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  1. #1
    Community Member AzB's Avatar
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    Default About a Bard (bard experiment)

    I've always enjoyed bards. Back in the PnP days, I took years building a bard that was quite exceptional and a great deal of fun to play.

    Bards are very different in DDO. They do not have the choice to advance in rogue and fighter classes and skills without giving up their bardic ability. They don't get druid spells, so no call lightning, firewall, or really any useful offensive spell at all. I accept that, and don't want to start whining about what could be, I want to see what can be.

    So I tried a FiRoBard 2/2/16. This was my first toon, and long before I started reading the forums, and so was derived completely out of my own imagination. Imagine my surprise when I found out this was the most accepted and used compromise. He made a reasonable trapper, and could get most anything other than specifically difficult stuff on elite. He could fight as well as any of the non-spectacular melee classes like rangers, clerics, etc. And he could charm really well, except of course for undead, red names, and a few various monsters here and there.

    It was a fun toon to play. In the right situations, he was capable if not spectacular. There were wizzes and monks that rolled through content a lot faster, smoother, and with more grace, but the bard got the job done. He ruled Gianthold, skipped Necropolis, and was at least competent through most of the Vale. There were always adventures that he could simply not solo, as red names are almost never vulnerable to his strengths. He could hack on them of course, but many times in lvl 18+, he couldn't dish out more than he was taking.

    Then came Eveningstar. Hang it up dude. Even in a full party he was almost entirely useless other than buffs, emergency healing, and just being another body to soak up damage in a fight. He rarely killed anything on his own, and was never really missed in a party like a healer, monk, or offensive caster. He was, in a word, redundant. Drow were very difficult to charm, made even more difficult by his max caster level of 16 thanks to the multi classing, his melee was practically useless against monsters with several hundreds of hitpoints, not to mention the ones that have hp into the thousands. And the traps even on hard, were getting to be a bit over his head. But the main thing is that there's so little in content past 20 that he could charm.

    So I tr'ed into a full blood bard.

    That was really disappointing. First off, the true blue bard was only a few points behind the FiRoBard in AC, HP, and DPS. I mean, it was really pretty close. Certainly pretty much negligible when you're hacking on something with close to 2000 hp.

    Secondly, he was a much better bard, able to charm things much more reliably than the multiclass thanks to higher CHA, 4 more levels, and generally better DCs.

    And I really didn't miss the rogue skills. There are so many multi class toons and artis running around to do the traps. It was only occasionally helpful, and mostly then only soloing.

    So I gave up and TR'ed into a wizard. Good Lord, that's a much more powerful toon. As a PM, you got the self healing, the charming was more effective, and the damage that could be done! FoD, Wail, and the trash is gone! Red names? Any number of DoTs and some AoEs. Soloing anything, including Necropolis was a piece of pie! And I could still charm monsters and disco ball as well as any bard. Buffs? Sure, by the truckload! Find trap, knock, detect secret door... the only thing he couldn't do was eliminate the traps. But again, that's rarely an issue with PUGs full of artis and mutt toons with some trapper skills. And so many of the traps can simply be timed, ignored, gone around, etc.

    So why in the heck am I still considering a bard? Probably because I'm insane. Insanity has been defined as doing something over and over and expecting different results.

    Aha! But I'm going to do something different! I'm going to TR the **** out of this toon, add a +3 supreme tome, and make a jack of all trades that is really good at least a couple things, and pretty good at everything else.

    So here's my plan. Several past lives will give some nice bonuses on things that will really, really help. A barb past life or two for extra hp and rage. One barb past life passive feat and one barb past life active feat give 30hp and the ability to rage! Wiz past lives give +2 to DCs! (A major hole in the multi classed, or even full on bard program) while a rogue past life adds to saves against traps and the ability to sneak more effectively. A bard past life adds... well, almost nothing to any character that I can tell. But I got it already so I'll take the +2 saves against charms and another bard song. Although I've never, ever run out of bard songs.

    So here's my first draft of this plan, let me know what you think... I used only generic items that are easily found, except for a Minos Legens. And the plan for bard pre is warchanter allowing the use of medium armor and my favorite GS, Insanity. Kinda fits the build anyway.

    Code:
    Character Plan by DDO Character Planner Version 03.14.02
    DDO Character Planner Home Page
    
    Aznagiel 
    Level 20 Chaotic Good Human Male
    (2 Rogue \ 18 Bard) 
    Hit Points: 312
    Spell Points: 610 
    BAB: 14\14\19\24
    Fortitude: 10
    Reflex: 21
    Will: 11
    
                      Starting          Feat/Enhancement
    Abilities        Base Stats          Modified Stats
    (36 Point)       (Level 1)             (Level 20)
    Strength             14                    23
    Dexterity            14                    18
    Constitution         15                    18
    Intelligence         16                    20
    Wisdom                8                    11
    Charisma             14                    20
    
    Tomes Used
    +3 Tome of Strength used at level 1
    +3 Tome of Dexterity used at level 1
    +3 Tome of Constitution used at level 1
    +3 Tome of Intelligence used at level 1
    +3 Tome of Wisdom used at level 1
    +3 Tome of Charisma used at level 1
    
