Oh...the stupidity of our Bard


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So...I'm about to get started with a campaign (will be balancing it with my other campaign) with two other players and a DM. Our Bard has decided that she will NOT engage in combat...AT ALL...our other PC is a Rogue...so, I must choose a class. I'm having a hard time deciding between a martial class to pick up our slack on melee damage (or go archer) and a spellcasting class. Help...?


Master Summoner who spams the field with melee critters? That would give some arcane casting power, too. A fighting Cleric? I'm not familiar but people love the Evangelist that would fulfill a similar role as the Master Summoner. A Druid who Summons?

If you go archer, who fills the front line?

What levels do you start and finish at?


If I were to go archer...it would leave my Rogue buddy all alone in melee...I could go Druid...that may help a bit...my DM did say that Shifters could be used...so maybe I'll use a shifter and make a Barbarian?

Silver Crusade

AM BARBARIAN...never a bad choice.


Fill both roles. Druid, cleric, oracle, inquisitor, magus, summoner, or possibly another bard would let you flank with the rogue while still being able to cast when needed. By "AT ALL" do you mean that the bard isn't planning on attacking things or that she isn't planning on doing anything useful at all (buffs, debuffs, healing, bard stuff, etc.)?


Barbarians are awesome, however with the lower AC (vs a fighter or Paladin) they get hit alot, so they usually need a good healer backing them up.

With the party you described I would either go Summoner or Paladin. Both can hold a front line, a paladin can supply some healing and divine casting. The summoner can also provide some arcane backup. Given that you have a non-combat bard Yuriel would probably be better served with a divine caster over an arcane.


@Bearded Ben: To quote the bard "I'll just hide in a barrel or behind hay sacks or something"...yes, friends...this is our bard...

@Jay: I was thinking Paladin, but the more I think about it, the more I like Druid...dunno why...maybe the whole Divine Gish thing goin on


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Go Anti-Paladin. Kill the bard =)

But really, a Paladin is probably going to be your best choice for a front-line build. Alternatively, you can go Summoner, use your Eidolon as a melee attacker and build your summoner for ranged attacks.

Grand Lodge

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I would go with an Assassin and kill the Bard...


Synth Summoner might be good too. You get spells but also more than enough front line power.

Mr. Hyde Alchemist could do something along those lines, but more support than full on spells.

Paladin works well.

Magus perhaps. They're meant to be front liners after all.

Master Summoner also a good choice. A bunch of bodies on the field makes flanking easier for the rogue sometimes.

Plenty of options that offer a bit of both melee and magic. Good luck.


Summoner, Druid, Magus and Such would be perfect.


druid focused on shapeshifting with an animal companion would work, with spells focused on buffing or summoning, preferably buffing since you will technically be 2 melee characters anyway.


Just from reading your post it looks like you want to be a spellcaster. There are a couple ways to do this, Magus probably being the easist. Other ways would include a melee type bard, druid, synth summoner, or even a draconic sorcerer.


Elamdri wrote:
AM BARBARIAN...never a bad choice.

What does AM mean?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just gonna say the "You guys go fight and I'll whimper in a corner" is going to get real old, real fast.

Anyway what level are we talking 1, 5, 15?


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johnlocke90 wrote:
Elamdri wrote:
AM BARBARIAN...never a bad choice.
What does AM mean?

As near as I could ever tell it means one of two things (or maybe both). First is 'anti magic' barbarian. That is if the barbarian sees a caster he goes into a rage and kills it. The other definition I've come up with is that it is ape speak for 'I am a barbarian' so it's simply shortened to AM BARBARIAN.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

AM BARBARIAN was a specific barbarian build that went around the board that was basically the best that the boards could come up with as a counter to the hypothetical wizard that could have anything prepared. He is also a character that was never meant to be played, was incomplete with only estimates of his final stats, and is used as a joke around the boards.

EDIT: This appears to be the most complete form I could find.


Pala/sorc/dd!

Or something summoning.

Or battle Oracle.


Built right, synthesist summoners can break the game imo...
Otherwise, I'd go "spirit of the beast" druid (good damage and summoning, decent healing) or tank. (Fighter or paladin imo for your party.)

Of course, play what you want. Any dm worth his salt will make sure you all have fun. (with a npc in the party playing the tank or summoner)


I would not want to play with a npc summoner:P

Whyis your bard doing this?

He will probably get bored soon - maybe another game would be mor "his thing"


Its just how girls are sometimes... I'm guessing dating or close friends with a player?


