Bioware Archive

Bioware Archive V2 => Shadows of Undrentide Official Campaign => Topic started by: Legacy_PracticalKat on January 03, 2014, 10:45:55 am

Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_PracticalKat on January 03, 2014, 10:45:55 am


               Hi All

I have several characters still in the OC, but am planning to start on SoU and HotU this year.  I particularly enjoy my fighter/bard, and rogue archer.  So I'm thinking of building an arcane archer to run through SoU, a bridging module, and then through HotU to Level 40. Having read the recent thread started by Sarielle, I want to go for a bard/AA.  My aim is to have an effective archer, with decent charisma, so that I can really use bard capabilities such as curse song to be even more effective as a ranged damage dealer.  I also want charisma to be able to boost skills like UMD, Persuade and Taunt.

I've been browsing the epic build site, and like the look of the "Archer Laureate" because of the high charisma and bard levels. I'm a bit nervous that Dexterity is not raised above 16, and was wondering whether I shouldn't raise Cha and Dex alternately (after getting to 16 Cha) to help playability at lower levels.  What do people think?
  
Otherwise "Corellon's Chanteuse" looks interesting, using Champion of Torm to play off of the high bard charisma.  This has more feats as a result, and the option of some melee capability. 
 
What is your opinion of the playability of the above builds for SoU and HotU?  Also, what do people suggest for using as bridging modules for an AA?
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_PracticalKat on January 03, 2014, 05:14:12 pm


               Overview of The Archer Laureate:

Class: Bard17/Blackguard4/Arcane Archer19
Alignment: Neutral or Chaotic Evil
Race: Elf
Playable 1-40 PvM, Low to Mid Magic Settings

Attributes
Str14
Int14
Wis8
Dex16
Con12
Chr14 (30)

Level Guide
1 Bard1, Point Blank Shot
2 Bard2
3 Bard3, WF: Longbow
4 Bard4, Chr15
5 Bard5
6 Bard6, Power Attack
7 Bard7
8 Bard8, Chr16
9 AA1, Cleave
10 BG1
11 BG2
12 BG3, Divine Might, Chr17
13 AA2
14 AA3
15 BG4, Divine Shield
16 AA4, Chr18
17 AA5
18 AA6, Rapid Shot
19 AA7
20 AA8, Chr19
21 AA9, Great Charisma I
22 Bard9
23 Bard10
24 Bard11, Curse Song, Chr21
25 Bard12
26 AA10
27 Bard13, Great Chr II
28 AA11, Chr23
29 AA12
30 AA13, Great Chr III
31 AA14, EWF: Longbow
32 Bard14, Chr 25
33 AA15, Great Chr IV
34 Bard15
35 AA16
36 AA17, Great Chr V, Chr28
37 Bard16
38 AA18, Epic Prowess
39 AA19, Great Chr VI
40 Bard17, Chr30

Combat Vitals
HP: 372
AB: 45 (mundane longbow)
Attack Schedule: 45/40/35/30
Buffed Attacked Schedule: 65/60/55/50/65
AC: 29 (mundane plate)
Buffed AC (with +5 items): 64
Ideal Damage Delivery: +1d6 piercing, +10-16 Divine, +10 Enchant Arrow, +2-8 Mighty, +3 Piercing (Bard Song), +1d6 sneak, +2 PBS

Saving Throws:
Fortitude: 33 (42)
Will: 29 (38)
Reflex: 36 (45)
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_PracticalKat on January 03, 2014, 05:16:49 pm


               Overview of Corellon's Chanteuse

Class: Bard 12, Champion Of Torm 10, Arcane Archer 18
Race: Elven
(Female - Leyrana Ma'fer)
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
PvM (No idea about PvP)

STR: 14
DEX: 16 (30)
CON: 12
WIS: 8
INT: 14
CHA: 14

01: Bard(1): Lingering Song
02: Bard(2)
03: Bard(3): Weapon Focus: Longbow
04: Bard(4): DEX+1, (DEX=17)
05: Bard(5)
06: Bard(6): Point Blank Shot
07: Bard(7)
08: Bard(8): DEX+1, (DEX=18)
09: Arcane Archer(1): Weapon Focus: Rapier
10: Arcane Archer(2)
11: Champion of Torm(1)
12: Champion of Torm(2): DEX+1, Extend Spell, Weapon Finesse, (DEX=19)
13: Arcane Archer(3)
14: Champion of Torm(3): {Smite Evil}
15: Champion of Torm(4): Improved Critical: Longbow, Rapid Shot
16: Arcane Archer(4): DEX+1, (DEX=20)
17: Champion of Torm(5)
18: Champion of Torm(6): Knockdown, Blind Fight
19: Champion of Torm(7)
20: Arcane Archer(5): DEX+1, (DEX=21)
21: Arcane Archer(6): Great Dexterity I, (DEX=22)
22: Bard(9)
23: Arcane Archer(7)
24: Arcane Archer(8): DEX+1, Epic Will, (DEX=23)
25: Arcane Archer(9)
26: Champion of Torm(8): Epic Prowess
27: Bard(10): Curse Song
28: Arcane Archer(10): DEX+1, (DEX=24)
29: Arcane Archer(11)
30: Arcane Archer(12): Epic Fortitude
31: Arcane Archer(13)
32: Bard(11): DEX+1, (DEX=25)
33: Champion of Torm(9): Great Dexterity II, (DEX=26)
34: Arcane Archer(14): Epic Weapon Focus: Longbow
35: Arcane Archer(15)
36: Arcane Archer(16): DEX+1, Epic Weapon Focus: Rapier, (DEX=27)
37: Champion of Torm(10): Armor Skin
38: Arcane Archer(17)
39: Arcane Archer(18): Great Dexterity III, Great Dexterity IV, (DEX=29)
40: Bard(12): DEX+1, (DEX=30)

Hitpoints: 356
Skillpoints: 238
Saving Throws (Fortitude/Will/Reflex): 31/27/40
Saving Throw bonuses: Spells: +9, Mind Effects: +2
BAB: 28
AB (max, naked): 42 (melee), 51 (ranged)
AC (naked/mundane armor/shield only): 30/33
Spell Casting: Bard(4)
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_Empyre65 on January 05, 2014, 12:11:44 am


               HotU only takes you to about level 27 or 28, but if you follow that with the Sands of Fate series, you will get all the way to level 40. I recently did that with a Rogue 17 / Wizard 1 / AA 22, and it went well.

