Magic Of Bollywood
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MARGARET: Hide, hide — they are all mad — quite mad!

ROSE: What makes you think that?

MARGARET: Hush! They sing choruses in public. That's mad enough, I think!

Ruddigore: or, The Witch's Curse by W.S. Gilbert & Sir Arthur Sullivan

Basic Information

This is the phenomenon, common in Indian cinema (and some Western cinema - although not as much as it used to be) whereby a character can resolve plot issues by breaking into song (and usually dance as well). Mysteriously, everyone else in the immediate area will immediately known the lyrics and steps necessary to accompany the hero in his routine and, by the end of the piece, something meaningful will have been achieved.

Sources

Bibliography
1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • Only really useful in silly campaigns - unless you use it as a shtick for a powerful supernatural entity (one of the Fair Folk, probably from the Seelie Court would be appropriate). Make sure to emphasise to your players that the "WTF?" they're feeling is entirely intentional or they'll assume that you've gone mad.
    • Case in point (sort of) the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode Once more, with feeling. On the face of it, it's just an excuse for a musical episode, but it's given appropriate context.
    • The movie Enchanted also gives examples as this, as the heroine seems to warp reality around her causing musical numbers appropriate for her world to spontaneously occur.
    • Doesn't need to be particularly powerful. If people already know the lyrics and the steps (say, if they're in a cult or a flash mob), the dance itself could be a piece of ritual magic.
  • If you want to do something like this, you probably want to have music selected and queued up to play.
    • This arcanst's brother once ran a silly convention one-shot using the game It Came From the Late Late Show. He picked the songs he wanted to have in his musical and burned them on a CD so that he could play each one at the appropriate time and encourage the players to sing along. It was, a silly game.
  • In a very movie/musical-inspired game, you might be able to get away with this by saying that it's in-genre.
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