Archer Bard stats.


Advice


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I'm playing a Musetouched Aasimar with a +2 to both Dex and Cha. I want to be effective with a bow, but i dont know how to stat myself correctly. Can someone also give me the feats to be good with a bow an high levels

Silver Crusade

Feats: bow proficiency. Point blank shot. Precise shot. Rapid shot. Deadly aim. Everything else is gravy.

Notable gravy feats include clustered shots, improved precise shot, manyshot, point blank master, weapon focus, and arcane strike.

Stats: charisma and decided you know about, but don't forget to include strength in your build. Dex gives you attack bonus as an Archer but your damage bonus comes from strength. On a 20 point but, I wouldn't drop below 14 strength.


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Try not to burn a feat on bow proficiency and instead pick up a trait or magic item (there's an ioun stone for that).

Also pray to Erastil and get the dedeye bowman trait.

Stat priorties should be

DEX > STR = CHA > CON > INT = WIS


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Bards are proficient with shortbows, so you only lose an average of 1 damage there compared to longbows. I wouldn't waste a feat or trait on longbow proficiency.

Feats in order I'd take them would be 1st lv Point Blank Shot, 3rd Precise Shot, 5th Arcane Strike, 7th Rapid Shot.

7th level is a sweet spot for this kind of build because rapid shot, 3rd level spells (HASTE!), and move-action bardic performance all come online at the same time.

Deadly Aim is less useful for a bard since it's a 3/4 bab class. The math on it basically makes you as accurate as 1/2 bab while only providing an average of +2 damage every 5 levels. Arcane Strike and Inspire Courage are where you're going to get most of your damage.

A stat array I'd use if going 20 pt buy would look something like:
Str 13, Dex 17 (15+2), Con 14, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 16 (14+2) putting all your level-ups into Dex.
I don't recommend dropping Wis below 10, even with a good will save progression you don't want to have lower Will than the fighter for the first few levels.
You could possibly drop Str and/or Int a couple points to get your Dex to 18 (16+2), but given that encumbrance is a thing that a lot of people like to forget and bards are known for being skill experts, I would think hard about if the tradeoff is worth it.

Grand Lodge

I like a lot of the above advice. I would do things slightly differently but you should be happy with the above build.

First I would drop arcane strike and move rapid shot up to 5th. An extra attack even at a -2 is much more damage on average. I would consider lingering performance. Saving finale is amazing and this take the edge off using it. Remember to take heroism as a second level spell.

I would also look at the arrow song minstrel it's a good archtype for an archer bard.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Grandlounge wrote:
I would consider lingering performance. Saving finale is amazing and this take the edge off using it.

By my understanding of it, lingering performance doesn't provide a benefit after a saving finale. LP kicks in "when you cease performing" while SF states "Your performance ends".

IDK, seems FAQ-worthy.

Silver Crusade

For reference I included proficiency for completeness, not because I think you should spend a feat on it.

Bards come with shortbows proficiency and that should be plenty.

Thinking about deadly aim, I still think its important--yes, you are a 3/4 BAB character but you can run inspire courage most of the time and later heroism and haste. There will be plenty of times that you can afford the attack penalty and will want more damage. On the other hand, arcane strike offers almost as much damage with no attack penalty. I'd get that first.

My 20 pt buy stat choice would be str 14, dex 16+2 race con 12, into 10, Wis 8, Cha 14+2 race

Feats: point blank shot, precise shot, rapid shot, arcane strike (you could get this from arcane duelist archetype), deadly aim, whatever.


Clustered Shots would make a good 9th level feat, helps with DR.


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like Darigaaz's suggested attributes better, but I really hate dumping attributes like Elder Basilisk is suggesting -- especially Wisdom.

Arcane Strike has an advantage over Deadly Aim in that it doesn't reduce the chance to hit yet increases the damage done. I would also avoid Deadly Aim because even with your performance you will have some problems hitting with 3/4 BAB.

Clustered Shots would also be my choice for a 9th level feat. I don't think it is worth retraining in order to get it at 8th level (the minimum level you could get it), but others may disagree. You will need something like it in order to deal with DR.

Silver Crusade

Clustered shots gets a lot of love but I'm it's overrated. As an Archer, DR should not be a problem for you anyway so it's a solution in search of a problem.

