Best Baldur’s Gate 3 College of Lore Bard Build Guide

This guide focuses on the best Bard build in Baldur’s Gate 3, the College of Lore Subclass, and includes all components to build a powerful character.

Baldur's Gate 3 Bard Songs

Bard Class Introduction

Bards are versatile characters who are skilled in a variety of areas, including music, magic, and combat. They are known for their ability to inspire their allies, debuff their enemies, and their unique ability to play musical instruments. Think of the Bard as an out-of-combat, fun, different and unique playstyle. Inside of combat, their ability diminishes significantly and is weak compared to other classes.

The College of Lore is a Bard subclass that focuses on the use of magic and knowledge. Lore bards are skilled in a variety of abilities, which aid in exploration and dialogue. They also have access to a wide range of spells, including both offensive and support spells. This build will focus on the roleplay aspect of the Bard and lean into making the most out of skill proficiency. Consider this the best Bard build for story, dialogue, exploration, roleplay, and good spell damage.

This build has been updated for the latest version of Baldur’s Gate 3

Lord Bard Class ProsLord Bard Class Cons
Utility and SupportBonus Action Usage
Multple AttacksConcentration Heavy
Crowd Control EnemiesLacks Heavy Armour

Bard Class Features and Mechanics

The following list presents all the essential Bard Mechanics in Baldur’s Gate 3

  • Primary Ability: Charisma
  • Subclass: College of Lore
  • Armor Proficiency: Light
  • Weapon Proficiency: Simple Weapon, Crossbow, Longsword, Rapier, Shortsword
  • Preferred Armor: Light
  • Preferred Weapon: Quarterstaff
  • Preferred Instrument: Violin
  • Bardic Inspiration: Add a +1d6 bonus to the allies next Attack Roll, Ability Check, or Saving Throw.
  • Song of Rest: essentially a Bard spell providing a short rest for your group.

Bard Spell Mechanics

  • Cantrips: are like spells, but you can cast them infinitely, and they don’t take your spell slots. 
  • Spell Slots: At each level, you gain access to more usage of spells and high-tier spells but only have a finite number of spells until a long rest.
  • Learn Spells: Unlike Wizard, you get opportunities at leveling up to unlearn and learn new spells.
  • Concentration: is a spell mechanic that requires you to maintain concentration otherwise, the spell effect ends.

For the list of the best spells for the Bard, look below in level progression.

Bardic Inspiration

Bardic inspiration is a core feature of the bard class in Baldur’s Gate 3. It allows the bard to inspire their allies, giving them a bonus to their next attack roll, ability check, or saving throw.  This is a limited usage resource that recharges on long rest.  The amount of resources you can spend goes up based on level and you get 3 to start. 

To use bardic inspiration, the bard must use a bonus action on their turn to choose one creature other than themselves within 60 feet of them who can hear them. The chosen creature gains one Bardic Inspiration die, a d6.  The creature can then use this die to add it to their roll on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw.

Remember that Bardic inspiration lasts until a long rest, so you can cast it on your primary damage dealer immediately following a long rest. Consider this one of the main benefits of bringing a Bard to your party and it does not require concentration!

College of Lore Bard Subclass Explained

BG3 College of Lore Subclass

College of Lore Bard is a subclass that focuses on knowledge, wit, and versatility. Lore bards are Masters of Information and storytelling, using their bardic abilities to uncover secrets, manipulate minds, and shape the world around them. A College of Lore bard is an ideal choice for players who enjoy a versatile damage build focused on role-playing aspects of Baldur’s Gate 3. The damage with this class comes from offensive spells and you’ll get access to some powerful ones via Magical Secrets expanded spell selection.

College of Lore Progression

Below is a list of the College of Lore Bard subclass progression, features, and spells:

  • Cutting Words (Level 3) – It receives a 1d6 penalty to Attack Rolls, Ability Checks, and Saving Throws until the start of your next turn.
  • Bonus Proficiencies (Level 3) – Choose 3 Proficiencies of your choice.
  • Magical Secrets (Levels 6 & 10) – Choose 2 Spells from the Magical Secrets spell list of Level 3 or lower.
BG3 Entertainer Background

Entertainer is the Best background for the College of Lore Bard Build in Baldur’s Gate 3. This choice mostly influences roleplaying and dialogue options aspects and allows you to create unique characters. Additional choices are:

  1. Entertainer: You live to sway and subvert your audience, engaging common crowds and high society alike. Proficiency in Acrobatics and Performance.
  2. Guild ArtisanYour skill in a particular craft has earned you membership in a mercantile guild, offering privileges and protection while engaging in your art. Proficiency in Insight and Persuasion.
  3. Solider: You are trained in battlefield tactics and combat, having served in a militia, mercenary company, or officer corps.Proficiency in Athletics and Intimidation.

