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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Bard Subclass: College of Guidance [PEACH]



This be Richard
2016-06-01, 04:05 PM
The names are all placeholders. But the story here is that I was thinking about classes in other editions and other games that allow characters to give up their own actions to allow others to act, and I found myself wanting to make a bard subclass that did so... but (hopefully) in a balanced fashion.
I played around with someone who sits in the fray, getting armor and shield proficiencies and maybe the protection fighting style, but ultimately I decided that I wanted to make a bard subclass that mostly stands back and lets the others do the fighting, throwing out bardic inspirations and support spells from the rear.

MOST CURRENT VERSION:
Inspired Motion: At third level, your guidance enables your allies to move rapidly around the battlefield. On your turn, you may expend one use of your Bardic Inspiration as a bonus action, choosing one creature other than yourself within 60 feet of you who can hear you. That creature may then immediately move up to its speed. Attacks of opportunity triggered by this movement are made with disadvantage.
Combat Leader: You have learned to rapidly analyze complex situations in order to provide the best assistance you can when your allies need it most. You have advantage on initiative rolls.

Directed Attack: Starting at sixth level, you may use your action to direct a creature that can see or hear you to strike. When you do so, that creature may immediately use its reaction to make one weapon attack, adding your Charisma modifier to its damage on a hit. This attack may not benefit from the Sneak Attack feature if the enemy it targets can see or hear you.

Inspired Surge: Starting at 14th level, you can inspire your allies beyond their normal limits for a moment. When a creature rolls one of your Bardic Inspiration dice on its turn, you can use your reaction to allow that creature to take one additional action on top of its regular action and a possible bonus action. Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.

CURRENT MAJOR CONCERNS:
The only form of Bardic Inspiration that is likely to set off Inspired Surge is its use in boosting attack rolls. Maybe its use shouldn't require an ally rolling Bardic Inspiration? Maybe something should be done so that Bardic Inspiration is more likely to be rolled on the ally's turn?

Final Hyena
2016-06-02, 09:42 AM
Nice idea for a subclass, it really brings out the bard as a support which is what many would like, but onto the feedback.


Directed Attack: Starting at sixth level, you may use your action to direct a creature that can see or hear you to strike. When you do so, the creature may immediately use its reaction to make one weapon attack.
I would make this a bonus action, but cost an inspiration die.


Coordinated Assault: At level 14, when you expend a use of your Bardic Inspiration for Inspired Motion and the chosen creature uses its reaction to move, you may also give up your action to use Directed Attack on that creature, allowing it to make one weapon attack at any point during its movement as part of the same reaction.
This feels slightly underwhelming, I would also allow Inspired motion to not provoke attack of opportunity, you could also take my previous suggestion for directed attack and remove the inspiration die cost.

This be Richard
2016-06-02, 09:59 AM
I'm a little concerned that the entire subclass might be too situational and/or weak. I tried to err on the side of less-powerful, but I'm concerned I may have overcompensated.

Inspired Motion provides inferior movement to a Rogue using his Cunning Action (which also allows for other options) to Dash AND it costs an inspiration die for the privilege. It's not going to come up that often that you need to get someone to move that distance off-turn, and it's especially hindered by the fact that the party member that needs it least -- the Rogue -- is the one that most benefits from the subclass' other features.

Rally is a nice perk, but it's not amazing. Probably not as good as the bonus proficiencies the other Colleges get. It's slightly better for use on melee Rogues and two-weapon Rangers than anyone else since they're the most likely to be up front with only a modest AC, but the Rogues are less likely to get the benefit because they don't really need Inspired Motion.

Directed Attack might only really be good for use on Rogues. On anyone else, I'm not sure that a single weapon attack is going to do as much as a Valor Bard could manage by attacking twice. So this feature might rely on having a Rogue set up to sneak attack.

Coordinated Assault just combines Inspired Motion and Directed attack, and it's nice for getting an ally into position and letting them attack, but most of the time it's going to suffer from the same problem as Directed Attack.



