THE BARD'S TALE
About Fantasy Role Playing Games
The Bard's Tale is a fantasy role-playing game. First in a series of
Tales of the unknown, this one is set in the city of Skara Brae.
Like other fantasy role-playing games, there are three objectives you
will be trying to accomplish. How you do this is up to you...
Your most important goal is to complete the quest built into the game.
In The Bard's Tale the city of Skara Brae is threatened by an evil mage
called Mangar. You must find Mangar and "persuade" him to release the
once-harmonious city from his evil control.
But Mangar is protected by layers of obstacles, mazes and evil henchmen.
Your second goal is to develop characters capable of surviving these
barriers. These characters are your alter ego in The Bard's Tale. They
act according to your commands, but over the course of the game they
change, much as real people do over a lifetime. They improve their
skills in magic, combat, stealth, etc. They amass wealth and treasured
objects. And they worry about dying too soon.
Your third goal is to explore the entire world of The Bard's Tale. There
are numerous goodies, puzzles and special places in Skara Brae. Part of
the fun is finding them, and discovering the layout of this fantasy
world. How do you get into the walled off towers? What's in the castle?
Where are the legendary catacombs of Skara Brae?
Table of Contents
A Quick Overview
The Combat System
The Magic System
Spell Key Glossary
Tips from the Underground
So turn the page and get started. Skara Brae awaits.
A Quick Overview
An orientation for beginners, a quick start guide for experts.
How to Use This Manual
This manual has three parts. This
Overview is designed to give first-time adventure gamers a
quick sense of the overall gameplay and give experience fantasy
role-players all they need to know to start quickly
The rest of the manual is reference material about how various
parts of The Bard's Tale operate, including character building
and development, places and mapping, the combat system and the
magic system. There is also a listing and description of all
the magic spells and the beginning items available in The
Bard's Tale. Finally, there are hints and clues interspersed
throughout the manual.
1. Command Summary Card
Inside the front flap of your album cover is a Command Summary
Card, which lists keystroke commands, disk utilities and
step-by-step instructions for starting up. If you are an
experienced adventurer, this card gives you most of what you
need to know; the rest is covered in this section.
2. Adventurer's Guild
The ADVENTURER'S GUILD is where you start each. This is the
ONLY spot a party can be formed, characters created, or
characters saved to disk.
3. Use the Pre-Built Party
For your convenience, you will find a pre-built party already
waiting for you when you enter the Guild for the first time.
The party is called *A Team. They are even outfitted with
weapons and armor affordable to characters of their humble
4. Use City Map on the Package
On the inside of your album cover is a map of Skara Brae.
You'll need it. Notice:
-2 walled-off towers (wonder what's in there?).
-A castle protected by Guardian Statues.
-Temples for healing, Equipment Shop for purchasing more
weapons, Taverns for drink and gossip, Roscoe's for more spell
-You'll have to find the Review Board (where levels are awarded
and magic is taught) on your own.
Mapping the dungeons and mazes is up to you. You even have to
figure out how to get into the mazes on your own. One clue:
each of the 16 mazes is set up on a 22 by 22 grid. North is to
the top of the screen, East is to the right. Be sure to go to
every square; there are lots of specials.
For more about the City of Skara Brae see "Places"
Only your first 3 characters and the first 2 rows of monsters
can attack in hand-to-hand combat.
There are several new combat commands, including Party Attack,
for fighting between party members; Bard Song, for making magic
by playing music; Hide in Shadows, to avoid combat.
For more information see "The Combat System"
There are 4 classes of Magic Users, each with unique magical
Conjurers can create objects and heal adventurers;
Magicians can bestow magical effects on common items;
Sorcerers can create illusions and heighten awareness;
Wizards can summon and control supernatural creatures.
Sorcerer and Wizard classes are not available to first level
adventurers. To create one of these, you must change class of a
Magic User who has achieved 3rd level magic spells in one (for
Sorcerer) or two (for Wizard) other magical arts. Class change
takes place in the Review Board. A Magic User who successfully
learns all 7 levels of spells for each of the 4 Magic Classes
is an Archmage, one of the most powerful characters in The
Bard's Tale. Once a Magic User leaves a class, he can never
return to it.
Magic Users qualify to learn next level spells based on their
experience levels, but it takes gold to actually learn the new
Casting spells uses spell points in different amount depending
on the spell. Spell points are regenerated automatically when a
Magic User is in the city in the daytime, and may also be
regenerated in Roscoe's Energy Emporium, or special Regen
squares in some dungeons.
For more information see "The Magic System"
7. The Bard
The Bard makes magic by playing music. He needs an instrument,
of course. He can play in combat or during exploration, with
different effect. Only one tune at a time. And one tune for
every experience level. Then he needs to get a drink from any
You can listen to his music or not. See the COMMAND SUMMARY
card for details.
By the way, the Bard is not too shabby as a fighter.
Time waits for no one. Even without keystrokes, time passes,
from day to night and back again.
Nighttime is especially nasty. The really evil monsters hit the
streets at night, looking for characters just like you. And,
what's worse, you use up spell points faster, because spell
points only regenerate in daylight.
Now you know enough to get started, if you are an experienced
adventurer. By the way, the tavern on Rakhir street is the only
tavern that serves wine. And that wine "goes down" easily. You
may wish to drop by to wet the whistle of your Bard. Good luck!
