View Full Version : Music of D&D (and other games)

Stealth Marmot
2016-11-15, 11:59 AM
I figured a nice discussion would be music that people tend to play during their tabletop games. Stuff that plays in the background, maybe changing based on situation (In combat, out of combat, different places, even a Villain or NPC's theme song)

2016-11-15, 12:16 PM
I play music for each scene/location, pre-selected while writing up the plot/setting.

Mostly I use music specifically written for playing during TRPGs (German Group Erdenstern has a quite impressive and I find very nice selection for exactly that purpose), or if that does not work music from Video Games (For example during my Legend of the Five Rings games I use Jade Empire and Shogun/II Total War soundtracks, in some part due to a lack of music for "Asian" settings in Erdenstern's repertoire :smallwink: ). Very rarely do I go for film or series music, since it tends to be less loopable, and often has buildup made for specific scenes with specific timing that are nigh-on impossible to replicate during an RPG. The exceptions to that (the more loopable tracks) can work though.

So, in my games, pretty much each location (Or specific scene in a location, such as a (combat) encounter) gets its own background music, sometimes recurring if I want to strike a certain theme (For example, each scene with the "boss" of the PCs might have the same music, regardless of location)
There is also a "theme song" for each game I GM, that I play at the beginning of each session, a bit louder than the usual stuff, to get the players to know "playtime starting, please switch focus".

Tiktik Ironclaw
2016-11-15, 04:52 PM
I don't get to DM often enough to make a habit of anything, but I tend to play stuff like Led Zeppelin's "Ramble On", "Stairway to Heaven", and "The Battle of Evermore", Saxon's "Crusader", just about any Dio song, especially "Man on the Silver Mountain", "Holy Diver", and "The Last in Line", some Dragonforce, and a few oddball folk songs like "Whiskey in the Jar-O". So, basically, anything that could be deemed Heavy Mithril. I also like "Concerning Hobbits" as a general town theme, particularly rural towns. Of course, the setting matters too, as I would probably use recordings of sea shanties and tavern songs from AC IV if I were running a pirate campaign, for instance.

2016-11-15, 04:54 PM
The entire Elder Scrolls 5 Skyrim soundtrack is fantastic for pretty much any situation, it has combat music, boss fight, a few simple tavern songs, and one track that's become especially useful is the 42 minutes of generic ambiance at the end of the album

2016-11-16, 09:51 AM
As A DM:I don't usually play music when I DM, but when I do it is either low volume background music, or it is critically important to the scene; namely, a monster fights with sound( gibbering mouther) or a particularly notable Bard NPC I have based on a real life musician.

One of my highlights was when I put my party up against the Danse Macabre, a high level undead that is literally the Dance of Death. The monster is pathfinder based, and was inspired by the Camille Saint Saens song of the same name. It is incredibly eerie and fitting as a grim reaper figure with a violin tries to lure the players into the sound, slowly killing them. Players loved it.
The monster (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/undead/danse-macabre)
The song (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdLoTPUNtD0)

As a player:I once played a sorcerer that played guitar, and cast spells by shredding it up. I would play short clips of epic guitar shredding during my turn. A lot of my character concepts are direct copies of musicians, so I sometimes play their music if it is appropriate to the scene. Never more than a turn's worth though.

Martin Greywolf
2016-11-16, 10:46 AM
I use MusicBee to make playlists by the mood of the songs - DnD Battle, DnD Peace, DnD Sad, you get the idea. I have some particularly awesome songs in DnD themes to play when something super special is going on.

As for what songs I use, usually soundtracks. Some not-that-great shows and movies have pretty good soundtracks, and some soundtracks that are actually good in the movies are not so great when played as background music, so you will have to select carefully. If you run out of those songs, some bands/composers that make trailer music are pretty good bet - I mostly use Thomas Bergersen, Two Steps from Hell and Future World Music.

I think my most successful use of music was Red pyramids (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIFBvB01xio) during a somewhat horror-like adventure.

2016-11-16, 09:50 PM
I don't use music, but a friend of mine does, and he swears by Midnight Syndicate.

2016-11-17, 06:48 AM
I use the LOTR, The Hobbit, Icewinf Dale and Skyrim's Soundtracks. I then occasionally play a song from Sabaton.