'Why can't a Bard write an anthem?'

One of my players asked this at the weekend, and I got thinking about the songs, legends and folktales that get passed thru a culture and beyond. Maybe I need a way to gauge if the villager has heard the bawdy ballad that a bard wrote sometime else on his travels - maybe a roll followed by another on the Reaction table to see what he thinks of it’s creator ?

  • or is crafting that popular tune or tale like crafting a masterpiece that the Bard gets a bonus from whenever he uses it - almost like a magic item ?
  • and is there a chance it’s ‘the wrong place, wrong time’ and the song/tale gets a penalty - almost like a cursed item ?
    …and also, spreading insurrection by songs and satires - the spread of counter-cultural ideas is almost like Trade - except it depends on a Domain’s Morale in place of demand ?
  • and this may have an effect on the Morale, and may also make it’s originator a marked man if his identity becomes known.

We had a great discussion about bard hijinks at Gen Con that sounds like it’s right along the lines of what you are talking about here - nice to see that parallel development is pointing to the same conclusion!

I think these are fantastic ideas. I particularly like the idea that NPCs could be familiar with songs the bard wrote in the past.
Perhaps once per level a bard is capable of creating a masterpeice. Some sort of throw could be used to determine whether the song/performance goes on to critical acclaim or if the bard hurries out of town with a red backside of tomato juice! Who knows, the future bard might walk into a town and other bards are singing HIS masterpiece!