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nerulean
2007-07-16, 08:37 AM
I'm playing a bard in an upcoming campaign and I've just had a whale of a time going through the entire PHB, PHBII and SpC to pick out a spell list. Problem is, I don't play casters very often and would appreciate the input of any more experienced casters-players out there who can tell me if I'm missing anything major, or if there's anything in a later book that you think is worth a look at.

Flavour-wise, it's an all good campaign and I'm even hoping to pick up the exalted feat Words of Creation, for all that I dislike that corny, corny book on the whole -- there just aren't enough ways to boost Inspire Courage. The character is a fun-loving, very chaotic half-nymph (DM's homebrew template) elf with charisma coming out the ears, who will be teasing the group's half-orc wannabe-paladin mercilessly as she stands there and does everything she can to help him out in a fight. I'm going bard 8/lyric thaumaturge 10, though I doubt the campaign will actually get past tenth level.

The party's other arcane casters are an enchantment-specialising wizard (necromancy and transmutation barred) whose primary interest is the charm/hold/dominate progression but whose player will probably pack a fair few blasters on top, and a spellthief/sorcerer/unseen seer who -- actually, I have no idea what he'll be doing, though I'd guess divination and sneaky things like invisibility. Divine casters, we have a druid with a level hefty adjustment. I can't help wondering if I should get cure mod, since I actually get it earlier than him. On top of that, we have a ranger (archery), a rogue and a fighter (THW).

Anyway, onto the spells. I've done the list up to tenth level. Pointers are more than welcome!

0:
Dancing lights
Detect magic
Ghost sound
Message
Prestidigitation
Read magic

1:
Cure light wounds
Silent image
Stay the hand
Inspirational Boost

2:
Delusions of Grandeur
Caterwaul
Miserís Envy
Eagle's splendor

3:
Disobedience
Sonic shield
Haunting Tune
Curse of the Putrid Husk (reflavoured, not evil)/Ray of Dizziness ??

4:
Fugue
Ruin Delverís Fortune

Swooper
2007-07-16, 08:46 AM
Mending is always useful to have, I have found. Eagle's Splendor is propably not all that useful, since it doesn't stack with a Cloak of Charisma. There's a crapload of spells there I have never ever heard of though, I'm not much of a bard player. So I won't say anything about those.

JellyPooga
2007-07-16, 08:54 AM
One spell that should be on every Bards spell list is Insidious Rhythm (Complete Adventurer)...

[singing]
"I know a song that'll get on your nerves, get on your nerves, get on your nerves. I know a song that'll get on your nerves, get get get on your nerves...I know a song that'll get on your nerves, get on your nerves, get on your nerves. I know a song tha..."

[Over the tune of the Magic Roundabout theme]

hee hee hee hee...

Oh and on boosting Inspire Courage, I don't know if you've checked out Complete Adventurer, but it has rules for different MW Instruments giving different bonuses to Bardic Music, some of them give you a bonus to Inspire Courage...it's not much, but it's worth a look.

mostlyharmful
2007-07-16, 09:13 AM
You might have someone on the team that specializes in charm and enchantment but it's still a good idea to take charm and suggestion, they're such useful spells for a face character that it is almost essential for any Bard. and Geas is fantastic for annoying the pants off anyone that gets on your nerves.

nerulean
2007-07-16, 09:19 AM
I'm banking on our wiz packing Mending spells based on the fact that it's been on every other spell list I've ever seen that player draw up. :smallwink: As for Eagle's Splendor, I've never yet played a game with my current group in which magical items were particularly easy to get your hands on. It's the last spell I'll be getting of that level, so if I've got one by then I'll pick something else, maybe Disquietude or Mirror Image.

I looked at Insidious Rhythm, but it depends on you getting a will save past a caster. However, remember that reflavoured Curse of the Putrid Husk spell? :smallwink: I did have a look at the instruments, but decided in the end that none of the effects were what I was after. I went for a singing bard so I can use spells with somatic components along with bardic music using Melodic Casting.

