Does this bard look ok?


Advice

Scarab Sages

Race: Human.
Abilities: 12, 11, 10, 13, 9, 16 (Human +2 goes on dex to raise it to 13 for feats).
Class: Bard.
Archetype: Arcane Duelist.
Traits: Sword Scion, Resillient.
Feats: Dodge, Mobilty.
Skills: Acrobatics, Diplomacy, Perception, Perform (sing), Perform (Stringed) Survival and Swim all +1.
Spells: Mending, Prestidigitation, Smoke Image, Summon Instrument, Sleep, Songbird.
Gear: Usual gear, Ukelele instrument (they normally sing but there are times for musical acompniment, same reasoning behind songbird spell).

I am willing to shift/change most things except human as I'm aiming long term to go into duelist and get Aldori dueling mastery (will need to be level 11 even with the human bonus feat). Of course if you can find a way to get me the many feats I need quicker/earlier while staying generally true to the concept of a lightly armoured, agile bard who when forced into melee is more graceful than brute force.

As is I need 3 feats for duelist (dodge, mobility and weapon finesse 2 of which require 13 dex). Then I need another 4 (Exotic Weapon -Aldori, Quickdraw, Weapon Focus -Aldori) then the weapon mastery feat itself that lets me use an Aldori dueling sword for the duelists effects.

I would take exotic weapon proficiency at 1st level but you need BAB 1 to take it so it needs to wait for my first feat on leveling up.


so.. as a human you can trade your free human bonus feat for proficiency with 2 exotic weapons (even without the bab being +1) it's the alt racial ability:

Military Tradition:

Source Inner Sea Races pg. 214
Several human cultures raise all children (or all children of a certain social class) to serve in the military or defend themselves with force of arms. They gain proficiency with up to two martial or exotic weapons appropriate to their culture. This racial trait replaces the bonus feat trait.

i usually take it for my 'dex samurai' themed swashbuckler for katana and tekko-kagi (which can be used as a buckler so go well into the class abilities and fit better thematically)

just delay a bit with mobility instead of exotic weapon and you get to pick one extra exotic weapon ,maybe also tekko-kagi? if used as a buckler it might work with aldori swords. not sure if count as free off hand like it does for swashbuckler. i like the ability it gives to disarm others without provoking and the +2 vs bladed weapons disarm which stack with the weapons 'disarm' ability to a +4 bonus to disarms blades. and since it's strapped to your arm you don't drop it if you fail. (and count as free hand for swashbucklers, maybe aldori too , need to examine that). it is a light piercing weapon so work for duelist.
that's almost like getting 2 exotic weapon feats, improved disarm and greater disarm (the +4 total. not the free aoo) instead of getting one bonus feat.

Scarab Sages

Hmmm that could be useful though id need to check if that alt racial ability would be allowed.


Senko wrote:

Race: Human.

Abilities: 12, 11, 10, 13, 9, 16 (Human +2 goes on dex to raise it to 13 for feats).

Yeeeg.... Is this 15pt-buy, or the die rolls you got stuck with? As a general rule in point-buy, don't spend the most points on an attribute you're not raising further with a racial bump. And a Con of 10 is just skeevy -- surviving will be rough. A wisdom of 9 is likewise begging for trouble in a race without innate mental defenses, especially one bound for a class essentially required to be visible most of the time for its party-buffing abilities to work. (An invisible wizard can get away with a lousy wisdom score because its hard for opponents to target him with saving-throw magic.)

If Dex is going to be your attack stat as a bard, consider being a halfling: Your attack bonus and AC will both be +2 over the human with the stats in the same position. "Early" (pre-Agile) damage will be -1, then +1 thereafter. So, that's a solid deal there already. Additionally, your mundane gear is 1/4th weight, and most other gear half-weight (meaning you can actually carry more with a tepid strength than a normal-sized person.

A normal-sized person with a Dex of 13 is a candidate for plate-mail, which is two grades heavier than a bard can use while casting arcane spells without hefty failure chances.

Quote:
I am willing to shift/change most things except human
<frustration>
Quote:
...as I'm aiming long term to go into duelist and get Aldori dueling mastery (will need to be level 11 even with the human bonus feat). Of course if you can find a way to get me the many feats I need quicker/earlier while staying generally true to the concept of a lightly armoured, agile bard who when forced into melee is more graceful than brute force.

Well, you'd be leaving bard just when bard is becoming really good in terms of spellcasting. Typically a caster who abandons casting become much weaker for having done so.

