Bard / Paladin


Advice


I want to play a Musetouched Aasimar, but am having trouble picking a class to roll with. I get a +2 to both Dex and Cha, and we get 20 points for stats. I was thinking a bard/Paladin, but I don’t know where to start. Help please


Are you starting at level 1, and how high are you likely to go?

What sort of character concept do you have in mind? I'm getting 'music' and maybe 'holy' from the elements you've mentioned but confirmation and anything more you're thinking of would help here.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Start with paladin for the extra 2 hit points.

Is there a paladinny alternative to the Battle Herald? A bardadin like the oradin?

Some of the swashbucklery archetypes might combine to make an interesting, highly versatile build. Tank/healer/skill monkey/buffer/mobile scout?


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OATH OF THE PEOPLE'S COUNCIL PALADIN?


avr wrote:

Are you starting at level 1, and how high are you likely to go?

What sort of character concept do you have in mind? I'm getting 'music' and maybe 'holy' from the elements you've mentioned but confirmation and anything more you're thinking of would help here.

Ya we’re starting at lv 1 and going to 20. I’m looking to make a music/holy character, that’s just doing what’s good and right, while being joy to those in dispair. Ya know, the works


MrCharisma wrote:
OATH OF THE PEOPLE'S COUNCIL PALADIN?

Do OotPC Paladin levels stack with bard levels for Inspire Courage effects?


I don't know if it stacks, but I know that Oath of the People's Council is one of the most fun and interesting paladin builds I've ever toyed with. Full BAB class with inspire courage. Good for large, martial-heavy groups, or groups with summon monster buddies and animal companions.

As a muse-touched Aasimar, you're looking at having high DEX. I'd consider either going as a ranged character (archery?) or getting your hands on Slashing Grace, or perhaps Dervish Dance. Archery is probably the more effective route, and lets you sit in the rear / center of the group to provide your inspire courage, lay on hands, and other support abilities. But if your party needs another melee buddy, well... You can do just fine in that position.

If you go archery, I vote looking intp Unsanctioned Knowledge to nab other useful spells from other spell lists. You might find condition removal that you lack, or find neat Inquisitor or Cleric buffs. Certain deities can grant spells that aren't normally on your spell list, too. Keep that in mind.

Either way, I vote Oath of the People's Council.

The Exchange

Maybe a Paladin with VariantMultiClassing Bard if you havn't considered to spend your feats?!


I think a bard archetype with a bit of good alignment built in works better than trying to multiclass with paladin. Look up the Argent Voice. The prestige class it can lead to fits the ideas you mentioned even better.

As a bard the Encouraging Spell metamagic feat would fit and be useful to you. The feats before that might be aimed at dex-to-damage via fencing grace, starry grace or slashing grace if you're planning on using the musetouched racial modifiers to get high dex & cha.

Silver Crusade

Another good-themed bard archetype to have a look at is the Dawnflower Dervish.


GonzDave wrote:

I want to play a Musetouched Aasimar, but am having trouble picking a class to roll with. I get a +2 to both Dex and Cha, and we get 20 points for stats. I was thinking a bard/Paladin, but I don’t know where to start. Help please

I've built this before some years ago, but with some of the newer options, it's a lot more feasible.

My recommendation is to go Paladin for 2 levels, and take the Oath of the People's Council. This gives you Bardic Performance benefits. Since the People's Council Oath says it functions as the Bardic Performance class feature (with some exceptions), its levels should stack if you follow the same performance paradigms (use Oratory and have it be Language Dependant). This also gives you Divine Grace (Charisma to Saving Throws), one of the best defensive abilities of the Paladin class.

Granted, you could stick to pure Paladin, but Bards do get some useful buff spells and out-of-combat utility, not to mention certain spells *cough*Bladed Dash*cough* shore up your lack of Smite Evil, so taking your remaining levels in Bard isn't that bad. You can go without an archetype and be more of a Knowledge/Skill Monkey, but I'd personally recommend the Arcane Duelist archetype for better combat meshing. Bonus Feats like Combat Casting (in case you need to cast spells in the thick of battle), Arcane Strike (moar damage at the cost of your swift action), an Arcane Bond with the ability to cast without requiring somatic components, not to mention being able to wear heavier armors without incurring spell failure chance is huge.

