Overview: There is power in words, say the Bards of Midworld. They have the power to bolster, to soothe and to devastate. The Bards take the “common thread” of words and weave them into intricate, potent compositions that border the realm of the supernatural… and with erudite compositions, go beyond. Though a good Bard is hard to find and even harder to become, they can find easy welcome anywhere, even with the stodgiest Dwarf or the cynical Necromancer. Everyone, even the cruelest of killers, likes a good tune now and then…
BASIC BARD: A first level character that chooses Bard as his first Profession receives the following:
– Bardic Evocation Skill
– Learn Soothing Composition
Basic Skills: can be learned from Player Characters or Non-player Characters who possess the Teach skill. Alternatively, these can be learned during character creation.
10 Bardic Evocation
Complex Skills: can be learned from Player Characters or Non-player Characters who possess the Teach skill.
5 Bardic Expertise
5 Song of the Heart
Erudite Skills: can only be learned from select Non-player Characters.
10 Bardic Mastery
10 Commanding Voice
10 Deadly Dance
10 Musical Arcana
10 Poker Face
Description: Through talent and training, you have mastered the basic concepts of performance, of weaving words and song into a nigh-magical power.
- This skill allows you to utilize basic bardic compositions. After using a Composition, you need to wait an hour as well as take a Short Rest before you may perform another.
- Also, using a Bardic Composition is not counted as strenuous activity for the purposes of a short rest.
Requires: Bardic Evocation skill
Description: You have delved the depths of Bardic lore and achieved an expertise with the finer concepts of performance. No mere apprentice are you to the Bardic arts but a journeyman well on his way to true mastery. At this time, you become a vessel for the arts – minor upon you mend and repair when you tap into your artistic talents.
- This rank of the skill allows you to utilize complex bardic compositions.
- When you successfully perform a bardic composition, you regain 5 HP as the expression of your soul renews its hold upon your flesh.
- Furthermore, you have become very skilled in dealing with people. The Gather Information Feat, Suggestion Feat and the Befriend Feat only require 1 minute of conversation before they can be used. If you are under the effects of a spell that allows the use of similar effects to these feats, this skill similarly augments the usage of that spell.
Requires: Bardic Expertise skill
Description: You have plumbed the depths of performance and can now harness the full measure of bardic power. Your talent is well within the notice of Lords and Kings. The very world bends its ear when your songs are plied upon its winds. Your voice is powerful – and changing minds and bending wills become a simple task for you.
- This rank of the skill allows you to utilize erudite bardic compositions.
- When you successfully perform a long bardic composition, you may affect your audience with the effects of 2 different basic compositions.
- Furthermore, you are only required only engage in 10 seconds of conversation before using the Gather Information Feat, Suggestion Feat and the Befriend Feat. If you are under the effects of a spell that allows the use of similar effects to these feats, this skill similarly augments the usage of that spell.
- Lastly, when you use the Mocking Words feat, you may throw up to three spell-packets instead of just one but each must strike a different target. Preface each throw with “Wave taunt 30″.
Requires: Bardic Mastery skill and Banner of Battle skill
Description: You have learned to apply the chaos of your Bardic skill to the discipline of the battlefield. Those under your command become more stalwart and strike truer when they hear your voice.
Usage: When you use the Rallying Warcry feat the amount of AP you grant is improved by 10. Similarly, when you use the Cry Havoc feat, the amount of damage you and your Comrades inflict with the Feat is increased by 5.
Requires: Bardic Mastery skill
Description: This skill is said to hail from the painted flotillas of the Riverfolk, the assassin-geishas of Kenrei and the swashbuckling rakes of Callas Selvarion. Like them, you have channeled your Bardic skills toward a different, deadlier end. You become an expert in the art of distraction and while your foes are distracted, you strike at where they are vulnerable.
Usage: If you have a “Backstab” ability (granted by the Rogue class, the Soldier sub-class or the Dirty Fighting skill), you gain a limited capacity to use it from the front.
While wielding a one-handed (non-bastard) weapon in one hand and either a colorful dagger or a distracting non-combat item (a colorful cloth/wooden fan, a colorful scarf) in the other, you can activate “Deadly Dance” by expending your Once per Hour bardic composition limit.
While using Deadly Dance, you gain the Flourish ability – this allows you to inflict Backstab-style attacks from the front, although you have to preface your attacks with “Flourish” instead of “Backstab”.
Similar to the Zephyr’s dance, this ability dissipates when:
— You do not move from your position for more than 10 seconds.
— Or when you drop to 0 HP or 0 SP.
