Hello, everyone! This month’s class archetype is the College of Cacophony, a bard college focused around sowing doubt into their enemies and encouraging foes to lash out at the subject of the bard’s attention. Recently, Wizard of the Coast announced the upcoming adventure for September 2018, Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. Coincidentally, one of the upcoming projects I’ve been working towards is a new set of options for players and storytellers for urban adventurers. To that end, I’m rearranging some of my scheduled playtest content to lead up to the launch of the official WotC adventure. In the coming months, in addition to this Bard mired in intrigue, you can look forward to an unorthodox Warlock patron, a resourceful Ranger archetype, and a Rogue with a secret identity!
College of Cacophony
Bards of the College of Cacophony are also known as students of treachery in all of its forms. Honeyed words from a bard with a political inclination can easily sway public opinions or turn friends into bitter enemies, and authority figures are wary when one of these bards appears.
To these bards, “loyalty” is often seen as the amusingly mutable force that drives their interactions. Who can truly feel loyalty other than the person who can recognize the pattern and weave around them? A bard of the College of Cacophony, though dealing in the severance of these threads, will typically prove to be an invaluable ally, but to whom they are loyal is known only to themselves. They can typically be found mired in political intrigue, brokering deals and agreements which subtly favor whoever the bard truly considers a friend.
When you join the College of Cacophony, choose any two of the following cantrips: Guidance, Mending, Message, and Resistance and add them to your cantrips known.
Starting at 3rd level, a scathing offhand comment you make can shake confidence in even the most stalwart companions. You may expend a Bardic Inspiration die to place Doubt on a creature who can hear you as a bonus action. When an ally of the Doubted creature is within 10 feet of it, their attack rolls are reduced by your Bardic Inspiration die.
A creature can end the Doubted condition on itself by making a successful Charisma saving throw(DC equal to your spell save DC) at the end of its turn.
Starting at 6th level, the doubts you cast on a foe begin to make its irate allies blame it for their failures. Whenever an ally of a Doubted creature misses an attack, the Doubted creature takes Psychic damage equal to the number the ally rolled using your Bardic Inspiration die.
Starting at 16th level, the doubts you’ve cast on an enemy begin to escalate into outright animosity between allies. A creature starting its turn within 5 feet of a Doubted creature must use its action to make a melee weapon attack against the Doubted creature. If they hit, they deal additional Psychic damage equal to your Bardic Inspiration die.