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Bards receive a series of active abilities collectively called "bardic music", "bardic songs" or "bard songs". A Bard may perform one song per rest period per level of Bard. Bards can take enhancements to use their music more times per rest. Characters with a Past life as a Bard also gain an additional Bard song at character creation equal to the stacking bonus of the Bard past life (Maximum of 3). The Tier 1 Spellsinger enhancement Lingering Songs extends the duration of beneficial songs.
Bard songs are not spells: they can naturally be played while moving at full speed; they are not subject to Spell Resistance; and a Bard who is hit while playing does not need to make a Concentration check to avoid being interrupted. However, swimming, tumbling or climbing a ladder interrupts the performance, and so does being crowd-controlled (for example tripped).
List of songs
The primary bardic songs are:
- Fascinate (requires Bard level 1 and 3 ranks of Perform)
- Inspire Courage (requires Bard level 1 and 3 ranks of Perform)
- Inspire Competence (requires Bard level 3 and 6 ranks of Perform)
- Suggestion (requires Bard level 6 and 9 ranks of Perform)
- Inspire Greatness (requires Bard level 9 and 12 ranks of Perform)
- Song of Freedom (requires Bard level 12 and 15 ranks of Perform)
- Inspire Heroics (requires Bard level 15 and 18 ranks of Perform)
- Mass Suggestion (requires Bard level 18 and 21 ranks of Perform)
Spellsingers can gain:
- Enthrallment (tier 3)
- Song of Arcane Might (tier 4)
- Song of Capering (tier 5)
- Spell Song Trance (tier 3)
- Spell Song Vigor (tier 5)
- Sustaining Song (tier 4)
Warchanters can gain:
- Song of Heroism (requires tier 2 of Warchanter specialty)
Fatesingers can gain:
- Dirge (tier 1)
- Siren's Song (tier 3)
- Reign (tier 3)
- Aria (tier 3)
- Turn of the Tide (tier 5)
An epic feat allows bards to access another song:
- Inspire Excellence - requires 12 levels of Bard (as of Update 41 Patch 1)
Perform rank requirement
The listed number is the needed Perform rank required in order to gain access to the specified song, which can only be increased by spending skill points. Having an item increasing your Perform score, skill boost, or any other artificial method of boosting your Perform skill will not give access to a song if you do not have enough ranks in the first place.
The following equipment affects bardic music:
- Alchemist's Pendant and Tower of Despair Bard Set Bonuses increase the amount of songs per rest
- Anthem enchantment on various items regenerates songs over time (Anthem items)
- Epic Elyd Edge causes Inspire Heroics, Inspire Competence and Song of Freedom affect multiple alliesneeds verification
- Items that provide bonus to the Perform skill can help bards to land their crowd control songs (Perform items)
Update 41 changes
As of Update 41, Bard Songs are being improved! These changes will reduce the time it takes for a Bard to buff the party, improve mechanics, and streamline game performance.
- Bards no longer sing their songs individually, and will instead have their songs consolidated into a singular feat - Bardic Inspiration.
- Bardic Inspiration will include all Single-Target Bard Songs, and all area of effect Bard Songs will now constantly pulse from their location in a Ballad.
- Bardic Ballad becomes active at level 1, and contains Inspire Courage at the start. Bards gain Bardic Inspiration at Bard level 3, which contains Inspire Competence. Active Bard Songs that would be granted are instead changed to passive feats that display their effects and how they are applied.
- Inspire Courage now grants a Music bonus to Attack, Damage, saves versus Fear, and Universal Spell Power. These start at a base of +1 Attack, Damage, Saves vs Fear, and +3 Universal Spell Power. At Bard level 8, Inspire Courage becomes Improved Inspire Courage.
- Inspire Competence now grants a +4 Music bonus to all Skills.
- Inspire Greatness now grants a Music bonus to Physical Resistance Rating and Healing Amplification, as well as 20 temporary hit points.
- Inspire Heroics will give a +4 Music bonus to all saves, +4 Music bonus to Armor Class, and +4% Music bonus to Dodge.
- The Ballad:
- At Bard level 1, with 3 ranks in Perform, all players in the Ballad receive the benefits of Inspire Courage.
- At Bard level 9 with 12 ranks in Perform, all players in the Ballad receive the benefits of Inspire Greatness.
- Arcane Shield Chant is now part of the Ballad, providing 2/4/6 to Elemental Resistance.
- Ironskin Chant is now part of the Ballad, providing DR 2/4/6 and adds 2/4/6 to the Physical Resistance Rating granted from Inspire Greatness.
- Reckless Chant is now part of the Ballad, providing 2/4/6 Doublestrike, Doubleshot, and adds 2/4/6 to the Universal Spell Power of *** Inspire Courage.
- Expeditious Chant is now part of the Ballad, providing a 5/10/15% Action Boost bonus to Movement Speed.
- Chant of Power is now part of the Ballad, providing a 2/4/6% melee and ranged damage and spell critical chance for all spells.
- Inspire Excellence is now part of the Ballad, providing a +2 Music bonus to each ability score.
- Bardic Inspiration:
- After a brief animation and some music, this single Song will apply all of the previously available single target songs, and the shorter Spellsinger songs, to one ally (or yourself) at the same time. This costs one Bard Song.
- The duration is now one minute, plus 30 seconds per Bard level. Abilities that ride along with a Bard Song (such as Frolic from Song of Freedom), have their duration[sic] changed to match your Bard song. Effects and abilities that increase your Bard Song duration increase both the base Bard song effects in your Bardic Inspiration as well as anything else that comes with it.
- At Bard level 3, with 6 ranks of perform, this will include Inspire Competence.
- At Bard level 15, with 18 ranks in Perform, this will include Inspire Heroics.
- Spell Song Vigor is now part of this song, restoring spell points over time.
- Sustaining Song is now part of this song, restoring health.
- Music of the Dead adds to this, applying a negative energy heal to undead characters.
- Music of the Makers applies a Repair heal to Constructs and Living Constructs, and all scale with Positive, Negative, and Repair spell power.
- Spell Song Trance is now part of this song, granting a +1 Music bonus to all DCs, and a 10% Music bonus spell discount.
- Song of Arcane Might is now part of this song, granting +1 Music bonus to caster levels.
- The Song Fragments from Fatesinger now apply when you use your Bardic Inspiration, and are otherwise unchanged.
- There is now a general feat available to Bards level 12 and above with 15 trained ranks in Perform called Improved Bardic Music. This feat adds +1 to all Skills when Inspire Greatness is used, and grants an additional +1 to Armor Class, Dodge, and all saves when Inspire Heroics is used.
- Bards at level 8 are automatically granted Soothing Song, an active feat that heals all allies in a large area and costs one Bard Song.