Portal: Bard

Updated Fri, Feb 13, 2009 by Shayalyn


by Zed and Ralsu

It's said that music has a special magic, and the bard brings this expression to life. The bard can be found wandering the lands telling tales, gathering lore, and earning her keep through her stories and songs of distant lands.

Adventuring parties appreciate the bard for the versatility he brings, as well as the moments of laughter, tale and song. And of course, adventuring parties love to have their deeds immortalized into song and verse.

Bards are seekers of lost knowledge and see adventuring as a way to increase their repertoire of knowledge and songs, as well as to discover lost tombs and ancient tomes.

Class features
Bardic Music: At Level 1, a bard gains the ability to use songs to soothe the wild beast (Fascinate) or motivate her party to greater deeds in combat (Inspire Courage; +1 vs. charm and fear effects and +1 on attack and weapon damage; this benefit increases to +2 at Level 8). At Level 3, she can sing to provide a party member with greater success in using skills (Inspire Competence; +2 to all skill checks). At Level 6, she can even use song to turn a foe into an ally (Suggestion). At Level 9, the bard can Inspire Greatness (+2 attack bonus, +1 Fortitude save bonus, and temporary hit points) with her song. The bard's ability to sing is based on her Perform skill and, if planned incorrectly, she could find herself unable to sing that new song.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Bards are proficient with all simple weapons: the long sword, rapier, short bow and short sword. They can wear light armor with no fear of arcane spell failuBardre and can use any shield other than a tower shield.

At Level 1 bards gain the ability to cast a number of arcane and divine spells drawn directly from their spell list. They can heal or hurt or influence an enemy using these spells. The effectiveness of a bard's spells is based on his charisma.

Suggested races
  • Drow (with bonuses to DEX, INT, and CHA, drow bards are able to have higher natural armor class while getting more skills per level and casting spells more expertly)
  • Elf (with a DEX bonus, elven bards are better at avoiding damage)
  • Human (extra Skill points and an extra Feat make human bards more powerful)
Key Abilities
Bards rely on CHA to determine the number of spell points gained and the difficulty check of spells they cast. A high STR score makes the bard better at combat. Raising INT will allow the bard to choose more skills.

Class skills
Bard class skills are Balance, Bluff, Concentration, Diplomacy, Haggle, Hide, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Perform, Swim, Tumble, and Use Magic Device. Bards get enough skill points to allow players to diversify. Concentration is great for casting spells in the heat of combat. Diplomacy can turn away aggressive monsters. Perform is essential to bardic music. Use Magic Device enables a bard to use wands to cast spells.

Suggested Feats
Solid Feat choices include Combat Casting, Dodge, Improved Mental Toughness, Mental Toughness, and Mobility. Metamagic Feats can also be useful depending on the bard's spell list.

More on Bards

Spells and Casting
DDO Builds for Bards
Cookie Cutter Bard
Crowd Control Captain
Deadly Troubadour
Lovable Scoundrel
Singing Sawbones
The Jack of All Trades

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