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Has Beamdog killed the non-Blade Bard ?

SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
Not so long ago, Beamdog decided that bard songs would no longer stack if they were of the same type.

This change can be seen here at page 32, on the bottom left : https://s3.amazonaws.com/beamdog.com/release_notes/ReleaseNotes080616.pdf

Now, I think I understand the intent. Some players were using simulacrum and mislead to create like four bard clones and make them sing at the same time which gave crazy benefits because they all stacked. It does feel like broken mechanics BUT I fear the subsequent "fix" wasn't thought out enough.

I apologize in advance because this is going to be a long reasoning. Please read me out before voting.

So I said that change was not adequate and here's why :

The purpose of the Bard is to do a little bit of everything and serve as a support character. Although Blades are played very differently and can be gamebreaking frontliners, other bard kits are usually best at the rear of the party helping out others by way of casting their spells or singing their famous bard songs.

I'm saying non-Blade Bards are support characters because they don't master anything, their limited spell pool - quality and number-wise - makes the use of another mage next to them a necessity if you want to rely effectively on arcane spells. Also, their poor Thaco and limited APR makes them wanting frontliners and they'll be best used dealing some damage opportunely in conjunction with the main tank/damage-dealer. In other words, they're characters that will back someone else's job without being the most suited to handle it entirely.

Therefore, I'm not saying that you can't solo with a Bard or that Bards are weak, just that their core-identity is to help out others who are better than them in each of their respective abilities.

That's true expect for the Bard Song which was a unique feature that used to be the only reason someone seeking powergaming would pick up a non-Blade Bard.

Why is that, you ask ?

Because there's another character that is an excellent jack-of-all-trades : the Mage/Thief.

Actually, almost everything the Bard does, the M/T does it too and way better. Now, that statement is true except for the Blade who has some unique abilities that the M/T doesn't have - mainly Offensive and Defensive Spins + dual wield pips - which is why I rule out the Blade from my analysis.

That said, let's compare M/T and non-Blade Bards for a moment so I can make my point :

1 - Bards can cast mage spells.. that's great !

Yeah, sure, but the M/T also casts arcane spells. Actually, he has more spells and he can cast spells above level 6.

Although those specific arcane spells that scale almost indefinitely with the caster's level will be more effective on a very-high level bard since he doesn't divide his experience between Mage and Thief classes, it's really not enough to compensate for those level 7 and above spells lost plus the inferior number of spells Bards have.

This is even more true when the M/T's HLA start widening the gap.

=> So the M/T wins for arcane power.

2 - The Bard can pickpocket and much later set traps.. I like that !

Sure they do, but the M/T can not only pickpocket but also detect traps, disarm traps, hide in shadows, detect illusions, backstab et cetera from the word go depending on your thief's point allocation.

=> So the M/T wins utility-wise.

3 - Bards HLA's - we'll get back to their Bard song HLA later, so forget about it for now - are great !

Perhaps, but the Bards HLA's are based on the Thief's HLA. Use Any Item, which is something lots of people like with Bards is also available for the M/T. Worse, the M/T gets not only the Bard's HLA but also the Mage's HLA which are a blast.

True, there are some specific HLA that are only the Bards', but none are significant.

=> So the M/T wins HLA-wise.

4 - Bards can wield all weapons and put on a chain mail armor !

For weapons : This is irrelevant. The M/T can use from the start daggers, longswords and shortbows which are excellent weapons. Later on, the M/T gets UAI so there's no significant difference between Bards and M/T.

For armors : This is irrelevant. Sure, the M/T will only wear studded leather armor but it doesn't make any difference since non-Blade bards and M/T are meant to be in the back most of the time, although the M/T will probably backstab and get out a little more often.

Also, the AC difference between studded leather armor and chain mail armor isn't big and it becomes insignificant as soon as we remember that most of their defense will come from their arcane spells.

Finally, putting on an armor will disable the Bard's spells. However, the M/T will still be able to use his thief skills while wearing studded leather armor.

=> So let's call it a draw.

I could go on like this for hours, but it's hardly necessary. You get the idea and what we just saw is representative of the ratio of power.

