Swashbuckling Bard

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I've heard stories about the old Bard, the bard of 3.5. I've heard he was a skill monkey like no other, he could move like a rogue, think like a wizard, cast spells like a sorcerer and had the presence of a Paladin and have all these cool Bard-only stuff. I've heard there is no situation too sticky for the bard. He is the ultimate troublemaker, he his everything above, yet still just a bard.

How can I make that class in 4e?

For those who know Nordic mythology, I want to play Loki. He's a troublemaker that still always cleans up his mess. People keep him around because even though he messes up everything for everybody, having him around keeps things interesting.

I want a skillmonkey with spells, rituals, utility, stealth and at least one strong melee attack.

Sounds like I need Arcane utility powers, ritual casting, high enough int for "Jack of all Trades", high enough DEX for stealth and thievery, and a HUGE array of trained skills. Who here wants to help me acieve this? 

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Just... roll a 4e Bard. They're all like that.
Bards are still pretty darn good at that sort of thing.

Don't spread your stats too thin. Non-Skalds rely pretty heavily on their respective secondary stats, so assuming you want a Bard and not a Skald (yes, Skalds are Bards, but I hate the term "O-Bard"), I wouldn't worry about making sure you have really high stats for every skill you want. Racial bonuses, background bonuses, and item bonuses will cover a lot of ground towards making your skills good even without the right stat bonuses. Don't forget Bard of All Trades (+3 feat bonus to untrained skills; your untrained skills are now only 1 point behind your trained ones), Bardic Knowledge (+2 feat to Arc/Dun/Hist/Nat/Rel/Street checks), and/or Power of Skill (requires divine MC; +1 feat to all trained skills).

Human might be decent for the extra trained skill, and it also opens up Imperishable Destiny, which seems perfect for this kind of character.

Remember that Bards can take as many MC feats as they choose, and most (though not all) MC feats will give you a trained skill. If you choose carefully, you can get the majority of your skills trained just by picking the right MC feats.

As for a strong melee attack . . . there are several ways to get such a thing. Skalds have it out of the box, but honestly, I think you'd lose more than you'd gain by going Skald for this specific character. There's War Song Strike for CON-heavy Bards, if that's your thing. A half-elf with Eldritch Strike is just as good on a Bard as on anything else. Melee Training isn't a terrible option if you know you'll need a lot of MBAs (for instance, if you've got a Warlord in your party), but it's not worth it in a vacuum. Melee Bards are, out of the box, based on CON as a secondary, which doesn't help your skills much . . . so you might have to make a choice there.


Sounds like I need Arcane utility powers, ritual casting, high enough int for "Jack of all Trades", high enough DEX for stealth and thievery, and a HUGE array of trained skills. Who here wants to help me acieve this? 



First of all, don't take Jack of all trades, take Bard of all trades. Combined with your bardic knack, you get a +4 to all untrained skills.
The next goal is to balance your stats well enough to actually be good at them.

I prefer wand weilding cunning bards,
and build with this array:
S 8, Co 14, D 13, Int 14+2, W 10, Ch16+2
This gives you decent HP and Fort. Your Reflex and Will end up sky high since you put all gained points into cha/int.
Wear hide and a sheild and you will have about the same AC as a Rogue or Ranger

If you want a strong melee attack there are a few low level options, I particularly like Guiding Strike as an at-will (+att & dmg are both Cha, so again strength isn't an issue), just use a songblade or MC Swordmage.


EDIT - Fixed the score for Wis (i originally typo'd it at 14). 
S 8, Co 14, D 13, Int 14+2, W 14, Ch16+2



Is that the standard array, because it's way off on point buy.

"Not only are you wrong, but I even created an Excel spreadsheet to show you how wrong you are." --James Wyatt, May 2006

Dilige, et quod vis fac

No; standard array is point-buy-able.

I assume those are rolled scores.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Sorry, Typo'd stats, Wis shoulda been 10, I'll fix.
A standard Cunning Bard would do just well plenty of those things, I'd say, perhaps with a multiclass or two in Rogue. Alternatively, you could go for a CHA/DEX Skald with Rogue multiclass.
But honestly? I see Loki more as a Cunning Sneak Rogue than a Bard proper.
Cattle die, kindred die, every man is mortal. But the good name never dies of one who has done well. Cattle die, kindred die, every man is mortal. But I know one thing that never dies: the glory of the great dead. - [i]Hávamál[/i] D&D 4th Edition Bard builds: The Dashing Swordsman, The Master of Sound and Illusions, The Warrior Skald Captain Morality! (No point in not having fun with it. )
Unless my mythology is way off-base, I recall Loki being a patron of technology/skill/information, which to me really makes him a Bard/Rogue or a Bard|Rogue.  And all the advice so far is pretty good, IMO.
Unless my mythology is way off-base, I recall Loki being a patron of technology/skill/information, which to me really makes him a Bard/Rogue or a Bard|Rogue.  And all the advice so far is pretty good, IMO.



