Fuel: A Bard|Ardent

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Fuel: A Bard|Ardent
Metallica__Fuel_by_SabbraCadabra.jpg

"gimme fuel, gimme fire, gimme that which I desire"



The Build in Action


Fuel gives his party energy.  His primary attack is Energizing Strike (Ardent 1) which gives a nearby ally temporary hitpoints (THP) equal to Level/2+Cha mod.  In addition, Fuel has on-demand powers that grant saves and real healing, in addition to two normal minor-action heals.  In addition, whether Fuel pops the Action Point, or his ally does, all allies gain several benefits.  Top that off with Bard powers to use when you can't get into melee range and a variety of zones to empower your allies.

Leader Duties


Healing
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  • Two baseline Minor heals (1 Bard, 1 Ardent)

  • Rewarding Strike (Ardent 7) -- Heals all allies that hit the target (Augment 2)

  • Vitality Transfer (Ardent 19) -- Heals all allies when a target drops to bloodied or 0

  • Corona of Battle (Ardent 25) -- Sustainable zone of Regeneration

  • Reactive Surge (Endurance 10) -- Spend a surge when bloodied

  • Song of Sublime Snowfall (Bard 16) -- Sustainable zone of healing




Temporary Hit Points (THP)
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  • Our primary attack grants one ally Level/2+CHA THP

  • Virtue of Valor -- Grants one ally/round 1+Con THP (6+CON at 11, 8+CON at 21) if they bloody/kill something, also gets shared with you thanks to a PP feature




Saving Throws
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  • Focusing Strike (Ardent 1) -- Grants 1 person a save (Aug2 to grant all allies within 5 a save)

  • Ode to Sacrifice (Bard 6) -- Transfer a save ends effect to another person

  • Song of Liberation (Bard 23) -- Ends movement-impairing effects on nearby allies




Nova Empowerment/Enabling
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  • Four Warlord MC feats -- Shift 1, Bonus damage, bonus defenses, to all allies when they AP, THP if they miss

  • War Chanter PP -- When you AP (and you can spend 2/enc if you want), all allies gain bonus to attack/damage for one round

  • Several daily powers that grant bonuses to hit/damage, many are zones or sustainable

  • Our Mantle of Elation grants neaby allies CON bonus to damage on Opp Attacks



Setting-Neutral


This build works in any game world, and can gain from the addition of various world-specific options.  In Eberron you could take Mark of Healing (although this should technically be limited to halflings).  In Darksun you can add a theme, I favor Noble Adept or Templar.  In the Forgotten Realms you can pick up a background that opens up a particular skill you want, or other benefit, like +1 initiative.

Mostly Item Neutral


I'm posting this build with a full complement of magic items, to show you how it should be ideally equipped.  None of the items are crucial to the build's function, but there are a few of higher priority, I'll address these.  What follows are what I consider the "integral" items, any item in the CB summary but not on this list is still of great use, but not required to make the build function at top level
  • Shared Valor Chainmail (3/8) -- Gain half the THP you grant an ally

  • Shield of Fellowship (15) -- When you gain THP, grant an adjacent ally that amount of THP plus 3 more (combo this with the armor to bounce THP all over)

  • ANY Songblade Longsword -- You need one to utilize the Bard Implement powers, but any will work.  I favor Piercing, Lilting and Echoing

Thanks


As always, Auspex7 for being my sounding board, 133 for pointing out the shield, and various members of the ##4eCO chat who helped with item selection and offered fine-tuning opinions.  Also, a shout-out to LDB for assistance in naming the build.

Detailed Build


Level 1 Notes
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Race -- Considering this build is all about flexibility, the choice is clear, Human.  We pick up Energizing Strike (Ardent 1) as our Human Bonus At-Will.  At base level, this power grants more THP than any other one of the Ardent At-Wills, and this is our goto power for the build, when in doubt, spam Energizing Strike.

Powers
Focusing Strike (Ardent At-Will 1) -- One person gets a saving throw, augment 2 for 2W damage and all allies in 5 can make saves
Cutting Words (Bard At-Will 1) -- Ranged power that pulls the target 2 squares.  Use this in scenarios where you can't get in melee range with something
Focused Sound (Bard Enc 1) -- Any hits against the target crit on 18-20 for 1 round
Stirring Shout (Bard Daily 1) -- Healing Pinata...a great power for providing extra healing power in a tough encounter.

Feat -- Shield Proficiency (Light) and Superior Will.  You're a frontline leader.  If you don't have defenses, you'll get pounded quickly.  Also, I dare you to heal while Stunned.  This combo sets the tone early, you're going to have to work to hurt me.


Level 2 Notes
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Utility -- Psionic Charge (A2) or Dimension Swap (A2) -- None of the choices at this level are clear standouts.  The list is further restricted to Ardent powers due to our upcoming Bard selection at 6.  In heroic, Psionic Charge is the winner, assuming someone is a decent charger in your group and doesn't mind delaying.  In Paragon+ (or Heroic if you lack a good charger) you'll get better performance out of Dimension Swap.

Feat -- Versatile Expertise (Heavy/Light Blades) -- We're using both Implement and Weapon attacks, so we're stuck with Versatile.  The benefit for Heavy Blade Expertise isn't that great, anyway, so don't feel too stressed that we're missing a cool toy.  The only real strain is that (currently) this feat kicks in on the 5s, instead of on the 1s, so we're behind the attack bonus for 4 levels.


Level 3 Notes
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At-Will -- The rules for Hybrid Psionic classes are a little wacky.  There's no choice that offers anything we want at this level, so we hold onto Focusing Strike (in the CB you have to replace it with itself, kind of annoying).

