Author Topic: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice  (Read 1902 times)

Legacy_PracticalKat

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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2014, 05:29:26 am »


               Thanks for the feedback guys! I'm probably going to end up building different variants in PGCC, equip them identically and test before deciding.  Maybe even try out MM's Siege of the Heavens.

@MM, I'd like a few more skillpoints to play with so that I don't need to rely on a rogue as a henchman.  Also, since I'm investing in Cha I was thinking of trying out Cha-based skills.  In addition to the ones you mentioned I want to have decent Open Lock, Persuade and Taunt as well as some in Hide and Move Silently, and the first three aren't AA skills.

Oops on the formatting!  Thanks Empyre for sorting that out.
               
               

               


                     Modifié par brendonwp, 07 janvier 2014 - 05:40 .
                     
                  


            

Legacy_Empyre65

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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2014, 05:42:27 am »


               Also, Listen is a nice Bard skill to have, making it harder for enemies to sneak up on you.
MM has a good point about Wisdom. In the build I tweaked, drop WIS to 8 and increase STR to 12.
               
               

               


                     Modifié par Empyre65, 07 janvier 2014 - 05:47 .
                     
                  


            

Legacy_PracticalKat

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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2014, 10:06:35 am »


               Empyre, will do.  Just a pity that Search is not a Bard skill, or I'd be virtually independent of rogue henchmen! I've got nothing against rogues, I'm just too squishy as a bard already.. I need a decent meatshield ':blush:'
               
               

               


                     Modifié par brendonwp, 07 janvier 2014 - 10:09 .
                     
                  


            

Legacy_MagicalMaster

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« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2014, 05:05:51 pm »


               

brendonwp wrote...

In addition to the ones you mentioned I want to have decent Open Lock, Persuade and Taunt as well as some in Hide and Move Silently, and the first three aren't AA skills.

FWIW, Open Lock isn't a Bard skill OR AA skill.  Taunt also requires you to be in melee range.  Persuade and Stealth skills are fine, though, if you want to invest in those.

Empyre65 wrote...

Also, Listen is a nice Bard skill to have, making it harder for enemies to sneak up on you.
MM has a good point about Wisdom. In the build I tweaked, drop WIS to 8 and increase STR to 12.

The problem with Listen is that you have to really, really focus in it for it to be worthwhile and you're not a wisdom build.  It's very easy for stealthed characters to have high dexterity and/or items which have extra Hide/Move Silently.  Unless you want to pick up Epic Skill Focus: Listen, it's not really worth investing in.

brendonwp wrote...

Empyre, will do.  Just a pity that Search is not a Bard skill, or I'd be virtually independent of rogue henchmen! I've got nothing against rogues, I'm just too squishy as a bard already.. I need a decent meatshield ':blush:'

As your level goes up and your Dex/Bard SOng keeps increasing that'll be much less of a problem.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_PracticalKat

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« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2014, 05:41:38 pm »


               @MM - Oh rats!  Just checked the bard wiki entry and you're right about open lock.  I'm sure I remember Sharwyn opening locks in the OC.  I thought none of those henchmen were multiclassed, so no idea how that worked.

That make lower Int and higher Str a more attractive option then.  In any case the bard levels are not at all evenly distributed, so keeping up bard skills will be difficult anyway.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_MagicalMaster

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« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2014, 06:20:26 pm »


               Sharwyn might have taken cross-class skills and Bard Song can give a small skill bonus at higher levels -- with your high dexterity you could probably open most locks in the official campaigns, at least, though you may need to use lockpicks at times.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Westan Willows

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« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2014, 09:25:42 pm »


               But you have to put at least 2 skill points into open lock in order to use that skill.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Empyre65

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« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2014, 11:49:38 pm »


               If you don't want to mess with a Rogue henchman, maybe you could play as a Rogue yourself, like I did recently. Here is a tweaked version of the build I played in SoU, HotU, and Sands of Fate recently: In SoU, I had Dorna level only as Cleric, and she became quite powerful. The low Spellcraft is not a problem because Sands of Fate is such a high-magic world that you can maximize your saves with gear.

Elven Guardian (Rogue 17 / Wizard 1 / Arcane Archer 22)
Elf, Any Alignment
Playable 1 - 40, PvM

Abilities:
STR: 12
DEX: 18 (34)
CON: 14
WIS: 8
INT: 14
CHA: 8

Leveling Guide:
Elf: (Hardiness vs. Enchantments, Keen Sense, Low-light Vision, Skill Affinity: Listen, Skill Affinity: Search, Skill Affinity: Spot, Sleeplessness)
01: Rogue(1): Point Blank Shot
02: Rogue(2): {Evasion}
03: Rogue(3): Weapon Focus: Longbow, {Uncanny Dodge I}
04: Rogue(4): DEX+1, (DEX=19)
05: Rogue(5)
06: Rogue(6): Weapon Finesse
07: Rogue(7)
08: Rogue(8): DEX+1, (DEX=20)
09: Wizard(1): Called Shot, {Scribe Scroll}
10: Arcane Archer(1)
11: Arcane Archer(2)
12: Rogue(9): DEX+1, Improved Critical: Longbow, (DEX=21)
13: Arcane Archer(3)
14: Arcane Archer(4)
15: Arcane Archer(5): Blind Fight
16: Arcane Archer(6): DEX+1, (DEX=22)
17: Rogue(10): Improved Evasion
18: Arcane Archer(7): Rapid Shot
19: Arcane Archer(8)
20: Arcane Archer(9): DEX+1, (DEX=23)
21: Rogue(11): Epic Weapon Focus: Longbow
22: Arcane Archer(10)
23: Rogue(12)
24: Arcane Archer(11): DEX+1, Great Dexterity I, (DEX=25)
25: Rogue(13): Defensive Roll
26: Arcane Archer(12)
27: Rogue(14): Epic Dodge
28: Arcane Archer(13): DEX+1, (DEX=26)
29: Arcane Archer(14): Great Dexterity II, (DEX=27)
30: Arcane Archer(15): Epic Prowess
31: Arcane Archer(16)
32: Rogue(15): DEX+1, (DEX=28)
33: Arcane Archer(17): Great Dexterity III, (DEX=29)
34: Arcane Archer(18): Armor Skin
35: Arcane Archer(19)
36: Arcane Archer(20): DEX+1, Great Dexterity IV, (DEX=31)
37: Rogue(16): Skill Mastery
38: Arcane Archer(21)
39: Arcane Archer(22): Great Dexterity V, Great Dexterity VI, (DEX=33)
40: Rogue(17): DEX+1, (DEX=34)

Stats:
Hitpoints: 362
Skillpoints: 336
Saving Throws (Fortitude/Will/Reflex): 21/17/35
Saving Throw bonuses: Spells: +2, Mind Effects: +2, Traps: +4
BAB: 26
AB (max, naked): 39 (melee), 53 (ranged)
AC (naked/mundane armor/shield only): 32/35
Spell Casting: Wizard(1)
Alignment Changes: 0

Skills:
Disable Trap 43(47), Hide 43(55), Listen 43(44), Lore 10(12), Move Silently 43(55), Open Lock 1(13), Search 38(42), Set Trap 31(45), Spellcraft 8(10), Tumble 40(52), UMD 36(35)