                      Starting          Feat/Enhancement
                     Base Skills         Modified Skills
    Skills           (Level 1)            (Level 20)
    Balance               5                    12
    Bluff                 5                     8
    Concentration         6                    13
    Diplomacy             5                    12
    Disable Device        8                    29
    Haggle                4                     6
    Heal                  0                     0
    Hide                  7                    17
    Intimidate            4                    12
    Jump                  5                    17
    Listen                2                     4
    Move Silently         7                    17
    Open Lock             7                    21
    Perform               n/a                  27
    Repair                4                     5
    Search                8                    29
    Spot                  4                    14
    Swim                  5                    10
    Tumble                5                    10
    Use Magic Device      7                    28
    
    {\b {\ul Notable Equipment }} \par Clever +6 Goggles of Minute Seeing +10 \par Crimson Chain \par Bracers of Disabling +13 \par Ring of Power X \par Striding (+30%) Boots \par Gloves of Escape +15 \par Ring of Greater False Life \par Health +6 Belt \par Cloak of Performing +13 \par Shard of Xoriat \par Minos Legens \par Ogre Power +6 Bracers \par Dexterous +6 Gloves \par Charismatic +6 Cloak \par  \par Level 1 (Rogue)
    Feat: (Past Life) Past Life: Barbarian
    Feat: (Past Life) Past Life: Bard
    Feat: (Past Life) Past Life: Rogue
    Feat: (Past Life) Past Life: Wizard
    Feat: (Human Bonus) Power Attack
    Feat: (Selected) Toughness
    Enhancement: Rogue Haste Boost I
    Enhancement: Rogue Skill Boost I
    Enhancement: Rogue Faster Sneaking I
    Enhancement: Rogue Sneak Attack Training I
    
    
    Level 2 (Bard)
    
    
    Level 3 (Rogue)
    Feat: (Selected) Weapon Focus: Slashing Weapons
    
    
    Level 4 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Bard Extra Song I
    Enhancement: Bard Inspired Bravery I
    Enhancement: Bard Inspired Damage I
    Enhancement: Bard Lingering Song I
    Enhancement: Racial Toughness I
    Enhancement: Bard Charisma I
    Enhancement: Rogue Dexterity I
    
    
    Level 5 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Bard Inspired Attack I
    Enhancement: Human Adaptability Strength I
    
    
    Level 6 (Bard)
    Feat: (Selected) Spell Focus: Enchantment
    Enhancement: Bard Extra Song II
    Enhancement: Racial Toughness II
    
    
    Level 7 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Rogue Damage Boost I
    Enhancement: Bard Inspired Bravery II
    Enhancement: Human Improved Recovery I
    
    
    Level 8 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Bard Warchanter I
    
    
    Level 9 (Bard)
    Feat: (Selected) Past Life: Berserker's Fury
    Enhancement: Bard Charisma II
    
    
    Level 10 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Bard Song Magic I
    Enhancement: Bard Song Magic II
    Enhancement: Bard Song Magic III
    
    
    Level 11 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Bard Inspired Damage II
    Enhancement: Improved Disable Device I
    Enhancement: Improved Search I
    
    
    Level 12 (Bard)
    Feat: (Selected) Power Critical
    Enhancement: Bard Inspired Attack II
    
    
    Level 13 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Bard Inspired Bravery III
    
    
    Level 14 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Bard Warchanter II
    Enhancement: Greatsword Training
    
    
    Level 15 (Bard)
    Feat: (Selected) Greater Spell Focus: Enchantment
    Enhancement: Bard Charisma III
    
    
    Level 16 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Bard Improved Spell Penetration I
    
    
    Level 17 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Bard Lingering Song II
    Enhancement: Bard Improved Spell Penetration II
    
    
    Level 18 (Bard)
    Feat: (Selected) Improved Critical: Slashing Weapons
    Enhancement: Human Greater Adaptability Intelligence I
    
    
    Level 19 (Bard)
    
    
    Level 20 (Bard)
    The main idea here is to get the most bard levels as possible to retain those abilities at lvl20 and beyond. I only listed a few past lives because I'm not sure I'm willing to grind out much more in the way of past lives. The only ones I don't have already are rogue and barb. Let me know what you think of those choices, and feel free to suggest other alternatives.

    The other option is to eliminate the rogue levels, and take the rogue active past life which will give me some sneakiness. Before you shoot down this idea, this is an important part of the build. I like playing sneaky, even if it's not popular. For me it's more fun that trying to set speed records through content, and I find it very rewarding especially when running new content. So I may post a build based on 1 fighter level/19 bard levels, or even a pure bard. It's hard to give up the higher caster level and better DCs, especially in newer high level content. But for sure, 16 levels is minimum because Otto's Irresistable is the best spell he's got at high levels.

    He should still be able to buff and heal to some degree, although I am not interested in turning into a healer or buffbot. My pure bard is flagged for all the raids and will be a more welcome addition. Most of the buffs and healing will be for ME! If I'm in a party and can help, that's great, but the choices will be based on what I need.

    The pre is still open, but I'm leaning warchanter to get the greataxe or greatsword focus and medium armor without spending a feat or suffering an arcane penalty. Since the focus is not a buffbot, I don't think this will be an issue.

