Your ability scores don’t really match your character description. You have little-to-no use for that Strength, that I can tell, and it sounds like your Charisma really ought to get an 18, since you’re staying on the back lines and focusing on song and spell.
Also, please consider my general recommendations for the bard class, as I’m going to avoid repeating myself.
And immediately breaking my claim that I’d not repeat myself: you don’t list Dragonfire Inspiration. You should; it is one of the absolute best feats for a buffer-bard, and is a very good reason to make your human character specifically a silverbrow human. Both Dragonfire Inspiration and silverbrow human are found in Dragon Magic.
Feats You List
Obtain Familiar/Improved Familiar
Decent, but you have to pay attention to your familiar, i.e. remember it’s there, maintain its stat-sheet, and so on. And then there’s the risk of it blowing up in your face and costing you a bunch of XP. Can be quite good, but I’d generally pass.
Song of the Heart
Very good, remember that you can get it as a bonus feat at Bard 3 instead of Inspire Competence. This is generally seen as a good trade, though Inspire Competence is OK enough that it can be worth it to take Song of the Heart as a feat so you get both.
By the time you can take it (6th), you’re starting to be really worried about the “mind-affecting, fear effect” aspect of the feat. The effect is decent, but not amazing at the levels it’s available, and it will become dead weight at high levels.
In my experience, combat rarely lasts long enough for this to matter. The feat does nothing until, at the earliest, round 7, and most fights don’t last that long. I would pass.
The ability to cast while performing is eh for much the same reasons as Lingering Song. It’s better than Lingering Song, but ultimately it’s not much more likely to come up.
But that isn’t why you take the feat: you take the feat to replace Concentration with Perform. That is amazing for any bard, an ASAP pick up for almost all of them.
It’s definitely not bad, but ultimately bards aren’t the best option for it. You just have fewer spells per day. Definitely don’t bother until high levels.
Meh? Ultimately, you almost-certainly will end up with way more daily uses of bardic music than you know what to do with, and this is a good way to burn through those – but you’ll burn through them fast. I like it better than Versatile Spellcaster, though, and would not take both.
By 9th level, 5 damage is just... not a lot. If someone is surrounded by a bunch of low-damage, many-attacks enemies, then it can be golden, but a feat is a lot to spend on that possibility. Better for people to just, ya know, avoid getting surrounded. If it were immediate, you could argue it’s awesome for sudden ambushes, but as a swift you need to see the situation coming.
On the other hand, you do have a lot of uses of bardic music available after a while, and swift actions can be cheap. There are better options but it’s not bad.
If this is worthwhile for a 6th-level character (and I’m not sure it is), it’s definitely not worth your 15th-level feat. You could spend another feat to get Intimidate in-class, but that’s way too much work for this. Pass.
Metamagic cost-reducers are one of the tried-and-true ways to true power in 3.5. This has far more sensible restrictions than Divine Metamagic, so I won’t call it out as definitively overpowered, but it is really strong.
The other issue is that the bard doesn’t really have the clear-and-obvious choices for metamagic that other classes do, and doesn’t get any as bonus feats. You have very limited feats to use for this.
Reflex saves are the least-important of the three, but this is a pretty sizeable bonus, as an immediate action, and the cost to use it is not unreasonable. I’d definitely consider it.
I love the name of this feat. And every time I read it, it disappoints me. Don’t bother.
You really want to try to avoid mind-affecting effects if you can; too many things are immune. This bonus is small and niche. Pass.
This is a great feat, but if you’re not melee-focused, then it serves no purpose. Your ability scores are not exactly ideal, either, though the fact that you will be getting the largest cloak of charisma you can, and at high levels probably using wish or tomes for Charisma, mean the difference is going to wind up much higher than +2.
Sound of Silence
Deafening is not that bad a condition; the cost to inflict it here is just too high.
Point Blank Shot
Pure tax, plain and simple, and a bad one. The only reason to ever take this is just so you can take the actually-good things that require it, and you don’t need those that I can tell.
If you are looking to use a lot of rays (not really a bard thing but you could), consider the rod of magical precision that allows you to buy Precise Shot for cheap. It’s in Complete Mage.
Aside from that, you only break out a bow when the battle is won and you’re taking potshots to pick people off. Don’t burn feats on that.
