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Treantmonk's Guide to Bards (Optimization)


Advice

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Zark wrote:
Unless there is a mishap it doesn't cost anything if you use wands except a wasted action

Wasted actions are a big deal in combat. A fight may be decided within three rounds. If you waste one of those rounds, you're dead in the water for a third of the deciding moment of the fight. Which is why you don't use UMD in-combat until you can do so with either a very small chance or no chance of failing.


Viletta Vadim wrote:
Zark wrote:
Unless there is a mishap it doesn't cost anything if you use wands except a wasted action
Wasted actions are a big deal in combat. A fight may be decided within three rounds. If you waste one of those rounds, you're dead in the water for a third of the deciding moment of the fight. Which is why you don't use UMD in-combat until you can do so with either a very small chance or no chance of failing.

I was refering to

"but out of combat stuff pretty much leaves anything open, as long as you can afford a couple failed attempts"
Sorry If I read it wrong of If my post was unclear.


Ah, alright. Though, "can afford a couple failed attempts," probably means time rather than charges.


Zark wrote:
Treantmonk wrote:


Using UMD in combat isn't a great idea until high level, but out of combat stuff pretty much leaves anything open, as long as you can afford a couple failed attempts.
Unless there is a mishap it doesn't cost anything if you use wands except a wasted action

Exactly. (Emphasis mine)


Yes. And that is no big deal if you are out of combat (unless you have a mishap). Does that make my point more clear? :-)
Edit: and it you have +19 on the check you never fail (using wands)


Yes, much more clear, and we are in agreement.

Using wands out of combat - a few failed attempts is no big deal.

Using wands in combat - not until your UMD is high enough.


Zark wrote:

Yes. And that is no big deal if you are out of combat (unless you have a mishap). Does that make my point more clear? :-)

Edit: and it you have +19 on the check you never fail (using wands)

Which, consequently, is obtained by level 13 with full ranks in UMD, assuming the standard 16 charisma. You can achieve this at level 10 with skill focus or magical aptitude, but I honestly wouldn't recommend it.


Sean FitzSimon wrote:
Zark wrote:

Yes. And that is no big deal if you are out of combat (unless you have a mishap). Does that make my point more clear? :-)

Edit: and it you have +19 on the check you never fail (using wands)
Which, consequently, is obtained by level 13 with full ranks in UMD, assuming the standard 16 charisma. You can achieve this at level 10 with skill focus or magical aptitude, but I honestly wouldn't recommend it.

Actually, you only really need +17; after you use a wand once, you get a +2 bonus to activate it again. And, as I said before, throw in a circlet of persuasion, that free half-elf Skill Focus in UMD, and maybe a masterwork tool, and it's no problem to get there by level 4.


Viletta Vadim wrote:


Actually, you only really need +17; after you use a wand once, you get a +2 bonus to activate it again. And, as I said before, throw in a circlet of persuasion, that free half-elf Skill Focus in UMD, and maybe a masterwork tool, and it's no problem to get there by level 4.

I wouldn't call it "no problem"

- you need a 16 CHA by level 4 (probably not, certainly not with any of the builds I presented in this guide other than the controller)

- you need a 4,500gp item at 4th level...also probably not (especially considering you need some wands too). Besides, a 4th level bard can find more useful ways to spend that kind of gold (how about a magic weapon and a few other more minor items?)

- you need to convince your DM to allow a masterwork tool specifically for adding to UMD (I have no idea what that would be, but the DM in me is already saying no.)

However, the +2 to activate it after the first is a good point. If you have a 17 UMD, just use the wand out of combat once to get the bonus and you're golden.

Cheliax

Treantmonk wrote:

Note to readers: Welcome to my first Pathfinder Handbook, the guide to Bards. I would like to remind all readers that I cannot edit this post. Mistakes, additions, or any other kind of edit will never be seen in this post.

However, please take a look at this Google Document of Treantmonk's Guide to Bards which not only has lots of nice pretty pictures, and different colors, but will also be edited as required, so, the longer this post is here, the more reason you have to click the link, rather than read the rest of this post here.

My only request to you the reader is to please comment. Do so by replying to this post. I will be checking replies regularly, and responding to any questions or comments regularly as well. If you like what I've done, let me know. If you don't, by all means let me know that as well. Let me know what you agree with, and what you don't (but don't forget to tell me why I'm wrong!). I appreciate all replies, whether positive or negative, so thank you in advance for replying.

