April 25, 2016

Fey Bard

Bardic College

*After a lot of hard work, this subclass comes to you courtesy of Alan of the Lewis's. Let him know what you think in the comments*

College of Fey

Bards that hail from the Feywild are of truly sublime skill. The fey create unmatched songs and sonnets, some of which can magically charm the minds of men through lyrics alone. Perhaps driven to capture some of this skill, some mortal bards befriend the fey and, with practice and dedication, learn to adopt their art and magic. These bards join the College of Fey, and begin to approach the unearthly grace of Feykind.

Fey Medley
You can bind yourself to a single musical instrument in a 1 hour ritual. This instrument takes on an otherworldly appearance and, if you are on the same plane of existence as it, you can summon it as a bonus action on your turn, causing it to teleport to your hand.
     Additionally, you learn a number of spells native to fey. These spells count as bard spells for you but don’t count against the number of bard spells you know.

Fey College Bonus Spells
Bard Level     Spells
3rd entangle, goodberry
5th barkskin, misty step 
7th conjure animals, wind wall
9th conjure woodland beings, dominate beast

Duplicitous Tune
At 3rd level, you can spin tunes which confound your enemies, fooling their senses and lower their defenses. As a bonus action, you can target a creature you can see within 60 feet of you and expend a Bardic Inspiration die. This creature must succeed a Charisma saving throw or subtract the number rolled from its AC, to a minimum of 10, for 1 minute.
     The creature automatically succeeds this saving throw if it can't hear you or if it is immune to being charmed. At the beginning of each of its turns, it can repeat this saving throw to end this effect early.

Ritual Notes
Starting at 6th level, you have a spellbook written in musical notes only you can read (other creatures require a comprehend languages spell, or similar effect to read this book.) This spellbook contains every 1st-level ritual spell from the druid spell list, which you can cast from the book as a ritual as if they were bard spells known to you.
     If you observe a ritual spell being cast that is of a level for which you have spell slots, you can expend a Bardic Inspiration die to magically add that ritual to your spellbook. If the spellbook is stolen, misplaced, or destroyed, a new one magically appears on your person 24 hours after you were separated from it.

Out Of Thin Air
At 14th level, you can choose one of the following tricks. This selection can be changed when you take a short or long rest.
     In Hand. You can produce most material components for spells out of thin air, ignoring all material components under 100 gp which are not consumed by the casting. Additionally, you can magically produce up to 10 gold pieces each day. If not spent, this currency vanishes at dawn.
     Flitter. You can expend a Bardic Inspiration die to teleport 15 feet to a space that you can see, expending movement normally for this teleport.
     Call for Help. You can expend a Bardic Inspiration die to cast a modified version of the spell conjure fey. You can cast this spell in an action, rather than a minute, and its duration is the number of rounds rolled on the Bardic Inspiration die.



Changelog: 4/26/16: Warding Tune replaced with Duplicitous Tune
5/10/16: Duplicitous Tune: Target can repeat saving throw at the beginning of each of its turns.

21 comments:

  1. I like it, good job Alan. Can't wait to try it out.

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  2. A question about Warding Tune: The way it is written it sounds like you are preventing your party from casting or otherwise attacking any creature that is "resting" if they fail against your DC. What exactly is the intended use of this ability? I could see if it put up an area around your party that made them safer from attack while resting, but as written it seems confusing.

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    1. This only kicks in when you and your party takes a rest, and is intended to intercept creatures that might attack you or your party while you're resting. This actually went through a few iterations already, so I'm totally fine with changing the mechanics on this one. Any ideas?

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    2. The wording "any creature within 30 feet of you" makes it sound like it only affects creatures that were there when you played your tune. I'd change it to say "any creature that comes within 30 feet of you" so that it sounds like an ongoing effect.

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    3. I genuinely think I might just cut this feature entirely and replace it with something a little more appropriate to the bard subclasses. I'll discuss this in detail below, methinks

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  3. i feel like the warding tune is a good idea, but it isn't nearly as useful as the lore bards cutting words.

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    1. So it seems like warding tune is a point of contention in this one, which is totally understandable. Now the question remains, should I swap it out for another feature or just revamp it to work more succinctly?

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    2. Well, to be honest, Warding Tune is great in terms of fluff but in terms of actual practicality, the ability may as well just be a ribbon. Short rests are already in a kind of weird state in a lot of different tables whether they're bumped down to 5 minute breathers or simply glanced over entirely. I'm also typically not a fan of Bardic Inspiration uses that the dice is never rolled.

      Some sort of relatively low-power compulsion might be nice. Something like a depowered Otto's Irrestistible Dance, for instance. Wisdom save or be compelled to dance for a number of rounds equal to the value rolled. Remove the Advantage and Disadvantage components of the spell, and instead leave the bard with a fairly reusable ability to root people as they're forced to use all movement to dance.

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    3. i think the problem is that it is only useful during rests where as cutting words and the valor bard ability can be used actively

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    4. And even then, it's not even just all rests but only short rests. It's an incredibly limited ability in terms of usefulness as well as giving the bard a sense of actively doing something with his inspiration in the midst of the actual gameplay. Part of why I suggested something like making a target dance in place. It's definitely a very active use, can be used creatively outside of pure combat situations, and it gives an ability that's non-damaging and thus maintains its usefulness even as levels progress.

