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Blade vs Skald (slight spoilers)

Random question, but since I've been playing a playthrough as a Skald I'm noticing that a lot of people seem to prefer a Blade as a bard kit.

However, I don't really understand why. It seems to be basically the same kind of support mage like a Skald, but without the awesome song and lore in exchange for two very powerful, but incredibly short abilities. And since you start with one per rest you need to get to level 8 to start using them semi-consistently.

Don't get me wrong, the Offensive Spin is incredibly powerful for those four rounds, but it's also best reserved for boss battles. Especially since the poor AC (especially if you forgo armour to cast spells) and low Thac0 indicate this fellow shouldn't be on the front lines in the first place. So I feel like most of the time you'll just be playing as a weaker mage that can use a bow and then occasionally switch to a blade and dish out massive amounts of damage.

From what I've read the Blade becomes a lot better in BG2 (because you can spam the two spins more often), but even then the lack of APR really kills it for me. It seems that you can cheese it by giving the Blade both Kundane and Belm, but since I like to play with a party I usually try to give one of them to another to make my party more effective as a result. So even if I were to give my Blade just Kundane, that means that usually I'll be doing three attacks/round. Unless of course you use the Offensive Spin (4 rounds) or Tenser's Transformation (spell feels made for this kit).

So I guess to summarize: the Blade seems like a weaker overall bard to me, but with two "holy shit these are awesome" abilities (not to mention Tenser's Transformation) that can give them that burst of power when you need it.

Now compared to that the Skald feels consistent to me. It's a kit that's powerful throughout both of the games and that basically becomes better as you go along. The song is ridiculously powerful and very much justifies taking a combatant out of the fight (which I feel a bard song is supposed to do) and you can also cast the same amount of spells as a Blade does. And while, yes, this does mean the Skald will be mostly a buff bot throughout BG 1, once you get the Bard Hat in Dragonspear I find you can cast spells more liberally or start doing some melee damage from the sideline. Which means even that small +1 to hit and damage bonus finds its use from time to time. Though a Skald is just as squishy as a blade, which I try to mitigate by having mine use a two-handed weapon and attack behind my tanks.

So what am I missing here, exactly? Is it just that the Skald is boring to a lot of people or are there some elements of the Blade I'm not seeing here?

SkatanAerakar

Comments

  • ConwanConwan Member Posts: 28
    Skatan wrote: »
    Well, I can of course only speak for myself but to me those kits are not ever competing against eachother when it comes to playthroughs. For me they play out very differently, not at all having the same slot in a party. The Blade I play as a jack of all trades "FMT" lite character, basically using most spell slots for buffing themself and going for melee most often because it's fun. Using them with in BG1 with xbow of speed and the off.aura is pretty good too, but rarely used by me personally. A blade is a fun mix of abilities that make them pretty interesting for a long time, well into HLA's and the latter part of the saga. Already in BG1 EE there's an elven chainmail they can use for armor, though spells are quite often both easier and better. So, pro's for a Blade is versatility, fun-factor and taking something that is slightly inferior (IMHO) and tweaking and min-maxing them to become very powerful. Which to me, is a great deal of the fun from RPGs.

    The Skald play's out, again for me personally, very differently. It's much, much more passive for most of the time. It's a sing-and-forget character that even when I play them as charname, I spend very little time with and have never gone far with one. So my experience with them is kinda short to be honest. They sing, sling some support spells and wands, then sing again. I've never tried melee with one, it seems too inferior to make worthwhile. A bow and some pew pew from the background I guess, if I would bother with the micro. The Skald song is great, but for me they are just a tad to passive to make as fun as the Blade.

    In the end I guess different people favor different things. In IWD I don't mind a skald standing about and I like their RP flavor, but I just cba to actually play one in BG.

    Edit; I don't consider using dual APR weapons cheese in BG2 since that's part of the game since forever. There's also the boomerang /fire tooth daggers which in mainhand gives 2 APR that you can couple with either belm or kundane and leave one APR weapon for another NPC. Also, once HLA UAI, there's scarlet fury I guess but I can't even remember the last time I played a BG2 game far enough to reach that point, hehe :) Playing Blade without this treat is a bit of a waste, though for many fights going for a higher enchantment level on mainhand is preferable.

