- For newly developed bard characters, or to add an element of fate into character background, a random roll can be made to determine if the C is accepted into the Fraternity of Heralds:
Basic chance is 1 in 10. Add the C's Wisdom and Power levels to increase the chance of acceptance ... A young bard with Wisdom 2 Power 1 has a 4 in 10 chance to be accepted.
- A single 10-sided die is rolled. The C's Wisdom and Power levels combined determine the score for success. A bard with Wisdom 3 and Power 1 attempting to recall the details of a myth or legend would be successful on a score of 1-4 (out of 10).
- By concentrating for a single turn (post), a bard is able to sense the presence of active spells, magic items, magical creatures and other sources of Power within his/her own Power Level area of effect. Likewise, the bard can sense the area of effect of a source of magic by entering it.
A bard is a minstrel, poet, herald and - in some holdings - an advisor to the ruler and repository of lore. The bardic tradition goes back to the days when the Koths (the people of Anglamar and Nordland were semi-barbaric clans, and bards were their warrior-poets. In the ancient tales, they were dashing figures, natural leaders and champions who could regale a hall with heroic tales and lead warriors in uplifting songs as they charged into battle. Their music was said to have magic powers, able to bolster bravery, banish fear and strike discord in the ranks of the enemy. Bards were also romantic figures, renowned as lovers and seducers of both peasant maidens and noble women alike. Unfortunately, today, the popular perception of bards has fallen to that of rootless rogues and vagabonds who prey take advantage of the hospitality of lords and townsfolk.
In the old days, youngsters learned at the feet of elder bards in the holds of the chieftains they served. They were taught the oral histories and practiced their music at feasts and banquets. At the same time, they trained for battle with the knights and men-at-arms, developing the skill-at-arms to carry their lord's banner into battle. In Nordland, this is still the manner of bardic training. In Anglamar, young bards-to-be apply to the College of Bards at Immerdeen in the Duchy of Arandor, though the old bardic tradition of independently trained bards hangs on among the folk of the Gondish Hills.
After four years of training in the College, the bard recieves his badge - a silver cloak-pin in the shape of a harp. Male students may then apply for membership in the Fraternity of Heralds where they are trained to serve the noble lords of Anglamar (members where gold badges and bright red cloaks). Only the best and brightest are accepted and, as of yet, women are not allowed into the fraternity ... Those who do not become heralds strike out on their own. Some become wandering free-bards or minstrels, plying their trade from town to town, festival to fair. A few become adventurers, joining with others - warriors, thieves, mages or adventuring priests - to explore the dark and ruined places of the wild, in search of forgotten lore.
Bards are trained in the ancient oral tradition. They have a chance, based on their Wisdom and experience, to identify artifacts, recount legends and discern the history of events, objects or people.
Bards are able to sense magic (as the mage spell) at Power Level. Unlike the mage, a bard may not be able to identify the nature of a source of Power, but he or she can tell it's there.
The bard uses music to tap into and control magic. The secret of this ability is part of those ancient oral traditions handed down since before mages learned to cast spells. Through the practiced weaving of words and melodies, bards can produce mind-effecting magic:
Mesmerism The bard is able to entrance creatures within area of effect for Power Level duration. A Power vs. Power/Wisdom is required against intelligent and magical opponents who are capable of resisting. Mesmerised creatures are vulnerable to suggestions (though they aren't directly controlled) or they may be rendered oblivious to their surroundings - including the presence of others, events or attacks against themselves ... A group of enemies might forget a battle and allow their opponents to slip away without any recollection of the event, for example.
Psychic Assault The bard can produce a wave of psychic energy effecting the minds of opponents within Power Level area of effect. A Power vs. Power/Wisdom roll, resolved like a Combat Roll, is made, with results determined on the following table:
Modified Result Effect
0 or less No effect
1-10 Stunned (unable to take action for 1-10 turns/posts)
11-20 Unconscious (for at least an hour. Wisdom reduced one level)
21-30 Comatose (vegetative state until healed. Wisdom/Power reduced to 0)
31+ Death (massive brain damage results in imminent death)
Protective spells, like a Warding (specified), as well as amulets offer resistance against mental intrusion.
Some famous and notable bards in Anglamar and the West:
The Venerable Vinus Falenfar, Loremaster of the College of Bards (Immerdeen).
Salmor Ederos, Royal Herald of Anglamar (Gondaran).
Fregard Storm-singer, Herald of Dragonhall (Dragonsgard, Nordland).
Kethring Farwalker (Gondish Hills).