Best Race Choice for College of Lore Bard Build

Baldur's Gate 3 Githyanki race example
Baldur's Gate 3 Human race example

The best race for a College of Lore Bard is Githyanki for Astral Knowledge letting you gain proficiency in all skills within an ability. This helps with the roleplay aspect of the Bard and with BG3’s unique storytelling, possibly the most unique playthrough experience with a Githyanki Bard. The secondary choice is Human which can carry more and can increase skill proficiency.  This is another well-rounded choice for Bard roleplayers.

Astral KnowledgeSkill Proficiency
Misty StepIncrease Carrying Capacity
Mage HandCivil Militia
Medium Armor
Best College of Lore Bard Racial Choice

The ability score improvement will be determined by your class and no longer your race freeing up choices. Every race will get +2 and +1 to spend on their Ability Score. Each of these races offers unique advantages that can enhance your combat prowess, survivability, or utility. Additionally, consider the roleplaying opportunities and character concepts that resonate with you for this Best Baldur’s Gate 3 College of Lore Bard Build Guide.

Lore Bard Skills
Baldur's Gate 3 Perception Successful
Perception skill example

Deception, Sleight of Hand, and Persuasion are the best skills for the College of Lore Bard in Baldur’s Gate 3 because they aid in non-dialogue gameplay including speech checks and lock picking, disabling traps. In Baldur’s Gate 3, skills represent the abilities and proficiencies of your character that allow them to perform various actions and interact with the game world. Skills are associated with specific attributes and are used to determine the success or effectiveness of certain actions or abilities. They can be edited during character creation or with companions, during respec or reroll screen.

Here are the skills for Bard in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  1. Sleight of Hand is a Charisma Skill
  2. Deception is a Charisma Skill
  3. Persuasion is a Charisma Skill

In Baldur’s Gate 3, each skill is related to a specific ability score and it’s effectiveness scales with the level of that score. You want to choose skills for your character that they already have a high ability score in. For example, if you want to have high Persuasion (which is used to influence dialogue choices), you need to have correspondingly high Charisma. Ideally, you want a party composition which includes a variety of high ability scores which can give you success in different skills.

Best College of Lore Bard Ability Scores

BG3 College of Lore Bard Ability Score

Here’s the recommended ability point distribution to maximize a College of Lore Bard Build potential in Baldur’s Gate 3:

AbilityPoints Goal
Best College of Lore Bard Ability Score

The best College of Lore Bard ability score is 16 Charisma for improved chance to land spells and more damage, along with 16 Dexterity for higher Armour Class wearing light armor and skills. The next most important score is a Constitution of 14 for higher health, and then 10 in Intelligence and Wisdom for a blend of ability score

With high Dexterity, you can use light armor and still gain high AC or even cloth. You can also forgo using a Rogue Thief build in your party because Sleight of Hand and Stealth can be obtained via the Bard skills. Also, it’s important to check our list of permanent stat bonuses for this build to increase ability score higher.  Strength is lower because it doesn’t have a useful skill, though it might be annoying to have less carrying capacity.

After you choose the class, race, and background, the game will automatically distribute your abilities in the character creation abilities tab. You will need to reprioritize the stats for the chart for the Best Bard build.  Simply use the plus-minus in the character creator and make sure you have the suggested race, or the numbers will be off. 

Bard Spell Slots

Here’s a chart that shows the levels and spell slots unlocked for the Bard class in Baldur’s Gate 3:

Bard Level1st2nd3rd4th5th6th
Level 1200000
Level 2300000
Level 3420000
Level 4430000
Level 5432000
Level 6433000
Level 7433100
Level 8433200
Level 9433310
Level 10433320
Level 11433321
Level 12433321

College of Lore Bard Illithid Powers

BG3 Illithid Powers

Illithid Powers are unlocked later in the game when you learn more about the Mind Flayers and tadpoles. You can gain jars of Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens, consume them to gain one point.  This is essentially another skill tree advancement with some very strong powers.  If you decide to advance this skill line, these are the choices we suggest.

Here are the best Illithid Powers for the Best Baldur’s Gate 3 College of Lore Bard Build Guide:

  • Charm: Channel the dark allure of the tadpole to Charm an enemy that attacks you, preventing them from attacking you until their next turn. 
  • Repulsor: Deal force damage and Force Push anything and anyone back 6m.
  • Freecast: You have discovered a marvelous adaption within yourself. Spell slots, charges, and similar resource costs for your next action or spell are removed.