Humans are not the only race in the world of The Bard's Tale.
Others are more magically inclined, stronger and smarter. Part
of the fun of a fantasy role-playing game is getting to know
these different races, and forming your party accordingly. The
races and their descriptions are:
HUMAN: While possibly being of hardier stock, this character is
nonetheless like you or me.
ELF: Patterned after the Tolkien elf, the elf is slight of
build, frequently taller than a human, and very inclined to
DWARF: The Dwarven people are short and stout, extremely
strong and healthy, but not amazingly intelligent (i.e.,
HOBBIT: Hobbits are slightly smaller than Dwarves but are nimble
and dexterous. Just the right make-up for a rogue.
HALF-ELF: These crossbreeds are usually blond and fair-skinned,
like elves, and get some added size and strength from their
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.
GNOME: Gnomes closely resemble dwarves, but have less hair and
even shorter tempers. They are also more magically inclined, as
In fantasy role-playing games, characters choose different
"Classes" or professions. There is no single best class; each has
its own strengths. Your characters must use teamwork to succeed.
Class selection is the most important aspect of creating a
character in The Bard's Tale. There are ten different classes
of characters, 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: 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
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.
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
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 so unique, it is almost impossible to
survive Skara Brae without one.
Any true Bard has six songs on his lips, though to play them he
must have an instrument equipped. A song played as the party is
exploring is long-lasting and continues even after the party
returns from combat mode, even if other songs were played
during combat. Any songs played during combat are abbreviated
and so create different magical effects than the full
non-combat versions. The shorter combat versions don't endure
as long either, only one round of fighting.
Only one Bard tune can be played at a time. If a second one is
played while the first is still playing (by the same or a
different Bard), the first will end. A Bard can play as many
tunes as experience levels before his throat gets dry. Then
it's off to a tavern for a drink to rejuvenate his voice. Tough
duty, but someone has to do it.
Bard songs vary according to the difficulty of the dungeon.
When the going gets tough, the Bard goes drinking.
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
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
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: 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
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.
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.
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 from 1 to 18, with
the higher number reflecting higher capability.
STRENGTH (Shown as "ST" on the screen): 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 ("IQ"): Intelligence is mental power. A high
intelligence will enable your Magic Users to get bonus spell
DEXTERITY ("DX"): Measures agility & nimbleness. A high score
makes your characters harder to hit and helps them strike the
first blow in combat.
CONSTITUTION ("CN"): 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 ("LK"): 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.
OTHER CHARACTER STATISTICS
ARMOR CLASS ("AC"): This statistic reflects the level of
protection a character has from physical attack. In classic
fantasy role-playing style, the armor class starts at 10 for a
totally unprotected, unarmored character with low dexterity,
and goes down to -10 (called LO) as his protection improves by
armor, spells, or other means.
HIT POINTS ("HITS"): Hit Points measure the damage a character
can take before he is killed. The "Hits" statistic shows his
potential at fullest health, rather than current status.
CONDITION ("COND"): Condition shows the character's present
number of hit points. For example, if a character with 10 Hit
Points is wounded for 7 hit points, his Condition will drop to
3. Another wound of 3 or more hit points will kill him. If he
is fully healed, his Condition will return to the full 10
again. (Even though his Condition score changes, his Hit Points
stay at 10.)
SPELL POINTS ("SP PT"): This shows current spell point status.
Points are used up with each cast of a magic spell. If a
Conjurer has 20 spell points and casts a Mage Flame spell at a
cost of 2 spell points, his new total would be 18. A
character's maximum spell points are listed in his
EXPERIENCE POINTS: This measures abilities gained by
experience, the higher the number, the better the character.
Characters get experience points for successful combat,
according to the difficulty of the fight and the number of
characters who survive. The amount is indicated after every
successful combat. A character's running total of experience
points is indicated in view-mode.
GOLD: Gold is the unit of currency in this world. Your
characters start with just barely enough gold to buy the armor
and weapons they need to survive. There are two ways to get
rich enough to buy better equipment: taking gold from the
monsters you defeat in combat or selling items you find in
dungeons. The first way is more fun.
LEVEL ("LV 1"): Level is a general measure of achievement within
a character's class. Level 1 is a novice, Level 13, for
example, is required to become a Master of a Magic User class.
The Review Board will promote a character to higher levels
based on his experience points, but only upon the character's
in-person request. An advance in level is very important
because it generally means an increase in attribute scores, hit
points, spell points and other abilities.
SPELL LEVELS (e.g., "MAGI 1"): This shows the highest group of
magic spells a character can use in any of the 4 classes of
Magic Users. There are 7 groups of magic spells for each
To learn a new group of magic spells (a "spell level"), a Magic
User must advance two experience levels. (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 Level Spell Level
14 and up 7 maximum
To change class to Sorcerer, a Magic User must first have
learned Spell Level 3 (or higher) in at least one magical art.
To change to Wizard, a Magic User must first have learned Spell
Level 3 (or higher) in two other magical arts.
ITEMS: Items fall into 10 categories: Weapons, shields, armor,
helms, gloves, musical instruments, figurines, rings, wands, and
miscellaneous. Only one item of each type can be equipped for
use at any one time. For example, two different shields cannot
be used at once to protect a character, though the spare shield
could be toted around.
