They say that music is always being overlooked in education, and I would argue that it's the same when it comes to magic items. There are plenty of cool magic instruments in folklore and other media, but only a handful in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Today's article presents three new magic musical instruments for the bards and skalds out there.
DREAD FLUTE PRICE 20,000 gp
Slot none; CL 5th; Weight 2 lbs.
Aura moderate necromancy
A variation on the strange flutes used by the moon-beasts to make their wishes known, these strange instruments appear oblong and misshapen to a human eye, with keys and holes in odd places, and strange spherical chambers whose purposes are hard to determine.
Once per day, a dread flute can be played as a full-round action to force each creature within 60 feet to succeed on a DC 15 Will save or be frightened for 1d4 rounds and suffer 1d6 points of Wisdom damage. Additionally, a dread flute can be used to empower a dirge of dread bardic performance or raging song, allowing it to strike true fear into the hearts of those who hear it. If the dread flute is used to perform a dirge of doom, each affected creature must succeed on a Will save (at the normal DC for the player’s bardic performance or raging song) or be frightened for 1 minute, in addition to the dirge of doom’s normal effects.
Craft Wondrous Item, Intimidate 5 ranks, Perform (wind) 5 ranks.
DRUMS OF WAR PRICE 10,000 gp
Slot none; CL 7th; Weight 10 lbs.
Aura moderate enchantment
Common among bloodthirsty barbarian tribes, these drums are often made from the armor of slain opponents, and stretched with their skins, while bones adorn the outside. The drums have a deeper tone than one might expect to look at them, and their vibrations can be felt from rather far away as a faint tremor through one’s boots. They generally come with a strap so they can be worn over the shoulder, allowing them to be played with one hand, leaving the other free for combat.
Once per day, a set of drums of war can be played as a full-round action in order to grant the benefits of a skald’s inspiring rage raging song to all allies within 60 feet for one minute (the item’s user does not need to continue playing the drums during this time). Additionally, each set of drums of war has a single rage power associated with it, which is determined when the item is created, and must be a rage power that a skald could gain. If used to perform the inspired rage raging song of the skald (whether with the item’s ability or by a skald with the inspiring rage raging song), each creature affected by the inspired rage gains the benefits of the chosen rage power.
Craft Wondrous Item, Perform (percussion) 5 ranks, creator must have the appropriate rage power.
HARP OF SEDUCTION PRICE 16,000 gp
Slot none; CL 3rd; Weight 5 lbs.
Aura faint enchantment
These compact harps are made of mother of pearl, with delicate strings made from nymph hair. They have a particularly soft quality to the notes that they make, causing even the most inexpert of players to seem to produce sweet notes. The harp is small enough that it can be tucked under one arm and played with that same hand, leaving the other hand free for other purposes.
Once per day, a harp of seduction can be played as a standard action to affect a single creature within 30 feet as though with a bard’s fascinate bardic performance. A successful Will save (DC 12) negates the effect, but if the target would normally be attracted to a member of the harp’s player’s race and gender, the target suffers a –8 penalty on this saving throw. Additionally, any creature fascinated by this ability has eyes only for the harp’s player, suffering a –20 penalty on Perception checks to notice anything besides the harp’s player. The fascination effect lasts for as long as the harp’s player continues to play as a standard action each round, to a maximum of 2 minutes, plus 1d4 rounds thereafter.
Finally, the harp of seduction can be used to empower the existing bardic performance abilities of its player, if he has any. Whenever a bard uses the harp of seduction to perform his fascinate bardic performance, any creatures that would normally be attracted to creatures of his race and gender suffer a –2 penalty on their saving throws to resist the effect, and a –8 penalty on Perception checks made while they are fascinated.
Craft Wondrous Item, Bluff or Diplomacy 5 ranks, Perform (string) 5 ranks.