Author Topic: Roleplaying Bards  (Read 8959 times)

Barsook

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Roleplaying Bards
« on: April 17, 2016, 08:58:10 PM »
So, I have played my bard character for a week now and I'm having a hard time roleplaying them without the help of his family members (sorry guys, I rarely see you guys).  For those who played bards, how do you go about writing songs, poems, stories, ect?  Do you use rumors from the rumor board to create your songs?  And do you have any other tips?

Thank you.

RogueGunslinger

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2016, 11:02:55 PM »
First off I make all my songs OOCly. I've never tried to make a song IC because being unable to write things down would be incredibly stifling to creativity.

I pick a theme that fits the demographic I'm singing or making jokes for.

I go back and read other people ideas for inspiration.

I look up words that rhyme with words I'm using.



Then, at some point I just HAVE to spit something out, or I'll get nowhere. I usually start with a simple tune that plays in my head to get going. I also work under the idea of keeping things simple. Start small and build from there.  I'll try and provide an example.

My first thought is something to do with drinking, and the Gaj... There's plenty of inspiration to draw from, like the list of buyable food!:

Red-Sun,/Whisky,/Spirits,/and Ale.    
inside/the Gaj/ are all/for sale.


Simple rhyme scheme, I try to keep the syllables as similar in each as possible, for flow. Let's throw another set on there:

Firebreather/also./Drink it/all down.
Fight and/laugh, then/buy another/round.


The simple construction just kind of begs for more, I even get kind of fast and loose with the syllables here but I think it still works, and you can continue to draw inspiration from the attributes in the Gaj:

Rent above/and a/ back-room/ for kankin'.
Get too rough/and the Byn/ will give/ a spankin'.

Scrab-steak,/Erdlu,/ even/ some tea.
But why/ buy that/ when ale's/near free.


And that's it. The biggest part is just spitting something out and trying to branch off from there. Oh, and lots of tweaking to get things perfect, I constantly read and re-read it aloud and if you can get someone to sing it to you that goes a long way towards determining what you make is absolute shit or not. I always get nervous when finally presenting my piece in-game, it's a lot like real life.


Quote
Voice loud and slurring drunkenly, you sing in southern-accented sirihish:
       "Red-Sun,
        Whisky,    <-------- I write them out like this first, helps a lot, then add the /'s later so it's easier to copy-paste.
        Spirits,
        and Ale."

Continuing on, eyes have-closed, you sing in southern-accented sirihish:  
       "Inside
        the Gaj
        are all
        for sale."
« Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 11:08:26 PM by RogueGunslinger »

Teal

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2016, 11:03:28 PM »
So, I have played my bard character for a week now and I'm having a hard time roleplaying them without the help of his family members (sorry guys, I rarely see you guys).  For those who played bards, how do you go about writing songs, poems, stories, ect?  Do you use rumors from the rumor board to create your songs?  And do you have any other tips?

Thank you.

My advice is to use whatever inspires you.

You can make songs about people you hate, people you love, common issues of the age, or events that happened. You can make political songs (careful not to be murdered), patriotic songs (everybody likes those) or just songs about humor (people like those except the people being made fun of).

Comissions can really help get you started, because it gives you a specific idea. Otherwise, it can be fun to challenge yourself by making songs or stories up based on randomly provided specifications.

Some people take awhile to make songs while some people can make them up as they go. It can also depend on the seriousness of the song. In my personal experience, taking some time out of Arm to brainstorm a specific song can really help with making it the best it can be.

You should also consider your performance. Always have your songs written out before hand. Generally, you can tweak emotes to be specific to the case, but if you have to type and format an entire song, people will lose interest. If you're making something on the spot and people know that, still write it all out first. Make people do the waiting up-front instead of mid-song, that's my advice.

Finally, all of the above is really for songs with lyrics. If you're taking about instrumentals, or even instrumental emotes to accent a lyrical song, that is an entirely different ballgame. My advice there is don't get too technical. What's most important for a performance isn't how you're placing your fingers or what technical musical feat you just performed. It's about what emotions the sound is inspiring in the listener.

An important piece when considering bards and instruments is role-playing your progression of knowledge. There's no coded musical skill. That means the great responsibility of role-playing out your learning and practice falls entirely on your shoulders. Just as a warrior does not become a badass in a day, nor should a bard become a musical master overnight.

