Author Topic: Bards  (Read 1795 times)

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Offline Tolen

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Bards
« on: September 01, 2010, 03:36:17 PM »
Ok, the first major thematic change to the way things normally work is in the bardic college.  I'm posting this first, frankly, because I have a large stack of papers here to go through, and this is on the top. 

I'm thinking that training packages may be the easiest way to handle this.  In 3E, we created prestige classes to handle it.  the original idea was that anyone could join the Twilight College, but with the rules the way they were, it was pretty much restricted by class.

So here's what I have for the bards:

Many are the ranks of the amateur entertainer, musician, poet, juggler and sword-swallower, yet only a few in those ranks earn the right to call themselves bard. 

The bardic college (also known as the Twilight College, for it's location on an island in the Twilight Bay) is an institution that seeks to keep the history of Arrylon, to remember the deeds of the heroes that have walked the realms, and entertain.  They are musicians and poets, yes, but they are also lorekeepers, scholars, adventurers, and occasionally heroes.

Anyone can be an entertainer, but to be a bard, one must take his works (or act) and perform before the Council of Four at the College.  After the performance, the would-be bard may be accepted into the college, or asked to revise the performance and return in two years time.  The college hosts a bi-annual festival, where as many of the members as can make it, as well as many hopefuls, crowd the campus for a week of revelry and song.  There the hopefuls present their works and hope to be given an audience with the Council of Four. If he is accepted into the college, he can leave the festival knowing that he can claim initiate status in the college, and that all of his works will be forever recorded.  He now has status and some influence.  Kings want 'Bards' in their court, not amateurs.  For the bard to make an impact, he must join the college.

Member has its advantages.  When it comes to jobs for nobles and kings, the College will often recommend one of their own.  Many cities have a guildhouse where members may stay the night and eat free of charge (companions enjoy reduced rates compared to other places in town).  Many such guildhouses double as libraries and scriptoria where members and the the paying public can view and copy many of the works the library holds in its collection.  Members of the college are entitled to higher rates of pay when out on contract.  The Council of Four sets the rates, and collects a portion of the profits.

The Bardic College is divided into four schools.  When a hopeful decides to join the college, he must spend the weeks and months before the Festival researching and practicing his art and knowledge.  the presentation he makes at the Festival determines which school he is admitted to.

Musica:  This is the most recognized of the four schools, and is what comes to mind when most people think of a bard.  the school of music is usually the first place an aspiring bard goes to seek entrance into the college.  This school teaches musical theory and practice, and provides training in a large variety of instruments and styles.  the Chief Bard heads this school and he hand picks the best students to teach the newer members.  Entrants are assigned to this school if their presentation before the college is primarily musical in nature.

Literata: The Literata school includes the poets, writers and scholars of the bardic world.  they maintain the libraries in the guildhouses  and add their knowledge whenever possible.  The Literata are primarily concerned with a record of history as it occurs, though many of course spend their time researching into the past.    If the presentation the hopeful makes is largely historical in nature, or literary or poetic, he is assigned to this school.  As in the Musica school, the more experienced teach the lesser.  This school is headed by the High Loremaster.

Corpae: The Corpae school focuses on physical entertainment like dance and juggling.  Of all the schools, these are the most physically fit, and are the ones who might engage in more 'roguish' behavior.  The Corpae school regards physical fitness above all else, and often the festival ground are filled with tumblers, dancers, and actors entertaining the masses.  Often, they are called jesters and clowns, but they don't mind.  After all, that is what they do.  Everyone helps and teaches everyone else in this school, under the guidance of the Mastriludio.

Thauma:  The thauma school works hand in hand with local mage guilds to advance the foundations and theories of magic.  They make every effort to record every spell they come across in their travels, and bring them back to the guildhouses for copying.  the masters are then sent to the college.  They maintain laboratories, and are continually researching new spells.  This is also the school that produces the many different kinds of one-use or charged magical items to be found throughout the lands, and they do a pretty brisk trade as a result.  The head of this school is the Grand Magus, and he maintains a strict heirarchy of students and teachers.

Bards only attend one school, but many have knowledge and skills useful to the others, so it is not unheard of for members of one school to present lectures or assist teachers from other schools.  The head of each school sits on the Council of Four and together they make the policies that affect all aspects of bardic life.

Ranks:
Initiate.  Most bards fall into this category.
True Bard.  Thesae are members who have provided useful research or training to several students or the collge libraries.
Masters, Loremasters, Magicians.  These are the most experienced of a given school, and are severley outnumbered by their students.  Most often, these have been hand picked by the masters of the school as teachers.
The Four.  These are the heads of the four schools, and the position is generally for life, though anyone may step down whenever they wish.



The bardic college got a thorough work up because we thought that even if they weren't popular as characters ('Bards suck!' to quote a movie), we thought that historians and loremasters were important to attempt to prevent the mistakes of the past through learning.
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Try South of Mt. Vernon, where Southern Illinois really begins.

Offline markc

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Re: Bards
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2010, 04:19:43 PM »
I would have a TP for each college, initial joining, True Bard (based upon college) and the Four.


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Offline Tolen

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Re: Bards
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2010, 09:37:08 AM »
The ranks of the colleges are pretty flexible and are based mainly on skill and merit.  The Four appoint the Masters as needed, and the masters are always testing the initiates to see which deserve to be given the title of bard.

So I think four different training packages will suffice, each one obviously focused on a different set of core abilities.
I'm in Southern Illinois.
No, further than that...
Try South of Mt. Vernon, where Southern Illinois really begins.