Bard: College of Lore

Original Source: Player's Handbook, SRD

Bards of the College of Lore know something about most things, collecting bits of knowledge from sources as diverse as scholarly tomes and peasant tales. Whether singing folk ballads in taverns or elaborate compositions in royal courts, these bards use their gifts to hold audiences spellbound. When the applause dies down, the audience members might find themselves questioning everything they held to be true, from their faith in the priesthood of the local temple to their loyalty to the king.

The loyalty of these bards lies in the pursuit of beauty and truth, not in fealty to a monarch or following the tenets of a deity. A noble who keeps such a bard as a herald or advisor knows that the bard would rather be honest than politic.

The college's members gather in libraries and sometimes in actual colleges, complete with classrooms and dormitories, to share their lore with one another. They also meet at festivals or affairs of state, where they can expose corruption, unravel lies, and poke fun at self-important figures of authority.

Bonus Proficiencies

When you join the College of Lore at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with three skills of your choice.

Cutting Words

Also at 3rd level, you learn how to use your wit to supernaturally distract, confuse, and otherwise sap the confidence and competence of others. When a creature that you can see within 60 feet of yourself succeeds on an Ability Check or Attack Roll, you can use your Reaction to expend one of your uses of Bardic Inspiration, rolling a Bardic Inspiration die and subtracting the number rolled from the creature’s roll, potentially turning it into a failure. Alternatively, you can use this ability to reduce a Damage Roll by the amount rolled.

Additional Universal Secrets

At 6th level, you gain two Universal Secrets of your choice, as per the Bard ability.

Improved Cutting Words

By 6th level, whenever you use your Cutting Words feature on a creature, you can deal Psychic damage to that creature equal to the number rolled on the Bardic Inspiration die plus your spellcasting ability modifier.

Peerless Skill

Starting at 14th level, when you make an ability check or an attack roll, you can expend one use of Bardic Inspiration, roll a Bardic Inspiration die, and add the number rolled to the d20, potentially turning a failure into a success. On a failure, the Bardic Inspiration isn't expended.