Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Categories

Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition has been released! Visit nwn.beamdog.com to make an order. NWN:EE FAQ is available.
Soundtracks for BG:EE, SoD, BG2:EE, IWD:EE, PST:EE are now available in the Beamdog store.
Attention, new and old users! Please read the new rules of conduct for the forums, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

Would you please help me build my bard (blade or skald)?

Hi guys!

As I said in the welcome area, I'm new here, but I'm not new at all in the BG world.

This is the first time I'm gonna play the enhanced saga though and I think I need some help to shake off some rust :)

My first love was the bard class and I plan to stick with that for my next run.
I'm undecided between the Skald and the Blade kit. Is it true that the Skald is more of a stand back guy, more good with long rage weapon? If yes, I think I'm gonna go with the Blade, a kit that I never played and that is really intriguing to me.

Keep in mind that I plan to start with BG:EE and go straight to BG2:EE.

So, in a summary, some questions:

- Skald or Blade?
- Race and aligment? I am thinking about half-elf and neutral good (I'm good inside, what should I say)
- How should I distribute my stats?
- What about weapon specialization? What is the best weapon for a bard? Should I choose dual wielding if I go the blade route?
- slightly unrelated... This is gonna be my first BG:EE run: should I enjoy the vanilla experience or should I add some MODs? Maybe the cosmetic ones?

Keep in mind that I really value the RPG experience, so I am not seeking to build the best more powerful unbeatable bard in history :) but more of a true Sword Coast enjoyable character to have fun with :) For example, IMHO a blade should not use a weapon like a mace, or a good guy should not target Drizzt scimitars :)

Sorry for my bad English and thank you so so much in advance to whoever would be so kind to give me some advice! :)

FinnTheHumanJuliusBorisovNoobaccaChnapyArdul
«1

Comments

  • GriboeGriboe Member Posts: 47
    A Skald hangs backs and Sings, with the occasional Ranged Attack.
    A Blade is super fun upclose melee - if, IF, your'e into prebuffing before every fight.

    FinnTheHumanMilozzy
  • ChnapyChnapy Member Posts: 360
    edited May 2016
    I don't know much about Skalds and thus cannot answer your first question. Now with that said :

    Skald or Blade? Blades are sexier. It's been scientifically proven. They won't get enough lore to identify everything just by looking at it in the first game however, so you might have to use a few identifying spells (for those damn scrolls mostly). On the other hand, they will be able to steal, although not very well. Skalds couldn't steal candy from a toddler.

    Half-elf is mechanically the better race (elven resists and slightly higher required stats which will make rolling a wee bit easier) but not by that much, you could play human without losing on much. Alignment is entirely up to you of course. I will point out that mingling with evil npcs is necessary in order to get a spellcasting armor in bg1 (unlike the Fighter/Mage, the bard cannot wear robes of the archmagi). But that can be done even when playing neutral good, it just requires that you keep your rep in check for a bit.

    As for the best weapons, that higly depends on the game and your party : the blade is at its best when dual-wielding but considering he can't specialize (unless i'm mistaken) he'll be able to master a bunch of weapons anyway. When in doubt, Long/Short sword, scimmitar and Katanas are never bad (okay katanas are bad in BG1). If going the melee Skald route, there is a really nice halberd with good damage balanced by the fact that it can never attack more than once per round...a trivial trade-off for a bard.
    Of course the halberd is not the most bardish weapon there is.
    Also, longbows are never bad in bg1, shortbows are pretty cool in bg2. Crossbows can always hold their own.

    I certainly don't want to discourage you from using mods, there are absolutely awesome mods out there and most of them don't take anything away from the vanilla experience. That said, I've played the EEs unmodded at first and despite having played both games with and without mods before I still found it to be a very enjoyable experience.

    FinnTheHumanMilozzyJuliusBorisov
  • jackjackjackjack Member Posts: 3,247
    Blades aren't Bards, but they are fun to play.

    ChnapyFinnTheHumanJuliusBorisovArdul
  • rapsam2003rapsam2003 Member Posts: 1,551
    jackjack said:

    Blades aren't Bards, but they are fun to play.

    LOL...

    Personally, I always preferred Blades. I get bored if my PC is standing in the back row. That said, Skalds are a good support class.

    jackjackMilozzyThacoBell
  • jackjackjackjack Member Posts: 3,247
    Yeah, it's all a matter of preference. I prefer the pentagon-with-charname-in-the-middle formation, so I can send forth my minions to do the dirty work while the PC sings, casts spells, and shoulders a trusty crossbow to keep any hostiles from getting too close.

    Milozzy
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,278
    edited May 2016
    and remember vanilla bard song gives a +1 luck bonus at 1, +2 at 15, and +3 at 20. Blade song only does +1 luck.

    I play my low level blades with the bardsong up and using a crossbow and then eventually switch over to two weapon fighting.

    I haven't done SoD yet but once you get the bard hat you could micro-manage and spin your bardsong into your melee and give yourself and your party a +1 luck bonus and immunities to fear/moral and still fight.

    Post edited by Vallmyr on
    MilozzyJuliusBorisov
  • MilozzyMilozzy Member Posts: 15
    Thank you all guys!

    Keep this coming, I really enjoy listen to different opinions!

    FinnTheHumanChnapylolienjackjack
  • MilozzyMilozzy Member Posts: 15
    bengoshi said:

    Milozzy said:


    - slightly unrelated... This is gonna be my first BG:EE run: should I enjoy the vanilla experience or should I add some MODs? Maybe the cosmetic ones?

    I would recommend going through the first run after the years you didn't play BG without mods. Taste the game as it is.

    As for the choice between a blade and a skald, you have to ask yourself: what playstyle do you like the most?

    Do you like meleeing enemies? Do you enjoy playing as a buffed fighter, whose magic helps to not get hit?

    Or do you like being a ranged guy more? Someone to sing and occasionally cast a spell or use a wand?

    Only an honest answer on these questions can help. Different people like different variants. If you want to be more "involved" into fights, then a blade is definitely your choice. If you don't mind to seriosly help your party, to define their success but be less involved into the process of targeting and attacking enemies, then go with a skald.

    For stats, I would concentrate on INT, DEX and (for a blade) STR.
    Thank you very much bengoshi!
    I prefer to smash evil opponents with my hand, I can't lie about that! :smiley:
    So I'm more for the blade experience right know... Even if from a role playing POV the Skald is really interesting.
    I heard about some badass Skalds that can give a hand into melee fighting with the staff of magi... but it really is his cup of tea right? Better keep him as a ranged guy.

    About stats, I rolled a nice 93 and I am thinking about something like

    STR 18
    DEX 18
    CON 15
    INT 17
    WIS 10
    CHA 15

    What do you think? Should I take into account the possibility to fix stats with gear?

    JuliusBorisovjackjack
  • ZilberZilber Member Posts: 253
    Milozzy said:

    bengoshi said:

    Milozzy said:


    - slightly unrelated... This is gonna be my first BG:EE run: should I enjoy the vanilla experience or should I add some MODs? Maybe the cosmetic ones?

    I would recommend going through the first run after the years you didn't play BG without mods. Taste the game as it is.

    As for the choice between a blade and a skald, you have to ask yourself: what playstyle do you like the most?

    Do you like meleeing enemies? Do you enjoy playing as a buffed fighter, whose magic helps to not get hit?

    Or do you like being a ranged guy more? Someone to sing and occasionally cast a spell or use a wand?

    Only an honest answer on these questions can help. Different people like different variants. If you want to be more "involved" into fights, then a blade is definitely your choice. If you don't mind to seriosly help your party, to define their success but be less involved into the process of targeting and attacking enemies, then go with a skald.

    For stats, I would concentrate on INT, DEX and (for a blade) STR.
    Thank you very much bengoshi!
    I prefer to smash evil opponents with my hand, I can't lie about that! :smiley:
    So I'm more for the blade experience right know... Even if from a role playing POV the Skald is really interesting.
    I heard about some badass Skalds that can give a hand into melee fighting with the staff of magi... but it really is his cup of tea right? Better keep him as a ranged guy.