I hope this helps some. Remember that when it comes to creative works, there is no one "right way". Everybody has their own approach. As you continue to push forwards and experiment, you'll find what works best for you. Bear in mind that it can be hard to get a read on how well you're doing. Most people will applaud just to applaud, no matter how bad the song. Some people will stand and leave the room immediately as soon as you start to sing. My advice is to take both of these things in stride, and find someone ICly who can offer good constructive criticism and feedback.

Best of luck, and if you have other questions, I'll be watching this thread.




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Patuk

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2016, 05:16:24 AM »
The only real 'bard' I've played was a character who told a lot of stories. I've found that many bard characters were in danger of becoming boring because music is a thing not easily represented through a text medium, so I decided that said character would stick to prose only. You could branch out to poetry as well, but always make sure that whatever your bard is up to is OOCly interesting in some way at least, because otherwise people are going to resent you before long.
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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2016, 06:25:58 AM »
I would look up music stuff, like maybe I'd write The red-haired, green-eyed woman begins playing a somewhat slow, single middling note in 3/4ths time, dun, dun, dun--dun, dun, dun.

4/4ths time is about one beat per second. 3/4ths time is the slowest you can do a single note over and over while still maintaining a followable beat. 6/4ths time is faster than 4/4ths time, at about six beats per four seconds.

If I don't write my word-songs, I get stumped about half the time for inspiration. I always have a patriotic song and then after than a drinking song.

High notes, low notes, two notes at a time with spaces in between the sets of two notes, two sets of twenty-some notes that repeat after each other (set one first, then set two, than set one, then set two, for an endless song) a delicately-noted song, a somber song (like Chopin's anything besides Funeral March, and then like Funeral March, respectively) and most importantly perhaps, the generally-perceived quality of the song---- are you good or bad at what you do?

And obviously we wouldn't have known music theory to more than a basic 'just play this like I taught you' extent, but we can still put it in emotes, I think.

The amount of harmony a song has with the words sung along with it. The sweetness, baritone, hoarseness, lilt, of the bard's voice.

Here's a few bits that can be taken out of context from Wikipedia:

* A melody is a series of tones sounding in succession that typically move toward a climax of tension then resolve to a state of rest.
* A chord, in music, is any harmonic set of three or more notes that is heard as if sounding simultaneously.
* In music, "dynamics" normally refers to variations of intensity or volume.
* Articulation is the way the performer sounds notes. For example, staccato is the shortening of duration compared to the written note value, legato performs the notes in a smoothly joined sequence with no separation.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 06:39:47 AM by The Silence of the Erdlus »

Patuk

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2016, 06:39:32 AM »
You're not wrong perhaps, but to anyone not literate in musical theory that still comes out as gibberish. Stories do not have that problem.
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Desertman

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2016, 08:00:49 AM »
So, I have played my bard character for a week now and I'm having a hard time roleplaying them without the help of his family members (sorry guys, I rarely see you guys).  For those who played bards, how do you go about writing songs, poems, stories, ect?  Do you use rumors from the rumor board to create your songs?  And do you have any other tips?

Thank you.

One of my best tips.

It's a text game. No matter how flowery you write the "music" in your song, nobody can hear that shit. Nobody has any idea what your tune/beat sounds like behind their keyboard.

If you are just wanting to play a bard who makes up songs but you don't really care how terrible people think your songs are OOC'ly, do it how you want.

I can't tell you how many times I've seen musicians in-game, especially in Tuluk, who wrote up "songs" that didn't rhyme, had no recognizable tune, but made their emotes so flowery and perfect that I was almost OOC'ly required to think they were "good" in-game.

In reality, their songs sucked, were terribly boring, didn't rhyme, and had no recognizable tune for me to play "in my head", and I as a player just wanted them to fuck off. What they came up with was shit for me as the player to suffer through even if my PC had to think they were "good". That's not for just one PC, that's for several PC's across the course of years.

It's a personal taste issue as well I suppose, but that was my opinion on them.



Write songs that rhyme to some degree. It will make reading it for the people behind their keyboards not only easier, but possibly more enjoyable.

Write Zalanthan appropriate songs that match the beat or tune to an actual RL song and write it in a way that people recognize..."Oh, this is going to beat of Slipknot." (don't pick Slipknot...).

These two things alone, for me anyways, makes "listening" to a bard/musician in-game much more tolerable, and at times, even enjoyable.

