Epoch on the Rock
Would you like to react to this message? Create an account in a few clicks or log in to continue.

BARDIC SYSTEM: Player Version

Go down

BARDIC SYSTEM: Player Version Empty BARDIC SYSTEM: Player Version

Post by AD on Sun May 21, 2017 5:23 pm


The Bardic System uses real out of game instruments, including the human voice, as its representatives and conduits. As such, proficiency in music is absolutely beneficial to the player taking on these skills. Not every skill revolves exclusively around music but a good bit of them in fact do. Because of this, players must audition for bardic abilities – their musical portions in particular. We will use the modern music language so there is no confusion.
Before the initial Bardic levels are purchased the player must exhibit out of game ability to play their instrument or sing properly ('properly', not being operatic but limited sour notes and deviation). Additionally, each song proposed by a player for a given ability must be approved by the AD (usually during logging pre-event) for the purpose of remaining on theme with the game world.
All in all, the system is relatively simple: enchant your instrument, adorn players with receiving charms, play a song and recite the effect of the song. Much like magic effects these are simple incants, ie: 'the sound of my song grants you +1 attack 5 minutes’. While the incant itself is not as stringent, the song being played may and should be treated as a miscant if the wrong chord is struck, a note fails to register, one's voice cracks, etc. Stemming from that, should a receiver of a buff only happen upon the end of the song and seek clarification on its effect, they have already forfeit that effect; the song in its entirety must be heard by the recipient for the effect to register.


Bardic levels are treated as the base at which a Bard's experience is measured and thereby which skills may be purchased. They also determine:

I: How many songs can be written per game with the Songwriting skill: 1 song for each LVL
II: How many Bard Marks can be enchanted and thus active: 2 Marks for each LVL
III: How many stories can be told per game with the Locker Room skill: 1 story for each level at LVL 2
IV: Self Buffing with Mark Songs is inherent starting at LVL 2
V: Mark Songs’ potency and duration scale respectively to Bardic level*

*Songs and their effects from the Mark Songs specifically do not require additional purchases as the bard levels up; much like magic spells a song’s potency and duration increases (assuming its effect is not static) in accordance with the Bard's level.


Bard Marks are the visual cues that signify and mechanically permit the passing of song effects to other players. They are represented with guitar picks and must be supplied by the Bard in question. Picks should be a uniform colour or pattern for a given Bard and have that PC's initials written on it. These Marks must be worn by receiving parties as a necklace, bracelet, etc., to broadcast their affiliation with the Bard as visibly as possible. The Bard in kind wears their corresponding mark.
Marks are applied to a PC by the Bard blessing it with their Personal Song, whereupon the PC and the Bard are linked for the event, except in case of instrument blowout, death, or other determined factors within game. The Personal Song need only be a 30 second excerpt.
These Marks must be applied individually to players and must be renewed every event by the same process by which they were tethered to their player. Marks may be switched between players at anytime however; the ritual is the same as Mark renewal, but the song must be played twice, an extra time for tearing the mark from its previous holder.
A PC may have up to 3 Marks from 3 Bards active and tethered to their person at any given time, though it is their responsibility in that case to keep track of their own buffs. Should the player lose track of the buff, the player will lose the effects of the buff. To this, each buff a PC has must be different, and they may only receive 1 buff per Bard. (ie., they may not have 3 attack up buffs at the same time… only one will take effect)


Instrument enchanting differs by instrument type, however slightly; in a place of roleplayed meditation the Bard must mime the act of taking their instrument apart and performing a small ritual.

I: The instrument's removed piece must be soaked in 1 unit of the Bard's blood (1 HP damage) for 30 seconds or blessed by touch with 1 Mana of any kind via the incant 'with (element) I bless this (instrument).'
For stringed instruments, like a guitar, the strings are the piece to be removed.
For percussive instruments, specifically drums, the skin is the piece to be removed.
For wind instruments, like a flute, the mouthpiece is the piece to be removed (mimed regardless of it being detachable or not).
For the Bard's voice itself, no disassembly is required, however: they must either bless their throat with 1 Mana of any kind or gargle 1 unit of their own blood for the 30 seconds aforementioned.
II: After the blessing has been given the instrument must be fixed through 1 minute of roleplay. The strings are to be simply restrung to their instrument's body. The skins are to simply be tied back to the drum's body. The wind instrument differs in that the mouthpiece must be used for breathing exercises, while the lips are in contact with it. Similarly the voice is 'reconstructed' by simple breathing exercises for the minute duration.
III: At this point the instrument is imbued with its power and must activated by recital of the Bard's Personal Song, perfomed with the instrument itself. This may be any song of the player’s choosing. (note: in order for the Personal Song to be changed no XP cost is required however the entire ritual would have to be redone to designate its new Personal Song attached)
IV: Immediately following the enchanting of the instrument a 30 minute reflection is required. The Bard may meditate or play their instrument passively in their location of ritual and must remain uninterrupted for that duration, not unlike Psychic Meditation.
V: Now the instrument is technically able to produce effects save for the Mark Songs requiring bard marks. The Marks' physical representations themselves are brought into game for their purpose with little canonical consideration – they may have been whittled or found somewhere, etc.

