View Full Version : Heavy Metal: A "Bard-Barian" idea.

2008-12-25, 06:17 PM
So I was thinking of some fun bard gestalt concepts and the thought struck me: introducing metal to the whimsical world of DnD, of course!

But who to lead this most righteous cause? To unleash a furious metalocalypse unto the masses and crush the face of music forever? Hmm.. I feel the one most capable of handling such musical brutality is the Bard/Barbarian- I mean this is DnD, where else could a hairy enough bloke find musical inspiration whilst caving a bugbear's face in? As to a workable build, however, I have little idea. The crunch is a little lacking in punch. Anyone care to share any wisdom?

Another thing is the bard's instrument..I kinda want to make it his signature weapon too, so instantly my mind leaps to an axe/guitar hybrid ala KISS (http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k145/TheDemon_2006/1042269131_es10038316.jpg). I'm wondering how feasible this could be, mechanically speaking. Be it a magical greataxe which screams noise, controllable by the wielder? or a magical guitar with a bitchin' axe blade on it? Again, any thoughts would be appreciated.

Do anything for Dethklok, Do anything for Dethklok, Do anything for Dethklok.. :smalltongue:

2008-12-25, 06:22 PM
Well, both are Chaotic, so that works. However, you can't cast while in a rage; I believe the Rage Mage PrC (C.Arc.) can, but I've heard it sucks.

You'll want Lingering Song so you can do a few chords and then rage into combat, destroying everything you see. Dragonfire Inspiration is a good one to have, too, since you can make Dragonforce jokes as well as deal mad fire damage.

2008-12-25, 06:29 PM
MAD will be a problem...you'll need Str, Con, Cha, and somewhat Int...


Get a high Strength, a decent Con, and a high Cha.

Take Snowflake Wardance, Dragonfire Inspiration, Power Attack, and any Bardic Music enhancing abilities you can (for a bonus to Inspiration).

Activate Snowflake Wardance for Cha to (attack? damage? I forget), pull Power Attack for a good, solid blow, and let loose your best Power Chord ala Dragonforce to activate Dragonfire Inspiration, granting +Xd6 fire damage to your attack damage, where X is the bonus that your Bardic Music would have granted.

2008-12-25, 06:36 PM
I had dragonfire inspiration playing on my mind for a while now thanks to previous bard threads lauding it. Yes, fire is indeed a most brutal, and thus welcome, accompaniment to the ensuing rock.

Er, hang about. Given that this is in fantasy-dnd-land, simply calling it "death metal" doesn't seem to fit in my mind, and would probably get you smited for your troubles. What would they even call the phenomenon that we know as heavy metal? :smallconfused:

2008-12-25, 06:44 PM
I believe what you want is this (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=852283) PrC.

2008-12-25, 06:45 PM
I'm not entirely sure, but I'll just say that the Adamantine Chord would be an AWESOME name for a Heavy-metal style PrC.

I may have to go write that now...

2008-12-25, 06:51 PM
I believe what you want is this (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=852283) PrC.


2008-12-25, 06:56 PM
Inst there a feat in BoED that lets you keep your wits while raging?

2008-12-25, 07:05 PM

If you're doing gestalt, you'll have an easier time. What you need to do is to come up with a way to accomplish the things that a true metal warrior needs to do.

1: Stay alive. Nobody wants to ascend to the kingdom of steel prematurely. You need a plan to stay alive in the long run. This means either a real high armor class, a ton of hit points, or both.

2: Champion your cause. You are the warrior of metal, and you must act as such. However, this does not mean that you have to go out and choke down every fool that plays Smoke on the Water wrong. You can kill people in any number of creative ways, whether you're going for the Zakk Wylde smackdown or the skinny Randy Rhoads charm.