    About stats, I rolled a nice 93 and I am thinking about something like

    STR 18
    DEX 18
    CON 15
    INT 17
    WIS 10
    CHA 15

    What do you think? Should I take into account the possibility to fix stats with gear?
    The int 18 really does help, and so does con 16, so I think you already took it in

    Milozzy
  • JumboWheat01JumboWheat01 Member Posts: 1,028
    That is a beautiful stat spread. The books will bring you up to 19 STR and DEX, which will help you out so much for when your spells run out, it'll even out your CON, and CHA is just the right level for Friends. I'd prefer 18 INT to start, for the ability to hit 19 with the book, but that's a personal thing.

    But think of it like this, with all those good stats, you don't need any of those stat fixing items, and can instead let the NPCs that really need them have them.

    Milozzyjackjack
  • MilozzyMilozzy Member Posts: 15
    edited May 2016
    @Zilber and @JumboWheat01 what would you sacrifice for 18 INT (and 16 CON in the case of Zilber)?

    Should I go with 17 STR?

    Thanks!

  • ZilberZilber Member Posts: 253
    Nothing, just read the manuals (of bodily health and smartness)

    JarrakulMilozzyjackjack
  • JumboWheat01JumboWheat01 Member Posts: 1,028
    I would just reroll 'till I got at least a 94. No need to sacrifice anything but your own sanity and patience.

    FinnTheHumanMilozzy
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404

    I would just reroll 'till I got at least a 94. No need to sacrifice anything but your own sanity and patience.

    lol

  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,026
    That statline looks good to me. You'll get to 16 Con with the tome, and that's the highest you can benefit from. The Int is fine too (as good as almost any NPC mage even before the tome), and the 18 Strength means you can get 19 with the tome, which should be quite good.

    It's also worth noting that blades take a bit of levelling before they're good in melee. If I were you, I'd start using crossbows or longbows and then transition into a melee two-weapon-fighting build by late BG1 (or early BG2, since ranged weapons are crazy good in BG1).

    JuliusBorisov
  • rapsam2003rapsam2003 Member Posts: 1,551
    edited May 2016

    I would just reroll 'till I got at least a 94. No need to sacrifice anything but your own sanity and patience.

    Masochist!

    Man, a 93...I usually content myself with an 85 or higher. That's one thing I always hated about 2E. You roll for a stat pool. In 5E, you can roll for stats, but a lot of folks tend to go with the more reliable route of the point-buy system.

    Vallmyr
  • JumboWheat01JumboWheat01 Member Posts: 1,028
    Bards are weird for me, I get great stat rolls with them all the time. Better even than what I can snag on Paladins and Rangers.

    Maybe the game is telling me I should be rockin' a bard for a main character. And maybe I should. All this talk about Blades has gotten me curious about it. I've enjoyed Skalds fair enough, and even Jesters, but maybe it's time to go Blade.

  • ChnapyChnapy Member Posts: 360
    I would sacrifice 1 point of dex to improve int, seeing as I'd be playing melee and 18 and 19 (post boo,k increase) dex gives the same AC. That's just me though, and it would make the beginning slightly harder.

