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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Could you please help a noob?

    Hello everyone I am really new to DnD 3.5 for more then just a one shot or a very limited session number. And I am trying to play a musical based bard, and I was wondering of any good build paths that anyone could recommend? Thanks!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Could you please help a noob?

    You probably don't need to turn up with an awesome build. Bard is relatively forgiving and the rest of the group should be prepared to cut you some slack.

    The main thing to do is to check what the rest of the group is doing, and make sure your character either complements them (e.g. bow-wielding bard along with a group of heavily-armored front-line types) or fits in with them (e.g. sneaky bard along with a group of rogue and rangers).
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: Could you please help a noob?

    Ok, first, move this to the PF/3.5 section.

    Second, what are the rest of the group bringing to the table. Please don't just list classes; try to find out what they're trying to DO with said classes.

    Finally, how new is the rest of the group to 3.5?

    Here's a nice handbook for you: http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=8686.0
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Could you please help a noob?

    I dont think bard class the the best choice for a new guy . A role player or vet gamer are good for handling it .

    If you really want to help your friends , have fun and even shine , I would suggest playing a fighter if thats too boring a cleric . Learn the basics first and then change to a bard if you really want to later on .
    Last edited by Pugwampy; 2017-02-06 at 02:46 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Could you please help a noob?

    Friends don't let friends play fighters.
    Imagine if all real-world conversations were like internet D&D conversations...
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Could you please help a noob?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbane View Post
    Friends don't let friends play fighters.
    Those would be kinda bad, because patronizing, friends.

    The Fighter class, like every other class, is a tool. Like with any tool, you have to know how to wield it.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Could you please help a noob?

    Well the first question we have to ask is, what do you want to do as a bard? By that I mean, what hole are you trying to fill? Also what level are you starting at?

    The best question to ask, ESPECIALLY when it comes to bards is: Who are your teammates/party members? This is important because we will need to know what strengths your party has that you can help capitalize on, and what weaknesses they have that you can help compensate for.

    If you are looking for generic advice I'll give you this: Bards excel in buffing the party with Inspire courage/heroics and spells like Bulls Strength and Haste, and in having a great deal of skills, ESPECIALLY social skills. If you have a bard without maxed out diplomacy, you sort of missed the boat on their best purpose.

    I don't have some uber build in my pocket but if I can give some advice for a bard if you are coming in at a lower level:

    1. Max out Bluff and Diplomacy unless you are literally playing nothing but a dungeon crawl. Use any social situation to your advantage and trick, sweet talk, or flat out lie to the authorities or bad guys.

    2. As soon as you get first level spells, get Inspirational Boost. It's in the Spell compendium and Complete Adventurer (I think) and it adds 1 to your inspire courage bonus, turning it into +2 to damage and hit at second level or +3 at eighth, and it only costs a swift action so it wont add to the time you take while starting your perform.

    3. Get Perform (Sing) or Perform (Oratory) because it will allow you to keep singing while you do other things, like say take out your light crossbow and shoot things. Starting your performance is a standard action, but keeping it going is a free action. You just can't use spells with a verbal component until you stop, and it sticks for 5 rounds after. While instruments can do the same, they also mean that your hands are full so you can't exactly fence and fight while playing a violin (unless you are Lindsey Sterling apparently).
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Could you please help a noob?

    Friends don't let friends play fighters.
    There is no easier training wheels "class" to begin with .

    I am not talking about filling up holes . Trying to help the new guy adjust and have fun with minimal homework .
    I would never force a new player to take a fighter but i would explain my motives.

    This is a very alien experience to anyone who never ever tried tabletop RP .
    Last edited by Pugwampy; 2017-02-06 at 10:41 AM.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Could you please help a noob?

    Ask your game master to help you make a character, you will almost certainly get help and he'll have better advice than we do.
    He knows better than we do and if he expects a new player to show up with a complete character then he's doing it wrong.
    Last edited by Mastikator; 2017-02-06 at 10:40 AM. Reason: clarification
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Could you please help a noob?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    Ask your game master to help you make a character, you will almost certainly get help and he'll have better advice than we do.
    He knows better than we do and if he expects a new player to show up with a complete character then he's doing it wrong.
    This might actually be the best advice on this forum.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Uncle Pine's Avatar

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    Default Re: Could you please help a noob?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stealth Marmot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    Ask your game master to help you make a character, you will almost certainly get help and he'll have better advice than we do.
    He knows better than we do and if he expects a new player to show up with a complete character then he's doing it wrong.
    This might actually be the best advice on this forum.
    Along with the above, knowing the following before the start of the first session is also incredibly helpful:
    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    Ask your game master to help you make a character, you will almost certainly get help and he'll have better advice than we do.
    He knows better than we do and if he expects a new player to show up with a complete character then he's doing it wrong.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Could you please help a noob?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pugwampy View Post
    There is no easier training wheels "class" to begin with.
    The barbarian would like a word.

    Though, for newbs I prefer ranger. It lets a player dabble in all of the game's core systems and scrapping it for something more focused after he figures out what he likes is no big deal.

