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A Personal Bard: Build Advice


Advice


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I see a fair few threads where the author requests help with building their character without specifying/detailing the nature of their character's ..um... character.

This advice request carries on this fine tradition with the addition of a few criteria/demands ( *shakes fist* ) that the build(s) must incorperate into the design.

Character Outline:

THE CRITERIA

Character gneration:

1)The bard has 10 on every stat with 20 points to spend increasing it's stats, on a 1 for 1 basis.

2)The bard can only be human.

3)A maximum of 1 additional class from multiclassing and 1 Prestige Class

4)Pathfinder SRD feats/rules base + 2 traits from this list/aite:

Demands ( *shakes fist* )

- The bard can only use the following weapons: dagger, club, longsword, crossbow (all), rapier, shortsword.

One handed weapons please, even with muliclassing/PRC. The bard would like to be able to fight on ledges reliably, swing from ropes, catch stuff thrown to him, grasp onto ledges as he falls, scratch his nose, fight with one arm behind his back etc..

- No dumping Wisdom

This bard would like to know when it's a good time to talk, bluff, negotiate and when it's not and and when someone else is doing the same.

- The bard must be able to either:

- The bard must be able to defend himself for as long as possible.

The bard would like to be able to survive a few rounds of combat in the hope that it's screams of 'OH MY GOD IT HURTS MAKE IT STOP' will summon the protection of his friends *and/or* long enough for it to find a way to escape.

.....and that's about it. I realise those are some pretty strange/specific requests/demands ( *shakes fist* )/criteria but there you have it! :)

Capsule: A social bard that enjoys combat and casting but is not too worried about excelling in either. However the bard would still look to perform in either/each of these areas as best as possible within the contraints outlined above.

So, if you have the time, any ideas?

( *shakes fist* )

( *shakes fist* )

( *shakes fist* )

p.s Oh and yes, it's for Bard character... !


Bard ideas...

1) Swashbucklery bard. Lean on the whip proficiency, and grab Combat Expertise and the combat maneuver of your choice. (Trip or Disarm)

2) Knive throwing tumbly bard. Mobile around the battlefield, thowing knives while singing a jaunty tune.

3) Investigatey bard. Good stealthy skills for sneaking around, plus some support from spells, and knowledge about everything.

-------------------------------------------------------
If any of these sound good, say so, and I can offer more help.

P.S. the secret to building a bard who can fight is not to OD on perform.
"My new character has a perform skill of +21" "Why did our mercenary captain hire a peglegged guy with tuberculosis and an accordion?"

14-15 charisma to start, maximum.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

20 points on a 1 to 1 basis?

Hmm.

Str 13 (+1)
Dex 15 (+2)
Con 12 (+1)
Int 12 (+1)
Wis 13 (+1)
Cha 15 (+2)

Reasonable stats all around, (although feel free to drop Intelligence or Wisdom a little to raise something else.

I'd probably go Human and throw the +2 into Strength.

A build like this is the DEFINITION of all 'rounder.

Feats would be things like Arcane Strike, Combat Expertise, Improved Feint, Improved Disarm etc. You're building a classic swashbuckler bard I imagine. You won't be out-damaging your foes so make sure you are always doing something to make their life difficult. Grease their shoes, disarm their weapons, trip them, feint, drop caltrops. When you hit level four you'll know how your character's combat style is developing so you'll have your choice of what to increase.

Hope that helps.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would recomend staying straight bard. Multiclassing isn't really worthwhile with them IMO. You don't need many feats for spells, because the DCs on bard spells are typically much lower, so they should focus on spells that do not automatically grant saves.

str 18 (16+2)
dex 14
con 12
int 12
wis 12
cha 14
str down 1 and cha up 1 for typical 25 point build
Boost charisma 2 times, then focus on str.
Feats:
H. arcane strike
1. Combat Casting
3. Power Attack
5. Weapon Focus (Rapier)
7. Dazzling Display
9. Shattered Defenses

Grab one of the perform that uses intimidate as a versatile performance, comedy, keyboard, or percussion.

Spell suggestions:
1: Silent Image, Expeditious Retreat, Grease, Disguise Self
2: Heroism, Blur, Glitterdust, Invisibility
3: Good Hope, Haste, Invisibility Sphere
4. Freedom of Movement


Caineach wrote:
Excellent advice

I agree with all of this, although I would probably drop Wisdom to 10 to raise Constitution to a more comfortable 14. Also, don't forget to strap a buckler to that free hand. With those two things he should be quite the swashbuckler.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Big Stupid Fighter wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Excellent advice
I agree with all of this, although I would probably drop Wisdom to 10 to raise Constitution to a more comfortable 14. Also, don't forget to strap a buckler to that free hand. With those two things he should be quite the swashbuckler.

I would probably drop the int first. I like will saves and he specificed a decent wisdom.


Thank you rkraus2, I would like to see option number 3 expanded if possible!

DM_aka_Dudemeister and Caineach provide some very focused combatitive bard builds which the Bard could use a base for a *KAPOW* bard. The Bard (ok, I keep using a capital B.. ..and it's weirding me out o_O) can use these builds as solid backbone from which to work from.

Regarding Character Theme:

Spoiler:

The character is a lazy vagabond who inexplicably becomes the host to an ancient 'music', a kinda 'music of the spheres'/'song of life'. The music saturates the Bard's being and compels it to make life a performance -- i.e it prompts the Bard to take risky actions in combat in order to increase The Drama and out of combat compels the Bard to sing, hum and tap feet etc.

The music quietens to a low hum after exciting encounters and builds to a deafening crescendo when the Bard is being lazy/avoiding adventure.

Note: It's not a constant all-consuming noise but rather a tool to help motivate an otherwise careless, lazy, good for nothing character into a life of adventure.

Regarding Character.. um.. character:

Spoiler:

Personality: If you've ever watched Blackadder: Lord Flashheart on the good days, Edmund on the bad.
Essentially an in-your-face, loud mouthed, swaggering egomaniac when the music is right and a sarcastic, cynical, weary bastard when the music takes it's toll.

Regarding Character Role:

Spoiler:

Columbo with a sword. During adventures the Bard is helping where it can, hitting things that need hitting, slinging spells that need slinging, utilising an understanding of foes/the situation to best help the party plan etc etc

During down time the Bard investigates the local area, meeting and greeting people, getting to know who's doing what and to whom etc The Bard plans to have a long list of contacts located all across the campaign world.

If the Bard can't help you - then it's sure to know someone who can (and probably will for a reasonable price/sidequest)

Regarding those who haven't watched any Blackadder:

Spoiler:

If you haven't watched any Blackadder then you're missing out on a great source for campaign flavour and character dialogue! (However, you may wish to stick with seasons 2-4 as 1 was by a different writer and the character of Edmund is much less of a bastard and more a slapstic character.)

A question:

- I like how a high str + intimidate works with DD and SD and I do like that path/tactic very much, as suggested by Caineach. However, what other possible 'paths' could the Bard take?

I've been thinking*/looking at the Lunge feat -- would this/could this work with Combat Reflexes and some other chain of feats?

Curious tho Caineach - why Weapon Focus:Rapier? Personal choice or is there a direct advantage over the longsword?

I would be happy to sacrifice the Bards strength in order to make the Bard tougher. Indeed, a tough, smart, charismatic swashbuckler greatly appeals. However I realise this would effect the choice of DD and SD feats, hence querying the possible alternative feat paths/choices.

