Bardic Skills

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Instruments | Musicianship | Discordance | Peacemaking | Provocation | Bard Mastery | Spellsong Quests

Whether your inclination lies in soothing the savage beast, plucking the strings of discord or the rousing bugle call of battle you must first learn to play a tune. For that you will obviously need an instrument.

First rule of barding, always insure your instrument, a tuneless bard is a helpless bard.

Selecting your ‘tune’

Instruments currently in game consist of tambourines (plain and tasselled), drums, bamboo flutes, lutes, lap harps, standing harps and aud char plus the special instrument, the fire horn.
Used as weapon or tool by a Bard, instruments follow these rules:

  • With a few notable exceptions, all musical instruments wear out with use. A non-exceptional player-made instrument, one purchased from an NPC or a magical instrument has approximately 400 uses. An exceptional player-made instrument has approximately 700 – 900 uses.
  • The instrument used by a bard skill will automatically be the “last instrument” you double-clicked. When players wish to change their default instrument (when, for example, you have different magical instruments and need to switch between them), they can simply accomplish this by double-click it and having it set it self as the new default “last instrument.”
  • Using an exceptional player-crafted instrument adds 10% to your success chance.
  • Magical instruments are available in the game that have some similarities to the “slayer weapons” that are more effective against specific creatures, or creature groups, and less effective against others.
    • Each of these magical instruments adds 20% to your success chance when used on the correct creature type. However, possessing these instruments does not cause the bard to be vulnerable to other types of creatures. Instead, when using the instrument against the opposing creature type, the attempt has a difficulty penalty instead of a bonus, reducing your success chance by 20%.
    • As an example, a “Demon Slayer” instrument of will increase the bard’s chance to use a barding ability against any variety of Demon by 20% (when that instrument is used). When used against an elemental, however, the bard’s chance of success is reduced by 20%.

Special Instruments

  • Gwenno’s Harp – an Ilshenar minor artifact dual slayer instrument: Repond and Reptile. 1600 uses
  • Iolo’s Lute – an Ilshenar minor artifact dual slayer instrument: Demon and Undead. 1600 uses
  • Dreadhorn’s Flute – a rare drop from the peerless, Dreadhorn, regular instrument, self-recharging, maximum uses 700
  • Three slayer instruments, each having 450 uses, available from clean up points are:
    • Nature’s Tears – a fey slayer
    • Primordial Decay – Elemental Slayer
    • Arachnid Doom – Arachnid Slayer
  • Flute of Renewal – Currently not spawning (Treasures of Tokuno item), superslayers in 6 forms, undead, demon, reptile, repond, arachnid and elemental, self-recharging maximum charges 300. NB: This item is destroyed if allowed to reach 0 uses.
  • Firehorn – a common monster-drop
    • A fire horn is a weapon that can only be used by bards.
    • It works as a kind of area effect fire damage spell.
    • The more points you have in the 4 bard skills, the more damage you will inflict.
    • Using a fire horn requires at least 52.6 Musicianship skill.
    • Using a fire horn will use up 4 Sulfurous Ash.
    • You have to be within 3 tiles of your target to use a fire horn.
    • When you use a fire horn there is a small delay until you can use it again.
    • Each time you use a fire horn there is a 1% chance that it will break.
    • When used against another player the fire horn will do less damage than against a monster.


The essential skill for a Bard is Musicianship; any attempt to use other bard skills is preceded by a non-difficulty based check of the character’s Musicianship skill. If this skill check fails, the subsequent skill check to use the bard ability is never made and the character must wait some time before attempting the ability again. For every point above 100 that a Bard attains in their Musicianship skill, they will be granted a success bonus of 1% per point to Discordance, Targeted Peacemaking, and Provocation attempts. For example: If you have a Musicianship skill of 110, your chance to provoke, discord, or peacemake a target will be increased by 10%.