College of Lore Bard Level Progression

Level 1

Best Baldur’s Gate 3 College of Lore Bard Build Guide

At level one Bard, you will be able to pick an instrument and have Bardic Inspiration, Cantrips, and SpellsMusical instruments are for roleplay, nothing performance-based. At level 1 you will be wearing light armor and Rapier or Quarterstaff weapons. At level 3 you will want to select subclass and use Quarterstaff with free spells and light armour for extra AC with higher Dexterity. At this level, mainly work towards reaching your subclass which will give you a lot more damage.

  • Bardic Inspiration (class feature): 18m range consuming a bonus action ally can add a +1d6 bonus to their next Attack Roll, Ability Check, or Saving Throw. This can be used four times and recover charges by taking a long rest.
  • Astral Knowledge (Githyanki race feature): grants Proficiency in all Skills of a chosen Ability. This is incredibly useful in a role-play-heavy build in which you cannot have all ability scores high.  If not using a Wizard in your party Intelligence is useful.  If not using a Cleric, go with Wisdom.


  • Vicious Mockery: Do 1d4 Psychic damage and the target receives a Disadvantage on its next Attack Roll. A useful skill to do some ranged damage and debuff a target.
  • Blade Ward: Gain Resistance to Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing damage from weapon attacks. This is helpful when you need a non-spell slot defensive skill against melee aggressors.
  • Thaumaturgy (Zariel Tiefling cantrip): Gain Advantage on Intimidation and Performance Checks.


  • Healing Word: Heal a creature you can see up to 18m away using a bonus action. This is a useful heal because it’s ranged and consumes a bonus action, which can be paired with Cure Wounds a melee heal when in need.
  • Cure Wounds: Touch a creature to heal it with 1d8.  This is a melee-based heal that is more powerful than Heal Word and requires action so it can be used back-to-back if needed.
  • Tasha’s Hideous Laughter: Inflict a creature with fits of laughter, leaving it Prone without the ability to get up for 10 turns and requires concentration.  This is a great single-target crowd control ability and gives you some utility and defense.
  • Thunderwave: Release a wave of thunderous force that pushes away enemies and deals damage. This is your knockback ability perfect to push aggressors back or knock enemies off ledges.

Gameplay at this level revolves around buff allies with Blade Ward, Crowd Control with Hideous Laughter, and healing with Healing Word and Cure wounds. You use Thunderwave to knock back enemies and Vicious Mockery for some damage and debuff. From here, the Bard gets more of the same as the levels progress. Mainly in the form of enemy crowd control effects and debuffs.

The general premise with spell selections from this point forward with College of Lore Bard is to pick ones that are crowd control or utility-centered. Most of your actions will come from weapon attacks, and with a spell ability score (Charisma and Dexterity), you need to lean into one to get the most damage. Feel free to try different spells, but our main goal will be to use them for range damage or control crowd primarily. Keep reading to find out more level progression for the Best Baldur’s Gate 3 College of Lore Bard Build Guide.

College of Lore Level 1 Prepared Spells: Healing Word, Thunderwave, Cure Wounds, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter

Level 2

At level 2, Jack of All Trades is unlocked which adds half of your Proficiency Bonus (like persuasion) to Ability checks that you are not Proficient in. This essentially has little impact on performance but helps in story-telling and exploring situations. Also at level two, you will unlock more level 1 spell slots. Below is our suggestion at level two:

  • Speak with Animals (spell selection): Gain the ability to comprehend and verbally communicate with beasts.
  • Jack of All Trades (class feature): Your vast experiences make you more likely to succeed in any undertaking. Add half of your Proficiency Bonus (rounded down) to Ability Checks that you are not Proficient in.
  • Song of Rest (class action): You and your allies are revitalized as though you would have taken a Short Rest.

Level two will add an important spell for questing, Speak with Animals. You can take another spell if playing with a companion or character that brings this to the party. This spell will help with dialogue speaking with animals and can have a big impact on questing. Always try to use this on random inconspicuous animals for interesting ramifications.  Combat gameplay remains unchanged and at level three we can pick the College of Lore subclass.

