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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    SO here's the deal.
    I've just begun a 3.5 campaign, and we've got a party of five. Party is me as a warblade, a druid, a cleric, a ranged ranger and... a bard.
    Essentially, my gf wanted to play a class with heavy emphasis on music, ideally singing. Bard was all I could think of. The only problem is that bards don't have the same power that other classes do.
    Any suggestions for a kick-ass class or multi-class she could take? Essentially the only requirements are music, and kick-assery.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carzal View Post
    The only problem is that bards don't have the same power that other classes do.
    Yes. Yes they do.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    In what way do they compete?

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    I've heard good things about Dragonfire Inspiration, from the Dragon Magic book. There's also the Sublime Chord prestige class from Complete Arcane, which lets you get level 9 spells as a Bard.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carzal View Post
    In what way do they compete?
    Here is a guide to optimization.
    Done right, they can add tens of d6 to all their allies' damages, let alone +HD (inspire greatness) (thus CL, by Practiced Spellcaster), + to-hit, + actions (with a warblade dip and/or feats)

    She's in a party of a Warblade, a Druid, a Cleric and a Ranger. All use weapons (melee, ranged, natural, doesn't matter) to deal damage. +10d6 per hit would be a welcome addition to any weapon-user, let alone a team of them.
    Last edited by Eloel; 2010-02-24 at 12:48 PM.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    Well, DFI, skills, spells, ridiculous Suggestion DCs, party face, etc.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    As my first character i played a crusader. I battled my friend, a bard, in an arena style match up ten times. he beat me, ten times. people seriously underestimate bards.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tyndmyr's Avatar

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    Core bards are kinda meh. That's where the reputation comes from. The splatbook love cures this, though.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    Even core only, they have a good spell-list. Bards are totally a viable class. Done right, she could easily outpace your team's Ranger. Just pick good spells and work on optimizing Inspire Courage. Even without DFI, a bard providing all those characters +5 attack/damage is going to mean she's responsible (if indirectly) for very large amounts of damage.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumman View Post
    I've heard good things about Dragonfire Inspiration, from the Dragon Magic book. There's also the Sublime Chord prestige class from Complete Arcane, which lets you get level 9 spells as a Bard.
    This is the main part of most powerfull bard builds (note, that it's not mentioned in the linked up Bard Handbook - as it says, it's not complete). The rest depends on focus: skills diplomacy (very powerfull, especially if you can back it up with decent RP - a character like Tomjon from Wyrd Sisters), songs, spells or combat abilities. I'm not in position to create something usable by myself (i don't have the most relevant splatbooks), but there are lots of good and skilled people around to help with details of a specific build.

    So first and foremost one has to decide: what sort of bard one wants to be (and remember that a bard can potentially fill any role, just not all of them at once).

    Also: It doesn't matter, if you win or lose as long as you look really cool doing it!
    In a war it doesn't matter who's right, only who's left.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    Oh, it matters. Because I just lost the game.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    Look up snowflake wardance. It's kind of like Divine Power + Tenser's Transformation for bards.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    Bard tricks:

    Learn how to Optimize Inspire Courage.

    Debuffs: Bards are really, really good at this. Take a look at Doomspeak, Netherese Battle Curse, Dark Speech, Dreadful Wrath, Dark Whispers Imperious Command, Haunting Melody, Frightful Presence and/or a Subjugating (Heroes of Battle pg 130) and/or Roaring (Book of Exalted Deeds pg 113) and/or Spell Storing weapon. Everyone else in the party using Save effects against your enemies will love you.

    Crystal Echoblades: Adds 1/2 your Bard level to damage while you are using Bard music. Magic Item Compendium.

    Snowflake Wardance: This feat lets you burn a Bardic Music use to gain your Cha to your attack rolls for Perform Skill rounds. Frostburn.

    Slippers of Battledancing (item from DMGII) or Thunder Lance or Whirling Blade (Sorc/Wiz spells from Spell Comp, use UMD): Either will let you use your Cha to your To-Hit bonus in place of your Str. Stacks with Snowflake Wardance.

