This is primarily a support build, with all the inspirations that come with a level 26 Bard, as well as the relatively standard Curse Song, Chorus of Heroism and Hymn of Requiem. Additionally, it can deploy Divine Might and Shield when the need arises, and eventually qualifies for Epic Divine Might, making it a reasonably strong warrior.
- Solid Support Bard with:
- Inspire Courage +5
- Inspire Regen +4
- Inspire Defense +6
- Inspire Toughness +4
- Inspire Competence +6
- Curse Song, Chorus of Heroism and Hymn of Requiem
- Blackguard Aura of Despair and Dark Blessing
- Divine Shield and Epic Divine Might
- Usable under any magic setting
- Fully viable from start to finish, with no multiclass penalty. Spare Skill points may be put into convo skills, making this Campaign playable.
- Requiem is Entirely Sonic dependent and can be negated by just about any primary caster. In particular, the spontaneous casters (Sorcerers, Favored Souls, other Bards) tend to have Energy Immunity on their list.
- Relatively low AB, Strength, and HP compared to a optimized dedicated warrior.
- If you use the minor exploit detailed below to get Divine Might on Blackguard 2, you don't actually need the 3rd Blackguard level. You can drop it for, say a level in another class altogether. You lose Aura of Despair, a basic Undead minion, and if you are not taking a Full BAB class with this 1 class splash, you also lose 1 BAB, but you still retain a final BAB of 21 and 5 attacks per round. Depending on which class you take, you may potentially gain:
- Warlock: Gives you 1 least invocation. You probably want Dark One's luck to add 2x your Cha bonus to Saves.
- Fighter: This is a full BAB class so your BAB remains at 22. Further to this, you also gain 1 fighter bonus feat. If you take this Fighter level at Epic levels, you can use it to pick up an epic feat like Epic Prowess or Armored Skin. Alternatively, you can use it to buy one of the Feats (Power Attack or Cleave) already listed below, and then use the newly free Feat slot to get something else (like Practiced Spellcaster Bard).
- Rogue: The only reason to go with Rogue is for Trap-finding and Skill access, which lets you act as the party Rogue. Works best with the High Magic Stat set, which gives you 3 skill points outside of the core 5, and lets you max out Search, Disable Device and Open Lock. You will also need Able Learner at level 1, so you have to drop Luck of Heroes for that.
- PaleMaster: Gives you +1 to Bard Caster level, but more importantly, +2 Natural AC.
Alignment: Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil until level 15 (or 14 if you use a small exploit)
Stats for Low Magic Variant
|Base Values||Racial Modifiers||Final Values|
Stats for High Magic Variant
|Base Values||Racial Modifiers||Final Values|
- A normal Breast Plate or Mithril Full Plate, has a max dex bonus of 3, equivalent to a Dex of 16.
- The Low Magic Variant can use Cat's Grace to bring his Dex to 16
- The High Magic Variant basically relies on +8 Dex gear to raise its Dex to 16, and channels the extra points to Int for more Skills.
BAB: 19 + 3 + 0 = 22
1. Power Attack
12. Curse Song
15. Divine Might
18. Lingering Song
23. Great Charisma
25. Song of Requiem
27. Hymn of Requiem
29. Great Charisma
Epic Bard Bonus Feats
23. Great Charisma
Cleric Bonus Domain Feats
1. Darkness (Blind Fight)
- You have some flexibility for your second domain feat. Evasion is a sound choice with your high reflex saves (further augmented by Dark Blessing). But there may be a few rare circumstances where your enemies don't throw anything at you that requires a Reflex save, in which case Toughness is better. Extra Turning may be useful if you need lots of Divine Might / Divine Shield for whatever reason.
- Base Skill points not including Int Bonus: (6 * 26) + (4 * 2) = 164.
- The 5 core class skills are:
- 33 Concentration
- 33 UMD
- 33 Perform
- 30 Spellcraft
- 30 Tumble
- You also need 5 Hide to qualify for Blackguard
- Total: 164 just right
- Besides these base Skill points and core skills:
- The Low Magic High Dex/Low Int variant gains 1 extra human skill point per level. **The High Magic Low Dex/High Int variant gains a total of 3 extra skill points.
- In either case, you have extra Skill points you can put into a Bard Skill of your choice. I would recommend to max out at least 1 Convo skill for Campaigns such as Diplomacy , Bluff or Intimidate. With the High Magic variant, you can max out all 3 skills!
|1||Bard 1||Luck of Heroes, Power Attack|
|3||Cleric 1||Divine Shield||Blind Fight, Evasion|
|4||Bard 3||+1 Str|
|6||Bard 5||Battle Caster|
|8||Bard 7||+1 Str|
|10||Blackguard 1||Use Poison|
|12||Blackguard 2||Curse Song||Smite good x1, dark blessing, bull's strength x1||+1 Str|
|15||Blackguard 3||Divine Might||Aura of despair, turn undead, create undead x1|
|16||Bard 12||+1 Str|
|18||Bard 14||Lingering Song|
|20||Bard 16||+1 Str|
|21||Bard 17||Chorus of Heroism|
|23||Bard 19||Great Charisma|
|24||Bard 20||+1 Cha|
|25||Bard 21||Song of Requiem|
|27||Bard 23||Hymn of Requiem, Great Charisma|
|28||Bard 24||+1 Cha|
|29||Bard 25||Great Charisma|
|30||Bard 26||Epic Divine Might|
- You have some flexibility in terms of levelling. In the scheme above, Cleric is taken early at level 3, to gain Med Armor and Shield proficiency early on. Additionally, all 3 Blackguard levels are taken as soon as possible to get the Evil alignment requirement out of the way. But you can delay either of these until later, so long as you take Blackguard 3 and Cleric 1 on pre-epic feat levels, to get Divine Might and Shield.
- This build does not have able learner, so skill points should only be bought when levelling up a class which has that skill as a class skill. You won't not be able to hold all the saved up skill points from taking 3 Blackguard levels in a row. In that case, it may be a good idea to alternate between Blackguard and Bard levels.
- Note that if you already have Turn Undead from Cleric 1, you can take Divine Might/Shield on a Blackguard levels 1 & 2, even though Blackguard does not yet have Turn Undead. This means you can take Divine Might the level 12 (Blackguard 2). Then take 1 Bard level to buy skills, and take Blackguard 3 on level 14 rather than 15, freeing you from the evil alignment restriction one level earlier. This may or may not be a bug that may be removed in future patches
- If you don't want to play an Evil blackguard, and are willing to shift alignments around, you can instead use 26 Bard / 2 Paladin / 2 Cleric. You have to start from non-lawful for Bard (probably Neutral Good), shift to Lawful Good for Paladin, and then shift back to non-lawful to finish off with Bard. Use the 2 Cleric levels to gain Divine Might and Shield, while the Paladin levels give you Divine Grace, and Martial Weapon proficiency.