College of Satire

Bards of the College of Satire are called jesters. They use lowbrow stories, daring acrobatics, and cutting jokes to entertain audiences, ranging from the crowds in a rundown dockside pub to the nobles of a king's royal court. Where other bards seek forgotten lore or tales of epic bravery, jesters ferret out embarrassing and hilarious stories of all kinds. Whether telling the ribald tale of a brawny stable hand's affair with an aged duchess or a mocking satire of a paladin of Helm's cloying innocence, a jester never lets taste, social decorum, or shame get in the way of a good laugh.

While jesters are masters of puns, jokes, and verbal barbs, they are much more than just comic relief. They are expected to mock and provoke, taking advantage of how even the most powerful folk are expected by tradition to endure a jester's barbs with good humor. This expectation allows a jester to serve as a critic or a voice of reason when others are too intimidated to speak the truth.

For the duchess with a taste for strapping young laborers, such tales might serve to warn the targets of her affections and force her to change her ways for lack of willing partners. Striking back at the jester only ruins her already damaged reputation, and might provide the best evidence that the jester's satires have hit their mark. But if she is kind and generous to her conquests, the jokes and stories cast her as a kind of folk hero, while drawing even more potential partners to her.

Jesters are loyal to only one cause: the pursuit and propagation of the truth. They use their comedy and innocuous appearance to break down social barriers and expose corruption, incompetence, and stupidity among the rich and powerful. Whether revealing a con artist's treachery or exposing a baron's plans for war as driven by greed and bloodlust, a jester serves as the conscience of a realm.

Jesters adventure to safeguard the common folk and to undermine the plans of the rich, powerful, and arrogant. Their magic bolsters allies' spirits while casting doubt into foes' minds. Among bards, jesters are unmatched acrobats, and their ability to tumble, dodge, leap, and climb makes them slippery opponents in battle.

Bonus Proficiencies

When you join the College of Satire at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with one of the tools of your choice: disguise kit, forgery kit, poisoner's kit, thieves’ tools.

You also gain proficiency in two skills of your choice: Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth.

Cunning Action: Tumbling Fool

At 3rd level, you master a variety of acrobatic techniques that allow you to evade danger. As a bonus action, you can tumble. When you tumble, you gain the following benefits for the rest of your turn:

All the World's a Stage

At 6th level, your knowledge of tricks and lies has made it almost impossible for people to pull one over you. You understand life is a joke, and everyone is full of shit. You have a +5 bonus to your passive Wisdom (Insight) checks, and you also have advantage on insight checks to see through lies, and against illusion and enchantment magic.

Fool's Insight

At 6th level, your ability to gather stories and lore gains a supernatural edge. You can cast detect thoughts up to a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier. You regain any expended uses of this ability after completing a long rest.

If a creature resists your attempt to probe deeper and succeeds at its saving throw against your detect thoughts, it immediately suffers an embarrassing social gaffe instead of learning you tried to probe deeper into its mind. It might loudly pass gas, unleash a thunderous burp, trip and fall, or be compelled to tell a tasteless joke. A creature immune to having its mind read is immune to this ability and learns you were trying to probe into its mind as normal.

Fool's Luck

Jesters seem to have a knack for pulling themselves out of tight situations, transforming what looks like sure failure into an embarrassing but effective success.

At 14th level, you can expend one use of Bardic Inspiration after you fail an ability check, fail a saving throw, or miss with an attack roll. Roll a Bardic Inspiration die and add the number rolled to your attack, saving throw, or ability check, using the new result in place of the failed one. Once you do so, you must finish a long rest before you can use the feature again.

Any time before you regain the use of this feature, the DM can roll a Bardic Inspiration and subtract the result from an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw you make. You then regain the use of this feature and the Bardic Inspiration you spent for it.

When the DM invokes this penalty, describe an embarrassing gaffe or mistake you make as part of the affected die roll.