Encounter -- Cunning Ferocity (B3) -- Bonus damage to encourage focus-fire


Level 4 Notes
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Stats -- Bump Con/Cha -- We do this almost every time.

Feat -- Hybrid Talent (Bardic Virtue [of Valor]) -- Now each turn we can hand anyone within 5 squares Level/2+Cha THP and an ally within 5 that bloodies/kills 1+Con THP.  Our primary combo is online and rolling.


Level 5 Notes
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Daily -- Invitation to Defeat (A5) -- Sustain: Minor. This power has many strong features. Pull everything within 5 of you adjacent (or nearly adjacent), Weaken adjacent enemies, AND add CHA psychic damage any time adjacent enemies are hit. An excellent addition to any nova round.


Level 6 Notes
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Utility -- Ode to Sacrifice (B6) -- Being able to move a status effect around from one ally to another requires some measure of knowledge of our party.  Some things are obvious, move the slow/immob to a ranged character, move the daze to ourself (with the last of our actions, after already using our Standard/Move), and then the new target gets a bonus to the save equal to our CON.  Other minor things are to move effects to those that have the Superior defenses feat that grants a bonus against it, the OGD to an ally that's got resistance to that damage type, etc.

Feat -- Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade) -- This won't help our Implement attacks, but we'll be using Weapon powers for a vast majority of our attacks.


Level 7 Notes
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At-Will -- Rewarding Strike (A7) -- Sometimes THP generation isn't enough to keep up with the loss of HP by an ally.  This power covers that gap.  Don't bother using this power unless you're spending the 2 PP to augment it


Level 8 Notes
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Stats -- Bump Con/Cha -- We do this almost every time.

Feat -- Insightful Leader (Warlord Multiclass) -- Any time an ally (you can see) spends an AP, they gain a +1 bonus to all defenses.  We pick up Intimidate as the bonus skill.


Level 9 Notes
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Daily -- Feast of Despair (A9) -- No solo stands a chance with this combo.  Lower the target's defenses by 2, and gain 1 PP every time it misses.  Use these power points to keep pumping out Augment 2 Rewarding Strikes or Focusing Strikes.


Level 10 Notes
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Utility -- Reactive Surge (Endurance 10) -- Spend a surge as an Immediate Reaction to being bloodied, another fine bump to our defenses.

Feat -- Resourceful Leader (Warlord Multiclass) -- Bonus damage on APs, or if they miss, THPs. We pick up Acrobatics as the bonus skill.


Level 11 Notes
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Paragon Path -- War Chanter (Valor Bard) -- Strong features, decent powers.

AP Feature -- Now your allies gain bonuses when you AP, +Con to attack/damage!

11 Feature -- A bump to the THP generation of your Virtue of Valor.

11 Encounter -- An encounter power with a solid enabling effect.

Feat -- Improved Valor -- Add 3 to the number of THP gained from your Virtue of Valor feature.  With the Paragon tier bump, we're now at 6+CON THP


Level 12 Notes
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PP Utility -- Minor to grant everyone within 10 a +2 power bonus against one enemy.  Make sure we drop that pesky elite/leader/controller quickly.

Feat -- Superior Fortitude (HoFL) -- Feat bonus to Fortitude & resistance to OGD.


Level 13 Notes
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Encounter -- Cunning Ferocity (B3) into Earthquake Strike (B13) -- An upgrade to the damage bonus as well as the added benefit of proning, an all-around upgrade.


Level 14 Notes
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Stats -- Bump Dex/Cha -- The exception to the rule, we need the bump to qualify for our feat.

Feat -- Superior Reflexes (HoFL) -- Feat bonus to Reflexes and a minor round one buff.  This puts us at +3 feat bonus to all NADs, which will increase to +4 at 21st.


Level 15 Notes
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Daily -- Stirring Shout (B1) into Funeral Dirge (B15) -- Funeral Dirge is a clear winner with a zone of weakness.  If the zone isn't likely to get much play at your table, due to a lack of forced movement, go with Menacing Thunder.  Even if the enemy is smart enough to stay away from it, your ranged allies can sit there and fire away.


Level 16 Notes
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PP Feature -- You can now spend two Action Points in an encounter instead of just one.  Given your AP feature, this serves to further augment our party novas.

Feat -- Eyes in the Back of Your Head -- We'll be in melee quite a bit, and our AC isn't really high, so we take this to ensure we're not too easy to hit.  If you can spare the Uncommon item slot for it, this is also the same item level as the Uncommon Crown of Eyes, which grants the same benefit.  If you can get the helm, you can slide the 18 feat down to 16 and that gives you another open feat slot at 20.

Utility -- Sublime Snowfall -- Despite my annoyance of Daily utilities, this one's a strong addition to the build's healing ability.  Don't be too worried if you're stacking two minors on sustains, as long as you can reach your opponent, as you can heal allies in multiple ways if you hit.


Level 17 Notes
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Encounter -- Focused Sound (B1) into Song of Summons (B17) -- DM likes to gang up on healers, especially the ones that like to jump into melee?  This power gives us an out when that happens.  Pull a controller/defender adjacent to you and give them a power bonus to attack one target that virtually ensures the most annoying critter can't impede you for a bit.


Level 18 Notes
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Stats -- Bump Con/Cha -- We do this almost every time.

Feat -- Shield Mastery -- Another bump to our Fortitude, which brings it on par with our Reflex, we no longer have a "bad" NAD.


