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Evard
2010-07-25, 09:52 AM
Ok so when I sugested to my friend that he could play a bard, he laughed and said that they sucked... I didn't like that to well:smallamused: So I'm going to make a Uber-Bard to wipe the look off his face... But I think there might be to much here...

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#bard

Take this class variant which would give the Bard a Druid animal companion (other nifty things but that is the main point to taking this)

Now for feats I would choose
Human) Extra Music
1) Extra Music
3) Extra Music
6) Extra Music
9) Lyrical Spell
12) EM
15) Em
18) Em

Since the games usually make it to about level 15 ... That would be 24 extra bardic music to play with.. When using lyrical spell you pay 1 + spell level in bardic music sooo the idea situation would be...

Bear charges, bard casts rage on the bear (3 BM uses), the bear attacks, next round cast heroism on the bear (3 BM uses) and have the bear attack, then for kicks and giggles cast slow on the enemy (4 BM uses or maybe do this first). And if you really wanted to... pad on a blur spell to the bear (20% miss chance for 3 BM uses)... After all that you have a blurry heroic raging bear that the enemy can't see mauling on him/her (the blur is in case other enemies show up)....

All without loosing a spell if i read the feat correctly from crystalkeep

I done something like this in another game and the bard was a crazy spell slinger.. But I made him with physical stats so he could go into melee...with the animal companion he has melee options without needing to do it himself :D

Oh and yes extra music stacks...

I also didn't take in account how many Bardic Music that a Bard naturally gets >.<;;;

Animal Companion progression would look like this..
1)wolf
4)ape
7)dire ape
16) triceratops

or something like that :p This part is more for fluff since the bard can stack on buff spells like crazy (cats grace... hmm)

Anyways is there a PrC that will allow me to follow this but add on some goodies? Also is this to over the top?

Vangor
2010-07-25, 10:02 AM
You are nixing a large portion of what Bard is by losing inspire courage, competence, greatness, and heroics to gain part of the advantages of an entirely different class which is fairly widely recognized as really good. Bards are pretty damn good, in my opinion, able to cover every situation well while being quite valuable to the party.

bartman
2010-07-25, 10:11 AM
If you really want to wipe the floor with him, I would stay away from the animal companion. That to me screams "Druid who can sing"

Since I have never played a bard, I cannot offer any help on your build, but as a player, I would scream DM Shenanigans if you tried playing that of as a bard to me.

Evard
2010-07-25, 10:14 AM
Out of the inspire line.. greatness and heroics are the only ones I've found useful and even then there are spells that would cost next to nothing that can get you similar effects...

Heroism greater, shout, illusions, cats grace, eagles splendor, dimensional door, and all the curing you could ever need trumps those two class abilities...

The only thing I don't like giving up is Bardic Knowledge though


Edit:

Druid who can sing, wear metal, shoot spells all day long, and convince you that his ferocious looking bear is actually a house cat ^ ^

Tinydwarfman
2010-07-25, 10:15 AM
If you really want to wipe the floor with him, go Dragonfire Inspiration optimization with Snowflake Wardance, etc.

(depending on level get +14 to hit, damage, and +14d6 fire damage from singing. And you can still do other stuff.)

Evard
2010-07-25, 10:16 AM
I have no clue what those are haha

Enguhl
2010-07-25, 10:22 AM
Skill focus (preform), fascinate.
You're welcome.

JKTrickster
2010-07-25, 10:32 AM
I agree with some of the others here. Even if you absolutely own with that build, the other player would just accuse you that its the bear that's doing all the work.

Instead look up Words of Creation, Badge of Valor (I think that's what the item was called), etc. that help boost Inspire Courage bonuses up to the stratosphere. Then just use Dragonfire Inspiration, and a couple other feats to change that to useful extra damage. With something like Snowflake Wardance, some Cha boosting items, and Slippers of Battledancing (maybe), you can just beat the living crap out of things while dancing and singing along.

Oh and did I mention how every ally (and you included) gets +14d6 or so extra sonic damage to each attack?

Now THAT's a bard. :smallamused:

DementedFellow
2010-07-25, 10:34 AM
In terms of game-breaking bardic goodness, you could simply show him a half-elf bard who just happens to be great at diplomacy. You can win encounters without even raising a weapon.

