Baldur’s Gate 3 Bard Build BG3 Character Guide (August 2023)

Greetings, adventurers, and welcome to yet another thrilling deep dive into the captivating world of Baldur’s Gate 3, specifically, a BG3 bard build guide. Yes, today we’re tuning our lutes, sharpening our rapier wit and shining a spotlight on one of the most charismatic classes in the game: the Bard. The flamboyant spellcasters, masters of persuasion and charismatic controllers of the battlefield, Bards excel at controlling the flow of the combat while simultaneously supporting their teammates with a variety of unique skills.

Baldur’s Gate 3, an impressive work of tactical detail and narrative depth by Larian Studios, has delivered a compelling RPG experience that brings the spirit of classic Dungeons & Dragons to the digital age. In this profound fantasy setting, you’re invited to craft an intricate character whose personalities, skills, and ambitions shape the fate of the world around them—an engaging journey that detects affinity between your playstyle and your character’s identity.

This guide aims to assist adventurers of the Forgotten Realms in understanding the vibrant chord that is the Bard, whether you’re an aspiring minstrel who pulls heartstrings and longbows with equal proficiency, a silver-tongued storyteller weaving enchantments with the power of your voice, or a jack-of-all-trades, master of fun. We’ll delve into the details of races, ability scores, skills, spells, feats, and even multi-classing options, providing a comprehensive overview tailored to optimize your Bardic experience in Baldur’s Gate 3.

So, without further ado, let’s raise the curtain and venture into the dynamic, versatile world of the Bard. Remember, every choice you make crafts an utterly unique tale. In Baldur’s Gate 3, your story is the grandest epic, your character the greatest hero—or the most insidious villain. Adventure awaits, and in our tale, song and sword intertwine to craft a Bard of legend. Prepare your character sheets, pack your instruments, and let’s journey forth into the world of Dungeons & Dragons with eloquence, wit, and a dash of magical magnificence. The stage is set, the spotlight burns bright; it’s time for the Bard to step forth and seize the day.

Choosing a Race for Your Bard

In Baldur’s Gate 3, choosing the right race for your character contributes a great deal to your overall experience, particularly when playing as the Bard, a class who dance their way across the battlefield while simultaneously providing support to their party through an array of mystical musical abilities. Each race has its own unique abilities and characteristics which synergize to a varying degree with the Bard class, and it’s therefore crucial to consider these races, their traits, and figure out which one sings in harmony with your envisioned Bard build.

Elves, for instance, boast a +2 dexterity bonus and +1 intelligence bonus, which makes them a great option for Bards looking for swift maneuverability and a broader range of spells. With their innate ability to perceive hidden or secret doors, they come with assured stealth and evasion tactics, giving you an edge when engaging with the more slippery opponents in the fray.

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Half-elves, on the other hand, with their +2 charisma bonus and +1 to two other ability scores of choice, make the perfect candidate for very charismatic Bard builds. They maintain some of the elven agility and grace, while their mixed heritage grants them additional versatility. As a Bard, half-elves use their charisma to cast spells and are peerless when it comes to social interactions, making them excellent mediators within the party and negotiators outside it.

If you are leaning towards a Bard build that is not afraid to step into the action when necessary, then a Human variant may be your match. Humans gain a bonus point in all abilities by default, but the variant choice allows you to boost two abilities of choice by one point each, offering a well-rounded fighter-cum-musician combo that can tackle many situations with relative ease.

Ultimately, however, the Bard is a class that celebrates individuality, freedom, and creativity. While racial bonuses do come into play, the Bard’s true strength lies in its adaptability. Whether you choose a Halfling for their lucky charm, a Tiefling for their infernal heritage, or a Githyanki for their martial prowess, every race can bring their unique flair and perks to the Bardic performance. So choose the race that strikes the best chord with your intended playstyle and let your Bard’s tune flow across the land of Baldur’s Gate!

