Author Topic: About Bardic Song  (Read 1457 times)

Offline Ashara

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About Bardic Song
« on: October 21, 2005, 08:20:46 AM »
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@Domi:
   IMO, the image of a bard chopping his enemies down while singing a battlesong is rather unrealistic.
 Relying on historical examples of warrior skalds that I know of, they usually had to choose between
 fighting enemies and singing songs to inspire their comrades
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Hi, Lu. I sure would love to rant about mt favorite class, but I think it'll be difficult to talk over other guys' heads in the other thread :) So, if you don't mind I'd answer here:

Historical analogies are useful, but only to a degree, in my opinion, since Baldurís Gate is not an accurate representation of the medieval reality. Perhaps, some DMs/GMs run their campaigns respecting the rules of the medieval warfare and life, but BioWARE elected not to. What you get is rather a romantico-fantasy type of environment, full of magic, dragons and poetical ideals.

 Of course historical fighters did not wield two katanas while wearing the full plate armour and a full helm; of course the historical druids did not summon the swarms of insects to bite their opponents; of course the historical alchemists did not brew potions that made people invisible or hurled fireballs; of course the historical clerics did not animate dead; of course the historical paladins were not the lawful good gallants; of course the company of six had never defeated five armies on the march. The fantasy world provides a heroico-romantic replacement. In this setting, the abilities of the characters are exaggerated, romantized, just like in the particular examples above.

Now, for me, Cirano, among the host of the valiant men from the sword-and-sorcery genre would remain the epitome of the poetic and martial skill, since yes, I was an impressionable youth, and yes, the scene was extremely powerful.

I do imagine my bards that way, leading the party with the inspiring song; battle cry; quip or what have you, not standing in the corner, stretching and picking her nose (as the animation of the singing bard would have me believe). Separating the song from the action makes me chose between these two aspects and I donít like it. Obviously combining Bladeís special attacks with that ability would be over-powerful, but for a regular bard, Jester, or Scald, imo, would not be overbalancing if she could chant up these +1 bonuses while shooting an arrow or swinging her sword. She is a jack of all trades. Heck, let her be good at least in singing. :)
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Offline Eral

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Re: About Bardic Song
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2005, 09:33:31 PM »
You know, I don't know why you couldn't chop down an enemy while singing a rousing tune. If the melody line was very simple, and didn't require much variation in range, you might be able to manage it. Breathing would be the biggest problem, and maintaining concentration on song while beating off an attack. If the bard had a bodyguard to handle attacks from a second front - a la Minsc and Dynaheir - it could be feasible. 
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Offline Ashara

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Re: About Bardic Song
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2005, 09:22:37 AM »
Well, bards, appart from Blades in the crazy mode, do not attack with the same speed and rigor as the fighters, so in melee, I'd think some sort of singing is not all that unrealistic. If they are using a bow, and try to do a precise shot, it is iirc unrealistic to do anything, because I think you can't be distracted. But, I still like the 'it's fantasy' argument, and would like the BG1 style bard's song :)
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Offline Rabain

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Re: About Bardic Song
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2005, 10:43:17 AM »
You should reread the chapters of LotR "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields" and the "The Ride of the Rohirrim".  Lots of singing and fighting there, in fact one of the most emotional chapters ever in a book for me was when the Rohirrim ride into battle after Theoden's death singing.

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!

Unfortunately all we get in the movie is the "Death" chant.  Not exactly bards mind you but as close as you could get with the singing and slaying.
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Offline rreinier

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Re: About Bardic Song
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2005, 04:52:04 PM »
In LotR, we're talking about six thousand men singing, of whom only a small portion would actually be slashing down nasties. Also, carrying out a heavy cavalry charge requires far less concentration than engaging in a pitched melee battle.

I really don't see someone going toe to toe with their enemy and singing an inspiring song in the meantime. A very simple tune, perhaps, but that's hardy inspiring, is it?

Offline jester

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Re: About Bardic Song
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2005, 06:41:50 PM »
What about combat taunts albeit more melodic?
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Offline Dark Raven

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Re: About Bardic Song
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2005, 08:43:06 PM »
Singing and killing!  :D How glorious. That must have been how it was like back in the days of vikings plundering the coastal towns.
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Offline Eral

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Re: About Bardic Song
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2005, 01:07:35 AM »
Traditionally, battle songs are very simple and rhythmic. The tradition of bards in battles and warriors singing in battle was strong among the early Celts and Norsemen. The inspiration of the song came from it's simple message. They were like pub songs - meant to be sung loudly and by the group, often, not necessarily well. The more complex songs, where bards displayed their musical ability were sung in the lord's hall after the battle or at celebrations.
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Offline Rabain

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Re: About Bardic Song
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2005, 03:24:38 AM »
In LotR, we're talking about six thousand men singing, of whom only a small portion would actually be slashing down nasties. Also, carrying out a heavy cavalry charge requires far less concentration than engaging in a pitched melee battle.

I really don't see someone going toe to toe with their enemy and singing an inspiring song in the meantime. A very simple tune, perhaps, but that's hardy inspiring, is it?

It serves the point, singing in battle can serve to disconcert your enemy or rally your men or instill a sense of cameraderie among your soldiers.† In BG the Bard is meant to serve the same purpose in battle, maybe not always on the front line but a welcome addition when he is.† Campfire tunes and battle songs serve the same purpose, to bring your group closer to one another. The Bards in BG that do fight on the front lines (Blade) have a reduced bardsong ability which reflects the fact that there is some concentration required to fight and sing at the same time.

Now there are times when it might look a bit funny:† you are toe to toe with some Undead and your Bard starts singing "Onward Faerunian Soldeir".† Battle songs and chants do and have served purposes in armies in the past and do to this day, soldiers still march in drill and sing various songs too.† The Bard in Faerun is just the representation of this, whatever his fighting role in the party.†

It's more than inspiring, sometimes it could mean the difference between victory and defeat.
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