Modified: (based on input here and advice elsewhere) * Changed to 16 start int. AC gonna suck anyways, so dont need more than 8 dex and wis. Also saves are extremely high anyways.
* Rearranged some epic feats. Lasting Inspiration taken @ lvl 24. Skipped Great con 1 and 2, included Great cha 1 and 2, as well as Epic skill focus: Perform. Not that critical, but was the best feat I could find, and it makes items selection less restrictive to max perform. Removed extra music (definatly not needed) Also, cha will be 30 at lvl 56, and the 7th epic chosen at 57, so able to get all epics 3 lvls before.
* Corrected saves, and final HP will be 1251
* Added alternative options to build
* Added picture from test chamber @ lvl 40.
TODO: Will update with Siren, Dragonblooded and Shard when I get the time.
I got my hands on the chaos gnome subrace and I'm since tossing ideas around in my head. I already have Leyla, a yue bard/siren at level 59, and love her.
Primary abilities choices
So ... the newest fashion is not to take DEX for bard ("dex bard"), but CHA ("caster bard") or, as this build does, CON ("con bard", from now on). The minimum requirement behind every new bard build, be it dex, cha or con based, since the latest changes, is to have 30 CHA base and a number of spell focus feats. The basic problem with the CON stat is that it cannot be taken in legendary levels (no hitpoints gained retroactively), and so CHA must be taken in LL. If the build is optimized for maximum effectiveness at level 60, it reaches base CHA 30 at level 60 starting from CHA 20 at level 40, and the improved song and epics are available no earlier than level 60. Ouch. And all because CON ability increases can't be taken in LL.
I use the following model: A "base version" CON bard takes all spell focus feats (7+book) for access to all the epic spells. Any other capablities of the bard will come at the cost of epic spells. Feats provided by the subrace selection will free feats for other uses. The basic costs of an epic spell are the feats spell focus, greater spell focus, epic spell focus which must be taken in legendary levels, 3 feats. Or, leaving out a spell focus provides 2 epic feats (within limits) and a legendary feat. I presume the situation with a CHA bard is similar. The list of feats to pick instead of spell focus feats include: still spell, extend spell, great cha 1+2, great con 1+2, combat casting+improved, extra music, lingering song, legendary spell focus enchantment, epic skill focus perform. All the picks have their merits. My build must have combat casting feats and the epic skill focus feat (no UR bard gear). Lingering song and extend spell are next picks.
My dex bard in legendary levels would run up to the front, curse the enemies, die right there or run the .... around the next corner, up to level 50. Starting at level 50 things would much improve as "die right there" does no longer happen that often, instead she often rezzes people now or fights just so she doesn't become flat-footed.
Now, AC on the CON and CHA bard is not even looked at, instead one relies on hitpoints, damage reduction and concealment granted by EV, and damage reduction granted by bard song. The latter is not even available until very late (level 60 or 56 if great cha 1+2 was picked as feats). So I'm looking forward to what, "die right there" happens up until level 60 if I don't hide? Ouch.
My best guess at Leyla II's position on the battle field: keep beside the casters mostly, make short sorties to curse incoming enemies, go back to the casters and keep the healing circle up, so it's no more dex tanking mobs like Leyla does. Or, can a CON bard actually tank?
Hi, actually i updated the build some days ago, check the post above yours.
Also, cha will be 30 at lvl 56, and the 7th epic chosen at 57, so able to get all epics 3 lvls before.
So, youre right it wont be very effective until late (56 or 57 instead of 60), but I aim for maximum effectivity in hells with this build, and therefore not considering how it will perform before that as reaching 56+ dont take that long time. You will still be able to curse and sing well, and to use healing circles to keep the party up and running, so it wont be totally useless pre hells either.
This means you can start your Tia run at 56 (then you can get all epics except one), or 57 then you have all the epics.
Another version could be to take STR to resist Pit fiend knockdowns instead of Con. As mentioned, there are flexibilities with this build, it all comes down to what you prefer and how your playstyle is.
