Bard College: College of Whispers

Most folk are happy to welcome a bard into their midst. Bards of the College of Whispers use this to their advantage. They appear to be like any other bard, sharing news, singing songs, and telling tales to the audiences they gather. In truth, the College of Whispers teaches its students that they are wolves among sheep. These bards use their knowledge and magic to uncover secrets and turn them against others through extortion and threats.

Many other bards hate the College of Whispers, viewing it as a parasite that uses the bards’ reputation to acquire wealth and power. For this reason, these bards rarely reveal their true nature unless they must. They typically claim to follow some other college, or keep their true nature secret in order to better infiltrate and exploit royal courts and other settings of power. Many agents of the Eyes of Aundair or from House Pharlian or Thuranni come from this college.

Bonus Proficiencies

Beginning at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in the deception skill or expertise if you are already proficient. You also gain proficiency in the disguise and poisoner’s kit.

Doubting Whispers

Starting at 3rd level, you learn how to use whispers to distract, confuse, and otherwise sap the will of others when they are subjected to mind affecting spells. When a creature makes a saving throw against a mind influencing effect, the charmed or frightened condition, or an illusion you can use your reaction and spend an Inspiration Die to roll that die and subtract it from the result of that saving throw. You must declare you are using this ability after the saving throw is rolled but before the DM declares if it is successful or not.

Venomous Words

At 3rd level, you learn to infuse innocent-seeming words with an insidious magic. A creature that hears you speak can become plunged into fear and paranoia.

If you speak to a humanoid alone for at least 3 minutes, you can attempt to seed paranoia and fear into its mind. At the end of the conversation, the target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC or be frightened for the next hour, until it is attacked or damaged, or until it witnesses its allies being attacked or damaged. While frightened in this way, the target is paranoid and tries to avoid the company of others, including its allies. The target seeks out what it considers the safest, most secret place available to it and hides there.

If the target succeeds on its save, the target has no hint that you tried to frighten it.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short rest or long rest.

Mantle of Whispers

At 6th level, you gain the ability to adopt a creature’s persona. When you slay a creature with an attack or a spell or a creature dies within 5 feet of you, you can magically capture its shadow using your reaction. You can capture only the shadow of a creature that is your creature type, such as humanoid, and your size (you can capture a Small or Medium shadow if you’re Small), and you can have only one shadow captured at a time.

After you capture a creature’s shadow, you can use your magic to weave it into a disguise that allows you to take on its appearance and gain access to its surface memories. As an action, you take on the creature’s appearance for 1 hour or until you end this effect as a bonus action.

During that hour, you gain access to all information that the creature would freely share with a casual acquaintance. Information includes general details on its background and personal life, but does not include secrets. The information is enough that you can pass yourself off as the creature by drawing on its memories.

Another creature can see through this disguise by making a Wisdom (Insight) check opposed by your Charisma (Deception) check, though you have advantage on the check.

The disguise and the knowledge it grants disappears when this ability’s duration ends.

Shadow Lore

At 14th level, you gain the ability to weave dark magic into your words and tap into a creature’s deepest fears.

As an action, you magically whisper a phrase that only one creature of your choice within 30 feet of you can hear. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC. It automatically succeeds if it doesn’t share a language with you or if it can’t hear you. On a successful saving throw, your whisper sounds like unintelligible mumbling and has no effect.

If the target fails its saving throw, it is charmed by you for the next 8 hours or until you or your allies attack or damage it. It interprets the whispers as a description of its most mortifying secret. While you gain no knowledge of this secret, the target is convinced you know it.

While charmed in this way, the creature obeys your commands for fear that you will reveal its secret. It won’t risk its life for you or fight for you, unless it was already inclined to do so. It grants you favors and gifts it would offer to a close friend.

When the effect ends, the creature has no understanding of why it held you in such fear.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Bard College_ College of Whispers

This originally appeared in the Wizards Unearthed Arcana: Bard Colleges.

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