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Thoughts that jump out:

1) Make a Paladin for the reasons pointed out elsewhere in the thread.
1a) Join the 'pacifist' club and be a paladin who's also very reluctant to engage in combat (not never ever but reluctant in the extreme) ... make sure all of you are well versed in the skills, abilities, and equipment for the art of escaping and evading capture (and encounters). I'm thinking of things like rally points for the inevitable retreats, funds left with temples/friends for healing or ransom demands, spare equipment and caches hidden near the adventure local etc..
1b) Get real focused/good at nonlethal combat and stealth to avoid fights. Be prepared for dealing with prisoners for when combats do happen. It would be a very different sort of campaign but go in whole hog with the whole avoiding combat and dealing permanent harm. All involved, PCs and DM, need to more or less be onboard with this for it to work.

2) Create a Bard who's the opposite. A very shoot (attack) first and ask questions later sort. Not that he won't listen to reason and stop to let the hopefully diplomatic bard do their thing, but every suggestion or plan you come up with is ... um ... direct, violent and or aggressive (but not evil per se, kicks the door in vs tries the knob to see if it's actually locked or sneaking around the back to try the service entrance). Don't go anywhere near this idea unless you think you and your fellow players can keep it very in character without OOC conflict.
2a) Doesn't, of course, have to be a Bard. Could be any melee oriented build with the right "attitude". It's the whole classic concept playing off the impulsive, direct, action oriented character against a pacifist (exhaust all other options first), slow to act and thoughtful character.

Of course, all the above is based more on the idea of a pacifist negotiator type and not just "You guys go fight and I'll whimper in a corner" while making no attempt to contribute to an encounter (and therefore receive no or minimal xp). And lastly "does not engage in combat" does not (should not) equal "does not buff the daylights out of or otherwise use spells and abilities to aid others in combat or preparation for combat" or for a pacifist leaning negotiator, avoiding or minimizing combat, while talking the living heck out of things in an encounter prior to it all going south from their point of view. Roleplaying is great and all but roleplaying a consistently cowardly character doesn't fly too well in anything remotely resembling a typical HEROIC fantasy game.

EDIT: To think of it another way a pacifist negotiator really needs some balls of steel and would be anything but timid. Brings to mind visions of the lone man standing in front of the line of tanks in Tiananmen Square


Another option -- one most people probably won't like -- is to make the entire party a non-combat party that focuses entirely on avoiding or escaping combat. The rogue can go full-out skill focused. The bard can focus on non-combat spells and skills that complement the rogue. I'd say a wizard probably adds the most to this group. You get a big selection of non-combat abilities combined with lots of escape spells.

It's certainly not an "optimal" solution in the context of classic D&D/PF, but it is a possibility.

Edit: basically 1a) in the post above (:


I would seriously consider the in game consequences for your bards actions (or rather non-action). As long as this campaign is not very rp- and diplomacy-heavy, the beard is not going to pull his/her weight at all. The only proper reaction in game would be to send him/her home and tell him/her to go play in a tavern or something. What does one want with a character who doesn't participate in combat AT ALL in pathfinder? Wrong system much...


I would explain to the person that if he/she that ur grp is already shorthanded at 3 players and that they dont get involved with combat then tpks will become frequent.. After that if things dont change leave the bard and make said player play somthing else.. After that remove said player from ur grp entirely and go 2 man.. A few years back we had a similar player do this.. It was the wife of the gm and while she didnt refuse to attack, she certainly didnt pull her weight and would run at the first sign of things not going our way.. Several times she would run and we would finish the fight, afterwards she would come walking back appoligizing for her cowardly ways.. This went on till we removed her character from the grp... I honestly believe she just didnt want her characters to die so would run.. Your player might have the same thing going on..


I reckon a battle cleric would be a good call
But don't get the bards I'm not going to fight ever what's he intend doing when a couple of orcs turn up intent on make his insides become his outsides ?
Does he plan on talking them out of it because if he does then good luck


The Saltmarsh 6 wrote:

I reckon a battle cleric would be a good call

But don't get the bards I'm not going to fight ever what's he intend doing when a couple of orcs turn up intent on make his insides become his outsides ?
Does he plan on talking them out of it because if he does then good luck

Nah that's why they'll be taking this Feat multiple times along with Improved Initiative :p

Quote:

Fleet

You are faster than most.

Benefit: While you are wearing light or no armor, your base speed increases by 5 feet. You lose the benefits of this feat if you carry a medium or heavy load.

