Author Topic: Gestalt Bard//ToB  (Read 1783 times)

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kalaskaagathas

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Gestalt Bard//ToB
« on: December 11, 2010, 12:12:50 AM »
So, a friend of mine mentioned that he wants to try running a gestalt Pathfinder campaign, but he's limiting us to using only base classes.  I was inspired by Cyrano de Bergerac and wanted to go for something simple, so I thought I'd roll a Bard//Crusader or Bard//Warblade combination, using Song of the White Raven to get some serious IC/DFI going.  Apart from that, though, I'm not sure what to do with the build.

I'd like to focus on Melee in combat, and on spells and skills out of combat.  I could go the lockdown/crackdown route, but I wanted to use Snowflake Wardance which basically limits me to non reach weapons.  Also, I'd like to go the Weapon Finesse route, if possible, for flavor reasons.  Since we're using the Pathfinder version of the Bard, I think I'd like to get the feat Versatile Performance (from Complete Adventurer) and Versatile Performer (the class ability) to free up a bunch of skill points.  I want to focus my skills on the Acrobatics, Stealth, and Social sets, though it would be nice to have UMD and Knowledges in there too.

As far as house-rules go, we're using Bardic Music as it was in 3.5, that is, I get one use per Bard level per day, rather than one round of use per Bard level per day.  Also, Power Attack and Deadly Aim let you choose to reduce your to-hit beyond one, instead of forcing you to.

All books are available, though if something has been officially updated for Pathfinder we're using the Pathfinder version.

Edit: Also, we're using a Pathfinder 25 point buy.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2010, 12:58:58 AM by kalaskaagathas »

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Re: Gestalt Bard//ToB
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2010, 03:29:17 AM »
The character you describe uses basically every single ability score except Wisdom, which has one of the most important standard effects.  IMO ditch TWF and Weapon Finesse, and use Crusader since it's not as reliant on Intelligence as the Warblade is.  You'll be able to fake being nimble starting at level 2, when you get to substitute Perform checks for Acrobatics checks.

Take these feats at low levels: Extra Music, Battle Caster, Weapon Focus [generic reach weapon], and Lingering Song, and re-train them into more useful feats at higher levels (basically the feats that make your build: Power Attack, Snowflake Wardance, Force of Personality, Song of the White Raven, Versatile Performer, and Dragonfire Inspiration).

Extra Music is just plain awesome at level 1.  Bardic Music is basically a casting of either Bless or Charm Person at those levels, which means you essentially get 4 extra 1st-level spell slots for a single feat.  It's usefulness sharply diminishes later.  Battle Caster is important because your AC will be important at low levels.  Scale Armor and Breastplates are cheap and necessary for adequate defense, although later on you'll have the much superior spells Blink and Greater Blink, and AC becomes meaningless anyway, so you can just use a Mithral Brestplate and enhance it however.  Weapon Focus is explained below.  Lingering Song is useful because these low levels are where fights might last longer than a few rounds.

Stats should look something like this:
Str 14, Dex 9, Con 13, Int 14, Wis 7, Cha 18
Strength 14 is why Weapon Focus is so important.  Your hit rolls are going to be relatively bad.  Con 13 likewise sucks, but it's going to hurt you the least by being low early on, especially if you use a reach weapon.  Wisdom 7 is terribad, but you'll likely get double-Charisma to Will instead of Wisdom, so it's going to be more-or-less completely unnecessary by the time it becomes truly important.

Items to look for:
Shadow Hands (ToB)- Lots of useful maneuvers for this kind of character are Shadow Hand maneuvers, but given that you're going Crusader you won't normally get them.
Slippers of Battledancing (DMG II)- Use a one-handed weapon in two hands for Cha to hit and 1.5x Cha to damage.  Skill requirement is meaningless, since Perform [Dance] really ought to be maxed.  It easily has the best Versatile Performer effect.  Relatively expensive, though, so use a reach weapon for the defensive benefits until you can use this.
Vest of Legends (DMG II)- Great for bards.  Better for Pathfinder bards.
Fearsome Armor (DotU)- Lots of ways for PF Bards to get high Intimidate later on, and Shaken is a useful condition to be able to apply to an enemy.  Combine with Imperious Command to basically make anything vulnerable to Fear lose instantly.

Late-Game:
You're going to wind up with a LOT of skill points.  Consider Knowledge Devotion, since it works extra-well with PF Bards.  Truenaming might also be an option, but it will eat *a lot* of feats if you want to go straight-up Bard//Crusader.  The ability to throw out on-demand minor magical abilities (or not-so-minor ones if you get something like Fog from the Void) is really powerful if you are able to make the necessary investment in the Truenaming skill such that you don't suck at it.

Epimetheus

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Re: Gestalt Bard//ToB
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2010, 03:56:32 AM »
As long as you're going with Song of the White Raven, and Inspire Courage/Dragonfire Inspiration, you may as well look into:

Words of Creation (BoED. Need 15 INT and CHA. + good aligned)
Song of the Heart (Just be an Eberron bard, by giving up one of your higher-level musics)

Maneuver: White Raven Tactics. Because giving the BSF an extra full attack with your DFI is just crazy. And getting it back without using an action every few rounds would be awesome.

If you are allowed Dungeonscape, then you can trade Bardic Knowledge for Lore Song (for survivability).
Or if you prefer, PHII's Bardic Knack (virtually trained in all skills) is always good.

I don't think it's really possible to also have a Weapon Finesse, Combat Reflexes, lockdown though, along with everything else due to the feat requirements.
Although there are certain weapons (Feycraft? DMG II) that essentially give you weapon finesse for free, although it'll do slightly less damage. (completely made up for by DFI or IC)

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Re: Gestalt Bard//ToB
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2010, 05:18:49 AM »
PF Bardic Knowledge is like Bardic Knack applied directly to Knowledge skills, only it stacks with ranks.  Personally, I'd rather combine that with Knowledge Devotion than give it away.

kalaskaagathas

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Re: Gestalt Bard//ToB
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2010, 03:01:51 PM »
It sounds like going the lockdown/crackdown route would be rather MAD, so maybe I should just focus on being a damage dealer.  To that end, which would be better for me, Warblade, or Crusader?  I see myself primarily using light and medium (mithral) armor, so the Crusader's heavy armor proficiency would be wasted on this character.  Too, the Warblade's bonus feats would help me, as I'm going to be pretty strapped for feats as it is (Snowflake Wardance, Versatile Performance, Versatile Spellcaster, Weapon Finesse, Song of the Heart, Words of Creation, Song of the White Raven, Power Attack, Knowledge Devotion, whatever else I need to take), but since they're from a limited list they may not be as helpful as they could be.  This is going to be a pretty low-op game though, so I don't necessarily need to be super powerful.

Edit: Oh, and this is the party composition: Halfling Cavalier//Marshall, Elf Barbarian//Rogue, Half-Elf Fighter//Paladin, Dwarf Inquisitor//Ranger. The Halfling is probably the most optimized out of all of us, as she's focusing on power attacking with a Lance (she's no ubercharger, but she's definitely a charger), the Barbarian wields a Greataxe (and that's about all I know of him), I don't know much about the Half-Elf, but I presume she's focusing on mounted combat, and the Dwarf is focusing on dealing damage to his favored enemies. I would like to focus on dealing damage, buffing the party, and skills (as previously mentioned).
« Last Edit: December 11, 2010, 03:44:46 PM by kalaskaagathas »