I am currently looking to create a bard, as the class has always appealed to me. Unfortunately, I have little to no experience with them, and am hoping that the helpful forum community can give me some advice and guidance. This character will be making up the second member of a duo, the first member being an artificer, so I am looking to make a bard which can hold its own in battle while also keeping both of us alive through healing.
However, I have no idea how to go about this. It seems to me that either human, half-elf, or half-orc would be the ideal races for this. Human would provide healing amplification and an additional feat, half-elf would give healing amplification and increased saves in the form of the paladin dilettante, and half-orc would grant bonuses to melee combat.
I also gave some thought to whether I should remain a pure bard or introduce other classes into the mix. The most logical multiclassing options seem to me to be some combination of one or two levels of fighters for additional feats and access to their useful enhancements as well as perhaps one level of wizard for an extra feat as well as magical training and useful enhancements. Multiclassing is not my forte though, so I have no idea how viable a (for example) 17 bard/2 fighter/1 wizard would be compared to a 20 bard.
Any suggestions regarding races and class distribution would be greatly appreciated (since I'm sure that I made some incorrect assumptions about what is best), but I must insist that any multiclass options have the vast majority of the levels be bard. Additionally, if someone could suggest a feat list and give some generic advice regarding the bard enhancement trees (i.e. which ones to focus on and which ones to avoid), that would be fantastic.
Thank you very much for your time