— Or when an hour passes.
Description: Used by spies and other deceivers across Midworld, this skill can not only mask one’s true physical identity but also one’s true mental identity. A character with this skill can actually fall into their designated role, viewing themselves as the persona that they are using to hide from others.
Usage: While wearing accessories or make-up that partially or completely conceals your facial features (i.e. tattoos, a mask, etc), you gain the benefits of this skill:
– With this skill, you may put on a cosmetic disguise, masking yourself as a member of your own Race and Sub-Race, not a different race. Sense Deception can penetrate this disguise.
– When another character is using a Feat or Spell to directly determine your true identity (e.g. Gather Information), your current guise is considered to be your true identity and your current guise’s name is considered to be your true name.
– If someone attempts to use Sense Deception or a similar effect that can specifically determine whether someone is disguised or not, you may say “Disguise” and spend 2 SP in order to negate the attempt altogether. You must clarify to the enquirer that they are unable find out whether this is your true form or not… furthermore, they cannot try again until the current Period has passed.
– If someone attempts the above and you spend 0 SP, they know that you are Disguised but they do not know your true guise.
Special Note: If a character wears a disguise without using this skill, he or she has no protection against Feats and Spells that can determine his or her true identity.
Physical Representation Requirements: Make-up and costuming attire for the disguise.
Description: Characters with this skill are veterans of the marketplace and the agora. They intimately know the intricate art of the Haggle, how to wheedle money off of one’s buyers and raise a product’s perceived value above its true value. Many characters learnt this skill because of the monetary benefits it grants although some learn it only because they like to talk and to win.
Usage: When you are buying a product or a service to and from an NPC, you may say “Haggle” to receive a 10% discount on your purchase. Similarly, you may mark up your price by 10% when selling to an NPC. The increase or decrease in price is considered to be reasonable by the NPC.
Haggle cannot be used on other Player Characters.
Description: You are a learned character, having sought out lore and knowledge in Midworld and beyond. Perhaps you hail from a prestigious place of learning or maybe your education is low-born and street-based but no less accurate than your academic peers. Either way, you are able to use this knowledge to your advantage, by interpreting discovered clues or utilizing esoteric knowledge about the creatures you face.
Usage: Only someone with the Lore-keeper skill may read cards that say “Lore-keeper”.
When fighting an unknown monster, you may say “Lore-keeper! What are you?” to find out the name of whatever you are fighting. You get no other information, although further research in the subject can provide you with information.
Requires: Bardic Mastery skill
Description: Even those who work the currents and tides of magic can find strength and power in song. Witches, Priests and even Sorcerers can turn their own artistry to their own benefit, relying on poetry and verbiage instead of pure concentration.
Doing so allows a spellcaster to utilize the energies of their own verse to echo the spell’s effect upon the same target or a different one. This method of spellcasting contains more flourish than normal. However, it also carries more danger — interrupting the flow of one’s verse and song can have disastrous effects upon the singer, especially when magic is involved.
Usage: Through this skill you may waive the Channeling time (Channel 10 or lower) for a Basic Touch or Bolt spell, replacing the Channeling time with a Verse of your own creation (subject to Staff approval). Doing so allows you to use the echoes of magic to your advantage, turning the Spell into a Chain 2 spell instead of a Bolt or Touch spell.
This Skill cannot be used to Augment spells that are not Basic Spells, Bolt Spells nor Touch Spells.
The price of using the power of Song over magic can be a steep one however. Those who fumble over their own Verse or try to speed through it will cause the spell to backfire, receiving 5 points of damage from magical backlash. Being struck while casting has the same penalty — Channeling Mastery and Channeling Expertise grants no protection in this circumstance.
Saying this Verse is otherwise still considered spell-casting with all the attendant penalties and hindrances therein.
Description: Through experience, study and/or linguistic talent, you have become fluent in the common and uncommon languages of Midworld. Either you have internalized some root of linguistic power or you have successfully opened your mind to all the tongues of the world.
Few are the tongues that you are unable to speak – mostly those forgotten and lost to the world through antiquity and tragedy…. And those whose very existence is a forbidden secret.
Usage: With this skill, you are able to understand and speak in all common and uncommon languages except for the Forbidden and the Forgotten tongues. You can read the following tongues (as well as any other languages after GM clarification):
- Wyrd-Spiel—the world-tongue and all of its variants
- Ark-tongue – the language of the heavens
- Rune-speak – the language of Dwarves and Giants
- Aetherese – the language of Gnomes and the Aether
- Shensai – the language of isolated Kenrei
With this skill, you are immune to mundane and magical attempts to discern whether you are lying or not. Whenever, such an attempt is invoked, you can counter it by invoking this skill. There do exist spells and abilities that breach the defenses of this skill, but so far, they are not known.