I like the second build you posted better, but here is a tweaked version:

Class: Bard 12, Champion Of Torm 10, Arcane Archer 18
Race: Elven
(Female - Leyrana Ma'fer)
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
PvM (No idea about PvP)

STR: 14
DEX: 16 (32)
CON: 12
WIS: 8
INT: 14
CHA: 14

01: Bard(1): Point Blank Shot
02: Bard(2)
03: Bard(3): Weapon Focus: Longbow
04: Bard(4): DEX+1, (DEX=17)
05: Bard(5)
06: Bard(6): Lingering Song
07: Bard(7)
08: Bard(8): DEX+1, (DEX=18)
09: Arcane Archer(1): Blind Fight
10: Arcane Archer(2)
11: Champion of Torm(1)
12: Champion of Torm(2): DEX+1, Extend Spell, Weapon Finesse, (DEX=19)
13: Arcane Archer(3)
14: Champion of Torm(3): {Smite Evil}
15: Champion of Torm(4): Improved Critical: Longbow, Rapid Shot
16: Arcane Archer(4): DEX+1, (DEX=20)
17: Champion of Torm(5)
18: Champion of Torm(6): Great Fortitude, Called Shot
19: Champion of Torm(7)
20: Arcane Archer(5): DEX+1, (DEX=21)
21: Arcane Archer(6): Great Dexterity I, (DEX=22)
22: Bard(9)
23: Arcane Archer(7)
24: Arcane Archer(8): DEX+1, Epic Will, (DEX=23)
25: Arcane Archer(9)
26: Champion of Torm(8): Epic Weapon Focus: Longbow
27: Bard(10): Curse Song
28: Arcane Archer(10): DEX+1, (DEX=24)
29: Arcane Archer(11)
30: Arcane Archer(12): Epic Prowess
31: Arcane Archer(13)
32: Bard(11): DEX+1, (DEX=25)
33: Champion of Torm(9): Great Dexterity II, (DEX=26)
34: Arcane Archer(14): Great Dexterity III (DEX = 27)
35: Arcane Archer(15)
36: Arcane Archer(16): DEX+1, Great Dexterity IV, (DEX=29)
37: Champion of Torm(10): Armor Skin
38: Arcane Archer(17)
39: Arcane Archer(18): Great Dexterity V, Great Dexterity VI, (DEX=31)
40: Bard(12): DEX+1, (DEX=32)

Hitpoints: 356
Skillpoints: 238
Saving Throws (Fortitude/Will/Reflex): 29/27/40
Saving Throw bonuses: Spells: +9, Mind Effects: +2
BAB: 28
AB (max, naked): 39 (melee), 52 (ranged)
AC (naked/mundane armor/shield only): 31/34
Spell Casting: Bard(4)
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_PracticalKat on January 05, 2014, 10:45:54 am


               Hi Empyre, thanks I like your tweaks - more focussed on ranged attack.  In the OC I'm running a melee Fighter 4 / Bard X and enjoying it tremendously.  At one stage I rebuilt and dropped Cha to 14 (from 16) to be able to increase Strength (and AB), but reverted because of the way Curse Song was weakened.

I'll play with your suggestion, and maybe bring in Curse Song earlier and boost Cha to 16 along the way. Other than that, I think that a focus in a melee weapon is needed for CoT.

Cheers!
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_MrZork on January 05, 2014, 06:30:34 pm


               I couple quick thoughts on the last Ba/CoT/AA build:

The allowable alignments are CG, CN, TN, NG. LN isn't an option without several alignment shifts.

The toon isn't buildable without Weapon Focus in a melee weapon. It's required for the CoT class. I suspect that Extend Spell or one of the saving throw feats is on the chopping block.

This is something of a personal preference, but in DEX builds that take it, I like to take Weapon Finesse as early as I can. People often say forget about it for an archer, but this is a real toon that will be played through the early levels, not some build that gets a pass to level 40. You will spend a fair amount of early combat in melee, especially in a build like this that won't have much in the way of tanking summons. Much better to be able to hit something and better to take it earlier than later. The difference between STR and DEX early on may not seem like much, but keep in mind that you will be looking for DEX items and you will have Cat's Grace from level 4 on.

(BTW, that isn't to say that this toon and similar dexer toons can't survive without Weapon Finesse. Certainly, with summon scrolls and the right choice of henchmen, he could. It's just that leveling is easier with the feat.)

I would try and get along without CHA over 14. It seems like the benefits of CHA 16 will be marginal in a build that doesn't need it for bard spells.
               
               

               


                     Modifié par MrZork, 05 janvier 2014 - 06:34 .
                     
                  


            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_MagicalMaster on January 05, 2014, 10:31:30 pm


               I'm still trying to get the benefit of Champion of Torm in this build.  I'd probably go something like Fighter 8/Bard 3/AA 29 or something similar -- or if you wanted Bard Song, probably Bard 16/AA 24 or Bard 21/AA 19 (for Lasting Inspiration).
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_Empyre65 on January 06, 2014, 01:05:21 am


               *Facepalm* I forgot about that requirement for CoT.
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_MrZork on January 06, 2014, 03:06:15 am


               MM, I was assuming that CoT was to avoid XP penalties and to give +5 to saves (which are decent for an AA, pity there's no evasion, though). If the penalty is not a factor (and there isn't some other reason for CoT), fighter is more attractive, IMO. Effectively, swapping CoT for fighter gives two extra feats: one from fighter level one and one freed up from the need to take WF in a melee weapon. If nothing else, using those feats for WS and EWS longbow would greatly increase the damage output of the build, not to mention that swapping four of the pre-epic bard levels for fighter would increase AB by a point.
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_PracticalKat on January 06, 2014, 01:06:04 pm


               @MM, I want to take elf for the extra dexterity and am aiming for solid bard song, so CoT was a way of gaining feats without XP penalty.  