*...messily, I'm heavily medicated on Taiwanese medicine...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Caineach wrote:

I would recomend staying straight bard. Multiclassing isn't really worthwhile with them IMO. You don't need many feats for spells, because the DCs on bard spells are typically much lower, so they should focus on spells that do not automatically grant saves.[....]

Well BenignFacist, I too would recomend staying straight bard.

Caineach's post was good but I have some objections and some advice on my own.

I post some more but I need to know: Where do I find a list of the traits?

Now let's look at a Bard :-)

Some advice:
1) Wisdom 10 will do and I'm not sure that's dumping. The bard is created so you should 'dump' his wis. Good will saves and Versatile performance and bardic Performance. You should not go higher than wis 10. Neither Lord Flashheart nor Edmund has a high wisdom score.

2) You should start with minimum 16 char and 16 str.
str 18 (16+2) =6
dex 14 = 4
con 12 = 2
int 12 = 2
wis 10 = 0
cha 16 = 6
If 10 wis is dumping wisdom, start with 16 str (14+2) and 12 wis.

3) If you want to use spells and bardic performance that require a sawing throw, chances are that you have a higher chance of succeeding at lower level when a save is needed. So start with a high charisma score and then boost you str. Start with a minimum of 16 charisma.

Caineach wrote:


Grab one of the perform that uses intimidate as a versatile performance, comedy, keyboard, or percussion.

I'd say don't. Pick versatile performance where the skill you are substituting is tied to an attribute that is lower than your charisma score.

Dance is a good one and anyone with sence motive.

What feats should you pick? I can tell you what feat you should not take. Don't pick Extra Performance. I played the Beta Bard with extra performance. At level 5 or 6 the Core Rulebook was released and we convert her to the new rules. From that point on she NEVER ran out of rounds. The feat was a total waste.

Edit:
Stay away from Combat Expertise and all combat maneuvers. You need very high str and good BAB, and you will have neither. Also at higher levels stuff like disarm and trip will often be useless. You will meet Dragons, flying spell casters, Huge evil outsiders or huge undeads. You can't trip these creatures and you usualy can't disarm them.

Stay away from Combat Expertise
Combat Expertise : You will have a crappy AC and Combat Expertise won't help you much, so use magic, Mirror Image or/and Blur and Shiled (from a wand or scroll). The penaltie on the attack isn't that much fun either. If you really need to get away, use acrobatics and tumble away or cast dimmension door or cast Invisibility/Greater Invisibilty. I would rather pick dodge (and fight defensively if I really need it and can't get away). Only take Combat Expertise if you need it as a prereq.

Stay away from Improved Feint.
Improved Feint: I've tried it and I didn't like it. Feint as a move action means that you only get one attack per round, and you are going to cast haste a lot. My rogue had skill focus bluff and char 12 and he didn't always succeed.

Dazzling Display: I'm very hesitant to the use of Dazzling Display. Does it stack with Dirge of doom? I say no and so does my GM. Talk to your GM. If he/she says yes, then PERHAPS go for it. If he/She says no don't waste your time. Dazzling Display is a full-round action and success isn't automatic. Dirge of doom is autosuccess and is only a move action and at higher levels it's a swift action. Remember that using Dirge of doom will help you with spells and anything with a DC. The DC won't go up but the enemies saving throws will suffer -2.

Dirge of doom, here is a neat little trick.
Bardic Performance, If you want to keep up the previous effect (say, penalizing opponent Saves), cast a Spell, THEN drop the previous Performance and start a different one, that would be 100% legit by the RAW. And you can do it all in ONE round, check out the spoiler.

Spoiler, 2 preformance in 1 round is legit:

James Jacobs wrote:
Zark wrote:

So does this mean that a level 8 bard, could:

round 1) start Dirge of Doom as a move action + cast spell

round 2) maintain Dirge of Doom as a free action + cast spell as a
standard action + switch to Inspire Courage as a move action.
or
round 2) maintain Dirge of Doom as a free action + cast spell as a
swift action (using a rod) + switch to Inspire Courage as a standard action + move

Yup.

At level 13 you could start Dirge of doom as a move action + cast spell + end Dirge of doom as a free action + start Inspire Courage (and boost your party) as a swift action. All on your turn.


This tactic is great and it makes Dazzling Display redundant, and at higher levels obsolete.
Shattered Defenses? No, stay away from it. They lose their dex bonus? Usually no big deal unless you are a rogue. When you pick feats like Dazzling Display and Shattered Defenses you are putting all the eggs in the same basket. If you focus too much on mind affecting abilities you will be bored when you meat undeads, constructs or other mindless creatures. Also there are creatures such as dragons where your Dazzling Display never will work. Dirge of Doom on the other hand is auto success if you face a dragon.
Two feats that in fact are great if you are a bard are Arcane strike and Quick Draw. If you want to cast spells you will need a hand free, so Quick Draw will help. If you want to cast a spell and use a rod you need two hands free. So I suggest use a buckler. Arcane strike will help you with DR. DR will be a problem. If you have QD you can have a golf bag of weapons and use Arcane strike and Quick Draw.
Silver Long sword, Cold Iron Long sword, Club, Rapier. Remember Arcane strike stacks with magic weapons.
Mobility (and Dodge) might be a feat you want. Help your friends and tumble over to them and give them some healing or buff them or teleport away with them using Dimension Door. If you miss your acrobatic check you get +5 to AC. Later on you can get spring attack.

Some say power attack is not good because you will miss all the time. Well you have spells to help you and your performance. I would pick Power attack. I would however not use it all the time. Weapon focus? I would say no. At higher level +1 to hit is no big deal. Also use a longsword not a rapier. If you use the long sword two handed you damage output increase significantly, especially if you use power attack. Fighting two handed is and option if you use a buckler. The buckler / quick draw combination seem to match what you want (swing from ropes, catch stuff thrown to him, grasp onto ledges as he falls, scratch his nose, fight with one arm behind his back).

Combat Casting? Perhaps. At higher levels you won't need it since you have full caster level but are casting low level spells. I would perhaps pick it, but I'm not sure. There are so many more fun feats. Like spring attack. But looking at what you want I'd say CC is perhaps a good feat.
Feat:
Must have: Quick Draw, Arcane strike, Power attack.
Must have feat if you have rolled you HD bad more than 1 level: Toughness
Other good feats: Dodge, Mobility, Combat casting, Improved Initiative, Improved Critical, Great Fortitude, Combat Reflexes
Feat that might be good depending of your GM: Vital strike, Cleave. (can you use VS and spring attack? What kind of bonus damage does VS give you? Can you use cleave and spring attack).

As for spells it depend on what level you are and what other caster you have in the group.

1) Silent Image - use wand. Also I'm not sure this spell is as good as people think. Talk to your GM. How does he/she read: "Will disbelief (if interacted with)" One of the reasons Ghost Sound suck.
Expeditious Retreat - you will use Haste a lot and this doesn'tr stack with haste. You don't need this. Add ranks to Use Magic Device and get a want of Longstrider.
Grease - must have spell. Cast it on your friend, or on the ground when the ogre comes charging or on the ogres weapon. Fun fun fun.
Disguise Self - if this is what you want and if you have a lot of ranks in Disguise go for it if it amuse you. If not, don't
Spells I recommend:

CLW - You got full caster level and at lower levels this is great.
Identify - Great utility spell that you can get as a wand but it sort of fits the bard
Charm person - Right, Pathfinder is not 3.5. So now giants, trolls and ogres are persons. Get this spell. Great for role playing too.
Remove Fear - good utility spell.
Finally: Looking at what you describe I would recommend Feather Fall. Sort of fits with your concept. Me, I would probably not pick it.