Duelist is a very old (inherited from 3e) prestige-class, one superseded by much better archetypes over the intervening years. For example, Swashbuckler (which doesn't grant Precise Strike at 1st-level, but then again it's not a PrC, so Precise Strike can be yours at 3rd-level if that's the apple in your eye). Or you could be a dexterity-based straight Warpriest who fights with an Agile weapon and casts spells as swift-actions.


What exactly do you want from Duelist? Wouldn't you archieve the same thing by simply multiclassing into Swashbuckler, only much better and without the prereqs?

If you're interested in Aldory Dueling Mastery mainly to use the ADS with the Duelist abilities, Slashing Grace would do that as well, and would remove the need for Quickdraw.

Half-Elf would also be a possible race, as the Ancestral Arms alternate racial trait grants Exotic Weapon Proficiency, too.

I presume you're fixated on using the ADS? Because with those ability scores, Starknife is very alluring.


Quote:
...with those ability scores, Starknife is very alluring.

Indeed. And since bards can grab Desna's Shooting Star by sacrificing their level 2 Versatile Performance slot rather than a feat-slot, the PC is all set to go minmaxing charisma for everything. With the attack stat shifted to the mental side, a reasonably-priced Blinkback Belt can strapped on without irritation, helping out once he's casting Allegro at 4th, and it all compares quite well to, and is perhaps even better than, a Rapid Shot archer, especially at close ranges.

STR: 7
DEX: 12 (human*, 15pt-array: 17,12,12,12,10,7)
CON: 12
INT: 10 or 12
WIS: 12 or 10
CHA+ 19

(*Still prefer a small race with a charisma bump, since bards tend to be fragile, and being small is basically getting Dodge and Weapon Focus for free.)

Build: one-level dip into Sacred Fist monk (unchained, if your GM permits it) for Cha>AC, saves where you need them, and a monk feat (take Dodge), then go bard or swashbuckler or some mix of the two, with Bard2 taking priority for Shooting Star.

A Shooting Star build frees up all of your trait and feat slots for being an awesome bard: Lamasaran Performer, Varisian Tattoo, Spell Focus:Enchantment, Lingering Song, Flagbearer, etc.


Senko wrote:

Race: Human.

Abilities: 12, 11, 10, 13, 9, 16 (Human +2 goes on dex to raise it to 13 for feats).

That is a very inefficient way to do your stats. Always put the racial bonus on the stat you want higher. Lets bump the dex first and see what I mean.

Str 12 (2) Dex 13 (3) Con 10 (0), Int 13 (3) Wis 9 (-1) Cha 14 (5) Use the +2 to bump cha to 16. 12 point spent, 3 points left over to distribute.

Also all of these odd numbers bother me. You should be putting your level bumps into a single stat. Other than that one...your stats should be evenm unless you need a stat for feats. Like you need that 13 int. Hmm...well this isn't a great idea but lets reduce wis by 1 more since it won't give you a worse penalty.

Str 10 (0) Dex 14 (5) Con 12 (2) Int 14 (5) Wis 8 (-2) Cha 14+2 (5).

I dropped str in favor of con because it will give you more survivability. The rather unfortunate truth of this character is it will never be able to stand up to a full BAB class even with the Duelist PRC. The stats are all over the place, you'll have 10 levels of 3/4 BAB, your bardic performance will give you a bonus...but not enough to make up for your detriments. If you throw in a buff you'll catch up to where a full BAB class starts, and their gear choice will be more focused.

My 2 suggestions for this character are to dip 1 level into Swashbuckler to start. That gives you finesse for free, lets you take proficiency with the dueling sword at 1st level, and you still have 1 more feat to work with.

My second suggestion is to aim for the Swordlord PRC. You can qualify for this PRC as early as 5th level because it doesn't have a BAB requirement. It also aims you at Dazzling Display which is a great combat feat for a bard. You could go Swashbuckler 1, Bard 4 and then start marching into Swordlord. If you still want to go into Duelist you can do so after 2 levels in Swordlord where you get dex to damage and free quick draw (or free Dueling Mastery if you have Quick draw).

Though with only 4 levels of bard I'd question why you went bard at all. You might as well just be a Swashbuckler till 5th level then go Swordlord. Especially since you can pick up the Swashbuckler's Precise Strike Deed at 3rd level.


Slim Jim wrote:
Quote:
...with those ability scores, Starknife is very alluring.
Indeed. And since bards can grab Desna's Shooting Star by sacrificing their level 2 Versatile Performance slot rather than a feat-slot, the PC is all set to go minmaxing charisma for everything.

