View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next College of Desecration (Necromancer Bard College/Dark Inversion of the Dirgesinger)

2019-04-07, 11:50 AM

The world can be a dark place. For every tale of noble heroes or great triumphs, there is a story of terrifying monsters or gruesome death. While most bards like to focus on tales that uplift and inspire, some instead shift their focus to a darker calling. While not a college in the traditional sense, the college of desecration is a term used to describe the varied and disparate group of Bards who focus their art on raising undead minions. Unlike bards of the college of dirges who use their performances to mourn the dead, bards of the college of desecration, often just called "desecrators", have little care for the dead as individuals. Instead, they find their muse in both the trappings and aesthetics of death, and the undead themselves. Desecrators often are fascinated by gruesome topics that frighten normal folk, such as murders, hauntings, undead, and the things that go "bump" in the night. This stark difference with the college of dirges has marked them as that college's most hated enemy, as despite the interest in death both colleges share, the college of dirges cares deeply for the dead that the college of desecration so often defiles and enslaves.

Sadly, the foul reputation that the college of desecration has earned is often unfairly applied to bards of the college of dirges, who are mistaken for desecrators by the common folk due to their own interest in death. In fact, the term "college of desecration" is a derogatory name, coined by the bitter college of dirges to disparage desecrator bards as little more than ghouls who root about in graveyards, digging up the dead to become their next minions. While this image of a desecrator is at least partly factual, as a loose assemblage united only by a shared interest in the macabre, bards of the collage of desecration vary greatly in their passions and levels of depravity. While many are evil individuals who delight in gore, death, and defiling the dead, others may instead be amoral enthusiests of horrific tales, or even benign fans of light-hearted stories in which undead are among the princaple characters. Desecrators of the latter ilk often make an effort to combat the stigma undead have by doing things like using their minions as a part of comedic performances, or taking up a publicly romantic relationship with a benign intelligent undead, such as a repentant vampire.

Despite their differences and lack of true organization, some more formal societies of desecrators exist. These groups typically meet in graveyards, or sites where murders, hauntings and other grim events transpired. The most organized of such groups often try and pass themselves off as a legitimate fixture of the community. Most commonly, this is in the form of exclusive clubs of wealthy individuals that share "exotic" interests, though some may go as far as establishing a business in line with their interests, such as a funeral parlor, butcher shop, or sanitarium.

Macabre Secrets

Your interest in the macabre causes you to seek out necromantic magics and dark lore outside the scope of traditional Bardic learning. Starting at 3rd level, when your Spellcasting feature lets you select a Bard cantrip or Bard spell known of 1st level or higher, you can select that spell from all necromancy spells on the Wizard list, or the Bard list. Any spell not normally on the Bard spell list becomes a Bard spell for you when selected as a spell known.

Additionally, you add half your proficiency bonus to skill checks made to recall information about or do research on undead creatures, burial sites, funeral practices, murders and famous murderers, hauntings, famous necromancers or undead, necromancy magic and rituals, and necromantic magic items.

Corpse Dance

Also at 3rd level, you learn how to use your music or oration to call a corpse back for one last dance as an action. When you do this, you spend a use of your Bardic Inspiration and raise an undead creature from a single corpse you can see within 30ft; that undead creature gains the spent inspiration die for 1 minute, and may spend it as-if it was granted by your Bardic Inspiration feature normally. The undead creature you create can be any type of undead (including an incorporeal undead), as long as itís CR doesnít exceed your Bard level divided by 4. The undead remains reanimated for 1 hour, or until you dismiss it with a bonus action. When an undead you create with this feature dies or is dismissed, it crumbles to dust or discorporates, leaving it unable to be reanimated again if it was corporeal. The undead you create with this feature cannot create spawn or other undead.

You can command these undead to move freely (no action required), but to have them take an action of any kind you must command them to do so with a bonus action. You can command any other undead under your control with this same bonus action. These undead always act immediately after your initiative in combat. Once you use this feature, you cannot do so again until you finish a short or long rest. You must be able to speak to use this feature.

Haunting Presence

Starting at 6th level, your very presence empowers the undead and spells that create them. Undead you or friendly creatures within 30ft of you create with Necromancy spells (such as Animate Dead or Create Undead) and class features (such as your Corpse Dance feature) are treated as-if they where created in an area under the effects of the Desecrate* spell. Additionally, friendly undead (which includes those you created with necromancy spells like Animate Dead) within 30ft of you add half your proficiency bonus to their weapon attack rolls.

* (The spell Desecrate can be found under the "New Spells" header on this page (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?575022-Otherworldly-Patron-The-Uttercold-Legion-(V-3)).)

Rule the Still Heart

At 14th level, you learn to ensnare the undead to your will with your music or oration. You can target an undead creature within 60ft of you as an action and force it to make a Charisma saving throw. On a failed save it become friendly to you and your allies and will obey your commands to the best of its abilities until you finish a long rest. Undead whose CRs exceed your Bard level are immune to this feature's effects. When you finish a long rest, you can immediately use this feature to make all undead controlled with it that would leave your control remain under your control until you finish your next long rest. Regardless of how many times you use this feature, you can only control an amount of undead with it whose total combined CRs do not exceed your Bard level at any given time. You must be able to speak to use this feature. Once you use this feature, you cannot do so again until you finish a short or long rest.