Edit
2: Heroism, Blur, Glitterdust, Invisibility - all good spells. Gliterdust is a must have. I would pick Mirror Image rather than Blur. Use Invisibility as a scrolls and pick greater Invisibility as a level 4 spell, but I agree Invisibility is a great spell. I would perhaps pick CMW. At higher levels you can swap it, but CMW can be a life savior even at higher levels. Heroism more or less gets obsolete when you get Good hope. Depending on the rest of the party I would say Silence is great. I'd say Silence is probably the one spell (along with dimension door) that again and again has saved us from TPK. A last word on Heroism. If you get this as a spell everyone in the party will want you to cast it on them. Get a wand instead (or two wands ) and let the whole party pay for it. See to it that the wand is made from a bard spell and not from a wizard/sorcerer spell (bard: 2 * 4 * 750 gp, Wizard: 3 * 5 * 750 gp)
At level 10:
Silence, Mirror Image, Glitterdust, Invisibility, CMW
One could argue that Inspire greatness is better than CMW. Especially if the AGP has som sort of lingering performance. So if you don't want CMW go for Blur or Heroism. At higher level heroism will be nice because you caster level will make it an, more or less, always on spell. Cast it only on yourself. The rest of the part will have to use the wand.
At level 14:
Mirror Image, Glitterdust, Invisibility, Silence , Blur, Heroism
At level 14 you wont need CMW, you will use CLW mass if you have to.

edit:
3: Good Hope and Haste yes. These two spell and Inspire Courage are your bread and butter. Just great.
Invisibility Sphere no. I would rather pick Dispel Magic or Remove Curse or Slow. Or even Phantom Steed. Glibness is actually a nice spell if you focus on role playing. Charm monster is also nice. Don't forget Confusion. Don't pick CSW. Why? your level 3 and level 4 spells are the best spells on the bard spell list. You don't want to waste them on cure spells. Get CLW and CLW mass. Perhaps even CMW.
Slow is indeed a great spell but first use Dirge of Doom. So remember Dirge of Doom then slow.
Last word of warning. Dispel Magic is not as good as it used to be. Greater Dispel Magic (level 5 spell) is indeed great, but if you pick Dispel Magic make sure you know how it works. You may think Remove Curse suck. Well no one ever prepare Remove Curse so when someone need it they will be very happy you have it. Since Good Hope and Haste will be your bread and butter the rest of the level 3 spells should be spells that you don't use often, that's why a circumstantial spell can be a great choice. To put it plain: Don't pick spells that you will cast as often as haste and good hope. BTW I really hate bards don't have fly on their spell list

4. Freedom of Movement is a great spell. So are Dimension Door and Greater Invisibility.
Other nice spells: Modify Memory, Dominate Person, Hold Monster. I would say that Dimension Door is one of the spell I have used most of all level 4 spells. Help the fighter and the monk the get to the Big Bad Evil Guy. Or a great escape spell, etc, etc. A must have spell.

5. Greater Dispel Magic. This is the best spell you gonna get this level. You have full caster level. Get it. Get CLW as well and Greater Heroism is also nice.

Edit: Max out UMD get a lot of Wands.
Shield, Barkskin, Longstrider and See Invisibility and Heroism (My Paladin used them all the time). You want See Invisibility made by a Wizard (a 2:nd level spell, 3:rd if you are a bard). Faerie Fire is also a nice spell so is Protection from evil or Law. Prayer and Ice Storm if you can afford.
Also get some scrolls.

Finally:
This is a bard we are talking about, right? You should start with minimum 16 char


BenignFacist wrote:
*...messily, I'm heavily medicated on Taiwanese medicine..

Cool, I've got a cold and a fever, I don't have english as my nativ language and I'm dyslectic, so you're cool. :-)


BenignFacist wrote:

Thank you rkraus2, I would like to see option number 3 expanded if possible!

Now, with the fun that is Pathfinder, there's no reason you can't act as Indiana Jones, and do your own scouting around. Shove points into Stealth, Acrobatics, Perception, Disable Device, and UMD.

While you dont' quite have the scouting abilities of a rogue, you are VERY close, and have a lot that the rogue lacks, including the ability to detect magic, use whatever scroll you need, and a pile of knowledge skills.

For spells, the winners are sculpt sound, invisibility sphere, and phantom steed. With those you can make THE ENTIRE party the flying scounting group, which is far ore helpful than going yourself and reporting back. I'd only learn knock as a spell if you're having trouble buying scrolls or wands of it.

And take message. It's great for a scout to have.

With a 20 point buy, and a desire to be the smart scouty type, I'd use mostly ranged weapons to fignt with, and set stats like this...

Strength: 12
Intelligence: 12
Wisdom: 11
Constitution: 14
Dexterity: 16
Charisma: 15

Put bonuses into hit points, and take the archery feats, plus arcane strike and craft arms and armor.


Knock isn't a bard spell and knock as a scroll suck since you need to make a caster level check. Better get a Chime of Opening.

Don't go dex. If you want to balance, jump and tumple there are elexirs and you could pick skill focus acrobatics. it gives you +6 at level 10 if you add 10 ranks and it stacks with potions/elexirs.
Ask your GM if you should pick Skills focus acrobatics or perform dance. What is his/her ruling.

Sculpt sound, invisibility sphere, and phantom steed?

The bard is not a sorcerer. He doesn't have that many spells per day.
In a party of five the bard would have to cast 7 of his 3 level spells.
So no haste or good hope that day? At that level there are better ways of travel. I take it the bard is not the only caster in the group?

5 phantom steeds and invisibility sphere? C'mon, no GM on earth would give you an OK. A horse is large (5 horses within 10 feet of the recipient?). The rules on invisibility sphere say:

This spell functions like invisibility, except that this spell confers
invisibility upon all creatures within 10 feet of the recipient at
the time the spell is cast
. The center of the effect is mobile with
the recipient. Those affected by this spell can see each other and
themselves as if unaffected by the spell. Any affected creature
moving out of the area becomes visible


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Zark, I have some big disagreements with some of your advice, but agree with others:

Charisma: I recommend not going to a 16 charisma for the bard. You don't need it. You will be spending more time on the front lines than casting spells with save DCs.

Weapon: I like it more personally for flavor, and at higher levels you average more damage with it than with a longsword because of the inreased crit range. You need to average ~20, which you can get with arcane strike, power attack a high strength, buffs, and magic items. You can't wield it in 2 hands, but when you do that you sacrifice your AC, which is often more important for you than the bonus 2-3 damage will be.

versatile performance: I like your recomendations here for transfering sense motive to a charisma check.

Feats:
I wouldn't waste the time on quickdraw. I have never personally found it worthwhile and think its a waste of a feat. You only need 1 hand free, and the buckler does that.
You are already saying AC doesn't matter, so why spend a feat for a measly +1 with dodge?
Combat reflexes isn't worth the feat unless you have a reach weapon. You will almost never see a situation where you want more AoO.
You will get a lot more use out of weapon focus than any other feat you can take. I highly recomend it, and the +1 only becomes more important later in my experience.

