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Hello everyone. looking for a bit of advice but first lets get this out of the way. I know this isn't the "best" bloodrager ect. I am not looking for the best. If you came here to tell me not to play it please move on. To me optimizing is about making a concept work as best it can. Not about only playing whats the best.

So I am working on a spelleater build that has dumped AC. will only be wearing light armor so there is something to enchant not for AC.

So I am looking for ways to survive without AC. Here is what I have so far.

Raging vitality feat
Favored class bonus will be HP and toughness feat
Determination armor enchantment.
Ring of vengeful blood magic. (Vampiric touch as a AOO? Yes please.)
Ring of Regeneration
Ring of evasion (going to need hand of glory of course for 3 rings.)
Spell storing armor/weapon for vampiric touch as well.
Lunge and enlarge to keep enemies away as much as I can.
First aid gloves could be helpful here.
Runestones so he can munch some spells slots
Stoneskin spell of course.

Any other ideas on ways to not eat it with no AC? Also assume fast healer feat does NOT boost fast healing alright? Lets not argue about it here. Its just a no go for this build so leave it at that.

LazarX wrote:
raidou wrote:

Is there any reason people can see that the armor provided by the "armor of bones," "wood armor," "spirit shield," and "cloak of darkness" Oracle Revelations could not be further enhanced by a Magic Vestment spell?

Yes.... because it's not a valid target for the spell any more than mage armor or magic vestment itself would be. It's not armor but another spell effect that provides an armor bonus.

If you're going to use magic vestment, you dispense with those revelations entirely, and simply get a suit of armor to cast the spell on.

This is a nice opinion and all but it is not supported by any rules anywhere. There is nowhere that says that something physical that comes into being by magic is treated any different then something that comes into being by mundane means.

These abilities create something physical that you are wearing and that satisfies the needs of magic vestment. Unlike mage armor.

If you don't like it and would house rule it that's fine. But this is not an opinion forum its a rules forum.

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Every time I see a topic like this I can not help but feel its nothing but poorly veiled "melee can't have nice things."

The fact of the matter is that limiting items does little or nothing to casters but hurts Melee a great deal. Or other less common builds like say a thrower that needs a blink back belt.

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Neo2151 wrote:

The Paladin and Ranger are Divine casters.

Arcane spell-casting is the offensive style of casting. So naturally, someone who possesses arcane spell-casting will want ways to use it offensively.

It's really as simple as that.

I still hold that giving the class Spellstrike would fill that "gap" perfectly. Spell Combat remains a Magus thing, but both classes are designed to cast some arcane spells and hit things with a weapon, so both classes should be able to mix the two.

Hahaha why because you say so? I count a whole heck of a lot of defensive and utility spells on the Magus spell list.

Sorry to break this to you but the artificial boundaries you place on a type of magic in your head mean nothing in reality.

The bard has been Arcane for a very long time and yet has very few offensive spells.

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What the real problem is is people thinking their opinion is worth far far more then it is.

Classes not being "beta-worthy" is nothing more then your opinion and a poor one at that. All the classes function (some better then some of the core classes.) I don't like all of them by a long shot but ohh well. I don't like all of any book.

This "I don't like it so its trash and should never happen" mentality is nothing short of childish.

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I really think many people don't get this class at all. All this "the casting is not blended with the melee enough" and "I don't find myself using the spells all the time."

.....duh. Its a 4 spell lvl full BaB class. If you want something that blends spell casting more that is what the Magus is for.

The point is just like the other 4 spell level full BaB classes. Mostly melee with the flexibility and options to do something in situations that melee is a poor choice or flat out imposable.

Ranger and Paladin don't "blend casting seamlessly with melee." and all the other such complaints. I don't see why any expected this to be different or even want it to be.

Don't give me "the magus spell list is not good for that.". That's a load. If you think that then you have never really looked at the spell list.

I really find that the mad-ness is being over stated. I just start with 2 less STR then I would on a barb. That +1 to hit and +2 damage is nothing next to say having arcane strike, Great buffs, and bloodline powers.

