Wednesday, September 7, 2016

5e Characters I Want to Play - College of Rhythmic Gymnastics Bardic Archetype


Bards of the College of Rhythmic Gymnastics are acrobats and dancers whose graceful movements express ageless truths and wordless poetry. Rhythmic gymnasts focus their efforts on the perfection of their own minds and bodies, preferring to improve themselves more than instructing others. Their performances recreate the movements of stars and snowflakes, and preserve the patterns of civilizations long past. Their exercises allow them to move with a precision and control that few others can match. Whether audiences appear to appreciate their efforts is beside the point. Rhythmic gymnasts are at once the most physical and the most-inward looking of bards, their routines fueling a kind of auto-hypnotic trance that facilitates healing, self-inspiration, and spell-casting. Rhythmic gymnasts work with four types of apparatus - the ball, the clubs, the hoop, and the ribbon - and their mastery over these instruments is unparalleled.

Rhythmic gymnasts study in schools called Gymnasiums, where they practice dance and tumbling, play musical instruments, recite poetry, and read classical literature. Rhythmic gymnasts believe in liberal education and a unified curriculum of physical and mental improvement. They see themselves as living libraries, the custodians of practical and movement traditions that cannot be written down in books or scrolls. When rhythmic gymnasts gather, they share performances through turn-taking and in rituals that involve teams of five.

Joining the College of Rhythmic Gymnastics permanently alters a bard's Bardic Inspiration, Song of Rest, and Spellcasting abilities. Rather than using music or speech to inspire or heal others, the rhythmic gymnast uses a dance performance with apparatus. (Healing is usually facilitated by the hypnotic turning of the hoop. The correct apparatus to inspire others in any particular situation is left to the bard's and the judge's discretion.)

A dance performance with the correct apparatus also replaces the Verbal, Somatic, and Material components of the bard's spells. The correct apparatus for each spell is listed below. The bard and judge are encouraged to work together to decide the correct apparatus for spells not on the bard's spell list, such as spells learned using the Magical Secrets ability.

The ball bounces, glides, and rolls as the bard dances. The ball apparatus is needed to cast spells that relate to movement or that cause objects to appear into existence. The ball can symbolize anything passed from the bard to another target, and the ball facilitates interactions with animals.

Animal Friendship (1st)
Animal Messenger (2nd)
Animate Objects (5th)
Awaken (5th)
Dancing Lights (0th)
Dimension Door (4th)
Enhance Ability (2nd)
Etherealness (7th)
Feather Fall (1st)
Find the Path (6th)
Foresight (9th)
Freedom of Movement (4th)
Locate Animals or Plants (2nd)
Locate Creature (4th)
Longstrider (1st)
Mage Hand (0th)
Message (0th)
Planar Binding (5th)
Plant Growth (3rd)
Prestidigitation (0th)
Raise Dead (5th)
Sending (3rd)
Speak with Animals (1st)
Speak with Plants (3rd)
Teleport (7th)
Unseen Servant (1st)

The clubs can be thrown, juggled, and twirled during the dance. The clubs apparatus are needed to cast spells related to combat, or that deal damage to an opponent.

Bane (1st)
Bestow Curse (3rd)
Cloud of Daggers (2nd)
Dispel Magic (3rd)
Dissonant Whispers (1st)
Eyebite (6th)
Fear (3rd)
Feeblemind (8th)
Feign Death (3rd)
Geas (5th)
Glyph of Warding (3rd)
Heat Metal (2nd)
Heroism (1st)
Knock (2nd)
Mordenkainen's Sword (7th)
Otto's Irresistible Dance (6th)
Power Word Stun (8th)
Power Word Kill (9th)
Shatter (2nd)
Stinking Cloud (3rd)
Tasha's Hideous Laughter (1st)
Thunderwave (1st)
True Strike (0th)
Vicious Mockery (0th)

The hoop encircles the bard, spinning and rolling as she moves through her dance. The hoop apparatus is needed to cast spells of protection and spells that constrain the movements of others. The hoop represents circles and the creation of zones and spaces. The rhythmic movement of the hoop helps the bard concentrate to learn forgotten knowledge, and aids in soothing wounds and other injuries.

