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66

Bardic Colleges are not modern Colleges. A "college education" means something specific in the modern world: it means that someone has gone to a specific kind of educational institution to get a specific kind of education. A bardic college is not a modern college. Instead, it's basically a club (PHB 54): Bards form loose associations, which they call ...


56

Yes! The initiative roll is a Dexterity ability check, and is intend to gain a benefit from "Jack of all Trades". Per Player's Handbook p. 177: At the beginning of every combat, you roll initiative by making a Dexterity check. Rules designer Jeremy Crawford unofficially confirmed this on Twitter: Is the bard's Jack of All Trades feature intended to ...


54

Do they stack? RAW, no. Occasionally, your proficiency bonus might be multiplied or divided (doubled or halved, for example) before you apply it. For example, the rogue's Expertise feature doubles the proficiency bonus for certain ability checks. If a circumstance suggests that your proficiency bonus applies more than once to the same same roll, you ...


50

Yes, the Bard adds 1/2 proficiency to initiative. In 5e all checks are ability checks. This is why every check in published materials is listed as Ability (Name), such as Strength (Athletics). Initiative is a Dexterity check. Under Initiative in the PHB: every participant makes a Dexterity check to determine their place in the initiative order. (p. ...


49

Debatable: but it's still insulting The general rules for spellcasting suggest that when a spell has a verbal component, this may be more than any common speech you must make to cast the spell. As an example, Jeremy Crawford indicated that for the spell Suggestion to work: Verbal components are mystic words (PH, 203). The spell's suggestion is a separate,...


48

Not at all; Bards are a very flexible and potent class At least not if you allow an admittedly-large number of supplements. Even in straight Core, Bards are fairly middle-of-the-road (decidedly better than Fighter, Monk, or Paladin, decidedly worse than Cleric, Druid, or Wizard), though they are quite limited. But if you have a lot of books available, then ...


41

Line of sight is needed The spell needs line of sight to work (PHB, p. 285): You unleash a string of insults laced with subtle enchantments at a creature you can see within range. "But that doesn't make sense!" You might think, the target could still hear your magical mockings, and that's what should matter, right? Well, no, actually. The trick here ...


39

Apparently, you cannot. At least not any more. Jeremy Crawford, the official rules sage of Wizards of the Coast, was asked in December 2015: @JeremyECrawford Can I cancel a "Natural 20 Critical Hit" using Cutting Words? 9:26 PM - 2 Dec 2015 He responded at that time: @LeonardoNocchi Yes, you can. 6:48 PM - 3 Dec 2015 My reasoning at that time for ...


37

Magical Secrets is a base bard ability that grants you two choices at level 10 , 14 and 18. You are missing this important part of 'Magical Secrets' "....the chosen spells count as bard spells and are included in the number of spells known column of the bard table...." So yes, including Magical Secrets, you know 22 spells at level 20. The only ...


36

Magic! Seriously, though, the bard knows how he does this even if we struggle to understand how it could be done. Lots of special abilities in a fantasy game are unexplainable. Nobody knows how to cast a fireball spell or turn undead either, and those remain an acceptable part of the system. The real problem we have is when we read something like this... ...


36

It runs away from you at its normal speed and can return immediately Dissonant Whispers (PHB p.235) states On a failed save... and must immediately use its reaction, if available, to move as far as its speed allows away from you. The creature doesn't move into obviously dangerous ground... So if the creature has its reaction available it uses its ...


35

No, they specifically do not stack From the basic rules: Occasionally, your proficiency bonus might be multiplied or divided (doubled or halved, for example) before you apply it. For example, the rogue’s Expertise feature doubles the proficiency bonus for certain ability checks. If a circumstance suggests that your proficiency bonus applies more than ...


35

Well technically you could wield anything as a weapon, you just wouldn't have much success with it (you do not add your proficiency bonus to attacks, which is a +2 at 1st level). To be competent with a weapon, you need proficiency with it. Bards do not get proficiency with two-handed swords, so you have two options: If the variant human is allowed by your ...


35

You're on homebrew territory Multiclassing a character to maximum level in multiple classes is not possible under the base rules. The maximum character level is 20, so the total levels you have in Sorcerer and Bard can't sum up to over 20 either. In accordance with that, the multiclass spellcaster table (5e PHB, page 165) only goes to level 20 as well, so ...