Some items can only be used by specific characters. For
example, only Bards can use musical instruments. An item which
can never be used by a character is marked with a é when he
examines it in his view mode or in the Equipment Shoppe. An
item which has been equipped is marked with a Ï.
A character may carry up to 8 different items.
How To Create a Character
1. While in the Adventurer's Guild, select a race.
2. Character attribute numbers displayed are a combination
of genes and luck. For each different race there is a lowest
possible number for each attribute (the "genes"). The computer
then adds a random number (the "luck") to each attribute.
3. If you are satisfied with the "roll of the dice", choose a
character class, then name this character. If you aren't
satisfied "reroll the dice."
4. After being named, the character will be saved to disk,
ready to adventure.
THE CITY MAP
There is a map of Skara Brae on the inside of the album
cover your program disk came in. Notice that there are
several important looking places that are blocked off. Like the
castle, and the two towers protected by locked gates. There
must be a way to get in there, wouldn't you think?
Use your map to guide you in Skara Brae. If you ever get lost
just press the "?" key and the program will tell you where you
are and what time of day it is.
Most buildings in Skara Brae are unmarked. But some of them are
inhabited by the corrupt creatures who have skulked into
Skara Brae. So kick in a few doors and find them. Remember that
fighting is good for you; it's the only way to build up enough
experience to challenge Mangar. You should be disappointed when
you kick in a door, screaming a battle cry, and find it empty.
When you exit a building and enter the street, the building
will be behind you, and you will be facing the building or
landmark across the street.
THE ADVENTURER'S GUILD
The Guild is like a union hall where adventurers "hang out"
hoping to join a party. This is where you form a party, and
where all adventures begin.
GARTH'S EQUIPMENT SHOPPE
Garth is one of yesterday's almost forgotten heroes, now
retired from active adventuring to supply tomorrow's would-be
greats. At Garth's Shoppe characters can buy armor and weapons,
sell items, have items identified, or pool all the party's gold
for buying expensive items. Due to a deal with the city
blacksmith, Garth has an infinite supply of basic armor and
supplies. But unique items found in labyrinths, even if sold to
Garth, remain in his inventory only until they are sold.
Occasionally an item won in combat will remain unidentified.
This means that its general type might be apparent (e.g.,
shield, ring), but not which exact type (e.g., Dragon shield,
Ring of Power). Garth can identify this item for you... for a
THE REVIEW BOARD
The Review Board is a group of high level representatives from
all ten different classes. Upon your request in person, the
Board will determine whether a character has accumulated enough
experience points for advancement to higher levels. The Board
teaches new spells to Magic Users who qualify for higher spell
levels, too, but charges for this training. It pays the rent.
You may have to do a bit of exploring to locate the Review
Board. And it's closed at night.
Taverns are the Bard's favorite places for gossip and
refreshment. There's even a tavern named after him. Watch him
carefully though; the Bard has a tendency to overtip the
The term "dungeon" refers to any indoor labyrinth, designed for
mapping, combat and puzzle interaction. They take a variety of
forms, from towers to catacombs, and have a varied number of
levels for each. You can go up or down to levels higher and
lower than the one you're on via stairways, portal, and
Stairways are not visible from a distance. But when you move
onto one you will be asked if you wish to ascend or descend.
Portals are holes in the floors and ceilings, and are visible
from a distance. You will not go through a portal merely by
standing on it; you must first command your character to do so.
If he jumps down through a portal, he will be damaged from the
fall unless he is using a levitation spell. The only way to go
up through a portal is by levitation.
The locations of dungeon entrances are well-kept secrets, but
there are plenty of hints in Skara Brae.
ROSCOE'S ENERGY EMPORIUM
If your spell points aren't recharging fast enough, go see
Roscoe. But be prepared for electrifyingly high fees.
Temples are divine places of resurrection and complete healing.
In fact, this is the only place to cure characters who have
been withered or turned to stone. A resurrected character
retains all the items, gold and experience points he had before
dying, but he comes to life with only 1 hit point. When he
finds out how much it costs to be resurrected, he may turn over
in his grave.
Tips from the Underground: Places
1. Your first three dungeons should be the sewers, the
catacombs and the castle (in that order). Each is progressively
tougher. Don't attempt the catacombs without a party of level
9 or higher characters.
2. Explore and map every square in every maze. There are "Magic
Mouths" that give hints. There are 1-of-a-kind magic items and
spell regeneration zones. Good maps will show you the logical
spots for secret doors and secret rooms, too.
3. Avoid traps. Higher level rogues are excellent at opening
chests, but when in doubt use the "Trapzap" spell. TRZP is
guaranteed to work with no harm to the party, unless, of
course, the trap is protected by even more powerful magic. In
fact, you can use TRZP to disarm any traps you encounter. Gas
Cloud traps have doomed many brave but foolish adventurers. If
you set off a trap and nothing happens, you were lucky not
good. You could have been killed.
4. Be sure that your party is fully healed before entering a
5. When you are finding your bearings in a maze, remember that
each succeeding level goes UP in a tower or castle and DOWN in
THE COMBAT SYSTEM
The Bard's Tale is a game of fighting. It's the only way to
build experience. Fortunately, Mangar and his gruesome
creatures are very evil, so don't worry about their feelings.
Kill them, if you can.