Why shouldn't Dr be a problem for archers? Because archers can easily mix and match enhancents on bows and arrows to come up with the right combo. For example: +1 holy bow, a bunch of cold iron arrows, a few cold iron blunt arrows and some wierd non-core slashing arrows. Treat a mix of those arrows with ghost salts, adamantine weapon blanch, and silver weapon blanch. Now you're equipped to deal with any kind of Dr other than lawful, chaotic, evil or /-. For a good character, those DRs will only very occasionally come up. All for negligible ammo costs plus the cost of your +1 holy bow. A melee fighter in the same situation can probably beat Dr /evil, Dr /pick one material and that's it.

Grand Lodge

I always skip clustered shot. It does nothing for hardness so you have to carry adamantine arrows anyway. I'm packing blanches, durable adamantine arrows, and oils of align weapons so it does nothing for me. Also with cluster shot if you kill something I don't think you should be a able to change targets.

At level 9 (technically level 8) you qualify for Manyshot the most important DPR feat for a archer. This would be my level 9 feat.

Liberty's Edge

ChaiGuy wrote:
Clustered Shots would make a good 9th level feat, helps with DR.

I could never give up Manyshot as a 9th level option, and would thus wait until 11th for Clustered Shots. YMMV depending on the prevalence of DR you can't get through (remember, Bless Weapon Oils are cheap, as are Cold Iron and Blunted Silvered Arrows).


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I didn’t think you could get cold iron blunt arrows.

Ultimate Equipment wrote:

BLUNT ARROWS

PRICE 2 GP (20) TYPE ammunition

These arrows have rounded wooden tips that deal bludgeoning damage rather than piercing. An archer can use a blunt arrow to deal nonlethal damage (at the normal –4 attack penalty for using a lethal weapon to deal nonlethal damage).

They specify a wooden tip on the blunt arrows.

Liberty's Edge

BretI wrote:

I didn’t think you could get cold iron blunt arrows.

Ultimate Equipment wrote:

BLUNT ARROWS

PRICE 2 GP (20) TYPE ammunition

These arrows have rounded wooden tips that deal bludgeoning damage rather than piercing. An archer can use a blunt arrow to deal nonlethal damage (at the normal –4 attack penalty for using a lethal weapon to deal nonlethal damage).

They specify a wooden tip on the blunt arrows.

Depends on how pedantic your GM is. Nothing prevents someone from making blunt silver or cold iron weapons, so there's absolutely zero logical reason not to allow them on blunt arrows, since that's an easy thing to make (a blunt metal tip is not a hard thing to add in place of an arrowhead).

Someone who cares more about very strict rules readings than logic may feel differently, of course. On the other hand, it's not a big deal mechanically, since you can just have cold iron, blunt, and silver arrows all available separately.


In a straight-class bard, I dislike seeing so many precious feats devoted to a manufactured weapon.

Your bard will get a lot more mileage out of caster/metamagic and performance/song feats than he will a desperate focus in keeping archery damage up with the Jones. If you start lowering your charisma in point-buy to make dexterity your prime stat as well as MAD up strength, then you might as well just be a martial archer or an arsenal chaplain warpriest.

My "archer" bard was a gnome with dumped strength whose only archery feat was Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Repeating Crossbow, which he retrained out upon purchasing a Opalescent White Pyramid ioun stone. -- Bards generate a lot of numeric bonuses to damage, and it worked quite nicely with a Keen crossbow imparting a 17-20 threat-range to the bolt.

-- But that was back in the day before the Flagbearer + Banner of the Ancient Kings gimmick, which is just so damned strong that you're borderline nuts to even think about any other tactic as a support bard.

Scarab Sages

My Archer Bard is currently 7th level in PFS. He's Human, so feat progression was a little faster, but I've basically taken the path everyone is suggesting. Use shortbow. 1) Point-Blank Shot, H) Precise Shot, 3) Rapid Shot, 5) Arcane Strike. I took Battle Cry at 7th, though I haven't played him at that level yet, and I might swap it out. It steps on his swift action for Arcane Strike on round 1, but it's a party buff, which is his main thing. It doesn't stack with Heroism or Good Hope, though. Hmm... I might have talked myself out of it.

Not being able to use Flagbearer definitely hurts. But he still gives enough of a boost to be worthwhile.

I was avoiding Deadly Aim because of issues hitting. Especially already taking the -2 for Rapid Shot.

