Starting a new campaign as DM in the Forgotten Realms (Lost Mines of Phandelver, if it matters) and I have a player wanting to play a Bard who has the ability to play an instrument that somehow appears to be multiple instruments and also sounds like multiple instruments. As the player put it
I want a magical instrument that projects floating instruments being played and when I play one instrument it sounds like a symphony is playing behind me.
Some of the solutions to this character building enterprise are:
- As a level 1 Bard, use Mage Hand to play 1 additional instrument on top of whatever amount an accomplished one-man-band bard can play on their own, while also using Minor Illusion to give off the image of the floating instruments. They won't really be playing as many instruments as it looks like are being played, but hopefully enough to trick the unwashed masses a street performer. Then by level 5 they'll be able to use Major Image to basically do exactly what they've asked for because they can make any manner of visual and auditory illusions in something they have lots of experience in (music).
- We work together on a backstory that gives the player a magical instrument but at some cost. An instrument that can be played by one person that gives the performance of many while also putting on some kind of magical visual show of all those instruments is a magic item of not insignificant power. Something fairly powerful had to create this device and they're going to want payment in some form for its use, or they're going to be really mad when they find the Bard that made off with their handheld symphony.
So solutions I'm looking for are suggestions that improve one of these answers or a better option altogether. RAW answers are a huge bonus to me because then I don't have to arbitrate anything.