Bard Song Ideas

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Bard Spells & Bard Songs

Postby Loreweaver » Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:08 am

Author: Obsidian Sea [ Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:30 pm ]

A new thread for a different class, which might help players and team members alike with clarity and navigating the forum.

The first and simple suggestion is that the following 2 spells are added to the Bard's level 1 spell list, with accompanying explanations for why I think it could be appropriate:

•Animate Weapon - Does this not just seem perfect for a Bard? Making a weapon dance and strike following a consistent rhythm or pattern? Personally I think it makes more sense than the Summon Creature series, if the Bard were forced to choose between one and the other to not become overpowered, but I doubt it could overpower them unless I have made a grave oversight.
•Horizikaul's Boom - A nice inclusion for a level 1 spell to allow them to shift into the role of a Wizard as well as they can shift into the role of a Fighter or Priest depending on the circumstances. It also might give players an opportunity to create a 'Sonic' themed Bard, who can use the Bard Song: Furious Vibrations and Bard Song: Overwhelm Senses feats, and Horizikaul's Boom and Sonic Burst spells to establish a thematic damage output for a Bard.
In addition, if Bards could learn Horizikaul's Boom, it would make them much more applicable to taking advantage of the early levels of Arcane Archer, which includes the Imbue Arrow feature that does not give a Bard many options at present.

My second suggestion is a reiteration from another player, whose perspective I can appreciate more now for having played a Bard:

Endalyor wrote: Bard: You NEEEED 18 charisma in order to get these bonuses. You also need to waste your first 2 feats on Artist and Skill Focus: Perform, otherwise these bonuses would only be +1 instead of +2. This means you must be a human as well.
Lower the perform you need to increase the ranks of your songs. That way, bards won't have to put ALL of their points into charisma from the start to get that +2 bonus, let them put some points into str, dex, and con so they're not so terrible in combat if they have to.

I do not think Artist and Skill Focus: Perform should be considered wasted feats, but certainly they should be less than a mandatory investment for those Bards who still want their primary class feature to really take off. Lowering the required number for upgrade in each song by 2 is enough, I would imagine, to allow every Bard to be able to make their Bard Songs a noticeable advantage to allies without having to wait until the very high levels, and allowing the Bards that do invest everything in upping their Perform skill to really shine.

As always, feel free everybody to reply with things you agree or disagree with regarding this post. :)


Author: Obsidian Sea [ Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:36 am ]

I have done a bit of personal maths to try and legitimise my second suggestion regarding Bard Songs and the Perform skill better.

Nathaniel Askovar has a +3 Charisma modifier, and the highest amount of investment in the Perform skill for his level. He does not have any feats that give him extra points of Perform - he does have the Extra Music feat. He does not have any items that give him extra points of Perform. He is level 4. Two of his songs, Inspire Courage and Furious Vibrations, require a certain Perform skill to advance.

With the current requirements on each Bard Song, Nathaniel Askovar will have to be level 6 before Inspire Courage will give a +2 bonus, instead of +1. He will have to be level 8 before Furious Vibrations provides a +2 bonus instead of a +1 bonus, or he will have to take a feat that amps up his Perform skill at level 6. This all assumes that he continues to max out his Perform skill at every level, of course.

Regarding Inspire Courage, this means that for the majority of his career (14999xp/28000xp) Nathaniel Askovar will only be able to convey a +1 bonus via use of this song. By about level 3 this is fairly insubstantial, and by level 5 it is underwhelming indeed. If he did not have the Extra Music feat, he would have to be very selective at most levels and in most dungeons about when to deploy this song, and when he does it probably wouldn't be perceived to have any critical function for bringing the battle to a triumphant end mechanically (players are very often generous and attentive to the class-specific skills of the characters their PCs interact with, which returns RP rewards, and it would be remiss not to provide due credit to them for that).

Furious Vibrations is handy for particular enemies at low levels, and still makes its presence count in larger parties at higher levels: less so in smaller parties. Waiting until level 8 for the song to amp up for Bards who do not opt for Perform skill feats is unreasonable, however. For Bards that choose to take PrCs which require certain feats, taking a Perform skill feat might not be possible before level 6, even if it is desirable.

