Bard Build Advice Needed


Advice


I'm quite new to Pathfinder, This will be my second character, so Sorry for noob q?
I'm aiming for a dancing, charismatic, reach build, long spear, with support capability's for the 2 fighters in the group Barbarian, paladin. I will be the wife to the ruler, we are playing Pathfinder Kingmaker AP
I have read a lot of advice, both here and the guides i found but need a hand on the feats and my options.
I've gathered a lot of good feats that I would want but need help to finalise it to a good build, lets say up to level 14 or so.
Rules:
1. We are using the Optional Background skills rule,
2. 20 pts buy
3. we have some feats for free, but I don't know which at the moment (bugger).
4. All official material is available, no 3-party.
5. I need to be Human, which is for background reasons.
6. We will start at lvl 6 if that's important.
Ive played a spellcaster before so I have a good grip on what spells to take, the main issue is feats and how many I have and One thing more:
Does a Bard benefit a lot from Eschew Materials or is a Spell component pouch enough?
Is it a Free action to take out a spell component? Does it provoke AOO?
What I think is a good Stat setup:
STY 14 +2
DEX 14 +2
CON 12 +1
INT 14 +2
WIS 7 -2
CHA 18 +4 from=15+2 =17 after race adjustment. +1 more at lvl 4 =18

Wisdom is low i know, but I needed to dump something, I think.
I think I have 4 feats in total:
1 Free Human
1 at lvl 1
1 at lvl 3
1 at lvl 5
= 4
next will be at lvl 7

Now to the list I have gathered to chose from, please leave out the ones not needed:
Flagbearer
Weapon Focus Combat, shield or Spear
Combat Reflexes
Shield focus Combat (Prerequisites: Shield Proficiency, base attack bonus +1.)
Shielded Mage (Shield Mastery) (Prerequisite(s): Shield Focus, base attack bonus +3 or fighter level 1st.)
Shield Brace Shield Mastery Prerequisite(s): Shield Focus; base attack bonus +3 or fighter level 1st; proficiency with light shields, heavy shields, or tower shields.
Quickdraw, I think this is free at BAB 1, but unsure
Extra Performance (Prerequisite: Bardic performance class feature.)
Arcane Strike (Combat) (Prerequisite: Ability to cast arcane spells.)
Discordant Voice (Prerequisites: Bardic performance class feature, Perform (oratory or sing) 10 ranks.)
Lingering Performance (Prerequisite: Bardic performance class feature.)
Prodigy
Spell Focus Enchantment
Spellsong (Prerequisites: Cha 13, bardic performance class ability, able to cast 1st-level spells.)
Extra Performance Prerequisites: Bardic performance class feature.)
Improved Shield Bash (Combat)
Polearm Expertise (Combat)
Catch Off-Guard (Combat)

Skill Focus on Performance?
Spear Dancer General Feat (Prerequisite(s): Weapon Focus (any two-handed reach weapon), Perform (dance) 4 ranks.)
Improved Unarmed Strike (Combat)
Improved Initiative


You certainly won't need both of extra performance and lingering performance. In fact, since you're not multiclassing you probably won't need either. Bards have other uses for swift/immediate actions so I'd suggest not getting arcane strike. Spellsong's less useful than you'd think too. Catch off-guard and improved unarmed strike are well off any focus I can see in what you're getting.

There is no polearm expertise feat.

Of the rest it depends whether you're going for spear and shield, or weapon finesse with a long spear, or for a spellcaster/buffer who dabbles in melee combat. Choose one; you can't do two of those let alone all three.


I disagree about arcane strike. I find bards have a lot more free swift actions to spare once they get that song started. Out of all the users of arcane spells that get into melee bards by far have fewer uses of swift actions.

It's a quality feat for bards and I fully reccomend it. Half the characters I play are bards.