The M/T does what the non-Blade bards do.. only better.

Non-Blade bards are inferior to the M/T in every aspect that is relevant.

So what was the defining and consequential feature Bards had that the M/T didn't ?

You guessed it... bard songs !

Now, bard songs are not THAT powerful.

It's a nice bonus that varies depending on bard kits but nothing too impressive in any case.

However, once you have the idea of multiplying bard songs with clones you stumble upon something REALLY awesome that the M/T doesn't have. FINALLY something to make the non-Blade bard a powerful and competitive class. THIS made the non-Blade bards interesting for powergamers.

Unfortunately, the second Beamdog decided to "fix" that "exploit" - or whatever we want to call it - without offering something in return, it might have killed all reasons for people to pick non-Blade Bards over M/T.

As it is right now and imho, the M/T is superior in every aspect that matters. If you want to play a powerful character that is a jack-of-all trades, there's no reason today to pick a non-Blade Bard.

I believe it's a shame because it renders several kits completely obsolete. That "fix" simply destroyed several classes - or kits, if we want to be accurate - and I don't think it was worth it.

While the original idea - preventing people from cheesing - was arguably noble, the implementation was terrible.

Here are a few ideas to fight cheesiness without making non-blade Bards obsolete :

1 - Limit the number of clones that can sing at the same time but allow people to stack. Personally, I think three stacked bard songs are enough to make a real difference - and thus encourage people to take Bards instead of M/T - without being TOO gamebreaking.

Some will say that it's still crazy strong, but I will ask those people to remember that the Bards have been mocked and ridiculed by F/M lovers for years.

There's nothing wrong with giving the Bards a super powerful ability since F/M are arguably MUCH MORE cheesy and godly in themselves than any stacked bard song. If you really want to balance classes, why pick on the class that was already looked down upon ? Nerf the F/M, that would be bold !

2 - Allow stacking only for a limited period of time. So limit the time effect and not the number of songs that can be stacked.

3 - Decrease progressively the benefits given by the Bard song as it stacks on another song. For example, if we imagine the first bard song gives -3 AC to the group, the second one should only give -2 AC and the third only -1 AC.

4 - Allow stacking to the cost of some HP per round. That means that the Bard could make clones and make them sing at the same time but for each clone singing this would drain some of his life force each round. Arguably, prevent the REAL bard from singing himself because it's not really fitted that he would be able to sing while getting hurt.

All in all, this would make the cloning strategy a stressful and costly one, you could be able to maintain it only as long as you can constantly heal the Bard. This would make the potion creation HLA more useful and will most likely occupy a cleric just to heal the bard constantly. We go from an arguably cheesy and free strategy to a powerful but challenging and dangerous one.

These are just random ideas I consider better than, well, remove that defining and core feature without giving anything in return.

I think I'm done here..

You're welcome to disagree with me and to offer other suggestions for compensating the lost ability to stack.

Has Beamdog killed the non-Blade Bard ? 23 votes

Yes, this change made the non-Blade bards useless.
17%
reVenAntLoldrupConjurerDragonSimulacre 4 votes
No, I still believe that non-Blades bards have powergaming value.
82%
O_BruceronaldoStefanOPermidion_StarkBlackravenGrond0ThacoBellsubtledoctorGoturalsmady3DreadKhanvelehalDragonwizardAerakarsemiticgodMonkeyboy888888StummvonBordwehrZaghoulLudwig_II 19 votes
Post edited by Simulacre on
Noobacca

Comments

  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 19
    Yes, this change made the non-Blade bards useless.
    Grond0 said:

    I think you're underestimating the benefits of the bard song. At higher levels a +3 luck bonus gives a huge boost to weapon damage in a full party - far more than the bard could deal directly. It also greatly reduces spell damage taken which is pretty handy when fireballs and wiltings are flying around. As a side benefit it also gives immunity to fear and morale failure. The higher luck bonus was introduced by a fix in the EE, so that could be seen as a trade-off for the lack of stacking if you're comparing the power of the EE bard with vanilla.