For Bards that choose to take PrCs, or other base classes, it should also be mentioned that while one could argue they need not be entitled to heightened effectiveness in these songs, they are already disbarred from or hampered in advancing other Bard Songs, some of which advance based on the number of levels the character has in Bard, rather than upon the Perform skill.


Author: Loreweaver [ Mon Nov 23, 2015 5:57 pm ]

It'd like to start with a few thoughts on the second suggestion.

For a casual bard making no particular feat or attribute investment, a Perform modifier of about 16 is achievable. For a bard going all out, 28 is about the highest they can accomplish without relying on special instruments, potions or magic items. The result is that Perform-based song effects can almost be doubled by making serious feat and attribute investments.
The effects of multiclassing on Perform are fairly limited. A Bard (4)/Other (4) would miss out on 2 ranks, and depending on their other class, they may have the ability to compensate for the loss (a Priest could cast Heroism and Guidance for +2 skill, a Rogue might pick up Greater Skill Focus: Perform as bonus feat, etc.). It does of course affect level-based songs.

If you'd like to focus your build on improved bard songs, consider that Extra Music and Lingering Song both add 50% to song duration (or more before level 8). The maximum effects won't be as potent, but for a smaller investment they'll last over twice as long. You can certainly combine this with a Perform build by sacrificing Song variety - effectively, granting partymembers something like +4 AB for 18 turns rather than +2 for 8 turns.
Of course, if you raise STR from 14 to 18 instead of putting the points into extra CHA, you get a +2 AB bonus as well as a +2 damage bonus for yourself, effective all the time. For a party of 4, that pays off after 9 turns of fighting...

Undeniably, you get the most out of your bard's Song and spell abilities if you raise your CHA, and since that already gives you a Perform headstart it makes sense to invest further in the skill as well. It's a logical thought, but it shouldn't be mistaken for the only valid one. In addition to their Song ability, the bard class is one which can serve decently in both melee and ranged combat, can apply a variety of skills and has some magical potential too.
This allows you to specialize in many directions. You won't be the best at anything (barring Bard Songs as they're unique to the class), but you can become very good without losing the ability to be decent in neglected fields. For example, taking no Perform ranks still allows you to use bardsongs based on level as well as any other bard.

The best advice I have is to determine which songs you want and work backwards to decide what kind of Perform bonus would work best without stressing your build too much. In the above I assume Bard 8; naturally it's wise to plan for earlier levels as well.
It may be beneficial to change a few of the songs so that they rely on other character aspects or improve at different rates. But for the most part, it's a matter of choosing a selection which works for your character.

Regarding the first suggestion, Bards were given the Colour Spray spell on "it's appropriate" grounds before so I'm sure these two also deserve consideration. The bardic spellbook shouldn't be too large and diverse however, so something else would need to be removed.
Swapping Summon Creature I for Animate Weapon may be problematic because it removes the foundation for Summon II and III, and additionally it can be argued that summoning creatures is a common enough practice for stage magicians that a Bard should have the same ability (even if Summon I provides neither doves nor rabbits). What other course would you suggest?


Author: Toros [ Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:39 am ]

The problem with lowering the requirements of the skill level per rank is that then a bard maximizing perform just becomes that much better.

If you made it 4 ranks per +1, then our theoretical 28 perform bard then gets +7 bonus to AB, which may or may not be excessive.

My opinion on bard is that it is an excellent class for oversized parties, but is significantly less desirable until you have a high AC fighter, healer, rogue, and a buffer. So at best a bard would be my 3rd or 4th choice.

If I had a party of 10, then 1-2 bards would be excellent.

With our general population and the low duration of bard songs, it's hard for bards to compete with say, a priest as a fighter or as support.

While bards can identify items easier, anything worth the effort to find another PC for could just as easily be taken to an NPC for identification.