    FinnTheHumanMilozzy
  • LorandarLorandar Member Posts: 33
    edited May 2016
    I recently did a full playthrough with a Blade (evil), and it turned out to be the nicest char I played thus far.
    Things I like about the Blade:
    They are quite weak compared to other melee classes in BG1, taking some patience to build into the powerful character they will eventually become late in BG2. Reasons: they are dependent on melee combat, but with a limited amount of weapon proficiencies and a slow rogue Thac0 progression. In order to maximise his efficiency (2 attacks) I chose dual-wielding. However, this incurs Thac0 penalties. If you put one point in DW on level 1, you only have one more point to choose a (bladed) weapon. You'll probably want to stick to using that weapon type for the first 7 levels, as non-proficiency incurs a further -3 penalty. Penalties on Thac0 at lower levels really mean something. The prof points of level 4 I had to spend on increasing DW efficiency, meaning the one at level 8 could go to a second weapon type (or further DW- specialisation). Even with careful proficiency management, relatively low hp and comparatively bad Thac0 never made this character feel overpowered during the first game.
    By use of their spells and special abilities, the blade can briefly become a very dangerous melee fighter. However, this occurs in planned bursts.
    Once you reach BG2 proficiency points become less of an issue, and you can start experimenting with different weapons as you'll find them. Since the blade can only become proficient with any weapon, they aren't forced to stick to one weapon type in order to maximise bonusses from specialisation. This gives nice versatility, especially if you don't grind for the best items as soon as possible.
    The offensive blade ability is amazing. The defensive ability briefly makes them a passable tank, especially when you throw in defensive spells.
    Edit: one more nice thing about these abilities is that they stay valid through the entire game, unlike many other class/kit abilities. You'll be using the spins efficiently from start to finish.
    The only thing I regret while playing the Blade is that never once did I feel the need to use his bard song, not even after having it upgraded to the HLA... Maybe this says something about the game relevance of the song bonusses, though...
    Have fun with whatever Bard kit you'll end up playing!

    FinnTheHumanMilozzyJuliusBorisov
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    With defensive spin and enhanced bard song the blade can easily get a very low AC. I used Haer D'Elis in this way at the bottom of watchers keep. He got the 2 meriliths' attention so they both attacked him. Defensive spin then bard song and they had a hard time touching him. Stone skins for when the do. This freed up the rest of the party to take out Demogorgon. It can be used very effectively.

    I actually didn't use offensive spin much.

    JuliusBorisovGotural
  • BillyYankBillyYank Member Posts: 2,328

    I would just reroll 'till I got at least a 94. No need to sacrifice anything but your own sanity and patience.

    Masochist!

    Man, a 93...I usually content myself with an 85 or higher. That's one thing I always hated about 2E. You roll for a stat pool. In 5E, you can roll for stats, but a lot of folks tend to go with the more reliable route of the point-buy system.
    That's not 2E, that's just the IE games. Unless someone is using a house-rule, you don't get to roll then move points around in PnP.

    jackjack
  • rapsam2003rapsam2003 Member Posts: 1,551
    BillyYank said:

    I would just reroll 'till I got at least a 94. No need to sacrifice anything but your own sanity and patience.

    Masochist!

    Man, a 93...I usually content myself with an 85 or higher. That's one thing I always hated about 2E. You roll for a stat pool. In 5E, you can roll for stats, but a lot of folks tend to go with the more reliable route of the point-buy system.
    That's not 2E, that's just the IE games. Unless someone is using a house-rule, you don't get to roll then move points around in PnP.
    No, I know. Most folks tend to not use 2E a lot these days...because reasons. I imagine 3.5 still gets some use.

  • SmilingSwordSmilingSword Member Posts: 827
    Blade Blade Blade Blade Blade Blade Blade Blade Blade.

    Skalds are for buffing your party, Blades are for being awesome.

    Milozzy
  • dracostrikedracostrike Member Posts: 151
    Taking into account that there are 2 certain items from SoD which can be taken into SoA for Blades, I would go Blade

    Milozzy
  • MilozzyMilozzy Member Posts: 15
    Really really interesting posts guys, thanks!

    Taking into account that there are 2 certain items from SoD which can be taken into SoA for Blades, I would go Blade

    Cool! I read something about it when I hear of SoD, but I am not so informed...

    One is a belt right? And the other one?


    Thanks!