    At lower levels the bard is also as good or better than a mage/thief as a pure caster. At the BG1 level cap for instance the bard gets 3 / 3 / 2 / 1 spells, which is just 1 1st level spell less than a mage/thief - and the bard benefits from being 3 levels higher to get greater length and damage from their spells.

    The bard plays significantly differently in a party to a mage / thief and I don't see any reason why there's not room for both depending on your particular likes and dislikes

    Thanks for your input !

    Here are my arguments :

    1) What you say is true. The bard song is, in itself, a valuable asset. I never said it was completely useless, just that it wasn't too impressive because it comes with a heavy cost.

    That cost is, among other things, the inability to cast spells above level 6. When you see the firepower of a high-level mage you can't possibly compare that with what a single bard song can offer.

    Multiple bard songs, on the other hand, are enough to compensate imo.

    The other defensive advantages you mentioned are easily obtained via other ways so there's nothing impressive in that.

    2) It doesn't matter who leads the arcane race in the first hours of the game because at this point a few more arcane spells - even if they're slightly stronger - are unnecessary and unimportant. A hungry powergaming player should pick a M/T for having a few spells and the thief's utility covered, or pick a F/T to have one more fighter and the thief's utility covered. The Bard is just a burden at this point because he doesn't fulfill the utility of the thief and is a mediocre fighter at best. Meanwhile, a M/T can backstab.

    BG1 is dominated by archers and fighters, clerics and druids for the most part. What matters for arcane casters is arguably what happens from the end of BG1 until ToB because that's when arcane firepower becomes more effective than arrows, that is also when you definitely should have more casters. At the same point, some arcane spells start to stop scaling and the M/T is clearly better.

    3) The non-Blade Bard plays differently in a party compared to a M/T because he's more limited, not because he has a unique and powerful playstyle. Whatever the bard does, the M/T can do it too except for the bard song which is the center of this discussion. And he can do more than just mimicking the Bard, so you may find little things that the Bard has but you should not forget what the M/T does that the Bard can't do.

    4) I don't think correcting a bug can be called a "compensation". It's not a gift or something that was done to make up for the fix, it's just something that should have been there in the first place.

    On the other hand, whether or not that chorus bard song with multiple clones was a bug or not is up for debate. If it wasn't a bug, then it's still a nerf compensated by nothing.

    Post edited by Simulacre on
  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 19
    Yes, this change made the non-Blade bards useless.
    >>>> If you want to reduce resting, to apply more RP and less power-gaming <<<<

    This is off-topic. This thread is talking about powergaming, not roleplaying. I've said so several times - even in the poll - so no one would be confused about the topic. If you voted based on roleplaying elements then I'm afraid you didn't respect the elements of the debate I tried to start.

    I've never doubted non-Blade Bards could be interesting for roleplay. Any class is imo.

    >>>> the bard song also gains greatly as it can provide a major help across a range of battles rather than being decisive in just one or two. <<<<

    To say that the bard song provides a MAJOR help across A RANGE OF battles isn't accurate either.

    First, bard songs vary from kits and if we talk about the Skald's song, for instance, it should be pointed out that the benefits scale - so you'll have to wait before it becomes really significant - and are close to what cleric spells can offer.

    Except that you'll pay that bard song with the inability to cast level 7 and above spells later on.

    Except that you'll, at first, block an entire character to sing that song.

    Except that a Cleric will be able to be a decent fighter not to mention that he will cast numerous divine spells which have lots of uses in BG1, some giving close benefits from the bard song you are talking about.

    I fail to see how this is a "major help across a range of battles".

    >>>> I don't agree by the way that the M/T is the equal of the bard at low levels in a power-gaming context. As I said earlier if anything the bard has the advantage in magic in BG1, <<<<

    And as I said earlier arcane magic is quite useless for powergaming at the beginning of the game. A few more spells, even strengthened, are not worth the ability to backstab in addition to casting arcane spells at a level close to the Bard.

    A bard song is also not worth an equipped fighter in BG1 shooting arrows at the beginning of the game. So if you're into powergaming, you'll skip mages for the first levels. So the Bard is out.