The main thing that I think hurts low level bards is not just the potency of their songs (which given only to 2-3 people) but the duration. Without extra music, their inspire courage lasts 1 turn, and uses their only song for that level. Contrast with bless from a level 1 priest, which costs one of several spell slots and provides the same bonus for 4x as long.

You could optimize to get +4 to hit or (far more valuable imo) +4 to AC for everyone, at which point your impact is significantly more. However, at that point a priest 8 with shield of faith gives +2 AC for a long duration, and protection from evil for a long duration as well. Combine those two and you have the same buff on those allies that truly need it, and you had to sacrifice nothing but a few level 1 slots that rest. Priests get 7 level 1 slots at level 8 alone.

I guess my perspective is that when it comes to support, bards are outmatched by priests and to a lesser extent wizards and druids.

When it comes to damage furious vibrations is good with a high perform skill, but a lot of other options aren't as appealing without several high level bards (support act, overwhelm senses) or not particularly appealing to begin with (marching tune, numb senses, countersong)

In my mind the niche bards have is group buffing, and I feel that their current song options generally only help part of the group, or are replicated or nearly replicated by other classes, plus utility that bards don't get.

Against strong melee enemies they'll get shredded. Their AC won't be able to handle +10 or higher AB, and outside of furious vibrations they don't have strong ranged options either.

Bards make superb diplomats and have a lot of interesting RP oppurtunities (and I'm excited to see what the current crop of bards will do, the bard duels have been wonderful).

However, mechanically I'd put them behind priests, druids, wizards, sorcerers, rogues, paladin, and fighters. Basically just ahead of monks.

I'd never turn a bard away for a dungeon run, but they wouldn't cause a significant change to the level of difficulty I'd want to attempt.


Author: Obsidian Sea [ Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:28 pm ]

Taking these comprehensive replies into consideration, I think there is still a change to be made regarding the Bard Song relationship with the Perform skill: as Toros explains, a Bard's benefit is to a group more than to himself - which is the role I would expect the class to fill - however that benefit is fairly insubstantial for a long part of the Bard's TER career.

The incongruity between my perspective & Loreweaver's, I think, is how heavily one considers the end game: while the mechanical explanations provided are not refutable, they encourage a mentality among players that they should be aiming to get up to high levels if they want to shine in their class role (at least in the case of this class).

Therefore, would it be a possible compromise between a potentially overpowered endgame and a relative lack of usefulness in the early and mid-game if there was a progression scaling on the songs that rely upon a fixed Perform check? Taking Inspire Courage as an example, the idea would be something like:

+1 AB: 0-8 Perform
+2 AB: 9-17 Perform
+3 AB: 18-30 Perform
+4 AB: 30+ Perform

Regarding the spells suggestion, I am uncertain if any spells would need to be cleared out of the Bard spellbook to make room for the new spells: Horizikaul's Boom would be the standalone damage spell of that level - and arguably a choice for the flavour of being a Sonic-damage Bard more than effectiveness, given that Bards gain very few spells per day. With Animate Weapon, I imagine it would serve as a choice alternative to Summon Creature I, similarly to how Balagarn's Iron Horn and Grease accomplish much the same task; Sleep and Scare; Mage Armor and Protection from Alignment.


Author: Loreweaver [ Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:37 pm ]

You are correct, I do consider level 8 first, as too in the examples below. It's for a couple of reasons. Chiefly, because it covers the class' full potential and is the least susceptible to variations in ability score and feat choices. Also because the knowledge that things work out in the end is valuable in that it makes temporary fluctuations a matter of class difficulty rather than of ultimate fate. That doesn't mean low level imbalances are ignored, only that I consider them acceptable to a certain degree.

In this case, something like having a fairly low Perform skill and just one bard song use at level 1 is fine as it's not the only thing the class relies on. Roughly put, they're similar to rogues with better equipment options and some healing magic, without sneak attack damage and trap/lock skills. If they want, they can take cross-class ranks in these and be good enough for level 1 dungeons. The bard song can buff them when they're not, or help other allies who did take cross-class ranks while the bard chose something for the long term instead. The bard is not shining as example of bardness at that point, perhaps, but neither are they far behind other classes or forced to deny their identity.

