April 11, 2016

College of Calligraphy

Bardic College
Comments from the Finger: Commenter Terrance Consaul pointed out that the last College of Calligraphy worked better as a college of paint and helped me out in getting this, a completely original College of Calligraphy, finished. Big thanks to him!

College of Calligraphy

Before the invention of the printing press, books were painstakingly copied by hand. Every word needed to be written perfectly and beautifully, a task so delicate that it spawned calligraphy, a form of artistic handwriting. Today, bards in the College of Calligraphy maintain this art form, and have perfected handwriting to such an extent that they can scribe magic and write components for spells that would otherwise need to be performed.

Bonus Proficiencies
When you join the College of Calligraphy at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in calligrapher’s tools and the forgery kit. You can use a writing implement as an arcane focus, and have advantage on all checks made to forge a document and imitate handwriting.

Written Components
At 3rd level, your handwriting has become perfect enough as to meet the same stringent requirements as verbal spell components. Whenever you cast a spell with a verbal component, you can write the component out instead. This changes the verbal component into a somatic component, or gets rid of the component entirely if the spell already has a somatic component. You can write in the air if you do not have ink or a surface to write on, creating floating letters until you finish casting.

Imbued Writing
At 3rd level, you can weave magic into your ink, beckoning what you write to come to pass. You can give a creature a Bardic Inspiration die by writing about its future (the creature does not need to hear you to receive the die.) When you do so, you select ability check, attack roll, or saving throw; if the creature expends its Bardic Inspiration die on that type of roll, it can add your proficiency bonus to the roll.

Runescribe 
By 6th level, as a bonus action, can you expend a spell slot of 1st level or higher to scribe arcane symbols onto a weapon you are holding. On its next hit, this weapon is considered magical for the purpose of overcoming damage resistance and immunity, and it deals an additional d6 damage for each level of the spell slot expended. All unused symbols vanish when you take a long rest.

Inscriptions of Power
Starting at 14th level, as a part of the bonus action when you give a creature a Bardic Inspiration die, you can also cast a spell of 4th level or lower (expending a spell slot and spell components as normal) to give that creature an inscription of power. While the creature has that Bardic Inspiration die, it can cast that spell once, expending its inscription of power. This spell uses your spell save DC and spell attack bonus, if applicable.



Changelog: 4/11/16: Runescribe: Weapon attack counts as magical
11/11/16: Inscriptions of Power: Clarified action economy rules

11 comments:

  1. Honestly, this is one of the coolest bard colleges I've seen yet.

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    1. Glad you like it! The theme and mechanics had a happy meeting on this one, I think.

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  2. Lol, I read the bonus proficiencies part as "you have advantage on checks made to forge a document and intimidate handwriting." Very good subclass!

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  3. Oh, wonderful! I've been waiting to see this pop up. I'm quite pleased that I got to contribute! Even if my original version was overwhelmingly verbose.

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    1. Sorry it took so long to get up. The release queue is really, really long right now.

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    2. No worries! I'm just thrilled to see it published!

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  4. I love it, I've been waiting for something just like this. I love the ability to replace verbal components with air writing, an integral part of what I imagine a magical calligrapher/rune-crafter should be able to do. Excellent work :)



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  5. Looks great! Love the flavor. Only question I have is the Runescribe abikity. It doesn't state the damage type, or if it makes the attack magical.

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    1. That's an interesting oversight on my part. I was thinking this should be damage of the weapon's type, but if it's not magical damage, force really works better. Although, the simpler solution is simply to make this damage magical, so the entire weapon damage goes through.

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  6. I'm not sure how Inscriptions of Power is suppose to work. Do all of those spell casts still require full actions or are they free actions? If they still require actions then the ability feels very situational and poor when it comes to action economy.

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    1. That's actually a good point -- I've edited this to be a little more clear. When you give the spell, you cast it as part of the bonus action needed to give someone a bardic inspiration die. When the creature actually casts the spell, they use the normal casting time.

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