How To Build A College Of Whispers Bard In DnD? Playing as a bard in Dungeons & Dragons offers a unique opportunity for manipulation, and the College of Whispers takes this manipulation to a whole new level. Bards who delve into the College of Whispers specialize in extracting information, employing mental assaults against their targets, and even using disguises to infiltrate enemy strongholds.
College of Whispers bards are exceptional spies and saboteurs, relying on social engineering, often with a touch of magic, to navigate their way through various situations. If you’re interested in a subtle and cunning bard subclass, keep reading to learn about the College of Whispers.
College Of Whispers Bard Features | How To Build A College Of Whispers Bard In DnD
Studying at the College of Whispers offers bard players several distinctive features:
- Psychic Blades (Level 3): This ability allows you to use your Bardic Inspiration die to deal an extra 2d6 psychic damage when you successfully hit a target with a weapon attack. This damage scales to 3d6 at level five, 5d6 at level 10, and 8d6 at level 15.
- Words of Terror (Level 3): You can speak to a humanoid for at least one minute, forcing them to make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, they become frightened of you for one hour. This feature is ideal for interrogation or neutralizing unaware guards.
- Mantle of Whispers (Level 6): At level six, you can magically transform into any humanoid that dies within 30 feet of you using your reaction. This transformation lasts for one hour and can be used to assume a persona. Creatures can attempt to see through your disguise with an Insight check, but your Deception roll gains a +5 bonus. You also gain access to the mundane memories of the assumed persona.
- Shadow Lore (Level 14): This ability lets you whisper a phrase to any creature within 30 feet, forcing it to make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature becomes charmed by you for eight hours. While charmed creatures won’t fight for you, they will grant you favors and gifts as if you were a close friend. Shadow Lore is particularly useful for charming powerful figures and persuading them to reveal their secrets.
Best Species For A College Of Whispers Bard
While any species can enroll in the College of Whispers, some offer special traits that complement the subterfuge and manipulation skills of these bards. Here are a few recommended species:
- Bugbear: Ideal for quickly taking out guards using Surprise Attack.
- Deep Gnome: Offers spells like Disguise Self and Nondetection, along with Darkvision and Magic Resistance.
- Changeling: Allows you to assume appearances effortlessly, making it perfect for subterfuge.
- Elf: Provides Darkvision, charm resistance, and perception proficiency.
- Firbolg: Offers Disguise Self, Detect Magic, and invisibility, along with the ability to communicate with beasts and plants.
- Goblin: Features Fury of the Small, Darkvision, charm resistance, and bonus actions for hiding or disengaging.
- Half-Elf: Grants Darkvision, charm resistance, and three stat boosts, making it a versatile choice.
- Human: Offers stat boosts and the option to choose a feat.
- Kenku: Kenku Recall enhances charisma rolls, while Mimicry and Expert Duplication are perfect for subterfuge.
- Owlin: With flight abilities, Darkvision, and stealth proficiency, it’s an excellent choice.
- Tiefling: Fierna tieflings gain spells like Friends, Charm Person, and Suggestion, while Glasya tieflings learn useful illusion spells like Disguise Self and Invisibility.
- Thri-Kreen: Provides armor, advantage on hide checks, and the ability to wield multiple weapons.
Best Ability Scores For A College Of Whispers Bard
For a College of Whispers bard, focusing on three primary ability scores is crucial: Dexterity, Charisma, and Constitution. Dexterity is essential for weapon attacks, including Psychic Blades, while Charisma powers spells and skill checks. Constitution offers increased hit points and aids in concentration saving throws.
Strength, Intelligence, and Wisdom can be largely ignored. In a point-buy system, consider the following ability score spread:
- Strength: 8 (-1)
- Dexterity: 16 (+3)
- Constitution: 14 (+2)
- Intelligence: 10 (0)
- Wisdom: 10 (0)
- Charisma: 16 (+3)
Best Starting Equipment For A College Of Whispers Bard
To kickstart your journey as a College of Whispers bard, opt for the following starting equipment:
- Rapier: As your primary weapon, the rapier is an excellent choice.
- Entertainer’s Pack: This pack offers more useful items compared to the diplomat’s pack.
- Instrument: Choose any instrument you prefer as your spellcasting focus, such as a lute.
- Leather Armor: Provides basic protection.
- Dagger: A versatile weapon to have.
- Lute: Acts as your instrument for spellcasting.
Notably, you’ll still need an instrument to cast spells, but features like Words of Terror, Mantle of Whispers, and Shadow Lore only require a whispered phrase.
Best Spells For A College Of Whispers Bard
While you’ll rely on weapon damage and subterfuge tactics, spells remain an integral part of your College of Whispers bard’s arsenal. Here are some suggested spells to consider as you advance in levels:
- Cantrips: Vicious Mockery, Mage Hand, Message, Minor Illusion
- First Level: Disguise Self, Dissonant Whispers, Silvery Barbs, Charm Person, Detect Magic
- Second Level: Invisibility, Lesser Restoration, Shatter, Suggestion
- Third Level: Dispel Magic, Fear, Hypnotic Pattern, Sending
- Fourth Level: Confusion, Dimension Door, Greater Invisibility
- Fifth Level: Greater Restoration, Mass Cure Wounds, Synaptic Static
- Sixth Level: Mass Suggestion, Otto’s Irresistible Dance, True Seeing
- Seventh Level: Etherealness, Forcecage, Teleport
- Eighth Level: Dominate Monster, Feeblemind
- Ninth Level: Foresight, Power Word Heal
Additionally, the Magical Secrets feature allows you to select spells from other classes. Counterspell is a valuable support spell, while Heal serves as a potent single-target healing spell before reaching Power Word Heal. At level 18, Wish becomes an immensely powerful spell choice.
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