Tiefling Bard 1
Armor Class 13 (leather armor)
Hit Points 9 (1d8 hit dice)
Proficiency Bonus +2
Speed 30 ft
Alignment chaotic good
Languages Common, Infernal
Strength 8 (-1)
Dexterity 14 (+2)
Constitution 12 (+1)
Intelligence 13 (+1)
Wisdom 13 (+1)
Charisma 17 (+3)
Melee Attack: Rapier +4 melee 1d8+2 piercing damage
Melee or Ranged Attack: Dagger +4 melee 1d4+2 piercing damage, Range 20/60
Spell Saving Throw DC: 13 (11 without instrument)
Acrobatics +4, Animal Handling +1, Arcana +1, Athletics -1, Deception +5, History +3, Insight +1, Intimidation +3, Investigation +1, Medicine +1, Nature +1, Perception +1, Performance +5, Persuasion +5, Religion +1, Sleight of Hand +2, Stealth +2, Survival +1
Minor illusion, thaumaturgy, vicious mockery
1st level: 2
Charm person, dissonant whispers, faerie fire, tasha’s hideous laughter
Equipment: Rapier, dagger, leather armor, lute, hand drum, small bracelet from a fan, 3 stage costumes, belt pouch, backpack, bedroll, 5 candles, 5 days of rations, waterskin, disguise kit
Bardic Inspiration (d6): 3 times per day as a Bonus Action, you can grant 1 creature within 60 feet one Bardic Inspiration die. Within the next 10 minutes, the creature can roll the die and add it to one ability check, attack roll, or saving throw. They can wait until after they have rolled the d20, but before they know if the check succeeded or failed. A creature can only have one Bardic Inspiration die at a time. Once it is spent, it is lost. You regain all uses of Bardic Inspiration when you finish a long rest.
Armor: Light armor
Weapons: Simple weapons, hand crossbows, longswords, rapiers, shortswords
Tools: Lute, harp, pan pipe, hand drum, disguise kit
Saving Throws: Dexterity and Charisma
Skills: Acrobatics, Deception, History, Performance, Persuasion
Darkvision: You can see in dim light within 60 feet as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You cannot see color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Hellish Resistance: You have resistance to fire damage.
Infernal Legacy: You know the thaumaturgy cantrip. Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast the hellish rebuke spell once per day as a 2nd-level spell. Once you reach 5th level, you can also cast the darkness spell once per day. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
Popular Demand: You can always find a place to perform, usually in an inn or tavern but possibly with a circus, at a theater, or even in a noble’s court. At such a place, you receive free lodging and food of a modest or comfortable standard (depending on the quality of the establishment), as long as you perform each night. In addition, your performance makes you something of a local figure. When strangers recognize you in a town where you have performed, they typically take a liking to you.
Personality Traits: I change my mood or my mind as quickly as I change key in a song.
Ideals: Tradition. The stories, legends, and songs of the past must never be forgotten, for they teach us who we are.
Bonds: My instrument is my most treasured possession, and it reminds me of someone I love.
Flaws: I have trouble keeping my true feelings hidden. My sharp tongue lands me in trouble.
Background: Melody’s story starts many years ago with a young hunter-gatherer on the plains. This young man styled himself a historian and story keeper for his people. At least he wished to be. But he could never keep the stories straight and his ability to perform was less than inspiring. Still he burned with the passion for the stories and the songs of his people.
Finally, distraught to the point of desperation he made a decision that would forever change his destiny. One fateful night, when the stars were right he performed an ancient ritual, calling on dark powers from below the earth. His pleas were heard, and a bargain was struck – a night with a demoness in exchange for the ability to be what he craved. He didn’t give it a second thought. What he didn’t count on was the succubus not giving him the full terms of the bargain. She gave him the abilities he craved, but she left him without the ability to walk. No longer able to perform the physical duties requires of him, his tribe moved on without him. He almost gave in to his despair, but decided that he must try to live. Fashioning a crude pair of crutches, he managed to make his way to a nearby fishing village where he used his new abilities to keep the locals entertained enough to keep himself fed and get him shelter. He made sure to learn everything he could about the village and the surrounding lands. He talked with every merchant, every traveler that stopped through the village to learn new pieces of history and new stories that he could add to his repertoire.
It was several years later that a young girl, thick with the scent and sight of infernal heritage showed up on his doorstep claiming to be his daughter. And in truth she was, conceived from his night with the succubus so many years ago. As she grew, she had begun to show an aptitude for the same arts that her father had so desired and so was sent away from her mother to the Material Plane to learn at his feet. At first he wanted nothing to do with her, and demanded that she leave him be. He found however, that he could not do that to the child. She was not to blame for her mother’s deceit. And she was just as much of an outsider in this community as he was when he first arrived, if not more. If he cast her out, he would be dishonoring the people that had taken him in. He took her in and he gave her a name.
Melody proved relentless in her desire to learn the histories and stories that he had learned. She reminded him of himself as a young man. And, as much as he hated to admit it, she reminded him of her mother. She was a tangible connection to his past and the choices he had made that had brought him to this point in his life. He taught her everything he knew. She soaked it up like a sponge, surpassing his skills in ways that amazed him. Maybe it was her bloodline, maybe it was natural skill, but there was a magic about the way she recited a story or sang a song. She restored him to life in a way that he had never expected Years later, he lay on his death bed, having taught the young woman everything he knew. He gave her his most prized possession – the drum he had made himself in his youth, when the same fire that burned within her first took hold of him. He finally expired, and Melody left to explore the rest of the world and learn everything she could about the stories and the histories of the realm.
Design Notes: Melody is my second attempt at character creation in DND 5E. The Tiefling race seems such a natural fit for the Bard class from their ability score bonuses to several of their species traits. The fact that they have access to the thaumaturgy cantrip, a spell that is notably absent from the Bard’s spell list gave me the idea for this character. I also had a lot of fun coming up with the high fantasy version of the bluesman selling his soul to the devil for fame. Melody is designed to be less of a Bard in the DND sense and more of a Bard in the traditional druidic sense. She is a teacher and a storyteller instead of a minstrel and performer. She entertains, but she does so for a purpose. Every poem, every song, and every story she shares is also a lesson. She is a historian first and foremost, using her magic to literally embellish whatever story she is telling with appropriate effects. All of this makes her a shoe-in for the College of Lore path when she reaches 3rd level.