Need Help making a Ranged Pixie Leader (Skald?)

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OK so I've been trying to make a Ranged Pixie Leader for my friend and Skald seemed pretty cool (The Aura seems pretty awesome) but Leader's aren't really my thing so I don't really know how to make a good one so I figure I'd ask here (also open to other classes)

She wants three things Healer, Ranged & Pixie everything else is optional.

So some background....the group isn't decided exactly but their fairly predictable

1 - Defender - Dragonborn or Genasi

2 - Striker

3 - Controller - Gnome Mage Enchanter/Illusionist (Me)

4 - Leader - Ranged Healer Pixie (This one)

5 - First timer - Wild Card likely Striker

Feel free to tear it apart or offer alternatives...nothing too complicated though she's fairly new to the game...actually the sad part is I'm the most expereinced and I've only been playing 4e for just over a year and played 3.5e during for a short while in high school (Not a very Geek heavy area)

Anyways here's what I came up with (feel free to give suggestions on later levels as well)..oh and stats will be rolled but I'm using an Array for now...also starting level is yet to be determined

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Unnamed, level 1
Pixie, Skald
Signs of Influence: Travel in Style
Signs of Influence: Demand Audience
Background: Assassin (Assassin Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 11, Dex 18, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 18.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 11, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 16.


AC: 16 Fort: 10 Reflex: 15 Will: 15
HP: 23 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 5

TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +6, Streetwise +9, Stealth +11, Acrobatics +8, Diplomacy +9

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Bluff +5, Dungeoneering +2, Endurance, Heal +2, History +1, Insight +2, Intimidate +5, Nature +4, Perception +2, Religion +1, Thievery +4, Athletics -1

FEATS
Level 1: Teeny Target

POWERS
Master of Story and Song: Stirring Shout
Skald at-will 1: Bolstering Speech
Skald at-will 1: Staggering Note
Skald encounter 1: Lesser Flash of Distraction
Skald daily 1: Disruptive Words

ITEMS
Chainmail, Adventurer's Kit, Dagger (2)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


Note: Our DM and group are fairly open to screwing around so having a Pixie riding around on the gnome wizard or a hawk would probably go by just fine...I think it's termed "Cheese" here?
You will get so much more mileage out of being an "O-Bard" (the PHB2/AP Bard) than the Skald if you want to be Ranged.  The fact that you lose Multiclass Versatility from being a Skald is huge, especially since you lose potential power options from not being able to add Wizard/Invoker/Seeker powers all at once (though I don't know if you're open to worshipping Sehanine so that you don't have implement problems with Invoker and Wizard powers you'd gain from multiclassing into them).


Note: Our DM and group are fairly open to screwing around so having a Pixie riding around on the gnome wizard or a hawk would probably go by just fine...I think it's termed "Cheese" here?

Not quite.  Cheese is basically a simple combo (like "Frostcheese", with two feats and sometimes one enchantment) that gives a ridiculously strong benefit that's easy to exploit.

I'd been fooling around with a Pixie Version of the "Killswitch" build.  Artificer Warlord, take a crossbow, take Beastmaster theme, ride on the Hawk.  Start combat on the hawk with the hawk perched on someones shoulder, shoot magic weapon for the buf to allies, launch the hawk, use reorient the axis to move allies, etc. etc.  Here's the Level 1 start.

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
PixArtLord, level 1
Pixie, Artificer/Warlord
Hybrid Artificer Option: Hybrid Artificer Will
Warlord Leadership Option: Combat Leader (Hybrid)
Hybrid Warlord Option: Hybrid Warlord Fortitude
Animal Master Starting Feature Option: Hawk
Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)
Theme: Animal Master
 
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 8, CON 12, DEX 10, INT 20, WIS 12, CHA 14
 
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 8, CON 12, DEX 10, INT 18, WIS 12, CHA 12
 
 
AC: 15 Fort: 12 Ref: 15 Will: 13
HP: 32 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 8
 
TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +10, Diplomacy +7, Perception +6
 
UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +0, Athletics –1, Bluff +2, Dungeoneering +1, Endurance +1, Heal +1, History +5, Insight +1, Intimidate +2, Nature +3, Religion +5, Stealth +2, Streetwise +2, Thievery +0
 
POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Animal Master Attack: Distracting Attack
Pixie Utility: Pixie Dust
Pixie Utility: Shrink
Artificer Feature: Healing Infusion: Curative Admixture
Artificer Feature: Healing Infusion: Resistive Formula
Warlord Feature: Inspiring Word
Artificer Attack 1: Magic Weapon
Warlord Attack 1: Direct the Strike
Warlord Attack 1: Powerful Warning
Artificer Attack 1: Punishing Eye
 
FEATS
Level 1: Weapon Proficiency (Superior crossbow)
 
ITEMS
Superior crossbow
Leather Armor
Adventurer's Kit
====== End ======
if you're interested, I'll post the build progression to whatever level you think you'll reach.
You will get so much more mileage out of being an "O-Bard" (the PHB2/AP Bard) than the Skald if you want to be Ranged.  The fact that you lose Multiclass Versatility from being a Skald is huge, especially since you lose potential power options from not being able to add Wizard/Invoker/Seeker powers all at once (though I don't know if you're open to worshipping Sehanine so that you don't have implement problems with Invoker and Wizard powers you'd gain from multiclassing into them).




Hmmm...but I really like that Aura thing the guide mentioned something about a fake Skald...would that work?

Oh and no problem with worshipping Sehanine

if you're interested, I'll post the build progression to whatever level you think you'll reach.



Interesting but Pixie's can't use superior X-BOWs...I was going to do that with the Skald build
take Beastmaster theme, ride on the Hawk


There's no theme that gives you a mount that can perch on an ally's shoulder.  Pixie Rangers can get one, but no-one else.  The Fey Beast Tamer theme pets are Medium, and thus can be ridden by smal or smaller creatures, but couldn't easily stand on an ally's shoulder; Animal Master's are tiny and therefore not ridable.
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.
take Beastmaster theme, ride on the Hawk


There's no theme that gives you a mount that can perch on an ally's shoulder.  Pixie Rangers can get one, but no-one else.  The Fey Beast Tamer theme pets are Medium, and thus can be ridden by smal or smaller creatures, but couldn't easily stand on an ally's shoulder; Animal Master's are tiny and therefore not ridable.



Oh well I'm sure she'll be content hiding in pockets or stting on an ally's head :D
First, if you want to mix O-bard with Skald stuff, it would be best to give her a songbow, so she just has one weapliment that works for everything. That's just way easier for a new player to deal with, and a shortbow will give her a little more range than a dagger on her RBAs.

Secondly, it might be best to start her out with expertise as her level 1 feat.  Not just because it's so good, but also because it's always on and you don't have to keep track of anything.
First, if you want to mix O-bard with Skald stuff, it would be best to give her a songbow, so she just has one weapliment that works for everything. That's just way easier for a new player to deal with, and a shortbow will give her a little more range than a dagger on her RBAs.

Secondly, it might be best to start her out with expertise as her level 1 feat.  Not just because it's so good, but also because it's always on and you don't have to keep track of anything.



So does Bow expertise work for both weapon & implement attacks with a songbow?
Neither Bard nor Skald realy seem to lend themselves to ranged builds...every time I try something The Pixie Cunning Bard sits on my shoulder saying..I'd do that better.

Any other leaders lend themselves to +Cha/+Dex or Int (or just Pixie in general) that can pull off a ranged build...or do I just suck at this? Preferably one that doesn't have a controller secondary our Enchament mage already specializes in that (me)
You'd have to take Versatile expertise for now, but I believe there's also a playtest expertise for bards from a Dragon Article a while back. I can never remember what it was called though, and it still hasn't gone official.

Skald should work just fine as ranged. Everything they do is based on basic attacks, including ranged basic attacks. Although it does seem they were more intended to melee.