There are no sample epic Bard 16/AA 24 builds, but if going that way I'd adapt the one below for Elf, raise Str and Int to 14 and drop Wis to 8.  I'd still want to fit Weapon Finesse and Weapon Focus: Rapier in somewhere.

I'm leaning towards Bard 16 / CoT 6 / Arcane Archer 18 at the moment as a compromise.  Are there any sound reasons for not going this way, apart from reduced saving throw benefits?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Piercing Ballad: Bard 21 / Arcane Archer 19

Race: Half-Elf
Alignement: Any/Non-Lawful

Playable 1-40 PvM
(No - Mid Magic server)
Preferably in party (semi-support build)

Abilities:

Str: 10
Dex: 16 (30)
Con: 12
Wis: 10
Int: 12
Cha: 15 (16)

Level Progression:

1: Bard 1: Lingering Song
2: Bard 2
3: Bard 3: WF: Longbow
4: Bard 4: Dex +1 (17)
5: Bard 5
6: Bard 6: Point Blank shot
7: Bard 7
8: Bard 8: Dex +1 (18)
9: Bard 9: Extend Spell
10: Arcane Archer 1: (Enchant Arrow I)
11: AA 2
12: AA 3: Imp. Crit: Longbow, Dex +1 (19)
13: AA 4
14: AA 5
15: AA 6: Rapid Shot
16: AA 7: Dex +1 (20)
17: Bard 10: (Skill dump)
18: AA 8:  Called Shot
19: AA 9: (Enchant Arrow V)
20: AA 10: Dex +1 (21)

Epic Levels:

21: Bard 11: EWF: Longbow
22: Bard 12
23: Bard 13
24: Bard 14: Curse Song, Dex +1 (22)
25: Bard 15
26: Bard 16
27: Bard 17: Great Cha I (16)
28: Bard 18: Dex +1 (23)
29: Bard 19
30: Bard 20: Lasting Inspiration
31: AA 11
32: AA 12: Dex +1 (24)
33: AA 13: Epic Prowess
34: AA 14: Great Dex I' (25)
35: AA 15
36: AA 16: Great Dex II, Dex +1 (27)
37: AA 17
38: AA 18: Great Dex III' (28)
39: AA 19: Great Dex IV, (Enchant Arrow X) (29)
40: Bard 21: Dex +1 (30) (Skill Dump)

Prime feats (marked ') are the AA bonus feats.

The Numbers (All are done in head so there might be some minor errors)

BAB: 17 (4 attacks per round)
Melee AB: 38/33/28/23
Ranged AB: 51/46/41/36
Rapid Shot mode: 49/44/39/34/29

With buffs: (Ranged)
War Cry +2
Cats grace +2
Bard song +2
= 57 AB

Damage: 1-8 + 10
Crit: 19-20 x3
Buffed:
+2 War Cry
+3 Bard Song
+2 Mighty (with bulls strength active)
= 18 + 0-7

AC: 30
Buffed AC:
Cats Grace +2
Bard Song +5
Mage Armour +4
Haste +4
(Protection from alignement +2)
= 55 (57 vs good/evil)

HPs: 320 +26 from bard song.

Saves:
Reflex: 32 (40) +2
Fortitude: 21 (31) +2
Will: 20 (30) +3
(vs. spells) + song

Skills:
Tumble 40 (50)
UMD 42 (45)
Spellcraft 43 (44)
Perform 42 (45)
Discipline 43
+ 7 to all with song.

Left over: 5 points.

Bard Song lv 19 with 45 perform.
Lasting 105 rounds. (10,5 turns)

Key spells: (not in order of importance)
Cat's grace
Bulls Strength
Eagles Splendor
Ghostly Visage
Clarity
Improved Invisibility
Protection From Alignement
War Cry
Mage Armour
Haste
Dismissal
Energy Buffer

Other Nifty (but not crucial spells):
Summon Creature (as you level up, useless in later levels)
Dirge
Healing Spells
Mass Haste
Ice Storm
Expeditious Retreat
Neutralize Poison
Remove Curse/Desease (low fort saves)
Greater Magic Weapon (to boost your backup rapier)
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_PracticalKat on January 06, 2014, 07:18:14 pm


               OK, here is my proposal based on previous posts.  I'm trying to keep the bard song (16) but still adding some extra feats to be more flexible.  Str has had to go down to up Cha, but Bull's Strength should compensate.

This is my first epic build, so I haven't got the hang of the spreadsheet that does all the AB calcs etc.  Bard skillpoints to be allocated as in "Piercing Ballad" above.  

