October 10, 2016

College of Romance

Bardic College
Comments from the Finger: The bard class needs a good old-fashioned charming archetype. 

College of Romance

Love is a powerful thing, and none  know this better than the bards of the College of Romance. Paramours, seductors, and silver-tongued devils, these bards have turned the art of wooing someone into a science, which they ploy to their advantage with mechanical efficiency. Given the option, these bards would rather make love than war, knowing full well that an enemy turned ally is twice as effective as an enemy slain.

Starting when you choose this college at 3rd level, you have a magnetic personality. You can use your bonus action to distract a hostile creature you have charmed. On its turn, the charmed creature has disadvantage on attack rolls and can't move further away from you unless it first takes the Disengage action.
    If you charm a creature that isn't hostile to you, it regards you and your allies as friendly acquaintances.

Cupid's Arrow
Also at 3rd level, you can sway other creatures through your personality. As an action, expend one use of Bardic Inspiration and choose one creature you can see within 30 feet which can see or hear you to make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is charmed by you for a number of rounds equal to the die roll.
    This effect ends early if you move more than 30 feet away from the creature, if the creature can neither see nor hear you, if the creature takes damage from you or your allies, or if you use this ability again.

Enemy of My Enemy
At 6th level, when you take the Attack action, you can use your bonus action to direct a creature you have charmed that can see or hear you to attack. That creature can immediately use its reaction to make one weapon attack.

Starting at 14th level, you can make yourself the object of another creature's affections. You can use your action to touch an incapacitated humanoid. That creature is then charmed by you until a remove curse spell is cast on it, the charmed condition is removed from it, or you use this feature again.
Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

1/9/21: Likeable: Bonus action
Cupid's Arrow: Ends early if your allies damage the creature
Enemy of my Enemy: You direct a creature you have charmed


  1. How does Likeable interact with Jack of All Trades?

  2. Not enthused about Likable. An extra +1 from level 5-8 and 13-16 could help out, but it feels unsatisfying knowing there's going to be ten levels where my "Bonus Proficiencies" substitute doesn't do anything (including for the first two levels I have it to boot).

    I would add an extra sentence about the charms making the creature friendly to you, like the Swashbuckler's Panache. (Personally, I would say all charms should work like that.)

    Enemy of My Enemy is a great name for an ability like that and I wish I'd thought of it.

  3. Didn't quite hit the mark on this one to me. Let me explain.

    Likeable doesn't seem all that thematically accurate, nor is it going to be entirely useful, as all bards get a better version of this one level earlier. I'm assuming it stacks, so that it's not useless, but my point still stands in that it doesn't feel all that close to what a Romantic person would feel like. To explain further, someone who is quite smooth with their words and mannerisms wouldn't necessarily have any more aptitude to make someone piss their pants in fear by using the Intimidate skill than anyone else.
    Something that I feel would make a bit more sense would be to double proficiency in Deception, Performance, and Persuasion. Each of these skills would benefit rather well from a smooth talker.

    Cupid's Arrow seems to be in a relatively good place. I see no reason to change it honestly.

    Enemy of my Enemy seems completely out of place here. I don't think someone who is extremely persuasive has particularly anything to do with breaking the physical limitations of another humanoid. Is that they're so persuasive, the body moves faster of it's own accord, taking commands from the bard himself? Not to mention this encourages a play style that doesn't exactly correlate with a bard such as this. This feels much more like something a valor bard would use, typically being the leader of the team. I don't see the Romeo of the group being a particularly strong leader.

    A possibly replacement for this feature is as follows.

    The power of Love

    As an action on your turn, by spending a bardic inspiration die, you may target a deceased ally and cast Revivify on them. The target also regains an amount of HP equal to the die roll. You must complete a long rest before you can do this again.

    Infatuated seems to be a good feature that would be difficult to use properly. I say this because it would be a rare occasion when you could use this and have it be useful. I think something that would make it feel more appealing would be to increase the amount of creatures you can have under the effects of this feature at one time to equal your charisma modifier. I could definitely see a bard such as this flanked and flaunted over by their own personal harem.

