Hey guys, I am making a halfing bard/swashbuckler, I was wondering if, after the 2 level bard dip (for things like versatile performance, a buff to will saves, inspire courage, and all the other goodies)
If a full 5 level dip would be worth it?
2 level bard dip gives (I am starting at 6th level, swashbuckler 5/bard1 next level going into bard)
benefits of dip-
Inspire courage buff, (its only +1 yeah, but its a group plus one morale bonus, and with lingering performance off the bat I'm ok with the action economy.)
access to spells (no UMD needed for CLW!)
+3 to will save
performance skills- other skills
- swashbuckler level slowed
not much else
Since you're obviously looking at a combat-oriented character, consider taking 5 levels of the Dawnflower Dervish Bard. You gain everything you need to wield a scimitar with your dexterity for free, in case that fits your style. Your Inspire Courage is now a move action that gives you +4/+4 attack and damage, and you can immediately follow it with the spell Allegro to give yourself haste. You also gain access to the spells Heroism and Bladed Dash, in case the first two things weren't good enough.
Also, just a note- it is not a morale bonus. Inspire courage is a competence bonus (at least for the attack/damage bit; save stuff is morale bonus).
Not too much of an issue, but it does put a damper on courageous weapon use.
Anyway, I am going to support the Dawnflower Dervish idea, but not on the dervish dance one. While it would take resources to pull off, slashing grace is just the better feat. It lets you use shields (which means an extra +1 to +6 AC). Using dervish dance to get a dex to damage build working at level 1, and then just building you way up to slashing grace later on seems fine though. By the time this is possible, you will find nice enhanced bucklers that will incentivize the switch (you are not taking a redundant feat, you are opening up an item slot that gives you a bunch of AC)
I will also say- archaeologist is a perfectly fine alternative. With fate's favored, you are getting the same attack/damage bonuses off the bat, but you are also getting bonuses to saves and skills. Even when level 5 rolls around and the dawnflower is getting double inspired courage, you are still rocking a +3 to all that stuff. That, combined with the fact that it activates as a swift action makes it fantastic. You will also want to grab lingering performance, since it doesn't have scaling rounds (it also synergizes well with swashbuckler, since it opens up your swift action since this doesn't maintain as a free action).