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Sat Jan 15th - Sat Feb 12th

The Bard Challenge

Tell us all about a bard, musician or performer in your world, for a chance to win a whole bundle of goodies from Apotheosis Studios!
This event has ended!
Scroll down to see all submitted entries


"Musicians don’t retire; they stop when there’s no more music in them." - Louis Armstrong, American Trumpeter

Music influences everyone's lives, and performers have the opportunity to bring both good and bad into our worlds and stories. We're teaming up with the amazing Satine Phoenix and Apotheosis Studios to help us run the Bardic Challenge! This will be a great chance to explore culture and performance in your world.   Keep in mind we're asking for a character as a whole, not just the music they make.   Your bard can be of any school of music, wield any instrument, and be in any setting. Rock stars, traveling minstrels, orators and sci-fi musicians (looking at you, Fifth Element opera singer!) can all apply!   There are no special rules in this challenge - just have fun!

Standard League Winner

Premier League Winner


All participants will receive the challenge participation badge. The winners will receive an extra shiny badge, have their article featured, and will be shouted out on the weekly World Anvil update stream and on official World Anvil social media accounts. They will also get a live article read on a World Anvil stream.
Additionally, winners will get a PDF pack from Apotheosis Studios, including The Red Opera: Last Days of the Warlock and The Last Amazon!  

  Premier League Features
Every week following the winners announcement, a Premier League entrant who made the shortlist will be featured on World Anvil at the beginning of the week!

The Brief

Satine Phoenix, Apotheosis Studios and World Anvil are jazzed up to read all about your musicians and performers! What do they play or perform? Who do they perform for? Do they have a cause? Are they part of a group or a soloist?   To take part, all you'll need is a World Anvil account (they're free!). Then, create a new character template article in your world to write your article. There is no special requirements for this challenge, but we strongly suggest that a character profile image will help bring your performer to life! You can check out our resources for character portraits here.   This article will be a great chance to dig into some of the culture of your world. What kind of music does your bard play? Are they a singer, instrumentalist, or something else? Do they wow the tavern or club crowds with their voice, or perform in the most exclusive courts or theatres? Do they travel and tour? What's their motivation - are they trying to change the world, explore the world\? Do they seek fame or fortune?   Do they have some special numbers they perform? You can tell us about them, even if it's just the concept and the effect it has.   If you're looking for more inspiration, make sure to check out the resources section!

What to include in your article

The Bard

First things first, tell us about your character and their history. Where did they come from, how did they get into music? Do they have an epic or tragic backstory? Were they born a prodigy, or did they practice every day? What sort of big aspirations do they hold? How are they improving? What personality do they have and do they a character when they perform?  

The Tales

Has your bard gone on any big tours? Perhaps they've had adventures that influenced their performance? Do they play for a specific type of people? Have they written any music, or put out any albums that need special mention?  

The Legend

A bard worthy of this challenge should have an affect and a legend surrounding them. Did they play a massive show that changed the world? Was their music instrumental on defeating a big baddy? Did they calm a vast animal, quell a storm, or turn the tide of war with their music? What do different kinds of people think of your bard? This is a great chance to use some quotes from their fans!

The Rules

How to Enter

Firstly, all competitors will need a World Anvil account (don’t worry, it’s free!) to get started. Once you’ve logged in and created your first world, you’re ready to enter the competition.   Write your entry using the Character template on World Anvil.   Once you've finished your entry and are ready to submit, make sure that your article is not a draft (i.e. published) and public (not private) and then click the button on the right-hand side to submit it to the challenge.

Adjudication Criteria and Process

A shortlist of the top twenty entries (as ranked by community likes - ten from each league) will be compiled by the Master of Games. The Judges will choose the winner. The winner will be announced by the World Anvil Team on Saturday 5th of March on a World Anvil community stream.   Entries will be judged on a number of criteria, including originality, presentation, and thoroughness.
Timeline Event
January 15th - February 12th Competition is opened and closed (both on livestream)!
February 12th - February 19th Sharing period, give feedback, make minor edits.
February 19th - March 5th Adjudication and Judging
March 5th Winner Announcement Date!

Other Rules

  • Articles for Submission must use the Character Template
  • Articles must be submitted before the closing time to be eligible (please note the challenge will close during a World Anvil livestream)
  • Articles will be taken from a shortlist of likes, the top ten from each league will be judged by the Master of Games or a guest judge.
  • You will be able to submit your article only if it is public!
  • Only one article may be submitted per author (this does not mean one article per world, in cases where multiple authors work on a single world)
  • Articles will have a week-long period after the deadline to make small edits, share, and get feedback from the community. This period will end when the shortlist is compiled. The purpose of this deadline is to let people focus on writing and sharing separately.
  • Articles can be no longer than 2500 words in length!
  • Word Count will be counted by copying all words present in the article's body and sidebar into a word counter. The Timeline will also be added in the word counter. BBCode does not impact word count, attached articles do not impact word count, and will also not be considered during adjudication.
  • As always, World Anvil claims no ownership over your original work.
For any further questions or clarifications about this challenge, message the Master of Games, Barron, on the World Anvil Discord!



Social media sharing

Because community likes are an important metric in the competition, competitors may wish to share their entries on social media to garner more interest from the community.
  Posts tagged with #BardChallenge which mention @WorldAnvil may be shared by World Anvil's official social media accounts!


There are two leagues that will be independently judged, the Regular and the Premier League. The Premier League consists of all the authors who have previously won a World Anvil competition.   Winning a competition in the Regular league will promote you to the Premier League for future challenges.

Useful Resources

If you're looking to get some visuals for your character, check out our 5 choices for character portrait resources. And check out our favorite bards in fiction and how you can use them as inspiration too!  
Watch our video on how to create compelling characters
Looking for inspiration or seeking some ideas? Make sure to stop by the World Anvil Discord for worldbuilding conversation and inspiration!

Challenge entries

by Shikiii

by BJ_19

by 1286qw