Bards that join the College of the Tree Singers [PDF] have an affinity for both music and nature. They seek to learn the ancient and sacred stories and songs of the forests, as well as to preserve these tales and melodies for future generations. Most of the bards who are drawn to this college are elves and half-elves, but the college discriminates against no one and will allow any interested bard to join.
Tree Singers are completely unlike bards from the College of Lore, who spend most of their time in dusty old libraries and such. Bards from the College of the Tree Singers spend many hours outside in the forests and very little time in towns.
Also, unlike many other sorts of bards, Tree Singers do not commonly perform in taverns for drunken revelers. They are often circumspect about their songs and stories, choosing NOT to share them with any except other Tree Singers, druids, and elves. This is not to say that they cannot perform other songs, just that the special songs of the forest that they can hear and draw inspiration from are sacred to them, and they do NOT waste sacred music on the unenlightened.
Bards from the College of the Tree Singers are often welcomed into druid groves and elven tree cities when most others are shunned. For this reason, Tree Singers often serve as messengers, diplomats, and go-betweens for governments and temples alike who must work with reclusive druids and elves who refuse to leave their homes.
When a bard joins the College of the Tree Singers at third level, they gain proficiency with both Athletics and Nature. Additionally, the bard may choose proficiency with one of the following:
- Cartographer’s Toolset
- Herbalism Kit
- Dragon Chess Set
- The Feeling of the Forest
Also at third level, Tree Singers learn how to open themselves up to the music of the forest. When the bard is in a forest, they may make a Wisdom: Insight check at advantage to perceive the emotions of the forest. From this, the bard can gather emotional clues about how the trees and forest creatures feel about recent events. Following their feelings, Tree Singer bards have been known to rediscover forgotten ancient ruins and find lost treasures. Additionally, if an enemy is attempting to sneak up on the bard, then the bard may make a Wisdom: Perception roll at advantage to feel the forest’s warning and find the hidden enemy.
The Whisper on the Wind
Starting at sixth level, bards of the College of the Tree Singers learn how to hear the song of the trees and bushes in the forest. When the bard is in a forest that they already perceive the emotions of, they may attempt a Wisdom: Perception roll at advantage to hear the faint song of the trees and other plants. From this song, the bard is able to discern much more than just emotion. In fact, the bard will be able to understand complex thoughts from the trees and bushes about what has been going on in the forest for the last six months to a year. However, plants do not perceive time in the same way that people do, so the information might be tough to decipher when trying to establish an exact series of events.
Also at sixth level, the bard may add their choice of two of the following language proficiencies:
Singer to the Trees
At 14th level, Tree Singers gain the ability that their college is named after. That is the ability to sing to Treants to help them to wake up faster than they would naturally.
Tree Singer bards may make a Charisma: Perform skill check roll at advantage to attempt to wake up a known Treant. While the bard plays the song, regular trees will become animated. They will sway back and forth to the tempo of the music and try to step out of the ground to dance. The DM determines the DC of the skill check based upon the age of the Treant and how long it has been asleep.
Also at 14th level, the bard may add their choice of two of the following language proficiencies:
Finally, at the 14th level and beyond, bards of the College of the Tree Singers may choose to learn druidic spells up to third level instead of bard spells. The druidic spells are cast in the same way that bardic spells are cast (using Charisma). Bards may choose to replace up to 3 spells per level with the same level druidic spell.