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This is a general progression and mechanic guide on the Bard Class introduced in the Thorium Mod. This guide will go in depth into the inner workings of the class, how to be an effective bard, and when it is best to play as one.

A bard (left) performs for his audience.

Class Background[]

WIP

Knowing Your Role[]

As a bard, your gameplay isn't remarkably different from classes like the ranger or mage. The primary mechanic that draws attention away from damaging enemies and bosses are the bards Empowerments. Empowerments are powerful buffs that get applied to the bard and his nearby allies when an instrument is used. Much of the power behind a bard comes from these boosts, allowing for better damage, defense, movement, and resource spending. As a bard you'll want to carry multiple instruments at once to allow a broader array of empowerment options. If you or your team is on the move, player percussion instruments to improve your mobility. If you're safely damaging enemies, use a brass instrument to increase you or your teams damage potential. If you or your team is stuck in long winded battles and boss fights, use string and wind instruments to improve your survivability and resource management.

Good job you little musician!

Progression[]

The following is a very simple progression guide for new bards. Many items lie behind boss and enemy kills, town NPCs, events, and crafting requirements, so your ability to get certain items is made easier or harder by RNG. The list is broken into sections of the game, where prominent or important sets of items become available to a bard.

Early Game[]

At the start of the game, you have access to a variety of items from safer biomes like the Surface and Cavern. This guide assumes you haven't defeated a single boss or invasion yet.

Wind String Brass Percussion Electronic Armor Accessories Buffs/Potions
Wooden Whistle
Icy Piccolo
Harmonica
Flute
Magma Rackett
Ukulele
Grand Piano
Dynasty Guzheng
Skyware Lute
Gold Bugle Horn
Platinum Bugle Horn
Alphorn
Drum Mallet
Tambourine
Antlion Maraca
Seashell Castanets‎
n/a Crier armor Music Notes
Mix Tape
High Quality Reed
Marching Boots
Faberge Egg
Opal Ring
Earworm Potion
Creativity Potion

Eye of Cthulhu[]

After defeating the Eye of Cthulhu, you have access to a few items. This guide assumes you have defeated every previous boss and completed a Blood Moon.

Wind String Brass Percussion Electronic Armor Accessories Buffs/Potions
n/a Ukulele
Grand Piano
Dynasty Guzheng
Skyware Lute
Didgeridoo
Vicious Mockery
Sinister Honk n/a n/a Guitar Pick
Mouthpiece
Plunger Mute
Vibration Tuner
Concert Tickets
n/a

Eater of Worlds / Brain of Cthulhu[]

After defeating the boss of the world's evil, you have access to a few items. This guide assumes you have defeated every previous boss and have not encountered the Goblin Army yet.

Wind String Brass Percussion Electronic Armor Accessories Buffs/Potions
Meteorite Oboe Sitar n/a Ebonwood Tambourine
Shadewood Tambourine
Jar O' Mayo
n/a Jester armor Pad o' Paper
Fan Letter
n/a

Pre-Skeletron[]

Before fighting Skeletron, a number of items are available to the player. This guide assumes you have defeated every previous boss, the Goblin Army, the first tier of Old One's Army and have entered the Jungle or the Aquatic Depths.

Wind String Brass Percussion Electronic Armor Accessories Buffs/Potions
Riveting Tadpole
Forest Ocarina
Panflute
Honey Recorder
Yew Wood Lute Scuba Curva
Conch Shell
Steel Drum
Aquamarine Wineglass
Blooming Bell
Sonar Cannon n/a Cork Grease
Kick Petal
Waxy Rosin
Band Kit
n/a

Post-Skeletron[]

After defeating Skeletron, a sizable amount of new bard items will be made available to the player. This guide assumes you have defeated every previous boss, event, and have explored the world thoroughly.

Wind String Brass Percussion Electronic Armor Accessories Buffs/Potions
Song of Ice & Fire Calaveras
Nocturne
Bone Trumpet
Hot Horn
Bongos
Bronze Tuning Fork
Microphone
Granite Boom Box
Roboboe
Noble armor Subwoofer
Track Player
Metronome
Devil's Subwoofer
Brass Cap
Shock Absorber
n/a

Post-Wall of Flesh[]

After defeating the Wall of Flesh, Hardmode begins and bards gain access to many new weapons and items. This guide assumes you have defeated every boss up until the mechanical bosses.

