College of Visual Arts | New Bard Subclass for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition (PDF Available)

Not all bards entice, charm, amuse or even intimidate with music. Some bards, such as those that join the College of Visual Arts take to painting, sculpture, and other forms of artistic expression to weave their tales and cast their enchantments.

Much like bards in general, no two participants of the College of Visual Arts are the same. Some see wonderment and joy in the world and show it in their work. While other visual bards might see gloom and shadow with a palette to match.

Bonus Proficiencies

When you join the College of Visual Arts at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with painter’s supplies artisan’s tools.

Spellcasting Focus

You can use painter’s supplies as a spellcasting focus for your bard spells.

Life Painting

Starting at 3rd level, you can use your magic to command a creature to stop what it’s doing and model for you.

As an action, you can expend one use of your Bardic Inspiration and choose a creature that you can see within 10 feet of you. The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw versus your spell save DC or become magically restrained until the start of your next turn. On each subsequent turn, you can use your action to continue this effect, allowing the creature to make another Wisdom saving throw to end the effect on itself.

Masterpiece

At 6th level, you have learned to create works of art so great, they can affect the minds of those who view them. Once per week, if you spend 8 hours creating a painting or a sculpture using at least 100gp of materials, you can imbue the art with power that will later unleash a magical effect on any creature that sees it. You may only have one masterpiece at a time.

The power within the art object is nearly undetectable and requires a successful Intelligence (Arcana) check against your spell save DC to be noticed.

Once you verbally present your masterpiece, the magic within is triggered. The masterpiece’s magic fills an invisible 60-foot-radius sphere centered on the masterpiece for 1 hour, after which time the art object is no longer your masterpiece. Each creature in the sphere that can see the masterpiece is targeted by its effect, as is a creature that enters the sphere for the first time on a turn or ends its turn there. Creatures with an Intelligence score of 4 or less aren’t affected.

Choose one of the following options below for its effect:

Anger. Each target must make a Wisdom saving throw versus your spell save DC. On a failed save, the creature becomes charmed by you for 1 minute. While charmed in this way, the creature has advantage on all of its attack rolls. In addition, all attack rolls made against the creature are done so at advantage. The creature can repeat its saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself with a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the effects of this masterpiece for the next hour.

Beauty. Each target must make a Wisdom saving throw versus your spell save DC. On a failed save, the creature becomes charmed by you for 1 minute. While charmed in this way, the creature regards you as a friendly acquaintance. When the effect ends, the creature knows it was charmed by you. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the effects of this masterpiece for the next hour.

Depression. Each target must make a Wisdom saving throw versus your spell save DC. On a failed save, the creature becomes charmed by you for 1 minute. While charmed in this way, the creature has disadvantage on ability checks and saving throws for the duration. The charmed creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. When the effect ends, the creature knows it was charmed by you. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the effects of this masterpiece for the next hour.

Hilarity. Each target must make a Wisdom saving throw versus your spell save DC. On a failed save, the creature becomes charmed by you for 1 minute. While charmed in this way, the creature falls prone, becoming incapacitated and unable to stand up for the duration.  The charmed creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.  When the effect ends, the creature knows it was charmed by you. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the effects of this masterpiece for the next hour.

Lifelike Work

Beginning at 14th level, you’ve mastered your craft to the point where your paintings and sculptures seem like they could leap to life; because they can! Once per week, if you spend 8 hours creating a painting or a sculpture using at least 100gp of materials, you can create a construct that serves you. If you paint a portrait, it becomes a painted facsimile. And if you sculpt a statue, it becomes a sculpted facsimile.

On each of your turns, you can use a bonus action to mentally command the creature you made with this feature if the creature is within 60 feet of you. You decide what action the creature will take and where it will move during its next turn, or you can issue a general command, such as to guard a particular chamber or corridor. If you issue no commands, the creature only defends itself against hostile creatures. Once given an order, the creature continues to follow it until its task is complete.

The creature is under your control for 1 week, after which it stops obeying any command you’ve given to it and once again becomes a mundane painting or statue. You can use this same effect again to “touch-up” the creature, at which point its hit points are returned to their full amount and it once again is under your control for another week. You may not have more than one creature at a time created by this effect.


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Thanks for reading!

This bard college was created for Instagram follower @soft_leg_joe who recently won the caption contest I put on. You can check out his winning entry by following me on Instagram: @dungeonmasterdave.

For those of you who’ve requested it, I’m going to start making 5th-edition formatted PDFs for you to download. However, some of them will only be available on Patreon. As much as I’d love to give away more free content, I do have to pay the bills! Haha

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See you next time!

Art by Sandara.

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