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Bards with Class: College of Story

Bards with Class: College of Story

Bards of the College of Story seek to immortalize the triumphs of their party and the failures of their foes in epic poems, dramatic plays, and rollicking stories. They chronicle every moment of their journey, weaving the highlights into their tales and adding embellishments to iron out the wrinkles.

Having a bard from the College of Story as a friend is a wonderful blessing. They glorify your triumphs, minimize your blunders, and generally make you look better than you otherwise could have without their help. The best part is that when they write about you you are better. The stories they write are always true.

Making an enemy of a bard from the College of Story is a terrible mistake. They amplify your mistakes, minimize your successes, and generally make you look worse than you otherwise would have without their involvement. The worst part is that when they write about you you are worse. What they write becomes what’s real.

Bonus Proficiencies

When you join the College of Story at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in calligrapher’s supplies, and you can use them as your spellcasting focus.

Litereality

At 3rd level, you can compose stories on the fly, forcing reality to bend to the plot of your tales. As a reaction when an ally makes an ability check, attack roll, or saving throw, you can spend one use of Bardic Inspiration to grant that ally the benefit of your Bardic Inspiration die, which they must immediately apply to the triggering roll. You can use this ability after the ally learns the result of the roll.

In addition, you can grant your choice of one of the following additional benefits to the affected ally:

  • The ally can immediately take the Disengage action.
  • The ally regains hit points equal to half your bard level + your Charisma modifier.
  • The ally gains half cover until the start of their next turn.

The Plot Thickens

At 6th level, you grow in literary magical skill, gaining the ability to weave enemies into your improvisational stories. As a reaction, when an enemy makes an ability check, attack roll, or saving throw, you can spend one use of Bardic Inspiration to force that enemy to roll your Bardic Inspiration die and subtract it from the total of the roll. You can use this ability after you learn the result of the roll.

In addition, you can inflict your choice of one of the following misfortunes on the affected enemy:

  • The enemy cannot take reactions until the start of its next turn.
  • The enemy treats all terrain as difficult terrain until the start of its next turn.
  • Choose one ability. The enemy suffers disadvantage on ability checks made with the chosen ability until the start of its next turn.

Immortal Words

At 6th level, you begin to write your magnum opus. With an ally’s permission, you can weave them into the ongoing narrative. To weave an ally into your story, you must observe them for 1 round without anything obscuring your senses (such as darkness, Stealth, concealment, invisibility, cover, and so on). Observing an ally in this way takes your action, as you study their form and mannerisms, writing a description of them into your epic. When you use your Litereality ability on an ally you have woven into your magnum opus and the ally fails the roll, you regain that use of Bardic Inspiration. In addition, choose two additional benefits to grant the affected ally instead of one. You cannot choose the same benefit more than once.

You can also weave an enemy into your magnum opus. To weave an enemy into your story, you must observe them for 1 round without anything obscuring your senses (such as darkness, Stealth, concealment, invisibility, cover, and so on). Observing an enemy in this way takes your action, as you study their form and mannerisms, writing a description of them into your epic. When you use The Plot Thickens on an enemy you have woven into your magnum opus and the enemy still succeeds on the roll, you regain the use of Bardic Inspiration you spent on it. In addition, choose two misfortunes to inflict on the affected enemy instead of one. You cannot choose the same misfortune more than once.

Protagonist

At 14th level, you become a breakout character in your improvisational stories, possibly even the protagonist, at your own discretion. You can use your Litereality ability to grant yourself a bonus in the same way you do for your allies. You also become a standout character in your masterpiece. You can weave your own heroics into your magnum opus. When you use your Litereality ability on yourself, and you still fail the roll, you regain the use of Bardic Inspiration you spent.

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5 thoughts on “Bards with Class: College of Story”

  1. Is there a typo for Immortal Words?
    It says “…at 6th level”… but it should read 10th?
    It seems a tad powerful for 6th level, and no abilities between levels 6 and 14 goes against the typical class progression.

    1. Thanks for asking. That’s not a typo in Immortal Words. This subclass follows the typical bard subclass progression. Bard subclasses do not gain abilities at 10th level, though the bard class itself does. Also, all the bard subclasses published in the core 5e rules have at least one level where they gain more than one ability. For example, the bard subclass included in the basic rules—the College of Lore—gains 2 abilities at 3rd level: Bonus Proficiencies and Cutting words.

      Immortal Words is powerful, but I believe it is balanced by the fact that the bard must observe the ally or enemy to add them to their ongoing story, before they can use this ability.

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