    Reactive Counterspell: You can counter spell even if you haven't readied an action (though it uses up your next available action). Although not as good as Divine Defiance (requires Turn Undead) this is huge for any spontaneous caster with access to Spellcraft and Dispel Magic. Unfortunately, it also requires Improved Counterspell and Improved Initiative, so you probably won't pick it up until high levels. Player's Guide to Faerun.

    Combat Panache (PHBII) let's You can redirect an enemy's attack, play dead when damaged, and impose your Charisma bonus as a penalty to hit against. (Which rocks in boss fights).

    Minor Shapeshift: As long as you have any Polymorph spell of 4th level or higher memorized, you can spend a Swift Action to give yourself temporary hit points equal to your Hit Dice. Use it every turn, find a source of DR and vampiric healing (there are many) and Bards can be excellent tanks. Complete Arcane pg 45.

    Obtain Familiar: Familiars share your BAB and Saves, have half your hit points, and can Share Spells (like Alter Self and Polymorph). Combine with Improved Familiar, and you get an excellent mount or tag team partner. Complete Arcane pg 81.

    War Weaver: The best buff PrC in the game. You cast a spell, and it applies to everyone in your party. Obviously there are a bunch of caveats, but if you have access to Heroes of Battle, you should consider it.

    Sublime Chord: Gives Bard access to 7-9th level spells. Complete Arcane.

    Arcane Duelist: Cha to AC, the uber abusable Dexterous Attack, Flurry of Swords.

    Spirit Sense: I like to take this feat for humor value when I'm playing the party face. It let’s you see an interact with spirits of the recently dead. “Sorry that we had to ambush you, but could you tell us your master’s weaknesses?” “Are you kidding me, you just killed me.” “Please!” (My Diplomacy check is 52.) “Fine, fine. He’s vulnerable to fire.” Heroes of Horror pg 124.

    Warchanter: Full BAB PrC that progresses Bardic Music (but not spells), and provides additional types of Bardic music. Bard 1/Paladin 4/Warchanter X or something similar is a very strong melee buffer.

    Stormsinger: Can burn 2 Bardic music to blast enemies in several different ways, where the damage is equal to a Perform check (which can be boosted into triple digits) + deafen or other things. Frostburn. Also grants full caster and music uses per day progression.

    Bard Spells: Glibness, Improvisation, and dozens of others. You're never going to be the best blaster or battlefield controller, but you're the game's best toolbox.

    Skills: Everything you could want except maybe Iaijutsu Focus. Lets of tricks here, especially with Sleight of Hand and UMD.

    Bard is probably the strongest non-full-caster/manifester/etc classes in the game.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Ormagoden's Avatar

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    take wizard, boost int, and cross class perform sing.
    be a batman wizard and do the battoosie with perform dance.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Nero24200's Avatar

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    In my honest opinion, the core 3.5 bard was probably the best in terms of balance. Features which progressed with levels (Bard Songs per day, spells etc), distinct features (you don't see wizards with countersong) and reasonable on a power level.

    The reason it's considered overpowering is because in the core book it sits next to the cleric, one of "the big five". While I personally think the "casterz ownz!" arguments tend to be a bit exhagerated, I do however see clerics (and druids while I'm at it) as being poor in terms of balance.

    Bards aren't considered weak because they're weaker (since they're not), they're just not as easy to break compared to the most overpowering classes in the game.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Thurbane's Avatar

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    Question Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    If you don't want Bard, maybe your DM could let you re-fluff the verbal components of another class, say Beguiler, as singing?

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nero24200 View Post
    Bards aren't considered weak because they're weaker (since they're not), they're just not as easy to break compared to the most overpowering classes in the game.
    Huh. I thought it was weak because the unique abilities scale far too slowly or are just inherently weak and/or redundant. The most powerful feature is by far the spellcasting, and there are no less than four other classes in the book that do that better. When you compare what a Bard gets to do as he levels to what either a spellcaster or a full melee class does with his action, the bard comes out behind.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    Huh. I thought it was weak because the unique abilities scale far too slowly or are just inherently weak and/or redundant. The most powerful feature is by far the spellcasting, and there are no less than four other classes in the book that do that better. When you compare what a Bard gets to do as he levels to what either a spellcaster or a full melee class does with his action, the bard comes out behind.
    A full spellcaster? Yes. A full melee? No. Even Core, you could get a lot of bones just from Inspiration, which stacks with the bonuses from Greater Magic Weapon, and had lockdown type spellcasting. Fighting a meatshield? Hold Person = Win.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    Even with Core only a bard is pretty useful. Just doesn't seem like much on paper until you start using them.

