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Bard Class Features

You gain these abilities as a bard. Abilities gained at higher levels list the requisite levels next to the features’ names.

Ancestry and Background

In addition to the abilities provided by your class at 1st level, you have the benefits or your selected ancestry and background.

Initial Proficiencies

At 1st level you gain a number of proficiencies, representing your basic training. These are noted at the start of this class.

Occult Spellcasting

You draw upon magic from esoteric knowledge. You can cast occult spells using the Cast a Spell activity, and you can supply material, somatic, and verbal components when casting spells. Because you're a bard, you can usually play an instrument for spells requiring somatic or material components, as long as it takes at least one of your hands to do so. If you use an instrument, you don't need a spell component pouch or another hand free. You can usually also play an instrument for spells requiring verbal components, instead of speaking. Each day, you can cast up to two 1st-level spells. You must know spells to cast them, and you learn them via the spell repertoire class feature. The number of spells you can cast each day is called your spell slots. As you increase in level as a bard, your number of spells per day increases in level as a bard, your number of spells per day increases, as does the highest level of spells you can cast as shown in the Spells per day table. Some of your spells require you to attempt a spell attack roll to see how effective they are, or have your enemies roll against your spell DC (typically by attempting a saving throw). Since your key ability is Charisma modifier.

Heightening Spells

When you get spell slots of 2nd level and higher, you can fill those slots with stronger versions of lower-level spells. This increases the spell's level to match the spell slot. You must have a spell in your spell repertoire at the level you want to cast in order to heighten it to that level. Many spells have specific improvements when they are heightened to certain levels. The signature spells class feature lets you heighten certain spells freely.


Some of your spells are cantrips. A cantrip is a special type of spell that doesn't use spell slots. You can cast a cantrip at will, any number of times per day. A cantrip is automatically heightened to half your level rounded up, which equals the highest level of spell you can cast as a bard. For example, as a 1st level bard, your cantrips are 1st-level spells, and as a 5th-level bard, your cantrips are 3rd-level spells.

Spell Repertoire

The collection of spells you can cast is called your spell repertoire. At 1st level, you learn two 1st-level occult spells of your choice and five occult cantrips of your choice. You choose these from the common spells from the occult list or from other occult spells to which you have access. You can cast any spell in your spell repertoire by using a spell slot of an appropriate spell level.

You add to this spell repertoire as you increase in level. Each time you get a spell slot you add a spell to your spell repertoire of the same level. At 2nd level you select another 1st-level spell; at 3rd level, you select two 2nd-level spells, and so on. When you add spells, you might add a higher-level version of a spell you already have, so you can cast a heightened version of that spell.

Though you gain them at the same rate, your spell slots and the spells in your spell repertoire are separate, if a feat or other ability adds a spell to your spell repertoire, it wouldn't give you another spell slot, and vice versa.

Swapping Spell in Your Repertoire

As you gain new spells in your repertoire, you might want to replace some of the spells you previously learned. Each time you gain a level and learn new spells, you can swap out one of your old spells for a different spell of the same level. This spell can be a cantrip. You can also swap out spells by retraining during downtime.

Composition Spells

You can Infuse your performances with magic to create unique effects called compositions. Compositions are a special type of spell that often require you to use the Performance skill when casting them. Composition spells are a type of focus spell. It costs 1 Focus Point to cast a focus spell, and you start with a focus pool of 1 Focus Point. You refill your focus pool during your daily preparations, and you can regain 1 Focus Point by spending 10 minutes using the Refocus activity to perform, write a new composition, or otherwise engage your muse.

Focus spells are Automatically heightened to half your level rounded up, much like cantrips. Focus spells don't require spell slots, and you can't cast them using spell slots. Taking feats can give you more focus spells and increase the size of your focus pool, though your focus pool can never hold more than 3 Focus Points. The full rules for focus spells.

You learn the "Counter Performance" composition spell, protecting against auditory and visual effects.

Composition Cantrips

Composition cantrips are special composition spells that don't cost Focus Points, so you can use them as often as you like. Composition cantrips are in addition to the cantrips you choose from the occult list. Generally, only feats can give you more composition cantrips. Unlike other cantrips, you can't swap out composition cantrips gained from bard feats at a later level, unless you swap out the specific feat via retraining.

You learn the "Inspire Courage" composition cantrip, which boosts your allies' attacks, damage, and defense against fear.


As a bard, you select one must at 1st level. This muse leads you to great things, and might be a physical creature, a deity philosophy, or a captivating mystery.


Your muse is a mystery, driving you to uncover the hidden secrets of the multiverse. if your muse is a creature, it might be a dragon or otherworldly being; if a deity, it might be Irori or Nethys. You gain the Bardic Lore feat and add "True Strike" to your spell repertoire.


Your muse is a virtuoso, inspiring you to great heights. If it's a creature, it might be a performance-loving creature such as a Choral Angel or Iillend azata; if a deity, it might be Shelyn. As a bard with a maestro muse, you are an inspiration to your allies confident of your musical and oratorical abilities. You gain the Lingering Composition feat and add "Soothe" to your spell repertoire.


Your muse is a jack of all trades, flitting between skills and pursuits. If it's a creature, it might be an ecelctic creature like a few; if a deity, it might be Desna or Calistra. As a bard with a polymath muse, you are interested in a wide array of topics but rarely dedicated to any one, and you rarely make up your mind, and you rarely make up your mind--you want to try everything. You gain the Versatile Performance feat and add "Unseen Servant" to your spell repertoire.

Bard Feats

Level 2

At 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter, you gain a bard class feat.

Skill Feats

Level 2

At 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter, you gain a skill feat. Skill feats can be found in Chapter 5 and have the skill trait. You must be trained or better in the corresponding skill to select skill feat.

General Feats

At 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter, you gain a general feat. General feats are listed in chapter 5.

Lightning Reflexes

Level 3

Your reflexes are lightning fast. Your proficiency rank in Reflex saves increases to expert.

Signature Spells

Level 3

Experience allows you to cast some spells more flexibly. For each spell level you have access to, choose one spell of that level to be a signature spell. You don't need to learn heightened versions of signature spells separately; instead, you can heighten these spells freely. If you've learned a signature spell at higher level than its minimum, you can also cast all its lower-level versions without learning those separately. If you swap out a signature spell, you can choose a replacement signature spell of the same spell level at which you learned the previous spell. You can also retrain specifically to change a signature spell to a different spell of that level without swapping any spells; this takes as much time as retraining a spell normally does.

Skill Increases

Level 3

At 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter, you gain a skill increase. You can use this increase either to increase your proficient rank to rained in one skill you're untrained in, or to increase your proficiency rank in one skill in which you're already trained to expert.

At 7th level, you can use skill increases to increase your proficiency rank to master in a skill in which you're already an expert, and at 15th level, you can use them to increase your proficiency rank to legendary in a skill which you're already a master in.

Ability Boosts

Level 5

At 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter, you boost four different ability score. You can use these ability boosts to increase your ability scores about 18. Boosting an ability score increases it by 1 if it's already 18 or above, or by 2 if it starts out below 18.

Ancestry Feats

Level 5

In addition to the ancestry feat you started with, you gain an ancestry feat at 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter.

Expert Spellcaster

Level 7

Your proficiency ranks for occult spell attack rolls and spell DCs increase to expert.

Great Fortitude

Level 9

Your physique is incredibly hardy. Your proficiency rank for Fortitude saves increases to expert.


Level 9

You've steeled your mind with resolve.. Your proficiency rank for Will saves increases to master. When you roll a success at a Will save, you get a critical success instead.

Bard Weapon Expertise

Level 11

You have become thoroughly adept with bardic weapons. You gain expert proficiency in simple weapons, plus the long-sword, rapier, sap, short-bow, short-sword, and whip. When you critically succeed at an attack roll using one of these weapons while one of your compositions is active, you apply the critical specialization effect for that weapon.

Vigilant Senses

Level 11

Through your adventures, you've developed keen awareness and attention to detail. Your proficiency rank for Perception increases to expert.

Light Armor Expertise

Level 13

You've learned how to dodge while wearing light armor or no armor. Your proficiency ranks for light armor and unarmored defense increase to expert.

Weapon Specialization

Level 13

You've learned how to inflict greater injuries with the weapons you know best. You deal 2 additional damage with weapons and unarmed attacks in which you are an expert. This damage increases to 3 damage if you're a master, and 4 damage if you're legendary.

Master Specialization

Level 15

You've mastered the occult. Your proficiency ranks for occult spell attack rolls and spell DCs increase to master.

Greater Resolve

Level 17

Your unbelievable training grants you mental resiliency. Your proficiency rank for Will saves increases to legendary. When you roll a success at a Will save, you get a critical success. When you roll a critical failure at a Will save, you get a failure instead. When you fail a Will save against a damaging effect, you take half damage.

Magnum Opus

Level 19

You have tuned your spellcasting to the highest caliber. Add two common 10th-level occult spells to your repertoire. You gain a single 10th-level spell slot you can use to cast one of those two spells using bard spellcasting. You don't gain more 10th-level spells as you level up, unlike other spell slots and you can't use 10th-level slots with abilities that give you more spell slots or that let you cast spells without expending spell slots.

Legendary Spellcaster

Level 19

Your command of occult magic is the stuff of legends. Your proficiency ranks for occult spell attack rolls and spell DCs increase to Legendary.