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Bard FAQ. by Nerylana the Lone Herald of the WarSong, Commander of War (Dugruain) updated by Rodriguez
The bard is argueably the most varied class in Carrion Fields. It can act as leading character in groups, or it can also be considered a group's support specialist. Accordingly, Bards make excellent solo hunters, yet they are a welcome addition to nearly any group. The term 'bard' has a long history. In some societies, the bard was considered the village elder, who kept the history of village with song and verse. In other places, the bard might have been a warrior like any other, except he could craft horrific warcrys in battle which would strike fear into the hearts of his foes, and life the spirits of his allies. With such a wide background to draw from, coming up with a unique Roleplaying(tm) angle to play your bard should not prove too difficult.
What should I practice?
The short answer is everything! In my bard experience, I used every skill available to the Bard at least once. That having been said, there are skills you will use more than others. Obviously, you are at a boon, having shield block, parry, and dodge. This places you on par with the best of warriors and assassins as tanks for learning. Being able to patch together odd types of learning groups is very valueable in my opinion, especially if you are newer to CF. Other skills you will find quite useful are, trip, roundhouse, lore, and disarm.
How do the songs work?
To get a list of the songs you currently know, and can learn when you are advanced enough in your guild, type 'Rehearse'. You will get a list of 21 songs. The are considered the basic songs of the bards repartiore. In order to learn the more deady and helpful bard songs, you must first master your singing skill, which starts off at 75%. Master means, you must reach 100% sing skill. Some people do this before reaching 11th level. I do not recommend this. It can be a tedious process, not for the faint of heart, at those lower levels. The easiest way to perfect it is to wait until your late teens, early twenties, while you are waiting for groups, and sing the song with the lowest lag time. (Travel tune, I think) If a group comes along, take it... you can practice just as well while you are learning.
How should I fight?
There are at least a dozen and one ways to fight effectively as a bard, so the best I can do here is offer some general survival advice. A sad fact of bard life is this: You are a target. When it comes to group on group engagements, the other groups is almost always saying, "bash the bard first." So how do you survive in this environment. You have a couple options. First, (and I swear by this for bard tactics) strike first. Open with 'When you don't see me'. This song can turn some of Thera's mightiest warriors into tender little sissys, causing them to swing wildly at the air around you, rather than directly at you. There are other nasty bard songs you can unleash in combat. I will detail the songs a bit later, and you can interfere from that how best to use them in combat yourself. A note about the age old "pony trick" of sleeping a foe, singing them completely up, then unleashing a frightful fiend, as you sit back and laugh as they flee in panic. I say do it whenever, however possible. It is in no way low, cheap or 'tricky'. It's a valid attack plan. I will say, however, a skilled bard doesn't need to rely only on this tactic, and can make the bard skills and songs work for him or her to bring nearly any foe to their knees. Find what works for you and use it.
So many of your songs will affect everyone in the room, for better or worse, so beware where you are singing.
My strongest piece of bard advice.
Be drunk! I can't stress this enough. Your songs are more effective, and you regain mana faster when you are drunk/tipsy. So bards of Thera, drink up!
=== It has since been stated officially stated drunkeness just reduces your combat effectiveness. Tipsy is enough to get all the needed bonuses - Yhorian ===
Comedic is best for buffing/healing.
Tragic is best for maledicts/fiends.
Epic is best for damage/battle buffs.
Romantic tries to balance the others.
Level 2: travelers march 10 mana
Level 4: charismatic prelude 10 mana
Adds to Charisma
Level 7: adagio 10 mana
Low level healing song (might also remove certain negative morale modifiers according to the help file)
Level 9: piercing dissonance 20 mana
Physical attack, hits all in the room
Level 10: chant of resilience 10 mana
Like the armor spell and adds saves vs. mental
Level 11: battaglia 30 mana
Adds to group Hit/Dam, varies with bard level, considered attack song
Level 14: canticle of the gods 15 mana
Like Healer Bless
Level 15: elven adagio 15 mana
Main Healing song
Level 16: lullaby 30 mana
Sleep song. Attempts to effect anyone in the room not in group or cabal. It doesn't cause a yell.
Level 17: languid carol 20 mana
Weakens any mob or PC not in your group
Level 18: anthem of resistance 30 mana
Makes your group resistant to blows
Level 19: riddle of revelation 20 mana
Like Faerie Fog but doesn't work on sleeping people
Level 19: cacophonous clamor 30 mana
Some one under the effect of this song can't hear anyone talking to them
Level 20: reveille 30 mana
Can wake up anyone who has been slept against their will
Level 21: pastoral of the mind 40 mana
Regenerates some mana of your group
Level 22: tranquil serenade 25 mana
Attempts to halt combat. Only works against mobs
Level 26: requiem 40 mana
Sung over a PC (and several specific NPC) corpse, the party regenerates HP and Mana at a significantly higher rate
Level 27: elegy of tears 25 mana
Affects in and out of pk (useful), bars someone from scanning and from seeing what EQ someone is wearing
Level 28: bagatelle of bravado 120 mana
Adds morale, gives a temporary HP boost, increases svs vs. breath and paralysis
Level 29: laborious lament 20 mana
?Combat song?, Lowers Dexterity
Level 32: vibrato 40 mana
Combat song, does Air based wing damage, BIG lag for Bard, possible lag for target
Level 33: nocturne of fright 40 mana
Makes people fighting in the room flee. Works on mobs as well as PCs
Level 34: apocalyptic overture 30 mana
Combat song, damage varied on (luck). Either ice or fire damage.
Level 38: fantasia of illusion 60 mana
Powerful bard song, the victim can only see a single room description, with all exits (If they didn't know where they were, they will have a hard time running) Also cuts them off from cabal item.
Level 40: symphonic echoes 20 mana
Combat defense song, distorts victims perception of where you are.. makes them miss attacks
Level 42: dirge of solitude 40 mana
Combat song, makes victim unable to see their HP, MANA or MOVES... also blanks out thier affects, so they cant tell what effects them. Also, makes all damage appear like scratches, so you can't really tell if they are getting hit hard or soft. Also also, people under the affect of this song don't yell when attacked.
Cannot be done while sleeping.
Level 45: grand nocturne 150 mana
Creates a nightmare in the victims mind, that only they can fight. Must not be fighting to sing this.