    Oh I don't disagree. They do play very differently. At first. Though as I said: once you get the Bard Hat (obviously EE, I've never played the original) I find that a Skald becomes less passive. Tenser's Transformation works just as well for a Skald using Elven Chainmail and a solid +2 spear/halberd/two-handed sword with a delayed song as it does for a blade with the chainmail using the offensive spin. And because it requires that micro management it also may scratch that itch where you want to feel engaged.

    But, of course that still means the entirety of BG 1 is spent buffing. So if you prefer the Blade's immediate need to do many things, then I can imagine why you don't last long with a Skald.

    Though to some extent I have the opposite of what you have: I can get very far with a Skald and only maybe an hour with the Blade. It's because the Skald plays the way I think a bard ought to play: a solid song with versatility around it. A Blade just feels like a Fighter/Mage to me. It's not unique enough (for me) and I want classes to add something different to my party. The Skald, despite people finding it boring, brings something new to the team: a strong buff song that stays relevant.

    SkatanBlackraven
  • ConwanConwan Member Posts: 28
    edited December 2020
    Blackraven wrote: »
    To add to the above, one of the reasons a Blade is often considered superior to Skalds and unkitted Bards, at least in the unmodded game, is that eventually they end up with the same Enhanced Bard song HLA, negating the big plus the Skald and the unkittted Bard have over the Blade up to that point.

    The Skald has gained popularity in recent years with the advent of the Legacy of Bhaal difficulty setting, for the reason you mention: the consistent power of their song throughout the saga. Meanwhile a Blade suffers as a melee damage dealer in that setting, with their rogue's Thac0.

    I honestly don't get that first argument though. You're right in that all the bards get the same HLA song, but ToB is also but 1/4th of the entire game. I generally try to play through the entire story, so for a looooong time the Blade has a really weak and situational song that doesn't even improve.

    So I'd honestly switch the argument around: the Blade gets 1/4th of the game where's supposed to do what a bard does: provide a strong buff through the song. The Skald gets that the entire game.

    Though I guess it makes sense (following your argument) that the Blade is better than the Skald if you play just BG2 in its entirety or just ToB? Or maybe it's just that I dislike the kit, because I do like me some APR and pips when playing a warrior-esque class. Or a mage with very strong warrior skills in this case. :smiley:

    Blackraven
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,247
    Conwan wrote: »

    Oh I don't disagree. They do play very differently. At first. Though as I said: once you get the Bard Hat (obviously EE, I've never played the original) I find that a Skald becomes less passive. Tenser's Transformation works just as well for a Skald using Elven Chainmail and a solid +2 spear/halberd/two-handed sword with a delayed song as it does for a blade with the chainmail using the offensive spin. And because it requires that micro management it also may scratch that itch where you want to feel engaged.

    But, of course that still means the entirety of BG 1 is spent buffing. So if you prefer the Blade's immediate need to do many things, then I can imagine why you don't last long with a Skald.

    Though to some extent I have the opposite of what you have: I can get very far with a Skald and only maybe an hour with the Blade. It's because the Skald plays the way I think a bard ought to play: a solid song with versatility around it. A Blade just feels like a Fighter/Mage to me. It's not unique enough (for me) and I want classes to add something different to my party. The Skald, despite people finding it boring, brings something new to the team: a strong buff song that stays relevant.

    Hehe, I totally respect our different opinions. I'm glad you found something you enjoy to play. Yes, the Blade is indeed like a FM and as I tried to explain, they are often times inferior (though late game can "cheese" quite a lot with ie UAI, traps etc) but have a niche in that they can wear, do and use most things you find on your journey. A skald with their fixed 1 APR even with Tenser's are quite limited. A Blade using dual APR weapons giving 4, with IH, gives 8 APR. That makes them basically a pretty good fighter. Their inferiority is their obvious lack of THAC0, which they need help from items and spells to counter to become effective. If done properly, they get good "burst damage", as it is sometimes called. It's fun to tinker with such setups, but to be frank, I'd pick a F/M 10 times out of 10 if it was for pure power-gaming. I like Blade primarily because it isn't the best at anything, but can be good at most things. The Skald can be as well, sharing HLA's, but can't ever really take the front line in the same manner.

