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How good are Bardic Masterpieces, really?


Advice


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Has anyone written a guide on these? Are any of them worth taking? I'm curious because I want to plan my skill points--I'm playing a Sound Striker Dirge Bard (it's for Carrion Crown), so I, sadly, lose Versatile Performer. That means I have little reason to take a wide variety of Perform skills other than qualifying for these Masterpieces (and Percussion, for the bonus and fear thing).

Here are my thoughts--please, offer yours:

At the Heart of It All seems interesting, but probably not worth it--I imagine it's more of a "prepare for the final boss" kind of thing.

Legato Peice on the Infernal Bargain is just Planar Ally. I guess it's nice in that Bards don't have that spell on their list, but in a party with a Cleric, it's probably pointless. Plus, while I recognize all the theorycraft that makes Planar Ally amazing, but I think in practice, it's more trouble than it's worth.

Melody of Frightful Death seems anemic. At level 7 when you can get this, 1d6 damage per turn (especially for the price of a round of performance) is absurdly weak. There's probably some kind of exploit dealing energy damage every turn opens up, but I don't care enough to look for it. Is forcing concentration checks for ongoing damage worth it? I doubt it.

Minuet of the Midnight Ivy looked completely awesome to me at first--this provides a really nice utility effect (it's practically Spider Climb), which is something Bards usually can't afford to spend their limited spell slots on. However, it requires such an absurdly high Performance (Dance) check for anyone else to benefit from it that it loses a lot of its appeal.

Pallavi of Nirvana’s Blossoming--now that's what I'm talking about! Not just one, but two spells not on the Bard list, and Plant Growth is an amazing control spell--it slows enemies to a crawl--and on top of that, you allies can be unaffected! Oh, wait, it takes 3 full rounds to do, and it only lasts for minutes/level. Yeah, ok, never mind. Moving on.

Rondeau of Heavenly Order is a flavorful ability that is, as far as I know, cannot be duplicated by a spell. However, in really thinking about it--I can't think of anything good to do with this spell. Unless your allies all have Spring Attack/ranged attacks and there are lots of convenient corners to hide behind, it just won't matter.

Stone Face is another effect Bards can't do, but, well, it's Stone to Flesh. That's already more of a "get a scroll" spell, so there's no way I want to take it as a performance.

Symphony of the Elysian Heart--ok, this is the first one I love and want (unfortunately, it requires the least convenient Perform skills for me). It provides early entry Freedom of Movement, and more than that, it's multi-target, making it more useful in my opinion. It doesn't work under water--who cares--and it's short duration, but most of the time, you only need it for a couple of rounds. It's not like you're spelunking in the dreaded caves of Jell-o or something, and if you are, even knowing the spell will be insufficient. I really love this performance--just wish I could use other skills with it (like, any I had already planned on taking).

The Cat Step Dance has all the downsides of the Minuet of Midnight Ivy plus the additional costs way more rounds and takes way more time to start up thing. Oh, and it has a less useful effect. Fantastic. When are you supposed to use this? When your dance troupe is about to hop down a series of short drops? Even when it is helpful, in most normal situations, the Minuet of Midnight Ivy will be more helpful.

The Dance of 23 Steps is amazingly good--it's a free action, so you can use it after your actions for a turn. It's basically free AC for a round of Bardic Music. And it works with Lingering Performance (practically every Bard's first feat). I love this and want it bad.

The Dance of Kindled Desires is of dubious use. It's kind of somewhere between Charm Person and Dominate Person, but it's reliant on you being able to provide the thing the GM decides a target most wants. It seems like kind of an evil power, actually, and while strong, I think this is a "depends on the GM" sort of thing.

The Depths of the Mountain requires that you be level 15 and duplicates Earthquake. I don't think I could care less about this ability if I tried. Earthquake is totally underwhelming and way to high a level for its pitiful effects. I understand that it has to be that way or any evil low level caster would ravage towns with ease, but it's just generally not useful for a PC.

The Dumbshow of Gorroc is intriguing because it's rather large amount of damage for a level 2 spell, but it's only to plants and oozes. Are these even remotely common enough to be worthy of a spell/feat? Maybe in a very specific campaign?

The House of the Imaginary Walls is something I love in theory, but hate in practice (or rather that I theorize that I will hate in practice). It's a super awesome utilitarian effect--imagine getting the party across a chasm on a fake bridge! But it seems too costly to be of any use. Imagine how many rounds you'd need to build a useful wall 10' x 10' at a time. And then on top of that, you have to keep spending rounds to maintain it. The only time I can imagine it helping is if you're putting a 10' x 10' wall in a chokepoint (like a doorway). I'm not sure it's worth the cost (in time and Performance) despite the awesomeness.

The Lullaby of Ember the Ancient--what's worse than a spell with a Hit Die cap? A special ability emulating that spell that you can't swap out later!

The Quickening Pulse is essentially identical to the Melody of Frightful Death, except that it causes Bleed instead of energy damage. The difference is probably negligible, which is bad because Melody of Frightful Death is too weak.

The Requiem of the Fallen Priest King--this can go from an amazingly awesome way to set up a nova round for your entire party against a tough encounter to a gigantic waste of time and Performance rounds in a matter of "at least 10 minutes pass before the next fight." It's really powerful, but requires too much forethought and planning, I think to be practical. Plus, the extra standard action clearly favors spellcasters over melee, since an extra spell is usually going to be better than one extra attack.

The Rheumy Refrain seems really cool, but ultimately, I think, it literally does not work as written. The target has to make a Concentration check to take almost any action. If you use this on a Wizard, how it works is obvious. They roll their caster level plus their casting stat and try to beat a DC of 10+your Cha (a pitifully easy concentration check most of the time). But what does a non-caster roll? Concentration checks are defined as rolling a d20 and adding your caster level and casting stat. A Fighter has neither--does he just roll a d20? If so, that's unbelievably powerful, but also barely makes any sense. It almost seems like the guy who wrote this masterpiece was using the 3rd edition Concentration rules.

The Winds of the Five Heavens is another one of those abilities that is an awesome, normally out-of-class spell that takes multiple rounds to use. That kind of defeats almost every usage I can think of for Control Winds (probably since most of them involve abusing flying creatures). I mean, I guess the fact that you can use the effect for 10/min per level after casting it for just 3 rounds--yeah, it could be decent, but I still don't like relying on powers you need to use ahead of time.

Toccata and Fugue of the Danse Macabre makes me sad because the name is so cool and the ability so terrible. Take an already borderline useless spell, raise the level (since clerics and oracles can cast it at 1st), and then make it more costly to use? No thanks.

Triple Time is a CL 1 Longstrider with a 1 minute cast time. I would say that it's nice and useful, but I don't think it's really worth the cost of a precious spell known/feat. Maybe if you're Human, it might be worth a HP from your favored class if you already have every spell you want, but otherwise, I think you'll almost certainly have better things to take.

So, yeah, to me, it seems like Symphony of the Elysian Heart and The Dance of 23 Steps are the real winners, here, and everything else is underwhelming or outright terrible. Thoughts?


Personally, I think that the masterpieces are a really cool idea, with lots of flavor, and I hope they keep publishing new ones. They're a cool way to extend the setting with mechanics. Unfortunately, most aren't exceptionally useful, which I find to be one of the issues with bards. I love playing bard characters, but I tend to have the most fun with them outside of combat, where the flavor has more significance.

Frankly, I find that the Masterpiece concept is not a terribly useful one for the time-scale that combat takes place on. I think it's really cool that a piece by Beethoven or Mozart might be so moving as to actually cause magical effects. I also think it's completely ridiculous that a 6- or 12-second performance of ANYTHING could be called a 'masterpiece', much less be so evocative to have its own unique effects.

Unfortunately, this has relatively little to do with your question. I'd say I agree with your summation.


This has been rattling in my head for a while now. I'm playing in my first Pathfinder campaign with my first ever bard and I have to say I feel pretty much the same way you do about the majority of the Masterpieces. We just hit level 5 so this is all theory crafting for me at this point also.

