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I've completed the quest chain at the Bards College in Skyrim, but can't figure out what to do next. Is there a next? Do I get to play any kind of music in game?

Basically, what's the purpose of the bard?

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There is a mod to play music now. Other people have found it silly to become a bard and be unable to play music, and fixed it: Playable Instruments. – SevenSidedDie Dec 19 '12 at 1:58
up vote 14 down vote accepted

There isn't any purpose. There is no way to play music in game. You don't get a room in the college or access to anything special.

As far as I can tell, the only difference after completing the Bard's College quests is that some guards will refer to you as "Bard" occasionally.

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Actually, the accepted answer is technically wrong. I say technically wrong, because it's a bug that means that completing the bards quest does nothing, when actually you should get a bonus to your speech learning.

You're supposed to get the Active Effect 'Gift of the Gab', which lets you develop Speech 15% faster, but it doesn't activate because of yet another bug.

See the bugs section here. Hopefully this'll get fixed in a future patch and will work retroactively for those who've already completed the questline.

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I would say it's technically right, but theoretically wrong :). Good addition, either way. – agf Dec 14 '11 at 12:27

Sadly, no playing. There doesn't seem to be a position like arch-mage to aspire to. Caveat: I haven't completed every single quest from every bard that has one, although they seem to fall into the "Help citizens of XX" group of miscellaneous quests.

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