need help w Bard / Archaeologist (weapon choice / build advice)


Hey everyone,

i picked the class cause i like the non-sneak-attack-part of the rogue and the non-music-part of the bard, so it's perfect.
I want to go melee and Dex and pick up some ninja stuff on the road via rogue skill. Str is not really an option because of my race-str-modifier.
My character will start at level 6 in Way of the Wicked (2nd part).

Race: Kitsune (DEX +2, CH +2, STR -2, free Weapon Finesse, Ki-pool)
Class Bard(Archaeologist) with favored class bonus of rogue-kitsune (1 rogue skill 1/6 levels)

Traits: - Fate's Favored
- not sure about the second one. I read old threads where the suggestions were Maestro of the Society / Armor Expert or one to improve saving throws or initiative

Feats: - Lingering Perfomance
- Arcane strike

Rogue skill: - Rogue's Finesse (so i don't have to go Dervish Dance/Scimitar)
- ninja trick (forgotten trick) (i'll only have 2 tricks at lvl 6, the next one i would like to get is improved ki pool, before that i'll need an item to have enough ki to use forgotten trick)

I would like to know if you would recommend Rogue's Finesse over Devish dance. If yes: which weapon(s) should i consider? Should i go for dual-wield?
What should i skill/get to survive in melee and to contribute?

I want to stick to class and race so please don't make suggestions that include picking other races. I know of half-elve benefits, archer-bards and str-half-orc-builds.
I really liked the idea of whip but it seems very treat-hungry and seems to be uselees against certain types of enemy.

Thanks in advance for your help =).


Versatility: Earthkin kitsune may choose two favored classes at 1st level and gain +1 hit points or +1 skill rank whenever they take a level in either of those classes. Alternatively, an earthkin may choose to gain both +1 hit point and +1 skill rank when he gains a level in his favored class instead of choosing either one or the other benefit or he can choose an alternate class reward. This choice must be made at 1st level and once selected, it cannot be changed. This racial trait replaces agile.
replace my favored class bonus when leveling up? Or will i get both? If i get both i think i should grab it.

The Exchange

I love my Archaeologist Bard! I'm going a ranged build myself, but to each their own. I am having great success stacking Archaeologist Luck, Fate's Favored, Lingering Performance and Heroism. Beacon of Luck is great for really maximizing those saving throws if you follow Desna. With all those odd bonuses you don't really need to optimize your character, so you can focus your other spells and feats on odd ball options and fun stuff.


Liberty's Edge

Uh...Rogue's Finesse isn't a Rogue Talent, but a Class Feature, and thus not available to an Archaeologist any more than Sneak Attack (barring house rules). Also, you can't take the Rogue Favored Clas Bonus on a Bard (again, barring house rules).

And even if Rogue's Finesse was available, you'd need Weapon Finesse first, which you don't have listed (though you are missing a Feat on your list).

Still, if you want Dex-to-damage, you have a couple of options:

1. Dervish Dance, as you mention. This, sadly, prevents the use of a shield, which really hurts.
2. Fencing Grace. This requires one more Feat, but allows the use of a shield. I'd go this route.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I prefer archerologists, though I have a falcata wielding archeologist. Crits are fun ;-)

Finesse Rogue talent will give you weapon finesse at level 4. I took vagabond child to get disable device as a class skill. Maestro will give you more rounds of luck.

Important things to remember.

You can't activate arcane strike and luck in the same round.

Wayang Spell Hunter (Heroism) will be useful for long term.

Archaeologists are rather feat starved, since you pretty much have to take Lingering Performance. If you take a finessable weapon, weapon finess at 3rd, combat trick (weapon focus) at 4th, then piercing grace (for a rapier) or slashing grace (for a gladius) at 5th.

Even if you're a melee build, if you have the alchemy manual, invest in a masterwork short bow and tangleshot arrows. entangled is a fun condition at almost every level. and since the arrows go off touch, the shooting into melee benefits are not as bad.

I get weapon finesse via an alternative race trait my master allowed. He also allowed me to use the rogue's favored class bonus instead of the bards. So I have 2 rogue talents at lvl 6.
In KC rogue finesse is a talent i can pick from the rogue talent list. I need weapon finesse for this which i get from my race.
So I should be less limited weaponwise? But i'm new to the game and don't know which weapons i could use with this talent since i'm not limited to knives, rapiers or scimitars.

Kitsune don't get weapon finesse as a racial feature.

@ Rynthief
That's nice to hear. My GM told me with such a low amount of Str i would be less usefull then bread in melee ._.. But it sounds like the buffs make up for a lot.

I understood "rogue finesse" being part of the rogue talent list in the way that i can select it when i can freely pick a rogue talent as an archaeologist. I have the necessary weapon finesse from my alternative race trait my GM allowed me to use.
Fencing grace sounds nice. I guess i shouldn't dual-wield then?

@ Matthew
Yeah i know i can't activate both in the same round :/. Which is why i need lingering perfomance. (Well, one of many reasons)
So there are 2 grace-ways i could go. Hm..

This bow sounds like fun :D.

@ Gisher
As i wrote, it's alternative:
Natural Finesse: Sophisticated kitsune hone graceful and precise movements at the expense of their skill with their natural attacks. The kitsune gains Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat at 1st level. This racial trait replaces natural weapons.