    I remember there was a patch a couple of years ago.. or maybe many years ago now, when the Blade could cheat using oil of speed that added to the offensive spin. Also there was some old patch that let them use the Chelsey Crusher for 2 APR using off.spin. Good times.

    Conwan wrote: »
    Blackraven wrote: »
    To add to the above, one of the reasons a Blade is often considered superior to Skalds and unkitted Bards, at least in the unmodded game, is that eventually they end up with the same Enhanced Bard song HLA, negating the big plus the Skald and the unkittted Bard have over the Blade up to that point.

    The Skald has gained popularity in recent years with the advent of the Legacy of Bhaal difficulty setting, for the reason you mention: the consistent power of their song throughout the saga. Meanwhile a Blade suffers as a melee damage dealer in that setting, with their rogue's Thac0.

    I honestly don't get that first argument though. You're right in that all the bards get the same HLA song, but ToB is also but 1/4th of the entire game. I generally try to play through the entire story, so for a looooong time the Blade has a really weak and situational song that doesn't even improve.

    So I'd honestly switch the argument around: the Blade gets 1/4th of the game where's supposed to do what a bard does: provide a strong buff through the song. The Skald gets that the entire game.

    Though I guess it makes sense (following your argument) that the Blade is better than the Skald if you play just BG2 in its entirety or just ToB? Or maybe it's just that I dislike the kit, because I do like me some APR and pips when playing a warrior-esque class. Or a mage with very strong warrior skills in this case. :smiley:

    I agree with you @conwan, but @Blackraven's point stands true as a reply to your first point; why is Blade often said to be "better". It's easy getting very anal about end-game possibilities when you have played a game a 100 times, like some members here who dualclass from level 20+ hehe :) Everyone enjoy different aspects of these games, and that's one of the things that make this game so cool.

    ConwanBlackravenJuliusBorisovAerakar
  • ConwanConwan Member Posts: 28
    Skatan wrote: »
    Hehe, I totally respect our different opinions. I'm glad you found something you enjoy to play. Yes, the Blade is indeed like a FM and as I tried to explain, they are often times inferior (though late game can "cheese" quite a lot with ie UAI, traps etc) but have a niche in that they can wear, do and use most things you find on your journey. A skald with their fixed 1 APR even with Tenser's are quite limited. A Blade using dual APR weapons giving 4, with IH, gives 8 APR. That makes them basically a pretty good fighter. Their inferiority is their obvious lack of THAC0, which they need help from items and spells to counter to become effective. If done properly, they get good "burst damage", as it is sometimes called. It's fun to tinker with such setups, but to be frank, I'd pick a F/M 10 times out of 10 if it was for pure power-gaming. I like Blade primarily because it isn't the best at anything, but can be good at most things. The Skald can be as well, sharing HLA's, but can't ever really take the front line in the same manner.

    I remember there was a patch a couple of years ago.. or maybe many years ago now, when the Blade could cheat using oil of speed that added to the offensive spin. Also there was some old patch that let them use the Chelsey Crusher for 2 APR using off.spin. Good times.

    Fair enough. I didn't mean to imply that the Skald becomes equal to the Blade in terms of APR, but I don't find him as passive as people claim him to be. Though I'll fully admit I rely on one item for that. Thank you Beamdog!
    Skatan wrote: »
    I agree with you @conwan, but @Blackraven's point stands true as a reply to your first point; why is Blade often said to be "better". It's easy getting very anal about end-game possibilities when you have played a game a 100 times, like some members here who dualclass from level 20+ hehe :) Everyone enjoy different aspects of these games, and that's one of the things that make this game so cool.

    Fair point. Do you use the song at that point or do you stick to playing as more of an F/M?

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 984
    edited December 2020
    I think the blade is more akin to FMT than FM, except that blades can't handle traps/locks and dish out much lower melee DPS when not using offensive spin. Whereas a skald provides mediocre melee DPS every second of the game but does have a window of time where her songs outperform the blade's. I don't see that either of them offer more party utility than FMT but am glad you guys enjoy playing them!