Here are my thoughts:
1. Your charisma is too high for a melee support role(which is sounds like you’re going for): S18(15+2+1), D14, C12, I13, W7, C15(+1@8th)
2. Feats: 1Arcane strike, 3shield focus, 5shield brace (if you don’t like arcane strike go with lingering performance).
3. Arcane strike vs lingering performance: bards have a few good immediate action spells (saving finale comes to mind) that will compete with your swift action use. It doesn’t come up very often but when it does it’s nice to have. Lingering performance lets you cast the spell and continue to gain the benefits of the performance.
4. Eschew materials:I normally dont think it is worth it but you are going to have both hands full so it might be depending on what spells you plan on taking.

Edit: trade out your bonus human feat for skilled and put the skill focus feat into your favorite performance.


Siri Silk wrote:
Does a Bard benefit a lot from Eschew Materials or is a Spell component pouch enough?

Depends a bit on how your GM rules Shield Brace, but most of your spells require somatic components anyway, so the Eschew Materials doesn't really help you with needing a free hand. Unless the GM loves to criple PCs, or you expect to be naked or otherwise removed from yoru gear a lot, a SCP is enough. Carry a spare or two in your backback to be save.

Siri Silk wrote:
Is it a Free action to take out a spell component? Does it provoke AOO?

"To cast a spell with a material (M), focus (F), or divine focus (DF) component, you have to have the proper materials, as described by the spell. Unless these components are elaborate, preparing them is a free action." CRB pg. 184

It doesn't take any time, presuming your hand is free and your pouche freely accessible, and you can use the hand you use for any somatic components. None of the spell component parts provoke AoOs, only the spell castign itself (and possibly making a ranged attack as part of the spell).


Siri Silk wrote:

I will be the wife to the ruler, we are playing Pathfinder Kingmaker AP.

1. We are using the Optional Background skills rule,
2. 20 pts buy
3. we have some feats for free, but I don't know which at the moment (bugger).
4. All official material is available, no 3-party.
5. I need to be Human, which is for background reasons.

Bard has a pretty nice alternative favored-class bonus for humans: an extra spell known per level.

With the retraining rules being permissible in your campaign, you can easily tweak away much of the annoyance of being a spontaneous caster who suddenly realizes they'd rather know different spells.

Quote:
Ive played a spellcaster before so I have a good grip on what spells to take, the main issue is feats and how many I have and One thing more: Does a Bard benefit a lot from Eschew Materials or is a Spell component pouch enough? Is it a Free action to take out a spell component? Does it provoke AOO?
Unless your GM has a reputation as a bean-counter, don't sweat it. The pouch is enough, and component-retrieval is included within the action of spellcasting (i.e., similar to an archer drawing and nocking ammunition).
Quote:

STR 14 +2

DEX 14 +2
CON 12 +1
INT 14 +2
WIS 7 -2
CHA 18 +4 from=15+2 =17 after race adjustment. +1 more at lvl 4 =18
Wisdom is low i know, but I needed to dump something, I think.

Dump strength instead of wisdom, for Pathfinder has graced bards with star knives and the means to easily use them: Desna's Shooting Star. (This slightly violates Slim Jim's Bard Feat Axiom, but you're a dump-stat human with a feat to spare.)

So keep the same numbers, but swap strength and wisdom. --You're the wife of the king, and a big ol' alpha monster-slayer like him probably prefers his gal small and cute, and with enough sense to hold her own in courtly intrigues of the sort he'd rather leave you in charge of.

Traits: Armor Expert, Hermean Paragon
Feats:
1. Flagbearer, Lingering Performance
2. Desna's Shooting Star (bard trades 2nd-level Versatile Performance for it)
3. Improved Initiative
5. Spell Focus: Enchantment

You're INIT+6 (INIT+10 once a Banner of the Ancient Kings is acquired) before counting Dex, and utilize your casting stat (Cha) also for melee and ranged weapon attacks and damage (so long as you're using star-knives).

