The Bard's Tale Wiki

Characters in the Bard's Tale games are the basis of the Adventuring Party - stalwart men and women who brave the wilds and depths of dungeons to battle monsters and find treasure and renown. Every party should have at least five or six characters in it. In the later Bard's Tale games, one can stuff the party ranks with seven members!

In the Bard's Tale games, characters have major advantages over Summoned Monsters in that they are fully controllable, can be equipped with items, and level up, becoming more powerful over time. However, having an open slot for monsters to occupy can be a good thing: monsters that can be replaced instantly merely by spending Spell points are far more expendable than heroes who cost lots of Gold to resurrect at a Temple!


(Main article: Races)

When you create a new character in the Adventurer's Guild, you will need to choose their race. Character races in the Bard's Tale games follow the standard Tolkien fantasy format: Humans, Elves, Half-Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits, Half-Orcs and Gnomes round out the lists. Character race determines what Classes are available to choose from, and affect starting attributes.

In character creation, when rolling stats, remember: no character can start with all stats at 18! To determine whether a given set of statistics is "good", compare them to the maximum starting attributes for that race on the table below:

Race ST IQ DX CN LK Restricted Classes
Human 17 13 15 15 12 None
Elf 15 16 16 13 13 Hunter
Dwarf 18 13 14 17 10 Magician, Conjurer
Hobbit 11 13 18 12 17 Paladin, Hunter
Half-Elf 16 15 16 14 13 Paladin, Hunter
Half-Orc 18 10 15 18 11 Paladin, Bard, Monk
Gnome 16 17 14 10 11 Paladin, Bard

When choosing stats for classes, front-line characters will get more HP over the long haul by starting with a high CN score, while spellcasters will have more SP if they start with a high IQ score! Thus, while a Half-Orc can technically be a Conjurer or Magician, their low starting IQ makes these classes a poor choice!

Remember, the effects of high CN and IQ while leveling up are cumulative! Therefore, it's recommended to make your front-line fighters Half-Orcs, Dwarves or Humans with high CN scores to start with for maximum HP, and your casters Gnomes, Elves or Half-Elves for maximum SP.


(Main article: Attributes)

Now that you've chosen a race, the game will roll up a set of starting attributes for that character. If you don't like your stats, you can reroll them and take a chance at better numbers. High numbers in certain stats will give bonus effects to the character - low stats don't have negative effects. The attributes and the effects of high (15+) stats are:

  • Strength [ST] - Gives bonus damage in melee combat (17 = +1, 18 = +2).
  • Dexterity [DX] - Gives bonus Armor Class (-1 AC per point above 14), take action earlier in Combat, Hunters more likely to cause a Critical Hit
  • Intelligence [IQ] - Gives bonus Spell points on level up (+1 SP per point above 14)
  • Constitution [CN] - Gives bonus Hit points on level up (+1 HP per point above 14)
  • Luck [LK] - Gives bonus resistance to Traps, hostile Spells etc.

Each time a character levels up, they will get a bonus of +1 to one of their stats at random. Therefore, to ensure the effects of bonuses start kicking in as early as possible, it's best to start out with high initial stats. Interestingly, Gnomes have the lowest initial overall stat potential, but can start with the highest Intelligence, so thus have the potential to gain more Spell points overall than casters of other races. Further, since casters change classes and thus gain stats quicker than other classes, Gnome stats can catch up quickly!

Choose attributes with a character class in mind - High Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution make for a tough front-line fighter such as a Warrior or Paladin - high Dexterity and Luck make it more likely for a Rogue or Bard to identify and disarm traps, whereas a high Intelligence is crucial to squeeze every spell point you can out of your casters as they progress. Don't neglect Constitution and Luck for your casters, either - both will make a major difference when weathering a barrage of dragon breath!


(Main Article: Classes)

Character class determines a character's abilities, secondary statistics such as HP and SP, what equipment they can use... the key to a successful party is creating an artful synergy leveraging the strengths of the various classes to the party's overall maximum advantage in combat and exploration.

Warriors, Paladins, Monks, and Hunters make good front line classes - Bards and Rogues, being less adept in close quarters, fill the middle ranks, while the fragile yet powerful spellcasters lurk in the back ranks, protected by their tougher brethren in the front.


Much like how Class determines a character's abilities, a character's level determines his or her effectiveness. All characters start at level 1: to increase in level, they must defeat enough monsters to gain the requisite number of Experience points and visit the Review Board for Advancement.

Each time a character advances in level ("levels up"), he or she gains an additional point in one of their five basic Attributes, additional Hit Points, additional Spell Points (if a caster), and possibly other abilities such as additional attacks in melee combat, a higher chance to land a critical hit or hide in the shadows. On odd numbered levels (up to level 13!) spellcasters can buy access to additional levels of spells in their school of magic.

Level has a number of effects of its own, such as multiplying damage from certain spells, increasing resistance to enemy magic effects, and striking earlier in combat. Unfortunately, being higher level also increases the cost of getting Status Effects (such as Death, Withering, and being turned to Stone) removed at a Temple!

Other Listed Statistics[]

Hit Points[]

(Main Article: Hit Points)

Each character starts out with a set number of Hit Points representing their overall healthiness - if hit points are ever reduced to zero or less, the character is dead. As a character levels, they gain additional hit points based on their Class and their Constitution score. Each point of Constitution above 14 will give a bonus hit point each time the character levels up.

If a character's hit points are low, you can heal them by paying Gold at a Temple, with magic spells (the most efficient spell for this is the level 7 Magician spell Restoration), or via Bard Songs in either normal combat or Party Attack mode. While using appropriate Bard Songs for combat healing in Party Attack mode does give the cheapest healing in terms of gold, it also takes much longer to complete, so it's best used for low-level parties trying to save their gold!

Spell Points[]

(Main Article: Spell Points

Spellcasting characters (Conjurer, Magician, Sorcerer, Wizard, Archmage) have spell points, which represent the magical energy they have stored up and available for casting spells. Spell points regenerate slowly at no cost while outside during the daytime, or if the character is equipped with a Mage Staff, but you can pay Gold for a full recharge at Roscoe's Energy Emporium.

Armor Class[]

(Main Article: Armor Class)

Armor class represents how hard a character is to hit: the lower the number, the better. Unfortunately, in Tales of the Unknown, armor class values of -10 or lower are simply displayed as "LO" on the character screen, but in actuality adding more armor after -10 continues to make it harder for monsters to hit your characters.

Unlisted Statistics[]

Some statistics, while very much affecting gameplay, are not listed:

Spell Resistance[]

(Main Article: Spell Resistance)

Sometimes when monsters cast spells at the party, a character can resist the attack and take no damage. Unfortunately, Spell Resistance is not a statistic listed openly, but is derived from sources such as Luck, Character Level, and character class Paladins get a resistance bonus based on their level from +1 to +6; other classes get a static bonus of +1 to +3.

Resistance can be temporarily increased by use of Bard Songs and certain Spells, such as Anti-Magic.

Combat Initiative[]

The order in which a character attacks in combat is apparently determined by a combination of character level and how many fights the character has been in (note: Monks get a bonus to first strike vs. other classes and usually attack first).