So, without further ado:

Treantmonk's Guide to Bards: Pathfinder Core Rules

The Bard is often a class with misunderstood abilities. He is not a martial class, not a cannon, not a primary caster, not a primary healer. However, too often is the term "JoAT" used (Jack of All Trades), when in truth, the Bard's ability to do "fill any role required" in a party is also often overstated. If your Bard's job is to fill in for a missing party fighter, I recommend having your replacement character ready (probably a fighter type?). So exactly what is the Bard supposed to be doing? How is the Bard going to be a class that fills a meaningful role in the party? What role do you fill?

I hear the following comments often: "The Bard is good at what he does.", or "The Bard is an excellent 5th party member". The first comment of course leads to the question "Exactly what does he do? Are...

Thank you for creating this Treantmonk. Very interesting. I'm looking forward to your wizard guide.


MoFiddy: Thanks! I'm currently about 1/2 way through the wizard guide. Going to be a bit longer than my Bard/Ranger guides...

Qadira

Treantmonk wrote:
MoFiddy: Thanks! I'm currently about 1/2 way through the wizard guide. Going to be a bit longer than my Bard/Ranger guides...

I'm also looking forward to the wizard guide. As they are one of the more difficult classes for many players to play well.

Also very interested in seeing a druid guide.


I'm considering the possibility of a Druid guide, I certainly think one is needed for Pathfinder.

However, Wizard guide first...


Treantmonk wrote:

I wouldn't call it "no problem"

- you need a 16 CHA by level 4 (probably not, certainly not with any of the builds I presented in this guide other than the controller)

- you need a 4,500gp item at 4th level...also probably not (especially considering you need some wands too). Besides, a 4th level bard can find more useful ways to spend that kind of gold (how about a magic weapon and a few other more minor items?)

- you need to convince your DM to allow a masterwork tool specifically for adding to UMD (I have no idea what that would be, but the DM in me is already saying no.)

However, the +2 to activate it after the first is a good point. If you have a 17 UMD, just use the wand out of combat once to get the bonus and you're golden.

The fundamental point was not so much that you should be able to use those wands reliably from level four, but that it's not very difficult to get UMD to levels usable in combat from fairly low-levels.

Wand use is primarily something desirable for controllers (though melee wants its Enlarge Person and archery wants its True Strike), so that's not an issue. The controller has considerably less need for that +1 weapon than the alternatives. The circlet also gives substantial boosts to several other skills that are likely to be your favorites. Though you probably won't hit 100% at level four, it isn't particularly hard to get UMD to usable levels around level 5 or 6 if you try, which is still pretty low.


OK - thanks for the clarification.

I agree that the Controller specifically is going to benifit from a high UMD.

Level 5 or 6 is certainly more likely I think.


Rules Clarification: Bardic Versatile Performance
Link here


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Zark wrote:

Rules Clarification: Bardic Versatile Performance

Link here

James is becoming my favorite Paizo employee fast! (He recently clarified some things on the Ranger thread as well).

I'll make sure the Guide reflects this official clarification (later today - late for work):

1) You are not actually performing, just substituting the skill
2) You use your total bonus, including CHA, Class Skill, Skill focus etc.
3) You do not use situational modifiers or tools to perform, since you aren't actually using them
4 You do use situational modifiers to the original skill, they still apply (assumably ACP is such a situational modifier)

Thanks Zark!


No problem. I'm just glad to be of help. Thank you for the clarification.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Treantmonk wrote:

I'm considering the possibility of a Druid guide, I certainly think one is needed for Pathfinder.

However, Wizard guide first...

I hope you eventually produce a guide for each class. These are interesting reads. Thanks for putting these together.


Gray wrote:
I hope you eventually produce a guide for each class. These are interesting reads. Thanks for putting these together.

Y'know, more than one person can make handbooks. If you're really interested in a specific handbook, go through the material and try and make it yourself, to create a spectacular resource for all, to create a true handbook community. After all, it's not fair to dump all the work on poor Treantmonk's shoulders.


Viletta Vadim wrote:
Gray wrote:
I hope you eventually produce a guide for each class. These are interesting reads. Thanks for putting these together.
Y'know, more than one person can make handbooks. If you're really interested in a specific handbook, go through the material and try and make it yourself, to create a spectacular resource for all, to create a true handbook community. After all, it's not fair to dump all the work on poor Treantmonk's shoulders.

