Music to "role" by
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  1. #1
    Novice (Lvl 1)

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    Block ckirby


    Music to "role" by

    Audible Atmosphere.

    That's what a lot of games lack. Since our game of choice is played on the field of the mind, there is much to be desired, at times, in the way of visual or audible aids. While it is easy enough to spend a few moments to make a map or two, sound is often neglected.

    If you are like me, I'm sure you've experimented in the realm of sound-scapes for your games, and I would be interested in what you've used. Currently, my group has access to a CD/Tape player, but we don't even give it another thought (unless our bowl of popcorn is resting on it).

    There are a few items to be purchased in this area (pre-made CDs and such), but one must always raise the bar and add their own personal touches.

    Movie soundtracks are great sources (Dracula, WaterWorld, Muppets Take Manhattan) and even personally recorded sound bites are clever (burping, belching, passing the wee gas).

    What have you folks used in the past or use now?

  2. #2
    We use gladiator,diablo 2 soundtrack,LoTR,and The Planets

  3. #3
    Dead Can Dance, Conan the Barbarian Soundtrack, Baldur's Gate Series Soundtrack, Gladiator Soundtrack, various Castlevania albums/game soundtracks, Fellowship of the Ring Soundtrack, 13th Warrior Soundtrack, Dune Original Motion Picture Sountrack. Some fit well for travel/town goings, others for fighting/dungeon crawls, and the castlevania stuff is also good for any sort of classic horror/undead setting, and is just plain good music otherwise.

  4. #4
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    Block cbatt

    Get the Final Fantasy X soundtrack. It's really good (this from a gut who hates console RPGs but got hooked on the tunes while watching his wife play). I have gained a lot of respect for Nobuo Uematsu. He can make good music in many styles; quite an interesting collection of music.

    If you like ambient background noise, Get Aphex Twin's "Selected Ambient Works Volume 2". Very minimal and moody. Great for crypts and dark places. I have a ton of experimental electronic music and would love to recommend it, but it's more suitable for modern games rather than fantasy; phenomenal for Call of Cthulhu though.

    Irish folk music is great. It ranges from lively jigs to moody and wistful. Maybe a bit cliche and renaissance faire oriented.

    Get the Excalibur soundtrack just for Carl Orff's "O Fortuna". Another great classical piece is Ride of the Valkyries. So is Great Gates of Kiev, which is just the title of a part of a larger piece, the composer whom I forget and the piece's actual title I forget as well (the name may also be incorrect, so if I get the time I'll actually look it up for you); I think the first part of the piece is titled Babba Yagga's Hut, but my memory is so foggy.

    If I can think of some more specifics, I'll post again.

  5. #5
    cbatt, you're referring to Modest Mussorgsky's _Pictures at an Exhibition_

    Or, do like I do - develop an interest in Classical music, and take about 10 years and acquire a collection of over 400 Classical CDs. You'll never be without theme music.

  6. #6

    Re: Music to "role" by

    No matter how many times I see posts like this, I'm always surprised that nobody mentions Danny Elfman.

    It's by and large music from movies, but some of the best and most memorable that I've ever heard. Most would know him from the opening theme of the Simpsons, which believe it or not, is pretty damn moody outside the context of a cartoon.

    Other movie music credits include: Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Batman, and most recently Spider-Man and Terminator 3. A quick search on IMDB will reveal a massive list of movie and tv credits.

    I highly recommend "Music For A Darkened Theatre - Volume One" for roleplaying.

  7. #7
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    Acolyte (Lvl 2)

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    I Defended The Walls!I Defended The Walls!

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    My communities:

    Originally posted by cbatt
    Get the Excalibur soundtrack just for Carl Orff's "O Fortuna".
    Better yet, get a recording of Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. "O Fortuna" is the first and last movement of a spectacular suite.

    The piece is actually a collection of dirty songs found in a 12th or 13th century monastery.

    On a personal note, my high school has a huge fine arts festival every two years. When I was a senior, I was first chair french horn, and our orchestra got to play Carmina Burana in its entirety, with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and members of both the Chicago Civic Orchestra and the CSO itself. That was amazing.

  8. #8
    We use the X-men soundtrack, SW episode 1 soundtrack and the obligitory Gladiator soundtrack

  9. #9
    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)

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    Block Crothian

    Bram Stoker's Dracula, 9th Gate, and City of Lost Children are all great soundtracks to set an erie mood.

  10. #10
    It's always interesting that different people seem to sound off when the ol' music thread comes along. Well, there's classical, movie soundtracks, and new age music to be had when programming a campaign soundtrack.

    Classical: "O Fortuna" by Orff has already been mentioned but I can't say I find much use for it. It's good but really only appropriate for the most epic of battles and even then for short ones as the piece in question is regrettably short.
    Faure's "Requiem", at least the Agnus Dei bit, is quite good funeral music.
    I'm also quite partial to the first movement of Bruckner's 6th symphony. The malevolent sound makes a good bad guy theme (worked well for Bhaal in my FR campaign).

    Movie Soundtracks: Here, you just can't go wrong with the 3 "j"s---> John Williams, James Horner, and Jerry Goldsmith. Each composer is prolific and has done enough adventure-type scores to last dozens of campaigns without repeating. The three J's also have numerous compilations out there, making purchase of their great music easy and affordable.
    Some selections from each include:
    J. Williams: Jurassic Park (I and II, although III isn't bad either by Don Davis), Star Wars (of course, just try not to think about the visual baggage), Indiana Jones trilogy
    J. Horner: Star Trek II and III (both quite excellent as the theme is repeated alot, making for good party theme), Braveheart, Willow, The Name of the Rose (for those murder mysteries) and of course Aliens (there is no better melee music)
    J. Goldsmith: what hasn't this guy done? You've got some oldies but goodies like Rio Conchos and King Solomon's Mines, Lionheart (NOT the Jean-Claude movie), Star Treks I, V, VIII & IX, Air Force One (also great melee music), The Mummy, The Edge (wonderful theme), the Rambo trilogy (hands down best action cues in II and III)
    As mentioned, Gladiator, Conan the Barbarian, and Danny Elfman's Batman are also pretty good. Also try Galaxy Quest (Newman) and The Mummy Returns (A. Silvestri).

    New Age: Not everyone's favorite category, this music does provide a good audio pool to wade through. Karl Jenkins' Adiemus line isn't bad for displaying tongues of strange or unfamiliar races. David Arkenstone has also done quite a bit of music that could be used (even his own rendition of the Middle Earth mileu that should not be ignored). There's a radio program called Echoes that I highly recommend finding on your dial for anyone interested in new age. It's usually top notch stuff and can be found sometime on many public radio stations. Go to for details!

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