College of Criminology

Bards pick up all sorts of information as they travel the land. Some bards focus on a certain type of information, like epic poetry, love ballads, or bawdy drinking songs. Others, however, turn to the shadowy occupation of criminology. These bards use their knack for gathering information to learn about criminals and vigilantes, their tactics, and their weaknesses. Some criminologists work with agents of the law to catch criminals, but shadier members of this college use their dark knowledge to emulate the malefactors they have studied for so long.

Bonus Proficiencies

When you join the College of Criminology at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in the Insight skill and your choice of two of Acrobatics, Deception, Investigation Performance, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth.

Quick Read

At 3rd level, your knowledge of underhanded tactics allows you to gain insight into your foes’ strategies. As a bonus action, you can spend a Bardic Inspiration die to make a Wisdom (Insight) check against one creature you can see within 30 feet contested by its Charisma (Deception) check; you can roll the Bardic Inspiration die and add it to the result of your check. You have disadvantage on your check if the target is not a humanoid, and the check automatically fails against creatures with an Intelligence score of 3 or lower. On a success, you gain one of the following benefits:

  • The target has disadvantage on attack rolls against you for 1 minute.
  • You have advantage on saving throws against the target’s spells and magical effects for 1 minute.
  • You have advantage on attack rolls against the target for 1 minute.

Bardic Instinct

Starting at 6th level, you can extend your knowledge of criminal behavior to your companions. When a creature that has a Bardic Inspiration die you gave them is damaged by a hostile creature’s attack, it can use its reaction to roll the Bardic Inspiration die and reduce the damage by twice the number rolled.

If this reduces the damage of the attack to 0, the creature you inspired can make a single melee attack against its attacker as part of the same reaction.

Hot Pursuit

Starting at 14th level, when a creature fails a saving throw against one of your bard spells, you can designate it as your mark for 24 hours. You know the direction to your mark at all times unless it is within an antimagic field, it is protected by an effect that prevents scrying such as nondetection, or there is a barrier of lead at least 1 inch thick between you.

Additionally, whenever your mark makes an attack roll or you make a saving throw against one of its spells or effects, you can spend a Bardic Inspiration die to roll it and add or subtract the result from the roll. You can choose to do so after the d20 is rolled but before the GM tells you the outcome of the roll.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Warlock Grimoire. Authors: Wolfgang Baur, Lysa Chen, Dan Dillon, Richard Green, Jeff Grubb, James J. Haeck, Chris Harris, Jeremy Hochhalter, Brandon Hodge, Sarah Madsen, Ben McFarland, Shawn Merwin, Kelly Pawlik, Richard Pett, Hannah Rose, Jon Sawatsky, Brian Suskind, Troy E. Taylor, Steve Winter, Peter von Bleichert. © 2019 Open Design LLC.

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