Cunning Bard is indeed a pretty good fit, but if you don't like it I suppose another alternative would be a lazy warlord, going all CHA and INT and letting one of the strikers attack for her. I'd be a little hesitant to do this with a newbie though, because some people might not enjoy that type of build.
You'd have to take Versatile expertise for now, but I believe there's also a playtest expertise for bards from a Dragon Article a while back. I can never remember what it was called though, and it still hasn't gone official.

Skald should work just fine as ranged. Everything they do is based on basic attacks, including ranged basic attacks. Although it does seem they were more intended to melee.

Cunning Bard is indeed a pretty good fit, but if you don't like it I suppose another alternative would be a lazy warlord, going all CHA and INT and letting one of the strikers attack for her. I'd be a little hesitant to do this with a newbie though, because some people might not enjoy that type of build.



Just to clarify I WANT to make her a Melee Pixie Cunning Bard but she won't like it.

Actually lazylord might work she's the type that if she doesn't have to she won't move her character from the starting point (although I'm trying to get her to at least follow the group lol)

On that note..."Killswitch" might just work. Regardless any build she wants Teeny Target in...Mark of Storms would be nice too if another Mark of.... isn't needed.

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Pixie Killswitch, level 1
Pixie, Artificer|Warlord
Hybrid Artificer: Hybrid Artificer Will
Warlord Leadership: Combat Leader (Hybrid)
Hybrid Warlord: Hybrid Warlord Will
Choose Animal Minion: Animal Master Minion (Hawk)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 14, Dex 10, Int 20, Wis 10, Cha 13.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 14, Dex 10, Int 18, Wis 10, Cha 11.


AC: 17 Fort: 12 Reflex: 15 Will: 13
HP: 26 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 6

TRAINED SKILLS
Perception +5, Heal +5, Endurance +7

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics, Arcana +5, Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Dungeoneering, History +5, Insight, Intimidate +1, Nature +2, Religion +5, Stealth +2, Streetwise +1, Thievery, Athletics -1

FEATS
Level 1: Crossbow Caster

POWERS
Hybrid at-will 1: Magic Weapon
Hybrid at-will 1: Direct the Strike
Hybrid encounter 1: Powerful Warning
Hybrid daily 1: Punishing Eye

ITEMS
Superior crossbow, Leather Armor, Adventurer's Kit, Crossbow Bolts (60)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

Note: The "Superior" Crossbow is actually just a Handcrossbow I edited to match the stats of a superior crossbow because technically a Pxie can't wield a S-Crossbow due to its size but her Encounter power allows here to shrink it to Tiny size....did this for ease of calculating Attack Bonus,etc.

Note: This build probably won't follow the killswitch after this because after inital creation im handing the reins over to her so she can learn char creation a bit but its a solid build regardless.

Still open to other suggestions though.
Even with shrink, a Pixie wields weapons as a small character would, so a hand crossbow is the only crossbow they can legally use. If you want to houserule it though, it's not that big a deal.
Even with shrink, a Pixie wields weapons as a small character would, so a hand crossbow is the only crossbow they can legally use. If you want to houserule it though, it's not that big a deal.



That is why my pixie killswitch variant uses a dagger. It gives a +3 proficiency and can be used in melee if necessary. If you are worried about range, try a Weapon of Long Range which basically turns the dagger into a range 20 weapon with no range penalty.
Ok she decided on a build..rolled the stats and we are starting at Lvl 4...so here's the build she went with after deciding she didn't really like the ranged build either (Her Backstory below) open to suggestions for changes.

Next couple feats planned:

- MC: Druid[Initiate of the Old Faith], Sorc [Soul of Sorcery] or Artificer [Student of Artifice]
- Staff Expertise
- Superior Implement: Accurate Staff

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Lilliandra, level 4
Pixie, Skald
Signs of Influence: Welcome Guest
Signs of Influence: Demand Audience
Fey Beast Tamer Starting Feature: Fey Beast Tamer Companion (Fey Panther)
Background: Durpar (Durpar Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 14, Dex 14, Int 18, Wis 14, Cha 20.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 14, Dex 14, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 17.


