noticed the two things that they have problems with right now are HPs and getting CC off to use CdG. I don't know if fascinate is ever going to be a reliable source for setting this up because parties just obliterate it. Ran the high road and druid's deep chains EE today with a group that consisted of me a stun, gmof monk, a blitizing monk, a shiradi sorc, a fvs and the swash bard. Between me using drifting lotus, the waves of MM from the sorc and the BBs from the FVS nothing was ever fascinated as a room roll thru was generally FVS throwing a couple BBs, me knocking stuff down with drifting lotus then stunning, dpsing those mobs with the other monk while the sorc mopped up what was left from the BB. Now fascinate might be more useful in say ee stormhorns where instakills are more at a premium do u more mob HPs.


Drop str. You'll have cha to damage. As an option add those points to dex and replace dodge with weapon finesse. Or find weapons like Elyd Edge. With enhancements you won't even need the epic version.
Regarding dodge, you'll probably want to wear cloth. Else you're wasting most of your dodge due to armor limitations. My current 3brd/4rog/1ftr split has 19 dodge with the dodge feat and no dodge gear. So at higher levels dodge and mobility feats might be a waste.

Well I still need to hit that's why I didn't drop STR all together. Dodge might very well end up being capped so I might not need the dodge feat but won't really know till I do it. Can always eTR to rest that though and fine tune where the last a couple of ability distribution go. Good discussion everyone.

CThruTheEgo
06-13-2014, 07:10 PM
Yes, thanks I took a look at your build prior to posting. I like the general idea you have just want to be able to search/disable. I notice in your twists you don't include legendary shield mastery. I would think you take that putting 2 feats into shield mastery since it doubles your benefits.

Hah! It's supposed to be in there. I'm not sure how I missed that. Thanks for pointing it out.

Buffyanne
07-26-2014, 05:13 PM
Well I am nearing level 20 with this build so I will see how it performs in epics shortly. This 16/2/2 swashbuckler is one of the strongest heroic characters I have played. DPS is ridiculous at L18 it just annihilates vale and the lords of dust chain. Attack speed is so fast and I crit so often that it's a waste of time to switch to a DR breaker for devils cause they are already dead. The enhancement trees offer lots of choices though especially with the new spellsinger tree. I am experimenting with some of the SS abilities and it really makes a character that can do anything. Only complaint ins the HPs are a bit low from what I am used to. I enjoyed leveling this bard so much in between running epics that I am probably going to make another one. Maybe a sorcerer/spell singer type?