    So let me have it, whatever you may think.
    Last edited by AzB; 11-12-2012 at 07:15 PM.

  2. #2
    The Hatchery karl_k0ch's Avatar
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    Currently, 18/2 isn't offering much, compared to 16/2/2, if you are interested in a melee focused build. The enhancement revamp (which will hopefully come in mid 2013) might change this. 16/2/2 has more HP, more Str and more feats at the cost of some spell slots and SP. If you want to put a focus on casting CC, go pure, Spellsinger, and dedicate more feats to it (in particular Spell Penetration). I wouldn't mix this with the melee approach.

    Evasion does not work in Medium Armor.

    I'd rather go with 16 Str and 14 Int.

    For a melee focused build, I'd the Spell Foci in favor of Cleave and Great Cleave, which unlock Overwhelming Critical. If you are taking more Fighter levels, you could also take some of the THF feats, which improve the damage when cleaving and also when not cleaving.
    I like Extend on a Bard a lot, which is why I'd take Extend in favor of Power Critical.
    Imho, you are taking IC: Slash a tad too late.
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  3. #3
    Community Member goodspeed's Avatar
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    I took and made a bard 14/6 ftr split warchanter and defender to shore up the hp. Was actually pretty decent. I haven't tinkered with him yet in the ED's. Gotta go through armor, and feats and see whats what. Having a constant displace is nice, and the songs ain't to bad either.

    Though through GS you can get pretty much all the buffs. So i'll have to see how he does as a whole in fighting with songs to see if I wanna just scrap em or not and build toward the norm LD/fotw.

  4. #4
    Community Member Nitesco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodspeed View Post
    I took and made a bard 14/6 ftr split warchanter and defender to shore up the hp. Was actually pretty decent. I haven't tinkered with him yet in the ED's. Gotta go through armor, and feats and see whats what. Having a constant displace is nice, and the songs ain't to bad either.

    Though through GS you can get pretty much all the buffs. So i'll have to see how he does as a whole in fighting with songs to see if I wanna just scrap em or not and build toward the norm LD/fotw.
    I don't think I could live without Otto's Irrisistible Dance on my Warchanter. Inspire Heroics is pretty nice now too.

  5. #5
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    My view is, if you want to focus on Enchantment spells, stay pure Spellsinger w/max CHA; otherwise, drop the Enchantment spells (apart from maybe Otto's Irresistible) & the CHA and rely on Fascinate et al for CC. This build appears to try to split the difference and will most likely wind up doing poorly at both CC & DPS.

    Also, med armor + Evasion is a no-go.

  6. #6
    The Hatchery karl_k0ch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitesco View Post
    I don't think I could live without Otto's Irrisistible Dance on my Warchanter. Inspire Heroics is pretty nice now too.
    Otto's Irresistable has also some nice synergies for melee bards: You 'only' need to make a successful the Spell Penetration check (i.e. you don't need to build for a DC), and the Wizard Past life helps you to mitigate the loss of caster levels by splashes.
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  7. #7
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    I solo Epic Hards. i heal for around 300HP with heal scrolls. my fascinate is my CC. i can disable epic elite traps.



    where i got my inspiration.

    i originally rolled as a WC, but for experimentation's sake i swapped over to virtuoso not so long ago. the combination of enthrallment and song of capering is very powerful for CC. i really only ever use otto's irresistible on orange names (with no SR), which fascinate/enthrall/capering doesn't work on. i don't charm anything. i dumped my charisma too low for that. i do, however, have a load of fun playing an incredibly versatile character.
    Last edited by katz; 11-19-2012 at 11:10 AM.

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  8. #8
    Community Member taurean430's Avatar
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    There are indeed many ways to build your bard. But you do need to decide on what you want the focus to be if you are multiclassing.

    My Warchanter has a few past lives, and the 15bard/3fighter/2barbarian split works very nicely for what I wanted for him. That bard is a buffing, singing, dps with excellent self healing capability. Fits my style of play well and provides good utility.

    My Spellsinger is a 16bard/2fighter/2rogue. She can heal, she can trap, she can buff, and has more cc options. If splashing rogue, better to stick to light armor to retain evasion. There are slightly more choices out there for good armors, but not alot so she sticks with the tier 3 crystal cove armor. I am going to be rebuilding her though with the new content in mind. Sometime soon, so many projects with my toons right now...

    Even though we disagree alot, I've considered Katz's bard build to be a really good one.

    I'm curious as to why in your build you went with greatsword proficiency. Are you using an SOS? 16 bard vs 18 bard is not a lot of difference. This may change with the continuously delayed enhancement pass. However as it stands now, you still have access to Otto's irresistible dance for the low spell resistance mobs. You'd gain proficiency and hp potential going fighter or barb. Also, have you considered Virtuoso? The undertones of your questions bring that up as a possibility...
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by taurean430 View Post
    There are indeed many ways to build your bard. But you do need to decide on what you want the focus to be if you are multiclassing. agree 100%.

    ....


