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Here's a little RAW background for my problem:

The Battle Herald is a Bard/Cavalier prestige class that gets inspiring commands. They're like bardic performances, but more combat based. Along with that, inspire courage is an option for an inspiring command (Bard and Battle Herald levels stack to determine bonus).

Now, the rules say that you cannot do a bardic performance and an inspiring command at the same time with the very specific exception of lingering performance, which allows inspire courage and an inspiring command (use pincer maneuver as an example) to stack.

Finally, issuing an inspiring command is a move action.

So here is what I was doing:

  1. Taking 2 move actions per turn (a legal thing by RAW).
  2. First move, inspire courage.
  3. Free action, end inspire courage and let lingering performance take effect.
  4. Second move, pincer maneuver command.

That's a pretty nice buff combination the whole party can enjoy, but at 5th level of Battle Herald issuing an inspiring command becomes a swift action.

By RAW, under no circumstances whatsoever can you take two swift actions in one turn, rendering my strategy unusable.

First of all, I just think it is super amusing that my Battle Herald leveled up and became more incompetent.

Second of all, does anyone know any RAW logic I can use to make a case for continuing to stack bardic performance/inspiring command in the same turn?

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There is a very high chance that this is simply an oversight. The ability is supposed to work like a bard's bardic performance, which allows you to pick which action type you use to activate it. The way its worded makes me believe they simply decided to write the short and quick version instead of wasting word count on repeating what is already written on the similar ability.

If your GM decides that the ability must be initiated as a Swift Action, and he is in his right to do so, you could simply take a Corset of Delicate Moves (2,000 gp) and show your grace in battle properly.

This tight-fitting garment of fine silk has thin bone ribbing sewn into it. Once per day as a move action, the wearer can take an additional swift action. This swift action can’t be used to cast a spell or spell-like ability. The shirt must be worn for 24 hours before this ability can be used.

Also, keep in mind that your battle herald levels stack with your bard levels for Inspire Courage, meaning that at 7th level (of the two classes combined), you can start Inspire Courage as a move action. You never lost your bardic ability, you simply gained another ability that does the same and more. How soon this will be available depends on how you split your bard and cavalier levels before taking the battle herald class.

Regardless, starting a bardic performance as a Standard Action is still an option, and you can always start your Inspire Courage as a standard action instead of a move action, since you were already upgrading the standard to a move.

Which means that you now can:

  • Inspire Courage as a standard action;
  • End your bardic performance as a free action;
  • Issue an Inspiring Command as a swift action;
  • Use your move action for anything you want.
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    \$\begingroup\$ While I love the spells and ideas in the other posts, I got to give it to you since "I still have bardic performance as a move action" is the simplest explanation. Thank you everyone. \$\endgroup\$ – lazer-guided-lazerbeam Dec 9 '17 at 15:52
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Most abilities of this sort let you use any of the action types you've 'unlocked' to use the ability. For example, a Slayer starts off studying targets as a move action, but then at 7th level they "can study an opponent as a move or swift action".

Battle Herald doesn't include this sort of language, which is unfortunate. Given how few potent abilities can be performed as move actions on most characters, yet how many potent abilities can typically be performed as swift actions, this is in fact often the downgrade you are reading it as.

There's no way around the fact that's it's a swift action after level 5 and no longer a move action in terms of the rules, but I would strongly encourage you to house rule that the ability remains usable as a move action in addition to the option to instead use a swift action. It doesn't break anything and it fights the design schema of most similar abilities; there's a reasonable case to be made that the failure to include such phrasing for this particular class was an accidental error.

If you must abide by the rules, as written, on this, you can still accomplish your goal via prolific use of the Borrowed Time spell from Mythic Origins, which gives you extra swift actions in exchange for Con or hp damage and being staggered later. You don't need the mythic version of the spell (and thus don't need to have a mythic tier); the regular version does everything you need.

It's a 6th level Bard spell, so you might be able to cast it, but that's unlikely since Bards don't get 6th level spells until 16th level, normally, so you'd need to be at beyond 20th level to be in that situation. If you spend a bonus teamwork feat on Bonded Mind, an allied spellcaster with the Share Spells teamwork feat could cast the spell on you, though. If you're lucky enough to have an allied alchemist, you can instead just have him let you borrow a couple Borrowed Time infusions, since alchemists can share personal spells that way.

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Actually, you can take two swift actions per turn.

Ready

The ready action lets you prepare to take an action later, after your turn is over but before your next one has begun. Readying is a standard action.

You can ready a standard action, a move action, a swift action, or a free action. To do so, specify the action you will take and the conditions under which you will take it. Then, anytime before your next action, you may take the readied action in response to that condition.

Ready your Inspiring Command, with a trigger condition of "right now". Readying always costs a standard action, even if the thing you're going to do is normally a swift. Thus, you have effectively traded a standard action for a second swift action.

(Granted, this isn't as good as still being able to inspire as a move action too, which would leave your standard action available for other purposes. I recommend that you house-rule it, since gaining levels isn't supposed to make you less competent.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ While the idea is good, I dont think that right now qualifies for "lets you prepare to take an action later.". \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Dec 9 '17 at 11:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ So, instead, ready for 'the next person to take an action', or 'the next combatant to start a turn'...problem solved. \$\endgroup\$ – YogoZuno Dec 10 '17 at 1:03

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