I feel like a lot of these are underwhelming but there are a few gems here that you might be overlooking. Lemme know what you think:

"The Dumbshow of Gorroc" - Yes it focuses primarily on oozes and plants, but even at half damage (max 5d6) a 30 ft cone of fire/pierce damage that were able to cast 9x times a day isn't nothing.

"Triple Time" - I can vouch that my fighters and rogues love this one. Anytime the mini's hit the map I take a minute and give them an hour long buff of 2 movement squares. At level 5 I've got the whole party covered for 1 round of BP. Yes haste will start to diminish this but I have WAY more BP than I do spell slots to dump.

I can't speak to it's usefulness yet, but "The Quickening Pulse" intrigues me, if only because it strikes me as very bardic. It targets enemies only which it's counterpart "Melody of Frightful Death" doesn't. But it's a 'meh' 1d6 and only on critical susceptible creatures. I guess I like it because I'm heading for the Discordant voice feat and I feel like the Bard is a 'bit of damage here bit of buff here' type of character.

Anyway aside from those I completely agree with your assessment. Hope your enjoying your bard adventures as much as I am. :)


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They missed one.

Should have had "The Safety Dance," Sanctuary with no save.


Mal_Content wrote:
"The Dumbshow of Gorroc" - Yes it focuses primarily on oozes and plants, but even at half damage (max 5d6) a 30 ft cone of fire/pierce damage that were able to cast 9x times a day isn't nothing.

It's the "no damage on a successful save" that kills it for me. Not to mention the fact that 5d6 only averages 17.5, an unremarkable number. Oh, and it takes a full round to use--it's remarkably easy to move out of cone/line when you know it's coming for an entire turn.

And it costs two rounds, whereas using Weird Words from the Sound Striker archetype takes one round and deals way more damage far more reliably.

I think the worst cost of all is what you gave up. If you spent a spell known, you will be losing one of the following:

Allegro (self only haste for you Dervishes), Alter Self, Blistering Invective, Cacophonous Call, Delay Poison, Detect Thoughts, Ghostbane Dirge (I'm playing Carrion Crown, so that one is big), Glitterdust, Heroism, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Shatter, Silence, or Sound Burst

Mal_Content wrote:
"Triple Time" - I can vouch that my fighters and rogues love this one. Anytime the mini's hit the map I take a minute and give them an hour long buff of 2 movement squares. At level 5 I've got the whole party covered for 1 round of BP. Yes haste will start to diminish this but I have WAY more BP than I do spell slots to dump.

Yeah, it's nice, but what did you give up?

One of Charm Person, Cure Light Wounds, Feather Fall, Grease, Hideous Laughter, Saving Finale, Silent Image, Sleep, Solid Note, Timely Inspiration, Unseen Servant, and Vanish

I would assume you didn't spend any feats on these things, right? Because there are far too many of those to list.

Mal_Content wrote:
I can't speak to it's usefulness yet, but "The Quickening Pulse" intrigues me, if only because it strikes me as very bardic. It targets enemies only which it's counterpart "Melody of Frightful Death" doesn't. But it's a 'meh' 1d6 and only on critical susceptible creatures. I guess I like it because I'm heading for the Discordant voice feat and I feel like the Bard is a 'bit of damage here bit of buff here' type of character.

I do really like the feel of it, but it's really, really weak.

I, too, want to take Discordant Voice, but that adds a hell of a lot of damage, not "a bit here." With Quickening Pulse, you deal 1d6 damage per enemy. With Discordant Voice, you add 1d6 damage per ally per attack. You can't take it until level 11 anyway, and crap, a single monk in your party at that point will probably net you +6d6 damage (you're casting Haste on them, right?). Any full BAB guys will add 4d6 (way more if they are archers or dual-wielders). It's pretty significant--just 1d6 doesn't seem worth it.

Mal_Content wrote:
Anyway aside from those I completely agree with your assessment. Hope your enjoying your bard adventures as much as I am. :)

I totally love the Bard and always have--even when they used to suck.


mplindustries Said wrote:
whereas using Weird Words from the Sound Striker archetype takes one round and deals way more damage far more reliably.

