Howdy, Stranger!

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


New Premium Module: Tyrants of the Moonsea! Read More
Attention, new and old users! Please read the new rules of conduct for the forums, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

Playing Bard (vanilla)

Hello everybody - I have started a new playthrough with a bard. Firstly, I tried a blade, but I discovered quickly that even if it was very fun to play, it was not really a "bard experience". I mean, for me bards need to sing, be curious, perhaps a bit rogue (pick-pocketing but it will of course depend on the alignment). I read one more time the P&P 5th edition on bards, and it seems to me that the vanilla bard is the only "true"bard (of course, truth is relative ...), apart perhaps of Skald. But I have difficulty in imagining Gorion ward being a skald...
Blades are great - really GREAT, but are not really bards. Bards need to use their Charisma - perhaps a good way to RP this is to use a lot of Charms spells ? As a bard, I make as well the effort of reading ALL the books, and even take them with me and collect them.
I sing a lot - and this is pretty useful to be honest. I cannot wait to be at level 15 and 20 and to have the Luck +2 and +3. Btw, is it worth taking the enhanced song ? Seems to me that the vanilla one is pretty good at high levels.
I would be happy to have some feedback !



  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 687
    Bards have a couple of things going for them in BG/BG2. One is their rapid level advancement, which coupled with their d6 hit die gives them a decent amount of hit points early on and ensures their caster level will be pretty high. Another is their spell list, which unlike more modern edition of D&D includes direct-damage spells like magic missile and fireball. A third is their ability to use crossbows, which isn't too relevant in BG2 but enables them to use one of the game's best missile weapons in BG1. And a fourth is their standard song which you mention.

    But, bards also have a couple of things going against them. One is their inability to wear armor while casting spells, which isn't that big a deal in BG2 due to plentiful bracer availability but makes them much squishier melee combatants than you'd hope in BG1. Another is their inability to access thief skills or higher-level mage spells, which means they can't really fill the thief slot or the mage slot in a party. And third is their relatively poor weapon selection and THAC0, which when coupled with their inability to put more than one pip in a weapon means their melee DPS isn't going to be especially high.

    A lot of people look at these disadvantages and decide a blade or fighter/mage/thief is more in line with what they're looking to play than a vanilla bard. Others look at them as you have and decide, no, a vanilla bard is actually what I want after all. You can win the game either way and best wishes as you make your way through it!

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,204
    Hi there
    Once I played a vanilla bard from BG1 till late SoA, and here's what I felt:

    - Bards shine in BG1, SoD and early SoA. Their high lore, ability to use wands , (although limited) magic capacity and proficiency in all kinds of weapons makes them an excellent support class. As a bard you always have something to do in the game, you can cast magic defenses and tank tough enemies, apply crowd control, cast lower resistance and the like on dragons, use cool ammunition ...
    - Bard class has the best stronghold in the game because it's full of roleplaying potential (many, many choices) and its final part relies on the player's preparation, not the character ! It's one of the most special SoA moments, in my opinion.

    -Well , unfortunately there are cons which I began to see when the party has around 1.8 million XP each...

    Remember what I told you about bard's lore? It's useless now because you either have glasses of identification or your mage has high enough lore.

    Ability to use wands? While in BG1/SoD most fights can end in 2 rounds with the use of wand of fire/ice/paralization , in BG2 they become more of a situational thing, not to mention that at this level your mage has spells that cause more damage than any wand.

    Magic spells? Sure, you can still do wonders with your level 1-6 spells , but your only true advantage is faster leveling. Your mage will still deal more damage and cast more spells, so you limited to providing party support most of the time (disabling spells, Improved haste etc...) and defending your own skin with spells.

    Proficiency in any weapon? That's pretty cool, but you're still limited to 1 attack per round and no specialization damage bonuses. A bard equipping tuigan bow and acid arrows will deal ,on three hits per round, 1d6 piercing+1d6 acid acid damage each. It's good but not as good as it was in BG1 , as your fighters in BG2 are dealing at least 15 damage per hit , and they also have 3 attacks per round.

    I did not mention bard song because I'm not a fan of passive abilities , and as you can bards can still work as support classes late game but you can't expect them, as I did, to deal good damage or to cast the best spells. They're cool because they're bards and BG is a game that doesn't rely on class optimization. Since I didn't go through ToB perhaps somebody else in the forums can give you a more appropriate answer regarding High level abilities.

  • CallirgosCallirgos Member Posts: 63
    edited February 11
    Bard is best class. Best playthrough. Enjoy.

    no kits.

  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 2,850
    Bards do have the option of obtaining the "Use Any Item" high level ability, which they pretty much have already...but there are a few class- or alignment-restricted items they can use to minimize any weak areas.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,035
    Blades are absolutely bards. Bards aren't just singers, they are performers and keepers of lore. A Blade is a flashy blade dancer who uses over the top sword movements to intimidate and amaze.

  • RigelRigel Member Posts: 100
    @ThacoBell @Mathsorcerer @Callirgos @DJKajuru @jsaving Thank you very much for your comments !
    I look forward to do the stronghold.

  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 763
    The Bard stronghold is probably the most involved and interesting of all the strongholds, up there with the Thieves' Guild and the Fighter's Keep. :) (Thieves' Guild gets a bit annoying in the long term due to always having to return to pay your dues though.)

  • monicomonico Member Posts: 413
    edited February 12
    Zaxares wrote: »
    The Bard stronghold is probably the most involved and interesting of all the strongholds, up there with the Thieves' Guild and the Fighter's Keep. :) (Thieves' Guild gets a bit annoying in the long term due to always having to return to pay your dues though.)

    Main character thief be like "I've paid my dues, time after time."

Sign In or Register to comment.