I play on the Argonnessen server, mostly as Booser McDrunk, the bard. People often ask me about my build, so I figured I would post it.
Booser is a fairly balanced bard, having a broad spectrum of abilities. He is a strength based semi-battle bard, or a balanced/well-rounded bard as I like to call it. I would say this build is very good for someone who PUGs often. It gives you a lot of different options to fill different jobs. If you have a dedicated group, I would suggest picking one job and focusing on that, unless they want a jack of all trades type.
Booser McDrunk, level 14 Pure Bard.
Str: 26 (16 Base, +6 item, +2 tome, +2 rage spell)
Dex: 22 (16 base, +6 item)
Con: 14 (8 base, +6 item)
Int: 10 (10 base)
Wis: 8 (Run 14 with +6 item in PVP sometimes)
Cha: 30 (18 base, +6 item, +1 tome, +3 levels, +2 enhancement)
HP: 172 (206 self buffed) (Yes squishy, but lets avoid getting hit, shall we?)
SP: 970 (Decent, also have SS ring to bring it up to 1045 in reality.)
AC: 36 (We're not counting on this, its mostly for my own peace of mind.)
Saves: +15/+24/+14 (Usually, I would like a +4 resistance item eventually.)
I realize there are a lot of +6 items and tomes here. The +6 items are all race required. Since bards have a high UMD, they can use that +6 cha RR warforged cloak. However, even without all the +6 **** and whatnot, this bard can still function well, +4 stat items are common, and that would only put you one or two points under in some things, not a super big deal. Without some of the top gear and tomes you may have to use more +5 weapons and mind fog to hit with the disco ball. At level 12 I still had some +4 stuff and I functioned fine in Gianthold Elite quests.
Head: Superior Devotion III Helm
Trinket: Shard of Vollun (Wizardry III, yea I need a PoP X)
Neck: BAM Heavy Fortification Necklace (Also Golden Cartouche and others.)
Back: +6 cha cloak, RR WF
Waist: +6 con belt, RR Halfling
Feet: +30% striders
Body: +5 Mithral Chain Shirt
Hands: +6 Dex gloves, RR Drow (Sometimes Rabbit Gloves from Threnal)
Wrist: Iron Manacles usually (+4 deflection AC)
Ring1: +6 Strength, RR WF
Ring2: Greater False Life, RR Halfling (Switch this out, 142 HP sometimes.)
Primary Wield: +1 Paralyzing Longsword
Primary Shield: +5 Mithral Light Shield of Stability
Some of the eq could obviously be better, like shard for PoP X and raid loot, but raid loot is rather hard to come by, the other weapons I generally use are: +1 Vorpal Longsword, +1 Banishing Heavy Mace, +5 True Chaos Quarterstaff of Pure Good, +5 Ghost Touched Heavy Mace of Pure Good...These take care of most things...mostly want to be using paralyzer for crowd control.
Improved Mental Toughness
Skill Focus: UMD
Empower Healing (Used to be Heighten)
I picked up MT and IMT because I like to use a lot of castable crowd control, charms and healing. I switched out Heighten for Empower Healing because I didn't seem to need Heighten in the higher level content. SF: UMD is an obvious pick, and Extend Spell should be on ever bard's list.
I maxed out Balance, Jump, Tumble, Haggle, Perform and UMD...Sometimes I wish I didn't pick Tumble, but I like doing backflips. I also wish I didn't pick Haggle, and just made a Haggle mule, but in the end it is all personal preference other than Perform and UMD. Jump I really like on bards to work with fascinate, and to help get you out of sticky situations.
Hypnotism (I want to change this one I think.)
Grease (This is just for fun.)
Otto's Dance (I am changing this one soon.)
CMW (Option for when CSW/Heal Scroll/Wand isn't fast enough, I use it a lot.)
Rage (Some people like it, some hate it.)
Soundburst (Good for pesky casters with low fort saves.)
Good Hope (I like to use this instead of using Gr Hero on the whole party every quest...sometimes they just don't all neeeed Gr Hero, saves mana.)
Dimension Door (I use this spell a ton.)
Freedom of Movement
Hold Monster (I kind of want to switch this for Dominate Person for fun.)
Mass Suggestion (My FAVORITE!)
Mind Fog (For level 14+ elite content, Otto's+Mind Fog=Win)
Again a lot of spells are personal preference. The way I operate I get by with these. I switch them every so often to try new things.
Honestly, the server is down for the server merge right now so I don't have the exact specs right in front of me, but I will do my best to recall what I have.
