5E – Bardic College – The Delian Academy

NOTE: Members of the Delian College operate in significantly different manner from normal Bards. Primarily, their “Inspiration” is not as a result of stirring language but is instead representative of their ability to manipulate destiny and fate for individuals. This ability is also not a Arcane or Divine ability, but a Psychic one – the DM can decide if this means that no Focus is needed or if Psychics need a Psychic Focus (typically a crystal or a piece of jewelry of some sort). Lastly, in the original setting, the Timedancer Feat is needed to be allowed to study at the Academy – meaning that begin play as a member of the Order requires either a Common Human with a Charisma of 13+ who takes that feat at 1st Level, or being a member of the variant human race, the Delian (who would have a similar Feature).

The Delian Academy

The majority of the members of the Delian Order study at the Delian Academy, brought there from wherever in time and space they are found. The Delian Academy is found in the Citadel of Eternity in the great city of Aeon where it sits in the Deep Time. There the prospective members of the Order study both arms and temporal science and mysticism, preparing themselves to be sent out into the River of Time as agents of the Delian Council, looking for threats to Creation – from either within or without. The Delian Order tends to place agents in one of two situations, those who watch places or locations defined by some combination of spatial or temporal significance (e.g. the Battle of Ebionstark or the Siyahchal) and those who are set to watch particular individuals (e.g. Ashanden the Solitaire or the Necromancer). In either case they act as the eyes and ears of the Order, and can take action if it is deemed necessary. Rare agents operate as roam the River of Time freely, looking for evidence of the Dearth, or the Ichneumon Vorre, or the any of a handful of threats considered so dire that the Delian will take action.

NOTE: Instead of Three Instruments at Level One, students of the Delian Academy are skilled in the Arcana, History, and the use of the Astrolabe (Tool). Also, at 1st Level, they may only apply Inspiration to themselves, not to others.

Bonus Proficiencies

Agents of the Delian gain the Insight, Investigation, and Perception skills.


At 3rd level the Agent learns to apply Inspiration to others, and anyone under the effect of their Inspiration may use it to increase their damage (as per the College of Valor) as well as use a Reaction to use the Inspiration die to increase their AC (also as per the College of Valor).

Extra Attack

At 6th Level the Agent attacks twice rather than once when the Attack action is taken on their turn.

Temporal Warrior

Upon reaching 14th Level, the Agent can blend their manipulation of time and combat together seamlessly. When using their action to cast a Bard spell they may also take a single weapon attack as a bonus action.

Categories: Campaign Development, Game Design, House Rules | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “5E – Bardic College – The Delian Academy

  1. Very intriguing. Of all the things you have posted so far about the Delians, I like the Pact of the Hourglass the best. The second great thing, I am drawn to is the Citadel of Eternity sitting in the Deep Time. I can see a “Delian Council” sitting in Castle Timeless tagging people to become “Temporal Agents (AKA Warlocks with the Pact of the Hourglass).” In one of Castle Timeless adventures, I placed members of the Temporal Guard from the “Fires of Paratime” in the game to act as guards for the Chronarch. I can see advanced Delian agents playing that role now.

    I don’t think I will be using the Delian Academy; I feel that would give my Players too much knowledge about things I still want obfuscated. Also, I don’t think there is a single group out there that is protecting/controlling reality.

    Thanks for great thoughts and ideas.

    • I think the thing I like best about this is that it shows a way to use the mechanic of the Bard with a very small alteration (being able to apply Bardic Inspiration to themselves) and come up with entirely new fluff that works just as well. Honestly, the one character that I have in the game that would fit this never went to the Academy, she’s just a Timedancer that was “picked” by one of the Council to be his eyes and ears in a particular place. As she’s adventured, she’s just generally learned better control over her abilities. I think this is a better fit for the old Timelord NPC class from the Dragon than the Warlock would be – which is fine, they are really two different types of minion or agent of the Delian.

      Also, the Delian don’t control reality or Creation – far from it – they just have a unique vantage point and ability to navigate the River of Time. Pretty much every race/power, good and evil, in my campaign sees itself as protecting Creation – and are also arguably doing so. Both Host and the Fallen can agree that that both sides are “protecting Creation” they just have very different ways of doing so and come into a fair amount of conflict around those differences. The Lords of the Fae and the Ebion Council of the Shadowlands are both protecting Creation, but they do it from very different vantage points and have different philosophies around the best way.

      But the Delian are the primary human institution that understands the Mysteries of the Deep Time and the flow of the River of Time. There are other chronomancers out there (human and otherwise), and other things that have a similar relationship to the River of Time (see my other comment elsewhere), they just don’t generally have the level of organization or the numbers.

      If you will, the Delian won the Time Wars and work very hard to make sure that this remains the case – knowing that all it can all unravel in an instant if they don’t maintain constant vigilance.


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