Level 19 Notes
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Daily -- Invitation to Defeat (A5) into Vitality Transfer (A19) -- Make sure you have a good attack buff running before using this, as it's a rare Daily that needs to hit to be useful.  It's Reliable, so it'll eventually land, but who wants to waste their standard actions?


Level 20 Notes
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PP Daily -- Visions of Victory -- Pop this early so your Barbarian can drop Hurricane of Blades, or the Ranger can throw down Untamed Outburst.

Feat -- NONE CHOSEN -- There are no key feats to take, there are several good/fun picks, however.  Bardic Knowledge can be useful depending on the party (Bard-Of-All-Trades, while a great feat, isn't as high of a pick as normal, as we're going to pick up two more skills soon, although you can use BoaT as a retrain spot for Multiclass Mastery if you like).  Several Human feats (Action Surge) have situational applications that we might find useful in this build, or even something generic like Impending Victory (since we're mostly spamming at-wills) or Unfailing Courage (since we can spend 2/encounter).  Other options include Skill Power to pick up something nice.  Between Bard/Ardent/Warlord, there's very few skill we can't end up with.


Level 21 Notes
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Epic Destiny -- Indomitable Champion (HoFL) -- Plenty of defenses

ED Feature -- Another +2 to Con/Cha

Feat -- Multiclass Mastery (Bravura Leader & Skirmishing Leader) -- Now, when an ally APs, he gains +1 to all defenses, bonus damage or THP, +8 damage, and can shift 1 before or after the action.  Combine this with our own AP feature, and we have a versatile and potent nova round mechanism.  Skill training choices here are open, pick what you want.  If you took Bard of All Trades with your bonus feat, then you might as well snag Arcana, since it's the only skill you're not trained in with Trained-Only use.


Level 22 Notes
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Utility -- Assured Recovery (B22) -- Make sure that important save doesn't fail, remember you can't use it on a save you grant on your own turn, however, so it won't combine with Focusing Strike (A1).

Feat -- Armor Specialization (Chainmail) -- Another bonus to AC, and removal of the skill penalty.


Level 23 Notes
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Encounter -- Song of Summons (B17) into Song of Liberation (B23) -- End movement-impairing conditions on all nearby allies (if a save can end them)


Level 24 Notes
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Stats -- Bump Con/Cha -- We do this almost every time.

ED Feature -- 20 hitpoints and +1 to all NADs, we love our defenses on the front lines.

Feat -- Shield Proficiency (Heavy) -- I just mentioned defenses, right?


Level 25 Notes
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Daily -- Feast of Despair (A9) into Corona of Battle (A25) -- Sustain: Minor.  A movable zone that grants regen, a power bonus to attacks, and extra damage on hits.  A pure winner.


Level 26 Notes
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ED Utility -- Now you have even less reason to heal yourself during the tough fight, just pop a heal after you drop.

Feat -- NONE CHOSEN -- All of our requirements for this build are taken.  If I were forced to pick the final 3 feats, I'd take Epic Fort/Ref/Will, but honestly, our NADs are very good already.  Once again, look to racial feats (Timely Revival is very nice) and general epic feats (Superior Initiative is always a good default), or just something fun/flavorful that sets you apart from others (Arcane Familiar, Vampire Bloodline).


Level 27 Notes
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Encounter -- Earthquake Strike (B13) into Pounding Rhythm (B27) -- Turn our control from Proning into Stunning, much more powerful.  First instinct is to upgrade Focusing Strike into Restorative Bastion, but the problem is you'd have to spend 6 PPs to use the best version, and we don't even have six.


Level 28 Notes
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Stats -- Bump Con/Cha -- We do this almost every time.

Feat -- See level 26


Level 29 Notes
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Daily -- Funeral Dirge (B15) into Shockwave Strike (B29) -- Sustin Minor. AC penalty to every enemy within 5 squares for as long as you sustain the power.


Level 30 Notes
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ED Utility -- Turn a nasty hit against you into an auto-miss once/day.

Feat -- See level 26


Level 30 CB Summary
This summary is fully equipped with no regards to item rarity, check the opening post if you have rarity concerns.  As equipped we come in at 13.442 million gold, well under the expected GP values of a level 30.
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====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Fuel, level 30
Human, Ardent|Bard, War Chanter, Indomitable Champion (HoFL)
Ardent Mantle (Hybrid): Mantle of Elation (Hybrid)
Hybrid Ardent: Hybrid Ardent Fortitude
Hybrid Bard: Hybrid Bard Reflex
Psionic Augmentation (Hybrid): Hybrid Encounter Power
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Light Blade)
Hybrid Talent: Bardic Virtue
Bardic Virtue: Virtue of Valor
Human Power Selection: Bonus At-Will Power

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 15, Con 22, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 26.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 15, Dex 13, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 16.