Silver Crusade

It depends what you want to do. I like archery bards who keep up with the Joneses on damage because they are not pure support characters. Support is great but you can be 90% as effective at support with only basic investment (essentially being a Bard and having the minimum charisma to cast spells). Making yourself able to function as another hitter in addition to the buffs you bring is an effective strategy. It is also a resilient strategy. Support is great as long as there is a beatstick or four to benefit from the support. But in a tough fight, you will sometimes find that it's up to your character to win or lose it and in that situation you need some of your own firepower. (The only tpk I played in as a player was exactly that scenario: two support characters in a party of five and when it came down to the support cleric vs a mook... The bad guy Mook won because without someone to support, the cleric was useless.)

You can build a Bard to use spells for offense, but I find their support spellcasting ability is better than their offensive casting ability and using it for offense depletes the reservoir of support more quickly.

Grand Lodge

I see thing te exact posited way from Slim Jim. I'm not saying I'm right but I think bards make middling casters their dcs fall behind because the spell level falls behind, they have far fewer spells, they lack of class features that support casting (stares, hexes, schools, etc), and there signature ability is a martial force multiplier.

The more people that use inspire courage the more effective it is. Having a combat bard increase that number by one. 3/4 bab + inspire up to + encouraging good hope, arcane strike, and discordant voice make you a capable enough fighter in most groups.

Bards can be fantastic caster with buffs, finale spells, taking care of dispels none of which require dcs. Eventually, using spells to keep multiple performances going can be boon.

In either case a bard gets out classed by either a martials or a ninth level casters but they can do a much better job of pretending to be a martial.


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you are looking for archetypes on an archer bard, the two that I think are strongest are the arrowsong minstrel (for the bonus feats and negating of soft cover) or flame dancer (for the ability to see through fire, fog, and smoke fog).

With respect to blunt arrows, I had the wording pointed out to me and after that have avoided it. The rules do not make sense, but reading them I can’t come to any other conclusion than blunt arrows must have a wooden tip.


Grandlounge wrote:

I like a lot of the above advice. I would do things slightly differently but you should be happy with the above build.

First I would drop arcane strike and move rapid shot up to 5th. An extra attack even at a -2 is much more damage on average. I would consider lingering performance. Saving finale is amazing and this take the edge off using it. Remember to take heroism as a second level spell.

I would also look at the arrow song minstrel it's a good archtype for an archer bard.

Yes, Arrowsong Minstrel is really nice: longbow proficiency, Precise Shot at 2nd level, an expanded spell list, Spellstrike with ranged weapons, no need for a free hand for Somatic Components when using a bow, and early access to some Combat Feats and Prestige Classes.

Grand Lodge

It's a moot point for my characters as it is 5 gp for silver blanch and +2 gp per silver arrow, so they all get blanches for dr silver.

It seems odd but I think wooden arrows can be blanched.


An option is using Advanced Versatile Performance, to get Weapon Focus at 6th level


Glad to see the Advanced Versatile Performance options mentioned. Those are fantastic.
I would go Manyshot over Clustered as well. Also, I'm not certain I would go Arcane Strike at all. Deadly Aim can be a trap for 3/4 BAB characters.
There is a price to be paid for Arrowsong Minstrel--Less spells per day. -1 for every level you can cast. Ouch.


Archery as a tactic for bards is decent (you're at least getting a shot off). Archery feats? No, I don't like them.

Fourshadow wrote:
Deadly Aim can be a trap for 3/4 BAB characters.

Agreed. And making Dex instead of Cha the prime stat hurts bards. (That's strike #2.) Rapid Shot being another -2 to all attacks that you have to declare at the beginning of the attack sequence....strike #3.)

Quote:

A stat array I'd use if going 20 pt buy would look something like:

Str 13, Dex 17 (15+2), Con 14, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 16 (14+2) putting all your level-ups into Dex.

Let's make a comparison with a non-MAD stat deployment in a bard.

halfling (20pt array 17,12,12,12,12,12)
str 10-
dex 14+
con 12
int 12
wis 12
cha 19+

Result versus aasimar:
-1 hp/level
+0 fort save
+0 reflex save
+2 will save
+1 skill/level
identical AC levels 0-3
identical ranged attack-bonus levels 0-3
+1 social skills bonus and +1 spell/song DCs, +2 from 4th onward, and +5 if first major item is a Headband of Alluring Charisma rather than a Belt of Incredible Dexterity (or a magic bow).
+3 INIT, because this build takes Improved Initiative, which the archer does not have room for. (This can be stretched to +7 better with the addition of Wasp Familiar.)

