Single-Class Parties in DND 5e: Oops All Bards Edition!

Creating a party around a single class? Madness, you say? Perhaps, but it’s also a delightful kind of madness. In a game designed for diverse skill sets and talents, forming a single-class party introduces a level of difficulty and hilarity that you won’t find in your average campaign. Today, we’re diving into the world of all-bard parties. Yes, that’s right, an entire group of lute-strumming, rhyme-spouting, performance-obsessed bards. What could go wrong? (Spoiler: A lot. But it will be hilarious.)

Imagine a world where every problem can be solved with a song, where every enemy can be distracted by a well-timed joke, and where every dark dungeon becomes the stage for an impromptu concert. That’s the life of an all-bard party. But with great creativity comes great chaos. Without a dedicated tank, healer, or wizard, these musical adventurers must rely on their wits and charm to survive.

Bards are known for their versatility and charm, making them fantastic jack-of-all-trades. But can they truly master all the roles needed for a successful adventuring party? A group of four charismatic performers armed with instruments and spellbooks will face challenges in ways no typical party could imagine. Let’s tune our strings and find out if this musical troupe can hit the high notes or if they’ll fall flat.

The Madness of Single-Class Parties

Creating a party around a single class? Madness, you say? Perhaps, but it’s also a delightful kind of madness. In a game designed for diverse skill sets and talents, forming a single-class party introduces a level of difficulty and hilarity that you won’t find in your average campaign. Today, we’re diving into the world of all-bard parties. Yes, that’s right, an entire group of lute-strumming, rhyme-spouting, performance-obsessed bards. What could go wrong? (Spoiler: A lot. But it will be hilarious.)

Challenges of the Single-Class Party

Limited Skill Sets: With an all-bard party, you’ll be relying heavily on your creativity and charm. You won’t have a dedicated tank, a powerful wizard, or a divine healer. Instead, you’ll have a group of jack-of-all-trades who must use their wits to survive.

Role Overlap: Everyone can do a bit of everything, but no one excels in any particular role. This can lead to hilarious situations where the party bard must pretend to be the cleric, warrior, and rogue all at once.

Combat Woes: Without the raw power of fighters or the magical might of wizards, combat becomes an exercise in creativity. Expect lots of illusions, crowd control, and out-of-the-box thinking.

Example: The Bard Chicks of Destiny

Let’s meet our fictional all-bard party, “The Bard Chicks of Destiny.” This fabulous foursome brings musical mayhem to every adventure, relying on their wits, charm, and sheer audacity to overcome obstacles.

Lyra, the Lead Vocalist

Race: Half-Elf
College: College of Glamour
Role: The Face and Support
Lyra’s captivating performances can charm a dragon out of its hoard. With her Mantle of Inspiration, she keeps the party motivated and enemies mesmerized. When she’s not belting out powerful arias, she’s sweet-talking her way through sticky situations.


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Tessa, the Shredding Guitarist

Race: Human
College: College of Swords
Role: Striker and Defender
Tessa blends martial prowess with musical flair, using her Blade Flourish to dance through combat. With a sword in one hand and a guitar in the other, she makes fighting look like a rock concert.

Moira, the Bass Queen

Race: Dwarf
College: College of Valor
Role: Tank and Buffer
Moira holds down the rhythm section and the front line. Her Combat Inspiration and hearty endurance make her the rock upon which her bandmates rely. When the going gets tough, Moira gets tougher, belting out deep, resonant notes that bolster her allies’ courage.

Zara, the Keyboard Wizard

Race: Tiefling
College: College of Lore
Role: Utility and Knowledge
Zara is the brains of the outfit, armed with encyclopedic knowledge and a repertoire of spells for every occasion. Her Cutting Words slice through enemy plans, while her vast array of lore provides solutions to the trickiest puzzles.

Bard Chicks of Destiny
Bard Chicks of Destiny

The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Bard Chicks

But how they do in adventures, you ask?

Strengths

  • Versatility: Bards can adapt to many roles with their wide skill set and magical abilities.
  • Social Encounters: With multiple charisma-based characters, they dominate social interactions.
  • Support: Plenty of healing, buffing, and crowd control options.

Weaknesses

  • Durability: Bards are not known for their high hit points or heavy armor.
  • Limited Direct Damage: Outside of specific subclasses, bards lack high-damage spells.
  • Mental Resilience: Mental saves can be a challenge, making the party vulnerable to enchantments and charms.

An Adventure with the Bard Chicks of Destiny

Here’s a quick sample adventure of this single-class party …

The Prelude: A Call to Adventure

The Bard Chicks of Destiny were lounging in the local tavern, “The Drunken Lute,” when a panicked villager burst through the doors. “Please, you must help! The nearby village of Quietbrook has been overtaken by a menacing band of orcs led by a fearsome war chief! We need heroes!”

The villagers didn’t know they were asking for help from an all-bard party. But undeterred, the Bard Chicks sprang into action, eager to show that music and magic could save the day.

Act I: The Journey to Quietbrook

On their way to Quietbrook, the bards encountered a series of obstacles. First, they had to cross the enchanted forest of Whispering Willows, where mischievous faeries tried to lead them astray. Lyra used her Glamour magic to charm the faeries into showing them the safe path.

Next, they came upon a rickety old bridge guarded by a grumpy troll demanding a hefty toll. Tessa challenged the troll to a duel—a guitar duel! Strumming her enchanted strings, she outplayed the troll, who was so moved by her performance that he let them pass for free.

Act II: The Siege of Quietbrook

Upon reaching Quietbrook, the bards found the village under the oppressive control of the orc war chief. The villagers were scared and demoralized. Moira took center stage, giving an inspiring speech that rallied the villagers and filled them with hope and courage.

The bards knew a direct assault would be suicide, so they devised a plan to use their musical talents. Zara created an illusion of a massive army marching towards the village, causing the orcs to panic. In the chaos, Lyra and Tessa led a stealthy infiltration into the war chief’s camp.

Act III: The Final Showdown

The final confrontation with the orc war chief was intense. The bards combined their skills in a harmonious symphony of battle. Moira tanked the hits, using her shield to protect her friends. Tessa danced around the battlefield, her sword flashing like a striking guitar riff.

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Lyra used her magic to dazzle and disorient the orcs, while Zara’s Cutting Words demoralized the war chief. When the war chief charged at Zara, Moira intercepted him, holding him at bay long enough for Tessa to land the finishing blow—a perfectly executed Blade Flourish that ended with a dramatic pose.

The Encore: A New Dawn for Quietbrook

With the war chief defeated and the orcs scattered, Quietbrook was free once again. The villagers threw a grand celebration in honor of their saviors. The Bard Chicks of Destiny performed a concert that night, their music echoing through the village, symbolizing the triumph of creativity and courage over brute force.

Encore Performance?

An all-bard party brings unique challenges and opportunities. While they may lack the brute force of a traditional adventuring party, their creativity, versatility, and charm can turn any situation into an epic tale. So, grab your instruments, warm up your vocal cords, and get ready for a harmonious adventure!

Heidi Jiang

LitRPG Author Heidi Jiang

A native Hoosier her whole life, Heidi Jiang discovered her love of gaming at an early age. She’s a big fan of the Super Mario series ... and any book with a mushroom on the cover. In all seriousness, she loves reading and playing just about anything when she finds the time. She currently resides in Indiana with her husband, a dog named Lucky, a cat named Oliver, and a couple children rapidly heading toward being teens. Over the years, Heidi Jiang has been a book reviewer, freelance copy editor, editor at a small publishing company, and executive editor at her school’s literary magazine.

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