AC: 46 Fort: 46 Reflex: 45 Will: 47
HP: 199 Surges: 13 Surge Value: 49

TRAINED SKILLS
Endurance +24, Arcana +20, Diplomacy +28, Streetwise +28, Acrobatics +21, Intimidate +28, Heal +21, History +20

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Bluff +24, Dungeoneering +17, Insight +17, Nature +17, Perception +17, Religion +16, Stealth +17, Thievery +17, Athletics +16

FEATS
Human: Shield Proficiency: Light
Level 1: Superior Will
Level 2: Versatile Expertise
Level 4: Hybrid Talent
Level 6: Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade)
Level 8: Insightful Leader
Level 10: Resourceful Leader
Level 11: Improved Valor
Level 12: Superior Fortitude
Level 14: Superior Reflexes
Level 16: Eyes in the Back of Your Head
Level 18: Shield Mastery
Multiclass Mastery: Bravura Leader
Multiclass Mastery: Skirmishing Leader
Level 21: Multiclass Mastery
Level 22: Armor Specialization (Chainmail)
Level 24: Shield Proficiency: Heavy

POWERS
Bonus At-Will Power: Energizing Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Cutting Words
Hybrid at-will 1: Focusing Strike
Hybrid Encounter Power: Focused Sound
Hybrid daily 1: Stirring Shout
Hybrid utility 2: Psionic Charge
Hybrid at-will 3: Focusing Strike (replaces Focusing Strike)
Hybrid encounter 3: Cunning Ferocity
Hybrid daily 5: Invitation to Defeat
Hybrid utility 6: Ode to Sacrifice
Hybrid at-will/encounter 7: Rewarding Strike
Hybrid daily 9: Feast of Despair
Hybrid utility 10: Reactive Surge
Hybrid at-will/encounter 13: Earthquake Strike (replaces Cunning Ferocity)
Hybrid daily 15: Funeral Dirge (replaces Stirring Shout)
Hybrid utility 16: Song of Sublime Snowfall
Hybrid at-will/encounter 17: Song of Summons (replaces Focused Sound)
Hybrid daily 19: Vitality Transfer (replaces Invitation to Defeat)
Hybrid utility 22: Assured Recovery
Hybrid at-will/encounter 23: Song of Liberation (replaces Song of Summons)
Hybrid daily 25: Corona of Battle (replaces Feast of Despair)
Hybrid at-will/encounter 27: Pounding Rhythm (replaces Earthquake Strike)
Hybrid daily 29: Shockwave Strike (replaces Funeral Dirge)

ITEMS
Adventurer's Kit, Shared Valor Spiritmail +6, Cord of Divine Favor (paragon tier), Boots of Caiphon (epic tier), Feystep Lacings (paragon tier), Ring of Free Time (epic tier), Nullifying Ring (epic tier), Gloves of the Healer (epic tier), Eye of Awareness (epic tier), Amulet of Protection +6, Shield of Fellowship Heavy Shield (paragon tier), Lilting Songblade Longsword +6
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

Variants

(None at this time)

Feedback welcome
This is a very tough THP dispensing machine, looks like an amazing asset to any party.  You didn't even mention the massive damage boost your mantle of elation gives to OAs, which is sure to make any defender your best friend.
This is a very tough THP dispensing machine, looks like an amazing asset to any party.  You didn't even mention the massive damage boost your mantle of elation gives to OAs, which is sure to make any defender your best friend.



oh snap, I forgot about that in the breakdown!  must rectify
I built a Bardent (C) like this a while back. When I get home, which won't do until next week, I'll have a look at it and see whether it's different enough to warrant posting it on here.
*sheds tear* So much win, in so little space...
I too was working on something like this, though I had only taken it to 20.  Yours is a lot more fleshed out, I really like how it looks.  Great job!
A note to all who think I am being aggressive or angry- 99% of the time, I do not intend to be. I apologize if you think I am attacking you, odds are very strong that I am not. The only exceptions are when people become extremely uncivil to me, and even then I usually ignore them. I think it is very obvious when I am really mad; if I just seem generally abrasive, it is a reflection of my thought process rather than a state of emotion. I have the greatest respect for those who can debate rationally, even if we come to different conclusions. I am Blue/White
I am Blue/White
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I'm both orderly and rational. I value control, information, and order. I love structure and hierarchy, and will actively use whatever power or knowledge I have to maintain it. At best, I am lawful and insightful; at worst, I am bureaucratic and tyrannical.
Really like the way this THP machine works- granting thp to everyone with every energizing strike practically... and bards are always fun from a roleplaying standpoint. I approve

Edit: Slight nitpick on the by-level-building that I noticed when inputting it into CB. At level 3, you just mention the method of keeping the psionic at-will, but don't mention the Bard Encounter you have to pick. This is referenced later, at lvl 13 (Cunning Ferocity). Might want to add that you pick it at lvl 3.
Currently Playing: lvl 6 Pixie Skald in Home Campaign lvl 2 Human Bard in Forgotten Realms ---

I'd personally go Mantle of Impulsiveness for +Con power bonus to all ally damage at-will and pick Evade Attack at 6 to keep allies benefitting from the bonus until the second hit. The extra mobility helps tons to get flank, as well.


I would also make very sure that you somehow get Violent Upsurge at 17, that power is godlike.


 

One of the things I enjoy most about this build it is not dependent on items to function.  So many builds posted here are nonstarters for our ongoing campaign because loot comes from the GM, not from a store.  This one would run quite well with whatever the GM decided to dispense, perhaps with a few judicious requests added in =)

 
This build deserves to be on the front page more than half the crap that is up there.

Solid TempHP generation, a top-tier leader build for any party.

I'd personally go Mantle of Impulsiveness for +Con power bonus to all ally damage at-will and pick Evade Attack at 6 to keep allies benefitting from the bonus until the second hit. The extra mobility helps tons to get flank, as well.


I would also make very sure that you somehow get Violent Upsurge at 17, that power is godlike.




Violent Upsurge doesn't really fit the character.  I acknowledge that it's a strong power, but I can't think of a situation offhand where I'd use it over our other At-Will options (in this build).