Let's assume the aasimar build took the Deadeye Bowman trait (because it is a total gimme for archers, who are nuts to pick anything else provided they know it exists and are permitted to have it). It is, however, a Religion trait, meaning they'll forfeit access to any other trait of that type, and there are some that are very good for bards, such as: Alluring, Ambassador, Battlefield Caster, Defensive Strategist, Demoralizing Presence, Empty Heart Full Heart, Enchanting Conniver, Hatred of the Gods, Honeyed Words, Honey-Tongued ....and I still have two-thirds of the alphabet left.

- - -

If you're a non-human, you have only four feats by 7th level. You can either be a great bard, or a poor bard wearing a getting-up-to-mediocre archer skin-suit.


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Slim Jim wrote:

<snip>

Result versus aasimar:
-1 hp/level
+0 fort save
+0 reflex save
+2 will save
+1 skill/level
identical AC levels 0-3
identical ranged attack-bonus levels 0-3
+1 social skills bonus and +1 spell/song DCs, +2 from 4th onward, and +5 if first major item is a Headband of Alluring Charisma rather than a Belt of Incredible Dexterity (or a magic bow).
+3 INIT, because this build takes Improved Initiative, which the archer does not have room for. (This can be stretched to +7 better with the addition of Wasp Familiar.)

-1 Damage per hit

-17 lbs carrying capacity which can be made up for in a number of ways (dark wood bow, efficient quiver, wand of ant haul, etc) but costs you.
+X aggravation if you are using encumbrance rules (YMMV)
-1 trait (Deadeye Bowman) and no choice in god worshipped

Slim Jim wrote:

<snip>

If you're a non-human, you have only four feats by 7th level. You can either be a great bard, or a poor bard wearing a getting-up-to-mediocre archer skin-suit.

Although they may not be as good a straight archer as a Ranger or others, both the Flame Dancer and Arrowsong Minstrel bring something else that helps all the people in the party.

The whole party was initially confused but quickly decided it was wonderful when my Flame Dancer bard switched away from Inspire Courage in one firefight.

There are a lot of ways to do archers, each with their own trades offs. Understanding the details of those trade offs and matching them to an individual’s play style is important.

Scarab Sages

I made an Archer Bard using the Archaeologist Archetype, and nothing else. Dished out more damage than anyone else in the party, still had spell slots for healing, buffing (HASTE), and other support.

See, support spells don't care what your charisma is, and you get very few performance rounds from a high Charisma bonus compared to a feat like Lingering Performance. You can cast all the support you need with a starting 13 in Charisma, while contributing to ending fights faster by being combat-focused.

If you're planning on being support-focused, you lose little by also taking some combat orientation, and archery works really well with the bard because of all the stacking bonuses you get. Rapid Shot's penalty is basically negated by Point-Blank and Inspire Courage, and eventually the skill/debuff focused bard is spending lots of spells because otherwise he's useless in combat.

Don't get me wrong, play what you like, but combat bards are legit. So are skill bards, so are SLA bards (Thundercaller, anyone?). Bards are good at everything, so don't feel like there's such as a thing as a "Best Bard Build". There is, but it happens to be group specific.


BretI wrote:
-1 Damage per hit
Offset slightly by a better chance of critting with a crossbow, and eventually even better with Improved Critical (which arrow-slingers typically don't bother with). -- But the main thing is just taking opponents out of the fight entirely, often before they've done a thing, with magic or supernatural class abilities that we've emphasized rather than sacrificed for archery. Given sufficient gift of gab, you can avoid combat entirely in many situations.
Quote:
-17 lbs carrying capacity which can be made up for in a number of ways (dark wood bow, efficient quiver, wand of ant haul, etc) but costs you.
The two small races make great bards because they're best suited to minimal strength: carrying capacity is 75% but the equipment is 50% lighter. (And everybody eventually gets a haversack or a quiver anyway.) You can also get an animal companion at the cost of two feats (Nature's Ally and its thoroughly worthless "tax" feat Nature Soul), but I wouldn't recommend it.
Quote:
-1 trait (Deadeye Bowman) and no choice in god worshipped

That's the aasimar's problem (if he takes Deadeye), not the halfling's (he wouldn't be using a bow).

