Does the bard’s Jack of All Trades feature make them proficient with thieves’ tools?

PHB describes the Jack of All Trades feature as

you can add half your proficiency bonus, rounded down, to any ability check you make that doesn’t already include your proficiency bonus

It also says that

trying to open a lock requires proficiency with thieves’ tools

Assuming that Jack of All Trades does not give you proficiency in any skill that you are not proficient in, does it mean a bard actually can NOT pick a lock?

Is my Warlock useless to the group now that we have a wizard with Eldritch Blast and two Bards who focus on utility?

Recently the other players in my group got tired of their characters; now they’ve turned up with new ones and I’m worried that my Warlock has nothing to add to the group anymore.

My Character

Level 5 human Pact of the Tome warlock, Fiend patron.
Stats: STR 14, DEX 12, CON 13, INT 14, WIS 14, CHA 19
Invocations: Agonizing Blast, Repelling Blast and Devil’s Sight.
Feats: Spell Sniper
Spells: hex, darkness, hunger of Hadar, invisibility, and comprehend languages

My group: a barbarian, two bards, a wizard and a rogue/druid multi-class (sorry I don’t know specifics on their classes); a Sorcerer or Cleric might be joining soon.

I am thinking that now that we have a wizard (with EB), it’s stupid to have the ritual invocation (Book of Ancient Secrets). One bard is the face whilst the other has utility spells like charm person and darkness; I’m not a Hexblade so I can’t go melee.

I feel like I’m just an extra mouth to feed; is there anything more I can do to contribute to the party that someone else isn’t doing better?

The DM rolls to see if we have night-time encounters or not.

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?