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Battle Herald Questions


Advice

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

I have several questions on the subject of the Battle Herald (BH) Prestige Class, so I'll drop them in no particular order.

1) While it is obvious that the most straightforward path to becoming a BH is to take some combination of Cavalier and Bard levels that add up to 5 (any combo will do, although 1/4 and 4/1 make the most sense to me [2nd level Bard spells vs Horse Master Feat availability]), I was wondering what other classes, archetypes, etc. have the two chief requisite abilities to get one into the BH Prestige Class, namely Inspire Courage and Challenge?

2) How exactly do Bard and BH levels "stack" with respect to Inspiring Command/Inspire Courage? Bards get another +1 every 6 levels, whereas BHs get it every 3, so it's obvious which class I would choose to progress as. Do I understand this to ACTUALLY mean not to use the BHs Inspiring Command Bonus for Inspire Courage, but instead to add Bard and BH together, and determine what the bonus would be if I was a straight class Bard?

3) Similarly, how exactly do the Cavalier and BH Banner abilities stack particularly if one was to have chosen the Standard Bearer archetype for Cavalier. Do the levels finally start stacking at 5th level? If I was a Standard Bearer 1, Bard 4, BH 4, it would seem to me that it SHOULD add up that I have 5 Cavalier levels, so my bonus is +2.

4) It seems implied, but not clearly stated, but does Lingering Performance allow for Inspiring Commands to last the extra rounds?

5) Would "ranks" gained via Versatile Performance for Diplomacy and/or Intimidate qualify a character for the BH Prestige Class, or do these need to be "real" ranks and not Versatile [i.e. virtual] ones?

6) The BH ability Inspire Greatness lists no stacking help with Bard levels. One must assume that Bard levels don't stack right?

7) If an ally is under the affects of both the BH's Inspire Courage (as Bard) and Sound the Charge abilities, do the bonuses stack to hit and damage? They are both Competence bonuses, but if they don't stack, then I see no purpose in the Sound the Charge ability, as Inspire Courage seems superior as it includes morale bonuses to saves.


1) I believe you can acquire Inspire Courage with the Sensei Monk or the Evangelist Cleric. I don't think anyone but Cavaliers gets Challenge, though.

2) Correct, you add Bard and BH levels together to determine your equivalent Bard level with respect to Inspire Courage.

3) It would be as if you were a Standard Bearer of Standard Bearer + Battle Herald levels.

4) No. The sentence that talks about Lingering Performance is talking about using it with Bardic Performance while running a separate Battle Herald Command, not using it to extend a Command.

5) No. Versatile Performance technically allows you to use one modifier in place of another, not count your ranks in one skill as ranks in another. You will need the actual ranks to qualify.

6) Doesn't matter, Inspire Greatness doesn't scale with Bard level. The Battle Herald ability to use it on multiple targets is BH only.

7) No, the would not stack. However, depending on how your levels end up, Sound the Charge may give a higher bonus than Inspire Courage. It also gives a bonus to charge speed (not that that comes up very often).

Taldor

1) It may require GM adjudication, but the text for the Steel Falcon PrC implies they have the ability to use Inspire Courage, though they don't explicitly have it named as a class feature.
2)There are two different bonuses: one for Inspiring Command and one for Inspire Courage. The bonus to attack and fear saves from Inspire Courage is determined by your combined bard and BH levels. The bonus to the "command" in your Inspiring Command (e.g. Battle Magic, Inspire Hardness, etc.) is based solely off your BH levels, per the table.
3) Agreed. Though note that the morale bonus to fear saves don't stack between the banner and inspire courage. Somewhat silly PrC design IMO.
4) From the PRD:

"The battle herald cannot maintain an inspiring command and a bardic performance at the same time (this does not preclude abilities such as persistent command or the Lingering Performance feat, which continue an inspiring command or bardic performance after the battle herald stops maintaining it)."

The clear separation in the text above makes me believe that you can't Linger an IC.
5) Agreed.
6) This is the Inspiring Command bonus which is BH levels only. Also, the magnitude of bonuses from IG doesn't increase, only the number of targets. Look at it this way: a level 9 bard and a level 9 Ca/Ba/BH use Inspire Greatness exactly the same.
7) Just to elaborate, they don't stack because they both confer competence bonuses. Again, a pretty major design flaw in this PrC since an Inspiring Command just tacks extra bonuses onto Inspire Courage.


1. One could also take 5 levels of Cavalier and 3 levels of Pathfinder Chronicler to get access to inspire courage.


Do BH and Bard stack to determine how many rounds of performance a character has to spend Inspire Courage? If so I think that a Samuarai/ Dawn flower dervish/BH could be alot of fun.


Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
1)...I was wondering what other classes, archetypes, etc. have the two chief requisite abilities to get one into the BH Prestige Class, namely Inspire Courage and Challenge?

Evangelist Clerics and Sensei Monks get Inspire Courage. Only Cavaliers (and Samurai which are just reskinned Cavaliers) get Challenge.

Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
2)...Do I understand this to ACTUALLY mean not to use the BHs Inspiring Command Bonus for Inspire Courage, but instead to add Bard and BH together, and determine what the bonus would be if I was a straight class Bard?

Yes, exactly. So Inspire Courage is +1 until your Bard+BH levels equal 5, then +2 until they total 11, etc.

Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
3) Similarly, how exactly do the Cavalier and BH Banner abilities stack particularly if one was to have chosen the Standard Bearer archetype for Cavalier. Do the levels finally start stacking at 5th level? If I was a Standard Bearer 1, Bard 4, BH 4, it would seem to me that it SHOULD add up that I have 5 Cavalier levels, so my bonus is +2.

Basically add your BH levels to your Cavalier levels. Since you are a Standard Bearer, you use a different progression than a normal cavalier--just use your progression.

Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
4) It seems implied, but not clearly stated, but does Lingering Performance allow for Inspiring Commands to last the extra rounds?

"this does not preclude abilities such as persistent command or the Lingering Performance feat, which continue an inspiring command or bardic performance after the battle herald stops maintaining it"

I don't know how much more explicit you could get. Yes, it works.

Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
5) Would "ranks" gained via Versatile Performance for Diplomacy and/or Intimidate qualify a character for the BH Prestige Class, or do these need to be "real" ranks and not Versatile [i.e. virtual] ones?

You do not have ranks in those skills, you are using a different skill entirely for the same functions. No, you cannot qualify for prestige classes just on the virtue of Versatile Performance, you need actual ranks.

Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
6) The BH ability Inspire Greatness lists no stacking help with Bard levels. One must assume that Bard levels don't stack right?

They do not stack--most likely because it is assumed you won't have enough Bard levels to get to Inspire Greatness anyway.

Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
7) If an ally is under the affects of both the BH's Inspire Courage (as Bard) and Sound the Charge abilities, do the bonuses stack to hit and damage? They are both Competence bonuses, but if they don't stack, then I see no purpose in the Sound the Charge ability, as Inspire Courage seems superior as it includes morale bonuses to saves.

Sound the Charge gives a speed boost, too. The attack and damage won't stack because they're the same type of bonus, as you said. I'm curious, though--how are you stacking these things? It says you explicitly that you can't maintain an Inspiring Command and a Bardic Performance at the same time.


If you do not like Cavalier, Samurai might spice it up some.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

mplindustries wrote:
--how are you stacking these things? It says you explicitly that you can't maintain an Inspiring Command and a Bardic Performance at the same time.

Using Lingering Performance or Persistent Command.

The BH writeup is pretty clear this can work:

"The battle herald cannot maintain an inspiring command and a bardic performance at the same time (this does not preclude abilities such as persistent command or the Lingering Performance feat, which continue an inspiring command or bardic performance after the battle herald stops maintaining it)."


Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
--how are you stacking these things? It says you explicitly that you can't maintain an Inspiring Command and a Bardic Performance at the same time.

Using Lingering Performance or Persistent Command.

The BH writeup is pretty clear this can work:

"The battle herald cannot maintain an inspiring command and a bardic performance at the same time (this does not preclude abilities such as persistent command or the Lingering Performance feat, which continue an inspiring command or bardic performance after the battle herald stops maintaining it)."

Yeah, I guess I just didn't expect you to spend so many actions twisting performances like that. Your Bardic Performances are still going to be Standard actions, after all, unless you squeeze in a lot more Bard levels into your build.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

mplindustries wrote:
Yeah, I guess I just didn't expect you to spend so many actions twisting performances like that. Your Bardic Performances are still going to be Standard actions, after all, unless you squeeze in a lot more Bard levels into your build.

Twisting huh? Haven't heard that term since my days playing a Minstrel or Bard in Dark Age of Camelot.

I don't know that it takes "a lot" more Bard levels. One must either be 4/1 or 1/4 to take Battle Herald. If one were to take Bard levels to 7 and thus get level 3 spells, you still have plenty of room for BH levels, and at 7th, you can start a Bardic Performance as a Move action.

Also, in a game like Kingmaker, where you might be having large battles, where the BH makes a lot of thematic sense, it might actually be the best use of the BH's time to "twist" as you put it, considering the benefits it might give the troops. Battles between lowbie troops can be affected greatly if one side has a +2 to hit and damage and DR 2 along a given battlefront. Now if only I could find an alphorn!

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