A lyre is a stringed instrument that looks a lot like a small harp.  In D&D it’s a tool that your character can use to perform or cast spells in the case of a bard. In Greek mythology, Hermes built the first lyre from a tortoise shell.  Apollo.  Orpheus was also known for playing the lyre, and if you’re not familiar with the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, that’s some great D&D campaign fuel.

I asked Bing Copilot for a block cut image of a magic harp, and this is what I got. Not bad!

Published in Dungeons and Dragons:

  • Mundane Lyre – It’s just and ordinary old stringed instrument. A bard can take it as starting equipment.  You can also get one as starting equipment if you take the Entertainer background.
  • Cil Lyre – From the Dungeon Master’s Guide, Cil Lyre is one of the Instruments of the Bards, a very powerful set of magic items that act as spellcasting focuses, grant bards the ability to cast several spells, impose disadvantage on magical attempts to charm creatures.
  • Lyre of Building – From Tashas Cauldron of Everything, this item lets you protect and repair objects and structures.  It also grants you a range of spells and acts as a spellcasting focus.
  • Siren Song Lyre – From Mythic Odyssey of Theros, this instrument acts as a spellcasting focus and gives the attuned user access to a range of charm-type spells.

Another Good Way to Make Your Bard a Lyre

Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything introduced the Rhythm-Maker’s Drum.  This item is a class-specific +1/+2/+3 spellcasting focus that also lets the bard regain uses of Bardic Inspiation.  If the bard in your game prefers the lyre to the drums, there’s no reason not to reskin this item as a lyre, or any other instrument you prefer.  I was always puzzled why they made it a drum in the first place.  Seems like an odd instrument for a bard.

Now that you’ve got some nice instruments for your bard, check out some other great magic items.


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