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The Bard's Tale gives you lots of freedom for creating your own characters. Even after you have built your starting party you can still make new characters and replace your old ones at any time.


Each character you create has five basic attributes which define his physical and mental prowess. When you create a character each attribute is assigned a value of 1 to 18, with the higher number reflecting higher capability.

  • Strength: Strength is physical power and chiefly affects the amount of damage a character can do to an opponent in hand-to-hand combat. Make sure your fighting characters are strong.
  • Intelligence: Intelligence is mental power. A high intelligence will enable your Magic users get bonus spell points.
  • Dexterity: Measures agility and nimbleness. A high score makes your characters harder to hit and helps them strike the first blow in combat.
  • Constitution: Measures healthiness. It takes more damage to kill a character with a high constitution score. This is reflected in bonus "hit points," the character's life span.
  • Luck: Luck is an ambiguous attribute, as it has a number of unseen effects on gameplay. For example, lucky characters are more likely to resist evil magic and avoid nasty traps.


It's not utterly important which race you choose for your characters. The only effect is a different possibility that certain attributes are mostlikely higher when you roll them out. E.g. an elf has more chances to get a high Intelligence value directly from the beginning, which makes him a good choice for a spellcaster. Also some classes are not available for some races.

  • Human: While possibly being of hardier stock, this character is nonetheless like you or me. [All classes available]
  • Elf: Patterned after the Tolkien elf, the elf is slight of build, frequently taller than a human, and very inclined to magic. [Classes not available: Hunter]
  • Dwarf: The Dwarven people are short and stout, extremely strong and healthy, but not amazingly intelligent (i.e., excellent fighters). [Classes not available: Conjurer, Magician]
  • Hobbit: Hobbits are slightly smaller than Dwarves but are nimble and dexterous. Just the right make-up for a rogue. [Classes not available: Paladin, Hunter]
  • Half-Elf: These crossbreeds are usually blond and fair-skinned, like elves, and get some added size and strength from their human ancestry. [Classes not available: Paladin, Hunter]
  • Half-Orc: An orc is a large, goblin-like creature often found working for evil wizards. The Half-orc, being half human, is not quite as despicable as his orc parent, but you wouldn't want to date one. [Classes not available: Paladin, Bard, Monk]
  • Gnome: Gnomes closely resemble dwarves, but have less hair and even shorter tempers. They are also more magically inclined, as a rule. [Classes not available: Paladin, Bard]


Class selection is the most important aspect of creating a character in The Bard's Tale. There are ten different classes, but only 8 can be selected for a newly generated character. Class types carry with them different abilities and limitations, as are roughly covered below.

Warrior Warrior: The base fighter-type in The Bard's Tale, warriors can use nearly every weapon there is. For every 4 levels of experience after the 1st, Warriors get an extra attack ability in combat.
Paladin Paladin: Paladins are fighters who have sworn to abstain from all evil and to uphold honor and purity in all places. They can use most weapons and some that no other fighters can. They get multiple attacks at higher levels. They also have a greatly increased resistance to evil magic.
Monk Monk: A martial artist, an almost inhuman fighting machine trained to fight without weapons or armor. The monk can use them, but, at higher levels particularly, often does better without.
Hunter Hunter: An assassin, a mercenary, a ninja. The hunter can use most weapons, and has the ability (which grows with experience) to do critical hits in combat (i.e., to attack a nerve center or other vital area and instantly kill an opponent). A good skill.
Bard Bard: The Bard is a wandering minstrel. You'll see him with a tankard of ale in front of him in the less reputable taverns - the rowdier the better. Bards were once warriors, and can still use most warrior weapons. But they turned to music instead and now play songs with an almost magical effect on other characters. Bards don't get the warrior's advantage of extra attacks in combat anymore - but their magic is unique.
Rogue Rogue: A professional thief with so-so combat ability, the rogue can hide in shadows, search for traps and disarm them. Without a rogue your party will pay very dearly for the booty it wins.
Conjurer Conjurer: One of the 4 classes of Magic Users, Conjurers deal in the physical creation and manifestation of real things (like fire, light, healing).
Magician Magician: Another of the 4 classes of Magic Users, Magicians deal with magic as it affects physical objects (i.e., enchanting a sword, making armor stronger, making a dungeon wall disappear).
Sorcerer Sorcerer: Sorcerers are Magic Users who deal with the creation and manipulation of illusion. Due to the power of sorcerer spells, this class is not available to newly created characters. In order to change your class to Sorcerer, a spellcasting character must have reached spell level 3 in at least one other class.
Wizard Wizard: Wizards are Magic Users who are dedicated to the summoning and binding of various supernatural creatures. These creatures are not friendly to humankind and trying to control them is extremely hazardous. The Wizard-class is not available to new characters either. In order change your class to Wizard, a spellcasting character must have reached spell level 3 in at least two other classes.

Suggested Party:

As in many other RPGs, the best party is a good mix of fighters and spellcasters. Only the first three party members can fight monsters directly in melee combat and thus should consist of fighting classes. Members number 4-6 can't attack directly, so a fighter is useless. So you should place supporting characters in these places. Here is an example of a well-rounded and versatile party:

#1: Paladin (or Warrior)
#2: Monk
#3: Hunter
#4: Bard
#5: Conjurer
#6: Magician

A Rogue isn't needed at all, because for disarming chests, the Conjurer's TRZP-Spell is the best option. A Bard is a nice fellow especially at the beginning of the game when he can use powerful horns to kill complete groups of enemies or support the party with magical songs. Later in the game a third Magic-User might be more useful. Magic-Users tend to become very powerful characters towards the end of the game, because they keep all the learned spells from further classes and after each class change they rapidly advance levels in the new class and gain bonus spellpoints and attributes very fast.

Character Levels:

Level Warrior, Paladin, Hunter, Bard, RogueMonk, Conjurer, Magician Sorcerer Wizard
2 2,000 1,800 7,000 20,000
3 4,000 4,000 15,000 50,000
4 7,000 6,000 25,000 80,000
5 10,000 10,000 40,000 120,000
6 15,000 14,000 60,000 160,000
7 20,000 19,000 80,000 200,000
8 30,000 29,000 100,000 250,000
9 50,000 50,000 130,000 300,000
10 80,000 90,000 170,000 400,000
11 110,000 120,000 220,000 600,000
12 150,000 170,000 300,000 900,000
13 200,000 230,000 400,000 1,300,000
14 400,000 460,000 800,000 2,600,000
15 600,000 690,000 1,200,000 3,900,000
16 800,000 920,000 1,600,000 5,200,000
17 1,000,000 1,150,000 2,000,000 6,500,000
18 1,200,000 1,380,000 2,400,000 7,800,000
19 1,400,000 1,610,000 2,800,000 9,100,000
20 1,600,000 1,840,000 3,200,000 10,400,000
20+ +200,000 +230,000 +400,000 +1,300,000

Spell Levels:

To learn a new group of magic spells (a "spell level"), a Magic User must advance two experience levels. It is recommended not to change the class of a Magic User before he reaches the 7th Spell Level, because he can't change back to a class he was in before. (NOTE: spell levels and experience levels are not the same thing!) For any of the four magic classes, a Magic User advances as follows:

Experience LevelSpell Level
1 1
2 1
3 2
5 3
7 4
9 5
11 6
13 7
14+ 7

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