Going back to what I said in my last post an idea came to mind. Ditch all the barb stuff (DR, Fast movement. and UD) and on the lvls where he would have gotten DR give him 1/day use of a quicken ability.

This quicken ability does not adjust the spell lvl but instead uses a number of rage rounds equal to the spells lvl.

Likely far to late at this point for such suggestions but the idea came to me and I loved it.

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Neo2151 wrote:

A suggestion for the DT: Drop Damage Reduction and Uncanny Dodge, and pick up Spellstrike.

This class is begging to Spellstrike.

Then it would overshadow Magus. I wouldn't mind a limited use ability to get a free quicken under certain circumstances. But its hardly a must.

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Funny. Seems to me that a full Bab 4 spell lvl arcane class is new. (and long overdo.) Casting in rage is new, Flavorful and strong effects while in rage is new.

Perhaps you need to read the PDF again.

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LoneKnave wrote:

You don't have Spell Combat (or some other similar feature) to mesh your casting with your melee-ness though.

Which kinda sucks. You also lose out on most of the utility spells by having the magus spell list. So you have combat focused spells on a class that doesn't get good at casting spells in combat.

The thing is the magus spell list isn't even that focused on their ability to mesh touch spells with an attack. The number of spells that work with it is low. So ignore shocking grasp and frigid touch (vampiric touch is still more then worth having.)I fail to see how that is a big deal.

What do you gain over no spell list? MASSIVE flexibility. Ranged options when you have no other choice, Burning hands when you run into a
swarm, Infernal healing and vampirc touch for self sustainability if things go horribly wrong, -Invisibility-, most of the best buffs a melee could want, movement/teleport options.

Honestly it covers every weakness melee have. Flying monsters, Swarms, uselessness in any situation that isn't "hit thing", Keeping yourself alive if something happens to the casters or things just go very wrong.

I don;t understand how people can complain about this spell list.

I can see why they used the magus spell list. Its an arcane spell list made for a melee mage. It focuses mostly on buffs and save free spells. So it fits the bill.

Still I really do wish bloodrager would get Blistering Invective. This spell would fit the idea so well IMO. I would also (if it was my call.) Make bladed dash a lvl 1 spell and greater bladed dash lvl 4. Ohh well can't have everything.

A couple quick runners shirts that you can change between battles will get you a pounce a battle. Which is most of the time all one would get the chance for (or no chance at all at times.)

Reach honestly tends to get you more fully attacks in reality then pounce. Pounce is very limited and a DM even using minor tactics can make it unusable most of the time. While a reach weapon and the lunge feat plus your 5 foot step can get you a full attack often.

ciretose wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
I don't think it obsoletes the Barbarian. Because the Barbarian has two words that give him an edge: Rage Powers.
It is more of a toe stepping question. Do we really need damage reduction, uncanny dodge, etc...when we are getting 4 levels of arcane spells and bloodline like powers?

Yeah it feels to me like many are not really looking at reality. Most rage powers are... bad. The two lines that are good one is very over valued and the other. Well I will miss the save boost but it is easily trumped by the bloodline powers.

We are talking things like flight at low lvls, Action free powerful buffs (haste and displacement.), free reach boost and so on. This easily trumps rage powers.

4 lvls arcane casting is no contest versus the other Barb abilities.

Save for your example is assumes WAY to much. Its more like CHARGE!....if there is an enemy in a straight line from me, no object is in the way, No ally or enemy in the way, No one in the space closes to the target, and have line of sight.

Yeah if the heavens aline its nice to have. But if that's happening more then rarely your DM is taking it easy on you. In many cases reach + lunge will get you full attacks more often.

This is just more of the typical "works so wonderfully on paper but not in practice" problems that are common when theory crafting.

I disagree. Pounce is very over valued around here. Why? Because unless you have a DM that makes most battle in a large open area with few obstructions you will get little use out of it. But if you have good DM that uses difficult terrain, corners, and even minor tactical positioning well then its a nice tool at best. But you will be lucky if you get once pounce an encounter. VERY lucky.