    A M/T has the advantage of covering the thief's utility. That's one reason you could pick a M/T if you're powergaming

    All in all, I fail to see how a single bard song that gives benefits close to cleric spells is a bigger help than backstabbing, thief's utility and very-close arcane spells all combined together. I really don't get it.

    >>>> I would also say the bard is a better fighter - with a wider range of weapons, better THAC0 and better AC. <<<<

    A wider range of weapons isn't an advantage if you're not going to use many weapons. Thieves already have excellent proficiency and the ability to equip other weapons at the beginning of the game is insignificant.

    Let's not forget that UAI will allow the M/T to wield any weapon the Bard used to wield. This cancels out your argument.

    The Thaco part is also quite incomplete. If you're playing an Elf M/T you're going to have a Thaco bonus with long/shortswords and bows while Bards can't be elves if I remember correctly, and if you're backstabbing you'll also have an easier hit.

    Bards have Thieves' Thaco, so the superior Thaco you're talking about is merely whatever thief levels the Bard will have that the M/T won't have in his Thief half. That's quite insignificant and, as I said, this is compensated by racial possibilities AND backstabbing.

    Better AC is also relative because defense comes from arcane spells and it only applies if you equip your Bard with an armor. However, if you do that then you're not going to use magic which was your main argument to say that Bards are more interesting than M/T in terms of powergaming.

    Meanwhile, the M/T will still be able to backstab while equipped with a Studded Leather Armor. An excellent one is available quite early if you got the coins which is not too hard to collect in BG1.

    So, again, I really don't get the AC argument.

    >>>> The ability of the M/T to backstab is a pretty marginal benefit in BG1 due to its vulnerability to retaliation and need to put thief skill points into other things than stealth if it is your party thief. <<<<

    I'm sorry but this is again inaccurate.

    Retaliation will happen if you don't know how to backstab properly. A single enemy is easily defenseless against backstabbing, melee foes are too. For archer foes, you usually should not play around with them but there are potions to help you take cover and priest spells to make you more resistant.

    Thief points will need to be allocated if and only if you intend to backstab all the time. If not, you can use your items like that excellent studded leather armor I mentioned earlier or potions to boost your backstabbing abilities without creating a hole in your thief's utility.

    However, it's true that backstabbing isn't THAT useful in Baldur's Gate, especially at the beginning of the game for the same reason magic is kinda useless at the beginning of the game : fighters and archers. Whatever damage done by backstabbing at the beginning of the game can be done with arrows with little difference if any most of the time. Things turn out different in BG2 and even in the end of BG1.

    This is however a very good situational tool if you want to one shot or wound an isolated enemy - even during the first hours - and it's still more relevant imo than a Bard song that gives what a cleric could have given you for a much lesser tradeoff.

    >>>> Of course, neither of the classes are great fighters in BG1, so the differences are really pretty marginal - but that again takes me back to my position that there's room for both. <<<<

    Actually, advantages at the beginning of the game are pretty marginal and arguably close, but not the flaws of each classes. Bards have huge flaws like no level 7 and above spells, M/T don't have those.

    Two cars that are just as fast are not equal if one car is using twice more gas and is twice more likely to falter than the other one.

    This metaphor sums up the opposition between non-Blade Bards and M/T for most of BG1.

    Even worse, you'll be more crippled as you progress with your Bard - you lose most of your benefits when you reach levels around 25 - while the M/T will become exponentially stronger all along.

    What powergaming player would decide to play a character that is just as good as another character in the first hours of the game while knowing the gap between the two will eventually be huge in favor of that other character he didn't choose ?

    Beats me.

    Unless you really want to stand up for the idea that one non-stacked bard song is more powerful than all of the arcane spell power of level 7 and above...

    >>>> While the use of sequencers, planetars etc provides great burst damage for a mage, <<<<

    It does much more than that. It's raw damage and all debilitating effects attached to it.

    >>>> The THAC0 benefit can be a huge help for some types of parties against ToB enemies, <<<<

    Clerics are here for that.

