Hello! Firstly I must say that I am new to the whole DnD world, and I`m still learning how the mechanics works. For my second RPG session I choosed Bard and I want to go for the college of sword, because it looks just amazing for me. Like some kind of agile duelist or bladedancer from the fencing school. And here is my question: Do You have any tips for bard noob, who want to play something like bladedancer style bard, who buffs his allies from time to time?
All tips and tricks are welcome and will be really helpfull rfor me. I don`t even know what is better: duelling fighting style or two weapon fighting for my bard xD
P.S. And please, I know that in DnD You can multiclass but I am new player and I dont want to complicate my first plays with multiclassing.
Dueling better that extra 2 ac dromen shield pretty significant defense buff. Bard still a full Caster despite the archetype the spell will eventually outweigth what his martial skills can do. He is however more tanky then most other Caster. Cha be your main stage that you wanna focus. After that Dex 14 for medium armor higherif you gonna wear light. Con alsof important for up and keeping concentration of your spell.
Lucky: 3 chances to roll again per long rest Warcaster: advantage on con save when damaged handy to keep concentration on spell, if sombody trigger opperunity attack from you you can cast a spell against that person instead melee attacking it Resilient (con) : add proficiency bonus on your con save keeping concentration on spell easier and get +1 con handy if you have uneven con stat. Shield master: when you make Attack action you use your bonus action to shove sombody prone, also have some benefits against Dex saves. Alert: +5 initiative higher chance to go first and you can't be surprise and people don't get advantage against you even if you can't see them.
nope i am just idiot i though colloge of sword gave medium armor and shield proficient but apperently the later was just my imagination. WELL in that case Two-Weapon Fighting might be better then dueling and instead run with 2 scimitars since you dont have acces to shield withouth wasting feat on it.
Instead shield master, Dual Wielder might be instresting: it give you +1 AC when wielding 2 melee weapons and you not restricted to use "light" weapon to be able to attack with you bonus action and upgrading your dual scimitar to dual rapiers. It also allow you to draw stow both your weapon in same turn this way you dont need to wait for your second turn draw your second weapon or wasting your action for it.
As a College of Swords bard, you get the feature known as "Magical Secrets" at Level 10. This allows you to pick two spells from ANY other class at the same level. You also get this ability at Level 14, and Level 18.
This allows you to grab spells to bolster your bladedancer-ing. Perhaps the most stylistically appropriate spell would be Steel Wind Strike, a spell that makes you teleport and stab up to five enemies, before teleporting to one of them or back to where you started. You do additional force damage, as well. It's great.
Likewise, Destructive Wave is another spell, one that sends a close-range explosion that damages and knocks enemies prone when they fail their save. It, like Steel Wind Strike, does not harm your friends.
Spirit Guardians is useful for you bladedancer, as you are highly mobile as a Sword Bard. The area-of-effect stays with you, also damaging enemies without hurting your friends.
"Haste" is useful, as it boosts your already-higher speed, gives you an extra attack, and boosts your defense.
And good 'ol Shield is a Level 1 spell, but you thankfully have many Level 1 spell slots. This reliable spell gives you a plus 5 AC, as a sudden Reaction to damage, and stays with you until your next turn. This makes you harder to hit for that round, good for slightly squishier bards, and will save your bacon many times.
These are only a few options. As a bard, you have the versatility of using spells to enhance your prowess on the battlefield, in a way the other classes can't.
As a bard, you will buff your allies, with your bardic inspiration. Don't forget to use it, it's one of your most powerful abilities. As college of swords, you can also use your bardic inspiration to deal additional damage. I recommend the defensive flourish, the buff to AC is strong.
Something you should know: if you land a critical hit (20 on the d20), you should use a flourish, since the die from the flourish will be doubled.
As a blade bard, you will be powerful enough in combat with your weapons, so I would recommend to focus your spells on utility and buffing. Moreover, as a bard, you will have all kind of utility outside of combat, lots of skills, and a high Charisma (you should have high charisma for spells and interactions with people, and high dex for combat). Since you don't have shield proficiency, I am more in favor of dual wielding. I would go first for stat increases, since you're a bit MAD (multi-ability-dependant: you need both dex and cha), and pick feats later, as they might not be as usefull.
Concerning spells, I advise one damage/utility cantrip (Vicious Mockery or one racial Cantrip from a weird Tiefflin if you play a Tiefflin from Mordenkainen's Tome Of Foes. Vicious Mockery is really strong, even if does low damage, disadvantage on attack is strong), you should pick a saving throw cantrip, in the event of having something hard to hit but not so strong with saving throws (hence, Vicious Mockery, once again). Other cantrips can be Message, Mage Hands, Minor Illusion, or anything else that you like. I cited these three because they are known for being really useful and can have creative uses.
With higher level spells, I recommend spells that have the ritual tag (that you can take time to cast, but don't use spell slots), such as Detect Magic and Silence (there is an option for finding spells that have the ritual tag in dndbeyond, in the advanced filter), spell to cast in the beginning of a fight to buff everyone or debuff the ennemies, such as faerie fire, bane, heroism or blindness, utility spells, such as silent image, sleep, invisibility or enhance ability (which can be useful in combat as well), or spells that don't use your Action but your Bonus Action or your Reaction, such as Healing Word (sadly, you don't have Shield).
This is for an early level bard, I only included level 1 and 2 spells, but the idea is the same for higher level spells: you should be able to deal enough damage with your swords to focus on utility and early buff / debuff.