Bard attribute allocation assistance


Advice


So I've got pretty much a support Bard (Human) going here. He wields a whip and shield in a group of mostly martials. Most spells I plan on getting are common spells with the exception of a couple (Teleport, Tongues and another one I forget now). I don't frequently make knowledge checks because the martials really only have one option and that's too bash with their blades. My character does have a repertoire of various offensive spells such as Magic Missile, Calm Emotions, and later on Synesthesia etc to deal with a lot of different problems, and a whip which is used almost exclusively to Trip. Our GM has houseruled that we can change our atteibutes over the first few levels how we see fit during downtime however after that we are locked in. So currently I have this and I feel it works pretty well, but I'm just not sure if I should have my INT at 12 instead of WIS. I plan to mostly add to my spell repertoire when I level up rather than read off a scroll What are your thoughts on this setup, or would it be wiser to go for WIS?

Str 10
Dex 16 (+2)
Con 12 (+2)
Int 12 (+2)
Wis 10
Cha 18 (+1)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

If you are interested in tripping a lot, invest in strength rather than dexterity.

Tripping is an Athletics check which is strength based. If that 16 dexterity were strength instead, you would be just as accurate with your whip attacks, you would do 3 extra damage each time you hit, and you would have an athletics check 3 higher.

Unfortunately your AC and Reflex saves, and all Dex based skills, would suffer.

But, as I read your post, tripping is important to you, so Strength is needed.

As an aside, pay attention to what actions your spells require. Many of the Bard spells are verbal only, but some of the Occult spells require somatic and material. In those cases typically you use an instrument.


Whip uses Dex to trip. Ugh my question was should I invest in INT or WIS lol :( maybe you could help me?


where does it state that a whip uses dex to trip? I think ripley is right, it's an athletics check and athletics is based on strength.


Uhh not this again. It wouldn't make any sense otherwise. The whip would be officially the worst weapon if that were the case.

https://paizo.com/threads/rzs42o9i?Tripping-with-a-Whip#1

Anyways let's stay focused and try not to derail this thread my friends


Anyone recommend WIS over INT for my situation?


Enigma bard with bard lore or not?

If so, Int would be the best deal since bardic lore is a lore ( takes bonus from int ).

If you are any other bard, It is your call. If you also have to repair, Int is a good idea.

I mostly prefer a high wis bard because of the legendary will and mind blank spell, because it could reach automatic success on any roll ( and batte medicine as 1 action if needed )... but you have no wis, so I wouldn't suggest it to you.


HumbleGamer wrote:

Enigma bard with bard lore or not?

If so, Int would be the best deal since bardic lore is a lore ( takes bonus from int ).

If you are any other bard, It is your call. If you also have to repair, Int is a good idea.

I mostly prefer a high wis bard because of the legendary will and mind blank spell, because it could reach automatic success on any roll ( and batte medicine as 1 action if needed )... but you have no wis, so I wouldn't suggest it to you.

I've got a Maestro Bard and Polymath. In order to learn an uncommon spell though I guess I'd be running a risk having a 10 INT and fortunately I'm not repairing anything for anyone, but ya with Wisdom progressing it certainly helps me in numerous different ways.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Forgive me for pointing out an issue with a big emphasis of your build rather than focus on a relatively inconsequential +/- 1 modifier on attributes you're not focusing on..

Also, the forum thread you linked is far from conclusive, and the last post, made by you, is asking for further clarification.

Hardly a done and over with discussion.

But, as you really care about the Int/Wis thing...
You state you don't often make knowledge rolls as your party isn't set up to make use of them either way.
You state you don't intend to make use of a spellbook or anything like that.

So, Wisdom seems the clear winner here. Why not have a better Will save?


There are other threads also that seem to strongly lean towards yes the Whip uses Dex, otherwise the weapon doesn't make much sense. I do have Esoteric Polymath, but I believe learning spells at level up is free and doesn't require a check.


It's important when evaluating what a bit of rules is meant to be that the opinions of folks talking about it on this board take a particular leaning.

In this case, that leaning results in claims that either a whip does enable a character to use Dex while tripping or "it doesn't make sense" when the reality is that the whip is a fairly balanced weapon when compared to other weapons given its category, amount of damage, and number of traits.

And whether it let's you use your Dex mod instead of your Str mod when rolling Athletics to trip (which there is zero text in the book that actually supports, by the way) it is still useful for the whip to have the trip trait because it functions at exactly the same level as it does on any other weapon.

It's entirely just wishing that something was better than it is, not that thing not being just as good as other options.


That and a Dev saying Whip uses Dex holds a bit of weight.


Got a citation for that?


This is going back to playtest days a few players have heard of it and seen it, I don't have a citation but I'm sure someone could dig it up.