I have only ever played one musician and they weren't an official bard in a bardy-circle, so take this with a grain of salt. Everything you come up with won't be good either. In-game I would actually "screen" my songs to people/friends my character had in-game first to see if they were "any good" before I played them publicly. More than once I got told, "Nah, that one ain't your best one. Trash that one.", and I would. If you have an IC family, I recommend doing this. What sounds good in "your head" as the creator doesn't always translate into the game well for other people when they read it because their brain isn't doing what your brain is doing as the author.

« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 08:08:29 AM by Desertman »
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valeria

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2016, 08:39:27 AM »
I've played more than a couple bards.  My favorite was a northerner who basically did spoken word poetry to a drum beat (and never did get into Groot).  I find that short, descriptive emotes about whatever the instrument is doing if you have one work best.

Until I really get inspired, I usually do a cheating method.  I take poetry or songs I like, and I alter them to fit Zalanthas, until I have a stable of a few that I can trot out when people say 'oh so you're a bard eh.'

Desertman

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2016, 08:49:11 AM »
Until I really get inspired, I usually do a cheating method.  I take poetry or songs I like, and I alter them to fit Zalanthas, until I have a stable of a few that I can trot out when people say 'oh so you're a bard eh.'

This isn't cheating in my opinion. It's infinitely better than someone throwing out something that you basically just read with zero idea about what their music is supposed to sound like other than their emote:

"The music is really flowery and melodic and perfect, trust me on this. The tune is some wicked shit and if you could only hear it you would suck my bard's dick it's so awesome."

My fields are brown.
The brown fields are brown.
There were some brown fields.
Tuuuulllluuuuuuuuk.



killmenow.jpg
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Jihelu

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2016, 09:55:07 AM »
"Cut my life into pieces/This is my last resort/ Suffocation/no breathing" the man sings out elegantly.

Lizzie

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2016, 10:41:39 AM »
Performance pieces I make up on the fly AND offline. Example:

My character gets an inspiration and comes up with a couplet.

Offline, I paste that couplet into notepad and start working on a stanza or two, and write notes about the "theme" of the tune and why my character was inspired to come up with it in the first place.

My character will practice what I did offline, and embellish on it, depending on how it "sounds" (in my head) when she actually tries to sing/recite it.

Eventually I have a finished piece that I perform.


Everything else I do on the fly with my character. I make it up as I go along, and if it "sounds" good in my head I'll copy/paste to an appendable file that I keep for each character, in case I need to do a repeat performance another day.
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RogueGunslinger

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2016, 11:16:50 AM »
Until I really get inspired, I usually do a cheating method.  I take poetry or songs I like, and I alter them to fit Zalanthas, until I have a stable of a few that I can trot out when people say 'oh so you're a bard eh.'

This isn't cheating in my opinion. It's infinitely better than someone throwing out something that you basically just read with zero idea about what their music is supposed to sound like other than their emote:

"The music is really flowery and melodic and perfect, trust me on this. The tune is some wicked shit and if you could only hear it you would suck my bard's dick it's so awesome."

My fields are brown.
The brown fields are brown.
There were some brown fields.
Tuuuulllluuuuuuuuk.



killmenow.jpg

Honestly if someone sang this song I'd be dying of laughter.

Marauder Moe

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2016, 11:48:22 AM »
Don't write songs.  No matter how well emoted, people can't hear your music. Without that, most modern-style song lyrics are BORING.

Write poems.

On the technical side of things, have your full commands/emotes (or at least lyrics with line-breaks) in a text file ready to copy right into your mud client so you can spout out a performance in 5-10 RL minutes.  Nobody likes a song that drags on longer than that.

Also, there's nothing wrong withh instrumental pieces.  Just don't demand to be the center of attention while doing it.  Be background music for a tavern.

For OOC inspiration, look up old folk songs (which tend to have more narrative than modern songs), ballads, poetry, and such.  You can even directly transcribe some for Zalanthas (you'll often have to replace some metaphors, and then re-work some rhymes).

For IC inspiration, draw from the world around you.  Lots of old-timey professions had littly songs they'd sing for work, so sing about the grebbers and craftsmen.  Sing about Zalanthan animals, most of them have good character.  Sing about how damned hot it is.  Sing dirty little rhymes about halfbreen prostitutes.  Meet people and encourage/pay them to tell you their stories, which you can then re-tell yourself in one form or another.