Likewise, when tasked to a truthful answer by a Feat or a Spell, you may simply invoke this skill to avoid answering the question.
Usage: Whenever someone uses Sense Deception or a similar Feat or Spell, you can respond to it by saying “Poker Face! Clarify: you cannot tell if I am lying”. There are spells and abilities that breach the defenses of this skill, but they are rare and difficult to find and learn.
Similarly, when someone attempts to use the Gather Information feat on you (or similar effects), you may block their attempt to collect your secrets by saying “Poker Face”.
Description: You are proficient in the ways of gossip and rumor. Not only do you have the necessary contacts and talents to find out about the latest hearsay, but you can make rumors of your own. Some rumors may reveal the presence of buried treasure in the woods while others might be the rumblings of a future conflict.
Usage: Once per period, you may use Rumormonger to pick, read and then return a rumor from the Rumor Box. Alternatively, you may plant a rumor instead, writing it down on parchment paper and then placing it in the Rumor Box.
You need the presence and guidance of a Staff member to perform this skill.
Song of the Heart
Requires: Bardic Expertise skill
Description: Physics and Scholars may scoff at the arts, but they cannot deny the stirring of soul and heart that only a Bard can evoke. Those Bards with this skill are skilled at a special type of song or verse – one that can place a fleeting soul back into its ruined body. Some sages call this skill fantasy while others theorize it to be a special type of necromancy – but those who practice the art know it to be skill – pure and simple.
Usage: You can sing a song or recite a verse for 30 seconds to completion in an attempt to rouse someone from the throes of death. To do this, you must stand beside your target. This revives someone in their first Death Count and heals them for 1 HP. However, they are Dazed (Pain effect) for the next minute or until cured.
If you also expend your once per Hour ability to perform Bardic Compositions, you may augment this skill with one (or more of the following):
– Transfer your SP to your target. This may not exceed their maximum or your maximum. If you transfer all of your SP, you take 100 damage and a Killing Blow as you nearly kill yourself in the process.
– You may revive someone from their Critical Death Count. But they suffer the Daze effect as outlined above.
Description: Through long hours of training or perhaps through a penchant for stubbornness, your mind can break free of outside influences. With this skill, you have an easier time than others when seeing through the manipulation of others.
Usage: Charm effects with a duration such as (Pacify, Taunt or, Befriend) only affect you for half the duration, round up. When the effect would end, say “Willpower”. However, Willpower will not reduce a Charm effect that has already been reduced.
Like most skills, Willpower does not cost SP to use. You may use this skill as many times as you need.
BARD FEAT LIST:
Build Cost: Each feat costs 5 build to learn.
Description: The staple of the charming rake and the charismatic scoundrel, the Befriend feat allows a character to temporarily get into the good graces of another character. This feat mixes charm, grace, wit and charisma to befuddle another character into good-will and friendliness. The effect is as mystifying as it is useful, allowing an otherwise untrustworthy individual into the trust of those who don’t have the sense or the training to know better.
Usage: After 5 minutes of conversing with a target that is not engaging you in combat, spend 1 SP and then say “Befriend 100”. Your target must be within a one-handed weapon’s reach of you or closer. Clarify the effects of being Befriended, if necessary.
— Cannot Attack You: A Befriended character will not attack you unless attacked or injured by you or your allies first (this prematurely breaks the effect).
— Not Mind-Controlled: A Befriended character is not mind-controlled; they retain their free will and personality, they will not attack their friends or risk personal danger for you.
— Answer Questions: If you question a character you’ve befriended, they will answer to the best of their ability although they may lie if they feel the need to do so.
— After-effect: After Befriend’s duration runs out and is not prematurely broken, your target will still be friendly to you. However, they are no longer restricted in their actions toward you.
Description: Even the most bloodied, vicious killer understands the need for peace. Through willpower and spiritual energy, a character can instill a tranquility unto a nearby target. This is best used to to prevent a target from assaulting his friends or to tactically remove someone from retaliation in order to prepare for his destruction.
Usage: To use this feat, spend 1 SP and say “Diplomacy! Pacify 30!” to a Mortal (i.e. a Human, Dwarf, Elf, Troll, Gnome, Nightkin or Beastling) character within a one-handed weapon’s reach of you. You need not strike them for this effect to occur – in fact, if they are attacked the Pacify effect breaks prematurely. Pacified characters may draw their weapons but they may not attack anyone until they are attacked – they may however, defend themselves and their allies.