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    5. Well, I think this feature has a couple of problems, and both of you are right. More specifically, this feature doesn't really fit what bards should get at 3rd level: a new way to use Bardic Inspiration dice. It provides a new way of spending them, but doesn't provide you a new option in their regular use, if that makes sense. In fact, it probably needs to be rewritten.

      It seems to me that a fey bard would be outwardly focused, messing with his enemies in indirect ways, in much the same way that Cutting Words does. However, it's important that we don't cover the same ground as Cutting Words. Perhaps:

      Duplicitous Tune
      At 3rd level, you can spin tunes which confound your enemies, fooling their senses and lower their defenses. As a bonus action, you can target a creature you can see within 60 feet of you and expend a Bardic Inspiration die. This creature must succeed a Charisma saving throw or its AC is lowered by the number rolled to a minimum of 10. The creature automatically succeeds this saving throw if it can't hear you or if it is immune to being charmed.

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    6. When I read over this sub-class, I had the same impression as most, that it was very flavourful, but felt weak compared to many sub-classes. Your replacement sounds pretty cool, and suitably powerful. I assume the affected creature also gets a saving throw on each of its turns?

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    7. Not in the current version. I'm going to have to dig through the books and see if there's a precedent for AC penalty durations - I don't know of any off the top of my head.

      My instincts tell me the affected creature probably should get a saving throw, but I'll look into it closer tomorrow.

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  4. Duplicitous Tone is ridiculously overpowered, even with a saving throw. It's effectively the College of Valor ability, but team-wide and for all attacks.

    Ritual Notes only gives 4 utility spells, which is okay, but the ability to learn the rituals of the rest of the party for free is way too strong.

    In Hand is mostly useless and doesn't really fit the theme, Flitter seems redundant when you have Misty Step.

    Call for Help is totally broken. You get a free 6th level spell that doesn't need slots, and get to cast it as an action to boot. The rounds restriction isn't even a downside, since it means that you won't have to fight the fey as long if it turns hostile.

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    1. @Duplicitous Tune: Doesn't act like Combat Inspiration at all. Combat Inspiration allows you to give a die to an ally who can add it to a damage roll, or add it to its own AC as a reaction. This feature is strictly a debuff.

      @Ritual Notes: We based this feature on the warlock Book of Ancient Secrets, and, if you consider this as an analogue to the Bard College of Lore, it also fits at the same level that the bard can learn two spells from any class. Because ritual spells have less utility, and because copying from them from the party is completely redundant and doesn't provide and further utility whatsoever, I disagree with your assessment on this feature.

      @Call For Help: Currently, this requires a bardic inspiration die to use, which is a pretty limited resource. Do you have another suggestion for this feature?

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    2. Oops, I got that mixed up, it's actually like the base Bardic Inspiration for attack rolls, since an ac penalty on an enemy is equivalent to an attack buff on an ally, except it effects everyone on all attacks for a minute. When they fail the save, it's effectively add 1d6(or better, with the dice scaling) to everyone's attack bonus, which is absurdly strong.

      It frees up your party members to prepare/know entirely no ritual spells, both effectively giving them more spells known/prepared and robbing them of part of their class.

      You could simply have it add conjure fey to their spells known.

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    3. @Duplicitous Tune: While IrishBandit makes a good point it is not entirely correct. It works on all attacks against one enemy for that minute. Weak enemies will die after a few attacks while with strong enemies you are risking that they might make their save. Still I feel the duration is too long as most bardic inspiration uses only effect 1 roll. With the save to compensate for increased duration I would suggest that it lasts 1 round, allowing all your allies to essentially get that buff to their attack against the target once if the target fails their save.

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    4. That's a good point, but my intuition tells me that 1 round is going to be too short for a debuff like this. I think a compromise might be allowing a repeat of the saving throw every round, so that it will last 1 round at minimum, and 1 minute at max.

      @Ritual Notes: One more thing on Bandit's point: Learning rituals from the party doesn't really free up anyone, it's just redundant. A wizard, for example, doesn't even need to prepare the spell to cast it as a ritual, he just needs to have it in his spellbook. It might free up a prepared spell for the party cleric, but that's basically it.

      @Call for Help: Just adding conjure fey to their spells known hardly qualifies as a capstone feature. I might still modify this feature, but that's probably not the direction I'm going to take.

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    5. @Duplicitous Tune: The point is that it needs to be exactly balanced with cutting words or a normal bardic inspiration. Thus, a saving throw to have it last a round is a worthy trade off. It's possible it won't work, and it's possible that it'll help your whole party. With average party size and scaling for level that can be between 3 and 8 attacks in a typical situation. That's a big improvement. It's essentially the biggest effect a bard can have with inspiration during a boss fight.

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  5. Where did you get the main art for this particular subclass?

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    1. I'm 80% sure I stole it from Pathfinder, but it's been a long while now.

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