I think a lot of people are hesitant to open themselves up to the criticism which gets piled onto you when you do something like this. In particular if they aren't sure about their expertise.


What better way to learn than to jump head-first into a pit of wolves?


Viletta Vadim wrote:
Gray wrote:
I hope you eventually produce a guide for each class. These are interesting reads. Thanks for putting these together.
Y'know, more than one person can make handbooks. If you're really interested in a specific handbook, go through the material and try and make it yourself, to create a spectacular resource for all, to create a true handbook community. After all, it's not fair to dump all the work on poor Treantmonk's shoulders.

I would love to see some handbooks by other people. Don't worry about duplication either, another Bard Handbook, as long as new perspective is brought to it, could be very interesting to read and digest.

A wizard handbook is almost complete and should be up sometime this weekend or early next week at the latest.

After that, a bit of a break from handbook writing, until I remotivate myself.

Then I'm thinking of a Druid Handbook, and maybe after that a handbook that does detailed evaluations of the Pathfinder Summoning spells (I'm a big summoning fan)

If someone wants to do a Fighter/Paladin/Barbarian/Cleric Handbook - there is a good chance I won't ever do handbooks for those classes (as I tend not to play them, and have less interest in them.)

Usually I only make handbooks for stuff I'm either playing, or want to play.


I know one guide I'd personally like to see is a Pathfinder Monk handbook. The monk is a class that I think a lot of people don't know how to play to its strengths and instead try to make it work in a role better done by other classes.


Treantmonk wrote:
I would love to see some handbooks by other people. Don't worry about duplication either, another Bard Handbook, as long as new perspective is brought to it, could be very interesting to read and digest.

Would you mind if I used your guide as a template? Perhaps even stealing some of your exact wording (Rating color code/ headings/ etc)?


Dennis da Ogre wrote:
Treantmonk wrote:
I would love to see some handbooks by other people. Don't worry about duplication either, another Bard Handbook, as long as new perspective is brought to it, could be very interesting to read and digest.
Would you mind if I used your guide as a template? Perhaps even stealing some of your exact wording (Rating color code/ headings/ etc)?

No, go ahead. If you do cut and paste any exact wording beyond the formatting, make sure to give me credit though!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Viletta Vadim wrote:
Gray wrote:
I hope you eventually produce a guide for each class. These are interesting reads. Thanks for putting these together.
Y'know, more than one person can make handbooks. If you're really interested in a specific handbook, go through the material and try and make it yourself, to create a spectacular resource for all, to create a true handbook community. After all, it's not fair to dump all the work on poor Treantmonk's shoulders.

Good point. I did not mean to put this solely on Treantmonk's shoulders. I merely meant to express that I really enjoyed the two he has put out. Some post to excessively critize. I sought to encourage. It would seem obvious to me that he enjoys what he is doing or he wouldn't have spent the time and energy.

. . . And while I feel I have a lot of experience as a DM, I wouldn't be the best author for this. I'm not a optimizer by any means.


Just a thanks you, this thread inspired me to make a bard for the first time. Although not an optimizer myself either, it makes sense to think some stuff through before making choices and your handbook(s) help a lot.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Congrats Teantmonk, you've hooked the paizo boards on optimizing (or at least the perfectly reasonable helpful-style optimizing that you do)and you haven't ruining the boards. If anything you've made it better, better because now there are now more proactive threads about working within the rules rather than complaining that either: the rules changed in the wrong way-the rules didn't change enough in the right way yada yada.

Now, I'm planning to do a sorcerer mini-guide, focusing on bloodlines but also touching on races and maybe feats- I don't have the ability to write up a spell guide and hopefully the wizard one will be the end-all be-all. But first I'm posting a thread to collect opinions as I'm nowhere near as knowledgeable on optimization theory- especially for full casters like the sorcerer.

And I've off to start a thread.


Since our last discussion about Ventriloquism and the fact that I see references to this thread popping up, I realized that I only skimmed the spell list initially. I'm going back through it this time for chuckles. I think I'll start with animate rope.

AR is a debuff that is fairly non-trivial, especially since it ignores spell resistance and works well against the most feared of the early game bad guys -- the big 'n tough melee monsters who have low reflex saves and low touch AC. It also continues to work well against these types of creatures later on.

