I suggested this in a cool weapons thread, and my group is pretty new to D&D, so I thought I'd get feedback from the greater community. As my nearly lvl 4 Half-elf Valor Bard increases in Exp, I aim to eventually make him a Crossbow stylized caster and get real into feats that accent that concept.
I had the idea, which I'm sure has been done, to use something like a Lyre, Lute or even Asian Koto instrument to fire multiple arrows/bolts each pre-loaded turn/battle event. Speaking to the mechanics, maybe this is accomplished because the instrument can pre-load multiple arrows prior to each battle, maybe it pre-loads itself during battle or in between turns, etc. I know a lot of this is likely depending on the discussion I have with my DM, to see what's feasible and what he allows depending on how I present it.
Additionally, this instrument-weapon would also double as my casting instrument, possibly saving me having to un-equip it to cast prior to getting War Caster, as it can sound musical notes when the arrows are fired and spent from it. The whole concept reminds me of the two musician assassins from the film Kung Fu Hustle, who fire the magical blades from their Koto.
My question is, how exactly would such an instrument be created within the game? Is this some magical item I would have to forge? Would I need to find some amazing tinkerer NPC? Is it as simple as getting good at engineering and tinkering myself and simply having a conversaton with my DM about how he thinks I should do this? Maybe it's a home-brew thing?
The answer to "How do I get this cool thing that doesn't exist in the game?" is always "talk to your DM." I wouldn't expect "getting good at engineering" to be an option though unless your game has an absurd amount of downtime between adventures. Keep in mind that you're essentially asking for a bow or crossbow that somehow has a musical instrument built into it too.
It would be easier to alter a weapon to have some music playing capability added than turning many instruments (espcially wood carved ones involving multiple pieces) into weapons.
Unless your DM is happy with you having a weapon that allows you to make multiple attacks (without the extra attack ability - not sure if thats whay you meant by multiple loaded a turned) any weapon that gave free attacks irrespective of the classes relative abilities would be game altering. But who knows, I have seen and heard weirder so have a word and try your luck.
Preloaded suggests projectile through tortion or spring loaded 'clockwork'. If its tortion thats going to need to replaced often and depending on the safety features is likely to go off at the wrong time. If its springloaded then tinker tools will be necessary to make your repeating lute bow - but again as repeating crossbow dont exist anymore then you might full down there unless all it does is provide the opportunity to fire a couple of times before you have to take the entire instrument apart (hours) to reload - he advantage will be in the concealed weapon, nothing more.
On the other hand razor sharpening the edge of cymbals to make passable warfans is possible, probably dagger damage but slashing only - may though count as improvised weapons
A morning star (nunchuk) with a hollow end or a cap with a dried pea, and air holes could make your weapon a whistle if you swing / spin it / show off / quickly enough - probably requiring proficiency in the weapon and perfomance
Sling bullets (metal) can and have have whistles fitted, as have arrow heads
If you want to downgrade to Darts and start panpiping with a suspiciously long set of panpipes you have the makings of a blow pipe and multiple loads - of course you will make a real mess of the performance you forget which pipe has a dart equipped and shoot yourself in the leg.
I don know whether any of this will help, but what might or might make you give up is if you can design the schematic to how your instrument / weapon would / could be built. Regardless of success or failure, enjoy the game!
This all gives me a lot to think about. Mostly the simple thoughts of how my initial idea does, in fact, break even the most basic attack turn rules.
Moondruid, that was some sage like insight. Start with a weapon and then make an instrument. That consideration actually complements a good character path of constantly accenting and building new musical weapon choices as I go along as opposed to trying to create some absurdly lethal ballista of sorts.
Coder, you reigned me in a bit and brought a level of realism to what I was thinking. How can I have a multi arrow weapon if I can only realistically attack once or twice in most cases anyway?
I love the concept I’m going towards, but I’m going to continue to put some more thought into how this could possibly play out.
One thing to keep in mind is that you don't have to use a musical instrument during combat. Bardic Inspiration doesn't require you to be plucking away on a lute, and althought you can use your musical instrument as an arcane focus, you don't have to use it that way. This means if you wield a crossbow, you can still have a hand free to use a more traditional arcane focus, or use material components.
Bardic Inspiration doesn't require you to be plucking away on a lute, and althought you can use your musical instrument as an arcane focus, you don't have to use it that way.
Note that using a musical instrument as your spellcasting focus doesn't you to play it.
I pointed all of that out because, more often than not, I feel like questions like this are meant to get around a mechanical issue; in this case, wanting to attack with a crossbow while still having access to your musical instrument. Since not having access to your musical instrument doesn't obstruct your other class features, like spellcasting, it's not as big of a deal as it might have been in previous editions.
That said, if the point was just "This seems like a fun concept," I can get behind that. A guitar that shoots crossbow bolts? Neat. My bard uses his lute as a club for the purposes of the Shillelagh spell. I think if I were the GM, I'd probably limit it to a hand crossbow stats on the instrument, though; seems like heavier weaponry would be too stressful on a musical instrument.
I thought you might have a magical flute that fires Magic Missiles when a particular tune is played. This would involve getting the DM to help but I could see such an item available from a Bardic College provided the Bard performed a quest and received the flute as a necessary aid in the quest or as a reward for completing the quest.
It isn't hard to carve a playable flute into a quarterstaff also, although a portion of the quarterstaff would be weakened so a magical enchantment might be needed to overcome the weakened area.
If your Bard is given to singing or reciting epic poetry he has one or both hands free. Good Luck