Would forcing a lawyer to turn on their client with a Glamour Bard’s Enthralling Performance feature be seen as an attack?

Say you are a bard, level 3+. You have are being sued by an enemy, and you have got their lawyer tied up in a chair. You make them charmed after their failed saving throw against your Enthralling Performance feature, which states:

Each target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC or be charmed by you. While charmed in this way, the target idolizes you, it speaks glowingly of you to anyone who speaks to it, and it hinders anyone who opposes you, avoiding violence unless it was already inclined to fight on your behalf. 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.

Would charming the lawyer and making him throw out the case be seen as an attack against the lawyer’s ally, your enemy?

If two Lore Bards used cutting words on an ability check or attack, would they stack?

Let’s say the party had two Lore Bards, and both used cutting words on a creature who tried to attack. Does that stack since they are separate penalties and not enduring effects (like bless), or would it still fall under the “same name features don’t stack” rule?

Does Bard’s Jack of All Trades grant them greater initiative?

Bards get the ability “Jack of All Trades” which reads:

Starting at 2nd level, you can add half your proficiency bonus, rounded down, to any ability check you make that doesn’t already include your proficiency bonus.

Since your initiative roll is based purely on your dexterity, and it says “ability check” and not “skill check”, does that mean that a Bard, starting at 2nd level, will tend to have better initiative than others?

Why do bards and druids get Heat metal? [on hold]

As per Player’s handbook, only bards and druids get access to Heat metal. Later books added forge clerics to that super-exclusive list, and UA artificers are in it too.

But why? Artificers and forge clerics makes all the sense in the world, of course. But, unless I’m missing something, bards and druids are weird choices for that list, and wizards and sorcerers are obvious choices which aren’t there.

Is there an official tweet somewhere explaining the rationale behind that decision or can someone explain to me what I’m failing to see, or is it just a case of weird drunken spell-list design?

Someone on Reddit suggested the following:

A lot of people have touched on resonance, and from what I saw the response was “yes, but why the Bard in particular?”

Quite frankly, because no one else could. The wizard has the magical expertise, sure, but they don’t understand the mechanics of sound like a bard does. A bard knows their instrument (and therefore their sound) better than most people know their genitalia. Anyone could know “hey, if I hit this frequency, I could energize the metal to the point that it’s malleable,” but not just anyone can do it. Their sounds would be too sharp, too flat, too loud, too soft, lacking the right overtones, etc., and would therefore be ineffective. Only someone with the proper blend of skills could pull this off.

TL:DR this flavor of the spell requires musical expertise, not just magical, so only the Bard can pull it off.

Okay, that sort of explains it. Except the same would apply to Shatter, which a bunch of classes have access to. And it still doesn’t explain why the druid can cast Heat metal too.

Can a Lore bard’s Cutting Words feature cancel a critical hit?

The Lore bard’s Cutting Words feature says (PHB, p. 54; emphasis mine):

When a creature that you can see within 60 feet of you makes an attack roll, […] you can use your reaction to expend one of your uses of Bardic Inspiration, rolling a Bardic Inspiration die and subtracting the number rolled from the creature’s roll. You can choose to use this feature after the creature makes its roll […]

If a creature hits with a natural 20, can a Lore bard use his Cutting Words ability to subtract an inspiration die from the result, thus preventing a critical hit?

What counts as a spellcasting focus for bards?

Inspired by this question: Can a multi-class spellcaster have one thing be two different focuses?

The PHB, on p54 says:

Spellcasting focus

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

And yet on p53, the PHB in the introductory description of bards, gives examples of three bards:

Bard #1:

Humming as she traces her fingers over an ancient monument in a long-forgotten ruin, a half-elf in rugged leathers finds knowledge springing into her mind, conjured forth by the magic of her song—knowledge of the people who constructed the monument and the mythic saga it depicts.

Bard #2:

A stern human warrior bangs his sword rhythmically against his scale mail, setting the tempo for his war chant and exhorting his companions to bravery and heroism. The magic of his song fortifies and emboldens them.

Bard #3:

Laughing as she tunes her cittern, a gnome weaves her subtle magic over the assembled nobles, ensuring that her companions’ words will be well received.

In each example, the implication is that the bard is casting a spell, and the implication is that the action of the bard is central to the magic, and at least to my reading, that the voice, sword/mail, and instrument are spellcasting foci. Maybe it is meaningless fluff, or maybe the implication is that those are all spellcasting foci.

There are two parts to my question:

  • Is it reasonable to assume that RAW or at least RAI that the implication is that in the case of bards, they can use 1) their voice, 2) an improvised musical instrument, or 3) a bought musical instrument?

  • And if such an assumption isn’t RAW/RAI, what are the implications to allowing it as a house rule?

How does the Ring of Spell Storing interact with the Glamour Bard’s Mantle of Majesty feature?

At level 6 Glamour Bards gain the ability Mantle of Majesty which allows them to cast command up to 10 times (ability lasts a minute and command is cast as a bonus action) without expending a spell slot:

you take on an unearthly appearance for 1 minute or until your concentration ends (as if you were concentrating on a spell). During this time you can cast the command spell as a bonus action on each of your turns without expending a spell slot.

Does this mean that I could activate the ability (outside of battle) and then store 5 castings of command in a ring of spell storing for use at a later time?