Spells:
lvl 1
Charm Person: after lvl 3 or so, you will never cast this spell again. Your diplomacy score can be high enough without it that you don't want to rely on the terribly low save DC.

CLW is a total waste in my oppinion. Pick up a wand, but if you need to cast this from your prepared spells your doing something wrong. Silent Image is a much more useful spell to have on your list because there is a save DC for it, and I find I cast it much more.

Remove fear isn't bad

Identify- don't bother. Either someone else will be doing this or you can do it without the spell.

feather fall can be a life saver. Not a bad choice, but I wouldn't pick it early.

lvl2
Invisibility is better than greater invisibility. No questions in my mind. The longer durration and lower level combine to make it something you will use more often to greater effect. You can go invisible and still buff, and you can use it out of combat for stealth. You can spam it a lot more as a lvl 2 spell than the lvl 4.

Silence: I agree here, it should have been on my list. Its a great anticaster spell and doesn't hurt you as much as other casters. Also works great for stealth.

Mirror Image vs Blurr: also agree. I forgot about MI for some reason.

CMW - once again, I wouldn't put any healing on a bard unless its in wand form.

lvl 3
Dispel magic is a good choice

Invisibility sphere is a great spell for moving as a group and infiltrating the enemy. I love this spell, and its a lot easier than casting 5 invisibility.

I wouldn't grab offensive spells personally because at this point your save DCs are significantly lower than a primary caster and monsters will save 50% of the time. Your DCs will be arround 17 with a lvl 3 spell, and monsters have between a +6 to 10 will save when you will first be selecting the spell at lvl 8. The spells start out with low utility and only lose it as you level. Slow isn't a bad choice, since it will affect many targets and at least some of them will fail.


rkraus2 wrote:


you can make THE ENTIRE party the flying scouting group...

To be completely clear, you could make the entire party fly, for quite a long time. That's useful.

You could also make the entire party stealthy. That's very useful.

Zark is correct, it would be difficult to do both at the same time, but that's not the same as saying that long distance travel and stealth are poor choices.

And it is my experience that the huge majority of casters think about spells for themselves, and spells for their opponents. Spells that improve your allies are normally overlooked by everyone. That's where a bard caster can really shine, because there are some great choices on the bard list.

As for the chime of opening, I think it's a poor idea. Ringing a bell isn't exactly going to allow you to remain stealthy. Use a knock scroll and UMD if you can't manage to pick the lock yourself. Don't forget that you have access to spells that improve your skill checks, either.


rkraus2 wrote:


To be completely clear, you could make the entire party fly, for quite a long time. That's useful.

You could also make the entire party stealthy. That's very useful.

Zark is correct, it would be difficult to do both at the same time, but that's not the same as saying that long distance travel and stealth are poor choices.

OK, I miss read you, but you still have to use many spells.

rkraus2 wrote:


And it is my experience that the huge majority of casters think about spells for themselves, and spells for their opponents. Spells that improve your allies are normally overlooked by everyone. That's where a bard caster can really shine, because there are some great choices on the bard list.

True but bards don't have meny spells per day. Again I think you are right. Still playibngt a bard and use all your spells to buff others is no fun.

rkraus2 wrote:


As for the chime of opening, I think it's a poor idea. Ringing a bell isn't exactly going to allow you to remain stealthy. Use a knock scroll and UMD if you can't manage to pick the lock yourself. Don't forget that you have access to spells that improve your skill checks, either.
A) You don't have to remain stealthy all the time.
B) Some GM would say that knocking a door open will is noicy
C) The Pathfinder version of knock is bo longer automatic. You will need caster level.
D) Perhaps I read you wrong here but did you mean there is a spell that give you bonus to disable devise? If so, whick spell?


Caineach wrote:
Zark, I have some big disagreements with some of your advice, but agree with others:

Cool. I'm only give my view on things. I'm not saying I'm right. :-)

Caineach wrote:


Charisma: I recommend not going to a 16 charisma for the bard. You don't need it. You will be spending more time on the front lines than casting spells with save DCs.

Here we clearly disagree. Using Dirge of doom DC will be OK, at least at mid levels. Also flavour wise I like a high charisma. Also 16 char will give you bonus on all your charisma skills and some of your bardic performance and it will give you bonus spells. At level 1 you can even use Daze.

Caineach wrote:


Weapon: I like it more personally for flavor, and at higher levels you average more damage with it than with a longsword because of the inreased crit range. You need to average ~20, which you can get with arcane strike, power attack a high strength, buffs, and magic items. You can't wield it in 2 hands, but when you do that you sacrifice your AC, which is often more important for you than the bonus 2-3 damage will be.

Casting a spell with your buckler hand and you will lose the shield bonus for that round. As for Rapier vs. longsword it's a matter of taste. I perfer using a slashing weapon. Some monsters have DR slashing. I have nere seen DR piercing. Also if you want to fight two handed you have the option when using a longsword. With power attack and a good streght score is not only 2 or 3 points of damage.

If you have Mirror Image and the shield spell up (I love that spell, shiled) fighting two handed is the way to go. Hey you may even use blur, MI and shiled. :-)
Again. Max out UMD and get a wand of shield.
Caineach wrote:


versatile performance: I like your recomendations here for transfering sense motive to a charisma check.

We agree:-)

Caineach wrote:


Feats:
I wouldn't waste the time on quickdraw. I have never personally found it worthwhile and think its a waste of a feat. You only need 1 hand free, and the buckler does that.
You are already saying AC doesn't matter, so why spend a feat for a measly +1 with dodge?
Combat reflexes isn't worth the feat unless you have a reach weapon. You will almost never see a situation where you want more AoO.
You will get a lot more use out of weapon focus than any other feat you can take. I highly recomend it, and the +1 only becomes more important later in my experience.

Combat reflexes will let you hit someone if you are flat footed, but I agree Combat reflexes is no great feet.

As for quickdraw I think it's a must have feat. Especially if you don't want to waste a move action to draw your weapon. You will cast spells and want to start bardic performance as a move action so I say quickdraw is a great feet if you are a Bard. Some GM on the other hand don't care if you cast spells with hands full and they let you keep your shiled AC even if you cast spells with your buckler hand. SOme GM even let you draw a weapon and make a full attack even if you don't get to to that acording to the RAW.
Dodge is perhaps no great feet but you need it if you are going to pick mobility. Also dodge is always on unless you are flat footed and there is no attack penalty.
Weapon focus yes or no? A matter of taste. It's a bit like dodge. is +1 good or can you live without it?
Caineach wrote:


Spells:
[...]

spells:

As for spells it's a matter of taste. I like to have some healing.
Wand is nice but
A) you have to pick the wand out of your Back pack, at least a move action.
B) If you cast them from your list you can benefit from your caster level. 1d8+5 is far better than 1d8+1, and 2d8+10 is much better than 3d8+5
Charm Person is not great, but cool and fit the concept. Perhaps not a great spell, but fun.
Invisibility is great I agree, but no save make this a spell you can get as a scrolls. Again I still say it's a good spell.
Silent Image - Save? Talk to your GM: How does he/she read: "Will disbelief (if interacted with).
Identify is not a great spell but it fits the concept. You might as well use a wand.
offensive spells can be good but you must use Dirge of doom...and have some charisma :-)
Dispel magic is tricky. Talk to your GM on hon she/he read the rules. I personally don't like it. Greater Dispel magic is what you want.
Invisibility sphere might be good, but you need sculpt sound. Talk to your GM.


