I’ve been thinking about creating an encounter like this for a couple years now and finally got it down on paper – enjoy!
An Ambush of Bards (group, trio)
10 HP (total for all three)
1d3 dagger (close); 1d6-1 light crossbow (near)
Instinct: To enthuse, bemuse, and abuse…and steal your stuff
Special: (DM, play the trio as a unit)
“Hold. What’s that sound? Oh! Not to worry, it’s just a trio of jolly troubadours — how nice. Wait, Sir Galahad, what are you doing? You’re dancing like a madman! Stop this, oof! Now watch it! At once! Stop this music you fiends! EZRALA-ZAK-TICUS!!! BE g-! Oh, cough, cough, they’re gone…Ahm, Sir Galahad are you poorly? (Poor man, collapsed from exhaustion.) No need to wor-ry, they’ve gone in a poof of smoke (…he can’t hear me… Well, no matter. Now, let’s see)…hey, wait a minute…where’s the map?”
- Catch them unaware
- Perform a wicked jig:
- Characters who can hear the song feel intense tingling, like fire ants crawling, up their arms and legs, and begin to dance unless they succeed on a Defy Danger roll (charisma, with modifiers for being surprised, at DM’s discretion).
- On a 10+, they resist, a bit ruefully, the urge to dance.
- On a 7 - 9, they cannot resist and begin to dance uncontrollably while still retaining their mental faculties.
- On a 6-, they dance along wildly to the manic jig, losing all awareness outside of the melody. They may accidentally whap their comrades, if it is their tormentors’ whim.
- Sing a song with a chorus like:
- And you thought you were safe when we brought out guitars / We’re sad to disappoint you, / but it’s an ambush of bards / yes it’s an ambush of bards! / An ambush, / an ambush / of baaaaaaa-rds!
- Steal your stuff and disappear in a poof of purple and yellow smoke.