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Bard or Druid?


Advice


I am getting that itch. I am trying to decide if I want to expand treantmonk's druid guide or his bard guide.

In either case I will probably only go over the spells primarily, of course I say that now and look what happened with the Wizard Guide :p

In the case of the Druid Guide, Shoelessinsight has indicated that he might do everything but the spells, so it would likely be a collaboration.

My questions are: is there any interest? And which one should I (we) do [first]? Bard or Druid?

Silver Crusade

I think a bard guide would be more interesting than a druid guide, there is a lot more to expand on the first and still some prejudices about bard expectations to prove wrong.
I'd also love to see Rite's 101 Bard feats included in the guide's breakdown (it is that good, and turns some red/yellow paizo options into solid green), but it's probably asking for too much. :o)


Heh, my groups don't use 3rd party materials, so I'm sorry to say that I don't rate them.

I am also afraid my opinion about the bard might offend you: I think they are best focused on spending their actions and formulating their strategy around buffing the party. From the many discussions I've lurked in about the bard I know this is a less than popular focus (but it's what they are best at!)

Of choose, I could be completely wrong. What expectations are you referring to?


KaptainKrunch wrote:
Of choose, I could be completely wrong. What expectations are you referring to?

Presumably the old image of the useless bard that hasn't quite faded away despite being horribly outdated. Personally, I've found an optimized bard to be an absolutely terrifying group-buffer once you get to the mid levels.

There's also the fact that there are a lot of interesting bard archetypes to mess around with, some of which trade away the group-buffing for some very impressive self-buffing.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
KaptainKrunch wrote:
Of choose, I could be completely wrong. What expectations are you referring to?

Presumably the old image of the useless bard that hasn't quite faded away despite being horribly outdated. Personally, I've found an optimized bard to be an absolutely terrifying group-buffer once you get to the mid levels.

There's also the fact that there are a lot of interesting bard archetypes to mess around with, some of which trade away the group-buffing for some very impressive self-buffing.

I hate auto correct, btw.

But yeah, a properly optimized bard can basically double party damage by the second or third turn. Terrifying indeed.

The self buffing archetypes are interesting, but I think it's akin to blasting as a Wizard - you could do a glass cannon build, but is it the best thing you can do? Most likely not.


I just make a level 18 Dervish Dancer (not Dawnflower) for an upcoming epic game and was really surprised at how well he came out. He has a high AC, and a much higher chance to hit than I would have thought using Scimitar and Dervish Dance feat. His damage isn't that great (3d6+25 assuming evil) but he'll hit a lot more often. I'm considering combining him with Rogue Skirmisher.

P.S. My vote is for Bard, really having trouble picking spells


KaptainKrunch wrote:

But yeah, a properly optimized bard can basically double party damage by the second or third turn. Terrifying indeed.

The self buffing archetypes are interesting, but I think it's akin to blasting as a Wizard - you could do a glass cannon build, but is it the best thing you can do? Most likely not.

Yeah, the Inspire Courage + Good Hope + Haste combo bards can start pumping out at level seven is a huge damage-booster.

Personally, I find the "selfish" bard to be very effective in certain types of parties (like a very caster-heavy setup), but agree that the group-buffing is usually your best bet in a standard balanced party.


Bard gets my vote, lots of cool new spells and options for them since Treatmonk wrote his guide.

I agree that bard excels at buffing - but I think the reason why people often seek to extend it into other roles is that applying buffs get progressively less effective later on in a battle, where they will have less of an effect. Ideally a buffing bard gets his buffs off *before* combat/in the first 1-2 rounds, but then he spends the remainder of his in-combat actions contributing in other ways.


Alright, I'll go ahead and do Bard. Like I said, I'll probably start with only the Spells for the Bard.

If I feel so inspired, I'll do more. But I do want to see if I can prod Shoelessinsight into doing a Druid guide (Though I did notice that someone else already took up the task in the Class Guide Sticky.)


With the bard, is the archer halfing still the best? :P


Black Lotus wrote:
With the bard, is the archer halfing still the best? :P

"Best" definitely depends on the party.

I personally like providing flanks for allies for an extra bonus, improved even more by Tactical Acumen.