More so is the fact that why its over valued so much is just that Barb can't do much else useful if they can't get in a full attack. Bloodrager can. If he needs to use a turn to get set up big deal. He can buff, Team buff (with haste if there is no other haste caster in the group.) scorching ray a priority target, Use bladed dash for great positioning (Move+attack+another move.)

Or there is a bloodline that gives +5 reach. Enlarge + reach weapon + Lunge + said bloodline ability. Who the heck needs pounce with that reach? (Though I question if lunge can stack with it. In not then its still a free lunge feat without the AC hit.)

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Kaisos Erranon wrote:
So it's not the fault of the developers for developing something that isn't the least bit creative?

Again with the over blown opinions. What is or isn't creative is completely subjective. Iteration is a fact of game design. Both table top and digital. Pathfinder as a whole is in fact iterative.

Putting building blocks together in a new way isn't counter to creativity.

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I love the bloodrager. I have wanted a full BaB 4 spell lvl class for a long time.

But the more I play around with it the more I can not help but feel it makes the Barbarian useless for anything more then flavor reasons. (meaning does not want/hates magic.) Now not to say flavor reasons are not valid. But my personal opinion is that it should not void its parent class completely for all other reasons but flavor.

I think it just gets to much of whats good from Barbarian without losing enough. What I mean is it loses some hp (d10 DD) trap sense (lets be honest its a weak ability.) and rage powers (but most bloodlines are superior anyway.)

So my suggestion is to perhaps think about taking away a bit more of the Barb stuff? Here is a few of my thoughts on it.

Weaker form of rage. +2 +4 +6 rather then +4 +6 +8

Drop ether uncanny dodge or fast movement.

DR stopping at 3/- rather then 5

Simple weapon pref and then added pref from bloodlines (might be to big of a pain in the back side at this point.)

Light armor with "If the bloodrager gains med armor pref they can then cast in med armor without ASF"

In no way am I saying do ALL of those. They are just thoughts I have on the topic. But its only one mans opinion. So you know take it with a grain of salt.

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I am really getting tired of this over use of extremely vague terms like "niche" "concept" "not distinct enough" and so on without even trying to attempt to define the terms you us.

Its a common tactic used when someone is trying to push their opinion as fact and its pretty easy to see though.

You don't like it that's fine. Don't buy/use it. But trying to pretend that you not liking it makes it factually bad/wrong/poor is low brow at best.

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So in your -opinion- there is some vague line where something -feels- [Insert another vague term here. Flavorful, distinct, concept or the like.] enough to be a class?

That's nice. Everyone has an opinion. Mine is that a class is anything the game designers want it to be... because they are designing the game...

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For one making them archetypes means they would have to go through a lot to make sure nothing funny happens when mixed with other archetypes. Making it a class means a nice clean slate.

And frankly I don't get this complaint. So perhaps it could have worked the same or close as an archetype. Your point is? Why do you care so much if the way to make [Blank] is a class or a archetype as long as it works. The end result is the same. I could not care less if they called them "super fun time vocations." as long as they function.

It really does just feel like people need something to complain about.

I am reasonably sure it flat out says they are only active while in bloodrage unless otherwise stated. Though at work and don't have the PDF in front of my ATM.

I have to agree with the others that said rogue has been out-modded for awhile now. With Ninja, Vivisectionist, Archeologist, and an oracle archetype or two (forgot the names atm.) there has been no point for a fair long while now.

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I would assume he like the Ranger and Paladin has a caster level of his class lvl -4.

I am a bit sad that he can cast out of rage. I personally saw it as a balancing factor. Because lets not kid ourselves its a strong class. Having to worry about bloodrage rounds and being able to be in bloodrage when you need a spell. It would make playing the class well very tactical. But that's just my opinion so of course take it with a grain of salt.

I am also in the camp that thinks a few of the bloodlines are a bit strong. Arcane being the one that jumps out at me. It simply just gets the best arcane buffs a bit to easily. I would drop a couple (displacement and haste) move some to a tier up (blur) and add some of the weaker arcane buffs in there (like false life.). They would still be plenty useful since we are talking about action free buffing here.

