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Random Ideas: Raiding + Boosting Bard

I’ve been thinking about raiding more often. Its a thought that I play with a lot: would I like if I went on raids as little as 2 or 3 times a week? There are now 10 raids in the game:

  • Tempest’s Spine (TS)
  • Vault of Night (Dragon, VoN)
  • The Twilight Forge (Titan)
  • Against the Demon Queen (DQ)
  • The Reaver’s Fate (Reaver)
  • Accursed Ascension (Abbot)
  • The Thirteenth Eclipse (Shroud)
  • A Vision of Destruction (VoD)
  • Hound of Xoriat (Hound, HoX)
  • Tower of Despair (ToD)

Potentially, one could raid more than once a day.  I have yet to experience the Abbot, VOD, ToD, and SoS.  It isn’t so much as the opportunity to raid that I’m lacking, but rather the right tool to take advantage when that opportunity presents itself.  Though I have some very solid characters, I often don’t see them as raid focused builds so raiding isn’t on the fore-front of my mind when I login.

My thought is to simply create a character for raiding.  But what kind?   My favorite class is Sorcerer, but I feel neutered when my mana runs out.  Clerics and Favored Souls are always welcome in raids, but the potential for monetary loss in wands and scrolls often bothers me especially in PUG raids.  Melee characters feel one dimensional at times.  The best build for me to experiment with raids would be the Bard Booster.  This build has been out there for some time and in different flavors.  But I finally settled on a Fighter/Barbarian/Bard build. Some key points about the build:

  • Two-weapon fighting – melee attack is damage that isn’t limited by a pool of points, like spell attacks are.  Once the mana runs out and so long as I’m alive, I’m still able to do something decent to win the raid.
  • Boosting – with song, spell, and enhancements, I want to be able to be useful in a raid on a wide level by group buffing.
  • The Perfect Support Companion – I also want the option to focus on a single character or partner and boost their DPS or defense, and heal them as needed.  Kinda like the Doc and Heavy combo in Team Fortress 2.
  • Last Ditch Chance at Crowd Control – I’m not afraid to run away. Having crowd control to stop mobs in their tracks long enough for me to get away is a great backup. Kind of like a flash-bang grenade except with fascinate and spells like hypnotize and dancing sphere.

Here’s a draft of my build, sans gear, and of course subject to change:

Level 20 True Neutral Halfling Female
(2 Fighter / 1 Barbarian / 17 Bard)
Hit Points: 266
Spell Points: 594
BAB: 15/15/20/25/25
Fortitude: 14
Reflex: 16
Will: 12
Starting        Ending           Feat/Enhancement
Abilities Base Stats      Base Stats         Modified Stats
(32 Point)    (Level 1)      (Level 20)        (Level 20)
Strength           14             20                21
Dexterity          16             18                20
Constitution       14             16                16
Intelligence       10             12                12
Wisdom             10             12                12
Charisma           14             16                19

Tomes Used
+1 Tome of Dexterity used at level 1
+2 Tome of Strength used at level 7
+2 Tome of Dexterity used at level 7
+2 Tome of Constitution used at level 7
+2 Tome of Intelligence used at level 7
+2 Tome of Wisdom used at level 7
+2 Tome of Charisma used at level 7

Starting      Ending    Feat/Enhancement
Base Skills  Base Skills  Modified Skills
Skills (Level 1)    (Level 20)      (Level 20)

Balance            7              28               28
Concentration      6              25               25
Haggle             5              27               27
Jump               6              28               30
Perform            6              27               27
Tumble             4              6                6
Use Magic Device   6              27               27

Level Break Down

  • Level 1 (Bard) – Feat: (Selected) Two Weapon Fighting
  • Level 2 (Fighter) – Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Power Attack
  • Level 3 (Bard) – Feat: (Selected) Weapon Focus: Slashing Weapons
  • Level 4 (Bard) – Ability Raise: STR
  • Level 5 (Bard)
  • Level 6 (Bard) – Feat: (Selected) Extend Spell
  • Level 7 (Bard) – Special: Eat a lot of +2 tomes
  • Level 8 (Fighter) – Ability Raise: STR & Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Improved Two Weapon Fighting
  • Level 9 (Bard) – Feat: (Selected) Toughness
  • Level 10 (Bard)
  • Level 11 (Bard)
  • Level 12 (Bard) – Feat: (Selected) Improved Critical: Slashing Weapons
  • Level 13 (Bard)
  • Level 14 (Bard)
  • Level 15 (Bard) – Feat: (Selected) Greater Two Weapon Fighting
  • Level 16 (Bard) – Ability Raise: STR
  • Level 17 (Barbarian)
  • Level 18 (Bard) – Feat: (Selected) Oversized Two Weapon Fighting
  • Level 19 (Bard)
  • Level 20 (Bard) – Ability Raise: STR