Wind String Brass Percussion Electronic Armor Accessories Buffs/Potions
Mythril Melodica
Orichalcum Slide Whistle
Bagpipe
Geode Saxophone
Chrono Ocarina
Concertina
Kazoo
Acoustic Guitar
Scholar's Harp
Lullaby
Riff Weaver
Violin
Eskimo Banjo
Sunflare Guitar
Dragon's Wail
Trombone
Serpent's Cry
24-Carat Tuba
Shadowflame Warhorn
Vinyl Record
Frostwind Cymbals
Hell's Bell
Wind Chimes
Xylophone
n/a Marching Band armor Conductor's Baton
Bard Emblem
Epic Mouthpiece
Digital Tuner
Straight Mute
Guitar Pick Claw
Headset
Musician's Handbook
Inspirational Reach Potion
Conductor's Stand

Post-Mechanical Bosses[]

After defeating the three mechanical bosses, more items are made available through the Souls, Life-Powered Energy Cells, Hallowed Bars, Strange Plating and the Solar Eclipse.

Wind String Brass Percussion Electronic Armor Accessories Buffs/Potions
Steam Flute n/a Prime's Roar
Cadaver's Cornet
Zunpet
Portable Wintergatan
The Green Tambourine
Turtle Drums
Midnight Bass Booster
Hallowed Megaphone
Cyber Punk armor Auto Tuner
Music Player
Diss Track
n/a

Post-Plantera[]

After defeating Plantera, the Jungle Temple, Frost Moon, Pumpkin Moon and their items become available.

Wind String Brass Percussion Electronic Armor Accessories Buffs/Potions
Pungi
Bassoon
Clarinet
Vuvuzela
Fishbone
The Maw
Strawberry Heart
Siren's Lyre
Call of Cthulhu
Buisine
Ghastly French Horn
Organ
Haunting Bass Drum
Jingle Bells
The Black Otamatone
The Bopper
Ornate armor
Maestro armor
n/a n/a

Post-Golem[]

After defeating the Golem, the Martian Madness event, third tier of the Old One's Army, Celestial Towers, and their items become available.

Wind String Brass Percussion Electronic Armor Accessories Buffs/Potions
n/a Shooting Star Blast-Guitar Betsy's Bellow The Triangle Terrarium Autoharp
Turntable
Sound Sage's Lament
n/a Terrarium Surround Sound n/a

Post-Moon Lord[]

After defeating the Moon Lord, you will have access to The Primordials fight and its items. This guide assumes you have done everything else in vanilla and the mod.

Wind String Brass Percussion Electronic Armor Accessories Buffs/Potions
Holophonor Edge of Imagination Sousaphone The Set Sonic Amplifier
Black MIDI
Shooting Star armor
Rhapsodist armor
n/a n/a

Mechanics[]

The Bard class has various unique mechanics that are relevant to their success. A simplified version of this list can be found on the main Bard page, but this guide will go slightly more in-depth in this section.

Empowerments[]

Empowerments are temporary stat boosts that the bard constantly provides to himself and nearby allies when using their instrument weapons. As one of the defining features of the class, many bard items are associated with the application or power of empowerments. Empowerments are grouped into 5 categories and are given by specific instrument types with the general rule being:

Brass Instruments -> Damage Empowerments
String Instruments -> Defensive Empowerments
Percussion Instruments -> Movement Empowerments
Wind Instruments -> Resource Empowerments

Electronic is unique in that it provides no stat boosting empowerments themselves, but instead prolongs the active duration of any empowerments currently active on players.

A comprehensive list of each empowerment can be found on the Empowerments page.

Inspiration[]

Main article: Inspiration

Instead of using Mana, the Bard weapons draw from a unique resource called inspiration, which is increased using Inspiration Fragments, Inspiration Shards, and Inspiration Crystals. Inspiration regenerates automatically. Although many of the Bard items are specific to inspiration, the fact that it's separate from Mana makes it a tempting choice for another class' backup. Inspiration regenerates far more quickly when allowed to run its course, encouraging a sort of "reload" period for the resource.

Symphonic Damage[]

The Bard's musical weapons hit with a specific damage type called symphonic damage. Accessories and armor can be used to augment symphonic damage output, and generic 'damage' buffs, such as the one from the Scuba Curva, still increase Bard's damage.

Big Instruments[]

Big instruments are a subset of Bard weapons that utilize a timing mechanic. When held out, a timer will appear underneath the player (or underneath the cursor if the Move Instrument Timer to Mouse configuration setting is set to true); the instruments' effects vary depending on whether their attacks are used within a specific window of time or not. As the player successfully times their attacks, the big instrument will gain power, provided empowerment level, along with other effects, whereas missing the timing will greatly decrease these bonuses.

