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D&D 5E Mythological Figures: Alan-a-Dale

Today Mythological Figures doth bring you a tale, a story about a minstrel that’s tread many a vale, the singer of Robin and courage availed: the merry man and musician Alan-a-Dale!

Today Mythological Figures doth bring you a tale, a story about a minstrel that’s tread many a vale, the singer of Robin and courage availed: the merry man and musician Alan-a-Dale!

Alan-a-Dale DnD 5e BANNER.jpg

In the history of Robin Hood this minstrel is one of the latest members of the Merry Men, added in the ballad Robin Hood and Allen a Dale in the 1600s. Alan-a-Dale’s fiancee (who has various different names as time goes by) is being forced into marrying an old knight, only stopped when Robin Hood disguises himself as the bishop meant to wed her and instead officiates the marriage between her and Alan-a-Dale (or, sometimes, Little John or Friar Tuck does the officiating). The musician’s legend continues however and he’s been woven into many Robin Hood tales since, probably most memorably as the crooning rooster in the Disney film.

Design Notes: A straightforward bard! For Alan-a-Dale the focus was kept on making his spellcasting make sense—with the exception of maybe charm person, suggestion, and thunderwave, and definitely misty step, his magic has a lot of things that aren’t outright supernatural. That’s also the reason he’s got the combat casting feat since it’s expected that most of the time he’ll have a dagger or bow in hand. Let’s do the numbers! The DMG came in at 4.166, the Blog of Holding at 5.66, and that averages out to less than a tenth of a point from CR 5 so we’re going to give him the round up.


Medium humanoid (human), chaotic good bard (lore) 8
Armor Class 15 (studded leather)
Hit Points 52 (8d8+16)
Speed 30 ft.
10 (+0)​
16 (+3)​
14 (+2)​
11 (+0)​
10 (+0)​
18 (+4)​
Saving Throws Dex +6, Cha +7
Skills Acrobatics +6, Deception +7, Performance +10, Persuasion +7, Stealth +9; drums +7, flute +7, harp +7
Senses passive Perception 10
Languages Common
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
Background: Performer. Alan-a-Dale is never without a stage or room to do his act whether in a queen’s castle or a tavern. He receives free accommodations (including a room and meal) each night he performs and is recognized while going about a settlement where he’s performed at least one evening (and is typically well-liked for his musical talents).

Additional Magical Secrets. Alan-a-Dale knows the gust of wind and misty step spells.

Bardic Inspiration 1d8 (4/Short Rest). As a bonus action on his turn, Alan-a-Dale can choose one other creature within 60 feet who can hear him. That creature gains one Bardic Inspiration die, a d8. Once within the next 10 minutes, the creature can roll the die and add the number rolled to one ability check, attack roll, or saving throw it makes. The creature can wait until after it rolls the d20 before deciding to use the Bardic Inspiration die, but must decide before the GM says whether the roll succeeds or fails.

Feat: War Magic. Alan-a-Dale has advantage when he is concentrating on a spell and has to make a Constitution saving throw from taking damage, he can wield weapons or a shield in both hands and still make somatic components for spellcasting, and can use his reaction to cast a spell (maximum casting time: 1 action) at a creature that provokes an opportunity attack from him.

Jack of All Trades. Alan-a-Dale adds +1 to any ability check he makes that doesn’t already include his proficiency bonus.

Spellcasting. Alan-a-Dale is an 8th level spellcaster that uses Charisma as his spellcasting ability (spell save DC 15). He has the following spells prepared from the bard’s spell list:
Cantrips: message, prestidigitation, true strike
1st level (4 slots): charm person, heroism, hideous laughter, sleep, thunderwave
2nd level (3 slots): calm emotions, gust of wind, misty step, pass without trace, spike growth, suggestion
3rd level (3 slots): fear
4th level (2 slots): confusion

Song of Rest. After a short rest, if Alan-a-Dale or any friendly creatures who can hear his performance regain hit points by spending one or more Hit Dice, each of those creatures regains an extra 1d6 hit points.

Dagger. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4+3) piercing damage.

Shortbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 80/320 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6+3) piercing damage.

Countercharm. Alan-a-Dale starts a performance that lasts until the end of his next turn. During that time, he and any friendly creatures within 30 feet of him have advantage on saving throws against being frightened or charmed. A creature must be able to hear Alan-a-Dale to gain this benefit. The performance ends early if he is incapacitated or silenced or if he voluntarily ends it (no action required).

Cutting Words. When a creature that Alan-a-Dale can see within 60 feet of him makes an attack roll, an ability check, or a damage roll, he can use his reaction to expend one of his uses of Bardic Inspiration, rolling a Bardic Inspiration die and subtracting the number rolled from the creature’s roll. He can choose to use this feature after the creature makes its roll, but before the GM determines whether the attack roll or ability check succeeds or fails, or before the creature deals its damage. The creature is immune if it can’t hear Alan-a-Dale or if it’s immune to being charmed.

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Mike Myler

Mike Myler

Mike Myler

Have you been to LevelUp5E.com yet?
Do you have a variant with his rooster form, which allows him to sing Roger Miller's "Whistle Stop" and annoy my wife? ;)
Remove War Magic and add these traits:
Whistler. Alan-a-Dale's voice carries four times as far as normal when he croons or whistles.
Alan-a-Dale has wings that give him a fly speed of 15 feet, but they are not capable of sustained flight. Whenever Alan-a-Dale ends his turn in mid-air and used his fly speed, he gains one level of exhaustion. These levels of exhaustion are removed at a rate of one per minute of rest.
I love love love that flying mechanic by the way (designed by Andrew Engelbrite in Vast Kaviya).

Also the list so far is up to 172!

Mike Myler

Have you been to LevelUp5E.com yet?
I was thinking that Friar Tuck was a Fighter with the Acolyte background. In all the Robin Hood films I've seen Tuck doesn't actually perform any miracles. I've seen him drinking a lot of beer and fighting with a sword.
You're awfully close. His turn comes up in 2 weeks so you'll find out soon enough!

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