Combat with "monsters" (the generic term for all opponents)
occur both randomly and at set locations. You can also initiate
intra-party combat at almost any time, in case one of your
members is turned to the dark side. At the outset of combat a
list of foes will be given, broken down into the number of foes
in each group. The maximum is 99 monsters per group, with up to
Combat is divided into a series of "rounds," like a boxing
match. At the start of each round, each of your characters must
decide what action he will undertake in the upcoming melee,
unless, of course, your party decides to run away. A menu of
possible selections will appear for each character. These
options are as follows.
Attack foes: To physically assault foes in the first or second
group of monsters.
Party attack: To assault another member of the party, including
Defend: Do not interact this round -- reduces chance of being
Use an item: Make use of a magical item held in the character's
inventory and currently equipped. This may require specifying a
target for the effect.
Bard Song: Bards can play a short tune to affect the party or
the foremost group of monsters in some fashion
Cast a spell: Cast a spell at the party or a group of foes. The
spell code must be entered, and a target identified.
Hide in Shadows: A rogue can try to avoid combat altogether by
hiding and, if successful, will be skipped as a target of
attack in the upcoming combat round.
The first three characters in your party can be attacked
physically by monsters, and can attack back. The last three
characters can only be struck by magical attacks, and can only
attack back with magic. This simulates your first three
characters being up on the front line of attack, with the last
three characters acting as backup in case one of the first
three is killed. The first two groups of monsters are in a
similar position; they are the only monsters who can attack or
be attacked physically.
Once all the choices for your characters have been entered, the
round begins. The most dexterous characters or monsters usually
make the first strike, but luck, character level and character
class also affect this. In evenly matched fights, the outcome
often depends on which side gets in the first blow.
The rate of scrolling of the combat messages can be speeded or
slowed. See the Command Summary list of keystrokes for details.
At the end of a combat round, dead monsters will be removed
from the ranks of your foes, and dead characters will be
shuffled back to the end of your party. A fresh group of
monsters may also advance into the first two ranks to give
their fellow members a breather.
At the end of combat, treasure and experience points will be
split among the battle's survivors.
The special slot (marked "S") is for monsters who can become
part of your party. They can join by:
1) Being summoned or created as an illusion, or some other
artifice related to a cast spell, or
2) Introducing themselves to the party and offering their
services as a comrade.
Specials cannot be controlled in battle; they choose their own
attack mode and generally go after the primary group of
monsters the party is facing. Specials are cleared out of the S
slot when killed. Illusionary specials (created by a sorcerer)
are cleared out if any foes disbelieve them.
If a non-illusionary special is attacked by another member of
the party for any reason, it will turn immediately hostile and
fight until defeated.
Tips from the Underground: Combat
1. Usually the highest dexterity character attacks first. For
particularly nasty monsters (like blue dragons) attack with
your highest dexterity characters first. Your less dexterous
characters may not survive long enough to get in a first strike.
2. Use your spells and Bard songs to lower the armor class of
your entire party. The lower the better.
3. If you are attacked by more than 2 groups of monsters,
concentrate on Magic Users first. If you cannot kill off all
the magic-using monsters, you may want to cast anti-magic
spells to protect you against illusions, possessions and other
4. You can minimize damage by killing off all but one monster
in either of the first two attacking groups. As a general rule,
attack groups with only one member last, unless it is a deadly
5. Many of the undead monsters are capable of draining
experience levels, turning characters old and gray or even
turning characters to stone. Treat the undead with respect. In
other words, kill them quickly.
6. Be prepared to die a lot with level 1 and 2 characters.
Especially at night. Especially when you don't have any weapons
and are just walking to Garth's Shoppe. It might even be a good
idea to stay close to a Temple at night, so you can quickly
heal any wounds.
7. Fill the special slot quickly. Conjure or summon a monster or
create an illusion, if necessary. The special member will take
a lot of heat off your fighters. Monsters tend to attack
special members first.
8. Monsters are smart. They usually attack your most vulnerable
characters first, unless one of your members represents a
THE MAGIC SYSTEM
Magic is power. It can make the difference between success and
failure in The Bard's Tale.
It is not always necessary or wise to rely on magic, though,
because magic is by no means foolproof. There are some places
where magic never functions, and some monsters who are highly
resistant to spells. Sometimes you just have to wade in with
fists flying and get dirty.
The best way to tell that your party has wandered into an
anti-magic zone is that all residual spells except light spells
Residual spells are magic spells that keep working for more
than just an instant. Light spells, trap detection, secret door
detection and magical armor are some examples. Most residual
spells cause a graphic symbol to appear in the central blank
strip on the screen, to keep the player aware that the duration
hasn't yet expired.
All spells have a point cost. In other words, all spells cost
the mage casting them a bit of his internal energy. This energy
is return automatically in direct sun light, and may be
regenerated at Roscoe's Energy Emporium or in special
regeneration zones you have to discover
There are magical items hidden in the dungeons and carried by
the monsters of The Bard's Tale. Magical weapons do extra
protection. Other magical items radiate special energies. There
are even magic keys and talismans necessary to get into certain
important parts of the game. The most powerful magic items are
secreted in the most challenging dungeons and are guarded by
ferocious monsters. When you win one, you should be very proud
and very happy. They can be the key to success against the
To cast a spell, you type in 4-letter codes which are a rough
abbreviation of the spell name.