    >>>> as can the reduction in spell damage - that provides a different way to experience playing the game, which must be a good thing. <<<<

    It's better to avoid getting hit than to reduce the damage you'll receive.

    Post edited by Simulacre on
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 295
    The OP puts great stock in the ability of MTs to eventually cast 9th level spells, and rightfully so given their power. That said, it's worth pointing out that MTs can't cast 9th level spells until fairly late in the game, by which time casting in general has been at least partially eclipsed by thief trap HLAs which both bards and MTs can use. The many melee mage buffs would of course remain relevant even then, but neither bards nor MTs are especially well-equipped to make use of them because their APRs are too low to dish out serious melee damage. So I'm not sure MTs are quite as dominant as they might initially seem, though I'd certainly agree they're stronger than bards overall.

    The FMT might be a better point of comparison in that people often think of bards as being melee-capable hybrids of mage and thief. Like the bard, the FMT is in practice going to be limited to 6th level spells until fairly late in the game, but he's vastly better in the other categories outlined by the OP as well as being a much stronger melee combatant than either bards or MTs (with the possible exception of the blade while offensive spin is in effect).

    On the recent change to bard songs, yes, it does make non-blade bards obsolete. Then again, non-blade bards weren't especially popular even before the change, and probably never will be as long as blades can negate their biggest liability by selecting the bard song HLA.

    What I have trouble understanding is why, if simulacra are the problem, the devs chose to eliminate song-stacking altogether rather than simply "muting" simulacra. That way, there'd still be some reason to have multiple bards in the party, though I think even then there'd be a strong case for replacing some/all of them with MTs or FMTs.

    Simulacre
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 453
    I mean, there's a pretty huge gap between "The class is useless" and "The class has powergaming value"

    Lots of classes aren't great for powergaming but they'll get the job done just fine.

    OlvynChuruGoturalDaevelonsemiticgod
  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 19
    Yes, this change made the non-Blade bards useless.

    I mean, there's a pretty huge gap between "The class is useless" and "The class has powergaming value"

    Lots of classes aren't great for powergaming but they'll get the job done just fine.

    Yes, fair comment.

    I fear I phrased my poll poorly and this results in some misunderstanding.

    To say that non-Blade bards are useless doesn't mean in my thread that they're without ANY use. It means that - despite rare and irrelevant exceptions - whatever they do is done by others better so IF you're a hungry powergamer then you should just skip them because now they're USELESS as in OBSOLETE as in devoid of any powergaming and unique abilities.

    This, of course, is explained all along in my original message. However, it's very long and the title of the pool as well as its options matter more than the content of my message. I understand that people might not feel like reading everything.

    I think I screwed up.

    semiticgod
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,383
    No, I still believe that non-Blades bards have powergaming value.
    Bards are the best singleclass in the series. Its telling that you need the overpowered multiclasses to compete with what bards are capable of, and even then, the bard still has a unique ability that is very good that no multiclass gets.

    Chroniclersemiticgod
  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 19
    Yes, this change made the non-Blade bards useless.
    ThacoBell said:

    Bards are the best singleclass in the series. Its telling that you need the overpowered multiclasses to compete with what bards are capable of, and even then, the bard still has a unique ability that is very good that no multiclass gets.

    Yes, I agree with you but this is not the topic..

    I'm talking about choosing between all classes available for powergaming. I never said anything about ruling out multiclasses because those would be unfair.

    That thread is a disaster, lol. I can only blame myself for it.

    Blackraven
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,383
    No, I still believe that non-Blades bards have powergaming value.
    I'm saying that bards still have a place in powergaming. No other class can replace the bard song, which is very powerful. THe HLA song even moreso.

    StummvonBordwehrsemiticgod
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 3,891
    No, I still believe that non-Blades bards have powergaming value.
    Simulacre said:

    >>>> If you want to reduce resting, to apply more RP and less power-gaming <<<<

    This is off-topic. This thread is talking about powergaming, not roleplaying. I've said so several times - even in the poll - so no one would be confused about the topic. If you voted based on roleplaying elements then I'm afraid you didn't respect the elements of the debate I tried to start.</p>

    I agree the thread is about powergaming, but I think my comment is still relevant - though I suspect I have a different interpretation to you of what powergaming is :p. I would most definitely class myself as a powergamer in that RP aspects only account for a tiny proportion of the way I play the game. However, although I'm a powergamer that doesn't mean that I choose to always use the best possible option and avoid any game restrictions that would rule out such options - playing in that way I think I would become bored pretty quickly rather than keep playing year after year.