    The difficulty curve for fighter is steep enough that it's probably the last class I'd point a newb at before something like artificer (absolutely the last class I'd suggest for a newb).
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  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: Could you please help a noob?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    The barbarian would like a word.

    Though, for newbs I prefer ranger. It lets a player dabble in all of the game's core systems and scrapping it for something more focused after he figures out what he likes is no big deal.

    The difficulty curve for fighter is steep enough that it's probably the last class I'd point a newb at before something like artificer (absolutely the last class I'd suggest for a newb).
    +1'ing this.
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  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Could you please help a noob?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    The difficulty curve for fighter is steep enough that it's probably the last class I'd point a newb at before something like artificer (absolutely the last class I'd suggest for a newb).
    Yeah, people think that Fighters are just "Hit X with stick." since classically, they were. However, after 3rd edition, the Fighter has changed in it's sophistication. Sure you mostly still hit things with a stick, but it also has a bunch of feats that require care in building the character, as well as a thorough knowledge in combat mechanics to know how to best utilize those feats. A level 20 fighter ends up with 18 feats (19 if human), and if they aren't properly utilized they WILL fall behind the other classes. (They probably won't ever be totally on par with a wizard after level 5, but without good feat selection they won't even be useful in combat.)

    Barbarians probably do make one of the best starter classes. Sorcerers are actually surprisingly straightforward as well, since you don't have to worry about daily changes in spell memorization, you just have spells you know and a certain number of times a day you can cast them. You don't have to worry about school specialization, keeping a spellbook, and you don't have a bunch of bonus feats to worry about. You have to choose your spells, but with some help from an experienced player, you can pick the spells and learn how they work pretty easily. You aren't expected to be a frontline fighter or a skill monkey at any point. Heck, you'll probably have no more than 3-4 skill points per level, and that's if you're human. And since Concentration is an absolute must for a caster, and Spellcraft is also expected, you only have 1 or 2 skills at best you can put some points into (In 3.5 at least, Pathfinder graciously got rid of concentration as a skill). You don't have to worry about picking your armor either. Overall, I would say that Sorcerers might be the second best choice for a new player learning the mechanics.
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  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Could you please help a noob?

    Yeah, people think that Fighters are just "Hit X with stick." since classically, they were. However, after 3rd edition, the Fighter has changed in it's sophistication.
    Wow fighter has stick and feats . Thats sooo complicated . You can argue PF fighter is complicated slightly but not a 3rd edition dude .

    Explain how a ranger is easier to use as he has a stick and feats and a pet and spell list , less armour , less HP

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Could you please help a noob?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pugwampy View Post
    Wow fighter has stick and feats . Thats sooo complicated . You can argue PF fighter is complicated slightly but not a 3rd edition dude .

    Explain how a ranger is easier to use as he has a stick and feats and a pet and spell list , less armour , less HP
    Ease of use and power are not the same thing. The Ranger having less HP and armor is irrelevant towards the ease of use for a character. Also, I never said that the Ranger was easier to use than the fighter, but I'm going to right now.

    First off, the Ranger gets a bunch of different abilities, but they don't get as much choice in what that are bit by bit. Rangers get a lot of skill points, but usually they are expected to be in a pretty specific set of areas like Survival and Knowledge (Nature), hide, move silently, spot, and listen. Other than that, the class isn't too dependent on great skill choice to be effective. Choosing the favored enemy is a pretty straightforward process, and generally you can get good choices out of either magical beasts or undead. even with that, favored enemies are mainly a bonus, not the only way to make the class WORK. Once you pick the favored enemy, your only real choices are the feat and maybe some of your skill points.

    Your feats are all but decided based on your chosen path, two weapon fighting or archery, and most of the feats at lower level for archery are core and obvious. Point blank shot and precise shot are your first two feats if going archery.

    With a fighter, he has to not only know what feats to pick, but how to make use of them If a feat only works on a charge, you need to know when to charge. You need to know when you can add a bonus to attack or use shock trooper or power attack.

    When you get an animal, the DM is supposed to actually control it, and you just give it general orders. Most DMs don't even bother asking for a handle animal check. Since he is controlling it, he often rolls for it. It can easily take the burden off the ranger.

    As for spells, the ranger gets a very low selection at lower levels, and wont get ANY for the first 3 levels or so, even longer if they don't have a positive wisdom modifier. Up to 7th level they get 1 or two AT BEST. Not a huge decision to make.

    One point is though, the ranger's abilities and features are drip fed in, so the player has a chance to get used to them before they move on to the next one. Sure it has a lot more features than the fighter, but there is a very important distinction:

    Without good feat selection and knowledge of game mechanics, a fighter will not be useful in any capacity. Therefore a fighter player needs access to a bunch of supplements and knowledge of builds to make it work best. A ranger can be less than optimized and still be useful to the group even using nothing but core. The ranger's power isn't heavily augmented and dependant on supplements and feat choices. Sure you can probably get some dynamite optimal builds using it, but a ranger will always have skills, class features, a pet, and a couple of spells along with some good saves to make them useful and add survivability.

