Musical instruments are in. The system was written by me (merged by Kevin), then a set of instruments added by PropaneSoup (adjusted and merged by KA101).
You wear or hold those, then activate to start playing. This gives you a speed penalty, but a morale boost. Morale scales with perception.
Now, why perception and not a new skill:
While a new skill would be “more realistic”, as music practice takes time, it wouldn’t be very realistic for apocalypse survivors to carry a tuba everywhere, practicing it constantly to level up the skill. Currently hordes are both off by default and generally not dangerous enough to stop players from practicing playing on the tuba.
Plus, a big part of feeling better from playing an instrument is the sense of progress rather than just being good.
Picked perception, because it makes sense (tone deafness, absolute pitch etc.), because perception could use a buff and because it is a stat that already exists and varies between survivors.
There were suggestions such as capping the skill gain (and requiring NPC teachers to level it up above that). The problems I see with this approach are:
[ol][li]Linear morale (no morale boost for sense of progress, no penalty from boredom = not that much more realistic)[/li]
[li]Having to spend xp to practice but only for a while (first week?) making it useless to actually keep focus up until the cap[/li]
[li]Tuba practices in the middle of an apocalypse[/li][/ol]
Problems with the current perception-based ones are:
[ol][li]Gigs in the middle of an apocalypse. Chopping zeds with a bladed guitar and then rocking out on it is just a bit less silly than chopping zeds with said guitar and then going “D…-A…-D-G…-A-D”[/li]
[li]Everyone (except for the optimized world-wrecker characters) starts with quite good musical skill[/li]
[li]Musical skill drops significantly with pain and similar effects, can’t play funeral march for self[/li][/ol]
Current issues with the system itself:
[ol][li]No penalty for covered or weird mouth[/li]
[li]No penalty for encumbered (including weapons) or weird hands[/li]
[li]All music is either good or bad, no way to randomly strike a bad chord and get mad[/li]
[li]No static instruments like pianos[/li]
[li]No electric instruments - those could work even with the current system, but would be quite clunky (you’d need to first turn them on, then start playing) and would work on batteries[/li]
[li]Playing more than one instrument isn’t handled nicely (doesn’t do anything special, should probably turn one off)[/li]
[li]Instruments have a (1) in name. This is due to me not being able to figure out how to make them not disappear when they reach 0 charges. I think I got it figured out (changing the type from TOOL_ARMOR to TOOL should work, right?) but didn’t fix it yet.[/li][/ol]
What content is lacking:
[ol][li]A musician profession[/li]
[li]A trait that could boost musical skill[/li]
[li]Recipes for instruments[/li]