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The Evil Bard

[Enticement || Musicianship || Peacemaking || Provocation]

Bards. Who have been more hated and picked-on of all people? Although you can b-tch about that all you want, plain and simple, bards have a hands over advantage when it comes to killing hordes of kickass baddies. Think of it this way, no regs, no weapons, hell...sometimes you really don't need armor either. But I guess that isn't the whole point.

You get stiffed out of a lot of karma and before the latest patch, the provocation bug really put NPKs in business. But thankfully, the latest patch made the flagging business less of a problem.

The main bardic skills* are: Enticement, Musicianship, Peacemaking, and Provocation. The information below will be key things to know about these, in terms of usefulness as well.

The Bard

[Enticement || Musicianship || Peacemaking || Provocation]

Enticement

This does have its uses, but isn't as essential to being a well and alive bard. You evoke the skill and target an npc, monster or player. The npc or monster will then attempt to move towards you (if there is a direct path, it will take that, otherwise, it's a distraction at best...lasts a few seconds) The player, on the other hand, will not move towards you (except to throttle you) unless he or she is inclined to.

Enticement can be a life-saver sometimes. If a friend is being attacked by a daemon, and you are (preferrably a couple of rooms away) you can entice the monster (which distracts it at best) so that your friend has enough time to recall out.

Musicianship

This affects how well you can play an instrument. Well, beyond making you not sound as bad (constant repetition of musical sounds seems to piss off everyone in hearing range), it increases your success in these bardic skills, namely provocation.

Peacemaking

Essential to avoid getting constantly npked. In the olden days, provocation didnt use to flag the provokers. You could provoke something, anything, onto a monster and you would get karma. In a revision, there was a sort of responsibility involved. For two minutes after provoked, anything blue the monster attacks, you will be flagged for, whether you're in the vicinity or not. However, you can have 2 monsters attack each other and they will give you fame and karma back and forth. If you provoke one to attack the other then have the other attack the first you'll get karma and fame either way.
Note: Since 11.11.98, from the Update Center: Provocation will now be considered a single act, as far as the reputation system is concerned, instead of "controlling" the creature for the long term. This means that actions taken by the creature after your provocation is complete will not affect your standing in the reputation system. (This also means that you will not gain karma and fame for creatures your provoked creatures kill. We will see about adding this back in eventually.)

Provocation

The main skill of bards. You get an npc creature to attack other npcs or players.

*All four bardic skills tend to raise dexterity a great deal. Taking up another skill that relies on dexterity might be a wise choice (archery, fencing, thievery). The most recent upgrade makes DEX a useful stat.

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1998 Shadows Gate