The Bard's Tale Wiki

A persistent spell is a spell that continues to work for a while after you cast it. While at first, the only persistent spells you'll have access to are basic light spells, as your casters progress in level, you will gain access to a number of useful effects. One sure way to know you've walked into an Anti-Magic Zone is all of your persistent spells, including the indefinite ones, stop working!

There are spaces for five different persistent spell effect icons in between the two windows on the top half of the screen. In the later Bard's Tale games, Archmages could cast all of these effects at once (and at a spell point discount) by casting Batchspell [BASP]. Mighty convenient!

Light Spells[]

Light spells are necessary to find your way in a dungeon, but not outdoors in Skara Brae at night. While a simple Torch or Lamp can suffice in place of a light spell (especially the lower level versions), other light spells last longer, and reveal more.

While your Light is active, a flame icon will be diplayed, and when in a dungeon, the view screen won't be pitch black!

Magic Compass[]

Kiel's Magic Compass [MACO] is a godsend when exploring - knowing which way you're going can be the difference between confident exploring and being totally lost!

While your Magic Compass is active, a compass rose icon will be displayed, with your current direction highlighted in red.

Mystic Shield[]

Ybarra's Mystic Shield [MYSH] and Ybarra's Mystical Coat Of Armor [YMCA] are mainstays of adventuring, reducing the armor class of the entire party. As low armor class means less damage in melee combat, it's a good idea to to keep your Mystic Shield active at all times.

While your Mystic Shield is active, a shield icon will be displayed.


Another Conjurer specialty, Levitation allows you to float over Traps and up [A] and down [D] through portals in a dungeon ceiling or floor. While the initial version [LEVI] only lasts a short while, the Major Levitation [MALE] version lasts indefinitely.

While Levitation is active, a rippling flying carpet icon will be diplayed.

Second Sight[]

Second Sight [SESI] is a Sorcerer ability that lets you sense certain dungeon features before you encounter them. Things like stairways, labyrinth hazards, and special encounters can be detected with this spell. A version which lasts indefinitely, Sorcerer Sight [SOSI], can be gained at high level.

While Second Sight is active, an eye icon will be displayed.

Bard Songs[]

Bard Songs can be thought of as persistent spells in their own right, though more limited. However, it's worth noting that the Traveler's Tune (Bard Song #5) can be played while traveling, and its effects will persist through combat, even if the Bard plays another tune (such as #4, "Badh'r Kilnfest", for party healing) during combat.

When traveling, while the Bard is singing, there is no visual icon, but the music will be audible (unless you turn off the sound by pressing [V]). If you turn off the volume, pay attention to your stats so you know when the song stops, so you can tell your Bard to play again!