The Mantle is a decent option...since I'm giving allies a bunch of THP, they can afford to provoke some attacks, but I'm not a big fan of the "take damage to deal damage"..but, as I said, it's a decent alternative, I just wouldn't use it.  The teleport Utility won't have too much of an effect, however, as the mantle only applies to 5 range (as does my primary attack) and most of my THP stuff is going to go to people fighting the same target as me.  The only real use would be for someone way away intentionally provoking as they run away from something.
One of the things I enjoy most about this build it is not dependent on items to function.  So many builds posted here are nonstarters for our ongoing campaign because loot comes from the GM, not from a store.  This one would run quite well with whatever the GM decided to dispense, perhaps with a few judicious requests added in =)

 



In all fairness, very few builds are item dependant, I just strip it down into a group of B+ picks and other picks.  The one exception would prolly be nova-focused strikers, who have a lot of triggered abilities.
This is a superleader, and my only comment is going to sound like a nitpick, but could you have found anything better than weapon focus?  I mean, it doesn't even apply to implement attacks any more, and you aren't really putting out a lot of multiattacks.
The build has very little in the way of Implement attacks, you can argue that DPR isn't a leader's job, but beyond that it helps the build put out reasonable damage.  Especially in Epic when you're sucking it up with a 1W attack and can't use IAoP.
I'm not the type to say that leaders shouldn't DPR, because I think that's silly.

I guess what I'm saying is that when you get it at L6, if you are spamming one melee attack/round, then it's an increase of .5 DPR.  If you instead took toughness, you'd gain 5 hps, which might be more useful if you are sitting on the front lines wearing chain mail and using a light shield.  (Or skill power, or heck, a human racial feat.)

At epic, that's 1.5 DPR, and you have an entire slew of epic/paragon feats to choose from.  So the question is whether that minimal amount of DPR is worth losing a feat slot over.

You could even take AIP and use any sword you find.  Who knows, you could get really lucky and a radiant long sword might drop, and you get your item bonus to damage.

Yea, AIP is a reasonable alternative, I shied away from it in a build that's trying to remain light on Uncommons, and Radiant would be the best choice (ugh for +4 items) if you want to add DPR.

As you can see, the build has plenty of free feat slots, too.

I hope to start playing this one soon, so I'll think about the AIP/Focus option as I level it up.

This build has been added to the Hall of Heroes.

Quick question about this build... I tried it up to level 3 on the online builder and when you get to the power selection for level 3, you have to choose to replace one of your Argent at wills, which I did, then I selected the same power again to keep it (like the build says).  However, you are not also able to choose a level 3 Bard encounter power, as shown in the build.

I am guessing that this build was originally done on the downloadable character builder.  Should you still be able to choose a level 3 encounter power for the Bard Hybrid, or not?
In the old Character Builder, you are prompted for Hybrid Encounter Power or Hybrid Power Point Power (or something like that).  If you choose the Encounter Power, you get to pick a 3rd level encounter power and can upgrade your existing level 1 PP Power.

Not being an insider, I can't tell you for sure how the new CB implements this, but the bottom paragraph in the left column of PHB3 page 138 (not counting the sidebar) shows that this is how it's supposed to work.  If it doesn't work in the new CB, bug report it.
Yeah, currently in the online character builder at level 3, it only prompts you to choose a level 3 at will.  You first have to choose to drop your level 1 Ardent at will, then it gives you a list of all level 1 at wills (both classes) and the level 3 Ardent at wills to choose from for the new power.

There is currently no prompt to take any level 3 bard encounter power.

I will report it as a bug and see what they say.
Actually, I just figured out why it is doing that.  The online character builder is forcing you to switch off between new Ardent at-wills and new Bard encounter powers for every other level you would get one.  So, since you are taking Hybrid Encounter Power at level 1, it is switching off to an Ardent at-will at level 3 and does not give you the option of selecting a Bard encounter power at that level.  At level 7, it switches back to selecting a Bard encounter power.

Is that how it is supposed to work based on the PHB3 Hybrid rules?  I don't have the book infront of me.  Maybe there has been an errata to that?
At level 7, it switches back to selecting a Bard encounter power.



Actually, I was incorrect in my above statement.  At level 7 it does allow you to choose between an Ardent at-will and a Bard encounter.  The problem is at level 3, where it does not allow this.
At level 3, your choice depends on what you chose at L1. If you chose the PP option, you get to choose a L3 Bard encounter. If you chose a L1 Bard encounter, you get the PP option.

Also, please edit your posts to make revisions or add additional comments if no one else has posted. There is an edit button you can use. Triple posting is bad.
At level 3, your choice depends on what you chose at L1. If you chose the PP option, you get to choose a L3 Bard encounter. If you chose a L1 Bard encounter, you get the PP option.


(at L1 I chose a L1 Bard encounter)
To get around this I exported my DDi character, then loaded my character into the old Character Builder, chose the L3 Bard encounter power the , then saved. Imported my Character into DDi...
"BOB's Your uncle" - The L3 Bard encounter is on the DDi character sheet.

Why do you take Cunning Ferocity and not Song of the New Dawn at level 3? +2 damage to attacks on a single target seems less potent than giving multiple people 2 rolls at a save?
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
I have an at-will save granter, and it's not limited by adjacency..I've found Song of the New Dawn to have issues in numerous encounters.  It's an awesome power, and I'd take it if I didn't have an At-Will power that did that effect already.  If you look at the opening post, I actually have a segment dedicated to save-granting, which should sorta answer your question.
You're Completely right. I started salivating over Song of the New before I realized it was redundant. Thanks!
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
Hello, this is my first post in forum, and my english is not very good but I will do my best.

