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Thread: BR Bards
01-21-1998, 04:15 PM #1
At 11:56 PM 1/19/98 EST, Lee Ha1854(LeeHa1854@aol.com)wrote:
>...although I disagree that bards are underpowered. The skald in my
>Giantdowns game is doing just fine, using bagpipe tapes on my stereo during
When I said I thought Bards were underdeveloped, I was not saying they were
underpowered. The class may be powerful enough as is, but the role of the
Bard in BR society has been almost completely untouched by the BR rules.
Bards should be a crucial part of BR's society, particularly in the roles
of spreading information, being the keepers of heraldic coats, and as
symbols of a Regents status (usually through there support of one or more
Bards). Bards should also have a little more political influence
considering that with their songs, and stories they can affect the opinions
of the general public. IMO, BR Bards need to have their roles expanded
(from the basic class) to reflect their greater importance in this style of
campaign (ie. political) otherwise they are just singing Thieves that know
a bit about history. More could be said about how a Bard's place in Cerilia
could be expanded, but I think you get the idea. Bard's do not have to be
made more powerful; they merely need to be given their proper place, with
the rules to cover it, in BR.
Sepsis, firstname.lastname@example.org (ICQ:3777956)
"War is a matter of vital importance to the State;
the province of life or death;
the road to survival or ruin.
It is mandatory that it be thoroughly studied."
-Sun Tzu,(The Art of War)-
BR Netbook: http://webpages.metrolink.net/~veleda/birth.html
01-21-1998, 09:00 PM #email@example.com.Guest
Its true, bards are under developed. A class having its origin as a jack-
of-all trades suffers from the fact that the campaign takes place in a
melieu more developed that the typical adventurer's.
Histroically the whole world of diplomacy was based on herlads and papal
legates. The mechanisms of dilpomacy should rely very heavily on certain
I imagine in BR there are at least four kinds of bards:
1) loremaster/scholars looking for patronage
4) court heralds (protacol)
The jack-of-all trades element should still be present, although some kits
might forgo musical specialization associated with the class for, say
three, bonus proficiencies.
Not only would there be racial differences, but regional ones as well.
01-22-1998, 07:36 PM #3Mark A VandermeulenGuest
On Wed, 21 Jan 1998, Sepsis wrote:
> When I said I thought Bards were underdeveloped, I was not saying they were
> underpowered. The class may be powerful enough as is, but the role of the
> Bard in BR society has been almost completely untouched by the BR rules.
> Bards should be a crucial part of BR's society, particularly in the roles
> of spreading information, being the keepers of heraldic coats, and as
> symbols of a Regents status (usually through there support of one or more
> Bards). Bards should also have a little more political influence
> considering that with their songs, and stories they can affect the opinions
> of the general public. IMO, BR Bards need to have their roles expanded
> (from the basic class) to reflect their greater importance in this style of
> campaign (ie. political) otherwise they are just singing Thieves that know
> a bit about history. More could be said about how a Bard's place in Cerilia
> could be expanded, but I think you get the idea. Bard's do not have to be
> made more powerful; they merely need to be given their proper place, with
> the rules to cover it, in BR.
You could address this issue by adapting the Build action to a new use.
Regents can create a Bardic College in their capital cities (landed or
non-landed regents equally). I envision the process happening this way:
First the regent declares a fair/festival/contest to be held on a certain
date, and invites bards from all over, as well as common musicians and
entertainers (i.e. "freestyle" bards), to compete. Once a year on that
date the regent forks over 1d6 GB for the festival, and is allowed a roll
on 1d10. The regent is looking for either a dissatisfied bard or a
charismatic "free" bard (heavily influenced here by "Bardic Voices" by--I
think--Mercedes Lackey) who is willing to work with the regent in setting
up the new College: a pretty rare thing. If the regent rolls a 10 or
better, then he has found his bard, else he must wait and try again next
year. Every year after the first gives a +1 to the roll, as word of the
contest reachest and attracts a wider number and variety of people. (The
chosen bard may not be the winning musician, but canny DM's will make the
festival into a roll-playing affair: just because the player knows that
the "right man" is at the contest doesn't mean it should be easy for the
player's character to find him--or her. The character might only have the
vague whisperings of the local prophetess to go on.) (DM's who wish this
process to take longer or shorter period of time can change the success
roll to 6 on d6 or 12 on d12.)
