Bard Build Advice

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Bard Build Advice

Postby Velkar » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:17 pm

Hi,

I have a character who is currently Bard 4, Rogue 3, with taken feats: point-blank shot, extra music, curse song, rapid shot. Stats are Str12, Dex17, Cons10, Int13, Wis10, Cha16 (without including buffs from items). They are using a shortbow (I will probably get shortbow focus) but they feel quite poor in combat at present - lots of missed shots, quite vulnerable, etc. Am I doing something wrong, or is this just a Bard thing? Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Bard Build Advice

Postby If Valor Were Inches » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:44 pm

With a bard you'll need to use both bard and curse song to lower AC and raise your attack bonus to hit, as your AB progression gets you 15 instead of 20. You won't be able to lower AC until your eleventh bard level, nor get +2 to AB until level 8 (Only +1 until then).

So at your current level you only have 5 ab BASE, + 3 from DEX without buffs. With a regular shortbow against a 20 AC opponent you're going to miss 60% of the time. add a song and it's 55%, maybe add your dex buff for a 65% hit. But raise the theoretical AC and they're going to miss a lot.

A better shortbow, DEX Buffs, better bard song for better AB/AC lowering with curse song, will help.

Also higher levels will also give more AC/temporary hitpoints to help, as well as more bard spells.

Ghostly Visage will help a little bit. for survivability.

Its more of a low level bard thing, especially with an early multi-class.
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Re: Bard Build Advice

Postby Velkar » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:55 pm

That all makes sense, thanks!
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Re: Bard Build Advice

Postby Tourmaline » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:32 pm

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Last edited by Tourmaline on Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bard Build Advice

Postby vaclavc » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:58 pm

Bards are very strong, albeit sometimes struggling at lower levels. But I fear your build is flawed in several ways and that is partly the reason you feel your character is subpar. Let me elaborate.
1) If you plan on having lots of bard levels (i.e. 16+), extra music is unnecessary.
2) CON 10 is too low, you should always have more as a bard. Similarly, you should have started with 14 INT.
3) You seem to build your character as an archer, thus curse song is completely reduntant.
That being said, I see two options: To remake or trying to salvage your build. If you play an elf, go for arcane archer prestige class and do 6bard/13rogue/11AA, with 4/6/10 split pre-epic. make sure you have DEX 25+ at lvel 27 to take epic dodge. This is very strong build, but I still recommend you to start from scratch as you need to get several key feats for such a build to work well.
-V-
Retired characters: Thazmudin; Cyrianthir; Zalastrien; Nebuzirah; Qaenuhir.
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Re: Bard Build Advice

Postby Velkar » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:01 am

vaclavc wrote:If you play an elf, go for arcane archer prestige class and do 6bard/13rogue/11AA, with 4/6/10 split pre-epic. make sure you have DEX 25+ at lvel 27 to take epic dodge. This is very strong build, but I still recommend you to start from scratch as you need to get several key feats for such a build to work well.
-V-


I've been toying with the idea of remaking and doing bard/AA - is rogue actually necessary? It would probably be half-elf for RP reasons, so rogue would give shortbow useage (although would mean an extra 3 levels...) - if not, I guess I'd have to spend a feat on martial weapon proficiency. Does anyone have any advice for this? (Also, longbow or shortbow?)
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Re: Bard Build Advice

Postby Astral » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:43 am

I recommend the idea of rebuilding and going arcane archer as an elf or half elf (elves get a bigger bow *shrugs*) and no you wont need rogue lvls. you can try pally lvls or paragon lvls if you want divine might on that archer but otherwise you can go for epic support bard with 20+ bard lvls or you can just build a mundane archer with bard lvls for UMD and a lot of aa lvls and ranger or monk as your base starting class. I CAN send you a build or post it here, if it interests you. Right now, I don't really see a way to salvage this build like how it looks right now, without staying down in power next to any other archer that stands next to you (or against you) and shoots along.
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Re: Bard Build Advice

Postby vaclavc » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:20 am

Velkar wrote:I've been toying with the idea of remaking and doing bard/AA - is rogue actually necessary? It would probably be half-elf for RP reasons, so rogue would give shortbow useage (although would mean an extra 3 levels...) - if not, I guess I'd have to spend a feat on martial weapon proficiency. Does anyone have any advice for this? (Also, longbow or shortbow?)


There are several ways to build bard/AA characters. The build I posted is a variant relying on sneaking, shooting at point blank range, setting traps, etc. With weapon finesse, uncanny dodge and epic dodge, you will be semi competent in melee, too.
The other variant is bard/fighter/AA, something like 6/7/17 split. This build has higher AB and more consistent damage across all shooting distances.
The last main variant would be bard/paladin/AA, e.g. 7/4/19 combining divine might with arrow enhancement. This variant has the highest average damage of all three builds, limited by the number of divine might castings.
Note that all three builds use bard as a dip class to qualify as AA and skill dumping. If you wish to go bard – heavy (16+ levels of bard), I strongly suggest focusing on melee.
If you wish, I may post a detailed build on any of abovementioned variants.

-V-
Retired characters: Thazmudin; Cyrianthir; Zalastrien; Nebuzirah; Qaenuhir.
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Re: Bard Build Advice

Postby Velkar » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:37 am

Thank you both for the advice and offer, but I think I should be fine - I'm probably going to just go half-elf Bard/AA, maybe take a third class later (probably fighter) but maybe not. Ultimately I'm not really trying to minmax, I just didn't want to be completely useless (as was the case with my current character build).

I am curious why you think going many levels in bard would be more for melee, though.

One final question - cons14int14 or cons12int16? Reason being there are quite a few skill lines I've found helpful (though I'm not sure what use, if any, persuade has on this server; I took it for RP reasons but... I'm not sure if it's taken into account?) and, especially if I'm now lacking the rogue levels, it'll be harder to keep them up.
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Re: Bard Build Advice

Postby If Valor Were Inches » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:20 pm

Velkar wrote:Thank you both for the advice and offer, but I think I should be fine - I'm probably going to just go half-elf Bard/AA, maybe take a third class later (probably fighter) but maybe not. Ultimately I'm not really trying to minmax, I just didn't want to be completely useless (as was the case with my current character build).

I am curious why you think going many levels in bard would be more for melee, though.

One final question - cons14int14 or cons12int16? Reason being there are quite a few skill lines I've found helpful (though I'm not sure what use, if any, persuade has on this server; I took it for RP reasons but... I'm not sure if it's taken into account?) and, especially if I'm now lacking the rogue levels, it'll be harder to keep them up.


This is because bard song typically puts you at closer range, and curse song will upset enemies to engage you.

I actually disagree slightly, bard/rogue with a bow would actually be okay at this range, especially if with someone and -guarded, since you need to be close for sneak attacks. I usually play caster bards though and just get as many spells as I can to support.
Mainly Plays:
Adoria Sweetlight, Cleric of the Lost Lady.(Loversfire)
Emily Castella, Hopeless Romantic (Imoen)
Bernadette, Witchy Witchy Witchy (Bernadette)
And a Slew of Alternates due to Alternatitis. Will I ever be cured?
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