Multiple Bard Archetypes


Rules Questions


5 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Hello I was wondering if in PFS there had been any clarification made regarding Bard archetypes that modify bardic performance abilities.

One of my GM's insists that even though archetypes only modify specific bardic performance they still count as modifying the same ability because the bardic performances are all nested under bardic performance.

Every other GM I have had prior to PFS has always understood that they are different abilities that can be modified differently.

Is there an official PFS ruling on this?

If there is not does anyone know what the ruling would be on Dawnflower Dervish/Sound Striker?

Dawnflower Dervish specifically says that abilities it does not call out as being battle dances, such as Inspire Competence and Suggestion, function normally. Sound Striker says it replaces Inspire Competence and Suggestion, but not bardic performance.


This has implications for gunslingers and deeds as well, although I suspect it's going to be moved to Rules Questions soon.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

The bard doesn't have an "Inspire Courage" class feature and an "Inspire Competence" class feature. He has the "Bardic Performance" class feature, and that one class feature has multiple functions.

The archetype rules state that you can't use two archetypes that replace or modify the same class feature, not just the same function.

If two archetypes modify the Bardic Performance class feature, they don't stack.

Also, this is a Rules question, not a PFS question, as PFS follows the standard rules on archetypes as far as stacking goes.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well Jiggy if you are correct then that means that there are no archetypes for bard which can be taken with other archetypes. I hope you are not correct. :D

Liberty's Edge

Jiggy,

What specifically defines it as a class feature vs. a function of a class feature?

With your definition above, I definitely agree with you.

However,

Fascinate, countersong, distraction, inspire courage, inspire competence, suggestion, dirge of doom, inspire greatness, soothing performance, frightening tune, inspire heroics, mass suggestion, and deadly performance all show up on the Bard table.

As such, is each to be looked at individually in regards to being replaced and/or modified for archetype stacking?

Its an interesting argument.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

CRB: Classes: Bard wrote:

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the bard.

It then goes on to list individual class features, each with its name in bold. One of them is Bardic Performance. The description of that class feature then lists all its various performance types - but those are items in a different list than "Class Features".

That's how you tell. ;)


Based on the bard's table, it could be the intent that multiple bard archetypes would be compatible due to each performance being its own ability listed out. Of course, the bard was written before archetypes were but a glimmer in the eye of Bulmahn.

I for one would love to see official clarification on these sort of abilities where there's a parent ability and sub abilities as a part of it.

With the gunslinger's Deeds, they're all listed in the table as "Deeds", so it's clearer that they're all seen as part of the same ability. Would Bards be written now-a-days as having "Bardic Performance" in all the places where the individual abilities are listed now, much like the gunslinger?

A FAQ Blog Post on archetype compatibility full of lots of examples would be wonderful. Could a bard be multiple archetypes, so long as they don't replace the same bardic performances? How about a gunslinger and their deeds? Can they replace multiple ones, so long as they don't modify or replace the same? How do archetypes that modify the same ability but different aspects of it work? What happens when an archetype's ability adds a condition to a base-class ability (internal alchemist's disease resistance grants disease immunity once they get poison immunity)? etc

Don't answer those questions, just ideas for a blog post in the same vein as the animal intelligence / poison one.

Liberty's Edge

Jiggy wrote:
CRB: Classes: Bard wrote:

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the bard.

It then goes on to list individual class features, each with its name in bold. One of them is Bardic Performance. The description of that class feature then lists all its various performance types - but those are items in a different list than "Class Features".

That's how you tell. ;)

I'm not so sure I agree with you, but you definitely have a solid argument.

RAW, in PFS, I suppose we have to go with how Jiggy has defined it.

However, the fact that the Bard abilities are all listed on the Bard Table, lends me to believe that the archetype intent was in modification or replacement of a specific tabled ability, and not the formatting, necessarily, of how it is written up under the Bard's class features.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

If I had a quote of someone who knows stating that it was indeed the intent to treat those as separate class features for purposes of archetypes, then that'd be good enough for me.