Tiny bonus is tiny. This is not worth a feat.
Here I disagree; Disguise Spell is awesome. And on a cowardly character? Perfect. Strongly recommend this.
You are going to have approximately 20 uses of bardic music in a day; for most purposes, Extra Song is pointless because you were never going to use all 20 in the first place. At low levels, it’s much better, though.
If you do go in for a lot of alternate uses of bardic music, particularly Lyric Spell and/or Metamagic Song, it becomes much more valid, but I still probably wouldn’t bother.
Solid enough metamagic, reasonably priced. Good feat.
Note that Sculpt Spell is not the same as the archmage’s Mastery of Shaping, nor does it make a spell (S) sculptable – it just switches area spells into other standard shapes (a cylinder, cone, ball, line, or series of cubes). This makes it rather difficult to use since you won’t be able to just pick and choose your targets, you still have to make it fit inside this shape. At +1 spell level, I’d much rather just cast a higher-level spell. Even with Metamagic Song, you couldn’t apply it to your best spells.
This is an awesome feat for a buffer, allowing you to hit multiple people with usually-single-target buffs.
Charming the Arrow
If you are actually going to go in for that archery stuff, and can somehow finagle the Fey requirement, Charming the Arrow would be obviously-awesome for you.
Fantastic opportunity for shenanigans, even more than Disguise Spell, but it costs a spell level.
Mentioned, mentioning it again. The feat is fantastic.
is an awful feat you will most likely never use. That said, it is required for the excellent war weaver prestige class from Heroes of Battle – worth considering.
Possibly even more capable of shenanigans than is Disguise Spell.
This eliminates the casting-time increase of metamagic feats for spontaneous casting. If you are going to be using a lot of metamagic, you need this feat ASAP.
Unfortunately, taking it is another metamagic feat you aren’t taking. If you take this and Metamagic Song to enable metamagic, but only have one or two situational metamagic feats (like Extend and Sculpt), those two feats enabling metamagic are kind of wasted.
Turn a touch-attack spell into a ranged spell, which can be very useful in conjunction with Chain Spell.
Song of the White Raven
You are not melee-focused, which makes this Tome of Battle feat seem odd at first, but there are more than sufficient opportunities to make this worthwhile. A single level of crusader gets you some excellent party-buffing options, like leading the charge and white raven tactics.1 Martial spirit and crusader’s strike or revitalizing strike also allow you to potentially heal allies if you ever do get in melee (or at least, use that whip), which seems appropriate.
But most of all, it allows you to take Song of the White Raven, which allows you to start your Inspire Courage as a swift action. That is a huge deal, and totally worth a level and a feat.
- Tome of Battle is, by far, the best-designed, best-balanced book in 3.5, but even the best books have problems. For Tome of Battle, the most notorious problems are iron heart surge and white raven tactics, but both are fine when used reasonably. For white raven tactics, simply disallow using it on yourself (as was likely originally intended), and it becomes strong, but not broken. For iron heart surge, should it come up, I like to just replace the entire text of the feat with BY CROM!! and then it seems to play fine.
Not a feat, but rather an alternate class feature replacing Countersong (which is absolutely useless), this allows you to disrupt other spellcasters. A good deal.
I don’t actually recommend this feat, but it should be mentioned. Combined with Metamagic Song, Talfirian Song allows bardzilla, very similar to a cleric’s use of Divine Metamagic. Even though it takes three feats instead of one, and is limited by the bard’s spell list, this is still overpowered for many games, particularly one described as low-power.
Assuming silverbrow human,
- 1st level
- Invisible Spell
- Dragonfire Inspiration (Human bonus feat)
- 3rd level
- Reach Spell
- Song of the Heart (Music of Creation bonus feat)
- 6th level
- 9th level
- 12th level
- 15th level
- 18th level
The Dominant Ideal ACF for Ardents reduces the Metapsionic cost by 2 PP, and eliminates the need to expend Psionic Focus, when manifesting powers from the chosen Mantle. This is extremely powerful, especially with the Mantle Substitution options also suggested in that article.
Magic of Incarnum
Doesn’t directly affect Metapsionic costs, but reduces Augmentation costs which will usually amount to the same thing.
Also See: Psionic Tricks Handbook
On Minmax Boards.