    Even though we disagree alot, I've considered Katz's bard build to be a really good one. thanks! ^_^

    I'm curious as to why in your build you went with greatsword proficiency. Are you using an SOS? 16 bard vs 18 bard is not a lot of difference. This may change with the continuously delayed enhancement pass. However as it stands now, you still have access to Otto's irresistible dance for the low spell resistance mobs. You'd gain proficiency and hp potential going fighter or barb. Also, have you considered Virtuoso? The undertones of your questions bring that up as a possibility... personally, if i were to play a bard without a martial class splash and i wanted to use a martial weapon... i wouldn't spend an AP to gain a single weapon. i don't like the limiting i get that way. i'd use master's touch instead to get any martial weapon i may choose to be using at the moment.

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  10. #10
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    Not to derail the topic with an off topic suggestion, but here are my suggestions:

    Don't build a character based on several future upcoming past lives that you plan to get before you make the character. Unless you level uber fast, things will change by then, different gear and abilities will be available.

    Don't build a character based on what you think the future enchantment change will bring, you will be very disappointed by then.

    Plan the build for your next character. If you have a grand completionist or multi-past life view, a very very rough draft is all that is needed, by the time you get those past lives, you'll see what works and what doesn't and what you like best.

    -Storm

  11. #11
    Community Member AzB's Avatar
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    Excellent replies, gave me a lot to think about.

    I'll be redoing the build plan soon, and I'll post it up to see about the improvement.

    I think tossing out the rogue levels and replacing them with fighter and going for a melee bard makes more sense and will be more fun for me to play. (Maybe even barbarian... a little synergy there with Warchanter, and maybe an active barb past life feat for some rages)

    From my experience with the FiRoBard, and even the true blood bard, I can definitely see some huge benefits with a fighter/bard carrying his own haste, displacement, and various other buffs in song form especially for soloing or short manning mid to high level content. I didn't have much luck with fascinate on my bard life... probably a fault of the build, but in addition most parties don't really wait around for bards to fascinate unless it's a really, really tough mob (like the living meteor swarms in Enter the Kobold, and I could not fascinate those on elite) so fascinate is rarely used. Why wait when the monk, pale master, etc can just charge in and have everything dead in 4-5 seconds?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzB View Post
    Excellent replies, gave me a lot to think about.

    I'll be redoing the build plan soon, and I'll post it up to see about the improvement.

    I think tossing out the rogue levels and replacing them with fighter and going for a melee bard makes more sense and will be more fun for me to play. (Maybe even barbarian... a little synergy there with Warchanter, and maybe an active barb past life feat for some rages)

    From my experience with the FiRoBard, and even the true blood bard, I can definitely see some huge benefits with a fighter/bard carrying his own haste, displacement, and various other buffs in song form especially for soloing or short manning mid to high level content. I didn't have much luck with fascinate on my bard life... probably a fault of the build, but in addition most parties don't really wait around for bards to fascinate unless it's a really, really tough mob (like the living meteor swarms in Enter the Kobold, and I could not fascinate those on elite) so fascinate is rarely used. Why wait when the monk, pale master, etc can just charge in and have everything dead in 4-5 seconds?
    just one tiny comment... i don't think you CAN fascinate the living spells. they count as oozes. ooze puppet stops them, but what arcane takes that.

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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by katz View Post
    just one tiny comment... i don't think you CAN fascinate the living spells. they count as oozes. ooze puppet stops them, but what arcane takes that.
    It was slated on the add ins for spells on the spellsinger pre tree. I kind of like the idea of having some CC options for oozes finally. Wall of sound apparently does extra damage to oozes too. Teasers are always nice, even if accidental.

  14. #14
    Community Member AzB's Avatar
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    Ok, here's a new build. For this one, I've discarded the rogue levels. Instead, focus on melee but still try to get some mileage out of the bard cc spells.

    Code:
    Character Plan by DDO Character Planner Version 03.14.02
    DDO Character Planner Home Page
    
    Aznagiel 
    Level 20 True Neutral Human Male
    (2 Fighter \ 18 Bard) 
    Hit Points: 350
    Spell Points: 610 
    BAB: 15\15\20\25\25
    Fortitude: 17
    Reflex: 16
    Will: 11
    
                      Starting          Feat/Enhancement
    Abilities        Base Stats          Modified Stats
    (36 Point)       (Level 1)             (Level 20)
    Strength             17                    27
    Dexterity            10                    14
    Constitution         17                    20
    Intelligence          8                    11
    Wisdom                8                    11
    Charisma             15                    21
    
    Tomes Used
    +1 Tome of Strength used at level 1
    +1 Tome of Dexterity used at level 1
    +1 Tome of Constitution used at level 1
    +1 Tome of Intelligence used at level 1
    +1 Tome of Wisdom used at level 1
    +1 Tome of Charisma used at level 1
    +2 Tome of Strength used at level 7
    +2 Tome of Dexterity used at level 7
    +2 Tome of Constitution used at level 7
    +2 Tome of Intelligence used at level 7
    +2 Tome of Wisdom used at level 7
    +2 Tome of Charisma used at level 7
    +3 Tome of Strength used at level 11
    +3 Tome of Dexterity used at level 11
    +3 Tome of Constitution used at level 11
    +3 Tome of Intelligence used at level 11
    +3 Tome of Wisdom used at level 11
    +3 Tome of Charisma used at level 11
    