Regarding the bard's worth in parties, the core principle of the class is that they can serve based on their need. In large groups, the song buffs and debuffs have clear value so I'll just focus on the other end. In small groups, bards can play nearly any role required if they're built with that flexibility in mind.

Taking AC as an example, a bard with decent DEX (perhaps supplemented by Cat's Grace), light armour, a large shield and Balance/Tumble can get their AC up to 22ish without much trouble. The same is true of a bard who opts for a Heavy Armour Proficiency feat, though that of course hampers skills and spell use and carry capacity significantly. The base AC can then be improved temporarily with bard songs (either raising party AC or lowering enemy AB) and spells like Mage Armour and Ghostly Visage if selected. Assuming a +2 song effect, that might be an effective AC of 27 with DR 5/+1. Blindness, Haste, Displacement, Protection from Alignment.. Even before feat specialization there's plenty of material to help you survive an AB 10 monster and its cronies.

The main consideration here is that the more you focus on one role, the less versatile you become. If all your known spells are defense based, you can't really tap into the bard's potential for offense, healing, crowd control, stealth or other utilities. Bard songs, too, call for a choice. Do you focus on one task, ensuring that you have the most optimal song for each value of Perform and an ability which complements with the songs of other bards, or do you choose a repetoire with a song for every occasion? Songs may not be as powerful as single-target spells (though curse songs ignore SR and saves, which helps), but they don't need to be prepared in advance so they're almost always useful.

Certainly, priests and druids are highly flexible too thanks to their own class abilities and generous divine spell lists. Druids can even manage some stealth, priests a measure of arcane magic. At some roles, they're plainly better than bards, though bards still have skills in areas the divine ones lack, as well as the ability to coax more out of the rest of the party without special preparation or advance knowledge.

In many cases, a bard is indeed not what small parties wish for because there's a more desirable class for the role they're lacking. But a single bard with sufficient flexibility can turn almost any small party into a viable one against almost any foe, whereas you'd need a whole stable of different class PCs otherwise. That is their primary mechanical strength.
Also not irrelevant is their ability to get more coin out of the same treasure. It may not be obvious, but those healing potions you drink because the bard is not priest enough might be paid for.

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Re: Bard Spells & Bard Songs

Postby Silver Snow » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:32 pm

I know this thread is long buried, but a few of the recent discussions in regards to rogues and sense motive did get me thinking on the topic again. I'd put myself on the side of lowering perform requirements modestly, sure, but one other aspect I want to bring up is that only ONE song can be active a time. On the surface, this does make some good sense, but digging deeper I found a few redundancies and issues with the fact:

First, I'll start off by saying that if I get my bard to lvl 8, (11 ranks), a charisma of 18(+4), and a skill focus in perform (+3), I would JUST be able to give my group a bonus of +3 AB, as per Inspire Courage, or +3 AC, as per War Dance. At that level, the +3 is still pretty significant of a bonus..but to the point that the other bard songs past those two become very quickly redundant. In a standard support for a combat encounter, unless it is against some very specialized situation, giving your party extra AB or AC will be the most good a bard could do. Some songs are situational, like CounterSong, which means they'll be a nice reserve to use in emergencies. But as only one can be active at a time..would I be able to use that in an emergency? Let us assume that I give the party War Dance, and one member gets Confused, I cannot cancel War Dance and I cannot respond to that effect before a full ten rounds are over. As an "up the sleeve" response, the flexibility of it is denied, and I imagine that at least CounterSpell won't be seeing much dungeon use outside of an in-the-middle-of-combat scenario.
Next, why would I ever ever pick Disorientation or Mesmerize, as they have the same effect as Inspire Courage and War Dance but at a higher requirement (+1/7 ranks). Increasing AB on allies is the same as decreasing AC on enemies, and vice versa, and you're more likely to hit all of your allies with the song than all of the enemies, depending on the situation. Other Songs which I see having questionable use would be:
1) Charmed Performance: Assuming that 18 modified Perform at lvl 8 (I don't see how getting it higher without magic items/potions/buffs is feasible), a cast of this song would give the party..6 Spell Resistance. Even somehow assuming 24 perform, it would be 8 SR. This means any CR appropriate creature automatically wins with room to spare, and SR does not stack, so not even monks or those with magic items would benefit.
2) Overwhelm Senses: For the sake of argument I'll assume a higher perform skill, 24. A maximum roll on the check for this song will give me a 44. This means that, on an absolutely lucky natural 20, I do an unimpressive d14 damage to enemies, an average of 7.5, at level 8. As I cannot pair this with the songs that give enemies Sonic vulnerability, and sonic being such a rare damage type, I'm not so sure I see the purpose of this song. On an average roll we would be looking at a d10 damage die for one of a limited number of charges of the class's main feature.
There's a few others that are neat, but I don't see them being used in combat instead of the bigger bonuses.

