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Nerdarchy > Roleplaying Games  > Campaign Settings  > Exploring Eberron through the College of the Dirge Singer Bard for 5E D&D

Exploring Eberron through the College of the Dirge Singer Bard for 5E D&D

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Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted strike a chord with Exploring Eberron with another look at the character options included in the Dungeon Master’s Guild book produced by Keith Baker, the original creator of the megapopular Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting. D&D players embraced Eberron’s rich and detailed setting from the very beginning. Exploring Eberron does a terrific job illustrating how curating character options creates a tremendous opportunity to show, rather than tell, what is special about your world. Exploring Eberron includes several subclasses for 5E D&D characters to choose from specially tailored to the setting, and Nerdarchy explores them all like we do. In the case of the College of the Dirge Singer bard I’m going through the book to find the connection points between the subclass and the larger world it comes from. So let’s get into it.

College of the Dirge Singer in Exploring Eberron

Some of the subclass options in Exploring Eberron are broad while others dig deeper into specific themes and concept throughout the campaign setting and this DMG book. The origin of the College of the Dirge Singer comes heaped with lore and flavor focused primarily on the goblinoid Dhakaani Empire.

“This ancient tradition was developed in the Empire of Dhakaan, and is largely unknown beyond the goblinoids of the Kech Dhakaan. The duur’kala — Goblin for dirge singer —  are the historians, diplomats, and spiritual leaders of the empire.” — Exploring Eberron

  • Dirge Singers are leaders among the duur’kala, looked to for wisdom and guidance
  • A Dirge Singer’s training often includes time within the Uul Dhakaan, a dream where the novice can experience historial events or study with the memory-shades of masters.
  • Dream Singers are Dirge Singeres who specialize in walking in dreams.
  • A Dirge Singer leads a powerful Dhakaan clan along with a warlord.
  • The first goblinoid vampire was a Dirge Singer who interacted with the Aereni line of Vol.
  • A young Dirge Singer interested in destroying monstrous undead can be an unexpected ally against the Emerald Claw.
  • Along with the Forge Adept artificer the Dirge Singer is one of the subclasses specifically associated with the Dhakaani.
  • The goblinoid word for Dirge Singer is duur’kala. In fact there’s a whole Goblin Glossary in Exploring Eberron, which is great because there’s a lot of these words used in the book and I am today year’s old when I discovered this handy reference.
  • A hefty amount of lore about Dirge Singer’s includes details about Hezhaal and a great many other individuals. There’s way more lore about Dirge Singers than any of the other subclasses in Exploring Eberron.
  • This Bard College reflects the wisdom and brilliant leadership of duur’kala in both war and peace times.
  • These bards train to inspire their people and direct soldiers on the battlefield with tales of past glory and victories inspiring allies and providing insightful strategy. (In case you’ve been assuming this Bard College involves the dead and undead, like I did.)
  • A powerful artifact called Ghaal’duur, the Mighty Dirge is a three foot warhorn carved from the tip of a red dragon’s horn and crafted by a legendary Dirge Singer who united warring clans.
Exploring Eberron 5E D&D College of the Dirge Singer bard

A bugbear riding into battle on an armored tiger as seen in Exploring Eberron. I’m gonna assume they’re a Dhakaani bugbear. [Art by Olie Baldador]

Your Exploring Eberron stories

We’ve now covered four out of five from new subclass options from Exploring Eberron with Forge Adept, Maverick and Infusions artificers remaining. The subclasses in the book definitely speak prominently to specific races found in the campaign setting, and so far none so much as the College of the Dirge Singer. This Bard College packs tremendous flavor and players interested in incorporating these elements into their own characters will find a lot to love.

Discovering ways to immerse your character into the campaign setting you’re playing in adds new dimensions to how they view the world and how the world views them. Exploring Eberron contains tons of interesting information and tidbits about the world enough for any player to find cool and interesting ways to help bring characters to vibrant life. If you’re interested in finding out more about this campaign setting Exploring Eberron is a big 250 page book available at Dungeon Masters Guild in both PDF and hardcover options here.

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Doug Vehovec

Nerditor-in-Chief Doug Vehovec is a proud native of Cleveland, Ohio, with D&D in his blood since the early 80s. Fast forward to today and he’s still rolling those polyhedral dice. When he’s not DMing, worldbuilding or working on endeavors for Nerdarchy he enjoys cryptozoology trips and eating awesome food.

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