Scarab Sages

You're also forgetting: Less damage because a casting-focused bard likely doesn't take Arcane Strike, less damage because you have to reload a crossbow every round (or use a feat on a woefully inefficient weapon), less damage from not having point-blank shot or successive attacks, etc.

You keep saying that archer bards don't work because you can do just as well with a few minor changes, but that just isn't the case. The math shows that archery is a perfectly viable, and even desirable, path for a bard to take.

Different strokes for different folks and all that.


Davor wrote:
You're also forgetting: Less damage because a casting-focused bard likely doesn't take Arcane Strike...

If I have this straight, you're looking at: Arcane Strike, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, and Manyshot at 9th-level.

-- That's exactly 100% of your five feats in a non-human 6-spells class devoted to doing hitpoint damage. -- A human fighter would have four of those five feats locked down by 2nd level (substituting Arcane Strike for something else, probably Weapon Focus, for a relative +2 over the bard archer build until the latter gets bardsong up and running). Delay one feat in a (dex-rage archetype)/fighter multiclass, and it's up to +4 to hit over the bard archer at 1st level.

It is a painfully slow slog glacially accumulating feats with a bard, which is why I wrote: "You can either be a great bard, or a poor bard wearing a getting-up-to-mediocre archer skin-suit."

Quote:
less damage because you have to reload a crossbow every round (or use a feat on a woefully inefficient weapon), less damage from not having point-blank shot or successive attacks, etc.

Repeating myself again: My "archer" bard was a gnome with dumped strength whose only archery feat was Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Repeating Crossbow, which he retrained out upon purchasing a Opalescent White Pyramid ioun stone. (He got a Wayfinder for that, too, gaining Weapon Focus as a resonant power.)

So, in the end he had no archery feats, but was getting off two shots as soon as Allegro. Plenty of room to choose from among: Spellsong, Lingering Performance, Improved Initiative, Noble Scion (of War), Inspiring Mentor, Harmonic Spell, Discordant Voice, etc.

Quote:
You keep saying that archer bards don't work because you can do just as well with a few minor changes, but that just isn't the case. The math shows that archery is a perfectly viable, and even desirable, path for a bard to take.

If their goal is the be an archer instead of a powerful controller.

One concept is playing pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey as a fair-to-middling striker with a side-order of party support, and the other is an AP-breaking enchanter who wraps kingdoms around his little finger.

(That 2009 Treatmonk bard guide recommending archery is so old it ought to be written in Sanskrit. Bards can be so much better now.)


I once tried to play a controller bard, I regretted it. That's something Wizards and Arcanists do so much better particularly at mid to high level.

Scarab Sages

I was going to write a long rebuttal, but at this point you're advocating a play style choice more than anything else. You can talk all you like about your non-focused bard being a passable archer comparatively, but the math simply does not back up that claim, particularly at the mid-levels when it begins to matter.

I mean, I get it, you don't like archer bards. The fact, however, is that archery is perfectly viable as a path for a bard to take, deals respectable damage compared to other archers while having much of the versatility a bard brings to the table already, and provides a secondary source of damage for a party that needs it.

Also, the OP was specifically asking about Archer bard stuff, so there ya go. :P


High-level wizard controllers deal with bosses.

High-level bard controllers make your mooks his mooks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Stat suggestion: Str 14, Dex 19 (17+2), Con 12, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 14 (12+2) {FYI Slim Jim, your point-buy is 23, not 20}

Feats: PBS, Rapid, Arcane Strike, { }, Manyshot. Throw in Precise if you feel you must.

5th level (+1 bow, not in PBS, no dex belt):
Atk: 3 BAB +5 DEX +2 Inspire -2 Rapid +1 Enhancement = +9/+9, +10/+10/+10 with a haste effect, all +PBS
Dmg: 2 Str +2 Inspire +1 Enhancement +2 Arcane = 1d6+7+PBS
Avg vs. AC 20: 10.5 (17.3 w/haste)

vs. 5th level crossbow (feat only, MW weapon):
Atk: 3 BAB +2 DEX +2 Inspire +1 Enhancement = +8, +9/+9 with a haste effect
Dmg: +2 Inspire = 1d8+2
Avg vs. AC 20: 2.9 (6.5 w/haste)

These are not comparable combatants. One is a solid contributor, the other merely isn't useless. As someone said, different strokes.

