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Bard Masterpieces and Bardic Performance


Rules Questions

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1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

I dont think a single option said you could do 2 masterpieces at once.


Cavall wrote:
I dont think a single option said you could do 2 masterpieces at once.

If it's not a performance then there's no limit on how many you can have going at once.

And like I said, blazing rondo isn't the problematic one if you can swift action launch at will.

**Looks at masterpieces list**

Nevermind swift action launch is ok.

All the good options are slower than 1 standard.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Allowing Bards to 'nova' through all of their performance rounds tends to promote a '15 minute adventuring day'... which I'm against for numerous reasons.

It also runs in to potential problems with things like the Tuned Bowstring, Tea of Transference, or Exquisite Accompaniment that can give you additional (potentially infinite) rounds of performance.

The argument that 'only these specific performances/masterpieces are really powerful if we change how they work' also has a future proofing problem. It would essentially mean that all future masterpieces would need to be carefully hobbled to prevent them stacking up together into something unmanageable.

Rather than changing the fundamental nature of masterpieces I'd like to see new options introduced to deal with the, "Inspire Courage is so good that nothing else makes sense most of the time" 'problem'. Have a singing sword that performs battle song of the people's revolt... or a bardic instrument (with the Shadowbard spell as a pre-req) that allows a second active performance... or any one masterpiece per day... or a list of masterpieces up to a certain number of charges... or more things like swapping versatile performance for masterpieces (e.g. can swap out some performances for masterpieces)... et cetera.

There are plenty of ways to expand the usefulness of masterpieces w/o rewriting how they work.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

...or we could just do Option 3 because folks have *spent* already to get a Masterpiece...?


Viondar wrote:

Cost to maintain: three bardic performance rounds per actual round, which, assuming cha 22, would mean 10 rounds per day.

10 rounds per day is nothing...

Um... No? Bards get 2 additional rounds of performance every level after level 1. A 13th level bard with 22 CHA would have 34 rounds of performance a day. Skalds get the same.


DeathlessOne wrote:
Viondar wrote:

Cost to maintain: three bardic performance rounds per actual round, which, assuming cha 22, would mean 10 rounds per day.

10 rounds per day is nothing...

Um... No? Bards get 2 additional rounds of performance every level after level 1. A 13th level bard with 22 CHA would have 34 rounds of performance a day. Skalds get the same.

Skalds do actually get less than bards since they start with 3+cha instead of 4+cha.

But their point was doing the combo to burn 3 rounds at a time. And as you just showed them having 34 rounds at that level and using 3 per round is 11, which is basically 10 and excusable as rounding or just missing little. Like their point is still solid and the same if the number is really 10 or 11.


Chess Pwn wrote:

Skalds do actually get less than bards since they start with 3+cha instead of 4+cha.

But their point was doing the combo to burn 3 rounds at a time. And as you just showed them having 34 rounds at that level and using 3 per round is 11, which is basically 10 and excusable as rounding or just missing little. Like their point is still solid and the same if the number is really 10 or 11.

Ah, I must have misread his post then. My mistake.


Latest Summary Post:

- Added Position #4 (this is changing the rules for masterpieces to not be affected by a bard's scaling action economy, so is probably out of scope of this FAQ, but it is included for completeness)

- Started a masterpiece list that the FAQ committee should definitely include in their analysis.

I think we are still looking for strong masterpieces. We need to include other interactions (items, feats, other abilities) as well.

**********************************************

Position #1 - Masterpieces are Bardic Performance are Masterpieces

Position #1 FAQ:

Masterpieces are bardic performances and follow bardic performance rules. If a bard starts a new masterpiece or other bardic performance, any existing masterpiece effect immediately ends. A bard does not need to spend a free action to maintain masterpieces, nor does a masterpiece effect immediately end if the bard falls unconscious, etc. The masterpiece effects linger until their duration expires, or until a new masterpiece or other bardic performance is started.

