Class Acts: The Bard

This is a sweet-and-short article that describes four paragon paths that work for bards who like to heavily invest in multiclass feats from a specific power source. You get one for divine, martial, primal, and arcane.

The blessed psalmist learns songs of the Astral Sea, such as angelic choruses and demonic chants. Features let you gain the Channel Divinity power specific to the class you multiclassed into, can use a bardic instrument in place of another implement for those powers, regain uses of majestic word when you burn action points, and you can expend words of friendship in order to deal radiant damage and apply radiant vulnerability.
The powers deal bonus radiant damage, create a zone that grants necrotic resistance anda saving throw bonus against ongoing damage, and a close burst 10 effect that forces an enemy to choose to become dominated or stunned (save ends). Allies caught in the burst gain temp hp.
I like that this paragon path lets you use your other implements in place of whichever divine class you happen to be using. It really lets you work music into the mix.

Daring blades blend song and sword, using dance as a medium for their powers. Their powers are martial, so its not technically magic, I suppose. I dunno. Anywho, the features let you use Charisma in place of whatever else you would use when making basic attacks, mark nearby enemies by spending an action point (and gaining temp hp to boot), and Bluff as a minor action to gain combat advantage (except that it can persist for quite a bit longer than normal).
The powers let you make an attack with combat advantage and causing the target to likewise grant combat advantage to your allies, gain a power bonus to AC and Reflex in addition to granting your allies a power bonus to attack, and shift your speed, gain an Intimidate bonus, deal quad damage, and slide the target next to another ally, who gains a free attack. Whew.
This class has a very solid feel of a bard/rogue, allowing for a dashing swashbuckler concept. Since the bard already has plenty of weapon spells, its pretty easy to pull off. The accompanying sidebar adds a magic item property for heavy/light blades that lets you use it in place of an implement for bard and daring blade powers. Neat!

Next on the list is the mythic skald. This is a concept that I've often considered in the past to use with orcs, dwarves, and "viking"-esque cultures, but never did since bards sucked ass. This paragon path lets you take that concept and really roll with it. The features let you give another ally a bonus to attack/damage when another ally bloodies a target, burn an action point to grant allies temp hp, and grant an attack bonus when you use majestic word on an ally. Primal virtue indeed.
The powers let you grant another ally a free attack with a hefty bonus (and push effect, jebus), keep an ally walking even at negative hp (you make death saves still, and can die if you fail three), and finally grant an ally a free attack with quite a few bonuses that last until the end of the encounter.
I really like this paragon path. Its my favorite out of all four, and would fit really well in Songs of Erui. Great if you want to play a bard from a "primitive" race, or whatnot.

Finally, the resourceful magician. This is the most complicated of the four, since the 11th-level class feature gives you a benefit based on a specific arcane multiclass feat that you had to take to qualify. You could gain some wizard cantrips, a sorcerers variable resistance, swordbond (yawn), or eldritch blast as an at-will (glee). The other features let you make another attack against something else if your attack(s) miss, and you can choose a power from either your bard class or your multiclassed-class at any point in time that you gain a power. Any time. No limits.
The powers let you recall and immediately recast an encounter power that you just used, grant yourself and an ally a move action as a minor action, and a range 20 daily that hits two targets and one of four effects that you pick each time you cast it. Nifty.
This one seems to be the most conceptually flexible of the four, since Greater Study focuses on whatever you took as your multiclass instead of giving a static benefit. That, and Diverse Study lets you do a LOT of multiclassing, so...yeah.

I like this article only because I actually play bards now. If this were 3rd Edition, I wouldnt give a crap. Now? I have a level 6 bard, and wouldnt mind giving another one a shot. I am thinking half-orc bard/mythic skald, which would be the first half-orc I've ever played. Hell, I could go for a kenku bard that works with dark pact warlock. Time to fire up Character Builder. Again.

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