May 6, 2017
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The Bard's Lore: The Warrior and The Dragon

SYNOPSIS: An old-school dungeon crawl is returned from the previous millenium in a new guise. No backstory, no character development, no building interiors. Just one main quest, minimal hand-holding, and unforgiving grinding. If you rage quit, hopefully it'll be because the conversion succeeded.

This is an old-school medieval fantasy dungeon crawl with few items, unbalanced monsters, and dialogue only slightly expanded from an absolute maximum of 20 lines times 16 text characters per map square. "The Bard's Lore" (TBL) provided no backstory or plot, just started you in the standard "Adventurer's Guild" location where you could save game, create/delete party members, and assemble a party of (up to) 6 characters of various classes. In the town outside, you explore the streets and kick in doors of buildings. Unlike most RPG Maker games, there are no interiors of houses, no NPCs you encounter wandering about except as placed events like stores upon opening a door. The combat system is Dungeons & Dragons-inspired, and is the chief difficulty to implementation in RMMV. There is one main quest, to rescue the Queen from the monster Grendel, which will take you through a total of 6 dungeon levels and 3 outdoors maps. The original included one pornographic image and several movie character images, which have not been retained. An R-13 image has been retained. Difficulty is unforgivingly hard, with only one save location and deliberately unfair bosses. Characters have no backstory, beyond what you imagine for their race and class, and get no development besides level-ups and equipment.

The original's complete Introduction reads:
Welcome to the mystic world of THE BARD'S LORE. Deriving
from the Bard's Tale series, it takes you into the limit
of adventuring. If you can beat Grendel, you will truly
prove yourself to be a worthy adventurer! But there are
some major monsters out there, just waiting to take a bite
out of must use all your cunning and wits to solve
this one.

WHAT: Was originally developed in 1997/98 by John H Wigforss of Sweden, using the Bard's Tale Construction Set (BTCS), and was made freeware by the author in 2002. If you've played any of the 3 "The Bard's Tale" games from the 1980s, it looks much the same but expect a higher level of difficulty. This conversion to RMMV tries to retain as much as possible.

WHY: I've already attempted previous conversions of TBL to "The Devil Whiskey" back in 2004/05, and to "Sword Coast Legends" back in 2016. First stalled on lack of insight into the core API, second is considered complete but SCL got little interest after a while and nobody has asked me about those 2 modules I released. Anyway, I figured another conversion is a good way to get me into RMMV while limiting the amount of original design I have to do.

HOW: Because this is a conversion, all source maps & enemies & items & spells & skills & classes are being used. After expanding all the 22-by-22 square BTCS maps by 3 times, the graphics still have some issues due to the cramped maps and "free walls" inherent in these square-celled games, but only a complete redesign would fix cramming the final boss into the equivalent of a 10-by-10-foot room. Lots of existing plugins and at least one new plugin to re-create the specific behaviors of the BTCS. All RTP graphics so far, except added orc noses for Half-Orc characters.

Quests, NPCs: both 100%
Maps: 85% (need to better simulate not being able to see beyond all doors until opened, how to handle "spinners", but secret door hiding and "darkness" works acceptably)
Events/Scripts/Plugins to support Class-specific abilities: 40% (Rogue's Disarm Traps & Hunter Critical Hit working; still need Hide in Shadows & Monk Unarmored AC & Monk Open Hand Attack & Bard songs)
Spells: 80% (spell level purchase & spellcaster class change working, entered all 70 spells with damage and state effects; still need range limits on spells)
Items, Weapons, Armors: 45% (all entered, including random weapon damage; need Light effect, Bow & Arrows & Thrown Weapon & Figurine & Misc. Item appearing in correct equipment slots)
Characters, Classes: 85% (all entered using preset characters, Multiple Attacks working; still need to integrate spells & some class-specific abilities)
Enemies & Summons: 50% (all entered including EXP rewards and battle AI; need a random HP & gold plugin, tweak Troop positions & sprite scaling)
Level-Ups: 90% (all generic & class-specific changes working, plugin that disables "level up anywhere"; still need Monk's Open Hand Attack damage)
States & Effects: 70% (all known ones entered; will probably need more for battle plugin support, and possible plugin-based tweaks to change Poison from % to flat damage)
Battle: (the big one) 20% (Yanfly plugins to the rescue! need 4 party rows + 9 monster rows, spell & weapon ranges, summons, stretch goal intra-party combat)
Music: 1% (could simply port mp3s of the BTCS Bard songs, but will try getting a music student to re-arrange the melodies for acoustic guitar and maybe lyre, or even do it myself)

FEATURES (Already Working):
  • Automatic increase in attacks per round by fighter-types as they level up
  • Trapped or Untrapped Chests with Examine/Disarm sequence by either Rogue's Disarm skill or lucky party member, variable trap effects
  • artifact that causes or repels monster attacks (added by me to reduce grinding time)
  • day/night cycle with regeneration of spellcasters' Spell Points only during daylight and outdoors, chance of random encounters if not in a menu or dialogue, Bard song effects on regenerating SP or HP
  • region-based preset "patrol" encounters in addition to typical random monsters
  • secret doors, a secret passage visible on map only when secret door opened, areas behind secret doors not visible until entered
  • plugins written for custom Status screen, support random weapon damage, disable level-up anywhere (only on demand in Review Board)
USRSCR.png Review Board screenshot.pngChest choices screenshot.png Status screenshot.png

Full working release may not occur as this is a first RMMV effort trying to replicate specific old-school mechanics.
But at least should help the D&D-inspired crowd with combat mechanics.

Will add to this as interest mounts ;)
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May 6, 2017
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Beta released after losing interest for over 6 months and getting back into working on it again. This is NOT a demo, as the entire storyline is present but the old-school game mechanics aren't entirely implemented.

Dropbox link:

There's also a Steam Workshop posting, but I can't tell who can see it.

Please post here or PM me with comments, criticisms, offers to help, etc.

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Making good progress with the second chapter. :)

Still work in progress.

(Real life, it is chronically the fourth chapter that I am making.)
constructionworkconcept.pngezgif-2-0acb620ecf8d.gifezgif-2-afeaf16ebb8d.gif "The Great Wall is great. But, most people can only be the slaves who built it, leaving their bones underneath that wall. They spent their whole life to build that wall and the empire, an empire that enslaves them." :kaoswt2: I'm just going to turn it into a modern-day sad tale.

No edits, just gameplay from one area to the next. Plus all my new shiny interface stuff... And I even remember to bolt down the portal so it won't escape this time. :kaopride:
You guys just freely offer up your Autonomy?
I don't know about you, but today the covid frustration is seriously getting to me. Haven't really seen many of my friends for two years, since i moved towns the year before this all started, and well, i miss them :(
so, here's a cute alpacaraptor sketch to heighten the mood:

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