Unsuitable Bard Spells in D&D

Bards are known for their versatility, charm, and mastery of magic, making them a valuable asset to any adventuring party. With an extensive spell list that spans many schools and effects, Bards can be formidable spellcasters. However, not all spells align perfectly with the Bard’s core abilities and preferred style of play. This article delves into the ten spells Bards may find less suitable for their spellcasting repertoire. While these spells have their merits in specific contexts, Bards often prioritize versatility and spells that enhance their unique skills, making these selections less appealing for the masters of the arcane arts.

Casting Blade Ward

1 Blade Ward

While a decent buff, particularly at higher levels, most bards do their best work from a distance. In addition, it takes a full action to cast, only lasts for a single round, and could be seen as redundant compared to the Dodge action.

Casting True Strike

2 True Strike

In most situations, characters find executing two attacks in a single turn more beneficial than dedicating one turn to employ True Strike and the subsequent turn to perform a single attack. This choice frequently reduces damage output and can impede the character’s overall combat effectiveness.

Artificer Casting Identify

3 Identify

Should you be adventuring under the guidance of a Dungeon Master who is often frugal when providing opportunities for rest, or if you’re particularly eager to maintain the pace of your journey, you might be tempted by the idea of selecting Identify. However, since identifying most magical items can occur during a brief respite, this spell can rapidly appear redundant and deplete your valuable arcane spell slots.

Casting Illusory Script

4 Illusory Script

Potentially beneficial within a campaign centered around deception and intrigue, Illusory Script is a very situational spell that may not find much use in a standard adventure. As a low-level spell, it may not be as secretive among clever or competent magic users, as truesight can easily see through the illusion.

Casting Animal Messenger

5 Animal Messenger

This spell allows for an adorable way to communicate across long distances. However, your messenger can only reach someone within a 24-hour travel radius (about 50 miles) before the message is lost. And exasperatingly, the caster can only provide a generalized description of the recipient, reducing the accuracy of its delivery. There are far more efficient ways to accomplish this same issue.

Casting Locate Animals or Plants

6 Locate Animals or Plants

Perhaps your gaming group has decided to recreate Pokemon as a campaign thread, or you need specific spices for your gourmet campfire creations. If so, this spell might be precious to you. Otherwise, ask your ranger or local townsfolk for help.

Casting Locate Object

7 Locate Object

The utility of this spell hinges on specific conditions that a clever adversary can swiftly nullify, making Locate Object a choice with limited practicality. Astute arcane adversaries aiming to conceal valuable or essential items would probably possess the knowledge and means to employ lead wrappings, effectively thwarting the spell’s capabilities.

Casting Nathair's Mischief

8 Nathair’s Mischief

While Nathair’s Mischief may provide moments of entertainment, its unpredictability and inconsistency can erode its dependability. The continuously shifting effects and save conditions, coupled with the limited impact of the outcomes, can create doubts about its reliability. Even when targets fail their saves, there’s a chance they can continue to participate in combat unaffected. The requirement for targets to make saves each round emphasizes the spell’s restrictions, potentially resulting in effects that fall short of the desired impact.

Casting Skywrite

9 Skywrite

In a world where divine powers reign supreme, the sight of the sky morphing into distinct patterns or messages may hold profound meaning. For those inclined towards mischief or creativity, this spell might serve as a vast artistic canvas for crafting witty or daring graffiti. However, the functional usefulness of this spell is confined, offering its most significant potential under precise circumstances. Its effectiveness markedly wanes in campaigns within subterranean landscapes, labyrinthine dungeons, or underwater realms.

Casting Feign Death

10 Feign Death

Many actors dream of playing out an awe-inspiring death scene that inspires unmitigated raw emotion from their audience. Others may need to fool a bounty hunter or a jilted lover. Either way, the limited use case for this spell is likely not worth keeping it within your repertoire.

While these spells have their merits in specific situations, Bards generally prioritize versatility and spells that enhance their core abilities, such as performance, inspiration, and social interaction. Ultimately, the selection of bits depends on the character concept, campaign, and party dynamics. Bards can occasionally benefit from these spells, but they may not be their first choice in most cases.

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