College of Artistes (5A)

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This is a Bard subclass for 5A.

Formally The College of Artistes, the artiste is bard with a focus on creating material artworks rather than on performing arts. An artiste inspires by the potential of the artworks they can make, promising immortality in art. During adventures the artiste makes sketches and drawings that they turn into artworks once they have the time and safety to work.

Greyhawk: This is a relatively recent college. Artists in previous generations received little individual recognition, but in the mercantile Common culture, any way to transmute money into recognition is welcome.

Subclass Features

As a preparation for taking this subclass, at first level you can talk to your DM about exchanging proficiency with one or more musical instruments for proficiency with an equal number of artisan's tools.

Artiste Spells

Starting at 3rd level when you join this bardic college, you learn additional spells when you reach certain levels as a bard, as shown on the Artiste Spells table. Each of these spells counts as a bard spell for you, but it doesn't count against the number of bard spells you know.

Whenever you gain a bard level, you can replace one spell you gained from this feature with another spell of the same level. The new spell must be from the bard spell list.

Artiste Spells
Bard Level Spells
3 Alarm, Detect Magic
3 Continual Flame, Nystul's Magic Aura
5 Glyph of Warding, Tiny Servant
7 Fabricate, Stone Shape
9 Creation, Wall Of Stone

Bonus Proficiencies

When you become an artiste at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with three types of artisan's tools of your choice.

Eternal Inspiration

Also at 3rd level, a creature you inspires feels the the prospect of eternal fame by being included in your artworks. You can use bardic inspiration on yourself. When a creature uses your bardic inspiration die, they also gain temporary hit points equal to the result of the bardic inspiration die roll. These temporary hit points last until they take a short rest.

Masterpieces of Art

At 6th level, and each time you advance in level as a bard past level 6, can you create one masterpiece of art. These are artworks of such power and magnificence that they inspire people by their mere existence. The creation of the art takes a minimum two weeks of work and might cost a lot of money to realize, but a patron (see below) pays any cost, as well as your living expenses while making the art.

Masterpieces are by their very nature hard to move. They are often a part of construction, such as a fresco or bas-reliefs on a facade, and even when they are objects, they are fragile, hard to move around, and require at least a day to either pack or unpack for display. Even something wearable, such as a mask or crown, takes at least a day to spread the news of its artistic merit in a new location. What kind of artwork you create is up to you and depends on your tool proficiencies. Listed here are typical masterpieces and the tools to make them.

  1. A city plan (cartographer’s tools)
  2. A building (mason’s and carpenter’s tools)
  3. A candelabra (smith’s and glassblower’s tools)
  4. A carriage (carpenter’s tools)
  5. A chandelier (smith’s tools)
  6. A city plan (cartographer’s tools)
  7. A clockwork device (tinker’s tools)
  8. A crown or piece of regalia (jeweler’s tools)
  9. A decorated door (smith’s tools)
  10. A decorated keelboat (carpenter’s tools)
  11. A decorated room (leatherworker's, painter's, mason’s, and/or carpenter’s tools)
  12. A fancy mask (leatherworker's or weaver's tools)
  13. A fresco (painter’s supplies)
  14. A garden (herbalism kit)
  15. A mosaic (tinker’s tools)
  16. A new dish (cook’s utensils)
  17. A new fashion in clothes (weaver’s tools)
  18. A new model of footwear (cobbler’s tools)
  19. A new perfume (herbalist's tools)
  20. A new recreational drug (herbalist's tools)
  21. A new type of incense (herbalist's tools)
  22. A new type of wine, beer, or spirits (brewer’s supplies)
  23. A paining (painter’s supplies)
  24. A park (cartographer’s tools)
  25. A sign or wall inscription (calligrapher’s supplies)
  26. A stained glass window (glassblower’s tools)
  27. A statue (smith’s, mason’s, or woodcarver’s tools)
  28. A tapestry (weaver’s tools)

In game terms, a masterpiece has the following benefits.

  • You dedicate your masterpiece to a patron, a NPC noble or dignitary. This patron pays the cost of construction and owns the masterpiece. This gives you lifetime advantage on Charisma checks against that patron. You can stay at the patron's court in a wealthy lifestyle at no cost.
  • You can depict up to six people in each masterpiece. This usually starts with the members of your party. When you use Bardic Inspiration on these people, they roll two bardic inspiration dice instead of one.
  • When a masterpiece is in clear view of an audience, some of its glory reflects on those involved. When within 100 ft. of the masterpiece, you, the patron, and anyone depicted in the art gains advantage and cannot suffer disadvantage on Charisma checks.

This does not apply to reproductions or to things following a style you created. For transient things like dishes or drinks, the masterwork is considered to be on display in the location they were first presented.

Art Made Real

Starting at 14th level, when you cast a spell of the illusion school that depicts terrain or construction, you can make it real. This can involve terrain, statuary, buildings, wall and floor decorations, plants, and other inanimate, stationary matter without magical abilities. The duration is instantaneous and the illusion becomes reality.

If you create natural terrain or other natural phenomenon that can reasonably exist where you place it it becomes a part of nature. If you create something with a gold piece value, such as a building, park, or farmland, you have two choices. You can either use artist materials of exquisite quality with a gold piece value equal to the cost of the creation, making it real and as durable as the real thing. Or you can not spend these resources. The creation becomes real but of limited durability. After a number of days equal to your bard level it becomes a ruin, and an equal number of days later it is gone.

Practical uses of this in adventures is to set a scene, create defensive fortifications, make terrain easy or hard to travel in, and such.

You can use this ability once, and regain the ability when you finish a long rest.

Designer's Notes

An attempt to expand the bard out of the performer role.

See Also