BG3 Bard Ability Scores

The Bard’s story is sung not only through their lute or lyre but also through their ability scores. When you enter the world of Baldur’s Gate 3, you’ll need to decide your Bard’s stats. The game offers two principal mechanisms for this. The first is the point-buy system, where you’re given a pool of 27 points to distribute among your six main abilities: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. The second method is the classic dice roll, which gives you a set of randomized numbers that you can assign to the abilities of your choice. Each method has its pros and cons, with the point-buy system allowing for great control over your character’s abilities, while rolling for stats can lead to potentially higher overall stats with the thrill of unpredictability.

For a Bard, your virtuoso performances in tales and tunes will rely heavily on your Charisma. This is your spellcasting ability, making it critical for casting your Bard spells and performing in social encounters. Make sure to allocate a high score here to captivate your audience, whether that be tavern-goers or hostile assassins. Dexterity is another vital stat, as it contributes to your Armor Class, initiative, and several useful skills. Whether in dodging attacks or nimbly playing an instrument, a Bard’s finesse is legendary.

Intelligence, while not as crucial, can be an asset for Bards who want to master a wide variety of knowledge-based skills. It is also beneficial if you’re considering multiclassing in a class that uses Intelligence as their primary spellcasting ability. However, remember not to neglect Constitution, Strength, or Wisdom, particularly if you propose a unique Bard build. These attributes can affect the Bard’s durability in combat, physical prowess, and mental perception, respectively.

At the heart of it, creating a Bard build hinges on understanding the kind of role you want them to play in the party. If you’re leaning towards a support Bard, for instance, those healing spells will require a higher Charisma. Conversely, if you want a Bard who’s comfortable in the middle of a meleé, consider boosting Dexterity for better armor class and weapon hits. As the song goes, the Bard is agile, charming, and full of surprises— your ability scores are your first steps in harmonizing these elements to create a character that will not only survive the perils of the journey, but do it with style.

BG3 Bard Skills and Background

As a Bard in Baldur’s Gate 3, your skills are your melodies, allowing you to dance your way through social encounters, fights, and the uncovering of secrets with equal aplomb. You’ll have proficiencies in a variety of skills, allowing you to bring utility to any party, whether you are smoothing over a diplomatic gaffe, identifying a rare magical artifact, or moving unseen and unheard through enemy territory.

A Bard’s skills are many, but there are a few that really shine under the spotlight. Persuasion, with your high Charisma, would enable you to smooth-talk your way past guards, secure discounts in the marketplace, or convince a goblin horde that you’re their long-lost king. Performance is another key skill for a Bard – entertaining a crowd in a tavern, providing a distraction while your companions slip through the back door or perhaps even calming a rampaging Owlbear with your lyrical prowess. Acrobatics also plays into a Bard’s flexible nature, being perfect for those daring maneuvers across narrow rooftops or graceful rescues from impending doom.

Choosing the right character background adds another layer to your Bard’s symphony. Your background provides additional skill proficiencies, potential bonus equipment, and, more importantly, it shapes your character’s personal story. For instance, the Entertainer background complements the Bard’s performative nature, while the Charlatan background plays well into the Bard’s silver-tongued and mischievous characteristics. If you want your Bard to be more in tune with the shadows, a background like Criminal or Spy could add a certain subterfuge flavor.

Remember, Bards weave stories and songs alike. Your skill set and background should intertwine to create a narrative that is uniquely your own. So whether you are a Sneaky Bard with a past as a street thief or a charming Bard known far and wide for their captivating performances, select a background that resonates with your intended playstyle and character concept.

BG3 Bard Spells and Cantrips

The Bard’s repertoire in Baldur’s Gate 3 extends far beyond rousing ballads and strategic oratory. As spellcasters, Bards leverage their charisma and innate enchantment with the weave of magic to cast an array of spells that can turn the tides in battle, confound their enemies, or provide vital support to their allies. Known as a Bard’s primary casting ability, Charisma governs their spellcasting, and the higher it is, the more potent their incantations will be.

