Thundercaller Bard Concerns from a new DM


Rules Questions

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If I may add a note to this? It also seems as though once a bard picks a performance for that round, that is what hes preforming that round (Regardless of if it ends early or not) and can not start a new one till the next round.

Dark Archive

Funny though, the Soundstriker has something to address this:

A sound striker gains the following type of bardic performance. Neither performance can be performed more quickly than a standard action.

So I'd say the Thundercaller thing is actually valid. On 13th level he will be able to use it 3 times / round.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

so, he's doing it twice a round, every round, in combat?

as a gm, i'd want to keep his character moving around so he can't do it twice.
i'd also love to deafen myself as a badguy if i know i'm going up against a thundercaller.
( off the top of my head i think being deaf makes you immune to the stunning aspect )
or pick up earplugs for some bonus on the stun save, something.

second i'd stop bunching up my badguys, or start sneaking up on the thundercaller.
lets see him drop some thunder when i've got a knife in his back or vs. invisible guy.

don't let him rests. if he's using up 2 rounds of bardic performance each round, and he's 9th level, he's got 10 - 14 ish rounds per day of doing this. as long as they have a few fights a day, he'll get drained of it eventually. A few long lasting fights or longer range fights ( the spell it mimics , sound burst, is medium range. is the bardic performance any different? close or medium? ).

then there's your stun-immune foes, undead, constructs, elementals. which i'd sure recruit more of if I were a BBEG with a thundercaller after me.
there's things you can kind of casually do, or just take him aside and ask him to tone it down so everyone has a chance to do something from time to time.


Oladon wrote:

Using a supernatural ability (Su) is a standard action. The Thunder Call (Su) ability is not a bardic performance, despite "costing" a round of bardic performance for its use.

I believe this should address all your concerns.

I believe this thread is off course. The above quote is how I believe it should work. This solves all your problems.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Quote:
This solves all your problems.

really?

Countersong (Su):
Distraction (Su):
Fascinate (Su):
Inspire Courage (Su):

Using a supernatural ability is a standard action unless specified otherwise

since the thunder calling ability is part of a bardic performance ( it replaces a bardic performance, and uses bardic performance rounds ), its a bardic performance. and falls under the 'specified otherwise' clause, in that at higher levels, bards can activate their performances faster.

what is worse? that the 9th level bard is hogging the combat? or is it more that its against the grain for a typical support bard: move action: inspire courage, standard action: good hope , everyone gets +4 to hit/ +4 to damage, oh and i took a harmonic feat so you all get +1d6 damage when you're nearby me and the enemy is too.


Seraphimpunk wrote:
Quote:
This solves all your problems.
really?

Yes, Sorry I didn't specify how. I thought it was understood from the above post (not sarcasm). I will try and explain it below.

While I can see why people are interpreting it this way, I don't think that is how it was intended. I believe it works like the Sound striker archtype. It was probably meant to be only a standard action. If not, it does not say that its effect will go off each round. So even RAW, until 7th level the bard is not going to get the effect twice. Even at 7th level this isn't over powered as he used all of his actions for the turn for 2 cast.


I should point out that everyone is who is complaining about 6d8 damage twice a turn with no save, needs to calibrate their expectations about 9th level play. If other people are feeling overshadowed by a measly 12d8 damage, Fort save or be stunned every round, I think they might want to seek out more effective strategies. Seriously what are your other player's builds that 12d8 for an average of 54 (12x4.5) damage is overshadowing them? Your melee types should be easily doing more than 54 damage at this point, even if they do have to have to contend with defenses.

Edit: I misread your opening post (I was curious how the player was getting extra d8's, but it seems you are having a problem with 3d8 damage twice a round with no save? If this is overshadowing your other players you may need to go over some basic game information with them and make sure they are approximately within the wealth by level range for their level. Seriously though 27 (4.5x6) damage a round at 9th level is... minor to say the least.


trollbill wrote:
Yiroep wrote:
Hrm, this is interesting. I have a thundercaller bard in PFS right now who is using the Aasimar alternate favored class bonus to make him count as higher level for it (he's level 8 now, so he counts as a level 12 bard, so he has 5d8 damage with a DC 24 fort save (26 Cha)).
The text says the saves for thunder call are the same as the spell Sound Burst. Sound Burst is a second level spell so the DC should be 20, not 24.