Tinydwarfman
2010-07-25, 10:34 AM
Oh and did I mention how every ally (and you included) gets +14d6 or so extra sonic damage to each attack?

Now THAT's a bard. :smallamused:

Don't forget that they count as different songs, so you can both benefits!

Bard Handbook (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19870498/The_Bards_Handbook)

Gametime
2010-07-25, 10:38 AM
Out of the inspire line.. greatness and heroics are the only ones I've found useful and even then there are spells that would cost next to nothing that can get you similar effects...

Heroism greater, shout, illusions, cats grace, eagles splendor, dimensional door, and all the curing you could ever need trumps those two class abilities...



But you can have all those spells and the Bardic Music. The animal companion isn't bad, but Inspire Courage is a great tool. Even without Dragonfire Inspiration, you can get +1 from Badge of Valor, another +1 from a Inspirational Boost, and double the result with Words of Creation. +8 to attacks and damage for the whole party is pretty nice by mid levels; +8d6 damage for the whole party is pretty sickening.

Really, though, your most powerful class feature as a bard is Glibness. Max out Bluff. Pump Charisma. Cast Glibness. Get away with anything you want.

Evard
2010-07-25, 10:54 AM
The thing I was thinking is that you don't need the inspire line if you can cast spells all day long. Also yeah they might say that the bear is doing all the melee work but the Bard will be blasting/buffing/debuffing so much that they wont know which one is scarier :P

Glibness is a level 3 spell therefore with the build it would take 4 uses of BM to use... So its usable 6 times without wasting a spell slot... That + bluff would be an insane tool to use and it even lasts for 10 min/level so at level 15 sooo that's 150 mins for one casting :P

With the animal companion the bard only need Cha, Int, Con... Without the animal companion the bard needs bit of everything except wis... Str (melee), Dex (defense or melee), Con (health), Int (skills), Cha (spells and lying)... Giving the bard an animal companion takes away the dependency on str/dex for attacking (sure you will want a decent dex for defense but with this build you could buff with cats grace and have a decent score that goes with light armor)

Critical
2010-07-25, 11:23 AM
So, you want to prove to your friend that bards don't suck by homebrewing? :smallconfused:

Person_Man
2010-07-25, 11:26 AM
Bards are actually one of the strongest non-full casters in the game, as long as you have access to enough books.

Dragonfire Inspiration (Dragon Magic). Convert inspire courage bonuses to elemental damage depending on dragon type.

Words of Creation (BoED, pg. 48). Doubles bonus from bardic music effects, but you take subdual damage.

Melodic Casting (CM, pg. 44): Replace Concentration with Perform. Cast spells/use items while maintaining bardic music.

Song of the Heart (ECS, pg. 60): Bonus granted by your music increases by +1.

Lingering Song (CA, pg. 111): Bardic Music lasts 1 minute after you stop playing.

Snowflake Wardance (Frostburn): Expend Bardic music to get Charisma to damage.

Inspirational Boost (Spell Compendium, pg. 124): +1 to inspire courage. Can be used during the start of bardic music for longer lasting effect.

Vest of Legends (DMG II, pg. 272). Bonus to Diplomacy and Perform. Treated as a bard of higher level for bardic music bonuses.

Badge of Valor (MIC, pg. 208). Bonus on Charm or Fear saves. Or +1 to inspire courage. Either 3/day.

Crystal Echoblade (MIC). Bonus Sonic Damage while using bardic music.

Harmonizing Weapon (MIC). Bonus on Perform checks and the weapon maintains the bardic music, allowing you to cast spells or activate items.

Animate Objects (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/animateObjects.htm): Creates 1 animated object per caster level. Combine with the above Inspire combo. Or have each of them use the Aid Another action (nanobots combo) to help you make any check.

Improvisation (Spell Comp): Gives you a floating bonus to any check that scales with your Bard level.

Bardic Knack (PHB II): With this plus the Jack of All Trades feat, you gain 1/2 your class level in every Skill. Combine with Improvisation or nanobots, and you can pretty much make any Skill check.

Glibness (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/glibness.htm): +30 to your Bluff check. Why fight someone, when you can trick them into working for you?