I think I might have overlooked the archetypes too quickly, those do seem pretty solid for what you give up.

mplindustries Said wrote:
I would assume you didn't spend any feats on these things, right? Because there are far too many of those to list.

Yeah, I choose to go with the human favored class bard, knowing I was going to grab a masterpiece or two, so giving up a 1st level known for it wasn't as hard.

mplindustries Said wrote:
I, too, want to take Discordant Voice, but that adds a hell of a lot of damage, not "a bit here." With Quickening Pulse, you deal 1d6 damage per enemy. With Discordant Voice, you add 1d6 damage per ally per attack. You can't take it until level 11 anyway, and crap, a single monk in your party at that point will probably net you +6d6

Maybe I want to like it too much, but now we've got the monk at +6d6 plus the pulse. Heh, it'll probably be laughable by then, but if this thread is still up then I'll fill you in on how well/horrible it goes when I hit 11. :)

I really like the flavor of these and I hope they keep making more, with hopefully a little more umpf for the buck.

GL and HF man.


It's a matter of taste.
I took tripple time for my bard and would do so again.
No of the 1st level spells is strong enough to not take tripple time over it.


Umbranus has a good point: most of the level 1 bard spells are not terribly important. The Triple Time performance is quite nice in comparison. Longstrider doesn't work on multiple targets, and can't be cast on others, so unless a character IS a ranger or has crazy good UMD, they won't be able to make use of it.

I'd never give up a feat for a performance; I WOULD give up a spell known. Especially if you gain more due to your race...

I agree with you that Elysian Heart is one of the best on the list. I wish there were more like that.


I don't really understand that--there are several level 1 Bard spells that are useful for 20 levels.

And Triple Time's speed boost doesn't stack with Haste, so I would think it had a limited shelf life.

I do think it's good, but not as good as the level 1 spells I'd be giving up for it. I might grab it, but certainly not any time soon--maybe with one of my later level 1 pick ups.

Can I ask anyone that did take Triple Time: what level 1 spells did you end up with at the level you took Triple Time?


I'll leave a dot here, just so I can checuk up later.

Bardic Masterpieces are interesting, but so far I've never used them.


mplindustries wrote:


Can I ask anyone that did take Triple Time: what level 1 spells did you end up with at the level you took Triple Time?

I started my bard at 4th level and if I remember right I started with vanish, timely inspiration and one I do not remember in addition to tripple time.

Now that I know that timely inspiration doesn't stack with inspire courage (noticed that during play) I would not learn it again but I'm hard pressed to say which spell I'd take instead.


Most of them are underwhelming, and the only way I'll ever take them is with a human who gets more spells known than I need regularly. Triple Time, Imaginary Walls, and Quickening Pulse being the useful ones unless you're a dervish, then there are some that are good for you alone. However, Quickening Pulse may only be 1d6, but bleed damage bypasses DR. That as an AoE is kinda good in some cases, and being selective is nice.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Having had a BBEG and several others die from The Quickening Pulse taking away their last few HP, I can only disagree that it is weak.


My biggest issue with them is that they take 1 minute to perform, or at least those party buffs like Tripple Time.

Sure at some point you have enough BP that you can say "I just do it every hour", but that's a while actually.


Umbranus wrote:

I started my bard at 4th level and if I remember right I started with vanish, timely inspiration and one I do not remember in addition to tripple time.

Now that I know that timely inspiration doesn't stack with inspire courage (noticed that during play) I would not learn it again but I'm hard pressed to say which spell I'd take instead.

I guess we must disagree on the usefulness of spells, but for me, level 1 Bard spells that are useful for 20 levels and that are as good or better than Triple Time:

Charm Person, Feather Fall, Grease, Saving Finale, Silent Image, Solid Note (Ok, I probably overestimate this spell because I like it so much), Timely Inspiration (only if you're a Bard Archetype that doesn't have Inspire Courage), Unseen Servant, and Vanish

Honestly, I'm not sure there's any character I could ever make that wouldn't be enhanced by having access to Grease, Saving Finale, and Silent Image--holy crap those are great spells.

