Pathfinder Optimized Bard Build – Archer God

Human Pathfinder optimized bard build “Boa Jangles”. Oh, you did not know that a bard can make for a wonderful archer. Well, you are about to find out how a party can’t live without this primarily dodgy dancer, buffer and bow extraordinaire. Now it’s time for a song from Jennifer Hudson.

And I am telling you. You’re not going. You’re the best bard we’ve ever known. There’s no way you could ever go. No, no, no, no way. No, no, no, no way we are adventuring without you.

We are not adventuring without you. We are not adventuring without you. We don’t want to let you go free. You’re staying. You’re staying. And you, and you, and you, you’re going to buff and cover this party.

Yes you are. Ooh, ooh buff and cover. Ooh, ooh, ooh buff and cover. Buff and cover! Buff and cover! Buff and cover! You’re going to buff and cover! The party!

Summary: This Pathfinder optimized bard archer build is to 13th level with all levels in the bard class.

Bard archetype is Arcane Duelist, which gives this build several feats, the ability to cast in medium armor, the ability to magically enchant her bow, and the ability to save her party from fear effects. She gives up many traditional bard abilities to get the mentioned abilities, but she keeps some important ones like Inspire Courage, Fascinate and Dirge of Doom.

Boa Jangle’s role in the party is Buffer / Range Damager / Controller / Secondary Shield / Secondary Healer / Scout / Leader.

Starting Stats (25 points): Str (12), Dex (18), Con (14), Int (10), Wis (10), Chr (15)
Starting Stats (20 points): Str (12), Dex (18), Con (12), Int (10), Wis (8), Chr (15)
Starting Stats (15 points): Str (12), Dex (18), Con (12), Int (8), Wis (8), Chr (14)

Raising Stats – For 25 and 20 point build put leveling stats into Dex, Dex, Chr, Dex, and then Dex. For the 15 point build put points into Dex, Dex, Chr, Chr, and then Dex.
Favorite Class Option: From 1st to 3rd level, this build chooses 1 hit point for the favorite class option. From 4th level on, this build takes the favored class option available to human bards and learns one additional spell one level below his highest spell casting level.

Campaign Traits / Feat Progression: Traits) Reactionary and Exile; Human Feat) Point Blank Shot; 1) Precise Shot; 3) Rapid Shot; 5) Deadly Aim; 7) Weapon Focus (Shortbow Composite);  9) Manyshot; 11) Clustershot; 13) Whatever

Alternative Optibuilds’ Skills PDF Part I Build:  Traits) Reactionary and Animal Friend;13) Skill Focus (Handle Animal).

  •  I would also add the purchase of a wand of bloodhound and bump up your perception ranks and handle animal ranks.  Given the secrets revealed in the PDF, these is definitely welcome changes that take this ridiculous build to an even more ridiculous level.

Bard Masterpiece: At seventh level, this pathfinder optimized bard build trades in a 2nd level known spell for the Bard Masterpiece 23 Dance Steps.

Skills Ranks at 13th (91 points): Acrobatics (10), Intimidate (10), Escape Artist (10), Perception (10), Perform Dance (8), Sense Motive (10), Spellcraft (10), Stealth (10), and Use Magic Device (13). Note: Skill points are based on Int = 10 from 20 and 25 point builds.

Spontaneous Spells (6 6 5 5 4 2): 0th: Read Magic, Detect Magic, Ghost Sounds, Prestidigitation, Dancing Lights, Open/Close; 1st: Vanish, Liberating Command, Grease, Feather Step, Silent Image, Feather Fall, Disguise Self, Charm Person; 2nd: Allegro, Blistering Invective, Glitterdust, Silence, Mirror Image, Heroism; 3rd: Phantom Steed, Confusion, Haste, Slow, Good Hope, Invisibility Sphere, Tiny Hut; 4th: Dimension Door, Greater Invisibility, Freedom of Movement, Dominate Person, Zone of Silence; 5th: Greater Dispel Magic, Shadow Walk

Items 12th Level: Total Wealth for 12th Level is 140K. Use the leftover amount for pocket change.

  • Miscellaneous (22.8K): Handy Haversack (2K); Efficient Quiver (1.8K); +3 Cloak of Resistance (9K); Boots of Levitation (7.5K); Cloak of Elvenkind (2.5K)
  • AC Related (42K): +2 Ring of Protection (8K); +2 Amulet of NA (8K); +5 Mithril Chainmail (26K)
  • Weapon Related (41K): Bracer’s of Archery (Greater) (25K); +2 Shortbow Comp (+2) (8K); +2 Rapier (8K)
  • Stat Related (26K): +2 Belt of Perfection (16K); +2 Headband of Mental Prowess (Chr/Int) (10K)
  • Wands (7.5K): Expeditious Retreat (50), Abundant Ammunition (50), Gravity Bow (50), Cure Light Wound (50) , Flaming Arrows (50), Invisibility (50), Air Bubble (50);

Note: The number in brackets represents the number of charges in the wand.

Playing Strategy – Boa Jangles has abilities / strategies to avoid being physically attacked, increase his attack against his foes, to escape, to remain mobile, while at the same time to affect the hit-ability, attack, mobility, and escape-ability of his allies and enemies. Oh, and he is also a scout, healer and intimidator. With so much versatility, this is a character best appreciated by a strategic mind and a person who likes a leadership role in the party.

With that said, a typical fighting scenario would start with Boa Jangles accessing the situation (1 or more adversaries, has melee begun, is there time before battle begins, etc…).

Multiple enemies before melee has begun may be struck with an area spell to make enemies blind, shaken, slowed or confused. If battle has already begun, she might buff her party with haste, good hope or a performance (i.e. inspire courage).

Maybe there is another spell caster in the party who has adequately buffed the party and/or controlled the enemy. If so, she may begin shooting arrows from the very beginning. This is also the strategy she is likely to use if there is only one main enemy.

She saves heroism and magic mirror for herself and cast them before battle begins. Don’t forget the gravity bow wand, the 23 dance step masterpiece and Boa Jangle’s ability to enhance her bow. Heck, if all she did was shoot her bow all day and dance to increase her AC, she would be ridiculous.

Cast silence on the fighter and tell the fighter to attack the enemy spell caster. Silence will prevent the enemy spell caster from casting verbal spells.

Outside of combat, it should be obvious how she uses her spells, skills and wands to scout, disguise, intimidate, heal, charm and entertain.

Shadow Walk is a great escape and travel spell for the party.

No doubt I have left some stuff out. You have just got to play Boa Jangles to believe this pathfinder optimized bard archer build.


4 thoughts on “Pathfinder Optimized Bard Build – Archer God

    • I suppose that I should have said arcane duelist. That said, arcane duelist is the only bard archetype with the word duelist in it. And arcane duelist are not a melee class. An arcane duelist can be melee or range.

      I have change the language above to say arcane duelist.

  1. I would do exactlybthe same build exept i’d make an elf. With the composite longbow profficiency and other elf goodies, i think it worth the feat and skill trade. 20 points buy stais exactly the same. I would only take weapon focus at lvl 13 to prepare for Penetrating strike and id get the same feats as you.

    I thank you for the build, thats what I will use in a RotR quest shere they lack buffs/ranged support/damage. This is a damn well fitted build.


Leave a Reply