College of Lore Level 2 Prepared Spells: Healing Word, Thunderwave, Cure Wounds, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, Speak with Animals

Level 3

BG3 College of Lore Subclass
BG3 Cutting Words

At level 3 the Bard can select their subclass and for this, we will choose the College of Lore. You can then select a new spell to learn and access to level 2 spell slots. You will also be able to improve two skills that influence mainly non-combat gameplay. Lastly, the College of Lore subclass feature Cutting Words is unlocked. Below is a summary of suggested level 3 selections as a College of Lore Subclass.

  • Heat Metal (spell selection): Cause a metal weapon or armour to glow red-hot and force the creature touching it to let go or receive Disadvantage on Attack Rolls and Ability Checks. If the creature is only wearing metal armour, it always receives Disadvantage. If the creature is still touching the metal, you can use a bonus action on subsequent turns to deal another 2~16 Fire damage and force the creature to let go or receive Disadvantage.
  • Skills Improvement: Select three skills with proficiency: Stealth, Deception, and Intimidation.  Select two skills with Expertise: Sleight of Hand, and Performance.
  • Githyanki Psionics: Jump (race feature): Jump in a long arc, depending on your strength modifier.
  • Cutting Words (subclass feature): Use your wit to distract a creature and sap its confidence. It receives a 1d6 penalty to Attack Rolls, Ability Checks, and Saving Throws until the start of your next turn. At Bard Level 5, the penalty increases to +1d8. At Bard Level 10, it increases to +1d10.

Level three will unlock a lot for this class with skills getting a massive boost. This will drastically help with outside-of-combat dialogue and lock-picking. The Cutting Words subclass feature is a reaction-based skill, meaning it doesn’t consume actions or bonus actions. You can find this in the reactions tab of your character screen. You want to check the mark “ask” because this debuff will consume the Bardic Inspiration resource. You don’t want to use this on useless targets or fights, but when you expect a big incoming down, this can help the target miss, or fail an ability. 

Heat Metal is the chosen skill at this level because it acts as a great crowd-control spell early in the game. Any enemies that rely on weapons, like Githyanki Fighters can be completely shutdown casting this spell and dropping their weapons. The spell uses concentration which you can only have one at a time.  A trip with the spell is to drop an enemy’s weapon and then pick it up, completely negating its damage and utility. 

College of Lore Level 3 Prepared Spells: Healing Word, Thunderwave, Cure Wounds, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, Speak with Animals, Heat Metal

Level 4

At level four, the Bard will unlock one cantrip, one spell, and a feat.  Below are our suggestions:

  • Friends (cantrip selection): Gain Advantage on Charisma Checks against a non-hostile creature. This spell can be cast while you are Silenced. Last for 10 turns
  • Shatter (spell selection): Damages all nearby creatures and objects. Creatures made of inorganic material such as stone have Disadvantage in their Saving Throw.
  • Ability Improvement (feat selection): Add +2 to Charisma

Level four is an important level for your Bard’s character development. The most important decision is your feat selection. Our goal is to reach 20 Charisma by the maximum level of 12 in BG3 and obtain the Birthright helm in Act 3. This will increase our overall Charisma to 22 helping with a chance to land and damage. 

There are a lot of good choices at this level, both Actor and Performer are good for non-combat related choices. The issue with selecting them is, you get +1 to Charisma, not +2. You can take these, but you’ll need to reset your Charisma to 15 or 17 in character select so you land on an even number with this upgrade.  War Caster is another combat-related feat that helps with maintaining concentration and we will look to take that at level 8 and level 12 and select another +2 ability score to reach 20.

For spells and cantrips, Friends is a great utility spell that helps with dialogue. Shatter is a useful ranged damage spell that doesn’t require concentration so it can be applied in conjunction with another concentration spell.

College of Lore Level 4 Prepared Spells: Healing Word, Thunderwave, Cure Wounds, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, Speak with Animals, Heat Metal, Shatter

Level 5

The level 5 College of Lord Bard will get access to level 3 spell slots and new class features. Below are suggestions:

  • Font of Inspiration (class feature): You regain all your Bardic Inspiration after a Short or Long Rest.
  • Improved Bardic Inspiration (class feature): The bonus gained from Bardic Inspiration increases to +1d8 and +1d10.
  • Glyph of Warding (spell selection): Inscribe a circle of arcane glyphs on the ground. When stepped on by an enemy, the selected magical effect will trigger.
  • Misty Step (Githyanki race spell): Surrounded by silver mist, you teleport to an unoccupied space you can see.

At this level, you get a boost to your Bardic Inspiration and the resource comes back after a Short Rest. This helps when using the subclass feature Cutting Words frequently to debuff targets. The level 3 spell selection of Glyph of Warding is helpful for ranged damage and also with a big area.  If you want more utility, and less combat focus select Speak with Dead. There is an amulet you get early in the game when speaking with Withers, which is why this spell isn’t advised here.

