Rodorsceaft: Pillar of Heaven
Bards in certain portions of the world enjoy an even more positive reputation than in “standard” D&D games. In Solaria and Mysidia, in particular, bards are afforded great honor and respect due to their position in society. Bards are the primary source of long-distance communication; they are the educators, the keepers of stories, the entertainers; and bards also represent the primary source of communication between City and Grove, that is, between the various kingdoms and the Draiocht.
In order to be recognized as a bard, a bard must graduate from one of the Bardic Colleges: the Conservatory is probably the most prominent of these colleges, particularly within Mysidium, but there are many others. Upon completion of his course of study, which usually involves mastery of several instruments, memorizing four or five hundred stories, songs and poems, learning to read, write and do research, and to relate to other people, the new bard is awarded his Blues, a colloquial term for the blue clothing that only bards are allowed to wear.
No matter their prior social category, bards are always recognized as nobility under Solarian Common Law, and those responsible for slighting or bringing harm to a bard has stiffer penalties to face than they would for harming the peasantry. Not that most would risk this; to slight a bard is to risk having one’s name slandered at tavern and street corner throughout the land. The satire that bards are capable of is legendary; it is said that a bard’s ability to mock and satirize is so strong that they are able to cause boils to rise on the face of those who justly deserve it.
In order to be recognized as a true bard, the bard must receive some training in the Primal music from the Druids. Most bards spend time amongst the druids and return to their colleges to complete their training, but some few linger, delving deeper into the Druidic arts. Bards who fully embrace and integrate the bardic ways of civilization with the wilder power of the druids may become Groveharpers.
Game Rule Information
- Bards receive Druidic as a bonus language, and Literacy as a bonus feat.
- Bardic spellcasting is considered Divine, save for any Grove spells they might know; see below. The bard suffers no spell failure chance so long as he is wearing only natural armor (padded, leather, studded leather or hide).
- The reaction categories of NPCs, when dealing with the bard alone (separate from any adventuring party) are increased by one step in favor of the bard.
- Grove spell: At any level in which a bard gains access to a new spell level, he may choose any one spell of that level from the Core Druid spell list rather than the Core Bard spell list. He may do this only when he gains access to a new spell level, may only have one per level, and may have no more Grove spells than his WIS modifier (minimum 1). The bard’s primary attribute for casting the spell remains CHA, and he must have a CHA score of 10 + the spell’s level to cast it, as normal. Grove spells do not count towards the prerequisites of any prestige class unless a different spell that appears on the Bard spell list could be used to fulfill the requirement also.