Bardic Lore question

Bardic Lore question

Bardic Lore question

“…you can ask the GM any one question about it; the GM will answer truthfully.”

On Monday, a new player—a veteran Pathfinder player and GM—came to my DW game and he picked the Bard sheet. Overall, the game was a thrill ride, but something new came up that I wasn’t prepared for.

For “Bardic Lore” the new player picked “A Bestiary of Creatures Unusual”. But when it came into play—he met an unusual creature—the question he asked was “what do I know about it?”

It took me off-guard, but it was a creature from my prep, and I shared some general info about it: how it lives, what it does, and a brief description visualizing the monster’s tags in the fiction. Per the move, we also established how he learned about this creature.

It took me off-guard because I was expecting a more specific question. “What do I know about it” seems like a “wishing for more wishes” approach to the move: Instead of asking a definite question and getting a limited answer, the question suggests that it includes any and all more specific questions, like “What is it’s weakness?” or “What is its most common form of attack?”

It occurs to me now as I re-read the move text that his question wasn’t technically about the monster but about him. “What do I know about it?” seems like it might trigger Spout Lore instead; then he could have used Bardic Lore to ask a specific question. That way, he might feel less bewildered about what question to ask, since Spout Lore could have already given him general info giving him a basis for further questions.

I’m curious if anything similar has ever come up for you, and what your thoughts are.


7 thoughts on “Bardic Lore question”

  1. Not much experience to share, but I really like your observation that “what do i know about it” isn’t about it, but about the bard. That’s a great way to prompt a more specific question.

  2. If he’s used to Pathfinder he might be used to that passive roll-and-listen style.

    “I roll perception. 18. What do I see?” instead of more specific questions you can use as a dm.

    Maybe in future ask him what he wants to know in particular? Even something fairly generic like “what’s threatening about it?” or “what are it’s living habits?” gives you something to bounce off.

  3. The move also says “The GM might ask you what song or legend you heard it from”, so you could have been like, “That’s a pretty general question, what song or legend did you hear it from?” and they say “Uh… the Ballad of Billy the Kid, who slew the great ” you could assume they know something about the way it fights

  4. For me, I would take some hints from Spout Lore and Decern Realities as to what type of questions that could be asked.  “What to I know about it?” is pretty general and doesn’t give anything away as to what the player really wants.  To me Lore is just that, Lore.  Stories, Facts, Myths, and Guesses all mixed together.  So a better question, the one that I probably would answer is “What is known, factually, about it?”  So on that score, I would say you did fine.  I still think that this is too general and should be elaborated on with, “What specifically do you want to know?” type of question from the GM.  Rather than an Info-dump, I would rather get to the meat of what the player wants and if you are fighting the creature, it stands to reason that it’s mating habits are not going to be important, unless that involves peril for the player. (like implanting eggs in it’s victom, like the Xill)   I probably would tell him, “You know many things, some are fact, some are fiction, but it is too much to sort through in such a short time.  You search through your stories and songs that are relating to the creature and creatures like it.  What type of info is important to you right NOW?”

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