All bard abilities have a range. The bard must be within this range of the target to use the ability. Furthermore, the bard must remain within this range or the ability’s effect ends. The base range of all bard abilities is 8 tiles, with each 15 points of skill in the ability being used increasing this range by one tile.

If a creature becomes under a given barding effect (Discordance, Peacemaking, or Provocation)
and a second bard attempts to use that same effect on the creature, then the older effect takes precedence and remains active.


This skill applies resist and skill loss to the target creature. The percentage of resist and skill loss is scaled on the bard’s Discordance skill. At 50.0 skill, the target loses 12.5% from all resists and skills, at 100.0 skill – 25% and at 120 skill – 28%. A discorded creature has a reduced barding difficulty, allowing a better chance of success using provocation or peacemaking. As a ‘team player’ a discord bard can be of great value to most other character types.

The effects of Discordance is halved on creatures with a barding difficulty of 160 (a bard with 120 discord normally debuffs a creature by 28%. However, against a creature that has a barding difficulty of 160.0, the bard will debuff the creature by 14% and see the message “your enemy seems to shake off some of the effects of your discordance”. [publish 28]).

Discordance in Player v Player combat

Discordance allows Bards to remove all item skill bonuses from a target player [publish 103].

  • Discordance will last up to 5 seconds or 8 seconds if the Bard is Focused Spec on players.
  • A Bard can only discord one player target at a time.
  • Discord will also be removed when:
    • The target is dead.
    • The bard is dead.
    • The target is out of range.
    • The target is hidden.
    • The bard is hidden.

Historic Note:

Discordance replaced the barding skill “Enticement” in July 2003, Publish 16


Peacemaking is a targeted ability which allows you to soothe warring creatures and others in your vicinity. The skill is used in two ways, standard mode, more often referred to as ‘area peace’ and targeted mode.

Area Peace

Used in this way all creatures (and players if your skill is GM or above) in the area of effect, except you, will be thrown out of war mode. Creatures will take only 2-10 seconds to retarget. An alert player will take considerably less. To achieve this effect use the skill, peacemaking and target yourself.

Targeted Peace

To use the skill on a specific creature, target the creature. If successful it will stop fighting, however whenever the affected creature is attacked it will try to resume hostilities, eventually the creature will break the effect no matter how skilled the bard and how weak the creature. Peacemake has a delay of 5 seconds following a successful attempt and 10 seconds following a failure.

The base range of all bard abilities is 8 tiles, with each 15 points of skill in the ability being used increasing this range by one tile, at 120/120 Musicianship and Peacemaking, the range is 18 tiles. Bards must be within this range of the target to use the ability. Once Peacemaking has been used on a target, the bard must remain alive, visible, and within range of the target or the effect ends.

Note: Targeted Peace will not work on characters (PC or NPC).


Provocation is a difficulty based skill which allows you to instigate fights between creatures of your choice. However, a failed attempt will direct their anger towards you. It is exceptionally useful for ‘crowd control’ in busy areas.

To promote a battle first use the skill ‘provocation’ and select your initial target, a successful attempt will result in a prompt to choose the second creature for your intended fight.

Each creature has a dynamically computed difficulty score based on its attributes, skills, and special abilities. which will fall within +/- 2% of the average for the creature type. The base difficulty in provoking two creatures to fight is the average difficulty of the two creatures.

Damage and Looting

When two creatures are successfully provoked by a bard, damage assignment and credit will be correctly handled for both creatures involved, meaning the bard will receive correct credit toward looting rights, fame/karma rewards, etc. without having to perform a second provoke on the same creatures in reverse order.

A bard can have several Provocation fights going at once, provided all of them meet the above restrictions.

Bard Masteries

These enhancements to the bard’s skill are dealt with in depth on the Bard Masteries page; they are a powerful supplement to the bard’s skill and make him a very welcome addition to any hunting party. You will need to think carefully about mana if you choose to use these, high intelligence and meditation skill is an absolute must, mana regeneration items would also be desirable.