AC: 16 Fort: 14 Reflex: 17 Will: 18
HP: 41 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 10

TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +11, Perception +11, Heal +9, Streetwise +12, Acrobatics +9

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Bluff +11, Diplomacy +11, Dungeoneering +8,, Endurance +8, History +10, Insight +8, Intimidate +11, Religion +10, Stealth +10, Thievery +8, Athletics +7,Nature +10

FEATS
Level 1: Bard of All Trades
Level 2: Mark of Storm
Level 4: Teeny Target

POWERS
Master of Story and Song: Cautionary Tale
Skald at-will 1: Bolstering Speech
Skald at-will 1: Staggering Note
Skald encounter 1: Lesser Flash of Distraction
Skald daily 1: Arrow of Warning
Skald utility 2: Canon of Avoidance
Skald encounter 3: Echoing Weapon

ITEMS
Rags
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

Lily is a former member of a Traveling Troupe that used spellcraft and other tricks to rob the audience of their valuables while their entranced...Her job was to cause the target valuables to literally float out of the audience's pockets, bags,etc. and cause them to shrink to miniscule sizes allowing for them to be easily collected.

Lily never liked this but felt she had no where else to go so she was constantly trying to convince the others to stop but she was mostly ignored until she was caught by a powerful mage in the audience who was unaffected and the troupe claimed to be unaware of the happenings and the mage tossed Lily in his dungeon along with some of the other PCs and a bunch of NPCs...in a tiny bird cage to be exact.
I'm guessing she rolled those ability scores?

She should get some items too, as per the DMG guidelines for starting beyond level 1. The game math expects you to have a few +1 items by level 4 at the least.  You can't use Arrow of Warning with rags.

Also it seems a little odd that her story revolves around thievery and yet thievery is nearly her worst skill... might be disappointing if she tries to act the thief in the game.
I'm guessing she rolled those ability scores?

She should get some items too, as per the DMG guidelines for starting beyond level 1. The game math expects you to have a few +1 items by level 4 at the least.  You can't use Arrow of Warning with rags.

Also it seems a little odd that her story revolves around thievery and yet thievery is nearly her worst skill... might be disappointing if she tries to act the thief in the game.



Forgot to mention the campaign started in the dungeon she got tossed in (well in here case the bird cage) so were all wearing little more than ragsour actual "Stuff" is in the armory...we just gotta find it :P

As far as thievery...she didn't want to...I can only make suggestions than she adjusts to suit what she likes..besides I don't think thievery is a Skald Class Skill
The article Scatterbrained was referring to is "Tools of Two Trades" and yes it has gone official, but very recently (January or February) and is not yet in the online Compendium or Character Builder.

The specific feat in it that is most relevant is called "Battle Song Expertise". It's good for a Bard who wields a wand, any weapon or weapliment, and any other item specifically designated as being usable as an implement for Bard powers - such as enchanted musical instruments. But not for the non-weapon implements of other classes. In addition to the usual expertise bonus (which now scales at 11 and 21 for ALL of the heroic-tier weapon/implement expertise feats), it gives a +1 feat bonus to the distance of forced movement with Bard attack powers. I would seriously consider spending a feat for the forced-movement enhancement (keeping my Bard's existing Expertise feat) if it applied to all Bard powers and class features that do forced movement...

The only other feat in there that would be of interest to a Bard is White Lotus Dueling Expertise. It's a good feat if you want your Bard to use an orb, rod, or staff as his implement; it bundles implement proficiency in your choice of those (or wands, but a Bard already has that) with all-implement Expertise. The catch is that without it your Bard would take two very good feats - a multiclass to get the proficiency and a good side benefit, and then an Expertise feat to get the expertise bonus and a good side benefit. So WLDE is great when your Bard is at low levels and therefore feat-starved, but you'll leave it behind quickly.
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose