dnd 5e – What are the consequences if I allow a Bard to use Bardic Inspiration on himself?

Bards are meant to be social characters that buff the party. Having a bard in your group is wonderful, because it means your rogue can be that much sneakier, your fighter can lift that much more weight, and your monk can do that many more flips in mid-air when they’re inspired by their bard. It builds party cohesion and it makes the other players feel really cool.

Because the bard is not able to give herself inspiration, she is necessarily going to spend the majority of her out-of-combat time buffing the party. People love being buffed! And with bounded accuracy being such a huge presence in 5E, the addition of a d6(3.5), d8(4.5), or d10(5.5) to a skill check is huge! It’s massive! It’s amazing!

…Until you realize that it is huge, massive and amazing for anyone. In 5E, the world’s strongest, most athletic barbarian has a pretty decent chance of losing when arm-wrestling anyone off the street. A monk who has spent her entire life training to be an acrobat can expect to lose a tumbling contest against the local tavern owner, and when asked to do even trivial tasks like climb a ladder, she will fall off about 10%-15% of the time. A 9 foot tall, battle-scarred fighter who has fought literal gods can very easily fail to intimidate a small child. Bardic inspiration can make huge differences in these checks. When you add that to the fact that the bard is already an extremely skilled class (Jack of all trades and expertise skills), you’re giving the bard less and less reason to waste his precious bardic inspiration die on the unskilled losers in the rest of the party, and more and more reason to buff themselves to the heavens.

If your party bard is very selfless, this rule change will likely not affect the game. However, if this bard has any amount of selfishness, there is a great potential for them to spend the bardic inspiration dice solely on themselves. In fact, when your bard gets Cutting Words, they will be able to make checks with a +d6/+d8/+d10 themselves, AND a -d6/-d8/-d10 to other people (including party members), meaning a midlevel bard can expect to have a 9 skill point advantage on any check they want. Someone with that kind of power will be able to easily make themselves party leader and essentially go unchallenged in any and all skills. That same bard can lie to the entire party and virtually never be found out, pickpocket anything from any party member with no chance of being caught, and intimidate even the most seasoned barbarian in their sleep.

If you don’t foresee your bard doing this then you’re really just giving him a high-level bard ability for free. If you do see your bard having a bit of a devious streak, out-of-combat encounters are going to become ‘The Bard Show’ and the rest of your party will likely just sit around, waiting for combat while your bard raises armies, topples kingdoms, and charms great swaths of people with ease, all while out-acrobating the monk, out-lifting the fighter, and out-perceiving the druid.

dnd 5e – Bard with a mind focus multiclass question 5e

I will be making a level 20 character for a D&D 5e one shot that will have alot of roleplay and combat. I want to be a bard plus something else. Either a lore or whisper bard and then either an Aberrant Mind Sorcerer or a Great Old One Warlock. I want to have at least 17 lvls of bard so at a key moment I can use true polymorph and turn into an aboleth. With all that in Mind, pun intended, what is the best combo for dealing damage or Survivability in a fight of 17 lvls of bard (lore or whisper) and 3 lvls of Aberrant Mind Sorcerer or a Great Old One Warlock?

Thank you in Advance.

dnd 5e – Are there any 3rd level spells a Lore Bard could pick at 6th character level to provide food and water to the party?

Just as the title says. I play a Bard, College of Lore. At 6th character level I will be able to pick up two spells, of up to 3rd spell level, from any class. I know we will be on the long-term adventure with no easy way to get food and drinks. Goodberries could make it much easier for us, but I do not want to “waste” a 3rd level spell known for a 1st level spell if there is something of more power available to me.

Preference is for material from Player’s Handbook and Xanathar’s Guide To Everything as it is automatically allowed. If there are multiple spells that meet the requirement, the one with the widest utility wins. If there are none, the highest level and biggest utility are the factor.

dnd 5e – Which instrument of the Bards correspond to which Bard college?

The DMG entry for the Instrument of the Bards says:

Seven types of these instruments exist, each named after a legendary bard college.

Do the colleges mentioned here refer to “Bard college” as in the D&D 5e Bard subclasses? If yes, which college does correspond to which instrument?

dnd 5e – Is this Poetry Bard balanced compared to other Bard subclasses?

In all honesty, a lot of this class arose from the goal of having themed feature descriptions which were drafted and then refined over time to make them have a more cohesive internal-theme as well (standard wordings of feature descriptions are found in the spoiler blocks). That theme developed from “generic poet” into “controls your audience”. As such, the features follow a progression of benefitting allies, harming enemies, and finally, controlling everyone.

I wanted the subclass to have a rather extreme playstyle where features can rarely ever be used or only last a short amount of time, but where, in either case, they are quite powerful. This is something I find very little of in 5e and it is something I like because it makes using the features a much more strategic decision. Unfortunately, it can also lead to a class feeling lack-luster or lack they are a one-and-done kind of show, which is why I added in the learned spells in the latter two features which are not in poetry form.

Perhaps even more unfortunately, this sort of design can also lead to major imbalances, or at least, very swingy sorts of battles. This is primarily what I am worried about with this subclass, that when it does succeed, it will put even the Monk’s Stunning Strike to shame.

After each feature are two spoiler blocks, the first is the feature written out in more standard wording. The second is the explanation of the feature’s structure.


College of Poetry

You’ve spent your life mastering the art of poetry: meter, rhyme, hidden meanings and more. You’ve found unique ways to inspire your allies, befuddle your foes, and perhaps, some day, you’ll enrapture all those around you with your timeless performances.

The road you walk’s less travelled, but you walk it nonetheless;
Pen and paper are your guide, your lyrics bring unmatched finesse.


3rd level feature: Roundel of Inspiration

You know how to do it, to turn the battle’s tide;
To make all foes soon quit, and rally all your friends.
An action’s perfectly fit, one must be applied.
Now use it quickly friends, ‘fore inspiration ends!

Costing but one die; a small price the bard expends.
Help six who hear the cry, and still remain allied;
And help them to get by, as combat still extends.

They’ll activate it soon, six seconds and it’s died.
Alas, this piece does zoom, its timing never bends;
One turn within this tune, the magic will have dried.
Now use it quickly friends, ‘fore inspiration ends.

As an action, you can expend one use of Bardic Inspiration to grant Inspiration to up to six allies that can hear you. The Inspiration follows the usual rules for Bardic Inspiration but lasts for only 1 round instead of the usual 10 minutes.

A roundel is a type of poem, this one in particular rhymes twice (note: it, quit, fit; die, cry, by; soon, zoom, tune). This is also a pun as it is a Bardic Inspiration that lasts for one round.


6th level feature: Tongue Twister

Entrapping enemies, ensnaring entities.
Visible vermin vexed; vocalize various vulnerabilities.
Sic six souls, Sapiēns saves send; six squares seen, sixty seconds set.
A magic making modifier makes malevolents maintaining might a mountain not meekly met.
Daily dumbing delusions dance, dealing doubled dodecahedral dice;
Fear festers, frolics, feters, finds foes facing forcèd frights.
Shackled, shockèd, shaking, shooked.
Halted, heelless, hellbound, hooked.
Tries to terminate transpire: taking trauma; turn by turn.
Blithering baddies’ battles bent to burn.

Additionally, you learn the tongues spell; it counts as a Bard spell for you and does not count against the number of Bard spells you know.

Choose six creatures within 30 feet that you can see to make a Wisdom saving throw against your spellcasting saving throw DC. On a failed save, a target takes 2d12 psychic damage, and, for the next minute, their speed is reduced to 0, they cannot benefit from any bonuses to their speed, and they are frightened of you. A target repeats the saving throw each time they take damage and at the end of each of their turns. You may use this feature once per long rest.

Yup, it’s just a tongue twister.


14th level feature: Magnum Opus

Metrical Allegations Grant Numerous Uncontrollable Maledictions. Overwhelm Puny Unfortunates Seen.
Action’s Graciously Needed, Undertaking’s Met. Oppress, Possess, Usurp Sizeable Manipulation.
Gremlins Now Unhurt Me! Overturn Perils, Unmake Sins! Misdoings Agleam.
Now Use Mentality; Otherwise Perceive Unmentionable Sights Making Actions Genuflection!
Unfortunate Many! Oh Poor Underlings Suffer My Afflictions! Gracious None!
Mine! Overruled, Powerless, Uncasting, Silenced, Maddened And Gnawing; Next Undone!