Of course that requires you build a little more defensive than usual.


I vote Bard! I suggest the same format Treantmonk used in writing his Druid Guide

1) Caster Types
2) Combat Types
3) Spells


After you do the bard Spells can you do a quick run through on Feats for Bards?

I've looked at creating a bard but so far have not becouse I have no idea on which Feats to grab.


well.. the existing druid guide is obsolete..
need the new feats to be rated and also - i fear i think "best" druid is non paizo wrote... but a balanced - caster / melle. that way you can aid at any combat always.


Matt2VK wrote:

After you do the bard Spells can you do a quick run through on Feats for Bards?

I've looked at creating a bard but so far have not becouse I have no idea on which Feats to grab.

Well, that all depends on your focus as a Bard. Treantmonk recommends Archery, Melee, or "Control". I personally prefer Melee, which is easy to feat for, especially if you just grab a 2-hander.

There is one feat I consider completely essential though, and that's Discordant Voice. I'd take this at level 10 regardless of what Bard Build I am (Well, unless my party was a bunch of archers.)

Besides that I would almost always recommend Improved Initiative unless for some reason you just plain can't fit it. It can help you get your buffs up before your teammates get to act.

Will I do a feats section? Maybe someday. Just the spells for now though.


Matt2VK wrote:
I've looked at creating a bard but so far have not becouse I have no idea on which Feats to grab.

This is my FAVORITE BARD EVER:

Spoiler:

Hobgoblin Bard 7
CN Medium Humanoid (goblinoid)
Init +3; Senses Darkvision; Perception +3
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 10 (+3 Dex)
hp 45 (7d8+7)
Fort +3, Ref +8, Will +4; +4 vs. bardic performance, sonic, and language-dependant effects
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Special Attacks Bardic Performance (move action) (21 rounds/day), Bardic Performance: Countersong, Bardic Performance: Distraction, Bardic Performance: Fascinate (3 targets) (DC 18), Bardic Performance: Inspire Competence +3, Bardic Performance: Inspire Courage +2, Bardic Performance: Suggestion (DC 18)
Bard Spells Known (CL 7, +5 melee touch, +8 ranged touch):
3 (2/day) Haste (DC 18), Summon Monster III
2 (4/day) Minor Image (DC 17), Cure Moderate Wounds (DC 17), Invisibility, Glitterdust
1 (6/day) Silent Image (DC 16), Expeditious Retreat, Grease (DC 16), Cure Light Wounds (DC 16), Tap Inner Beauty
0 (at will) Read Magic, Ghost Sound (DC 15), Detect Magic, Mending, Message, Light
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 10, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 19/21
Base Atk +5; CMB +5; CMD 18
Feats Bard Weapon Proficiencies, Dazzling Display (Net), Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Net), Skill Focus (Intimidate), Weapon Focus (Net)
Traits Bully, Theoretical Magician
Skills Acrobatics +18, Bluff +8, Diplomacy +18, Disguise +8, Fly +18, Handle Animal +18, Intimidate +26, Knowledge (arcana) +7, Knowledge (nature) +7, Knowledge (planes) +7, Knowledge (religion) +7, Perception +3, Perform (act) +18, Perform (dance) +18, Perform (wind instruments) +18, Ride +4, Spellcraft +12, Stealth +13, Swim +1, Use Magic Device +18
Languages Common, Goblin
SQ Bardic Knowledge +3, Circlet of persuasion, Lore Master (1/day), Versatile Dance +18, Versatile Wind Instruments +18, Well Versed
Other Gear Circlet of persuasion, Headband of alluring charisma +2
--------------------
TRACKED RESOURCES
--------------------
Bardic Performance (move action) (21 rounds/day) - 0/21
Lore Master (1/day) (Ex) - 0/1
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Bardic Knowledge +3 (Ex) Add + 3 to all knowledge skill checks.
Bardic Performance (move action) (21 rounds/day) Your performances can create magical effects.
Bardic Performance: Countersong (Su) Counter magical effects that depend on sound.
Bardic Performance: Distraction (Su) Counter magical effects that depend on sight.
Bardic Performance: Fascinate (3 targets) (DC 18) (Su) One or more creatures becomes fascinated with you.
Bardic Performance: Inspire Competence +3 (Su) +2 competence bonus for one ally on a skill check.
Bardic Performance: Inspire Courage +2 (Su) Morale bonus on some saving throws, attack and damage rolls.
Bardic Performance: Suggestion (DC 18) (Sp) Make a Suggestion to one Fascinated creature.
Circlet of persuasion +3 competence bonus to CHA-based checks (skills already included).
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).
Dazzling Display (Net) Intimidate check to demoralize can affect those within 30' who see you.
Lore Master (1/day) (Ex) Take 10 on knowledge checks, and 1/day take 20 as a standard action.
Versatile Dance +18 (Ex) You may substitute the final value of your Perform: Dance skill for Acrobatics or Fly checks
Versatile Wind Instruments +18 (Ex) You may substitute the final value of your Perform: Wind Instruments skill for Diplomacy or Handle Animal checks
Well Versed (Ex) +4 save vs. bardic performance, sonic, and language-dependent effects.