Nice idea for a subclass, it really brings out the bard as a support which is what many would like, but onto the feedback.
Thank you!


I would make this a bonus action, but cost an inspiration die.
That might be the better call. I'll need to think about this one.
I did it the way I did for a couple of reasons.
First, I wanted to try to parallel the Valor Bard's Extra Attack: a feature that a Bard of this college could always use their action for to do a little more damage than they could with a single attack.
Second, I was thinking about how the Battle Master's Commander's Strike uses up one of the Fighter's attacks... and since a Bard of this college only gets one attack in an action, it made sense to me that it would occupy the entire action.
And third, supporting one's allies' action economy at the expense of one's own is such a central idea to the subclass that I just like the idea of a bard of this college never lacking for the ability to do it.


This feels slightly underwhelming, I would also allow Inspired motion to not provoke attack of opportunity, you could also take my previous suggestion for directed attack and remove the inspiration die cost.
Would making Inspired Motion no longer provoke attacks of opportunity make Coordinated Assault sufficiently more whelming, so to speak? What about just imposing disadvantage on opportunity attacks made during the movement?

Final Hyena
2016-06-02, 10:21 AM
I did it the way I did for a couple of reasons.
First, I wanted to try to parallel the Valor Bard's Extra Attack: a feature that a Bard of this college could always use their action for to do a little more damage than they could with a single attack.
Second, I was thinking about how the Battle Master's Commander's Strike uses up one of the Fighter's attacks... and since a Bard of this college only gets one attack in an action, it made sense to me that it would occupy the entire action.
And third, supporting one's allies' action economy at the expense of one's own is such a central idea to the subclass that I just like the idea of a bard of this college never lacking for the ability to do it.
In the example of a valor bard you double your attack output;
1 attack
+5 to hit
d8+3 (7.5)
Hit chance of 60%
average damage 4.5

So from 4.5 to 9 average damage.

Firstly giving your allies an attack is a bit harder to judge. A damage focussed barb/fighter would do 11-12 avg damage a hit or 7.2 avg damage. going from 4.5 ~ 7.2 isn't as good. So this isn't as good as an extra attack, initially.
However by end game if you can get it on a rogue that's an extra 26 avg damage.

Secondly a battle manoeuvre is on a completely different level to extra attacks.

Thirdly your would still be doing that.

Anyway another option would be to have it be an action and a bardic die but allow the ally to make the attack action, this would help balance out rogue vs everyone else.


Would making Inspired Motion no longer provoke attacks of opportunity make Coordinated Assault sufficiently more whelming, so to speak? What about just imposing disadvantage on opportunity attacks made during the movement?
Sure.

This be Richard
2016-06-02, 10:41 AM
I hadn't actually run the numbers. Yeah, giving it to a high level rogue as a bonus action probably won't play. I like the idea of taking an action and a bardic inspiration die to give a full attack action in order to make it a bit more competitive for other classes, but I'm wary of anything that introduces an entire action. In the thread where I first brought up the idea of introducing class features to let other people attack (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?489961), there was some concern that giving out an entire action was potentially unbalancing (with less concern evident about handing out a single attack).

With that said, let's try this out.

Inspired Motion: At third level, your guidance enables your allies to move rapidly around the battlefield. On your turn, you may use a bonus action to expend one use of your Bardic Inspiration, choosing one creature other than yourself within 60 feet of you who can hear you. That creature may then use its reaction to roll a Bardic Inspiration die, moving a distance in feet up to five times the result. Attacks of opportunity triggered by this movement are made with disadvantage.
Rally: Additionally, whenever you expend a use of your Bardic Inspiration, the creature that benefits from the expenditure immediately gains temporary hit points equal to the number rolled plus your Charisma modifier.

Directed Attack: Starting at sixth level, you may use your action to expend a use of Bardic Inspiration and direct a creature that can see or hear you to strike. When you do so, that creature may immediately use its reaction to take an Attack action on your turn.

