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  • Writer's pictureChase O'Neill

"School of the Fool" A Home-Brew D&D 5e Bard School


Taking a break from posting about demos from our in-development musical 'The Caveman' I've decided to use this post to talk about another project and some other fun musings.

Since working this past summer at the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia (which if you've never been I highly recommend seeing a show there, the troupe is amazing and the theatre beautiful) and since working again on our table-top adventure game musical idea, I have been thinking about games and theatre a lot. Namely Shakespeare and Dungeons & Dragons.

We're currently exploring the idea surrounding adventure gamers in a musical as a new project which you can read a little bit more about here (the title is a work in progress)! It's still early in development but this seems like the perfect time to have some fun talking about adventure games, musicals, and Shakespeare.

I typically play a Gnome Bard and since I love Shakespeare's Fools and Clowns quite a bit I thought I'd try to combine this love for the D&D archetype of Bards and the Shakespearean Fool. I give you this new home-brew character school for the Bard:

School of the Fool*

Wasted All Nighter: At 3rd Level

  • Gain proficiency in 1 weapon you physically cannot wield.

I am an Ass: At 3rd Level

  • You can insult yourself (believing it to be a compliment) and all party members within ear shot gain +1 on their next roll. At lvl 8 it increases to +3 and at lvl 15 it's +5.

Luck is for Losers: At 3rd lvl

  • Once per long rest you can add +5 to any roll. If this ability is used in a day the DM can, on any roll you make, -5 from the roll.

Props Master: 6th lvl

  • You have become a master of props and can use any small object in your bag as a tool for intimidation, persuasion, deception, or violence. This prop adds +5 to any charisma roll if this is used for a check. If used as an additional weapon add +5 to hit and damage when you add it to your attack.

Possum: 14th lvl

  • Once a day in an encounter you can ‘play possum’ which means you pretend you are dead. All enemy attention is removed from you and you can incur a surprise attack when you rejoin the encounter.

More the Merrier: 19th lvl

  • You can create 2 mirrored copies of yourself once a long rest in an encounter. They have the same abilities as you and attack with you. They have completely different personalities as determined randomly by the DM. At the end of the encounter, the remaining Fools recombine and take on one of the personalities as the main personality (doesn’t have to be the original personality). If two of the copies fall, the remaining Fool is the new player character personality.

"Ever man's a king and every king's a clown" - Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame

*Please note this home-brew has never been play-tested.


If you don't play D&D, have never read/seen a Shakespeare Play, or don't like musicals that's perfectly fine, everyone has their own tastes. HOWEVER, this idea of adapting from an existing work (which Shakespeare has done and has had done to him) is a big part of the musical theatre form. Adaptations in musicals have existed from the beginning. I have taken existing form of the 'School' archetype for D&D 5e Bards and the Shakespeare Fool and adapted them to create my own home-brew version of a 'School'.

Adaption exists in so many forms and just because it's an adaption doesn't make it not original. I applaud inventive adaptive works in the musical theatre cannon!

Have fun with art

Enjoy what inspires you

See with more than just your eyes



Here's our Soundcloud anyway for our demos of our original 'The Caveman' (which includes a new demo, "The Invention of Love", which will be the next demo spotlight!):

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