College of Lore Level 5 Prepared Spells: Healing Word, Thunderwave, Cure Wounds, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, Speak with Animals, Heat Metal, Shatter, Glyph of Warding

Level 6

Level 6 College of Lore Bard unlocks another spell, Counter Charm, and Magical Secrets subclass feature.

  • Stinking Cloud (spell selection): Create a cloud of gas so nauseating it prevents creatures from taking actions.
  • Countercharm (class action): You and any allies within 9m have Advantage on Saving Throws against being Charmed or Frightened.
  • Magical Secrets (subclass feature): Choose some additional spells to add to your repertoire.
  • Fireball (extra spell): Shoot a bright flame from your fingers that explodes upon contact, torching everything in the vicinity.
  • Counterspell (extra spell): Nullify another creature’s spell as a reaction. The spell must be 3rd level or lower. If it is higher, you must succeed a Check to nullify it, the difficulty of which is based on the spell’s Level.

The Magical Secrets subclass feature gives us two spells from other disciplines in a wide range. This is where you can shape your Bard for not only roleplay but combat performance. Our general recommendation is Fireball and Counterspell. Fireball is obviously a god-tier area-based damage spell and this will lean you more into damage. Counterspell can shut down enemy casters as a reaction during their turn. It’s a very powerful counter to opposing casters.

Some other options depending on your goals are Mass Healing Word, Haste, and Animate Dead. Mass Healing Word is a better version of Healing Word which uses a bonus action rather than an action to heal and goes up to 6 party members. Haste gives a player two actions per turn is an S Tier buff skill. Lastly, Animate Dead can summon corpses outside of combat until a long rest and have them fight for your team. 

We selected Stinking Cloud at this level regardless of your Magical Secrets selection because it can shut down actions in a massive area. If you lean offensive with some support, Fireball and Counterspell are the best selections.

College of Lore Level 6 Prepared Spells: Healing Word, Thunderwave, Cure Wounds, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, Speak with Animals, Heat Metal, Shatter, Glyph of Warding, Stinking Cloud

Level 7

The level 7 College of Lore Bard gets to pick one new spell and access level 4 spell slots.

  • Confusion (spell selection): Befuddle a group of creatures, causing them to attack at random, wander around aimlessly, and occasionally skip turns in the stupor.

The Confusions spell can be a game-changing spell in large fights with 6 or greater enemies. This spell has great range, up to 6 targets, and if the percentage to land is high, can cause enemies to fight each other. The issue with the spell is it requires concentration like many Bard spells, but it’s a worthwhile crowd control ability for big fights.

College of Lore Level 7 Prepared Spells: Healing Word, Thunderwave, Cure Wounds, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, Speak with Animals, Heat Metal, Shatter, Glyph of Warding, Stinking Cloud, Confusion

Level 8

BG3 Level 8 Life Cleric War Caster

At level eight you can select one spell to learn, as well as another feat.

  • Greater Invisibility (spell selection): Turn a creature Invisible. Attacks against it have Disadvantage. It attacks with Advantage. Invisibility breaks when you fail increasingly harder Stealth Checks on attacking, casting spells, or interacting with items.
  • War Caster (feat selection): You gain Advantage on Saving Throws to maintain Concentration on a spell. You can also use a reaction to cast Shocking Grasp at a target moving out of melee range.

The main decision at this level is selecting War Caster.  Most of our prolonged crowd control or utility spells require concentration so it’s vital to maintain this.  War Caster will help in doing so, allowing us to maintain one concentration spell and use other actions to cast devastating damage spells like Fireball.  This loadout helps your build keep high damage while good crowd control.

College of Lore Level 8 Prepared Spells: Healing Word, Thunderwave, Cure Wounds, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, Speak with Animals, Heat Metal, Shatter, Glyph of Warding, Stinking Cloud, Confusion, Greater Invisibility

Level 9

At level 9 the College of Lore Bard reach level 5 spell slots with not a lot of good options. We recommend Mass Cure Wounds.

  • Mass Cure Wounds (spell selection): Unleash a soothing hum of energy that heals you and nearby allies.

This seems counter intuitive for a non-support build and you could make that argument. With the available spells to select, this gives us a group high level support spell if we are not using a Cleric or they are incapacitated. Cast this to mass heal your party, and if you took Mass Healing Word at level 6, you can combine these together for two powerful heals in one turn.

