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Help needed badly - Bard, College of Shadows subclass

Michael Morris

First Post
I need help coming up with power for a College of Shadows subclass for the bard. The concept is a bard that works in trading secrets - as a kit joke from the Bard's Handbook went: "The name is Bard. James Bard."

So, just as the College of Valor leans towards martial activities, and the College of Lore leans towards spellcraft, the College of Shadows leans towards rogue activities.

So, I have my concept, but I can't for the life of me think of powers for it.
 

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RhaezDaevan

Explorer
Sounds like you need some...*puts on sunglasses*...Bardic Inspiration.

Let's start with structure. Bard subclass is two features at 3rd, with another feature at 6th and the final one at 14th.

Looking at the other two colleges, we see that one of the 3rd level features is extra proficiencies, while the other is an ability that works off of Bardic Inspiration.

Since the other colleges get either skills or weapon and armor proficiencies, this new college should get tool proficiencies I'm thinking. Some choices could include thieves' tools, disguise kit, poisoner's kit, forgery kit, etc. Maybe pick any three tool proficiencies within a thief/criminal/spy/assassin list? As for an ability based off of Bardic Inspiration, maybe spend a use of Bardic Inspiration to re-roll a save or skill check kind of like a luck ability?

The 6th level ability looks to be something to do with the college's specialty that is always on (the other two get extra spells known and extra attack), so an idea could be to give something like sneak attack, but instead of extra damage, maybe they have disadvantage versus your spells. The set up for it would have to be different though.

I'm drawing a blank on the 14th level ability, since it doesn't really follow any pattern. I think I've given enough to get your wheels spinning. Thoughts?
 

Michael Morris

First Post
Sounds like you need some...*puts on sunglasses*...Bardic Inspiration.

Heh.

Let's start with structure. Bard subclass is two features at 3rd, with another feature at 6th and the final one at 14th.

Looking at the other two colleges, we see that one of the 3rd level features is extra proficiencies, while the other is an ability that works off of Bardic Inspiration.

Since the other colleges get either skills or weapon and armor proficiencies, this new college should get tool proficiencies I'm thinking. Some choices could include thieves' tools, disguise kit, poisoner's kit, forgery kit, etc. Maybe pick any three tool proficiencies within a thief/criminal/spy/assassin list?

What about this: Bonus Proficiencies: Choose 3 of the following skills or tool proficiencies: Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, Disguise Kit, Forgery Kit, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, Poisoner’s Kit, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Thieves’ Tools

As for an ability based off of Bardic Inspiration, maybe spend a use of Bardic Inspiration to re-roll a save or skill check kind of like aluck ability?

That would be more powerful than what the other colleges get though, so no.

What about this?

Alert Warning
Also at 3rd level you become incredibly alert and able to aid your allies. Whenever an ally within 60’ of you has to make a saving throw you can use your reaction to expend one of your uses of Bardic Inspiration to roll a bardic inspiration die and add it to their saving throw. You can choose to use this feature after the character makes their roll, but before the DM announces whether the save is made.

The 6th level ability looks to be something to do with the college's specialty that is always on (the other two get extra spells known and extra attack), so an idea could be to give something like sneak attack, but instead of extra damage, maybe they have disadvantage versus your spells. The set up for it would have to be different though.

This one I was thinking of just doing the rogue uncanny dodge. Won't show up the rogue since he gets it a level earlier.

I'm drawing a blank on the 14th level ability, since it doesn't really follow any pattern. I think I've given enough to get your wheels spinning. Thoughts?

Still drawing a blank here as well.

EDIT: What about this?

At 14th level you can spend one use of your Bardic inspiration to cast a spell without speaking or moving. The material components (if any) need only be on your person, you do not need to manipulate them.
 
Last edited:

RhaezDaevan

Explorer
What about this: Bonus Proficiencies: Choose 3 of the following skills or tool proficiencies: Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, Disguise Kit, Forgery Kit, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, Poisoner’s Kit, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Thieves’ Tools
Looks fine.

What about this?

Alert Warning
Also at 3rd level you become incredibly alert and able to aid your allies. Whenever an ally within 60’ of you has to make a saving throw you can use your reaction to expend one of your uses of Bardic Inspiration to roll a bardic inspiration die and add it to their saving throw. You can choose to use this feature after the character makes their roll, but before the DM announces whether the save is made.
Sounds fine. If the bard is already inspiring their allies this ability would only be used in the event that the ally already spent their die on a previous roll, but I could see some bards preferring to wait and see who needs it more.

This one I was thinking of just doing the rogue uncanny dodge. Won't show up the rogue since he gets it a level earlier.
Sounds good.

What about this?

At 14th level you can spend one use of your Bardic inspiration to cast a spell without speaking or moving. The material components (if any) need only be on your person, you do not need to manipulate them.
Sounds good. Maybe also add that if you cast the spell while hiding you don't reveal yourself so can remain hidden?
 

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