All Magic Users, even Level 1 novices, start the game with
knowledge of all level 1 spells in their magical art. Rather
than learning one spell at a time, Magic Users always learn
whole groups ("spell levels") of spells at once. It's the
closest thing to mass production in Skara Brae. Here is a
description of the four magical arts.
Conjuring deals with the instantaneous creation of objects and
effects through the channeling of a mage's power. Conjurer
spells are potent, but not unlimited in effect, since the
exercise of creation takes a large amount of energy to produce
even a moderate effect.
A conjurer can also produce effects that distort non-solid
things to produce new effects, like the distortion of space and
time required to teleport human bodies to a new location.
Magic (meaning the art practiced by a magician) deals with
bestowing magical effects on common objects. The items do not
become magical, but radiate fields of power for the duration of
a spell (which is usually the length of combat).
The gist of Magic is that it can increase an item's capability,
give it a totally new capability, or change its form to
something totally different.
Some examples: making a sword do greater damage, making dungeon
walls glow with a magical light, or causing a wall to totally
vanish for 1 move.
The byword of sorcery is, "seeing is believing." Sorcery does
not deal with a physical manifestation, but rather a creation
of illusion and a tapping into a heightened sense of awareness.
An illusion is an image envisioned by the spell caster, which
he then lays over the retinas of all who watch augmenting this
with appropriate stimulation of nerve endings to fool the other
four senses. The human mind, believing an illusionary creation
to be real, can be hurt or even killed by it, unless it is
A sorcerer, with the aid of his art, can also perceive certain
special things hidden from view.
Wizardry deals with the summoning and control of supernatural
creatures. The wizard has fewer spells than the other three
classes, but his are by far the most potent.
The creatures he can summon come from another plane of
existence, called the Negative plane. They join the special
slot in the party, and will fight until defeated.
The wizard has some ability to trap and control normal
monsters, as well.
Mages who have learned at least 3 spell levels in an art may
elect to change to another mage class at any time. Thus, a level
5 conjurer could choose to become a level 1 magician. His
experience points would be reset to 0, but he would retain his
previous attributes, hit points, spell points, and all
knowledge of his conjurer spells, however; once a mage leaves a
magic art, he cannot return to it.
A mage can become a conjurer, magician, or sorcerer as a second
class. A mage can become a conjurer, magician, sorcerer, or
wizard as a third class. A mage who has knowledge of all 7 levels
of spells in all 4 classes is called an Archmage, and is one of the
most powerful personages in the world of The Bard's Tale.
CODE, Pt. Cost, Range, Duration
SPELL NAME Description
MAFL, 2, View, Medium
MAGE FLAME a small, mobile "torch" will appear, and float
above the spell caster as he travels.
ARFI, 3, 1 Foe, ---
ARC FIRE A fan of blue flames will shoot from the caster's
fingers, doing hits of damage to a select opponent, times caster's
SOSH, 3, Self, Combat
SORCERER SHIELD The mage is protected by an invisible "shield"
of magic, that turns aside many blows that would otherwise hit
TRZP, 2, 30 feet, ---
TRAP ZAP This spell will disarm any trap within 30 feet, in the
direction the party is facing. It will also disarm traps on chests.
FRFO, 3, Group, Combat
FREEZE FOES This spell binds your enemies with magical force,
slowing there movements and making them easier to hit.
MACO, 3, ---, Medium
KIEL'S MAGIC COMPASS a compass of shimmering magelight appears
above the party, telling the direction they face.
BASK, 4, Character, Combat
BATTLESKILL This spell increases one of your party member's
skill with weapons, increasing the accuracy and ferocity of his
WOHL, 4, Character, ---
WORD OF HEALING With the utterance of a single word the spell
caster can cure a party member of minor wounds, healing 2-8
points of damage.
MAST, 5, Group, ---
ARCYNE'S MAGESTAR A bright flare will ignite in front of a
group of your enemies, temporarily blinding them and causing
them to miss the next combat round.
LERE, 5, View, Long
LESSER REVELATION This is an extended "Mage Flame" spell which
also reveals secret doors.
LEVI, 4, Party, Short
LEVITATION Partially negates the effect of gravity on the
party, causing them to float over traps or up through portals.
WAST, 5, Group, ---
WARSTRIKE Causes a spray of energy to spring from the caster's
extended finger, sizzling a group of opponents for 4-16 hits damage.
INWO, 6, Special, ---
ELIK'S INSTANT WOLF With this spell the caster can make a real
wolf appear and join the party, fighting in its defense.
FLRE, 6, Character, ---
FLESH RESTORE This powerful healing spell will restore 6-24 hit
points to a party member and cure poisoning and insanity.
POST, 6, Foe, ---
POISON STRIKE This spell hurls porcupine-sharp needles from the
mage's finger into a selected monster, poisoning it.
GRRE, 7, View, Long
GREATER REVELATION This spell functions like "Lesser
Revelation" spell, only it illuminates a wider area.
WROV, 7, Character, Combat
WRATH OF VALHALLA Makes a member of your party fight with the
strength and accuracy of ancient Norse heroes for the entire
SHSP, 7, Group, ---
SHOCK SPHERE a large globe of intense electrical energy
envelops a group of enemies, doing 8-32 hits of damage.
INOG, 9, Special, ---
ELIK'S INSTANT OGRE This incantation will cause a real ogre to
appear and join the party.
MALE, 8, Party, Indefinite
MAJOR LEVITATION This will make the party levitate as does the
level 3 spell, but its effects will last until dispelled.
