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College of Alien Symbolism (3pp)

Bards of the College of Alien Symbolism draw inspiration from glimpses of terrible truths about the nature of reality.

They are often tragic figures, drawn to cruel beings and self-destructive cults by sympathy born of confusion and anxiety.

Yog-Sothothery Philosopher

When you join the College of Alien Symbolism at 3rd level, you gain insights into dangerous ideas and dangerous foes. You gain proficiency in Yog-Sothothery and two other skills of your choice. If you already have proficiency in Yog-Sothothery, you gain proficiency in another skill instead. You can expend one Bardic Inspiration die to add the number rolled to a Wisdom (Yog-Sothothery) check you made after you make the check but before the GM says whether you succeeded.

In addition, when you fail on a saving throw that applied the penalty from the Yog-Sothothery skill (see the skill description), you can expend a use of Bardic Inspiration at the start of your next turn if the effect is still ongoing and you are conscious, even if you are incapacitated or prevented from controlling your actions. Make a new saving throw against the effect and add the number rolled on your Bardic Inspiration die to the result of your saving throw. On a success, the effect ends but you can’t take a bonus action that turn.

Aberrant Insights

At 3rd level, you can also expend one use of Bardic Inspiration to improve your Wisdom and Charisma checks made to interact with aberrations, fiends, monstrosities, oozes, and undead. Roll the Bardic Inspiration die and add the number rolled to all Wisdom and Charisma checks you make to interact with one such creature or group of such creatures for 10 minutes. You can communicate simple concepts with the chosen creature or group as part of attempting the check, even if you lack a common language.

Eldritch Symbolism

Starting at 3rd level, you learn to quickly identify symbols and writings. You have advantage on Intelligence (Arcana), Intelligence (Investigation), and Wisdom (Perception) checks to notice, identify, or bypass magic writing and magic traps. You also have advantage on saving throws against magic traps and the effects of magic items.

At 6th level, you learn glyph of warding, or another bard spell of 3rd level or lower if you already know glyph of warding. Glyph of warding doesn’t count against your number of bard spells known, and you can expend a use of Bardic Inspiration to cast it as an action without consuming the material components. You must still expend a spell slot.

Roll the Bardic Inspiration die and add the number rolled to the DC of any Intelligence (Investigation) check to find the glyph. When you use this feature to cast a spell, any other spell you cast with this feature dissipates harmlessly.

At 14th level, you learn symbol, or another bard spell of 7th level or lower if you already know symbol. Symbol doesn’t count against your number of bard spells known, and you gain the option to expend two uses of Bardic Inspiration to cast it as an action without consuming the material components. You must still expend a spell slot. Roll the Bardic Inspiration dice and add the higher number between them to the DC of any Intelligence (Investigation) check to find the symbol. When you use this feature to cast a spell, any other spell you cast with this feature dissipates harmlessly.

Portrait of Perfect Likeness

Starting at 6th level, you learn to imitate unnatural creatures with perfect clarity through your art. As an action, you can expend a Bardic Inspiration die instead of expending a spell slot to cast polymorph. When you cast the spell with this feature, you assume the form of an aberration or monstrosity instead of a beast. The aberration or monstrosity must have a challenge rating less than or equal to one-third your bard level. Once while the spell lasts, you can roll the Bardic Inspiration die after you hit with a weapon attack and add the result to the damage.

Visionary Fugue

Starting at 14th level, you can perform or create art as an action to learn lost or secret information, even if you only have vague and incomplete information to learn from.

Your art unlocks a momentary but intense vision that gives you disjointed memories or lost tales about a topic of your choice, as if you had succeeded on an ability check to recall information against DC 25, but it can be information you had no way to directly know.

The more complete the information you have, the more complete information you get. However, information gained from this feature doesn’t increase the detail gained from future uses of this feature; you must gather additional information from another source before information from your Visionary Fugue becomes more detailed. This information can be regarding any creature, object, or phenomenon within the purview of the Arcana or Yog-Sothothery skills. When you use this feature, you gain two levels of dread (see Chapter 4) that decrease after 1 hour. If your game doesn’t use dread, you instead gain a short-term madness. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos, © 2018, Petersen Games; Authors: Sandy Petersen, David N. Ross, James Jacobs, Arthur Petersen, Ian Starcher.