Hmm, I've got to look at Knock again.

But there are a few ways to shove your Disable Device checks up. One is by moving the base stat upward, another is by giving yourself a bonus to skills (Heroism and Prayer, IIRC), another is by applying a bonus to your next roll (Guidance).

Aid another should also work, assuming you know the right people.


rkraus2 wrote:

Hmm, I've got to look at Knock again.

But there are a few ways to shove your Disable Device checks up. One is by moving the base stat upward, another is by giving yourself a bonus to skills (Heroism and Prayer, IIRC), another is by applying a bonus to your next roll (Guidance).

Aid another should also work, assuming you know the right people.

True they all boost Disable Device, but not much.

So opening that locked door you are going to:
cast heroism (give you +2)
Let the cleric cast Prayer (give you +1)
Let the cleric cast cast Guidance (+1 on one check)
And ask someone with ranks in disable device (the rogue?) to aid you?


rkraus2 wrote:
Hmm, I've got to look at Knock again.

Na, don't. The spell isn't too bad but it's worse than 3.5

Knock opens stuck, barred, or locked doors, as well as those
subject to hold portal or arcane lock. When you complete the
casting of this spell, make a caster level check against the DC of
the lock with a +10 bonus. If successful, knock opens up to two
means of closure. This spell opens secret doors, as well as locked
or trick-opening boxes or chests. It also loosens welds, shackles,
or chains (provided they serve to hold something shut). If used
to open an arcane locked door, the spell does not remove the
arcane lock but simply suspends its functioning for 10 minutes.
[...]


Thank you Zark, Caineach and rkraus2, I will continue to read and re-read your advice, making sure to carefully digest (nom nom nom) it over the next few days.

I am very grateful for how each of you bothered to explain your reasonings for each choice. Thank you.

I shall go crazy pondering, juggle some ideas and see how many soul-wrenching queries I'm left with..

...and then return here for salvation!

:)

./salute


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Also, I don't know if you are aware of Treantmonk's guide to bards He does a good job of going over options and talks about spell selection. Even if you don't use it and its not dirrectly addressing you, there is some good stuff in there.


Yes do read that guide but two warnings.
A) not everything you read in there can be trusted, so read the rulebook and talk to your GM
B) The guide is no flavour guide. The guide is all about Optimization and nothing about roleplaying.
And use this link. This is the latest version.
The link provided by Caineach is the first version. The first version is more of a draft.


Zark wrote:


cast heroism (give you +2)
Let the cleric cast Prayer (give you +1)
Let the cleric cast cast Guidance (+1 on one check)
And ask someone with ranks in disable device (the rogue?) to aid you?

Oh no, I'll cast all the spells myself, either because I know them, or because I have ranks in UMD. For the aid another, well, Leadership is a great choice for bards.

And if I -really- need that door open, yes, I would do all of that.


rkraus2 wrote:
Zark wrote:


cast heroism (give you +2)
Let the cleric cast Prayer (give you +1)
Let the cleric cast cast Guidance (+1 on one check)
And ask someone with ranks in disable device (the rogue?) to aid you?

Oh no, I'll cast all the spells myself, either because I know them, or because I have ranks in UMD. For the aid another, well, Leadership is a great choice for bards.

And if I -really- need that door open, yes, I would do all of that.

Cool answer :-)

You still be using a lot of spells....and GP ;-)

Silver Crusade

This is the Bard im playing in CoT. With only a few mod to him becouse you want to play human.
Human Favord Class Bard : +1 Skill point
STR 12
Dex 16 (+2Human) = 18
Con 14
Int 12
Wis 10
Cha 16

Feets
H. Weapon Finess
1. Two Weapon Fighting
3. Exta Preformance
5. Cough off Guard ( im using a beer mug in my off hand )
7. Toghness
9. Improved Critical Raiper
11. Improved Two Weapon Fighting
13. Improvized Weapon Mastery ( Beer Mugs Rule )
15. Improved Initive
17. Exta Preformance
19. Toughness

If you are allowed to pull from the Faction guide book. Take Master Preformer, and Grand Master Preformer.

Skills
Versatile Performance
Oritary ( Diplomacy & Sense Motive )
Dance ( Acrobatics & Fly )

Skills im keaping maxed out
Bluff, Linguistics, Perform Oritary, Perform Dance, Stealth, and Use Magical Device,
Put left over points in to knowladge skills. One point at a time untill you have one skill point in each. Then decide where you focus should be for your campane.

Spells.
Take the healing spells! Wand of cure light wounds 750gp for 50 charges. Casting cure light wounds free. With wands you can use them at higher level when you have the coin but untill then you will want the spell.The following are a list of spells on the bard list worth taking every time.

1st:
Cure Light Wounds, Disquisse Self, and Identify
2nd:
Blur, Coure Moderate Wounds, Invisibility, Silence, and Rage. ( now if you have Pathfinder Chronicles Gods and Magic. And you follow Cayden Cailen. For the love of your god take Knock )
3rd:
Cure Serious Wounds, Haste, Good Hope, and Aura of the Unremarkable ( Pathfinder companion Cheliax. )
4th:
Cure Critical Wounds, Dimension Door, Freedom of Movement, and Shout
5th:
Cure Light Wounds Mass, Greater Heroism, Shadow Evocation,
6th:
Irresistable Dance, Shout Greater, and Cure Modret Wounds Mass.
( Dirg of the Victorious Knights but I don't rember where its from right now )


calagnar wrote:
stuff

Cool character :-)

I don't get why you pick Exta Preformance. As I said before. Even at level 5 or 6 (or was it 7?) I never ran out of rounds per day.

A TWF bard is hard because you can't cast spells fighting with two weapons. If I were to build a TWF bard I would most certainly pick quick draw as a feat.

Improved Critical can't be picked until level 11. So I guess you picked some other feat at level 9. Perhaps Improved Two Weapon Fighting and then Improved Critical at level 11.

Even if I build a dex Bard I would have at least 13 str and pick Power attack. A great feat if you are a TWF build.

I would never (I do mean never) pick rage. You can't cast spell in rage and you can't use Bardic performance. I rahter pick Mirror Image.
As a level 5 spell I would pick greater dispel magic.

But it's a very funny build. It's always nice to see someone else Bard build. you always learn something :-)

Silver Crusade

Exat Preformance : I have becous I have run out of Preformances. I use this any time I get a chance to I don't hold back unless I'm running low and know ill need some songs for the BBEG.

Yes I got Improved Two Weapon Fighting and Improved Critical reversed.

Power Attack = Usless your better off with duble slice over Power Attack. you might use it some at the mid levels 9 to 14. But after 15 the AC of most of the things you will be attacking will be much much higher.

You don't need a high Str as a bard to do damage that is what your song and the rest of the party is for.

As for Two Weapon Fighting thats for after im done casting. After combat is joined spells are out.

The Master Preformance and Greand Master Preformance. Each Grants a +1 to the effectiveness of your bard song for a total of +2. If your GM will let you take them do it.


calagnar wrote:

You don't need a high Str as a bard to do damage that is what your song and the rest of the party is for.

You can't sing if you rage.

