One of my favorite gaming memories was playing through Metal Gear Solid for the first time and facing down the odd and insane looking Psycho Mantis. The games he played with you, and the unique tactics it took to beat him, were pure genius to me! He was one of my favorite villain’s of all time and as we looking over the Bard class for our Coldbrew last Saturday (If you haven’t joined us for that yet, click here and follow us on twitch!) one of the bardic colleges caught my eye.
Now Psycho Mantis never struck me as a bard but lets look over the facts. He loves to mock you and make fun of you (Vicious Mockery), He talks endless to dig into the minds of his enemies and distract/scare them (high charisma), and to top it all off His choice of clothing is obviously a performance used to mess with those who encounter him. You pair that we this college from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, and we will make it perfect!
The College of Whispers might as well have his picture with it in the book! Gaining the Psychic Blades at 3rd level he can get inside your mind and do all the damage he needs to from there. Using Daggers from range he can use his bardic inspirations to deal an amazing 8D6 psychic damage at 15th Level to the target instead of the normal 1D4. Words of Terror can also be an amazing tool in game if he can get one of the party members alone to “interrogate” them.
Using Mantle of Whispers at 6th level he can begin to impersonate anyone who has died recently within range of him. He would not be above killing off a beloved NPC only to take their place and start to harass the PC’s from within the party. Or perhaps take the place of a lord or governor to use the Party for his own selfish gain. The Story hooks and plot points could be endless with this. The party would begin to distrust everyone. What if one of them was not who the others thought they were?
Once the party is where he wants them, Shadow Lore becomes the cherry on top. He can begin to pry at the PC’s deepest fears and have them doing tasks for him that will surely get them into some hot water. If used correctly and for the long haul, this BBEG could be one for the ages.
But as always, this is The Magic Tavern and we want to know what you think. Check out the PDF below for his numbers. Whether you use him in a campaign or just want to check it out, let us know what you think in the comments below or come find us on social media by clicking the buttons at the top right of this page! Until next time!