    My point is this: It is a LOT easier to make a ranger that doesn't suck than a fighter that doesn't suck, and play it in a way that doesn't suck.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Could you please help a noob?

    My point is this: It is a LOT easier to make a ranger that doesn't suck than a fighter that doesn't suck, and play it in a way that doesn't suck.
    I totally disagree . This is twisted upside down logic .

    There is nothing less complicated or more helpful than a noob fighter walking up to a monster and bashing it on the head. For a basic DND game that does not suck

    The average noob does exactly that except they trying to do that using druids and bards.

    You dont have to give em complicated feats . extra hp or extra AC or better weapon .

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Could you please help a noob?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pugwampy View Post
    I totally disagree . This is twisted upside down logic .

    There is nothing less complicated or more helpful than a noob fighter walking up to a monster and bashing it on the head. For a basic DND game that does not suck

    The average noob does exactly that except they trying to do that using druids and bards.

    You dont have to give em complicated feats . extra hp or extra AC or better weapon .
    Sure if you tell the player which feats they should take then fighters are easy, but that's only because the newer player isn't doing any of the character stat building. You're just creating a template for them, which admittedly might well be the right thing to do, but if you don't then fighters have more build choices and more options (and more BAD options) than rangers (and barbarians).
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  19. - Top - End - #19
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Could you please help a noob?

    Fighters:
    Pros: Mechanically simple, depending on feat choice. High hit points and armor are pretty forgiving of tactical errors.
    Cons: Feat choices are difficult to make for a beginner who's not sure what's good and what isn't. Many give tactical options, increasing the amount of things the player has to handle at once. Avoiding those options makes combat somewhat monotonous. Low skill options out of combat.

    Rangers:
    Pros: Gradual introduction to new class features. At first level, you pick a favored enemy- ask your DM or fellow players for good picks. At level 2, you can settle on whether you want to fight close-up or at range, depending on your party. You can ask them about spell picks, too- since you can change them every day, you can try out different options. Class features are relatively simple- bonus feats, wild empathy.
    Cons: At 4th level, two class features are introduced simultaneously- the pet and spells. If they were spread onto different levels (3rd level animal companion wouldn't break anything), it would be easier to handle. Vancian casting may be difficult to pick up at first.

    Barbarian:
    Pros: Simplest option with one tactical button: rage. High hit points and damage mean that it's fairly forgiving of a lot- just point yourself at the enemy and swing. Easy decision to rage/not rage provides early introduction into tactical combat.
    Cons: Illiteracy requires some understanding of skill points to deal with. Lower armor but higher hit points means it's easy to overestimate your survivability. Rage requires understanding of damage/Con boost interactions.

    Bard:
    Pros: Class features are generally applicable anywhere. Inspire whatever will be liked in any group. Healing spells are always liked.
    Cons: Spontaneous spellcasting will lock you into bad spell decisions for a while. Socially-focused character will put the spotlight on you for RP to make use of your skills.
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    Spirit Barbarian: The Barbarian, with heavy elements from the Shaman. Complete up to level 17.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    GungHo's Avatar

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    Default Re: Could you please help a noob?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    Sure if you tell the player which feats they should take then fighters are easy, but that's only because the newer player isn't doing any of the character stat building. You're just creating a template for them, which admittedly might well be the right thing to do, but if you don't then fighters have more build choices and more options (and more BAD options) than rangers (and barbarians).
    Actually, making a template is usually a pretty good idea for someone who is brand spanking new.

    I do agree with some of the folks mentioning the ranger. I do understand Pugwampy's point that you can make a viable fighter quite easily, but the Fighter systems with the basic "boost" feats rather than than maneuver feats doesn't really teach you systems the way that a Ranger might, as the Ranger gets several more options without a lot of additional complications. He can see more of the game that way. However, I still suggest templating with customization rather than building from scratch, as the guy may have no idea what is and isn't viable, and you don't want ignorance to be a penalty to fun.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Could you please help a noob?

    I am a big fan of letting a newcomer build the character himself but with advice and guidance. Only if it really is and feels like his "own" character, there is enough emotional connection. Also newcomers tend to be inspired by something when trying out RPGs and you should build upon it.

    So, bard is not bad.

    However deeper guidance ... we simply don't know enough about your group. What kind of adventure/Campaign you are playing, what the other character are, what the level range is, which books are allowed. Only with detailed information we would be able to give good advice.

    So... ask other players or the DM to help you building. They should know all those important details.


    Oh, also important : why do you want to play a bard? What do you like in bards, what is important to you?
    Last edited by Satinavian; 2017-02-08 at 12:28 PM.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: Could you please help a noob?

    Hm... If you want to play a socially-focused spellcaster, have you considered playing a Beguiler (from the Player's Handbook II)? It's an arcane, spontaneous spellcaster with a large and pre-set spell list that focuses on enchantment and illusion spells. It also has a decent number of skillpoints, some good class skills to spend them on, and the ability to cast spells in light armor.
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