Huh. For some reason, I thought bard listed any saving throw as (10 + 1/2 bard level + Charisma modifier) for bardic performance (The way oracle does for revelations), but looking back at it, it actually lists the saving throw for each performance. I guess I was mistaken. That's thoroughly disappointing.


Yiroep wrote:
Huh. For some reason, I thought bard listed any saving throw as (10 + 1/2 bard level + Charisma modifier) for bardic performance (The way oracle does for revelations)

that would make things too easy, what with consistency and all...


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Anzyr wrote:
I misread your opening post (I was curious how the player was getting extra d8's, but it seems you are having a problem with 3d8 damage twice a round with no save? If this is overshadowing your other players you may need to go over some basic game information with them and make sure they are approximately within the wealth by level range for their level. Seriously though 27 (4.5x6) damage a round at 9th level is... minor to say the least.

Im going to have to agree with this. I dont know if it works or doesn't work. Looking at the wording it looks RAW to me. But either way... your group has serious issues if, at that level, 27 dmg in a small aoe is keeping them from contributing. The stun just helps them so that shouldn't be an issue. The melee should be eating it up. Thats just silly.

-
When your BARD is soaking up the combat spotlight... your other players need to start looking at their character sheets and then go skim of few online class guides.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Tell me this PC is a Catfolk.

Thundercats! Hooooooooooooo.......

Sir, your delivery of Win, Internet and Stamp, +1 are in the mail. Expect delivery within a fortnight.


blahpers wrote:
Thunder Call is sonic, not electric.

True. My point does not stand now.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Yiroep wrote:
trollbill wrote:
Yiroep wrote:
Hrm, this is interesting. I have a thundercaller bard in PFS right now who is using the Aasimar alternate favored class bonus to make him count as higher level for it (he's level 8 now, so he counts as a level 12 bard, so he has 5d8 damage with a DC 24 fort save (26 Cha)).
The text says the saves for thunder call are the same as the spell Sound Burst. Sound Burst is a second level spell so the DC should be 20, not 24.
Huh. For some reason, I thought bard listed any saving throw as (10 + 1/2 bard level + Charisma modifier) for bardic performance (The way oracle does for revelations), but looking back at it, it actually lists the saving throw for each performance. I guess I was mistaken. That's thoroughly disappointing.
SRD wrote:


Thunder Call (Su): At 3rd level, the thundercaller can use her performance to unleash a deafening peal of thunder. This allows the thundercaller to 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). At 7th level, the sonic damage that is dealt by this blast of sound increases to 3d8. This damage further increases to 5d8 at 11th level, 7d8 at 15th level, and 9d8 at 19th level.

But the saving throw is:

PRD wrote:
Saving Throw Fortitude partial

not a specific DC.

The Thunder Call ability text can be read both way, but if it really set the DC of the ability to a fixed value of 17+Cha bonus it is a fairly unusual exception. something that should have been written more explicitly.


@Diego Rossi

I agree 100% with everything you said.

However, RAW, it seems like it's based purely on sound burst for lack of another rule to base off of. And my thundercaller is a PFS character.


Diego Rossi wrote:
Yiroep wrote:
trollbill wrote:
Yiroep wrote:
Hrm, this is interesting. I have a thundercaller bard in PFS right now who is using the Aasimar alternate favored class bonus to make him count as higher level for it (he's level 8 now, so he counts as a level 12 bard, so he has 5d8 damage with a DC 24 fort save (26 Cha)).
The text says the saves for thunder call are the same as the spell Sound Burst. Sound Burst is a second level spell so the DC should be 20, not 24.
Huh. For some reason, I thought bard listed any saving throw as (10 + 1/2 bard level + Charisma modifier) for bardic performance (The way oracle does for revelations), but looking back at it, it actually lists the saving throw for each performance. I guess I was mistaken. That's thoroughly disappointing.
SRD wrote:


Thunder Call (Su): At 3rd level, the thundercaller can use her performance to unleash a deafening peal of thunder. This allows the thundercaller to 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). At 7th level, the sonic damage that is dealt by this blast of sound increases to 3d8. This damage further increases to 5d8 at 11th level, 7d8 at 15th level, and 9d8 at 19th level.

