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Musica Aeternam: A Bardic Handbook
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Musica Aeternam: A Bardic Handbook

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Are you a lifelong Bard player, desperate for some more flavorful class options in 5e? Perhaps you're a new player looking for some inspiration for your shiny new character, or a DM looking to make a few unique NPCs?

Within this 21 page guidebook for Bards you will find 6 new Colleges, 5 new feats, 3 new epic boons, and 3 new magic items to hopefully give you just what you've been looking for. I've also included level 27 archetype features for each new college, following the epic system presented in Epic Characters. Finally, there are six pages discussing various types of Bards and ways to play, plus how they can fit into your campaign setting or party.


v1.2 (17 October 2016): Added class magic items

v1.1 (3 August 2016): Added new artwork, tweaked balance of feats/boons, added level 27 features

This handbook is provided as Pay What you Want so that you can sample the style and quality of my work before deciding if you want to purchase any additional titles. Of course, if you enjoy my Bard Handbook, I am grateful for any donation you wish to make. Also, I have more class handbooks in the works and welcome any comment or review you want to leave. Thanks!

My other available titles:

My current queue for future releases:

  • Fighter Handbook
  • Druid Handbook
  • Wizard Handbook
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Reviews (2)
Discussions (4)
Customer avatar
Eelco H February 20, 2019 2:01 pm UTC
Hello David M, I have a question for you about the Melodic Casting feat. If the bard can use Charisma instead of Constitution for the concentration checks, what would be my modifier as a bard level 7 with a charisma of 20? +5 or +8 with proficiency? What is the intension of the design?
Customer avatar
David M February 21, 2019 2:36 am UTC
Hi there! Ah yes, it looks like there is an error in how I described the feat, so thanks for pointing it out to me. I should fix it in a future version, as I can see how it would be confusing.

Checks to maintain concentration on a spell when you take damage are normally treated as Constitution Saving Throws. The idea for this feat came directly from a feat of the same name in the D&D 3.5 rules, where you could use substitute your Perform roll instead when making a concentration check. You then aren't shrugging off the damage with your physical resilience (IE: your Constitution), but you are instead using your training as a performer to stay focused, to keep going through any and all distractions. In 5e, instead of a Perform skill roll, this now translates into a Charisma saving throw. Just as with the normal Constitution saving throw, if you are proficient in the save (as Bards are with Charisma), you do indeed add your proficiency bonus to the roll. So you would be rolling +8 for concentration...See more
Customer avatar
Leland W April 30, 2018 6:45 am UTC
Druidic Training doesn't seem that useful. One language and two cantrips? Better off with College of Lore and get Druidic Spells. Lasting Praise, no other class spends gold on abilities at 3rd level. Just let them write a scroll and limit it to one per Bardic training slot. Slots are then unavailable until the scrolls are used. Cutting words for college of silver pen? Isn't the Pen is Mightier than the Sword more obvious? How about using Bardic inspiration to improve armor class for this one? Diabolus in Musica sounds devilish. What about Praecisionem in Musica?
Customer avatar
David M April 30, 2018 5:10 pm UTC
Hey there. Let's see if I can't provide some reasons for why I made the choices I did. :)

1) Druidic training. It was meant to be a lower powered feature, RP skills to get you feeling like a half druid from the get go. This archetype is pulling both from the old Fochlucan Lyrist and the traditional celtic bard roles (which of course the Lyrist itself was pulling from). So to that end I wanted to reflect your druidic training from early on. You could go college of lore, but then you only get 3 skills at level 3 and can't pick two druid spells until magical secrets at level 6. And who wants to waste those choices on cantrips? This way you get it all instead.

2) Lasting Praise. "no other class spends gold on abilities at 3rd level". The feature is actually at 6th level, but no matter. The fact that no ones does it is a plus for me. Why just rehash abilities that already exist? I personally don't like having your slots unavailable until the scroll is expended. First, you have no...See more
Customer avatar
Robert T July 15, 2017 11:16 pm UTC
How does the Damage Reduction 2/ work?
Customer avatar
David M July 16, 2017 1:33 pm UTC
Ah yes. I must have missed it here, but I realized in another Handbook that the term damage reduction and that notation system (like DR 3/magic, which meant damage was reduced by 3, but that magic weapons ignored that) weren't brought over to 5th edition from 3.5. So, sorry about that confusion. What I meant is that damage from any and all sources (spell, attack, trap, whatever) is reduced by 2. This is similar to the Heavy Armor Master feat in the Player's Handbook.
Customer avatar
Robert T July 16, 2017 2:36 pm UTC
Thanks, 5th edition has been my introduction to D&D, so I wasn't sure if I'd missed something or if it was something from a previous edition
Customer avatar
James F May 29, 2017 2:56 pm UTC
It should be Musica Aeterna. The 'm' at the end of Aeternam makes it accusative, which means it can't apply to Musica in the nominative.
Customer avatar
David M May 29, 2017 6:08 pm UTC
Ah languages that use case. Most of my language study has been with Romance languages, I'm afraid, so that was a bit of an unfamiliar area for me. I tried to compare what I could figure out online with different automatic internet translations, but guess I chose wrong. Doh. :)
Customer avatar
James F June 08, 2017 10:33 pm UTC
Yeah, the computer translators are terrible. People are happy to help out over on the Latin forum on Reddit.
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File Last Updated:
October 17, 2016
This title was added to our catalog on March 23, 2016.