The net gain between this combination is that you have vastly improved saving throws (Charisma to Saves and frontloaded Paladin saving throw bonuses), have a bunch of proficiencies, a couple extra hit points, and some superficial BAB increase, while maintaining full Bardic Performance progression. The only things you lose out on are delaying Bard feature and spellcasting, but you are more than capable of holding your own in combat with certain spells and buffs.

For feats, Dervish Dance or Slashing/Fencing Grace would be nice to make use of that added Dexterity. The big comparison between the two is that Dervish Dance requires less feats and cannot benefit from weapons or shields of any type (so no Bucklers), but can benefit from other objects held in your hand (such as a Metamagic Rod like Quicken or Encouraging Spell). Slashing Grace can let you cast spells (once you hit 7th level and acquire your Arcane Bond, of course) and benefit from a Buckler, but it requires more feats (earliest you're getting this is 5th level), and you cannot utilize Metamagic Rods (which are huge for instant buffing of your teamamtes) for compensation. Personally, with the added armor benefits from Arcane Duelist, Dervish Dance would be better for you, especially since it comes online sooner, and the lack of a Buckler (Shield Bonuses can be acquired from other effects) won't hurt you that much, since you have plenty of good Saving Throws, buffs, and offensive capability.

From there, you can try and get feats like Master Performer (and its Greater version) for better Inspire Courage bonuses. Lingering Performance is a good option for conserving Bardic Performance rounds. Discordant Voice adds an extra D6 Sonic damage to any attacks made against enemies within 30 feet of you; since you'll be in the thick of things, it's huge. Piranha Strike gives more damage bonuses, but at the cost of accuracy. It's great against low AC enemies, but I wouldn't recommend using it unless you're pairing it with spells that give accuracy boosts (such as Bladed Dash and its Greater counterpart). Improved Initiative is always nice. Combat Reflexes can be good if you can find a way to make use of the added AoOs.

I also recommend you go with the Scion of Humanity alternate trait so you can benefit from the Human Favored Class Bonus of Bards, having extra Spells Known. This gives you a lot more versatility on the spellcasting front, and it will need that sort of help since it's delayed as it is.

For traits, I'd go with Magical Knack for full Bard Caster Levels (meaning Caster Level dependent effects still treat you as being a single-classed Bard), and one other of your choosing. Reactionary gives Initiative bonuses, which is huge for buffing your allies before enemies have a chance to strike when their pants are down. Maestro of the Society adds 3 Bardic Performance Rounds, but if you're grabbing Lingering Performance, this isn't that great. Indomitable Faith is for boosting Will Saves, but between having frontloaded Will Saves twice, a continued Good Will Save progression, and Charisma to Saves, you shouldn't need it. You can take Adopted for some other trait of another race if you wanted, but I'm not seeing anything special that you can't already grab without it.

For attributes, assuming 20 point buy:

Strength 8
Dexterity 20 (18 + 2)
Constitution 12
Intelligence 10
Wisdom 8
Charisma 16 (14 + 2)

You can switch Intelligence and Wisdom around, but the skill point will be more important to your build's functionality than the Will Save bonus. If you have a lower Point Buy, you can get away with an 18 total Dexterity without having to dump your Wisdom, and still be fairly effective in combat. Level Up stats should go into Dexterity.

For Skills, you'll need 2 ranks in Dance if you want to utilize the Dervish Dance feat. Perform (Oratory) for 10 ranks is required for Discordant Voice. Putting max ranks in UMD is huge. Consider having some face skills, like Diplomacy and Bluff and Intimidate. Max Perception will be required as well. From there, you have 8 ranks to divvy up however you want; since you only get a little under 6 Skill Points per level, that's about all you'll have space for.


I'd still recommend pure Oath of the People's Council myself. You can get those bard spells like Bladed Dash via Unsanctioned Knowledge. It's a good feat.

As an example of spells to grab with Unsanctioned Knowledge (note: only take one per level!):

