Glamour Bards are perhaps my favorite variation of a bard.
Normal bards are the most charismatic class in D&D. Glamour Bards are injected with a government-funded super-smugness serum which allows them to literally alter reality with a smirk.
But the flexibility of their mechanics, combined with their enhanced charm means they can form nearly any backstory of a bard.
I created a bard who was a brilliant tactician and strategist capable of analyzing the battlefield and turning the tide when needed most. The "Mantle of Inspiration" feature allowed him to bark out orders for vulnerable party members to re-position themselves when in close-quarters with a particularly nasty boss fight. His "Inspiring Leader" feats let him bolster the weakened party when out of combat. It was a more militant-minded bard...something the other subclasses couldn't do.
On the flip side, the Glamour Bard allowed the creation of a Priestess of Llira, goddess of joy. For those who don't know, followers if Llira are always dancing and smiling, bringing their performances to places of gloom and despair.
It also made things pretty funny and awkward, coming to a village that had been ransacked with dead townspeople, with the glamour bard trying (and failing) to cheer them up. Mechanically, though, the "Enthralling Performance" and "Mantle of Majesty" skills were her mesmerizing dances, captivating onlookers. When they did work, she would "command" her targets to dance, considering it her goddess Llira working through her performance. The idea that the glamour bard continuously gets more "beautiful" as they level really added to the divine flavour of the concept.
You can even make an evil bard this way...sort of a Dracula-esque beguiler who captivates their victims and projects a more chilling aura. You become a "master" of sorts who uses "Mantle of Majesty" to command their victims to "kneel" or "grovel", and your "Unbreakable Majesty" is your menacing dominance which prevents enemies from attacking you.
So I'm curious to hear from all of you...what are some of the interesting Glamour Bards you've created?
Share your backstories, concepts, and spell combinations below.
I shaped a Glamour Bard (+1 level of Cleric for flavor reasons) into a Drow Priestess of Lolth. She's Tier 3 now and more or less fits what I envisioned. Bonus action command, is exactly what a haughty leader would have under their belt. Being able to seduce the masses by talking to them has a priestly feel about it, particularly given the Drow's fealty to Lolth. And just being really really pretty also kinda fit the image I had. Being able to cherry pick the Cleric spells wanted (and Conjure Animals from the Druid list for Giant Spiders), just made it all gravy for me.
While I feel like i should probably have a tentacle rod on her for flavour, however she's actually weaponless and just rolls around with haughty sex appeal cough arrogance cough, which is probably not necessarily something I would do with the other subclasses - although Lore is obviously a good caster subclass. So in this respect I think its a solid addition to the subclasses and is versatile enough to play a few different roles. It probably isn't as versatile as the Whisper bard, but i do think it compares favorably to the Lore bard on a power level.
I multiclassed my Archfey Warlock with Glamour Bard and it made like the perfect social encounter character. CHarms for days. He's a tiefling actor who beseeched the Fey for the ability to charm audiences, and an actor is basically a sort of bard. Mantle of Majesty and Mantle of Inspiration give the character a cool support/control role. Enthralling Performance is really cool and even though it won't come in handy too often, it's great for role-play and now and then you can do something really cool with it. I had a cool experience of charming a crowd at a party and then asking members of the crowd to distract the guards so that we could sneak around to find an artifact we were looking for. Definitely my favourite Bard subclass.