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My party just entered a cave. I have melodic casting as a feat.

Usually I wait until the first round of combat to activate inspire courage. But the more I think about it, why not just do it right away, and maintain it until combat starts?

So my question is: what actions would cause me to have to stop maintaining inspire courage?

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It's an open question of whether or not your song needs to be specific words, or if you can communicate with your party while singing as long as you just sing what you're trying to say. Watch out for the DM forcing you to sing your character's lines in real life!

Using other bardic music

Your bard may be particularly impressive, but he can't sing two different songs at the same time.

Stealth

This is pretty straightforward - you're not going to do a great job of sneaking when you're singing.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's a play-by-forum-post campaign, so I can safely avoid my DM's wrath. :-) \$\endgroup\$ – JoshuaD Apr 7 '16 at 18:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you could do stealth while maintaining the song, it would just give huge minuses to the stealth checks. Practically it won't be something you do very often, but the two abilities don't necessarily refuse to coexist. For example, picture a bard hidden in the trees, giving courage to his allies. \$\endgroup\$ – JoshuaD Apr 7 '16 at 18:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Stealth - reminds me of Hudson Hawk \$\endgroup\$ – Adeptus Apr 8 '16 at 0:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JoshuaD I think it likely more what SPavel meant by stealth is your parties' overall element of surprise. And also "move silently". You can certainly be in cover and performing. But consider as you enter the cave, there are enemy casters who have buffs. Or enemies who can set traps. Or hide themselves. This is generally my experience with the downsides of performing "all the time" (same for marshall). \$\endgroup\$ – joedragons Apr 8 '16 at 17:05

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