Gear wish-list: dervish sikke, mnemonic vestment, banner of the ancient kings, mithral agile breastplate, mithril buckler, returning starknife, various wands, various metamagic rods, charisma headband, belt of incredible dexterity,


Thanks alot for your input so far, of course more comments are welcome :)
Now i need to think before I get back with a more finished build and to comment on all your suggestions :)

Silver Crusade

One advantage of Arcane Strike is that it means that you don't need to get a magic weapon for a while. You do have to be mindful of when you might need an immediate action for something else, like casting Liberating Command to free an ally from a grapple monster.

Slim Jim wrote:
Desna's Shooting Star

Just wondering how your build is getting Starknife proficiency (it's a martial weapon).

Sovereign Court

Why play a melee character in a party with two melee brutes?

If you’re not front line anyway, go for ranged with your attacks.

If you are starting at level 6 and playing to high levels then it is worth noting that your spells and performance are the most potent abilities you have.

Next level you’ll be casting good hope before combat and contributing more than your spear ever could.

That’s also why flagbearer is a wasted feat. Having good hope for key battles means you are only getting the flagbearer bonus when you don’t really care about it.

Boost your charisma up the kazooey. Accept that you are a buff/Enchant/skills character. Work on your DCs.


PCScipio wrote:

One advantage of Arcane Strike is that it means that you don't need to get a magic weapon for a while. You do have to be mindful of when you might need an immediate action for something else, like casting Liberating Command to free an ally from a grapple monster.

Slim Jim wrote:
Desna's Shooting Star
Just wondering how your build is getting Starknife proficiency (it's a martial weapon).

Well that's just it you dont need to be mindful of it. Use the immediate action and it uses your swift for the next round, not the other way around.

So basically 90% of the time you'll be adding free damage and the few times youll cast liberating command you wont be able to add damage next round.

It has 0 bearing on immediate actions, really.


PCScipio wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
Desna's Shooting Star
Just wondering how your build is getting Starknife proficiency (it's a martial weapon).
Well, here's one way. (So swap the Returning property for that, and grab a Blinkback Belt to keep it safe. Since Siri Silk is not playing PFS, she can eventually upgrade the BB for stat enhancement bonuses, albeit at whatever mark-up.)
GeraintElberion wrote:
If you are starting at level 6 and playing to high levels then it is worth noting that your spells and performance are the most potent abilities you have.
Emphatically agreed. It breaks my heart to see a bard with a mere 16 Cha because he's trying to be a Manyshot archer instead of the dude who can lift an eyebrow and subject the entire enemy formation to high-DC save-or-suck.
Quote:
Next level you’ll be casting good hope before combat and contributing more than your spear ever could. That’s also why flagbearer is a wasted feat. Having good hope for key battles means you are only getting the flagbearer bonus when you don’t really care about it.
Provided you can claw your way into decent money (which you should expect in an AP going to 14th or some such), Flagbearer + Banner of the Ancient Kings grant the same +2 stacked morale bonus all day long without ever having to cast a spell (meaning the bard has freed up one round of each and every combat). Then consider the BoAK's adding +4 more to INIT, and it and the Sikke both juking Inspire Courage up another +1 apiece, and the bard is potentially doling out a +6 combined att/dmg/saves bonus to the party as early as 7th. In other words, the BoAK is very...nice. (Do you know how rare magic items are that come with five simultaneously-action buffs, let alone also cost under 20k?)
Quote:
Boost your charisma up the kazooey. Accept that you are a buff/Enchant/skills character. Work on your DCs.

Yep: Assuming Siri Silk can get the Training enhancement on a starknife ("...All official material is available...."), her bard will be no slouch in combat once the +6 referred to above is joined by a massive charisma bonus, and she'll be able to chuck it three times at 8th (BAB6) via Blinkback with Haste or Allegro running. Figuring at least Cha 22 at 8th, that's 3x (d4+13).

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