                      Starting          Feat/Enhancement
                     Base Skills         Modified Skills
    Skills           (Level 1)            (Level 20)
    Balance               0                    13
    Bluff                 3                     7
    Concentration         4                    13
    Diplomacy             3                     6
    Disable Device       n/a                    n/a
    Haggle                3                     5
    Heal                 -1                     0
    Hide                  0                     2
    Intimidate            4                    13
    Jump                  5                    13
    Listen               -1                    13
    Move Silently         0                     2
    Open Lock             n/a                   n/a
    Perform               n/a                  29
    Repair               -1                     0
    Search               -1                     0
    Spot                 -1                    10
    Swim                  4                    12
    Tumble                n/a                  16
    Use Magic Device      4                    28
    
    {\b {\ul Notable Equipment }} \par Health +6 Belt \par Charismatic +6 Cloak of Performing +11 \par Ring of Greater False Life \par Ring of Wizardry VII \par Ogre Power +6 Bracers \par Dexterous +6 Gloves \par Health +6 Necklace \par Clever +6 Goggles \par Minos Legens \par  \par Level 1 (Fighter)
    Feat: (Past Life) Past Life: Barbarian
    Feat: (Past Life) Past Life: Bard
    Feat: (Past Life) Past Life: Wizard
    Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Power Attack
    Feat: (Human Bonus) Toughness
    Feat: (Selected) Two Handed Fighting
    Enhancement: Fighter Haste Boost I
    Enhancement: Fighter Critical Accuracy I
    Enhancement: Fighter Toughness I
    
    
    Level 2 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Bard Extra Song I
    Enhancement: Bard Inspired Bravery I
    
    
    Level 3 (Fighter)
    Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Cleave
    Feat: (Selected) Past Life: Berserker's Fury
    Enhancement: Fighter Strategy (Trip) I
    Enhancement: Fighter Strength I
    
    
    Level 4 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Bard Inspired Damage I
    Enhancement: Bard Lingering Song I
    Enhancement: Racial Toughness I
    Enhancement: Bard Charisma I
    
    
    Level 5 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Bard Inspired Attack I
    Enhancement: Human Adaptability Dexterity I
    Enhancement: Improved Perform I
    
    
    Level 6 (Bard)
    Feat: (Selected) Weapon Focus: Slashing Weapons
    Enhancement: Human Improved Recovery I
    Enhancement: Racial Toughness II
    
    
    Level 7 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Bard Extra Song II
    Enhancement: Bard Inspired Bravery II
    
    
    Level 8 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Bard Lingering Song II
    Enhancement: Bard Warchanter I
    
    
    Level 9 (Bard)
    Feat: (Selected) Great Cleave
    Enhancement: Bard Inspired Damage II
    
    
    Level 10 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Bard Inspired Attack II
    
    
    Level 11 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Bard Song Magic I
    Enhancement: Bard Charisma II
    
    
    Level 12 (Bard)
    Feat: (Selected) Improved Two Handed Fighting
    Enhancement: Bard Inspired Bravery III
    Enhancement: Bard Song Magic II
    
    
    Level 13 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Human Greater Adaptability Strength I
    
    
    Level 14 (Bard)
    
    
    Level 15 (Bard)
    Feat: (Selected) Quicken Spell
    Enhancement: Bard Inspired Attack III
    Enhancement: Bard Warchanter II
    
    
    Level 16 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Bard Inspired Damage III
    Enhancement: Greatsword Training
    
    
    Level 17 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Human Improved Recovery II
    
    
    Level 18 (Bard)
    Feat: (Selected) Spell Penetration
    
    
    Level 19 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Bard Improved Spell Penetration I
    Enhancement: Bard Charisma III
    
    
    Level 20 (Bard)
    Enhancement: Bard Improved Spell Penetration II
    This build has a lot of benefits and there's some synergy with the barb past lives, the extra fighter and human feats, and the WC pre. For example, you get the ability to rage with the purchased barb past life feat, and the wc pre gives you one more rage if you have the ability to rage. So there's two rages, with no barb levels. The barb past life also give you access to racial and class toughness enhancement that give you a really cheap and easy way to get some bonus hp, and the wc pre adds 10 more. The 2/18 build gives you higher level casting than the 2/2/16 or 4/16, or 5/15 builds, and the extra feats allows fitting in more spell pen or enchantment focus while still getting all the two handed fighting feats and great cleave. This seems like a great way to get substantial dps and still retaining some spell potency. And the wiz past life gives you a bit more spell pen. More levels of wiz and/or barb would be easy enough for a few more points of spell pen and a few more hp.

    In this build I took toughness at 1st level for early survivability, it can be swapped out at a higher level after some of the other hp bonuses have kicked in. Or not, if max hp is desired. I'm thinking of swapping it for spell focus enchantment, which is not needed at lower levels, so this seems like a good trade.

    There are a couple of mistakes, for example there's no need for the greatsword training enhancement picked up with the wc tier 2. That's one point, so not a make or break deal. And I added the +1 stat bonus from the +3 tome at 1st level by mistake. But that makes not difference to the overall build. And spell choices are not written in stone, obviously.

    For gear I just listed random loot, nothing fancy. Just to get an idea what the potential is without getting caught up in gear choices yet.

