My question is simple - are there, in Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, any metamagic feats that work good for Bard?

Two most useful from core would be Quickened and Silent, but both are simply forbidden1. Still is hardly needed - in our session I never encountered situations when caster can't even move one hand. Rogues, scouts etc, yes, but not casters. And other core feats helps to deal more damage, whilst Bard spells are not blasting oriented. Oh, right, there is also Heighten, but I can't imagine it being truly useful, Bard worth his salt always have spells that actually have the spell level needed, no need to pump up lower level ones.

For material available - we are trying not to go too far from core, so no exotic and setting-oriented books. Complete series may be allowed. Other - will need to discuss with DM if there is something interesting in them. But I wanted to know if there is anything worth raising it with DM at all.

Bard I have in mind is "sorcerer-wannabe", kicked out of mage school due to too much love for stories and not enough progress in magic itself. He will be going Sublime Chord when possible, and emulates pure-strain casters as possible. In-game, he is not even bard, he is ex mage apprentice (uses recitations for bardic music). He is knowledge oriented, not blasting oriented, and his favourite spell so far is Hideous Laughter he claims he learned to make sure people laugh at his jokes in taverns.

At the moment I'm just leveling-up to level 4. We will be going thorough Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, so I expect to go to about level 14, switching to Sublime Chord at level 10. During the game I want to have level-ups as easy as possible, without thinking about feats the day before play - that's why I'm investigating now.

I have Eschew Materials, Scribe Scroll and Craft Wondrous Item, and all proved to be useful (we use somewhat loosened craft rules to allow them to be used without stopping the game completely). And I use Alchemy skill a lot, to support my lacks in casting.

1 forbidden by the rules: Quickened have a rule that "This feat can’t be applied to any spell cast spontaneously" (Bard is spontaneous caster), and Silent's rules simply say it cannot be used on Bard spells.


2 Answers 2


For the bard interested in metamagic, metamagic song (races of stone) allows bardic music uses in lieu of higher spell levels. Also significant melodic casting, which allows casting while singing.

Looking at the bard's handbook, extend spell and captivating melody are good bets, as buffs and illusions are part of your stock in trade.

Unfortunately, that's about the extent of the things, and captivating melody is an even bet for someone going into sublime chord.

If you hadn't already started, I would have recommended bardic knack and jack of all trades into knowledge devotion, but that's a bit much to swallow mid-game.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Actually, as far as I understand, by RAW captivating melody is useless for Sublime Chord... it'll work only if it would be OK to allow Sublime Chord to smooth and join both castings - a house rule I hope for, but don't know if I'll get it. Sublime Chord "expands repertoire of bardic music", but I doubt it can really count as "granting" it, without house rules. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 10:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you’re using Metamagic Song, you’re getting close to bardzilla; just grab Talfirian Song. That makes Persist Spell valuable to you, since you can now technically cast 9th-level spells and therefore get around the limits on Metamagic Song. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 14:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, Invisible Spell (Cityscape) and Disguise Spell (Deities & Demigods) can be useful. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 14:03

For the current character in ToEE the only somehow useful feat I see is Extend Spell and its more expensive variant Persistent Spell. The latter is only useful if Metamagic Song is allowed (see below), and opens up a wide variety of buffing possibilities (which can be widened with a liberal use of Ocular Spell or Reach Spell, if your DM allows that).

The others are either damage-oriented, situative or too expensive.

While normally there are plenty of ways to reduce metamagic costs (elaborated here in great detail), they are all feat-intensive or class abilities, which you will hard time to access with a start of three levels of bard and three feats not related to the task. A single exception to this is Metamagic Song feat, which allows to DMM-like fuel your metamagic by bardic music uses, which is handy, if your DM agrees with round-the-clock buffs.

You might want to take a look at the ways of optimizing bardic music instead, since you do disguise it as a spell-like recitation anyway (I can't help but imagine a rapper magician here).

For the record, how to make Quicken useful for a spontaneous caster:

  • Arcane Preparation feat
  • Reduce cost to your liking (several more feats)
  • Ponder whether it would be cheaper to be immune to daze and use Celerity.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Rapid Metamagic (Complete Mage) is much simpler than any of the other options listed for making Quicken Spell work for a spontaneous caster. Also, Metamagic Song doesn’t work if the spell would be of a higher level than you can cast before the reduction, so as-is, you can only persist cantrips. Talfirian Song is probably the cheapest way around that; see bardzilla. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 14:05

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