I've been considering using the Mislead spell to do some snooping around as a bard. The full spell description is here:

You become invisible at the same time that an illusory double of you appears where you are standing. The double lasts for the duration, but the invisibility ends if you attack or cast a spell.

You can use your action to move your illusory double up to twice your speed and make it gesture, speak, and behave in whatever way you choose.

You can see through its eyes and hear through its ears as if you were located where it is. On each of your turns as a bonus action, you can switch from using its senses to using your own, or back again. While you are using its senses, you are blinded and deafened in regard to your own surroundings.

Since bards are performers by nature, using the illusionary double to perform seems very doable, but since it is only an illusion, and the spell doesn't mention if it can create sounds other then speaking, I have some questions about the mechanics.

Could a bard make his double perform as a distraction while he tried to sneak around or would the illusionary double not be able to convincingly perform due to it being only an illusion? Would a bard with a lute actually be able to have his double convincingly play the lute as the spell specifically only mentions speaking and not any other sounds?


It's ambiguous, but I would err on the side of yes.

The only justification in the text to allow the illusion to play music is this part:

behave in whatever way you choose.

Which is not super convincing. However, here's my argument for why it should be able to play:

  • Your double probably has the same equipment as you: If you were holding a sword or other item, it seems unlikely that the double you create wouldn't have it. Otherwise, one could argue that it appears naked! This means that it likely has the instrument, and thus could play it.
  • Creating sounds is level-appropriate: Consider that Mislead is 5th level, whereas Major Image, which can replicate this scenario, is only 3rd level. Moreover, as far as illusion spells go, speaking isn't explicitly different from any other sound. Even the cantrip Minor Illusion gives wide latitude on sound.
  • It doesn't break the game: You can't cast spells or anything using this music--the only benefit you could derive from being able to play music would be hiding, which is well within the spirit of the spell. Even if a DM rules that you can't play your instrument, you could simply get around this by singing, anyway.

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