Traveling troubadours & captivating crooners!
I had a hard time settling on just two bard colleges this week…so I made three. Readers who keep a close eye on the Sterling Vermin subreddit were the first to get a preview and then I took it to a vote elsewhere on reddit. The College of Fortune I knew for sure was going to be in so it was up to readers to vote on whether the College of Two Courts or the College of Mourners got into the Arcanist Handbook and the results came in…
College of Two Courts!!
And that’s cool…
While the College of Fortune and the College of Two Courts are going into the Arcanist Handbook I also decided that there was enough interest in the College of Mourning to make it available to readers as well. This week the blog is featuring the College of Fortune and the College of Two Courts for all readers and the College of Mourning is being featured as a Patreon backer exclusive available to every Patreon backer that pledges $1 a month or more.
The College of Fortune attracts bards who throw caution to the wind, go all in, and roll the dice. Lucky for them, fortune favors the bold. They can pass their auspicious fortunes onto allies with Inspiration Dice and learn to evoke the power of common playing card decks. You might call the bards of the College of Fortune gamblers but with the deck stacked in their favor they tend to think of themselves as lucky charms.
The College of Two Courts brings back the split archetype mechanic I first used in the Gunslinger archetype for Fighter. The College of Two Courts is a bard who has had extensive history with fairies or in the feywild. Imbued with all the mystical subterfuge you’d expect of someone so familiar with the fey, bards in the College of Two Courts eventually have to choose a side: Seelie or Unseelie. That choice, made at level 6, aligns them with one of the two most dominant philosophies of the fey and grants them unique benefits befitting their choice.
For the Patreon pledgers, the College of Mourning is the intersection between celebration and death. Bards of the College of Mourning, often called mourners, perform funerary rites, act as mediums between the living and the dead, and occasionally harass isolated towns with zombie hordes. With a complicated relationship to necromantic magic, mourners are as ambivalent about one another as others are of them. Some mourners feel strongly that the college calls them to stand against the undead while others relish the power over the unquiet dead their college affords them.