3: Spread the joy of metal throughout the universe. You are going to be using bardic music a lot. A lot lot. Pick a class that's good at it. Since this is gestalt, you have options. Those options are seeker of the song and virtuoso. You could stay straight bard, for suggestion, which is cool, but seeker and virtuoso are both better at music at the expense of physical combat, which is totally solved by gestalt, which brings us to the final aspect of the Metal Warrior:

4: A cool outfit. You need to be able to wear armor and not look like a tool. And cast spells. Which is why you're investing in either a suit of armor that's either mithral breastplate, or taking feats to be able to wear Mithral fullplate.

So how does this build look? You obviously need some charisma, but what else? Depends on what music you listen to. If you are a fan of the classics, like Iron Maiden and Randy Rhoads, go for the dexterity route. Nimble, fast, and technical. If you are a smash in the face Children of Bodom/Mastodon guy, go for the strength route. Hulk smash always had some appeal to it.

Finally, note that you have two routes: Spells, or no spells. If you do seeker of the song, you lose spells like nobody's business. If you go virtuoso, you get near full bard casting. Enter the Sublime Chord: if combined with virtuoso, you can get 9th level spells off of the sorceror/wizard spell list. This is my personal favorite, and in a gestalt, it's possible with this build to become a one man party, especially if rebuilding is allowed, which lets you get more levels of a class in a shorter time.

So these two builds look like this:

Spell-less: Crusader12/Swordsage2/Warblade1/Master of Nine5//Bard10/Seeker of the Song10, which loses on spells, but allows you to devote your feats more to a melee focus, and has some nasty status effects as well, plus a fairly good will save. Dex can go down, so you can pump your charisma, strength, and constitution.

Spelled: Crusader18/Swordsage2//Bard9/Virtuoso1/Sublime Chord1/Virtuoso + 9, which gives you spells, music, and battle, but you're a bit weaker in battle(until you pimp out the persistent wraithstrike). The swordsage levels in this case are for shadow blade, granting you Dex to damage. If you want, you can get either weapon finesse or snowflake wardance and get your dex or charisma to hit, respectively, and dump strength completely.

2008-12-25, 07:24 PM
point of reference, the feat from complete arcane can allow you to wear medial with no asf. (spiked breastplate rocks if going the gwar route) if you cant get the mithral immediately.

the issue comes which part of the group are you, dual hammers for the drumer. guitarists with some areas to pull catgut down to double as stringed intruments. sinnger might be ideas with thundering sword or the resevre feat for sonic damage by touch.

2008-12-25, 07:43 PM
Cha-wielding Barbarian > Intimidating Rage (pick Ferocity for instantaneousness) + Imperious Command = Good Times

Lert, A.
2008-12-25, 09:03 PM
I can see this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shfZzTJYZWs) being in my D&D game.

The Demented One
2008-12-25, 09:12 PM
If you can use homebrewed prestige classes, the Warsong Bersker (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=481060), Metal Bard (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10284) or Dire Skald of Mustakrakishp (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1479891&postcount=3) might work for you.

Lert, A.
2008-12-25, 09:23 PM
The biggest problem would be that many metal riffs are difficult enough to learn and perform without actually trying to hit a guy as well.

I don't think you would get far into Through Fire and Flames without a crapload of magic. Unless this entire concept is the real reason for Haste.

2008-12-25, 10:09 PM
I had a bard with a rapier concealed in his guitar once. Good times.

A bard bassist uses a Greataxe, the guitarist uses a Morningstar(more likely a maul with spikes), the drummer uses two sai or some other monk weapon (or their palms), and the singer uses snowflake wardance with a stage prop or a mic stand.

2008-12-25, 10:13 PM
... And the music played on, each pluck of the string fostering harmonies that drove the warriors to frenzy. Few possessed the courage to stand up to them. Those who did died to a man; their blood seeped into the hillside and fed the soft, hungry earth.
… And the music played on, each chord the sanguine finality of Kings and infidels alike. Atop the mountain’s peak, penetrating the thundering nimbus of the heavens and towering over lesser mortals stood one man, an Axe cradled in his arms, his fingers shredding its surface with inhuman celerity. From his lips escaped but one word – one word, regarding the bloody debacle, the pillars of corpses that lay at his feet, the ruins of palaces and the seeds of brutality, at once and forever:

RAWK! (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=852283)

2008-12-25, 10:46 PM
Anyone ever play a Savage Bard (http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/unearthedCoreClass.html#savage-bard)?


