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Inspire greatness - designer’s thought? How to use it, how does it work?


Rules Questions


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

English is not my native language. So my intention in this opening post is not to be Ironic, Sarcastic, Rude, etc.

This is not a bard thread. It’s a thread about Inspire greatness. And I’m not saying, “Inspire greatness is too weak and this is really a big problem and I’m disappointed”. It's not a problem the bard can use inspire competence.

I‘m saying, perhaps there is more to Inspire greatness than meets the eye and if not what was the designer’s thought?

- First Inspire greatness seems to be pointless. Inspire Courage is much better so why use Inspire greatness?
- Second when I asked James Jacobs to share us his thoughts on Inspire Courage (IC) vs. Inspire Greatness (IG) he seems to indicate that IG is more powerful than IC.

James Jacobs wrote:

[...]Inspire greatness is a way for a bard to boost HD, which does a lot more than just boost hit points. It's very much a tougher version of inspire competence, but geared toward defense as well as offense, and not one that's as much a "Help EVERYONE" power as it is to help a few allies.

Thread and following debate can be found here

James’ answer: ”It’s very much a tougher version of inspire competence”, seems to indicate it’s more than just +2 to attack and some temporary hit points.

I have already got some answers from Dissinger in the thread above but they are not satisfactory. I’m hopping James, Jason or anyone from the Paizo staff will explain this to all of us who have an interest in Inspire greatness. I know we can house rule but this is not the issue here.

So here are all my questions. Inspire greatness:

  • how does it work? What does Boost the HD mean? Does a spell caster with +2 HD get +2 cater level, does a fighter get +2 BAB?
  • what was the designer’s thought?
  • when is it supposed to be used?
  • how is it supposed to be used?

    In order for you to understand why I’m asking all this here are some quotes from Dissinger and some reflections from me.

    Dissinger already gave me this answer on how IG works:
    “This means for spells that rely on how many hit dice you have (like sleep, daze, blasphemy ect.) you count as having two more hit dice. Its pretty straight forward.”
    Dissinger aslo said: "it can prevent certain hit dice dependent effects like sleep or daze. However it must be done ahead of time".

    I know all this. This is not new to me but my point is:
    - At level 9 most spells with hit dice dependent effects are not a problem.

  • Sleep, etc. - no longer a problem
  • Hypnotic Pattern and Rainbow Pattern - The bard has Distraction.
  • At level 11 Deep Slumber is no longer a problem.

    - That leaves Blasphemy.

    IG can't be activated as an Immediate Action. This mean that if the bard wants to mitigate the effect of Blasphemy "it must be done ahead of time." This mean the bard must win the initiative (or know the party will meet a foe that might use Blasphemy and the bard must also know when and where the party will meet that foe). Even if the bard wins the initiative he must know that there is a risk the foe is going to cast Blasphemy. Otherwise the bard mus use IG in every encounter, "just in case".
    The bonus HD doesn't linger so the bard has to keep on using IG during the entire encounter in case the foe will use it later. That is, the bard must use IG all the time "just in case". Even if the bard is using IG it only affect 1 ally.
    Also, unless the bard knows the exact caster level of the foe he cant be sure the bonus HD will matter. If the Inspired ally HD is caster level -5 or caster level -3 doesn't matter.

    The usefulness of IG seems to be just theoretical.

    Let's take a look at party I'm playing in.
    Tank, Rogue, Cleric, Bard, Ranger.
    At level 11 the bard can use IC, giving the whole part +3 to attack, +3 weapon damage and +3 moral bonus to bonus charm and fear effects.
    Or he can use IG, giving one ally +2 to attack and +2HD and +1 to fort.

    Why would the bard use IG? The hit points is no big deal and IC is far better.
    Is it the hit point? If someone needs healing the cleric can heal or the bard can use IC and heal. At 13th level the bard can even cast Mass Cure Light Wounds or the bard can start IC as a swift action walk to a ally in need of healing and cast CMW or CSW.

