“What Has It Got in Its Pocketses?”: Accessorizing a Bard

Bards are travelers that have wandered the world seeking their livelihood. This was probably done by picking up songs and tales from different cultures and performing them before eager (drunken) crowds for a bit of coin. This in and of itself is going to make the role playing of Melodie a challenge for me, as I often find it difficult to think on my feet in an in-character situation. Auerion tells me I’m a natural, but I really think it’s usually just a lucky bit of fumbling around for the right line and coming out with gold!

One thing that was always a bit lacking with Ari’s costume (and rightfully so) was any amount of “character” in it. I don’t think that paladins would have much of a use for accessorizing, and they probably wouldn’t be carrying around trinkets and curiosities. Their gear needs to look well put together, clean, and authoritative. After all, who is going to listen to a paladin with rusted out armor, mismatched boots, and a haversack full of junk? Yeah, I’m sure that paladin’s really trustworthy…

In fact, insofar as personal affects, myself in Ari costume didn’t really carry anything unique, except for her ocarina (and where else would I have been able to keep it except on my belt?), her little bunny fur bag (I never did get around to making a convincing bag of holding), and her cloak, which was unique yet probably wasn’t too far from what she would have actually worn with her armor, since it matched.

The challenge with Melodie will be to make her look well-traveled and wearing a mixture of costume parts, yet cohesive. Unlike Ari’s armor and clothing, Melodie’s is all different colors and materials and styles, making it a fun lesson in editing to know when to STOP the alterations to a piece before it just won’t match in any way, shape, or form with the others. I enjoy taking existing patterns and adding parts and putting my own spin on them, however there is a point at which the alterations can go a bit far and look more like sideshow freak than a well put together bard.

What’s going to make her special is the ability to add accessories and trinkets and “stuff” to her outfit to add interest, be functional, and be fun. Though again, the challenge is to make it all look like it came from different cultures yet still all work together. Also, the challenge once again lies in the editing process–knowing when you need to STOP accessorizing.

There’s also a good opportunity here to make Melodie’s accessories functional, as well as fun. For example, I plan on making an over-the-shoulder messenger bag of sorts to carry the lyre. I’m not sure if this instrument will be heavy, but I’m sure it will be safer to put it in a bag when I’m not using it, rather than try and wrangle it along with my lunch foods. But since I’m already wearing the bag, why not actually make it double as something that can hold things as well? Maybe I could add an outer pocket, or build in a mug strap to carry my tankard or something?

I’m also using a different belt this time than I usually do, which has brass rings on it and double straps. Maybe I could hang something off those rings, like a collection of sorts? Also, the neck is an underutilized display area here. Would Melodie wear some sort of a necklace? Would she wear anything on her head, beside her cloak’s hood? What about other jewelry? I’m wearing elf ears again. Does she have any piercings? Would she wear any rings on her fingers? She’s a bard, not a pirate! But still…

Anyway, I look forward to exploring all these things (mostly by finding stuff around my house to use, since specifically purchasing trinkets could be an expensive venture). It might also help if I study a map of the Pathfinder world to find out where Melodie has been…

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