A Beginner's Guide to Bards in 5e

By: Chris McColgan,


Thinking about playing a Bardin your next game of Dungeons and Dragons? Here’s what you need to know.

What are Bards?

In the enchanting world of Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition, Bards are charismatic performers, storytellers, and masters of music, wielding their talents to inspire, enchant, and manipulate both friend and foe.

With a rich tapestry of skills and spells at their disposal, Bards captivate audiences with their captivating performances, using their artistry to shape the outcomes of encounters and weave tales of heroism and legend.

Embodying the spirit of creativity and expression, Bards bring joy, wonder, and enchantment to every corner of the realm.

Playstyles for Bards

Bards offer diverse playstyles to accommodate a range of preferences and strategic approaches to encounters. Some common playstyles include:

  1. Charming Enchanter: Bards specialising in enchantment magic excel at charming and manipulating the emotions and thoughts of others. Their spells can inspire courage, soothe troubled minds, and sway the hearts of both allies and adversaries, making them valuable assets in negotiations and social interactions.
  2. Versatile Supporter: Some Bards focus on providing versatile support to their party, utilising a combination of healing spells, buffs, and utility magic to enhance their companions’ abilities and bolster their overall effectiveness. Their wide range of supportive spells and abilities makes them indispensable allies in a variety of adventuring scenarios.
  3. Agile Trickster: Bards adept in subtle illusions and sleight of hand use their skills to deceive, distract, and confound their enemies. Their proficiency in deception and misdirection allows them to manipulate perceptions, create diversions, and outwit adversaries, providing strategic advantages in both combat and non-combat situations.

FAQs for Bards

Q: Can Bards wear armour in 5e?

A: Bards are proficient in light armour, enabling them to wear garments such as leather armour and padded armour without incurring penalties to their spellcasting abilities. While some Bards prefer the freedom of unarmored movement, others opt for light armour to enhance their survivability in combat.

Q: How do Bards learn new spells in 5e?

A: Bards expand their repertoire of spells through their level progression. They learn new Bard spells upon reaching certain levels and have the flexibility to swap out known spells for new ones during their adventures, allowing them to tailor their spell selection to suit their evolving needs and playstyle.

Q: What role do Bards play outside of combat?

A: Bards play a pivotal role in providing entertainment, cultural enrichment, and storytelling within their communities. Their proficiency in performance, persuasion, and history makes them valuable assets in social settings, enabling them to forge connections, gather information, and leave a lasting impact on the cultural tapestry of the world.

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