Lore Singing Guide
By Lady Tanna
In response to the frequent requests I've had for information on loresinging, I offer this simple file. The information contained in the file was originally written in reply to questions in the Bard folder of the GemStone III Message area so I've arrange d this in a Question/Answer format. I hope the information can be of use to those who download this file.
Question: How do I sing to an object?
Answer: Hold the object in your right hand and use the SING command in this manner:
sing Object here that I see,;Tell your purpose now to me.
Use a semi-colon between each line of your song in order to get a song that will appear like this:
Object here that I see,
Tell your purpose now to me.
Don't forget that lore singing is magic in nature and therefore uses up manna. Keep an eye on your manna whenever you are singing so you don't hurt your nerves overextending yourself.
Question: Why do all the objects I sing to tell me they weigh a pound and are worth about 100 0 coins?
The (object) weighs about a pound and is worth 1000 coins" is what you get when one of several things is happening:
1. The item really dislikes you and is lying through it's non-existent teeth.
2. You aren't incorporating the proper keywords in your song.
3. The item really is under a pound and worth 1000 silvers. (Happens sometimes.) ::chuckle::
4. You are dealing with a magic item, or a complicated custom item and you just aren't old enough for your voice to work on that item yet.
If number 1 is your problem, you might have a charisma that is too low for you to be an effective lore singer. I used to get that message a lot before I retrained and went from 50 Charisma to over 90. Now, I don't see it much anymore. (Actually, I have n't seen it since I passed level 5.)
If number 2 is your problem, be specific about what you want to know. Try looking for keywords (and don't ask me for a list - there really isn't a list and if there ever was, the gods would probably change the list. )
If number 4 is your problem, just be patient. As you age, your singing will get better.
Question: What are the keywords?
Answer: You are going to have to work this out yourself.
I have a few words that always work, other words that only work sometimes, and there have been times I've sung nonsense rhymes and gotten fantastic information. My best hint is to ask what you want to know. If you want to know weight, ask the item what it's weight is. If you want to know value, ask the item what it 's value is. So on and so forth.
Question: What's the formula for singing?
Answer: I had an older bard teach me a "formula" only to find out that doing the exact opposite of what was recommended gets me perfectly good information. Lore singing seems to be an art, not a science. At best I can offer some hints on things that have worked for me and you can try them and see if they work for you. Minimum "singing" is probably a couplet song. Some say the lines have to rhyme, I haven't found that to be strictly true. But to sing a stone for a quickie value check I'd probably sing something like this:
Topaz of a bluish hue;Sing your weight and your value!
The topaz will then "sing" or vibrate back something like "under a pound and worth less than 10 silvers."
It generally works best to start your singing rounds by addressing the item by it's functional name. Tap the item using what you think is it's functional name before singing - for instance "tap handaxe" and see if you manage to tap the item. Sometimes it's not as obvious as you might think. As an example, there is a gem called "lapis lazuli" which which is identified by the name "lapis" not "lazuli".
Also, altered items might have the functional name lost somewhere in an elaborate descr iption. For instance, you might be asked to sing to a "silvery mithril handaxe destroyer with a hilt made of genuine gnoll skin". On something like this I'd tap first with "Handaxe" and if that didn't work try "Destroyer". Then sing something like this :
Handaxe with a morbid grip;Hear the song now from my lip;Sing your weight now to me;Dispel now all mystery!
Verses after the initial verse don't seem to be dependant on using the functional name as the first word but I usually use it anyway. Singing multiple verses is highly recommended for a complicated magical item. Longer, four line verses can be used instead of two line couplets, but going over four lines doesn't seem to help as much as singing more than one verse per item.
Question: How accurate is the value you get from items you sing to?
Answer: If you are talking about whether or not bards can set the price for an item the answer is no. Market, what people will pay, is what determines what an object is "worth".
The value you may get from an object can be one of many things.
Sometimes, you'll get the value of what you could sell it for at the pawnshop. Gems, you get roughly the value of what the gemshop owner will pay you. Also, keep in mind you will get an average value on most gem s. The GemShop owner can offer considerably more or less depending on his demand that day or the quality of your gem.
Eventually you'll start dealing with altered items. If an altered item wasn't sold by a merchant, but rather, just had it's appearance changed by a player dealing directly with an alterer, it's value might actually be very high on the open market - but singing to it will give you it's old unaltered value. ie: "An icy blue imflass broadword dripping with blood" might sell on the open market for 45,000 silvers but singing to it will get you a value of 33,000 silvers.