FLAN, 12, Party, ---
FLESH ANEW This spell behaves like the "Flesh Restore" spell,
except that it will affect every member of the party.
APAR, 15, Party, --
APPORT ARCANE Allows the party to teleport anywhere within a
dungeon, except for places protected by teleportation shields.
CODE, Pt. Cost, Range, Duration
SPELL NAME Description
VOPL, 3, Character, Combat
VORPAL PLATING This spell causes the weapon (or hands) of a
party member to be covered with a magical field, which causes
him to do an additional 2-8 points of damage.
AIAR, 3, Self, Combat
AIR ARMOR This spell will make the air around the spell caster
to bind itself into a weightless suit of "armor."
STLI, 2, View, Short
SABHAR'S STEELIGHT SPELL Causes all metal near the party to
glow with magical light, illuminating the surrounding area.
SCSI, 2, Party, ---
SCRY SITE The walls themselves will speak, under direction of
this spell, revealing to the spell caster his location in the
HOWA, 4, 1 Foe, ---
HOLY WATER A spray of water will emanate from the mage's
fingers, doing 6-24 points of damage to any undead foe (e.g.
skeleton, zombie, vampire)
WIST, 5, 1 Foe, ---
WITHER STRIKE Any foe at whom this spell is cast is likely to
be turned old, thus reducing his ability to attack and defend
MAGA, 5, Character, Combat
MAGE GAUNTLETS Makes a party member's hands (or weapons) more
deadly, adding 4-16 points of damage to every wound he inflicts.
AREN, 5, 30 Feet, Short
AREA ENCHANT This spell will cause the dungeon walls within 30
feet of a stairway to call out, if the party is traveling
MYSH, 6, Party, Medium
YBARRA'S MYSTIC SHIELD The air in front of the party will bind
itself into metallic hardness and will accompany the party when
it moves, as a sort of invisible "shield."
OGST, 6, Character, Combat
OSCON'S OGRESTRENGTH Allows a member of your party to damage
monsters as if he were as incredibly strong as an ogre.
MIMI, 7, Party, Combat
MITHRIL MIGHT Increases the armor protection of each party
member by enhancing their armor's natural strength by magic.
STFL, 6, Group, ---
STARFLARE The air surrounding a group of your enemies will
instantly ignite, causing them to be burnt for 6 to 24 damage
SPTO, 8, 1 Foe, ---
SPECTRE TOUCH This spell will drain a single enemy of 12 to 48
points of damage, as if touched by a spectre.
DRBR, 7, Group, ---
DRAGON BREATH Allows the mage to breathe fire at a group of
foes, doing 8 to 32 points of damage to each.
STSI, 7, View, Medium
SABHAR'S STONELIGHT SPELL Makes all stone and earth within
range of the party glow with magical light, revealing even
ANMA, 8, Party, Combat
ANTI-MAGIC Causes the ground to absorb a portion of the magical
energies cast at the party, frequently allowing the members to
escape all damage. Also aids in disbelieving illusions and in
turning back magical fire, like a dragon's breath.
ANSW, 8, Special, Combat
AKER'S ANIMATED SWORD A magical sword will appear and fight
like a summoned monster in defense of the party.
STTO, 8, 1 Foe
STONE TOUCH This spell will often turn an enemy to stone, or a
stone monster from living stone to dead stone. But it doesn't
PHDO, 9, 1 Wall, 1 Move
PHASE DOOR This incantation will alter the structure of almost
any wall directly in front of the party, turning it to air for
exactly 1 move.
YMCA, 10, Party, Indefinite
YBARRA'S MYSTICAL COAT OF ARMOR causes an effect like "Air
Armor" to cover every member of the party, lasting indefinitely.
REST, 12, Party, ---
RESTORATION Makes all wounds disappear as your entire party is
reforged into unflawed bodies. Also cures poisoning and insanity.
DEST, 14, 1 Foe, ---
DEATHSTRIKE This incantation is very likely to kill one
selected enemy, big or small.
CODE, Pt. Cost, Range, Duration
SPELL NAME Description
MIJA, 3, 1 Foe, ---
MANGAR'S MIND JAB The mage casts a concentrated blast of
psychic energy at one opponent doing 2-8 hits of damage for
each experience level of the mage.
PHBL, 2, Party, Combat
PHASE BLUR The entire party will seem to waver and blur in the
sight of the monsters, making the party very difficult to
LOTR, 2, 30 Feet, Short
LOCATE TRAPS In a state of magically-heightened awareness, the
spell caster will be able to sense a trap within 30 feet, if he
HYIM, 3, Group, ---
HYPNOTIC IMAGE If successfully cast, this spell will make a
group of your enemies miss the following attack round.
DISB, 4, Party, ---
DISBELIEVE This spell will reveal the true of any illusion
attacking the party, causing it to instantly vanish.
TADU, 4, Special, Combat
TARGET-DUMMY A magical illusion appears in the party's special
slot. Unable too attack, it will serve to draw enemy attacks to
MIFI, 4, 1 Foe, ---
MANGAR'S MIND FIST A higher power "Mind Jab," does 3-12 hits of
damage to one foe, times the experience level of the mage.
FEAR, 4, Group, Combat
WORD OF FEAR This incantation will make a group of your enemies
shake in fear, reducing their ability to attack and do damage.