Coordinated Assault: At level 14, when you expend a use of your Bardic Inspiration for Inspired Motion and the chosen creature uses its reaction to move, you may also give up your action to use Directed Attack on that creature, allowing it to take an Attack action at any point during its movement as part of the same reaction.

The above, it seems to me, makes for a significant boost to the power of the subclass at the cost of no longer being able to support an ally's action economy at the expense of your own when you're out of bardic inspiration dice. It also has the effect of bringing other combat classes up to the rogue's level of benefit.

This be Richard
2016-06-03, 07:27 AM
I've been chewing on this for a while, and I still have some issues with the new version.

For one, I don't like that the subclass is left with no benefits that don't cost a use of Bardic Inspiration.
For two -- especially when you can get the two-for-one deal with Coordinated Assault -- I feel like the current build discourages use of Bardic Inspiration dice for its normal functionality.

I'd really love to find a way to balance Directed Attack without making it cost a use of Bardic Inspiration, but I'm struggling to figure out how to do it.

Will keep chewing.

Final Hyena
2016-06-03, 08:54 AM
It is heavily reliant on inspiration, but it is strong, everything builds on top of each other or melds together eventually.

If you feel it is a bit too reliant on inspiration die/encourages motion over the others you could try a method of dividing up inspiration die.
Maybe cha mod is for standard uses, but half prof mod is for guidance uses?

Another thing to consider would be to change to;

Coordinated Assault: At level 14, when you expend a use of your Bardic Inspiration you may also give up your action to use Directed Attack on that creature, allowing it to take an Attack action at any point during this turn.
This would enable you to use the other inspiration die features.

This be Richard
2016-06-03, 09:37 AM
Okay, I've had a few ideas. The best one, I think, is to turn the single-attack version of Directed Attack into a level one spell that cannot be combined with Sneak Attack under normal conditions. That way it costs a spell slot -- rather than a Bardic Inspiration die -- to use and doesn't benefit from obscene late-game sneak attack damage. Then features can be used to do other things.

This is really different, and it might not be different in a good way. I'll be very interested to hear what you have to say.

Inspired Strike
1st-level enchantment
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Instantaneous
Your shouts of encouragement and insightful directions spur an ally to action. Choose one creature within range that can see or hear you. That creature may immediately use its reaction to make one weapon attack. This attack may not benefit from the Sneak Attack feature if the enemy it targets can see or hear you.

This spell would only be available to bards.
Then, with that, the subclass features shake out something like this.

Attack Enchanter: At level three, you learn the inspired strike spell if you don't already know it, and it does not count against your Spells Known. Additionally, you gain the vicious mockery cantrip if you don't already know it, and it does not count towards your Cantrips Known.
Inspired Motion: Also at third level, your guidance enables your allies to move rapidly around the battlefield. On your turn, you may use a bonus action to expend one use of your Bardic Inspiration, choosing one creature other than yourself within 60 feet of you who can hear you. That creature may then use its reaction to roll a Bardic Inspiration die, moving a distance in feet up to five times the result. Attacks of opportunity triggered by this movement are made with disadvantage.

Empowered Enchantment: At sixth level, your ability to enchant single strikes grows more potent. When you cast inspired strike, the resulting attack is made with advantage. When you cast vicious mockery, the target makes their saving throw with disadvantage.
Coordinated Assault: Additionally, starting at level six, you can inspire your allies to movement and action in the same breath. When you cast inspired strike on a creature, you may use a bonus action at the same time to expend a use of your Bardic Inspiration for Inspired Motion. This allows a creature to benefit from both effects as part of the same reaction, making a single weapon attack at any point during its movement.

14th Level Feature: This is freed up to become something new, but I haven't decided what yet. I like the Mastermind Rogue's "Master of Intrigue" feature and might wnat to do something similar, but I feel like it removes the point of using Bardic Inspiration to help with attack rolls. We could give nearby allies a saving throw bonus or something, but that steps on the paladin's toes. So yeah, not sure what I want to put here. I just know that I want it to revolve around helping the bard's allies rather than the bard's actual self.