2008-12-25, 10:48 PM
I made a list of bard things I noticed would synergize well:

buff before combats even start. Only heroism has the duration IIRC, but if you have a buffing round available then others could work too.
Open up combats with control spells, then rage and rush in to melee. At higher bard levels some non-stat buffs might be worth a combat round.
utility spells on scrolls & wands, doesn't even require much bard levelage
tumble (esp. with barb fast movement) to pick your targets and/or flank
whip proficiency for disarm and trip goodness; doesn't benefit much from enchantments so you could make this your secondary weapon with the axe as your primary. And it still looks cool.

I think this could be workable with a focus on barbarian combat but still enough bard to provide the skills & spells you need. That means it wouldn't be very MAD at all. Only get enough cha to cast your spells. A 12 cha that you later boost with magic items may be enough, or maybe a 14 if you can manage it without hurting your physical stats or if you need it for the coolness factor. The light armor is a bugger; this concept does add a little dex MAD. Int and wis are dumps. Your skill points and will save probably won't be too bad anyway.

2008-12-25, 11:15 PM
Just a thought, thinking about the mechanical parts inside, makes me want to play a bard:

Half-orc Savage Bard 5/Battle Howler of Gruumsh 5/Sublime Cord 4/Abjurant Champion 5/Spellsword 1

1st 3 feats go something like:
1) Power Attack
2) Cleave
6) Combat Casting

Mith Breastplate (light armor), no ASF
Great Ax/instrument combo
Bab = 17
Good skills

Cast spells as 10 level bard at Caster level 20, and sublime cord spells at 20.

Hit points are 9x6, 6x8, 5x10.

You will need a Cha of 19 by 20th level (min starting of 14 or an unadjusted 16 for half orc) to use all of your potential.


EDIT - forgot to add that you get Rage with the Battle Howler. Should be CE or maybe CN for this to make sense.

2008-12-25, 11:42 PM
I have nothing to add about mechanics, that's all been well covered, but I did actually play a similar character in an Eberron campaign one time, Barbarian 1/Bard 5 (I think, it's been a while). The DM allowed me to have a hollow-bodied guitar made of Mithril that I used as an improvised Heavy Mace, and I used illusion spells to add effects to my stage show. I originally wanted to have guitar hero going during the games and play that whenever I was using bardic music, but we decided that would be too distracting. I wore spiked armor and named myself Svisgar after the guitar player from Metalocalypse (spelled slightly differently, I know), and he became a hit with the Talenta Halflings. The campaign didn't get far, but I had a blast role-playing the character, just thought I'd share the story.

2008-12-26, 12:09 AM
I'd use effects that last multiple rounds to open up the fight, and rage away once you're all buffed.

You could totally stick an axe blade onto you're instrument.

2008-12-26, 12:12 AM
I'd use effects that last multiple rounds to open up the fight, and rage away once you're all buffed.
Except buffs aren't that great when your friends dropped half the enemies by the time you're ready to go. The opening round is when you cast Haste; every other buff should either be up or activated as a single action from the Warweaver's abilities. Which you, as a buffer, should have taken levels in.

2008-12-26, 12:36 AM
Definitely splash Warblade or Crusader to get Song of the White Raven, so you can start Inspire Courage as a Swift Action. Definitely use Dragonfire Inspiration with feats/items/spells to boost it. War Chanter could also be good to use for this, and Rage Mage isn't bad in a gestalt build if you take Bard levels when it doesn't increase spellcasting. Get Dreadful Wrath (PGtF), Frightful Presence (Dr), Intimidating Rage (CW), the Never Outnumbered skill trick (CS), and even use the Dragon Totem Barbarian variant (UA/SRD). As scary as that character would be, I'd make him look like Dee Snider.

