College of the Vocalist, Variant (5e Subclass)

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College of the Vocalist[edit]

Bard Subclass

The College of the Vocalist is a rare group of bards who focus all of their magic into their voice. This allows them to work their spells into new forms that can bend those around them ot their whim.

Bonus Proficiencies

When you join this bardic college, at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in your voice as an instrument and spellcasting focus.

Ritual Song

At level 3 when joining the College of the Vocalist, any spells you know with ritual tag can be attempted via song. This ritual lasts a number of turns equal to the spell's level, and you must pass a DC 10 + the spell's level Performance check. On a success, the ritual is performed correctly and the spell is cast. This ritual can be performed in lieu of other components required, including material components costing less than 10 GP.

At level 12, your repertoire expands to include 3rd level, or lower, non-ritual spells. The DC for the Performance check is equal to 15 + the spell's level.

Vocal Magic

At level 3, you gain the ability to sing over your allies or foes. You gain these two verses from the list below. You also gain one additional verse at levels 6, 14, and 18 respectively. These verses can be started as an action, and maintained as a bonus action. Maintaining a verse requires concentration. To start a verse, choose a volume for how loud you will be singing; this will affect the range of the verse you're singing. Then, you must pass a Performance check. If an enemy wishes to identify the song you're singing, they must pass an Arcana check. These can be found in the table below.

Volume Range Performance DC Arcana DC
Whisper 10 feet 10 15
Normal 30 feet 12 12
Shout 60 feet 15 10

The verses are as follows:

  • Verse of Distraction - Impose a penalty on the first attack roll every hostile creature in range makes by a value equal to half your Charisma modifier, rounded down. Once an enemy is affected by this verse, they cannot be affected by it again for 24 hours.
  • Verse of Weakness - Reduce the AC of all hostile creatures in range by a value equal to half your Charisma modifier, rounded down. Once an enemy affected by this verse takes damage, they cannot be affected again for 24 hours.
  • Verse of Faltering - Reduce all hostile creatures' saves in range by a value equal to half your Charisma modifier, rounded down. Once an enemy makes a save while affected by this verse, they cannot be affected again for 24 hours.
  • Verse of Harmony - Sing out a charming song to all hostile creatures in range. Each creature affected makes a Wisdom saving throw against your Spell Save DC. Creatures that fail are charmed, and creatures that succeed are immune to your Verse of Harmony for 24 hours. Creatures that are charmed may attempt a Wisdom saving throw to shake off the charm as at the end of their turn.
  • Haunting Verse - Your voice can cause fear in the weak-minded who seek to do you and your allies harm. Any hostile creature starting their turn within range of your verse must make a Wisdom saving throw against your Spell Save DC. A failure results in the creature being frightened by your song for one turn. When a creature recovers from the fear, it is immune to your Haunting Voice for 24 hours.
Mantle of Whispers

At 6th level, you gain the ability to adopt a humanoid's persona. When a humanoid dies within 30 feet of you, you can magically capture its shadow using your reaction. You retain this shadow until you use it or you finish a long rest.

You can use the shadow as an action. When you do so, it vanishes, magically transforming into a disguise that appears on you. You now look like the dead person, but healthy and alive. This disguise lasts for 1 hour or until you end it as a bonus action.

While you're in the disguise, you gain access to all information that the humanoid would freely share with a casual acquaintance. Such information includes general details on its background and personal life, but doesn't include secrets. The information is enough that you can pass yourself off as the person by drawing on its memories.

Another creature can see through this disguise by succeeding on a Wisdom (Insight) check contested by your Charisma (Deception) check. You gain a +5 bonus to your check.

Once you capture a shadow with this feature, you can't capture another one with it until you finish a short or long rest.

Skilled Vocalist

At 6th level, you gain double proficiency in Performance. If you already have double proficiency in Performance, choose another skill you are proficient in. You now have double proficiency in that skill.

Shadow Lore

At 14th level, you gain the ability to weave dark magic into your words and tap into a creature’s deepest fears.

As an action, you magically whisper a phrase that only one creature of your choice within 30 feet of you can hear. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC. It automatically succeeds if it doesn’t share a language with you or if it can’t hear you. On a successful saving throw, your whisper sounds like unintelligible mumbling and has no effect.

If the target fails its saving throw, it is charmed by you for the next 8 hours or until you or your allies attack or damage it. It interprets the whispers as a description of its most mortifying secret.

While you gain no knowledge of this secret, the target is convinced you know it. While charmed in this way, the creature obeys your commands for fear that you will reveal its secret. It won’t risk its life for you or fight for you, unless it was already inclined to do so. It grants you favors and gifts it would offer to a close friend.

When the effect ends, the creature has no understanding of why it held you in such fear.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.


At level 14, you have now managed to advance your magical songs to an unprecedented level of skill. Gain advantage on your Performance checks to start a verse. Also gain access to one song of your choice from the list below. Gain one more song at level 18. These songs take multiple rounds to activate, as listed. These songs are successfully activated by completing a separate verse for each turn listed. Stringing verses together to make a full song takes more effort and increases the base DC of each verse by 2. Songs can be sung in 3 ways: Maintaining the same volume throughout, starting at a whisper and increasing to a shout, or starting at a shout and decreasing to a whisper. Failing a Performance check to change verses to form a song can be recovered with an increasing +1 to the DC for each failed check. Succeeding in a verse resets any penalties occurred. A song that is interrupted by failing a concentration check must be started over from the beginning. The songs are as follows:

  • Song of Triumph: 3 rounds. All allied creatures in range gain bardic inspiration die once per turn, for turns equal to half your Charisma modifier, rounded down.
  • Song of Light: 2 rounds. Grant all allied creatures in range 30 ft blindsense, 60 ft darkvision, and a bonus to Perception equal to half your Charisma modifier, rounded down, for 1 hour.
  • Song of Endurance: 4 rounds. All allied creatures in range gain HP regeneration equal to half your Charisma modifier, rounded down, per turn for 5 turns. Any HP gained above the creature's maximum HP is converted into temporary hit points that lasts until the creature takes a short or long rest.
  • Song of Might: 3 rounds. All allied creatures in range gain a bonus to all attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throw, ability checks and AC for 1 minute equal to half your Charisma modifier, rounded down.

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