Summon Monster: Many creatures that you can summon can cast spells and/or have other useful special abilities (like walking into traps for you). Also, several books expand the creatures you can summon with this core spell.

Combat Panache feat (PHBII): Offers several maneuvers. The main benefit is that you can make an Intimidate check (Move Action) to impose your Cha bonus as a penalty to hit against one enemy until the end of the encounter. Great for boss fights.

Use Magic Device: As a Cha based class, you have any easy time making UMD checks very early in your progression, especially when combined with your Skill boosting abilities.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.

Alejandro
2010-07-25, 11:28 AM
That's not a bard, that's a suboptimized druid using a bear animal companion. Also, the bear can be rendered no threat by an opponent simply flying, then blasting it.

Snake-Aes
2010-07-25, 11:30 AM
If you want to show him an asskicking bard, then build a BARD. If you just change it into something else with variant rules, it's not longer the bard. The base bard kicks ass.

I will not bash much because you already confessed you don't know much about them :p
http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19870498/The_Bards_Handbook
Snowflake Wardance is a way bards have to attack with charisma. Dragonfire inspiration adds damage to a bunch of stuff. Bards are nasty buggers, sir or dame.

Evard
2010-07-25, 11:38 AM
That's not a bard, that's a suboptimized druid using a bear animal companion. Also, the bear can be rendered no threat by an opponent simply flying, then blasting it.


Yeah thats what a DM thought once before my cleric tailor made a robe of wings (or whatever it is called) to fit the druid's bear (he said i could make it any size...) :D The Druid trained the bear to fly in it... talk about scary (the druid activated it the bear just used it)

@ critical its not a homebrew I got everything from srd/crystal keep and its more of "they dont suck, look what can be done"

Critical
2010-07-25, 11:40 AM
@ critical its not a homebrew I got everything from srd/crystal keep and its more of "they dont suck, look what can be done"
Uh, ok, lets give a standard fighter wizard's casting and smite evil. It's not homebrew! :smallbiggrin:



It still is.

Greenish
2010-07-25, 11:41 AM
its more of "they dont suck, look what can be done""Look what can be done if you swap the defining feature of the class for a druid class feature."

Bards, actual bards, do not suck the least. Making one a second-rate druid hardly demonstrates this, however.

[Edit]:
Uh, ok, lets give a standard fighter wizard's casting and smite evil. It's not homebrew! :smallbiggrin:AFCs aren't homebrew.

true_shinken
2010-07-25, 11:48 AM
Uh, ok, lets give a standard fighter wizard's casting and smite evil. It's not homebrew! :smallbiggrin:



I don't see your point. He is using official material from Unearthed Arcana.

Also, bards have some very good things - for example, bardic knack. I love bardic knack + Jack of All Trades. "Oh, you are flat-footed in front of me? Well, since I have a sheathed dagger... Iaijutsu Focus... oh, OK, you die. No, I don't have a single rank in that skill."

Evard
2010-07-25, 11:52 AM
But making a bard that focuses on Spells (singing) and Lying his/her butt off is not making it an unoptimized druid. The other part of what you get from a druid I'm not even looking at them, just the animal companion. Getting rid of the inspire line doesn't stop the bard from being a bard, just with this build he can focus on skills,magic,lying and have a viable melee option to help the party.

I could replace one of the extra music with bardic knack to boost on skills but i'm not sure if there will be a lot of uses for them outside bluff/feint/tumble/UMD since the games are more combat oriented

Stompy
2010-07-25, 11:58 AM
Oh and did I mention how every ally (and you included) gets +14d6 or so extra sonic damage to each attack?

Now THAT's a bard. :smallamused:

Does this includes the Crackling Cacophony spell that makes a zone of double sonic damage? :smallamused:

Honestly, bluff, diplomacy, (look at the RAW rules for this skill; it is retarded, and it has 3 skill synergies.), and the inspire courage shenanigans should be more than enough to prove a point.

true_shinken
2010-07-25, 12:08 PM
But making a bard that focuses on Spells (singing) and Lying his/her butt off is not making it an unoptimized druid. The other part of what you get from a druid I'm not even looking at them, just the animal companion. Getting rid of the inspire line doesn't stop the bard from being a bard, just with this build he can focus on skills,magic,lying and have a viable melee option to help the party.
Animal companion (withour druid spells to buff him) is weaker than inspire courage, also.
...and if you want a bard to focus in spells, you should really use Sublime Chord or Lyrical Thaumaturge.
What you are doing is interesting. It just isn't optimal.
You could get a Wild Cohort via a feat and keep Inspire Courage, also.


