If a College of Creation bard is incapacitated, who controls the bard’s dancing item?

The College of Creation bard gets Animating Performance at 6th level which allows them to animate an object and control it using a bonus action:

It can move and use its reaction on its own, but the only action it takes on its turn is the Dodge action, unless you take a bonus action on your turn to command it to take another action. That action can be one in its stat block or some other action. If you are incapacitated, the item can take any action of its choice, not just Dodge.

My question is, when the bard gets incapacitated, what does it mean for the object to take an action "of its choice?"

Does control of the object pass to the dungeon master?

For comparison, other, similar effects either explicitly state that the DM gains control. For example, Conjure elemental:

If your concentration is broken, the elemental doesn’t disappear. Instead, you lose control of the elemental, it becomes hostile toward you and your companions, and it might attack. An uncontrolled elemental can’t be dismissed by you, and it disappears 1 hour after you summoned it.

…Or simply dictate the conjured creature’s fallback behavior. For example, any of the new Summon spells in Tasha’s Cauldron:

The creature is an ally to you and your companions [and] It obeys your verbal commands […] If you don’t issue any, it takes the Dodge action and uses its move to avoid danger.

Note that the wording of Dancing Item is also used in the Circle of Wildfire Druid’s Wildfire Spirit.

In 5e, when do College of Swords bards still use musical instruments? [closed]

In 5e, after a bard has joined the College of Swords at 3rd level, when–if at all–would they need their instrument(s)?

At 1st and 2nd levels, they would have used musical instruments as spell casting foci, but for those who join the College of Swords at 3rd level, "If you’re proficient with a simple or martial melee weapon, you can use it as a spellcasting focus for your bard spells".

So, no need for a musical instrument as a focus for spellcasting.

As for bard abilities, Song of Rest, gained at 2nd level, is brought about through "soothing music or oration", and for Countercharm, gained at 6th, "music notes or words of power" are the means of achieving the desired effect (PHB p54). In both cases, the option to of speaking–oration or words of power–means that a muscial instrument is not needed.

It seems strange that a the defining feature of a class becomes vestigal.

Does someone realize they were charmed after the effect of the Glamour bard’s Enthralling Performance wears off?

I have been playing a College of Glamour bard in the Tomb of Annihilation module. They get the Enthralling Performance feature at 3rd level when they choose the subclass (Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, p. 14):

If you perform for at least 1 minute, you can attempt to inspire wonder in your audience by singing, reciting a poem, or dancing. At the end of the performance, choose a number of humanoids within 60 feet of you who watched and listened to all of it, up to a number equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of one). Each target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC or be charmed by you. […] This effect ends on a target after 1 hour, if it takes any damage, if you attack it, or if it witnesses you attacking or damaging any of its allies.

If a target succeeds on its saving throw, the target has no hint that you tried to charm it.

According to the description, the target does not become aware of the fact that someone attempted to charm them if they succeed at their saving throw. However, it doesn’t say anything about what happens if they fail their save and the charm wears off.

Once the effect of Enthralling Performance wears off, do those that were previously affected by it know they were charmed?

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?

What triggers the benefit of the bard’s “Song of Rest” feature?

In D&D 5e, the benefit of the Bard’s “Song of Rest” feature triggers “if you or any friendly creatures who can hear your performance regain hit points at the end of the the short rest.”

Does Song of Rest’s benefit apply just when spending hit dice to regain hit points?
Or does it apply to any other way that a player might regain hit points at the end of a short rest (e.g. by casting a spell, using a Second Wind, eating a Goodberry, etc.)?

How does the Sanctuary spell stack with the College of Glamour bard’s Unbreakable Majesty feature?

The College of Glamour bard’s Unbreakable Majesty feature (XGE, p. 14-15) has a similar effect to the sanctuary spell, although it requires a Charisma save instead of a Wisdom save.

If someone attacks a creature under the effects of both, does the attacker need to make both saves?

Can Bards stealth cast spells?

I’ve noticed that it explicitly states in some spells, such as Dissonant whispers which has a verbal component only, that it can only be heard by the target

The caster would whisper a cacophonous sound that only the target could hear

However I have wondered if a Bard can subtly cast any spell in their repertoire against any person without a high enough knowledge in Arcana or personal knowledge of the caster.

Considering the following is true…

A bard can fulfil the V, S & M components of a spell by simply playing their instrument.

  • M, instrument as spellcasting focus
  • S, movement of playing the instrument
  • V, sound of the instrument or accompanied song

So the conditions for spells here are an everyday action and the resulting effect is often physic, or mental not necessarily visible to others.

A good example would be Hideous Laughter (VSM). If my Bard were to play this and a target was to fall over laughing, I don’t think it would be obvious a spell was involved.

This is very different to a Mage Kamehamehaing a fireball at someone.

To be perceptible, the casting of a spell must involve a verbal, somatic, or material component.

Most bards aren’t magic.

True bards are not common in the world. Not every minstrel singing in a tavern or jester cavorting in a royal court is a bard.

It seems to be implied their magic is subtle by nature.

Bards say that the multiverse was spoken into existence, that the words of the gods gave it shape, and that echoes of these primordial Words of Creation still resound throughout the cosmos. The music of bards is an attempt to snatch and harness those echoes, subtly woven into their spells and powers.

This question has been asked for Vicious Mockery Can a bard cast Vicious Mockery without passersby thinking it's an attack? but not in a more general context, plus the answers there seem very subjective.

Bards acting as rouges?

in a campaign I recently played I encountered a npc rouge that could do everything a lvl 7 rouge could do, he was able to pick locks but he didn’t even roll for it, later in the storyline he revealed that he was a bard, My question is; Can a bard pose as a rouge and have all of the lvl 7 rouge abilities?

How does an in-combat change to a bard’s Charisma Score affect its available Bardic Inspirations?

I’m not exactly sure how changes to ability scores in combat affect abilities that have uses based on the modifier for that that skill.

For example take a bard with a Charisma score of 18 that has already used his 4 Bardic Inspirations. He then draws the Star card from the Deck of Many things. He uses it to increase his Charisma to 20, making his Charisma modifier +5.

As the number of Bardic Inspirations is determined by the Charisma modifier, would its increase to +5 give him an additional use of Bardic Inspiration?

On the other hand, suppose the bard has an Ioun stone taking his Charisma to 20. He uses 4 Inspirations, and then steps in a Antimagic Field, disabling the Ioun stone and reducing his Charisma to 18(+4). Would he have one available Bardic Inspiration or none?