Further, I think that, at low levels, Cure Light Wounds and Sleep are also more useful, especially since you won't be able to get the whole party with Triple Time until level 4-5 (or in the bloated game I'm in, 8).

Dabbler wrote:
Having had a BBEG and several others die from The Quickening Pulse taking away their last few HP, I can only disagree that it is weak.

That is really strange logic for determining the worth of an ability. If someone finishes off a BBEG with an improvised chair shot, does that mean fighters should always carry around a chair with them because they're great weapons?

I don't think it's the worst masterpeice, but it does so little damage, I barely think it's worth an action, never mind a 3rd level spell known.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I am currently playing a Human Dervish Dancer so after 3rd level all favored bonuses will go to extra spells, I will be giving up a 2nd level spell for Dance of 23 steps as it is pretty awesome (free action) gives a nice boost to AC and the flavor fits the character extremely well.


I've never seen anyone use saving finale so perhaps I underestimate it.
A GM once wanted to use it with an enemy bard but as he wasn't maintaining a bardic performance he couldn't.

About tripple time: I don't only like it for in combat situations.
If you have to travel on foot and time is an issue tripple time on the dwarf or someone in medium armor can help a lot at early levels.

You sure are right that some spells are good but I just don't like charm person and using grease doesn't fit every concept.
For exaple it would have seemed wrong for my undead hunter pharasma following dirge bard to cast such rediculous spells.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Just a note, a player in my RotRL game got some good use out of Triple time early on but at later levels never seemed to use it.


I am wondering if anyone knows whether Maintained Masterpieces use the same 'performance' time as the regular Bardic Performances?

Say I was using Inspire Courage attack, and then switch to Dance of the 23 steps as a free action. Does that stop Inspire courage? Quickening Pulse? Gorroc?

I had thought so, but if not, I'm going to grab Dance in a heartbeat.


Umbranus wrote:

You sure are right that some spells are good but I just don't like charm person and using grease doesn't fit every concept.

For exaple it would have seemed wrong for my undead hunter pharasma following dirge bard to cast such rediculous spells.

Uh oh. My 2nd level undead hunting Dirge Bard (whose dead husband was a cleric of Pharasma) for Carrion Crown is starting with Grease, Saving Finale, and Silent Image...

Actually, as a tangent--assuming your undead hunting bard was a Dirge Bard, what Necromancy spells did you take with Secrets of the Grave? Considering I'm expecting mostly undead for a long time, I picked Chill Touch, and I think Command Undead will be an obvious choice at 6th. After that, I'm stumped.


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Mal_Content wrote:

I am wondering if anyone knows whether Maintained Masterpieces use the same 'performance' time as the regular Bardic Performances?

Say I was using Inspire Courage attack, and then switch to Dance of the 23 steps as a free action. Does that stop Inspire courage? Quickening Pulse? Gorroc?

I had thought so, but if not, I'm going to grab Dance in a heartbeat.

No, James Jacobs confirmed they are not the same thing. Masterpieces spend the same resource as Bardic Performances, but they are not Bardic Performances.

You can totally maintain Inspire Courage and the Dance of 23 Steps at the same time (along with the Quickening Pulse, and any number of other Masterpieces, as long as you have the actions and rounds of Bardic Performance to spend).

They are basically each just a unique Supernatural ability that draws on the same pool of resources.


mplindustries wrote:
You can totally maintain Inspire Courage and the Dance of 23 Steps at the same time (along with the Quickening Pulse, and any number of other Masterpieces, as long as you have the actions and rounds of Bardic Performance to spend).

Amazing! Thanks!


mplindustries wrote:


Actually, as a tangent--assuming your undead hunting bard was a Dirge Bard, what Necromancy spells did you take with Secrets of the Grave? Considering I'm expecting mostly undead for a long time, I picked Chill Touch, and I think Command Undead will be an obvious choice at 6th. After that, I'm stumped.

At second level he took defending bone.