I could replace one of the extra music with bardic knack to boost on skills but i'm not sure if there will be a lot of uses for them outside bluff/feint/tumble/UMD since the games are more combat oriented
Actually, you just need to swap bardic knowledge for bardic knack.
You do need a feat for Jack of All Trades, though.

Haarkla
2010-07-25, 12:14 PM
Ok so when I sugested to my friend that he could play a bard, he laughed and said that they sucked... I didn't like that to well:smallamused: So I'm going to make a Uber-Bard to wipe the look off his face... But I think there might be to much here...
As a DM I would have no problem allowing this, however, it is entirely suboptimal. This in not an Uber-Bard to wipe the look off anybodys face.

Your party trick (lyrical spell) does not come in till lvl 9, and then you are relying on a CR 3-4 animal companion to fight for you.


Now for feats I would choose
Human) Extra Music
1) Extra Music
3) Extra Music
6) Extra Music
9) Lyrical Spell
12) EM
15) Em
18) Em
Crappy. For an highly optimised bard you want;
Human) marital weapon proficiency (greatsword)
1) weapon focus (greatsword)
3) spell focus (enchantment)


Animal Companion progression would look like this..
1)wolf
4)ape
7)dire ape
16) triceratops
Good. But remember, your animal companion is primarilly useful at low levels.

Stompy
2010-07-25, 12:21 PM
Crappy. For an highly optimised bard you want;
Human) marital weapon proficiency (greatsword)
1) weapon focus (greatsword)
3) spell focus (enchantment)

Huh? :smalleek: I have never seen optimized bards run a greatsword, because they usually have a bad STR score (usually around 10) and a d6 hit die.

If you're going melee bard, cheese the inspire courage, get TWF, and pick up a set of feycraft kukris so you can attack with your DEX modifier (EDIT: without picking up Weapon Finesse).

Prodan
2010-07-25, 12:27 PM
Don't bother with TWF; get Gloves of the Balanced hand.

Alternatively, just fight with whip dagger or longsword and use power attack.

potatocubed
2010-07-25, 12:30 PM
I'm with the advocates of Diplomacy. The true power of a bard is not in winning fights, it's in never needing to fight in the first place and, if you must fight, having half the enemies on your side anyway.

Tinydwarfman
2010-07-25, 12:38 PM
Crappy. For an highly optimised bard you want;
Human) marital weapon proficiency (greatsword)
1) weapon focus (greatsword)
3) spell focus (enchantment)


:smallamused: You best be joking.

ScionoftheVoid
2010-07-25, 01:15 PM
:smallamused: You best be joking.

They may have missed that Snowflake Wardance needs to wield the weapon in one hand, but I'm don't think so or it would be in the third level slot. They might actually be serious.

TurtleKing
2010-07-25, 01:32 PM
I am also with the diplomacy bunch. There is a saying around here that says a fighter can kill a person in a standard action. A cleric in a move action, and a wizard in a swift action. A bard can get 12 idiots to the fighting for him.

Greenish
2010-07-25, 02:06 PM
:smallamused: You best be joking."Marital weapon proficiency" is a tip, I keep telling myself. I do not wish to think that anyone in their right mind would burn a feat on Martial Weapon Proficiency (except maybe for PrC entry).

Diplomacy as written isn't just powerful. It's a gamebreaker apt to make the most Zen of DMs to take levels in Frenzied Berserker. (Though if they haven't houseruled it, they got themselves to blame, too.)

Gametime
2010-07-25, 04:16 PM
"Marital weapon proficiency" is a tip, I keep telling myself. I do not wish to think that anyone in their right mind would burn a feat on Martial Weapon Proficiency (except maybe for PrC entry).



