The Epic Bardic Master (Bard 31 / BG 4 / Rogue 5)

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      An epic bard with a big weapon, plenty of spells and outrageous rogue skills. Source: NWN EE, WoG PW


      This build combines a few ideas:

      • Bard 31 for great bard/curse song, spellcasting, skills, Lasting Inspiration, Taunt, bonus feats
      • Blackguard 4 for Dark Blessing (boost to saves), Divine Shield/Might (+4-10 dodge AC or divine damage/hit), Martial Weapon Proficiency and Heavy Armor Proficiency, +1d6 sneak attack
      • Rogue 5 for evasion, uncanny dodge, trap skills (including setting epic traps with Bard Song boost) +3d6 sneak attack
      • 368 skill points, rogue/bard class skills enhanced by Bard 21 to 30 song (+9 to 19 to skills)
      • Near universal weapon wielder (although least effective with double bladed swords / dire maces / double axes)

      This character is incredibly versatile and for brevity’s sake I have listed its features in dot points.

      +200 damage critical hits with a x4 critical modifier weapon. There is added electrical damage from the weapon itself.

      Offensive capabilities

      Four attacks / round, five attacks / round with haste or mass haste (lasting 31 rounds).

      Added damage per hit

      • +15 to 24 Str damage (two handed) or +10-16 Str damage (single handed)
      • +4d6 sneak attack (sneak attacks can be triggered with the Darkness/Ultravision combo)
      • +3 bludgeoning (bard song),
      • +4-10 divine damage (Divine Might)
      • Greater Magic Weapon (+5 damage), War Cry (+2 damage)

      Added attack bonus:

      • Bard Song (+2 AB), War Cry (+2 AB).
      • Capped Strength from Bard’s Bull’s Strength, Stackable Bull’s Strength and items
      • Greater Magic Weapon (+5 AB)

      Lower enemy armor class (effective additional AB):

      • Bard’s Curse Song (-5 to 7 AC)
      • Taunt (up to -6 AC)
      • Darkness spell (makes enemies flat footed losing Dex, Dodge and Tumble AC, unless they have ultravision or true seeing).
      • Dirge (-2 Dex or -1 Dex AC / round if fails fortitude save and enemy has no Level/Ability Drain Immunity)
      • Slow spell (-2 AC unless enemy has freedom)

      Mind affecting spells against non-mind immune enemies – mentally affect enemies and they cannot fight back:

      • Bard caster level 31 will penetrate max toolset spell resistance 32 every time
      • Spells include Charm, Confusion/Fear, Hold Monster, War Cry and Mind fog

      Wounding Whispers for 32-37 sonic damage dealt to enemies per enemy melee hit received, for 31 rounds. Useful when you struggle to hit enemies.

      Defensive capabilities

      Increased AC:

      • Bard song (+5-7 dodge AC),
      • Tumble 40 (+8 tumble AC)
      • Haste/Mass Haste spell (+4 dodge AC)
      • Divine Shield (+4-10 dodge AC)
      • Mage Armor (at least +1 dodge AC)

      Lowered enemy AB:

      • Curse Song (-2 AB)
      • Dirge (-2 str/dex or -1 AB / round if enemy fails fortitude save and has no Level/Ability Drain Immunity)
      • Slow (-2 AB) – if enemy does not have freedom / other immunity

      Slow spell can also lower enemy attacks to one / round excluding bonus attacks, up to 31 rounds.


      • Improved Invisibility (50% concealment)
      • Darkness (50% attacker miss chance, unless enemy has true seeing or ultravision)

      Damage reduction:

      • Ethereal Visage (+3 soak 20 damage) or Ghostly Visage (+1 soak 5 damage)
      • Or UMD for Premonition (ie +5 soak 30 damage), Greater Stoneskin/Stoneskin

      Spellcaster defense:

      • Protection vs evil (mind immunity against evil enemies, most common opponents)
      • Ghostly visage for immunity against level 1 spells
      • Ethereal Visage for immunity against level 2 spells
      • Self targeted Silence aura to prevent enemies from casting spells, unless they have protections
      • Dismissal spell to eliminate enemy summons (with a +6 bonus to DC)
      • Charisma boosted saves (from Blackguard Dark Blessing), +6 to 9 to saves against spells (Spellcraft boosted by Bard Song), +3 Will +2 Fort +2 Reflex from Bard Song.
      • Rogue Evasion to completely nullify damage with a successful reflex save against certain spells/abilities/traps

      The character has outrageously boosted skills from high level bard song and is setting a large number of deadly and epic traps for a dangerous opponent. She detected the traps in the dungeon with a high search score and retrieved the traps earlier with an ultra-high disable trap skill. Source: NWN EE, WoG PW.

      Rogue / other skills

      • Detect, disable and retrieve traps (up to epic) with bard song boosting both Search and Disable Trap
      • Craft up to deadly traps with bard song (12 to 22 craft trap with bard song)
      • Open locks up to DC 60 with a +10 thieves tool + bard song
      • Detect enemies with Spot 53 and/or Listen 53 boosted by bard song, and additionally Amplify spell (+20 to listen). Spot is a better detection skill, but listen can be boosted.
      • Discipline 78 with capped strength + bard song (to protect against disarm, knockdown, called shot and custom abilities)
      • Taunt 72 with capped charisma + bard song
      • Lore 53 with bard song to help identify items, potentially boosted by Identify and Legend Lore spells as well
      • High strength score allows the character to carry piles of loot for parties, if needed.