I really want to avoid overlap with the wizard, since the charm stuff is definitely his bag of tricks and it's not exactly my character's style. However, she does have a +17 diplomacy modifier at 4th level, which might help offset the lack of spell. :smallwink: Geas is definitely awesome, and it's right up there on my list if we get as far as 16th level.

Kurald Galain
2007-07-16, 09:24 AM
0. Mage Hand has a thousand and one uses. If you start at low level, Daze is pretty good, as is Lullaby. On the other hand, with so many casters in the group you can do without detect magic, and with a good UMD you don't need read magic.

1. Depending on the campaign type, Disguise Self may be more useful than Silent Image. Hideous Laughter appears to be very much in character for your bard. Summon I is always useful. Consider taking Sleep (or Hypnotism) and swapping it out for another spell at later level.

2. I'd advise against taking both CLW and CMW, because you're not a primary healer. Enthrall is very much in character again. Glitterdust is awesomely useful, as is Invis.

3. If you read OOTS you'd know the effectivity of Confusion. Dispel is useful to have, and Gaseous Form has nice synergy with being a bard.

mostlyharmful
2007-07-16, 11:30 AM
fair enough, +17 should be enough to do anything you cant with, i just love the level one saveorlose spell. in that case why not use the Comp A PrC class Sublime Chord and head for level nine bard spells?:smalltongue:

nerulean
2007-07-16, 12:00 PM
Mage hand was the last cantrip to get knocked off my list, and I kept others over it for roleplay reasons, mainly. I may nix detect magic, but read magic matches the slight booknerd quality of the character. Hideous laughter I had to get rid of because the character's type is fey, so the majority of creatures would get bonuses on the save, and in a party of seven ECL six characters, I don't think I'll get a lot of use out of low HD cap spells.

Healing-wise, again it fits the character and the party may just need it, although the DM did mutter something about us ending up with a follower to take care of that. Actually, he mentioned something about my character ending up with a fanatic follower. A cleric following the half-nymph bard around. Sounds like an alignment violation waiting to happen. Enthrall is close enough to fascinate that I'm avoiding it, though invis or glitterdust may well make it onto the list if I can lose Eagle's Splendor.

Sublime Chord would be fun, and broken! I like LT more, though.

Sir Giacomo
2007-07-16, 12:13 PM
Ah, the joys of playing a bard...:smallsmile:

Interestingly, your party seems to contain two casters who specialise on enchantment (the wizard) and illusion/sneaky stuff/divination (mysterious sorcerer/spellthief). All these areas are normally good for bards, but this leaves for you the buffing (transmutation) and help the druid with healing! Plus, maybe some spells that support your idea of being a chaotic prankster (consider taking perform-comedy!) with nymph heritage to boost:smallbiggrin:

Your list and my ideas (pls note that I currently have only SRD available in front of me, plus some memory of my bard time with the Spell Compendium):




0:
Dancing lights
Detect magic
Ghost sound
Message
Prestidigitation
Read magic

Message is great, and has even more uses once the sorcerer and wizard have it as well (complete silenced party communication). I second the mending and mage hand suggestions by Swooper and Kurald Galain, respectively. You may wish to drop dancing lights and ghost sound for those.


1:
Cure light wounds
Silent image
Stay the hand
Inspirational Boost

The curing part you can maybe emulate by using a wand that the party pays for as backup. Instead maybe Hideous Laughter for your character flavour (is also a quite good attacking spell), and for a bard, magic mouth is simply a great way to spread your own reknown (say, your character leaves a joke at sites where the party was successful which then get spread around). Of course, the magic mouth is great for delivering spc messages (in an envelope sent to someone as a letter and talking only if the specifications are met etc.). Stay the hand I don't quite remember right now, but Silent image and Inspirational Boosts are great. Even if the sorcerer also has a lot of illusions, you can nicely add to that (plus, with silent image, you can instantaneously create your own nice stage with background etc.).


2:
Delusions of Grandeur
Caterwaul
Miserís Envy
Eagle's splendor

The first three are SpC I recall and all are very nice.
Other ideas are:
-Silence (only you would be able to get it, since it is either a cleric or bard spell). Great for making the whole group move silently, plus great anti-caster tactics (also possible to cast on an arrow of your archer for silent attacks).
-Tongues (so you can do suggestions with bardic music to ALL sentient creatures you encounter)
-invisibility/mirror image (so you can buff the group while you are safe)


3:
Disobedience
Sonic shield
Haunting Tune
Curse of the Putrid Husk (reflavoured, not evil)/Ray of Dizziness ??

Here, maybe you wish to consider the No. 1 buff spell: Haste! Of course, if the sorcerer also has it, possibly not (since you could inspire courage in the same round that the sorcerer casts haste for simultaneous benefit of the party).
Glibness is also a great core bard-only buff spell. Confusion has also been mentioned already (is a great spell and would fit nicely in your character concept).


4:
Fugue
Ruin Delverís Fortune

Ruin Delver's Fortune is just great (but unfortunately only helps you, not the party). And remember a bard is one of the few who gets freedom of movement on his spell list, so maybe you even wish to get that spell and forge ring metamagic feat to later give the the party members (it all depends on how many holding/grappling dangers there are in your campaign).

Something else to consider (maybe instead of Fugue) would be Shadow Conjuration. Think about the versatility with it:
- you can conjure as a standard action a fully functional (if a tad weaker, but does not matter) phantom steed. No more 10 minutes casting time!
- you can use sepia snake sigil. Not for its normal use, but for any of your comrades who are maybe poisoned/near death/cursed/need to get through deep water etc. Simply let them voluntarily lower their saves (vs the shadow and the sepia snake effects) and then they are in a stasis. Helps a lot in many cases.
- you can create a shadow obscuring mist. Since your allies KNOW it is illusionary only it does not affect them, but it DOES affect enemy archers and spellcasters until they physically interact with the shadow conjured mist.
You'll likely find many other 1-3 lvl conjuration spells that you can emulate where the 20% reality does not really matter.

One final idea for 4th level is modify memory, a bard-only (even core) spell, which can really affect the game a lot. Plus, it also helps you recall with perfect memory everything you have experienced yourself (some sort of DD3.5 equivalent of a microfilm).

Good luck!

- Giacomo

Kaelaroth
2007-07-16, 12:30 PM
Personally I like "Torrent of Tears"... which I think is in Complete Adventurer...

For higher level "Cacophonic Shield" is v.good, as is "Allegro", "Otto's Ambulative Thingummy" (soz) and I most definitely agree, "Mending" rocks.

Keld Denar
2007-07-16, 12:47 PM
I'd like to 3rd the nomination for glitterdust. Especially if your cha score is as high as you state. It's simply too good of a mass disable. It even works on corporial undead and constructs, which are some of the hardest creatures to disable. I also 2nd the nomination for haste. Simply too good not to get, since I see your party is pretty attack heavy (paladin, fighter, archer, hell even the spellthief).

I'm suprised no one has mentioned harmonize yet. It's a 4th level bard spell that lets you sing as a move equivilent. That lets you drop a haste and an inspirationally boosted bard song in the same round of combat. That's crazy good.

Anyway, I wish you the best of luck with your barding, may you indirectly lead the damage dealt scoreboards forever!

Draz74
2007-07-16, 02:29 PM
Heh, I've heard of Perform (banter), but not Perform (friendly teasing banter), which would be a great skill to base Inspire Courage on if the rest of your party is the opposite gender. :smallcool:

namo
2007-07-16, 05:33 PM
Stay the Hand is too situational for most campaigns since it only works on humanoids. I recommend Improvisation (SC) : it scales very well and boosts your skills or attacks.

You could get Blindness to diversify the saves you're targetting.

Disobedience is good, but since you won't be using it very often, I would instead advise the wizard to learn it.

Merlin the Tuna
2007-07-16, 07:34 PM
I'm going to toss in another vote for Glitterdust -- it's just an all around great spell. It's a Will save versus Blindness in a solid radius with good range, plus it basically does the job of See Invisibility, too. Haste (or alternatively, Slow, if your Cha is that good) is similarly a great buff spell that gives everyone in the party something no matter who they are. That your Wizard won't have access to it makes it that much more valuable for you.

nerulean
2007-07-17, 06:17 PM
Okay, thanks very much for all the pointers, guys! I appreciate it!