I am also in the "disagree but do not think you are bad/evil for your ruling." boat.

The way I see it cleaving finish has nothing to do with what the PC knows. It is them cutting/bashing right through a enemy and continuing on to the next.

But its not my table and its not a big thing one way or the other.

insaneogeddon wrote:

Thundercaller is definitely not clear. As written its specific "spend a round of performance to create an effect similar to the spell sound burst (having the same range and area and allowing the same saving throw)."

Same saving throw even if we want it different.. the su instead of sp thing makes it open to argument. Its a DM call in that case which is never good for builds and can use in anygame.

I know this is just further derailing but I don;t get how people come up with this. Look at the spell. Look at the line that says saving throw. Its says "fortitude". That is what the ability inherits from the spell.

Difficulty check is not the same thing as saving throw. Not even close. DC can not be inherited from the spell because Dc is not related to the spell at all. DC is from caster ability score and spell level. None of which are inherited by the ability.

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"3 (more like 4) PC's working together perfectly where the BBEG and minions do nothing to stop them from setting up this convoluted combo can kill the BBEG!!"

Well duh. The list of ways 3-4 PCs could kill a BBEG in one round under perfect circumstances when nothing is done to counter it is pretty long. Simply 3 rage-pounching Barbs could easily one round kill any BBEG thats of a proper CR for a BBEG of that lvl.

Stagger isn't anything great. Using a full round to partially limit one targets actions is a so-so trade off at best.

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Drop this group. Seriously. The kind of person that gets so proud of himself because "My PC can kill your PC...using this over powered homebrew race." is just flat out not worth gaming with.

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I have kicked around this idea a few times. My version of it uses Kensai. Also uses a arcana that most think is near worthless. Pool strike.

You see pool strike is (SU) and therefore CAN be used while raging. Later on grabbing arching pool strike. That mixed with arcane strike and gloves of arcane striking makes for interesting AoE ability.

Spells mostly buffs, out of combat utility and recovery (Infernal healing.)

Have not tested it out in play yet but I think the idea has promise.

Tiefling Blackblooded Oracle of bones. Get a Conductive scythe so you can deliver the deaths touch ability through your weapon. you can enhance this a little more with bleeding wounds (I know that small of a bleed is not great but it fits the flavor very well.).

Tiefling isn't a must but I do feel it has a few things that make it fit the flavor. Darkvision (seems like a must have to me (and through Fiend Sightx2 can be made into see in darkness. Though feat heavy.) and opens up moonlight stalker feat line which I personally feel is great (cloak of lesser displacement makes it always on.)

Though the big problem is you will need to spend a feat to use a scythe.

-Edit- Ignore the darkvision thing. Black blooded gets it already. Making Tiefling less attractive.

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RJGrady wrote:
There is a difference in universality. Everyone has the core rulebook, and the Bestiary is the same across the board. Anything else has to be considered optional. There shouldn't be general rules found only in other books. I am really surprised by the level of venom, considering that almost everyone agrees on what the preferred rule is. For me it's just a matter of the text. The attitude almost seems to be, "How dare you care about this, I care very much and think it's wrong you care about this."

Firstly since there are monsters in the GMG and the Bestiary is in no way needed to play then it is also NOT core. So the argument falls apart right there.

Secondly what is considered optional is nothing but your opinion. You are welcome to it of course but thinking is in universal shows nothing but arrogance.

It is not universal, at all. To me since almost everything is freely available on a couple of sites there is no reason for anything to be secondary. But this is only my opinion and I don't expect anyone else to do things as I do. Nor do I feel the need to try and cram my opinion down anyone's throat and pretend its a fact.

Vod Canockers wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
Setting aside that the ARG is not core, the ARG text does not even address the issue. It talks only about its own special rules.
So which "core" rulebook are you using that says you can have an Aasimar PC?