  • Bard Extra Song I – II
  • Bard Song Magic I – II
  • Bard Energy of the Music I
  • Fighter Attack Boost I
  • Fighter Haste Boost I
  • Barbarian Sprint Boost I
  • Bard Inspired Attack I – III
  • Bard Inspired Bravery I – II
  • Bard Inspired Damage I – II
  • Bard Lingering Song I – II
  • Bard Warchanter I
  • Halfling Dexterity I – II
  • Halfling Hero’s Companion I – IV
  • Racial Toughness I – II
  • Bard Energy of the Music I – II
  • Bard Charisma I – III
  • Fighter Strength I
  • Fighter Toughness I
  • Bard Wand Mastery I – II
  • […] LINK to the latest Eberron Chronicle. LINK to Tolero’s post about grouping with Devs. LINK to Anne’s article about building a Raiding Bard. LINK to Anne’s Monster Minute: Golems. […]

  • Intersting, I’v been wanting to do a bard, where do you put your skill points?


    April 26, 2010

  • When I take a bard level I put ranks in Balance, Concentration, Jump, Performance, Haggle and UMD. Though at level 1 bard, I did take one rank of tumble. When I level in fighter I focus on UMD (two points) and Jump (one point), extra points due to tome boosts to Int, should go into one of the other skills listed above.


    April 26, 2010

  • Interesting concept. Just wanted to point out that SoS isn’t a raid, it’s a 6 person quest.
    I liked your concept of the Heavy+Medic combo from TF2, however, I believe that a Raiding Bard would be much better served being the main buffer(songs and spells), backup healer, back up caster, and backup/additional dps to the party. I believe that supporting just one other person would be too inefficient for a bard as they’re good healing spells are cure mass light and mass mod with Heal scrolls on the side. The other healing spells are alright but usually a lot less efficient on mana (may as well use wands instead). I got SigTrent to build me a Bard when I was first getting into Bards that I wanted to be very near the best at everything. I had to rethink the concept a bit but it has worked out pretty well with being a pure bard that uses a two handed weapon for dps (shroud weapons, but could also switch to vorpal, mad lute or other weapons as needed) but is primarily a buffer and healer… often greatly assisting or running as the party healer or CC/Buffer in place of a caster. It’s great for small and big parties, but especially raids as you always want the songs.
    I started my bard as a spellsinger but I’m moving her towards Warchanter so that I can dial down her casting abilities but improve her dps and make her a bit better at the small groups and solo play. I really liked how she turned out as it was nearly as good as my original hopes of being great at almost any role that the party needs or that the raid needs more support in. I stayed pure as the capstone and the boosts to songs and spellcasting and spell points outweighed the minor boosts that any levels in a melee class would give me. The key is all in the spells and having the wands/scrolls/pots and gear to compliment the build and make sure that as a jack of all trades you can do as good or better then an average player trying to fulfill that role.


    April 28, 2010

  • “The other healing spells are alright but usually a lot less efficient on mana (may as well use wands instead).”

    Well, here’s the thing I left out. This build is called The Champion’s Herald, and is meant to be paired up with The Phoenix Champion. The Phoenix Champion Build has 196% Healing amplification + Bard Song Life Magic I + Greater Devotion III item = cure serious heals for an average of 50 HP @ 8 Levels of Bard.


    April 28, 2010

  • ah! ya… that’s a good combo! it’s like those duoing WF wizard + WF tank combos or any number of other duo combos… they work well together…
    for a raiding bard, I would do things a little differently as you can rely on others more for DPS and I’d like to help more on the other aspects of the Bard class… it all depends on personal play style and what content you want to focus on. Personally, I haven’t touched the halfling companion line for a long long time now as even back in the day it wasn’t considered worth the action points because you can’t use it on the party at once or yourself. For a fairly static duo+ group it makes a lot more sense.


    April 28, 2010