The GM just told me he won't allow the rogue finesse talent..
so now i can see if i go for slashing grace or fencing grace, which weapon and if i should pick dual-wield.

I have an Archeologist that I am running through Carrion Crown and I am having a blast with it.

So far, we are 7th level and I have multi-classed with Investigator (Sleuth). Right now, Bard 4 / Investigator 3.


Str 14
Dex 18 (17 +1 lvl 4)
Con 12
Int 14
Wis 10
Cha 15

Traded skill focus for exotic weapon prof: Estoc. Estoc is the bastard sword version of a rapier. Tasty.

Fate's Favored
Magical Knack (Bard)


Level 1: Weapon Finesse
Level 3: Lingering Performance
Level 4: Rogue Talent (Combat Trick): Bonded Item (+1 Luck AC armor)
Level 5: Amateur Swashbuckler
Level 7: Investigator Talent (Firearm training)
Level 7: Extra Investigator Talent: Grit (Amateur Gunslinger & Extra Grit)

The plan is to take another level of investigator to get the 4th level deeds and then continue/complete Bard up to level 16. I plan on taking my next rogue talent as finesse rogue, so that I can retrain my first level feat into something else. I plan on getting power attack and/or deadly aim so that I get another additional boost to damage on both melee and ranged attacks (using a single shot pistol right now).

The character has 7 panache/grit/luck (since they stack in same pool) and inspiration on top of that. Several different ways to stack bonuses in his favor and takes advantage of spells that allow for rerolls and/or automatic successes.

Thank you very much DeathlessOne for sharing your build.
I don't want to multiclass but Amateur Swashbuckler seems to be awesome and i guess i'll pick that when i can.
And thanks for showing me Drawbacks exist :).

I'll go a very feat heavy route with weapon finesse, weapon focus (short sword), slashing grace and two weapon fighting.

Absolutely, multi-classing isn't for everyone. If you pick up Amateur Swashbuckler, be sure to get the opportune parry and riposte deed. You probably need to take extra panache if you plan on using it often. Getting extra panache/grit/luck was my original goal with multi-classing. Your mileage my vary.

If you are feat starved, I wouldn't bother with fencing/slashing grace. Just get Agile placed on all of your weapons. Granted this isn't always an option, but it should be more often than not.

The elven branched spear is tempting if going exotic. A finessable reach weapon is obviously nice.

Shadow Lodge

I got some great advice for my Archaeologist here.

Note that since I was retraining, I was in a worse state than you're in, so you'll have more flexibility.

Scarab Sages

You talked about low strength, but I'm not sure how you currently have your strength distributed.

You'll want to make sure you can carry your armor, buckler, weaponry, handy haversack and what have you without being encumbered. so you're going to probably want it at least in the 12-14 range.

Silver Crusade

Is it too late to suggest Half Orc? You get darkvision, falchion and greataxe proficiency, Sacred Tattoo bonuses with Fate's Favored and some Intimidate.

But you'd want a STR build.

Thanks for all the answers :).

Well it's not too late to recommend races but i would really like a dex-centric build. But reading many threads gave me the impression i have to get so many feats just to make my Dex replace Strength in combat that i could just go for Str instead, although i really like the flavor of dex-characters.

Must-have-trait: Fate's Favored

I will start at lvl 6 and the feats i have to take are:
- Lingering Performance
- Acrobatic
- Acrobatic Dodge (Acrobatic check to avoid melee damage after i normally would get hit)

This takes care of me not getting hurt so much by melee attacks and Lingering Performance is a must-have.
I know i'm limited to 3 feats if i don't pick human, dip into fighter and/or decide to be an anti-hero.
Oh and my GM allowed me to exchange the Trap-stuff of the archaeologist for the 2nd level Ninja Ki Pool feat, so i can use ninja skills.

I don't like Dervish dance that much cause if forces me to use scimitar and also forces me to not use my 2nd hand to hold anything useful and punishes me if i ever decide to use another weapon type, use a shield or use a 2nd weapon in my off-hand.
If i go Dex i HAVE to get Weapon Finesse and an agile Weapon (8k out of 16k, ouch).. Kitsune (alternate trait) or Tengu would give me Weapon Finesse for free.

But normally would prefer Human, Half-Elve (Drow), Halfling, Drow, Fetchling or Catfolk. Also, having Dark Vision will be important in our party, since we play the bad guys, fights will take place underground in our dungeon so it seems smart to make sure it's dark and those who come in don't see us while we see them.

So.. i'm back to race, weapon and weapon-type-choice. I really want melee, except there are cool range weapons that don't use ammunition. I like the idea of Two-handed weapon fighting but i need my 2nd hand for casting, don't I? Also, i would need the feat to make my 2nd hand weapon not disturb casting (Somatic weapon, GM allowed it), which also requires Weapon Focus. As slashing/piercing Grace does. And i would need TWF too. Aaah, so many feats and i'm just lvl 6..

We will get some levels during the adventure so i also need to plan the future progression of the character. I read arcane strike / piranha strike / power attack can be used to increase my damage?
At lvl 7 i will get access to haste, so even if i only have one weapon i will be able to attack twice with it.

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