      Rogue 4 is taken at level 20 and Rogue 5 at 34. This may seem some time, however each improved bard song will boost the skills more and more so this did not seem to be an issue.

      Weaknesses and managing these

      • HP is low, however when constitution is capped it hits 538hp plus Bard Song provides up to +48 temporary bonus HP. Recommend keeping an eye on the health bar, don’t try to take on too many enemies at once (usually good general advice). The defenses available are outrageous and definitely allow tanking mobs to an extent but I would suggest boosting constitution with items/spells + consider equipping a shield if one wishes to do this.
      • Arcane spell failure will limit casting in combat to the Darkness spell (can be cast without arcane failure). Recommend  casting long and medium duration spells without armor on before combat starts and using the Darkness / Ultravision combo against susceptible opponents. If reduced or no arcane spell failure equipment (ie spellsword equipment) can be obtained this will allow up spell casting in combat such as Slow, Confusion, Hold Monster etc.

      Other builds

      This character build combination with high bard (ie 26+) appears not to have been explored previously. I couldn’t find any similar builds with high Bard/BG/Rogue in the ECB archives.

      Build details:

      Blackguard(4), Bard(31), Rogue(5), Human

      Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil

      STR: 16 (30)
      DEX: 8
      CON: 12
      WIS: 8
      INT: 16
      CHA: 14 (18)

      Human: (Quick to Master)
      01: Rogue(1): Expertise, Blind Fight
      02: Bard(1)
      03: Bard(2): Weapon Proficiency Exotic
      04: Bard(3): STR+1, (STR=17)
      05: Bard(4)
      06: Bard(5): Power Attack
      07: Bard(6)
      08: Rogue(2): STR+1, {Evasion}, (STR=18)
      09: Bard(7): Cleave
      10: Blackguard(1)
      11: Blackguard(2): {Smite Good}
      12: Blackguard(3): STR+1, Divine Shield, (STR=19)
      13: Bard(8)
      14: Rogue(3): {Uncanny Dodge I}
      15: Bard(9): Curse Song
      16: Bard(10): STR+1, (STR=20)
      17: Bard(11)
      18: Blackguard(4): Divine Might
      19: Bard(12)
      20: Rogue(4): CHA+1, (CHA=15)
      21: Bard(13): Great Charisma I, (CHA=16)
      22: Bard(14)
      23: Bard(15)
      24: Bard(16): STR+1, Great Strength I, (STR=22)
      25: Bard(17)
      26: Bard(18)
      27: Bard(19): Great Strength II, (STR=23)
      28: Bard(20): STR+1, (STR=24)
      29: Bard(21)
      30: Bard(22): Lasting Inspiration
      31: Bard(23): Epic Skill Focus: Perform
      32: Bard(24): STR+1, (STR=25)
      33: Bard(25): Great Strength III, (STR=26)
      34: Rogue(5)
      35: Bard(26): Great Charisma II, (CHA=17)
      36: Bard(27): STR+1, Great Strength IV, (STR=28)
      37: Bard(28)
      38: Bard(29): Great Charisma III, (CHA=18)
      39: Bard(30): Great Strength V, (STR=29)
      40: Bard(31): STR+1, (STR=30)

      Hitpoints: 296
      Skillpoints: 368
      Saving Throws (Fortitude/Will/Reflex): 24/23/26
      Saving Throw bonuses: Spells: +6
      BAB: 26
      AB (max, naked): 36 (melee), 25 (ranged)
      AC (naked/mundane items only): 17/28
      Spell Casting: Bard(6)
      Alignment Changes: 0

      Recommended spells:
      Level 6 – Dirge, Energy Buffer, Mass Haste, Ice Storm
      Level 5 – Ethereal Visage, Greater Dispelling, Healing circle, Mind Fog, Summon Creature V
      Level 4 – Improved Invisibility, War cry, Hold Monster, Dismissal, Legend Lore or Dominate Person
      Level 3 – Haste, Wounding Whispers, Slow, Greater Magic Weapon, Confusion
      Level 2 – Bull’s Strength, Darkness, Ultravision, Silence, See Invisibility or Eagle’s Splendor
      Level 1 – Protection from alignment, Grease, Amplify, Mage Armor, Identify or Charm Person

      Disable Trap 36(41), Discipline 43(53), Hide 5(4), Listen or Spot 35(34), Open Lock 12(11), Perform 43(57), Search 23(26), Set Trap 35(36), Spellcraft 27(30), Taunt 43(47), Tumble 40(39), UMD 26(30)

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


        I’ve been playing through some nostalgia NWN and came up on this build last year.  This has to be my favorite build ive ever played.  Love the fact that it doesn’t bind you to a single weapon or tactic and it has a lot of RP elements.  When playing solo (like swordfight/ailund) I modify to increase bluff and persuade.  Versatile and a lot of fun!

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