My suggestion is to allow more than one song active at the same time. I might well believe the considerations in the area are due to lag and the like, but being able to stack songs might make a huge difference in really crucial scenarios, allow some nice combinations, more immediate reactions (example: I have an AB buff on allies but to keep a couple struggling fighters alive I need to drop an AC buff or temporary hit points). Most importantly, it self-balances. More song support in a single encounter means less songs over the course of a dungeon. Just like a cleric can burn all of her short-term burst buffs for an encounter, Bards should be able to do the same with their songs. This would not trivialize anything, as the stacked bonuses won't be getting very large until level 6-8. More so, a human bard would get 4 feats, tops, and spending a token 2 on Extra Music and Skill Focus: Perform, there's only 2 they get to use for themselves.

As some made the points above..Bards are cool, they get social skills (though many still argue that rogues should get the same ones), but they are at best a very incremental and situational help as they stand, that don't get the flexibility or practical variety they need.
As always, this is just my view, and some minor crunching of the numbers! Like with monks, there may not be enough bards on the server to make a very outspoken difference, but plenty of people who haven't played them and tried to level them. Thanks, as always, to the devs that take the time to read all of these rambles and consider them!

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Re: Bard Spells & Bard Songs

Postby Copper Dragon » Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:16 pm

Multiple Songs at Once
Multiple Bard Songs at once defeats one very neat party composition's good side: a party with multiple Bards in it. If a party with 2-3 Bards can have a multitude of songs going at once, balance might be at risk. Additionally, how would you define how many songs a Bard could have active at the same time? Depending on level? On a Perform check? On a feat?

Instead of these, the original idea of lowering Perform requirements seems better in place. Not to ignore the first posts made, the original poster's suggestions regarding spell selection seems apt, logical, and flavourful as well.

Perform Requirements
Lowering the Perform requirements seems not only better - but essential. Divine spells like Bless and Prayer are at a spell slot's whim away, last multiple Turns (not only 1), and give bonuses to AB, Will save, and in the case of Prayer additional save and skill bonuses and debuffs. There isn't - and needn't be - any one Bard Song that copies this, specialising on a certain aspect to buff or debuff, but this focused, chosen aspect should indeed be given an edge. Given that without Extra Music or Lingering Song, the Bard doesn't have much to squeeze out of their iconic feature, and that a sort of single-minded build is required to get good results at present, the Bard Songs could use love.

I'm unsure if preparing for the 'worst case scenario' Bard justifies catering only, or mainly, to them, ie. the ones with 18 Cha upon start and only Perform-increasing feats.

As Silver Snow mentioned, Inspire Courage (AB bonus), War Dance (AC bonus), and Furious Vibrations (dmg bonus) are currently the most attractive options, with the others falling much behind in comparison. Some of them look amazing and enticing from a RP point of view, but don't bring much to the dungeoning field. The additional server discussion point comes into play for Bards: if they are not "that good" for smaller parties, when the server encourages just that, indeed recommends that, where do the Bards find their place then?