I: To enchant the Mark the Bard must, much like with instruments, soak each individual Mark desired for use in 1 unit of their own blood or bless it with 1 Mana of any element via the incant 'with (element) I bless this Mark.'
II: After this the Bard must play their Personal Song with the mark in hand or at least in contact to themselves. With a guitar or other stringed instrument it would obviously be used to strum but with a flute or drum they may tuck it behind their ear or what not. Specifically with their voice they must hold the Mark to their throat as they sing.

In all instances the Personal Song is played during the ritual it must be played in its entirety. The number of Marks is limited by the Bard's Bardic level; how many they can enchant and thereby buff any number of PCs. 2 Marks are available to the Bard automatically at base level with 2 additional Marks being available automatically per level – thus at Bardic LVL 5 the Bard will have 10 Marks at their disposal.


LVL 1: 5 XP – Requires Teacher
LVL 2: 10 XP
LVL 3: 20 XP
LVL 4: 40 XP
LVL 5: 80 XP


'The band effect' is created by 2 to 4 bards of any given Bardic level playing a song cooperatively and enhancing its effects. There is no limiter determining how many of any type of instrument may be used in this effect. It may be four singers, three drummers and a flutist, etc. It may also be arranged and performed creatively so long as the original melody, tempo and time signature remain unchanged.
The number of Bards banding together in song gives a multiplier effect to the song, quite simply: with 2 Bards the effect is doubled, with 3 it is tripled and with 4 Bards the song's effects are increased fourfold… though the duration for the song is not affected by this.
When deciding to play one of the Bards is required to 'host' the song, or rather lead it. This does not require them to play lead instrumentally however, it does determine which Marks will receive the enhanced buff. When the song is decided and agreed upon for one to lead the band the song is played and only the Marks of the host will receive the buff; multiplied or otherwise, no other Marks benefit. To that the leader must call the buff for their Marks. If the call is not made by that Bard in question then the effect is nullified.
The song played MUST be purchased with XP as a skill by every Bard contributing to the song; even though all four Bards may be able to musically play the song together, if only three actually have the song as a purchased skill the effect is only tripled and not quadrupled. To this, the designated ‘host’ for Amphitheatre is the one whose multiplier affects the song: if the leader is a level 3 Bard but their accompaniment are higher in level the level 3 Bard is still the one by whose level the song’s effects are applied. As with any solo performed Mark Songs the song must be performed properly and for the full 30 second standard excerpt by all members of the band.
If not in a band then Bards must take turns playing songs. If one is playing over another no Marks on the field receive any effects. Note that Amphitheatre is only compatible with Mark Songs. As such, if the leader of the band elects to play another Mark Song after the fact then just as any other song that multiplied effect will be overwritten by the new song. Also note that not every Mark Song will benefit from Amphitheatre, as some are static in their effects and do not scale up in power with the Bardic level.

SELF BUFFING: Passive – 0 XP

Starting at Bardic LVL 2 the Bard may start buffing themselves. This applies specifically to the Mark Songs category. At any point they desire, the Bard may elect to forego buffing their Marks to instead buff themselves. This differs slightly as they must play their 30 second Personal Song first and then the 30 second excerpt of their chosen Mark Song. This makes the requirement to buff oneself far longer than buffing allies.
Additionally, this Mark Song WILL NOT apply to any of the Bard’s Marks, even if they hear it… to avoid confusion, the Bard should refrain from declaring the effects of the self buff, seeing as they will know anyway. Just as with any other Mark Song the Bard may only have the effects of one buff at a time. If they happen to possess a Mark from another Bard they likewise may not have more than one of the same buff’s effects applied at a time. This means that a Bard is the only PC that may have 4 buffs active at a time rather than 3 should they have 3 Marks from 3 other Bards.

