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The Ultimate Bard?

Discussion in 'Dungeons & Dragons + Other RPGs' started by raptor, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. raptor Gems: 16/31
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    The Ultimate Bard ?

    This idea has been circling around in my head for quite some time now, a bard is suposed to be the most allround character class (among the core 11). So sould not a bard be able to focus on the weak points of more specialised classes to take them down ? In other words, a bard is not a great spellcaster like a sorcerer or wizard, but he has much more magic than a fighter or a paladin, so should he not be able to focus on this and be able to take that fighter down ? He is definitivelly not the equal to a fighter in combat, but he is still way better than a Wizard, so should he not be able to take down a wizard by focusing on just enough spells to twart the mage enough to get into melee ?

    ---

    So I decided i wanted to give you guys alittle challenge:

    Can anyone build a Bard that can stand up to, and defeat an equalent character of the more specialised classes ? (Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, Wizard)

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    Rules:

    The bard will be level 20 pureclass bard

    Decide race, alignment, feats, skills, spells etc as you wish within the CORE 3.5 books (phb, dmg, mm).

    You may equip him/her with magic items from these books to a worth of 50 000 gold (uncertain about this, sugestions?).

    Stats: Point based, 85 total points, divide as you want (legally) between the stats. I would prefer not min/max'ing but its your show. (the 5 stat increase points are added into the count, so if you start with 18 int you can upgrade that to max 23 int at level 20 as usual.)

    ---

    Notes: Remember that he should be set up against characters with the same posibilities and amount of equipment as this character. So that fighter just might carry around on a greatsword +5, and the wizard might have a staff of the magi etc. Also interested in what spells you would pick, to have as varied selection as possile to deal with as varied characters as posible.

    (no this is not a character i am going to play, i have just been in frequent discussions with people that thnk bard sucks. I just want to see him shine a bit :) and im just a rulefreak, not a big powergamer.)

    Anyone up for this ?

    [ December 01, 2005, 18:57: Message edited by: Taluntain ]
     
  2. Oaz Gems: 29/31
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    Just because a bard can't kill another equal-level character of a different class in a fight doesn't mean that it is somehow underpowered, since adventurers will face a variety of obstacles and challenges. A bard's talent at Sense Motive and Gather Information may never come up in a duel, nor may a spell like scrying, but that doesn't make it useless when you are trying to pursue a villain or find a certain item.
     
  3. raptor Gems: 16/31
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    I agree, doubt me not I like the bard. But i was curious if the bard could also use hes versitality to stand chance in various forms of combat against the most common preferences in a combat ? like Fighter and Wizard.

    This is not to "find a use", its more to see just WHAT he is capable of.
     
  4. Fabius Maximus Gems: 19/31
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    Do the 'Complete', terrain and monster books count as 'core'?
     
  5. khaavern Gems: 14/31
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    Personally I would go with a build with greater spell focus: enchantment. Then fighter and rogues would pose no challenge; the DC for spells like hold monster and war cry (with its fear effect) can be 24 (asuming somewhat low charisma of 22). The base will save for classes with low will at level 20 is 6; so they have to roll an 18 to save vs being held. Of course, they may have equipment which raises their will saves, or use feats like iron will; the bard can also use curse song and mind fog (which is enchantment school, too :)

    Against wizards, I don't know. It would depend if the wizard is fully buffed from the start. If yes, it would be quite difficult; if no, I would try by starting with a blindness/deafness (DC of 22); not much chance for this to take hold, since wizards get bonus saves +4 vs spells from their spellcraft, but one can try.

    Against cleric, bards don't stand a chance :)
     
  6. raptor Gems: 16/31
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    No prebuff, thats cheating you know!

    Well i stil think a Bard should stand a good chance against a wizard. Pull of ne summon. and then start casting fortitude spells on him while closing in. If you hve improved initiative and a high dex (and you should) then you will damage him first, and he has to make consentration check for the rest of the game.