    Post edited by jsaving on
    ThacoBellConwan
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 571
    Skatan wrote: »

    A skald with their fixed 1 APR even with Tenser's are quite limited. A Blade using dual APR weapons giving 4, with IH, gives 8 APR.

    A blade and a skald have the same APR when using speed weapons & IH.

    The blade only has his offensive spin to outpace the skald's APR, and it is not cumulative with IH if I'm not mistaken.

    Back to topic, i wouldn't say one is more powerful than the other, they offer different playstyle.

    If i'm playing with a melee-heavy party, especially in LoB, the skald is a very strong addition (although a boring one until you get that bard hat).

    If I'm playing solo, I wouldn't consider a skald (micromanaging his song + other actions would be too much of a hassle, and not making use of his song is a waste too), the blade becomes a (very) strong choice.

    The blade is actually quite an interesting class.
    Bards, in general, feel like jack of all trades, although specialist in none, a "weaker" FMT in some way:
    - the blade (like all bards) is a better mage than a FMT for most of the game (until FMT gets lvl7 spells at 4,5 million XP)
    - thanks to offensive spin and the 3 pips in TWF, the blade somewhat closes the gap of the bard compared to a FMT. Also remember that Offensive Spin is one of the rare abilities to give "max damage per hit" (along with Kai and Righteous Magic), which can actually make a strong argument for using slower but harder hitting weapons like Two-Handed swords or Halberds.
    - thanks to defensive spin, the blade can become quite a tank (arguably, the best tank, especially in BG1 where AC matters most).
    Later in the game, add Greater Evasion and Improved Bard Song and hit the highest possible AC easily, so you can sing and buff your allies without worrying (much) about enemies attacking you.
    - the "rogue" part of the blade is probably his weakest point, with half the pickpocket & lore value, but the "useful" skills of the thief (disarming traps/locks) are missing from all bards anyway. Stealth is covered by spells, disarming too somewhat via knock, and HLA's give the bards access to Set Traps (although quite late).


    All in all, if you want to play a bard as a jack of all trades, I feel that the blade is actually the best candidate to make full use of all aspects of the bard (apart from pickpocketing I guess).

    ConwanSkatanAerakar
  • ConwanConwan Member Posts: 28
    I'm actually trying the Blade right now and I'm finding it... well, the Blade is a generalist and early on there's not much I can do with him. I've got a crossbow, I use the offensive spin when I'm battling hard foes and I can't cast many spells. I reckon it'll get better once I get better crossbows and weapons?

    Blackraven
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 21,311
    edited December 2020
    The Blade's song provides each party member with +1 luck. It's a very big boost for low levels. https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/61569/luck-what-it-is-and-how-it-works/p1

    So the Blade, at the start of BG1, when you don't have good THAC0, when you're bad at dual-wielding, when you don't have spells, plays very similar to any other bard.

    Right now I'm going through BG1 with a Jester. Before, I always picked Blades if I went for a bard. I guess playing with a bard in IWD made me like singing bards, i.e. bards who focus mostly on singing. But of course, IWD still has a better implementation of bards, giving them different songs to pick from, and providing some bard-only quest XP.

    But when I say mostly, I mean it. They don't only sing, and that's it. While my character is a jester, not a skald, I think it would be fair to compare them for this purpose: yes, the song provides the general effect. But bards are so versatile that I have time to: timely use different wands, timely cast much-needed spells at high level (eg. Chromatic Orb, or Spook). My jester is probably the most important character in the party: her access to all the scrolls and wands, to special bolts (eg. poisoning, or electrical), along with singing makes her VIP.

    This is a revelation for me, actually, as I always picked Blades and played them as FMT. And once I get to that bard hat from SOD, which is also available in BG2, playing as Jester will become even more versatile. So @Skatan you might really give another bard kit a go, considering we now have this nice item. ;)

    ConwanBlackravenZest001Aerakar
  • ConwanConwan Member Posts: 28
    The Blade's song provides each party member with +1 luck. It's a very big boost for low levels. https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/61569/luck-what-it-is-and-how-it-works/p1

    So the Blade, at the start of BG1, when you don't have good THAC0, when you're bad at dual-wielding, when you don't have spells, plays very similar to any other bard.