The Arcane Duelist archetype gives up Versatile Performance.


You are actually a Kensai Magus...

This literally gives you EWP Dueling Sword.

It also gives you the Duelist Intelligence to AC thingy.


Meirril wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
Quote:
...with those ability scores, Starknife is very alluring.
Indeed. And since bards can grab Desna's Shooting Star by sacrificing their level 2 Versatile Performance slot rather than a feat-slot, the PC is all set to go minmaxing charisma for everything.
The Arcane Duelist archetype gives up Versatile Performance.

It gives up a number of other bard goodies that are even better than that, such as Countersong and Suggestion. Arcane Armor is conceptually fantastic, as are the free feats, but the armor and the penetration feats come way too late to do much good, since the character has need of good armor at every level, and the only way to get it early is by quickly filling out the maximum allowed dexterity bonus of mithral armor -- which runs counter to the purpose of waiting endlessly to cast in medium stuff, then after interminable further delay, finally the heavy stuff. Ah, those 2010 offerings were almost always worse than the base class, this one in particular tempting the player to flounce his crappy fort-save into the monsters' full-attack range, which tends to end badly sometime around APL8, if not earlier. There are more prudent and effective ways to build a charismatic melee fighter now.

I dunno. Maybe we can talk him out of the archetype. If not, Shooting Star smacked into a 1st-level feat-slot serves nicely enough, and makes him good at melee and ranged combat right from his very first encounter. He'll buy a Carpet of Flying at some early mid-level point, and happily zing away outside of rebound full-attack range. Gotta protect that horrible 10 Con.

Silver Crusade

Slim Jim wrote:
A wisdom of 9 is likewise begging for trouble in a race without innate mental defenses, especially one bound for a class essentially required to be visible most of the time for its party-buffing abilities to work. (An invisible wizard can get away with a lousy wisdom score because its hard for opponents to target him with saving-throw magic.)

Irrepressible is a good trait for wisdom-dumping Bards.


It's a good trait, but no substitute for the real thing as there are piles of will-saves that have nothing to do with charms and compulsions. Pretty much any hostile illusion, necromantic, sonic, or fright-inducing effect will motor right past it, to say nothing of Blasphemy (which no evil cleric boss is ever without).

Eating -2s to everything from being scared all the time is a PITA.

Scarab Sages

Have to leave for work and read properly later but to answer the questions i noticed in the first skim.

Q) Yeeeg.... Is this 15pt-buy, or the die rolls you got stuck with?

A) Die rolls, they werent my friend. I can shift them around but im stuck with the values for this character.

Q) What exactly do you want from Duelist?

A) Light armoured, slightly show off style fighter, mixed with a good performer (the later not being tied to bard as i can just take the skills i want assuming enough skill points to take them). If you ever saw the original 3 muskateers or princess bride think that kind of sword fighting. Duelist was taken because i thought it woukd be good for that. If theres a better choice let me know as if it works for the concept im happy to change. Of course if i do then human may no longee be a requirement. They just need to be reasonably good enoguh at fighting to be a believable bodyguard for a 1st level arcanist (talking their way out of fights works just as well for this) then after the party meets up at the begining of the campaign capable of acting as her partner/assitant in her stage shows (music, lights, sound, coperformer) e.g. sounds and narration to go with her illusions.

Q) I presume you're fixated on using the ADS?

A) I like it but I'm quite willing to consider other options ut just seemed like a good (if feat expensive) way of working with the duelist class.

As said I'll read through the advice here properly later when i have more time.

EDIT
Q) I dunno. Maybe we can talk him out of the archetype.

Archetype was taken on advice in othwr thread and it being generally recommended in bard build guides, i am willing to drop/change it.


Slightly important question: is Charisma important? You're OP build has Sword Scion as a trait, and that is a trait from the Kingmaker AP. Kingdom building rules make Charisma important to... well to the Kingdom. And in Kingmaker Aldori Dueling Swords and Aldori Sword Lords are a thing. Honestly, not nearly as important as the starting material makes them sound but I could definitely see it being a hook.

I'm going to make a case for Swashbuckler. Their prime stats are going to be dex and cha. You also won't need int since a class ability lets you sub cha for int to qualify for feats. That would switch your stats to be something like

Str 9 Dex 16 Con 12 Int 10 Wis 11 Cha 13 with the human bonus to either dex or cha. Slim would double down and recommend halfling. Honestly not a bad choice if you stick to light armor. Well, I kind of hate the idea of a 7 str melee combatant but Swashbuckler lends itself to a dex build.