    Let me know what you think.
    Last edited by AzB; 11-23-2012 at 03:55 AM.

  15. #15

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    I wouldn't bother with spending AP on spell penetration or CHA on what appears to be a melee build. The first tier of CHA maybe if it evens out the total CHA for the +1 CHA skills and SP that would bring. Having already given up the capstone CC spells are going to be more than an uphill battle when you don't have any CC feats to go with them.

    I'm not sure what you were planning on using quicken for either, tbh, unless it's for healing spells on the lower SP pool with no meta's. Supplementing healing that way can work for you but you will very likely be relying on wands and scrolls for the most part, and sort of skipped those in the enhancements.

    I would lose the quicken feat and spell penetration feat for improved critical slashing and something more suited to melee, like greater two handed fighting.

    Trying to pull off spells and melee tends to be mostly spells with 1 or 2 melee feats and the pure class for the capstone.

    If you want to go warchanter and splash fighter forget spell DC's completely and rely on fascinate and otto's IR.

  16. #16
    Community Member AzB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aashrym View Post
    I wouldn't bother with spending AP on spell penetration or CHA on what appears to be a melee build. The first tier of CHA maybe if it evens out the total CHA for the +1 CHA skills and SP that would bring. Having already given up the capstone CC spells are going to be more than an uphill battle when you don't have any CC feats to go with them.

    I'm not sure what you were planning on using quicken for either, tbh, unless it's for healing spells on the lower SP pool with no meta's. Supplementing healing that way can work for you but you will very likely be relying on wands and scrolls for the most part, and sort of skipped those in the enhancements.

    I would lose the quicken feat and spell penetration feat for improved critical slashing and something more suited to melee, like greater two handed fighting.

    Trying to pull off spells and melee tends to be mostly spells with 1 or 2 melee feats and the pure class for the capstone.

    If you want to go warchanter and splash fighter forget spell DC's completely and rely on fascinate and otto's IR.
    Good point on the healing. Once umd is high enough to use heal scrolls reliably, the aps used for healing amps could be dropped to first tier.

    Quicken is mostly for making otto and heal spells cast faster to be more useful. It also helps spells like mindfog which is a cheap way to help lower will saves on mobs for my or other casters spells to follow. Quicken is essential to get the spell off before the spells that rely on the lower will save.

    Metas on a bard are difficult as the spells really aren't all that great to begin with, and the metas are helpful only for specific spells or uses like for speeding up cures, enlarging otto's irresistible, etc.

    I didn't invest any ap in wands and scrolls as my thinking is that with the wiz past life, you get the bonus on DCs for free. Again, at high level, the healing amp could be swapped out for some wand and scroll help.

    Greater two handed and improved critical are nice feats, but to me they are situational and therefor luxuries. Greater two handed really only helps in mobs, and improved critical is similar. Regular, sustained dps is more important, and if I can fit in a couple of casting related feats, why not? And again, this toon will have past lives that will help with the casting, and I'm hoping that this will help keep the casting part of the build viable. This is kind of the point of the thread... not to follow the standard cookie cutter builds, but to try something new. That's why it has "experiment" in the thread title. I can always TR into a wiz or something if the bard doesn't work. I just don't want to have a bard that is a buff and pike toon.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by AzB View Post
    Good point on the healing. Once umd is high enough to use heal scrolls reliably, the aps used for healing amps could be dropped to first tier.

    Quicken is mostly for making otto and heal spells cast faster to be more useful. It also helps spells like mindfog which is a cheap way to help lower will saves on mobs for my or other casters spells to follow. Quicken is essential to get the spell off before the spells that rely on the lower will save.

    Metas on a bard are difficult as the spells really aren't all that great to begin with, and the metas are helpful only for specific spells or uses like for speeding up cures, enlarging otto's irresistible, etc.

    I didn't invest any ap in wands and scrolls as my thinking is that with the wiz past life, you get the bonus on DCs for free. Again, at high level, the healing amp could be swapped out for some wand and scroll help.

    Greater two handed and improved critical are nice feats, but to me they are situational and therefor luxuries. Greater two handed really only helps in mobs, and improved critical is similar. Regular, sustained dps is more important, and if I can fit in a couple of casting related feats, why not? And again, this toon will have past lives that will help with the casting, and I'm hoping that this will help keep the casting part of the build viable. This is kind of the point of the thread... not to follow the standard cookie cutter builds, but to try something new. That's why it has "experiment" in the thread title. I can always TR into a wiz or something if the bard doesn't work. I just don't want to have a bard that is a buff and pike toon.
    Your experiment might go awry with no burst healing, weaker melee, and lower spell DC's than other bards.

    A CHA build using CHA based weapons is more likely to be successful with spells and melee. A virt using STR and melee feats with songs and OID for CC is an easier hybrid model. More commonly it's either STR bards who ignore spell DC's or CHA bards with 1 or 2 melee feats.

    The reason cookie cutter builds exist is because those are the builds players find effective. So my question in response to the stated goal of viable with melee and spells is in what content to you want to be viable?