WIWO, 5, Special, ---
WIND WOLF This spell creates an illusionary wolf to join the
party. This and other illusions are only effective as long as
an enemy "believes" them. Depending on power and location, the
monster may see through the illusion, and cause it to vanish.
VANI, 6, Self, Combat
KYLEARAN'S VANISHING SPELL The mage casting this spell will
turn nearly invisible in the eyes of his enemies, who will have
great difficulty in striking him.
SESI, 6, 30 Feet, Medium
SECOND SIGHT The mage will experience heightened awareness and
be able to sense stairways, special encounters, spell negation
zones, and other unusual occurrences.
CURS, 5, Group, Combat
CURSE Causes a group of your enemies to fear you greatly,
lessening their morale and their ability to hit and damage you.
CAEY, 7, View, Indefinite
CAT EYES The member's of the mage's party will all receive
perfect night-vision, which will last indefinitely.
WIWA, 6, Special, ---
WIND WARRIOR This spell will create the illusion of a
battle-ready warrior that joins your party.
INVI, 7, Party, Combat
KYLEARAN'S INVISIBILITY SPELL This invocation will perform a
Vanishing Spell on the entire party.
WIOG, 7, Party, ---
WIND OGRE This spell will create the illusion of an ogre, which
will accompany and fight with your party.
DIIL, 8, Party, Combat
DISRUPT ILLUSION This spell will destroy any illusion fighting
the party, and any new illusions created later in the combat.
It will also point out any dopplegangers in the party.
MIBL, 8, All Foes, ---
MANGAR'S MIND BLADE A sharp explosion of psychic energy that
inflicts 10-40 hits to each and every enemy you face
WIDR, 10, Special, ---
WIND DRAGON This incantation will create an illusionary red
dragon to fight with your party.
MIWP, 9, Character, ---
MIND WARP This spell will make a member of your party go
totally insane. Useful for possessions.
WIGI, 12, Special, ---
WIND GIANT This spell will create an illusionary storm giant,
to join with, and fight for, your party.
SOSI, 11, 30 Feet, Indefinite
SORCERER SIGHT This spell functions the same as the "second
sight", but it will last indefinitely.
CODE, Pt. Cost, Range, Duration
SPELL NAME Description
SUDE, 6, Special, ---
SUMMON DEAD This will gate into our universe a zombie or
skeleton to fight for the party.
REDE, 4, Group, ---
REPEL DEAD This spell will do 16 to 80 points of damage to a
group of undead creatures.
LESU, 8, Special, ---
LESSER SUMMONING This spell will gate into our universe a lower
power elemental or demon, who will (under protest) join the
DEBA, 8, 1 Foe, ---
DEMON BANE This spell will do 32 to 128 points of damage to a
single demon. The power to summon is the power to destroy.
SUPH, 10, Special, ---
SUMMON PHANTOM This spell will bring a medium level undead
creature into the party.
DISP, 10, Character, ---
DISPOSSESS This spell will make any possessed party member to
his normal state.
PRSU, 12, Special, ---
PRIME SUMMONING This spell gates in a medium level elemental or
demon, to fight with the party.
ANDE, 11, Character, ---
ANIMATE DEAD Gives a dead character undead strength, making him
attack your enemies as though he were truly alive.
SPBI, 14, 1 Foe, ---
BAYLOR'S SPELL BIND This spell if successful possesses the mind
of any enemy, forcing him to join your party and fight in its
DMST, 14, Group, ---
DEMON STRIKE This spell works like Demon Bane, but it will
affect an entire group of demons.
SPSP, 15, Special, ---
SPELL SPIRIT This spell will gate in a higher-level undead
creature to fight for the party.
BEDE, 18, Character, ---
BEYOND DEATH This spell will restore life and one hit point to
GRSU, 22, Special, ---
GREATER SUMMONING This spell will gate a greater demon into our
universe and bind him to the party.
1. FALKENTYNE'S FURY
This tune increases the damage your party will do in combat, by
driving them into a berserker rag.
2. THE SEEKER'S BALLAD
This song will produce light when exploring, and during combat
it will increase the party's chance of hitting a foe with a
3. WAYLAND'S WATCH
This song will soothe your savage foes, making them do less
damage in combat.
4. BADH'R KILNFEST
This is an ancient Elven melody, which will heal the Bard's
wounds during traveling, and heal the party's wounds during
5. THE TRAVELLER'S TUNE
This melody makes the members of your party more dexterous and
agile, and thus more difficult to hit.
This song sets up a partial "anti-magic" field, which gives
party members some increased protection against spell casting.
SPELL KEY GLOSSARY
View spell affects line of sight
1 Foe spell affects a single monster, regardless of how many
Group spell affects 1 of 4 monster groups
Self spell affects spellcaster only
30 Feet 3 squares in the direction you face
Character one of 6 party members or special
Party spell affects all 6 party members
Special spell affects "S" slot only; summoned creature enters
combat next round
Combat spell lasts until all monsters or all party members are
killed, or until party runs away.
Short spell lasts only a few minutes
Medium spell lasts a little longer
Long spell lasts twice as long as "Short"
Indefinite spell lasts until party enters the Adventurer's Guild or
an anti-magic zone
TIPS FROM THE UNDERGROUND
1. Don't be concerned about losing a Level 1 character. Just
make another one. But when your characters reach the 3rd level,
back them up regularly using your favorite disk copy program.
