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  1. #1
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    Default Dex based TWF bard.

    So I want to create a Drow, bard specializing in crowd control, support and TWF with weapon finesse.

    This is what I have so far : http://ddocrafting.info/myddo/orien/Brendii/

    I'm planning on building her around a Sunblade and Xoriat Blade at low level and maybe a Luck Blade Sirocco a bit higher up.

    I'm not a fan of cookie cutter forum builds so I'll probably make up a slightly gimped at high level but fun for me to play character. I have an image of her in my head as a high speed, whirling dervish slashing apart fascinated/dancing mobs.

    So I'd just like to ask people what sort of direction they would take a character like this in.
    Last edited by Brendael; 05-20-2013 at 10:12 AM.

  2. #2
    Community Member Fleckislaupir's Avatar
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    <insert obligatory "LOL DEX BUILDZ R GIMP!!1!" rant here>

    Now that that's outta the way...

    Here's an updated version of one of my oldest & favorite characters: a TWF DEX-based drow rogue / bard.
    Code:
    Character Plan by DDO Character Planner Version 03.16.01
    DDO Character Planner Home Page
    
    Level 25 True Neutral Drow Female
    (2 Fighter \ 2 Rogue \ 16 Bard \ 5 Epic) 
    Hit Points: 330
    Spell Points: 845 
    BAB: 15\15\20\25\25
    Fortitude: 11
    Reflex: 22
    Will: 10
    
                      Starting          Feat/Enhancement
    Abilities        Base Stats          Modified Stats
    (28 Point)       (Level 1)             (Level 25)
    Strength             12                    14
    Dexterity            18                    29
    Constitution         14                    16
    Intelligence         12                    14
    Wisdom                8                    10
    Charisma             12                    14
    
    Tomes Used
    +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
    
    Level 1 (Rogue)
    Feat: (Selected) Two Weapon Fighting
    
    
    Level 2 (Fighter)
    Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Precision
    
    
    Level 3 (Bard)
    Feat: (Selected) Toughness
    
    
    Level 4 (Bard)
    Ability Raise: DEX
    
    
    Level 5 (Bard)
    
    
    Level 6 (Bard)
    Feat: (Selected) Maximize Spell
    
    
    Level 7 (Bard)
    
    
    Level 8 (Bard)
    Ability Raise: DEX
    Enhancement: Rogue Haste Boost I
    Enhancement: Bard Inspired Damage I
    Enhancement: Bard Lingering Song I
    Enhancement: Bard Lingering Song II
    Enhancement: Bard Spellsinger I
    Enhancement: Drow Weapon Damage I
    Enhancement: Drow Weapon Damage II
    Enhancement: Racial Toughness I
    Enhancement: Racial Toughness II
    Enhancement: Rogue Sneak Attack Training I
    Enhancement: Improved Concentration I
    Enhancement: Improved Concentration II
    Enhancement: Bard Lyric of Song I
    Enhancement: Bard Song Magic I
    Enhancement: Bard Song Magic II
    Enhancement: Bard Energy of the Music I
    Enhancement: Bard Energy of the Music II
    Enhancement: Fighter Toughness I
    Enhancement: Bard Wand and Scroll Mastery I
    Enhancement: Bard Wand and Scroll Mastery II
    
    
    Level 9 (Bard)
    Feat: (Selected) Improved Two Weapon Fighting
    
    
    Level 10 (Rogue)
    
    
    Level 11 (Bard)
    
    
    Level 12 (Bard)
    Ability Raise: DEX
    Feat: (Selected) Improved Critical: Piercing Weapons
    
    
    Level 13 (Bard)
    
    
    Level 14 (Bard)
    
    
    Level 15 (Fighter)
    Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Greater Two Weapon Fighting
    Feat: (Selected) Quicken Spell
    
    
    Level 16 (Bard)
    Ability Raise: DEX
    Enhancement: Bard Extra Song I
    Enhancement: Bard Extra Song II
    Enhancement: Bard Inspired Damage II
    Enhancement: Bard Inspired Damage III
    Enhancement: Bard Spellsinger II
    Enhancement: Elven Dexterity I
    Enhancement: Bard Lyric of Song II
    Enhancement: Bard Lyric of Incredible Song I
    Enhancement: Bard Song Magic III
    Enhancement: Bard Song Magic IV
    Enhancement: Bard Energy of the Music III
    Enhancement: Bard Wand and Scroll Mastery III
    Enhancement: Bard Wand and Scroll Mastery IV
    
    
    Level 17 (Bard)
    
    
    Level 18 (Bard)
    
    
    Level 19 (Bard)
    
    
    Level 20 (Bard)
    Ability Raise: DEX
    Enhancement: Elven Dexterity II
    Enhancement: Bard Lyric of Song III
    Enhancement: Bard Lyric of Incredible Song II
    Enhancement: Bard Lyric of Incredible Song III
    Enhancement: Rogue Dexterity I
    
    
    Level 21 (Bard)
    Feat: (Selected) Inspire Excellence
    
    
    Level 22 (Bard)
    
    
    Level 23 (Bard)
    