Jihelu

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2016, 11:51:27 AM »
Sing about people trying to get laid.
Sing about soldiers hitting shit.
Sing about how House Whatthefuck did whogivesashit

valeria

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2016, 11:57:12 AM »
Poetry is really the way to go IMO.

I'd also suggest watching a couple YouTube videos of people actually playing your chosen instrument, especially if you have never heard it played before.

Narf

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2016, 12:16:33 PM »
If you're not married to being a good bard, you could always play a mediocre or kinda terrible bard.

In my experience they're both more fun and less stressful. Particularly if you're a bard in Allanak where things tend to be grittier than Tuluk, and the tolerance for lousy bards is a bit higher.

I know people don't like to meta, but the fact that there's very little PC competition for bardic roles will also help. You can be pretty bad and still do all right if you're the only guy on the block that does what you do.

manipura

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2016, 01:20:28 PM »
I'd also suggest watching a couple YouTube videos of people actually playing your chosen instrument, especially if you have never heard it played before.

This is a great tip.
It also helps immensely, not only so you know what it sounds like, but so you know how you should be playing the instrument. 
So you aren't the person I once saw playing a lute with an imaginary bow.

Jihelu

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2016, 01:22:43 PM »
I'd also suggest watching a couple YouTube videos of people actually playing your chosen instrument, especially if you have never heard it played before.

This is a great tip.
It also helps immensely, not only so you know what it sounds like, but so you know how you should be playing the instrument. 
So you aren't the person I once saw playing a lute with an imaginary bow.
I'm sorry.
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Desertman

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2016, 02:06:58 PM »
Someone roleplayed having a make-believe leather and stone strapon dildo once.

True story.

Item didn't even exist. They just decided randomly they deserved to have it without it ever being made and just roleplayed it existing.

#justlesbianArmproblems

(semi-related due to making up things that don't exist, and I just wanted to finally tell someone)
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Jherlen

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2016, 06:42:54 PM »
I'm bookmarking this thread for the day when I finally play my bard wannabe who's a fiend on the fiddle when on spice, but absolutely bland sober. In Allanak, of course. #hardmode

No but srsly, great tips guys.
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Teal

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2016, 06:45:49 PM »
I can't tell you how many times I've seen musicians in-game, especially in Tuluk, who wrote up "songs" that didn't rhyme, had no recognizable tune, but made their emotes so flowery and perfect that I was almost OOC'ly required to think they were "good" in-game.

In reality, their songs sucked, were terribly boring, didn't rhyme, and had no recognizable tune for me to play "in my head", and I as a player just wanted them to fuck off. What they came up with was shit for me as the player to suffer through even if my PC had to think they were "good". That's not for just one PC, that's for several PC's across the course of years.

It's a personal taste issue as well I suppose, but that was my opinion on them.

I agree that songs are best with some sort of rhyme or guidance through them. It helps keep the attention of players (who are notoriously fickle) and draw things through. Another tip is limit the size of your songs. Most songs shouldn't be more then 7 verses, unless you have a particular reason for going over. Yes, there's some songs that are longer and work, but the fastest way to make people wish they were anywhere else is to have too long of a song, hopelessly dragging on.

I also want to say for people reading this: Don't be afraid to ICly hate on a song. If someone was crappy at combat, you wouldn't smile and applaud when they wildly missed the dummy and tripped over their own feet. You might act scornful, you might make rude comments, or you might try to work with them to make them better. Basically, if every song is treated as if it was solid gold, it robs all value from all songs. Treat a song at it's proper value, I implore you.


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Barsook

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2016, 06:55:46 PM »
Thanks for all your tips, I will keep them in mind as me and my bardic PC grows.

IAmJacksOpinion

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2016, 10:52:44 PM »
As a card-carrying member of the "He-Man Bard Haters" club, I'm actually pleasantly surprised that my pessimistic thoughts have already been expressed by others. (Maybe I'm not a bard hater, but a serial victim to bad barding?) Anyways, I've never played one, but here's some advise on winning over a tough audience (aka, me).

1. I can't hear your music, and I can't read your music, and I don't know music jargon (measures, notes, whatever). If you're into that sort of thing and you can find other players that are too then go have jam sessions with them, but don't expect people to appreciate it elsewhere.

