College of Fatalism

When most people think of a Bard, they think of a jovial troubadour plucking the strings of their lute and telling tall tales by the tavern fire. For these bards, the road is a source of material that allows them to spin tales for coin, inspire their comrades, and overall be an encouraging force to those around them.

Yet for some, the road wears long, and leads to dark places where terrible things cannot be unseen. For some bards, the burgeoning potential of the open road becomes a burden that crushes their soul. The truth of the world spoils their wide-eyed optimism. Life is pain, a flat circle of time that brings only misery that will grind your body and soul into dust.

The College of the Fatalist is not a central location or a unified philosophy. It is more a collective dire outlook of inevitability. Death created time to grow things that it could kill. The Titans created life to play with or experiment on like toys. The Gods allow humanoids to exist for the selfish reason of feeding on their faith. Life’s meaning is to exist for someone or something else’s purposes and then be thrown away like a dirty rag or a rusty dagger.

Fatalistic Pragmatism

At 3rd level, your outlook of the world changes for the worse. Where once you wanted to inspire, you now choose to share the futility of it all.

A Fatalistic Bard does not gain Bardic Inspiration. Instead, you gain Fatalistic Pragmatism.

As a bonus action on your turn, you can choose one creature other than yourself within 60 feet of you who can hear you. That creature is affected by your Fatalistic Pragmatism.

The creature does not need to understand the language you speak. The sound of your words, and the dire nature of your tone resonates beyond the barriers of language. The next time the creature rolls an attack, save, ability or skill check, your utter despair is impressed upon them. They must roll a d6 and subtract the amount rolled from their total.

Once the Fatalistic Pragmatism is used, it is lost. A creature can have only one Fatalistic Pragmatism or one Bardic Inspiration at a time.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (a minimum of twice).

You regain any expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Your Fatalistic Pragmatism die changes when you reach certain levels in this class. The die becomes a d8 at 5th level, a d10 at 10th level, and a d12 at 15th level.

Bonus Proficiencies

At 3rd level, you gain proficiency in two of the following skills: Intimidation, Persuasion, and Insight. If you already have proficiency in all three, you instead gain expertise in any one of the above skills.

Weight of the World

Also at 3rd level, you can expend one use of Fatalistic Pragmatisms to give a creature disadvantage on its next d20 roll. At 9th level, you can expend a use of Fatalistic Pragmatism as a reaction to resist the Charmed condition and remove any charm effect you are subject to.

Finally, at 14th level, due to the weight of despair in your words, if the creature fails a Wisdom saving throw vs. your spell save DC, the creature has Disadvantage on all of its attack, save, ability, and skill rolls for one minute or until your concentration ends. The creature can make a new save on each of its subsequent turns, ending the effect on a success.

Despair’s Inevitability

Beginning when you reach 5th level, you regain all your expended uses of Fatalistic Pragmatism when you finish a short or long rest.

Also, you know that someday you will die. Your solemn lack of a hopeful existence steels you against this knowledge. As a reaction, you can expend a Fatalistic Pragmatism to resist being Frightened.

Nothing Has Meaning

At 14th level, you can use your Fatalistic Pragmatism to discourage even the most bolstered of egos. Your words can drain the hope from any soul who hears you. You can bestow the Paralyzed condition to one creature of your choice. The target must make a charisma saving throw vs. your spell save DC. On a failure, the target is paralyzed for 1 minute or until your concentration ends.

Each turn after the first, the creature may make a new save, ending the effect on a success.

Additionally, as a reaction, you can use a Fatalistic Pragmatism to resist a Paralyzed condition.

Abandon All Hope

At 6th level, you can use your Fatalistic Pragmatism to prey on the hidden secrets and frustrations of a creature. The target must a Wisdom saving throw vs. your spell save DC. On a failure, the creature loses all hope in life and attacks the nearest creature at your direction, to the exclusion of all other targets, as it blames the designated target as the source of the problems for all existence.

The effect lasts for as long as the target hears you and for an additional 5 rounds thereafter. For every three levels obtained beyond 6th, you can target one additional creature with a single use of this ability. Each turn after the first, the creature may make a new save, ending the effect on a success.

Life Is Pain

At 20th level (the gods apparently want you to suffer for having made it this far), when you roll initiative and have no uses of Fatalistic Pragmatism left, you regain one use.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Troubadours & Tenders of the Grove, Pugilists & Pact Makers A Scarred Lands Character Options Supplement By Vorpal Tales Authors: Patrick Warren, Shawn McNamara, Tyler Middleton, Zachery Naldrett

This is not the complete section 15 entry - see the full license for this page