D&D 5e: Warforged Bard Guide

A male warforged bard playing a guitar on the beach.

D&D 5e: Warforged Bard Guide

Warforged, given their robotic characteristics, are not generally thought of as perfect bards. However, there’s no lore or mechanical reason why they can’t be bards; their statistics synergize fine with the bard class, and lore-wise they have more in common with normal humanoids than with typical golems or robots.

That said, Eberron lore is completely optional if you’re not in Eberron; you can be a more straightforward robot if you like. That said, there’s infinite bard potential in all the typical warforged interpretations, from just being a normal humanoid spellcaster to a mechanical boombox.

A female warforged bard with a harp attatched to her arm.

How to Make a Warforged Bard

Constitution and charisma are a fine mix, though if you’re using the Tasha’s ability score generation rules, you could swap constitution and charisma for better spellcasting potential. In general, you should prioritize charisma, then constitution and dexterity, then wisdom.

The +1 bonus to AC is useful on any character, especially if you plan on going into melee; because of this, the College of Swords might be ideal, along with a multiclass or feat to grab the Shield spell.

Make sure to grab a feat (either Resilient: Constitution or War Caster or both) to improve your concentration saving throws; lots of bard spells require concentration, and you do not want to lose concentration.

Warforged gain an extra tool proficiency; taking another instrument is always a fine choice, but you can always diversify and grab proficiency in thieves’ tools or something else. Robotic precision is useful for both music and lockpicking, after all.

How to Play a Warforged Bard

Although you have proficiency in medium armor and a variety of weapons, this does not necessarily make weapon use a good idea in every situation. You’re a full spellcaster first and foremost; good spells include Sleep (at low levels), Heat Metal, Hypnotic Pattern, and Polymorph.

Remember that your Blade Flourish isn’t restricted to just melee attacks; it works with bows and crossbows too, so long as you used the attack action and used a weapon (so no Eldritch Blast blade flourishes, sorry)

If you multiclass, a single-level dip of Hexblade Warlock is your best bet; this enhances your melee and ranged attack power, as well as your defense and versatility. The Shield spell, from Hexblade or other sources, will combine with your pre-existing armor and your warforged +1 to temporarily skyrocket your armor class.

Given all these other armor class boosts, it’s entirely possible that the warforged +1 is enough to bring some enemies from a 10% chance to hit to a 5% chance to hit; you can temporarily become a phenomenal tank with only a little multiclassing and a bit of armor.

How to Roleplay as a Warforged Bard

Music isn’t mandatory for a bard, but most bards lean into musical performances anyway. Decide how intertwined your music is with your warforged nature; maybe you play normal fantasy bard music, or maybe you have speakers inside your chest that produce electronic beats. Regardless, remember that warforged can be as capable of creativity as the average humanoid.

If you’re playing in the Eberron setting, your warforged almost certainly has a military background; make sure to take this into consideration when you’re roleplaying your character. Every warforged reacts to war differently, so think about how your character would be shaped by their history.

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