Bardic Immunity - Badge Design and Uses
BARDIC IMMUNITY BADGE REVEALED
Thanks to JourneyQuest fan and professional designer Bryan Donihue, we are thrilled to share the design for the Bardic Immunity badge.
We hope to have a proof to share from the manufacturer soon, but for now, here's the concept art.
"The Light gray will be raised, antique silver color. The Dark gray will be sunken in, antiqued for contrast. The Brown, Tan, Off-white, and Green would be enamel approximately that color." - Bryan
The Bardic Immunity badge is available as a $100 reward level and for all reward levels at $250 and up.
HOW TO INVOKE BARDIC IMMUNITY
Thanks to our friends at Signal Fire Studios we've been granted the right to reproduce their article on the history of bardic badges and how they work! [Original Article]
A fair percentage of the world’s population has, at one point or another, wanted to kill a bard. And thus it’s understandable that it doesn’t take much for a threatened bard to invoke bardic immunity.
People of all races are taught from youth that you’re not allowed to kill a bard, though few people know the exact reasons why. (The common tales range from a terrible curse to a simple case of bad luck.) The mundane truth of the matter is that it’s simply illegal. The role of bards—and it’s important to make the distinction here between Guild-licensed bards and mere common minstrels and tale-spinners—is to preserve and record history in legend and song, without embellishments. In fact, it is directly through the painstakingly impartial work of the Bard’s Guild of Fartherall that world history has been so accurately and objectively chronicled. Since the Great Upheaval—the direct causes of which were lost due to the rather chaotic nature of the time, plus the fact that much of the continent was on fire—events major and minor, significant and obscure, have been chronicled by Guild bards so that such a gap in recorded history will never occur again.
The bards have been surprisingly successful at that endeavor. The BGF itself is an international organization that spans all mortal races and nationalities. Bardic immunity protects bards from threats of violence so that they may carry out the Guild’s mandate to record history without interference. Harming a bard who has invoked immunity is considered bad luck at best, an executable offense at worst. Which doesn’t mean there aren’t folks brazen or mad enough to attempt it.
Rules pertaining to bardic immunity:
- Bards can only invoke immunity for themselves. They cannot extend their immunity to other people, including other bards.
- A bard cannot claim immunity in response to something the bard himself did. For example, a bard cannot cheat at cards and then claim immunity when caught.
- Any interfering action, such as attempting to harm or aid another individual, immediately invalidates the immunity.
In addition to these rules, Guild bards who are currently chronicling events must adhere to a strict policy of non-intervention.
Such bards must remain completely neutral in regards to the histories they are recording. That does not just mean impartiality in the records they write; it means an absolute zero tolerance policy towards interfering in the accounts they are recording. In some cases, this can be difficult, especially when the bard in question has developed feelings or a sense of camaraderie for any of the subjects in his or her story. Any bards who interfere with the subjects of their stories—say by pointing the way to the nearest shelter, offering a blanket in a blizzard, or sleeping with them—compromises said bards and leads to immediate expulsion from the Guild.
The Grand Tenet of the Bard’s Guild is simple, straightforward, and completely inflexible: “Do Not Interfere.” A compromised bard immediately loses the protections Guild membership offers, including the right to invoke bardic immunity. And while it is generally considered bad luck to kill a bard, the Guild actually promotes the idea that it is good luck to kill a compromised bard.
It is easy to understand why bards tend to keep the subjects of the stories at arm’s length. In fact, the Guild encourages its bards to remain completely unnoticed by their subjects. The reason why—apart from the obvious one about having less of a chance of accidentally interfering at some critical moment and being disbarred—is because people act differently when they know they’re being watched. If you know you’re being followed by a Guild bard, it means that whatever you’re doing is important enough to make it into the histories. In the past, parties who know their actions are being recorded tend to act unnaturally, striking ridiculous poses and over-enunciating when they speak. And so most bards will do their best to remain out of sight when recording history, from simply hiding to using magical means of concealment. They only conduct interviews about important events with other witnesses and only when their primary subjects are not around to know about it.