Skyrim Special Edition

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About this mod

This mod give the Bards College a massive makeover, adds a new study quest, new bardic spells, and a new character to flesh out your experience as a Bard. It includes all the great features of Become a Bard and expands on their use in the game.

Permissions and credits
It is no secret to anyone that has ever done a bard play through that the Bards College is criminally underutilized. With my Bards Reborn mod series, I am working to change that! This mod give the Bards College a massive makeover, adds a new study quest, new bardic spells, and a new character to flesh out your experience as a Bard, taking inspiration and assets from many wonderful mods.

All Features of Become a Bard
With the permission of Pevey, Become a Bard was ported over from Oldrim and merged into this mod to lighten the plugin load and ensure that all features of Become a Bard kept working properly. In addition to the great features of the Become a Bard mod, you can now make your own instruments once you reach a certain point in the Bards College questline (more on that below). Songbooks can not only be bought from Viarmo, but are also scattered around the Bards College for you to learn from. The only change I made to Pevey’s original mod was making the “Wanderer’s Lute” craftable at tanning racks instead of anvils as I added an “instrument care room” to the Bards College.
As this is a port from the original Become a Bard, it has the full Mod Configuration menu and you can see the full features of that mod here. SkyUI and SKSE are not required, but they are recommended. Some options will be inaccessible without the MCM. All of the original mod quests are intact as are the perks and  configuration options. I have used the Special Edition Witcher lute and Oldrim custom songbooks without any problems when using the ‘loose files format’ so I am including that version in case you want to use Become a Bard add ons. If you are using custom songbooks made for Special Edition, you will need to rename a couple of files to make things work properly. There is an article with instructions. It is very simple so don't be afraid.
Enhanced Bards College
The Bards Reborn College has been completely redecorated to make it a true “musical museum” with special instruments from the Elder Scrolls Online with readable museum plaques and much more artwork on the walls. When you return with Finn’s Lute and Rjorn's Drum, they will also go on display as part of the museum.
There are additional rooms to explore including a shrine to Dibella and a room with tanning racks for making instruments. All students, including you, now have small, but private dorm rooms with a bed and desk and your dorm room has a chest for your use. An oven has been added to the kitchen to give you more cooking options while you’re using the College as a base and respawning resources are scattered throughout the College.
Many more books were added to the library making it a great place to find some rare books and over twenty new custom ones that I added in for flavor and the questline. Overall, I tried to improve the look of the college to make it seem more like a place of learning. Once you become a full bard of the college after King Olaf’s Festival, you also gain access to a room in the tower of the college which can serve as a small player home. The library includes two player bookshelves so you can add to the college library yourself. Note that some of the books in the Bards College are static so that shelves had full appearances without going overboard on books that the mod had to load.
Expanded Questline
A new quest has been added to give you an actual learning experience at the Bards College. The new voiced NPC Malukah Hope-Singer (created with permission from Malukah herself) serves as your academic advisor and the quest giver. Instead of being sent straight to find King Olaf’s verse, you will study at the college and learn the skills of a bard before being sent off into the world to prove yourself worthy of full induction.
The courses you must pass are: History, Lyrics, Historic Musical Instruments, the Poetic Edda, the Drum, the Flute, and the Lute. Each course has an oral exam you need to pass so you will need to read books in the library, attend classes and study the items around the college. For the drum, flute, and lute, you will need to raise your bard skill by playing instruments to pass the musical evaluations. Once you complete the courses, Malukah will direct you to Viarmo who will then give you the Tending the Flames Quest allowing you to be declared a full bard at the Burning of King Olaf once you complete the quest. Afterward, you’ll be able to access the Become a Bard quests from Viarmo and the vanilla side quests as normal.
New Music Based Spells
Skyrim is a region with a long history of Tonal Magic, be it the Thu’um or Tonal Architecture. Beyond Skyrim there are Sword-Singing and Green Singing so what if bards experimented with their music to unlock magical effects? Spellsong Magic is the result and by playing your lute, your bard can create a variety of magical effects. You can find the full spell list in the article section or play the game to learn them for yourself.
As you gain more skill as a bard (using the Become a Bard skill) you will unlock new Spellsongs to craft at the Spellsong scriptorium at the Bards College! The magic is mostly illusion based, but there are spells relating to other schools as well allowing you to play the bard you always wanted. Using these spells will increase the associated magic skill, not your bard skill. A paper scroll recipe has been added to tanning racks to make it easier for you to make these spell tomes.
This magic system was built on the great Spellsinger system from blueboar and adjusted using assets and some spells from Support Bards by mechanarwhal. I won’t say they are balanced as that can be a relative thing. You can unlock them by raising your bard skill and still lack the magicka to cast the more powerful spells. These spells are also slower as you play your lute, but I feel that also balances out the variety of useful powers they grant. To help with compatibility, the spelltomes aren’t added to vendor lists.
Additional Dialogue at Bards College
This mod adds more dialogue to characters in the Bards College. You can learn a bit more about what brought Viarmo to Skyrim. By speaking with Viarmo, you can make a donation to the college and gain the blessing “Patron of the Arts” which grants a temporary boost to your speech skill once in a 24-hour time period. There are three levels of the blessing with increasing bonus value and duration that you receive based on the size of your donation.

