View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Bard Homebrew Artifact 'Bow of Songs' ***Please Help and Review***

Herald Mistborn
2016-09-05, 03:43 PM
Bow of Songs
Short bow/Instrument, artifact (requires attunement by a Bard.)

The Bow is made of a light Oak and curves sharply at the top and bottom. There is not one, but 6 different strings, the one in the center is red and is used for shooting. The others can be strummed or picked and resonate with deep musical notes. It was created by a particularly frustrated Gnome named Billoby who was an adventuring Bard that always go annoyed that he couldn’t play music and use a weapon at the same time. So being the Gnome he is, he couldn’t resist tinkering with his family heirloom and thus created the Bow of Songs. Impressed with the craftsmanship and ingenuity of the bow, the God of Songs Milil descended upon Billoby and granted the Gnome three wishes in exchange for the bow. No one knows what he wished for, but he was never seen again. While in his possession, Milil wrote a number of magical Songs to accompany instrument and it is said that Milil will bestow the bow upon a bard who shows great bravery and creativity on his adventures.

Magic Weapon and Instrument. The Bow of Songs is a magic weapon that grants a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with it. In addition, you gain +3 to performance when using the bow.
Billoby’s Family Heirloom: The bow also functions as an inferior Oath Bow granting the ability to select a sworn enemy upon a successful hit. When you make a ranged attack roll with this weapon, you now have advantage on the roll against the sworn enemy. In addition, your target gains no benefit from cover other than total cover, and you suffer no disadvantage to long range. If the attack hits, your sworn enemy takes an extra 2d6 piercing damage.
Songs of the Bow: The bow comes with a tome containing songs written by a God. You must spend an entire long rest in order to learn each song. Some songs are so uniquely taxing that they may only be played a limited number of times per day. Additionally, only one song may be played at a time takes an action to do so. Although if you are using your action to play a Song of Aid, you may make a normal ranged attack as a bonus action.
Songs of Aid
• Song of Distraction: The frantic and unpredictable song may last up to three rounds and requires all targeted creatures within hearing distance to make a constitution saving throw at the beginning of each of your turns while the song is active. On a failed save the creatures are paralyzed. On a successful save the target is immune for the remainder of the day. (Limit 2/day)
• Song of Inspiration: This upbeat song allows you to expend a spell slot in order to bestow bardic inspiration to a maximum of 4 creatures that are within range at the same time. (Non-stackable, Limit 2/day)
• Song of Marching: The consistent beat of this song grants all targeted creatures within hearing distance +10ft to walking speed.
• Song of Shielding: The powerful notes of this song envelop a creature of your choice with a field of distortion granting a +2 bonus to AC.
• Song of the Wounded: The soothing notes of this song wash over a targeted creature within hearing distance and allow the bard to cast Heal without using a spell slot. (Limit 2/day)
• Song of the Dying: This whisper of a song casts Spare the Dying but can only be heard if you are within 5 feet of the target.
• Song of the Lullaby: This song’s slow and peaceful notes wash over targeted creatures and allows the bard to cast Sleep without using a spells slot. (Limit 3/day)
• Song of Attack: This song is made of harsh and quick notes that can target one creature within hearing distance. Each of the creature’s attacks become bolstered with sonic energy and deal an extra 1d8 Thunder damage.
• Song of the Unbalanced: This song is a penetrating stream of notes that pierces the inner ear and can unbalance a target. That target must make a constitution saving throw. On a failed save the target loses its balance and falls prone. In addition, the target is unbalanced for 1d4 rounds and has disadvantage on attack rolls. On a successful save the target retains his balance but cannot take reactions until the end of its next turn.

Songs of the Quiver
• Song of Rolling Thunder: A nocked arrow is imbued with the sounds of rolling thunder. Upon a hit the target must make a constitution saving throw, on a failed save the arrow explodes with thunder and deals an extra 1d10 Thunder damage and the target pushed back 10 feet and knocked prone (large to small creatures). On a successful save the arrow acts normally.
• Song of Brimstone: A nocked arrow is imbued with the sounds of Brimstone. Upon a hit the target takes an additional 1d8 Fire damage. (Arrow leaves a streak of fire in the air)
• Song of Lightning: A nocked arrow is imbued with the sounds of a lightning strike. Upon a hit the target takes an additional 1d6 Lightning damage and can’t take a reaction until the end of its next turn. (Arrow becomes a bolt of lightning)
• Song of Ice: A nocked arrow is imbued with the sounds of cracking ice. Upon a hit the target takes an additional 1d6 Cold damage and is speed is halved. (Arrowhead glows blue)
• Song of Earth: A nocked arrow is imbued with the sounds of a falling boulder. Upon a hit the target takes an additional 1d4 Bludgeoning damage and is knocked prone. (Arrowhead becomes a large stone mid-flight)
• Song of Acid: A nocked arrow is imbued with the sounds of hissing Acid. Upon a hit the target takes an additional 2d4 damage immediately and 1d4 at the end of it’s next turn. The target also suffers a -1 to AC as the acid takes effect on its armor. (Non-stackable)
Elemental Barrage: Using his action and bonus action, the bard may nock an arrow on each of the 6 strings and fire all of them simultaneously. When doing so each arrow is imbued with a different Song of the Quiver. Upon the release of the arrows, the bow snaps in half and is destroyed. The resulting snap is accompanied by an explosion of magic and deals 4d10 force damage in a 10ft radius emanating from and including the bard. During flight the arrows combine into a bolt of barely contained energy, swirling with all the combined elements. Upon a hit the attack deals 15d10 Elemental damage which ignores all resistances and immunities.