As you gain experience in your Bardic career, managing your spellbook appropriately becomes increasingly important. As a Bard, you’ll have a wide range of spells at your disposal, spanning various schools of magic and serving diverse purposes.

On the offensive front, spells like “Thunderwave” and “Cloud of Daggers” make for potent area damage sources to negotiate crowds of enemies. “Vicious Mockery” which deals psychic damage and imposes disadvantage on the next attack made by the enemy, threading the needle between offense and defense.

Defensively, “Cure Wounds” and “Healing Word” will be your go-to spells for when your party’s hit points start to falter. Charm-based spells like “Charm Person” and sleep-inducing spells such as “Sleep” can also provide crowd control, disabling enemies before they can even land a hit.

Your utility spells, on the other hand, can serve various roles depending on the situation. Spells like “Invisibility” or “Disguise Self” can turn a tricky infiltration mission or social encounter into a simple task, while “Comprehend Languages” can turn your Bard into an able translator, broadening your party’s ability to negotiate in uncharted lands.

Bards’ Arcane versatility extends to Cantrips as well. These spells, unlike others, don’t demand a spell slot and can be cast at will, making them consistent staples in any Bard’s spellcasting routine. Cantrips like “Friends” and “Message” enable communication and manipulation in and out of combat, while “True Strike” can provide you or your allies a much-needed edge in the next attack.

Lastly, be mindful of your spell slots, the currency for casting spells. As a Bard, you will need to rest to replenish these slots, and careful management will save you from running out of spells when you most need them. Strategy is your melody, and your spells are your chords, play them right, and the entire battlefield echoes to your tune.

Bard BG3 Feats and Special Abilities

The Bard isn’t merely a musician or a storyteller; they’re a performer who ensures every action strikes the perfect chord, crafting an unforgettable tune on the battlefield. Every Bard has access to unique, class-specific features, abilities that set them apart and provide an impressive range of options during the game.

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One particular special ability is Bardic Inspiration, a testament to the Bard’s power to inspire and invigorate their allies. As a bonus action, Bards can inspire others by gifting them Bardic Inspiration dice. These dice can then be rolled and added to ability checks, saving throws, or attack rolls, thereby turning the tide of battle or helping overcome significant obstacles.

Later in the Bard’s journey, they will gain access to the “Song of Rest,” allowing the party to heal additional hit points during short rests, and “Magical Secrets,” where the Bard’s thirst for knowledge allows them to learn spells from any class. With these abilities, Bards prove themselves as one of the most flexible classes in the game, a tuneful swiss army knife ready to take on any challenge.

As you level up your Bard in Baldur’s Gate 3, you’ll get the option to pick feats, unique abilities that further modify and customize your character. A Bard can benefit from a wide array of feats, tuned to your specific build and playstyle. Feats like “War Caster” can enhance your concentration checks, letting you maintain control over your spells amid the chaos of battle. “Lucky” can turn a likely miss or fail into a possible success, echoing the theme of Bards being able to turn bad luck into good fortune with a wave of their hand – or lute pick.

Finally, remember that synergy is the key to success when playing a Bard. Your spells, feats, and special abilities are all notes in the same melody. Coordinate your song well, and your Bard will sing a tale of victory no matter the odds. Whether you’re inspiring your fellows, belting out a destructive spell, or using your wit to resolve a tense standoff, with strategy and coordination, your Bard will strike the perfect note every time.

Equipment and Items for a Bard

In Baldur’s Gate 3, every adventurer’s story is not only shaped by their actions and abilities but also by their gear. As a Bard, the narrative is no different. Your starting equipment is determined by your class, and for Bards, it usually includes a rapier or longsword, a lute or other musical instrument, leather armor, a dagger, and an explorer’s pack containing useful adventuring gear like rope and torches.

As your journey progresses, you should aim for weapons and armor that play well with your high dexterity and charisma. Light armor is essential to allow for nimble movement during combat, with a shield for added protection. Weapons like rapiers or short swords align well with a Bard’s finesse. Don’t forget the importance of your primary tool – your musical instrument, the medium for your Bardic spells, and abilities.

