The Baldur’s Gate 3 Bard turns songs, words, and charming smiles into a powerful form of magic. With the right spells, they can be an incredible supporting member of your BG3 party. Want to talk your way out of (or into) trouble? Want to buff your friends and stifle your foes? Just fancy strumming a lute? Consider the BG3 Bard.
A Bard is one of the only Baldur’s Gate 3 classes that isn’t covered by the list of Baldur’s Gate 3 companions. Plus, with Charisma coming out your ears, you’ve got a serious advantage when it comes to Baldur’s Gate 3 romances. All the more reason to build a Bard – and below you’ll find all you need to know to do so, from the best Baldur’s Gate 3 races to recommended spells.
Basics of the Baldur’s Gate 3 Bard
|Simple, Hand crossbow, Longsword, Rapier, Shortsword
Here are the core class features of a Baldur’s Gate 3 Bard:
As a bonus action, you can inspire an ally, giving their next attack roll, ability check, or saving throw a 1d6 bonus. The effect lasts until the party’s next long rest.
Bardic Inspiration has a certain number of charges you can spend on the feature before your next long rest. This depends on your level, and you’ll gain more charges as you level up.
Song of Rest
Spend an action, and you can refresh yourself and your allies as if you’d taken a short rest. That means a nice HP boost, refreshed class abilities, and some spell slots back for Wyll the DnD Warlock.
Jack of All Trades
You now automatically add half your proficiency bonus to ability checks you aren’t proficient in.
Level: Three and ten
Choose two DnD skills to become an expert in. Expertise then doubles your proficiency bonus any time you perform an ability check using one of those skills.
At level three, you’ll pick your Bard subclass. Your options are:
- College of Lore – Expand your skill proficiencies and debuff enemies with your cutting words.
- College of Valor – Buff your friends and attack more often in combat.
- College of Swords – Become an effective fighter in your own right with a fighting style and special flourishes.
Font of Inspiration
Short rests now also refresh your Bardic Inspiration charges.
Improved Bardic Inspiration
Level: Five and ten
The dice used for your Bardic Inspiration increases, meaning a potentially higher buff for your friends.
As an action, you can give yourself and any allies within nine meters advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened.
Choose two spells from the Magical Secrets spell list to learn. This represents your Bard dabbling in magic that’s usually reserved for other DnD classes.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Bard build
Here’s our recommended Baldur’s Gate 3 Bard build:
|College of Lore
|Persuasion, Deception, Stealth
This build ensures your Bard fills the party’s Support and Face roles. You’ll partly fill the roles of characters like Astarion and Shadowheart – so unless they’re your intended Baldur’s Gate 3 beau, it’s best to pal around with tank-y characters like Lae’zel and Karlach, as well as more offensive spellcasters like Wyll and Gale.
The High Half-Elf 5e race grants access to more DnD weapons, plus extra DnD cantrips (some of which a Bard couldn’t usually cast). We’re particularly fond of Dancing Lights to ensure your party is never disadvantaged by darkness. Or you can take Fire Bolt for a ranged damage backup.
The College of Lore gives you even more proficiencies than usual, and you’ll gain access to the Magical Secrets spell list at level ten. This gets you quick access to powerful supporting spells like Counterspell, Misty Step, and Mass Healing Word. Or you could choose chaos and pick Fireball 5e (though we’d say save it for your DnD Wizard, if Gale is a long-term member of your party).
Lore Bards also learn Cutting Words, which lets them give enemies a 1d6 penalty to attack rolls and ability checks. This gets even more powerful as you level up, so you’ll be using this plenty in combat.
The Entertainer DnD background makes the most sense for a Bard flavor-wise, and it gives you proficiency in two of the most useful Bard-based skills. Choose Persuasion, Deception, and Stealth as your starting proficiencies and you’re covered for charming, sneaking, and stealthing activities.
Our recommended spell list aims to make your Bard as useful as possible in non-violent situations. You start with the best low-level healing spell and several spells that meddle with your enemies’ plans. Blade Ward makes you a bit tougher, and Feather Fall is incredibly helpful for exploring the world around you. And failing all else, Thunderwave is your fallback for when enemies are getting too close.
You want to build a Bard with the highest Charisma possible for successful spellcasting. After that, prioritize Dexterity – the aim is to create a Bard that can dodge harm while casting spells.
Constitution should be your tertiary priority with starting DnD stats, as it has a lot to do with HP maximums and how well you heal. Disregard Strength entirely, and cast only a glance at Wisdom and Intelligence (they’re helpful for skill checks, but not much else).
If you need more advice on your Baldur’s Gate 3 build, here are the best Baldur’s Gate 3 feats to try out. Or, why not see what other classes have to offer? We can recommend great builds for a Baldur’s Gate 3 Paladin or a Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk.