Are you ready to create a character that can charm, deceive, and inspire others with their music and words? Then the Bard class in Dungeons and Dragons 5e might be just what you’re looking for. But choosing the right Bard College is crucial to ensure your character’s skills and abilities align with your playstyle. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about the Bard Colleges in D&D 5e.
What are Bard Colleges?
Bard Colleges are specialized schools of performance and magic that enhance a Bard’s abilities and skills. Each Bard College offers a unique set of features, spells, and abilities that cater to specific playstyles and character backgrounds. Choosing the right Bard College can make a significant difference in how effective your character is in combat and social interactions.
Importance of choosing the right Bard College for your character
Bards are versatile characters that can fill various roles in a party, including support, damage-dealer, and crowd-controller. However, choosing the wrong Bard College can limit your character’s potential and leave you feeling underwhelmed. For example, if you prefer to play a Bard that excels in combat, choosing the wrong Bard College can leave you lacking in damage-dealing abilities or tankiness.
Overview of the different Bard Colleges available in D&D 5e
There are currently eight Bard Colleges available in D&D 5e, each with its own unique features and abilities. The Bard Colleges are:
- College of Lore
- College of Valor
- College of Swords
- College of Glamour
- College of Whispers
- College of Eloquence
- College of Creation
- College of Spirits
Each Bard College offers unique spells, abilities, and features that cater to different playstyles and preferences. For example, the College of Lore emphasizes a Bard’s versatility, while the College of Whispers focuses on deception and infiltration.
In the next sections, we’ll explore each Bard College in detail, discussing their features, abilities, and tips for playing each one effectively.
The Lore Bard College
If you’re looking for a Bard College that emphasizes versatility and knowledge, then the College of Lore might be the one for you. This Bard College offers a wide range of features and abilities that make them an excellent support and utility character for any party.
Overview of the Lore Bard College
The College of Lore emphasizes a Bard’s knowledge and versatility, offering a wide range of skills and abilities that make them a jack-of-all-trades character. Lore Bards can use their Bardic Inspiration to help their allies or hinder their enemies, and they have access to a wide range of spells that allow them to adapt to any situation.
Unique features and abilities of the Lore Bard
One of the unique features of the Lore Bard College is their Additional Magical Secrets ability. This ability allows them to choose any two spells from any class’s spell list, making them incredibly versatile and adaptable. Lore Bards also have Cutting Words, which allows them to use their Bardic Inspiration to subtract from an enemy’s attack roll or ability check.
Another unique feature of the Lore Bard is their Peerless Skill ability, which allows them to add half of their proficiency bonus to any ability check they’re not proficient in. This ability makes them excellent at skill checks and can help them overcome challenges that other characters might struggle with.
Tips for playing a Lore Bard effectively
To play a Lore Bard effectively, it’s important to focus on versatility and knowledge. Choose spells that can adapt to any situation, such as Dispel Magic, Counterspell, or Polymorph. Use your Cutting Words ability to hinder your enemies and your Bardic Inspiration to support your allies.
It’s also important to take advantage of your Additional Magical Secrets ability and choose spells that complement your party’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, if your party lacks healing, you could choose Cure Wounds or Mass Healing Word.
Overall, the College of Lore is an excellent choice for players who enjoy playing a versatile character that can adapt to any situation and support their allies.
The Valor Bard College
The Valor Bard College is perfect for players who want to focus on combat and martial abilities. This Bard College emphasizes bravery, courage, and martial prowess, making it an excellent option for players who want to mix it up in melee combat while still retaining the Bard’s spellcasting abilities.
Overview of the Valor Bard College
The College of Valor emphasizes combat training and martial abilities, making it an excellent choice for players who want to play an inspiring leader on the battlefield. This Bard College is perfect for players who enjoy the thrill of combat and want to mix it up in close quarters.
Unique features and abilities of the Valor Bard
The Valor Bard College offers unique features and abilities that cater to a more martial playstyle. One of the most significant features of the College of Valor is the Combat Inspiration ability, which allows the Bard to grant a creature a Bardic Inspiration die as a bonus action. Additionally, the College of Valor grants proficiency in medium armor, shields, and martial weapons, making it easier to get up close and personal with enemies.
Another unique ability of the Valor Bard is Battle Magic, which allows the Bard to cast a cantrip and make a weapon attack as a bonus action, making them a formidable force on the battlefield. The Valor Bard also gains access to additional spells that focus on combat and battlefield control, such as Enlarge/Reduce, Hold Person, and Stinking Cloud.
Tips for playing a Valor Bard effectively
To play a Valor Bard effectively, it’s important to focus on combat training and martial abilities. This Bard College is perfect for players who enjoy mixing it up in melee combat while still retaining spellcasting abilities. It’s essential to take advantage of the Bard’s unique abilities, such as Combat Inspiration and Battle Magic, to inspire allies and deal significant damage on the battlefield.
When choosing spells, focus on those that enhance the Bard’s martial abilities, such as Enlarge/Reduce and Hold Person. Additionally, taking feats that grant additional martial abilities, such as Great Weapon Master or Shield Master, can make the Valor Bard even more formidable in combat.