He never reached 6th level so no further spells for him.


mplindustries wrote:
, too, want to take Discordant Voice, but that adds a hell of a lot of damage, not "a bit here." With Quickening Pulse, you deal 1d6 damage per enemy. With Discordant Voice, you add 1d6 damage per ally per attack. You can't take it until level 11 anyway, and crap, a single monk in your party at that point will probably net you +6d6 damage (you're casting Haste on them, right?). Any full BAB guys will add 4d6 (way more if they are archers or dual-wielders). It's pretty significant--just 1d6 doesn't seem worth it.

It's not quite that bad. It's 1d6 per round, so if the battle lasts 5 rounds, it's 5d6 damage to all enemies so long as you can keep preforming (and it only costs you 1 action; you can cast spells or fight the other 4 rounds). That's still not quite as good as a fireball, and the bad news is that it won't scale with level, but the advantage is that it hits all enemies within 30 feet of you and no allies.

I mean, it's still very much "meh", don't get me wrong, but it's a little better then you're making it sound. If you're facing an army of low level enemies, it would be pretty sweet to get a friend to cast santuary on you, then just wander through the army singing, and slowly kill them all off as they probably can't even hit you.

Edit: As for the other abilities, I think House of Imaginary Walls is better then you're suggesting.

The wording on The Lullaby of Ember the Ancient is confusing; is it supposed to be HD limited like Deep Slumber?


mplindustries wrote:
The Requiem of the Fallen Priest King--this can go from an amazingly awesome way to set up a nova round for your entire party against a tough encounter to a gigantic waste of time and Performance rounds in a matter of "at least 10 minutes pass before the next fight." It's really powerful, but requires too much forethought and planning, I think to be practical. Plus, the extra standard action clearly favors spellcasters over melee, since an extra spell is usually going to be better than one extra attack.

This one seems strong, but the trouble I have with it is that it doesn't stack with haste, which you're usually going to want to use, it's not as good as haste, and you're actually giving up a level 3 spell to take it, so you could just be casting haste instead.

On the other hand, "at the heart of it all" seems really good to me. It's not really a battle ability (although maybe in certain circumstances), but when I play a bard he's usually the party face who can master any social situation with a combination of high charisma and diplomatic skills, enchantment spells, and bardic performances, and it seems like "at the heart of it all" would be really, really good for that kind of thing. You can do it before you go and meet the king (so long as you can research him you can do it from anywhere, or if not you can quietly do it while you're 100 feet away) and then you get +4 on diplomacy checks with him for the rest of the day; and if diplomacy fails, and you have to attempt a suggestion spell or something, you have a better chance at doing that also.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Yosarian wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
The Requiem of the Fallen Priest King--this can go from an amazingly awesome way to set up a nova round for your entire party against a tough encounter to a gigantic waste of time and Performance rounds in a matter of "at least 10 minutes pass before the next fight." It's really powerful, but requires too much forethought and planning, I think to be practical. Plus, the extra standard action clearly favors spellcasters over melee, since an extra spell is usually going to be better than one extra attack.

This one seems strong, but the trouble I have with it is that it doesn't stack with haste, which you're usually going to want to use, it's not as good as haste, and you're actually giving up a level 3 spell to take it, so you could just be casting haste instead.

On the other hand, "at the heart of it all" seems really good to me. It's not really a battle ability (although maybe in certain circumstances), but when I play a bard he's usually the party face who can master any social situation with a combination of high charisma and diplomatic skills, enchantment spells, and bardic performances, and it seems like "at the heart of it all" would be really, really good for that kind of thing. You can do it before you go and meet the king (so long as you can research him you can do it from anywhere, or if not you can quietly do it while you're 100 feet away) and then you get +4 on diplomacy checks with him for the rest of the day; and if diplomacy fails, and you have to attempt a suggestion spell or something, you have a better chance at doing that also.

Dotted. Maybe when I'm finished my race guide I'll consider doing a Masterpiece Guide.


Just as Info it looks like weird words can't affect one target with all of the words. Might be worth revisiting the masterpieces with that in comparison.

