View Full Version : Bard + Swashbuckler?

2009-12-23, 10:15 AM
OK, a few things before I ask for your opinions... :)

A) Our team is not optimized. While we do have one power builder in the party, he's currently going with a trip build, so he's doing his thing well, but nothing too obsene.
B) Our DM is relatively new to 3.5 d20, though is a great DM. Thus, throwing nasty builds at him is both unfair and unfun.

I am playing a level 5 Silverbrow Human Bard, for the Dragonfire Inspiration. I've tweaked it enough that I can make our party of mostly meleers into a nasty force. On a good round, its +4d6 fire damage to everyone's attacks.

I am also going the Snowflake Wardance route, with (soon to be) paired Crystal Echoblades (using homebrewed sickleswords for the light and slashing qualities). I do use my spells, but rarely are they the focus of the character.

I have been looking over PrCs lately, as I can't help myself, I love to build characters, and while some of them look interesting (Virtuoso and Sublime Chord) none of them fit the flavour of the character. So I stepped back and took a look at Swashbuckler.

For a three level dip, I'd get to retrain my existing Weapon Finesse feat (into TWF), get to add my +3 INT modifier to damage (as opposed to my +0 from my 10 STR) and get better BAB, a dash of better Fort save (which I desperately need), a few more weapon proficiences (which likely won't come up)... seems like a fair trade for the delay of three bard levels, which I would very likely go back to.

Is this insanity?

2009-12-23, 10:26 AM
From an optimizer's point of view: Yes, that is insane. No lost caster levels.

From a fun point of view: A friend of mine did something similar, a multiclass half-elf bard/rogue/swashbuckler. He was far from optimized, but he always had fun. If the game isn't stressing optimization, you should enjoy just having some fun. And besides, you could always go: bard 5 / swashbuckler 3 / bard +2 / Sublime Chord 2 / Abjurant Champion 5 / Virtuoso 3 to get the min-max in at higher level.

If you don't have the spells for Abjurant Champion (which isn't all that hard to get), you could just go straight Virtuoso after Sublime Chord, or you could do this route: Bard 5 / Swashbuckler 3 / Spellthief 1 (take Master Spellthief feat!!!) / Bard +1 / Sublime Chord 2 / Unseen Seer 8.

My 2 cents,

The J Pizzel
2009-12-23, 10:35 AM
One of my old players played a rogue/swashbuckler, then dipped into bard simply becuase that's the direction his character was moving. Far from optomized, but honestly, that was one of the funnest characters I've ever had the pleasure of DMing.

2009-12-23, 11:30 AM
Does your bard like to dance? If he does, then by the time you take 3 levels of swashbuckler, your BAB will be high enough to qualify for Dervish from Complete Warrior. Simply retrain to take Weapon Focus (short sword, or preferably scimitar) somewhere along the way.

Of course, this doesn't work if you want to get to the higher level spells. But there is the fact that the Dervish can use bardic song even while using their Dance of Death, so you don't need to give up that benefit. And so - you're a singin', dancin', cyclone of steel. How awesome is that?

Thrice Dead Cat
2009-12-23, 11:54 AM
If Tome of Battle is on the table, I would recommend going Warblade or Crusader instead of Swashbuckler, which nets you maneuvers. You can pick up Song of the White Raven so you're Inspire Courage doesn't lose a beat, but you will still lose usages per day.