Class: Bard 16, Champion Of Torm 6, Arcane Archer 18Race: ElvenAlignment: Chaotic GoodPvM (No idea about PvP)
STR: 12DEX: 16 (30)CON: 12WIS: 8INT: 14CHA: 15 (16)
01: Bard(1): Lingering Song02: Bard(2)03: Bard(3): Weapon Focus: Longbow04: Bard(4): DEX+1, (DEX=17)05: Bard(5)06: Bard(6): Point Blank Shot07: Bard(7)08: Bard(8): DEX+1, (DEX=18)09: Arcane Archer(1): Weapon Finesse,10: Arcane Archer(2)11: Champion of Torm(1)12: Champion of Torm(2): DEX+1, Extend Spell, Weapon Focus: Rapier, (DEX=19)13: Arcane Archer(3)14: Champion of Torm(3): {Smite Evil}15: Champion of Torm(4): Improved Critical: Longbow, Rapid Shot16: Arcane Archer(4): DEX+1, (DEX=20)17: Champion of Torm(5)18: Champion of Torm(6): Called Shot, Blind Fight19: Bard(9)20: Arcane Archer(5): DEX+1, (DEX=21)21: Arcane Archer(6): Great Dexterity I, (DEX=22)22: Bard(10): Curse Song23: Arcane Archer(7)24: Arcane Archer(8): DEX+1, Epic Will, (DEX=23)25: Arcane Archer(9)26: Bard (11) 27: Bard(12): Great Charisma I (CHA=16)28: Arcane Archer(10): DEX+1, (DEX=24)29: Arcane Archer(11)30: Arcane Archer(12): Armor Skin31: Arcane Archer(13)32: Bard(13): DEX+1, (DEX=25)33: Bard(14): Great Dexterity II, (DEX=26)34: Arcane Archer(14): Epic Weapon Focus: Longbow35: Arcane Archer(15)36: Arcane Archer(16): DEX+1, Epic Weapon Focus: Rapier, (DEX=27)37: Bard(15)              38: Arcane Archer(17)39: Arcane Archer(18): Great Dexterity III, Great Dexterity IV, (DEX=29)40: Bard(16): DEX+1, (DEX=30)
               
               

               


                     Modifié par brendonwp, 06 janvier 2014 - 07:25 .
                     
                  


            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_MagicalMaster on January 06, 2014, 10:48:39 pm


               

brendonwp wrote...

@MM, I want to take elf for the extra dexterity and am aiming for solid bard song, so CoT was a way of gaining feats without XP penalty.

Fair enough, but I don't think the feats are worth it -- every 2 AA levels give you 1 AB/1 damage and every 4 levels gets you a feat.  To put that in perspective, if you skipped 2 CoT levels for 2 more AA levels and dropped Epic Prowess, you'd still come out 1 damage ahead.

brendonwp wrote...

There are no sample epic Bard 16/AA 24 builds, but if going that way I'd adapt the one below for Elf, raise Str and Int to 14 and drop Wis to 8.  I'd still want to fit Weapon Finesse and Weapon Focus: Rapier in somewhere.

I really wouldn't recommend this -- with something like AA 24, you're giving up 13 AB/damage (12 from AA plus 1 from Point Blank Shot) to switch to a melee weapon.  12 AB is MASSIVE.  Yes, you'll avoid an AoO if you're in melee, but you're giving up like 50% of your damage to get hit 25% less or something.  And if you get Dodge/Mobility, that's an extra 4 AC versus those AoO.

The only time an AA should ever consider NOT using a bow is if the enemy is completely immune to piercing damage or something.

In general, here are the feats you need pre-epic:

WF
IC
PBS
Rapid Shot
Curse Song
Blind Fight

That leaves you free to still take Extend Spell, Toughness, or Called Shot.  And, frankly, you can probably skip Rapid Shot -- it gives an extremely low benefit once you have haste and 4 APR.  For example, imagine your foe has 30 AC and you have 28 AB.  That's 95%/70%/45%/20%/95% = 3.25 hits per round.  Add in Rapid Shot and you get 85/60/35/10/85/60 = 3.35 hits per round -- a 3% increase.

In Epic Levels, you want

Lasting Inspiration
EWF
EP
Great Dex ??
Armor Skin (if ending on an odd dex score)

If we start with...

14 STR
18 Dex
12 Con
10 Int
8 Wis
14 Cha

Then you can raise CHA to 16 and Dex to 26 naturally.  If you go Bard 21/AA 19 you get 9 feats in epic, so...

Lasting Inspiration
EWF
EP
Great Dex VI

For 32 total Dexterity.
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_Empyre65 on January 06, 2014, 11:29:04 pm


               Edit: Ninja'd because I took so long. I still stand by my advice, though, which doesn't conflict with MM's advice (much).

brendonwp wrote...

OK, here is my proposal based on previous posts. I'm trying to keep the bard song (16) but still adding some extra feats to be more flexible. Str has had to go down to up Cha, but Bull's Strength should compensate.

This is my first epic build, so I haven't got the hang of the spreadsheet that does all the AB calcs etc. Bard skillpoints to be allocated as in "Piercing Ballad" above.

Class: Bard 16, Champion Of Torm 6, Arcane Archer 18
Race: Elven
Alignment: Chaotic Good
PvM (No idea about PvP)

STR: 12
DEX: 16 (30)
CON: 12
WIS: 8
INT: 14
CHA: 15 (16)

01: Bard(1): Lingering Song
02: Bard(2)
03: Bard(3): Weapon Focus: Longbow
04: Bard(4): DEX+1, (DEX=17)
05: Bard(5)
06: Bard(6): Point Blank Shot
07: Bard(7)
08: Bard(8): DEX+1, (DEX=18)
09: Arcane Archer(1): Weapon Finesse,
10: Arcane Archer(2)
11: Champion of Torm(1)
12: Champion of Torm(2): DEX+1, Extend Spell, Weapon Focus: Rapier, (DEX=19)
13: Arcane Archer(3)
14: Champion of Torm(3): {Smite Evil}
15: Champion of Torm(4): Improved Critical: Longbow, Rapid Shot
16: Arcane Archer(4): DEX+1, (DEX=20)
17: Champion of Torm(5)
18: Champion of Torm(6): Called Shot, Blind Fight
19: Bard(9)
20: Arcane Archer(5): DEX+1, (DEX=21)
21: Arcane Archer(6): Great Dexterity I, (DEX=22)
22: Bard(10): Curse Song
23: Arcane Archer(7)
24: Arcane Archer(8): DEX+1, Epic Will, (DEX=23)
25: Arcane Archer(9)
26: Bard (11)
27: Bard(12): Great Charisma I (CHA=16)
28: Arcane Archer(10): DEX+1, (DEX=24)
29: Arcane Archer(11)
30: Arcane Archer(12): Armor Skin
31: Arcane Archer(13)
32: Bard(13): DEX+1, (DEX=25)
33: Bard(14): Great Dexterity II, (DEX=26)
34: Arcane Archer(14): Epic Weapon Focus: Longbow
35: Arcane Archer(15)
36: Arcane Archer(16): DEX+1, Epic Weapon Focus: Rapier, (DEX=27)
37: Bard(15)
38: Arcane Archer(17)
39: Arcane Archer(18): Great Dexterity III, Great Dexterity IV, (DEX=29)
40: Bard(16): DEX+1, (DEX=30)