You say that now, but when the missus starts throwing the fine china at your head after an argument about the tax return, you'll be cursing that -4 nonproficiency penalty.

Skaven
2010-07-25, 04:46 PM
OK so you're going to 'show him bards don't suck' by.. not playing a real bard.

Doesn't seem like it accomplishes anything to me, since that's not an actual bard. You're going to attack hi with a druids animal companion. That just shows him the abilities of a buffed druids animal companion.

if this was me you were doing this to who was arguing for bardic weakness, I would merely argue that you did not use a real bard, and that you were too afraid to use an actual real bard to prove your point, effectively proving mine.

Siosilvar
2010-07-25, 10:13 PM
Modifying the bard/warblade build I never used...

Bard 20

Stats: S14, D14, C14, I14, W10, C14

Human

B) Dragontouched [Dragon Magic]
1) Dragonfire Inspiration [Dragon Magic]
3) Song of the Heart [ECS]
6) Snowflake Wardance [Frostburn]
9)
12)
15)
18)

Spells used: Inspirational Boost (1st) [SpC]
Items used: Vest of Legends [DMGII], Badge of Valor [MIC], Masterwork Mandolin [CAdv], a Dancing [DMG] Harmonizing [MIC] Crystal Echoblade [MIC]

How it works
Effective bard level 25 -- Inspire Courage +4. (one more level would be another +1 bonus)
Song of the Heart bumps this to +5.
Inspirational Boost is cast as a swift action and totals +6.
Badge of Valor increases the bonus to +7.
Masterwork Mandolin makes your total +8 to hit / +6 damage and Will saves.

Because Dragonfire Inspiration keys off of your to-hit bonus granted by Inspire Courage, you get +8d6 damage.


Your Harmonizing weapon will continue the music for you up to a minute, leaving you free to do whatever. You leave both hands free for your masterwork mandolin by making the weapon dancing, which although you aren't considered armed with it, it is considered "wielded or attended", which should be enough to be considered "held" for harmonizing.

If not, hold the harmonizing weapon in the hand with the neck of the mandolin while you play with the other. It's considered "h[e]ld... when you begin a bardic music effect".


The sword being a crystal echoblade is not required, but it does add 10 points of sonic damage and is a one-handed slashing weapon for Snowflake Wardance. It's priced the same as a +2 longsword.



Round-by-round
Round 1
Standard: Start the echoblade dancing.
Move: Pull out your mandolin.
Swift: Cast inspirational boost.

Round 2
Standard: Begin Inspire Courage. Using Dragonfire Inspiration, you gain +7d6 fire damage. Since you're using a bardic music effect, you get another +10 sonic damage with the echoblade.
Immediate/Swift: Activate your badge of valor, boosting DfI to +8d6 damage.
Free: Drop mandolin.
Free: Retrieve dancing harmonizing echoblade.
Free: Begin snowflake wardance.
Move: Pick up mandolin in off hand.

Round 3
Echoblade takes over your music because it was enchanted to be harmonizing.

Attack as normal, enjoying your boosts.

+15 + Str + Cha to hit
1d8+1+Str slashing + 8d6 fire + 10 sonic damage

With the stats above, +6 items for Strength and Charisma, and all points put into Strength, that works out to:

+27/+22/+17 to hit for 1d8+8+8d6+10 damage [average 50.5]


Not including whatever you may put in the other 4 feat slots, of course.

Alejandro
2010-07-26, 01:19 AM
Yeah thats what a DM thought once before my cleric tailor made a robe of wings (or whatever it is called) to fit the druid's bear (he said i could make it any size...) :D The Druid trained the bear to fly in it... talk about scary (the druid activated it the bear just used it)

@ critical its not a homebrew I got everything from srd/crystal keep and its more of "they dont suck, look what can be done"

For the amount of gold you spent on that, you could just get, say, a griffon, which is essentially as good as a bear but also flies, without needing a robe.

Superglucose
2010-07-26, 01:33 AM
You are nixing a large portion of what Bard is by losing inspire courage, competence, greatness, and heroics to gain part of the advantages of an entirely different class which is fairly widely recognized as really good. Bards are pretty damn good, in my opinion, able to cover every situation well while being quite valuable to the party.
This.