But the saving throw is:

PRD wrote:
Saving Throw Fortitude partial

not a specific DC.

The Thunder Call ability text can be read both way, but if it really set the DC of the ability to a fixed value of 17+Cha bonus it is a fairly unusual exception. something that should have been written more explicitly.

My guess "allowing the same saving throw" is probably meant to be:

Saving Throw Difficulty Class: A saving throw against your spell has a DC of 10 + the level of the spell + your bonus for the relevant ability (Intelligence for a wizard, Charisma for a bard, paladin, or sorcerer, or Wisdom for a cleric, druid, or ranger). A spell's level can vary depending on your class. Always use the spell level applicable to your class.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Slacker2010 wrote:
Seraphimpunk wrote:
Quote:
This solves all your problems.
really?

Yes, Sorry I didn't specify how. I thought it was understood from the above post (not sarcasm). I will try and explain it below.

While I can see why people are interpreting it this way, I don't think that is how it was intended. I believe it works like the Sound striker archtype. It was probably meant to be only a standard action. If not, it does not say that its effect will go off each round. So even RAW, until 7th level the bard is not going to get the effect twice. Even at 7th level this isn't over powered as he used all of his actions for the turn for 2 cast.

but sound striker one specifically calls out that its a standard action.

sound strikers also get multiple rays anyway as they advance.

this sound burst is in a 10' radius, 3d8 at 7th level ( 1d8 up until then ) fort DC vs. stun. its ... not that great. on its own, and without any wording in the ability to make an exception that it doesn't follow standard bardic performance rules for activation, it looks like it is a move action by 7th level.

sound strikers call out that as a standard action, because its much better. and doing THAT twice or three times a round is very powerful.

Quote:
However, RAW, it seems like it's based purely on sound burst for lack of another rule to base off of. And my thundercaller is a PFS character.

by the same reasoning that it IS a bardic performance, and not a spell, the DC is set like other bardic performances, 10 + 1/2 bard level + cha , thats the way it looks to me. its just saying you get the same damage as the spell, and same saving throw vs. the stun effect. but the damage increases as the bard gets up there.

it could be worse: aasimar bard thundercaller is legal in pfs, by 7th level you're a 10th level bard for thundercalling if you wanna be...


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@Seraphimpunk: I agree. The DC is probably 10 + 1/2 bard level + cha

A simple fix would be to add something like this: If the save succeeds, the creature is immune to this ability for 24 hours.

or something like this: If the save succeeds, the creature is immune to the stunning effect for 24 hours.

edit:
As for sound striker's Weird Words vs. Thundercaller's Thunder Call, I'd say Thunder Call is far better. Not only because of the damage, but mainly for the stunning effect.

Weird Words is actually rather problematic as pointed out by Cheapy.

Cheapy wrote:

I absolutely adore the concept of the sound striker bard archetype, but it has issues. Lots of them. Until yesterday, we weren't sure if the physical damage listed ignored DR or not. We now know that they are affected by DR. This means that each word must: make a range touch attack, beat the saving throw of the enemy, and overcome the DR of the enemy. With the interpretation that the damage would ignore DR, this was a powerful ability able to deal a ton of damage to a single enemy. With the DR affecting the damage, it's now...pretty weak actually, with 4 chances for failure.

So that's one strike against it.

To see the other, larger, issue with the it, consider a level 10 bard using Weird Words. He can create 10 weird words with a standard action. Each require a ranged attack roll. Each requires a fortitude saving throw roll. Each requires a damage roll. That's THIRTY dice that need to be rolled for this one ability. Which is absolutely ridiculous.

There's also some debate over whether you can focus fire each word at the same guy.

BTW, Check out Cheapy's Weird Words fix:

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2opvt?Sound-Striker-Revisited#1


If the Thunder Call ability can be used multiple times per round I agree with Zark that it is much better than Weird Words. That seems potentially problematic since Weird Words is a pretty strong ability which sometimes makes DM cry foul. Thunder Call's damage can't be reduced by saving throws, and it bypasses DR, both advantages Weird Words doesn't have. Sonic resistance is very uncommon whereas DR is pretty typical.

I guess this is a Rules Questions forum, not a Game Balance forum, but if somebody at Paizo decides to clarify/FAQ/errata Thunder Call I hope they go with a conservative ruling which allows the ability to be used once per round. I'm sure that some folks might feel that's "too weak", but it would still allow the Thundercaller to inflict some very hard to avoid damage while forcing a saving throw vs stun.

A party of 4 Thundercallers who can each use Thunder Call once per round would be pretty powerful. The same party with the ability to use Thunder Call 8 or 12 times per round would be overwhelming. The damage output would be fairly high, and spamming stun saves that quickly would be very strong.


consider undead and other creatures immune to stunning for a few encounters.

deaf oracles should be immune too iirc.

how is the dc set for this ability, is it set by the spell or bard level, some of these spell likes and supernatural abilities change


Actually, Abraham, I suspect that Undead are completely immune to both Thunder Call and Weird Words since both effects allow a Fort save and aren't noted as affecting objects. This came up in a game recently when I thought it might be nice to use Weird Words for bludgeoning damage against some Skeletal Champions. Instead I ended up smacking them rather ineffectively with my aldori dueling sword since they were also immune to my PC's favored damage spell, Thundering Drums (the sword has enough enchantments it was still better than switching to a bludgeoning weapon)


Sonic damage effects objects just fine though?


The sonic damage isn't a problem, but under the Undead creature typeone of the listed Traits is:
"Immunity to any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless)"

I guess you could argue that the damage should still apply since the save for Sound Burst only allows you to avoid the stun, not the damage. I don't think that is how it works RAW though. Similarly, it seems odd that being undead would allow you to avoid the damage from something like Weird Words, which does bludgeoning damage like a weapon. I suppose that an even stranger case is Sirocco, which apparently can't burn undead even if they're normally damaged by fire or knock them down even if they're normally affected by wind.


FWIF, I asked the guy who wrote this and he said "no, only once per round. Otherwise it is clearly over powered." Paraphrased, of course.


Oh, and thanks Zark! It's weird because I've seen people link that a few times, it it still has 0 comments. Peculiar.


Devilkiller wrote:

The sonic damage isn't a problem, but under the Undead creature typeone of the listed Traits is:

"Immunity to any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless)"

I guess you could argue that the damage should still apply since the save for Sound Burst only allows you to avoid the stun, not the damage. I don't think that is how it works RAW though. Similarly, it seems odd that being undead would allow you to avoid the damage from something like Weird Words, which does bludgeoning damage like a weapon. I suppose that an even stranger case is Sirocco, which apparently can't burn undead even if they're normally damaged by fire or knock them down even if they're normally affected by wind.

Damage effects objects so that part would still work.


Abraham spalding wrote:
Devilkiller wrote:

The sonic damage isn't a problem, but under the Undead creature typeone of the listed Traits is:

"Immunity to any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless)"

I guess you could argue that the damage should still apply since the save for Sound Burst only allows you to avoid the stun, not the damage. I don't think that is how it works RAW though. Similarly, it seems odd that being undead would allow you to avoid the damage from something like Weird Words, which does bludgeoning damage like a weapon. I suppose that an even stranger case is Sirocco, which apparently can't burn undead even if they're normally damaged by fire or knock them down even if they're normally affected by wind.

Damage effects objects so that part would still work.

Reading it again, I still don't think Undead are immune to the damage since the damage isn't a part of the effect of the fort save.


Abraham and Scavion, are you saying that spells like Sound Burst and Sirocco have more than one "effect", one which causes damage and therefore should affect undead and other(s) which might debuff enemies in other ways?

Weird Words doesn't do anything except cause damage. Do you think it should affect undead even though it requires a Fort save since bludgeoning and slashing damage can affect objects?

@Cheapy - Thanks for providing some insight into the designer's intent, which I happen to be in agreement with.


Devilkiller wrote:

Abraham and Scavion, are you saying that spells like Sound Burst and Sirocco have more than one "effect", one which causes damage and therefore should affect undead and other(s) which might debuff enemies in other ways?

Weird Words doesn't do anything except cause damage. Do you think it should affect undead even though it requires a Fort save since bludgeoning and slashing damage can affect objects?

@Cheapy - Thanks for providing some insight into the designer's intent, which I happen to be in agreement with.

The fort save isn't for the damage in regards to Sound Burst however. The only thing that requires a fort save is the stun.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
FWIF, I asked the guy who wrote this and he said "no, only once per round. Otherwise it is clearly over powered." Paraphrased, of course.

well, then he screwed the pooch writing it, because he should have included a clause like weird words that this is always a standard action regardless of the bard's level.


It assists the entire party, its a pathetic 10ft burst, its not impressive damage for level.

Are bards hated THAT much?

At 1st level barbarian with cleave can do more damage to creatures, likely to be in that space, than this guy and doesn't help his party shine on their actions. Its really no biggie.


"Each round, the bard can produce any one of the types of bardic performance"

I think that pretty much covers it and don't see why anyone has issue with it. Even only being able to use one performance a round the thundercall can do some cool things.

Like using the spell to maintain a performance to run the thundercallers 2nd ability that acts as call lightening without eating up actions. Then still being able to to drop this ability in following rounds with other actions left.


Cheapy wrote:
FWIF, I asked the guy who wrote this and he said "no, only once per round. Otherwise it is clearly over powered." Paraphrased, of course.

Make sense, although that makes it kind of weak. I hope we one day see a bard that get some cool stuff past level 8. Bard is my favorite class, but I still think they are a bit meh at higher levels.

A good evocation area effect would be cool.


Cheapy wrote:
Oh, and thanks Zark! It's weird because I've seen people link that a few times, it it still has 0 comments. Peculiar.

I will check it out and give you some feedback :)


Devilkiller wrote:

Abraham and Scavion, are you saying that spells like Sound Burst and Sirocco have more than one "effect", one which causes damage and therefore should affect undead and other(s) which might debuff enemies in other ways?

The fact that sound burst calls out that deaf creatures are immune to the stun hints to it being treated like two different effects.

I, too am of the opinion that the damage should work on undead because the damage part has no save.

Edit: But if it's only once per turn and can't be combined with other performs, who cares, really? Under those circumstances it is way too weak to use on a regular basis.


Devilkiller wrote:

Abraham and Scavion, are you saying that spells like Sound Burst and Sirocco have more than one "effect", one which causes damage and therefore should affect undead and other(s) which might debuff enemies in other ways?

Weird Words doesn't do anything except cause damage. Do you think it should affect undead even though it requires a Fort save since bludgeoning and slashing damage can affect objects?

@Cheapy - Thanks for providing some insight into the designer's intent, which I happen to be in agreement with.

The damage effect should carry through in my opinion because you can affect objects with damaging spells -- the other effects probably won't carry through.

So while sound burst will offer up damage it will not stun undead (which are immune to those conditions), since you can damage things with sonic energy.

To me the damage is the primary in such spells and the rest are rider effects -- that's why it says, "deals this damage those affected by the damage save to avoid x effect"

Damage is the primary focus of the spell.

IF it was "Save to avoid this effect, if you fail then you also take this damage" THEN the undead should be immune if they are immune to the effect.

Also I generally put spell descriptions over the object general rule for undead -- after all burning disarm should work on undead where it isn't going to work on your typical object.


Cheapy wrote:
FWIF, I asked the guy who wrote this and he said "no, only once per round. Otherwise it is clearly over powered." Paraphrased, of course.

It scares me a little that the person who designed this thinks a pitiful 3d8 damage with no save and possible stun is overpowered if you can do twice a round (Trust me Designer it's a neat but fairly middle of the road tactic which actually rewards you for getting better at Bardic Performance). I don't know what they were comparing to but casters can deal a lot more no save damage, with even more saves or suck, twice a around.


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Maybe their experience in designing lets them see things about the ability that you don't see.


What are these secret things they can see that others cannot?


Cheapy wrote:
Maybe their experience in designing lets them see things about the ability that you don't see.

Sounds like they're seeing illusions.

Grand Lodge

Zark wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
FWIF, I asked the guy who wrote this and he said "no, only once per round. Otherwise it is clearly over powered." Paraphrased, of course.

Make sense, although that makes it kind of weak. I hope we one day see a bard that get some cool stuff past level 8. Bard is my favorite class, but I still think they are a bit meh at higher levels.

A good evocation area effect would be cool.

Well, at 10th a Thunder Caller could start Inspire Courage as a Move Action and Cast Virtuoso Performance. Then every round after that he could use Thunder Call as a Move Action, keep his Inspire Courage going and still have a Standard left to do something else with. At 13th, he can do those as Swift Actions. It's a nice tactic but hardly overpowered.

Grand Lodge

Anzyr wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
FWIF, I asked the guy who wrote this and he said "no, only once per round. Otherwise it is clearly over powered." Paraphrased, of course.
It scares me a little that the person who designed this thinks a pitiful 3d8 damage with no save and possible stun is overpowered if you can do twice a round (Trust me Designer it's a neat but fairly middle of the road tactic which actually rewards you for getting better at Bardic Performance). I don't know what they were comparing to but casters can deal a lot more no save damage, with even more saves or suck, twice a around.

You can't look at one power and say it isn't overpowered because another class can do the same thing. The power level of a class is dependent on everything it can do, not just one thing. Different classes are designed to do different things. With Bards it is particularly difficult to judge their power level because they tend to focus on making everyone else in the party more powerful, rather than themselves. So doing Thundercall 2 times a round at 7th (or 3 times at 13th) may not be over-powered compared to a Wizard. It certainly seems overpowered compared to all the other bards.


trollbill wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
FWIF, I asked the guy who wrote this and he said "no, only once per round. Otherwise it is clearly over powered." Paraphrased, of course.
It scares me a little that the person who designed this thinks a pitiful 3d8 damage with no save and possible stun is overpowered if you can do twice a round (Trust me Designer it's a neat but fairly middle of the road tactic which actually rewards you for getting better at Bardic Performance). I don't know what they were comparing to but casters can deal a lot more no save damage, with even more saves or suck, twice a around.
You can't look at one power and say it isn't overpowered because another class can do the same thing. The power level of a class is dependent on everything it can do, not just one thing. Different classes are designed to do different things. With Bards it is particularly difficult to judge their power level because they tend to focus on making everyone else in the party more powerful, rather than themselves. So doing Thundercall 2 times a round at 7th (or 3 times at 13th) may not be over-powered compared to a Wizard. It certainly seems overpowered compared to all the other bards.

Overpowered how? Since this bard could have a completely different role. He'd be able to be one of the main damage dealers in a party, something a bard couldn't normally do.


You're basically getting to cast a 2nd level spell for the cost of a round of bardic performance, a fairly abundant resource. At higher levels you're not only getting the spell off for cheap but doing increased damage. Since the RAW doesn't specify otherwise it seems like you could probably even maintain the performance and do 3d8 or 5d8 damage per round as a free action. That seems really nice. Increasing the damage 2-3 times and spamming 2-3 AoE stun effects per round using just bardic performance rounds seems like too much to me.

I wonder if people would feel that a bardic performance which allowed you to cast other 2nd level spells such as Cure Moderate Wounds or Scorching Ray was weak, useless, etc. Maybe the root problem here is that people don't like Sound Burst.

@Abraham Spalding - I have more thoughts and questions about Fort saves and undead, but I should probably make a separate thread for that...

@Scavion - If you want to do lots of damage with Bardic Performance there's already a Sound Striker. The Thunder Caller does less damage but can stun stuff. That's nice too.

@Zark - I also enjoy playing Bards. Thundering Drums probably doesn't qualify as a "good" evocation AoE, but I'd say it is at least a mediocre one, especially if you take Intensified Spell and the trait to lower the metamagic cost of the spell by 1.

Grand Lodge

Scavion wrote:
trollbill wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
FWIF, I asked the guy who wrote this and he said "no, only once per round. Otherwise it is clearly over powered." Paraphrased, of course.
It scares me a little that the person who designed this thinks a pitiful 3d8 damage with no save and possible stun is overpowered if you can do twice a round (Trust me Designer it's a neat but fairly middle of the road tactic which actually rewards you for getting better at Bardic Performance). I don't know what they were comparing to but casters can deal a lot more no save damage, with even more saves or suck, twice a around.
You can't look at one power and say it isn't overpowered because another class can do the same thing. The power level of a class is dependent on everything it can do, not just one thing. Different classes are designed to do different things. With Bards it is particularly difficult to judge their power level because they tend to focus on making everyone else in the party more powerful, rather than themselves. So doing Thundercall 2 times a round at 7th (or 3 times at 13th) may not be over-powered compared to a Wizard. It certainly seems overpowered compared to all the other bards.
Overpowered how? Since this bard could have a completely different role. He'd be able to be one of the main damage dealers in a party, something a bard couldn't normally do.