    Right now I'm going through BG1 with a Jester. Before, I always picked Blades if I went for a bard. I guess playing with a bard in IWD made me like singing bards, i.e. bards who focus mostly on singing. But of course, IWD still has a better implementation of bards, giving them different songs to pick from, and providing some bard-only quest XP.

    But when I say mostly, I mean it. They don't only sing, and that's it. While my character is a jester, not a skald, I think it would be fair to compare them for this purpose: yes, the song provides the general effect. But bards are so versatile that I have time to: timely use different wands, timely cast much-needed spells at high level (eg. Chromatic Orb, or Spook). My jester is probably the most important character in the party: her access to all the scrolls and wands, to special bolts (eg. poisoning, or electrical), along with singing makes her VIP.

    This is a revelation for me, actually, as I always picked Blades and played them as FMT. And once I get to that bard hat from SOD, which is also available in BG2, playing as Jester will become even more versatile. So @Skatan you might really give another bard kit a go, considering we now have this nice item. ;)

    Guy convinced me to give the Blade kit a try and it's nice enough. Of course, I actually try to use the song before boss battles (like I did in Nashkel mines), so I guess I'm still using it. However, I am curious to use the Bard Hat to combine the Blade song with combat.

    JuliusBorisovBlackravenZest001
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,247
    edited December 2020
    monico wrote: »
    Skatan wrote: »

    A skald with their fixed 1 APR even with Tenser's are quite limited. A Blade using dual APR weapons giving 4, with IH, gives 8 APR.

    A blade and a skald have the same APR when using speed weapons & IH.

    This is true. I phrased myself less than stellar, since I referred to the fact that Blade can put pips in TWF and Skald cannot. Since most non-Fighters are THAC0 (and APR) starved, and a melee Bard especially so, I wouldn't personally bother with melee with any bard other than Blade because of this. Thanks for making it more clear.

    Conwan wrote: »
    I'm actually trying the Blade right now and I'm finding it... well, the Blade is a generalist and early on there's not much I can do with him. I've got a crossbow, I use the offensive spin when I'm battling hard foes and I can't cast many spells. I reckon it'll get better once I get better crossbows and weapons?

    Hehe, I sure hope you are having fun! I'm sorry if I 'persuaded' you into playing one because I myself like them for the fact they aren't that great to begin with :P

    In BG1 the Blade will not perform great, sorry to say. The way I tend to play, if I "min-max", is to give them all the best items they can get as early as possible and level them up to max ASAP via meta (ie basilisks) to get the THAC0. Playing them more normally and naturally, with a slower progression in EXP and items, yes - having them stand around with a bow or xbow is indeed the modus operandi. It's literally what I do with Garrick every time I use him. The Blade doesn't shine really until BG2, IMHO, when they start to level into higher teens giving more spell slots and of course the APR weapons that BG2 has to offer. In BG1 even the loss of THAC0 in the offhand from two pips in TWF can make your char swing air quite a lot.

    As said, I haven't actually played the game extensively for years, but what I normally did was to go for Scimis in BG1 and "borrow" two scimitars from a certain fellow since they are +3 and that extra +1 to hit compared to regular +2 items is great, then add daggers and use boomerang dagger/belm in BG2, switching from ranged and melee as the situation demanded it. Also stock up on any poison throwing daggers whenever I found them, those nasties are great in certain situations.

    Edit: Btw, fire wands are your best friends! Go get them, all of them, and USE THEM. Scorchers are great and fire balls are fun. Invisibilty and the ankheg cave IIRC is one of the earliest possible, but I admit my memory is a bit fuzzy. Having the bard use wands is more satisfying then just plinking away with 1 APR xbows (prioritize getting that xbow of speed asap. Bolts of lightning and biting are quite good).