    What interests me is trying to make the best use of the many possible tactics available in the game. The bard song offers a tactic that no other class does. Even if you take the line that a cleric is able to duplicate quite a lot of the benefits my question would be why you see that as an either/or situation - surely the powergaming alternative would be to use both ...

    ThacoBell
  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 20
    Yes, this change made the non-Blade bards useless.
    ThacoBell said:

    I'm saying that bards still have a place in powergaming. No other class can replace the bard song, which is very powerful. THe HLA song even moreso.

    Let's check it out then.

    Enhanced Bard Song description :

    >>>> This is a powerful aid to both the Bard and to his allies. The song gives the Bard himself a 10-point bonus to his Armor Class and a 10% bonus to his Magic Resistance due to the power of the song. <<<<

    This is useless imo..

    By the time you get EBS your AC should already be low and to lower it even more is not going to make much of a difference, especially in ToB where AC matters less.

    Stoneskins and spells alike are your main defense by the time you get EBS, not super low AC.

    Being a non-Blade bard also means you're not going to be on the frontline very often. What use would you have of a super low AC if you're not even targeted ?

    Even if you ARE targeted, even if you don't use your arcane spells for protection, even if you decide to go on the frontline for some reason, you can still flee from fights pretty easily and you're better off letting a real tank getting focused on. A F/M will shred enemies and serve as a tank too, he's much more efficient than a rather passive tank like the non-Blade Bard. More destruction means less enemies to resist from while the F/M AC is already pretty low. Blades are pretty good at this too, probably the best actually.

    Magic resistance is also useless since you can use Carsomyr with UAI to get the capped 50% magical resistance. Three are also spells to increase your magical resistance and 10% isn't great anyway.

    >>>> The song also gives his allies +4 to hit; +4 to damage; -4 to Armor Class; immunity to fear, stun, and confusion; +5% Magic Resistance; and immunity to normal weapons. <<<<

    There's nothing exceptional in that as well.

    Immunity to normal weapons is useless because the same effect can be cast with the M/T, not to mention they're the least dangerous weapons and not the ones you should worry about.

    Magic resistance is, again, not enough to make a difference and there are other ways to raise the magic resistance of your allies : magic resistance from divine spells is one of them. Items are another option too.

    -4 to AC is nice but, as I said, it's nothing that exceptional AND you have defensive harmony that does the same thing except that it's -2. So it's only -2 AC difference between EBS and a simple spell. Big deal..

    Fear, stun and confusion can be countered with spells too.

    To improve your party offensive power you also have spells and items and while the two remaining bonuses are the best, I don't see how this can match what level 7 spells and above can do.

    Yes, +4 to hit; +4 to damage is nice but it's kinda moot if you can disable several enemies entirely. Disabled enemies don't need +4 to hit and +4 damage to get annihilated. That's what high-level spells are for.

    Post edited by Simulacre on
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,858
    if garrick was a half-elf fighter/mage with the same garbage stats instead of a human bard, garrick would be used in a lot more of my play throughs

    for all the single player games i play every 1 in 100/200 or so games do i bring him along, and it's mostly for spite, he does "okay" with dead shot, but he always feels "meh" to me, brings nothing in that really makes him shine ( although ironically he is great in solo runs thanks to that killer lore value, and the odd pick pocket ) i only bring him along when im tired of playing power gamer parties and want to make my game play experience evidently more difficult

  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 676
    edited October 20
    Simulacre said:



    Fear, stun and confusion can be countered with spells too.

    Sure, but if you play with SCS/Ascension, then trying to keep up your buffs up without spell immunity requires a lot of micromanaging (basically running away from dispels, which in a full party is just annoying). In my experience epic enemy spellcasters will succeed dispelling even a ToB-level cleric.

