There is more to Barding than meets the eye ...

Every Inn in the game allows you to Bard. If you Bard successfully and get paid, you will not be able to Bard again at this Inn until the next Chapter. If your Barding fails to please and you get thrown out, you can re-enter the Inn, and try Barding again.

Each Tavern has a Maximum Barding Fee. This is the highest possible Fee earned by Barding in Chapter One. The Maximum Barding Fee goes up with each new Chapter. In version 1.01 the Fee rises by 10% per Chapter, in version 1.02 it rises by 5% per Chapter. Example:

Maximum Barding Fee in: Ch 1 Ch 2 Ch 3 Ch 4 Ch 5 Ch 6
Version 1.01 60 66 72 78 84 90
Version 1.02 60 63 66 69 72 75

You can't Bard here in Chapters 4 and 5, but if you could, the Maximum Fee would be as shown above.

The Maximum Barding Fee is unique to each Inn. In addition, each Inn has unique Audience Tolerance Thresholds. These determine if, and how, your Barding will be appreciated, and depend on your Barding Skill. If your Skill is high enough, you will receive the Maximum Fee. You can also receive HALF the Maximum Fee, or a QUARTER, or get thrown out. This is best explained with an actual example. The LaMut Inn Thresholds are: 46-63-81.

In practical terms, this means that:

If your Skill is less than 46, you will get thrown out
If your Skill is 46 - 62, you will be paid Maximum x 0.25
If your Skill is 63 - 80, you will be paid Maximum x 0.5
If your Skill is 81 or higher, you will be paid the Maximum


Every time you Bard, Experience Points will be added to your Barding Skill (256 Experience Points equal 1 Skill Point). A low Skill rises faster than a high Skill. In version 1.01 Barding Skill rises faster than in version 1.02.

The Equations used to determine the Experience Points gained are:

XP = 128 - (96 x Skill) [in version 1.01]
XP = 128 - (112 x Skill) [in version 1.02]

with xx% Skill expressed as 0.xx. The product of (96 * Skill) or (112 * Skill) must be truncated to a whole number before it is subtracted from 128.

Furthermore, the Experience Points thus gained will be DOUBLED, if you receive FULL or HALF of the Maximum Fee (see above).

Interestingly, not only the BARD, but also his Companions, will gain these Points!

Please note: Even if you get thrown out, you can always go back and try again, and have your Barding Skill go up with every attempt. Example: At Start of Game Owyn's Barding Skill is 41%. If you now go to LaMut, and Bard, you will get thrown out, since the Minimum Skill needed for the Quarter Fee is 46%. Don't give up! Just re-enter and bard again. If you're patient, your Barding Skill will soon reach 46%, and you'll get paid. It's a measly 15 Gold Sovereigns, but at least your Skill has gone up 5 points.

The presence of a Practice Lute in your inventory will always add 1 point to your Barding Skill.

250 is the ABSOLUTE Maximum Fee you can ever receive. According to the formula you SHOULD get 270 Gold by Barding in Krondor in Chapter 6 - but you only get 250.

For detailed tables showing the Audience Tolerance Thresholds and Maximum Barding Fees for each Chapter, please click the appropriate VERSION below:

[VERSION 1.01] [VERSION 1.02]

Owyn is the only Bard that matters in the game. At Start of Game he has the best Skill [41]. No Barding is possible after Chapter 6, and Owyn is present in Chapters 1-4 and 6. In Chapter 5, we have Locky, James and Patrus, who basically have nothing to gain by concentrating on Barding Skills. There are only two taverns for them to bard in.

Skills rise faster, if Selected. If many Skills are Selected, they will still rise faster, but not as fast as possible. It is tempting to Select Owyn's Barding Skill at Start of Game, and leave it like that throughout. A better idea would be to ONLY Select it before entering a Tavern (or using a Practice Lute), and then Un-Select it afterwards. This will ensure that his Skill rises 50% faster. You can be sure, though, that in Chapter 6, after you've entered Elvandar, you can safely Un-Select Owyn's Barding Skill. There are no taverns in Elvandar, and after Chapter 6 there are no taverns for Owyn to bard in.


In version 1.01 (early diskette version) of the game, it is quite easy to pump Owyn's Barding Skill up to 100% with PRACTICE LUTES in Chapter 1. They are for sale (cheaply) at the Tyr-Sog Shop (50 charges), and the Tanneurs Shop (125 charges). However, in version 1.02 (the CD-ROM version), the Tyr-Sog Lute shrank to 20 charges, and the Tanneurs Lute to 30 charges. Not so easy now, is it! (Later in the game, in Chapter 4, you can buy a Practice Lute in the Sar-Sargoth Shop (80 charges in 1.01, 70 in 1.02).

Practice Lutes are different from the ones you play in Taverns. The resulting rise in Barding Skill is not related to the Skill - it is wildly random, but tests suggest that the average rise is about 100 Experience Points per use, but it can get as low as 50 and as high as 150. 10 uses generally result in 4 points gained. Another difference is that only the Lute Player's Barding Skill is affected. The Skills of his companions stay unchanged.


A strange bug in the game allows you Bard endlessly in some Taverns, but only if there's a Gambler present. The best place to take advantage of the bug is at Tom's Tavern in Tanneurs. [This can also be done at the Eggley Tavern, but is more time-consuming.] The procedure is basically as follows:

1. After you've Barded for the first time, gamble with the Gambler.
2. Gamble until you lose. Then stop gambling.
3. Now you can Bard again (earning 250 Gold Sovereigns, your Skill is 100%).

This can be repeated endlessly, and obviously the amount of money you can earn only depends on your patience!