College of the Arts

Those who have been burned by a bard of “the arts” know exactly what sort of art is conveyed by the name: the art of the swindle, the con, and the huckster.

Con artistry isn’t a profession all riverfolk claim, but the ones who do are very good at it. Halflings are an underestimated lot, and their happy-go-lucky dispositions, size, and apparent harmlessness makes them easy to trust. These hucksters take advantage of these traits to humble the big folk. The more noble ones among them are inclined to target haughty, greedy people who make life difficult for the lower classes, taking them down a few pegs to teach a lesson. Other hucksters, however, are more concerned with making money, and the only line they won’t cross is swindling their own kin—if even that.

In seedy riverside taverns, on rollicking boat parties, or off in dens and bazaars of dubious repute, so often are bards of this college found. When one “artist” recognizes another, they are quick to swap tales and tricks and the names of previous marks and potential dupes they haven’t gotten to yet. Unless of course the bards in question have made rivals of each other by lingering too long in a similar trade in the same place: then it can become a feud where one attempts to discredit the other before they both are found out.

Misdirection

When you join the college of the arts at 3rd level, you learn the secret of keeping a target’s eyes everywhere but on what your hands are doing:

  • You gain proficiency in Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) if you do not have it already.
  • You have advantage on any Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check to engage in an act of legerdemain or manual trickery, such as to conceal an item, make it “disappear,” or plant an item elsewhere.
  • As a bonus action, you can conceal or draw a light weapon that weighs no more than 1 pound.

Fast-Talk

Starting at 3rd level, you learn the secret that what you say matters less than how you say it.

You can expend one use of Bardic Inspiration and spend your entire action talking to a target. Whether feigning acquaintance, asking questions, or simply jumping from one nonsequitur to another, your target must make a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC. On a failure, the target has the charmed condition and disadvantage on Perception checks for as long as you continue talking, up to 1 minute (after the first round, treat this as maintaining concentration). Attacking the target breaks the effect immediately as does leaving the target’s line of sight or rendering the target unable to hear or understand you.

Potentially hostile actions the target notices allow another saving throw with advantage. The effect ends at the start of the target’s turn once you stop speaking or lose concentration.

Heckle

Beginning at 6th level, you can expend one use of Bardic Inspiration as a bonus action to heckle your target, a creature no more than 60 feet away from you, peppering them with insults, clever repartee, or actual rotten produce. Your target must make a Wisdom saving throw against your abuse. On a failure, the target subtracts an amount equal to your Bardic Inspiration die on their next attack roll, saving throw, or skill check, but the target gains advantage on their next attack roll against you. The effects only apply on the target’s next roll.

Master of Lies

Starting at 14th level, your lies and falsehoods have become so convincing that you yourself believe them half the time:

  • Checks made against you to discern your deceits have disadvantage.
  • You have advantage on all Charisma (Deception) checks.
  • Magical divinations from spells or items that can detect falsehoods or elicit the truth struggle to pierce your deception.

Against such methods, you have advantage on any such effect that grants you a saving throw, and against effects without a saving throw, there is a 50% you are determined to be truthful and a 25% chance the effect refuses to function at all.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Warlock Grimoire 2. Authors: Wolfgang Baur, Celeste Conowitch, David “Zeb” Cook, Dan Dillon, Robert Fairbanks, Scott Gable, Richard Green, Victoria Jaczko, TK Johnson, Christopher Lockey, Sarah Madsen, Greg Marks, Ben McFarland, Kelly Pawlik, Lysa Penrose, Richard Pett, Marc Radle, Hannah Rose, Jon Sawatsky, Robert Schwalb, Brian Suskind, Ashley Warren, Mike Welham. © 2020 Open Design LLC.

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