Example: If a bard has activated Triple Time on an ally, whenever they start to activate another bardic performance (or masterpiece), Triple Time wears off immediately, no matter where the ally is.

Position #2 - Masterpieces are unusual applications of the bardic performance ability. Any masterpiece that is completed and has a duration independent of the bard no longer counts against the maintained performance limit.

Position #2 FAQ:

Masterpieces can be separated into two categories: maintained and independent. A masterpiece is maintained if it requires the bard to spend actions in subsequent rounds or else the masterpiece will end. A masterpiece is independent of the bard if no action must be taken after the masterpiece is activated for the effect to continue for its entire duration.

A maintained masterpiece immediately ends if a bard starts a new masterpiece or bardic performance. An independent masterpiece does not end if a bard starts a new masterpiece or bardic performance. It lasts until its duration expires.

Example: If a bard has completed the activation of the Triple Time masterpiece on an ally, the ally retains the bonus even if the bard starts another Bardic Performance or Masterpiece.

Example: If a bard has the masterpiece The Depths of the Mountain activated, since it is a maintained Masterpiece, the bard must end that masterpiece if Inspire Courage is started.

Position #3 - Masterpieces are unusual applications of the bardic performance ability. They are not actual Bardic Performances.

Position #3 FAQ:

Masterpieces and Bardic Performances are independent of each other. They do not interact nor do they prevent or cancel each other. Both can be active at the same time, although they each require separate activation actions.

Example: A bard has Inspire Courage going in battle. The battle is almost finished, so the bard starts the masterpiece Triple Time while Inspire Courage is still up and running. Rounds of Bardic Performance are spent simultaneously on both abilities.

Position #4 - Masterpieces are unusual applications of the bardic performance ability. They are not actual Bardic Performances.

Position #4 FAQ:

Masterpieces and Bardic Performances are independent of each other. They do not interact nor do they prevent or cancel each other. It is not possible for a bard of sufficient level to activate masterpieces faster if they have a base activation of 1 standard action. Both can be active at the same time, although they each require separate activation actions.

Example: A bard has Inspire Courage going in battle. The battle is almost finished, so the bard starts the masterpiece Triple Time while Inspire Courage is still up and running. Rounds of Bardic Performance are spent simultaneously on both abilities.

Example 2: A bard has Inspire Courage going in battle. He wants to start Blazing Rondo, he has to take a standard action, but otherwise both inspire courage and Blazing Rondo take effect simultaneously.

***********************************************

Strong Masterpieces that should be included in the FAQ committee analysis.

Blazing Rondo: Haste Masterpiece
- Requires Level 7
- Costs level 3 spell known (e.g. replaces Haste spell known)
- Inferior to Haste spell effects (shorter duration, chained to bard, negative effect potential) until level 9
- Considered a strong combat boost at early levels as a move/standard action, since Haste costs a VALUABLE spell slot
- Power fades some as more level 3+ spell slots come online
- Power increases at level 10 giving +1 to hit and reflex about Haste
- Greatly reduces any other usage of Bardic Performance except in combat
- Level 13 presents swift/move/standard action haste that costs a Vanilla Bard (or the party) ~50k to duplicate

Battle Song of the People: Gives a feat to the party
- Requires: level 4 required
- Requires: or or half-orc race
- Costs level 2 spell known (or feat)
- standard action (levels 4-6), move or standard (level 7-12), etc.
- Feat Choice: Amplify Rage
--> would stack GREAT for a Skalds Rage Song
--> +4 STR and CON if adjacent/flanking to/with another raging ally
--> would not typically as powerful as adding haste to the party

Dark Archive

A potential comment on Battle Song of the People would be that it seems objectively better then how Cavalier's hand out team work feats. You can do it for longer and neatly break it up into the length of time required. In many cases that might be less potent then inspire but teamwork feats can get very potent.


I wonder what the best feat would be for a bard with battle song of the people? Outflank? Precise strike?