  • MilozzyMilozzy Member Posts: 15
    edited May 2016
    Lorandar said:

    I recently did a full playthrough with a Blade (evil), and it turned out to be the nicest char I played thus far.
    Things I like about the Blade:
    They are quite weak compared to other melee classes in BG1, taking some patience to build into the powerful character they will eventually become late in BG2. Reasons: they are dependent on melee combat, but with a limited amount of weapon proficiencies and a slow rogue Thac0 progression. In order to maximise his efficiency (2 attacks) I chose dual-wielding. However, this incurs Thac0 penalties. If you put one point in DW on level 1, you only have one more point to choose a (bladed) weapon. You'll probably want to stick to using that weapon type for the first 7 levels, as non-proficiency incurs a further -3 penalty. Penalties on Thac0 at lower levels really mean something. The prof points of level 4 I had to spend on increasing DW efficiency, meaning the one at level 8 could go to a second weapon type (or further DW- specialisation). Even with careful proficiency management, relatively low hp and comparatively bad Thac0 never made this character feel overpowered during the first game.
    By use of their spells and special abilities, the blade can briefly become a very dangerous melee fighter. However, this occurs in planned bursts.
    Once you reach BG2 proficiency points become less of an issue, and you can start experimenting with different weapons as you'll find them. Since the blade can only become proficient with any weapon, they aren't forced to stick to one weapon type in order to maximise bonusses from specialisation. This gives nice versatility, especially if you don't grind for the best items as soon as possible.
    The offensive blade ability is amazing. The defensive ability briefly makes them a passable tank, especially when you throw in defensive spells.
    Edit: one more nice thing about these abilities is that they stay valid through the entire game, unlike many other class/kit abilities. You'll be using the spins efficiently from start to finish.
    The only thing I regret while playing the Blade is that never once did I feel the need to use his bard song, not even after having it upgraded to the HLA... Maybe this says something about the game relevance of the song bonusses, though...
    Have fun with whatever Bard kit you'll end up playing!

    Very insightful post, thanks!!

    About weapon proficiencies I'm very undecided among few options.

    1. one is the route Lorandar explained perfectly, starting with two weapon style from the beginning:

    * Scimitars (or long sword or whatever)
    * Two Weapon
    4th level
    * Two Weapon
    8th level
    * Two Weapon
    * another Weapon

    2. second is leaving two weapon specialization for later, as many on the forums suggested, based on the facts that a ranged weapon would be so useful at the begininng and that until full *** on Two Weapon Style it doesn't seems to me that the Blade is "ready"... and with both route I would reach *** at 8th level nonetheless. So:
    * Scimitars (or long sword or whatever)
    * Crossbow (or long bow or short bow)
    4th level
    * Two Weapon
    8th level
    ** Two Weapon

    3. The third option I guess it make sense only in my mind and from a role-playing point of view. Straight to it:
    * Scimitars (or long sword or whatever)
    * Single Weapon
    4th level
    * Two Weapon
    8th level
    ** Two Weapon

    I think, why not starting with a player that is proficient with one hand and through his journey learn how to fight with two weapon? This way I would boost my AC at the beginning when it will be much needed... And enjoy the story of this crazy bard that is still learning is way into been a real Blade.
    I know, it is a wasted point from many POVs...


    JuliusBorisovFinnTheHumanChnapylolien
  • ChnapyChnapy Member Posts: 360
    Whether you should take the first or the second route I couldn't tell, but I would advise against the third one :

    _A pip in Single weapon Style will be a complete loss as soon as you switch to two-weapon fighting, whereas Longbows will remain good to the end of bg1 and moderately useful in bg2, and shortbows and crossbows will remain good options even in bg2.
    _Seeing as your AC will be bad no matter what at that point, a bow (especially long) will offer both more damage and safety during the early levels. Crossbows will approximately match your melee damage (but still with the added safety of range) until you can get the truly good crossbow, which depending on what you feel the need to buy can take a while.

    Milozzy
  • LorandarLorandar Member Posts: 33
    I also wouldn't recommend the third option, as the proficiency point would not be efficiently spent.
    It is valid to use only one weapon while building up proficiency in two-weapon fighting, but one-handed fighting is available to all characters without having to spend points on it. Simply equip 1 weapon without shield or off-hand until you feel comfortable enough to start dual wielding.

    jackjack
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.