The level three features provide a couple extra spells (hopefully paralleling the bonus proficiencies Lore and Valor bards get) and a new use for Bardic Inspiration (like Cutting Words and Combat Inspiration).
The level six features improve Attack Enchanter's spells to be more competitive with Extra Attack and allow the bard to use inspired strike and Inspired Motion on the same creature (they could already both be used in the same turn, but previously they needed to be used on separate creatures due to the reaction cost).

This be Richard
2016-06-03, 12:03 PM
Okay, here are some thoughts for level 14 features.

Inspired Surge: Starting at 14th level, you can inspire your allies beyond their normal limits for a moment. When a creature rolls one of your Bardic Inspiration dice on its turn, you can use your reaction to allow that creature to take one additional action on top of its regular action and a possible bonus action. Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.

Call for Aid: At 14th level, your allies are especially driven when acting in your defense. Whenever a creature hits you with an attack, you may use your reaction to grant advantage to the next attack made against that creature before the start of its next turn.

Inspiring Word: At 14th level, you may inspire others in battle with just a shout. When a creature other than yourself within 60 feet of you who can hear you makes an attack roll or saving throw, you may expend a use of Bardic Inspiration as a reaction, allowing the creature to add a Bardic Inspiration die to the roll's result. You can wait until after the creature rolls before deciding to use this feature, but you must decide before the DM says whether the roll succeeds or fails.

Restful Touch: At 14th level, your touch and reassurance can refresh an ally as surely as a chance to rest. As an action, you may touch a creature within five feet of you. When you do, that creature may immediately spend Hit Dice to regain hit points as though it had just finished a short rest. Once you use this feature, you must finish a long rest before you can use it again.

This be Richard
2016-06-03, 03:57 PM
New version. Actually pretty close to the original, but with some key revisions.

Inspired Motion: At third level, your guidance enables your allies to move rapidly around the battlefield. On your turn, you may expend one use of your Bardic Inspiration as a bonus action, choosing one creature other than yourself within 60 feet of you who can hear you. That creature may then immediately move up to its speed. Attacks of opportunity triggered by this movement are made with disadvantage.
Rally: Additionally, whenever a creature rolls one of your Bardic Inspiration dice, it immediately gains temporary hit points equal to the number rolled plus your Charisma modifier. When you use Inspired Motion, you may still roll the expended Bardic Inspiration die for this purpose.

Directed Attack: Starting at sixth level, you may use your action to direct a creature that can see or hear you to strike. When you do so, that creature may immediately use its reaction to make one weapon attack, adding your Charisma modifier to its damage on a hit with advantage. This attack may not benefit from the Sneak Attack feature if the enemy it targets can see or hear you.

Inspired Surge: Starting at 14th level, you can inspire your allies beyond their normal limits for a moment. When a creature rolls one of your Bardic Inspiration dice on its turn, you can use your reaction to grant that creature one additional action. Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.


1. Inspired Motion no longer uses the subject's reaction, so it's automatically compatible with Directed Attack. Coordinated Assault no longer needs to exist to facilitate using these features on the same ally. Inspired motion also uses the target's speed instead of a die roll now. Feels weird spending Bardic Inspiration without rolling a die, but I'm putting it out there to see what people think.

2. Rally is back, and I don't love it. I especially don't love that I needed to change the language to specifically make it work with Inspired Motion despite Inspired Motion no longer involving a roll. But I don't know what else I could put here. Bonus Proficiencies? In what, though? What compares to three skill proficiencies or better gear proficiencies without actually being either of those things? Maybe I could give proficiency with Wisdom saving throws or something? I really don't know. Open to suggestions.

3. Directed Attack is made with the bard's Charisma modifier added to damage advantage (to increase average damage output to be competitive with Extra Attack), but can't be used to get obscene Sneak Attack damage late game. It gets to be an at-will action, too, since it doesn't cost any class resources. I'm just hoping it's not so powerful that it would need to consume class resources.