I was playing my own valorous bard character on levels 9-12 and then i saw your Fuel build, and noticed that it was the same idea of character, and i toke some item ideas here (shield and armor).

U dont have variants of this character, so here u have one, u can make with it what u want (change it, put, comment, improve, etc.), and is not an hybrid, maybe there are players who doesnt like hybrids much (like me) and this variant is more playable for them (and is a pure bard, with his benefits).

I was on parangon levels so i ugraded it to level 30. Items are very similar to Fuel items (except 1 or 2) because i dont have much time to read all items, and im not sure if gold is the level-apropiate.

Build with my notes
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Kael, level 30
Half-Elf, Bard, War Chanter, Indomitable Champion
Build: Valorous Bard
Bardic Virtue: Virtue of Valor
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Wand)
Epic Heroism: Epic Heroism (Charisma)
Epic Heroism: Epic Heroism (Constitution)
Half elf Power Selection: Dilettante
Background: Dalelands (Dalelands Benefit) <-- For roleplaying and for initiative

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 25, Dex 16, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 28.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 14, Con 13, Dex 14, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 16. <-- Because i want heavy blade opportunity in parangon

AC: 45 Fort: 49 Reflex: 48 Will: 54 <-- awesome defenses, decent armor (can be higher)
HP: 202 Surges: 14 Surge Value: 50

TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +21, Streetwise +29, Intimidate +29, Bluff +29, Diplomacy +31, Endurance +25, Athletics +21, History +21

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +17, Dungeoneering +16, Heal +16, Insight +18, Nature +16, Perception +16, Religion +17, Stealth +17, Thievery +17

FEATS
Bard: Ritual Caster
Level 1: Toughness (retrained to Superior Reflexes at Level 13) <-- With this i dont have to heal me. In 13 i have allways Temp HP
Level 2: Superior Fortitude <-- For nasty ongoing in low levels.
Level 4: Superior Will <-- Because is awesome
Level 6: Versatile Expertise <-- Because is necesary
Level 8: Resourceful Leader <-- Incredible in novas
Level 10: Improved Majestic Word (retrained to Versatile Master at Level 11) <-- Something decent but to retrain at 11
Level 11: Improved Valor <-- Great great (and con is not so high)
Level 12: Heavy Blade Opportunity <-- Opportunity atack: More temp hp for party
Level 14: Shield Proficiency: Heavy <-- For armor and reflex
Level 16: Majestic Rescue <-- Saves are good, better when level goes up
Level 18: Improved Initiative (retrained to Superior Initiative at Level 21) <-- Initiative is good for leaders
Level 20: Improved Majestic Word <-- Now with high CHA, and in Epic Supreme majesty. Much more THP
Level 21: Supreme Majesty <-- No comment. Necesary
Multiclass Mastery: Insightful Leader
Multiclass Mastery: Inspiring Leader
Level 22: Multiclass Mastery <-- More nova resources for party
Level 24: Armor Specialization (Chainmail) <-- +1 armor, no skill check. Decent
Level 26: Epic Fortitude <-- Because i like high defenses
Level 28: Epic Reflexes <-- Because i like high defenses
Level 30: Epic Will <-- Because i like high defenses (54 will :D)

POWERS
Bard at-will 1: War Song Strike (retrained to Staggering Note at Level 12) <-- For THP in heroic. Diletantte is 1/encounter
Bard at-will 1: Vicious Mockery <-- Is great and ranged
Dilettante: Energizing Strike <-- Temp HP and in parangon is an at will :D
Bard encounter 1: Shout of Triumph <-- Awesome. Repositioning enemys and allies and kills minions
Bard daily 1: Stirring Shout <-- For elites and solos
Bard utility 2: Beguiling Ballad <-- For unespecting and surprising situations when a weak ally can die for being in bad position. Is better than it seems.
Bard encounter 3: Rally the Spectral Host <-- I like new power, +1 atack and +2 dmg for allies is great.
Bard daily 5: Timeless Trek in Mithrendain <-- 1 round or more whithout the bad guy makes the difference.
Bard utility 6: Ode to Sacrifice <-- I The defender loves me now.
Bard encounter 7: Scorpion's Claw Strike
Bard daily 9: Wail of Anguish <-- Great stance power for clean minions, and enemys will eat lots of OA, even better if ur party has 2-3 melee.
Bard utility 10: Mantle of Unity
Bard encounter 13: Earthquake Strike (replaces Rally the Spectral Host)
Bard daily 15: Strike Up the Dance (replaces Stirring Shout) <-- seems very good but im not sure.
Bard utility 16: Song of Sublime Snowfall <-- For close fights, if is well used can turn a combat.
Bard encounter 17: Resounding War Cry (replaces Scorpion's Claw Strike)
Bard daily 19: Increasing the Tempo (replaces Wail of Anguish) <-- Depends on party, we have a polearm barbarian :D
Bard utility 22: Invisible Troupe
Bard encounter 23: Chant of Bad Fortune (replaces Shout of Triumph)
Bard daily 25: Frenzied Rhythm (replaces Timeless Trek in Mithrendain) <-- Close Bust 5 atack an enemy and stun for all? O_o
Bard encounter 27: Pounding Rhythm (replaces Earthquake Strike) <-- more stuns
Bard daily 29: Hero's Beacon (replaces Increasing the Tempo) <-- Not sure but seems great

ITEMS
Ritual Book, Shield of Fellowship Heavy Shield (paragon tier), Shared Valor Pitmail Armor +6, Lilting Songblade Longsword +6, Gloves of the Healer (epic tier), Eye of Awareness (epic tier), Boots of Caiphon (epic tier), Nullifying Ring (epic tier), Ring of Free Time (epic tier), Amulet of Protection +6, Diamond Cincture (paragon tier), Rhino Bracers (paragon tier)



build
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Kael, level 30
Half-Elf, Bard, War Chanter, Indomitable Champion
Build: Valorous Bard
Bardic Virtue: Virtue of Valor
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Wand)
Epic Heroism: Epic Heroism (Charisma)
Epic Heroism: Epic Heroism (Constitution)
Half elf Power Selection: Dilettante
Background: Dalelands (Dalelands Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 25, Dex 16, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 28.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 14, Con 13, Dex 14, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 16.