  18. #18
    Community Member AzB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aashrym View Post
    Your experiment might go awry with no burst healing, weaker melee, and lower spell DC's than other bards.
    So none of the measures I've described will make any difference in dealing with those shortcomings?

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by AzB View Post
    So none of the measures I've described will make any difference in dealing with those shortcomings?
    It looks like you are spreading yourself too thin by trying to do too much or stretch in too many directions. Healing is pretty easy for you to add more to. Spell CC not so much because they require the DC's invested and spell penetration invested. Skipping improved crit is a significant loss in melee damage for the spell penetration feat without the needed investment to be successful later on in the game. Quicken actually isn't a poor choice at all but without sufficient investment in healing or spell CC being unable to be interrupted has less meaning.


    Let's look at your spell penetration. This is something that I believe is entirely possible to pretty much ignore on a bard in favor of the fascinate lines. If there is a focus on spells, however, you've given yourself +27 if you have a +3 spell penetration item. That's pushing it on the low side in Amrath and certainly low in the case of epic drow among other things. You could probably get by on that if you use fascinate on high SR mobs, which gets back to why invest significantly if you would be using fascinate when you need the spell penetration? Save those SP and that feat for something that will do you more good because the SR you have is fine for when you don't need it but won't be landing you any disco balls when you do.

    You could easily have 4 more spell penetration just by giving up the fighter levels and taking the capstone. That's more reasonable and possible to get reasonable spell penetration for epics with destinies and twists. However...

    The spell penetration is compounded by saves. You have no feats for DC's, given up +2 CHA for the capstone, given up +2 enchantment DC's capstone, possibly given up 1 DC on human adaptability. Your level ups appear to be going into strength for another 2 or 3 DC's depending. That's at least 8 DC's on a typical bard caster and 10 on some of the gung ho past lifers. Add in epic spell focus and twists and it's more like 14 or more DC's, possibly falling off the d20 spread completely for only a 5% chance to land the failed save. Recurring saves on many spells don't help with that.

    You are going to find that mobs will walk right through your CC outside of fascinate and OID on non-SR targets. Your best bet is mass suggestion and hope it lands on some unlucky targets. Mind fog also requires a failed will save to take effect in the first place and most bards are already prepping with crushing despair or hypno for the save debuff. Those won't help you much in comparison when they are already the standard. Changing 1 feat for DC's won't make much difference.

    Giving up the fighter levels will get you 3 more enchantment DC's easily enough but that will still leave you pretty far behind the standard and DC's will still be an issue, even with 3 or 4 more but would be better. Don't market your build as CC.

    When it comes to effective casting a small investment into the casting aspect is like ****ing into the wind. It's counterproductive because the investment ends up doing us no good and the opportunity cost is still spent.


    I see greatsword training is listed as a mistake. Is that also true of human adaptability dex? You are better off with STR and CON, STR and CHA, or CHA and CON pairing adaptability; possibly only taking the first tier to free up AP. That improved perform I is also wasted AP. I wouldn't trust your trip DC's either but there's always that small chance too, I suppose.

    If you forget the fighter levels you can still keep greatsword training (my assumption is for eSoS); or just cast masters touch. Those 2 levels are worth 4 spell penetration and 3 spell DC's if you want to play with spell DC's as a sideline toy. Also 5 more songs and more song duration. You can give up THF and ITHF. Aside from fighter haste boost I don't think the fighter enhancements chosen with carry significant impact overall.

    Not taking improved crit is a mistake because it's a DPS drop that also includes effects that proc on crits and prevents you from taking the overwhelming critical feats in epics when you are already most of the way there.


    Keep your healing amp. Stacking healing amp will do you wonders. Take wand and scroll mastery. Wand and scroll mastery plus healing amp is over 300 hit points self healed per scroll with a bit of investment. You won't have SP to burn in most cases on what you are building and using wands and scrolls should be your bread and butter healing, and without meta's for the healing you won't be adding any bigger bursts that way. If you have song magic IV and enough spell power through items and enough healing amp CSW can heal you over 200 hit points unmeta'd not critted geared at level 25 for 12 SP. Keep that in mind while grinding gear and planning out your character.


    The issue you are going to run into with stretching thin is that spell DC's and multiclassing don't mix on a bard because of the capstone, and melee investment significantly detracts from spell casting investment. You can look up builds that dual wield elyd's or falcatta's as ideas for CHA melee bards. Sometimes it's better to simply use the STR based weapons regardless.

    I don't want to discourage experimentation but I do want to set the proper expectations as to your roadblocks in advance. Depending on the content you plan on playing in DC's will be the biggest stumbling block if you plan on using spells for CC on your multiclass significantly. You would be better off, IMO, to forget spell CC if you want reasonable melee and use fascinate and otto's IR for your CC needs and focus more on melee. That is true regardless of which PrE you would select.

  20. #20
    Community Member AzB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aashrym View Post
    It looks like you are spreading yourself too thin by trying to do too much or stretch in too many directions. Healing is pretty easy for you to add more to. Spell CC not so much because they require the DC's invested and spell penetration invested. Skipping improved crit is a significant loss in melee damage for the spell penetration feat without the needed investment to be successful later on in the game. Quicken actually isn't a poor choice at all but without sufficient investment in healing or spell CC being unable to be interrupted has less meaning.