4. First of all, I'm still open to using a different level 14 feature. Maybe Inspiring Word? In any case, as presented, Inspired Surge allows for a one-time wallop that's much stronger than Directed Attack. I'm wondering if maybe, since it can already only be used once per short rest, I shouldn't just make it use an action on your turn (like Directed Attack) instead of a reaction when somebody rolls a Bardic Inspiration die.

Edit: (Highly visibly) replaced advantage with Charisma modifier damage in Directed Attack, since that seems like a more natural way to increase the damage output to compete with Extra Attack.

Final Hyena
2016-06-04, 07:44 AM
I like the alternate version, but think it could use a smidgen more at 3rd level, maybe another spell?
For the 14th level I especially liked Inspiring Word.

New version;
Directed attack is alright, although a bit strong with paladin.
Otherwise it's reasonable.

You should probably decide which one you wish to pursue, otherwise it's rather confusing for new comers looking at 3 different versions.

This be Richard
2016-06-06, 08:47 AM
I like the alternate version, but think it could use a smidgen more at 3rd level, maybe another spell?
For the 14th level I especially liked Inspiring Word.

New version;
Directed attack is alright, although a bit strong with paladin.
Otherwise it's reasonable.

Added Inspiring Word as the 14th level feature, though I'm still not sure I like it better than Inspired Surge. I kind of like the idea of the bard having a small, at-will ally-gets-to-act feature and 1/encounter big ally-gets-to-act feature (especially because the latter is useful for allied casters in addition to fighty types).

I also took the damage modifier out of Directed Attack... but now I think it's worse than a Valor Bard with Extra Attack again.

And I'm experimenting with a different level 3 feature in place of Rally. Please let me know what you think.


Inspired Motion: At third level, your guidance enables your allies to move rapidly around the battlefield. On your turn, you may expend one use of your Bardic Inspiration as a bonus action, choosing one creature other than yourself within 60 feet of you who can hear you. That creature may then immediately move up to its speed. Attacks of opportunity triggered by this movement are made with disadvantage.
Combat Leader: You have learned to rapidly analyze complex situations in order to provide the best assistance you can when your allies need it most. You have advantage on initiative rolls.

Directed Attack: Starting at sixth level, you may use your action to direct a creature that can see or hear you to strike. When you do so, that creature may immediately use its reaction to make one weapon attack. This attack may not benefit from the Sneak Attack feature if the enemy it targets can see or hear you.

Inspiring Word: At 14th level, you may inspire others in battle with just a shout. When a creature other than yourself within 60 feet of you who can hear you makes an attack roll or saving throw, you may expend a use of Bardic Inspiration as a reaction, allowing the creature to add a Bardic Inspiration die to the roll's result. You can wait until after the creature rolls before deciding to use this feature, but you must decide before the DM says whether the roll succeeds or fails.



You should probably decide which one you wish to pursue, otherwise it's rather confusing for new comers looking at 3 different versions.
Going forward, I'll keep the most current version in the first post.

This be Richard
2016-06-06, 08:48 AM
Most current iteration placed in first post. Posting the original version here for reference.

Inspired Motion: At third level, your guidance enables your allies to move rapidly around the battlefield. On your turn, you may use a bonus action to expend one use of your Bardic Inspiration, choosing one creature other than yourself within 60 feet of you who can hear you. That creature may then use its reaction to roll a Bardic Inspiration die, moving a distance in feet up to five times the result. This movement provokes attacks of opportunity normally.
Rally: Additionally, whenever a creature rolls one of your Bardic Inspiration dice, it immediately gains temporary hit points equal to the number rolled plus your Charisma modifier.

Directed Attack: Starting at sixth level, you may use your action to direct a creature that can see or hear you to strike. When you do so, the creature may immediately use its reaction to make one weapon attack.