AC: 45 Fort: 49 Reflex: 48 Will: 54
HP: 202 Surges: 14 Surge Value: 50

TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +21, Streetwise +29, Intimidate +29, Bluff +29, Diplomacy +31, Endurance +25, Athletics +21, History +21

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +17, Dungeoneering +16, Heal +16, Insight +18, Nature +16, Perception +16, Religion +17, Stealth +17, Thievery +17

FEATS
Bard: Ritual Caster
Level 1: Toughness (retrained to Superior Reflexes at Level 13)
Level 2: Superior Fortitude
Level 4: Superior Will
Level 6: Versatile Expertise
Level 8: Resourceful Leader
Level 10: Improved Majestic Word (retrained to Versatile Master at Level 11)
Level 11: Improved Valor
Level 12: Heavy Blade Opportunity
Level 14: Shield Proficiency: Heavy
Level 16: Majestic Rescue
Level 18: Improved Initiative (retrained to Superior Initiative at Level 21)
Level 20: Improved Majestic Word
Level 21: Supreme Majesty
Multiclass Mastery: Insightful Leader
Multiclass Mastery: Inspiring Leader
Level 22: Multiclass Mastery
Level 24: Armor Specialization (Chainmail)
Level 26: Epic Fortitude
Level 28: Epic Reflexes
Level 30: Epic Will

POWERS
Bard at-will 1: War Song Strike (retrained to Staggering Note at Level 12)
Bard at-will 1: Vicious Mockery
Dilettante: Energizing Strike
Bard encounter 1: Shout of Triumph
Bard daily 1: Stirring Shout
Bard utility 2: Beguiling Ballad
Bard encounter 3: Rally the Spectral Host
Bard daily 5: Timeless Trek in Mithrendain
Bard utility 6: Ode to Sacrifice
Bard encounter 7: Scorpion's Claw Strike
Bard daily 9: Wail of Anguish
Bard utility 10: Mantle of Unity
Bard encounter 13: Earthquake Strike (replaces Rally the Spectral Host)
Bard daily 15: Strike Up the Dance (replaces Stirring Shout)
Bard utility 16: Song of Sublime Snowfall
Bard encounter 17: Resounding War Cry (replaces Scorpion's Claw Strike)
Bard daily 19: Increasing the Tempo (replaces Wail of Anguish)
Bard utility 22: Invisible Troupe
Bard encounter 23: Chant of Bad Fortune (replaces Shout of Triumph)
Bard daily 25: Frenzied Rhythm (replaces Timeless Trek in Mithrendain)
Bard encounter 27: Pounding Rhythm (replaces Earthquake Strike)
Bard daily 29: Hero's Beacon (replaces Increasing the Tempo)

ITEMS
Ritual Book, Shield of Fellowship Heavy Shield (paragon tier), Shared Valor Pitmail Armor +6, Lilting Songblade Longsword +6, Gloves of the Healer (epic tier), Eye of Awareness (epic tier), Boots of Caiphon (epic tier), Nullifying Ring (epic tier), Ring of Free Time (epic tier), Amulet of Protection +6, Diamond Cincture (paragon tier), Rhino Bracers (paragon tier)




I like defenses, yes but i think i have all the important things of a leader, and i like to stay in melee.

Maybe white lotus riposte and WLMR are good for this character, and maybe exploring more multiclassing there are more great options for pick.

Also if u think there is an ardent power that is a must for this build, u can multiclass and spend 2 feats for a power swap.

Comments and ideas are welcome of course.
Sapphire - Swormage Dragon Guardian - Dont touch my allies build. Swordmage / Sigil Carver / Draconic incarnation The Holy Slayer - A Striker - Defender Fighter | Cleric / Barbarian - Paragon of Victory WEREBEAR BATTLEMIND: You wont go where you want. - A Battlemind (Druid) / Unbound Nomad / Topaz Crusader
Fuel: A Bard|Ardent

"gimme fuel, gimme fire, gimme that which I desire"



The Build in Action


Fuel gives his party energy.  His primary attack is Energizing Strike (Ardent 1) which gives a nearby ally temporary hitpoints (THP) equal to Level/2+Cha mod.  In addition, Fuel has on-demand powers that grant saves and real healing, in addition to two normal minor-action heals.  In addition, whether Fuel pops the Action Point, or his ally does, all allies gain several benefits.  Top that off with Bard powers to use when you can't get into melee range and a variety of zones to empower your allies.

