Enchanting Music

I need to generate a Companion character ... and I have a concept using the Enchanting Music Virtue/Ability pair.

But, I've only recently started using 5th Edition, so this stuff is new,and I think the rules here look ... weird.

You have to:1. Spend one Virtue point on the Enchanting Music Virtue

  1. Put points into the Enchanting Music Ability
  2. Have the Music Ability as well -- or at least 1 experience point in it to avoid excessive botching

Clearly the Enchanting Music Ability doesn't endow the character with any actual musical skill (or you wouldn't need the Music roll in addition) ... but it also doesn't require any more than the absolute minimum of ability in Music to work.

There's something very unsatisfying in the feel of that. One feels on the one hand that a character who can enchant others with his music ought to be a good musician, and yet one feels that it would be too much to have to purchase a Virtue AND several levels of Music AND several levels of Enchanting Music to achieve a generally satisfyingly well-rounded character who can do both (I mean, he has to be able to do other stuff, as well). At least Sing is no longer a separate Ability from playing an instrument.

My instinct is to drop the requirement for a non-botched Music roll when using Enchanting Music and to say that you can use the latter Ability for both natural and supernatural play ... or, to put that another way, to say that enchanting people is just something you can do with the Music Ability if you have the Enchanting Music virtue.

Has anyone here played (or guided) a Companion with Enchanting Music? Did you HR it at all, or do you find the RaW well-enough balanced?

So ... do I take it that nobody here has ever run or played a character with this ability?

I don't actually, but I do have an opinion. The rules look good for my part. You choose to be a bard-like character, thus you invest in abilities like this. If you create a warrior you invest in different abilities like single weapon, brawl and bows. It is a great extra and I think it is a strong ability, if played correct. I would consider adding a bonus to loyalty if someone have this ability in your covenant.

LOL, seems that no-one has tried it.
Needing one ability to make it work, and another to make it sound good, maybe is a bit much. Since the only effect of the music roll is to see if you botch, I see no harm in terms of game balance if you ignore that bit, and use enchanting music as a substitute for normal music when those occasions arise.

It seems to me they are talking about the enchanting music in the second part and are unclear, which, as we've seen has been a common complaint

So no music ability needed too

thanks for the careful quote of the RAW - saves me needing to find it.
As I recall, the interpretation was supposed to be:

Enchanting Music needs some actual music produced as its medium of action. When it says "You should also roll for the quality of the musical performance ... failed to produce any music for some reason" it refers to a separate Music roll... the Music can be beautiful or awful, but it must be sounded. If you Botch the Music roll, then instead of singing you find yourself coughing; instead of plucking a stringed instrument, you drop it or break the strings...

But so long as you produce "some" music, any music, then you may make that into Enchanted Music, by a roll of Com+Enchanting Music. The rolled total of this latter roll is compared to the Ease Factor and Magic Resistance.

Bystanders may (or likely not) realise there was enchantment in the music, but they can also comment on the quality underlying music. Your painful twangs may win over the heart of the Prince Of Darkness, but the audience will still heckle! Reminds me of the bard Cacofonix in the Asterix comic books...

Note their are variants: Enchanting Poetry etc.

Siren Song (Major Supernatural Virtue) from HoH:Societas Ex Misc is complementary as well - particularly if you follow Mark's "Ringing the Changes" advice about using this as a basis for a Breton bard style character, which sounds vaguely like where you're heading with this.



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Also, depending on the quality of the music, people may come or leave, which would ultimately affect the Enchanting Music's effect.

Yes, that's how I read it.

... and here's where it feels wrong. The paradigm seems to me to require the supernatural effect of the enchantment to depend upon the quality of the musical performance. Nobody ever writes of a bard who played a tune that sounded like a cat being strangled but nevertheless managed to enchant the company (Cacofonix aside :laughing: - actually, perhaps not: when did he ever enchant anyone?) ... it's always a bard who plays exceedingly well that manages to entrance. The bard has to have the basic ability to imbue his music with charm in order to achieve the enchantment ... but if he has that ability the success of the enchantment depends upon his skill as a musician (and his intent when playing). Or so it seems to me.

Also, as Fruny commented, if the performance itself is bad the members of the audience might suddenly remember an important shampooing appointment before the charm started to take effect. It seems to me that to be in paradigm a good performance should be required.

Having required a good performance, though, I'm not sure that I see the need for another roll for the enchantment. One stress roll per action seems enough.

He's often managed to make it rain, even indoors, so there has to be a supernatural ability behind it.

In Asterix and the Normans he postponed the Norman Invasion for about a thousand years or so by teaching the invaders the true meaning of fear. If that's not Enchanting Music, I don't know what is. :laughing:

It reminds me of when someone described the film director Ed Wood as a "genius", because even the greatest directors couldn't make a film as bad as Plan 9 from Outer Space if they tried.

There is definitely some merit in Enchanting Music being available to the worst of bards, even if only for its comic potential.

But no matter how enchanting his music, a bad bard shouldn't be spared having his "audience" run away with their hands on their ears.

It's like watching a really bad movie, or a car crash, you know it's horrible but you just have to keep watching.

Good point indeed.

The music may be atrocious, but, so long as the magic acts, although you don't realize it (you may think it's funny to hear someone play so pathetically), you're compelled to hear and follow the suggestions given to you. The music is just a medium for the magic, so, as long as your instrument works, your magic works, too.

Oh! Oh dear.

Well at least that explains the success of the Spice Girls :smiling_imp:

Spice Girls as a heaten cult :open_mouth: :open_mouth: THAT is a scary thought!!


I never played it, but I do have two issues with it.

First, the ease factors seem to easy. A starting character might very realistically have +12 (5 ability+5 com+2 puissant) to the roll (and I think Free Expression should add instead of Puissant, actually). This makes most tasks - such as winning someone's love - trivially easy.

On the other hand, since there is virtually no Penetration, it seems anyone that counts is immune to this power. How you're supposed to get the Prince of Darkness to release a soul is beyond me (I shudder at the thought of NOT allowing any protection from this magic at all...).

I think, mechanically, it would have been more balanced as a spontanous CrMe effect at the level of a Music roll. Since only the Music Ability is added to the roll, the power level is very similar to spontanous spell with no fatigue (Diende Magic), but only within a very limited domain. I'd pile on special spell parameters (D:Song and so on), but replace the role of standard arcane connections to add to Penetration with appropriate Lore and other suitably mystic elements. (Playing a harp strung with her hair might help win her love, singing of the dragon's past enemy might help stir him to anger, and so on.) (I'll also allow Free Expression, but not together with Puissant, and will allow for Enchanting Painting [ReMe?], and perhaps other crafts and hedge magic appropriate for a Major Focus - hedge Magical Weaponsmithing anyone?)