    Let me know what you think. I know that it all probably sounds like a bit too much, but honestly it's all about the haggling.

    1. Two different abilities that add your proficiency bonus to the same thing don't stack (PHB 173).

    2. Then by RAW Likeable cannot be used, as Jack of All trades already covers it and then some.

    3. Yeah, so Likeable was a mistake on my part -- I basically forgot that the Jack of All Trades feature covered this same ground. So, I need a replacement, and I'll be playing with it.

      I'm also fine with replacing the Enemy of my Enemy feature, but Philip's features doesn't really do what I'd like it to. The 6th level feature needs to be a pretty powerful, passive ability, like Extra Attack, or getting new, more powerful spells.

    4. I got a suggestion then.


      You become so infatuated with yourself that you become immune to charm and fear effects. In addition, allies that are within 10 feet of you have advantage on their wisdom saving throws against charm and fear effects.

      What do you think. It only gets more powerful the later the campaign goes, because PC's attacking other PC's really sucks.

  4. As far as I understood, likeable is sort of expertise for charisma-jack-of-all-trades. Meh. not meshing very well with jack and expertise. why not just give proficiency in all cha based skills? Same effect.

    Cupid's arrow is very unimpressive. Bard already has quite enough ways to charm and influence with spells and skills, and it's better to focus on those than give additional way. An effect that improves charm spells would be much better here- maybe using an Inspiration die to increase DC of charm, or reduce a save against charm?

    I'd add to enemy of my enemy the ability to let an enemy of your target (not only an ally) or a creature charmed by you to attack, so it would actually do what it says.

    Infatuate seems ok, although at this level you can cast Geas or Mass Suggestion ("obey my every command"). At leat this doesn't give any save or require a slot, so I guess it's ok.

  5. I like the replacement for Likeable, but also dislike Enemy of my Enemy. I think this would be more interesting: "Cyrano: While you have a creature charmed, you may select another creature within 60 feet. The target also is considered a charmer of that creature, and gains the benefits of the Likeable feature toward them."

    So you can provide a bit of support in combat by Charming the creature onto the tank with Likeable active, or provide some support in a social situation by Charming a creature onto one of your friends. If the literary reference is too obscure, "Wingman" might work, but feels a little uncouth.

    1. Meant to say it takes a bonus action, and can't have the effect go to more than one person. Ah well. By the way- for my other little project, would you mind if I lifted Witches Cauldron for 3rd level? It just seems so much more balanced and predictable, but it's also your work, so even if it ends up on the blog, I'd prefer your permission

    2. I like this idea. It makes sense that a romantic bard would play the matchmaker.

  6. I try not to be a power gamer, but I feel like this subclass will have trouble keeping up with the lore bard because of the lore bards extra spells, skills, and cutting words.

  7. The charmed condition does not allow the charmed creature to attack the charmer. Giving disadvantage on attack rolls against creatures other than you is essentially just disadvantage on attack rolls. Other than that, I like how Likable is a reverse frightened. It offers some interesting combat situations.

  8. This college just seems extremely underpowered in comparison to the other bardic colleges, plus the abilities gained by it doesn't really follow the theme that the other colleges grant. I made my own version of this that I think fixes most of the issues I have with this
    - I made likeable last more than one turn, but require a Wisdom saving throw, made at the end of the creature's turns, and I took away the movement hindrances. The effect ends early if the creature is no longer charmed, and lasts for 1 minute. I called this condition "teased" and a bard can only tease one creature at a time.
    - I changed enemy of my enemy to effect allies whenever they're inspired by Bardic Inspiration, and can immediately make a weapon attack with their reaction whenever inspired
    -This one bugged me a lot, so instead of infatuate, I added an ability that fell more in-line with the other vanilla classes. I call it "think of me", and it gives allies that are inspired advantage on any ONE ability check, saving throw, or attack roll. This effect must be used before the start of the bard's next turn, and cannot be used at the same time as the normal bardic inspiration die.

    I feel this gives the bard a much better synergy with likeable at higher levels, and also gives the class a more support heavy experience, which I feel fits it well, hope you guys enjoy it