Blade Ward (0th)
Clairvoyance (3rd)
Comprehend Languages (1st)
Cure Wounds (1st)
Detect Magic (1st)
Detect Thoughts (2nd)
Forcecage (7th)
Greater Restoration (5th)
Guards and Wards (6th)
Healing Word (1st)
Hold Monster (5th)
Hold Person (2nd)
Identify (1st)
Legend Lore (5th)
Leomund's Tiny Hut (3rd)
Lesser Restoration (2nd)
Locate Object (2nd)
Mass Cure Wounds (5th)
Mending (0th)
Mindblank (8th)
Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion (7th)
Nondetection (3rd)
Power Word Heal (9th)
Regenerate (7th)
Resurrection (7th)
Scrying (5th)
See Invisibility (2nd)
Speak with Dead (3rd)
Silence (2nd)
Sleep (1st)
Teleportation Circle (5th)
Tongues (3rd)
True Seeing (6th)
Zone of Truth (2nd)

The ribbon flutters, swirls, and twists as the bard dances. The ribbon is needed to cast spells that confuse or entrance opponents, or that create the appearance of objects that do not truly exist.

Blindness/Deafness (2nd)
Calm Emotions (2nd)
Charm Person (1st)
Compulsion (4th)
Confusion (4th)
Crown of Madness (2nd)
Disguise Self (1st)
Dominate Person (5th)
Dominate Monster (8th)
Dream (5th)
Enthrall (2nd)
Fairie Fire (1st)
Friends (0th)
Glibness (8th)
Greater Invisibility (4th)
Hallucinatory Terrain (4th)
Hypnotic Pattern (3rd)
Illusionary Script (1st)
Invisibility (2nd)
Light (0th)
Magic Mouth (2nd)
Major Image (3rd)
Mass Suggestion (6th)
Minor Illusion (0th)
Mirage Arcana (7th)
Mislead (5th)
Modify Memory (5th)
Phantasmal Force (2nd)
Polymorph (4th)
Programmed Illusion (6th)
Project Image (7th)
Seeming (5th)
Silent Image (1st)
Suggestion (2nd)
Symbol (7th)
True Polymorph (9th)

Fig 1 - The Ball

When you join the College of Rhythmic Gymnastics at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with the following three tools: ball, hoop, and ribbon. The judge is encouraged to apply these proficiency bonuses (as well as your pre-existing proficiency with clubs) whenever you manipulate sphere-like, wheel-like, rope-like, or stick-like objects.

In addition, you can treat any club weapon you use in combat as though it had the finesse and thrown properties, and you score a critical hit on a successful attack roll of 19 or 20 when using a club.

Fig 2 - The Clubs

Also at 3rd level, you learn to use your proficiency with dance and apparatus to improve your own performance at physical tasks. By entering a brief meditative trance during a dance, you are able to inspire yourself instead of others. You can use your Bardic Inspiration die to improve your own attack roll (clubs), Charisma skill check (ribbon), Constitution saving throw (hoop), Dexterity saving throw (ribbon), Dexterity skill check (ball), initiative (ball), Strength saving throw (clubs), or Strength skill check (hoop).

Fig 3 - The Hoop

At 6th level, you learn to use your skill at tumbling to protect yourself in combat. While you are not wearing any armor, your Armor Class equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your proficiency bonus. You can use a shield and still gain this benefit.

In addition, when you are subjected to an effect that allows a Dexterity saving throw to take half damage, you can use your reaction to reduce the final damage by a number of points equal to your proficiency bonus.

Fig 4 - The Ribbon

At 14th level, you learn to apply your ability to dance and tumble to remain fluid in a variety of difficult situations. You can stand up from prone without spending any of your movement. Your speed is not reduced when climbing or due to difficult terrain. You never receive disadvantage from squeezing into a small space. You never provoke an opportunity attack when you move around another creature in combat. Your high-jump and long-jump distances are doubled. You gain resistance to falling damage.


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  2. Holy crizzap thank you for adding me to your blog roll! Also, good post!