Overall, the Valor Bard College is an excellent choice for players who want to focus on combat and martial abilities while still retaining the Bard’s spellcasting abilities. With unique features and abilities that cater to a more martial playstyle, the Valor Bard is an inspiring leader on the battlefield and a formidable force to be reckoned with.
The Glamour Bard College
The Glamour Bard College is all about captivating an audience and making a name for oneself. This Bard College is perfect for players who want to play a character that is charming, confident, and a little flashy. Let’s take a closer look at what this Bard College has to offer.
Overview of the Glamour Bard College
The Glamour Bard College is all about using charm and magic to control a crowd, inspire allies, and deter enemies. This Bard College is known for its flashy performances, stunning displays, and impeccable poise. The Glamour Bard College emphasizes skills like Deception, Persuasion, and Performance, making it ideal for characters who want to be the life of the party.
Unique features and abilities of the Glamour Bard
The Glamour Bard College offers unique spells, features, and abilities that make it stand out from other Bard Colleges. Here are some of the Glamour Bard’s most unique features and abilities:
Mantle of Inspiration
At 3rd level, the Glamour Bard gains the ability to use a bonus action to grant temporary hit points to allies within 60 feet. This ability also allows the allies to use their reaction to move their speed without provoking opportunity attacks.
At 3rd level, the Glamour Bard gains the ability to use their Performance skill to put on a captivating performance that entraps an audience. This ability can charm up to six creatures within 60 feet of the Bard, making them vulnerable to the Bard’s influence.
At 6th level, the Glamour Bard gains the ability to project an aura of majestic presence that makes them immune to being charmed or frightened. This ability also allows the Bard to spend their Bardic Inspiration dice to give allies the same immunity.
Tips for playing a Glamour Bard effectively
Playing a Glamour Bard can be a lot of fun, but it requires a specific playstyle and mindset. Here are some tips for playing a Glamour Bard effectively:
- Focus on Charisma as your primary ability score, as it will determine the effectiveness of your spells and abilities.
- Use your Performance skill to its full potential, putting on captivating shows and inspiring allies.
- Take advantage of your charm and persuasion abilities to negotiate with NPCs and sway the opinions of enemies.
- Be mindful of your spell selection, choosing spells that enhance your crowd control and support abilities.
- Use your Mantle of Inspiration and Unbreakable Majesty abilities to protect yourself and allies in combat.
The Whispers Bard College
If you’re looking to play a Bard that excels in deception, infiltration, and manipulation, then the College of Whispers might be the perfect fit for you. This Bard College emphasizes the darker side of performance, using its powers to extract secrets and manipulate others for their own gains.
Overview of the Whispers Bard College
The College of Whispers is a subclass of the Bard class that focuses on covert operations, infiltration, and espionage. Whispers Bards use their music and words to extract information from their enemies and manipulate their allies. They are masters of disguise, able to blend seamlessly into any environment and assume any role.
Unique features and abilities of the Whispers Bard
The Whispers Bard has several unique features and abilities that set it apart from other Bard Colleges. Some of its notable features include:
Psychic Blades: Whispers Bards can imbue their weapon with psychic energy, dealing extra damage to their enemies. This ability can also be used to deal psychic damage to a creature that the Bard has used their “Mantle of Whispers” ability on.
Mantle of Whispers: This ability allows the Bard to assume the identity of a creature they have killed, gaining access to their memories and abilities. The Bard can then use this information to manipulate others or gain an advantage in combat.
Words of Terror: Whispers Bards can use their words to instill fear in their enemies, causing them to become frightened. This ability can also be used to extract information from a target by threatening them with their worst fears.
Tips for playing a Whispers Bard effectively
Playing a Whispers Bard requires a strategic mindset and a willingness to delve into the darker side of roleplaying. Here are some tips for playing a Whispers Bard effectively:
Master the art of deception: Whispers Bards are masters of deception and manipulation. Make sure to invest in skills like Deception, Persuasion, and Intimidation to effectively carry out your plans.
Blend in with your surroundings: Whispers Bards are excellent at blending in with their surroundings and assuming different roles. Make sure to invest in skills like Disguise Kit and Stealth to effectively infiltrate enemy strongholds.
Use your abilities strategically: The Whispers Bard has several unique abilities that can be powerful tools in combat and social interactions. Make sure to use them strategically and creatively to gain an advantage over your enemies.
By following these tips and utilizing the unique features and abilities of the Whispers Bard, you can become a master of espionage and manipulation in your D&D 5e campaign.
Choosing the right Bard College in Dungeons and Dragons 5e can make a significant difference in how effective your character is in combat and social interactions. Each Bard College offers unique features, spells, and abilities that cater to different playstyles and preferences. Whether you prefer to excel in combat, deceive and charm others, or support your allies, there is a Bard College for you.
Remember to consider your character’s background, personality, and playstyle when choosing a Bard College. Don’t be afraid to try out different Bard Colleges to see which one suits you best. And always remember, the power of the Bard lies in their music and words. Use them wisely to charm, inspire, and awe your friends and foes alike.
In conclusion, the Bard class in Dungeons and Dragons 5e offers a unique and rewarding playstyle for those who enjoy a mix of magic, combat, and roleplaying. Choosing the right Bard College is crucial to ensure your character’s abilities and skills align with your preferences. With this guide, we hope you feel confident and excited to create your own Bard character and embark on countless adventures.