Bard Sage Abilities
Unlike other classes, bards have many fields of knowledge, sixteen altogether, that they can choose from. These are divided into two groups. Artistic fields include the 14 art forms available to the bard class, as shown below. General fields include 2 institutional forms, one related to the selling of art and the other to the teaching of art forms.
Upon commencing at 1st level, the bard chooses one of these fields as their own. The bard should then choose a study within that field.
As a bard increases in level, they will gain a new study in their existing fields every 4 levels after 1st: at 5th, 9th, 13th and so on.
A bard will also gain a new field every 5 levels after 1st: at 6th, 11th, 17th and so on. This new field may be an artistic or general field.
Because of the considerable number of possible fields, bards differ from other classes in that knowledge points are obtained, each level, only in artistic fields the bard has chosen, and in both the general fields. For example, if a bard were to choose Dance as their primary field, they would gain knowledge points in the four studies included within Dance, and also in the fields of Art World and Instruction. But the bard would not gain knowledge points in any artistic field except Dance.
Both Art World and Instruction can be chosen as the character’s primary field — but in such cases, no knowledge points would be gained at all in any artistic field.
However, in addition to the field they’ve chosen, any bard is also presumed to “dabble.” This allows the bard to choose three additional studies from any field other than their own. They may not choose more than one study per other field. Bards will then gain a small amount of knowledge per level in these studies as well (and may choose to expand their available knowledge points by choosing the field of that study at a later time).
Having chosen a field and a study within that field, the bard is awarded 12 knowledge points in the chosen study (which becomes a “specialty”). The bard then rolls 1d8-1 for all other studies in the chosen field, generating numbers from 0 to 7. Finally, the druid rolls a d4-1 for all out-of-field studies, either in general studies or in the three studies in which the character dabbles.
Once the bard obtains 10 knowledge points in any study, the character becomes an amateur in that study. Once 30 points are gained, the character becomes an authority. Gaining 60 points makes the character an expert, while 100 points makes the character a sage.
Note that Artistic fields have a minimum dexterity requirement, in addition other minimum attributes relating to the bard. Circus requires a minimum dexterity of 15; both dance and puppetry require 14; music requires 11; ceramics, fine art and woodwork 10; and acting 8. Architecture, gastronomy, leathercraft, literature, metalwork and textiles require a minimum dexterity of 6.
Artistic Fields & Studies
The planning, designing and constructing of buildings and other structures, for the purpose of creating durability, benefits and beauty. The field covers every aspect, including homes, fortifications, temples, decoration, materials and town planning.
- Architectural Aesthetics: the determination of cultural considerations involving the building’s significance, social purpose, beauty and empirical effect upon the viewer.
- Construction: the physical process of building structures, integrating surveying, excavation, masonry, carpentry, financial considerations, contracting and ongoing productivity of labour.
- Fortification: the art of creating durability on both a small and grand scale, to promote the protection of physical features, habitations, military operations and whole regions.
- Use of Building Materials: a knowledge of woods, stone and earths, along with their manipulation into ceramics and cement, that enables greater strength and flexibility in architectural design.
The creation of vessels, objects or figurines made of clay that is hardened or sintered in fire. Ceramics possesses a large range of possible options for structure and artistry, providing much opportunity for innovation.
- Clay Masonry: the making and design of structural construction, including bricks, pipes, floor and roof tiles, as well as the making of kilns and metal or glass-making crucibles.
- Clay Materials: a thorough study of silicas, ferrites, kaolin and other earths, enabling the character to search for and composite rare mediums for handicrafts and artistic expression.
- Glaze: decoration and artistic expression produced before and after the firing process, to create objects of fine distinction.
- Modelling: the making of base objects from raw materials, such as ceramics and glass, with associated forms being earthenware, stoneware, porcelain and the like.
The skills and diverse entertainment styles associated with physical achievements of amazement, daring, humour and the trained performance of animals. This collection of skills is made to be put on display to a shocked and amused audience.
- Acrobatics (sage study): including gymnastics and aerial acts, a mix of extraordinary human feats of balance, agility and coordination; in some forms the practice of acrobatics shares artistic components with dance.
- Animal Performance (sage study): the display and control of a menagerie of creatures, including large cats, camels, elephants, horses, donkeys, birds, bears, monkeys, cats, dogs and more.
- Clowning (sage study): possessing the classical features of the harlequin and the court jester, the act of inspiring laughter and merriment through foolishness, physical prowess and surprise.
- Daredevil (sage study): the performing of dangerous stunts and tricks to elicit a moment of terror from an audience, followed by relief and stunned respect for the magnificence of the performer’s bravery and skill.
A performing art form consisting of purposefully selected sequences of human movement, with aesthetic and symbolic value, designed for observers of a particular culture.