I have only been playing D&D for about a year now and decided to become a DM and build my own world. So any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks

Sariel Vailo
2016-09-18, 03:42 AM
Looks ok playtested yet

2016-09-19, 10:39 AM
i'd say this is more of a really really powerful magic item than an artifact.

in order to be a proper D&D artifact, you have to be insane to want to use it. there has to be some horrific drawback that will probably wind up with your character eventually being not the character you wanted it to be.

of course, you are free to change that for your own games (and that's probably a good idea, particularly in this case since you want the bow to be a reward), but if you're trying to make a more traditional style of D&D artifact, the typical pattern is actually moderately more powerful than a regular D&D magic item (sometimes not even that) and horrific drawbacks that make you want to find out the super secret method of destruction and then do that rather than use it.


anyways, apart from that, i'm a bit concerned that the bow is quite frankly too powerful. the main problem in my opinion is that once you get this bow, the game becomes a lot less about who the character is and a lot more about having the bow. something like the song of inspiration is pretty good (it uses the bard's resources, and benefits from the bard's abilities, thus making the bard and the bow work together to produce a desired effect) while the song of distraction is less so because it's pretty much just the bow.

i also have some concerns about the song of shielding. a bonus to hit is a powerful ability, but doesn't typically break bounded accuracy because it increases the chance of success. in contrast, a bonus to AC (or saving throw DC, should that come up) can mean that the person trying to get around that has little or even no chance to succeed. a horde of orcs are a legitimate threat to a group of PCs with 15-20 AC because the orcs can actually hit them. not every time, granted, but rolling the die doesn't feel like you're just going through the motions.

the song of the dying is slightly pointless... spare the dying at range 5 feet means the only advantage over using a healing kit is that you don't have to use a healing kit.

anyways, i would look at maybe reducing the sheer number of things the bow can do. powerful items are cool, but when they do too much, the character matters too little.

Herald Mistborn
2016-09-19, 11:06 AM
Thank you for the advice! I definitely don't want this item to take away from who the character is! I made this because I was surprised that the Bard wasn't given any actual songs to play. What if I made the songs in the Song Book something the bard has to learn through practice? Similar to how a wizard learns new spells??

Song of Distraction: I think i want to take this out. I was really reaching for that one and ended up making somethings too much.

Song of Shielding: I didn't consider that about the Song of Shielding but it definitely makes sense. That song is basically just Shield of Faith in bardic form. I really wanted to give some sort of 'aid/shield' song for battles. Ideas?? Or just take out?

Song of the Dying: I gave this because it gives the bard the ability to cast that cantrip, but I totally forgot about healer's kits! What if I gave it a 30ft range? To give it some sort of advantage. or just take out since the group already has a Paladin?

Thanks again!!!
(This has not been play tested due to the PC being only level 3. It is an item that they'll get eventually. A looooong time from now.)

2016-09-19, 10:22 PM
bards don't get songs in the way they did in 3.x or 4e. that doesn't mean a bard *can't* have songs. you'll notice, for example, that bards can use a musical instrument as a spellcasting focus, meaning that instead of using bat poop and wiggling their fingers, they can play a tune on a flute or a banjo or a kazoo for that matter, and launch a fireball (provided of course they choose fireball as one of their magic secrets).

furthermore, the most recent rules on vocal spell components indicate that vocal components don't necessarily have to be one specific thing only. a bard could cast the same spell as a wizard by knowing the right tune to play and/or sing, and being able to perform that song with sufficient precision.

lastly, the bardic inspiration ability is intended to fill the role of bardic music from earlier editions as well. it isn't explicitly music because some people would rather have their bards inspire people in other ways, but there is absolutely no reason it couldn't be music, if that's what the player decides fits their bard.

anyways, apart from that, a song that is helpful and protective could be perfectly fine. if you want to duplicate shield of faith, you should probably duplicate it fully (by which i mean, concentration is required). alternately, you could probably have a non-concentration version of heroism which i think would fit what you want as well, and heroism without a concentration cost won't break bounded accuracy (you may wish to tweak the specific number of HP if you want it to be a bit more impressive - maybe make it the maximum value their bardic inspiration die can grant? again, this way you're basing it off of their own class features).