Rare magical items and enchanted instruments can also provide unique enhancements to a Bard’s performance, so keep an eye out for treasures that resonate with your tune. Managing your resources, and especially your gold, is a critical aspect of any Bard’s story. Be it buying new gear, spell components, or paying for a round of drinks at the local inn; your coin purse needs to be well-managed.

Bard Multi-Classing Options in Baldur’s Gate 3

A Bard’s versatility can be further amplified by dipping into other classes, an action known as multi-classing. This decision, however, is a complex composition – an intermingling dance of flexibility and specialization. One popular option is to multi-class into a Fighter, boosting your Bard’s melee capabilities with martial weapons proficiency and the valuable ‘Second Wind’ ability.

Alternatively, multi-classing into Rogue can complement a Bard’s utility in social and exploration scenarios with skills like Sneak Attack and Thieves’ Cant. Warlocks or Sorcerers can enhance your magical prowess, expanding your known spells and abilities.

However, be mindful of the ability score prerequisites and the delayed progression in your primary class. When you multi-class effectively, your Bard can become a character that dances across the boundaries of traditional classes, adapting to overcome any obstacle thrown their way.

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Role-Playing and Gameplay Tips

Role-playing a Bard in Baldur’s Gate 3 offers a unique experience. Being a Bard is all about charm, wit, and adaptation. You can charm your way out of a tight spot, motivate your party, or use your diverse knowledge to resolve a problem in unexpected ways. Bring your character to life by integrating elements of their background into dialogue and decision-making. Perhaps your Bard has a flair for the dramatic, or maybe they’re a smooth-talking charmer?

When it comes to gameplay, position your Bard wisely in combat. They might not be the strongest on the frontline, but their support abilities and spells are game-changers. Use Bardic Inspiration wisely, and don’t underestimate the implications of your spell choices both in and out of the battlefield.

Lastly, remember that the Bard shines in a band. Collaborate with your party members, harmonizing your abilities with theirs to create a symphony of successful strategies. After all, a Bard’s true power lies in bringing out the best in others, weaving a narrative where everyone gets a chance to be the hero in their part of the song.

Conclusion: Baldur’s Gate 3 Bard Build

In the world of Baldur’s Gate 3, Bards are the free spirits whose categorical charm, quick wit, and broad skill set make them one of the most interesting classes to play. With an ability to adapt to almost any role, the Bard transcends standard archetypes, dancing and singing their way through battles and dialogues with equal grace. They are the character that spices up every quest, every fight, and every interaction, adding a unique flair to the party.

Building your Bard character involves making choices about race, ability scores, equipment, spells, and possibly even multi-classing, each one striking a different chord in the melody that defines your Bard. The options may seem overwhelming, but they also offer incredible scope for creativity and diversity. The key is to envision the kind of Bard you want to play and guide them along the path that fits the rhythm of your story.

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Remember, as a Bard, your role isn’t merely to support or to charm, but to celebrate the joy of unpredictability, the thrill of the unknown, and the power of potential. The Bard’s adaptability is their strength, orchestrating victories where others may only see defeat, and encouraging their companions to keep moving forward, no matter the odds.

Lastly, let your Bard’s journey be a song sung in the key of fun. Build your Bard character dropdown by dropdown, let their tale unfurl, note by note, till their story is sung across the realms. The world of Baldur’s Gate 3 waits for your Bard’s tune – pick up your instrument and play the game your way.

Paul Bellow

LitRPG Author Paul Bellow

Paul Bellow is a LitRPG author, gamer, RPG game developer, and publisher of several online communities. In other words, an old school webmaster. He also developed and runs LitRPG Adventures, a set of advanced RPG generators powered by GPT-3 AI. Here at LitRPG Reads, he publishes articles about LitRPG books, tabletop RPG books, and all sorts of DND content that's free to use in your personal tabletop campaign - i.e. non-commercial use. Enjoy your stay and reach out on Twitter or Discord if you want to make contact.

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