The other thing is...really look at Swashbuckler and its archetypes. You don't really need to step outside of Swashbuckler to be a fantastic duelist. In the long run a single class Swashbuckler should be a better Aldori Sword Lord than the Duelist or Swordlord PRCs.

Scarab Sages

No, the trait was just allowed by the DM (campaign is actually wrath of the righteous), id prefer to use it over telling them i now wont. Plus i personally like the aldori sword (ut also works for someone who grew up ttained by an actual swordlord fighting in the world wound but hasnt seen what its really like with a lot of them) but as i said im willing to consider other weapons.

I have had a brief look at swashbuckler while driving in and it looks like it could work for what i have in mind. Not as many skill points as a bard but i should be able to spare a few for perform and the class seems to work for the concept (one even duel wields black powder pistols and a light/one handed piercing weapon allowing a bit more ramge).

Honestly I'd prefer to avoid the Aldori sworld lord prestgie class as the DM generally allows other sources they dont have the books for if we can show them the book and it suits the campaign tone. Learning to use a sword yes becoming a prestige class for a specific different area pribably not. Particularly since their mentor has dissapeared toninvestigate things and i dont know if theyll show up in the campaign.

EDIT
I think I'd rather avoid magus as they only get 2 skillpoints, to be effective they need quite a few stats and they are frontline melee rather than skirmish melee and i dont think my die rolls would support that.

EDIT 2
If I'm not worrying about duelist i can be a race other than human as i dont need the feat.

Silver Crusade

I'm going to throw out a different approach to consider, which may or may not be to your liking: a Tiefling Inspired Blade Swashbuckler 1/ Empiricist Investigator X. You'd have to decide if the intellectual, instead of charismatic flavor is OK with you.

The combination of Panache, Opportune Parry and Riposte, and Inspiration allows for a very swashbuckling fighting style, using a rapier. Social skills are based off of Int instead of Cha.

Str 11 Dex 16+2 Con 12 Int 13+2 Wis 10 Cha 9-2

1. Inspired Blade Swashbuckler Fencing Grace
2. Empiricist Investigator from now on
3. Toughness or Great Fortitude
5. Extra Investigator Talent

Traits: Student of Philosophy, one other (possibly Resilient)

Carrying capacity will be an issue at the start, but from lvl 2 on you will have Ant Haul available. You could even put the 9 into Str, if you were willing to put up with the 1st lvl hassles.

You could also be a Ratfolk instead of a Tiefling, if you like.

Scarab Sages

I'll take a closer look later but ibwould prefer charismatic shes the more social kf the two and tends to drag the alchenist into doing things and experiencing life rather thsn being shut up in a tower. So charisma amd social skills is a part of the concept. The street smart to the arcanists book smart as it were. The arcanist is sitting in their room reading a book about a local festival and theyd come in take the book off them and drag them outside with a "You can read about its history later for now lets attend the actual thing." Then later grab them and drag them away from a bar with "No dont gpo in there its a gang hangout, Tom recommended the singing goat as a good place to get dinner."

Scarab Sages

Just an update due to the 1 hour edit limit.

The inspired blade/empyricist investigator concept is interesting but not really suited to the concept i had in mind.

I think i will switch from the bard/pc class to swashbuckler possibly with picano archetype i need to check if its in my books to show the dm. I'll post a possible build after work when i have time/access to books. Thanks for the advice on this bard idea even if I got convinced to go with a different class.

Silver Crusade

I'll also mention the Dawnflower Dervish archtype — you could consider dancing in combat as a flashy fighting style. It has the advantage of being a SAD archetype, which would help with your limited ability scores.

If you were to go this route, you'd want to be a Halfling.

Str 11-2 Dex 16+2 Con 12 Int 10 Wis 9 Cha 13+2

Traits: Irrepressible, Resilient
Feat: Toughness

Scarab Sages

Hmmm not a fan of the religion requirement that reverts you to a regular bard if you stop worshiping Saranae its usually why i dont play clerics, monks or paladins i dont like relying on abilities that can be taken away or rely on outside sources. Im also not sure how well itd work with the social aspects of the character.


Senko wrote:
Die rolls, they werent my friend. I can shift them around but im stuck with the values for this character. (...)

Alright. That's not good, because your casting (and social/performance stuff) either sucks, or you won't hit the broad side of a barn. Unless, that is, you use a starknife in combination with the Desna's Shooting Star Divine Fighting Technique. You should really consider that path, as a charisma-based fighting probably matches your vision of a "slightly show off style fighter, mixed with a good performer" pretty well, I think. To quote the book, the feat uses "techniques that treat a fight with a starknife more as a beautiful dance than a battle".
There's even a trait that grants proficiency. Human only.

