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The Superiority of Bards

Hey guys!

I should really know this by now given the fact that I have been on the forum for years and played Baldur's Gate for three times as many years as that, but I was reading a few comments recently about Bards being overpowered. Really? I have never played a Bard, and although I am a great fan of Haer'Dalis and have used Garrick and Eldoth before in Baldur's Gate, I did not see any of them outperforming my other party members. None of them have been unhelpful for my party, of course, but perhaps I neglected to micromanage them for maximum value.

If I were to play a Bard, or Blade (the other two kits do not appeal to me), how might I make them most effective? Are there options for a ranged Bard as well as a melee Bard? I'm not much of a powergamer, but I'd like to hear all and every strategy you're willing to provide and I can filter as necessary. In my playthroughs I always take the maximum number of party members, and rarely use the same combination of 5 twice.

Lemme know! Thanks in advance.
Mush_MushAerakar

Comments

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 7,831
    Just walk around singing your song with a normal bard. Beamdog buffed the vanilla bard song to a nutso degree, now the highish-level song is almost game-breakingly good. (NOT the HLA song - do not switch out your normal song for the "Enhanced" one.)
    Mush_MushAerakarMirandel
  • Mush_MushMush_Mush Member Posts: 465

    Just walk around singing your song with a normal bard. Beamdog buffed the vanilla bard song to a nutso degree, now the highish-level song is almost game-breakingly good. (NOT the HLA song - do not switch out your normal song for the "Enhanced" one.)

    How was the generic bard song buffed? I assumed it just negated morale failure...
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,052
    @Mush_Mush

    from what I can see, beamdog has added luck to the bard song, starting at level 1 its a +1 luck bonus, at level 15 it increases to +2 and level 20 it increases to +3, other than that it just makes you immune to fear and possibly deafness?

    actually I don't know if that's even added an from what the original did but that's what it does now, so if that's knock your socks off amazing, then I guess it's great
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member Posts: 1,688
    Some of a bard's play style will be dictated by his type of song but in general what @ThacoBell listed.

    For myself, I have three got bards. If I play a gypsy I am charming the enemy constantly and ordering them so fight with hands instead of weapons one on one, or ordering their mages to cast spells on themselves, me, or their buddies. I've gone so far to charm Mr S's boys in the big fight and order them to fight each other. I felt like I shoulda been playin 'The Devil Went Down to Georgia' on some loud speakers walking around in that fight. ;)
    Dirgesingers are pretty much standard defense. Jester's similar but much better in RR with high lvl song of their own plus all the use of sound energy that bypasses MR.
    Their lvl advancement is hard to beat for what they can do and use, esp. early on, same as mentioned before with castor lvl.
    I like magic now, but I like my powers of sound better. Combine the two and well...So many unusual instruments as well, esp. with mods. added.

    The powers of the Bards (RR in particular) reminds me of the use of weirding modules in comination with the weirding way from the movie Dune.
    "Some thoughts have a certain sound, that being equivalent to a form. Through sound and motion, you will be able to paralyse nerves, shatter bones, set fires, suffocate an enemy or burst his organs".
    Just plain badassery at it's best, and, at high lvls, the bard's no longer need their weirding modules, hehheh.



    Permidion_StarkArctodusAerakarThacoBell
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 1,817
    bard song is insane...that's really it
    bards do best in parties of six. smaller the party, smaller the aggregate utility.
    StummvonBordwehr
  • StummvonBordwehrStummvonBordwehr Member Posts: 174
    bob_veng said:

    bard song is insane...that's really it
    bards do best in parties of six. smaller the party, smaller the aggregate utility.

    Indeed: The more the merrier.

    I have rolled up a kensai orc, with 19 str and pips in 2 hf and staves (He will continue with staves). The other five party members are skalds. The skalds not only give bonus to attack & damage, but also Ac. My kensai - when the rest sing - is level 4, has a ac of -5 and deals 24-29 with hos staff with a -1 thaco. Its off course ridiculus - but quite fun.

    I am planning on going toe to toe with Sarevok and see if I can finish him in 1 round. With buffs, song and the right gear it may be possible. Bit OP, but it shows that bards can be useful, even if you just like whacking people in the head with a stick...
    mf2112
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,483
    Bards are pretty good solo as well.
    Zaghoul
  • ZagaciousZagacious Member Posts: 57
    edited September 21
    The Skald is really strong in BG EE , almost OP. You can equip chainmail and just use Bard Song while leveling up giving everyone a +2 bonus to AC, thac0, and damage. I use him for spell buffs and shopping (Friends Spell + Charisma) and utility spells like invisibility. Even with chainmail you can save your extra scrolls and wands for the Bard to use. High lore makes you auto-identify everything starting at level 3-4 you'll be able to identify nearly everything.

    Keeping chainmail on him is still viable late game because you can just use your spell buffs and stuff pre-battle, then equip the chain and then he can rely on wands and scrolls if needed during battle.

    He gets a +1 to damage and thac0 for being a Skald, but he's really not good in battle even with really good items and stats, he's better off just using Bard Song, Spells, Scrolls, and Wands. Buckley's Buckler is a decent starting item for him in Friendly Arm Inn since Bards can only wear Bucklers not shields. He does get pretty tanky later with the saving throws and being able to wear Chainmail.
    Post edited by Zagacious on
    StummvonBordwehrsarevok57Aerakartbone1
  • parrkerparrker Member Posts: 8
    edited September 15
    ThacoBell said:

    Bards are pretty good solo as well.

    I seriously cannot imagine doing that, but I only played as Skald as support character. Can you share some strategies?
  • ShikaoShikao Member Posts: 375
    @parrker, there is a Solo Bard thread . You should find some useful information in there =]
    Aerakartbone1ThacoBell
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