Silver Crusade

Level 7 Bard
Round 1 Start Song Cast Haste
Round 2 Cast Rage Target Fighter and Rogue
Round 2 Enter Melee or cast as needed


Taking the healing spells has a significantly higher cost then buying a wand. A wand costs you 750 gold for fifty charges, yes. That's a lot of healing for a small amount of gold. Taking a healing spell as a known spell costs you a full known spell, and you have a drastically smaller number of those then you do gold pieces, and they're a lot more important, too.

Opportunity cost, folks. It matters - a lot.


calagnar wrote:

Level 7 Bard

Round 1 Start Song Cast Haste
Round 2 Cast Rage Target Fighter and Rogue
Round 2 Enter Melee or cast as needed

If they don't mind –2 penalty to AC for a minor boost to to Strength and

Constitution and bonus on Will saves that doesn't stack with inspire courage, hey go for it.
You spent 6 feet on your melee abilities and you haven't been fighting for two rounds. perhaps 3. and you haven't had the time to cast blur or mirror image on your self.
edit:
As for TWF, most spells need the use of at least one hand.
If you got your two weapons and want to cast a spell you need to
Sheathe a Weapon - a move action.
OK so you Sheathe your Weapon and you cast the spell. You can't draw the weapon this round since you already used your move action.

Next roound you want to fight, you need to Draw the weapon - a move action.
Draw a weapon cost you a move actions so no TWF that round unless you have quick draw. Yep. If you use the move action you can only attack once and only with one weapon.

I say Quick draw is a really good feet if you are a melee/caster class.


ProfessorCirno wrote:

Taking the healing spells has a significantly higher cost then buying a wand. A wand costs you 750 gold for fifty charges, yes. That's a lot of healing for a small amount of gold. Taking a healing spell as a known spell costs you a full known spell, and you have a drastically smaller number of those then you do gold pieces, and they're a lot more important, too.

Opportunity cost, folks. It matters - a lot.

+1

but sometimes - in battles - you need more that 1d8+1. And drawing a wand is a move action. So one or two healing spells is not bad.
CLW or CMW then Mass CLW.

...one thing I hate with the Bard. Some people say the bard is so powerful and versatil but once you start to actually talk about it, the bards hasn't enough :
- spells per day
- spells known
- skill ranks per level
- feats
....and they don have high enough AC.
And Quick draw is more or less a feat tax if your DM/GM go by the book.


Thank you for the link Caineach - I have read that guide but it doesn't really address the areas I'm interested in.

Spoiler:
Our campaigns feature encounters that rarely take place under optimised conditions and tend to focus heavily on mulitple personal combats (rather than the standard party play) and feature a strong social/political theme - we used to play a lot of Birthright!

Zark wrote:


...one thing I hate with the Bard.

..aah but you hate because you love, no? :)

I found this build lurking on the forums, submitted by Dragonchess Player:

Dragonchess Player wrote:

I know I'm late to the conversation, but IMO, the eldritch knight can work well, with a certain amount of planning. For example, three possible characters:

The Combat Bard - this character concept is basically a melee-focused bard (one level in fighter) taking eldritch knight to keep BAB high.

Half-Elf Bard 4/Fighter 1
19 Str (16 +2 race +1 level), 14 Dex, 12 Con, 10 Int, 8 Wis, 14 Cha
B1- Arcane Strike, Skill Focus (Disable Device)
F1- Weapon Focus (Greatsword)
B2- Power Attack; Versatile Performance (Oratory)
B4- Cleave
Skills: Climb 1 (+8), Disable Device 5 (+10), Knowledge (Local) 2 (+7), Perception 5 (+9), Perform (Dance) 2 (+7), Perform (Oratory) 4 (+9), Spellcraft 2 (+5), Stealth 2 (+7), Use Magic Device 4 (+9)
Spells (CL 4): 1st-4, 2nd-2
Spells Known: dancing lights, daze, detect magic, mage hand, prestidigitation, read magic; animate rope, cure light wounds, hideous laughter, sleep; glitterdust, heroism

Animate rope (and a couple whips), along with sleep are probably the two best spells for a 1st level bard. Add cure light wounds and hideous laughter at 2nd and 3rd level. Heroism is absolutely your number one 2nd-level spell pick; glitterdust can both disable (blind) and reveal hidden/invisible foes. With the above skills, the character can also act as the "face" and fill in for the rogue.

The character can qualify for eldritch knight at bard 7/fighter 1. However, I prefer to wait until bard 9/fighter 1 to gain Inspire Greatness, which is IMO more useful at 10th level than Spell Critical is at 18th level. At bard 9/fighter 1, the character may look like this:

Half-Elf Bard 9/Fighter 1 (all future levels in eldritch knight for BAB +17 at 20th level)

Spoiler:

24 Str (16 +2 race +2 level +4 belt), 14 Dex, 12 Con, 10 Int, 8 Wis, 16 Cha (14 +2 headband)
Racial Traits: +2 Any one score (Str); Medium Size; Speed 30 ft; Low-Light Vision; Adaptability (Skill Focus as bonus feat); Elf-Blood; Elven Immunities (immune to magic sleep effects, +2 vs. Enchantment); Keen Senses (+2 Perception checks); Multitalented (two favored classes- Bard, Fighter)
Class Features: Bardic Knowledge (+5), Bardic Performance (23 rounds/day, move action, Countersong, Distraction, Fascinate DC 18, Inspire Courage +2, Inspire Competence +3, Suggestion DC 18, Dirge of Doom, Inspire Greatness), Cantrips, Versatile Performance (Dance- Acrobatics, Fly; Oratory- Diplomacy, Sense Motive), Well-Versed (+4 saves vs. bardic performance, sonic, language-dependent effects), Lore Master (take 10 on Knowledge checks, take 20 1x/day); Bonus Feat (1)
Skills*: Climb 1 (+9/+11), Disable Device 10 (+14/+16), Knowledge (Local) 4 (+12/+14), Perception 10 (+14/+16), Perform (Dance) 5 (+11/+13), Perform (Oratory) 8 (+14/+16), Spellcraft 5 (+8/+10), Stealth 4 (+8/+10), Use Magic Device 9 (+15/+17)
Feats: Arcane Strike, Cleave, Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Disable Device), Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (Greatsword)
Spells*: Bard (CL 9); 1st-6, 2nd-5 (4), 3rd-4
Spells Known: dancing lights, daze, detect magic, mage hand, prestidigitation, read magic; animate rope, cure light wounds, feather fall, hideous laughter, identify; cat's grace, glitterdust, heroism, sound burst; cure serious wounds, dispel magic, fear, haste
Gear: +2 mithral breastplate (+8 AC, +5 Max Dex, -1 Armor Check; 8,200 gp), +1 composite longbow (+7 Str bonus) (3,100 gp), +2 greatsword (8,350 gp), ring of protection +2 (8,000 gp), amulet of natural armor +2 (8,000 gp), belt of giant strength +4 (16,000 gp), cloak of resistance +2 (4,000 gp), handy haversack (2,000 gp), headband of alluring charisma +2 (4,000 gp), 350 gp of miscellaneous gear

Combat*: AC 24 (touch 14, flat-footed 22), 69.5 avg. hp, +17/+12 (+19/+14) greatsword (2d6+12 damage, 19-20/x2) or +10/+5 (+12/+7) longbow (1d8+8 damage, 20/x3), Fort +8 (+10), Ref +10 (+12), Will +7 (+9), Init +6, CMB +14, CMD 26
*- second values include the effects of heroism (90 min duration; +2 morale bonus on attack rolls, skill checks, and saves)

Melee combat tactics: Round 1- casts haste as a standard action (9 round duration; +30 ft enhancement bonus to speed, +1 on attack rolls, +1 dodge bonus to AC and Ref saves, one extra attack on full attack action) and activates Inspire Courage (+2 competence bonus on attack rolls and weapon damage) or Inspire Greatness (+2d10+2 hp- avg. 13, +2 competence bonus on attack rolls, +1 on Fort saves) on self as a move action, Round 2- maintains Inspire Greatness as a free action, draws greatsword and moves toward opponent(s) at 60 ft speed as a move action, activates Arcane Strike as a swift action (weapon gains untyped +2 bonus on damage), and Power Attacks (-2 on attack roll, +6 on damage rolls) with either Cleave or Vital Strike, Round 3+- maintains Inspire Greatness as a free action, activates Arcane Strike as a swift action, and Power Attacks with a full-attack action. This can occur up to 4 times per day (haste), for up to 5 rounds average per fight (Bardic Performance); Arcane Strike and Power Attack are unlimited.