College of Lore Level 9 Prepared Spells: Healing Word, Thunderwave, Cure Wounds, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, Speak with Animals, Heat Metal, Shatter, Glyph of Warding, Stinking Cloud, Confusion, Greater Invisibility, Mass Cure Wounds

Level 10

Level 10 is a massive level of unlocks for the College of Lore Bard.  Below are our recommendations.

  • Improved Bardic Inspiration (class feature): The bonus gained from Bardic Inspiration increases to +1d8 and +1d10.
  • Skill with Expertise: Persuasion for dialogue help and Stealth
  • Light (cantrip selection): Infuse an object with an aura of light. Lasts until Long Rest.
  • Planar Binding (spell selection): Target an otherworldly creature and attach its consciousness to your own. It will follow and fight for you as an ally. Lasts 10 turns.
  • Magical Secrets (subclass feature): Choose some additional spells to add to your repertoire.
  • Conjure Elemental (extra spell): Bend the barrier between the Planes until they disgorge an elemental ally to follow and fight for you.
  • Blight (extra spell): Plants are more susceptible to this spell: they roll with Disadvantage, and still take half of all the damage if they succeed the roll.

Our spell selection is a control spell that is limited to otherworldly creatures. The nice additions are through magical secrets, giving us Conjure Elemental. I prefer the Earth Elemental for crowd control and high health. You can use a level 5 spell slot immediately following a long rest and use this ally until death or long rest. The second spell is Blight a lower-level spell, that helps with single-target damage which we lack. This build currently has a ton of area damage spells, and adding Blight for a lower-level spell slot helps round out the build.

College of Lore Level 10 Prepared Spells: Healing Word, Thunderwave, Cure Wounds, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, Speak with Animals, Heat Metal, Shatter, Glyph of Warding, Stinking Cloud, Confusion, Greater Invisibility, Mass Cure Wounds, Planar Binding

Level 11

At level 11, you reach the final level 6 spell slots in the game and will only have one spell slot to cast. The choices at this level lackluster, to say the least, but it’s worth learning Eyebite. You can also “upcast” spells, meaning using a level 6 spell slot to cast Fireball, increasing its overall damage. That and Blight are strong choices, one for area and one for a single target.

  • Eyebite (spell selection): Your eyes become black corridors walled in teeth, your gaze capable of inflicting dread, sickness, or putting creatures to sleep.

Eyebite you can select one of three effects that last for 10 turns. One is sleep, which allows you to consume an action to put creatures to sleep without casting another spell slot. This is an okay crowd-control spell, but we are overloaded with them at the moment anyway and will likely use this spell slot for other purposes. Your two main damage sources are Fireball, and Blight, which fulfill your single-target and area damage needs.

College of Lore Level 11 Prepared Spells: Healing Word, Thunderwave, Cure Wounds, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, Speak with Animals, Heat Metal, Shatter, Glyph of Warding, Stinking Cloud, Confusion, Greater Invisibility, Mass Cure Wounds, Planar Binding, Eyebite

Level 12

Congratulations on reaching the maximum level in Baldur’s Gate 3 with the College of Lore Bard! At this level, you want to take a utility spell and ability improvement.

  • Greater Restoration (spells selections): Touch a creature and negate any Charm, Petrification, Stun, or curse afflicting it.
  • Ability Improvement (feat selection): Add +2 Charisma

Once you max your level, the next priority is to optimize your gear based on the Act you are in. Look below for gear recommendations for beginner and advanced players and thanks for reading!

College of Lore Level 12 Prepared Spells: Healing Word, Thunderwave, Cure Wounds, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, Speak with Animals, Heat Metal, Shatter, Glyph of Warding, Stinking Cloud, Confusion, Greater Invisibility, Mass Cure Wounds, Planar Binding, Eyebite, Greater Restoration

Best Companions for Bard Build

With this particular Bard build, you won’t be doing much of the support and it’s a good idea to bring a Cleric particularly Shadowheart to your party. We suggest respecing her to the Life subclass which has a lot of powerful healing and utility spells. This will allow you to stick with doing high damage.

Here’s a list of the best companions for the Best Baldur’s Gate 3 College of Lore Bard Build Guide:

  • Karlach (Barbarian): aggressive melee damage dealer, which takes the pressure off you.
  • Gale (Wizard): damage, crowd control, and elemental effects considered your range damage dealer.
  • Shadowheart (Cleric): healing, support, buffs, and crowd control

When putting your party together, consider companions for not only their combat prowess but also their outside abilities and skills that can influence storytelling, dialogue, and exploration. A balanced party will fit the traditional RPG ‘holy trinity’: Tank, Healer, and DPS. Ideally, in Baldur’s Gate 3, you are going to want one tank, one healer, one melee DPS, and one range DPS. Some classes/subclasses can cover both roles, so feel free to experiment and find out what works best for you.