SONGWRITING: 5 XP – Needs a teacher – Prerequisite: Literacy

A skill that can be purchased at Bardic LVL 2. Allows the Bard to learn a song without the aid of a secondary party. The process requires a meditative hour of sheet writing, but can be done in a social environment so long as the Bard is focused on their work. The writing can be put on hold over time and a physical representation is required for their sheet music. The song learned is decided afterwards under confirmation by the AD. The number of songs able to be written per event is determined by the Bardic level.


Learning a song from a second party such as an NPC or a PC requires no prior skills. The teaching method is played out as a jam session of sorts between the two characters and lasts as long as is deemed necessary by the teacher. If the student prefers a different song over the one being taught they may substitute it for their own upon purchase. The song must be confirmed by the AD afterwards as adequately performed.

SONG SWITCHING: 5 XP each time - Does not need a teacher - Prerequisite: Songwriting

If the Bard wishes their song learned from a secondary party or written by themselves to be made into a different song there is an XP cost to switch the song which requires the skill of Songwriting as a prerequisite. The switch is then played out as a Songwriting session and again confirmed by the AD.

MARK SONGS: 10 XP per song – Needs a teacher

These are songs which produce timed effects and require the recipient of a given buff to possess a Bard's Mark. The effects of a song last 5 minutes and increase by 1 minute per additional Bardic Level unless indicated otherwise, with level 5 specifically increasing it by 2 minutes to make the final duration an even 10 minutes.
Any song of the player's choice may be used for any given spell, provided it falls under the proper time signature and is arguably on theme lyrically. This song must of course also be verified by the AD before game.
A 30 second excerpt is to be used as the ‘incant’ with the effects only applying at the end of the song, indicated by the Bard declaring ‘The Sound of my Song grants my Marks X for X minutes’. In the cases of more complex effects it falls upon the Bard to take the time to explain any details to the recipient of the buff beyond the initial declaration of the effects. The effects can be played as headology for unwritten origins.
Only 1 song from the Mark Songs may be active by a single Bard upon each of their Marks at any given time. It is the responsibility of the recipient of the buff to keep track of their own active buffs. Different songs played in succession do not overwrite the previous song unless a player opts to receive a new buff in place of an existing one.

'The Sound of My Song grants my Marks...'

VIGOUR UP: Offensive - 4/4 Time Signatures

SHOUT: Melee and Ranged Weapons hit 1 point harder per Bardic LVL.
'...+X melee and ranged damage for X minutes.'

Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic: ???

I'm Looking Through You: ???

White Christmas: ???

Screen Door on a Submarine: ???

VALOUR UP: Defensive - 3/4 or 6/8 Time Signatures

I Will Survive: ???

Fools Rush In: ???

Simple Life: ???

Don't Bring Me Down: ???

Living in the Material World: ???

SWITCH IT UP: Miscellaneous - Odd Time Signatures

Fixing a Hole: Surgery and Smith repairing effects are doubled in speed.
'...who are Medics and Smiths the ability to heal and repair twice as fast.'

Eye of the Tiger: ???

Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better: ???

Tomorrow Never Knows:  Grants single use of Astral Plane Dematerialize for 1 minute. Must be used immediately and PC can only stay in Astral Plane for the given duration. If PC is not Psychic they must leave within the given time limit or else be stuck until fetched by someone.
'...immediate single use of Astral Plane Dematerialize to stay in that plane for 1 minute.'

Born to be Wild: Causes Monsters in earshot to blindly target recipient (with exceptions): PC must call 'The Sound of My Voice Provokes Monsters’ to initiate effect. Lasts until PC who called it or Monster who reacted are down.
'...the ability to cause the Sound of their Voice to provoke Monsters for X minutes.'

POEMS AND PROSE – All skills require a teacher

No Marks are required to receive these effects. Each skill is available at a given level. The effects of the Poems and Prose do in fact stack with the other Bardic skills. All of these skills do affect the Bard using them, most notably Coffee House and Locker Room’s positive effects also being granted to the Bard.
Most importantly, none of the songs used to cast these effects are required to fall under specific time signatures; though each skill does require differing enactments. Any songs being used for Poems and Prose must also still be confirmed by Cast for use, though this is not the case if one decides to use their already confirmed Mark Songs for these skills.
Also note that the 'miscant' ruling is still in effect for all of these skills: flat notes and missing beats will cancel or reset the skill's effect.
'The Sound of my Song...'

COFFEE HOUSE: LVL 1 – 1 XP In a peaceful environment the Bard may idly play background music, recite poetry or tell stories. Those in the immediate area not intensely focused on or engaged in something else regain 1 HP every 5 minutes. Unconscious individuals also benefit from this effect. Bard must persist in playing for effect to be ongoing. This is not affected by Amphitheatre.
'...restores your HP by 1.'