    Not every npc has spell immunity, shorty saves or berserker rage, and for those who don't, the bard song can help a lot in keeping them alive. Especially since SCS also improves targeting for enemies and they don't get fooled by the invulnerable mage tanks anymore.

    GoturalGrond0Blackraven
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,694
    edited October 21
    No, I still believe that non-Blades bards have powergaming value.
    Is the entire premise of this that the only thing making bards valuable was song stacking through Mislead? Are bards really so one-dimensional in your mind? Is the purported "jack of all trades" class actually a one-trick pony?

    EDIT - don't get me wrong, I think bards are unfortunately very limited in the context of these games, when compared to PnP. That's down to a deficiency with how the games were written (yeah, I said it). But there are much better ways to make bards better in this engine than "have their bard song stack." (Ways like: give them more thief skills, give them more flexible spellcasting, give them more flexible bard songs, allow bardic multiclasses, etc.)

    Post edited by subtledoctor on
    ThacoBellStummvonBordwehrChroniclerGotural
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,383
    No, I still believe that non-Blades bards have powergaming value.
    @Simulacre Hahahah what? "Useless" "nothing exceptional"? What are you smoking?

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,156
    No, I still believe that non-Blades bards have powergaming value.
    Honestly, modded kits killed the blade (although the RR version I like a little better) and and plain bard alike for me (at least as a PC), not BD. With that said, I never change the NPC bards to the blade kit, and more often than not leave them as plain bards or another kit themselves (depending on my PC's class).

  • PingwinPingwin Member Posts: 130
    edited October 21
    sarevok57 said:

    if garrick was a half-elf fighter/mage with the same garbage stats instead of a human bard, garrick would be used in a lot more of my play throughs

    for all the single player games i play every 1 in 100/200 or so games do i bring him along, and it's mostly for spite, he does "okay" with dead shot, but he always feels "meh" to me, brings nothing in that really makes him shine ( although ironically he is great in solo runs thanks to that killer lore value, and the odd pick pocket ) i only bring him along when im tired of playing power gamer parties and want to make my game play experience evidently more difficult

    I think some people miss the point of Garrick - yes his stats are mediocre but his job is to stand at the back casting spells and using wands and scrolls. I'm sure most players end up with far more scrolls and wands than they know what to do with so a bard can do a great job using them up for you, and in doing so will probably contribute more than an extra fighter.

    Whilst he has more limited spell slots than a proper mage, and needs potions to ensure he can learn anything, he levels up faster than a mage and so spells that scale with level such as magic missile, fireball etc. are better cast by him than by a mage. As an added bonus, he's not bad with a bow. I always give him longbow proficiency and the bow from the bandit camp (is that Dead Shot?).

    Sure you can do most of those things with another mage but a mage is essentially useless when they've run out of spells whereas at least Garrick can fight a bit, or use his bard song if he's got nothing better to do.

    You'd be mad to take him instead of a mage, but if you're going for a 6 character party, he's not that bad.

    Post edited by Pingwin on
    GoturalConjurerDragonThacoBell
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,858
    the ONLY enemy in the entire bg series where AC doesnt matter is abizigal in human form, with a -20 to thac0, he is basically going to hit you regardless, unless under very special circumstances

    other than that i can make any other enemy miss with more than a 2

    GoturalLammasThacoBellDordledum
  • DordledumDordledum Member Posts: 159
    This thread does make me want to play a bard for the first time ever, Blade or not. :p

    GoturalThacoBell
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,858
    Dordledum said:

    This thread does make me want to play a bard for the first time ever, Blade or not. :p

    the only time EVER that you play as a bard is strictly for the lulz

    the bard is a great character to play when you are bored with all your other characters and you just need something different

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,097

    I can't really vote as I have never played a Bard or used exploits.

    But have to ask, why in a single player game where it matters to nobody except the individual player, have any exploits/tricks/non standard shenanigans been nerfed?

    For whom?
    And why?

    As I said, never played one, but the idea of having a bunch of people singing while you battle does at least sound fun.
    Who does it hurt?

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