Duettist Bard Archetype: Familiar use your CHA bonus or its?


Rules Questions


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Quote:
At 4th level, a duettist's familiar learns how to create supernatural effects with its performances, just like its master. The familiar can use any of its master's bardic performances, but only the familiar or the duettist can have a performance active at any given time, not both. If one is performing and the other starts a performance, the previous performance immediately ends. Each round that the familiar performs consumes 2 rounds of the duettist's bardic performance.

So, it has to be the case that the familiar is using your bard level for the performances, but does it use your charisma bonus, or its bonus, for determining the DCs of the bardic music abilities? What about when a bardic performance calls for a Perform check?


Rudy2 wrote:

Relevant section

Quote:
At 4th level, a duettist's familiar learns how to create supernatural effects with its performances, just like its master. The familiar can use any of its master's bardic performances, but only the familiar or the duettist can have a performance active at any given time, not both. If one is performing and the other starts a performance, the previous performance immediately ends. Each round that the familiar performs consumes 2 rounds of the duettist's bardic performance.
So, it has to be the case that the familiar is using your bard level for the performances, but does it use your charisma bonus, or its bonus, for determining the DCs of the bardic music abilities? What about when a bardic performance calls for a Perform check?

I asked a different but related question awhile back. The general response, including an unofficial ruling from Mark Seifter, was that the familiar doesn't inherit characteristics of the master's performance when it comes to feats. I think the logical implication is that the familiar should be treated separately as its own "bard" using its own scores and DCs. The implication is such that the familiar isn't exactly an equal when it comes to performance and is better served using non-offensive ones.


Hmm... so, I am assuming that the familiar does at least get the improvements in the performances as the Bard levels (that is, the bumps to inspire courage, for example), because otherwise the familiar is pretty much useless.

Are you implying that the familiar doesn't even use its master's bard level when determining DCs? The charisma bonus makes sense, but it seems weird to say it uses its own bard level for the DCs when it doesn't have one. If that's the case, the DCs for the familiar are all 10 + 1/2(0) + CHA, so pretty worthless. Doesn't make the familiar worthless, of course, as it can still use the non-offensive powers perfectly fine, like the ever-important inspire courage.

The issue is further complicated by the later power, Harmonizing Familiar:

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At 8th level, the duettist and his familiar have learned how to perform together in harmony. When a duettist and his familiar perform the same bardic performance simultaneously, its effects are enhanced. If the performance has a DC, the DC increases by 2. If the performance provides a competence bonus, the competence bonus increases by 1. Because both the duettist and the familiar are performing, each round performed consumes 3 rounds of bardic performance.

The wording of which seems to imply there is only a single DC between them. I do honestly think that the RAI is that the familiar uses the master's DCs, but it's hard to tell the RAW.

As it stands, I'm leaning towards "uses master's level, but own charisma score" as a compromise. Of course... who's to say that your charisma score is higher, necessarily... Hello, Lyrakien.

Interested in further input, of course.


Rudy2 wrote:

Hmm... so, I am assuming that the familiar does at least get the improvements in the performances as the Bard levels (that is, the bumps to inspire courage, for example), because otherwise the familiar is pretty much useless.

Are you implying that the familiar doesn't even use its master's bard level when determining DCs? The charisma bonus makes sense, but it seems weird to say it uses its own bard level for the DCs when it doesn't have one. If that's the case, the DCs for the familiar are all 10 + 1/2(0) + CHA, so pretty worthless. Doesn't make the familiar worthless, of course, as it can still use the non-offensive powers perfectly fine, like the ever-important inspire courage.

The issue is further complicated by the later power, Harmonizing Familiar:

Quote:
At 8th level, the duettist and his familiar have learned how to perform together in harmony. When a duettist and his familiar perform the same bardic performance simultaneously, its effects are enhanced. If the performance has a DC, the DC increases by 2. If the performance provides a competence bonus, the competence bonus increases by 1. Because both the duettist and the familiar are performing, each round performed consumes 3 rounds of bardic performance.

The wording of which seems to imply there is only a single DC between them. I do honestly think that the RAI is that the familiar uses the master's DCs, but it's hard to tell the RAW.

As it stands, I'm leaning towards "uses master's level, but own charisma score" as a compromise. Of course... who's to say that your charisma score is higher, necessarily... Hello, Lyrakien.

Interested in further input, of course.

No, that's about how I interpret it. The performance (level and DC) scale as the bard level but then the familiar uses it's own mods (and feats if it can have them). For harmonizing familiar, I'd probably say you add to the DC of whichever was higher (the familiars or your DC) but that's not explicitly defined, so probably subject to table variation.


Ok, I'm in agreement, thanks.

Of course, this conclusion means the Lyrakien Azata is the *only* correct choice for this Bard, once they hit level 7. As far as I know, she's the only Improved Familiar that has Perform as a class skill (important for using her master's Versatile Performance AND for the Perform checks that come with some Bardic music), and the one with the highest charisma. Besides being awesome on top of that.

At least she is properly thematic for the role; given that she actively plays music in her description, you're that much more likely to be able to convince a GM to switch out her useless "Agile Maneuvers" feat for "Lingering Performance".


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Valet and Mascot familiar archetypes also get Perform as a class skill.