    So I just want to know is there more to Inspire greatness than meets the eye? That is:

  • how does it work? What does Boost the HD mean? Does a spell caster with +2HD get +2 cater level, does a fighter get +2 BAB?
    And:
  • what was the designer’s thought?
  • when is it supposed to be used?
  • how is it supposed to be used?

    I’m not saying IG is too weak and it’s a problem. It’s not a problem, The bard can use IC.
    I’m just curious.


  • As I said in other thread, Inspire Greatness could be used as a Damage Reduction effect. You can start a bardic performance as a move action at level 7th, and as a free action at level 13th. That means that the temporary hit points are renewed each round if you want.

    Let's say two melee characters are blocking a passage, or tanking a lone enemy while the rest of the group are not at the foes reach. You, the bard, know that they are going to take a lot of pain from the enemies, so instead of Inspire Courage, you use Inspire Greatness.
    The first round both gain, say, 15 temporary hp. If they are hit for 30 hp, all the temporary hp are lost and they lose only 15 hp each. You begin the next round Inspire GReatness again (instead of mantaining), so they gain the temp. hp again.

    A character with 20 Con, gains about 21 hp per round, what means more than 100 hp of DR (or "healing" if you want) for a typical 5 round encounter; 200 hp for two characters.

    This ability is somewhat situational, but remember that you can change the character(s) every round.

    Taldor

    Yes, the "hold the line" function of IG is indeed (no pun intended) great.

    Let's face it: lots of the dungeon maps I've seen so far feature cramped corridors (5-foot wide) instead of wide passages. Most of the time the fighter is soaking 90% of the damage. A bard who know how and when to use IG can be a great team player and reduce the healing load from the cleric considerably.

    And for fighters... +2 BAB can mean extra attacks, and perhaps also allow for guilt-free use of the Power Attack feat.


    angelroble wrote:

    stuff

    As I said in the other thread, playing out hypothetical situations does not convince me of the usefulness of Inspire Greatness. No sarcasm intended.

    But thanx for the feedback :-)
    At what level would a character have 20 Con?


    Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
    [...] And for fighters... +2 BAB can mean extra attacks, and perhaps also allow for guilt-free use of the Power Attack feat.

    Do they get +2 BAB? I'm not sure. That's one of the questions I would like Paizo to answer.

    Calling it inspire "Greatness" just because you get some temp hit points is a bit strange.


    Answers please?


    From the wording of the power I don't believe it gives an increase to base attack bonus. I believe the extra hit dice increase only matter for how much temporary hit points the target gain, and spells and abilities that can only affect creatures with a set number of hit dice, like rainbow pattern.

    I believe that you would use inspire greatness to keep a creature's resolve up by keeping them from taking persistent wounds even when being attacked in melee. So it could be that being able to be hit without taking actual damage is a display of greatness.


    Well...it seems to work like this

    You can temporary hit points (as described)

    You then gain another 2D10 temporary hit points (which, unlike normal temporary hit points, can be healed if lost while this ability is in effect).

    Gain the rother bonuses (Like +2 to attack etc)

    And you count as being two levels higher for the purposes of abilities that have hit-dice limit (such, as listed above, Rainbow PAttern being a good example, but also spells like Holy Word.)

    I'm not sure where the "You get new temp hit points every round" idea from, generally spells and abilities which grant temporary hit points do not renew them every round - the duration only allows them to remain if the targets havn't lost them yet. I'm only looking as the PSRD version, but it doesn't list this ability as an exception to the rule.

    Cheliax

    Nero24200 wrote:

    Well...it seems to work like this

    You can temporary hit points (as described)

    You then gain another 2D10 temporary hit points (which, unlike normal temporary hit points, can be healed if lost while this ability is in effect).

    Gain the rother bonuses (Like +2 to attack etc)

    And you count as being two levels higher for the purposes of abilities that have hit-dice limit (such, as listed above, Rainbow PAttern being a good example, but also spells like Holy Word.)