Overcoming’s Pointless, Useless, Silly! My Attack Goes Nowhere, Unneeded Mortal!
Precise Undulations Sent! Many Anguish, Gnash; None Use Magic Over!
Ultimate Spell! Minutes Accrue; Going Nowhere Until Maledictions Occlude Portal!
Suffer! My Anguish Grants Neverfound Unfetterings… My Own Pain, Underexposure!

Additionally, you learn the mass suggestion; it counts as a Bard spell for you and does not count against the number of Bard spells you know.

All creatures you can see (not including yourself) must make a Wisdom saving throw against your spellcasting saving throw DC or begin suffering. While suffering, a creature cannot cast or concentrate on spells and must use its action each turn to kneel down in genuflection (falling prone if they are not already prone). If you take damage at any time after using this feature, the feature ends and all affected creatures stop suffering. Other than this, the effect cannot be ended by any means other than a wish spell. You may use this feature once per long rest.

This is an acrostic spelling “MAGNUM OPUS”; however, the first line also spells out “MAGNUM OPUS” with the first letter of each word. This is then rotated across the next several lines. For example: line 7 spells out “OPUS MAGNUM”.

dnd 5e – Will multiclassing my warlock into bard with bardic inspiration give me an effective way to use my bonus action in battle?

In a party with a level 3 Warlock Tiefling – The Fiend (Pact of the Tome). We are noticing that the party members benefit more from bonus actions than the Warlock. Since that member is the only caster barely using weapons and solely their spells we are discussing the options to multiclass with a Bard next level.

Will multiclassing a warlock into bard (with bardic inspiration) give me an effective way to use my bonus action in battle?

dnd 5e – Who can use a Spell Scroll scribed by a bard who learned the spell using the Magical Secrets feature, if it is not normally on the bard spell list?

When a bard learns a spell using the Magical Secrets feature, it counts as a bard spell. Of note, should they replace any spell learned via Magical Secrets at a later level, they can only replace it with one from the bard spell list. Rules designer Jeremy Crawford actually did make a ruling on Twitter regarding this, so this is clear: replacing one’s Magical Secrets spell is easily done – it is just somewhat unwise to do so.

Say a bard picks find familiar as a spell. Massive boon! For dirt cheap, they can print them off as spell scrolls. Now, who can use that spell scroll?

I see three possibilities:

  1. This is a wizard spell on the wizard list – designed for wizards. Clearly only a wizard can use a wizard spell on the wizard list designed specifically for wizarding ways, right? So obvious: a wizard buying this spell can transcribe it into their book (with a good roll on a good day) – or simply use it and get themselves a familiar.

  2. Any Magical Secrets spell, no matter which spell list it once came from, counts as a bard spell for all intents and purposes (i.e. “learning, casting and recording”). Should a bard make such a spell scroll, any other bard can use it. A “secret” no longer! But to be clear, if it is a bard spell, only bards could use this magic item. A wizard would not ever figure it out. A druid would have no chance. A barbarian would accidentally use this scroll as a fire-starter.

  3. You can use any scroll if the spell is on your class list. So almost anyone can use that charm person scroll. Thus, the bard scribing such a spell scroll cannot even use it themselves. Imagine the ignominy with scribing any spell from Magical Secrets: “I cannot read any of what I just wrote down.”

Which interpretation is correct?

(I did search to check whether this was a repeat of a previous question before posting.)

dnd 5e – Who can use spell-scrolls done by a bard using their ‘Magic Secrets’ ability?

When a bard learns a Magic Secrets, it counts as a bard-spell. Of note, should they abandon any Secret-spell at later level, they can only replace it with one from the BARD list. Lord Crawford actually did rule-rulings on this, so this is clear: replacing one’s Magic Secrets is easily done, it is just somewhat unwise to do so.