Each instrument category, except for Electronic, has its own unique timer, with differing patterns:

Instrument Category Timer Instruction Instruments
Brass
Timer (Brass).gif Hold the attack button while the marker is over the highlighted area. Alphorn.png Alphorn
Organ.png Organ
Percussion
Timer (Percussion).gif Attack while the marker is over the highlighted area. Steel Drum.png Steel Drum
Xylophone.png Xylophone
The Set.png The Set
String
Timer (String).gif Attack in three-round bursts as the marker passes over each of the highlighted area. Grand Piano.png Grand Piano
Scholar's Harp.png Scholar's Harp
Wind
Timer (Wind).gif Alternate between the left- and right-click buttons while the marker is over the left and right sides respectively. Song of Ice & Fire.png Song of Ice & Fire
Bagpipe.png Bagpipe

While a big instrument is held out for the first time, a mouse icon will appear in order to provide a guide on each timer's function.

Tips, Tricks, and Strategies[]

Empowerment Focus[]

An example of class focused empowerments.

While most empowerment effects are helpful for all classes, some benefit from specific boosts more than others. When playing in multiplayer, be sure to check what classes your teammates are focusing. For instance, if you have a friend that's predominately focusing tank or melee builds, keeping string instruments on you would help them greatly as the defensive empowerments they provide would be invaluable to them. Likewise, if you have a healer or mage in your group, they would benefit from wind instruments and their resource conserving boosts. It's important to be mindful of your allies and the empowerments they might benefit the most from.

Item Specialties[]

A variety of items had a specialty purpose in mind when they were added to the game. On the off chance some are lost to players, this list aims to inform the player on why you may want to use a handful of items in particular, given some of their questionable attributes.

Drum Mallet: The Drum Mallet is an early game swung weapon that acts much like a melee sword. It's speciality lies in its right click ability, which places a bouncy drum on the ground for players to use. Use it to reach higher areas while exploring around, without the need to place blocks or ropes. It can also be used to prevent fall damage.

Steam Flute: The Steam Flute is a post-Mech wind instrument with reasonable damage output and a special right click ability. When used, it generates a cloud of smoke that grants players that touch it reduced aggro range. Use it on allies with worse defensive stats to try and shake bosses and swarming enemies off of them.

Fishbone: The Fishbone is a post-Plantera string instrument that deals additional damage to enemies under the effect of Crowd Control effects. Use it with it's right click ability to rapidly apply Oozed to enemies or with allies that also apply crowd control effects onto enemies for maximum potential.

Terrarium Autoharp: The Terrarium Autoharp is unique in it's ability to apply empowerments from multiple different instrument types. It pairs nicely with the Ornate armor and Auto Tuner where despite only granting tier 1 of it's empowerments, they may increase in level, granting a large boost in empowerment effectiveness.

Music Note Statue: The Music Note Statue functions similarly to the Heart Statue and Star Statue, offering a wired way to recover Inspiration. It should be noted that it spawns Inspiration Note (cyan) which doesn't recover as much inspiration as the common dropped form.

Final Comments[]

All in all, the Bard is a lot closer to the feel of the original 4 classes, compared to the Healer. With the exception of the empowerment mechanic and inspiration, bards can comfortably focus on dealing damage to enemies without having to worry about anything out of the ordinary. It's also important to remember that just because the bard provides bonuses to allies in a multiplayer setting, they function quite well when alone. So please feel encouraged to give the class a try even in single player! Good luck to all you bards out there, play a symphony and lead your team to victory!

Guides
 
Pre-Hardmode Bosses The Grand Thunder Bird (Map icon).png The Grand Thunder Bird • The Queen Jellyfish (Map icon).png The Queen Jellyfish • The Buried Champion (Map icon).png The Buried Champion • The Star Scouter (Map icon).png The Star Scouter
Hardmode Bosses Borean Strider (Map icon).png Borean Strider • Aquaius, the Endless Tide (Map icon).pngOmnicide, the Life Defiler (Map icon).pngSlag Fury, the First Flame (Map icon).png The Primordials
Classes The Ring.png Class setups • Cleric Emblem.png Healer • Bard Emblem.png Bard
Crafting Arcane Armor Fabricator.png Crafting Quick Reference • Terrarium Defender.png Terrarium Defender
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