Animated Quartet

Family: Animated Objects

Large construct, unaligned

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 102 (12d10 + 36)
Speed 30 ft., fly 50 ft. (hover)

10 (+0) 16 (+3) 17 (+3) 4 (–4) 5 (–3) 18 (+4)

Skills Performance +8
Damage Immunities poison, psychic
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Senses blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 7
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +2


  • Antimagic Susceptibility. The quartet is incapacitated while in the area of an antimagic field. If targeted by dispel magic, the quartet must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against the caster’s spell save DC or fall unconscious for 1 minute.
  • Construct Nature. The quartet doesn’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.
  • False Appearance. While the quartet remains motionless and isn’t flying, it is indistinguishable from a group of musical instruments.
  • Four-Part Harmony. An animated quartet is always composed of four instruments that sit or hover close together, acting with singular intent. If an attack deals at least 25 damage to the quartet then one of the instruments falls unconscious, causing the quartet to deal one die less of damage with its Trouble Clef and Orchestra Hit actions.


  • Multiattack. The quartet uses Musical Arrangement. It then makes two Trouble Clef or Orchestra Hit attacks.
  • Trouble Clef. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (4d4 + 3) bludgeoning damage.
  • Orchestra Hit. Ranged Spell Attack: +6 to hit, range 60 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (4d6 + 4) thunder damage.
  • Musical Arrangement. The quartet plays one of the following songs:
    • Dreadful Dirge. The quartet plays a hair-raising tune that evokes terror. Each hostile creature within 30 feet of the quartet must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened until the end of its next turn.
    • Oppressive Overture. The quartet plays a heavy melody that reverberates through nearby creatures. Each hostile creature within 30 feet of the quartet must succeed on a DC 14 Strength saving throw or be forced prone.
    • Seditious Sonata. The quartet plays a song that incites disobedience and rebellion. Each hostile creature within 30 feet of the quartet must succeed on a DC 14 Charisma saving throw or be charmed by the quartet for 1 minute. While charmed, a creature refuses to attack other creatures or target other creatures with harmful abilities or magical effects, and it refuses to aid its allies. A charmed creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a charmed creature takes damage, the effect ends for it.
  • Alternate Critical (Source: Monster Crits for 5e). When the animated instrument scores a critical hit, it doesn’t deal extra damage. Instead, the target creature is deafened until the end of the animated instrument’s next turn.


Delicate in frame but clever in design, animated instruments are crafted with formidable magic to serve maestros and savants for purposes ranging from bodyguards to performance backup.

Favored by bards, nobles, and virtuoso liches these often-beautiful works of craftsmanship are designed and imbued with magical effects that can enthrall, confuse, and even terrify listeners.

Any instrument is suitable for animation, though some are more common than others. Lutes, flutes, and other more compact instruments are prime candidates for traveling bards.

Pianos and harpsichords make for excellent guards in the homes of the wealthy. Horns and drums are often chosen for armies on battlegrounds to bolster weary soldiers and frighten oncoming enemies.

Compelling Melodies. Songs of wondrous power are woven into the enchantments that impart the chosen instrument with unique musical gifts. Other times, usually when an instrument is enchanted in haste, the instrument recalls the pieces of music it was used to play when it was only an object. In any case, the animated instrument can play magical melodies. All animated instruments, even the simplest of harps or tambourines, can strike at unruly listeners with thunderous effect and charming melodies.

Menacing Harmonies. An animated instrument alone is more than enough for most heroes to handle, but not all instruments are brought to life for solo acts. Just as often, formidable quartets of instruments are created, typically horns or drums. Quartets act with unified purpose in accordance with their enchanter’s instructions and do so in perfect harmony. Though most animated instruments are seen alone or as a quartet, animated instruments’ capacity for animation is limited only by the arcane aptitude and creativity of the enchanter.

Mighty Symphonies. Truly magnificent works of art and sorcery, animated symphonies are massive swarms of animated instruments. The magic required to uplift entire symphonies is both mighty and rare. In all cases, animated symphonies develop hive-mind egos that are twisted caricatures of the composers who wrote for the instruments or that are rooted in the style of music their individual components played before their transmutation. The personalities of these symphonies are as varied as the music of the world.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Beasts 3 © 2022 Open Design LLC; Authors: Eytan Bernstein, Celeste Conowitch, Benjamin L. Eastman, Robert Fairbanks, Scott Gable, Basheer Ghouse, Richard Green, Jeremy Hochhalter, Jeff Lee, Christopher Lockey, Sarah Madsen, Ben Mcfarland, Jonathan Miley, Kelly Pawlik, Sebastian Rombach, Chelsea Steverson, Brian Suskind, Mike Welham

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