01: Disable Trap(4), Hide(4), Listen(4), Lore(4), Move Silently(4), Open Lock(1), Search(4), Set Trap(4), Tumble(4), UMD(4), Save(3)
02: Disable Trap(1), Hide(1), Listen(1), Lore(1), Move Silently(1), Search(1), Set Trap(1), Tumble(1), UMD(1), Save(4)
03: Disable Trap(1), Hide(1), Listen(1), Lore(1), Move Silently(1), Search(1), Set Trap(1), Tumble(1), UMD(1), Save(5)
04: Disable Trap(1), Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Search(1), Set Trap(1), Tumble(1), UMD(1), Save(7)
05: Disable Trap(1), Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Search(1), Set Trap(1), Tumble(1), UMD(1), Save(9)
06: Disable Trap(1), Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Search(1), Set Trap(1), Tumble(1), UMD(1), Save(11)
07: Disable Trap(1), Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Search(1), Set Trap(1), Tumble(1), UMD(1), Save(13)
08: Disable Trap(1), Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Search(1), Set Trap(1), Tumble(1), UMD(1), Save(15)
09: Spellcraft(8), Save(11)
10: Hide(2), Listen(2), Move Silently(2), Save(11)
11: Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Save(14)
12: Disable Trap(4), Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Search(4), Set Trap(4), Tumble(4), UMD(4), Save(1)
13: Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Save(4)
14: Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Save(7)
15: Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Save(10)
16: Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Save(13)
17: Disable Trap(5), Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Search(5), Set Trap(5), Tumble(5)
18: Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Save(3)
19: Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Save(6)
20: Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Save(9)
21: Disable Trap(4), Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Search(4), Set Trap(4), Tumble(4)
22: Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Save(3)
23: Disable Trap(2), Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Search(2), Set Trap(2), Tumble(2), UMD(2)
24: Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Save(3)
25: Disable Trap(2), Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Search(2), Set Trap(2), Tumble(2), UMD(2)
26: Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Save(3)
27: Disable Trap(2), Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Search(2), Set Trap(2), Tumble(2), UMD(2)
28: Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Save(3)
29: Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Save(6)
30: Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Save(9)
31: Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Save(12)
32: Disable Trap(5), Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Search(5), Set Trap(1), Tumble(5), UMD(3)
33: Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Save(3)
34: Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Save(6)
35: Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Save(9)
36: Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Save(12)
37: Disable Trap(5), Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), Search(3), Tumble(5), UMD(6)
38: Hide(1), Listen(1), Lore(3), Move Silently(1)
39: Hide(1), Listen(1), Lore(1), Move Silently(1), Save(2)
40: Disable Trap(3), Hide(1), Listen(1), Move Silently(1), UMD(6)
               
               

               


                     Modifié par Empyre65, 07 janvier 2014 - 11:54 .
                     
                  


            

Legacy_MagicalMaster

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« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2014, 12:45:11 am »


               

Westan Willows wrote...

But you have to put at least 2 skill points into open lock in order to use that skill.

Since you'd be maxing out the skill anyway, I don't see the point of this statement.  At level one you'd put 4 points into Open Lock -- yes, you'd get 2 ranks instead of 4 ranks, but either way you're investing 4 points.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Westan Willows

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« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2014, 01:12:21 am »


               What is the reason for maxing out open lock?
               
               

               
            

Legacy_MagicalMaster

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« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2014, 01:51:15 am »


               Because as you level up locks get more and more difficult?  In theory a lock DC should increase by a minimum of 1 per level (because dexterity also increases along with the possibility of Skill Focus or Epic Skill Focus, plus better lockpicks, thus probably like 1.1-1.25 per level or something.).
               
               

               


                     Modifié par MagicalMaster, 08 janvier 2014 - 01:51 .
                     
                  


            

Legacy_Westan Willows

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« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2014, 02:27:38 am »


               @MM If I go With what you suggest

Str 10 Dex 18 Con 12 Wis 8 Int 10 Cha 14 I have 4 skill points at level up.  A Rogue hench would work better for me
               
               

               
            

Legacy_MrZork

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« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2014, 06:24:48 am »


               Regarding cross-classing rogue skills: It's also an issue of play style and convenience. For many of my toons, the character concept is that he has some ability to deal with traps and locks, as many adventurers must, just as a practical matter. Unless I am designing a party toon or plan on having a "handy" henchman, I tend to buy 1 rank each in Open Lock and Disable Trap so that I can use items that boost skills to do those jobs. There are items that cast the Knock spell and Find Traps and those items will do for most objects that aren't plot and in modules that don't nerf the spells. But, those items are often limited in uses per day and it can be annoying to carry several of them.

[Unfortunately, though it sounds like a good idea, the on-hit Knock weapon property is too wimpy to be useful in most circumstances. It may have been designed with the original OC in mind which is lousy with low-DC locked containers, but any epic module is likely to have locks with higher DCs than will trigger the property, and triggering is even less likely given the requirement that the weapon does enough base (non-elemental) damage to get past the target's hardness. In the OC it's not hard to find some other nearby locked container with a low DC to use the weapon on. But, at higher levels, even wimpy locks have higher DC than 26 - the highest the item property can handle.]

That being said, there aren't many modules in which it is necessary to have those skills maxed, assuming one does most of his lock picking and trap disarming outside of combat. Unless I am specifically thinking of a rogue toon who is able to open any lock and disarm any trap, I tend to stop when I have enough skill that with the items I am likely to find, I can deal with DC 40-45 locks and traps with a take 20. That often just means 5 or 10 ranks in those skills.
               
               

               


                     Modifié par MrZork, 08 janvier 2014 - 06:28 .
                     
                  


            

Legacy_MrZork

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« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2014, 09:57:29 am »


               BTW, a more general comment on character building for modules like the ones in which the OP is looking to adventure: The vast, vast majority of this toon's playing life will be spent well under level 40. Over 90%, even if he plays all the way through Sands of Fate. So, feats, skill points, leveling order choices, and so on that aid in surviving the earlier levels are not necessarily wasted, even if they don't finally result in the uberest power build whose value the player may only see as his toon nears retirement. And, frankly, that's true of many PWs as well, particularly any that don't have lots of level 40 areas to challenge characters who make it that far.

I only mention this because there is a tendency to evaluate builds according to their effectiveness at level 40, which seems natural because it's a convenient point at which to evaluate a build's effectiveness. But, it's really very arbitrary (and not necessarily the best point at which to evaluate build decisions) unless the build will primarily be played at that level. Because of that, the understandable urge to prune from a build all features that don't contribute to that level 40 effectiveness is really only appropriate in proportion to the time that the build will be played at level 40. For a non-arena build, that is likely to be a small fraction of the play time. This isn't to say there is no value in the common practice of looking at the build at level 40, but rather simply to note that there can be value to build decisions that make a build more playable earlier on, even if those decisions aren't adding much to the toon at level 40. For someone playing modules the way that most are actually played, the effectiveness of the build throughout his career is the more relevant metric, even if it isn't as easy to define.

There are lots of easy examples. For instance, the Sleep spell is a near-worthless spell at level 40 and no caster is likely to have it prepared at that level. But, it can be an excellent spell when a character starts out. A more nuanced example is when to take a single level of monk? The typical response is level 40 or at least level 37+, because that allows the maximum dump into tumble and maybe discipline and, in a level 40 module, there isn't much doubt that the later level is best. But, in most real modules, the issue isn't so clear cut. A case can be made that taking that monk level at 17-20 is the way to go, since that will add +4 AC, evasion, better saves and a potentially worthwhile discipline bump for 20 extra levels of actual playing. I don't want to belabor the point, but I think it's worthwhile to consider how much of a toon's life will be spent at those 20 levels as opposed to at the last few levels and keep that in mind when making recommendations that, ultimately, are intended to help a player have an effective toon throughout the time he plays that toon.
               
               

               


                     Modifié par MrZork, 08 janvier 2014 - 09:58 .
                     
                  


            

Legacy_Westan Willows

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« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2014, 11:41:45 am »


               

MrZork wrote...

Regarding cross-classing rogue skills: It's also an issue of play style and convenience. For many of my toons, the character concept is that he has some ability to deal with traps and locks, as many adventurers must, just as a practical matter. Unless I am designing a party toon or plan on having a "handy" henchman, I tend to buy 1 rank each in Open Lock and Disable Trap so that I can use items that boost skills to do those jobs. There are items that cast the Knock spell and Find Traps and those items will do for most objects that aren't plot and in modules that don't nerf the spells. But, those items are often limited in uses per day and it can be annoying to carry several of them.

[Unfortunately, though it sounds like a good idea, the on-hit Knock weapon property is too wimpy to be useful in most circumstances. It may have been designed with the original OC in mind which is lousy with low-DC locked containers, but any epic module is likely to have locks with higher DCs than will trigger the property, and triggering is even less likely given the requirement that the weapon does enough base (non-elemental) damage to get past the target's hardness. In the OC it's not hard to find some other nearby locked container with a low DC to use the weapon on. But, at higher levels, even wimpy locks have higher DC than 26 - the highest the item property can handle.]

That being said, there aren't many modules in which it is necessary to have those skills maxed, assuming one does most of his lock picking and trap disarming outside of combat. Unless I am specifically thinking of a rogue toon who is able to open any lock and disarm any trap, I tend to stop when I have enough skill that with the items I am likely to find, I can deal with DC 40-45 locks and traps with a take 20. That often just means 5 or 10 ranks in those skills.


       I am in the OC and it seems that the chests are class related. My Rogue finds Thieves' tools all over the place(doesn't need then) but my Bard can't find one to save his life. ':lol:' Oh well at lease he can id a trap and mark it.
Keep my hench form walking on it.