AC 25 (touch 15, flat-footed 22), 82.5 avg. hp, +20/+20/+15 greatsword (2d6+20 damage, 19-20/x2), Fort +11, Ref +13
OR
AC 25 (touch 15, flat-footed 22), 69.5 avg. hp, +20/+20/+15 greatsword (2d6+22 damage, 19-20/x2), Ref +13

What do you all think? It seems to present a solid combat focused Bard - but my experience in such areas is sadly lacking! >_<

Personally I like the idea/focus - juggling a few feats around to reflect personal preference of course.

After much pondering and thunking, I find myself agreeing with Zark's reasoning on the necessity for Quick Draw as well as having one hand free - personally I like the idea of a free hand to hold onto things, drink potions etc

I also really like the concept behind calagnar's Bard - anyone who beats enemies to death with a beer mug gets my vote and while the problems of relying on two weapon fighting have been addressed it is interesting to see another build style that's been actively tested in play.

...and it also brought up the idea of taking the various Cure spells for the Bard:

The main argument seems to be: A wand can save you using a spell slot - bards don't have many spells slots and there are (relatively) cheap alternatives that can simulate the various Cure spells.

I do like the idea of the Bard being as self sufficient as possible - indeed the class seems very well suited for guerilla warfare tactics/mentality: Use whatever items you can find/steal/loot but plan to be as self sufficient as possible.

Spoiler:
Our GM's are fans of taking characters prisoners, fights under water/in exotic locals and essentially taking away our toys as quickly as we gain them.

So yes, Bard with heals = good, not relying on another party member who may not be around = even better. Of course selecting healing spells balanced within reason/to reflect the campaign - as you mention Zark, 'taking one or two healing spells is not bad.'

Personally, our campaigns have limited access to wands outside of character creation, simply because the characters reflect the 1% of the campaign world with character levels (the rest being NPC clases/1st level etc)

..so simply buying wands is not an option! So, aye, 'one or two healing spells' will be taken.

//

Now, to business:

So far calagnar has been kind enough to present a two-weapon fighting style bard, Zark has shared a a flexible one-two handed build that makes good use of Power Attack and Caineach has provided a build that excels working within a party.

That's a lot of fighting-bard infomation - thank you! - really really good, strong, well rationalised guidence.

When the mothership lands, you all shall have window seats! :D

Moving away from combat-focused builds, what are your thoughts on an infiltration/spy/social bard?

Spoiler:
A Bard that makes use of the various mind-effecting spells combined with clever rp'ing.

I.E A Bard that makes use of other builds/classes/resources, accessed via their social network, web of contacts and ability to pull the right strings.

For example the role of the classical court Jester, Diplomat, Spy character that can seemlessly integrate themselves within powerful social systems, making use of Perform, Diguise, Sense Motive, Diplomacy, Stealth, Perception, Bluff etc to make powerful contacts and really effect change on a large scale.

I would guess they would make use of spells such as:
Comprehend Languages (allowing the Bard to eavesdrop on agents from exotic lands)
Detect Secret Doors (to find all the.. secrets!)
Ventriloquism (the classic gaurd distraction)
Detect Thoughts (casual spying)
Modify Memory (a beautiful espionage spell)

...while still being required to defend themselves. However the focus would probably be staying alive in combat long enough for help to arrive/the Bard to escape rather than maximising damage potential.

They'd also need to be able to sneak into secured areas - relying as little on magic as possible/magic to augment existing subterfuge skills.

Ideas?

Silver Crusade

Linguistics : You are skilled at working with language, in both its spoken and written forms. You can speak multiple languages, and can decipher nearly any tongue given enough time. Your skill in writing allows you to CREATE AND DETECT FORGERIESAS well.

Comprehend Languages < Linguistics skill

I'm curently playing my bard as a spy who hides in plan sight. The adventure's Armory hase some very nice items. Used a combination of smoke pellets, marbles, and caltrops to escape in the open of the adventure. With out being magical thus out side of what you decribed as a low magic world. And thay are farly easy to make. If you can talk one of the other players in to talking craft Alchemy.

There are a few things I use as guides in charter creation.
1. Can thay live if thay get hit more then one time. ( Con is not a dump stat )
2. Perment bouns are better then temp. bouns. ( Skills > Spells to do the same thing )
3. If you can't do it. Some one in the party needs to do it. ( What do you bring to the party. As a bard you should being just about every thing. In a nice little tool kit called jack of all trades master of buffing. )


calagnar wrote:

Linguistics :

I'm curently playing my bard as a spy

The 3.0/3.5 Arcanis campaign setting featured a god, Cadic, who wss the patron of music, song, darkness, and murder. Most of his followers were bard/assassins. Works incredibly well.

Made for real paranoid living Arcanis sessions when someone sat down next to you and said, "I'm a bard"


calagnar wrote:

Linguistics : You are skilled at working with language, in both its spoken and written forms. You can speak multiple languages, and can decipher nearly any tongue given enough time. Your skill in writing allows you to CREATE AND DETECT FORGERIESAS well.

Comprehend Languages < Linguistics skill

[....]

There are a few things I use as guides in charter creation.
1. Can thay live if thay get hit more then one time. ( Con is not a dump stat )
2. Perment bouns are better then temp. bouns. ( Skills > Spells to do the same thing )
3. If you can't do it. Some one in the party needs to do it. ( What do you bring to the party. As a bard you should being just about every thing. In a nice little tool kit called jack of all trades master of buffing. )

+1. Very, Very good points. As for con I think 12 is enough, but dump it.


BenignFacist wrote:


..aah but you hate because you love, no? :)

Yes :)

BenignFacist wrote:


Stuff on eldritch knight

My advice? Stay away from eldritch knight, se spoiler.

spoiler:

Bard is not primarily a spell casting class, it's hybrid class and a hybrid class that have Bardic performance as a main feature.

Eldritch Knight is a hybrid fighter/arcane caster class.
Mixing a hybrid class with another hybrid class is not very good IMHO.

