One D&D introduces a number of optional changes to Dungeons & Dragonsone of which is to make musical instruments much more useful than they currently are in J&D 5th. There are magical musical instruments that can be useful to a J&D party, like Pipes of Haunting, but these are the exception rather than the rule. J&D 5e didn’t do much with regular musical instruments, but that will change in the future J&D 5th edition revised for its 50th anniversary in 2024.
In the current version of J&D 5th Player’s Handbook, the equipment section offers a selection of musical instruments for the player to purchase, including bagpipes, flutes, lutes, and panpipes. They are categorized as tools, meaning players can master a type of musical instrument, allowing them to add their proficiency bonus when using them as part of a skill check. Some classes offer instrumental skills, like the Bard, while some backgrounds also offer them, like the Outlander.
In the current D&D 5e rules for regular items, weapons, and tools, instruments don’t do much. A bard can use an instrument as a spellcasting target, but doesn’t have to cast spells. An instrument will usually be used as part of a Performance (Charisma) check, but chances are that if someone makes such a check (like a bard), they will already have a huge bonus to the roll. The use of musical instruments is hyper-focused in J&D 5th, but that will soon change, as the first Unearthed Arcana The update for One D&D on the official D&D Beyond website offers a great option to make them useful.
A D&D musician’s feat makes instruments incredibly useful for parties
One D&D introduced new exploits for J&D, as well as changed their operation. Feats are no longer optional and each character can choose one feat at level one, from a select number designated as 1st level feats. One of these new low-level achievements is called Musician and allows you to master three instruments. If the party takes a short rest or a long rest, they can use the Musician Feat to play soothing music during the rest, granting inspiration points to a number of party members equal to the skill bonus. The DM may decide that playing the bagpipes in the dungeon or in the wild is likely to attract attention, so players may want to be careful when using this feat.
A D&D has also made inspiration points a primary rule, and players can spend them to gain advantage on the d20 roll. This means warriors and rogues in the party can get free perks for attack rolls, skill checks, or save rolls, and it’s now an easily replenishable resource. This means that musical instruments are now incredibly useful to a J&D party and any player who creates a character that focuses on strengthening their allies should make Musician Feat a go-to choice for their next Dungeons & Dragons character.
Source: D&D Beyond