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Training and Requirements

As a bard you need to train the following skills:

At tenth, vocals and strings are replaced by a requirement to train two instruments. Many still train those two as their top instruments. When you reach 30th, youll begin to learn a third weapon and at 70th, a second armor. Aside from that, your basic required skills change very little.

Primary Skills

Musical Theory: can be learned both by cleaning instruments and by playing them.

Strings: You should start on a gutiidar or lyre. The first can be bought from the peddler in Riverhaven and the latter is easily found in the Crossing instrument shop. Performing an enchante on an instrument at the same time as playing it is the easiest way to lock any instrument, but singing an enchante while playing an instrument will also help you lock the skill faster.

Vocals are best learned by singing or chanting enchantes. Singing non-magical songs for a large enough audience will also teach this skill.

Teaching is somewhat difficult early on and, at first, your best chance to gain this skill will be to listen to classes on it. Later on, teaching full classes is the best way to learn it.

Scholarship is most easily learned by sitting in on a class of it, but listening to any class will teach scholarship. In addition, folding origami teaches scholarship.

Mechanical Lore can be learned any number of ways, including skinning pelts/hides/skins, braiding grass and vines (for which you would forage), crushing herbs (which can be bought or foraged), folding origami, and carving branches/making quarterstaffs and bows.

General Lore also includes appraisal, percussions, and winds.

Appraisal is easy for bards. The best way to train this is to have multiple instruments and appraise each of them. You can also appraise instruments as you play them. This skill is quite easy for bards to lock.

Percussions are best begun with either a tambourine or bones. This is the hardest of the instrument skills, so do not be discouraged if you have difficulty with it. Like strings, you will learn this skill best by playing an instrument of this type and playing an enchante.

Winds are the easiest of the instruments and you should start with a mirliton. Txistus are another possible first wind choice. Again, you will learn best by playing your instrument simultaneously with an enchante.

Secondary Skills

Magic works different for bards than any other guild. It is released through the enchantes (magical songs). You must set a number for mana to be released at. If this number is lower than the minimum for the song, the song will override your choice. If the number is higher than the minimum for the song, your choice overrides the song.

Primary Magic and Harness are both trained through singing/chanting/playing enchantes. Should you run out of mana (which can be seen by typing harness), your enchante will end.

Power Perception is trained through walking through different rooms and typing power or perceive until you have locked the skill. It is slightly different from other magical guilds in that you hear mana rather than seeing it, but the method of training it is the same.

Magical Devices works differently for bards than for other magic users. After a cambrinth is charged and focused upon, mana is slowly released from the cambrinth as enchantes are performed. Because of this, it is best to fully charge a cambrinth and waiting to be completely attuned to mana (i.e., having full harness) before beginning an enchante.

Targeted Magic is not an option for bards unless you memorize scroll spells.


Primary Weapon: I recommend an edged weapon. My personal favorite is medium edged, but light edged and heavy edged could also work out well. Light edged weapons have a tendency to break, so a forged LE may be a bit of an unnecessary expense. Two handed edged would likely wear you out early on (as would blunt weapons) due to lack of strength and stamina.

Secondary Weapon: You have several choices here. You could choose another edged weapon, a ranged weapon such as a bow or a crossbow, a thrown weapon, a blunt weapon, etc. I recommend either a second edged weapon or a ranged weapon. Edged weapons tend to wear young players out less. A ranged weapon is a good choice so, if swarmed, you can retreat but remain in your hunting area rather than fleeing. Because bards begin with a shield requirement, I use a crossbow which can be loaded while holding a shield.

Tertiary Weapon: This requirement doesnt enter in until 70th. At that point, you should be well able to choose which weapon you feel will suit your hunting style and needs best.

Multi Opponent helps you to defend yourself better against multiple foes and, you may have guessed this, is learned by fighting multiple foes. Be careful not to get in over your head. Facing three or four opponents at your hunting level may very well lead to them overpowering and killing you.

Parry is quite possibly your best defense. Being survival and armor tertiary, this is likely to be the highest of your defenses (as it is the easiest to learn).