Grand Lodge

Some people play bards as ok archers, claimed play them as crappy sorcerer. If you want caster with inspire courage play an evagilist or Ocean's echo.

If how you decide if something is good is "how does it compare to a dedicated build or the best builds?" you are left with a few wizard build, Arsenal Champion and fighter builds with rage and medium dips for dpr builds, investigators or high int high cha bard for skills.

Scarab Sages

Majuba wrote:

Stat suggestion: Str 14, Dex 19 (17+2), Con 12, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 14 (12+2) {FYI Slim Jim, your point-buy is 23, not 20}

Feats: PBS, Rapid, Arcane Strike, { }, Manyshot. Throw in Precise if you feel you must.

5th level (+1 bow, not in PBS, no dex belt):
Atk: 3 BAB +5 DEX +2 Inspire -2 Rapid +1 Enhancement = +9/+9, +10/+10/+10 with a haste effect, all +PBS
Dmg: 2 Str +2 Inspire +1 Enhancement +2 Arcane = 1d6+7+PBS
Avg vs. AC 20: 10.5 (17.3 w/haste)

vs. 5th level crossbow (feat only, MW weapon):
Atk: 3 BAB +2 DEX +2 Inspire +1 Enhancement = +8, +9/+9 with a haste effect
Dmg: +2 Inspire = 1d8+2
Avg vs. AC 20: 2.9 (6.5 w/haste)

These are not comparable combatants. One is a solid contributor, the other merely isn't useless. As someone said, different strokes.

It's worth noting that Arcane Strike isn't really worth taking before 5th level, as +1 damage that takes a swift action isn't really worth the feat (Though making your weapon magical can help you overcome DR at low levels, so YMMV). Precise Shot may also become EXTREMELY important if you have a large party, or a party with lots of summoned creatures or animal companions, though that just means more people that benefit from Inspire Courage, so that's not necessarily a bad thing.


Majuba wrote:
Stat suggestion: Str 14, Dex 19 (17+2), Con 12, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 14 (12+2) {FYI Slim Jim, your point-buy is 23, not 20}
Yeah, that was garfed. (17,14,12,12,12,7 is 20pts, and 15,14,12,12,12,12, is also 20pts. (A gnome is mechanically better as a bard than the halfling as well, but that example of mine was just a quick dash-off.)
Quote:
Feats: PBS, Rapid, Arcane Strike, { }, Manyshot. Throw in Precise if you feel you must....

Here's the main problem with archery feats in a bard (not archery per se, mind you, the feats): When your class is utterly starved for feats, you should be really strict about what gets in. Only those with constant in- and out-of-combat utility should be considered. Inspiring Mentor, for instance, lets you Inspire Competence in the entire party (imagine everybody constantly getting a +3 or more to Perception by 7th). Spellsong lets you conceal casting while "working a crowd".

If you choose a combat feat, it should get constant mileage: I.e., is the feat always in play? If it's not, dump it. For example, Point-Blank Shot is only useful if the opponent is within 30', and frequently they're not. Precise Shot only matters if the opponent is in melee, and frequently they're not. And no archery feat of any kind is useful if the enemy is an incorporeal, a skeleton, or other type that laughs off piercing, because then you're not even using your bow. Weapon Focus is nice, but how often does it make a difference? -- You're a bard, not a sohei or a GTWF with paired Fortuitous weapons getting eight or ten attacks. That +1 may only make an actual difference once every other play session for a bard.

Lastly, *cringe*: combat feat that eat Swift actions, horribly traps every one, especially when given to a caster. Kill them. Kill them all now. For example Arcane Strike. Use it every turn! Awesome! Getting +1 dmg all the time. ...and then you get pounced or are shoved off a cliff and discover you don't have an Immediate action available for breaking your Snapleaf. Ah well, you were getting sick of the character anyway....

Grand Lodge

Immediate action use swift actions for your next turn. So a swift action does not effect your ability to use an immediate action unless a readied action was set against arcane strike.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I keep making bards in PFS. I just can’t help myself.

And because I keep making bards, it would be boring to do the same thing, over and over.

I have a Flag Bearer Bard, Jasmine, and she’s crazy strong.

I have whip aid another bard, Cup, and she’s crazy strong at support as well.

I have archer bards, and they’re fun too. It’s another way to contribute after you have cast and inspired courage.

I have a bloodrager/bard half orc that travels with a half orc bloodrager/skald. Most of the time they do support until the party needs to NOVA and then they go all out with Amplified Rage.

