D&D 5e: Dragonborn Bard Guide
D&D 5e: Dragonborn Bard Guide
It’s easy to imagine characters from pop culture when picturing a bard. Typically, one might think of Jaskier from The Witcher (better known as Dandelion in the games), or Cacofonix from Asterix & Obelix. Certainly, the image of a minstrel or musician comes to mind, the image of a jovial individual. Bards in D&D are a little more magical than that, and have some good variety to them, taking the form of warrior poets, musicians, and spies. Now take the dragonborn culture. They live in clans, to which they prize devotion above all else, and form an honor-based society. What sort of bards might such a culture produce? That’s what we’re here to find out.
The Bard class can be found in the Player’s Handbook. Click here to pick up your own copy of The Player’s Handbook!
The Dragonborn race can be found in the Player’s Handbook OR an updated version can be found in Fizzban’s Treasury of Dragons. Click here to pick up your own copy of the Player’s Handbook or click here to pick up your own copy of Fizzban’s Treasury of Dragons!
How to Make a Dragonborn Bard
As a Dragonborn, you start with a bonus to your strength and charisma scores, and that’s good because charisma will be your main stat as a bard both for combat and for roleplay. Your natural strength bonus, while circumstantially nice, will be otherwise unused and it is recommended you prioritize dexterity after charisma for both ranged and melee combat (use finesse weapons), armor class, and initiative (better that casters go first). After that, consider constitution for both your concentration spells and your hit points, as you don’t have many to spare, and finally consider wisdom or intelligence based on what sort of bard you wish to be.
Bard colleges are the bard subclasses, and different subclasses tend better to different playstyles. If you wish to be engaged in martial combat often which you might be as a Dragonborn, then consider the Colleges of Swords or Valor, both of which grant access to better armor and a boost to your damage. The College of Lore might be your choice if you favor magic instead, or perhaps Glamour or Eloquence if you wish to play into the charismatic side.
How to Play a Dragonborn Bard
Even as a dragonborn, and even if you desire the college of Swords or Valor, you should focus on how you can be of best use to your party in combat. One feature that all bards regardless of subclass have access to is Bardic Inspiration, a dice that grows in size as you level which you can grant to allies to buff them in some way. Different subclasses gain different uses for this die, but the theme of it being used to support your party remains largely consistent.
You will also be great at solving skill challenges, as bards are fantastic in the skills department, with many proficiencies. Consider your spell choice to include more than just combat ability, but allow your spells to play into your utility role as well.
How to Roleplay as a Dragonborn Bard
Are you a proud Dragonborn, exploring the world and planning to return to your clan with the tales of your travels, or were you born out of your clan into another society? Many people consider bards to be the “joker” role in a party, but that’s an unnecessary stereotype. You needn’t be a weak backline, you might even be the party leader, the face of social interactions, the one that makes the difficult decisions. Or perhaps you prefer a quieter role, maybe you’re introverted even. Did you know it’s possible to play an introverted character with high charisma? Charisma is merely the force of your personality, it needn’t be a loud one. Your bard may keep their outlets strictly creative. Do consider your interactions with those around you and keep your Dragonborn heritage in mind if you wish to make it truly unique.