Martial Arts in Sci-Fi and Fantasy #6: The Bard Class

skribs

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A strong support class in many a tabletop RPG is the bard class. You don't see them too much in movies, and they're not common at all in video games.

Actually, I shouldn't say that. Some people have specific music they listen to in video games, and there are cases where music is important to fighters in a movie. One of my favorite movies growing up was Iron Eagle, and the main character of that movie had to listen to Rock and Roll music or he simply couldn't fly.

But, as someone who hasn't played tabletop games, the Bard class is largely unexplored for me. Are there real-world examples of what a musician or artist can do for a battle?

While I understand music can help you focus when you're training, is there any advantage to music during the fight in martial arts?
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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A strong support class in many a tabletop RPG is the bard class. You don't see them too much in movies, and they're not common at all in video games.

Actually, I shouldn't say that. Some people have specific music they listen to in video games, and there are cases where music is important to fighters in a movie. One of my favorite movies growing up was Iron Eagle, and the main character of that movie had to listen to Rock and Roll music or he simply couldn't fly.

But, as someone who hasn't played tabletop games, the Bard class is largely unexplored for me. Are there real-world examples of what a musician or artist can do for a battle?

While I understand music can help you focus when you're training, is there any advantage to music during the fight in martial arts?
One thing it can do is be a form of communication. Thats where the 'drummer boy' idea comes from. There are also certain tribes that have utilized war dances (look up the haka). From what i remember, those are used to increase both your own groups motivation, and hopefully to intimidate your enemies.

Outside of that, music can be used to reset your mentality. So much of any competition is mental, and when you are in a bad state you can use music to refocus and change that state. Not sure how it would impact a battlefield, but i do know after battles/before the next day people would play music to help keep spirits up. There are probably a lot more example, but those are what i can think of off the top of my head.

So short answer:yes. Music has many uses on a battlefield.
 

Martial D

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A strong support class in many a tabletop RPG is the bard class. You don't see them too much in movies, and they're not common at all in video games.

Actually, I shouldn't say that. Some people have specific music they listen to in video games, and there are cases where music is important to fighters in a movie. One of my favorite movies growing up was Iron Eagle, and the main character of that movie had to listen to Rock and Roll music or he simply couldn't fly.

But, as someone who hasn't played tabletop games, the Bard class is largely unexplored for me. Are there real-world examples of what a musician or artist can do for a battle?

While I understand music can help you focus when you're training, is there any advantage to music during the fight in martial arts?
Psy-Ops 101. Blast them with rock and roll for days on end. USA been doing it since nam
 

Flying Crane

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I suppose capoeira could be the fighting method of the Bard. The lyrics of the songs are a tool for remembering the history of the people, which historically was at least part of the role of the Bard.
 

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drop bear

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In capoeira they also determine the pace, the intensity and alert people when the cops are coming.
 
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One thing it can do is be a form of communication. Thats where the 'drummer boy' idea comes from. There are also certain tribes that have utilized war dances (look up the haka). From what i remember, those are used to increase both your own groups motivation, and hopefully to intimidate your enemies.

Outside of that, music can be used to reset your mentality. So much of any competition is mental, and when you are in a bad state you can use music to refocus and change that state. Not sure how it would impact a battlefield, but i do know after battles/before the next day people would play music to help keep spirits up. There are probably a lot more example, but those are what i can think of off the top of my head.

So short answer:yes. Music has many uses on a battlefield.

A lot of these seem to be things that happen before the battle, and not during the battle. Granted, I haven't played these RPGs, but I always thought of the bard class as using their music for its magical properties during the fight.

I suppose capoeira could be the fighting method of the Bard. The lyrics of the songs are a tool for remembering the history of the people, which historically was at least part of the role of the Bard.

That would be a fighter that pairs with a bard, and not the bard itself.
 

drop bear

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A lot of these seem to be things that happen before the battle, and not during the battle. Granted, I haven't played these RPGs, but I always thought of the bard class as using their music for its magical properties during the fight.



That would be a fighter that pairs with a bard, and not the bard itself.
 
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I work in IT. Most of my coworkers send out jargon-heavy technical emails to our non-technical customers and are absolutely shocked when the customer is confused. Based on this video of how music can be used as code, and a very basic understanding of music theory, and looking back at fantasy...I could see a really skilled bard having this conversation with their group:

Bard: (in one breath) "Okay, when I play a G-Major, that means we use a basic attack maneuver. When I play a G7, the warrior needs to charge with his shield and knock the enemy down, and our dwarf will follow up with the ax. If I play a G-Major 7, then instead of the dwarf we'll use the archer for the coup-de-grace. If I play an inversion of the G Major chord, then someone else will initiate and the warrior will attack from behind - if it's the first inversion we use the halfling, if it's the second inversion, then the dwarf. Now if I play a G-Major Add 9 chord, we're going to stay at range, and if it's a Flat 9 we'll just simply hide. On a G-Minor, we go for the legs. Any questions so far before I move on to A Flat?"

Warrior: First question. What's a G-Major?
 

Flying Crane

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That would be a fighter that pairs with a bard, and not the bard itself.
No: the music, including the instruments and the songs, as well as the physical techniques and ability to play fight in the roda are all part of capoeira. A capoeirista is expected to be proficient in all aspects. The different members of the group take turns being on music or playing he physical game. It is all-inclusive.
 

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