When we started working on fairy tale month, we had to decide how to tackle the giant marauding dragon in the genre. Disney has such a stranglehold on what we think of as fairy tales, ignoring it felt like a waste. So we started talking over what the “Disney” article would be, and decided it had to be a class path. Bards seemed like the best option for a character who would randomly burst into song, and thus what we started referring to as “The Bardic College of Disney Princesses” was born. But while the class abilities are obviously inspired by the Disney Princesses (befriending and talking to small animals, singing songs), for the fluff, we decided on a Bard that goes out and collects stories like the Brothers Grimm. So adventurers, go forth and collect and share stories of folk wisdom, for they contain morals and lessons that you need to pass on.
College of Folklore
Some bards talk to soldiers inspired by epic tales of war. Other bards search for lost knowledge in libraries and talk to wise sages. But bards of the College of Folklore look for bits of lore among the common folk, typically farmers and villagers in the wilds of the world. These bards realize that there are bits of knowledge in every story passed from one villager to another, and these cautionary tales have a magic all their own.
When Bards of the College of Folklore meet, they typically do so in tented festivals, where they trade folk tales, swap farming tips, and share knowledge. They believe sharing knowledge contained in folk tales from all over the lands makes everybody stronger, because hidden in these stories, tips, and songs are ways to help all goodly folk. Individually, Bards of the College of Folklore can be found in all sorts of odd places. Their knowledge of folk remedies means they are often called upon to be midwives and healers. They’re also often found in a local tavern, singing songs and telling stories. Or they can be found surrounded by children, entertaining them with animal friends. They help out at farms and in breweries. They are the bards of the common man, and people in small, remote villages love them for it.
When you join the College of Folklore at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with one Artisan’s Tools of your choice, Land Vehicles, and Wisdom (Medicine) checks.
Friend of the Animals
Also at 3rd level, you learn how to use music to become a friend of small animals everywhere. You learn the spell Animal Friendship, and Find Familiar, and these spells count as a bards spell for you but don’t count against the number of bard spells you know.
Walk in the Woods
Starting at 6th level, moving through nonmagical difficult terrain costs you no extra movement. You can also pass through nonmagical plants without being slowed by them and without taking damage from them if they have thorns, spines, or a similar hazard.
In addition, you learn the spell Conjure Animals, and this spell counts as bard spell for you but doesn’t count against the number of bard spells you know.
Once Upon a Time
At 14th level your knowledge of folklore has attuned you to the powers of stories, and how to manipulate another creature’s story for your own ends. You gain access to the spells Bestow Curse and Remove Curse, and these spells count as a bards spell for you but don’t count against the number of bard spells you know. Furthermore, when you cast Bestow Curse, it never requires concentration to maintain, and the duration can be lengthened by casting it with a higher level slot.