FangDragon wrote:
I wonder what the best feat would be for a bard with battle song of the people? Outflank? Precise strike?

Outflank for to-hit bonuses and crit-fishing characters.

Precise Strike for a more raw damage boost.

Silver Crusade

So, as it is... There aren't many people who find it overpowered if masterpieces do not count as bardic performance / raging song, but instead count as seperate powers using the same system.

Game balance: The price for the powers is paid:
- through sacrifice of spell or feat
- in performance rounds (additional with other masterpieces and with bardic performance / raging song).
Game balance lies in that a bard/skald who focuses on any combo would quickly run through their daily rounds.

Game logic: Skilled performers can combine performances, both of the same type (different versions of songs or dances, with different emotional charge), and of different types (combining instruments and dance).

Metagame comparison: most masterpieces produce effects that compare to spells, and others compare to powers that other classes have. So bards/skalds who multiclass or who choose their spells well, would be able to do this anyway, but with less flair.

Metagame reasoning: The masterpieces are a really cool concept that sees little gameplay, because the basic performances of the bards and skalds are almost always the better choice. Making this decision would make the masterpieces a lot more popular.

So, we're all for masterpieces as separate powers (position #3)? Cuz then we can close this lengthy meeting, and have the Paizo team effectuate our consensus. If not, maybe we can put it to a vote...?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Viondar wrote:
So, we're all for masterpieces as separate powers (position #3)?

Nope.

Silver Crusade

That's not very constructive.

I'm stating that not many people are against, and that, if a decision must be made (and it's about time that a decision be made), #3 would probably be the consensus.

I also state that if we don't believe this to be true, we could perhaps vote on it. We don't have to, though, since Pathfinder isn't really based on democracy. We all look to our glorious leaders at Paizo to resolve this. But they bounce the question back to us. Even though achieving consensus on the internet is utopic, we've gotten very far. Most people who post here have no problems with option #3.

Please, Paizo, acknowledge and effectuate.


Quite honestly I think that Bardic Masterpieces should interact similar to Metamagic feats in how they operate. So effectively you can have one Bardic Masterpiece augment one Bardic Performance.


I have 3 complications that I feel this FAQ should look at before making a decision.

1) Does a prestige class (for example Pathfinder Chronicler) that advances bardic performances also advance masterpieces? If masterpieces are not the same as bardic performances, then this is not necessarily the case.

2) Harmonic Spell: if masterpieces are bardic performances, then a bard with Harmonic Spell can get around the long activation time of many perfomances by casting a lvl 1 or higher spell. The feat would then allow you to switch to the performance as a swift action. I've highlighted this issue earlier in this thread, I believe.

For example, at lvl 11 a bard could Inspire Courage as a move action, cast Haste as a standard, then thanks to Harmonic Spell, as a swift action switch to Pallavi of Nirvana’s Blossoming. The issue with this is that many of the more powerful masterpieces are balanced by having a long activation time, this method bypasses this entirely. I believe this will only be an issue for Position 1.

3) Pathfinder Chronicler has the ability called Epic Tales. Can a Pathfinder Chronicler create an Epic Tale of masterpieces that she knows? This would be another way to bypass the long activation time of many masterpieces. Moreover, anyone literate can read out loud the Epic Tale to produce the effect; no UMD check is needed. Hence a familiar, or cohort, or literate NPC can use it, in addition to PCs. This could allow the stacking of many masterpieces simultaneously.

However, Pathfinder Chronicler is not considered a strong class by any means, so a boost in power many not be unwelcome. The Pathfinder would have to spend feats to get high level masterpieces, since she doesn't have spell advancement. Also, the Epic Tales ability is gained at character lvl 9, and only affects people other than the reader at lvl 13. This tactic would require devoting many levels to a suboptimal class before reaching the pay-off, when one would most likely be better off just advancing bard instead.

Some food for thought!

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