Optimizing a Herald of the Horn


Advice


Hello everyone

I have recently become enamoured with the Herald of the Horn Skald archetype.

With its focus on Sonic spells, I thought it could be fun. Its Horn Call ability could allow Sonic Spells to keep their DC on par with a full caster.

Which Bard Spells do you think I should focus on?
Which Rage Powers do you think pair well with ^ strategy?


Take the Leadership feat, and beg your GM for a Phrenologist Bard as your Cohort... their Skull Sonata performance:
All enemies within 30 feet of the phrenologist that have skulls take an amount of additional sonic damage equal to half the phrenologist’s bard level (minimum 1) each time they take sonic damage.

I will look at the archetype more when I have some time... possibly post something that is actually helpful. Lol.


Since we are concerned with keeping spell DC's relevant, let's key as much as we can off your casting stat without getting stupid... Noble Scion of War at level 1 will put Initiative on Charisma. Desna's Shooting Star can put attack and damage on Charisma with single feat if you are willing to use Starknives.

You will probably want Extra Performance if you plan on actually using Rousing Retort... very cool ability, by the way. Made even more cool by that it can be used starting any song. Neat.

Bard spells you should focus on are ones with the sonic descriptor. Lol.
Ear-Piercing Scream
Shatter
Sound Burst
Discordant Blast
Shout
Wall of Sound
Ki Shout
Greater Shout

I will have to search AoN to see if I can find anything cool to do with horns... the instrument, not the natural weapon.


There are a number of magical horns that you could craft your bonded instrument into... the Horn of Battle Clarity seems fitting. If you do craft your horn into a magical instrument, I highly recommend the Instrumental feat...

Prerequisites: Bardic Performance class feature, Perform (any instrument) 3 ranks.

Benefit: When activating a magical instrument as a fullround or standard action, you may begin a bardic performance as a free action. Your performance must use a Perform skill appropriate to the instrument.

Alternatively, you may expand 2 rounds of bardic performance to add +2 to any save DCs associated with the use of the instrument's powers.

If your instrument summons allies, such as pipes of the sewers or the horn of Valhalla, your bardic performances with that instrument affect those allies even if they normally would not.


Thank you

I made this spreadsheet to breakdown all the sonic spells available. Bold means no save, and yellow means no spell resistance.

It is clearly not going to be a blaster, but some sort of condition administrator with chip damage could work. Which conditions aka what metamagic (Which is difficult with limited spell levels to increase by)?


I think Lingering Spell could work well with this build... it's only a +1 metamagic, so you can pick it up/start using it around level 5. Your area spells like Discordant Blast, Sonic Burst, Sonic Scream, and Shout will become battlefield control.

Bouncing Spell is another +1 metamagic, and could be used on your single target spells like Ear-Piercing Scream.


Cool spreadsheet, by the way.

Me-thinks it will be most helpful for my Boggard Phrenologist Bard... although much more focused on using Sonic Croak, the multitude of additional sonic-based attacks/effects/spells will go well together.

As for Rage Powers to go with your Skald, maybe Intimidating Glare and Battle Roar? Mainly for Battle Roar's sonic damage... seems fitting to your theme. Although it does require you to be adjacent, and I don't know how well that fits into your plans.

Intimidating Glare/Battle Roar could go well with Hurtful, and even Cleave or Vital Strike. Move action Intimidate, swift action attack, standard action Cleave or Vital Strike.

Maybe something like this:
1. Power Attack
3. Hurtful
3. Intimidating Glare Rage Power
5. Extra Performance
6. Battle Roar Rage Power
7. Bouncing or Lingering Spell
9. Cornugon Smash or Vital Strike
9. *Rage Power*
11. Discordant Voice


There might be something to that. It could even pair well with the Battle Scion Archetype


One problem (if the GM realises it) about sonic attacks is that they're really noisy, and will alert everything nearby that there's trouble afoot.


I don't know how I missed this earlier, but [obviously] the Concussive Spell metamagic feat... which only applies to spells with the sonic descriptor. It is a +2 metamagic, so without trait shenanigans you can only apply it to a 4th-level spell, or lower.

How do you feel about Sacred Geometry?


VoodistMonk wrote:


How do you feel about Sacred Geometry?

