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College of the Maestro - Bard College Option
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College of the Maestro - Bard College Option

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"Music is a powerful thing. It can bolster a burning passion, inspire the meek to bravery, and sooth a cluttered mind. Wandering bards have mastered the art of creating music to shape and manipulate the minds and hearts of the world through song, words, and instrument. However, it is the Maestro who has learned to evoke music from the natural world around them and weave these notes with arcane skill into melodies of dynamic and potent magic.

With but a raised hand or wand, a Maestro listens for the clang of arms on armor, the heavy footfalls of a giant, the crackle of a bolt of lightning, and catches them, crafting them into a symphony of rousing musical movements. They conduct the sounds of the battlefield like a phantom orchestra, empowering the blows of their allies, altering the minds and moods of their opponents, and changing the pace of the fray in their favor.

The College of the Maestro calls to those who enjoy enabling their companions to become even more effective and dangerous to their enemies. It refines those of raw talent into majestic performers who can pluck the thoughts from a mind like a musical note, amplify the fears of lesser beings through sourceless, ominous tones, and seemingly stretch time by commanding the tempo of a heartbeat. Maestros become heroes who can take the chaos of the world and carve it as they see if by controlling the vibrations of music that subtly guide the realm."

The College of the Maestro is a new Bardic College option to the Bard class, available at 3rd level. It plays as a more support-focused Bard, with additional utility for their Bardic Inspiration feature to alter and manipulate the battlefield in small ways. With a multitude of Conducting Techniques to choose from, you can customize your Maestro skill set to your liking. Do you wish to provide more control over battle placement and movement? Would you like to enable allies options to enhance their attacks? Perhaps you'd enjoy sutble healing and defense benefits for all around you? All of these flavors of additional playstyle options are at your disposal with the College of the Maestro.

Version 1.2 Update Notes! - After weeks of fantastic feedback & suggestions, here is the latest balance update! Overall changes involve adding Bardic Inspiration die roll mechanics to Techniques that previously did not exist (delivering the benefit of active rolls for use, and scaling based on level).

1) Altered the Battle Muse ability to add a single additional use of Bardic Inspiration when taken at 3rd level (instead of 2 uses), still scaling with an additional use at 6 and 14. 

2) Symphony of Conflict now allows you to choose 2 Conducting Techniques at 3rd level instead of 3. This slightly scales back the utility added to a class that already has quite a bit of utility, helping bring it closer to the other colleges in regards to benefit utility.

3) Aria of Suspense now adds the roll of your Bardic Inspiration to saving throws, instead of just advantage.

4) Crash now deals damage equal to 1/2 the roll of the Bardic Inspiration die (to balance it along with the Prone condition).

5) Dirge of Dread now affects a number of targets based on your roll of the Bardic Inspiration die. 

6) Dissonance now can affect any type of saving throw (instead of just Dex), and lowers the result of the save by 1/2 of the Bardic Inspiration die roll (instead of just +2 to DC).

7) Guiding Tone push distance decreased to 10 feet, but now also deals psychic damage equal to 1/2 of the Bardic Inspiration die roll.

8) Hasten Tempo has been clarified to allow any creature to only gain the benefit once per short/long rest.

9) Resonance has been reduced from an Action to a Bonus action to cast, but has also been changed to only add 1/2 of your Bardic Inspiration die roll to damage. 

10) Sprint has been altered to now add distance to your speed based on your Bardic Inspiration die roll.

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Reviews (11)
Discussions (28)
Customer avatar
R Morgan S May 18, 2019 8:59 am UTC
I love that there are so many Conducting Techniques to choose from!
Customer avatar
Steven B February 14, 2019 11:11 pm UTC
Are you thinking of printing this and your other content currently on the guild into a book or making them a print on demand product I would love to have these with a physical presence for any of the players the end up playing within the stories I prepare to weave
Customer avatar
amit M November 03, 2018 7:02 pm UTC
Hello Matt and everyone, just wanted to know if there are any bonus proficiencies gained from the college of the maestro
Customer avatar
Robert E March 08, 2018 2:57 pm UTC
Matt: Love the flavor and mechanics of this class (focus on Bardic Inspiration). I want to play one on a new Tal'Dorei campaign I hope to play in.

That said I think the Discordia Conducting Technique is overpowered. I love the idea, as bard lacks ways to increase their spell save DC, but in a single turn, a bard using Discordia can:

1. As a bonus action use Discordia on the BBEG.
2. As an action cast polymorph on said BBEG
3. As a reaction reduce BBEG save with bardic dice/2

This is powerful! At 15 level the bardic dice is a D12. At that level, the average spell DC increase is 3 (6.5/2) and a max of 6! I'm not aware of any other class that can modify their spell DC that much. On top of that, the bard can do this 8 times/short rest. (5 (CHA 20) + 3 (class feature)).
Unless I'm missing something this would become the only technique I would use...

Portent is potentially better but random and only twice/day.
Customer avatar
Robert E March 08, 2018 5:39 pm UTC
I hope I'm not missing anything here rule wise. If I am, please let me know! I'm new to 5e but a long time player.

Assuming I'm not missing anything then here are my $0.02.

I see from Matt's comments above that Discordia used to be +2 DC and DEX only. That seems a little unnecessary limited. The simplest solution would be to say +2 DC for any save. Or allow the user to pick which type of DC each time a maestro picks this technique.

Another option would be to allow the Maestro to spend more bardic inspirations at once to scale the effect. "You increase the spell DC by one for each bardic inspiration die used to a max of +4". But that also feels wrong as no other bardic inspiration that I'm aware of works like that.