Coordinated Assault: At level 14, when you expend a use of your Bardic Inspiration for Inspired Motion and the chosen creature uses its reaction to move, you may also give up your action to use Directed Attack on that creature, allowing it to make one weapon attack at any point during its movement as part of the same reaction.

Final Hyena
2016-06-06, 09:04 AM
With relation to the OP.

Level 3 seems fine.

Level 6 has some issues, the whole aspect of it's just not as good as a Valor bard.
Also you exclude sneak attack, what about smite, divine smite, rage etc?
A cheap solution is that they do damage equal to their weapon die (including magical properties) + twice your charisma modifier.

Level 14 does lack some punch on retrospect. All it does is allow you to burn through inspiration die at twice the normal rate, and given you only have 5 of them....
How about for the 14th feature you bring back;
Rally: Additionally, whenever a creature rolls one of your Bardic Inspiration dice, it immediately gains temporary hit points equal to the number rolled plus your Charisma modifier. When you use Inspired Motion, you may still roll the expended Bardic Inspiration die for this purpose.
It's a pretty powerful affect and is something different compared to the rest of the features while being within the theme of being more support centric.

This be Richard
2016-06-06, 09:26 AM
I excluded sneak attack from Directed Strike because it can deliver some fairly ridiculous damage at no additional cost.
Smite, I figure, still costs spell slots to use... so if a Paladin wants to hemorrhage the extra spell slot(s) on their Directed Strike attack(s), I figure that's reasonable.
Rage I don't have an answer for outside of the fact that it doesn't add too much additional damage. Even at 20th level, it's only putting in 4 damage on a hit. Do you think that's enough to throw off the balance?

If you think Directed Attack should benefit from the Bard's charisma to level out damage with a Valor Bard's extra attack, it seems to me that I could just add the charisma modifier damage bonus back in.
Comparing a Valor Bard with max dex with a Guidance Bard with max charisma (and a fighter ally with max Strength) that would end up like...
Valor Bard: (1d8+5) * 60% hit rate * 2 attacks = 9.5 * 1.2 = 11.4
Guidance Bard: ((2d6+5) + 5 Bard's Charisma) * 60% hit rate = (12+5) * 0.6 = 17 * 0.6 = 10.2... or, if they have the GWF fighting style, closer to 11.5.
That's not too far off. My main concern is that the guidance bard might also benefit from Rage, like you pointed out, or a Fighter increasing damage with or Feats. Without the Charisma modifier, though, the Guidance bard comes up fully 3 DPR shorter than the Valor in the featless, rageless, scenario above, and neither Rage nor any feat I can think of would reliably make that back up.

Inspiring Word does more than let you burn through BI dice at twice the normal rate: it allows you to assign Bardic Inspiration dice on the fly, as needed in combat, rather than handing them out in advance to people you think might need them.
With that said, if you think Inspiring Word is lackluster, we could always jump back to Inspired Surge. As I've said, I really like the way it lets you do a support nova. I just don't want to use it if people (read: you, basically) think that Inspiring Word is the better option.

Final Hyena
2016-06-06, 09:51 AM
My main concern is that the guidance bard might also benefit from Rage, like you pointed out, or a Fighter increasing damage with or Feats. Without the Charisma modifier, though, the Guidance bard comes up fully 3 DPR shorter than the Valor in the featless, rageless, scenario above, and neither Rage nor any feat I can think of would reliably make that back up.


That was why my suggestion had specific damage to prevent any further things on top, fighting styles, feats, rage etc.

Directed Attack: Starting at sixth level, you may use your action to direct a creature that can see or hear you to strike. When you do so, that creature may immediately use its reaction to make one weapon attack. On a hit this attack only deals damage equal to their weapon die (including magical properties) + twice your charisma modifier. If they have a weapon in their off hand they may also attack with it at the same time, this attack only deals damage equal to their weapon die (including magical properties).

That should be fairly balanced among all classes and fighting styles.


