Is this house rule to balance the college of whispers bard balanced?

As a player and a dungeon master, I feel like the Psychic Blade of the college of whispers bard is really unbalanced regarding the Sneak Attack feature of the rogue.

First of all, they mostly does the same amount of damage… But the Psychic Blade does psychic damages, where the sneak attack’s damage type is the one of the weapon (bludgeoning, piercing or slashing). The problem is that psychic damage is one of the less resisted type of damage, where bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damages are the most resisted type of damages.

Second, Psychic Blade is way easier to trigger than Sneak Attack, only needing to spend a Bardic Inspiration (which come back on short rest after level 5) and you have it, where Sneak Attack require advantage or an ally to use it.

So, looking those elements, I decided to replace the cost Bardic Inspiration of Psychic Blade with a condition. To use the Psychic Blade feature, you don’t need to spend a Bardic Inspiration, you need advantage on charisma check against your target, be under the Mantle of Whispers feature effect, or the target have to be frightened or charmed before the attack hit.

To me, it keep the flavor of a bard that is also a killer, still synergyse with the others college of whisper features, but make it a little bit harder to the bard to have the Psychic Blade. But is it balanced?

Can a Swords bard benefit from Blade Flourish’s speed increase again if they take the Attack action again?

The Swords Bard’s 3rd level feature, Blade Flourish, states:

[…] Whenever you take the Attack action on your turn, your walking speed increases by 10 feet until the end of the turn […]

So if a Bard took the Attack action multiple times (through something like haste or Action Surge) would they gain the speed increase multiple times as well?

What are the consequences if I allow a Bard to Inspire himself?

Watching a video stream of a game, one of the players, the Bard, asked if he could inspire himself with his Bardic Inspiration feature. The GM objected and said that the feature specifically said that you must target another target with your Bardic Inspiration. I thought this was strange and when I looked it up, he was right. In the end, the GM let the Bard inspire himself and he used the Inspiration die to succeed on an ability check.

I find it weird that Bards can’t inspire themselves and I can’t find a mechanical reason why they should not be able to; they are still expending a resource, anyway. Thankfully this hasn’t come up in our games as the Bard is perfectly happy inspiring others while playing a folk metal tune on his phone. But if it does come up, I’m inclined to say why not?

Is there a mechanical consequence I’m potentially missing if I allow a Bard to Inspire himself?

Would that break the class?

Can a bard cast a level 1+ spell and the Mantle of Majesty Command in the same turn?

For clarity

It’s already clear from several other question you may not maintain concentration on Mantle of Majesty and another concentration spell at the same time. This is not my question.


A creature may not normally cast 2 lvl 1+ spells in the same turn even if one is an action and the other is a bonus action. They may maintain concentration and cast a level 1+ spell that does not require concentration. They may also cast a cantrip and a level 1+ spell.

The question

Does the “Command” free level 1 spell as a bonus action granted by Mantle of Majesty qualify as a level 1+ spell preventing the bard from casting another level 1+ spell such as “Charm Person” or “Dispel Magic” on the same turn?

My thoughts

I suspect it does not as most abilities such as martial moves, ki, or breath weapons are not treated as spells. However I have not found any defense for this in any of the rulebooks.

Can a bard use a musical instrument as a spellcasting focus if they aren’t proficient with it?

The bard’s spellcasting class features (PHB, pg. 53) includes the following:

Spellcasting Focus

You can use a musical instrument (found in chapter 5) as a spellcasting focus for your bard spells.

In chapter 5, it says this about musical instruments (PHB, pg. 154):

Musical Instrument. Several of the most common types of musical instruments are shown on the table as examples. If you have proficiency with a given musical instrument, you can add your proficiency bonus to any ability checks you make to play music with the instrument. A bard can use a musical instrument as a spellcasting focus. Each type of musical instrument requires a separate proficiency.

Typically, a bard will have at least one musical instrument proficiency (3 from start, 4 if they get another via background, or as few as 1 if they multiclass into bard from something else).

However, at the end of the chapter 5 quote, it says “Each type of musical instrument requires a separate proficiency”, meaning that a bard could lose their musical instrument but find or buy one that they aren’t proficient in.

The chapter 5 quote also says “If you have proficiency with a given musical instrument, you can add your proficiency bonus to any ability checks you make to play music with the instrument”, but that’s about playing it, not necessarily using it for spellcasting (and there doesn’t at time of writing seem to be a definitive answer on whether you need to play it to cast spells with it; that’s not the purpose of my question, anyway).

Finally, the chapter 5 quote also says “A bard can use a musical instrument as a spellcasting focus”, but it says it in a separate sentence to the one about proficiency, so the two sentences don’t necessarily relate to one another.

If a bard only has a musical instrument that they aren’t specifically proficient in, can they still use it to cast spells?

Can the Glamour bard’s Mantle of Inspiration feature target the bard themself?

The College of Glamour bard’s Mantle of Inspiration feature reads as follows (XGtE, p. 14; emphasis mine):

As a bonus action, you can expend one use of your Bardic Inspiration to grant yourself a wondrous appearance. When you do so, choose a number of creatures you can see and that can see you within 60 feet of you, up to a number equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of one). Each of them gains 5 temporary hit points. When a creature gains these temporary hit points, it can immediately use its reaction to move up to its speed, without provoking opportunity attacks.

Since technically you can see yourself, you can see your target and your target can see you. As such, when using this ability, can you target yourself with it?

Does switching the bard incantation stat from charisma to wisdom create major balance issues? [duplicate]

I have a player who want to play a shaman. He really wants to keep the bard classes but he is much more interested in the druid lore. He doesn’t want to be charismatic and handle social interaction, he wants to focus it’s music around nature and worship nature-related deities. Therefore he was asking if he can have a bard with wisdom as the incantation characteristic.

I’m about to say yes, but I’m new and I don’t know if there is major balance issues that will come up and that I didn’t foresee.

In 13th Age, are the Bard and Sorcerer spontaneous casters?

In 13th Age, casters know all the spells of their class, and have a number of slots determined by level. They can swap their spells every day or after every Full Heal-up. But they need to place that number of spells in the slots.

I can’t find whether the Bard and the Sorcerer, who were spontaneous casters in other d20 games, can keep the slots free to decide in the moment. My guess so far is that they can’t, because normally, nobody can cast the same spell twice, and nobody can allocate the same spell in two slots.

Am I blind or are there just no more spontaneous casters in 13th Age?