Once the bard has been found, the College must be built, both the
physical building which will house it, and the college's membership and
reputation. Thus, the contests must continue, with the winners (in a
number of categories--not necessarily all musical) who don't already
belong to a college asked to join. At the time of the contest, the regent
may again throw 1d10 (starting again with no bonuses and adding +1 per
additional year), and a result of 10 (or more) results in the college
gaining one "ability" for the regent (detailed below) up to a maximum of 5
The building should be suitably grand, I suggest between 15-25 GB
cost. DM's may wish to limit colleges to 1 "ability" per 5 GB spent on the
building, much as palace bonuses are provided.
Some "abilities" that Bardic Colleges could possess follow. Some
might be better considered "automatic" abilities, and others as
"purchased," but I'll leave that to personal taste. Abilities that are
"purchased" should only be allowed one per season (i.e. when attempting to
raise the people's loyalty they cannot be doing espionage), but abilities
that are automatic can be done at any time.
- --one free legend lore attempt per month (more only at the discression of
the DM as use in plot points)
- --raise loyalty: can attempt to raise the loyalty of all provinces in the
domain as per the Agitate action. Caution: if the college ever turns on
the regent, it can use this ability against the regent. Regents can create
- --geographic lore: can supply the regent with general information on the
area surrounding his domain, including the location of roads, castles,
fortified holdings, relative strength of fortifications, anything a
relatively well-informed traveller with a good eye and somewhat privelaged
access would be able to ascertain.
- -rumorgathering: can supply the regent with a wealth of rumors: including
the relative loyalties of nearby provinces, rumors of secret weakness to
fortifications, nobles of wavering loyalty, discovery of a valuable new
source of silver ore, a regent's secret vice, and other choice items that
may be of diplomatic, economic or espionage use.
- --rumormongering: the ability to create and spread rumors, either to
entice an enemy to "take the bait" by assaulting an apparent weakness, or
to create unrest or confusion in neighboring domains (by creating random
events like Feud, Diplomatic Matter, Corruption, Trade Matter, Intrigue,
Unrest, Matter of Justice, or Great Captain/Heresy. And remember: just
becuase it's only a rumor, doesn't mean that it doesn't have to be dealt
- --vilify: the bards of the bardic college begin a campaign to influence
the other regents of the area against one regent, pointing out his bad
qualities and shortcomings through satire and advising against placing too
much trust in him. The target regent suffers a -2 penalty to all
- --renown: the regent reaps the benefit of being the patron of a famous
Bardic College by gaining a +3 bonus to all Diplomatic actions.
- --geneaology and heraldry: the regent aquires an aide who can quickly keep
him up to speed on the convoluted family trees and heirarchies of the
Empire's noble families ("Ah, you see, sire, the Mhor actually has the
best claim to the Throne of Anuire because he is decended from Michael
Roele's aunt, his father's older sister, who was married to Eldried Mhor
I'm sure others can come up with more ideas.
01-22-1998, 10:09 PM #4George KochGuest
> On Wed, 21 Jan 1998, Sepsis wrote:
> > When I said I thought Bards were underdeveloped, I was not saying they were
> > underpowered. The class may be powerful enough as is, but the role of the
> > Bard in BR society has been almost completely untouched by the BR rules.
> You could address this issue by adapting the Build action to a new use.
> Regents can create a Bardic College in their capital cities (landed or
I'm playing a Bard Regent... The only problem I've faced so far is that Bards only get
regency from guilds and that's only 1/2 regency... I know the books say it's rare for
Bards to be Regents... But it's hard be one one when you get next to nothing in regency..
I'm in the process of building a Bard College and everyone's agreed to let me have full
regency from it... also we've made a house rule that Bards can collect full regency from
Bard Guilds... QuickSilver....
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