Hello all! So, I have done a quick review of the seven bard colleges currently available. I personally like them all, I am a fan of bards and do not believe there is a bad choice. I am excited to one day play a bard. So here is a highlighted breakdown of the 7 colleges and you can make your own opinions.
College of Valor benefits:
-Bonus Proficiency: you gain proficiency with medium armor, shields, and martial weapons.
-Combat Inspiration: your bardic inspirations can be applied to weapon attack, damage, or as a reaction to boost AC.
-Extra Attack: you get two attacks per round.
-Battle Magic: If you use your action to cast, you can still make one melee weapon attack as your bonus action.
College of Lore benefits:
-Bonus Proficiency: you get to choose 3 skills
-Cutting Words: As a reaction you can expend one bardic inspiration and subtract the # you roll from the attack roll of another creature within 60 ft of you.
-Additional Magical Secrets: you get an additional 2 spells not on the bard list.
-Peerless Skill: you can use a bardic inspiration to add to an ability check you have to make.
College of Creation benefits:
-Mote of Potential: when you give bardic inspiration to a creature, you summon a mote of potential that orbits within 5 ft of that creature inspired. When the creature uses the inspiration depending on how the inspiration is used the creature gains the following benefit: 1. Ability Check - can reroll the bardic inspiration die and choose which roll to use; 2. Attack Roll - each creature within 5 ft of the chosen target must also make a Constitution saving throw (DC 16, increases with level) or take thunder damage equal to # rolled on inspiration die; or 3. Saving Throw - the creature using the inspiration gains temp HP equal to # rolled +5 on inspiration die.
- Performance of Creation: As an action, you can create one nonmagical item of medium or smaller within 10 ft of you and cannot exceed the gp value of 20 x level, and it will last 3 hours. (the size, time duration and cost all increase with levels).
-Animating Performance: As action can target a nonmagical item within 30 ft of you and animate it. The item uses Dancing Item stats and last for 1 hour.
-Creative Crescendo: when you use your performance of creation, you can now create up to 5 items and there is no longer a monetary value limitation.
College of Glamor Benefits:
-Mantle of Inspiration: As a bonus action you can use a bardic inspiration to grant 8 temp HP to up to 5 creatures within 60 ft. Each creature can immediately use its reaction to move without provoking attack of opportunity. (The temp HP granted increases with bard levels).
-Enthralling Performance: you can choose 5 creatures within sight to listen to a 1 minute performance, each chosen creature must make a Wisdom save (DC 16, will increase with levels) or is charmed for 1 hour.
- Mantle of Majesty: Without using a spell slot for up to 1 minute you can cast command as a bonus action on each turn, each creature you select auto fails their save against the command for this feature.
- Unbreakable Majesty: As a bonus action for 1 minute you assume Majestic Presence. For the duration, if a creature tries to attack you for the first time it must make a Charisma save DC 18, if the creature fails its save then it cannot attack you. If the creature makes the save then it can attack but has disadvantage on its saves for your next attack.
College of Swords Benefits:
- Fighting Style: Choose either Dueling fighting style or Two-weapon Fighting.
-Blade Flourish: when you take an attack action your walking speed increases by 10 ft. If your attack hits the target then you can choose one of the following effects: [1. Defensive Flourish- can expend a bardic inspiration and add the # to your damage as well as add it to your AC until your next turn; 2. Slashing Flourish -expend a bardic inspiration and add to the damage dealt as well as to any other creature within 5 ft.; or 3. Mobile Flourish - expend a bardic inspiration for extra damage dealt and to push the target 5 ft + # rolled then use your reaction to move up to the creature.
- Extra Attack: you get two attacks per round now.
-Master's Flourish: when you use your blade flourish, you can roll a d6 and use that # instead of expending a bardic inspiration die.
College of Whispers Benefits:
-Psychic Blade: when you hit a creature with melee weapon, you can expend a bardic inspiration to deal extra 3d6 psychic damage. (Damage increases with levels)
-Words of Terror: once per rest you can speak alone with a creature, the creature must make a Wisdom save DC 16 or is frightened for 1 hour. If succeeds on save then it will not know that you even tried to use this ability. (DC increases with levels)
-Mantle of Whispers: As a reaction if a humanoid dies within 30 ft of you, you can capture its shadow. As an action you can use the shadow to disguise yourself as the dead person for 1 hour.
-Shadow Lore: once per rest you can whisper to a creature that shares a common language and is within 30 ft of you. The creature must make a Wisdom save DC 18 or be charmed for next 8 hours.
College of Eloquence Benefits:
-Silver Tongue: when you make a persuasion of deception check you can treat any roll of 9 or under as a 10.
-Unsettling Words: As a bonus action you can use a bardic inspiration to choose a creature within 60 ft, the creature must subtract 1d8 from its next save it makes before your next turn. (the amount subtracted from save increases with levels)
-Unfailing Inspiration: When a creature uses your bardic inspiration but fails, then the creature does not loose the bardic inspiration.
-Universal Speech: As an action choose 5 creatures within 60 ft and those creatures magically understand you for 1 hour no matter the languages you speak.
-Infectious Inspiration: when a creature within 60 ft of you uses your bardic inspiration and succeeds then you can use your reaction to give another creature within 60 ft of you bardic inspiration without expending a slot.
Again in my opinion there is not a bad choice here, it just depends on what you want your character to be like.