Most of the sources I can dredge up give Loki the aspects of lies, mischief, strife, fire and evil in various combinations.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
· I'm Icelandic, so I'm pretty sure my mythology is spot-on x)
· Since Bard of All Trades and Bardic Knowledge are both feat bonuses I wont be using both feats.
· Why would I lose more picking the skald? I want a pro/con list.
· I don't really care about my defenses. I mean, it's good to have okay defenses, but it's not something to aim at.

Before I saw your replies I made a Human Skald. I'll make a Bard like suggested and then compare. The only thing I seem to be having difficulty getting are the insane utility powers/rituals.

My Skald:
Level 3

Ability Scores:
Charisma (higest, 17 post racials)
Dexterity (secondary, 14 post racials)
Intelligence (tertiary, 14 post racials)
Wisdom (quartiary?, 13 post racials)
This leaves me with five points to spend, no score below 10, and a good avarage to all the important scores.
I use the odd numbers (17 and 13) since we'll be getting +1 to two ability scores next level, and this give me 5 extra points. This is a heroc campaign so I'm really losing anything considering that I gain 5 points to put wherever I want.

Class Features (skald)
Skill Versatility (+1 to all untrained skills)
Ritual Beneficiary (one ritual per day by meeting up with a ritual caster at a town)

The skill versatility means that I'll only be training skills that needs to be maxed, or skilles that have stuff like "trained only". This is the case for both acrobatics and arcana.

Feats:
Bard of All Trades: +3 Feat bonus to untrained skills
Multiclass Rogue: Gives me training in Thievery and access to the Duelist's Panache feat.
Duelist's Panache: For a +4 bonus to Acrobatics and Athletics, making up for my measly +2/3 Dex modifier.
Next Levels:
Ritual Caster: To desperately try to gain the same usefulness as a wizard.
Improved Initative: To avoid getting locked down by the enemy controller, and give me more chance of staying in the spotlight, and better chance of being able to react cleverly (since I'll be focusing on out-of-the-box tactics instad of head-on combat)

Skills:
12 Acrobatics (trained, bonus from feat)
8 Arcana (trained by class)
10 Athletics (trained, bonus from feat)
10 Bluff (trained)
10 Diplomacy (trained)

Everything from Dungeoneering to Religion is untrained, but with a +4 misc bonus.

9 Stealth (trained, background benefit to make it a class skill)
9 Streetwise (untrained)
8 Thievery (trained from MC feat)

Should I train myself in Perception? If yes, how?In order to benefit from Duelist's Panache I have to be trained in Athletics and Acrobatics, but do I need 12 acrobatics? Isn't Insight or Perception a far more important skill for this character than Acrobatics. Let's say I drop the Duelst's Panache feat, I'll still need something to boost my Athletics. What do you guys think? Skill focus? Items?


Other:
My Melee Basic Attack is good, I have some cool spells, and right now I don't really see why I should make a Bard. But I'll make one and post it below.

My Bard:
Level 3

Ability Scores:

Class Features (bard):

Feats:

Skills:

Other:

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Hahahhaha, for the things i listed above, there is not difference between a Skald and a Bard! xD

I'll pick the Bard. He gets a ritual caster feat for free :D

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Loki isn't exactly the leader type... Any way I can striker or controller orient my Bard? 

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Loki isn't exactly the leader type... Any way I can striker or controller orient my Bard? 

Bards can steal powers from any class easily enough.  They can even use Cha to attack with (with a paragon path).  Not cheap however.

Also, consider an illusion focused wizard.  And a bard|wizard hybrid.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Right now I'm more playing along the lines of Bard|Rogue ^.^
But it's hard since I can't  spread my ability scores out as much...

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Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
To be honest, Cunning (O)Bard seems to fit the bill best, and has a heavy controller aspect, plus gets you all your ritual goodies, along with some decent Arcana to use them and free use 1/day of a bardic one.

Cunning Prevaricator (AP) looks like it would be a good fit for a Paragon Path as well. Or if you're happy to be a gnome you can go for Fey Trickster (PHB2). It's Level 16 feature might go a way to giving you good stealth despite not pumping dex. Guiding Strike gives you your melee at will as already mentioned, and Vicious Mockery sounds like a good second.

To be honest, I don't see the real need for Insight or Perception in the character? I can also envisage low Wis...
Bard ftw mc into, rouge, wizard and be a cunning bard. That should be a good start, with your at wills being guiding strike and visicous mockery (psycic lock abuse)
What do I benefit from MC-ing? Feats, Paragon Paths and what more?

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Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
I'd say that before ANYTHING else, you should get Swordmage MC, Light Blade Expertise (or better yet, White Lotus Dueling Expertise, from the newish Dragon Article). After that, look into the Resourceful Magician PP - I think it fits Loki rather well, and with a Warlock MC and/or a Sorcerer MC, you'd be able to pick all your powers from those, too.

A Bard with Warlock At-Wills and Sorcerer Encounter Powers doesn't feel so much like a Leader. At least, not the usual kind.
· Since Bard of All Trades and Bardic Knowledge are both feat bonuses I wont be using both feats.


Taking both still works, if you're trained in the skills that Bardic Knowledge gives boosts to.

Before I saw your replies I made a Human Skald.