I think the Bard could use a sub-class feature that improves the DC. It seems the bard list heavy on many save-or-suck spells compared to other classes so that he will be reliant on lucky BBEG rolls. Increasing odds seems fair, and I don't...See more
Customer avatar
Robert E March 22, 2018 8:18 pm UTC
I realize I'm talking to myself, but I wanted to post a short follow-up. I now actually think this class is well balanced against the Lore Bard. At least up to around level 12. I built out both as an exercise, and in the end, I couldn't quickly pick one or the other. The Maestro is more combat focused so loses flexibility versus the lore bard. In other words, the Maestro's secondary features are less useful. _Discordia_ is powerful, but concentration rules limit the damage that it does. I could see polymorph becoming annoying for the DM when he's forced to reduce the BBEG's roll by 6 but can be worked around with fewer single creature battles and the spread on a D12 is large, and the average of 3.5 acceptable.

In the end, this is a well-built class using a core bard feature and making it stronger. I like it a lot. Thank you
Customer avatar
michael W August 14, 2017 2:09 am UTC
What happened to requiem? I don't seem to see it in the pdf, was there a reason you took it out? it was one of my favorite abilities in the older version, if it was a utility issue i can understand but i cant seem to find the disappearance mentioned anywhere >.<
Customer avatar
Nicolas D November 09, 2016 10:51 am UTC
Matt, I'm affraid that in the first sentence of the Virtuoso of Captivation, you wrote "the minds of of nearby creatures", which sounds a bit off, if I may say so. ;)

On another note, thank you for that College! It feels to me like it is even closer to the core of what a Bard is than the official ones... Although it also seems tremendously hard to roleplay without encroaching on your DM's soundtrack hegemony. ^^"
Customer avatar
Josh E August 16, 2016 2:27 pm UTC
Can the feat be taken multiple times?
Customer avatar
Nicholas G July 27, 2016 4:58 pm UTC
Matt, curious if you thought about this approach when making this class:

Making a Maestro go automatically last in initiative. Based on the type of actions taken during the round, would determine the type of skill he would be able to perform. Could be as simple as attack hit, attack miss, dash, etc, or maybe more in depth as far as type of damage (slashing vs. piercing). This would require a lot of time to flesh out obviously. But the idea is that depending on what takes place during the round would create the sounds needed to perform his music. And possibly even giving bonus or access to powerful magic if 5/8/10+ different sounds were available at the end of the round.

I feel like this approach is more in line with your idea of the class you have mentioned in Critical Role Q&As.

Way to late to make this type of change, but possibly a v2 maestro?
Customer avatar
THOMAS H December 03, 2016 11:54 pm UTC
Hrm... while interesting that eliminates a LOT of player choice and I think would eliminate a lot of maneuverability for the PC. Always going last in the initiative order could easily mean death in large battles in which the party would need to run away for example. Not sure here.
Customer avatar
Steven C June 12, 2016 1:05 am UTC
I see you have decided to remove Elegy of Last Rites. Well, I'm gonna keep it for a while. One of my players is a Maestro. He was interested in it, but didn't take it at first. But upon learning that one of the big bads is Necromancy, he is going to get it next time he levels. I'll let you know how it goes... if we can ever find an agreeable schedule.

Thank you so much for this. I've been waiting for this since you've first mentioned it on stream.
Customer avatar
Logan A June 09, 2016 2:02 am UTC
Hey Matt, it seems that the full-size preview link is broken. (Unless that's just for me?) Hopefully you can fix with a re-upload or something, but if not, you may want to report the issue.

Keep up the great work, though!
Customer avatar
Jonathan Y June 07, 2016 8:38 pm UTC
Question! I am new to DMing and one of my party is super interested in this class. So I was wondering would it be possible to use this class mixed with prestidigitation or some illusion based magic or wand to cause auditory and visual hallucinations in and out of combat. I am thinking like the one woman rave from the Dresden Files. Thoughts?
Customer avatar
Matthew M June 15, 2016 9:29 pm UTC
That would totally be a viable mix, thematically and mechanic-wise. :)
Customer avatar
A.D. F June 03, 2016 6:41 am UTC
Customer avatar
June 02, 2016 6:56 am UTC
Not sure if you wanted to fix any and all typos in the text, but I figured I'd bring one to light in case you wanted to. It is on the third line of Virtuoso of Captivation. There is an "of of". Just figured I'd let you know it is there if you wanted to fix it.
Great work on the Maestro College! I love the options!
Customer avatar
David-Michael R May 31, 2016 6:12 pm UTC
You got your bard in my battle master! But seriously, this is the best thing ever for me. I love bards and I love battle master fighters. I now have a goal to blend maestro bard and battle master fighter as a multiclass character for the ultimate battlefield controller. Thanks, Matt!
Customer avatar
Ian M May 31, 2016 2:36 am UTC
Hey Matt, love your show. Just a typo to point out. On page three, the italicized text next to Majestic Anthem should be maeStoso, not maetoso. Really cool idea you have here though! Thanks for posting!
Customer avatar
Matthew M June 15, 2016 9:27 pm UTC
Good catch! Thanks!
Customer avatar
Andrea G September 27, 2016 11:34 pm UTC
Hi Matt, (and thanks Ian for asking this clarifying question)

One more thing about the 2nd bullet on the feat (the extra die)... would it remain a d6 or does it go up with the other inspiration dice? Concurrently, would this be and extra "extra die," adding onto those given by Battle Muse? (i.e. At Level 3+ you gain Bardic Inspiration total uses = Cha mod + 1dx [for Battle Muse] + 1dx [for Feat]) And of course, everyone can only use their inspiration once per the die's refresh rate (because the Feat die is short rest based & the others don't gain that until level 5).

Thank you for looking at this (whenever you might get to it). :-}
Customer avatar
Brandon R May 30, 2016 6:08 pm UTC
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on May 20, 2016.