Inspiring Word has a use, I just don't think it's amazing, you can often tell who will need the die before hand, and again the idea of burning through a small resource quicker.

Inspiring surge or Rally are both strong options.
My reservation about Surge is that you pretty much always want to drop it on the fighter, and almost never want to use it on a full caster.

This be Richard
2016-06-06, 10:04 AM
That was why my suggestion had specific damage to prevent any further things on top, fighting styles, feats, rage etc.

Directed Attack: Starting at sixth level, you may use your action to direct a creature that can see or hear you to strike. When you do so, that creature may immediately use its reaction to make one weapon attack. On a hit this attack only deals damage equal to their weapon die (including magical properties) + twice your charisma modifier. If they have a weapon in their off hand they may also attack with it at the same time, this attack only deals damage equal to their weapon die (including magical properties).

That should be fairly balanced among all classes and fighting styles.
Ooooh. Okay, yeah, that's really smart.
Mechanically, that's golden. My only lingering reservation comes from the fact that, by removing everything the supported combatant brings to the table except their weapon dice, it really doesn't feel much like it's their attack anymore. I feel like it loses some of what was meant to feel good about the subclass.
Still, that objection doesn't overcome the clearly-superior mechanics, so I'll go ahead and update it in the first post to reflect your suggestion. Thank you.



Inspiring Word has a use, I just don't think it's amazing, you can often tell who will need the die before hand, and again the idea of burning through a small resource quicker.

Inspiring surge or Rally are both strong options.
My reservation about Surge is that you pretty much always want to drop it on the fighter, and almost never want to use it on a full caster.
I don't follow. Why wouldn't you want to use it on a full caster?

Final Hyena
2016-06-06, 10:22 AM
Ooooh. Okay, yeah, that's really smart.
Mechanically, that's golden. My only lingering reservation comes from the fact that, by removing everything the supported combatant brings to the table except their weapon dice, it really doesn't feel much like it's their attack anymore. I feel like it loses some of what was meant to feel good about the subclass.
Still, that objection doesn't overcome the clearly-superior mechanics, so I'll go ahead and update it in the first post to reflect your suggestion. Thank you.
I do see the issue with that, I guess it's how you see it. I see it as the Bard is fuelling [[TARGET NAME]] to do it. It's a collaboration of the bard allowing the creature to do the thing.


I don't follow. Why wouldn't you want to use it on a full caster?
I was thinking of this rule out of context;
Bonus Action page 202
A spell cast with a bonus action is especially swift. You must use a bonus action on your turn to cast the spell, provided that you havenít already taken a bonus action this turn.
You canít cast another spell during the same turn, except for a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action.

That however might specifically pertain to bonus actions, depends how you interpret it.
I suspect you can cast two spells with two actions, as long as your are careful of bonus action spells.

Thinking it over probably either surge or rally are fine,
Surge isn't quite as good for barbarians, but I guess that's the way the cookie crumbles.

This be Richard
2016-06-06, 12:17 PM
I do see the issue with that, I guess it's how you see it. I see it as the Bard is fuelling [[TARGET NAME]] to do it. It's a collaboration of the bard allowing the creature to do the thing.

I got more of that feel when it was an extra attack following normal rules (save for the sneak attack limitation), but with the bard's Charisma modifier added onto it. With the attack strictly following a damage code of (weapon damage + (Bard's Charisma modifier x2)), it feels to me like it's almost entirely the Bard's show, with nothing the other character brings to the table except their weapon's damage code really mattering. None of the attacking character's individual flavor makes it into the attack (unless their flavor comes from a magic weapon, which isn't really in the spirit of 5e, I don't think).
So it's just kinda like "It's my turn, but I'm feeling lazy. Fighter, will you roll my attack for me?" as opposed to "Go forth, Fighter, and wreak thy havoc once more!"

But the flavor is all I have to whine about. The balance is super-solid, and it seems like that's the more important thing.


