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D&D: The College Of Tragedy Makes Being Emo Intensely Powerful

3 Minute Read
Jan 21

What if you could wield sorrow itself to make your party better? Here’s why the new College of Tragedy subclass will lead the black parade.

Tal’dorei Campaign Setting Reborn is the beefy new book that takes you headlong into the world of Exandria, specifically the continent of Tal’dorei. It’s an awesome new campaign setting, complete with four brand-new subclasses and five returning favorites.

Today we’re looking at the Bard that exists for all you fans of My Chemical Romance. If you are looking for a Bard that can wake you up inside, you’ll want to look no further than my favorite new subclass, the College of Tragedy Bard.

So wake up, grab a brush, put on a little makeup as we dive into the new Bard.

What is the College of Tragedy?

The College of Tragedy is, in a nutshell, a support-focused Bard subclass that excels at manipulating die rolls. Basically they make the party hit harder and they do it by messing with fate. How you ask? Like most Bard Colleges, their mechanics revolve around using your Bardic Inspiration.

Level 3

College of Tragedy

At Level 3, the biggest feature is Sorrowful Fate. This is the core mechanic of the class. By “exploiting a foe’s peril” the Bard instills deep feelings of sorrow and doom. Mechanically, this means you can spend a use of your Bardic Inspiration to change a saving throw from whatever it is to Charisma instead.

This is a powerful move, because most monsters aren’t great at Charisma. You can use this to make monsters more vulnerable to your party’s magic. But on top of that you also deal psychic damage equal to whatever you roll on the Inspiration die.

If it dies anywhere up to a minute afterwards? This ability causes it to utter darkly poetic final words. Sure you can only use this ability once per rest, but it’s a powerful way to shut things down.


You also get Poetry In Misery, a nice little ribbon feature that will on occasion be very useful. It lets you regain Bardic Inspiration whenever you or an ally nearby rolls a 1 on a d20, which won’t come up often, but it’ll take the sting out of failure a bit.

Level 6

At 6th level, you get another two abilities that play into the theme. Tale of Hubris is the one your DM will flinch from reflexively, and it is going to make this Bard a Barbarian’s best friend. Here’s why:

“When a creature scores a critical hit against you or an ally within 60 feet of you that you can see, you can use your reaction and expend one use of your Bardic Inspiration to target the attacking creature and evoke the story of their downfall. For 1 minute or until the target suffers a critical hit, any weapon attack against the target scores a critical hit on a roll of 18-20.”

It’s really not as powerful as you think. Tale of Hubris will only come up every so often and only benefits one roll, which is about what a Bardic Inspiration does. But it’s very nice.

You also get Impending Misfortune, which lets you gain a +10 bonus to one attack roll or saving throw–but at the cost that your next attack roll or saving throw takes a -10 penalty. Unless you take a rest first.

Level 14

Level 14 is the capstone for the College of Tragedy subclass. With Nimbus of Pathos, you can empower a willing creature with tragic heroism, which gives you a brief, tragic burst of incredible power.


You get a +4 bonus to AC, advantage on attacks and saves, and you deal extra damage–however attacks against you are critical hits on an 18-20. And you immediately drop to 0 hit points after a minute. But by level 14, that’s no problem at all.

And that’s the College of Tragedy Subclass

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