How it Works:

  • Intimidate: Demoralize: You can use this skill to cause an opponent to become shaken for a number of rounds. The DC of this check is equal to 10 + the target's Hit Dice + the target's Wisdom modifier. If you are successful, the target is shaken for 1 round. This duration increases by 1 round for every 5 by which you beat the DC. You can only threaten an opponent in this way if they are within 30 feet and can clearly see and hear you. Using demoralize on the same creature only extends the duration; it does not create a stronger fear condition...

  • Dazzling Display Benefit: While wielding the weapon in which you have Weapon Focus, you can perform a bewildering show of prowess as a full-round action. Make an Intimidate check to demoralize all foes within 30 feet who can see your display.

  • Shaken: A shaken character takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks. Shaken is a less severe state of fear than frightened or panicked.

  • Net: When you throw a net, you make a ranged touch attack against your target. A net's maximum range is 10 feet. If you hit, the target is entangled. An entangled creature takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls and a –4 penalty on Dexterity, can move at only half speed, and cannot charge or run. If you control the trailing rope by succeeding on an opposed Strength check while holding it, the entangled creature can move only within the limits that the rope allows. If the entangled creature attempts to cast a spell, it must make a concentration check with a DC of 15 + the spell's level or be unable to cast the spell.

    Putting it all together:

    Round 1, Dazzling Display.
    Intimidate Basics. (DC = 10 + the target's Hit Dice + the target's Wisdom modifier)
    10+

    HD of enemies will be close to your own HD, so 7-10 isn

    On average, a person has a wisdom of 10 (By definition) Note, DOES NOT USE WILL SAVE, uses Wisdom bonus, generally 0-3.

    So at most, you are really looking at a DC of 20, with a skill of 26, so you beat the roll by 5 before you pick up the dice. Congratulations. Everything around you is now shaken for atleast 2 rounds.

    Next round, throw your net at something! You hit their TOUCH AC. Significantly lower than their normal AC. Now they are Entangled AND shaken.

    All together this critter is now –4 penalty on attack rolls and a –4 penalty on Dexterity, -2 on skill checks, -2 ability checks, -2 savings throws, can move at only half speed, and cannot charge or run. If you control the trailing rope by succeeding on an opposed Strength check while holding it, the entangled creature can move only within the limits that the rope allows. I like to attach my nets to an immovable rod. Makes me laugh.

  • Note, if you dont wanna bother with the net, Dazzling Display Dagger is just as good, and it lets you get Dazzling Display 2 levels earlier, and frees up a feat for ... Persuasive!


    Meh, i wish there was a full guide for Bards, including arch types, feats, and different types... with rating on arch types and suggestions exc...
    I often times feel overwhelmed and just disculded everything treantmonk didn't right about.


    Arizhel wrote:
    Matt2VK wrote:
    I've looked at creating a bard but so far have not becouse I have no idea on which Feats to grab.

    This is my FAVORITE BARD EVER:

    ** spoiler omitted **...

    I would do it a bit different... grab enforcer over --- that way if you use a sap, you intimidate for 1 round per hp caused... alot better than mere 1-2 rounds...

    and its a standart action to use with the move action buff.

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