Whip uses Strength to Trip. Maybe there will be the PF1 equivalent of Agile Maneuvers, but right now, it doesn't exist.

Liberty's Edge

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Here's a quote from Stephen Radney-Mcfarland that you can, indeed, use Dex to trip with a whip.

Whether that's good enough to allow it in a particular game is left as an exercise for the reader, but it's a pretty strong indicator what the RAI are.


It's been stated that developer comments outside of actual errata or FAQ don't mean anything. I believe the rules as written are whip uses strength to trip. Maybe they will errata this some day.


nicholas storm wrote:
It's been stated that developer comments outside of actual errata or FAQ don't mean anything. I believe the rules as written are whip uses strength to trip. Maybe they will errata this some day.

Agree.

I tend not to consider anything but errata ( even though I don't find strange that finesse weapons using dex could also use dex as modifier for athletics checks ).


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I am amused by how you posted a build with a detailed description of your party and your weapon - but not your muse - and then get annoyed when people focus on your weapon.

If the whip issue is settled between you and your GM, great. How you use your whip is indeed irrelevant to Int/Wis, so posting it was unnecessary.

In general, you should consider what your party needs more strongly. Your party may NEED Bardic Lore if literally none of them have knowledge skills. You personally may not NEED to buff them if they're alreDy combat monsters. On the other hand if none of them have Wisdom, you may NEED to do Medicine or SurvivL.


Good advice, ya two of our guys have Medicine but nobody has Survival. I surprisingly haven't used Survival much, we are in a dungeon setting, do you find Survival quite useful personally? Maybe I'm not using it right? Recall Knowledge is awesome just not sure if even I discover something about the enemy that my allies can change their approach to bashing him in.


nicholas storm wrote:
It's been stated that developer comments outside of actual errata or FAQ don't mean anything. I believe the rules as written are whip uses strength to trip. Maybe they will errata this some day.

There are plenty of errors in the core rulebook, I wouldn't be surprised if this was another one. I don't take a designers word to "don't mean anything" he did chime in to help clarify a rules issue, it means atleast something. The comment does lead me to suspect it was an oversight in the core rulebook and once we have an FAQ button it will be rectified. Logically if you followed the thread it makes a lot of sense. A whip using STR to Trip just doesn't seem reasonable. A fighter or another martial with a high STR isn't going to be wielding a whip, however it would make a good choice for dexterous characters and I believe this was an option for those characters.


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I frequently use Recall Knowledge to learn about resistances and weaknesses. There are a lot more monsters resistant to slashing/piercing/bludeoning in 2e.

None of my characters have good Survival so I don't know much about how useful it is.


btw what kind of armor are you using?
chain or studded leather would require str 12 or you'll get an armor check penalty.
Or do you plan on wearing leather?

How do you combine shield whip and instrument? or aren't you planning to cast any spells requiring somatic or material components?

I am trying to build a bard myself, and trying to figure out how place my stats.


Hammerspace wrote:

btw what kind of armor are you using?

chain or studded leather would require str 12 or you'll get an armor check penalty.
Or do you plan on wearing leather?

How do you combine shield whip and instrument? or aren't you planning to cast any spells requiring somatic or material components?

I am trying to build a bard myself, and trying to figure out how place my stats.

Currently wearing studded leather and eating the penalty until level 5 where I'll switch over. I'm currently using a whip and shield, soon I'll switch over to one handed instrument maybe around level 9 and give up the Shield altogether in favor of the instrument.


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Hammerspace wrote:

btw what kind of armor are you using?

chain or studded leather would require str 12 or you'll get an armor check penalty.
Or do you plan on wearing leather?

Even if you lack the strength, Chain Shirt only gives you a check penalty to Stealth. And the penalty is a rather small -1. Unless you're focusing on Stealth rather heavily, using a Chain Shirt with Str 10 is perfectly fine.

Hammerspace wrote:
How do you combine shield whip and instrument? or aren't you planning to cast any spells requiring somatic or material components?

Somatic components don't require a free hand. Only material components do.


Quote:

Somatic components don't require a free hand. Only material components do.

So are there any spells where a bard actually needs to use a musical instrument?

I haven't seen that many spells that require material components on the occult list


Hammerspace wrote:
Quote:

Somatic components don't require a free hand. Only material components do.

So are there any spells where a bard actually needs to use a musical instrument?

I haven't seen that many spells that require material components on the occult list

In my case, there are a few I like Heightened invisibility, Heightened Silence, Black Tentacles. But ya if you don't like these spells or others that require it then by all means it's ok to pass on an instrument and use that hand to protect yourself better via a shield or some other item you'd like in your off hand. You could always get the performance bonus via a different item ie. A Mask.

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