The spell sounds better when you really think about what you get: For the same cost as ray of enfeeblement (minus the fact that you must cast the spell, then throw it -- and the 10 ft. range increment), you get an enemy that must make a reflex save (better against big tough monsters) or she moves at half speed (no 5ft. step, no running, no charging), -2 to attacks, -2 AC, -2 Reflex saves, -2 initiative, and forces concentration checks when casting. This effect ignores spell resistance. Finally, if you kill an opponent that is entangled, just pick up the rope and use it on another enemy! If you fail to entangle an enemy, you have the option (minus AoOs) to pick it up and try again.

The example spell mentions hemp rope, but most combat applications of this spell use chains.

Like ventriloquism, this is not a spell to take too early. You want enough duration on this spell so you can cast the spell, throw it at the enemy, and have the enemy entangled for at least a couple of rounds.

Finally, the most exotic and controversial use of this spell is on whips. The bard has whip proficiency, and clearly a whip is a nonliving rope-like object. There are several tricky things about whips. One, there is no mention in the animate rope spell that you must completely let go of the rope-like object, only that you must throw it at an enemy. Two, whips can be used to hit things at a 15 ft. range. Three, the entangle condition mentions that

PRD wrote:
Being entangled impedes movement, but does not entirely prevent it unless the bonds are anchored to an immobile object or tethered by an opposing force.

So if a DM would allow you to whip someone and have the animate rope spell entangle the enemy, then you could theoretically prevent movement by "tethering" the enemy to you with the whip. I'd imagine opposed strength checks would have to be used to determine if the enemy can move, and I'd imagine you'd have to move with them if they do (unless you let go). This reminds me of the Indiana Jones movies, and I think given the needed resources (first level spell, use of the bard's exotic weapon proficiency, attack roll and save) it should be a fair use of the spell.


*feels swelled head* Thanks everyone! I have a fairly thick skin when it comes to criticism, but I love the praise!

I think a lot of optimization haters are simply avoiding the thread, which was the obvious solution to the "optimization at the Paizo Boards" problem all along. I make sure to label them "Optimization" specifically to make it easier for them to not visit.

Meabolex: I don't have time to carefully consider your post, it looks like it needs some real time to look at. I will do so, probably tonight at home.

MinstrelintheGallery: I would love to see a Sorcerer guide. I keep wondering if I should make my Wizard guide into a Sorcerer/Wizard guide, but if Sorcerers get their own treatment, then I don't need to. I'll make sure to post some opinions on your feedback thread. (Beyond - "Destiny bloodline sucks")

Viletta Vadim wrote:
What better way to learn than to jump head-first into a pit of wolves?

I missed this post yesterday. Well said.

A good part of the reason for doing a handbook is to get peer review on your ideas. If they have problems, I want to find out by this method, rather than to find out in gameplay.

Criticism, as long as it is constructive, is very helpful.


Treantmonk wrote:
Viletta Vadim wrote:
What better way to learn than to jump head-first into a pit of wolves?

I missed this post yesterday. Well said.

A good part of the reason for doing a handbook is to get peer review on your ideas. If they have problems, I want to find out by this method, rather than to find out in gameplay.

Criticism, as long as it is constructive, is very helpful.

I definitely agree that it makes for better work. I just think it makes a lot of folks hesitant to put their stuff out there though.


meabolex wrote:

Since our last discussion about Ventriloquism and the fact that I see references to this thread popping up, I realized that I only skimmed the spell list initially. I'm going back through it this time for chuckles. I think I'll start with animate rope.

AR is a debuff that is fairly non-trivial...

Explain to me the difference between casting animate rope and throwing a rope at someone

and not casting animate rope and throwing a net.


Treantmonk wrote:
Explain to me the difference between casting animate rope and throwing a rope at someone and not casting animate rope and throwing a net.

* Need proficiency with a net (a feat), otherwise -4 to hit.

* Need to have the net folded, otherwise -4 to hit. This limits the ability to "reuse" the net in combat, where animated ropes can be reused with no penalty.

* Only works on someone within one size category of the person throwing the net.

* Lower hit points/burst DC than chains. The "rope" of animate rope can scale up in terms of thickness.

* Can't trip enemies with a net. There's no discussion about how the mechanics of the trip would work, but it's assumed that the same reflex saving throw would be made to trip an opponent (similar to grease).