Best Gear for College of Lore Bard Build in Baldur’s Gate 3

Beginner: Act 1

BG3 Melf’s First Staff
Baldur's Gate 3 Blazer of Benevolence
BG3 Disintegrating Night Walker Boots

The following table is a recommended gear in Act One for Best Baldur’s Gate 3 College of Lore Bard Build Guide:

Gear SlotBest Gear Item
HeadCap of Curing
ChestBlazer of Benevolence
GlovesGloves of Hail of Thorns
BootsDisintegrating Night Walkers
NecklaceSilver Pendant
RingSunwalker’s Gift
RingThe Whispering Promise
Weapon 1 Main HandMelf’s First Staff
Weapon 2 RangedFirestoker
Musical Instrument Violin
Best Beginner Lore Bard Gear
  • Cap of Curing: When you inspire an ally using Bardic Inspiration, they also regain 1d6 Hit Points. Can be found in a locked gilded chest behind a pillar near where Alfira is singing in the Druid Grove
  • Blazer of Benevolence: When you inspire an ally using Bardic Inspiration, you gain 4 Temporary Hit Points. The reward for rescuing Volo from the Goblin Camp
  • Gloves of Hail of Thorns: Cast the spell Hail of Thorns once per Short Rest. Sold by Brem in the Zhentarim Hideout after completing Find the Missing Shipment.
  • Disintegrating Night Walkers: Can’t be Enwebbed, Entangled, or Ensnared and can’t slip on grease or ice; Misty Step once per Short Rest. Dropped by True Soul Nere at the Grymforge
  • Silver Pendant: You gain the ability to cast Guidance cantrip. Looted from a skeleton on the cliff southwest of the Druid Grove (X:152, Y:366).
  • Sunwalker’s Gift: the wearer can see in the dark up to 12m (used for non-Darkvision races like Dragonborn, Githyanki, etc.). Buy it from Blurg in Myconid Colony in the  Underdark.
    • AlternativeThe Sparkswall: the wearer cannot be electrocuted and gains resistance to lightning damage.  Obtained in a chest in Arcane Tower, Underdark Act 1.
  • The Whispering Promise: When the wearer heals a creature, it also receives a 1d4 bonus to Attack Rolls and Saving Throws. Sold by Volo in the Druid Grove or your Camp. Also sold by Grat the Trader in the Goblin Camp.
  • Melf’s First Staff: 1d6 + 1 bludgeoning damage, gain +1 bonus to spell save DC, spell attack rolls, and Melf’s acid Arrow once per long rest.  Sold by Blurg in the Myconid Colony.
    • Alternative: Staff of Crones: Gain Ray of Sickness, Level 1 Spell. Underneath Auntie Ethel Hut in Sunlit Wetlands, in the Hag treasure room, after defeating her.
  • Firestoker: Deals an additional 1d4 Piercing damage to Burning targets. Found in an Opulent Chest in Grymforge in the hallway with the Hellsboars
  • Violin: a starting instrument for the Bard. It can be played with the Perform action. Can be found as random loot

Advanced: Act 3 End Game

BG3 - Markoheshkir - Baldur's Gate 3
Baldur's Gate 3 Elegant Studded Leather
BG3 Birthright Helmet - Baldur's Gate 3

The following table presents the best advanced and end-game gear for the best Bard College of Lore Build in Baldur’s Gate 3:

