View Full Version : Bard-related discussion

November 4th, 2012, 14:29
I am following-up on a thread about rules for the Bard, more specially the Dawnflower Dervish archetype, which happened in the game thread for a First Steps scenario. The original is thread can be read here (http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17605)

In this post (http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2mlu3?Inner-Sea-Guide-Dawnflower-Dervish-question#2) from a "high up" at Paizo, he declares the Dawnflower Dervish as a swashbuckler fighter rather than a support character, because the changes to the inspire performances only affecting the bard, rather than the group, but doubled.

I'm interested in making such a PFS character, so I started reading to figure out how its combat power grew at different levels vs a vanilla fighter. I was reading on the spell Good Hope (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/g/good-hope) and thought "wait a minute, this is a morale bonus, so it doesn't stack with inspire courage". This thought lead me to this post (http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2o0oa?Do-Morale-Bonuses-Stack#3) on morale bonus. I was surprised to realize that only the Save boost of Inspire Courage is a morale bonus; the attack and damage boosts are competence bonuses.

So, that means morale bonus spells, such as bless (which I cast in that First Steps scenario) and Good Hope, do stack with the Inspire Courage performance. On the flip side, a trait which increases morale bonus does not increase the attack and damage bonuses of Inspire Courage.

As conclusion to this long post, I still find the Dawnflower Dervish a fantastic archetype. Here are a few things that combine well for it:

Level 1: Dex 18 + Dervish Dance + Inspire Courage (+2)
Scimitar ATK +6, DMG 1d6+6, CritThreat 18-20

Level 5: Dex 18 + Dervish Dance + Inspire Courage (+4) + Cats Grace spell
Scimitar ATK +13, DMG 1d6+10, CritThreat 18-20

Level 5: Dex 18 + Dervish Dance + Inspire Courage (+4) + Heroism/Allegro/Cats Grace spells
Scimitar ATK +15, DMG 1d6+10, CritThreat 18-20 (2 attacks from Allegro's Haste)

It gets even more interesting by combining with these items and feats:
- Keen weapon or improved critical: threat range grows to 15-20
- Good Hope & other morale bonus spells
- Vital Strike: increase base damage to 2d6

I'm sure there are other interesting combos to bolster this. I'm not sure how this compares with a vanilla fighter and other melee classes (barbarian, ranger, etc), but I'm impressed with the power and versatility of the Dawnflower Dervish.

Gwaihir Scout
November 4th, 2012, 16:10
Good spot on the competence bonus bit. It's odd that there are two different bonus types in Inspire Courage, but it's right there.

Yeah, this is one of the better archetypes if you want a combat oriented bard. Arcane duelist probably meshes with the other abilities better, but getting Dervish Dance at first level is ludicrous.

Oh, and by level five you've gotten a DEX-boosting belt, which replaces Cat's Grace, so never mind.

November 6th, 2012, 14:29
You probably aren't going to dish out the same damage as a simple fighter with a great sword... but you have a LOT more versatility. It definitely is a fun route to go.