James Jacobs gave a comment on it.


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sunbeam wrote:

They missed one.

Should have had "The Safety Dance," Sanctuary with no save.

"Y'know, that dance wasn't as safe as they said it was."

-Philip J. Fry


Mal_Content wrote:

Just as Info it looks like weird words can't affect one target with all of the words. Might be worth revisiting the masterpieces with that in comparison.

James Jacobs gave a comment on it.

Actually, I find his answer confusing and not at all conclusive.

Question: Can I affect a single target with all the weird words? If yes, I will roll 10 attack (12th level) and my opponent many fortitude saves!

James Jacobs: No. Each weird sound has to affect one target.

See, the fact that he said "each weird sound has to affect one target" rather than something like, "each weird sound has to affect a different target" or "separate target" or anything at all that would support each sound targeting someone different, makes me think he misinterpreted the question--it was pretty garbled, after all. Me attacking the same guy 10 times does meet the criteria--each note hit one target, it just happened to be the same target.

Plus, he's given a different answer in the past--I will have to dig through and find it.


Found it!

James Jacobs:
"You can "shoot" 1 sound per level. Effectively, you shoot 1/level d8s at the targets. Each single sound (each d8) affects only one target. You can split those d8s up however you want between as many targets as you want... kind of like how magic missile works. This means you CAN shoot them all at one target... but each one has to make its own touch attack, and each one allows for a Fort save for half damage."


Fair 'nuff, I feel like he said different things on each of those, but I just didn't want you or anyone getting up to level 6 and getting hosed by their DM's ruling :p

The Exchange

For those Masterpieces which allow stuff which extends Bardic Performance to work with them, the Harmonic Spell Feat (Inner Sea World Guide page 287) looks like it could make a difference, since you can keep several of them going indefinitly just by spamming cantrips round after round. These should include:

The Dance of 23 Steps (although this one seems pointless unless you really wanted Combat Expertise but didn't have the Int for it...)

The House of Imaginary Walls (much more utility for bridges and things if you can maintain them by spamming cantrips)

The Quickening Pulse & Melody of Frightful Death (could be handy if you're low on spells and such, perhaps?)

Although I'd imagine the best of the Masterpieces are:

Triple Time (1 solitary round of BP to effect half your Bard level worth of allies for a whole hour? Why the heck not?)

At the Heart of It (a day long set of bonuses - this seems like an out of combat thing which really clicks well with a Bard's usual type of activity)

and

The Dance of Kindled Desires (there's no save against the initial 'you know the desire they find most appealing' bit - the 'bargain for a service bit' is great if you can pull it off, but that initial bit of information without any save could well be priceless in the right situation. Again, very much an out-of-combat / role-play sort of thing)

The spell-simulation Masterpieces I guess depend a lot on how much you like and think you'll use said spell effect, and if anyone else in your group can cast the thing anyway. Stone to Flesh, for example, can be a handy (if disgusting) way to get through walls or undermine foundations... but it does depend a lot on campaign and style as to whether you'd want to do that and if being able to do it a lot would be useful or not.

The movement-enhacing Masterpieces could be good for the right type of group. A DC 15 Perform (dance) check is something folks with a couple of ranks in the Skill should be able to take 10 to achieve anyway; but pretty circumstantial for most groups, I'd imagine.


ProfPotts wrote:
For those Masterpieces which allow stuff which extends Bardic Performance to work with them, the Harmonic Spell Feat (Inner Sea World Guide page 287) looks like it could make a difference, since you can keep several of them going indefinitly just by spamming cantrips round after round.

Unfortunately, you can't use cantrips to power harmonic spell. According to the errata, the feat only applies when you cast a spell that is at least first level.


ProfPotts wrote:
Stone to Flesh, for example, can be a handy (if disgusting) way to get through walls or undermine foundations

That's amazing--I never considered that at all before. I'm starting to like the look of that one now, though the "cast time" is pretty severe.