    Spells like shout and greater shout is fort/ref save. perfect against wizards. lots of damage.
    Ottos irresistable dance, no save :p a must have. Just for the amusement.

    Improved invisibility, then the wiard cant target you, and you can run up close and attack/summon. i belive the key to fight wizard is to have one summon to flank and do AoO.
     
  7. khaavern Gems: 14/31
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    Nah, the key to fight wizard is to disable him as fast as possible. Maybe greater shout is worth trying; not for the damage, but for the stun and deafening effect (even with a fort. save, the wizard is stunned for one round and deafened for two).

    The thing is, once he gets a greater stoneskin/premonition up, is really hard to damage him. Bards are not really high damage dealing chars; and summons won't help either. As a standard wizard maxes concentration, I think is wishful thinking to hope to be able to intrerupt his spellcasting. And all he has to do is to tag you with a couple of horrid wiltings, or a greater missile storm.

    Improved inv. wont help, because every mage worth his salt has a true sight available. And if the mage uses Improv. Inv. ... what are you going to do? try to greater dispell, maybe; but the chances are for the mage here too.
     
  8. Yoshimo's Heart Gems: 13/31
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    In standard non computer game D&D spellcraft does not give you a bonus to saving throws of any kind. I believe this ability only exists in NWN since they wanted to give you a good reason to pick up spell craft (just like tumble does not give you a continous bonus AC in pen and paper but does in NWN for the same reason).
     
  9. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    Continuous? Iirc it doesn't give any bonus in 3.5 e., although it remains a useful skill if you can invest in it; for thieves at least it offers more opportunities to pull off a surprise attack :)
    Basically, I'd go with more enchantments as well, if you plan your bard to go up against and survive a duel... Which imo isn't exactly the very "bard"-ish thing to do, right? I'd use the bard more as the skills and knowledges kind of guy (or gal), doing various support tasks and every now and then getting a hit with a shortbow (possibly with rapid shot, if you're more into that).
    Rogues should be ok to defeat by using spells with will saves (of course, you need to detect them first, see invisibility should be ok. Afterwards, rogues have a generally weak will save, so most of your stuff goes. Hold person, for example, is a decent choice (or hold monster, if you want more versatility). Mirror image should reduce the impact of the dreaded 1st attack - or can save you from a few very unwanted attacks from anyone else.
    Fighters, barbarians - target will saves, hopefully early enough for a barb not to rage. Rangers... try to avoid, in close or from a range they will likely defeat you (summons, buffs etc. may help, but we don't count them). Paladins - expeditious retreat, and hope for good attack rolls. Better still: hope you don't have to fight them.
    Clerics and druids... well, you will have a hard time beating them.
    Other bards... - invisibility, perhaps? A bard doesn't have that many detection options...
    Wizards and sorcerers...Invisibility, buff, summon to flank.

    Still, a bard excels at teamplay, not solo fights. I mean, bard song, song of discord, greater heroism? The more, the merrier.

    On a side note, would a bard have trouble becoming a loremaster? I know the PrC is more geared towards wizards, but is there a restriction?

    [ February 21, 2006, 14:03: Message edited by: The Shaman ]
     
  10. deepfae Gems: 7/31
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    A Bard could become a Loremaster, and it would fit well with a Bard who is geared towards being the knowledge providing/identifier of the group. However, it would require that the Bard (according to straight 3.5 rules) learn every divination spell offered to him, and that would (I think) mean the bard could not become a loremaster until he reaches level 17 :( .
     
  11. Yoshimo's Heart Gems: 13/31
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    Ah yes what I meant by the continous ac bous is that if you fight defensively and you have 5 ranks(?) in tumble you gain even more of an ac benefit for fighting defensively.
     
  12. Yoshimo's Heart Gems: 13/31
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    if you want there are several bard varients in Unearthed Arcana that give several more divinations and thus grant you earlier access to Loremaster.