- Accompaniment (sage study): a skill at producing rhythm and music through the use of the body (clapping, calling or otherwise fashioning a beat) or musical instruments.
- Danse Noble (sage study): a theatrical dance performed in royal courts and temples, containing elements of folk dancing, beauty of movement, tableaux or grotesque, in highly stylized fashion.
- Folk Dance (sage study): providing emphasis on group participating and the use of music and rhythm to provide an emotional response from a large, involved audience.
- Social Dance (sage study): the performance of dances enjoyed at social gatherings, such as the ballo, carol, stampita or saltarello, offering a style of performance as well as an emotional connection between dancers, or between a dancer and a non-dancer.
An activity in which a story is told by means of its enactment by an actor or actress who adopts a character. This involves a broad range of skills and studies, with aspects affected by classical and medieval works, the present post-Elizabethan and Jacobian forms, opera and masques.
- Acting (sage study): the art of expressivity, speech, improvisation, memory, interpretation and physicality.
- Direction (sage study): the act of organizing and running a production, with expertise in managing talent and finances of a dramatic production.
- Playwriting (sage study): the creation of preordained dialogue and performance to be employed by actors; the creation of dramatic content.
- Stage Design (sage study): the process of bringing together artistry and the visual appearance of drama, with lighting, costumes, scenery and general staging of a production.
Specifically those arts designed to produce a visual impact without any intent to produce works for practical use. Often seen as the highest degree to which the imagination of the artist influences all genres of art.
- Drawing (sage study): the means of making an image using pencil, pen and ink, charcoal, pastels and a variety of applied techniques to capture visual appearance on a flat surface. Includes arts relating to draughting.
- Painting (sage study): the practice of applying pigment suspended in a binding agent (paint) to a surface such as paper, canvas or a wall. Combines aspects of drawing with composition and other aesthetic considerations.
- Printmaking (sage study): a means of creating a means of printing paper through the use of woodcuts, line engravings, etching, lithography and silkscreening, with extensive experience in print layout and pamphleteering, as well as the machine used to perform the art form.
- Sculpture (sage study): the carving and shaping of three-dimension figures in stone, metals, ceramics, wood and other materials, central to the devotion of religion, beauty and the agony and passion of humanoid emotion.
The study of the relationship between food and culture, the art of preparing and serving rich or delicate food and the study of healthy eating.
- Baking (sage study): the creation of flour-based food readied in an oven, including bread, cookies, cakes, pastries and pies, as well as the arts surrounding the preparation of coffee and tea, most commonly associated with cafes.
- Brewing & Distilling (sage study): mastery of the arts of fermentation and condensation of liquid mixtures for the purpose of creating alcoholic beverages for pleasure.
- Cuisine (sage study): the mastery of principle meals in a kitchen, ordering and purchasing of inventory and the preparation, practice and preservation of food.
- Hides & Skins (sage study): the treatment and process underlying the transformation of skins and hides into leather, including skinning, tanning, tawing and the making of parchment.
- Leather Adornment (sage study): the art of fashioning leather for aesthetic appeal, using the techniques of dyeing, painting, carving, stamping and moulding.
- Leather Armour (sage study): the fashioning of leather as a protective covering used to prevent damage from being inflicted by attacks during combat, for both humanoids and animal mounts.
- Leather Clothing (sage study): the making of leather garments and gear for both practicality and high fashion, as well as protection against the elements.
- Leathercraft (sage study): the practice of making animal skins and hides into objects of many forms, including a mastery over the methods of production and the use of leather for protection.
The mastery of storytelling for the purpose of providing intellectual or artistic merit, as a means to enlighten, communicate or serve as a source of knowledge and reference for a literate audience.
- Oral Tradition (sage study): the practice of telling stories or explaining natural phenomena from memory, without the use of written materials, through the use of story vocabulary.
- Poetry (sage study): the mastery of aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic meaning of things. Possesses both written and oral traditions.
- Prose (sage study): broadly referring to any written narrative that is expresses the natural flow of speech, for the purpose of offering a personal point of view or recording intelligent knowledge and thought.
- Rhetoric (sage study): the art of persuasion, studying the methods by which writers and speakers seek to inform, persuade or motivate particular audiences in specific situations.
The process of working with metals to create individual objects, assemblies or large-scale structures. The field is perhaps the least aesthetic and most practical of all bard skills, but each study retains artistic elements within it’s scope.
- Delicate Metalwork (sage study): providing skill at making and repairing jewellery, engraving, stonesetting, precision tools and other metal forms requiring a fine and meticulous mastery.
- Metal Armour (sage study): the mastery at making personal metal armour from puddled metals for humanoids and animals, using a forge, hammer and anvil. Includes slight skills in woodworking in the making of helmets and shields.
- Metalsmithing (sage study): the process of smelting and working metal through the manipulation of heat and blacksmithing, making common everyday objects and tools in various metals.
