Need help for a Halfling Bard Build


Advice


Hello,

for our next campaign WOTR, one of our player wants an halfling bard.
She really wants her pc to go into melee. So well, how would you do it?

I was thinking of a character like Syrio FOREL from GOT, but well ...

You can use any paizo's books, and 25 creation points, full bard leveling.

Thank you for your help.


Arcane duelist archetype.Dervish dancer feat. Agile weapons. Halfling sling staff. Whip feat chain. Dirty fighting from the apg.
Ofcourse not being a halfling bard would help in melee.


Thank you for your help :)

Of course not being a halfling bard would have help, but that´s the challenge ^^


Don't forget Risky Striker feat. Risky Striker + Power Attack can do quite a bit of damage.

If she doesn't care about buffing other people then there is Dawnflower Dervish archetype which double Bardic Performance bonus but only affect the bard (also come with a free dervish dance feat and scimitar proficiency)


Risky strider only works on large and larger creatures, so depents on the campaign if it's any good.

Than again; being a halfling giant slayer sounds pretty awesome.


Slashing/Fencing Grace are good alternatives to Dervish Dance, especially as bards aren't proficient in scimitars. Using a rapier or a longsword (or even a whip) seem like perfectly bardic weapons to use.


If traits are allowed, have her take a look at the Helpful Halfling racial trait found in the Paizo Halfling splat book. Gives the Halfling a +4 instead of a +2 for the Halfling aid other attempts.

From what you mentioned about going into melee. I'd have her take a serious look at the Mouser - Swashbuckler Archetype. Maybe start you're first level in this and then Arcane Duelist or Archaeologist bard archetypes.


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Sstrad wrote:

Hello,

for our next campaign WOTR, one of our player wants an halfling bard.
She really wants her pc to go into melee. So well, how would you do it?

I was thinking of a character like Syrio FOREL from GOT, but well ...

You can use any paizo's books, and 25 creation points, full bard leveling.

Thank you for your help.

Honestly, I find the Bard is an either-or case when it comes to melee combat and his party members. He can either be a semi-competent melee combatant at the cost of his utility for his party members, or he can be a very valued asset to the party without being terribly useful.

From here, you can either choose to be a supportive type or a melee type. Since the choice is the melee type, here's what I recommend:

Take the Dervish Dancer archetype. This makes your melee capability much stronger than usual when you're leveling, helping you remain competent with the other martials. You are squishy though.

You can use a Kukri for its 18-20/X2 multiplier while using a Light Shield for AC to stay alive in the thick, and still being able to cast spells. The damage dice is crap, but the damage a Bard does comes from his static bonuses, and multiplying those static bonuses is what nets you the consistent damage.

To help with the statistics, take Weapon Finesse, and once you get enough cash, get the Agile property on your Kukri, making you rely on Strength solely for carrying capacity, which won't mean much when you can have Mithril/Darkleaf Cloth/Darkwood Light Armor and Shields. Additionally, since you are using a Light Weapon, you can take the Piranha Strike feat for an effective Power Attack bonus without needing to spend the Strength for it.

Even if you are a melee bard, you do still cast spells, but you will be focused mainly on buffs and utility spells, which don't really scale off of your modifier, so a primary Dexterity focus and a secondary Charisma focus is what you're aiming for.

Here's my recommended statistics for a 25 Point Buy:

Strength 7 [- 2] = 5 (-3) *Adds 4 Points*
Dexterity 18 [+ 2] = 20 (+5) *Costs 17 Points*
Constitution 14 (+2) *Costs 5 Points*
Intelligence 12 (+1) *Costs 2 Points*
Wisdom 10 (+0) *Unchanged*
Charisma 14 [+ 2] = 16 (+3) *Costs 5 Points*

You can probably cut Charisma down to 12 if you need a higher Wisdom or Intelligence, and make up the lost points with a Charisma Headband, but having a 16 Charisma allows you to cast all your spells without any further investment.

For Skills (you'll have at least 7 to max out, not including FCB and such), you'll want Perform (Dance) and Perception maxed out, no questions asked. Use Magic Device is fairly important for any Bard, so I'd max that out as well. Maybe some party face skills, like Diplomacy, Bluff, Sense Motive, etc. Finally, a couple Knowledge skills (your choice, though I'd recommend some of the off-tune ones, since the rest of the party should have the main ones covered).

Feats, Weapon Finesse and Piranha Strike are required ASAP for damage. Extra Performance may be useful, since feats like Lingering Performance, but I wouldn't get it more than once, twice tops, since you are fairly feat starved. Improved Initiative is also a must, as well as Improved Critical. Additional Traits may be awesome, since he can get Reactionary (+2 Initiative) and another useful trait, such as Indomitable Faith, or Fate's Favored. From there you can pick whatever you want; Expanded Arcana is helpful if you are short on spells and want some nice goodies, Agile Maneuvers is great if you plan to take up combat maneuvers. Arcane Strike is a nice static bonus you can grant yourself, and is great if you have no use for a Swift Action for the round.

There are plenty others, but those are the ones that come to mind. Good luck!

Silver Crusade

Here's my answer to similar thread. It applies equally to Bard, as Inspire Courage is usually your Round 1 Standard Action through 6th level. Having a 10 or 12 STR will hurt a bit, but most of a Bard's static bonuses come from other sources.


Tank you for your help, it really helped me. :D


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I think Darksol has a pretty extreme viewpoint when it comes to bards and melee viability. Between inspire, heroism etc you won't have much trouble hitting things. Obviously you won't do barbarian level damage but it will add up.


Silas Hawkwinter wrote:

I think Darksol has a pretty extreme viewpoint when it comes to bards and melee viability. Between inspire, heroism etc you won't have much trouble hitting things. Obviously you won't do barbarian level damage but it will add up.

Most classes who are 3/4 BAB have some sort of gimmick to make them competent in comparison to, say, a Fighter. Magi have empowerment and accuracy via Arcane Pool, plus touch spells. Alchemists have touch bombs, plus mutagens and the like to enhance melee capability if they go such a route. Inquisitors have Judgements and Bane, not to mention Litanies. Clerics and Oracles are the kings of buffing, and with spells like Righteous Might on their list, they're right up there with Barbarians. Oh, and they get full spellcasting progression [even with Oracle being slightly stunted], so that's always nice.

Inspire at level 7 only grants a +2. Between Haste as a +1 and grants everyone a full attack (which is for everyone), Heroism with +2 (which should be on every Martial, not just yourself, and Good Hope is better since that includes damage), and Inspire (same as Heroism), the gap still exists. It's just the scale for both you and the other martials increased, making you (at best) on their previously unbuffed level, whereas they are on a level that is quite unprecedented.

Trust me, the numbers are ran, and while Bards can be competent, I find their ability level is far more suited to their unique spellcasting power of numerous lockdown and utility spells in comparison to being able to be at-best an unbuffed competent full BAB martial.

I remember making a post calculating average level and endgame DPR for a Bard with all buffs and optimal stats, and noted that it took, on average, 3-4 rounds to kill one melee-competent creature at the endgame, and that it took 6-7 rounds to kill one melee-competent creature, but I can't seem to find it for the life of me. Oh well.


The bardic spell list is pretty good but caster bards tend to run out of spells quickly, particularly at low level. I've not played a high level bard yet but I assume the problem is still there since the DCs of level 1 & 2 spells will fall behind.

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