fbpx

This subclass is intended for our upcoming “Under the Seas of Vodari.” Like most bardic colleges, I’m sure they claim to be the eldest and most important of all colleges. That’s just colleges for you. Anyway, carving out seriously new space for bardic colleges isn’t always easy, and this one is pretty weird. It takes some mechanical inspiration from the recent UA College of Spirits.

Bardic College of the Deep Dreamer | Bardic College of the Sunlit Seas

College of the Deep Dreamer

There are strange things that sleep in the deepest reaches of the sea. They are Dokahi’s eldest children, too immense and powerful to slay. In worlds other than Vodari, they might be called kaiju. The bards of the College of the Deep Dreamer created powerful songs to keep them asleep. In addition to singing these songs themselves, they have taught them to a few awakened whales.

Bards of the College of the Deep Dreamer must be fearless, for it falls to them to visit the incomprehensibly vast resting-places of Dokahi’s brood, knowing that one false note might doom whole cities. When a mission concerns the College as a whole, they recruit individuals of strength and valor from all of Vodari’s peoples.

When used in battle, the songs of the Deep Dreamers evoke the power of those awful monsters, and the bards’ spells bind lesser enemies in slumber. The greatest members of this college have swum in the presence of Dokahi’s brood without fleeing in a panic, and nothing will faze them ever again.

College of the Deep Dreamer Features

Bard LevelFeature
3rdDeep Lore, Songs of the Deep Dreamers
6thAbove and Below the Waves, Ancient Lullaby
14thGreater Terrors than These

Deep Lore

3rd-level College of the Deep Dreamer feature

You gain proficiency in the Animal Handling and Arcana skills. You learn the sleep spell, which does not count against your Spells Known.

Songs of the Deep Dreamers

3rd-level College of the Deep Dreamer feature

You can use your Bardic Inspiration to sing to the deep dreamers. As a bonus action, you can expend a use of Bardic Inspiration to choose one of the following options. Each song lasts for 1 minute, until you are incapacitated, or until you begin another song.

Aetioth the Hunter. Choose a creature within 60 feet who can hear you and isn’t currently visible to any creature that is hostile to it. They can add your Bardic Inspiration die to one Dexterity (Stealth) or weapon damage roll that it makes each round.

Eryi the Baneful. Choose a willing creature within 60 feet of you who can hear you. Creatures of their choice within 5 feet of them that hit creatures other than your target with weapon attacks suffer psychic damage equal to your Bardic Inspiration die.

Magrannos the All-Encompassing. Choose a willing creature within 60 feet who can hear you. For the duration of the effect, their reach increases by 10 feet, they deal force damage instead of other damage types, and they add your Bardic Inspiration die to their grapple attempts.

Rhaluq the Many. Use this song only while you are concentrating on a spell. Choose a creature within 60 feet who can hear you and isn’t currently concentrating on a spell or feature. That creature can maintain concentration on the spell instead of you, and they add your Bardic Inspiration die to Constitution saving throws that they roll to maintain concentration. You still control the spell’s ongoing effects. The spell ends when you use this feature again.

Above and Below the Waves

6th-level College of the Deep Dreamer feature

You learn land-treading and water breathing. These are bard spells for you and don’t count against your number of Spells Known. When you cast one of these spells, it can’t be dispelled by anyone other than you.

Ancient Lullaby

6th-level College of the Deep Dreamer feature

When you cast sleep, you add twice your bard level to the spell’s effect. You can expend any number of Bardic Inspiration dice and add the result to the spell’s effect as well. 

Greater Terrors than These

14th-level College of the Deep Dreamer feature

You become immune to the frightened condition, and creatures of your choice within 30 feet of you add your Bardic Inspiration die to their saving throws against the frightened condition. When you force a creature to make a saving throw against the frightened condition, you can expend a Bardic Inspiration die and subtract the result from the number rolled.

Design Notes

Greater Terrors than These is pretty likely to get rewritten before final publication. I like what it says thematically, but I feel like it just doesn’t pack enough power for a 14th-level feature, especially given the modest nature of the two 6th-level features.

Above and Below the Waves references a new spell, land-treading, that is currently posted in Harbinger of Doom. Check it out! Making sure that all characters have access to good ways to explore the setting is a core design consideration in UtS. This is… not quite a ribbon feature, but it’s not a heavy hitter either.

Ancient Lullaby is an experiment in what it takes to make sleep stay fun and even marginally competitive into later levels. Our math suggests that these additions would make it a good no-saving-throw crowd-control option when you’re getting swarmed by lower-level enemies. Or, you know, a very convincing follow-up to a big damaging AoE, when several mid-power enemies are substantially weakened.

Songs of the Deep Dreamers is the core of the class – like most bard subclasses, the core area of interest is what new thing you get to do with your Bardic Inspiration dice. In this case, you get to apply the dice for a longer time, but only to one or two kinds of things. The song of Rhaluq the Many is the really risky one.

I’m looking forward to telling you all about Dokahi’s brood in the final text!