I was thinking of this rule out of context;
Bonus Action page 202
A spell cast with a bonus action is especially swift. You must use a bonus action on your turn to cast the spell, provided that you havenít already taken a bonus action this turn.
You canít cast another spell during the same turn, except for a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action.

That however might specifically pertain to bonus actions, depends how you interpret it.
I suspect you can cast two spells with two actions, as long as your are careful of bonus action spells.

Thinking it over probably either surge or rally are fine,
Surge isn't quite as good for barbarians, but I guess that's the way the cookie crumbles.
I did not remember that bonus action rule. That is... a complicating factor.
I was mostly thinking about it with one of the Wizard guides in mind which had recommended the Fighter multiclass so that one could Action Surge to cast a second spell in one turn. And that person might not have been thinking about the bonus action rule. It's not unreasonable to assume that it's RAI that you can only cast one non-cantrip spell per turn.
But personally, I think it's reasonable to say that Action Surge (or, in this case, Inspired Surge) could allow another non-cantrip spell to be cast.

Hmm.

Final Hyena
2016-06-06, 12:29 PM
It is up to interpretation, if it helps.

http://www.sageadvice.eu/2014/09/23/action-surge-spell-2/

This be Richard
2016-06-06, 02:46 PM
Okay, so I'm going over the ways damage would get impacted if I did go with the version of Directed Attack that lets them make an attack normally, but with a Cha mod bonus to damage. And... it gets a little bit big with high-level barbarian Rage, paladins with Improved Smite, and clerics with a big weapon and Divine Strike. One could conceivably balance for that by taking away the Cha mod bonus to damage, but then Directed Attack is awfully weak compared to a Valor Bard's extra attack for Fighters and any other class that hasn't leveled up high enough to get their sweet, reliable damage perks yet.

Which blows, because those features are what make an attack by a character in one of those classes feel like an attack by a character in one of those classes.

But maybe DPR can afford to be a little higher than a Valor Bard with Extra Attack, since this eats reactions? Getting a little desperate to justify things at this point, I know, but I'd really prefer not to need to drain the flavor from the feature in order to make it work.

Final Hyena
2016-06-06, 03:15 PM
Including this;

Attacks created by Directed Attack may not benefit from the Sneak Attack feature.
Is likely more confusing as it's specific mention, but nothing else implies that every other additional damage still applies.

How about bonus damage can be applied (smite, rage, stat mod, etc etc), but you also take that much damage?
Then again that's more black magic than this sub class would

This be Richard
2016-06-09, 08:33 AM
Okay, I've walked Directed Strike back to the less-perfectly-balanced version that lets the ally make an attack normally (except no sneak attack) with the bard's charisma modifier added. Between it costing a reaction that the Valor Bard's extra attack doesn't call for and the fact that a Valor Bard with a magic weapon will gain those magic weapon benefits twice (while the Guidance Bard's ally will only gain magic weapon benefits once), I've decided that it's close enough. Yes, it gets a little better than the Valor Bard's extra attack in the hands of a high level Paladin or melee Cleric, but synergies like that aren't entirely absent from 5e, and if the party is able to squeeze out an extra 1d8 because they built their characters to work together that way... well, whatever. Eliminating that window doesn't seem worth what's lost in switching to the perfectly balanced approach.

But okay. With that said, I've found myself concerned about Inspired Surge.

As currently written, you can use it as a reaction when an ally rolls one of your bardic inspiration dice on their turn. Problem with that trigger is that there's really only one form of bardic inspiration that would actually set it off in most combats -- attack rolls -- and you only get much in the way of opportunity to use it if that's how your allies are using the dice. If they're saving them for saving throws, for example, or if you're using Inspired Motion a lot (which should be a valid option for this subclass), you're just out of luck. So I'm wondering if maybe I should come up with a different sort of trigger. And, if so, what that trigger should be.
Any suggestions?

And, finally, it seems like it's probably time to start improving the names of the features. I'll mull that over, but I'm open to ideas if anyone has any.