Bards are tier 3 even in core, they're capable of doing everything a rogue can do only better, and have the added benefit of also having spells. Also Bardic Music is aweosmesauce.

Wings of Peace
2010-07-26, 01:47 AM
Dragonfire Inspiration + Skull Marbles from Ghostwalk. :smallsmile:

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2010-07-26, 02:05 AM
Go with the Savage Bard (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#bardVariantSavageBard) variant, keep Inspire Courage and take Wild Cohort (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118a) instead. Use Silverbrow Human from Dragon Magic for your race. Your animal companion or wild cohort should be a Fleshraker dinosaur from MM3.

Human: Wild Cohort
Flaw: Dragonfire Inspiration (Dragon Magic): Turn every +1 attack/damage into +1d6 fire damage.
Flaw: Versatile Spellcaster (Races of the Dragon): Spend two spell slots of the same level to cast any spell you know of one level higher, ultimate versatility.
1: Melodic Casting (Complete Mage): Cast spells while using Inspire Courage.
3: Song of the Heart (Eberron Campaign Setting): Inspire Courage gets an additional +1.
6: Words of Creation (Book of Exalted Deeds): Double your Inspire Courage bonus.
9: Obtain Familiar (Complete Arcane): Get a Familiar, as the Sorcerer/Wizard class feature.
12: Improved Familiar (DMG, Complete Warrior): Get a better Familiar, preferably one with several attacks/round.

With the spell Inspirational Boost (1st, Spell Compendium) you'll get an extra +1 to Inspire Courage, available at 2nd level. With a Badge of Valor (1400 gp, Magic Item Compendium) you'll be able to increase it by another +1. At 3rd level you'll be adding 4d6 fire damage to all of your allies' attacks. This goes up to 7d6 at level 6, and to 9d6 at level 8 (doubling effect from Words of Creation is applied when you start singing, Badge of Justice bonus is added after and not doubled). Every time you get another +1 to Inspire Courage it changes into another +2d6 fire damage instead.

With a Fleshraker companion making four attacks/round, a Hippogriff familiar making three attacks/round, a Hound of Doom (via an Eternal Wand) attacking and tripping everyone, 1d4+1 Lions via Summon Nature's Ally V each making three attacks/round, and you can cast Haste on everything without interrupting your song.....

Edit: Animated Objects are Constructs, which are immune to mind-affecting effects. Bardic Music grants Morale bonuses, which are mind-affecting, so animated objects cannot benefit from it.

WinWin
2010-07-26, 02:15 AM
Leadership. Better than companions and familliars. Bards can do more with it than a Fighter. Just make sure they have instruments and ranks in perform. Then take the Exemplar PrC and your character and his band can attract horde of fanatical groupies.

cupkeyk
2010-07-26, 02:17 AM
So it has to be Bard 20? No sublime chord?

Dragonfire inspiration definitely.

At level 20, a bard is rich beyond necessity and has UMD as a class skill. You are wasting your feats on what can be accomplished by wands. And these wands, you can diplomancer them into your possession or steal them, stuff like that.

Tytalus
2010-07-26, 04:57 AM
From an old WotC thread a few words of mine regarding bards an their potential:

Bards are, from the get-go good in social situations (skills & class features, CHA focus), for party buffing (inspire courage/greatness/etc., spells). They also make decent archers. Mechanics aside, they also offer plenty of fun roleplaying opportunities.

Beyond that, bards have plenty of options to be really, really good. For example:

Melee (not my forte, but the player in question seems to want it, so this is from the top of my head):



Items
[list]
Gauntlets of Heartfelt Blows: +CHA fire to damage
Harmonizing Crystal Echoblade: + Bard Level (10) sonic damage on melee attacks, keeps bardic music active by itself
Slippers of Battledancing: CHA to hit/damage instead of STR if moves 10+ft.