    
    Level 24 (Bard)
    Feat: (Selected) Empower Healing Spell
    
    
    Level 25 (Bard)
    A few comments:
    • One nice feature is you don't need any tomes to make it work, so a first-timer can pull it off easily.
    • Focused on TWF melee, buffs, and heals; can also be specced as Virtuoso or WC.
    • Don't bother with Finesse: there aren't a lot of weapons which use DEX instead of STR for dmg, but there are more than there used to be, inc. a few epic options; and all of them substitute DEX for to-hit & dmg.
    • I'd start with a couple of Tiefling Assassin's Blades if you can get them; either farm 3BC rare or try to buy them off AH. Later I'd say your best options are Flint, Treason, Envenomed Blade; among regular rapiers / SSs I like Cutthroat's Smallblade, Cannith Rapier of Air, epic Elyd Edge, and Balizarde.
    The Once and Future unbongwah

  3. #3

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    I would go full cha-based, with only enough dex to qualify for the twf line including tomes. Ideally: 14 base dex w/ +3 tome. Strength can be largely dumped, but start with enough to qualify for your feats. (eg: 13 for power attack.)

    Base 20 cha, all levelups in cha, all cha enhancements / gear you can find.

    Dual-wield Dynastic Falcatas. They are khopeshes, which makes them decent. They use cha for both to-hit and damage, so neither strength nor dexterity matters one whit for your melee damage. At epic levels, switch to...Epic Dynastic Falcatas. Done and done.

    This gives you a nice combination of high dcs as well as decent TWF slicing swordplay of death.

    (Try to farm up a Moonhowl Axe -- an ML4 greatclub that uses cha for to-hit and damage -- as your leveling weapon until you get high enough level to wield falcatas. I think they're ML12.)

  4. #4
    Community Member Therigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendael View Post
    So I want to create a Drow, bard specializing in crowd control, support and TWF with weapon finesse.
    The proposed enhancement pass is going to result in many more of these types of characters. I'm going to suggest that you look at a rogue/bard combination. If the current look of enhancements remains the same you will be able to grab a rogue enhancement that gives DEX to hit and to damage on all finesse weapons IF you have the weapon finesse feat.

    A search will tell you how many rogue levels you need at present for that to apply to your character.

    Remaining levels in bard. Stat points balanced among DEX and CON. High CHA helps your crowd control but I would not emphasize it over the other two stats. That is because most groups blow through mobs with no regard for CC making the effort pointless too many times.

  5. #5
    Community Member Therigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    I would go full cha-based, with only enough dex to qualify for the twf line including tomes.
    There is value in this approach. However, do not be fooled into thinking that it is remarkably easy to obtain the weapon sets or their epic versions. Often we post to the forums about epic gear without conveying how hard it actually is to obtain all of the parts needed to upgrade the heroic versions.

    My personal favorite for bards is Epic Elyd Edge. Yet, even though it is easy to get the base weapon I have yet to acquire all the elements to make even ONE epic version.

    For this reason, it may be better to stick with a DEX based character relying on other weapons that are more common and easier to obtain.

    Nonetheless, for players with access to the weapons and their epic versions the CHA based character is, indeed, a reasonable alternative.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Therigar View Post
    There is value in this approach. However, do not be fooled into thinking that it is remarkably easy to obtain the weapon sets or their epic versions. Often we post to the forums about epic gear without conveying how hard it actually is to obtain all of the parts needed to upgrade the heroic versions.
    The non-epic falcatas are good enough in their own right that it won't be a big deal if it takes a very long time to epic either or both of them.

    Farming up just the base items is its own kind of annoying; it took me around 40 chest pulls to farm a whirlwind, and that rare is closer to the start and spawns WAY more frequently than the chest falcatas drop in.

    Still, it's not overly difficult. The epics might be, but the base weapons work just fine for a cha build.

  7. #7
    Community Member Therigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    The non-epic falcatas are good enough in their own right that it won't be a big deal if it takes a very long time to epic either or both of them.

    Farming up just the base items is its own kind of annoying; it took me around 40 chest pulls to farm a whirlwind, and that rare is closer to the start and spawns WAY more frequently than the chest falcatas drop in.

    Still, it's not overly difficult. The epics might be, but the base weapons work just fine for a cha build.
    The non-epic can be found on the AH from time to time -- meaning that a player could get by without ever farming for them.

    But, we should never trivialize how difficult it is to get epic materials for the upgrades.

    Meanwhile, epic versions of other weapons exist that require no upgrading whatsoever. Even in epic form, the Epic Dynastic Falcata has trouble matching up to Balizarde (for example) or Celestia.

    Note that either of these can be make use of the weapon finesse feat to utilize DEX instead of STR as the to-hit calculation. And, if the enhancement pass stands as is a L3 rogue will be able to use DEX as the to-damage modifier on both of these as well.

    A rogue 3/bard 17 that is DEX based will easily vie with or even out damage a CHA bard using the falcata.

    Not that your advice is bad. It certainly has merit. But, readers should be aware of what is out there that can provide them with easier to obtain and more powerful weapon options.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Therigar View Post
    The non-epic can be found on the AH from time to time -- meaning that a player could get by without ever farming for them.