    JuliusBorisovBlackravenAerakar
  • ConwanConwan Member Posts: 28
    edited December 2020
    Skatan wrote: »

    Hehe, I sure hope you are having fun! I'm sorry if I 'persuaded' you into playing one because I myself like them for the fact they aren't that great to begin with :P

    In BG1 the Blade will not perform great, sorry to say. The way I tend to play, if I "min-max", is to give them all the best items they can get as early as possible and level them up to max ASAP via meta (ie basilisks) to get the THAC0. Playing them more normally and naturally, with a slower progression in EXP and items, yes - having them stand around with a bow or xbow is indeed the modus operandi. It's literally what I do with Garrick every time I use him. The Blade doesn't shine really until BG2, IMHO, when they start to level into higher teens giving more spell slots and of course the APR weapons that BG2 has to offer. In BG1 even the loss of THAC0 in the offhand from two pips in TWF can make your char swing air quite a lot.

    As said, I haven't actually played the game extensively for years, but what I normally did was to go for Scimis in BG1 and "borrow" two scimitars from a certain fellow since they are +3 and that extra +1 to hit compared to regular +2 items is great, then add daggers and use boomerang dagger/belm in BG2, switching from ranged and melee as the situation demanded it. Also stock up on any poison throwing daggers whenever I found them, those nasties are great in certain situations.

    Edit: Btw, fire wands are your best friends! Go get them, all of them, and USE THEM. Scorchers are great and fire balls are fun. Invisibilty and the ankheg cave IIRC is one of the earliest possible, but I admit my memory is a bit fuzzy. Having the bard use wands is more satisfying then just plinking away with 1 APR xbows (prioritize getting that xbow of speed asap. Bolts of lightning and biting are quite good).

    Well, I'm enjoying it because of that versatility you spoke of. I do notice that I can do a lot more different stuff with a Blade. A Skald is easily better (with the Blade I'm noticing a lot more damage on my team), but I'll admit that I'm having more fun. Even managed to tank a few times with Defensive Spin, Armor and Mirror Image. I was surprised with that, considering that the Ogre Berserker and Elite Hobgoblins were slaughtering my fighters.

    I'm actually in a bit of a pickle. I picked up a frost wand (guaranteed drop in Nashkell mines) and I think I want to spend the 15k coins for that first. Because like you say with the fire wand, it DOES a shit ton more damage than a 1APR crossbow. Afterwards I'll get the crossbow of speed.

    Also, the pips I went with at the start were crossbow and shortsword. Shortsword, despite its weak max damage, because I know where to get my hands on 2 +3 ones. And considering a certain boss at the end of Siege, I'mma need as many +3 weapons as possible. I also want to prepare for Kundane, and early game BG2 two shortswords are fine.

    After I get my three pips in Two weapons, I'm going to invest in bastard swords and scimitars. I'll probably end up finishing the game with Purifier and Scarlet Ninja-to/Kundane, depending on whether I need APR or max damage.

    JuliusBorisovBlackravenSkatan
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,247
    Just remember that enemies that are cold and shattered don't drop their loot, if I recall correctly. Hence why I used to prefer wands of fire. Also, the scorcher on the wand is way better than the spell and even on save for half damage does a decent amount, which is why I tended to favor it over fireballs in many situations. It also strikes twice.

    Batalista's ring and Icing death gives 90% fire resist. Can even find two rings giving you max FR. Defensive spin, some other buffs if you need it, shield amulet, and then you can go bananas with fireballs and don't care if you hit yourself. Run straight into a mob, pop def.spin bringing you down to double digit negative AC easily and fire until nothing moves. Cheesy of course, but quite fun.

    JuliusBorisovBlackravenConwanZest001
  • lollerslollers Member Posts: 89
    edited December 2020
    Neither of them are the best. The best bard is the default. The luck song will reduce any damage your enemies do by up to three points. Think about how many times you get hit by something low damage, and be amazind that the +3 luck will negate half of the damage from most arrows, fireballs, lightning bolts, skull traps etc. On the other hand, all the damage you do will be much higher on average.

    BlackravenConwan
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,425
    lollers wrote: »
    Neither of them are the best. The best bard is the default. The luck song will reduce any damage your enemies do by up to three points. Think about how many times you get hit by something low damage, and be amazind that the +3 luck will negate half of the damage from most arrows, fireballs, lightning bolts, skull traps etc. On the other hand, all the damage you do will be much higher on average.

