This is one of those role-playing encounters that could happen anywhere. The party could encounter this individual on the road traveling somewhere or while they’re enjoying a mug of their favorite drink at their local watering hole.
In either case this is an opportunity for the GM to use some of his creative juices.
If encountered on the road:
– Have the minstrel perform, you could even come up with a line or two from the poem or song they’re performing, and then “pass the hat” for donations.
– The minstrel approaches the party and seeing that they are successful adventurers offers to compose a song or poem of their great deeds – for a price
– The minstrel asks the party for some information and as payment sings/recites something
If encounterd at an establishment:
– The minstrel enters the establishment and sets up in corner and begins performing, the owner may or may not like this and responds accordingly
– Some patrons decide they’ve had enough as the singing has been off-key and go to “help” the minstrel out. Will the party stay neutral or help one side or the other?
– A member of the party recognizes some of the places and individuals in the song being sung as they relate to the quest the party is on. This makes for a good role-playing exchange and a way to deliver information to the party.
Keep in mind that some of the above could be interchanged, mix it up and and some fun!
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Be sure to check out these additional encounter ideas