    But, we should never trivialize how difficult it is to get epic materials for the upgrades.

    Meanwhile, epic versions of other weapons exist that require no upgrading whatsoever. Even in epic form, the Epic Dynastic Falcata has trouble matching up to Balizarde (for example) or Celestia.

    Note that either of these can be make use of the weapon finesse feat to utilize DEX instead of STR as the to-hit calculation. And, if the enhancement pass stands as is a L3 rogue will be able to use DEX as the to-damage modifier on both of these as well.

    A rogue 3/bard 17 that is DEX based will easily vie with or even out damage a CHA bard using the falcata.

    Not that your advice is bad. It certainly has merit. But, readers should be aware of what is out there that can provide them with easier to obtain and more powerful weapon options.
    Agreed on all points except that you don't mention that non-cha weapons cost you spell DCs if you focus on str or dex instead of cha.

    I'm assuming 50+ cha. How much better is belizarde or celestia on a 50+ cha build than falcatas?

    EDIT: But if you don't want DCs, yeah, don't go cha-based and just use the buff spells.

  9. #9
    Community Member Therigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    Agreed on all points except that you don't mention that non-cha weapons cost you spell DCs if you focus on str or dex instead of cha.
    Well, here's the original post on that:

    Quote Originally Posted by Brendael View Post
    So I want to create a Drow, bard specializing in crowd control, support and TWF with weapon finesse.
    And, here's my original reply regarding crowd control:

    Quote Originally Posted by Therigar View Post
    High CHA helps your crowd control but I would not emphasize it over the other two stats. That is because most groups blow through mobs with no regard for CC making the effort pointless too many times.
    The only purpose of high DCs (within the OP's goals) is to help with crowd control and, in most cases, crowd control is a huge waste of time and effort. So, really a player has to choose whether they want to have an ability that is going to be sitting on the sideline the majority of the time or if they want to take a different tack on things.

    My recommendation is that, generally speaking, people take a different tack. And, this means focusing instead on the TWF and weapon finesse side of the build with an eye towards the upcoming enhancement pass.

    Ultimately, the original poster (and others giving similar builds consideration) have to decide which of these is of more importance and value to them personally.

    But note that, from the beginning, I've acknowledged that going that direction does affect that portion of the build.

    Edit: One other thing to note, a bard's songs are probably more important as a source of crowd control and the DC for them is based on the perform skill. This is a CHA skill so higher CHA does impact, but hitting 50+ CHA isn't really necessary.
    Last edited by Therigar; 05-21-2013 at 09:31 PM.

  10. #10
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    TY for the responses. This is what I enjoy about DDO - the different opinions on different builds and the fact that they are all viable.

    The one common theme seems to be that you should multi-class. I suspect that adding two levels of rogue would be a good idea. Possibly even get evasion going, although my int is possibly too low to make the best use of the rogue skills.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Therigar View Post
    The only purpose of high DCs (within the OP's goals) is to help with crowd control and, in most cases, crowd control is a huge waste of time and effort. So, really a player has to choose whether they want to have an ability that is going to be sitting on the sideline the majority of the time or if they want to take a different tack on things.
    I disagree; I think dball is quite valuable and worth maxing.

    However, the core problem with dball will be spell penetration. This directly conflicts with TWF because you need a bunch of feats for viable TWF: TWF, ITWF, GTWF, IC, and probably PA. Toughness is good to have on any melee as well. That's six feats right there, and a drow bard with epic levels only gets 9 feats. I suppose the last three could be spent on the spell pen line and call it good enough. It's a tough fit, though.

    The two basic choices for a TWF bard are to a) focus on TWF and dump your DCs/spell pen, focusing instead on buffs and songs, or b) focus on DCs and get enough TWF ability that it's actually worth swinging the weapons.

    My interpretation of the OP's goals was option b), thus my advice to focus on CHA and use CHA-based weapons.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    I disagree; I think dball is quite valuable and worth maxing.
    This is kind of dependent on the build. I built a pure bard spellsinger, maxed cha (I didn't reach 50, but got pretty close) and on elite when running for bravery in later quests I felt the bard lacks the necessary DC's & spell pen for it to be worth investing so heavily (GRANTED, I was an undergeared, first life character). If OP is planning to run normal/hard then, yeah discoball would be nice to have cranked up but since it is only a level 5? spell it just simply lacks the OOMPH of a wizard's disco party.

    I think, even moreso if you are planning to multiclass (I recommend it, the last few levels of bard don't give you a whole lot) focusing on spell DC's will be a disappointing venture.

    My advice if you really want crowd control is to choose the virtuoso prestige and spam song of capering (single target but it works awesome) and otto's irresistable dance (also single target, works awesome). Enthrall is also not bad..

    A 2 rogue splash would work great on this build - your evasion would be sweet since you're going dex based..and that's about all I can say about dex-based builds because I've never made one Bards do get a few skill points each level..with a few points in int you could maybe get search/disable/perform/UMD all maxed, not sure about concentration, spot and any others you may want, though.

    One last bit, if you choose to splash rogue, make sure your first level is as a rogue - you get boatloads of skill points if you start that way.

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