Say a bard picks Find Familiar as a spell. Massive boon! For dirt cheap they can print them off as scrolls. Now who can use the scroll? Three possibilities:

  1. This is a wizard spell on the wizard list – designed for wizards. Clearly only a wizard can use a wizard spell on the wizard list designed specifically for wizarding ways, right? So obvious: a wizard buying this spell can transcribe it into their book (with a good roll on a good day) – or simply use it and get themselves a familiar.

  2. Any Magic Secrets spell, no matter which list it once came from, counts as a BARD spell for all intents and purposes (i.e. ‘learning, casting and recording’). Should a bard make such a scroll, any other bard can use it. A ‘secret’ no longer! But to be clear, if it IS a ‘bard’ spell, only bards could use this magic item. A wizard would not ever figure it out. A druid would have no chance. A barbarian would accidentally use this scroll as a fire-starter.

  3. You can use any scroll if the spell is on your class list. So almost anyone can use that Charm Person scroll. Thus, the bard writing such a scroll cannot even use it themselves. Imagine the ignominy with scribing any Magic Secret: ‘I cannot read any of what i just wrote down.’


The third one sounds the least fun and least logical, so probably that one. If this is a repeat of a previous question, please allow me to delete this / i did search before posting.

My thanks.

dnd 5e – Who can use spell-scrolls done by a bard using his ‘Magic Secrets’ ability?

When a bard learns a Magic Secrets, it counts as a bard-spell. Of note, should they abandon any Secret-spell at later level, he can only replace it with one from the BARD list. Lord Crawford actually did rule-rulings on this, so this is clear: replacing one’s Magic Secrets is easily done, it is just somewhat unwise to do so.

Say a bard picks Find Familiar as a spell. Massive boon! For dirt cheap he can print them off as scrolls. Now who can use the scroll? Three possibilities:

  1. This is a wizard spell on the wizard list – designed for wizards. Clearly only a wizard can use a wizard spell on the wizard list designed specifically for wizarding ways, right? So obvious: a wizard buying this spell can transcribe it into their book (with a good roll on a good day) – or simply use it and get themselves a familiar.

  2. Any Magic Secrets spell, no matter which list it once came from, counts as a BARD spell for all intents and purposes (i.e. ‘learning, casting and recording’). Should a bard make such a scroll, any other bard can use it. A ‘secret’ no longer! But to be clear, if it IS a ‘bard’ spell, only bards could use this magic item. A wizard would not ever figure it out. A druid would have no chance. A barbarian would accidentally use this scroll as a fire-starter.

  3. You can use any scroll if the spell is on your class list. So almost anyone can use that Charm Person scroll. Thus, the bard writing such a scroll cannot even use it themselves. Imagine the ignominy with scribing any Magic Secret: ‘I cannot read any of what i just wrote down.’


The third one sounds the least fun and least logical, so probably that one. If this is a repeat of a previous question, please allow me to delete this / i did search before posting.

My thanks.

dnd 5e – If a College of Creation bard is incapacitated, who controls the bard’s dancing item?

The College of Creation bard gets Animating Performance at 6th level which allows them to animate an object and control it using a bonus action:

It can move and use its reaction on its own, but the only action it takes on its turn is the Dodge action, unless you take a bonus action on your turn to command it to take another action. That action can be one in its stat block or some other action. If you are incapacitated, the item can take any action of its choice, not just Dodge.

My question is, when the bard gets incapacitated, what does it mean for the object to take an action “of its choice?”

Does control of the object pass to the dungeon master?

For comparison, other, similar effects either explicitly state that the DM gains control. For example, Conjure elemental:

If your concentration is broken, the elemental doesn’t disappear. Instead, you lose control of the elemental, it becomes hostile toward you and your companions, and it might attack. An uncontrolled elemental can’t be dismissed by you, and it disappears 1 hour after you summoned it.

…Or simply dictate the conjured creature’s fallback behavior. For example, any of the new Summon spells in Tasha’s Cauldron:

The creature is an ally to you and your companions [and] It obeys your verbal commands […] If you don’t issue any, it takes the Dodge action and uses its move to avoid danger.

Note that the wording of Dancing Item is also used in the Circle of Wildfire Druid’s Wildfire Spirit.