With wings that span like a canvas painted by the gods themselves, the Aarakocra Bard takes to the skies with an air of grace and melody. They serenade the world below with harmonious tunes, strumming their magical instruments and even being able to change fate.
An Aarakocra Bard possesses a keen mind, sharp wit, and a knack for charming both friends and foes alike. Their tales are told with such artistry that even the most steadfast enemies find themselves enchanted.
When entering battle, the Aarakocra Bard unleashes their true prowess. A master of spells and songs, they conjure powerful incantations that weave through the battlefield like a gust of wind.
When you meet an Aarakocra Bard, you will know their influence as they remind you that no matter what happens, the skies hold no boundaries and that dreams can take you anywhere.
Creating an Aarakocra Bard
The Aarakocra are seclusive creatures living in high mountains where the tallest trees grow, evoking fear and wonder whenever heard by passing adventurers.
The birdfolk, as many common races call them, hail from the beautiful Elemental Plane of Air. Most Aarakocra are explorers, scouts, and refugees, operating in and from various outposts around this new, strange world.
|Skin (Plumage)||Male (brighter plumage) – Red, yellow, orange|
Female (duller plumage) – Brown or gray
Note: Aarakocra use plumage to identify one another
|Head||The head of an eagle or parrot|
|Eyes||Pale yellow bird-like eyes|
|Nose||Nostrils located on their beak|
|Wings||Large pair of feathered wings|
Note: These features can be slightly changed or modified if some variations don’t fit your character.
Aarakocra are similar to Half-Orcs in the way that they don’t have any subraces – probably due to their low numbers and rarity.
Bard Class Features
|Hit Dice||1d8 per Bard level|
|HP at level 1||8 + Constitution level|
|HP at Higher levels||1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Bard level after level 1|
|Weapons||Simple weapons, Hand Crossbows, Longswords, Rapiers, Shortswords|
|Tools||Three musical instruments you choose|
|Saving Throws||Dexterity, Charisma|
|Skills||Choose any three|
Once you reach level 3, you’ll be able to unlock the techniques of different bard colleges; choosing one will give you specific features, so try optimizing your choices with your subrace.
Creation – College of Creation Bards are obsessed with the cosmos, believing it is a work of art, a creation of the first dragons and gods.
You can often hear them sing the Song of Creation, filling those around them with deep emotions.
Eloquence – College of Eloquence Bards are master orators, using persuasion, reason, and a well-spoken argument to solve most problems. These Bards are experts at plucking the heartstring of those listening and even winning over skeptics.
Glamour – College of Glamour Bards learned their craft in the Feywild, using their magic to enlighten and captivate those who listen to their song. There are tales of these Bards successfully lulling powerful dragons with their song and speech.
Lore – College of Lore Bards knows something of everything, having diverse knowledge about almost any matter. They are experts at unraveling lies, exposing corruption, and telling the truth in the most compelling manner.
Spirits – College of Spirits Bards study fiction, histories, and legends in search of great power. They use magic to call upon forces to once again change the world, just as in their books.
Swords – College of Swords Bards entertain through weapon prowess – swallowing swords, jugglings knives, and mocking combatants. They are skilled with weapons and often combine them with powerful magical effects.
Valor – College of Valor Bards tells the tales of legendary heroes, both in the past and in the present. They usually travel to these great events to catch a firsthand experience, which is why their songs are so emotional and detailed.
Whispers – College of Whispers Bards seem like ordinary Bards, singing and dancing as usual, but their motives are as dangerous as their teachings.
These Bards are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They uncover secrets and turn people against each other using threats and extortion. In most cases, these Bards claim to follow a different college, only revealing their true college when it is absolutely necessary.
Note: Watch out for College of Whispers Bards in royal courts and among the highest echelons of society, as they can worm themselves into any situation.
Combining Class With Race
Determining Your Subclass
Choosing your ideal subclass is subjective, but if your objective is optimization, try understanding what your character wants to do and what stats fit best with their subclass.
|College of Creation||Support|
|College of Eloquence||Face/Support|
|College of Glamour||Support|
|College of Lore||Face/Librarian|
|College of Spirits||Support/Utility Caster|
|College of Swords||Striker|
|College of Valor||Defender/Striker|
|College of Whispers||Face/Striker|
Aarakocra don’t have any subraces, which is probably due to their close-knit communities or some other reason foreign to most other races.
You’ll start with a bonus to Dexterity (2) and Wisdom (1) which isn’t too bad for a Bard, but it would’ve been better if Wisdom was replaced by Charisma.
All in all, you’ll want to focus on raising your Charisma as it’s used for your spellcasting modifier, and your second choice would be Dexterity.
Your Aarakocra Bard needs a unique background that will affect its choices, as well as the way it sees the world and what it wants to achieve.
Start by asking yourself some basic questions: Where were they born, and where did they come from? Do they have any goals, bonds, or ideals, and what are their flaws? Where do they belong in social circles and society as a whole? What inspires them?
Place of Birth
Think of the environment an Aarakocra Bard grew up in and how it affected them physically and emotionally and eventually shaped their view of the world.
Try to make their place of birth and upbringing correspond with their personality traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws – this will truly bring their character alive.
Note: The birthplaces of races are usually mentioned in the Player’s Handbook or some of its expansion books.
Characteristics and Personality Traits
Aarakocra Bards are very similar to normal Aarakocra but with a more charismatic personality, favoring people over other things and staying loyal to those they hold dear.
Aarakocra Bard Examples:
- I have a good joke for every occasion, especially the occasions where humor is inappropriate.
- Flattery is my preferred trick for getting what I want.
Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws
Ideal – Express one ideal that is a driving force in an Aarakocra Bard’s life – their conviction, ethical principle, and moral standing (probably something about nature).
I’m very loyal to my friends, not to any ideals, and everyone else can even take a trip down the Styx for all I care.
Bonds – Think of a single bond that your Aarakocra Bard has to an event, person, or place. Bonds will tie them to their background and can inspire bravery or stimulate memories driving them against their ideals.
I had swindled and ruined a person who did not deserve it. I seek to atone for all my misdeeds, but I fear I might never be able to forgive myself.
Flaws – Choose a single flaw for an Aarakocra Bard – their unhealthy compulsion, greatest fear/weakness, or most vile vice.
I can’t resist a pretty face.
Inspiration is used by the DM to reward you for playing according to your bond, personality traits, ideals, and flaw.
I can’t bring myself to look the other way when someone is in need; even though I understand what has happened to them is their own fault, I need to step in and lend them my hand.
Note: If you’re struggling to create your background or just don’t want to think, the Player’s Handbook has well-thought-through backgrounds that you can use for your character or use as a mold.
Supplies and Gear
Bards start with the following equipment, together with the equipment from their background. Choosing equipment based on your situation and your character’s proficiencies is the easiest way to go about things.
- (a) Rapier, (b) Longsword, or (c) Any simple weapon
- (a) Diplomat’s pack or (b) Entertainer’s pack
- (a) Lute or (b) Any other musical instrument
- Dagger and leather armor
You can decide how your character came about these goods – whether they stole, inherited, or purchased them some time back – adding to your character’s background.
Note: By using your starting wealth, you can buy your own equipment (5d4 x 10 GP for Bards).
Aarakocra Bards aren’t very common outside the lands where the Aarakocra originated from, but some do wander outside in seek of adventure.
Their skills don’t really help them become better Bards, but their good nature usually makes them friendly. It could be said that because they are birds, they are naturally talented at singing, but this is just a myth.
In the end, whether they become successful Bards depends entirely on their choices, as they have the potential to become great.
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