Spellsinger (All pre-reqs also obviously)
Extra Song IV (Mostly to get Music of the Dead)
Music of the Dead (I hate undead, this is all we can do against them ><)
Song of Music IV (Might go down to III, but I like to be maxed on healing)
Bard Charisma II
Bard SP II or III?
Lingering Song III (I really want to max this but its hard to get the points.)
Inspired Attack II (Again I want to max this but its 6 points for +1 hit...)
Inspired Damage III
Anyway, enhancements are another thing that are up to personal taste. I just tried to put as much into as many categories as I could. With this enhancement setup I have a variety of extra goodies for buffing, healing and CC. The extra inspired attack/damage helps my melee also. I try not to go in any one direction to the extreme so I can spread the points out and be ALMOST maxed in every field. Personally I think EVERY bard who is not specifically going for Warchanter or Virtuoso (Stinky imo.) should pick up SPELLSINGER. It is EXTREMELY easy to pickup, only having to modify a couple enhancement points to do. Four enhancement points gets you +100 SP, +1 Spell DCs and 10% off mana costs...its every bard's wet dream.
Okay, so now I know everything about Booser, how do I play this bard?!
The design of this bard is to fulfill as many purposes as possible. Primarily, this build is about keeping a situation calm and controlled. That is really what bards are all about. A group of baddies come running at the cleric? Throw some CC at them. Cleric is down? Raise him back up! In a terrible PUG with a bad cleric? Heal like a pro! Lets look at some of the options for switching your role in a party with this build:
The Primary Crowd Controller:
You can obviously run ahead and fascinate things. Even undead things! Other than that you want to rely on using the disco ball and mind fog if it won't stick. Most groups don't like you charming things willy-nilly, but if you are in a friendly group, mass suggestion can be the best CC spell in your arsenal. Not only can you crowd control, but you also have an army of minions to take out that boss! Keep your spellsong trance up to lower the cost, and toggle extend as necessary. Jump into combat with that paralyzer, don't be shy. But also be smart and don't die, hit multiple targets, strafe in and out of combat, don't put too much aggro on one target. You can keep 3-4 targets down with a paralyzer often, this can save you a LOT of mana sometimes. In a pinch you can use hypno or a single otto's, but I've found these have sucked lately without heighten. I haven't had to use them anywhere other than PVP in a long time anyway. Hold Monster can be good in some situations...however I RARELY use it other than in PVP. When all else fails, cast freedom of movement and grease the whole room, your party will love you! (This is generally the role I assume in most groups, its usually paired with a backup healer role though, as a lot of PUGs just have bad clerics.)
Secondary Crowd Controller:
So you have one of those pesky wizards in your party throwing mass holds and whatnot. Well, dive in! If your wizard is dedicated to CC rather than burning things, you get to hit stuff! Whip out those burst weapons and away you go. I usually use my pink staff. Mostly I will just paralyze stuff to help make sure we keep control. You can also run ahead and fascinate/charm things before the wizard holds them all. Parties are rather boring for a bard with both a cleric AND a CC wizard present. (This situation doesn't happen often, usually wizards are like BURN BURN BURN OMFG BURN.)
So its 3 AM and there's no cleric's on? Not to worry, this bard can heal! You can easily throw CMW's in the 60s and CSW's for 90+ with empower on. You also have a mild bonus to your crits in your enhancements due to your spellsinger pre-reqs. Along with your pool of over 1000 SP for heals, you also carry with you a good amount of heal scrolls! Switch off using CSW/Heal/Wand/CMW and you should be a healing machine for basically any run. With all your buffs on, most parties will not need a lot of healing anyway. Don't spend mana on crowd control if you can help it, use fascinate as much as you can without endangering the party, unless you have a primary CCer who does not need your help. Make sure to blur everyone, and in certain instances (boss fights etc.) displacement can save you a ton of mana as well. (This happens a lot in the wee hours of the morning.)
Sometimes people just let the bard in the party as the third wheel. They've got a couple wizards and a cleric and they really wanted another tank but they couldn't find one. Basically in this scenario you are just there for your buffs. However I generally like to blow all my SP charming an army of minions in this situation. You can also strafe in and out of melee combat, keep stuff paralyzed, do extra damage and back up the cleric. (This happens occasionally.)
There are a lot more scenarios and more in depth instruction for these basic scenarios, however its 5 AM and I am tired. Anyway, any comments will be appreciated, but if you're just going to flame me, don't bother. If you have any questions, reply, PM me or talk to me in game. Catch you all later.