This mod edits very few assets and will be compatible with most things. You should not use this mod with another mod that edits Tending the Flames, but otherwise you should only have minor clipping. If you have mods that redo the college or add a player room, I suggest exchanging them for this mod. If you do have other Bards College mods, you’ll see a little bit of weird NPC behavior in the library and dorms, but this is minor and won’t break your game. It is the result of competing navemesh for the NPCs and isn’t going to hurt anything.
I have played through using Interesting NPCs and they move around the college without any trouble save occasional weirdness in the library. This mod was created for new playthroughs though the study quests don’t link to the Tending the Flames quest beyond dialogue so you can add it into an existing playthrough and do the study quest with Malukah if you’d like even if you’ve already done Tending the Flames. It does duplicate Become a Bard so if you remove that to install this one, I’d recommend starting a new game.

There is an article for tracking compatibility issues and what is compatible. I welcome additions to it as you play the mod.
Future Plans
Obliviously the first future plan is to fix problems that people find with this mod. If you encounter issues please leave a report with as much detail as possible. I’ve had some reports of this mod overwriting some aspects of other mods that I’ll get patched up.
My plans for the expansion of the mod include making Malukaha proper bard who plays songs from Elder Scrolls Online as well as continue expanding her dialogue. I’m planning to give the other students some more dialogue to reflect you being one of them. Additionally, I have some thoughts for a larger questline that I’ll be working on as I improve my modding skills and have time. If anyone with more experience modding would like to help out, please do message me.

If you’re using my Bards Reborn Bardic Lore mod then you’re probably catching onto a naming theme. I’m working on a few projects to improve bards as modular parts. Once they are ready, I’ll be combining them into a major bard overhaul, but doing it in parts is easier for troubleshooting and I want to have the parts for people who only want some features as I know the grief that comes with only wanting part of a big overhaul mod.
Version 1.7 Fixes
Made small changes in the Bards College to make the mod compatible with Undeath and Lux which both had issues with the Bards College. Also removed a lot of unused data from the mod to clean up errors.

Recommended Mods
Better Dialogue Controls by ecirbaf helpful for the oral exam portions of the mod
The Eloquent Reader by Sthaagg which improves speech by reading books
Ordinator by EnaiSiaion has a great speech perk tree that works great for bards
Dialogue Movement Enabler by Vermunds lets you adjust position during dialogue
Tidy Up by SomethingObscure lets you return fallen or bumped items to their proper location
Bards College Excavation by dkdoubledub adds a bard excavation team and a bard flavor quest
Bards Reborn Bardic Lore by me lets you craft books at the Bards College including journals of your quests
Thank you
A massive thanks to the mod authors who gave me permission to use their assets and especially to Pevey who helped me with some source coding issues with Become a Bard. Thank you those on the forum who answered my questions and the makers of the video tutorials that I poured over. This was the first mod I ever worked on even if it wasn’t the first I released and the community was extremely welcoming and generous with their assets and advice. They made this a great experience.

Added Music
If you like the music you can play using this mod, you can find more by the artists by clicking the links below.

Jon Sayles

Aislinn jamendo
Andrew Foy youtube
Andrew Savini jamendo
Carlos Vargas jamendo
Ceili Moss jamendo
Cromanon nexus
Franky Joe Texier jamendo
GEM (Jeremie Hout) jamendo
Greg Reiter jamendo
Harry Murrell youtube
Julien Petitjean jamendo
Kevin Loh youtube
Le Collectif Unifié de la Crécelle jamendo
Lemonflower myspace or itunes
Milagro Acustico Medina Sound jamendo
Malukah youtube
Ofri Eliaz jamendo
Oursvince jamendo
PremiumMusic jamendo
Randy Granger youtube
Raulin de los Bosques jamendo
Rebonnat Mostha jamendo
Sabrina Valenzuela youtube
Saskia Kusrahadianti youtubeor bandcamp
Sean Gordon youtube
Sióg Acoustic Duo jamendo
The Taalbi Brothers youtube
Thomas Berghan
Ton jamendo
The music added by this mod is copyright of the respective artists and is used either with permission to Pevey, the original mod author, or via a Creative Commons license.  Please see the links to the artists above to find more detail about their terms of use. You are welcome to translate this mod and post it on Nexus or, but it must remain free. You are also welcome to port this mod to other systems provided you don’t make changes beyond that as long as it remains free. Always link back to the original so people can view the full credits.
I have a couple of conditions for permission to use the assets of this mod. There are a lot of assets from other modders and a tribute to a real person that needs to be respected. When I reached out to Malukah, she granted permission for me to use her name and likeness on the condition that the mod remained free always and thanked me for asking her first. Therefore, if you want to use the Malukah character, please contact Malukah and explain what you are working on. If she agrees then you have my blessing to use the actor asset. For other assets, please check the credits to see if they belong to someone else and seek their permission. Outside of those conditions, you have my permission to use the assets you wish. I support the Cathedral ideal, but can't apply my thoughts to the whole community so please be mindful of the assets you use and please keep things positive.