Sunday, January 10, 2016

Dance-Offs & Musical Challenges

Monsters,  it turns out, like to dance and sing.  This often curdles the blood of mortals who witness it, but it is a fact nonetheless.  And some more adventurous mortals have learned it's possible to beat the monsters at their own game.

When a monster is encountered, it can possibly be turned or defeated by challenging it to a dance-off or musical battle.  But the catch is, the reverse is also true!  Monsters in such contests against PCs  can potentially turn or destroy them, as well.

Both parties use the turn table described in the turn undead spell, with the loser suffering the listed effect.  Generous DJs (that is, GMs) can allow PCs a saving throw vs. paralyze to resist a monster's turning effect on them if they fail, but players are never entitled to this.

The roll for both parties can be modified by their skill aptitude in a given musical instrument or dance routine, as noted below.

Every PC and many important monsters in a Tales from the Haunted Jukebox campaign should have both a musical/singing skill and a dance specialty in one of the more popular dances of the 50s and early 60s.  One of these skills begins at a 2 in 6 chance of success and advances at the same rate as the elf's Search skill.  The other skill begins at a 3 in 6 chance of success and advances at the same rate as the dwarf's Architecture skill.  Treat a monster's HD as its level for purposes of determining how skilled it is at its listed musical and dance abilities.

Success on a dance or musical skill roll grants the character or monster a +2 bonus on their next turn attempt.

Note that in a Tales campaign, this is the only way any character can turn a non-vampire undead being.  In Transylvania, USA, only vampires are susceptible to non-dance or non-musical turn attempts.

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