How is provocation going to work?
Provoking a creature sets the bard as the creature's controller for two minutes (for more information on the controller status see the Pets section). As long as the bard remains as the creature's controller, he is somewhat responsible for the creature. If the creature attacks an Innocent (different from the original target) after the initial provocation, the bard will be flagged as a Criminal and Aggressor (but he can't be reported).

The following explains how provoking a creature to attack a target relates to Karma, Fame and Criminal flagging:

Will I gain Reputation if the creature I provoke kills an evil monster?
Yes, both Karma and Fame

How long do I remain set as the controller?
As long as the creature is in combat, and then 2 minutes after. In this system, delays can be refreshed, but never removed. They are removed only when the flag's timer goes off.

Will successful use of the Peacemaking skill remove my name from a creature's controller status?
No, but if you are using peacemaking on a monster effectively, it isn't hurting players, and refreshing your controller info. So, basically, provoke your monster to kill that thing that needed killing, then tend it with peacemaking for 2 minutes to ensure that it doesn't decide to kill the players you happened to provoke it near of it's own accord.
I can't allow instant removal of something like the controller info, for any reason. Someone else can take responsibility for the creature from you, but if there was a way to make yourself not responsible for the creature (other than killing it), then that method would be easily abused.

Earl the Bard, an innocent, provokes the Collector of Souls (a Balrog) to attack a lesser Daemon. The Balrog kills the Daemon, then immediately attacks the Innocent Bob, another player in the room. Bob dies. The Balrog moves on to attack several other players and only after a large group of them has perished is it killed in its weakened state by Mac the Mage. Mac killed this Balrog within the 2 minute timer of Earl's "control" state because it was constantly in combat after the initial provocation.

Is Earl a criminal?
He becomes a 2-minute Criminal as soon as the Balrog attacks an Innocent.

Can Earl be reported as a murderer?
No, because he did not provoke the Balrog to attack an Innocent directly.

What happens to Earl's Karma?
His Karma would go up for killing the Daemon (assuming his Karma is not already too high). Earl would not lose any Karma for the death of the Innocents because you can only lose Karma when an Innocent reports you as a Murderer.

What happens to Earl's Fame?
Earl's Fame is increased when the Daemon dies (assuming his Fame isn't already too high). His Fame may also increase for every Innocent that was killed if their Fame was higher than his.

What could Earl have done to avoid being flagged as a Criminal?
He could have helped kill the Balrog before it attacked any Innocents. He could have used Peacemaking until the controller status wore off.