2. Barding, like mudsex, requires consent. The worst part about Tuluk was when bards would get in the mood to practice then wander into the bar and, no matter what was currently happening in that bar at the time, begin power-emoting an attention demanding performance. This ruins other peoples scenes, making them hate yours. Nothing brings me more joy that ruining a bard-rapists performance. So, wait until you're asked, or until there's nothing else going on, or until someone else is doing it. At the very least, ask if anyone wants to hear your new song.

3. This:
Until I really get inspired, I usually do a cheating method.  I take poetry or songs I like, and I alter them to fit Zalanthas, until I have a stable of a few that I can trot out when people say 'oh so you're a bard eh.'
Can be a lot of fun, to a point. If you pick a song that's too recognizable or doesn't fit the setting, it can be pretty jarring. I think the best and worst examples of this that I can recall both come from Koman Locke who did an AC/DC song (just doesn't translate for me) as well as this less recognizable, self aggrandizing song:
 
(Which was awesome.)  I think folk music works best for this, as others have said, because they actually tell stories. Most modern music is meant to sound interesting, be abstract, or is just too repetitious.

Funny, dirty, strange, or gritty stories are probably the best. If someone could find the way to adapt a (shorter) version of this, I'd start liking bards:

« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 10:56:35 PM by IAmJacksOpinion »
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Beethoven

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2016, 11:18:55 PM »
The most important thing in my view is to maintain a sense of rhythm. That will keep it feeling "song-like" without the other person being able to hear the beat or melody. Your song can rhyme perfectly and still not feel singable because you didn't pay proper attention to meter.

I'm a musician (surprise), but I don't get into any technical stuff with my emotes. No offense to anyone who has done that, but I'd consider that to be masturbatory if I did that. Most people will not get a sense of your song that way. You'll just look like you're showing off your music theory chops for no reason.

If your song has a catchy, poetic meter, to me that's 90% of the battle. Whether your emotes are vague or specific, simple or florid, that's going to make or break it.

Using existing songs as a "template" as others have mentioned can be a great way to capture that song-like rhythm. I personally like to adapt folk songs, often from England or Ireland, because a lot of them fit well into Zalanthas. I might change a few words here and there to make them more Zalanthan, or I might change almost the entire song, just maintaining that vitally important meter and maybe a few lines here and there.

« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 11:22:17 PM by Beethoven »


Centurion

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2016, 06:00:51 PM »
Plays are awesome, but require a lot of work and more people. I was actually very impressed by a certain play I can't yet talk about that happened last year ;) Songs don't really do it for me for the same reasons as a lot of other people, you can't hear it, and I failed bad in music at school, so all the fancy jargon and words to describe it are lost on me. Drinking songs I do get behind though, and there are plenty in the player contributions.

Nobles and GMH: Hire the bards!!! All the time. Noble A is meeting with Templar Lord Fancypants for a casual meeting, get a bard in there to play a guitar or some instrument softly as background noise. You don't need to cheer them on after every single song either. I always enjoyed having a bard about to add to the scene and mood. Hire the bards to slander the other houses with song. Use them for recruiting songs if you need an aide.

Also, bards aren't just story-tellers, musicians etc. How about juggling, knife throwing, acrobatics. Think a little out of the box.

When I was writing up my Grey Hunt speech to get words to rhyme, I used RhymeZone. It was a huge help.
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Desertman

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2016, 06:09:02 PM »
Sook, I got you fam.

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IAmJacksOpinion

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2016, 07:28:38 AM »
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 07:31:03 AM by IAmJacksOpinion »
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najdorf

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2016, 12:09:22 PM »
you can get inspired from poems, then improvise around them. I remember someone back in '07-08 had a lot shakespeare similarities in their songs & poems and it was working pretty well. It's easy for quick song/poem manufacturing too if your character needs it.

Delirium

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2016, 12:24:15 PM »
Related note, I did a little research and it turns out, stringed instruments (lutes, fiddles, guitars) are absolutely within the realm of Zalanthan tech.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catgut

Obviously, the guts would be made from alternative animals, but it absolutely can be and is - even in today's modern world - used for strings.
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Marauder Moe

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Re: Roleplaying Bards
« Reply #30 on: April 22, 2016, 03:08:56 PM »
Ya, we had a short thread about it over here: http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,50967.0.html