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DnD gives new Bard subclass a last second nerf

New details have emerged on Dungeons and Dragons' College of Dance Bard, and it looks like this subclass has seen some minor tweaks that make it weaker.

DnD bard playing a lyre

The final form of Dungeons and Dragons’ new dance-themed Bard subclass was previewed on Thursday, but fans have noticed that it seems to have weakened a little since the playtests. YouTuber Ginny Di shared details on the College of Dance Bard, which will feature in the 2024 version of the Player’s Handbook, on July 20, and keen-eyed players were quick to spot the differences.

The College of Dance gives DnD Bard players an entirely new, soundless art form to try out. As you might guess, this DnD Bard subclass is all about movement, and lets you dance around making unarmed attacks while being very hard to hit yourself, as both your dexterity and charisma modifiers get added to your AC.

The main difference, compared with Playtest 6 where we last saw this subclass, is that the Inspiring Movement ability has moved from third to sixth level. This means the College of Dance Bard doesn’t gain access to a powerful combo until three levels later.

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Inspiring Movement lets you use a Bardic Inspiration charge as a reaction to move both yourself and an ally around. This ups your damage output significantly, because your third level ability Dazzling Footwork lets you make an unarmed strike whenever you use up a Bardic Inspiration.

With Inspiring Movement unlocked, you can do this with your bonus action and your reaction. But as it stands, you’ve got to wait a while.

That’s the main change, but furthermore, the College of Dance bard has lost one of its most interesting and flavorful abilities, the 14th level power Irresistible Dance. This was an ability the Bard could use to cast the DnD spell Otto’s Irresistible Dance, locking down an enemy in a jig that made them unable to move, and easier to hit.

Replacing it, you get an evasion effect that allows both the Bard and their allies to avoid damage. That might be very useful, and helps the Bard help the party, but we can see why some fans would be displeased with the switch.

It looks like more DnD classes are being teased right now by creators. We’re keen to see what other late-stage changes have been made. Check out our DnD release schedule recap to see when the new Players’ Handbook and other products are coming out, and don’t miss our guide to all the DnD races.