34

Allowing a bard to inspire himself is giving him a close variation on the level 14 ability of the Lore bard (Peerless Skill). The timing is a bit weaker, but the bard would be able to use the die on attack rolls and saving throws, so it's more versatile. One could even argue that it's strictly better. Giving a level 2 bard an ability that's only available to ...


34

It looks to me like you may have missed out adding character background A 'background' adds two extra proficiencies to your character, so missing that out would account for the shortfall you've currently got on Deception and Insight. It's also very easy to miss this part of character creation on DnD Beyond - it's slightly hidden away under section four of ...


33

Yes. As you point out, the text of Bardic Inspiration does not exclude any creature types, which means that RAW, zombies can be inspired. This is not weird The MM entries for zombies explicitly state that zombies can understand the languages that they knew in life. This means that they do have some kind of mental process that could be affected by Bardic ...


33

Everyone knows that bardic tongues get vicious. It would entirely reasonable to figure that Vicious Mockery could be done without obvious spellcasting, but by the same token, in a world where that was the case, it would be a known thing that (some) bards could literally insult people to death. (If you give bards the ability to insult people to death, at ...


32

As of 2019, the new Sage Advice Compendium clearly states that they don't interact. These aren't allowed to work together on a single check. Can the rogue’s Reliable Talent feature be used in conjunction with Remarkable Athlete or Jack of All Trades? No. Each of these features has a precondition for its use; Reliable Talent activates when you make ...


32

Well, there's good news, and there's bad news. The good news is that you can trade away the spells from Magical Secrets. The bad news is that you can only trade them for bard spells. The rules on trading one of your spells known for another say that: Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the bard spells you know and ...


32

Your DM does not get to make determinations like this in Adventurers League play. The rules are quite clear on spell components. As far as material components goes: Casting some spells requires particular objects, specified in parentheses in the component entry. A character can use a component pouch or a spellcasting focus (found in “Equipment”) in place ...


31

You cannot gain the bonus from both Jack of all Trades and Proficiency, they are mutually exclusive. You're misunderstanding the way ability checks work. An ability check is: To make an ability check, roll a d20 and add the relevant ability modifier. As with other d20 rolls, apply bonuses and penalties, and compare the total to the DC. The number ...


31

No. Armor Class is not an ability check. The PHB does not describe armor class(AC) as an ability check. Armor class is its own in-game thing. Armor protects its wearer from attacks. The armor (and shield) you wear determines your base Armor Class. (PHB, p. 145) While the Dexterity ability adds or subtracts to AC in some cases via the Dexterity ...


30

Mechanical complexity Even playing a normal caster, the mechanical complexity of the spell library is not trivial to manage. With the subclass swapping, one'd effectively be doubling the difficulties of managing the most complex part of the character. The player'll also need to keep track of two different sets of College features (possibly more). I forecast ...


29

By the rules, you are correct. The spell affects a creature (a rat qualifies) you can see (which you could) that can hear you (which it could). However, DMs do have the ability to change the rules for their game. I'd approach him again and get clarification on the ability for future use, noting "it just says a creature." If he's only going to let it work ...


29

Yes. The Ready action specifies that When you ready a spell, you cast it as normal but hold its energy, which you release with your reaction when the trigger occurs. So when you take the Ready action to ready a spell, you have, in fact, used your action to cast a bard spell. You have "cast the spell as normal," RAW. This seems to fulfill the ...


28

Yup, you halve-and-add your proficiency bonus to even passive checks. Jack of all Trades. ...add half your proficiency bonus, rounded down, to any ability check you make that doesn't already include your proficiency bonus. (PHB p.54, emphasis mine) Combined with Passive Checks. A passive check is a special kind of ability check.... Here's how to ...


26

There is no RAW reason to suggest it doesn't work. Despite the flavor being used "use your wit to distract, confuse, or otherwise sap confidence", the only restrictions placed on this spell are : The creature is immune if it can’t hear you or if it’s immune to being charmed." Furthermore, the Bard's abilities are generally described as hiding magic beneath ...


26

According to Jeremy Crawford in this conversation... If a player character ability relies on knowing a monster's roll, a DM may say what the roll is or show it. When asked to confirm that "[the] DM must communicate only the number on the dice (without [any added] modifiers)," Crawford responded... That's correct. So the bard (or any creature using a ...


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