Leader Duties


Healing
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  • Two baseline Minor heals (1 Bard, 1 Ardent)

  • Rewarding Strike (Ardent 7) -- Heals all allies that hit the target (Augment 2)

  • Vitality Transfer (Ardent 19) -- Heals all allies when a target drops to bloodied or 0

  • Corona of Battle (Ardent 25) -- Sustainable zone of Regeneration

  • Reactive Surge (Endurance 10) -- Spend a surge when bloodied

  • Song of Sublime Snowfall (Bard 16) -- Sustainable zone of healing




Temporary Hit Points (THP)
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  • Our primary attack grants one ally Level/2+CHA THP

  • Virtue of Valor -- Grants one ally/round 1+Con THP (6+CON at 11, 8+CON at 21) if they bloody/kill something, also gets shared with you thanks to a PP feature




Saving Throws
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  • Focusing Strike (Ardent 1) -- Grants 1 person a save (Aug2 to grant all allies within 5 a save)

  • Ode to Sacrifice (Bard 6) -- Transfer a save ends effect to another person

  • Song of Liberation (Bard 23) -- Ends movement-impairing effects on nearby allies




Nova Empowerment/Enabling
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  • Four Warlord MC feats -- Shift 1, Bonus damage, bonus defenses, to all allies when they AP, THP if they miss

  • War Chanter PP -- When you AP (and you can spend 2/enc if you want), all allies gain bonus to attack/damage for one round

  • Several daily powers that grant bonuses to hit/damage, many are zones or sustainable

  • Our Mantle of Elation grants neaby allies CON bonus to damage on Opp Attacks



Setting-Neutral


This build works in any game world, and can gain from the addition of various world-specific options.  In Eberron you could take Mark of Healing (although this should technically be limited to halflings).  In Darksun you can add a theme, I favor Noble Adept or Templar.  In the Forgotten Realms you can pick up a background that opens up a particular skill you want, or other benefit, like +1 initiative.

Mostly Item Neutral


I'm posting this build with a full complement of magic items, to show you how it should be ideally equipped.  None of the items are crucial to the build's function, but there are a few of higher priority, I'll address these.  What follows are what I consider the "integral" items, any item in the CB summary but not on this list is still of great use, but not required to make the build function at top level
  • Shared Valor Chainmail (3/8) -- Gain half the THP you grant an ally

  • Shield of Fellowship (15) -- When you gain THP, grant an adjacent ally that amount of THP plus 3 more (combo this with the armor to bounce THP all over)

  • ANY Songblade Longsword -- You need one to utilize the Bard Implement powers, but any will work.  I favor Piercing, Lilting and Echoing

Thanks


As always, Auspex7 for being my sounding board, 133 for pointing out the shield, and various members of the ##4eCO chat who helped with item selection and offered fine-tuning opinions.  Also, a shout-out to LDB for assistance in naming the build.


Sorry, trying to wrap my head around this.  First of all, for the life of me, I can't see where the 8th skill comes from.

Level 1: 4 + Human Bonus = 5
Level 8: Insightful Leader (Intimidate Bonus Skill) = 6
Level 10: Resourceful Leader (*Athletics Bonus Skill) = 7

Where is number 8?

Level 10 Feat brings me to my second question.  In the Level 30 breakdown, you have athletics listed as an untrained skill.  Does this mean that at level 10 you meant for the build to pick up Acrobatics rather than athletics?

Thanks!  More questions to come, I'm sure. 
Skills:
4 base + human + Skirmishing + Resourceful + Insightful + Bravura = 9 skills trained (I took 4 different Warlord MC feats, the other 2 are at 21, Multiclass Mastery

I trained all the Con/Cha skills, then picked up Acrobatics (reducing falling damage is nice), then Arcana (since it has a trained-only use), then they don't really matter after that...especially if you pick up Bard of All Trades in one of the free spots.   I'll update the level 10, that should indeed be Acro.
Got it, thank you!
Bump/Thread Necromancy:

As someone else mentioned a page back, you sould not have a level 3 bard encounter power as your character took the Hybrid Encounter Power option.  The way the hybrid rules work you either choose to get an encounter power at 1st level and then swap your augmentable at-will for a 3rd-level augmentable at-will and gain 2 power points, or you get the 2 power points at 1st level and get a 3rd level encounter power.

The offline character builder had a bug where it gave you BOTH at 3rd level.  Which is actually kind of funny when people report the correct behavior in the online builder as a bug because it doesn't match the incorrect behavior of the offline one! Laughing

Still, I don't think it changes the effectiveness of the build at all.  It's just a rules nitpick.

(Off-topic: The offline builder relies on "not" logic to decide what option you should get at 3rd level.  But for some reason the code fails to recognize the presence of either hybrid option so both get triggered because it thinks you don't have either.  Classic example of code that should work but inexplicably doesn't.  I can only imagine the curse words that flowed freely in WotC's offices from their programmers over that.)
Still, I don't think it changes the effectiveness of the build at all.



It does significantly - he has in essence 1 extra encounter power from 3rd level+ as a result of it. At 27th, as an example, the difference is between having 2 Epic tier Bard encounter powers and 1 Epic tier Bard encounter power as a result of it.
It seems I missed the bump a month ago, but thanks to the kind words of MWaO, I see that there might be a minor problem with the build, I shall look into it over the next few days.  Wasn't aware the CB was in error on this, cause I find the hybrid PP rules very confusing, and as has been shown on many occasions, I'm not the brightest bulb going.  Foot in mouth

The build in play won't change much, thankfully, as the build is all about the THP which primarilly comes from our Virtue and our At-Will.
We still love you Dielzen, despite have LSM and  only having a couple handbooks
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
Sorry for the thread Necromancy.  Are there any tweaks that should be made to this build consiering the rule error?  Would it work well in a party of non-optimizers who really have a problem with burning healing surges to fast?  Party will be Paladin, Hexblade, Melee Ranger, and Wizard.
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