* No utility beyond entangling a creature. Even with the unseen servant example, unseen servant's limited range usually limits it from being too useful when it comes to ropes. Likewise, since unseen servant has no mind, it can't tie knots.

I acknowledge that nets do not require a reflex save for the entangling condition -- also, since touch attacks are quite easy to make, even early on, nets could be used without being proficient and still be useful. I'm not saying there's no place for nets; rather, I'm saying that there is a place for animate rope. If a DM allows whips and animate rope to work together, then the spell quickly becomes fantastic.


My Guides are now available at "Treantmonk's Lab" at the PFSRD.

Please click HERE to access.

This will be a single location where you can view all my Pathfinder stuff. I'll be linking future handbooks directly here.


re: animate rope.

2 standard actions at level 4+ to give a single target a minor debuff for a short period of time don't really do it for me. As can be seen from this thread, I -adore- spells that can be used in creative ways, but between Grease, Hideous Laughter, Charm Person, Silent Image, Summon 1...

I think TM's got this spell rated right. It's just not good, from an economy-of-actions standpoint.

-Cross

(Edit: My reading of Animate Rope has you spending 2 actions to use it at range. 1 to cast the spell, one to throw it. If this is wrong, my economy-of-actions criticism is incorrect. The spell is still a bit blah, but not -as- blah.)


So, finally taking a look at the rules for item creations...I highly advise craft wand on a bard, considering you can easily keep grinding out level 1 wands without even taking downtime (Using the craft during adventuring rules, easily taking the +5 spell DC). Your level 1 spells are quite good at CL 1 ...and 50d8+8 healing for 375gp can't be beat for pretty much always being at full health between encounters without using up any of your combat resources.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Great guide! It's definitely helped make my bard more enjoyable in the game. Any plans on adding an equipment section? I noticed both the Ranger and Wizard guide had one.


Silt wrote:
Great guide! It's definitely helped make my bard more enjoyable in the game. Any plans on adding an equipment section? I noticed both the Ranger and Wizard guide had one.

Yes. However, it may not happen right away.

I've been working on the nightmare of a Druid guide for weeks now, and I'm most of the way done now, so that's really my primary focus at the moment.

Then I want to re-link all the spells in the Wizard guide to the PFSRD - that's going to be a huge job.

And keep replies up for any questions etc.

Then the Bard equipment.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

That's a lot of commitment. Just goes to show the level of dedication this community engenders. Keep it up treantmonk. ^_^

Grand Lodge

First off, the guide is great Treantmonk. Thanks for the hard work. One observation is that you seem to be missing Perform (String) under Versatile Performance. While there is significant overlap with other Perform (x) skills and Versatile Performance, the fact that you can get Diplomacy and Bluff together at 2nd level seems to be a pretty good deal.

While it would pretty much require gimping yourself for 1st level by not taking those skills, the payoff appears to be worth it in the long run.

What are your thoughts?

/Paul


Generally speaking, Versatile Performance is always a good deal as long as you plan ahead to not be redundant.

That actually becomes a little difficult with Perform (String) since most versatile performances offer either bluff or diplomacy. Perform (Dance) and Perform (Percussion) would work though.

Another thing to consider though is Bardic Music (and what form of performance are you using). Generally I think avoiding instrument-required performances is a better idea.

If I was going with Perform (String) then I would definitely go with Perform (Dance) as well - allowing you a non-redundant option for your next Versatile Performance as well as offerring you a non-instrument way to use Bardic Music.

Unfortunately, for audio bardic music, you would be stuck with an instrument. Not the end of the world though.

You may however find a combination like Sing, Dance, Wind more optimal as it offers a visual and audial Bardic Music without instrument, gives Bluff and Diplomacy (not both at 2nd level mind you), as well as a number of non-class skills (which are always versatile performance winners)


Another possible usage for Charm Person by a Bard/Sorcerer with good Charisma is the following:

For all the people concerned about will saves on a party member, has anyone ever tried having their bard/sorcerer charm the party members with weak will saves. Charm Person would allow the fighter/weak-minded fool to act normally, and if someone else was trying to charm/dominate/mind control them, the dominator would have to beat the Bard/Sorcerer's Charisma check.

For a more trusting group, Dominate Person is also a good option for long duration protection that throws in some added telepathic communication bonuses.

