View Full Version : Bard Tactics

12-12-2010, 12:22 PM
When I very first got into D&D, I always found that the Bard is one of the most interesting, yet unconventional party members. If you have a group of four people, the classic and expected group is a Fighter/Barb, Cleric, Rogue, and Ranger... Bard is usually the fifth character.

I personally love playing a Bard, and it is almost always the first character that I go for, knowing full well that they are in no way meant to go head first into combat, but instead find a way to either avoid, or 'trick' the enemy into a scenario where you can escape and stay alive.

So I was curious if there are some people out there that can come up with some tactics that don't involve direct combat.

An example would be:

After several drinks a gnomish bard bumps into an Orc accidently spilling his drink all over the back of the orc. Angered, the Orc pushes the Gnome threatening to kill him and the Gnome turns to him and offers a challenge, all the while playing his instrument. He says, "I will fight you, but the first one to fall to the ground has to buy the other a drink." Little does the Orc know, the bard has cast animate rope on his shoelaces and is simply waiting for the Orc to accept the challenge before he ties them together. Backing away and preparing for the inevitable charge, the Gnome smiles and antagonizes him into the challenge. The Orc laughs and happily accepts the challenge. He spits on the ground and gets into a charging stance. As his first foot shoots off the floor, not long after he immedately falls to the ground, leaving the gnome laughing hystarically and of course winning the challenge.

Perhaps someone has some stories that they would like to share? Perhaps something involving smoke bombs, or elaborate traps that require the whole group to cooperate?

12-13-2010, 12:58 AM
sovereign glue and multiple cursed stones of weight. think, variation on jack and the giant killer with a rock lifting contest.

edit: not my usual line, but i just had this sudden thought of an ocean's eleven variant with the bard having previous gotten a job at a casino/tavern/palace and is using sub-harmonics or something to subtly cast spells affecting things while the other players are around pulling off whatever the caper is.

12-13-2010, 01:39 AM
The bard also has a grab bag of buffs to use when the fight is going to happen, and should have the tools to derail a fight if at all possible. As you mention above.

Bard is best used by someone that like to play the unconventional.

12-13-2010, 03:54 PM
Bard is best used by someone that like to play the unconventional.

So let's get some examples!

Another one I just thought of was a quick, 'I win' for low levels.

EX: Group of bad guys coming at you. Bard casts 'Grease'. Afterwards another magic user casts Entangling Vines or other variant. Bad guy clearly can't move, next round cast flare or throw a bottle of *kaboom* -- toasty!

sovereign glue and multiple cursed stones of weight.

I absolutely love it, but how do you apply the glue without the giant knowing what you did? And secondly, how do you make sure the giant goes to grab the rock before the glue dries?

12-14-2010, 02:04 AM
My bard likes her longspear. With Expeditious Retreat, maxed out Acrobatics, and the Mobility feat, she can move around the battlefield poking anybody who needs poking, or just stand behind the Paladin. Although she hasn't actually poked anybody with her longspear in a long time. She has used Expeditious Retreat a lot.

Grease is quite a useful spell. Not only can you use it to make it difficult to move over a patch of terrain, but you can also use it to disarm an opponent, or to quickly help an ally who's just been grabbed by a monster.

Gallant Inspiration is a good spell if you keep a close eye on the big melee guy in the party. If he comes close to hitting, cast it, and he hits and takes another big chunk of hit points out of whoever he is fighting.

My bard has also used Dolorous Sadness (a variant of Hideous Laughter) to bring opponents to their knees. This can end a fight without requiring the enemy to be killed.

Ghost Sound is a good spell to use if you want to bluff or intimidate someone. I suppose it could be used to confuse opponents, but I haven't tried it yet.

My character has a level of sorcerer, which increases the range of spells she can cast. Mage Armor is one that she likes to have up at the start of any combat.