Feats

Snowflake Wardance: +CHA to hit
Words of Creation: double Inspire Courage (IC) bonus
Song of the Heart: +1 IC
Dragonfire Inspiration: instead of providing a to hit / damage bonus, your Inspire Courage adds +1D6 fire damage to each melee attack for each ally per point of IC bonus

Inspire Courage, optimized: +12 to hit & damage or +12D6 fire to damage to each melee attack for each ally (*)

x2, Words of Creation
+1, Badge of Valor
+1, Inspirational Boost
+1, Song of the Heart
+1, Masterwork Horn
Vest of Legends, +5 levels

Spells

Creaking Cacophony [SC]: Creatures in the area gain sonic vulnerability
Inspirational Boost [SC]: +1 inspire courage



(*) Depending on how your DM adjudicates the Words of Creation feat, its doubling of the IC bonus can also include the +1 from the various feats & items, resulting in (+15 to hit/damage or +15D6 per melee attack). More might be possible, but I am AFB right now.

Option: Take 1 level of Sorcerer for Draconic Heritage (Battle). This makes the damage bonus from Dragonfire Inspiration deal Sonic damage. Note that sonic damage is doubled by the Creaking Cacophony spell.

Summary: As a Bard19/Sorcerer1, you could use IC & Creaking Cacophony at the beginning of an encounter, giving yourself and all your allies that can hear you up to 30D6 sonic damage to each single attack. Your weapon keeps the effect in place. If you start a Snowflake Wardance now, you get 2xCHA to hit (moving 10+ ft.), and do an extra 2xCHA+9 damage on each hit. Since CHA is your main stat, that's quite nice.

Even without the cheese, a mildly optimized Inspire Courage can greatly improve the effectiveness of all party members.

Spellcasting

Very simple: Sublime Chord PrC, 9th level spells. If you want to do the IC optimization at the same time, use something like Bard9/Virtuoso1/SublimeChord1-2/Virtuoso8-9

You can still get the same effects as from the melee focus, except that your blade will do less sonic damage, and your BAB suffers. However, you can now cast 9th level spells.

If you are not into melee, consider a dip into Mindbender for Telepathy.

Buffing

Inspire Courage and Spells. Use the spellcasting build above. Consider adding levels of the War Weaver PrC (after Sublime Chord, of course), and your spells will affect the whole party. Buffing is fun, by the way, and makes everyone in the party happy.

Debuffing

Bards have nifty save-or-be-screwed spells, too, such as Unluck [SC]. If you really want to optimize this, take the Doomspeak [CoR] feat. It's strange save mechanics make it succeed virtually every time, and the -10 on all the enemy's rolls pretty much guarantee that your next spell (Unluck!) lands.

If Dragon material is ok, consider taking the Unseelie Fey template [DC], it offers (among other options) a power that reduces the saves of all those adjacent to you by your CHA modifier. Neat that CHA is your primary attribute.

If you focus on debuffing, the spell Assay spell Resistance [SC] is very useful, as are the Spell Penetration feats.


Minor addition:

Diplomacy: Half-elf bards can, with minor optimization, turn essentially every encountered NPC into a fanatic (or at least friendly) follower. Game-breakingly good right there. Search for the "Diplomancer" for details.



Even without Dragonfire Inspiration, you can get +1 from Badge of Valor, another +1 from a Inspirational Boost, and double the result with Words of Creation.

It's not clear if Words of Creation doubles other modifiers to your IC bonus or just the base bonus. Following the wording of the feat, it would appear to only do the latter. It's still an impressive bonus, though.



Inspirational Boost (Spell Compendium, pg. 124): +1 to inspire courage. Can be used during the start of bardic music for longer lasting effect.


Inspirational Boost has no effect on the duration of your Inspire Courage.

Killer Angel
2010-07-26, 05:51 AM
I don't see your point. He is using official material from Unearthed Arcana.


He's using a class variant.
If you wanna prove that a class doesn't suck, and you try to do it not using the class, but a variant, well, even if the variant is official, you fail.
It's kinda saying: Monks don't suck! look at my swordsage!

true_shinken
2010-07-26, 05:39 PM
He's using a class variant.
If you wanna prove that a class doesn't suck, and you try to do it not using the class, but a variant, well, even if the variant is official, you fail.
It's kinda saying: Monks don't suck! look at my swordsage!

Agreed. It's still not homebrewed, though.

Killer Angel
2010-07-27, 01:57 AM
Agreed. It's still not homebrewed, though.

Definitely, given that the OP gave also a link to the srd... :smallcool: