DMs Guild Review – Group Spellcasting: Concerts

Gather your musically-gifted friends for magical concert spells with this supplement for players and dungeon masters.

A review copy of “Group Spellcasting: Concerts” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Designed by: Jason Bowers

With my background as a band nerd, Bards should be one of my favorite DnD classes. But the 5th edition version leaves much to be desired, with much of their musical prowess distilled down to giving out Bardic Inspiration. Group Spellcasting: Concerts adds a new Performance-based spellcasting system for multiple player characters – not just Bards, along with over 20 new concert spells.

The title is a bit of a misnomer. While the first chapter of the 30-page supplement includes rules for group spellcasting via magical performances, the emphasis is more on the spell-like concert songs, as well as an entire chapter dedicated to musically-themed enemies.

The rules for producing these magical concerts are simple. As an action, a character can make a Performance check, or an Arcana check (using only half their PB), with the DC depending on the song. Once two to three characters have succeeded (depending on the song) the spell takes effect. From there the performing PCs must maintain concentration (“Keeping the rhythm”) and are subject to the same CON saves to maintain concentration.

Otherwise the song is ongoing and the party is free to do whatever while enjoying the effects for the duration – exactly the sort of thing I wish bards could do as a baseline feature! 

concert casting

Chapter two provides over 20 concert songs to choose from, each with their own duration, range, performance DC, level requirement, number of performers, and specific instrument as a material component. They’re also hilariously punny parodies of famous songs, which I very much appreciate.

Oh Come All Ye Fey Thrall summons a faerie dragon, allowing each performer to move and command it as they see fit, and like a conjured elemental, doesn’t disappear upon losing concentration, but breaks free of the control. Singing in the Reign conjures an illusory, cheering crowd (granting advantage  to spell attack rolls). Stairway to Elysium grants temporary hit points, resistance to necrotic damage, and advantage on death saving throws while Great Walls of Fire creates, you guessed it – a wall of fire!

It’s not all combat-related. What Does the Rock Say animates the ground similarly to Speak with Plants or Beasts. Riders on Brainstorm grants telepathy between performers, and Humanoid Fly, Spell F-L-Y gives performers a 60-ft flying speed. A fun variety of magical buffs, conjuration, and utility.

Chapter three includes musical monsters, making the interesting observation that only a single monster in the entire Monster Manual is proficient in Performance (can you guess?). Why limit these nifty concert spells to just player characters? Using bit AOE effects is also a great way to force PCs to target the concert-performing minions, rather than the big bosses.

Over a dozen concert-casting statblocks are provided, with most representing variants of existing monsters, such as the goblin jester, kuo-toa chanter, and resonance mephit. Their known concert songs are thematically appropriate, like pulsing slimes able to cast Haul Me Maybe to increase their mass, and the undead Rusalka using Bat Moon Rising and Dead Hands Party.

The supplement falters a bit on the production side, with very little artwork, and what’s there is simple stock art from the DMs Guild. Last year’s Bard College of Percussion is a great example of using musical art, like song sheets and instruments, to elevate a music-themed supplement (and incidentally one of Top Ten DMs Guild Products I Reviewed in 2020). But Group Spellcasting is still a richly comprehensive supplement, with easy-to-use rules and rewarding magical songs for those wonderful characters who invest in the Performance skill.

Pros:

  • Intuitive group spellcasting rules.
  • Over 20 punny concert songs with fun effects.
  • Over a dozen musical monsters for DMs to employ concert magic.

Cons:

  • Very little artwork.

The Verdict: With simple rules, fun songs, and new musically-gifted monsters, Group Spellcasting: Concerts is a wonderful expansion for DMs, bards and other magical music-lovers.

A review copy of “Group Spellcasting: Concerts” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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