Working on a Bard...

Homebrew and House Rules

So I'm working on a Bard for a game I'm going to be playing in shortly, and as it is a class I've never played before, I thought I'd pop over and see if there were any experts that could give me a hand.

I've read through Treantmonk's Guide to Bards and I found it to be very enjoyable. The spell breakdown is worth the read alone, and the rest of the guide has some very excellent suggestions as well.

What I'm trying to do is make a Bard who takes on a bit more of a martial stance, part of the character concept is that he's taken vows to become part of a Knightly order who hunts and kills demons (and other evil outsiders). The idea behind the setting is that it's right on the outset of an industrial revolution, so a little steam-punkish. The other big thing is that the Gods are missing/dead/we're really not sure what, so there are really no Paladins, Clerics, or Inquisitors running around, but Oracles and Druids still exist (mainly because we didn't have any players interested in those three classes and the GM wants to do something with a seeking the mysteries of the dead gods kind of thing). We're starting at 1st level, we have a 20 point stat buy, and we're allowed to pick any two traits out of the PFRPG Character Traits Web Enhancement.

Currently, this is what I've got:

Human Bard 1
Str 18
Dex 14
Con 12
Int 12
Wis 7
Cha 14

Starting Feats: Arcane Strike, Dodge
Spells: Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Prestidigitation, Cure Light Wounds, and Sleep.

With his 8 skill points per level, I've tossed points into Acrobatics, Knowledge Arcana and Knowledge the Planes, Linguistics (So I can start with both Infernal and Abyssal as languages), Perception, Performance (Oratory and Strings) and Spellcraft.

Probably the biggest hurdle I'm looking at is weather or not to dual-wield. I could easily drop my Intelligence down to 10 to get the needed Dexterity of 15 for the Two-Weapon Fighting feat at first, and it seems like it would stack up quite nicely with Arcane Strike. As it is now, I was more thinking of going the Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack route. I'm also unsure of what traits would be optimal for me. Treantmonk's guide specifically mentions NOT going the Two-Weapon Fighting route with Bard, but I feel like it would synergize with the concept well. Anyone have experience with the Pathfinder feat tree in this regard?

Anyway, I would appreciate any thoughts people have on the matter, I'm really looking forward to the game as I'm usually the one that GM's for our group, so it's not often I get to play.

Silver Crusade

I'd say your feats are on track. You can hold out till fourth level, and boost your dex for the twf then if you decide to go that route. Right now, you probably don't have the BAB to spare. Reactionary is a good trait since you don't have Improved Initiative. You'll want to start you Bardic Performance as early as possible.

Liberty's Edge

First bards are arcane spell casters but cure light is kind of a cleric thing not sure how the dm might interpret that. Second dont skimp on wisdom 18 str is great but 7 wis is all kinds of crappy if i was you dm i'd play your character more than you would, also im guising that there are fighter rangers and barbarrians in your group so you dont need that much melee damage any ways. Be care full with sleep unless you have an all elf party its almost as bad as fireball to 1st lv guys. If there are no clerics or druids your the healer so dont screw up, and thank you for playing my favored class.

I wouldn't worry too much about the 7 wisdom although you'll probably speak your mind quite a bit and not have that much common sense (at least that's how I'm playing my Bard with a 7 wisdom). Matthew Price 809 does make a valid point though, I'd drop strength down to 16 and if you don't care about your wisdom that much you could even put that into dexterity (especially if you're going the Two-Weapon route), constitution, intelligence, or charisma. My bard's a one-armed Half-Elf though :P

One problem you are going to run into playing a Bard with a martial role, is the relative lack of HP. With no dedicated healer in the party you'll want to make sure you survive fights so that you can heal afterwards. You'll want to shore up your Constitution score in some fashion as the game progresses or take the Toughness feat.

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