I added new lines to make the build readabe. To avoid that problem, copy-and-paste from the spreadsheet's Output page into Notepad, and then copy-and-paste from there into the forums. Now I can see the problems with the build:
You are taking CoT before taking WF in a melee weapon. You can't do that. I made a similar mistake myself earlier in this thread, and was called on it.
You are taking a feat at level 22. You can't do that. Bard 10 has no bonus feat, and there is no general feat at level 22.
I recommend taking Point Blank Shot at level 1 so you can melee with your bow from the very beginning.
I like the Peircing Ballad build better, but here it is with some tweaks in bold and comments added by me in brackets {}.

Piercing Ballad: Bard 21 / Arcane Archer 19

Race: Elf
Alignement: Any/Non-Lawful

Playable 1-40 PvM
(No - Mid Magic server) {SoU, HotU, and Sands of Fate are very high magic, btw.}
Preferably in party (semi-support build) {Use a henchman when you can.}

Abilities:

Str: 10
Dex: 16 (30) {fewer points spent here (keeping this at 16) ...}
Con: 12 {... so you can keep this at 12 ...}
Wis: 10
Int: 14 {... and get more skills!}
Cha: 15 (16)

Level Progression:

1: Bard 1: Point Blank Shot {so you can melee with your bow right away}
2: Bard 2
3: Bard 3: WF: Longbow
4: Bard 4: Dex +1 (17)
5: Bard 5
6: Bard 6: Lingering Song
7: Bard 7
8: Bard 8: Dex +1 (18)
9: Bard 9: Extend Spell
10: Arcane Archer 1: (Enchant Arrow I)
11: AA 2
12: AA 3: Imp. Crit: Longbow, Dex +1 (19) {Maybe take Weapon Finesse here ...}
13: AA 4
14: AA 5
15: AA 6: Rapid Shot {... which would move Imp Crit to here ...}
16: AA 7: Dex +1 (20)
17: Bard 10: (Skill dump)
18: AA 8: Called Shot {... and move Rapid Shot to here.}
19: AA 9: (Enchant Arrow V)
20: AA 10: Dex +1 (21)

Epic Levels:

21: Bard 11: EWF: Longbow
22: Bard 12
23: Bard 13
24: Bard 14: Curse Song, Dex +1 (22)
25: Bard 15
26: Bard 16
27: Bard 17: Great Cha I (16)
28: Bard 18: Dex +1 (23)
29: Bard 19
30: Bard 20: Lasting Inspiration
31: AA 11
32: AA 12: Dex +1 (24)
33: AA 13: Epic Prowess
34: AA 14: Great Dex I' (25)
35: AA 15
36: AA 16: Great Dex II, Dex +1 (27)
37: AA 17
38: AA 18: Great Dex III' (28)
39: AA 19: Great Dex IV, (Enchant Arrow X) (29)
40: Bard 21: Dex +1 (30) (Skill Dump)

Prime feats (marked ') are the AA bonus feats.
               
               

               


                     Modifié par Empyre65, 06 janvier 2014 - 11:35 .
                     
                  


            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_MagicalMaster on January 07, 2014, 01:01:24 am


               

Empyre65 wrote...

Str: 10
Dex: 16 (30) {fewer points spent here (keeping this at 16) ...}
Con: 12 {... so you can keep this at 12 ...}
Wis: 10
Int: 14 {... and get more skills!}
Cha: 15 (16)

I don't see a point in Wisdom 10.  The 1 better Will save won't matter.  Empyre's build here is giving up 2 damage, 1 AB, and 1 AC to gain two more skill points per level -- and Bards/AAs already get four per level.  Perform, Tumble, UMD, and Spellcraft.  Not sure what else you really want.

I'd strongly suggest using

Str: 10
Dex: 18
Con: 12
WIs: 8
Int: 10
Cha: 14

As your starting point.  Then you have 4 more points to split between Str and Int.  Every 2 points in Str gives +1 damage (which tends to be very helpful for AA's since they usually have high AB but low damage) and every two points in Int gives 1 more skill point per level.
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_PracticalKat on January 07, 2014, 05:26:30 am


               Thanks for the feedback guys!  @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.   I enjoy the game a lot more when I have skills to use to try out different tactics.  

I'm probably going to end up building the two in PGCC, equip them identically and test before deciding.

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

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_PracticalKat 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 .
                     
                  


            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_Empyre65 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 .
                     
                  


            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_PracticalKat 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 .
                     
                  


            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_MagicalMaster 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.
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_PracticalKat 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.
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_MagicalMaster 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.
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_Westan Willows 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.
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_Empyre65 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 .
                     
                  


            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_MagicalMaster 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.
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_Westan Willows on January 08, 2014, 01:12:21 am


               What is the reason for maxing out open lock?
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_MagicalMaster 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 .
                     
                  


            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_Westan Willows 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
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_MrZork 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 .
                     
                  


            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_MrZork 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 .
                     
                  


            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_Westan Willows 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.
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_MagicalMaster on January 08, 2014, 04:19:08 pm


               

Westan Willows wrote...

@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.