- Weaponwright (sage study): the mastery of creating weapons from puddled metals, making knives, swords, axes and other blades using a forge, hammer and anvil, with slight skills in woodworking for knife and sword handles and leatherworking for sheaths.
The creation and performance of music within the cultural and social context, as an important part of many people’s way of life, regardless of their particular skill.
- Folk Music (sage study): the traditions, customs and superstitions of the uncultured classes, or music for the people as a whole, defined by ethnic and historical identity. A form that is easily accessible to those who have very little musical skill.
- Martial Music (sage study): a form of music intended for military settings, with bugle calls, fanfares, drum cadences and composed to so that it may be taught by ear, for the inspiration of pomp and warfare.
- Opera (sage study): a form of musical theatre, in which the story is told entirely through music, with aspects supported by political, religious and moral themes.
- Religious Music (sage study): music performed or composed for religious use or through religious influence; describes music that is performed or composed for ritual, or to raise the religious consciousness to beautify the gods.
A form of theatre that involves the making and manipulation of puppets and other inanimate objects, to create a dramatic performance. A very ancient form of theatre, puppets are seen as objects in rituals and as symbolic artifices.
- Effigy (sage study): the practice of investing figures and objects with spiritual existence and divine substance, even bringing to life objects that are normally inanimate. Similar, but not the same as dweomercraft, but is related to the making of golems.
- Puppeteering (sage study): the practice of making a puppet appear alive, through various applications of strings, hands, the control of the space in which the puppet appears, diversion and mastery of the puppet’s movement.
- Puppet-making (sage study): the creation of an object, typically resembling something humanoid or alive, of various materials, that is designed to be manipulated by a variety of means.
The use of plant or animal fibres to construct everyday and ornamental clothing or arts. Includes multiple techniques used to embellish or decorate textiles, including dyeing, printing, knitting, tailoring, hooking and more.
- Cloth & Materials (sage study): a thorough study of fibres and the cloth making process, from cultivation and care of plants and animals through the fulling and weaving of the cloth itself.
- Clothing (sage study): the making of cloth garments and gear for both practicality and high fashion, as well as for protection against the elements and other dangers (including combat).
- Embroidery & Print (sage study): including skills at making tapestries, carpets, tablecloths and drapery, coverlets and more, to provide comfort, grace and magnificence to living spaces and surfaces.
- Theatrical Costuming (sage study): a style of dress peculiar to the performance of theatre or opera, to contribute to the fullness of the artistic, visual world that is imaginatively created.
The activity and skill of making objects, furniture and large-scale structures out of wood. Includes the dyeing, staining and polishing of veneer and the use of resins as glues and ornamentation.
- Engines (sage study): a skill in creating large machines, wind and water mills, rolling wagons, chariots, siege engines and religious apparati, for practical use, martial destruction and festive celebration.
- Joinery (sage study): the act of joining pieces of wood together to make complex items such as furniture, cabinets, timber framing and additional creations associated with carpentry.
- Shipbuilding (sage study): the construction of ships and other floating vessels, often viewed as works of magnificence and art, for practical haulage and as weapons of war.
- Turning (sage study): the craft of using a lathe and chisel to carve or fashion wood into a variety of imaginative or useful objects, for both practical and aesthetic merit. The study includes the use of a cutting knife to create figurines and other sculpture from wood.
General Fields & Studies
An overarching network of persons producing, commissioning, presenting, preserving, promoting, criticizing and selling art of every kind. Within are untold numbers of hidden or obscured subcultures, with their own art markets and design movements, with overlapping motives and ideals.
- Auctionhouse (sage study): the institution that exists to buy and sell artistic works, appraise the value of works, recognize and expose forgeries and provide a means of support for artists of popular merit.
- Black Market (sage study): the underground movement, forgery, illegal sale and fencing of stolen art, acting as a shadow house of sale for works that cannot be sold at auction due to their illegality.
- Patronage (sage study): the act of appealing to and receiving financial support and ongoing commissions from members of the elite, be they merchants, nobles, religious leaders or persons of questionable motives.
An institution designed to promote artworks of refined taste, that a philosophy and proven merit of art may be established for the benefit and education of the elite of society.
- College (sage study): an institution and source of support for artists of a particular form, established throughout the world as a means of teaching and receiving financial support for the democratic spread of artistic skills and philosophy.
- Instruction (sage study): the collection of skills and management of art students and practitioners endlessly seeking to increase the measure of their skills through associations and mutual regard.
- Research (sage study): the creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge, allowing the reclaiming of culture, documentation, artistic works and lost treasures of the world.
- Tutoring (sage study): the personal practice of teaching artistic abilities to others of lesser skill, to enable them to become bards and thus preserve the integrity of the artistic mindset.