Overpowered because he can still do most of what a Bard does normally and still be a main damage dealer. The comparison of what he would be giving up compared to what he would be getting does not seem close to equivalent. Albeit, most Bard powers are difficult to gauge in power level, as stated previously, and the power level of a Bard and specific bardic abilities can vary greatly depending on the type of campaign.


Devilkiller wrote:
You're basically getting to cast a 2nd level spell for the cost of a round of bardic performance, a fairly abundant resource. At higher levels you're not only getting the spell off for cheap but doing increased damage. Since the RAW doesn't specify otherwise it seems like you could probably even maintain the performance and do 3d8 or 5d8 damage per round as a free action. That seems really nice. Increasing the damage 2-3 times and spamming 2-3 AoE stun effects per round using just bardic performance rounds seems like too much to me.

Agree. Spamming 2-3 AoE stun effects per round using just bardic performance rounds is too good.

Devilkiller wrote:
I wonder if people would feel that a bardic performance which allowed you to cast other 2nd level spells such as Cure Moderate Wounds or Scorching Ray was weak, useless, etc. Maybe the root problem here is that people don't like Sound Burst.

The main problem with the Bard in Pathfinder is that it treated as a caster with some buffs. The bard isn't a full caster and will never get the DC of a wizard or sorcerer.

Devilkiller wrote:


@Zark - I also enjoy playing Bards. Thundering Drums probably doesn't qualify as a "good" evocation AoE, but I'd say it is at least a mediocre one, especially if you take Intensified Spell and the trait to lower the metamagic cost of the spell by 1.

A) The bard isn’t a full caster and shouldn’t be treated as one.

B) The bard was unique before APG, now it isn’t and it is now being overshadowed by the other 6/9 casters that are far more powerful without being any less versatile than the bard.

C) You can’t apply Intensified Spell and the trait to lower the metamagic cost to Bardic performance.

D) The bard always suffered from being the 5th wheel. It would be nice if that was fixed.


I really don't know why so many want to cling to spamming thunder call and ignore the other Thundercaller abilities. Yes the mimic spells that are normally pretty bad but read the abilities. They do not eat up actions unlike the spells they are based on.

Start call lightening and maintain it with Virtuoso Performance. Next round Thunder Tall, call lightening hits and you can still cast something else. If you want to go hard on the nuking bard they have plenty of passable spells for that.

Thunder call, call lightening, and say Discordant Blast (or a number of other spells.) in one round is in no way a weak blaster. On top of that is the control from Thunder Call and Discordant Blast.

Creativity and tactics trumps trying your hardest to cheese one ability.


trollbill wrote:
Zark wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
FWIF, I asked the guy who wrote this and he said "no, only once per round. Otherwise it is clearly over powered." Paraphrased, of course.

Make sense, although that makes it kind of weak. I hope we one day see a bard that get some cool stuff past level 8. Bard is my favorite class, but I still think they are a bit meh at higher levels.

A good evocation area effect would be cool.
Well, at 10th a Thunder Caller could start Inspire Courage as a Move Action and Cast Virtuoso Performance. Then every round after that he could use Thunder Call as a Move Action, keep his Inspire Courage going and still have a Standard left to do something else with. At 13th, he can do those as Swift Actions. It's a nice tactic but hardly overpowered.

If that was how it worked it would be ok. But the rules say that you can only do one kind of bardic performance per round.

So your 10th level thunder caller could either use and keep up inspire courage or use thundercall. So he could, for example use thunder call and make a standard attack (perhaps with vital strike or cleave) but could not buff the party at the same time.
Or he could ignore that he's a thunder caller and use inspire courage, keep it up and do full attacks. But mixing both is not possible. That is why it is weak.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

is that not what virtuoso performance allows? keep up one performance while starting/using another performance ability ? i didn't feel like looking it up


I think you kind of missed the spell Virtuoso Performance in that combo. The spell specifically allows 2 performances at once. Specific trumps general, always.


Yes, I missed this.

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