Countersong - is one of the Bard Songs that sounds delightful in theory, however is circumstantial (I have not yet seen an opponent cast Hold or Dominate on a PC; and mind-affecting spells can only be prepared for if you are expecting PvP or a very specific enemy, in which latter case you would either need metagaming knowledge).

Sharpen Focus - is interesting, could certainly see use against creatures that use Fear auras, spells, or toxic clouds, and TER seems to provide these kind of enemies often enough.

Numb Senses - grants 75% sonic immunity, and is the most circumstantial song to my mind: When is sonic immunity good? Are there monsters that use that damage type? Enough that you could use this on multiple occasions during your Bard's career?

Fascinate - is the opposite of Sharpen Focus, decreasing enemy saves, however it's got a higher Perform requirement, and is circumstantial. It serves if your party has spellcasters who can and do benefit from enemy lowered saves (or have monks, which is my shout-out to the other on-going class thread), or have spells with your Bard that can affect the enemy.

Relentless Pace - it, like Inspire Greatness, is severely limited in the number of allies it affects. This song works best if you know your party contains a high AB character or two, or the party has the means to buff them.

Disorientation and Mesmerize - stand opposite to Inspire Courage and Wardance, however come at a higher Perform cost, which is a shame. The higher lvl requirement already makes them unavailable and unspammable at low levels, and I do not believe the higher Perform requirement is needed.

Support Act - is also interesting but situational. If it can be directly followed up by Horizakaul's Boom, Deafening Clang, Soundburst or Wounding Whispers it is good - but at least two out of those four spells require a Save to be passed, first, and the Bard Song only makes 1 enemy / 3 lvls Bard vulnerable to its effects.

Marching Tune and Soothing Melody - seem all right. I'm not sure how attractive their prospects are to others, they look rather okay to me. Soothing Melody's effects are temporary, which can be tricky... can it save someone from bleeding out? Can its effects wearing off cause someone to die like with Rage?

Charmed Performance - yes, as Silver Snow mentions, the best you can get from this is SR5-6. If the effects were SR 10 + x, rather than SR x, the effects would be much better. Even then it is circumstantial: you do not meet many enemies that cast spells (for which we are grateful). That, combined with the fact that you can only take this feat as a lvl 6 Bard already greatly limits the range in which you'll use it.

Inspire Greatness - affects 1 ally per 4 Bard levels. LW says the Bard isn't the PC that you would like to take along for small parties, but how is this song an advantage in a larger group then? I'm unsure if the Bard can select whom this affects?

Overwhelm Senses - the opposite of Soothing Melody, except the effect is permanent. If this can be repeated multiple times on the same foe, then it seems good.

Many of the custom Bard Songs are intriguing but are restricted - not only by Perform skill investment, but by levels and circumstance (dungeons, party abilities, monster abilities). They seem limited in their usefulness to a point where you are uncertain if they will come to shine, and even if the chance arises, the Perform requirements keep the effects rather low; and the circle is complete. Lowering the Perform requirements would already give them a big boost, one that allows the Bard's very-situational songs to be very-convenient when the time for them does arise. This lowering is especially needed if only 1 Bard Song can remain active (from one Bard) at a time, as the effects of various songs will not come to stack.
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Re: Bard Spells & Bard Songs

Postby Silver Snow » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:33 pm

Mostly agreed with Copper here! I still ultimately feel that the perform requirements have quite some room to come down, and that many of the songs are niche at best. Copper's points are great and very detailed. To back what I said about multiple bard songs on at the same time, though, I feel that while it is alright to craft a class around a specific niche in a dungeon with some leeway (Rogues as the flankers and the trap/lock utility, clerics as the healing support, fighters as the front line), there's something wrong with making a class's requirements based around the fact that there MIGHT be two of that same class in a dungeon, and thus the pairing would be somehow made worse by the strengths of each individual class overlapping. Admittedly, it has more reason to be the case with bards who affect the whole group with a very limited, set number of abilities, but I think my point stands. I've yet to see two bards in one place on the server at the same time, and while it'll certainly happen one day, the two bards could enact a fine synergy together with stronger song support for more encounters.

