Getting the Bard right

Inspire Courage should boost Morale, not Competence, and also boost skill checks, like Good Hope, replacing Inspire Competence altogether.

  1. The realm of the Bard is emotion, not expertise. This would boost relatively underplayed classes like Sensei, Tactician, Vanguard, and Tactical Leader who could get a competence boosting performance. It wouldn’t be called Inspire Competence because spirit is the heart of morale and often competence is at best orthogonal to it.

  2. This would allow Good Hope to function as a “good enough” replacement for that song, freeing up the Bard to use the other songs which have a hard time competing with Inspire Courage now because it’s such a uniquely (irreplaceably) strong effect.

  3. Since there are other classes who can produce similar Morale boosting (like Camellia’s ability or Cavalier) and this change would create other ways to boost competence Inspire Courage would be less of a “must have” ability.

I understand and agree with your logic.
But this is a game based on pathfinder rules.
And there the bard gives competence bonus to attack/dmg with Inspire Courage.

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Based but not inexorably constrained.

P:K was built around finally getting the Bard some love. Wrath should go in a new direction. Competence bonuses are a design hole that needs filling.

Going to the definition of the competence bonus: A competence bonus (or penalty) affects a character’s performance of a particular task, as in the case of the bardic ability to inspire competence.

I’ve always taken Inspire Courage’s competence bonus to mean that there is something in the song, story, dance, etc. that focuses someone on a task, much like Inspire Competence does. I know when I’m working on something, the music that I put on in the background can lift my spirits, but it’s intended purpose is to let me ignore background distraction so that I can focus.

Same with a drum-beat on a ship, the rhythm keeps everyone in sync which makes them more effective. The purpose is the focus and uniformity. That being said, because someone is there leading & supporting you, you also get a Morale bonus vs Fear and Charm.

I’m probably beating a dead horse here, but the same with most high-performance athletes. They don’t talk about keeping their spirits up, they talk about focus.

I actually just started a campaign with Bard this Thursday, and he’s a very enthusiastic, well-read Orator. He typically starts each combat by saying “OK, remember your training. This is a --insert thing–, look out for it’s --insert results of his knowledge checks–”

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Well, that’s how you feel when you’re drunk (too much spirit) but that doesn’t make it true and of course none of that has anything to do with courage.

You’d be better off with a Sensei to calm your emotions to allow your mind to focus on the task at hand or a Tactical Leader to put together a plan that puts you in a good position to get the most out of your talents.

I think there is a Bard archetype in Wrath that already does something different with the main song but the label is wrong so it’s hard to tell.

Funny thing when re-reading Inspire Courage, I would say that it is perfectly named and typed.

A 1st level bard can use his performance to inspire courage in his allies (including himself), bolstering them against fear and improving their combat abilities

Its primary effect is +1 Morale bonus vs Fear and Charm.
The +1 Competence bonus to Attack and Damage is just an additional effect.

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Yes, perfectly fine with that. Should be a Morale bonus.

No thanks, I like my undead to still get the Attack/Damage bonuses. If it was a morale bonus they wouldn’t be able to be effected by it.

Holic turned it off as is for Call of the Wild (Inspire Courage doesn’t work on Jaethal).

Changing the buff from competence to morale just makes it worse. Owlcat also isn’t going to change how something works in Pathfinder unless they can’t make it work in the video game, and this clearly works.


Yes, making it worse is the point. Bards are too good, or more to the point there need to be other ways of getting competence bonuses and one class shouldn’t have the best way to get two different categories.

“Clearly” = missing argument, usually a sign one has tried to come up with one and has failed.

Pathfinder is a pre-existing system, Bards work the way they do because that is how they work in Pathfinder.

Owlcat only changes the way Pathfinder works when they need to for turning a PNPRPG to a Computer game. They don’t change things because people find them unbalanced or not in line with someone particular belief in how a class should work.

A wizard can stop time, reverse gravity, summon angels and demons and fundamentally change reality. Fighters can hit things with a sword real good. Making an argument that Bards are too good and should be nerfed is ludicrous.

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This isn’t RPGCodex, there’s no need for such abrasive language when disagreeing with someone.

Bards are too good and should be nerfed. If you understand action economy and the power of group-based effects that argument isn’t ludicrous it’s straightforward. Pretty sure they made/left them that way to accentuate the tragedy of a certain key moment in P:K.

Wrath doesn’t need that particular feature since none of the companions are Bards. Owlcat made several adjustments in adapting a four player PnP game to.a six player cRPG. Classes based around group buffs
are a natural place to do so since all such effects start out 50% better.

I am just going to say this again and then wash my hands of this thread.

Pathfinder is a well established rule set that is owned and operated by Paizo. Owlcat got the rights to make a computer game using the Pathfinder system and setting. Bards Inspire Courage works the way it does because that is how the ability works in Pathfinder. You can pick up a 1e Pathfinder book and it will tell you exactly what Inspire Courage does and when its bonuses increase.

Owlcat is trying to convert the Pathfinder system, and in particular the Pathfinder Adventure Path Wrath of the Righteous from a PnP game to a computer game. There are many changes they have had to make because certain spells or abilities are much too difficult to make work in a computer game. Spells like Fabricate for example, that turn raw materials into finished goods. They have also completely removed some systems like Material Component costs. They are not trying to balance the Pathfinder system, they are only trying to bring the Pathfinder system to life as accurately as they can in a Computer game setting.

What you are asking for is something that Owlcat is not going to do.


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