Special: You can take this feat multiple times. The effects stack.

Brave, brave, Sir Robin! (Oops had one too many braves and we can't be excessively brave)

Liberty's Edge

Be a Paladin.
Kick some butt and while you are at it, after a combat that nearly sees you all dead because of the Bard's action/inaction, make it very clear that their behaviour is threatening the safety of the party and the mission at hand. They need to decide to get involved or get out, because if they continue along their current path their actions will be considered a threat to the safety of the party, such a threat will be dealt with. Permenantly.


Summoner or summoning druid. 1 person party :)

Sovereign Court

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There are more issues at work here. Talk to the bard player and see why she doesn't want to fight. It could be that she has a very different idea of how the game will play out. If she is going to go out of her way to avoid combat, and the other two players are doing the opposite, at least one of the three players will not be having a good time. Involve the DM as well to figure out what will be the focus of the campaign before you just whip up a combat-optimized opposite of the bard.

Also, shaming and brow-beating the bard player will NOT help the situation.


It's a roleplaying game. If someone wants to take up a role of a pacifist...<shrug>

It's like the barbarian with nothing but a focus on melee. If the game revolves around diplomacy then they'll become a master of spinning their dice and twiddling their thumbs, as this player will be if your game is combat heavy.

If they're cool with that then all the power to them.

p.s. Just because you avoid combat does not mean that combat avoids you :)

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Bards can Buff like crazy.

If the Bard is Buffing, then he is helping.

Silver Crusade

johnlocke90 wrote:
Elamdri wrote:
AM BARBARIAN...never a bad choice.
What does AM mean?

It was a reference to Trinam's AM BARBARIAN character and his guide

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ump_KFzNoD7x6aJ9ywGank5G9DzSVlef28bBbju Iq2U/edit?pli=1


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Yes, talk to the Bard, and figure out what she expects from the game, and how the GM feels about that. In fact, involve all players. It's good to agree on what the game's about before you start. Is it going to be mostly about combat? Or is combat going to be avoidable?

With a rogue and a bard, a stealthy combat-avoiding group is definitely a possibility. It could be a very social and investigation focused campaign.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Risen Demon wrote:

To quote the bard "I'll just hide in a barrel or behind hay sacks or something"...yes, friends...this is our bard...

The Bard can still Buff from the barrel, or hay stack.

So, tell the Bard, "you don't have to fight, but you need to help".


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This really is best solved in a non-game method. Talk to the bard, talk to the dm. Figure out what people want out of the game. If the player just thinks its an amusing way to roleplay the character, you should explain to her that it isnt acceptable for a pc in a small group to deliberately not contribute to a challenge. You dont bring dead weight into dangerous adventuring type situations.

Combat could also take a long time. She is going to get bored sitting there doing nothing for half an hour hiding in a barrel. This can end up being more disruptive then just restricting character options.


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I agree on the buffing, and maybe she can use non-lethal non-aggressive abilities/spells like inspire, facinate, charm, fear effects etc. then it would all be fine.

A bard that refuses melee could be an awesome character.. (dressed like a hippy, plays the bongos, and ends every sentance with "man"... Maybe the personality of shaggy from scooby doo)

Thanks for the inspiration ;)


plus man you can just have super fun when you kick over her barrel and send it tumbling down a street with a slant to it.

Liberty's Edge

Make a Human Druid. Select the "Eye for Talent" alternate racial trait and get a nice big animal companion to act as tank, granting it the +2 to a stat you get from Eye for Talent. Probably for Con or Str. You should be able to squeeze an average of at least 11HP out of any given animal companion at first level while still maintaining their damage-dealing capability.

With the above animal companion, you can go caster, melee or ranged as desired.


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just all hearing her go "asssss youuuuuuu wissssssshhhhhh!" as she tumbles away down the street in her barrel.

Oh Cary Elwes, you slay me!


Not having something to do during combat can seriously derail a game. A character who can't do social things, can still enjoy the plot. A character who has nothing to do in combat can end out being disruptive as they find ways to entertain themselves.

While your normal session is typically a bit of everything, there are those sessions where you're in the middle of a "dungeon" where most of the night is combat, and the person hiding in the barrel is going to be seriously bored, assuming everyone doesn't come down with a serious case of dead.

Eric


You could do some sort of thievs guild/leverage campaign. You have your grifter/con-man (the bard) and your burlgar/thief (the rogue). You could either be the strong man/thug, or possibly the mastermind. Or you could be a cleric of a god of thieves. You solve problems not through combat (usually) but by being sneaky and out-thinking your opponents.


