In the Ruined Forest, Bards play a much more significant role than is typical for D&D campaigns. They are the repository of lore for humans as well as keepers of and interpreters of the law. A player with a bard should familiarize themselves with most of the material on the website. Memorization is not required and a player will be able to ask the referee to provide assistance with the in-game knowledge but without reading this material, the player may not even realize which questions to ask.
Mithlond bards are a mix of historical celtic bards and aspects of druids. They provide information and entertainment but they also represent the law.
What bards do in the land (not all of which a player-bard need necessarily perform):
- Bards create and provide the news. They compose songs describing current events and play songs of other bards. Naturally, they can cast individuals in favorable or unfavorable light and for this reason, most people are very courteous to bards.
- Bards interpret the law. They are expected to advise rulers on matters of law and punishment.
- Bards teach history through their songs and stories.
- Bards can act as heralds or other fixtures of a court or be itinerant.
- Bards (not channelers) are the primary repositories of knowledge on the gods.
- Bards are likely to know as much about spirits as channelers.
Bards can expect:
- A large amount of deference from any human of any rank. Naturally, rulers and warrior-class would express this more as politeness and other classes might be more subservient.
- Priests (channelers) are also interpreters of human law and therefore sometimes rivals of bards.
- Generous hospitality in most places.
The elves have bards as well but elvish bards do not advise on law, neither human (since they are not trusted in such matters) nor elves (since Elvish channelers and rulers perform that function).
Otherwise, elvish bards can expect similar treatment as human bards even in human lands. For this reason, elvish bards often serve as spies for the Trionesse rulers.
Bards perform a range of works from seasonal light weight seasonal and feast-hall songs to sagas which are meant to instruct and inform. The sagas are at least 15 minutes long and usually 30-45 minutes on a wide range of topics. See a partial list here.