2008-12-26, 06:23 AM
There's precedent for Instrument/Weapon. There is I believe, a 'Singing Sword' of some sort (Don't remember name), that drops a litte hardnesss and HP of a regular longsword, costs EWP to use, and counts as an instrument for Bardic Music that you use while attacking. Obviously you put ranks into Perform (Singing Sword). Every swing causes the blade to sing. Don't remember where I saw this, but you can adapt it for a Waraxe or Battleaxe of some sort, I'm sure.

2008-12-26, 06:45 AM
I have a similair character concept at this moment in an Eberron game, though he's an Artificer. Think about it!

If you gestalt it, you'll have great Int/Cha synergy, you can make your own lightshows, make your own instruments (no matter how crazy; my Artificer has an Air Guitar aka Bill and Ted's Awesome Guitar Riffs) and you are very capable as, I think, you can pick Lingering Song and then go to town with Infusions and Metamagic spell triggers and the like.

Also, if you want to become truly truly metal, you can slip into the Renegade Mastermaker PrC. Low requirements, 8/10 infusions progression and you become a living embodiment of your genre.

Bardbarian sounds like you can pick either buffing or raging; the Bardificer can use both his awesome abilities safely 'backstage' and mix it up as he sees fit.

2008-12-28, 09:26 PM
Another thing is the bard's instrument..I kinda want to make it his signature weapon too, so instantly my mind leaps to an axe/guitar hybrid ala KISS (http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k145/TheDemon_2006/1042269131_es10038316.jpg). I'm wondering how feasible this could be, mechanically speaking. Be it a magical greataxe which screams noise, controllable by the wielder? or a magical guitar with a bitchin' axe blade on it? Again, any thoughts would be appreciated.

This reminds me of the background story to Bartholomew my half-orc barbarian5/bard1(we started at lvl 6, not very optomized but I had alot of fun with him)

He had a +X Great Axe of Lightning that scaled in power as he leveled up, that had strings on it,so it worked as a +X guitar.

There was once a great half-orc barbarian whose greatest pleasure in life was slaughter. Larger and stronger than any other child his mother had given birth to she decided to give him a large strong name, Bartholomew. Bartholomew grew stronger than most of the Full blood orcs in the tribe and could hold his own against any of them. After a row with the cheiftens son, in which the Cheifs son was crippled, Bartholomew was banished from the tribe.

Bartholomew traveled the land killing any who happened in his path, until one day when he happened across a Bard who was extolling a famous mage named Miro Starllin(anagram), furious that the Bard was not singing about him Bartholomew demanded that the Bard, write a song about him. Fearing for his life the Bard tricked Bartholomew into travelling with him for a period of one year so that the Bard could do the song justice.

Bartholomew happily agreed and the two traveled becoming close personal friends. The Bard civilized Bartholomew in that time teaching him the finer arts; music, poetry, etc.

At the end of the year Bartholomew retracted his threat of death to the Bard, and they traveled together for 2 more years before Bartholomew's past caught up with him.

The cheiftens son had sworn a Bloodoath against Bartholomew, and his friends had decided to fullfill it for him. The Orcs tracked down Bartholomew and the Bard and one night when Bartholomew was out hunting they snuck in and slew the Bard.

Returning to the camp distraught with grief Bartholomew buried his friend before seeking revenge. As he gathered his weapons to seek out the Orcs, Bartholomew heard the voice of the Bard coming from an old Cistern.

"Bartholomew, before seeking revenge, Place my Cistern on your axe and go to sleep."

Bartholomew trusting his friend did as he requested and as he slept a storm came rolled in and lightnight struck the axe, fusing the axe and the cistern together.

Waking to the clap of thunder Bartholomew understood the great gift his friend had given him, strummed his new axe and sung a song of death. The Orcs hearing the cry fell apon Bartholomew together, with a roar Bartholomew cleaved through the Orcs, and fell clasping the Axe to his chest while composing a song dedicated to his friend the Bard.