ProfPotts wrote:
A DC 15 Perform (dance) check is something folks with a couple of ranks in the Skill should be able to take 10 to achieve anyway

Ok, so I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but excluding my own sheets, I've literally never seen a character that lacked a Charisma-based class feature (so, non-Bards/Oracles/Paladins/Sorcerers/Summoners) take a Charisma above a 10. It's been pretty much 18 or dump in my experience. Of course the same could be said of Strength...

So, you'd need 5 ranks in Perform (Dance)--that's quite a bit more than a couple ranks, that's a serious investment.


mplindustries wrote:
ProfPotts wrote:
Stone to Flesh, for example, can be a handy (if disgusting) way to get through walls or undermine foundations

That's amazing--I never considered that at all before. I'm starting to like the look of that one now, though the "cast time" is pretty severe.

ProfPotts wrote:
A DC 15 Perform (dance) check is something folks with a couple of ranks in the Skill should be able to take 10 to achieve anyway

Ok, so I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but excluding my own sheets, I've literally never seen a character that lacked a Charisma-based class feature (so, non-Bards/Oracles/Paladins/Sorcerers/Summoners) take a Charisma above a 10. It's been pretty much 18 or dump in my experience. Of course the same could be said of Strength...

So, you'd need 5 ranks in Perform (Dance)--that's quite a bit more than a couple ranks, that's a serious investment.

Rolled for stats with my Arcane Duelist and ended up with 12 Strength, 18 Dex, 12 con, 12 intel, 13 Charisma, Human stat bonus into Charisma, and my 4th level ability bonus into charisma to bring it to 12, 18, 12, 12, 16. Kind of poor DC on her spells but she usually buffs and stabs. and still manages to talk her way out of most situations. Mind you not everyone rolls for stats.

The Exchange

They errata'd Harmonic Spell? That's gone from handy to pretty much pointless then (Lingering Performance all the way it is)... :(

... Also reduces the Masterpieces I'd be attracted to as well. The Inspire Courage buff is so good you generally either need something amazing to consider not running with it, or need someone else on the team to be running some sort of non-stacking buff (like several Cleric spells, or there simply being another Bard on the team) so you're looking for other uses for your bardic performance. The chance of doing 1d6 each round to all the bad guys is seldom going to compare to adding an extra +1 to +4 to the attack and damage rolls of you and all your buddies, after all. I was thinking that, with Harmonic Spell and spamming cantrips powering them, those damaging Masterpieces could be just the ticket for 'ping-damaging' the bad guys to death when the rest of your team is down and you're making every effort to keep from being hit and also dropping... but without the chance to keep them running essentially indefinitely chances are it'd never crop up, since you're likely to have used a load of BP rounds getting to that sorry state in the first place. Oh well...

As for PCs with ranks in Perform (dance), just count how many of your high-Dex fellow adventurers are using scimitars these days... ;)


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Quote:
They errata'd Harmonic Spell? That's gone from handy to pretty much pointless then (Lingering Performance all the way it is)... :(

I've seen at least one person mention using Harmonic Spell to activate Dirge of Doom, cast a spell on the shaken enemies, and switch back to Inspire Courage as a swift action. That's a neat trick. You could do it at Level 13 without a feat, but not every game gets that high.

Quote:
... Also reduces the Masterpieces I'd be attracted to as well. The Inspire Courage buff is so good you generally either need something amazing to consider not running with it, or need someone else on the team to be running some sort of non-stacking buff (like several Cleric spells, or there simply being another Bard on the team) so you're looking for other uses for your bardic performance. The chance of doing 1d6 each round to all the bad guys is seldom going to compare to adding an extra +1 to +4 to the attack and damage rolls of you and all your buddies, after all.

According to this post, you can use Bardic Masterpieces in conjunction with regular performances. However, you'll burn through performance rounds faster. I can only see two masterpieces where I'd consider doing that (the songs that put enemies to sleep or force them to make concentration checks), but I've only played one Bard, and we are still at a low enough level for me to worry about conserving performance rounds.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Minuet of the Midnight Ivy seems useful for dervishes.

Rondeau of Heavenly Order seems amusing, but I'm not sure how useful it would be.

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