    A bard's suggestion DC is downright insane, I've seen CR creatures (obviously not immune to it) completely neutralized by it. Defeating an opponent doesn't always mean killing him.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Temotei's Avatar

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinfire Titan View Post
    Oh, it matters. Because I just lost the game.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carzal View Post
    SO here's the deal.
    I've just begun a 3.5 campaign, and we've got a party of five. Party is me as a warblade, a druid, a cleric, a ranged ranger and... a bard.
    Essentially, my gf wanted to play a class with heavy emphasis on music, ideally singing. Bard was all I could think of. The only problem is that bards don't have the same power that other classes do.
    Any suggestions for a kick-ass class or multi-class she could take? Essentially the only requirements are music, and kick-assery.
    What do you expect the optimization level to look like (particularly for the druid and cleric)?
    At what level range do you expect to be playing?
    Do you expect the DM to design adventures to allow good use of physical skill checks, social skill checks, and bardic knowledge?

    In many cases, the bard is a pretty good class just straight-up. Spells (including some at lower levels than wizards get, and some entirely unique spells), a great skill list, good saves, and then the music and Bardic Knowledge.

    Show your gf a few of the PrCs for bard to see what looks like fun to her. Don't worry too much about the power level. As the only arcane caster in this party, the bard is going to get chances to shine even without cheese. At level 7, just "Haste, Inspire Courage +2 or +3, and twiddle thumbs" can more or less double your party's damage output. Especially if the druid is a summoner.

    So some of the PrCs she might enjoy:
    Dirgesinger, Seeker of the Song, and War Chanter are all about the music, each with a different focus on effects. Virtuoso, Sublime Chord, and Lyric Thaumaturge advance casting, but IME not everybody likes spellcasting, so despite being more powerful, they might not be as fun depending on what the player wants. There are various ACFs with different songs possible, and feats to grant new songs as well.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    sublime chord that bard and he'll be third. not even warblades match up to full casters.
    My mother says: those on fire should roll.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    Don't forget the Song of the White Raven death metal bard. Add some levels of Warblade or Crusader and your Girlfriend could be a real Heavy Metal Princess. \m/
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    I personally think Seeker of the Song is underrated. Sublime Chord gets all the love because of the level 9 spell slots, but Seeker gives you new types of music at every level.

    I think it more closely resembles what a bard should be. Sublime Chord basically makes you into a sorcerer with a few extra tricks.
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    Indeed, I love the seeker of the song. It is definitely one of my top 5 favorite PrCs. It is a bit weak though...

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    jojolagger's Avatar

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    Quote Originally Posted by OverdrivePrime View Post
    Don't forget the Song of the White Raven death metal bard. Add some levels of Warblade or Crusader and your Girlfriend could be a real Heavy Metal Princess. \m/
    Link to it.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

    Yeah, Sublime Chord is the most powerful Bard path, but it does basically make you "a Sorcerer with a few Bard tricks on the side."

    But even without its three hyper-specialized power options (Sublime Chord, Words of Creation, or Dragonfire Inspiration), a Bard with splatbook support rocks.

    Just avoid weak spells, skills, and feats. (Which includes nearly all Core feats.) And make sure you look into:
    • Skill Tricks
    • Inspire Courage boosts: the Song of the Heart feat (ECS), the Inspirational Boost spell (SpC), and the very cheap Badge of Courage (MIC).
    • Tome of Battle: a one-level dip, or a Feat and a 3000-gp item, can give you a pretty handy collection of White Raven tricks that are powerful and feel very Bardic.
    • The Improvisation spell (SpC).
    • Feats like Melodic Casting, Snowflake Wardance, Metamagic Song, Versatile Performer, Captivating Melody, and I guess Extra Music.
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    Sheriff in the Playground Administrator
     
    Roland St. Jude's Avatar

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] A Singing Class that Owns?

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