In the meantime, all we've got is "the following are the class features" and "text trumps table". No telling what the intent was. :P

Liberty's Edge

Jiggy wrote:

If I had a quote of someone who knows stating that it was indeed the intent to treat those as separate class features for purposes of archetypes, then that'd be good enough for me.

In the meantime, all we've got is "the following are the class features" and "text trumps table". No telling what the intent was. :P

Except the Bard seems to be the only class that does this.

The fact those items show up on the table, and they may not be bolded, but they are still under the Class Feature's category, I would call them class features.

They are informed by the rules for Bardic Performance, and are types of Bardic Performance. But individually, I would call each a class feature in and of itself.

Thought I saw some feats with inspire courage class feature as a prereq, but couldn't find them.


Jiggy wrote:

If I had a quote of someone who knows stating that it was indeed the intent to treat those as separate class features for purposes of archetypes, then that'd be good enough for me.

In the meantime, all we've got is "the following are the class features" and "text trumps table". No telling what the intent was. :P

Ah, but how do we know that Bardic Performance is not simply an umbrella term that holds the other class features within it? They do appear in the list of class features too, after all. I'd say it's ambiguous for now, so until a ruling the other way, at my table bards can take archetypes that alter different performances from each other. Of course, I don't have such a bard, but if I did and I sat at Jiggy's table, I'd refrain from using the abilities of one of the two archetypes in deference to his also-valid reading.


I'm fairly certain that Bardic Performance is the thing that gives you performance rounds and the general rules. Then each specific performance is its own ability. The guys at d20pfsrd appear to agree.

My current character would be unplayable otherwise. :/

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

You know, James Jacobs did a lot with the bard...

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Bbauzh ap Aghauzh wrote:
Except the Bard seems to be the only class that does this.

Does "this" refer to having little "sub-abilities" appear on their class table?

If so, then I'd note that the ranger's table lists individual entries for each favored enemy (1st, 2nd, etc), and each favored terrain, and each combat style feat.

Are there any ranger archetypes that replace "first favored enemy" rather than the entire favored enemy feature? (Or one instance of favored terrain, or one of the combat feats, etc?) If so, that might show some precedent.

For whatever that might be worth.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Sorry for triple-posting, but consider my stance changed.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
Bbauzh ap Aghauzh wrote:
Except the Bard seems to be the only class that does this.

Does "this" refer to having little "sub-abilities" appear on their class table?

If so, then I'd note that the ranger's table lists individual entries for each favored enemy (1st, 2nd, etc), and each favored terrain, and each combat style feat.

Are there any ranger archetypes that replace "first favored enemy" rather than the entire favored enemy feature? (Or one instance of favored terrain, or one of the combat feats, etc?) If so, that might show some precedent.

For whatever that might be worth.

As a matter of fact that is a Ranger Archetype that does that.

Well not the first favored enemy but the Battle Scout from Ultimate Combat replaces the second favored enemy but not the first.

Grand Lodge

Mahtobedis wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Bbauzh ap Aghauzh wrote:
Except the Bard seems to be the only class that does this.

Does "this" refer to having little "sub-abilities" appear on their class table?

If so, then I'd note that the ranger's table lists individual entries for each favored enemy (1st, 2nd, etc), and each favored terrain, and each combat style feat.

Are there any ranger archetypes that replace "first favored enemy" rather than the entire favored enemy feature? (Or one instance of favored terrain, or one of the combat feats, etc?) If so, that might show some precedent.

For whatever that might be worth.

As a matter of fact that is a Ranger Archetype that does that.

Well not the first favored enemy but the Battle Scout from Ultimate Combat replaces the second favored enemy but not the first.

Also, consider the Lore Warden archetype for the Fighter class.

Expertise explicitly replace only Bravery 1, not Bravery as a whole.
Maneuver Mastery replaces Armor Training 1.
Know Thy Enemy replaces Armor Training 2.
Hair's Breadth replaces Armor Training 3.
Swift Lore replaces Armor Training 4.

I'd say that there is plenty of evidence of archetypes being able to replace pieces of a class ability, not just the whole thing.

A Lore Warden Fighter could actually get a little bit of use out of the Sash of the War Champion...

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

...You guys miss my last post?

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Multiple Bard Archetypes All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.