Yeah I pointed this out earlier in the thread. This complaint that a rule governing this "non-core" PC option is "non-core" just seems... I don't even know a good word for it..crazy?

No to mention the whole concept of "core" is just something made up by some players. Made up and poorly defined at that. From a system standpoint there is no difference in the validity of a rule no matter the book its in.

ShadowcatX wrote:
Stome wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:
That rule is in the advanced race guide. It is directly opposed to the rules in the bestiary so really it depends where you look as to what the aasimar pc gains.

Its not "opposed" it is a specific rule that trumps the general rule. This is a core concept of the system as a whole. Specific trumps general. It very much is a system of exceptions.

Its starting to feel like many of these FAQ "request" are people that know good and well what the RAW and RAI are and disagree with it. Then they try to mask that disagreement as manufactured "confusion" they pretend to see in the rules.

Actually, you're half right. I do know the RAW. I made this thread because this discussion was side tracking another thread and I wanted to try and get that thread back on track.

As to disagreeing with RAW / RAI, no, I really don't have a problem with it here. I do, however, have a problem with them issuing what amounts to a MASSIVE errata to player character races hidden in a paragraph in a book that most people would not consider core.

Funny thing to argue there. firstly the idea that "core" is some holy thing and "non-core" is somehow lesser rules is completely player fabricated. More so since Paizo allows there content to be shared and displayed on online databases (unlike WoTC with 3.5) the idea of not having a book and therefor never being able to see [blank] rule is well nonexistent.

What makes the argument even more flimsy is the fact that these races as PCs is "non-core" anyway. So pretty much it boils down to "I hate that these rules governing this no-core thing are non-core!"

Yeah just a bit silly.

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ShadowcatX wrote:
That rule is in the advanced race guide. It is directly opposed to the rules in the bestiary so really it depends where you look as to what the aasimar pc gains.

Its not "opposed" it is a specific rule that trumps the general rule. This is a core concept of the system as a whole. Specific trumps general. It very much is a system of exceptions.

Its starting to feel like many of these FAQ "request" are people that know good and well what the RAW and RAI are and disagree with it. Then they try to mask that disagreement as manufactured "confusion" they pretend to see in the rules.

Zark wrote:


1) Does PBS and precise Shoot really apply to range touch attacks? I know they do when you use rays, but I haven’t seen anything that confirms that it applies to range touch attacks.

2) And does PBS, Good Hope and Inspire Courage really grant a bonus to damage? I know they all do when you use rays that deal hit point damage, but I haven’t seen that confirms that it applies to range touch attacks.

No to both. Never in any rules or FAQ has it even been slightly suggested that everything with a ranged touch/touch attack works with things that effect weapons. Rays and weapon like spells yes. But that's it.

Some people try very hard to push their own logic that anything with an attack roll is "weapon like" but this is not supported by RAW.

-Edit- Even more so I think that FAQing it into working would be a huge mistake. These are feats and abilities meant to help mundane classes and even still they are the bottom of the food chain. Making these things effect already easy to land touch spells/abilities does nothing but help the already stronger classes.

Well if they intend for it to be only a supplemental thing to a melee bard then it should really have some wording that sets it apart from other performances so it can be used without ending other performances.

I still feel the BP round cost is too high. But at least it might see some use. If they don't stop it from interrupting other performances though it will never see use.

That line of reasoning is flawed at best. Cure spells are not arcane just because a bard can cast cure spells. Specific trumps general yes BUT specific does not then become general.

I mentioned that spell in my post. Not by name as I had forgotten its name. But your point is? There are spells that can enhance say weapon attacks. That does not mean it should be taken into much consideration when deciding is a weapon is too strong/weak.

I have read all those threads and MANY more. None of them change a thing. Rays can use many weapon feats. Ranged touch does not = Ray. Ranged touch DOES NOT EQUAL weapon-like. Weapon like has to be stated as weapon like or something similar in the wording.

Once again this is about rules. When balancing anything they should in no way take into account what can be done while cheating or making things up.

I can do 10000 damage with a stone if I just make things up. But that has no bearing on how the rules treat a stone when you actually use the rules.

