View Full Version : [3.5] Support Bard RAW questions

2008-06-23, 08:04 AM
So, I have decided to try and come up with a non-spoony Support Bard Build (purely as an optimization excersie, I do not intend to use this in a campaign, at least not yet anyway). Anyway, I have a few questions...

1. Chaos Music: It states that your bard music abilities improve by +4 up to your HD. I intepret this to include:
a) Songs you have access to (e.g. 1 Bard / 2 Fighter with Chaos Music has access to Inspire Competence as a level 3 bard)
b) Power of your Songs (e.g. 4 Bard / 4 Fighter with Chaos Music can inspire courage +2 as a level 8 bard)
c) Number of Uses of Music per day (The example in 'b' would have 8 uses per day)
Is this correct?

2. Dragonfire Inspiration lets you add the Energy type for your Draconic Heritage feat or Half Dragon parentage (or fire if you don't have any draconic heritage/half dragon). So using Emerald Dragon Heritage would add sonic damage. The question is what happens when you use a Dragon with multiple Energy types like Pyroclastic (Fire and Sonic), or for that matter, Platinum (any).

And for those who are curious how the build looks like at present:

Edit: Build has been revised in light of some feats I just learnt about.

Support Bard

Probable 32 point buy:
4 Str 12
6 Dex 14 (All other level up points go here)
6 Con 14
6 Int 14 (+1 at level 4 to qualify for Words of Creation)
0 Wis 8
10 Cha 16

01 Bard 1-Human Feat: Melodic Casting, Char Feat: Chaos Music
02 Dragon Shaman 1-Auras: Vigor, Energy Shield, Power (OR Marshal 1, see below)
03 Bard 2-Char Feat: Song of Heart (req Perform 6)
04 Marshal 1-Minor Aura
05 Bard 3
06 Fighter 1-Fighter Feat: Weapon Finesse, Char Feat: Word of Creation (Req 15 Int/Cha, Base Will Saves +5)
07 Bard 4
08 Sorcerer (Dragonblood Variant) 1-Gain Dragonblood subtype, Free Draconic Heritage: Emerald
09 Bard 5-Char Feat: Dragonfire Inspiration
10 Bard 6
11 Bard 7
12 Bard 8-Char Feat: Lingering Song
13 Bard 9
14 Bard 10
15 Bard 11-Char Feat: ???
16 Bard 12
17 Bard 13
18 Bard 14-Char Feat: ???
19 Bard 15
20 Bard 16

If possible, take a Flaw to get Lingering Song at level 1.

Other Possible Feats:
-Focused Performer
-Focused Preformance
-Practiced Spellcaster Bard
-Jack of All Trades

Progression Outline:

This is designed to be a powerful Party support build. As this does not have Able Learner, levels are staggered between Bard and something else to manage skill point allocation.

Melodic Casting is taken as early as possible, letting you cast spells even while you inspire Courage. It also lets you dump Concentration and focus on pumping Perform.

At level 2, the dragon Shaman splash lets it lay down Aura of Power, so that allies gain +1 damage. So stacking Aura of Power with Inspire Courage gives +1 to hit/+2 to damage. But Dragon Shaman is really there for Aura of vigor to helps out of Combat Healing.

If you don't want Dragon Shaman (e.g. because there is another Dragon Shaman, or your Cleric has Touch of Healing), you can replace it with Marshal 1 instead. Then replace Marshal 1 on level 4 with Fighter 1 and Weapon Finesse. Then on level 6, Fighter 1 becomes Fighter 2, and you can take another feat such as Elusive Dance, Quick draw, Blindfight, or something else.

At level 3, Song of Heart improves Inspire Courage to +2.

At level 4, it can use Marshal Minor Auras to boost whatever skill it (or its party) happens to need.

At level 6, Words of Creation improves Inspire Courage to +3.

At level 8, Chaos Music (if I understood it correctly) improves effective Bard level to 8, and improves Inspire Courage to +5.

At level 9, it can use Dragonfire Inspiration to swap Inspire Courage +5 for +5d6 Sonic Damage per hit. If you include Inspirational boost/Badge of Valor/Battle Rattle, it goes to inspire Courage +8 or +8d6 sonic damage.

At level 12, it gains lingering song, it can drop Inspire Courage 1st round, and swap to Dragonfire Inspiration on the 2nd round, so that the whole party can gain inspire courage +5 and +5d6 sonic damage per hit (+8 or +8d6 with spells and gear). Which is why you should try to take Lingering song earlier with a flaw.

If you intepret a Pyroclastic dragon can add either Fire or Sonic at his choice, then you can interrupt Inspire Sonic and Add Inspire Fire on the 3rd round as well, adding another +5d6 fire damage.

At level 14, Chaos Music improves effective Bard level to 14, and improves Inspire Courage to +7.

At level 20, Chaos Music improves effective Bard level to 20, and improves Inspire Courage to +9.

2008-06-25, 08:01 AM
Anyone know the answer?

2008-06-25, 08:02 AM
I do believe that 1a is incorrect. It only increases uses per day (Even that might be iffy) but it most certainly increases power.

2008-06-25, 09:22 PM
Thanks. I suppose thats a stricter intepretation of the description. Still, the main importance of Chaos Music is to have Inspire Courage (and Dragonfire Inspiration) keep up with level progression despite all the heavy multiclassing, so that it can reach +9 (and +9d6) by level 20.

Anyone know the answer for the second question?

2008-06-25, 11:31 PM
1) I'd say a) and b) but not c). The example given in the text of the feat covers both a) and b), but there is nothing to indicate c) would work... you've got Extra Music for that.

2) Ask your DM ! (What did you expect ?! This is absolutely not covered by the rules...)
By a strict reading, you may not be able to use DFI (the parent is not associated with one energy type). Not that I would actually read it that way, of course.

Now, in my campaign I would let you choose one of the energy types when you take the feat. No changing it on a whim - the feat is good enough as-is (with Lingering song you could layer different types yourself !).