2. If your favorite character gets killed, there are several
things you can do. You can resurrect him by magic or in a
temple by spending spell points or gold. You can turn off the
computer and reboot, and your entire party will be restored,
but without the experience, gold and magic items they have won
since the last time you saved game. Or you can load the
character from your back-up disk onto the main disk, after
first deleting the dead character from your main disk. NOTE:
you can only restore a character by rebooting if you have
previously saved your party by exiting the game when in the
3. In "rolling" a character's attribute numbers, 17s and 18s
can often make a big difference, as follows: Intelligence gives
Magic Users bonus spell points; Dexterity gives fighters (but
not Bards) bonus armor protection and first strike capability;
Strength allows fighters to do extra damage in combat; Luck
allows Rogues to survive even if they accidentally set off a
trap; and Constitution gives all characters bonus hit points.
4. Most character races have at least one attribute they are
particularly high in. Pay close attention to starting
attributes when designing your party.
5. Develop a Sorcerer fast. They are very useful in dungeons.
Wizards are extremely important in advanced levels; they can
summon demons, extremely powerful specials. Develop an
Archmage, too. You'll need one; you'll want more.
6. Your pre-built party, excellent for beginning levels, may
not be the best group for advanced levels. You may want to
experiment with a hunter, because his "critical hit" capability
can vanquish superior monsters, and the monk, who is perhaps
the best fighter of all after he reaches the 6th level.
7. Warriors and other fighters often play less of a role
against higher level, magic-using monsters. But without the
protection of their armor and strong arms, your Magic Users
would not survive long enough to learn the higher level magic
8. Beware the Doppelganger monster. It enters your party and
looks just like one of your members.
1. Don't venture too far into any dungeon without your maximum
spell points. A good rule is to leave a dungeon when you are
down to one quarter of your maximum spell points.
2. Manage your spell points carefully. Don't waste a spell if
you can accomplish the same thing without magic. Torches, for
example, often work as well as magic light spells. On the other
hand, don't be shy about using magic in combat. When in doubt,
blast 'em with magic.
3. Locate traps, second sight and sorcerer sight spells all
identify traps within 30 feet. Trapzap spell disarms all traps
within 30 feet.
4. Cast a long-lasting Bard spell right before entering a
tavern. It's like getting a free spell.
These are the basic items found in Garth's Equipment Shoppe in
Torch for light in dungeons
Lamp longer duration than a torch
Broadsword most damaging non-magic sword, only usable by fighters
Short Sword a lighter sword, usable by all but mages
Dagger usable by all, not too effective
War Axe a heavy, damaging weapon, not usable by bards, rogues,
or magic users
Halbard a combination battle axe and pike, the most damaging
Mace the most powerful weapon a rogue can use; an armor crusher
Staff a simple, non-magical cudgel
Buckler a small round shield
Tower Shield a larger shield
Leather Armor the lightest armor, wearable by all but magicians and
Chain Mail light metal mesh armor, best against light weapons
Scale Armor better still, difficult to pierce
Plate Armor strongest non-magical armor
Robes will dull old knives, but that's it
Helm covers the head and saves the adventurer's good looks.
Leather Gloves some protection for the hands
Gauntlets metal gloves
Mandolin, Harp, Flute musical instruments for use by Bards
FGN is an abbreviation for Figurine, a magical statuette which
can come to life.
MTHR is an abbreviation for Mithril, an elven metal with
ADMT is an abbreviation for Adamant, another magical metal.
DMND is an abbreviation for Diamond, one of the hardest
substances known to man or monster.
Tips From the Underground: Items
1. Generally, the more expensive the item is, the better it
works. Almost like real life.
2. There are no cursed or bad items, unlike real life.
3. Don't be stingy. Equip your fighters with the best armor,
weapon, shield, helmet and gauntlets money can buy. After all,
he can't take it with him.
4. Experiment with all items you find to determine their
capabilities. Magical items are key to success. Remember that
an item may only be magical for certain characters and classes,
so trade items around if you have to.
5. Make sure some of your characters carry less than 8 items,
or else the party will never be able to pick up new magical
items in the dungeons.
6. Whenever your party captures an especially interesting or
powerful magic item, save the party as soon as possible. That
way, even if disaster strikes, you will never lose that
powerful armor, weapon, talisman or whatever.
7. This manual is not protected by magic shields or air armor.
Don't let your dog eat it.
SOFTWARE (C) 1985 INTERPLAY PRODUCTIONS.
MANUAL BY MICHAEL CRANFORD AND BING GORDON, (C) 1985 ELECTRONIC ARTS.
MANUAL ILLUSTRATIONS BY AVRIL HARRISON.
Michael Cranford wishes to acknowledge:
the great illustrator David Lowery, for fantastic monster pictures,
city buildings and dungeon walls; my buddy Lawrence Holland, for such
great music; the devious Brian Fargo, for the treacherous design of
Harkyn's Castle and Mangar's worst two levels; Bill Heineman, for data
compression routines that allowed me to pack so much graphics and
animation; and the following play-testers who helped this program be
its very best: Caren Edelstein, Jay Patel, Philip Ybarra, Ayman Adham,
Carl Ybarra, Mike Easting.
ELECTRONIC ARTS (TM)
2755 CAMPUS DRIVE SAN MATEO, CA 94403 (415) 571-7171