Senko wrote:

Q) What exactly do you want from Duelist?

A) Light armoured, slightly show off style fighter, mixed with a good performer (the later not being tied to bard as i can just take the skills i want assuming enough skill points to take them).

None of that really requires or in my opinion even leans towards Duelist. To put it bluntly, the Prestige class sucks big time, dipping into Swashbuckler easily outperforms it (unlike Duelist, you wouldn't really need more than a single level in Swashbuckler). Still, I don't think you need either.

Senko wrote:
I like [the ADS] but I'm quite willing to consider other options ut just seemed like a good (if feat expensive) way of working with the duelist class.

Well, any light or one-handed piercing or slashing weapon (thanks to Slashing Grace) would work. The trait is nice, but not worth it if it costs you feats in return. Swashbuckler really wants a weapon with an 18-20 crit range. Musketeer-style would lean towards rapier anyway, I'd say.

Senko wrote:
Hmmm not a fan of the religion requirement that reverts you to a regular bard if you stop worshiping Saranae its usually why i dont play clerics, monks or paladins i dont like relying on abilities that can be taken away or rely on outside sources.

Wait, what? Unless you majorly piss of the deity, those things are super secure.

Scarab Sages

The problem with star knife is that it only does 1 d4, str based attack/damage till second level. Even afterwards its only 1d4 + cha which is pretty low. Not saying i wont do it just not sure its really viable as an attack.

I've dropped duelist, it was to get bettercombat skills and several here have said its not good at that and offered ways around it.

The outer power thing is just a personal quirk i cant really shake and pushes me away fro anything where you can lose abilities because of one event.

Scarab Sages

I think the issue is people are confusing bodyguard pregame where youd do with an occasional footpad or bandit with meleeing late game against demon lords and eldritch horrors as the first line of defense. Thats why i originally went with bard it offers a believable melee guard to begin with, aid in performances and late game would have other options to contribute to the party. What they are not intended to be is the first line of defence that will go to someone else.


Derklord wrote:
Senko wrote:
Die rolls, they werent my friend. I can shift them around but im stuck with the values for this character. (...)

Alright. That's not good, because your casting (and social/performance stuff) either sucks, or you won't hit the broad side of a barn. Unless, that is, you use a starknife in combination with the Desna's Shooting Star Divine Fighting Technique. You should really consider that path, as a charisma-based fighting probably matches your vision of a "slightly show off style fighter, mixed with a good performer" pretty well, I think. To quote the book, the feat uses "techniques that treat a fight with a starknife more as a beautiful dance than a battle".
There's even a trait that grants proficiency. Human only.

(Note: the Varisian Tattoo trait is not to be confused with the identically-named feat.)

Senko wrote:
I think i will switch from the bard/pc class to swashbuckler possibly with picano archetype i need to check if its in my books to show the dm. I'll post a possible build after work when i have time/access to books. Thanks for the advice on this bard idea even if I got convinced to go with a different class.

The primary problem, as I see it, with your desire to tussle in melee with those poor attributes (in particular, Con10) is that you're just going to get killed, and quickly. To avoid that, you're going to need good armor immediately at low-level, and a means to shore up those wretched, bonusless human saving throws. (Having class-granted awesome-sauce come on-line at ~10th is pointless if you're dead long before then.)

So, with those stats, and human racial and charismatic preferences being insisted upon, let's attempt such a build who's able to take a thorough beating, both physically and mentally. Given the seeming disinterest in bardic spellcasting, I think this is the way to go:

STR: 10
DEX: 12
CON: 13 (My god, these dice suck)
INT: 11
WIS: 9
CHA+ 18 (Well, OK, we had one good roll out of six...)

Traits: Dangerously Curious, Varisian Tattoo
-- Charisma exploit #1 (Use Magic Device is now class). Proficiency in starknives gained.

Senko wrote:
The problem with star knife is that it only does 1 d4, str based attack/damage till second level. Even afterwards its only 1d4 + cha which is pretty low.

Well, we're gonna fix that, and how....

01 Paladin1 [Divine Hunter archetype][Precise Shot], Armor Proficiency(Heavy), DFT:Desna's Shooting Star*

(*Unlike clerics, there is no rule requirement for paladins to be within one alignment step of a deity. Desna is otherwise a good-aligned deity.)

