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2:24 AM
had a fun D&D session of Out of the Abyss today
6 hours later…
8:53 AM
We just hit level 4 in our Descent into Avernus campaign. I'm playing a Zariel tiefling Glamour bard (Faceless background). I'm trying to decide what to do with my ASI, and what new cantrip and what new leveled spell to learn. (UA: Class Feature Variants stuff is allowed.)
My current ability scores are Str 12, Dex 16, Con 15, Int 12, Wis 13, and Cha 18.

For my ASI, I'm considering:
- increasing Cha by 2 to 20 (always an option): spellcasting modifier increases by 1, Cha skill modifiers increase by 1, I gain an extra Bardic Inspiration use, and I can target 1 extra creature with Mantle of Inspiration and Enthralling Performance

- or taking a feat:
--- Resilient (Con): increases Con score by 1 (bringing score to 16 and Con mod to +3, which retroactively increases max HP by 4), and grants proficiency in Con saves
For spells, I currently know:
Cantrips: Thaumaturgy (racial), Minor Illusion, Vicious Mockery
1st level: Dissonant Whispers, Faerie Fire, Healing Word, Tasha's Hideous Laughter
2nd level: Hold Person, Invisibility [+ Searing Smite (once per long rest, racial)]

At bard level 4, I now learn 1 new leveled spell, and also learn 1 new cantrip. Recommendations would be great.

(For reference, UA:CFV adds Cause Fear, Color Spray, and Command as options at 1st level; and Aid, Enlarge/Reduce, Mind Spike, and Mirror Image at 2nd level.)
@V2Blast What do you usually do in combat? Hang back and cast spells, fight in melee, something else?
the former, mostly. we've got plenty of frontliners, so I mostly hang back and support as needed. I've got vicious mockery and dissonant whispers (kinda) for damage right now, and Dex is decent enough to use ranged/finesse weapons if needed
Hmmm, cool. In that case I'd definitely suggest using your ASI for Charisma right now - you're very dependent on your saving throw DCs. I know it's probably the most boring option, but it really is the most effective one.
Plus it's good to get that out of the way, it makes future ASIs feel much more fun once you don't have that hanging over your head.
yeah. I can also make a more informed decision about the potential usefulness of the extra resistances after I've been in Avernus for a few levels (though I guess the enemies/dangers we face might also vary between levels). if they don't seem that useful, Resilient (Con) seems like a good level 8 option
@Miniman any thoughts on the new cantrip and leveled spell?
@V2Blast Yeah, that's a good point too. It's weird, actually, because those are resistances all the devils (and demons) have, so you'd think they wouldn't do those damage types since they don't work on anything that's normally in their vicinity XD
@V2Blast Thinking about that too. Cantrips to me is pretty simple - just take whichever utility option you like best.
If you were planning on being in melee Thunderclap might start looking appealing, but as is there's basically no reason to take it.
Hmmm, you have Darkvision, so Light isn't great (unless you have party members who need it). I'm guessing Descent into Avernus isn't exactly intriguey, so Message is probably not where it's at.
So probably Mage Hand or Prestidigitation? And you have Thaumaturgy, which has some overlap with Prestidigitation. So I guess I'd probably be heading to Mage Hand, if it was me.
As for spells...any other spellcasters in the party? (And if so, what classes?)
9:14 AM
yeah. of the options, Mage Hand is probably the best choice. except maybe Light or Dancing Lights for flavor. (my Faceless background costume/persona is the "Angel's Ambition" - his outfit is meant to evoke/resemble Zariel's former angelic form.)
the rest of the party:
fallen aasimar Hexblade warlock (Pact of the Blade)
wood elf Shadow monk
firbolg (UA) Stars druid
protector aasimar Vengeance paladin
triton Divine Soul sorcerer
stout halfling Ancestral Guardian barbarian
I can't come up with any suggestions that aren't just the usual, generic "suggestion is useful both in and out of combat" sort of thing.
Any spells that particularly appeal to you that I could help you decide between?
@Miniman hmm. thoughts on See Invisibility? an NPC staying in the house we're currently breaking into uses imps (which can go invisible) to spy on stuff
also considering Phantasmal Force
Heat Metal's an option but I'd also probably have to swap it out when we go to Avernus (since, you know, fire damage)
there's also Shatter for AoE damage
and Silence could maybe be useful vs. casters? dunno how frequent those will be, but it is also a ritual spell (though I guess it's much less likely to be useful in combat if ritual-cast)
9:31 AM
See Invisibility is one of those spells that people don't take because it's situational, and then wish they'd taken because it turns out the situation actually comes up a lot.
There's a few devils that can go invisible, so it's definitely not a bad pick going forward.
I hadn't even realized that it might be useful in this situation until looking at 2nd-level bard spells again now. haha
Phantasmal Force - know your DM. It's a spell that varies wildly in power based on what they let you get away with.
I think Heat Metal is overrated, and yeah, everyone is going to have fire resistance in your future.
Not to mention that very few devils use weapons, and even less (none?) wear armour.
9:36 AM
Shatter is solid. I'm not a fan of the Constitution saving throw, but the reality of the bard spell list is that anything that isn't Wisdom at least gives you some variety. Plus it's a nice damage type.
Silence...let me look up how innate spellcasting works.
I think usually it removes material components, but not V/S
Yeah, I did a quick scroll through of the MM and MToF - at first glance, it doesn't look like Silence would be too useful, but since it's Descent into Avernus it might be a bit better than it seems?
Hard to say without looking at the actual adventure, and I don't have it.
I think the adventure has a number of named NPCs that have spellcasting, but obviously there are only one each of those
there's a few monsters with some (mostly limited-use) innate spellcasting
and there are a couple of generic NPCs with proper casting
I think we've only faced a few casters so far (of the generic cult member variety)
10:04 AM
I am unsure how worth it See Invisibility is, given that I already have Faerie Fire. But whereas Faerie Fire has a Dex save, only affects creatures in a 20-foot cube at casting time for up to a minute, makes targets that fail the save visible to everyone and attacks at advantage against them... See Invisibility is non-concentration and lasts an hour, extends to the limits of my sight, and only makes them visible to me. Hmm...
10:16 AM
Yeah, normally I'd suggest leaving it to the wizard, but...
2 hours later…
12:30 PM
@V2Blast Shatter you'll eventually replace as it doesn't scale great, but I kept it as a Warlock until level 7. In our first campaign, which went from level 1-7 before RL got our DM, our Lore Bard had shatter through level 7.
Mage Hand seems to be a handy utlity cantrip
1:10 PM
@V2Blast I loved having See Invisibility with my Bard. Also had Faerie Fire, but just being able to see things when needed was a big deal. How does your DM treat invisible creatures? Do they follow RAW and you know their position anyway?
It also very much helps for casting spells that require you to see the creature.
7 hours later…
8:24 PM
@NautArch IIRC, my DM does follow RAW and let their position be known unless they take the Hide action or otherwise make no sound or whatever
1 hour later…
9:27 PM
@V2Blast that kinda makes it less , but still good for spells that require your sight of the target
Have you been getting hit a lot and dropping concentration?
10:17 PM
@NautArch Not really. The number of frontliners kind of makes it rarer that I get targeted
10:55 PM
@V2Blast the definitely go with the ASI. More bardic inspiration and better DCs

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