Musician's Market

December 4th, 2013

Joshua Zaback

Magic Market Archive

            Recently I was playing a Dungeons and Dragons-based video game, and I came across a magical instrument. As my character was a bard, I immediately became very excited, only to become deeply disappointed to discover my magical lute allowed me to use a few spells per day, and had nothing to do with performance. In a fit of outrage, I have created three new magical instruments for you which both provide unique effects and emphasize skill at performance.


Aura faint enchantment; CL 1st
Slot -; Price 2,600 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Construction Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, command; Cost 1,300 gp

            These musical drums resemble a typical set of timpani, with a bowl made from the bones of frost giants and capped with the magically preserved skin of an aboleth. The drums produce only hollow and monotonous tones, ill-suited for moving the soul, but ideal for keeping time and producing consistent, even sounds.

            In addition to serving as a set of drums that provides a +2 bonus on all Perform (percussion instruments) skill checks, these magical timpani can be played at a special tempo in order to produce a compulsion effect. Playing the timpani in this fashion requires a full-round action which provokes attacks of opportunity, and requires the performer to succeed on a Perform (percussion instruments) check (DC 15 + 2 per previous consecutive round that this ability has been used). If the user fails a Perform (percussion instruments) check, he must wait at least 10 minutes before performing in this way again.

            Each creature who can hear this special performance must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + the user’s ranks in the Perform skill) or be forced to follow a single word command of the performer. For the performer, issuing a command in this way is a swift action which does not provoke an attack of opportunity. The command must consist of a single word, like, “fight,” “flee,” “dance,” or “sing.” This command applies to all characters affected by the performance (the performer cannot choose to give different commands to different targets). Whatever the command, an affected character must do his best to perform it. A character affected by this ability may attempt a new Will save for each consecutive round of performance. A successful save ends the effect, but does not render the creature immune to the performance’s effects in future rounds.


Aura moderate conjuration; CL 9th
Slot -; Price 45,900 gp; Weight 1 lb.                  
Construction Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, mass cure light wounds, Cost 22,950 gp

            This wondrous lute was masterfully crafted by elves using wood harvested from a celestial forest and strings made from the hair of an adult male unicorn. The sounds produced by the lute are beautiful and crisp, particularly in natural sunlight where the magic of the lute greatly enhances the quality of the sounds it produces.

            A lute of light and life has numerous properties which depend on the level of light when it is played. In an area of darkness, the lute has no special properties, other than conferring a +3 bonus on all Perform (string instruments) skill checks made using it.

            When played in an area of dim light, the lute can aid in the recovery of sleeping characters. In order to use this ability, the character playing the lute must succeed on a Perform (string instruments) check (DC 20). If he does, any sleeping or meditating character recovers twice as many hit points and points of ability damage as he normally would upon waking. A failure by 5 or more causes sleeping characters to awaken.

            In areas of normal light, the lute can heal the wounds of a single living character. Once per day, a character playing the lute can attempt a special Perform (string instruments) check. A single character of the performer’s choice who can hear him play recovers a number of hit points equal to the results of the Perform check.

            In areas of bright light, a character playing the lute can attempt a special Perform (string instruments) check once per day. If he does, all characters who can hear the lute recover a number of hit points equal to the result of the Perform check.


Aura faint conjuration; CL 1st
Slot -; Price 10,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Construction Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, inflict light wounds, Cost 5,000 gp

            These magical whistles are of simple construction, often being made of crude iron. The imprecise composition and crude materials employed in the making of these whistles produces a tinny, high-pitched sound, which most find unpleasant.

            A character with 5 or more ranks in Perform (wind instruments) can play this whistle as a standard action. If he does, he must select a single target within 30 feet who can hear him, and make a Perform (wind instruments) skill check. The target must succeed on a Will saving throw (DC equals the result of the Perform check) or suffer an amount of damage equal to the total damage he sustained last round, up to a maximum amount equal to the result of the Perform check. This has no effect if the target did not take any damage on the previous round. Damage reduction or resistances do not apply to this ability.

            This ability can be used a number of times each day equal to the performer’s Charisma modifier.