Bard Advice


Advice


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Okay so long time GM/DM and one of my players is taking a stab at GMing (yay!!!) and he's running rise of the runelords. I'm gonna be playing a bard (all time fav class) and I have an idea of a human bard fiddler who is more focused on Magic (support/damage) than mundane attacking.
Now this is this players first time gming so I don't wanna break his game, but any suggestions for spells and feats for me? So excited I get to play that I'm having a block in creating this character. Tyvm in advance :)

Also forgot to add that this character will most likely be the face/Magic user of the group.


I'm a big fan of the combination of lingering performance and saving finale. It lets you stop your performance to give your allies a new save, while they still get the benefits of your performance.

I also like to keep my intimidation up it's a great way to lower the saves of enemies to stick your spells, and it makes blistering invective better, I'm not sure what the versatile performance is for fiddle, so you may have that covered.

I'd also pick up a whip, at low levels you'll be able to land trips with it and that will help you debuff enemies with out using spells.


If you want to focus on buffs, check out the Flagbearer feat. You will be providing a morale bonus as well as your Inspire courage (which is a competence bonus so it stacks). Later, get your hands on a Banner of the Ancient Kings.

If you go this route, equip yourself with a longspear, so you can hold the banner and attack at the same time. If you want to focus a little more in combat, Arcane Duelist is not a bad choice. Some extra feats, free Arcane strike and a kinda special weapon that works as an arcane bond too.
If you like a tactical aproach, the Arbiter archetype opens up the teamwork feats making your allies count as having the ones you pick up, easing their use.
I also like the Flame dancer. Nets you some fire spells, fire resistance for the party and another performance to see through fire, smoke and fog, which could come in handy.

Since you are going to be the magical talent of the group, I wouln't recommend any dips to avoid hindering your casting prowess. You will have enough charisma and skill points to easily cover the face role, so don't worry about that.

Silver Crusade

Arcane Duelist is a great Archetype but maybe not for Runelords because the adventure assumes someone is excellent at lore and knowledge.

It also assumes a Wizard, so being the only magic user might hurt.

Consider the Magician archetype? You say you are the only magic user so presumably everyone else can handle the fighting.

Flame Dancer is terrific. It has power, especially for a support caster and the idea of you playing a Varisian gypsy type playing a fiddle while scampering on hot coals is evocative.

Liberty's Edge

Archeologist is good choice as well imo.


I would recommend taking the Eldritch Heritage feats. They let your character gain sorcerer bloodline powers. I find these feats very flavorful and there are a lot of bloodlines to choose from.

I haven't looked at them all, but arcane would be good: Eldritch Heritage gets you arcane bond (as a wizard). The Improved EH at level 11 gets you a spell from the wizard/sorcerer list.


Neils Bohr wrote:

I'm a big fan of the combination of lingering performance and saving finale. It lets you stop your performance to give your allies a new save, while they still get the benefits of your performance.

I also like to keep my intimidation up it's a great way to lower the saves of enemies to stick your spells, and it makes blistering invective better, I'm not sure what the versatile performance is for fiddle, so you may have that covered.

I'd also pick up a whip, at low levels you'll be able to land trips with it and that will help you debuff enemies with out using spells.

Why put skill points into Intimidate when you can take Disconcerting Knowledge (feat from Horror Adventures) and Intimidate with your Knowledge checks?! Knowledge really IS power with this feat...


Sorry or late reply, been at work.
Wow! Really great helpful advice y'all! Ty soooo much :)
I'm gonna spend the afternoon checking and reading up on all of these.

So I talked with my friend at work, and so far it's just gonna be 3 people including myself.
His wife is gonna be an alchemist (dunno race/etc) and our other friend is going hungry ghost monk (think dhampir dunno for sure). My friend already named my bard Charlie Danials when he heard bard with a fiddle, so the concept of Charlie is basically a wandering gleeman who people think has a magical fiddle. It's bad but I kinda wanna play the cliche bard lol, so wanting to keep the flavor still around a bard (like staying back and playing the fiddle).I'm thinking I'm gonna be the face, the musician to keep things lively, and basically sit back and let the other players be better at what they do while still being able to pack a punch if I really need to (why the Sound Striker archetype looks a bit nice since it's not much but have some handy damage options).

Ok I'm gonna read up on these options and be back to get some advice with what I'll come up with. ty sooo much everybody. I'm so excited about this character :)


Redneckdevil wrote:
So I talked with my friend at work, and so far it's just gonna be 3 people including myself.

With just 3 players, you'll not be able to sit back as much as you might want. Definitely plan to be able to contribute something meaningful to any and every combat (which a casting bard has a hard time doing against the undead ... ROTRL you said?)


Rory wrote:
Redneckdevil wrote:
So I talked with my friend at work, and so far it's just gonna be 3 people including myself.

With just 3 players, you'll not be able to sit back as much as you might want. Definitely plan to be able to contribute something meaningful to any and every combat (which a casting bard has a hard time doing against the undead ... ROTRL you said?)