Description: This feat represents a subtle but effective collection of a target’s secrets through questioning and deduction. A character trained in Gather Information is skilled in navigating the currents of conversation around the topics of their interest and gleaning what they need from their subject’s answers. While the scope of Gather Information is limited, a clever questioner can get a great deal of information with even the ignorance of their target.
Usage: After 5 minutes of conversing with a target that is not engaging you in combat, spend 1 SP, say “Gather Information” and then ask a question whose answer must be “yes”, “no” or “I don’t know”. You must clarify the following to your target:
– The target must answer truthfully (I don’t know is also a valid answer) and in a whisper, however he or she can negate a Gather Information attem
pt using anything that defends against Charm effects (such as the Resist Charm feat) or by using the Poker Face skill.
– The target realizes that they are giving away information, but is unable to help themselves without the proper defenses. Most targets may choose to disengage after they realize this.
Description: This feat represents immense expertise in the art of the insult, the japery and the mockery. To be the target of the Mocking Words feat is to know reckless rage and brazen foolishness. Despite the simplicity and the crudeness of this feat, its power should not be underestimated; it can break defensive formations, open up vulnerable targets and even kill its user through sheer recklessness.
Usage: To use this Feat, spend 1 SP and then perform a melee attack upon an enemy while saying “Taunt 30” in mid-swing. If you hit, you have successfully taunted your enemy and he will engage you in combat exclusively unless others get in the way or you retreat into a dangerous situation. This lasts for 30 seconds.
Alternatively, you can use this Feat upon a distant target. To do this, simply say “Mocking Words” and then throw a spell-packet at a target. In mid-throw, say “Taunt 30” and to bestow a Taunt effect upon him or her for 30 seconds if you hit.
Description: There are many monsters and people in the world that can bend the minds of others through words or spell. This feat exists to combat such creatures, calling upon one’s inner reserves of energy to tear away fabrications and manipulations – to unveil the truth of things. This is especially useful for characters who dislike being fooled or being deceived.
Usage: To use this feat, you must spend 1 SP and say “Resist Charm” in response to a Charm attack (such as a Suggestion, a Befriend, a Pacify or a Taunt effect). You cannot use this Feat to defend against an attack that comes from behind you and strikes your back torso.
Description: This feat allows a character to discern truth from lie and to pierce the disguises of the untrained. Those who are able to Sense Deception have learned to read the vocal tone and non-verbal cues to determine the falsity or the veracity of others. This feat is prized by many who expect to enter and compete in the arenas of diplomacy and subterfuge – although any creature with an iota of wisdom would do well to be trained in this area of expertise or gain the camaraderie of someone who does.
Usage: This feat has three main functions, all usable only upon a character within a one-handed weapon’s reach of you:
– While conversing with a target, you can spend 1 SP, say “Sense Deception” and then clarify to your target the effects of this feat. They must tell you if the statement they just said is true or a lie – furthermore, they must whisper this information to you.
– When a creature attempts to use the Suggestion effect upon you, you may negate it completely by spending 1 SP and saying “Sense Deception”.
– Lastly, after 5 minutes in conversation with another character, you may spend 1 SP and then say “Sense Deception! Who are you?”. A character without the Disguise skill or any other ability to defend against this must reveal to you (in a whisper) their true guise if they have an alternate or true identity that is familiar to you. If you are not familiar with any of the character’s alternate identities, you gain no information from this use of the feat.
Special: The Poker Face skill will make a character immune to lie detection effects such as this feat.
Description: The ability to lie is nothing more than the ability to utilize the trust of other people and to inflict your beliefs upon them. The Suggestion feat allows a character to directly influence another, making them believe a statement through sheer charismatic force and wit. Only careful training and/or innate resistances can shield a person from such manipulations.
Usage: After 5 minutes of conversation with your intended target (who must be within a one-handed weapon’s reach), spend 1 SP and say “Suggestion!”, followed by a believable statement. The statement has to be a believable one because your fabrication will easily crumble when faced with any kind of evidence because the target is acting on your “say-so”.
This is a Charm effect and can be negated by Feats or Spells that defend against Charm effects; similarly the Sense Deception Feat and similar effects can defend against a Suggestion.
You cannot use Suggestion to give commands to others nor is it dominating their will. The targets of this feat are free to act as they wish; you simply change their beliefs to accommodate your words.