    I'm not sure where the "You get new temp hit points every round" idea from, generally spells and abilities which grant temporary hit points do not renew them every round - the duration only allows them to remain if the targets havn't lost them yet. I'm only looking as the PSRD version, but it doesn't list this ability as an exception to the rule.

    Bard chooses to end the song at the beginning of his turn, then restart the bardic music each turn, allowing him to roll the temporary hit points each time it becomes his turn, hence creating a temporary hit point pool.


    I'm guessing the most powerful use of Inspire Courage will involve the hit-die dependent spells like polymorph and shapechange or the druid's wildshape ability.


    Sebastrd wrote:
    I'm guessing the most powerful use of Inspire Courage will involve the hit-die dependent spells like polymorph and shapechange or the druid's wildshape ability.

    Are they hit-die dependent? Explain how.


    Nero24200 wrote:

    Well...it seems to work like this

    You can temporary hit points (as described)

    You then gain another 2D10 temporary hit points

    You only get one set of temporary hit points You get 2d10 + con.

    Or did I missread you?
    What are the first set of temporary hit points you are refering to?


    Pernilla wrote:
    Nero24200 wrote:

    Well...it seems to work like this

    You can temporary hit points (as described)

    You then gain another 2D10 temporary hit points

    You only get one set of temporary hit points You get 2d10 + con.

    Or did I missread you?
    What are the first set of temporary hit points you are refering to?

    They are talking, about restarting inspire greatness every round, so the old 2 HD worth of hp (if any is left) are replaced by a new 2 HD worth of HP.


    kyrt-ryder wrote:
    Pernilla wrote:
    Nero24200 wrote:

    Well...it seems to work like this

    You can temporary hit points (as described)

    You then gain another 2D10 temporary hit points

    You only get one set of temporary hit points You get 2d10 + con.

    Or did I missread you?
    What are the first set of temporary hit points you are refering to?
    They are talking, about restarting inspire greatness every round, so the old 2 HD worth of hp (if any is left) are replaced by a new 2 HD worth of HP.

    No, Dissinger is taking about that.

    Nero is taking about something else. Notice Nero says: "I'm not sure where the "You get new temp hit points every round" idea from"


    Bumpity-bump
    Official Ruling / answer please.


    Pernilla wrote:

    Bumpity-bump

    Official Ruling / answer please.

    I'm not sure what sort of official answer you're expecting. It's pretty clear what Inspire Greatness gives:

    • +2 competence bonus on attacks, +1 competence bonus on Fort saves
    • 2d10+2*(Con bonus) temporary hp
    • If some effect asks "How many hit dice do you have?", you get to add two to your usual answer

    That's about it. Inspire Greatness used to be better in 3.5 when (a) the competence bonus to attack stacked with the morale bonus from Inspire Courage, and (b) Inspire Greatness and Inspire Courage lasted 5 rounds at a minimum, but c'est la vie. On the bright side, as pointed out above a bard can start and stop and start it again to refresh the pool of temporary hit points, so that's something.


    If a spellcaster had the Magical Knack trait then Inspire Greatness would mean a +2 to their caster level which can be a big deal.

    However seems like alot of trouble to go though. Now if I could make an item that would give me Inspire Greatness that would really be something.


    fictionfan wrote:

    If a spellcaster had the Magical Knack trait then Inspire Greatness would mean a +2 to their caster level which can be a big deal.

    However seems like alot of trouble to go though. Now if I could make an item that would give me Inspire Greatness that would really be something.

    That's awesome.

    Inspire Greatness is also good for creatures in regards to Improved Uncanny Dodge. A rogue that was several levels higher than the PCs may have been able to sneak attack them, but not after their hit dice were boosted. Similarly, if you fight multiple rogues, having Inspire Greatness might be what your rogue needs to ignore their IUD.

    The temporary HP is probably the best effect, though.

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