Gear SlotBest Gear Item
CapeCloak of the Weave
ChestElegant Studded Leather
GlovesQuickspell Gloves
BootsHelldusk Boots
NecklaceSpellcrux Amulet
RingCrypt Lord Ring
RingKiller’s Sweetheart
Weapon 1 Main HandMarkoheshkir
Weapon 2 RangedHellfire Hand Crossbow
Musical Instrument Glimmergad’s Selgaunt Fiddle
Best College of Lore Bard Gear
  • Birthright: gives the wearer Charisma +2, up to a maximum of 22. Sold at Sorcerous Sundries
  • Cloak of the Weave: You gain a +1 bonus to Spell Save DC and Spell Attack Rolls and Absorb elemental damage once per Short Rest. Can be found in a locked chest in Raphael’s House of Hope.
  • Elegant Studded Leather: Gain a +2 bonus to Initiative, shield reaction, Advantage on Stealth Checks. Opening vault on Return Rakath’s Gold quest in Counting House.
  • Quickspell Gloves: Cantrips that cost an action cost a bonus action instead. This effect can be used once per Short Rest. Can be purchased at Lorroakan’s Projection at Sorceror’s Sundries
  • Helldusk Boots: You cannot be forcibly moved by a foe’s spells or actions, and you ignore the effects of Difficult Terrain and gain Hellcrawl action. Found in a locked Gilded Chest on the top floor of Wyrm’s Rock Fortress
  • Spellcrux Amulet: Replenish an expended spell slot of any level as a Bonus Action once per Long Rest. Looted from The Warden in Moonrise Towers Prison in Act 2.
  • Crypt Lord Ring: Can cast Create Undead as a 6th-level spell once per Long Rest. The reward for completion of Find Mystic Carrion’s Servant if Thrumbo survives.
  • Killer’s Sweetheart: When you kill a creature, your next Attack Roll will be a critical hit. Can be found lying on the ground at the top of the stone structure in the Self-Same Trial inside the Gauntlet of Shar ( X: -833 Y: -729).
  • Markoheshkir: You gain a +1 bonus to Spell Save DC and spell attack rolls; Alleviate the arcane burden of spellcasting with the power of this staff. The next spell you cast doesn’t cost a spell cost. At Ramazith’s Tower.
    • Alternative Staff of Spellpower: Gives Arcane Battery, free spell without spell slot (same as Markohenshkir).
  • Hellfire Hand Crossbow: Free level 3 Scorching Ray spell. Can be looted from Yurgir in the Gauntlet of Shar.
  • Glimmergad’s Selgaunt Fiddle: is a unique instrument. It can be played with the Perform action. Can be purchased at Chromatic Scale in the Lower City.

Best Bard Consumables, Potions, and Items

Baldur's Gate 3 Potion of Speed
Smokepowered Bomb
Baldur's Gate 3 Potion of Greater Healing

The following list represents the best individual use consumable items that will aid in our College of Lore Build:

  • Potion of Speed: Gain extra action, +2 Armour Class, Advantage on Dexterity Saving Throws, and double movement speed making it the best consumable in the game.
  • Smokepowder Bomb: Throw bomb 18m with a 4m radius dealing 3d4+9 Force damage dealing a massive amount of area damage.
  • Greater Healing Potion: use a bonus action to self-heal for 4D4+ 4 HP.
  • Feather Fall Scroll: Become immune to falling damage which helps to enter Underdark.
  • Alchemist Fire: throwable single target dealing 1d4 Fire damage per to turn to a creature hit

College of Lore Bard Gameplay Tips and Tricks

The following list are gameplay, combat, tips and tricks for playing a Bard effectively in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Inspire Allies: Constantly use Combat Inspiration during and before a fight to give them a massive advantage.
  • Bonus Action: Always exhaust your bonus action with Bardic Inspiration, potion, hide even shove can be beneficial.
  • Environment Protection: Use line of sight, hide, and dash to avoid extra damage from melee aggressors as Bards are not equipped for frontline fighting.
  • Knockback: Having a spell-like Thunderwave is essential to handling pressure from melee targets.
  • Crowd Control: Bards should use single target and area-based control spells to reduce incoming damage. 
  • Rest Constantly: Constantly return to camp for a full rest so you enter with a full complement of spell slots.
  • Use Consumables: Use the Potion of Speed in a tough fight to get an extra action per turn for a limited duration.
  • Heal: The goal is to keep damage dealers from having to self-heal or use a bonus action potion, so constantly heal them to keep group damage high. 
  • Roleplay: Bards are god-tier RP characters and should mostly be doing dialogue options because of their huge built-in advantages.
  • Use Skills: Check your dice roll score by hovering over a dialogue check to see what gives you the best advantage.

Remember, this build guide serves as a foundation, and you can always adapt it to suit your preferences and the needs of your campaign. Enjoy playing as a formidable Best Baldur’s Gate 3 College of Lore Bard Build Guide!

Baldur’s Gate 3 College of Lore Bard Build Summary Guide

Bard Mechanics

  • Bardic Inspiration
  • Song of Rest

Subclass – College of Lore




Bard Abilities Score

  • Strength 8
  • Dexterity 16
  • Constitution 14
  • Intelligence 10
  • Wisdom 10
  • Charisma 16

Race – Githyanki

  • Astral Knowledge
  • Misty Step
  • Mage Hand
  • Medium Armor

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