I'm a bit confident in my other players, meaning I've gm'd over them before so I know they pretty knowledgeable in min/maxing a little bit. I believe the GM is gonna be having us play theatrical version. so most of the time enemies are grouped together and with the bombs and flurry of blows going on with me demoralizing/feigning opponents that I can, I think combat won't be so much of a challenge. But u do raise a good point I need to think on is being able to contribute when it hits the fan. If I can't support then I ain't contributing. More things to think on, tyvm :)


Generally for bards:

Boosting people is what you do with bardic performance -- Lingering Performance is very good for having lots of this available almost all the time. Get a couple of good buff spells that shore up people's weak points or boost their best ability -- that depends very heavily on what the rest of your party is and does. Grease is useful combat support.

Bards don't normally do summoning, but with only 3 players you might want to put summon monster I on your list then swap it out later. Flanking buddy for a friend, someone for the enemies to attack instead of your fellow PCs, some specialized abilities that come in handy...

Face time is what you do with your skills. You're really good at this (CHA-focused class, all the social skills are class skill, USE THEM.)
If you have a favorite approach, pick a couple of spells to back it up. Charm person is classic but there are others -- disguise self for infiltration, magic mouth or alarm for helping give warning if enemies are approaching, silent image very flexible and useful both in and out of combat, unseen servant for lots of handy helping stuff. Be creative and pick spells that have multiple possible uses.

This means that you can (generally) use your feats to support combat. Weapon Finesse if you have a light weapon and a high Dex means you can minimize Str, or you can go the archer route with Point-Blank Shot and maybe Rapid Shot leading up to other archery feats later.


If you're not already familiar with RotRL - combat can be brutal. Big enemies hitting for massive damage. Giants, man. Go for a few will save save-or-sucks for some battlefield control or debuffing. Giants have terrible Will saves. If played by the book on the GM side, I can think of several battles where you'll be outnumbered by giants, and if you can't control them in some capacity a Bard will get smooshed into the ground.


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One thing you can look at as a traveling Bard-type is going Chaotic Good and taking Divine Fighting Technique: Way of the Shooting Star. Only applies to a starknife, but let's you use CHA for hit and damage and you can take it as a feat, or in place of a versatile performance. Maximize that super charisma classic Bard and have a weapon you can rely on for Melee and short ranged throws.

Sovereign Court

If you're doing Sound Striker be sure to pick up PBS and Precise Shot.

That said, I would pick up things like Ear Piercing Scream (this is like a required spell). Timely Inspiration and Gallant Inspiration are really good spells. All the "finale" spells (they are great with Lingering Performance).

In looking at the group make up I would say be sure to grab the "cure" spells. Maybe think about Arcane Healer. It sounds like there may not be a lot of healing going on.

Blood of the Beast offers a new Advanced Versatile Performances which can be a lot of fun (this won't stack with Arcane Healer but will with Sound Striker). This will open up the chance to gain Masterpieces without needing to sack spells or feats, both of which are scarce resources for bards. I highly recommend this. Lullaby of Ember the Ancient (Sing) is a REALLY GREAT masterpiece under level 10. Melody of Frightful Death is a fun one with Lingering performance as well.


Neume wrote:

If you're doing Sound Striker be sure to pick up PBS and Precise Shot.

That said, I would pick up things like Ear Piercing Scream (this is like a required spell). Timely Inspiration and Gallant Inspiration are really good spells. All the "finale" spells (they are great with Lingering Performance).

In looking at the group make up I would say be sure to grab the "cure" spells. Maybe think about Arcane Healer. It sounds like there may not be a lot of healing going on.

Blood of the Beast offers a new Advanced Versatile Performances which can be a lot of fun (this won't stack with Arcane Healer but will with Sound Striker). This will open up the chance to gain Masterpieces without needing to sack spells or feats, both of which are scarce resources for bards. I highly recommend this. Lullaby of Ember the Ancient (Sing) is a REALLY GREAT masterpiece under level 10. Melody of Frightful Death is a fun one with Lingering performance as well.

As healing spells are on your list I'd just do wands of CLW for between-battle healing. At higher levels those heal spells won't be worth it during combat.


I went against sound striker because I overlooked applying to objects the level 3 one.
Talked with the group and so far it looks like the group is gonna be not the best well behaved group as far as morals so decided to go with a more johnny cash than Charlie Daniels vibe to fit more into the group.
So far this what I got.
Human flame dancer bard
Stats-dunno, we roll when we met up
Starting feats will be skill focus-perform strings (house rule) and eldritch heritage with arcane bloodline bonded object. Bonded item with my guitar.
Weapons will be a whip and a crossbow. I get to use the guitar as a weapon but as a masterwork improvised weapon.

What I have so far


you will need Skill focus: Knowledge arcana to qualify for eldritch heritage, which also has a lv3 requirement. So you will probably have to wait to get.

When you roll, prioritize Cha and Dex. Looks like you are going to focus on your magical aspects, so better max your innate talents for that. And of course, Dex is a must for initiave and AC in low levels. Being human, I would not focus on Int (you will have 7sp/lv with 10 Int) Instead, Con will allow you to be alive longer and even Str can be a primordial choice to help your party in combat.


Yeah just saw the level requirement. Sigh. Mmmm

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