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The other night a friend and I were kicking around a character idea for an adept whose powers would center on an old violin that has been passed down through the family for generations. The violin itself would be a powerful focus and all of the adeptís powers would be geased to it in one way or another. Basically, the adept believes his abilities come from the violin, something that wonít be too far from the truth in game.

Now, to add some flavor to the violin, we wanted it to be made out of a type of wood other than the typical maple, sycamore, and spruce. What we would like to use is ash, rowan, and/or oak, but have no idea what affects this would have on the sound of the violin.

Anyone with a more musical background than mine, which is not hard to do, know what a violin made out of those types of wood would sound like, or have any other suggestions for unorthodox materials?
So is this a MagicianAD or a PhyAD? I only ask since PhyAds can't use Foci (with exceptions), but can use regular items for Geasa as long as they have 3 points of description.
*raises his hand* Musician here, and I actually played the cello for a while.

all the string instruments have been made out of varying materials. (An entire movie was based on the Red Violin, remember?) However I know for a fact that there was a period of time during WWII where wood was a precious commodity, so they made violins out of aluminum. I know this for a fact because I have actually played an aluminum cello. The upper ranges were wierd, but the lower ranges were gorgeous.

If you want to make it a really interesting instrument, I recommend that, and then have oriachulum cored strings instead of the standard metal coring or gut strings. That way you can claim a unique instrument which power truly is a foci (both through the aluminum and through the oriachulum.).

Other types of wood do change the sound, but remember that the real sound of the instrument is generated through the type of strings it has.

There some history for ya...hope it helps.
Crimson Jack
Unusual Violins

Not so much unorthodox materials as unorthodox styles of violins/fiddles. Might help. smile.gif
GrinderTheTroll is the one that Boyd from Dave Matthews Band uses, it's unique from what I know of Violins.

By the way, an interesting factoid about the aluminum instruments - the cello I played on had been painted the same color as traditional wood instruments (very good paint job, looked exactly like wood) But the problem was the instrument I had played on had not been treated some of the paint had chipped off making the instrument look like it had cerebral palsy. Very disconcerting...oh, and the screws in the top of the body were visible even through the paint.

*chuckle* Might make for an interesting effect if, during a run, a flake of paint is chipped off and the guy discovers the secret beneath.
Crimson Jack
...or if there was an imp inside...
I recall that the original electric guitar bodies were made out of railroad tie material. But the resonance was all screwed up by the density of the wood or something like that.
Joe Outside
QUOTE (GrinderTheTroll) is the one that Boyd from Dave Matthews Band uses, it's unique from what I know of Violins.

Not particularly unique, it's just an electric violin of a failry common brand. Our local music store has access to them.
Hence the qualifier "from what I know of Violins" which in this case is nothing much. biggrin.gif
Thank you everyone.

I did not know about the aluminum instruments, that is definitely something to keep in mind.

The unusual link also has some good things to run with.

I knew someone would be able to help around here. Forget going to the library or doing google searches, thereís always someone on DS that has personal experience.
5700 opinions and counting.
if you want it to be a focus, check out Infusion foci from SOTA:64.
I'm glad you reminded me of that MFB - I haven't heard anything back from ShadowFAQ about the infusion focus. I'll give him a few more days before I bug him again.
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