Uhh... Don't want to seem pushy or anything mate, but how's that TODO list coming along?
Ah, forgot about that. Updated with a Siren version now.
Note: If you dont want Epic evocation spell, you can choose other feats for Siren there. suggestions are Great con 1&2, or epic skill focus perform and something else.
This works very well with siren as well, and the only change are lower saves (though still well over 60) and 120 less HP. Lower AC dont mean that much since it sucks anyway , you rely on buffs and GS when needed.
Interesting.... It broke GS for me when i did it before, and i just realised that i can take all 8 epics
No, I can pretty much guarantee it didn't. I've cursed in GS thousands of times and never had it break it. This is, however, changed, as of last update, and it now DOES break GS, as does turning (which also didn't). Funky
Post by Kallan/ Kallana on May 13, 2007 4:33:57 GMT
Am I missing something here? to regards of taking epic spell focuses for epic spells - I though all epic focuses had to be taken before LLs to be able to qualify for epic spells - has that changed? - or has it just changed for bards?
Is there any reason for levelling in this order? Taking your monk level pre-epic will net you slightly higher saves vs. 1 AB. Since saves are already great and AB is already abyssmal I don't think it will much matter. I would probably opt for the saves considering extra Hells penalties on subsequent Hells runs after becoming Demi-God. (Doesn't hurt to plan ahead...WAY ahead in my case).
My question I guess is why not take the 2 Lawful classes back to back to avoid switching alignments 4 times instead of 2.
I've recently taken my caster bard to level 60 and have had a blast playing her. She's been through Maladomini and I thought I'd give some comments on the build in case someone wants to play a caster bard. My version uses the same level and class combination as the build proposed by Zerragon but I've put emphasis on other than CON as described below (and Zerr said it was fine if I posted it here ).
I wanted to use my caster build for two functions: curse and heal. Her main task is to curse all enemies and as soon as that is done she's ready to heal any team members to make sure they stay alive. Sort of like a foul-mouthed Mother Theresa. In order to keep party members alive it was important to make sure she would stay upright so she can cast healing circle when party members are knocked down by pit fiends, narzugons, advs and what-have-you. That meant increasing STR and DEX but the exact amount is unknown since the checks for knock down aren't listed in the combat log (yet . Therefore, I had to guess and tweak the build a bit and it can probably be improved a bit (see below for changes).
I'm not going to list all details of the build, but I used human Shard and you can see the final abilities on the picture above (all with +12 except INT which has base 12 and WIS which has base 8). The ability increases were used to increase both CHA, STR, DEX and CON.
Feats taken (in no particular order): Curse song Combat casting Improved combat casting Epic skill focus: heal Spell focus, greater spell focus and epic spell focus: conjuration, illusion, necromancy, transmutation Great CHA 1-6 Great STR 1-4 Silent spell Toughness
I took combat casting and improved combat casting since I normally race between fighting party members in battle and would hate to give attacks of opportunity to opponents whenever I cast healing circle (and defensive casting mode only works half the time for me). Silent spell focus was taken to access more healing circles and ESF heal was taken to boost the effectiveness of healing circle.
Despite my STR I still occasionally get KD'd by pit fiends but I must say it is very rare. Maybe once on a Maladomini run and once every second or third Phleg run. She is very capable of staying upright and if nasty monsters are all around she can always cast GS and stay close to knocked down team members so she can heal. Same goes for the knock down DEX checks in hells but they happen a bit more often although it is really nothing to worry too much about.
Playing this toon has been quite different from my other toons. Mainly because you cannot damage anything. From level 1 and all the way to level 60 I only think I ever killed a few mobs and that was some of the undeads in Plains of War, who died when I healed team mates. However, there are a lot of secondary functions of this toon: she has an impressive stock of wands and scrolls so she can help cast clarity on stunned party members, gust fumes, living cold, nightmares etc, and unstone party members so that the tanks can keep fighting.
The build has 5 epics (4 from feats and 1 from book) and I must say the transmutation and necromancy epics are awesome. The transmutation bard epic is a party saver. I still haven't used a book of legendary lore as I'm split between divination, abjuration and enchantment. From what I understand enchantment could turn out to be very useful on one specific map in hells and if that is the case then I'll cetainly take that. Otherwise I'm guessing it will be abjuration. Possum's Farce (illusion which corresponds to a stone of rebirth) still surprises some of the people I've partied with when they don't realize they must have rolled a 1 on a save and insta-died. Cries like "Hey! Was I just morded? Someone stripped me of all my buffs" are not uncommon. The healing spirit is quite nice as well although it can be a bit difficult to get it to heal a certain person. It often works quite well if you set it to attack nearest enemy so that it will stay close to the front-line tanks and heal one of those. Alternatively you can get it to heal you if you ask it to follow you around.
Gear (before level 60): Lute of Axeria Imperia Legendary horn of blasting Belt of Bestial Resilience Tunic of Jamamros Pegason Soul Mirror Phylactery of Aztri-Voca Ecto-Plasmic Weave Death Grip (often swappin in immortal bracers before first song to make sure perform in maxed). Threads of Thokul Zenben (often changed for other boots and then I use the inverted forces gauntlets to increase physical resist)
At level 60 there are some BUR items you could use instead. The bard BUR robes or bracers are obvious choices.
If I were to redo her I'd
wait until information about the knock down tests in hells are out. Funky hinted that one of the tests was on STR+CON and if that is the case it may be worth taking more CON at the cost of STR.
maybe drop the monk level and take a 2nd level of paladin for free fear immunity.
Thanks for posting Zerragon. Definitely like the build.
A few questions to you, Claus, or anyone else with an opinion:
1) There's a range between your and Claus' build as far as number of epic spells. Is there any conventional wisdom about order of usefullness? ie which would you give up first, second, third, fourth...
2) I don't hear much talk about the changes to the Dirge spell. Does it just not work well on account of low Spell Pen? Seems like a killer spell. The reason I ask is I've contemplated givin up some epics to improve Charisma and Spell Pen feats.
Dirge does sound great, but the DC is pretty bad especially if you sacrificed Charisma or didn't take epic evocation. With a CHA of 54 and no focus my DC is 39. I cast it every now and then just on the off chance something will roll a 1 at the same time the spell penetration roll goes through, but really it's a waste of time on my character (but as a caster bard there are quite a few times where you've done your curse and balagarn's horn already, so might as well). I do like Balagarn's Horn, especially in Ssithrak where you can make lots of things fall down (if you're prone to an overactive imagination, you can pretend you're a rampaging Pit Fiend and hear their cries of terror and frustration while you laugh pitilessly).
My personal take on the epics is Illusion, then Necro now that crits are in place, then Transmutation if you're planning on Hells (almost useless outside of Hells, but huge there). It's more difficult to decide between Divination (petrify a circle) and Conjuration (Healing Spirit) but I think Divination would come first (would be interested to here from someone who has both). As for the rest, not sure but none of them sound as useful as the first 5.
Oh, and like Claus, I get that response to the Illusion epic all the time. "Hey! Someone morded me!" or "OMG, I died but then I was up again, but I swear I didn't have a rebirth stone!"
Post by atomicsomething on Jul 2, 2007 8:31:27 GMT
Dirge does sound great, but the DC is pretty bad especially if you sacrificed Charisma or didn't take epic evocation. With a CHA of 54 and no focus my DC is 39. I cast it every now and then just on the off chance something will roll a 1 at the same time the spell penetration roll goes through, but really it's a waste of time on my character (but as a caster bard there are quite a few times where you've done your curse and balagarn's horn already, so might as well).
Dirge works very well in LL if you took the CHA way and the ad-hoc Spell focus feats. In Hells, it works also against most monsters (20%-25% chance to land only with curse).
Im working on a modified version somwhere between Claus and Mine these days, currently lvl 52, will post it soon, but it takes into account that more Charisma is needed to make important Epics last longer, as well as higher base abilities to avoid getting knocked down so much.