I might make Loki a Changeling, not a human, since that gives him a strong ability to change shape (something true to mythology). They are also a Cha/Dex race, which is perfect.

Yes, I am a defender apologist. A Rock and a Hard Place: A Warden Handbook
I've always found that changing shape is OP, but against this DM I'll have no problem doing it. Thanks a lot!

 I'm starting at level 5, and probably won't be playing to paragon tier, so think heroic tiers. I'd like to do this on as few feats as possible.

Cunning Bard, why Cunning Bard? What does cunning bard have that the other bards don't have?
Who's with and who's against making a rogue-bard hybrid?
 

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Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
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Cunning Bard because they are Int secondary, and their powers and fluff fit with being tricky. Their powers/riders tend to make enemies re-roll, or move them about against their will, plus once per round when an enemy misses an ally you can slide that ally one square (feats enhances this).
What is the flavou behind the slide anyways? I've alway wondered.

What I'm thinking about using is the Bard|Rogue Changeling with Bardic Kowledge, Versatile Expertise and Ritual Caster. 18 Cha, 18 dex, then int, followed by wisdom.

This gives me all the skills in need without spending a feat, the melee compatence and rituals :D
I'm thinking about not letting the DM know that I'm a changeling and just tell him I'm human and see where that leads us ^^ 

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Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
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*Shrug* Your ally dances back to avoid the enemy blade, and as he does so, he moves further than expected, your song giving him an extra sping in his step. Alternatively, you take advantage of an enemies wrong move to reposition your allies in the grand game of chess that is the battle. Take your pick & decide what flavour suits you.

I'd let the DM know you're a changeling, but you can easily not let the other players know. Partly let the DM know so that he can make the appropriate monster insight rolls against your disguise (it isn't perfect remember), partly so he can put in aspects where it may be useful, partly to explain your ability score increases mechanically so he doesn't acuse you of cheating, or wonder where you're extra feat got to and partly because otherwise you might get half way through and you'll pass him a note saying you turn into an eladrin, and he'll pass one back saying "This is the first I've heard of this, no you can't change your race mid-campaign when it's suddenly convenient to have that power."

I am hopefully gonna be replacing a player. His DM has wiped the group twice, and my best friend's character once. I'm gonna ask if I can join, and then make the DM's life miserable by utilizing every alternative I can find.

The goal is to never do what he wants us to do. I'm gonna have Loki's personality, a "hey, what's that" attitude towards traps, but will otherwise use skills, rituals, mobility and magic to screw up everything the DM throws our way. What I love about this plan is that I'm going to make everything tons of fun for the players. I'm creative and inventive, so coming up with "hey, wouldn't it be more fun if we'd...." won't be a problem. With this character I have the personality, skills and confidence to pull it off. 

I'm not gonna be  MEAN to the poor guy, just keep him on his toes. I'm not gonna let him wipe this group again, at least not the way he did it the last two times. They are playing fourth edition, which means a lot of combat. I am here to change that, I will make sure that the non-combat encounters will be worth our while and make sure that the outcome is always interesting.

· This is the build I'm thinking about going with. What I like about it is that it's not feat-hungry and uses no MC feats.
· I'm thinking about taking one MC feat for the skill, which MC should I get? The skill is not necessary, just the benefits ;)
· I have yet to pick the bulk of the powers, and buy rituals.  
· Next feat I'll take will be versatile expertise.
· I think I have one level 5 magic item left to choose. What should I pick? A neck item, or some cool gloves?


====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Loki Laufeyjarson, level 5
Changeling, Bard/Rogue
Hybrid Bard Option: Hybrid Bard Reflex
Parentage - Draconic Adoption (Learn Draconic)
Theme: Wizard's Apprentice

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 8, CON 11, DEX 18, INT 14, WIS 12, CHA 18

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 8, CON 11, DEX 15, INT 14, WIS 12, CHA 15


AC: 19 Fort: 12 Ref: 18 Will: 17
HP: 43 Surges: 6 Surge Value: 10

TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +9, Athletics +10, Bluff +13, Diplomacy +11, Stealth +11, Thievery +11

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +11, Dungeoneering +7, Endurance +6, Heal +7, History +8, Insight +9, Intimidate +10, Nature +7, Perception +7, Religion +8, Streetwise +10

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Wizard's Apprentice Attack: Color Orb
Changeling Racial Power: Changeling Disguise
Changeling Racial Power: Changeling Trick
Bard Feature: Majestic Word
Bard Attack 1: Misdirected Mark
Rogue Attack 1: Piercing Strike
Diplomacy Utility 2: Master Diplomat

FEATS
Level 1: Ritual Caster
Level 2: Duelist's Panache
Level 4: Bard of All Trades

ITEMS
Magic Leather Armor +1 x1
Adventurer's Kit
Climber's Kit
Thieves' Tools
Woodwind
Footpads
Glass Cutter
Gambler's gear
Gambling cheats
Wavestrider Boots
Bard's Songblade Dagger +2 x1
====== End ======


 

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Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
I'm gonna mutliclass into a Wizard right before Paragon tier to qualify for Resourceful Magician, simply to get his wonderful, beautiful cantrips ^^

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
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