The Bard's HandbookIndex:Attributes/RacesClass Features/Alternative Class FeaturesFeatsSkillsSpellsNote: This is under construction. Help me out with links, builds, strategies and anything you can think of that would prove useful.
The following are recomended *only* if LA buyoff is allowed
Alternative Class Features
I know this is a work in progress, but I can't help but point out that under the "Class Skills" section Inspire Courage is listed twice. Perhaps you meant the last one to be Inspire Competence?
Individual Performance – spend 1 use to make a Bardic Music that normally affects multiple targets instead only affect one (cannot be you). This target receives 2x the normal bonuses / penalties. Requires a Perform check vs. DC (15 + Perform ranks required). Usable with Fascinate, Inspire Courage, Inspire Greatness, and Inspire Heroics.
Doomspeak (Feat, Champions of Ruin) deserves mention. Expend a use of Bardic music to give an opponent a -10 penalty to attack, saves, ability checks, and skill checks for 1 round. Will save (DC 10+Character lvl+Cha mod) negates. The ability is also non-mind affecting (necromatic ability). Very strong debuff option in combination with a SoD caster.
Another nice handbook taking shape : bravo !
Note: the Jaebrin (LA +1) bite is Con-based, not Cha-based.
You forgot the Never Outnumbered skill trick for fear stacking.
When you get around to FR books, Dreadful Wrath (PGtF) is a CO-approved feat for fear stacking. Especially since apparently the Rules Compendium says that the worst fear conditions lasts as long as the longest fear effect (I hope it's true - I read that in another thread) : so you make the opponent shaken for 1 minute with DW, then you make him cower for 1 minute using Imperious Command... And DW is over an area, like Demoralization enhanced by Never Outnumbered !
Races of the Wild has Elf Dilettante, which is Jack of All Trades +1. Only draw back is Elf-blood or some 3 ranks in a skill that I forget. Which is absolutely no drawback for a Diplomancer.
if you can get it with half-elf, that's ok.
otherwise it's not that good.
there aren't many elves (actually only one subrace) that are good for a bard.
I noticed no mention of Weapon Finesse... if you are mentioning Snowflake Wardance you have to mention it. Its strictly better than Snowflake Wardance:
1. You don't blow a music use to activate it
2. You aren't limited to weilding a weapon in one hand (Snowflake Wardance requires one to weild slashing weapons in one hand, not just one-handed weapons: you can still use Rapiers two-handed, which works well in conjunction with Power Attack)
3. Its on all the time, and doesn't fatigue you at the end of it.
Power Attack is also a great feat on a Bard. You typically only want a 13 Str to get it, but it works well when used two-handed with either longsword or rapier. The buffs to attack are typically good enough from a Bard's list that they can get similar damage to the party Fighter.
Whisper Gnomes and Strongheart Halflings should be mentioned... The -2 Cha for Whisper Gnomes is only slightly painful, if self-buffs and no-save spells are used. Strongheart Halflings get +2 Dex with no Con cost, the bonus feat, small size for +1 AC, and +1 to hit with thrown weapons, making them about as viable as humans.