Right, which is why I said you could then put those 4 last points into Str or Int -- Str gives more damage, Int gives extra skill points.  Could go 14 Str/10 Int, 12 Str/12 Int, or 10 Str/14 Int.
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_PracticalKat on January 08, 2014, 05:27:35 pm


               @Empyre - I'm planning to run your Hin Hero through SoU and HotU, but thanks for the rogue build.

@MrZ - After your comment, I think I'll mix up the pre-epic Bard and AA levels a bit more so that I can keep my skills up.
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_Westan Willows on January 08, 2014, 09:15:57 pm


               

MagicalMaster wrote...

Westan Willows wrote...

@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.

Right, which is why I said you could then put those 4 last points into Str or Int -- Str gives more damage, Int gives extra skill points.  Could go 14 Str/10 Int, 12 Str/12 Int, or 10 Str/14 Int.


 Ah I see. I would go 12/12 put the skill point into search.:mellow:
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_PracticalKat on January 17, 2014, 04:06:02 pm


               Hi all

I've used the different suggestions and put together a variant on Piercing Ballad that weaves the Bard and AA levels together.  No more than two AA levels pass before a Bard level to help more even skill development.  I know that I'm losing some AB, but don't really mind.

I just don't get how feats work at Epic Levels, despite reading up on the wiki.  Bard is supposed to be every third level, and AA also every third with bonus feats every 4 from AA level 14.  

Comments welcome!

Adjusted "Piercing Ballad": Bard 21 / Arcane Archer 19

Race: Elf
Alignement: Any/Non-Lawful

Playable 1-40 PvM

Abilities:

Str: 10
Dex: 18 (31)   {to bump up dex based skills}
Con: 12
Wis: 8
Int: 14  
Cha: 14 (16)

Level Progression:

1: Bard 1: Point Blank Shot
2: Bard 2
3: Bard 3: WF: Longbow
4: Bard 4: Cha +1 (15)
5: Bard 5
6: Bard 6: Lingering Song
7: Bard 7  Cha +1 (16)
8: Bard 8:
9: Bard 9: Extend Spell
10: Arcane Archer 1: (Enchant Arrow I)
11: AA 2
12: AA 3: Blind Fight, Dex +1 (19)
13: Bard 10: (Skill dump)
14: AA 4
15: AA 5
16: Bard 11 Dex+1 (20)
17: AA 6: Imp. Crit: Longbow
18: AA 7
19: Bard 12: Called Shot  
20: Bard 13: Dex +1 (21)

Epic Levels:

21: AA 8
22: Bard 14
23: AA 9: EWF: Longbow, (Enchant Arrow V)
24: AA 10: Dex +1 (22)
25: Bard 15: Great Dex I (23)
26: AA 11
27: AA 12: Dex +1 (24)
28: Bard 16
29: Bard 17
30: AA 13
31: Bard 18: Lasting Inspiration <<Requires Perform 25>>
32: AA 14:  Dex +1 (25), Great Dex I' (26)
33: AA 15: Epic Prowess
34: Bard 19
35: AA 16:
36: AA 17: Dex +1 (27)
37: Bard 20
38: AA 18: Great Dex II (28), Great Dex III' (29)
39: AA 19: (Enchant Arrow X)
40: Bard 21: Great Dex IV (30), Dex +1 (31)

Prime feats (marked ') are the AA bonus feats.
               
               

               


                     Modifié par brendonwp, 17 janvier 2014 - 04:08 .
                     
                  


            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_Empyre65 on January 17, 2014, 11:50:10 pm


               Every build gets a general feat at level 1 and every 3rd level, so the feats are at levels 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36, and 39. Bards get bonus feats at every 3rd level after 20, so 23rd, 26th, 29th, 32nd, 35th, ans 38th levels of Bard, not levels of the build. AA gets bonus feats at the 14th, 18th, 22nd, 26th, and 30th levels of AA, not levels of the build. Since the build doesn't have 23 levels of bard, you don't get any Bard bonus feats, but the 19 levels of AA do give you 2 AA bonus feats.

The odd number of DEX doesn't do you any good, even with skills, so you're better off getting Armor Skin in place of one of those Great DEX feats (+2 AC).
               
               

               


                     Modifié par Empyre65, 18 janvier 2014 - 06:23 .
                     
                  


            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_MagicalMaster on January 18, 2014, 12:06:13 am


               First, you'll need to redo your feats for the reasons Empyre said.

You'll want to get Curse Song -- drop Lingering Song for it.  You'll also want 12 Bard/8 AA pre-epic or else you'll lose an extra AB -- skip the bard level at 20 and delay it until epics.

You also need Bard 20 or higher to pick up Lasting Inspiration.

In Epic levels you'll get 9 feats total -- Lasting Inspiration, EWF, EP, and Great Dex VI are what you can get.  You only have 8 feats marked down due to the misunderstanding at the moment.

I'd also suggest putting points into Charisma at levels 20 and 24 -- you won't need it until then and you'll get an extra AB/AC from the Dex earlier.
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_Westan Willows on January 18, 2014, 05:59:08 am


               Reminds me of a friend who didn't understand 'caster level'. What spells and skills are you going for?
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_PracticalKat on January 18, 2014, 04:28:50 pm


               Empyre and MM, thanks I'll update the build using your comments.

@MM - I'm interested that you recommend Curse Song over Lingering Song.  Curse Song works really well for my melee bard in the OC.  Isn't is very limited in range, or does it have the same area of effect as ordinary Bard Song?  I couldn't find this from nwnwiki.  
Lasting Inspiration stacks with Lingering Song, so I wouldn't want to miss out on it.  I'm inclined to use it in place of Great Dexterity I.

@WW - I've never had access to the full range of bard spells before. Ghostly Visage, War Cry and Greater Dispelling are the ones that seem most useful at the higher levels.  But I am going for higher Cha more to boost Bard Song than the spells.  

As far as skills go, I'm trying to max out Perform, and have decent Spellcraft, UMD and Tumble.  I want to stretch to put a couple of points into skills like Persuade, Open Lock and Disable Device so that with items and Bard Song boost I can use them too.
               
               

               


                     Modifié par brendonwp, 18 janvier 2014 - 04:29 .
                     
                  


            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_MagicalMaster on January 18, 2014, 05:01:51 pm


               

brendonwp wrote...

Curse Song works really well for my melee bard in the OC.  Isn't is very limited in range, or does it have the same area of effect as ordinary Bard Song?  I couldn't find this from nwnwiki.

Same area of effect -- it won't work if you're sniping enemies from max range but anything that is semi close will get hit.

brendonwp wrote...

Lasting Inspiration stacks with Lingering Song, so I wouldn't want to miss out on it.  I'm inclined to use it in place of Great Dexterity I.

Lingering Song adds 30 seconds at all points -- this is useful before you have Lasting Inspiration since it adds 30 seconds to 60 seconds which is a 50% increase.  It's not useful once you have Lasting Inspiration since it adds 30 seconds to 600 seconds which is a 5% increase.
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_PracticalKat on January 19, 2014, 06:19:26 am


               That's good to know. Quick question, the Piercing Ballad build
has Lasting Inspiration at Bard L20 but that is not a feat level as I understand?
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_MagicalMaster on January 19, 2014, 06:41:25 am


               If Bard 20 falls on 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36, or 39 then you get a general feat which is used for Lasting Inspiration.
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_PracticalKat on January 19, 2014, 08:54:46 am


               OK, I think I understand feat placement now! Here is what I hope is the final build.  I've brought in Curse Song, moved Lingering Song later, moved Called Shot in place of Great Dex I, and brought in Armor Skin.  

Also, since I don't have Weapon Finesse I've swopped Int and Str scores to favour Str.  I'm going to rely on high dexterity, Bard Song and items to pump my skills.  

Race: Elf
Alignment: Any/Non-Lawful

Playable 1-40 PvM

Abilities:

Str: 14
Dex: 18 (30)   {to bump up dex based skills}
Con: 12
Wis: 8
Int: 10  
Cha: 14 (16)

Level Progression:


1: Bard 1: Point Blank shot
2: Bard 2
3: Bard 3: WF: Longbow
4: Bard 4: Dex +1 (19)
5: Bard 5
6: Bard 6: Curse Song
7: Bard 7
8: Bard 8: Dex +1 (20)
9: Bard 9: Extend Spell
10: Arcane Archer 1: (Enchant Arrow I)
11: AA 2
12: AA 3: Blind Fight, Dex +1 (21)
13: Bard 10: (Skill dump)
14: AA 4
15: AA 5: Imp. Crit: Longbow
16: Bard 11: Dex +1 (22)
17: AA 6
18: Bard 12: Lingering Song
19: AA 7
20: AA 8: Cha +1 (15)

Epic Levels:

21: Bard 13: EWF: Longbow
22: AA 9: (Enchant Arrow V)
23: AA 10
24: Bard 14: Called Shot, Cha +1 (16)
25: Bard 15
26: Bard 16
27: Bard 17: Great Dex I (23)
28: Bard 18: Dex +1 (24)
29: Bard 19
30: Bard 20: Lasting Inspiration
31: AA 11
32: AA 12: Dex +1 (25)
33: AA 13: Epic Prowess
34: AA 14: Great Dex II' (26)
35: AA 15
36: Bard 21: Dex +1, Great Dex III (28)
37: AA 16
38: AA 17
39: AA 18: Great Dex IV' (29), Armor Skin  
40: AA 19: Dex +1 (30) (Enchant Arrow X)

Priority Skills: Perform (maxed), Spellcraft, Concentration (last two have low ability scores)

Other important skills: Persuade, Tumble, UMD (high ability scores)

Skills to simply open (boost with items): Open Lock, Disable Device, Search
               
               

               


                     Modifié par brendonwp, 19 janvier 2014 - 08:58 .
                     
                  


            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_PracticalKat on January 19, 2014, 12:50:18 pm


               Quick Summary of Skills as I've estimated:

Total Points: 172
                        
Perform   Spellcraft   Concentration   Tumble   UMD   Persuade   Open lock   Disable device   Search
Cha      Int           Con                Dex     Cha   Cha          Dex          Int                   Int

43         21           19                  39        19     19            4              2                     2
Modified:
45         25           20                  43         21     21           6              2                     2

Bard Song adds up to +10 to skills


Edit: The modified skill calculation doesn't take into account the increase in Cha (+1) and Dex (+6) over the course of the build.  Next time I'll use the existing spreadsheet from the Vault to calc all this!
               
               

               


                     Modifié par brendonwp, 19 janvier 2014 - 03:10 .
                     
                  


            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_MagicalMaster on January 19, 2014, 10:16:54 pm


               You'll want to take your last Bard level at level 37+ so you can get at least 40 ranks in Tumble -- right now you're losing out on 1 AC by only have 39 (only base ranks count for AC).

I also seriously think you should drop Lingering Song completely which also nets you another AB from Great Dex (move Called Shot in pre-epic).  Generally speaking, if you're taking a non-epic feat in epic levels you're doing something very wrong.
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_Empyre65 on January 20, 2014, 04:15:25 am


               If you do what MagicalMaster said, you could then start with 17 DEX and still end up with 30. That would give you 3 more skill points to spend at character creation. Put them on INT, and take 1 from STR to make STR 13 and INT 14, which will give you 2 more full skills. Search and Spot are handy to have in Sands of Fate, and Spot is a class skill for AA.

The modified UMD needs to be a multiple of 5 because values in between are not useful. I would swap Blind Fight and Curse Song, which would require moving Bard from level 13 to level 12.

Another possibility would be to drop Improved Critical instead of Lingering Song. In that case, I would take Blind Fight at 6, Lingering Song at 12, Curse Song at 15, and Called Shot at 18, which would require you to take Bard at levels 12 and 15 instead of 13 and 16.
               