Tertiary Skills

Leather is mainly good for bards if you plan to hunt from hiding a lot. If youre a sticky fingered type, youre best off vaulting your armor for the time you spend foraging for coin. As youre not in a guild that can train down leather to not being hindering at all or that requires it for stealth, youre better off forgoing leather.

Chain (light chain and heavy chain) protects better than leather armor and often has less hindrance. Chain armor that is forged to be lighter than store bought also seems to be cheaper than many of the ranger tanned leathers, especially the high end ones. Currently there is no real difference between the two types of chain. Storebought chain is neutral, meaning it will train whichever chain skill is higher.

Plate is more hindering and heavier than chain, but protects better. Likewise, heavy plate is heavier and more hindering than light plate, but protects better. This will probably be too hindering for most bards to like it.

Shield needs to be trained until you reach tenth circle. Depending on the weapon youve chosen, you may wish to continue it afterwards, but I doubt many will. If youre simply training it to get to tenth circle, youre probably fine with just a shield out of goblins in Crossing.


Climbing is pretty useful and easy enough to train. You could try the ladder in shipyard rats and/or the tree near the swimming hole in Arthe Dale. To find the ladder in shipyard rats, go through the office, then the work yard, then to slipway two where you'll see a ladder that's pretty easy to climb.

Evasion is required. You hunt while stanced to evade and start in shipyard rats in Crossing and then the goblins and hogs out the west gate. Thats about it.

First Aid is just a nice skill. While you are unlikely to have ranks similar to that of a survival primary guild or an Empath, it might be nice to know that you have the option of not bleeding to death from a bleeder. Unfortunately, youll likely have long roundtimes from tending for quite a while.

Swimming is pretty easy to lock in various places. You should start out with the swimming hole in Arthe Dale or the brook in field goblins out Crossing's west gate. If you one day decide to swim across a river or participate in some other, equally bizarre event, you'll be glad you trained this.

Onto the survivals not specifically required by the guild:

Disarm Traps and Lockpicking go together, so I'll keep them that way here. I don't train them myself because I find it difficult to keep these skills even with how I hunt, but they're a nice way of getting extra loot. Unfortunately, for the most part, it's probably either these two skills or Skinning. While there are creatures that you can both skin and get boxes from, those aren't as common as one might wish.
Remove your armor unless you're an extravagant type who likes to have a new set of armor every week. Start by typing disarm <box> identify and then, if the box is not above your ability (and you'll know when it is!), disarm mark <box> or simply go onto disarm <box>. When typing the final part of disarm <box>, you have the choice of disarming it quickly, normally, or carefully. Once you've managed all that, you then pick the box with a lockpick. You can even learn a tiny bit of mechanical lore early on by typing dismantle <box>. As a bard, you can show off your voice by typing dismantle <box> shriek.

Escaping is also a possibility but in a guild where survivals are not all that necessary, I would recommend skipping this as an extra hassle you don't need. For those of you who crave TDPs though, having this can never hurt.

Foraging is a fairly easy skill to lock now, but for reasons of my own, I curse it daily. However, you may find this useful, especially if you want grass and/or vines as a low cost way of raising mechanical lore. Unfortunately, I doubt many of you will ever be good enough to forage for coin (except as a euphemism for stealing).

Hiding may be a skill you find you want to train, but keeping it steady with your hunting will be a challenge. For those of you who are interested in it, there will in the future be an Aethereal Pathway to aid this skill.

Perception is always a handy skill. Even if you ultimately decide this isn't really for you, you may want to train it at least somewhat. You can train this by standing in front of the Crossing bank or buying jugglies with a weight appropriate to your skill level. (1 stone early on.)

Skinning is nice as scraping your pelts, hides, and skins will train both this skill and Mechanical Lore. It's sometimes a little frustrating ruining pelts, etc, as you try to skin creatures, but I find this skill is worth the effort.

Stalking goes with hiding. If you train hiding, you may well want this skill. You can train it either by stalking creatures or by engaging them while in hiding.

Stealing: I don't believe this can count towards your survivals. This of course may not discourage those of you who yearn to visit the less perceptive guilds and jail cells. Just keep in mind that you're a member of one of the less perceptive guilds.

Written by Meili, with thanks to Brenas for her advice and ability to shatter boxes.