If an item was sold by a merchant, singing to it will tell you what the merchant was selling it for. And, as everyone knows, a merchant item sold yesterday for 150,000 silvers can easily sell for 250,000 silvers the week after the merchant is gone.
Question: Someone told me you have to sing to objects more than one time.
Answer: Yes. Multiple singings are a must. As mentioned before, couplets are fine for most items, you can go to four line verses, but this is mainly for the purpose of show. Doing six lines or more per verse looks great, but I haven't found that it improves the quality or quantity of the information you receive from the item. The best way to get more information from an object is to sing multiple verses.
For a mein broadsword you might try something like this:
Broadsword mine so sharp and true;
Sing your weight and your value.
This is round one and should give you the weight of the sword and either what you would have to pay for it from a shop, or what you'd get at the pawnshop. (Not what you could sell it for if you wanted to sell to another person in the lands.)
For round two on something like a simple mein broadsword you might try this:
Broadsword bright and broadsword bold;
Can your purpose now be told?
You should get back something like "this is a weapon" (Yes, I know that sounds pretty basic, but you'd be amazed at the weird stuff you'll get brought to you as you get older. P urpose starts to become important. ::chuckle::)
Now, you can ask about magic:
Broadsword you've no need to hide;
Have you magic deep inside?;
Or enchantments strong and sweet?;
Sing and make my song complete.
Magic metal items purchased from the shop will usually say something like "There is an aura of magic about the item" and when you are older you'll start to get information like "The Broadsword carries a bonus of +15 over that of an ordinary broadsword."
Anyway, there is the basic idea. A complicated item can take several verses of singing to glean all the information possible from the item.
Question: Do you have to follow the formula you posted?
Answer: It's not necessary to follow the same progression of songs that I've listed, no.... I've asked about magic first on many items and got an answer right away. I tend to go from simple to more complicated (weight and value first, purpose, then magic) just because that happens to be my style and for the first few levels of my training all I could get out of an object was weight, value and purpose. Thaerin showed me an interesting process of singing, then using the information from the response to compose her next verse: ie:
She got the weight on verse one so the next verse is:
Broadsword now thy weight be known;
Can your purpose now be shown?
I have some trouble composing this way and occasionally get a repeat of the old information so I haven't followed Thearin's process but it seems to work well for her. As mentioned before, singing is a matter of personal style and lots of testing.
Question: I sing to an item and get no information at all. How come?
Answer: First of all. Make sure you are holding the item in your right hand while you are singing to it. If you have it in the wrong hand you will often get dead silence when singing to an item. If that isn't the problem, then you are just getting song failure.
Lore Singing failure takes many forms, either the object won't talk at all or it will lie to you, or you'll get the message that "you learn nothing new about the object" before you've gotten the information you want. Objects tend to "lie" for a couple of different reasons as mentioned before - low charisma, or you aren't old enough to convince an object to respond to your singing. If the latter is the case, just wait until you are older. Being told you "learn nothing new" is usually what happens when you've sung to an object successfully for a couple of verses but you aren't old enough to get any further information from the object on subsequent verses.
I approach lore singing with caution and a great deal of humility. When an object begins to tell me more than before, I am both surprised and thrilled. As you age into your powers, you'll find the objects become more responsive, don't worry about an occasional failure now unless you have an extremely low charisma that is likely to haunt you into your upper levels.
Question: I read that you should go somewhere private before you sing and not sing in front of other people. Is this true?
Answer: I've heard people say that before, it isn't true. No doubt this rumor got started because someone observed a bard leave a room before singing to an item. There are several reasons a bard might leave a crowded room. Some bards don't want to share their techniques. Other bards aren't very adept at composing lore songs and are embarassed to have people watch. Some are simply shy. (An odd thing for a bard to be, I know, but it happens.) Occasionally it's the client who wants to go somewhere private for a singing session. Some bards feel it's rude to add to the noise in an already crowded room, or they don't like having the noise break their concentration when they are trying to sing. Occasionally, if I'm in a hurry and don't feel like doing quality singing work (in other words, I'm going to roll out a few tried and true but rather hackneyed verses) I'll move to a private area. It depends on how sensitive I'm feeling about my singing that day. But going somewhere private is not a necessary part of effective singing.