    As I understand it, from this thread, not all incoming damage is reduced by Luck. A weapon's base physical damage is not reduced, but any additional (non-physical) damage that weapon deals is. This can be elemental damage for instance, poison, or magic damage. And indeed other incoming magical damage such as that from fireballs, lightning bolts etc is also reduced by Luck. Luck also lets you deal closer to maximum physical damage, ensures that Mirror Images are hit first by enemies before they can hit the mirror imaged character, boosts thac0, increases characters' reaction speed, and it boosts thieving skills. So all in all, I agree it can be argued that the unkitted bard is best, especially if you consider that the unkitted bard has no lore or pickpocketing penalties.

    StummvonBordwehrJuliusBorisovConwan
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 851
    edited December 2020
    The wands are the strongest point in all bard kits in bg1. Using the fire wand as a machine gun is the easiest way to solo bg1. Kill the mass enemies with fireball, and the bosses with scorcher. The monster summoning wand, sleep wand can be also all useful.
    So many times i soled bg1 with a bard kit, and there is not much difference between them in normal difficulties. In party play skald far more useful and "better" in the party pow. If i really want another fighter in the party, and blade not differs in bg1 from just another warrior (because dont have many spells to use them to attack and buff in the same time) i choose a paladin/berserker or even a fighter/mage for my pick not the blade.
    In bg2 in small parties with less warriors the blade can be so useful as secondary warrior or even main tank thanks to it spells and defensive spins. Go in with full buffs and stand first under defensive spin is a useful but not smart way of play.
    Skald (or vanilla bard) cant mimic it, but if you play no reload party game, the skald playstyle in bg2 is far more safe and user friendly than blades.
    As for solo play, blade is the best option for bards. The spins shines the best in solo, and you can use your best to overcome obstacles, and of course because of more xp and levels,in solo you have enough spells for attack and defense in the same time.

    Edit: i almost forgot, never underestimate the ability to use helmet when melee. Blades in the 2/3 of the game can not use helmet to avoid critical hits.

    Post edited by Danacm on
    StummvonBordwehrBlackravenJuliusBorisovConwan
  • ConwanConwan Member Posts: 28
    lollers wrote: »
    Neither of them are the best. The best bard is the default. The luck song will reduce any damage your enemies do by up to three points. Think about how many times you get hit by something low damage, and be amazind that the +3 luck will negate half of the damage from most arrows, fireballs, lightning bolts, skull traps etc. On the other hand, all the damage you do will be much higher on average.

    I somewhat disagree on that. For starter's, the Blade has the same song until level 15. So throughout all of BG1 and Siege their songs will be the exact same. By the time you reach level 15 the Bard song does indeed get better, sure, but by then the Blade will have developed enough spells and spins to be an offensive powerhouse and start clearing enemies on his own. So I'd argue at that point it's the focus that matters more than mechanics.

    That is to say nothing about the Skald song. I find that getting hit with base damage (from weapons) was barely an issue so long as I spammed his song. And by lvl 15 he gives +4 to thac and AC and immunity against fear. I'd say that's far more valuable than better dice rolls. Flat bonuses that stay regardless of what you do.

    Anyway, I'm enjoying the Blade for his versatility right now. I just got into Baldur's Gate and now I'm starting to notice the Blade coming into his own (lvl 8). I've played him as a regular bard for the most part (crossbows, spells and wands as @Danacm suggested), but now that I bought everything in Studious Sorceries (Intelligence 19 woop woop) I can really start playing around with different spells. I don't think a bard could really do that. You'd have to stick to nuke and support spells.

    BlackravenJuliusBorisovSkatan
  • ConwanConwan Member Posts: 28
    Maybe an interesting update for any who care, but I'm at Siege of Dragonspear right now and have recently recruited Voghiln, the Skald companion.

    And interestingly enough my blade and Voghiln work well together. The Skald Song is really useful for my Blade, who's currently suffering from the Rogue's weak Thac0 and AC. So getting +2 from the song and +2 from Offensive Spin and then using either my +3 shortsword or the Melf darts... It's really powerful.

    BlackravenJuliusBorisovSkatan
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