From what I've heard the new Magus class (that will be out this year from Paizo will) have d8HD, 3/4 BAB and the spell casting progression will be the same as the bard.
So Paizo are aware of the need of a good fighter/caster class.
My point is don't go for a hybrid PrC if you already use hybrid class. I also thing the bard is a better and more fun "hybrid class".
If it is BAB you want, sure go for it, but I would pick at least 13 levels bard so you can activate bardic performance as a swift action. I would actually go for 14 levels bard.
If you really want to multiclass and want a 20 level character, pick 4 levels Dragon Disciple (the first 4 levels are the best). Pick a trait that give you a bonus to caster level and then pick fighter levels
I would pick:
14 levels bard + 4 levels Dragon Disciple + 2 levels fighter
or
15 levels bard + 4 levels Dragon Disciple + 1 levels fighter.
At level 14 bard you get bonus to your saves + 1 DC to Bardic performance and Frightening tune, Versatile performance.
Me, I hate Inspire greatness and I think the 9:th bard level is a suck level so you could pick a level fighter at level 9 and then start picking levels as a Dragon Disciple...or eldritch knight.

Come to think of it. If you want to play an eldritch knight pick
8 levels bard or 13 levels bard (or perhaps 12 levels so you get Soothing performance.).


Another advice. When I played bard I started with sleep too. I hated it.
The casting time is a full round and it VERY soon becomes obsolete.

My thoughts on an infiltration/spy/social bard?
Sound like fun. Am I right if I think this character is not going to be inwolved in a lot of fighting?

If your DM/GN is hard on the Encumbrance rules I would start with at least 12 str, perhaps even 13.

Stats 20 PB using your house rules. Human
str 12
dex 16 (or perhaps 14, se below)
con 12
int 12 or 14
wis 12 or 10
char 16

If you play half elf pick skill focus perception or stealth
Half elf is actually not a bad choise.
Even if you don't play half elf you could pick skill focus stealth, If so I would settle for 14 dex and boost int so you have 14 int.

VP (Versatile performance) Dance to boost acrobatics and VP Sing to boost Sense Motive. If you don't care for acrobatics just make sure you pick some VP that boost Sense Motive.

I will post some more later. I got a really nasty lumbago yesterday so I have problems posting right now.


I've been thinking about this some and here is my suggestion on the stats

Stats 20 PB using your house rules.
Race: Human
str 12
dex 16 or 14
con 12
int 14
wis 10 or 12
char 16+2=18
14 dex and 12 wis or 16 dex and 10 wis.
Int 14 is good. Gives you 3 languages at level 1 and more skill points.

Your spell suggestions.
Comprehend Languages - nice at lower levels but you will max linguistics so at higher levels ypu can change this spell to something els. If your GM let you use scrolls at lower levels.
Detect Secret Doors - nice spell, but if scolls will do.
Ventriloquism - I never used it. Talk with your GM. How does he read "Saving Throw Will disbelief (if interacted with)"?
Detect Thoughts - A bit hard to use. Not one of my favorite spells.
Modify Memory - A good and funny spell.

Other nice spells:
Disguise Self
Charm Person
Tongues - a second level spell if you are a bard. Nice.
Invisibility
Deep Slumber
Charm Monster
Glibness - very nice. You want this.
Clairaudience/Clairvoyance - nice spell but you would benefit from darkvison (the spell darkvison doesn't help). Two levels shadowdancer will give you this.
Confusion - very nice spell if you bost your charisma and pick spell focus enchantment.

Feat suggestions:
Skill focus - stealth
Spell focus - enchantment
Combat casting or a trait that give you bonus on consentration checks.
If you want to pick two levels shadowdanser you must pick:
Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Mobility.
Two levels shadowdanser is actually a very nice. Pick skill focus stealth.

I'll post more tomorrow.


Thank you calagnar for your advice, I didn't realise Linguistics worked that way!

...I see what you mean Zark, regarding the EK. Thank you for the spy/espionage character build tips as well - they most appreciated!

Regarding a few points you raised:

- yes, as a group we're strict on encumbrance so Str 12/13 would seem a good choice.

- Regarding Dex/Wis - peronally I'd prefer a little more wisdom but game wise I think it'd be fun to have a lower wisdom/in built excuse for a flawed (granted, not incredibly) character.

- Ideally the bard would not get into combat unless it has to - coup de grace would be the main attack of choice, against sleeping/imobilised targets, if needed.

Most of the time the bard would be gathering infomation (via social skills, magic and accessing restricted areas), blackmailing, manipulating key players from the local power system and gathering allies and support. Hmm.. very much like a western ninja then, that is, a real-world historical ninja, not the movie type.

So.. capable of taking out/defending themselves when needed but typically being forced to retreat against equal-level combat focused obstacles, with the tricks to do so.

- Illusions: We define interaction as.. ..actively engaging with the target/subject. I.E I can casually see a tree but I'm not interacting with it.

i.e: If I touch/try to climb/smell/inspect it then I'm interacting with it.

So Ventriloquism would provoke a save if being used to try and distract a gaurd. However, if the spell was being used to maintain an ambient sound the gaurd would get no save unless they actively engage/pay specific attention to it.

i.e:

Faking the sound of a door slamming shut = save.

Maintaining the sound of water running when it has been stopped = no save unless investigated/the gaurd is spefically listening out for changes in the water's sound.

//

Once again, thank you to Caineach, Calagnar, rkraus2 and Zark for your advice and time.


Just had a quick re-read:

Pathfinder SRD wrote:


Comprehend Languages

You can understand the spoken words of creatures or read otherwise incomprehensible written messages. The ability to read does not necessarily impart insight into the material, merely its literal meaning. The spell enables you to understand or read an unknown language, not speak or write it.

Written material can be read at the rate of one page (250 words) per minute. Magical writing cannot be read, though the spell reveals that it is magical. This spell can be foiled by certain warding magic (such as the secret page and illusory script spells). It does not decipher codes or reveal messages concealed in otherwise normal text.

Comprehend languages can be made permanent with a permanency spell.

and..

Pathfinder SRD wrote:

Linguistics

You can decipher writing in an unfamiliar language or a message written in an incomplete or archaic form. The base DC is 20 for the simplest messages, 25 for standard texts, and 30 or higher for intricate, exotic, or very old writing. If the check succeeds, you understand the general content of a piece of writing about one page long (or the equivalent). If the check fails, make a DC 5 Wisdom check to see if you avoid drawing a false conclusion about the text. (Success means that you do not draw a false conclusion; failure means that you do.)

So.. would you need Comprehend Languages to break a newly created code/message written in a language created by two parties for the sole purpose of private communication?

...such as abstract shapes representing paintings who's titles combined spell out the message etc etc?

Seemingly, a coded message is not incomplete nor archaic - it's coded so you'd need Comprehend Languages? o_o

Thoughts?

Cheliax

I would actually Str:14 Dex: 18 Cha: 20. High damage output finessed with rapier and shield. Great spellcasters and OK damage output (can buff self to get better); eventually shield bash two-weaponer. With this method you're far better off capstoning 2 stats, and from your build desire Dex and Cha seem the right choice.

Skills should be Stealth, Linguistics, Perception, Diplomacy, Perform dance, and whatever suits your fancy. Pick up the dance to make acrobatics a Cha-based class skill (added bonus of making you a flying god later). Seems like a really fun character.

Silver Crusade

you wold need Linguistic to break a newly created Code/Message.

Comprehend Language.
The ability to read dose not necessarily impart insight into the material.

IE. you find a message writen in a unknown language. You first decipher the unknown language. Then you you wold need a senond roll to brake the code there in. Comprehend Language bypasses the first roll but not the second becous you know what the mesage says. To learn the code in the mesage you wold need Linguistic Skill to decipher it.

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