Now, a few good points are definitely brought up. If there are 2-3 bards, and each drops 2 songs per encounter, the group can sustain that over about 4-5 encounters. There would be some significant boosts to AB and AC, and the like, and while these are very strong I wouldn't call them outright broken, and it IS the major support role of the bard to do things like that. However, I like the idea that there might be some sort of codified limit on how many songs a single bard can have up at the same time. Perhaps it will always be a maximum of two, perhaps it is 1 until 4, two after that until 8, at which point it is 3? I can envision some very interesting combinations of increasing enemy vulnerability to sonic while doing sonic damage with another song, for instance. As it stands I couldn't cast the sonic damage song if any other one is up, I would have to wait for any support song to run out before doing anything else.

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Re: Bard Spells & Bard Songs

Postby Loreweaver » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:40 am

I know that the bard song only checks conditions when it is activated rather than throughout the 10 rounds during which it has an effect, but it is a sustained activity (with the arguable exception of Lingering Song time) during which the bard can take additional actions rather than a one-round performance. Therefore, the idea of a bard playing three different songs at the same time would be a very odd one. It may be explained as weaving an additional effect into the same song, just as you might when a second bard starts playing their song to complement the first, but then we can wonder why the bard wouldn't use their full strength in the first place to enhance the initial effect.
I understand that activating more songs at once may be desirable from a mechanical perspective, but I don't see how it would work within the theme.

With regards to the situational nature of many bard songs, this is intentional. A bard can learn nine of them and only needs one or two with a general effect. If the others are situational that is not a disadvantage because you can always use a general song in their stead if the situation does not present itself. I can agree however that the benefits can be fairly modest compared to higher level spells.

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Re: Bard Spells & Bard Songs

Postby Silver Snow » Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:54 pm

Has there been more input about the feasibility of lowering some of the perform requirements? I believe the arguments for it have all already been made, but trying to raise a bard up myself from mediocrity I am seeing a lot of these points more up close now. Copper's earlier posts on the topic were probably the most direct and thorough.

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Re: Bard Spells & Bard Songs

Postby Toros » Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:48 pm

My conclusion where bard is concerned is that the "jack of all trades, master of none" theme leans toward "master of none."

The ideal role of bards seems to be as a support for an oversized party, where a modest bonus applied to 7-8 people becomes a fairly dramatic improvement.

However, they are in direct competition with priests for that role, and often buffing 2 people significantly is far more useful than giving a lot of people 2 AC or AB. Of course, priests don't have to choose as they have a variety of long lasting group buffs as well.

Bards aren't exceptional at ranged attacks or melee or tanking, so I'm not really seeing where they are competitve with caster priests, let alone melee or hybrid priests who can tank and melee as well.

One easy fix that I think would help their viability is extending the base duration of their songs to 3 or even 5 minutes, so a high level bard can provide modest bonuses to a party over a long period of time.

Also, I play Galondel.

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Re: Bard Spells & Bard Songs

Postby Loreweaver » Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:46 pm

At this point, the Bard's future is still unclear. It is possible that their songs will be converted to combat modes, allowing more control over when a song starts or ends. It's also not unlikely that different songs will be tied to different skills, with Perform offering a lesser bonus to all songs. Instruments will probably go from being required to providing a further bonus, with different songs favouring different instruments as per one of Toros' suggestions.

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Re: Bard Spells & Bard Songs

Postby Vogelens » Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:10 pm

I like these ideas. It would open up for a lot more types of bards, rather than just the musicians. It sounds promising so far at least, even if these are just suggestions/ideas
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Silver Snow
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:28 am

Re: Bard Spells & Bard Songs

Postby Silver Snow » Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:22 pm

Agreed! That seems like a set of constructive changes that keep the core of the bard in play and allow some diversity within the class a little more naturally. I'm curious what sort of skills were kept in mind for some of the songs. I can perhaps see the like of Intimidate and Diplomacy.

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