LOCKER ROOM: LVL 2 – 2 XP A buff delivered in the spirit of a rousing speech or story... not a song. The story must be at least 5 minutes in length with the opening and closing to the story determining the effect granted. Listeners can be puttering around but not actively engaged in something else. The effects of the story last a flat 10 minutes. 2 stories may be told per game at purchase with 1 additional story per level. (each story must be verified by AD)
Offense Up: Ends with 'He went on to rule justly and fairly': All damage outputs increase by 1
Temporary HP: Ends with 'And they were never in wont again': 5 Temporary HP (not timed)
Toughness: Begins with 'Once upon a time', ends with 'Happily ever after': Toughness 3

BLOOD GROOVE: LVL 3 – 4 XP Pauses bleed count of everyone who hears the song; persists while song is playing and bleed resumes from where it paused when song is stopped. Ideal to proclaim effect just before Song commences...
'...Pauses your bleed as long as it persists.'


SONIC BOOM: LVL 5 – 16 XP Last resort and Bard’s only directly offensive skill.
-5 second fixed melody is played -must confirm with Cast- followed by '100 Sunder 20 ft radius'
-'Burnout' occurs: instrument is destroyed in ditch effort and Bard is dazed, all skills drop to LVL 1
-Resets bard's resources; must remake and renew everything, Marks included
-1 hour of cool down immediately after: shock therapy process, recuperation, must be roleplayed without interruption, at end skills return
-1 cumulative hour of instrument repair is required before its and the Marks' renewals

???: LVL 5 – 144 XP ???


-In the event that two bards attempt to play a song or tell a story at the same time, or one bard begins to play and another interrupts and tries to play over: neither party in question is privy to the benefits of their instruments or songs, nor are their marked players receiving of their effects. In order for any given song or bardic ability to register it must be allowed to finish in its entirety uninterrupted by another song or bardic ability. Stepping on toes will only be defeated by cooperation.

-It is nigh imperative that any player as a bard carry and utilize their own timepiece of any sort (levity given to non-period timepieces) for the purpose of timing and keeping track of their songs' effects.

-Regarding combat, imposed or otherwise: NO FIGHTING WHILE PLAYING OR SINGING. Similar to a callout, if the bard is assailed a hold is called while they secure their instrument in a safe place.


Last edited by AD on Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:20 pm; edited 6 times in total


Posts : 200
Join date : 2014-10-14

Back to top Go down

BARDIC SYSTEM: Player Version Empty Re: BARDIC SYSTEM: Player Version

Post by Joy Rosewood on Tue May 23, 2017 10:09 am

How much is a unit of blood? How many can I take out of my self before passing out?
Joy Rosewood
Joy Rosewood

Posts : 494
Join date : 2016-09-14

Back to top Go down

BARDIC SYSTEM: Player Version Empty Re: BARDIC SYSTEM: Player Version

Post by AD on Tue May 23, 2017 10:37 am

1 unit of blood is essentially 1 hit point. You just roleplay cutting your hand and have a bowl or something to pour it into.


Posts : 200
Join date : 2014-10-14

Back to top Go down

BARDIC SYSTEM: Player Version Empty Re: BARDIC SYSTEM: Player Version

Post by Rob (Cast) on Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:22 am

In regards to the 'IRL' song names shown in the Song Tree section, as well as the Poema and Prose abilities and the Amphitheatre passive skill: these are vague and missing information purposefully. This document is expressly the Player version of the Bard system ruleset and missing information is encouraged to be sought out in game by exploring lore, talking to NPCs, etc. As information is gathered it will be spread among the playerbase and PCs themselves can replace NPCs as Bard 'authourities' to help along aspiring musicians. In particular the Song Tree list is comprised of song names that hint towards what the song's effect might be. The headings for the branches are also indicative of what that branch focuses on. Any other names inPoems and Prose also allude to the effects as does the name Amphitheatre. Think of this portion of this system's life as a sort of metagame. Also, new PCs who come into game: consider the advantage of starting a character with bardic skills and being able to gain some knowledge beforehand when you communicate with the AD or cast to gain insight into your ability choices! After all, we won't make a newbie bard go into game completely blind. Good luck IG and OOG!
Rob (Cast)
Rob (Cast)

Posts : 290
Join date : 2016-09-18
Age : 32

Back to top Go down

BARDIC SYSTEM: Player Version Empty Re: BARDIC SYSTEM: Player Version

Post by Sponsored content

Sponsored content

Back to top Go down

Back to top

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum