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- Join Date
- Jul 2013
The College of Mentalism- Telepathic Bard Subclass based on M:tG's Jace Beleren
With the upcoming Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica on the horizon, here's the next in my series, a Bardic College based on Jace Beleren. Let me know what you think!
The College of Mentalism
Starting at 3rd level, whenever a creature gains a Bardic Inspiration Die, you can telepathically communicate with that creature until the end of your next short or long rest, as long as it's within 100 ft. You don't need to share a language with the creature for it to understand, but the creature must be able to understand at least one language.
In addition, when you cast a spell that deals psychic damage, you can add your charisma modifier to one psychic damage roll of that spell against one of its targets.
Starting at 3rd level, you learn the Minor Illusion cantrip. If you already know this cantrip, you learn a different bard cantrip of your choice. It counts as a bard cantrip for you, but doesn't count against your number of cantrips known. When you cast Minor Illusion, you can create both sound and image with a single casting of the spell.
In addition, you may expend a Bardic inspiration die to cast Mirror Image. The number of duplicates created equals half the number Bardic Inspiration die rolled, rounded up
Talent of the Telepath
When you reach 6th level, You learn the Mind Spike spell. It counts as a bard spell for you, but doesn't count against your number of spells known.
When you make an ability check or saving throw while you're telepathically communicating with a creature using your Mind Sculpt feature, you may use one of their wisdom or intelligence scores as though they were your own. When one of those creatures make an ability check or saving throw, they may use your Wisdom, Intelligence, or Charisma score as though it was theirs.
In addition, when you cast your an enchantment or illusion spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, you can expend a Bardic Inspiration Die to regain one expended spell slot. The spell level equals half the number you roll on the Bardic Inspiration die, rounded up, or lower.
At 14th level, immediately after a creature casts a spell, you can use your reaction to force the creature to make a saving throw with its spellcasting ability modifier. The DC equals your spell save DC. On a failed save, you negate the spells effect. If it is a least a 1st level spell and of a level you can cast (it doesn't need to be a bard spell), you steal the knowledge of the spell. For the next 8 hours, you know the spell, can cast it using your spell slots, and the creature can't cast that spell until the 8 hours have passed.
Once you use this feature you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
- Similar to how Liliana was a Flavor mismatch, Jace presents a Mechanical mismatch. The character in the original IP is more sorcerer-esque, but his role in the Gatewatch is largely a utility one. In the MTG-verse, Jace is all about controlling, networking and the only amount of blasting that he does is in the psychic realm, typically with other telepaths, and has nothing that would indicate magic manipulation. He's a natural-born telepath (represented by the
MindseekerMind Sculpt feature), but that manifests as a manipulator, and illusionist, which is hard to connect to a subclass or class, even. So, I used the largely utility-minded and infinitely flexible Bard to imprint his utility onto.
- The multiple ways to use Bardic Inspiration gives the player an at-will ability feel, but is it's limited to long, and later short, rests, it gives a concentration-esque feel.
- Imaginary Threats is a slightly better version of a wizard's Improved Minor Illusion, but available later on.
- Talent of the Telepath is a neat ribbon with a narrow variant of Expert Divination, but for Enchantment & Illusion spells.
- Psychic Rebuttal is a slightly buffed version of the Arcane Trickster's Spell Thief ability.
- I somehow missed that I had also called the Druid Circle "Awakening" so I changed this College name to Mentalism... DERP.
This is the fourth of a series.
Previous: Oath of the Hieromancer, a paladin subclass based on Gideon Jura & Circle of Awakening, a druid subclass based on Nissa Revane, and The Soulless, a warlock patron based on Liliana Vess.
- Join Date
- Aug 2018
- Between SEA and PDX.
Re: The College of Awakening - Telepathic Bard Subclass based on M:tG's Jace Beleren
First off, I apologize if I seem rude about any of this. Kinda short on time. I really do enjoy reviewing your homebrews, I just might be more inclined to be more honest than normal due to my lack of time.
This is a pretty difficult one to judge. My main concern is that it's mostly a ribbon-based class with a lot of unrelated abilities, and that the Bardic Inspiration doesn't scale in any way.
Mindseeker isn't bad. I like the way it grants 2-way telepathy, but keep in mind that this competes with Rary's Telepathic Bond, a level 5 spell. Maybe reduce it down to 10 minutes, to match the standard Bardic Inspiration timer?