Honestly, if you have inspire courage as a bard, and a few great support spells and SOMETHING that you can do in battle, you’re a great bard.

I like to play with different combat styles, approaches, and archetypes but every bard I have made is AWESOME. Make what calls to you.

Hmm

Scarab Sages

Slim Jim wrote:

If you choose a combat feat, it should get constant mileage: I.e., is the feat always in play? If it's not, dump it. For example, Point-Blank Shot is only useful if the opponent is within 30', and frequently they're not.

And what if they frequently are? Context matters.
Slim Jim wrote:
Precise Shot only matters if the opponent is in melee, and frequently they're not.
They sure are in melee heavy parties, or moments where you wanna get someone off a squishy buddy. Again, context matters.
Slim Jim wrote:
And no archery feat of any kind is useful if the enemy is an incorporeal, a skeleton, or other type that laughs off piercing, because then you're not even using your bow.
Blunt Arrows are a thing, as is a Ghost Touch weapon. Heck after my last adventure path, I will always always ALWAYS be getting a ghost-touch weapon on future weapon-based characters.
Slim Jim wrote:
Weapon Focus is nice, but how often does it make a difference? -- You're a bard, not a sohei or a GTWF with paired Fortuitous weapons getting eight or ten attacks. That +1 may only make an actual difference once every other play session for a bard.

Yeah. I don't think anyone actually suggested using Weapon Focus on an archer bard. You mentioned it through a Wayfinder, which is a good use of it. Otherwise, no, it's terrible.

Slim Jim wrote:
Lastly, *cringe*: combat feat that eat Swift actions, horribly traps every one, especially when given to a caster. Kill them. Kill them all now. For example Arcane Strike. Use it every turn! Awesome! Getting +1 dmg all the time. ...and then you get pounced or are shoved off a cliff and discover you don't have an...

At 5th level, Arcane Strike grants +2 damage, the equivalent of Weapon Specialization. Well worth the feat, and you don't really need your Swift Actions all the time, not to mention that this damage is multiplied by the number of shots you get. At 10th, 15th, and 20th this increases again, and combined with the increased number of shots... it's really quite good. As grandlounge pointed out, Immediate Actions interrupt FUTURE swift actions, not ones you've already used. Again, context matters.


Any love for the Dawnflower Dervish archetype as an archer?
- doubled inspire courage bonus as a move action (swift action at lvl.10)
- built-in melee option (useful at low levels, before you get the relevant archery feats, or when archery is not an option)

I suppose the archetype would be better for humans, as it lacks the bonus feat granted by other archetypes (arrowsong minstrel, archaeologist, arcane duelist...), but I like the idea of a +6 atk/dmg at lvl.5 by stacking inspire courage, heroism and arcane strike.

Grand Lodge

Inspire competence does not stack with eyes of the eagle, or heighten awareness. Two of the most popular option in the game. Take a feat to support inspire competence to boost perception, intimidate or any other skill with good item support or in a game with crafting is a wasted feat of I have ever seen one.

Add to that, that skills are pretty easy to optimize in pathfinder that seems wasteful to me.

Silver Crusade

There is a FAQ somewhere that confirms that Arcane Strike allows you to hit incorporeal enemies (a strict reading of RAW would not enable that).


Elder Basilisk wrote:

Feats: bow proficiency. Point blank shot. Precise shot. Rapid shot. Deadly aim. Everything else is gravy.

Notable gravy feats include clustered shots, improved precise shot, manyshot, point blank master, weapon focus, and arcane strike.

Stats: charisma and decided you know about, but don't forget to include strength in your build. Dex gives you attack bonus as an Archer but your damage bonus comes from strength. On a 20 point but, I wouldn't drop below 14 strength.

point blank master <<< impossible for a bard.


Grandlounge wrote:

I like a lot of the above advice. I would do things slightly differently but you should be happy with the above build.

First I would drop arcane strike and move rapid shot up to 5th. An extra attack even at a -2 is much more damage on average. I would consider lingering performance. Saving finale is amazing and this take the edge off using it. Remember to take heroism as a second level spell.

I would also look at the arrow song minstrel it's a good archtype for an archer bard.

arrow song minstrel is amazing .... especially if more archer than bard.


666bender wrote:
point blank master <<< impossible for a bard.

It's possible with Advanced Versatile Performance (martial performance).

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