-- If you're a martial with only one good stat out of six, and it's charisma, you do not screw around: Go straight to the Paladin dealership, and drive away in a shiny new model.
-- Paladin grants a d10 maxed at 1st, heavy armor proficiency, all martial weapon proficiencies, and +2 to fort and will saves. Charisma exploit #2: Shooting Star means you're +5 to attack and damage with a charisma-based melee and ranged weapon at 1st-level. (It's almost as if the game-devs knew that some day a player would come along with a character with only one stat higher than 13, who insisted on it being charisma.) Precise Shot means you can throw into melee without penalty. You also receive a Smite (charisma exploit #3) of course, but this is oddly the least important benefit we care about from the paladin dip, although it is a nice "save-for-the-boss" ace-in-the-hole.)

Armor (and we're taking this at 1st-level out of our "average 175gp"): Four Mirror + Armored Kilt (cost 135gp) for +7 armor bonus, +1 dex, and another +1 from a buckler (AC 19 total, equals not bad). Move drops from 30 to 20, but who cares? We're throwing with Precise Shot, juicing the best stat for attack and damage. And staying alive. Queue the BeeGees.

02 Paladin2 [Divine Grace][Lay on Hands]
-- Charisma exploit #4: Your saving-throw problems are now taken care of (Fort and Will are +8 and +6 respectively at this point; switch Dex and Wis scores if you want Will to be higher; I don't recommend it, as your AC will take the most pounding). Charisma exploit #5: you are now picking up (1+Cha) uses of 1d6 free healing per day deployable as a swift-action.

03 Swashbuckler1 [Flying Blade archetype][Panache][Subtle Throw], Point Blank Shot
-- Charisma exploit #6: Panache, and we're now stepping into more skillpoints per level with better class skills.

The usual perception of a Swashbuckler is of a very lightly-armored fighter, but the class actually only has two widgets restricted to light armor: the dodging panache deed (which is exchanged for the Subtle Throw deed in Flying Blade), and Nimble (which we will not need as a more heavily-armored character).

04 Flying Blade2 [Charmed Life], CON>14
-- Hit points go from decent to good. Charmed Life unfortunately does not stack with Divine Grace, but at least it's there in those situations in which your paladin has "fallen" and you haven't atoned yet.

05 Flying Blade3 [Swashbuckler Initiative][Disrupting Counter][Precise Throw], Quick Draw
-- Now you're adding your Swashbuckler level to damage, and getting a free range-increment increase. (The Flying Blade archetype is essentially granting the archer's dream-team feats in the form of deeds not occupying precious feat-slots, so long as you're using approved thrown weapons. For example, subtle throw, which this build has at 3rd, grants the same make-ranged-attacks-without-provoking-AoOs effect provided by Snap Shot, a feat with three prerequisites and a BAB6 requirement)
-- Quick Draw (working with Swashbuckler Initiative) is also a necessity after a Blinkback Belt is acquired and BAB6 is reached and/or allied casters start sharing Haste.

Gear bucket-list: Blinkback Belt, +1 starknife, a masterwork backup, and several mundanes, Headband of Alluring Charisma +2, +1 buckler, and some cheap wands to UMD.

* At this stage, we could jump-ship to bard or another class, but why? Flying Blade is good to us, and Precise Throw damage is going up +1 per level (i.e., it's like the Cavalier's Challenge class feature, but it's not severely limited in times per day).

06 Flying Blade4 [Combat Feat: Rapid Shot]
-- At BAB6 with Rapid Shot, your rate-of-fire triples via Quick Draw and the Blinkback recycling your weapon as fast as you can throw it. (Side benefit: you never lose it this way.)

07 Flying Blade5 [Flying Blade Training +1], Clustered Shots
--Note that while Swashbuckler Weapon Training does not explicitly qualify by RAW for Gloves of Dueling, many GMs allow it.
-- Clustered Shots alleviates the enemies-with-DR problem which is beginning to rear its head in the mid-levels.

08 Flying Blade6, INT>12 (put the influx of skill points into Fly)
-- besides Gloves of Dueling, you're also buying a 5x5 Carpet of Flying and doubling your move speed as well as getting off the ground. (I think the rug also grants a +4 to the Fly skill since it's based on [/i]Overland Flight[/i] which is based on Fly.)

09 Flying Blade7 [4 more deeds], Additional Traits (Natural Flyer, The Pessimist)
-- By this point, you're a Viper gunship darting around blasting stuff. Or you can stand on the ground and beat on things there too, but where's the fun in that? (Getting your head caved in by monster multi-attacks = not fun.)

