Arcane Compositions: New Bard-Specific Spells

Of all the wonders of the world, I thank the gods they had the good sense to make me a bard. I’m much too noisy and far too well-dressed to be a wizard.”

– Elia Quinn, Monster Hunter    

Bards are diverse and fascinating casters that manipulate the arcane weaves twisting through the world by touching the Sacred Note – a tone that resonates within every magical energy and being throughout the realms. By harmonizing with and creating melodies using the Sacred Note, bards rouse the magic necessary to ignite powerful spells through great or baleful symphonies. Their arcane compositions can be used to shield allies or destroy enemies, to embolden the weak or dishearten the evil, to mesmerize crowds or ensnare armies. As varied as it may be, bardic power should never be underestimated.  

The following are a few new bard-specific spells that you can use to broaden your character’s repertoire. As with all new play options, please consult your Game Master to verify that these spells mesh well with the vision and direction of their game. 

Siren’s Seeming

Enchantment cantrip

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 120 feet

Components: V

Duration: 1 round

You create a lilting melody that ensnares the mind of a subject you choose within range. If the target can hear you (though it doesn’t need to understand you), it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or spend all of its available actions attempting to reach you. The affected creature will not move in a way that will obviously cause it harm (jump from a cliff, move through fire, etc.) but will otherwise take the most direct route in your direction. If for any reason the target creature cannot successfully move its full movement in your direction during its turn, it takes 1d6 psychic damage. This effect lasts until the end of your next turn. 

The spell’s damage increases by 1d6 when you reach 5th level (2d6), 11th level (3d6), and 17th level (4d6).

Chorus of Scythes

1st-level conjuration

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 90 feet

Components: V, S

Duration: Instantaneous

Your song conjures spinning scythes of sound that you sling toward a target that you can see within range. You make a ranged spell attack against the target. If the attack hits, the creature takes 3d8 thunder damage.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 1st.

Resounding Strike

2nd-level evocation

Casting Time: 1 bonus action

Range: Self

Components: V

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

Your reverberating note runs the length of your blade, filling it with sonic energy. The next time you hit a creature with a weapon attack before this spell ends, the attack deals an extra 2d6 thunder damage to the target. The target creature must also succeed on a Constitution saving throw or be deafened. 

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the extra damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 2nd.

Broken Song

3rd-level evocation

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 120 feet

Components: V

Duration: Instantaneous

You throw your head back in a silent cry, filling the minds of your enemies with otherworldly wails. Choose a point that you can see with range. Creatures of your choosing within a 20-foot radius of that point must make a Wisdom saving throw or take 4d8 psychic damage and have disadvantage on all Initiative and attack rolls for 1 minute. Creatures that succeed on their saving throws only take half as much damage. 

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 3rd.

Degrading Chords

4th-level transmutation

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 120 feet

Components: V, S

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

You shape your melody into a vibrating sphere of increasing intensity, deteriorating the armament of your enemies. A 5-foot-diameter sphere of sound appears in a space of your choice within range and lasts for the duration of the spell. Any creature that starts or ends its turn within 5 feet of the sphere must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature’s armor takes a permanent and cumulative -1 penalty. This has no effect on magic armor. 

As a bonus action, you can move the sphere up to 30 feet in any direction. 


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Let us know what you think of these spells in the comments below!

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