Baldur’s Gate 3 boasts a diverse array of character classes, with the Bard standing out as a versatile option that excels in Charisma-based abilities. In this turn-based tactical RPG, which has been a long-awaited treasure for Dungeons & Dragons enthusiasts, players can select from a myriad of classes, each offering unique strengths and skills to enhance their group’s capabilities. While adapting these classes to the video game format, some changes have been made to make the gameplay more engaging and enjoyable.
The Bard, in particular, epitomizes versatility, making it the go-to choice for those who want a character capable of handling a wide range of tasks. Bards rely heavily on Charisma, similar to Warlocks and Sorcerers, and they can effectively cover any skill gap within the party. Their Expertise feature allows them to double down on certain skill rolls, enhancing their utility. However, the choice of subclass significantly influences a Bard’s gameplay experience.
College Of Valor
The College of Valor is tailor-made for players seeking combat prowess from their Bard. It grants proficiency in Medium Armor, making Bards more durable, and proficiency in martial weapons, enabling them to contribute effectively in melee combat. Additionally, Bards from the College of Valor can wield shields, giving players the flexibility to adopt a defensive or aggressive stance. Notably, they can use their Bardic Inspiration to enhance their allies’ damage output during combat. Yet, the true gem lies in the ability to bolster their Armor Class (AC), effectively turning enemy hits into misses. This defensive advantage can prove invaluable in surviving challenging encounters. For those desiring a Bard with versatile skills and improved combat performance, the College of Valor is an excellent choice. However, if you prefer more combat specialization, a Warlock might be a better addition to your party.
- Advertisement -
At level 6, College of Valor Bards gain the Extra Attack feature, allowing them to make two attacks in a single Action. This transforms them into formidable fighters on the frontline, blurring the line between spellcaster and warrior.
College Of Swords
The College of Swords, like the College of Valor, enhances a Bard’s combat capabilities. However, it does so by focusing on specific combat styles rather than providing a wide range of options. Bards from this subclass gain proficiency in Medium Armor but are limited to scimitars as their martial weapon of choice. They have the option to choose between two fighting styles: single-handed weapon and empty off-hand or dual-wielding melee weapons. Unlike the College of Valor, the College of Swords doesn’t grant shield proficiency, emphasizing a more aggressive approach. The “Blade Flourish” feature adds extra depth to this combat-oriented subclass by granting 10 additional feet of movement when taking the Attack action and offering a selection of flourishes to choose from.
While the College of Swords is favored for its style and engagement in tabletop games, it offers a unique strategic advantage in Baldur’s Gate 3. Players who opt for this subclass are typically seeking an aggressive Bard who saves spells for utility or emergencies, providing a reliable Plan B when needed. Similar to the College of Valor, the College of Swords Bards also gain the Extra Attack feature at level 6, bridging the gap between Bard and Paladin.
College Of Lore
- Advertisement -
The College of Lore provides Bard players with a diverse set of proficiencies, offering a unique skill set. Bards from this subclass can choose proficiency in any three skills, making them invaluable for party optimization. The ability to fill multiple roles within the party by enhancing skills according to your preferences is a significant advantage. Moreover, the “Cutting Words” feature enables Bards to roll one of their Bardic Inspiration dice against an opponent’s roll, potentially turning successful rolls into failures.
At level 6, College of Lore Bards can learn two spells from any class, which count as Bard spells. This allows them to utilize their Charisma to cast spells that would typically require Intelligence or Wisdom. These extra spells do not count against the limited number of spells they can know, essentially granting them two additional spell slots.
Players who enjoy the flexibility of a versatile spellcaster or need to complement an unusual party composition will find the College of Lore Bard to be an ideal choice. Additionally, multiclassing with Rogue or Ranger can make for a powerful and adaptable character within the group.
- Advertisement -
In conclusion, Baldur’s Gate 3 offers a wealth of choices when it comes to character classes, each with its unique strengths and playstyle. The Bard, with its focus on Charisma and diverse subclasses like the College of Valor, College of Swords, and College of Lore, offers players the opportunity to tailor their Bard character to their preferred style of play and party composition, adding depth and variety to the game.