Gear bucket-list: Seeking starknife, upgraded headband, Blinkback Belt upgraded for Dex and Con (per Belt of Physical Might), Mithral Full Plate of Speed, upgraded buckler, other body slot items....

Scarab Sages

I'm more a roleplayer than anything else and the rest of the groups the same we dont mind dying at fourth as long as we have fun doing it. In this case i have a concept and restrictions so i juat want as much help as i can get to get close to that concept as i know the restrictions will prevent a bullseye and this is a class im not familiar with.

Those traits and human racial are no longer insisted upon that was because it was the only way to get to the build i had in mind reasonably quickly and ive been convinced that was a bad build (why i asked for help). So they can be changed, the charisma focus cant. Im willing to shift build not concept to use a metaphor i dont mind climbing bear mountain in the rocky mountains rather than everest as its similar if limited but i dont want to go swimming in the barrier reef which is different and not as fun.


Senko wrote:
I'm more a roleplayer than anything else and the rest of the groups the same we dont mind dying at fourth as long as we have fun doing it.

In my experience, it's easier to roleplay a character who's not dead.

(But see the fatalistic Additional Trait choice near the end of that build above, as it may tickle your funnybone.)

Scarab Sages

What's the charisma exploit you mentioned (Im looking over the build while enorute to work) as i cant find anything about it. Specifically i dont see how your getting that +5 to attack and damage.


The number of different ways that charisma bonus was being used:

#1 Use Magic Device is a charisma-based skill, and arguably the best skill in the game if you have a high charisma. Buy those cheap wands, and buff away! Longstrider, Bless, Cure Light Wounds, etc.

#2 Attack-bonus and damage-bonus with starknives (Desna's Shooting Star). A +4 bonus, plus BAB1, is +5 at 1st-level.

#3 Smite adds charisma bonus to attack. (It won't stack with Shooting Star, but it's there for when you're pressed to use a different weapon.) You will get the paladin-levels-to-damage bonus if Smiting w/Shooting Star.

#4 Divine Grace adds your charisma bonus to all your saves. This is *huge*, as you're immediately +4 to everything at 2nd-level without spending a penny on cloaks or headbands.

#5 Add charisma bonus to the number of Lay on Hands you get per day. (It's not much, but it's free, and it's a swift-action.)

#6 Swashbuckler Panache is fueled by charisma bonus, and this is good because starknives do not crit as often as swords.

Scarab Sages

Its number 2 desna thats the issue. I cant find anything under that name just a divine style way of the shooting star which requires bard 2. Though i dont have access to my books.

Silver Crusade

Senko wrote:
Its number 2 desna thats the issue. I cant find anything under that name just a divine style way of the shooting star which requires bard 2. Though i dont have access to my books.

That's the generic name d20pfsrd uses because they don't have permission to use setting-specific names on their site. Look for Desna's Shooting Star here on Archives of Nethys: Divine Fighting Technique.

Scarab Sages

Thats what i thought it was, it says

Optional Replacement: A chaotic good bard of at least 2nd level who worships Desna can replace a versatile performance with the following initial benefit.

So dont you need to be a bard to use it (in addition to a follower of Desna)?


no it mean a bard doesn't need to use a feat for it and can get it with trading his class ability instead.

anyone else can just get it as a feat. as long as they can get the other requirements if any.

Scarab Sages

Oh i see. Thanks.


Senko wrote:
The problem with star knife is that it only does 1 d4, str based attack/damage till second level. Even afterwards its only 1d4 + cha which is pretty low.

*blink blink* An ADS with your ability scores would deal 1d8+1 damage, that's 5.5 average damage. A Starknife with DSS deals 1d4+3, also 5.5 average damage - only this time, you can add the +2 racial bonus to charisma instead of dexterity, so it's actually 6.5 average, and with a +2 higher attack roll. That's with a feat less (and the one trait each).

What was the "problem" again?

Seriously, don't overvalue base damage. Attack roll and damage bonus are way more important. That's true for most characters, by the way.

Senko wrote:

Thats what i thought it was, it says

Optional Replacement: A chaotic good bard of at least 2nd level who worships Desna can replace a versatile performance with the following initial benefit.

So dont you need to be a bard to use it (in addition to a follower of Desna)?

Er, you do know what the word "optional" means, right?

The initial benefit of a Divine Fighting Technique never has any (additional) prereqs, you only need have the feat (whichs sole prereq is "Must worship a single patron deity that has an established divine fighting technique."). You don't even need proficiency with the weapon in question...

