[RPG] the most powerful, complete (levels 1–20) Bardic buffing build


What are the most powerful Bardic optimized buffing builds, that focus on buffing and strengthening allies, in a practical game?

I'm actually working on building a class, and to learn from and for inspiration I've been researching existing complete (i.e., the full 1st to 20th level) optimized builds that focus on buffing allies. I have found many forum posts asking for advice on what feats, traits, spells, or so on to take, but they only contain advice, and none of them have included a completed 20-level build. I haven't been able to locate any completed builds that revolve around buffing allies.

To narrow things down, right now I'm focusing on hunting down Bardic builds along these lines.

Best Answer

This is the best guide to the buffer bard that I've seen.

It covers everything from stat & race choices to feats, archetypes, spells, masterpieces, magic items, and strategy

The example build is an Emberkin Aasimar, a worshiper of Serenrae, and a bard (sans archetypes), who uses a banner of the ancient kings (in conjuction with the flagbearer feat) to boost their already impressive buffing potential.

As a highlight of what the build's aiming for:

At level 9 you are going to buff your pals for +9 to attack (+4 inspire courage, +2 master performer and greater, +2 flagbearer and banner, +1 haste), +8 damage (+4 inspire courage, +2 master performer and greater, +2 flagbearer and banner), +30 ft movement speed, +1 attack at their max base attack bonus; this is only the BASIC buffs that came from banner, inspire courage and haste.

You can make your comrades reroll saving throws, you can save them from grapples, from fall damage and you can remove the following conditions: cowering, dazzled, fatigued, exhausted, nauseated, paralyzed, shaken, sickened, stunned; all without wasting actions.

Note, I disagree with some of the author's choices -- for instance, I think that (with many DMs, against many intelligent foes) those flags are very easy to sunder and so are a riskier strategy than I care for -- but when I first encountered this guide I didn't have a sense of what was possible with this sort of build. The guide gave me that, expanded my understanding of the options available, and pointed me toward some largely reasonable choices...some of which I'd stick with and others I've moved on from over time, based on my own play style and the style of DMs I play with.

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