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Lem, iconic bard
Region Any
Races Any
Iconic character Lem
Images of bards

Source: Core Rulebook, pg(s). 34-38
A trickster bard.

A bard might be a travelling minstrel, a conniving confidence man, a court jester, or a noble chronicler. One thing is for sure in Golarion—bards know a bit about everything, and have seen things most people only dream of.

Bards count on their reputation to pay their way. The most successful bards are known far and wide, and can count on drinks, meals, or even lodging at the cost of a few performances. As such, most bards prefer to make themselves known, usually by carrying a standard or mark, but sometimes by dressing lavishly or behaving uniquely.

The nature of wanderlust can arise in any being, and so bards can be found anywhere, from anywhere. They never seem to escape their upbringing, and a bard usually has some distinctive trait that belies his or her heritage.[1]


Humans, elves, gnomes, and halflings seem to have a predilection for bardic ways. The more single-minded races often find the wandering life more difficult to adhere to.[1]


Bards are common in any population centre. Absalom, Oppara, Westcrown, and Egorian all have major bardic colleges which teach specific styles and techniques.[2] In Avistan's north, bards fight alongside warriors while bolstering their spirits and immortalizing them in song and verse. In Kyonin, elven bards serve as repositories of racial lore and traditions while spending centuries mastering their craft, while in Katapesh or Qadira, bards can serve as wily courtesans who steal secrets or train in dance and swordplay as dervishes, who fly gracefully in battle.[3]


Bards, with their wandering, ostentatious lifestyles tend to worship chaotic or neutral deities. Traveling performers venerate Desna, great artists worship Shelyn, and bardic followers of Calistria are not unheard of. One faith has a special role for bards, and that is the church of Cayden Cailean, which utilizes them to share the teachings of the Placard of Wisdom with drunken revelers the world over. Their abilities to heal, inspire courage and entertain in taverns and inns makes them a small but integral part of the faith.[4]