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    Bardic Colleges and other Bardic Treasures
    Posted on Mon, October 18, 2004 by Legate
    Tamerlain writes "This is a link to a 40+ page .pdf article on bards that I've been working on for far too long. The new Dragon has a Bardic shortcoming that closely resembles one of the basic "strictures" of the Bard I've worked up...I decided I'd better get this out for general consumption lest the whole thing become "outdated!". As for the length, I'm sorry, but when have I ever done anything that was short?

    Bardic Colleges and other Bardic Treasures
    By: Tamerlain
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author. The Link (fair warning, this is a large file! 4MBs):

    Bardic Colleges and other Bardic Treasures



    From the first page:


    In the ancient times were the druids and the elves. Both moved to the music of nature. The elves spoke with trees, and the druids too, learned the languages of the beasts they tended. To honor that music, and to honor those first words with the creatures of the earth, the elves and druids worked together to establish institutions that would honor song, wood and word: the colleges of the bards.

    Like the druids, the colleges followed the way of the wood, like elves, they delighted in magic, and song, and like rangers, their brethren, they were hardy in battle and stealth.

    As the triads say, “Three things are excellent for anyone: valor, learning, and discretion.” Members of the bardic colleges strive to develop each.

    Adventures: A bard of the Old Lore Colleges adventures for many reasons. Those in the lower colleges adventure to learn new songs and tales, to deliver messages, to find new magic and to see the world. They like traveling with heroes so that they may take note of their actions and, perhaps, compose a song or tale that will spread their own fame.

    Bards of the middle ranking colleges often travel seeking verification of historical or mythological accounts, or to serve as diplomats. They also frequently travel with chiefs, princes, or kings to act as heralds, and recorders of great deeds.

    Bards of the highest ranking colleges travel to act as arbiters and judges, and, ultimately, to teach lower ranking bards. They also undertake great quests to recover the highest levels of bardic magic, legends and performance.

    Characteristics: College bards are uniquely flexible. They fight almost as well as fighters, and have access to armor, they also maintain access to many skills that a rogue has. Bards develop a broad array of knowledge, from formal fields, to a vast repository of tales and stories, and information about local people and events.

    They also have access to magic. For bards, magic comes from the soul and genius of the bard, not from books. However, bards still study: music, tales, history, politics and law. Culture and nature are the bard’s primary classrooms. While enchantment and illusions are common for lower level bards, higher-level bards draw more heavily from magic related to music, oratory, and justice, and, of course, magic learned at the tutelage of druids.

    Bardic Colleges: Druids and Ollamh bards oversee this ancient organizational structure. Both druids and Ollamh bards act as formal and informal teachers within the organization.

    This institution should not be seen as a “college” in the modern sense, but rather a loose guild structure of people who maintain information and training in a traditional, stratified format; the colleges are people, not places.

    Meetings and tutelage can be in informal halls, in the abode of an Ollamh, or in the grove of a druid. Sometimes teachers work with small groups, and other times, with individuals, depending on the needs of the college, the training track of the student, and the desire (or whim) of the instructors.

    Members of the colleges often undertake dangerous journeys to increase knowledge and lore, both for the “storehouse” of knowledge of the bardic colleges, and for personal use.

    Bards of different colleges do not generally fraternize nor travel together. The nature of the colleges tends to be segregated. This system has arisen to insure that those less ready to be trained will not utilize the powers, nor take the “secret” learning and spread it before they are ready themselves. Bards tend to be secretive about the specific training of their college (or previous colleges). This has much to do with protecting the traditions and keeping the bardic college system pure of influence of other academic or popular infiltration. It also has a little to do with professional pride.

    There are eight grades of bards in the college system, and seven colleges. Colleges indicate the increasing power and responsibility of the bard. The colleges also represent the focus of bardic training.

    College affiliation represents a bard’s training through groupings of skills and special abilities and their use, spell groupings, and alignment.
    "
     
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    Re: Bardic Colleges and other Bardic Treasures (Score: 1)
    by Dethand (dethand@triton.net) on Fri, October 22, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message | Journal)
    Very Good and well done. It brings back the flavor of the 'old bards' without regulating the core class bard to uselessness, and does it with a bit of panache. Dont know what the bard shortcoming was per se but I was distracted by the pretty pictures and celtic words..if there is anything that I need help with is a pronunciation guide for old celtic would be my only criticism. I give it a 5 out of 5




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