View Full Version : Help with a bard build

2008-01-20, 05:10 PM
does anyone hav eany suggestions for a bard build. i plan on making him somewhat of a duelist. all books are allowed, but i only have easy access to the SRD.

2008-01-20, 06:11 PM
A couple ideas for you:

The Player's Handbook 2's "Bardic Knack" variant is a lot more appropriate for most Swashbuckling-types than Bardic Knowledge. Maybe look at that.

Bard/Warblade: Good ratios would be B4/W16, B6/W14 or B8/W12.
Two Feats to look at:

Snowflake Wardance (Frostburn)--This lets you use your Charisma to determine your To-Hit for about one combat per Bardic Music use.
Song of the White Raven (Tome of Battle)--This lets you use Inspire Courage as a Swift action and allows your Warblade (or Crusader) levels to stack with your Bard levels to determine its effects.

Items to look at:

Badge of Valor (Magic Item Compendium, pg.208)--1400 gp. This boosts the effects of your Inspire Courage a couple times per day.
Vest of Legends (DMG2 pg. 272)--16000 gp. This gives a couple skill bonuses and boosts your effective Bard level for the purposes of your Bardic Music. It's handy.

Also, the Inspirational Boost spell (Spell Compendium pg. 124) boosts your Inspira Courage up another point, which is handy.

Bard/Swiftblade (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/prc/20070327):
You really can't screw this up too badly, so the exact feats or class progression for this don't really need much detail.
An item to look at:

Slippers of Battle Dancing (DMG2 pg. 272)--Add your Charisma to attack and damage rolls as long as you move up to your land speed. That shouldn't be a problem for a Swiftblade.

Bard/Dread Pirate:
Pretty good base attack and Dread Pirate advances Inspire Courage slightly more quickly than straight Bard. It only can use the IC boost a couple times per day, though.

Bard 5/Marshal (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20030906b)* 1/Spellsword** 4/Sublime Chord*** 10
*Miniatures Handbook
**Complete Warrior
***Complete Arcane
The entry skills will be incredibly tight; you might need to grab Able Learner (RoD) just to meet them (and even then, you might be pushing it).
This build will rely entirely on Channel Spell, Snowflake Wardance and the Arcane Strike feat (Complete Warrior).

Bard/Warchanter (Complete Warrior):
A lot of players go for this option, but straight Bard's better. 3 levels might be worthwhile, but that's it.

Concept-Altering Inspire Courage feats:

Words of Creation (Book of Exalted Deeds) is incredible if you can use it. It requires you to play an Exalted character with incredible stats, though.
Dragonfire Inspiration (Dragon Magic) is okay. It exchanges your IC bonus for d6s of elemental damage at a 1:1 ratio. It isn't as good as it sounds (it might actually drop your party's damage output if your buddies are Ray-Wizards and Power-Attack Fighters. Also, elemental resistances are incredibly common).
Song of the Heart (Eberron) is nice if you play in that setting.

2008-01-20, 06:17 PM
The Player's Handbook 2's Bardic Knack variant is a lot more appropriate for most Swashbuckling-types than Bardic Music. Maybe look at that.

It replaces Bardic Knowledge, not Bardic Music, so you still get your buffing.

I agree with the Warblade mention; Diamond Mind maneuvers go well with a swashbuckler, allowing you to get a lot of damage out of a light one-handed weapon.

2008-01-20, 06:47 PM
It replaces Bardic Knowledge, not Bardic Music, so you still get your buffing.Gah--mistype. I'll fix that in a minute.

2008-01-20, 07:01 PM
These are great ideas guys, thanks.

2008-01-20, 07:51 PM
Not optimized and limited to core/ua/srd but will work for most races if the levels are staggered:

Divine Bard Variant -4, Sorcerer -4, Mystic Theurge - 10 +2 PRC levels to taste probably on the sorcerer side to pick up level 8 spells.

Primary attribute is Charisma, decent amount of skill points starting with bard, spellcasting as a Bard - 14, Sorcerer - 16.

Depends on race but nice and simple:

Bard - 1, Stalwart* Battle Sorcerer variant - 19, +15 BAB with averaging, level 9 spells, basic bardic abilities, Hit points 6 + 19D8 + 38 + (Con Mod times 20).

* Complete Mage

Bard - 1, Sorcerer -6, Loremaster -3, Thaumaturgist - 5, ACM - 5

+10 BAB but taking 2 feats Arcane Disciple (From Complete Divine); Take the Summoning & Luck domains then your PC can summon Noble Djinni or Effreeti for very inexpensive Wishes via Planar Ally, Have a Noble Djinni Cohort (ECL - 16 at level 18+ (More Wishes) and cast 2 No Experience Miracles a day with High Arcana since Miracle will be an arcane spell.


Divine Bard - 4, Sorcerer - 4, MT -5, Nar Demonbinder** - 7

** http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20030502a&page=2

A UA/SRD Major bloodline feat could add a lot to the build since it uses different paydown rules.

Taking a paid down +2 LA template like Phrenic from the SRD would add a lot to the PC.

Two feats: Bloodline and the Arcane Disciple feat could add a lot to the build.

2008-03-12, 01:04 PM
If I may. Here is a rather martial bard build that I came up with as an alternate character for our current campaign.
Note: You have to be a +1LA Goliath to take this track.
Bard 6/Dawncaller 2/Warblade 12

Using Dawncaller and Song of the White Raven you get full inspire courage progression and you get +10 fort, +12 Ref, +9 will as the final base saves. However, you only get 6 levels of Bard spellcasting progression.

This is the trade off though, you get 14 levels of the Fighter BAB. Final BAB is +18/+13/+8/+3

AND you're still getting inspire courage, etc.

The one big drawback to this build is that it's a bit multi-ability dependent. You'll need High CHA for Bard, High INT/STR/DEX for Warblade.

Just some thoughts.