               

               


                     Modifié par Empyre65, 20 janvier 2014 - 04:15 .
                     
                  


            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_MagicalMaster on January 20, 2014, 06:36:29 am


               He could still start with 18 Dex and wind up with 32 Dex for an extra AB (technically minus 1 AC since he gains 1 from Dex but loses 2 from not having Armor Skin -- but his role is damage, not tanking).

Improved Critical is about a 9% increase in damage for a single feat which is completely passive so I would suggest you keep it (assuming the foe can be crit, of course).  If you decide you want more skills then drop Strength.
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_PracticalKat on January 20, 2014, 02:13:49 pm


               MM-Have looked again at Lingering Song and will have a go without it.  
Empyre - will go 12 Str and 12 Int, keeping 18 Dex,  and try and stretch the skill points.  Tx for note on UMD and 5 multiples. Also applies to Spellcraft and Tumble I think.
Taking Curse Song not Lingering Song gives more tactical options, as they do different things and the two can still be alternated to prolong Bard Song.
               
               

               


                     Modifié par brendonwp, 20 janvier 2014 - 04:00 .
                     
                  


            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_Empyre65 on January 20, 2014, 09:02:32 pm


               Yes, it is the same with the Spellcraft saves bonus, but the Tumble AC bonus is based on the actual ranks in Tumble, not the modified score, in multiples of 5.
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_PracticalKat on January 21, 2014, 03:58:20 pm


               Here is the build that I'm happy with.  I've gone the whole hog and entered it in the spreadsheet calculator on the Vault.
After bard level 16 the Perform skill achieved becomes inadequate for the Bard Song requirements (as much as -14).  In a high magic environment like SoU and HotU, I'm going to look to items to increase Perform.  In a low magic setting, bringing in Skill Focus: Perform and Epic Skill Focus: Perform would be a good solution (reduces the difference to -1).  
I like characters with different tactical options, so I've lowered Str to 10 and increased Int to 14, so that I have more skill points to play with.  Perform and Tumble are maxed.  UMD is low, but in a high magic environment not that important as lots of scrolls are available to bards anyway.  Concentration and Spellcraft at 30 ranks should make spell-casting fairly effective, even at high levels.  I've also got some points in rogue skills, enough to start off without having to have a dedicated rogue henchman.

I've briefly run through the opening of SoU and faced a few kobolds. PBS is working well :)

Adjusted "Piercing Ballad"

Bard(21), Arcane Archer(19), Elf

STR: 10
DEX: 18 (32)
CON: 12
WIS: 8
INT: 14
CHA: 14 (16)

Elf: (Hardiness vs. Enchantments, Keen Sense, Low-light Vision, Skill Affinity: Listen, Skill Affinity: Search, Skill Affinity: Spot, Sleeplessness)
01: Bard(1): Point Blank Shot
02: Bard(2)
03: Bard(3): Weapon Focus: Longbow
04: Bard(4): DEX+1, (DEX=19)
05: Bard(5)
06: Bard(6): Blind Fight
07: Bard(7)
08: Bard(8): DEX+1, (DEX=20)
09: Bard(9): Extend Spell
10: Arcane Archer(1)
11: Arcane Archer(2)
12: Bard(10): DEX+1, Curse Song, (DEX=21)
13: Arcane Archer(3)
14: Arcane Archer(4)
15: Bard(11): Improved Critical: Longbow
16: Arcane Archer(5): DEX+1, (DEX=22)
17: Arcane Archer(6)
18: Bard(12): Called Shot
19: Arcane Archer(7)
20: Arcane Archer(8): CHA+1, (CHA=15)
21: Bard(13): Epic Weapon Focus: Longbow
22: Arcane Archer(9)
23: Arcane Archer(10)
24: Bard(14): CHA+1, Great Dexterity I, (DEX=23), (CHA=16)
25: Bard(15)
26: Bard(16)
27: Bard(17): Great Dexterity II, (DEX=24)
28: Bard(18): DEX+1, (DEX=25)
29: Bard(19)
30: Bard(20): Lasting Inspiration
31: Arcane Archer(11)
32: Arcane Archer(12): DEX+1, (DEX=26)
33: Arcane Archer(13): Epic Prowess
34: Arcane Archer(14): Great Dexterity III, (DEX=27)
35: Arcane Archer(15)
36: Arcane Archer(16): DEX+1, Great Dexterity IV, (DEX=29)
37: Bard(21)
38: Arcane Archer(17)
39: Arcane Archer(18): Great Dexterity V, Great Dexterity VI, (DEX=31)
40: Arcane Archer(19): DEX+1, (DEX=32)

Hitpoints: 318
Skillpoints: 258
Saving Throws (Fortitude/Will/Reflex): 21/19/35
Saving Throw bonuses: Spells: +6, Mind Effects: +2
BAB: 27
AB (max, naked): 28 (melee), 52 (ranged)
AC (naked/mundane armor/shield only): 29/32
Spell Casting: Bard(6)
Alignment Changes: 0

Concentration 34(35), Disable Trap 3(5), Hide 15(26), Move Silently 15(26), Open Lock 5(16), Perform 40(43), Persuade 15(18), Search 4(8), Spellcraft 30(32), Spot 30(31), Tumble 40(51), UMD 15(18)


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

               


                     Modifié par brendonwp, 21 janvier 2014 - 03:59 .
                     
                  


            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_Empyre65 on January 22, 2014, 12:59:13 am


               It looks good to me.
               
               

               
            
Title: Bard / Arcane Archer Build Advice
Post by: Legacy_MagicalMaster on January 23, 2014, 11:24:54 pm


               Concentration is pointless -- either invest fully or don't bother (and you're unlikely to be casting spells in melee range anyway).  Better to increase spellcraft for better saves or invest in another skill -- like UMD!