Seraphimpunk wrote:

ranged attack roll == point blank shot applicable.

i've never seen conclusive proof that you can't combine Acid Splash and point blank shot to hit someone better.

only weapon focus requires proficiency / specifies that it can only be taken with Rays.
basing it off the 3.5 precident, any weapon - like attack with a spell will qualify for use with point blank shot. if its a ray, you can also apply weapon focus (ray) if you have it.

point blank shot's intent is: you're closer, you can strike more precisely and for more damage.
as long as the spell requires an attack roll, its a weapon-like spell. that debate can be held elsewhere. regardless: there's some tables where it will happen.

virtuoso performance

"Point Blank Shot

Benefit: You get a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at ranges of up to 30 feet."

Spells, Spelllike abilities, and SU are NOT weapons unless stated to be a weapon or weapon like. There is no ambiguity on what the system considers weapons. They are in weapon sections of the book and weapon tables.

There is no debate to be had and this thread is about rules. Not about things you let fly at your table that are clearly not RAW or even RAI.

Unless something in the wording of the end result changes things you CAN NOT be using IC at the same time as this. Starting one performance stops any others. There is a spell to allow it use but you are spending performance rounds, spell slots, spells known, and actions to do this.

I don;t know where people get the idea that point blank shot works. Nowhere is it listed as a weapon or weapon like. A ranged attack roll does not = a ranged weapon unless there is specific wording to qualify it as such. Rays have such qualifiers but not all ranged touch attacks are rays.

While I am liking the direction they are going with it I have to agree that it will be very weak.

People that will take this archetype will be doing so because they want to be an offensive bard but NOT a melee or archer bard. That's pretty much the whole reason for it as far as I can tell. So it really needs to be able to fill that at least reasonably well.

Those saying to keep in mind what it replaces nee to realize that it has a cost beyond just the ability it replaces. While you technically still have IC one must chose one of the other per round for a long time. Yes there is a spell to help with this later on but it cost spell slots and actions.

These are just ideas and some of them are not new to the thread. Nor do I think ALL of the things I list should be done. If all of them are it would likely be too strong.

Change to sonic damage so DR does not make it unusable.

Lessen the performance round cost. Perhaps make its cost scale on par with the number of D8s? So when it scales up to 2D8 it cost 2 rounds and so on.

Improve the damage scaling. Maybe 2d6 rather then 1d8. So 2d4-4d6 and so on.

Someone touched on it up a couple post but perhaps give it specific wording to make it function with Arcane Strike. I find this one very appealing and interesting. Arcane Strike is a feat that I personally feel is very fitting to Bards. This would also allow some interesting (though not that powerful) Use of gloves of arcane striking. As in minor splash damage mostly. sounds fun to me anyway.

Well that's been my 2 copper.

-Edit- also just realized the Arcane strike idea would help at least get past the most common DR.

Some other things to consider. You can ignore str and go weapon finesse/ Agile enchantment with a whip.

As for your comment about Ac vs To-Hit I agree hitting is more important. But I don't see how spire defender has any better to-hit then Kensai. In fact Kensai gets weapon focus for free so it has a leg up on to-hit.

I still don't see why some people get all bent out of shape over this. The person is after all taking two rounds and two spell slots to pull this off. Hardly something that is useful in an emergency.

Even if you quicken it then you are spending a much more valuable spell slot. With a metamagic rod is the only time it gets silly and well that's more because metamagic rods are far to good.

Its pretty much not useable in battle (without quicken anyway.) and outside of battle it makes them a wizard that has to drop two spell slots rather then take 15 mins to prepare the needed spell. So an extra spell slot to save a little bit of time that rarely matters out of combat? Sure.

And yet there are other instances of bleed that don't fully spell out the bleed rules. Like the Blood Beak feat.

The fact is this is common in pathfinder. There are many cases where things list something that is part of general rules with a full disruption, and yet another place it will be listed without the full description. This simply comes from having many writes with different writing styles.

