Bards: Create Your Own Episode | E. Christopher Clark

Bards

The One Where You Create Your Own Episode

 

Bards is a popular improvised sitcom in the post-apocalyptic paradise of Eden. The long-running series was born on the stages of Wonderland during the Second Age, but it eventually made its way onto the EdenNet—where it continues to stream on Thursday evenings to this day.

 

The Premise

Set in an unnamed Edenian pub, the series follows the lives of six friendly neighborhood bards as they wait for the next party of adventurers in need of their services.

 

The Secret of Their Success

What has made Bards so successful—and so long-lasting—is the simple but entertaining formula used to create each episode. The six actors roll dice to randomly determine the plot, they take a few minutes to discuss where they’ll begin, and then they bounce hilariously off of each other for the next 22 minutes.

 

It’s so easy that anyone can do it. And that’s good news, because now it’s your turn!

 

Follow the steps below to create your very own, authentic episode of Bards!

 

1. Pick Your Protagonist

Roll Bard
1 Rook, the flirtatious but forgetful flautist
2 Cadence, the dedicated but airheaded citternist
3 Harlow, the affectionate but awkward bassist
4 Aria, the witty but annoyingly sarcastic lutist
5 Thalia, the organized but overbearing fiddler
6 Orin, the eccentric but intense accordionist
   

2. Pick Your Plot Type

Roll Plot Type
1 Bard vs. Self
2 Bard vs. Bard*
3 Bard vs. Pub Patron
4 Bard vs. Pub Employee
5 Bard vs. The World
6 Roll Again
 

* If you roll “Bard vs. Bard,” return to Table 1 and roll again for which Bard will play the part of antagonist in this episode.

3. Choose Your Conflict

Roll
1 an audition
2 a missed or lost message
3 the making or buying of a gift
4 somebody’s drunk
5 somebody’s so hot (attractive) that it hurts
6 a secret comes out
7 someone hopped into the wrong bed, but kinda liked it
8 someone has a fear no one has ever heard of before
9 someone has a sibling no one has ever heard of before and that sibling is either A) nothing like them; or B) like them, but dialed to 11
10 someone needs money
11 someone breaks a promise
12 someone takes, steals, or borrows something trivial from someone else—and the other person gets irrationally mad about it
13 someone is in a hurry
14 someone has to eat something strange
15 an adventuring party needs a new bard—and two of our heroes fight over the job
16 someone is thinking about having a baby
17 someone has a ridiculous quirk that no one has ever encountered before
18 someone goes too far
19 someone’s parents are coming to visit
20 someone is in love with someone else, but they can't tell them
   

4. Submit Your Subplots

Repeat steps 1–3 until each character is involved in at least one plot or subplot.

 

If you rolled “Bard vs. Bard” for your main plot, you can skip this step for both of the characters involved in the main plot. However, it is possible/permissible to have the same person be in conflict with multiple people in one episode. For example, if Orin is the antagonist of a “Bard vs. Bard” conflict in the main plot and then he comes up again later as an antagonist for Thalia, keep the roll and embrace it! Maybe it’s an everyone’s mad at Orin episode!

 

5. Tie it All Together (or Not)

In some episodes, the plots and subplots all tie together. In some, they don’t. Roll on the table below to determine the nature of your episode’s crazy conclusion.

 
Roll Conclusion
1 The bards sit around their table at the pub, regaling each other with the stories of their day. Then Aria wraps things up with a sarcastic comment, a witty one-liner, or a painful pun.
2 Rook puts on the smolder and makes eye contact with one of the bards. Roll on Table 1 to determine who the lucky guy or gal will be. Then flip a coin to determine if they take Rook up on his silent offer to follow him to one of the rooms upstairs.
3 The bards sit around their table silently eating shawarma until someone in the audience starts laughing.
4 Three of the bards sit around the table while Orin tries too hard to relate the day’s events to the misadventures of a dead relative. Roll on Table 1 to determine which three bards get to sit there looking completely confused.
5 Invent your own ending!
6 The bards sit down to share a food item of your choice, but then Thalia sees something that sets off her O.C.D. and runs off to find the owner of the pub. Everyone else shakes their heads and/or rolls their eyes.
7 A random person (an audience volunteer or a special guest) wanders by and shamelessly hits on Cadence. While the others look on and try to keep a straight face, Cadence chats with the rando and is completely oblivious to their advances.
8 Invent your own ending!
9 The bards sit around the table talking about the day’s events, then Harlow interjects a non-sequitur about cheese, dinosaurs, or great moments in the history of spreadsheets.
10 Everyone starts making out with each other because, well, they’re bards.
   

 

We hope you had as much fun with this “play-at-home” version of Bards as we had making it. If you came up with something that made you laugh, please share it below in the comments. We promise not to steal it for a future episode of the show!


Comments

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Dec 25, 2023 16:06 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

This is fun. :) Great job.

Dec 25, 2023 16:34 by E. Christopher Clark

Yay! Glad you liked it.

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Dec 26, 2023 04:11 by Tlcassis Polgara | Arrhynsia

Very silly and much enjoyed!

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Dec 26, 2023 13:31 by E. Christopher Clark

Glad to you enjoyed it!

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Dec 26, 2023 10:44 by Sailing Ocelot

A very silly idea, but I love it :) I hope you had fun writing this one, ECC!

~~~~~~~~ SailingOcelot
Dec 26, 2023 13:32 by E. Christopher Clark

I did! And here's the even sillier thing: I kept at it and didn't give up because it sets up a brilliant(ly bad) pun/dad joke for a future issue of my comic book.

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Dec 31, 2023 03:09 by Chris L

Been looking forward to reading this and enjoyed it as much as I was expecting!! Don't mind me as I'm silently eating shawarma in the corner!


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Dec 31, 2023 14:10 by E. Christopher Clark

Is it good? Did you have too much? Are you leaning on your hand to hide the poorly made prosthetic that you put on to hide your beard?   (That's my favorite story about the filming of the shawarma scene: that Chris Evans face prosthetic wasn't as good as they'd hoped, and that's why he's leaning on his hand/fist the whole time.)

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Jan 27, 2024 14:29

This is a really fun idea. Love the roll tables you've added. Great job!

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Jan 27, 2024 20:05 by E. Christopher Clark

Thanks! I'm so happy this one has given people some smiles and joy.

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