    Let's look at your spell penetration. This is something that I believe is entirely possible to pretty much ignore on a bard in favor of the fascinate lines. If there is a focus on spells, however, you've given yourself +27 if you have a +3 spell penetration item. That's pushing it on the low side in Amrath and certainly low in the case of epic drow among other things. You could probably get by on that if you use fascinate on high SR mobs, which gets back to why invest significantly if you would be using fascinate when you need the spell penetration? Save those SP and that feat for something that will do you more good because the SR you have is fine for when you don't need it but won't be landing you any disco balls when you do.

    You could easily have 4 more spell penetration just by giving up the fighter levels and taking the capstone. That's more reasonable and possible to get reasonable spell penetration for epics with destinies and twists. However...

    The spell penetration is compounded by saves. You have no feats for DC's, given up +2 CHA for the capstone, given up +2 enchantment DC's capstone, possibly given up 1 DC on human adaptability. Your level ups appear to be going into strength for another 2 or 3 DC's depending. That's at least 8 DC's on a typical bard caster and 10 on some of the gung ho past lifers. Add in epic spell focus and twists and it's more like 14 or more DC's, possibly falling off the d20 spread completely for only a 5% chance to land the failed save. Recurring saves on many spells don't help with that.

    You are going to find that mobs will walk right through your CC outside of fascinate and OID on non-SR targets. Your best bet is mass suggestion and hope it lands on some unlucky targets. Mind fog also requires a failed will save to take effect in the first place and most bards are already prepping with crushing despair or hypno for the save debuff. Those won't help you much in comparison when they are already the standard. Changing 1 feat for DC's won't make much difference.

    Giving up the fighter levels will get you 3 more enchantment DC's easily enough but that will still leave you pretty far behind the standard and DC's will still be an issue, even with 3 or 4 more but would be better. Don't market your build as CC.

    When it comes to effective casting a small investment into the casting aspect is like ****ing into the wind. It's counterproductive because the investment ends up doing us no good and the opportunity cost is still spent.


    I see greatsword training is listed as a mistake. Is that also true of human adaptability dex? You are better off with STR and CON, STR and CHA, or CHA and CON pairing adaptability; possibly only taking the first tier to free up AP. That improved perform I is also wasted AP. I wouldn't trust your trip DC's either but there's always that small chance too, I suppose.

    If you forget the fighter levels you can still keep greatsword training (my assumption is for eSoS); or just cast masters touch. Those 2 levels are worth 4 spell penetration and 3 spell DC's if you want to play with spell DC's as a sideline toy. Also 5 more songs and more song duration. You can give up THF and ITHF. Aside from fighter haste boost I don't think the fighter enhancements chosen with carry significant impact overall.

    Not taking improved crit is a mistake because it's a DPS drop that also includes effects that proc on crits and prevents you from taking the overwhelming critical feats in epics when you are already most of the way there.


    Keep your healing amp. Stacking healing amp will do you wonders. Take wand and scroll mastery. Wand and scroll mastery plus healing amp is over 300 hit points self healed per scroll with a bit of investment. You won't have SP to burn in most cases on what you are building and using wands and scrolls should be your bread and butter healing, and without meta's for the healing you won't be adding any bigger bursts that way. If you have song magic IV and enough spell power through items and enough healing amp CSW can heal you over 200 hit points unmeta'd not critted geared at level 25 for 12 SP. Keep that in mind while grinding gear and planning out your character.


    The issue you are going to run into with stretching thin is that spell DC's and multiclassing don't mix on a bard because of the capstone, and melee investment significantly detracts from spell casting investment. You can look up builds that dual wield elyd's or falcatta's as ideas for CHA melee bards. Sometimes it's better to simply use the STR based weapons regardless.

    I don't want to discourage experimentation but I do want to set the proper expectations as to your roadblocks in advance. Depending on the content you plan on playing in DC's will be the biggest stumbling block if you plan on using spells for CC on your multiclass significantly. You would be better off, IMO, to forget spell CC if you want reasonable melee and use fascinate and otto's IR for your CC needs and focus more on melee. That is true regardless of which PrE you would select.
    First off, thanks for the detailed and informative response. I understand the shortcomings and failings of my build much more clearly. I think I could be happy with fascinate and Otto's ID for CC, it will just take a little bit of modification of my playstyle.

    I would have no problem dropping the fighter levels except for the extra feats. They come in handy for any build since the bard class is so feat starved. Since I have a pure bard at lvl 21 already anyway, I see no need to go pure for this toon. If the rogue got some extra feats at low level, it would make an interesting choice. A couple druid levels might be interesting too, a sort of melee bard/wolf thing could be fun. I wonder if the spell cooldown in animal form is a problem with multiclass spellcasters in wolf form?

    At any rate, I get it. Go full melee or caster, or go home. I think melee would be best for this toon since the extra spell pen, wand and scroll mastery DCs, hps, and rage from past lives would make for great melee and still give some spell pen for Otto's ID, at least. A decent UMD and high wand and scroll DCs is going to give this toon a great deal of magical ability, rather than getting it from spellcasting.

    I think it'll be worth giving it a shot. Thanks again for the very clearly stated and detailed advice.

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