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Advice for how to get the most out of a vanilla bard?

Just not sure what to do with their spells anymore.

I used to use them like a low budget mage but I feel like they should be synergizing with their other abilities more than that.


  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,618
    it is true also for damaging spells that are level depending.
    you get more mmm then a mage of the same level.
    your fireball (capped at 10) and skull trap (magic damage, less resisted then fire, but smaller aoe, can also be used as trap, capped at 20) will be more effective. same for flame arrow or magic missile.
    your dispel magic and remove magic are cast at higher level so have better chance to work, not like the dispel magic of an inquisitor, but better then the one of a mage.

    a bard has a big tanking potential, even if is not a blade and so has not defensive spin.
    there are on self spells that make your ac better, spells like blur. using those spells and some ac item, as we are in general discussion i can not be more specific, a bard can get a very good ac that make hsi mirror images and stoneskin last more longer.

  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 791
    I have a question now @Quartz @gorgonzola are the bards can cast spells from lvl 2? Not their caster level is n-1 ? So in lvl 10 is 9 ? Or have they 0 spell slots at lvl 1 to have full casting level ?

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,618
    i did not know it, at least the reason why bards cast spells at their levels and pally and rangers not. i was sure about the level the bards cast cause i have played a lot of bards (the keto npc is a unkitted bard that is fantastic for those that love the rp aspect of the game, her quest is really good from a rp point of view).
    the bards level faster then the mages, but have way less slots at the same level, never reach high level slots and as physical damage dealer share the rogue thac0, that is not so much superior to the mage's one ( cap at 13 instead of 10) sharing their low apr problem, the blade is different in it.
    and the most useful spell of a bard has greatly been nerfed, now can mainly be used only for the horrible cheesy tactic to go mlee and hit without retaliation.
    if their spells would also be cast at a level lower what sense in running a not kitted bard and to some extent what sense in running a not blade bard?

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,716
    Create it in Icewind Dale.

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 6,009
    Build a nice party around him/her...

  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,045
    edited April 2019
    The good part of a bard, the higher levels than a mage, is to some degree negated by the fact that you get quite few spell slots. Also, bards can't specialize like mages so they can't get the +1 spell per spell level as them. In a party you can of course skip protective spells alltogether and just fire spells from the backline and rely on your frontliners to attract the attacks, if you want.

    With this said, to get the most out of a bard I think you have to play the bard for what they are; jack of all trades. Yes, yes, it's an old cliché, but at the end of the day the bard will always be an inferior caster to the mage due to fewer spell slots but if you couple it with magic arrows/bolts, wands and other bard-specific equipment, you got yourself a competent combatant.

    So how do you do that? I tend to use most of the bard's few spell slots on protective spells and use them primarily with bows or xbows and wands, if they are not dedicated singers that is. At higher levels, one spell slot or two could be reserved for a damage spell, reserved for tough encounters, but don't waste a slot on fireball when there's a plethora of firewands around!

  • StromaelStromael Member Posts: 194
    edited April 2019
    You can use the lovely IWDification mod to include Icewind Dale Heart of Winter Bard songs for unkitted Bards! :smile:

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,618
    edited April 2019
    edit: ot content erased.

    Post edited by gorgonzola on
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,197

    With all due respect, maybe that post belongs in a new thread.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,197
    @gorgonzola S'all good. Happens to us all.

  • _Nightfall__Nightfall_ Member Posts: 242
    Sadly pathing really cripples bard songs, it takes a lot of micromanaging to use effectively. Always has to a degree but now it is much worse. I think that to utilize a bard in a company it is best to use them as a toolbox, all of the wands and scrolls in the game are what make a bard worth it. Yes their spells cast at a higher level and that should be taken advantage of but when you have a dedicated mage there are only a few often used spells that the mage can’t do as well. They make great sidekicks, you just have to make sure they are well equipped with all of the best toys.

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