1st - Disguise Self, Feather Fall, Saving Finale, Liberating Command all have their place. Feather Fall and Disguise Self provide great utility, Liberating Command saves the squishy wizard when the shambling mound grapples him, and Saving Finale is just great in general.
2nd - Bladed Dash, Invisibility, Heroism, Gallant Inspiration, and Alter Self are all very nice. Glibness doesn't mesh well with most paladin codes, but some paladin codes (if you go with the ruling that deity specific codes override the standard code) may let you use Glibness well. All of these have relevance in combat-heavy games, but Alter Self has the added bonus of being great for disguise (especially if you don't take Disguise Self). I don't think Invisibility needs explaining.
3rd - Good Hope, Haste, Invisibility Sphere are all fun choices. Good Hope and Haste are obviously combat buffs. Invisibility Sphere is useful for... well, again, you know all the reasons it's useful. Contingent Action COULD be interesting, as you can use it with wands, but that requires having a wand in hand, doesn't it?
4th - Greater Invisibility, Shadow Conjuration, Freedom of Movement, Adjustable Polymorph all seem like good options to me, all for different reasons. Greater Invisibility is just a great combat buff. Freedom of Movement saves lives. Shadow Conjuration is super flexible, and if you're savvy on Wizard spells you might be able to get good utility out of this spell. But then, I like the Shadow spells in general.


Shorticus wrote:

I'd still recommend pure Oath of the People's Council myself. You can get those bard spells like Bladed Dash via Unsanctioned Knowledge. It's a good feat.

As an example of spells to grab with Unsanctioned Knowledge (note: only take one per level!):

1st - Disguise Self, Feather Fall, Saving Finale, Liberating Command all have their place. Feather Fall and Disguise Self provide great utility, Liberating Command saves the squishy wizard when the shambling mound grapples him, and Saving Finale is just great in general.
2nd - Bladed Dash, Invisibility, Heroism, Gallant Inspiration, and Alter Self are all very nice. Glibness doesn't mesh well with most paladin codes, but some paladin codes (if you go with the ruling that deity specific codes override the standard code) may let you use Glibness well. All of these have relevance in combat-heavy games, but Alter Self has the added bonus of being great for disguise (especially if you don't take Disguise Self). I don't think Invisibility needs explaining.
3rd - Good Hope, Haste, Invisibility Sphere are all fun choices. Good Hope and Haste are obviously combat buffs. Invisibility Sphere is useful for... well, again, you know all the reasons it's useful. Contingent Action COULD be interesting, as you can use it with wands, but that requires having a wand in hand, doesn't it?
4th - Greater Invisibility, Shadow Conjuration, Freedom of Movement, Adjustable Polymorph all seem like good options to me, all for different reasons. Greater Invisibility is just a great combat buff. Freedom of Movement saves lives. Shadow Conjuration is super flexible, and if you're savvy on Wizard spells you might be able to get good utility out of this spell. But then, I like the Shadow spells in general.

The problem with that is it requires 13 Intelligence. It will be difficult to meet that with only 20 Point Buy without having to compensate with a weaker Dexterity or Charisma, or an even weaker Strength or Wisdom score.

Bladed Dash would only be good for levels 1-7, where you wouldn't consider full attacks to be viable. By 8th level, that's no longer the case, and Bladed Dash becomes useless or situational, unless you have Spell Combat like a Magus would, or specialize in single hits via Vital Strike.

You might also rather want Mirror Images or Heroism instead, for better applicable combat benefits (defensively or offensively).

That isn't to say it's a bad feat, but that I wouldn't count on Paladins having it (or finding it worthwhile) unless they're in a 25 Point Buy game (or rolled a 13+ Intelligence score).


13 Intelligence CAN be rough, but I generally want 10 or 12 intelligence on most characters already. For a paladin, we're looking at something like...

-----

20 POINT BUY (pre-racials):

16/10/12/13/10/14 (Unsanctioned Knowledge)

VS.

16/10/12/8/10/16 (STR/CHA heavy spread)

VS.

16/10/14/8/12/14 (defensive spread)

-----

I think it's perfectly viable in 20 point buy. If we're talking 15 point buy? Ouch. Ouch.

You can drop WIS to 8 if you want more spending power. Paladins get great saves. I just get nervous looks if I do that, especially if I'm melee.

A human paladin can safely drop INT to 7. It's not like they're losing much. Actually, most paladins can drop INT to 7, since they're already down to 1 skill point per level with 8 INT. More spending power is God.

Obviously, focus more on DEX and not on STR if playing an archery/sling paladin (sling if halfling only) with Oath of the People's Council. I could see a halfling spread being something like...

-----

20 POINT BUY (post-racials, Halfling)

12/17/12/13/8/16

VS.

12/18/12/7/10/17 (Offensive Spread, probably best on a ranged character)

VS.

12/17/14/7/12/16 (Defensive Spread)

You sacrifice a bit when you take Unsanctioned Knowledge, as you can see, but it can be very fun - and if you already want to play a smart paladin, well, then it just feels right.

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