The fact is slashing damage does not need to spell out how slashing damage works to fallow those rules. Same with fire, Con, or rend damage. Though in some places it will spell it out and others it won't.

As for your common sense comment if you are trying to be insulting you could do better. The idea that they are meant to be stacking bleed makes just as much sense as the idea that one of them is bleed-kinda-sorta but not.

Just as easily one could argue that if one was meant to be instant only and the other a proper bleed they still could not function at the same time via the bleed rules. So perhaps one has to chose if they are going to do 2D6 now or 1d6 each round but not both.

-Edit- There is also Belier's bite/Bleeding attack. Honestly if you are going to try and argue that something is ALWAYS stated one way other then this one time you should do your homework first.

Yes this thing really needs cleaned up. The "Its bleed that does not follow the bleed rules even though it is not stated anywhere" is not good enough. It is a system of exceptions to be sure. But for something to be an exception is has to you know.... say so.

It would work well enough. Even weak favored enemy on top of smite would still be desisting. Both are full BaB so no hit there. Sure it sets back your paladin casting until lvl 6 but that does not seem to be the the focus of the char by any means.

Honestly if not for the need for a low wis full ranger would work pretty well but sadly that's a no go.

Though I can not help but wonder. Why not Tiefling? (Demon-Spawn being the best option.) You can get the claws, tail, and Vestigial Wings from the get go. Thinking he is cursed by his twisted and evil blood would fit perfectly.

Bards are perfectly able to melee. But you have to go hard for it. Do not try do everything. Firstly if you want to melee realize that you will never use a spell with a save. you will be going with the lower Cha you can get away with.

Don't even entertain the idea of DWing. It just won't work. Two handed is pretty much the only viable option. Or a scimitar with a dervish build.

Look through the archetypes. There is a number of them focused on battle bards. See if any of them interest you.

As for the weapons bards can use longspear is the best by default. Reach is very handy. It give you options with banner of the ancient kings + Flagebearer feat. Though even if you don't like that route its still their best option.

BUT if you go half-elf you can use the alternate race trait Ancestral Arms to get EWP. In this case I favor Fauchard though there are plenty of other good options in there as well.

Frankly I would never DW on anyone without full BaB or at the very least an ability that adds serious damage on each hit. (Like sneack attack or smite for instance.)

A reach weapon would be doable but frankly you will likely never do enough damage for it to matter without going full out battle bard. going battle bard means Cha as the lowest you can get away with. So pretty much never use a spell with a save.

Or you can go full caster bard. Max cha. Drop TC on heads and focus your spells on control. Bards have great control. Since you will be able to use TC to fill between spells you won't end up running on empty like other types of bards might if trying to go caster build.

If going the 2nd route I wouldn't even bother with a weapon. Its just a waste of gold. Sure it feels nice to get an AoO off but in reality the damage would be a meaningless amount. I would just roll with a shield and a flag for flagbearer. This is all my personal opinion though don't take it as end all be all.

Honestly my advice is to pick one style or the other and go hard down that road. Trying to be somewhere in the middle will just lead to disappointment.

If you are not going to be melee I am a big fan of the flagbearer feat.

Some ppl don't like it because it is weaker then good hope. But the thing is you can use it from lvl one, Its always on, it is action free, and it does not use up your limited spells known/slots.

Depending on much you use call thunder extra performance could be valuable.

If you will be melee arcane strike is a solid feat. Also there is a gnome alt trait that gets you darkvision. that opens up the feat moonlight stalker which can be wonderful for melee bards.

If going more caster then there is of course spell focus feats.

Improved initiative is pretty good in general.

Yeah looking over things there are very few archetypes that don't already trade out bardic knowledge. The few that don't I honestly would not recommend.

Seems both Archeologist and ThunderCaller just don't combine with much of anything else. At least not well anyway.

Haven't looked at each but the last majority if not all trade out some performances as well that it the major part of the bard class. Would not surprise me if its just flat not possible to combine any others with it. But don't know off the top of my head.

-edit- Derp you said with thundercaller. I will give it a look over and get back to you.

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