Since, Charm Person basically makes the target treat the caster as Friendly, which is something that is probably going to be true anyways in many groups (not all) it doesn't have the trust issues that Dominate Person has. So, a spell with a 1 hour/level duration that causes the fighter to behave as they normally would, and cannot force them to behave in a way that goes against their nature, and provides additional protection against mind controlling effects seems like a pretty good deal to me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Great work Treantmonk.

As you know I used your guide to help one of my players optimize his bard. The difference is noticable. Mostly you confirm my assumptions/opinions about bards though you also add some aspects to it I had not thought of myself. I don ot agree entirely on your evaluation of some of the bardic songs, but we do not need to agree on all.

I was very happy with your archer bard guide and think the archer configuration we ended up with in many instances is cluse to a dedicated fighter/ranger archer. Bards really are good at that and in addition to becoming powerful archers when activating buff powers they prove a great boost on other martial minded partymembers.

I would like even more suggestions for an optimized archer bard, but with the material available as of now we probably have to wait for the advanced player's guide before we can elaborate on that.


Bump!

Yawar,
Thread Necromancer


Not sure if this was covered before, but Perform (keyboard) isn't as bad as having to lug around a piano everywhere. In other words, there are portable keyboard instruments.

accordion (also a wind instrument, I think)
hurdy-gurdy (also a string)
huh? (your guess is as good as mine)

What interests me about the different styles of bardic music is that each one requires the bard to give up some of their potential actions in exchange for music powers.

Act: presumably uses your voice, so cuts off spellcasting.
Comedy: includes mime, so you should be able to fight and cast while being comedic, I guess
Dance: same as with Comedy. See here for very silly examples.
Keyboards: takes your hands, which means you lose out on fighting while performing, unless your DM lets you take Improved Unarmed Strike with your feet. Allows for verbal-only spellcasting.
Oratory: uses voice, definitely
Percussion: takes hands. Sadly, you can't rage and perform at the same time, unless you are the muppet Animal
Sing: takes voice
Wind: takes voice _and_ hands. Still I think an interesting choice, because audible bardic music's range is only limited by how far away one can hear. This is why the dwarves installed a horn the size of a mountain in Helm's Deep, so that Gimli could Inspire Courage over the entire battlefield. Although why non-spoken audible performances are language-dependent is beyond me.

Anyway, that's all I wanted to say about bardic music. Go bards!


Remember that Bardic Music takes a standard action to begin at low levels, then changes to movement action, then swift action.

That means you are spending less and less of the round to complete the required performance to begin it.

Maintaining it is a free action, which would suggest very little of the round is taken maintaining the performance.

With the exception of the standard action to begin performance at low levels, there should be enough of the round left, by the rules, in order to do what you need to do to cast a spell.

p.s.

I like the idea of a Barbarian/Bard Animal percussionist! Take the Barbarian rage power "moment of clarity" to make it work (warning - not optimization advice!) :)

(If playing a character based on a muppet is your style)


that...just seems very odd that you could blow a horn as a free action, and then stab someone with the sword you were holding in your hands while you were playing that trumpet. I know there's plenty of rules about hands and shields and such, but I guess that doesn't include musical instruments. Weird.

I think a cool magic item would be a 'dancing' instrument, that leaves your hands free to do whatever, ala a dancing weapon.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

Gosh darn it, Treantmonk, every guide you write makes me want to build a character, even if I wasn't interested in a class to begin with. I never wanted to build a Monk, Druid, Ranger or Bard and now I have one of each. Grrrrrrrrrrrmmmmm.

PS: Have always been a fan of your guides and I'm glad you are on board with Pathfinder


Todd Morgan wrote:
Gosh darn it, Treantmonk, every guide you write makes me want to build a character, even if I wasn't interested in a class to begin with.

That's an awesome compliment, thanks!

Actually, writing a guide has the same effect on me. I always want to play the class to which I most recently wrote a guide.

ohako wrote:
that...just seems very odd that you could blow a horn as a free action, and then stab someone with the sword you were holding in your hands while you were playing that trumpet.

Hmmm...I'm not sure if I was DM'ing that I would rule it that way. I was referring to the amount of time the performance took in the round, I wasn't necessarily referring to the time to pull out and put away an instrument.

If you are maintaining a "horn" performance for example, I would suggest that you can easily move and do a standard action on that turn, but you would be considered to have the horn in hand, unless you took the appropriate action to put it away (and you would need to draw it again next turn).

Part of the reason I discourage instrument-based performance.

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