Saloon Music Box (Dungeon Crawling, etc.)

Attached is a Saloon Music Box outline, not yet complete but something I’ve used in various campaigns for a number of years.

Saloon Music Box

  1. Purpose

The Saloon Music Box is a magic item designed for use by saloons, bars, and other locations that act as gathering and meeting sites for friends and acquaintances. These music boxes play various tunes and set an atmosphere for the locale and generally result in an increase to normal daily revenue. They also have a number of special abilities (and a cursed version) that allow the owner/operator to adjust the effectiveness.

  1. Common Music Box Information

The Music Box comes in a number of varieties as shown below. There are some additional powers and capabilities that will be addressed a bit later.

  1. Plus 0

This is a quasi-magical version that doesn’t have a direct influence on any give race, class, etc. On a given day, the Plus 0 unit will provide a bonus (or perhaps penalty) based on the following D6 roll. The GM may decide whether to roll the die or allow the owner/operator to roll the die.

Roll of 1 on 1D6: This will result in a 10% reduction in profit for the day and any level 8+ magic-using character will sense that something is influencing the patrons. They will have to investigate to uncover what’s going on, though.

Roll of 2 on 1D6: This will result in a 5% reduction in profit.

Roll of 3 on 1D6: No adjustment to profit.

Roll of 4 on 1D6: This results in a 7.5% increase in profit.

Roll of 5 on 1D6: This results in a 12.5% increase in profit.

Roll of 6 on 1D6: This results in a 20% increase in profit, +1% for each bonus point from Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma of the owner/operator.

The roll is adjusted (if desired) by the Wisdom bonus of the owner/operator.

  1. Plus 1 to Plus 3

These Music Boxes can be general use (+1 to +2) or can target a specific Class, Race, Occupation, Gender (+1 to +3). 1D6 roll can similarly be by GM or by owner/operator. Wisdom bonus and Charisma bonus apply.

Roll of 1 or less on 1D6: This results in a -15% profit for the day and any magic-using patron will immediately sense that something is fishy. The GM can play this out as desired but best practice would be to have the owner/operator locked in irons as employing cursed magic against citizens of the realm and to “teach them a lesson.”

Roll of 2 to 3 on D6: +15% profit. Additionally, one patron will “accidentally” leave a sum of 1 to 100 GP (1D100) if (4 or less on D6), 1 to 100 GP + 1 magic item up to 500 GP in value (5 on D6), or 10 to 100 GP + 1 magic item up to 2500 GP in value (6 on D6).

Roll of 4 to 5 on D6: +25% profit. Similar to 2 to 3 above but 10 times the value, however the box keeps 20% of the profit.

Roll of 6+ on D6: The box (which is not particularly intelligent) senses a “true mark” and basically takes all of its money and magic items, leaving only uninteresting items. This can play out a number of ways, most of them bad, as the box basically steals everything for the owner/operator and (30% to the house) for the box itself.

  1. Cursed Music Boxes

Cursed Music Boxes are known to bring all sorts of problems to the owner/operator employing them, but generally the owner sees about 10% increase in profit per day. However, the Music Box is stealing only from guards, townsfolk, and others beyond reproach. It takes only a few days or weeks to determine whether the problem originates and it will generally be dealt with in a rather harsh manner.

  1. Specific Additional Capabilities

A few Music Boxes (2 on D10) will be capable of targeting a specific patron. This ability can be used twice per day. If the target fails a saving throw versus magic then the owner/operator can implant a fairly simple command, sleep, or gain a specific item of inventory from the target. Additional uses against the same target will result in a +2 bonus each day to the saving throw. Once the user succeeds in a saving throw against magic, the Music Box will “rat out” the owner/operator.

Another special use is a once-per-day charm for +2 or +3 boxes. If the target fails a magic saving throw, the owner/operator can ask that the target perform some specific action so long as it doesn’t go against the target’s nature. For example, a guard could be requested to release a prisoner from a cell because the prisoner had been pardoned. As long as the guard doesn’t receive any further information to contrary then he will release the prison.