Scarab Sages

I normally play casters specifically battlefied control and some party buffing. Melee combat evwn partial melee is something I'm currently figuring out.

I know what optional means i just didnt realize they were a feat chain so i thought it was "A bard has the option to take this instead of normal progression." Rather than "A bard has the option to take this instead of normal progression IN PLACE OF SPENDING A FEAT." Now i need to decide on if worshiping Desna is a no go (from a my enjoyment perspective) and if the DM would even allow the feat. They usually insist on seeing the book regardless of who's copy it is and i dont think either of us has this particular one.


Senko wrote:
Now i need to decide on if worshiping Desna is a no go (from a my enjoyment perspective) and if the DM would even allow the feat. They usually insist on seeing the book regardless of who's copy it is and i dont think either of us has this particular one.

By RAW, you can take it, even as a paladin, so long as you worship Desna. (But she'll probably dump you if you join the Hellknights, so don't do that.)

~ ~ ~

Starknife attack bonus and damage progression in my full-BAB build above, off Cha 18:

01: +5 att; +4 dmg (BAB1 + Desna's Shooting Star's Cha to att/dmg)
02: +6 att; +4 dmg (BAB2, etc.)
03: +7 att; +4 dmg
04: +9 att; +5 dmg (Headband of Alluring Charisma +2)
05: +10 att; +6 dmg (Precise Throw's Precise Strike +Swash lvl to dmg)
06: +10/+10/+5 att (BAB6+Rapid Shot); +8 dmg (+1 weapon)
07: +12/+12/+6 (Flying Blade Training +1; +10 dmg
08: +14/+14/+14/+9 (Mithral Full Plate of Speed's Haste); +11 dmg
09: +17/+17/+17/+12 (Gloves of Dueling); +14 dmg
10: +19/+19/+19/+14 (headband upgraded to +4); +16 dmg
11: +21/+21/+21/+16/+9 (BAB11, Flying Blade Training +2); +18 dmg

* Now, stare at every att & dmg up there from 3rd-level onward, and add +1 to them if your target is within 30', due to Point-Blank Shot (taken at 3rd).

* Attack bonus may reduce depending on distance:
-- range increment is 20' initiatively, 25' at 5th, 30' at 7th, 35' at 11th, etc.
-- you may have exhausted your MFPS' ten rounds of Haste.
-- Flying Blade Training bonus is restricted to 60' or less.

* Damage bonus may reduce, depending on distance:
-- Precise Throw and Flying Blade Training are restricted to 60' or less.
-- you will have one less attack if MFPS' Haste is exhausted.
-- you will have only one attack at 6th if Blink Back Belt is delayed.

Assuming average wealth by level, you should be able to achieve this gear by roughly the levels indicated. Do NOT splurge on expensive weapon or other accessory upgrades before acquiring the Blink Back Belt, as it is the cornerstone of the build when you have multiple attacks available per round (6th). Quick Draw is necessary to use the Blink in a full-attack, so that feat is non-negotiable.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Build options: (These involve tucking in an extra dip-level from a third class offering Heavy Armor Proficiency, to alleviate the irritation of Divine Hunter forfeiting it for Precise Shot.)

01 Paladin1 [DivHunt][Precise Shot], FREED SLOT, Shooting Star
02 Warpriest1 (proficient heavy armor)(divine spells), will save bump
03 (build continues)
-or-
Trait: Defender of the Society (AC+1 in medium or heavy armor)
01 Fighter1 [FEATc], (proficient heavy), FREED SLOT, Shooting Star
02 Paladin1 [DivHunt][Precise Shot]

Good feat choices for the freed-up slot include Weapon Focus (because you'll be using the same weapon almost exclusively in melee and at range), Fey Foundling (which is superior to Toughness in nearly every respect), or shifting Point-Blank Shot down to 1st (to enjoy +1 att/dmg all the quicker).

Human alternative racial trait: Heart of the Fey (replaces Skilled)
...this one is too damned good not to take, so consider it added to the build. "...You gain low-light vision, gain a +1 racial bonus on Reflex and Will saves, and treat Knowledge (nature) and Perception as class skills." ...Woof! Gimme. (Aside from the saving-throws and class-skill Perception, low light vision means that certain sneaky types who think they're hidden in dim light 40' away are going to get nailed by your Precise Throws.)

Scarab Sages

Thanks for all the advice, some have been filed away for future consideration. However after thinking it over I'm going with Swashbuckler for the fun if I die, I die.

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