Imaginary Threats is also not bad. The improved Minor Illusion is cool, just keep in mind that you're allowing access to normally inaccessible Wizard cantrips. This is relevant because you get a cheap Mirror Image at the same time. Combined, with Booming Blade, you probably have the best melee Bard without needing to invest in another feat or class.
The main thing is that, as early as level 3, it has no use for Bardic Inspiration on allies except for out-of-combat uses, and can allow you to spam a melee-oriented defensive spell at a very cheap cost. If I had the choice, at level 5, I'd just BI on all my friends in the morning, short rest, and save every other use to just spam Mirror Image every single fight and annoy my DM.
Mind Spike is cool, great for a telepath.
The other abilities are strictly "meh". They don't scale with your BI die (again).
The first ability only allows your allies to defend you, making you more of a self-sustained tank than a supporter, which falls upon the same issue that we'd have at level 3. This would only put more emphasis on that. Not to mention, at this point, this means it's taken 2 BI to make this work.
I don't know how I feel about the second ability. On one hand, it costs a BI, which I'd probably just save for Mirror Image, for a feature that's a bit worse than the Divination Wizard's version.
On the other hand, it's on Enchantment and Illusion, which is a lot easier to work with in combat. The Diviner version was balanced because most Divination spells have to be used out of combat, so you'd effectively fuel more spells for combat by RPing, so your Divination effects didn't feel like they were making you worse of a combatant. But here...I just don't know how well it'd be balanced. Bards have always had the issue of a lack of spell slots to balance out their giant spell list, and this definitely tampers with that, but I can't honestly say by how much.
The Arcane Trickster ability, but yours is much better, since it's available at level 14 and refreshes on a short rest. This ties in with the issues at level 3 and 6, where it actually incentivizes you being a target. Otherwise, it doesn't step on the Arcane Trickster's toes enough to be a major issue.
All-in-all, the Awakened seems more like a mage-tank than a calculating support class.
A few things I'd adjust would be:
- Having the Bardic Inspiration die scale somewhere, to incentivize maxing out as Bard.
- making Mirror Image a free known spell, but not known through Bardic Inspiration.
- Perhaps having the ability to spend Bardic Inspiration to cast spells through allies, perhaps by requiring all spells cast on them have the range of Self, and can only target them.
- Perhaps they can add the Bardic Inspiration to their Saving Throw, or perhaps while they have Bardic Inspriation, you can see through their eyes (similar to a familiar)
Hmm...That last one gave me a whole new perspective. My biggest concerns were that Bardic Inspiration had no short-term value for your teammates, and most uses of it were entirely selfish. To address that, how about adding an ability that allowed you to do both the last two bullets I mentioned: you can see through the senses of your allies at the cost of your own for the turn by using a bonus action, and you can cast spells, treating your ally as you for the purpose of the originator of the spell, and using their reaction and your stats/resources to cast the spell.
I'm not sure how balanced it would be, or if it's quite what you're looking for, but I think it'd be cool, and it'd fit a niche that other builds wouldn't have.
I made a homebrew that was very similar a long time ago when 5E was fresh, I think my solution to the BI scaling issue was to tie in BI temporary hitpoints that lasted 10 minutes, and while they had those temporary hitpoints, you could cast spells through them.
Last edited by Man_Over_Game; 2018-10-29 at 04:05 PM.
5th Edition Homebrewery
Prestige Options, changing primary attributes to open a world of new multiclassing.
Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.
Fate Sorcery, lucky winner of the 5e D&D Subclass Contest VII!
- Join Date
- Jul 2013
Re: The College of Mentalism - Telepathic Bard Subclass based on M:tG's Jace Beleren
I've made some changes with that feedback.
MindseekerMind Sculpt now only lasts until any rest.
The free mirror image now scales with the expended BI die roll - so you'll start getting somewhere between 1-3 duplicates, instead of just 3, but will eventually scale up to 1-6 as the BI die grows.
I've added a Charisma mod to psychic damage feature to encourage it to be a back line rather than a tank.
The Talent of the Telepath now also scales with expended BI die roll - allowing you to potentially regain up to 6th level spells, based on the BI die rolled, at 15th level.
I removed the You Only provision from Psychic Rebuttal, allowing you to protect your teammates with it.
I wasn't worried so much about BI not giving any other bonus to your teammates, as it's already a teammate buff, but I allowed the mental score sharing Talent of the Telepath to go both ways.