The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Default Just for fun: Inspire awe on weird instruments

    Inspire awe is a reasonably interesting ACF from Dragon Magic that replaces inspire courage with the ability to render an enemy shaken with a Perform check opposed by a Will save. It's got a lower optimization ceiling than a pimped-out inspire courage, perhaps, but it's more multiclass-friendly.

    That's not really the point of today's discussion.

    There's no restriction on what kind of instrument you can use. Which means that you can play the tambourine in a really scary manner. Or the lute. Or whatever. Doesn't have to involve your voice at all. Doesn't have to involve anything that we'd think of as naturally compatible with being spooky or fear-inspiring. Remember, of course, that a D&D bard is usually a soloist and doesn't have any post-processing help (or amps, distortion, whatever).

    Your task for today, if you choose to accept it: Find me videos (or other recordings) of "inappropriate" instruments being used in a manner that could inspire fear, ideally without accompaniment, vocal or otherwise. I'm thinking instruments that normally have a bright and generally cheerful sound (note: I don't know music theory and I don't know the proper terms for most musical stuff). Piccolos, mandolins, tambourines, chappa—stuff that you'd really have to work at to make it scary. That mental image is hilarious to me right now. I'm sure it's possible to evoke fear with such instruments. Music is shockingly broad and instruments are shockingly versatile, which is part of why music is wonderful. Nonetheless, I would be most amused by some real examples.

    (If you don't happen to have anything on tap, I simply invite you to join me in imagining and appreciating the idea of a tambourine player whose wordless and solo performance is scary enough to inspire fear in onlookers. I'm not sure if it's funnier if it's an orc or a gnome playing the tambourine, though. Feel free to compare the two in your mind. )
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    Seattle area
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    Male

    Default Re: Just for fun: Inspire awe on weird instruments

    Now the idea of a minor key triangle is going to be stuck in my head all day. Thanks.
    But, when you ask for examples of weird instruments, I think the best is if you look up "Blue Monday" as covered by Orkestra Obsolete. It's already a weird song, but then being covered by weird instruments ramps it up even more.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

    Join Date
    Sep 2018

    Default Re: Just for fun: Inspire awe on weird instruments

    Hey, mister tambourine man, play a song for me...
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RatElemental's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Male2Female

    Default Re: Just for fun: Inspire awe on weird instruments

    Why limit yourself to instruments?

    Perform(Comedy): Tell jokes so dark your opponents wet themselves!

    Perform(Dance): Do a hearty jig... on the graves of your enemies!

    Perform(Oratory): Tell the spoooookiest campfire stories ever!

    Perform(Act): Mimes are scary, right?

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Kingdom of Florida
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    Default Re: Just for fun: Inspire awe on weird instruments

    I mean, Negan from the Walking Dead TV show had a very distinct whistle that was definitely a fear effect. Perform (Whistling) could be added to the list. Add this to the Halfling Whistler PrC and there you go!

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