Making a Bard / Swashbuckler. How to best get Panache?


Advice


I've just started playing in an Age of Extinction campaign. We're one session in and still all level one. I am playing a Leaf Leshy Maestro Bard, and am aiming to make a multi-role character who can perform support/debuff/buff magic and also fight when required.

I am currently planning to take a multi-class dedication into Swashbuckler at level 2, with the goal of using it to gain panache for when I am in melee combat. I'm not sure which Swashbuckler style would be the best to take. Battledancer looks interesting, but I'm not really sure how the Performance check works or what triggers it. Fencer might fit better if I'm going to be doing this when going into melee with my rapier, or possibly Gymnast?

Any advice on which to pick?

Shadow Lodge

For Battledancer, the gain Panache text seems to refer to the Fascinating Performance feat that it normally grants, but you'd have to take that as a normal skill feat (the dedication does not grant bonus feats from the style).


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Taja the Barbarian wrote:
For Battledancer, the gain Panache text seems to refer to the Fascinating Performance feat that it normally grants, but you'd have to take that as a normal skill feat (the dedication does not grant bonus feats from the style).

You can Perform without the feat and still get Panache, Fascinating Performance just gives the action some benefit aside from Panache.


You could be a braggart, and get panache by having your cute little plant create swear like a sailor at enemies.


Outside of Gymnast, which uses athletics to do maneuvers like grapple, trip, and shove to gain panache, the other styles use a charisma based skill like Deception, Performance, Intimidation, or Diplomacy.

Most swashbuckler styles should work well with a charisma centric character like a bard. Gymnast would be the least synergistic, since your primary stat to use to gain panache would be strength.


I love getting One for All as a Bard and having a ranged Aid on attacks to maximise support while minimizing spellslot expenditure.

It also allows you to gain Panache through Diplomacy and you get to utilise your reaction where you dont have a lot of uses for it either way as a Bard.


Salamileg wrote:
Taja the Barbarian wrote:
For Battledancer, the gain Panache text seems to refer to the Fascinating Performance feat that it normally grants, but you'd have to take that as a normal skill feat (the dedication does not grant bonus feats from the style).
You can Perform without the feat and still get Panache, Fascinating Performance just gives the action some benefit aside from Panache.

That's the part which I'm still not sure how it works. Does any successful use of Perform for any purpose count for granting Panache with Battledancer, or does it specifically need to be used for something like Fascinating Performance?

shroudb wrote:

I love getting One for All as a Bard and having a ranged Aid on attacks to maximise support while minimizing spellslot expenditure.

It also allows you to gain Panache through Diplomacy and you get to utilise your reaction where you dont have a lot of uses for it either way as a Bard.

That is tempting, since my character's role on the party is mostly team mascot and cheerleader, but it would require me to take an additional feat in addition to the class dedication feat.

Shadow Lodge

Salamileg wrote:
Taja the Barbarian wrote:
For Battledancer, the gain Panache text seems to refer to the Fascinating Performance feat that it normally grants, but you'd have to take that as a normal skill feat (the dedication does not grant bonus feats from the style).
You can Perform without the feat and still get Panache, Fascinating Performance just gives the action some benefit aside from Panache.
The style seems to be specifically referring to the use of its bonus feat:
Battledancer wrote:

Source Advanced Player's Guide pg. 84

To you, a fight is a kind of performance art, and you command your foes' attention with mesmerizing motions. You are trained in Performance and gain the Fascinating Performance skill feat. You gain panache during an encounter when the result of your Performance check to Perform exceeds the Will DC of an observing foe, even if the foe isn't fascinated.

That last bit and the fact that you are making your Performance check against the target's Will Save (just like the feat and unlike the perform action in general) strongly indicates that it is specifically referring to the use of the feat.

Normally, this is a bit irrelevant as the feat is a double-freebie (you get it for free and it's use is free with a Perform check), but it does look like you'll need to actually take this feat 'manually' if you take this style via the multiclass dedication.


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Fascinating Performance isn't it's own thing, it simply adds an effect to the existing Perform action. If you Perform and lack that feat then you can still get panache despite not fascinating them.

Dark Archive

Gymnast, IMO, is gonna be your WORST fit for a Bard. Gymnast is focused on athletics based moves.

IMO your BEST bet is to spend a Skill Feat to take Fascinating Performance (or take the entertainer background that grants it) and go Battledancer. Battledancer has some good powers and is focused on Perform which SHOULD be your first Skill to Legendary.

The next best would be to spend a Bard Feat to on MULTIFARIOUS MUSE for Polymath and Versitile Performance, which opens up Fencer and Braggart to working off Perform/Charisma.

Wit after that because it requires Bon Mot which you don't get from the dedication, so it requires a skill feat AND a class feat (Multifarious for polymath again) to get it working on Perform/Charisma.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

With the exception of Fencer, they are all pretty good (Fencer is severely handicapped by it targetting Perception DCs which are usually higher than all the other options).

Battledance is nice, it targets will saves which are usually the lowest of the four (Perception, Fortitude, Reflexes, Will) and you will already have a high performance skill from being a bard.

Braggart is really good for a swashbuckler of level 9 or higher but as a dedication you don't get Exemplary Finisher, which you need to be able to target someone more than once per encounter so I wouldn't advise it.

Gymnast can be a good option if you build for it, but you suffer from multi attack penalties and probably low strength as a bard unless you use a weapon with both finesse and the maneuver trait you are looking for. It also targets either Fortitude saves or Reflex saves rather than Will. Fortitude is usually the highest of the three saves (Although much better than Perception) and you can already target Reflexes through Tumble Through.

Wit is a really interesting one. It suffers a bit from Bon Mot being language dependent but you can work around that quite well by picking up certain languages (Draconic for instance) which allows you to avoid some of the problems. It also has the All for One feat which is extremely interesting way of buffing a party member's attacks substantially and the Very Hard DC is usually on the low side compared to a lot of the save and perception DCs.


So, weirdly, based on my experience of playing as a Swashbuckler in Organised Play, I would actually say you should pick a style that plays into how you want to play and the feats on hand. As a Braggart Swashbuckler, 80% of the time I've gotten my panache back via tumbling or insane daring feats I've rolled and passed (e.g. skidding on ice around a corner). The styles give you options, but Tumbling/Improv Daring Acts does seem to be the bread-n-butter of the Swashbuckler.


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TiwazBlackhand wrote:

Gymnast, IMO, is gonna be your WORST fit for a Bard. Gymnast is focused on athletics based moves.

IMO your BEST bet is to spend a Skill Feat to take Fascinating Performance (or take the entertainer background that grants it) and go Battledancer. Battledancer has some good powers and is focused on Perform which SHOULD be your first Skill to Legendary.

The next best would be to spend a Bard Feat to on MULTIFARIOUS MUSE for Polymath and Versitile Performance, which opens up Fencer and Braggart to working off Perform/Charisma.

Wit after that because it requires Bon Mot which you don't get from the dedication, so it requires a skill feat AND a class feat (Multifarious for polymath again) to get it working on Perform/Charisma.

I don't think Versatile Performance will let you use Performance for Bon Mot.

I also don't think it will work for a Fencer, because it only let's you use Performance for Impersonate, Demoralize and Make A Impression, not Feint or Create A Distraction.

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