College of the Piper – A Sinister Bardic College (and background) for D&D 5th Edition

“They called me a mindless fool, I MADE THEM MINDLESS FOOLS! AHAHAHA!”

Your years of ridicule, discrimination, and being labeled a social pariah have slowly driven you mad.  For ages, you’ve toiled over many schemes to get back at all those who have caused you wrong.  Rather than trying to resolve the turmoil in a sensible way, you like your festering insanity guide you on the path to revenge…  Or rather, prepare an epic ballad about revenge, with you as the lead character!  However, as your decaying mental state continues to worsen, you begin to see all opponents as those who have wronged you in the past.  You’ll make the public adore you or you’ll kill them trying!  Will you ever come on top as the “hero” or will your obsessions be the end of you?  The world is your stage, the upcoming events are the unfolding drama and you are the director and main actor of it all!

Unlike other bardic colleges, you focus in manipulation and sabotage above all!  While others bolster their allies, you humiliate and tear down your foe.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  I became dissatisfied with this subclass and won’t be updating it.  I might remove this post in the future.

The Piper

Level 3 – Magnificent Bastard – You gain proficiency in the following: An Artisan Toolkit of choice, Disguise Kit, Thieves’ Tools.

Level 3 – Hypnotic Rhythm – Using your power over music, you can impose your will or cause vivid hallucinations.  When using an enchantment or illusion spell, you can utilize your Inspiration Dice to boost the DC check needed to save while wielding an instrument.  A deafened creature cannot be affected by this.  You cannot use this if you are silenced.  You may do this as many times as 1/2 of your total Inspiration Dice (rounded down).  Once expended in this manner, you must take a rest to refresh your Inspiration Dice to use this ability again.

Level 6 – Terrify – For those not caught under your charms, you may use action to target creature within 60 ft while wielding an instrument.  The subject must make a Charisma saving throw or be frightened for 1 minute (until saved at the end of following turns).  Once this has been used, it cannot be used again until the Piper has taken a short rest or long rest.  In addition, you may spend an Inspiration die to add psychic damage equal to the inspiration tier when the target becomes frightened by your ability.

Level 14 – Amass Followers – In a mere instant, you can cause a whole crowd to follow your mad tune.  This effect works similar to the Charm Person spell, but affects all creatures within 30 ft. of you while wielding an instrument.  This effect also lasts for 1 minute or until the effect is interrupted somehow.  You may use Hypnotic Rhythm against targets of this ability, with one usage per target.  Creatures that remain friendly toward you after the charming are still susceptible to manipulation.


New Background: Charmer

Your delightful personality grabs countless people around you.  While you lack the privilege of nobles and the establishment of well recognized trade groups and merchants, you make up for it with an irresistible personality.  However, much of that comes from practice in the art of manipulation.  This might have been out of desperation or complete boredom.  Life before honing these talents might have either been dull and uninspired or a relentless assault of anguish and hardship.  No matter what spurred you onward, you decided upon both working with people and having people work for you.  In many instances, your background isn’t too important.  Your prime importance is making it big in a world where the odds have been stacked against you, whether it means grabbing help from wherever or using your allies to tear your competition down.

Skill Proficiencies: Deception, Persuasion

Tool Proficiency: Forgery Kit

Languages: One of your choice

Equipment: Lavish clothing, “legally” obtained scrolls regarding useful information, assorted limericks and poems, quill pen, ink vial, paper.

Background Feature –  Cheering Followers: You gain a slowly growing assortment of non-combat followers.  They either tag along with you, remain near to bolster morale or wander nearby areas to spread propaganda and bolster your reputation.  They never take part in aggressive situations.  Completing goals or “proving your worth” can warrant in more followers spreading word about you.

d8 Personality.

  1. Rather than outwardly using people, I like to make them smile.  Around my cheerful disposition, other people follow suit.  It’s hard to have a gloomy atmosphere with me around.
  2. I’m a goal oriented egoist.  My needs come first, as I have the potential for greatness.  I shouldn’t let the issues of the few get in my way.  Though, those few can be quite beneficial to my needs.
  3. My talents are hidden, except for when I’m in a bind.  I like having that edge against those who don’t see my wit coming.
  4. I like being followed and at times worshiped by many, it makes me feel powerful… almost like a deity!
  5. Using my gifts, I become the center of attention.  Rather than using what I know for power, I use it for fame.  I simply can’t have the public’s eyes off of me.
  6. I’m someone who loves tasks and projects.  Without something to keep my mind occupied, boredom would consume me.  Even if it’s making sure I have others to do the project, it gives my sprawling mind something to focus on.
  7. I enjoy seeing how far I can push things before they can prove to backfire.  A life without mischief is a boring one.
  8. A charming person is meant to lead rabble, who couldn’t otherwise lead themselves.

d6 Ideal.

  1. People are my play things.  As long as I get ahead, who cares what happens?  (evil)
  2. I like to stir a little trouble, if only to stop things from being so mundane. (chaos)
  3. My gifts are great for helping others, ensuring everyone works hard toward greatness. (good)
  4. I instill order in my words and actions, people listen to them. (lawful)
  5. I prefer to give the people what they want. (any)
  6. I stay a distanced observer, ensuring no side gains too much prominence. (neutral)

d6 Bond.

  1. A new life awaits, one filled with celebration and joy.
  2. I hope my whole past will be erased, now I write history!
  3. I desire for my identity to become more flamboyant, to match my ego and personality.
  4. I am in love with a local, despite my grudge against their land.
  5. Squeezing my way into social circles warrants countless secrets to hold and utilize.
  6. I seek a magnificent place, so that I can become part of it.  Or better, I take a hold of it!

d6 Flaw.

  1. Not everyone enjoys my at times smarmy personality.
  2. Lots of people find my tendency to control others to be unnerving.
  3. I have a problem with looking shallow or fake, if someone pries or looks too far.
  4. When things don’t go my way, it irritates me to no end.
  5. I tend to find myself superior to my “weak minded” followers, thinking even worse of those who DON’T follow me.
  6. I feel like I can bully around others into what I want without consequences.

Created by Doctor Necrotic for Doctor Necrotic Media.  All rights reserved.


2 thoughts on “College of the Piper – A Sinister Bardic College (and background) for D&D 5th Edition

  1. Pingback: Dusty Trails to Haunted Homes – Gothic Ficiton, Gaslamp Fantasy and more. | Daemons & Deathrays

  2. Pingback: Faerie-themed Content Masterlist | Daemons & Deathrays

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