    I agree about using otto dance for the win. It has no save so it will hit but the bard needs to capitalize on it quickly to win. The question is how since his abilities (including this dance spell) are designed to help his allies kill an enemy. So do we know any good way to spam a lot of allies in a really short amount of time?
     
  13. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    Items, perhaps? The horn of Valhalla or whatever its analog in PnP roleplaying games was (I know one exists) summons several barbarian constructs. Unfortunately, it is very expensive, 50,000 gp; but an iron horn (bards meet the prerequisites) can summon 2-5 construct barbarians. On the other hand, elemental gems are relatively cheap and provide a useful ally for one single fight. Unless your opponent can banish summoned creatures, a large earth elemental is a dangerous foe - and 2.500 gp is a good investment in this case. Of course, a bard with (very) high UMD can just buy scrolls, which are even cheaper. As a lvl 20 bard, though, you could probably have the ranks to cast lvl 9 spells 90% of the time. Sure, a DC 37 check is nothing to sneer at, but it's charisma-based, and there are synergies both from spellcraft and decipher script. In addition to that, there are many items that can help boost your scores.

    Of course, bards can simply summon creatures. A summon creature VI can summon 2-5 creatures from those accessible by the lvl 4 varian, or 1-3 of the lvl 5. 3-4 yeth hounds, celestial lions, or fiendish huge vipers are nothing to sneer at, if you're a spellcaster (and can be down right mean if the bard has the augment summoning feat). Of course, with summons it's a matter of who comes first. Imagine what happens to a mage if they cast a spell and 3 fiendish dire wolves are entitled to attacks of opportunity - with improved trip, if I may add.

    [ August 01, 2006, 18:29: Message edited by: The Shaman ]
     
  14. Abdel - Bhaal Spawn Gems: 13/31
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    I am not fimilar with 3.5E rules and the only experience I have with them is from NWN. If I am using the NWN system I would build the following..

    Class: Bard/RDD
    Level: 10/10

    This character should be able to keep up with the fighter and maybe have enough spell power to disable the mage and enough attack power to take him out.
     
  15. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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  16. Register Gems: 29/31
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    18 Charisma
    14 ranks in Diplomacy
    5 ranks in Bluff
    5 ranks in Sense Motive
    5 ranks in Knowledge (Nobility)

    DC of turning a hostile character to indifferent is 25. 14 from Diplomacy, +2 Synergy from each of Bluff, Sense Motive, and Knowledge Nobility, +4 from Charisma.

    14+2+2+2+4=24. He doesn't have to roll. Buff up the ranks of diplomacy to the top and add the feat Skill Focus(Diplomacy), and he can make them friendly, which has a DC of 35.

    24+2+9=35.

    Then, Coup De Grace them while they're asleep. No need for anything else. You can also go way above that with even more feats and items and ****. Sky's the limit.

    Credits to my old netpal Rich Burlew for pointing out this glitch in the system.

    [ September 26, 2006, 22:17: Message edited by: Rutkowski ]
     
  17. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    That's exactly it. By the time they hit 11th level (required for the 14 ranks), they'll have a higher Charisma and toys to up those chances significantly.
     
  18. Klorox

    Klorox Baruk Khazad! Khazad ai-mĂȘnu! Veteran

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    Wou;dn't playing a race like Drow be beneficial (bonuses to CHA, DEX, INT IIRC)?
     
  19. Register Gems: 29/31
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    Off course, there's plenty of feats, items, and races that give more bonuses, but it's not needed, considering they already got the dude to friendly. Rather spend that stuff on the Coup De Grace stuff to make the dude really, really dead.
     
  20. raptor Gems: 16/31
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    Register: cool idea. But the diplomacy skill would only work on NPC's, and not a potentional player character. Considering this entire idea is more or less a 1 on 1 idea that is kinda essential :p

    (wow this thread is still alive!)

    Another thing i was thinking about, vs mages was trip and improved trip. as well as summoning wolves (which have improved trip). Keep the wizard down, and keep hammering him with AoO when trying to get up and trip him again.
     
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