I'm not certain it it should be the Bard's DC or two different DCs based on who is doing it. It would be pretty weak if based on the familiar.


BretI wrote:
Valet and Mascot familiar archetypes also get Perform as a class skill.

Ah; excellent point!

BretI wrote:
I'm not certain it it should be the Bard's DC or two different DCs based on who is doing it. It would be pretty weak if based on the familiar.

Yeah, I honestly think the RAI is that the familiar just "copies" the strength of your bardic performance at the base level, using your charisma and bard level; it's really channeling your performance for you, rather than getting its own bardic performance ability. I would argue that the reason that Lingering Performance doesn't apply to the familiar, as was establish in the link cavernshark provided, is that the feat specifically refers to actions that you take:

Lingering Performance wrote:
The bonuses and penalties from your bardic performance continue for 2 rounds after you cease performing. Any other requirement, such as range or specific conditions, must still be met for the effect to continue. If you begin a new bardic performance during this time, the effects of the previous performance immediately cease.

Thus, Lingering Performance doesn't change the base bardic performance ability, per se, it just maintains the benefits granted by it.


Rudy2 wrote:

Relevant section

Quote:
At 4th level, a duettist's familiar learns how to create supernatural effects with its performances, just like its master. The familiar can use any of its master's bardic performances, but only the familiar or the duettist can have a performance active at any given time, not both. If one is performing and the other starts a performance, the previous performance immediately ends. Each round that the familiar performs consumes 2 rounds of the duettist's bardic performance.
So, it has to be the case that the familiar is using your bard level for the performances, but does it use your charisma bonus, or its bonus, for determining the DCs of the bardic music abilities? What about when a bardic performance calls for a Perform check?

Just dropping my two cents:

It seems that this is a fun class to begin with.

Here is what I take from it:

"A bard is trained to use the Perform skill to create magical effects on those around him, including himself if desired."

"Each bardic performance has audible components, visual components, or both."

Perform in this case is the prerequisite of starting a bardic performance.

Then we have the following:

"At 4th level, a duettist's familiar learns how to create supernatural effects with its performances, just like its master. The familiar can use any of its master's bardic performances, but only the familiar or the duettist can have a performance active at any given time, not both. "

The first use of the word "Performances" is not tied to the "perform skill". Instead it seems to imply:

"Here we have a funny skunk, juggling bowling pins that also happen to cause effects"

If by whatever chance you saw fit to have familiars Learn to sing/beatbox/play the bongos like the bard, THEY CAN.
Perform can be done untrained, and a familiar uses his masters's skill ranks.
All that class skill means is a "+3 Bonus" if you have a skill rank.
" For each skill in which either the master or the familiar has ranks, use either the normal skill ranks for an animal of that type or the master's skill ranks"

As far as figuring out DC's this would be based on the stats of the animal.
An animal has no ranks in bard, and the CHA is based directly on what the animal innately has.

You're best choices at low levels are
Chicken 13 Cha
peacock 13 Cha
Kakapo 12 CHA

Sure a familiar could try fascinating opponents or cause a "frightening tune"... but how would a chicken be equal to or more competent than a full fleshed out Human Bard? It seems that the point of this archetype was meant for the familiar to use inspire courage, or other non DC related checks to buff his party, and MAYBE in a pinch try using DC based performances.

Now lets talk about the additional features:

Harmonizing Familiar
just states that if both of you are performing the same performance, then one of those gets boosted.
Obviously, the intent was not to have the Chicken be the lead singer, while having the bard as the backup dancer.
But the other way around. The familiar is there to back you up, and make your performances better, stronger, and higher to resits based on your stats and levels in bard.

Finally you have
Symphonic Familiar
Which just essentially means that your familiar focuses on the buffs, and you the LV 14 accomplished Bard who has gotten this far, is out and about causing more devastating affects that a chicken could muster.

In regards to improved familiar, the Higher the Cha, the better. Performance as a class skill might work, but is not REQUIRED. Do note that Improved familiars still cannot take class levels.


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Fernn wrote:
Sure a familiar could try fascinating opponents or cause a "frightening tune"... but how would a chicken be equal to or more competent than a full fleshed out Human Bard?

I would say that the Bard is providing the power and using the Chicken as a way to release it.

On the other hand, you have the Bloodline Familiars that specifically base things on the character's DC.

As an example:

Familiar Folio, pg. 17 wrote:
Fey—Amusing Familiar (Su): The familiar can fascinate other creatures as the fascinate bardic performance, treating your caster level as its bard level and using your Charisma modifier for the purpose of calculating the Will save DC. The familiar cannot perform any other actions while using this ability.

This text makes it clear for that situation. It doesn't necessarily mean that it should be done differently for the Duetist Bard -- it may have been an oversight in that case.

It would certainly be easier if you just used the Bard's DC for everything -- one less thing to recompute. In the absence of any clarifications, I'm going with the easy answer at my own tables.


For the Duettist archetype, you and your familiar are using YOUR (the Bard's) Performance rounds, right? So why would it not use the Bard's CHA? That seems to be a bit of a double standard, to me.
While I like this Archetype, this adds another reason why I do not use it (the original reason was it lost Bardic Knowledge).

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