I've decided to finally do a bard life on my caster-only character, for the active past life feat of +1 enchantment DC's (since the final life of this character will most likely be wizard). I always wanted to really try a spellsinger bard, too, I just never got around to it and when I made new bard character I'd always fizzle out due to the rather mediocre low levels for bards; but now that I have past lives under my belt, I think it'd be more fun.
First, the particulars:
-- Ultimate goal is a full 20 bard spellsinger, focusing on supportive spellcasting, like crowd control and healing. The ability to do epic elite quests is optional, but if possible I'd love to really try for it. I have no scruples with being support/passive, as I enjoy groups far more than soloing.
-- Past lives include; 2 wizard, 2 cleric, 2 FVS, and 1 sorcerer. This will give me +60 SP, +6 spell penetration, and +1 evocation and +2 conjuration DC's.
-- I'd prefer to stick with the human race for the extra feat, since spellsinger bards are feat-starved. Half-elf isn't an option since I don't own them nor do I wish to look like a plastic Ken doll. But, I still think human would work better.
Now, some questions, since I really don't know that much about spellsingers or bards in general, although I know plenty about both arcane and divine casters.
Projected feat forecast
Level 1 toughness
Level 1 spell focus: enchantment (human extra)
Level 3 wizard past life
Level 6 maximize OR empower healing (see below)
Level 9 heighten
Level 12 spell penetration
Level 15 quicken (necessary)
Level 18 greater spell penetration
Level 21 inspire excellence
Level 24 greater spell focus: enchantment (necessary for a pure bard, since capstone adds +2?)
1. Metamagic feats: which ones? This is my biggest concern on a spellsinger as there are limited feats and focusing on both healing and crowd control is more difficult, unlike a cleric which is superior healing (the way I play them, anyway) or a wizard which can be phenomenal crowd control.
-- Heighten seems a logical choice for a spellcasting bard, since I want to focus on crowd control. But, does the smaller spell level (being only 6 instead of 9 for wizards) make this not quite as useful as it seems?
-- I'm torn between maximize or empower healing; maximize would be better overall, but 25 SP is a big step from 10 SP for a bard, and going for damage spells as a bard, even a spellsinger, seems rather silly. Greater shout is the only exception but that's used more for CC than damage.
-- Quicken does seem to be useful in both healing and crowd control while in combat, but that's more SP used in a spell pool smaller than both a cleric's and wizard's. You can't quicken a scroll or wand and you can't
-- Extend seems to be a convenience feat, at best. If I could work it in, great, but doesn't seem 100% necessary.
2. How much spell penetration is 'enough'? I'll have +6 from past lives as well as +6 from magister/draconic destines, +3 through bard enhancements, another +2 if I twist in the fatesinger's ancestor abilities, as well as +5 from just being in a maxed arcane destiny. On top of that, I'll get +2 from the bard capstone. I know it won't be as much as my wizard lives, but I want to at least try to get as much as possible. I think I'll be fine for epic hard quests, but epic elite might be a little beyond the reach of a spellsinger and I'd have to rely on songs. Confirmation would be appreciated.
3. Stats: maxing CHA is obvious, and I think 16 CON should be enough (dead healers don't heal). I'll probably be melee for the newbie levels with master's touch and a greatsword/axe, since grouping in the harbor and korthos is a nightmare. I know from the mid-levels on I'll most likely be consigned to parties which is where I'll shine. So, the issue here is how much strength is enough to 'get by' on the low-mid levels. If I do 18 CHA and 16 CON that leaves enough for 14 STR and 4 points left over for INT for skill points. Or just go 16 STR? This guy is not melee-based, nor are there/will there be melee past lives, so I'm undecided as to if 16 base STR is necessary.
4. Alignment. I assume true neutral is the way to go for any spellcaster, but correct me if I'm wrong.
5. Enhancements. Which ones are absolutely necessary? Which ones should I avoid at all costs? The healing/sonic ones seem obvious for a spellsinger. But, I'm wary about all the different song enhancements since I never really paid attention to bards (they take forever to buff).
6. Spells. I pretty much know what I need to about these, having played multiple caster lives, just the order in which to get them is a little confusing (but I won't fret, seeing as I have at least a dozen dragon's blood potions around my account). I know enough to stay away from charm spells after the harbor levels, seeing as I hate pink hats and they often annoy everyone else in the party; bards have superior songs for charming, anyway.
7. Equipment. I never paid much attention to bard equipment, but are there any must-have items pertaining to spellsingers in general? I have a plethora of scepters, staves, robes, and other items from caster lives.
That should be about it. Thanks in advance for the replies! (^_^)/)