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Random Ideas: Boosting Bard + Bonus Stacking

My TWF Halfing Warchanter, Anastazie Tezla is now level 10.  I’ve made one major changes since my initial build:

Bard at Level 8, instead of Fighter – Haste was my primary reason; it’s a buff that accelerated our progress for XP.  Also, we decided to qualify for the Dragon Raid and attempt the VoN quests at this level. Haste was pretty much a necessary tool for leveling quickly through 9 and 10.

Other than that, I was pretty much on target for my Warchanter progression.  Now at level 10 I can enhance a partner decently in both offence and defense, as well as myself. Here are the buffs I can give out if you’re interested.

Halfling Hero’s Companion III – Untyped Bonuses (Single other target only)

  • +3 to attacks
  • +4 to damage
  • +4 to saves
  • +2 to AC

Inspire Courage (Base song + Attack II + Bravery II + Damage II + Warchanter) – Moral Bonuses

  • +5 to attacks (2 + 2 + 0 + 0 + 1)
  • +6 to damage (2 + 0 + 0 + 2 + 2)
  • +4 to saves against Charm (2 + 0 + 2 + 0 + 0)
  • +5 to saves against Fear (2 + 0 + 2 + 0 + 1)

Inspire Competence – Untyped Bonus (Single other target only)

  • +2 to all skills


  • +1 to attack – enhancement bonus
  • +1 to AC – dodge bonus
  • +1 to reflex saves – dodge bonus

Good Hope – Morale Bonuses (Same type as Inspire Courage, so it overlaps instead of stacks)

  • +2 to attack
  • +2 to all saves
  • +2 to all skills
  • +2 to damage

Focusing Chant – Circumstance Bonuses (Self Only)

  • +1 to attack
  • +1 to all skills

Total Buffs for a Single Other Target:

  • +9 to attack = 3 (Hero’s) + 5 (Inspire Courage) + 1 (Haste)
  • +10 to damage = 4 (Hero’s) + 6 (Inspire Courage)
  • +6 to all saves = 4 (Hero’s) + 2 (Good Hope)
    • +9 to saves against Fear (overlapping bonus to saves) = 4 (Hero’s) + 5 (Inspire Courage, does not stack with Good Hope)
    • +8 to saves against Charm (overlapping bonus to saves) = 4 (Hero’s) + 4 (Inspire Courage, does not stack with Good Hope)
  • +3 to AC = 2 (Hero’s) + 1 (Haste)
  • +4 to all skills = 2 (Good Hope) + 2 (Inspire Competence)

Total Buffs for Myself:

  • +7 to attacks = 5 (Inspire Courage) + 1 (Haste) + 1 (Focusing Chant)
  • +6 to damage (Inspire Courage)
  • +2 to all saves (Good Hope)
  • +1 to AC (Haste)
  • +2 to fort save (Good Hope)
  • +3 to reflex save = 2 (Good Hope) + 1 (Haste)
  • +2 to will save (Good Hope)
    • +4 to overlapping saves against Charm (Inspire Courage, doesn’t stack with will save bonus from Good Hope)
    • +5 to overlapping saves against Fear (Inspire Courage, doesn’t stack with will save bonus from Good Hope)
  • +3 to all skills = 2 (Good Hope) + 1 (Focusing Chant)

Notes on stacking bonuses:

  • Bonuses with different names stack.
  • Bonuses with the same names overlap (don’t stack)
  • Bonuses with no names (aka untyped) stack with any other bonuses, but not with themselves (you can’t cast a spell twice and have bonuses stack).

And remember the major exceptions are:

  • Dodge describes when you get the bonus, not its type or category of bonus — A dodge bonus affects your Armor Class and your reflex save. Most bonus types have names so that you can tell which one you can stack. A dodge bonus is named so that you can tell when you get it and when you don’t. You can’t use dodge bonuses when you’re prone, stunned, or anytime you’re denied a Dexterity bonus. Otherwise its pretty much treated like an untyped or unnamed bonus.
  • Circumstance bonuses stack when they arise from different circumstances — For example, you might get a circumstance bonus to Move Silently checks from a spell. You might also get a circumstance bonus to Move Silently checks from an item. Since they are different sources, they will stack.
  • “Dodge bonuses stack with each other”

    It’s a bit more complex than that.

    If a Dodge bonus is found on an item, it stacks like Exceptional bonuses (ie bonuses of the same size don’t stack); if a Dodge bonus comes from any other source such as a spell, a feat or a class ability, it stacks with all other Dodge bonuses even though they are of the same size and stack with Dodge bonuses from items. That’s already particularly confusing but, just to make this slightly more confusing, if the Dodge bonus is on an item but comes from a Stone of Change ritual then it stacks with other bonuses of the same size.


    April 27, 2010

  • Like I said dodge describes when you get it and when you don’t, not its type. So in that case it works just like untyped or unnamed bonuses when stacking — so long as it comes from a different source it will stack (aka spell, item, feat, enhancement, etc).

    But thanks for brining it up. Always good to clarify things 🙂


    April 28, 2010