Not for me, but I have something:

OUTLINE

Race: Human
Class: Herald of the Horn + Battle Scion Herald

Stats – 25 Points
Str: 11
Dex: 12
Cons: 14
Int: 10
Wis: 10
Cha: 18+2:20

ATTRIBUTE INCREASES
4, 8,12,16,20 - CHA

TRAITS

____________ (Campaign: X)
Reactionary (Combat)
Magical Lineage (Magic)
TBD (Drawback)

FEATS

1 – Skald – Level – Spell Focus (Evocation)
1 – Skald – Human – Additional Traits: Curator of Mystic Secrets (Exemplar)
3 – Skald – Level – Power Attack
5 – Skald – Level - Extra Rage Power: Spirit Totem, Lesser
7 - Skald – Level - Lingering Spell
9 - Skald – Level - Quicken Spell
11 - Skald – Level - Discordant Voice
13 - Skald – Level - Concussive Spell
15 - Skald – Level - Spell Perfection
17 - Skald – Level - Greater Spell Focus (Evocation)

Battle Prowess

3 – Skald – Level – Hurtful
6 – Skald – Human – Cornugon Smash
9 – Skald – Level – Roaring Drunk
12 – Skald – Level -
15 – Skald – Level -

Overview

So it is a casting focused Skald first and foremost. Using Sonic Spells to control the battlefield. The Battle Scion archetype half of this build gifts Hurtful and Cornugon Smash to my allies (Who I assume would have Power Attack) to make up for the physical attacks that I am not making.

All of their attacks do extra sonic damage, and they all become intimidating machines to further control the battlefield.

The Exemplar trait ( Curator of Mystic Secrets) combined with the metamagic feats, spell perfection, and magical lineage allows me to keep things within the Max level 6 spells and not have to worry (always) about using a full round to cast.

Anyway that is all in theory


Actually I am thinking that Selective Spell may be better than than Lingering Spell, allowing Shout (And its Greater version), as well as Archon's Trumpet to work unimpeded


Minigiant wrote:

Not for me, but I have something:

OUTLINE

Race: Human
Class: Herald of the Horn + Battle Scion Herald

If you want to truly boost your spellcasting as much as possible, the Court Poet archetype should stack with the above and allows you to boost Int/Cha instead. (And does grant Rage Powers to allies without preventing spellcasting. There's a PFS-specific nerf which replaces your rage powers with extra rounds of performance.)

Minigiant wrote:

Stats – 25 Points

Str: 11
Dex: 12
Cons: 14
Int: 10
Wis: 10
Cha: 18+2:20

Wayyy too much spent on Charisma here. If you want high Charisma then you should start out with age category shenanigans. As a Skald you have access to Spring Rage as well.

Minigiant wrote:

FEATS

1 – Skald – Level – Spell Focus (Evocation)
1 – Skald – Human – Additional Traits: Curator of Mystic Secrets (Exemplar)
3 – Skald – Level – Power Attack
5 – Skald – Level - Extra Rage Power: Spirit Totem, Lesser

Bad choice. You definitely want this one as an actual rage power so that all of your allies get the free slam attack (using your Cha).

I'd honestly not bother with the Hurtful->Cornugon Smash setup. It relies on your allies actually making the check, being in melee, and not having better uses of their swift actions. Quite a few "ifs" when you don't know your team composition.


Wonderstell wrote:


Bad choice. You definitely want this one as an actual rage power so that all of your allies get the free slam attack (using your Cha).

Yeah I saw this FAQ a few hours after I had posted it


OUTLINE

Race: Half-Elf (Kindred-Raised
Class: Herald of the Horn

Stats – 25 Points
Str: 11
Dex: 12
Cons: 14+2:16
Int: 10
Wis: 10
Cha: 18+2:20

ATTRIBUTE INCREASES
4, 8,12,16,20 - CHA

TRAITS

____________ (Campaign: X)
Curator of Mystic Secrets (Exemplar)
TBD (Drawback)

FEATS

1 – Skald – Level – Spell Focus (Evocation)
3 – Skald – Level – Additional Traits: Magical Lineage & Arcane Temper
5 – Skald – Level - Lingering Spell
7 - Skald – Level - Spell Penetration
9 - Skald – Level - Quicken Spell
11 - Skald – Level - Discordant Voice
13 - Skald – Level - Selective Spell
15 - Skald – Level - Spell Perfection
17 - Skald – Level - Greater Spell Focus (Evocation)

Battle Prowess

3 – Skald – Level – Lesser Spirit Totem
6 – Skald – Human – Spirit Totem
9 – Skald – Level – Increased Damage Reduction
12 – Skald – Level - Greater Spirit Totem
15 – Skald – Level - Increased Damage Reduction
18 – Skald – Level - Increased Damage Reduction

Overview

Swapped Race as I dropped the entire Power Attack/Hurtful/Cornugon Smash combo. Half-Elf gets me extra rounds of Inspired Rage, as well as extra spells (Human FCB if need be).

Stuck with the high Charisma for the spell casting


Okay, I think Persistent Spell would be better than Lingering Spell as sonic spells do not have a Visual Manifestation to grant the concealment (Which the Spirit Totem in a way grants anyway)

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