Go summoner.


Dilvias wrote:
You could do some sort of thievs guild/leverage campaign. You have your grifter/con-man (the bard) and your burlgar/thief (the rogue). You could either be the strong man/thug, or possibly the mastermind. Or you could be a cleric of a god of thieves. You solve problems not through combat (usually) but by being sneaky and out-thinking your opponents.

Bard: Grifter

Rogue: Thief/Hacker
*Insert Class Here*: Mastermind/Hitter

Go Magus, Summoner, Alchemist, or (if available) Gunslinger.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Summoner's the way to go. Gives you a caster and a melee brute for your rogue to flank with.

Grand Lodge

Redchigh wrote:

Built right, synthesist summoners can break the game imo...

If a well built synth can break your game, a well made normal summoner should jump up and down on the dusted remains of your game. And the summoner ain't the most broken thing in this game by a LARGE margin.

Grand Lodge

How good is your system mastery? If your pretty good, the gish EK builds or pal/sor/DD builds can work...


Kayerloth wrote:

1) Make a Paladin for the reasons pointed out elsewhere in the thread.

1a) Join the 'pacifist' club and be a paladin who's also very reluctant to engage in combat (not never ever but reluctant in the extreme) ... make sure all of you are well versed in the skills, abilities, and equipment for the art of escaping and evading capture (and encounters). I'm thinking of things like rally points for the inevitable retreats, funds left with temples/friends for healing or ransom demands, spare equipment and caches hidden near the adventure local etc..
1b) Get real focused/good at nonlethal combat and stealth to avoid fights. Be prepared for dealing with prisoners for when combats do happen. It would be a very different sort of campaign but go in whole hog with the whole avoiding combat and dealing permanent harm. All involved, PCs and DM, need to more or less be onboard with this for it to work.

That is a very interesting possibility. Would the DM be willing to scrap his plans and switch to an urban adventure? With a rogue, bard, and paladin, the party could work with the local law and bring a crimelord to justice. The fighting would be light: a few first-level thugs and an occasional assassin. When the fighting gets heavy, the party can be backed up by the city guard.

Maybe by the time the party leaves town, the bard will have acquired some courage.

WerePox47 wrote:
A few years back we had a similar player do this.. It was the wife of the gm and while she didnt refuse to attack, she certainly didnt pull her weight ...

My wife plays a non-fighting bard in a campaign I run. Due to her health problems, she needed a character that could miss a few sessions without causing plot holes, so we designed a lyrakien bard. The lyrakien can pull her weight, since she weighs only a pound.

My wife is the eighth player; therefore, the party can afford a fifth wheel. Combat is pretty useless for a tiny lyrakien. Instead, she is a great scout and she buffs and hastes the party during combat. Next she would use Greater Dirty Trick, but with all the buffs and teamwork, combat seldom lasts past three rounds, even against CR APL+4 foes.

Silver Crusade

Mathmuse wrote:
Kayerloth wrote:

1) Make a Paladin for the reasons pointed out elsewhere in the thread.

1a) Join the 'pacifist' club and be a paladin who's also very reluctant to engage in combat (not never ever but reluctant in the extreme) ... make sure all of you are well versed in the skills, abilities, and equipment for the art of escaping and evading capture (and encounters). I'm thinking of things like rally points for the inevitable retreats, funds left with temples/friends for healing or ransom demands, spare equipment and caches hidden near the adventure local etc..
1b) Get real focused/good at nonlethal combat and stealth to avoid fights. Be prepared for dealing with prisoners for when combats do happen. It would be a very different sort of campaign but go in whole hog with the whole avoiding combat and dealing permanent harm. All involved, PCs and DM, need to more or less be onboard with this for it to work.

That is a very interesting possibility. Would the DM be willing to scrap his plans and switch to an urban adventure? With a rogue, bard, and paladin, the party could work with the local law and bring a crimelord to justice. The fighting would be light: a few first-level thugs and an occasional assassin. When the fighting gets heavy, the party can be backed up by the city guard.

Maybe by the time the party leaves town, the bard will have acquired some courage.

Also seems like a good possible fit for paladins of Shelyn going by the Faiths of Purity code. And the Redeemer paladin archetype from the Advanced Race Guide, considering how potentially different they play from vanilla paladins.

Silver Crusade

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Redchigh wrote:
Its just how girls are sometimes...

I've seen more males do this than females.

"Ladies love generalizations based on gender."

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