Scene setting music?
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  1. #1
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    Zorkion's Avatar

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    Sep 2002

    Scene setting music?

    I will be starting up a DnD campaign soon, and I figured that carefully selected music could help the atmosphere of the game in certain situations. The only problem is, though, that I dont know of any songs that immediately jump to mind in this situation. Any body else here ever used music for their DnD campaigns? And if so, what songs in particular work well? Any help would be very much appreciated.

  2. #2
    When I play we have a character named JonSecadad (All one word, it's an inside joke) and he plays "Just another day without you" whenever he speaks or attacks.

    But seriously, as a classical music fan who has given this some thought, I would suggest Mars from The Planets by Holst for a battle scene. Also Gustav Mahler has some nice battle-y music. Look into Debussey or Tchaikovsky for pretty music. As for stuff in a tavern, I would suggest some Renaissance Instrumental. Those are hard to find, but something like iTunes can make it cheap. Boss battles are easy. First movement, O Fortuna, of Carmina Burana by Carl Orf. You'll recognize it when you hear it.

    I think classical fits the D&D mood better than anything more modern would. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    Acolyte (Lvl 2)

    BiggusGeekus's Avatar

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    Jan 2002
    Well, whenever I want to set the mood I play something from Barry White All-Time Greatest Hits .

    Hmmm? What? Oh! GAMING!!! My bad.

    Erm. Well. In that case...

    Many a movie soundtrack will do you good. Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Conan,etc. Although I suggest a particlualr composition for the bad guy. You'd be amazed. My players in my d20 Modern game are terrfied of the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Faries" because I always use it for my Big Bad Guy and he consistently puts a hurting on my players.

    All that being said, I'd suggest staying away from songs with lyrics. No two ways about it. Your players aren't going to be intimidated by a bad guy whose them song is "Pretty in Pink".

  4. #4
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    Jul 2003
    While the thread gets a little OT here and there, there's a nice selection of links for tunes in this Dark Sun thread over at the WOTC boards.

    Music thread

    Technically, its for Dark sun inspired music, but that's moot since all of it ports to any setting.

    (edit) Just noticed that is down (hand't been there in some time), so many of the links (mine especially) are down as well. Ahh well, you win some, you lose some.
    Last edited by Mach2.5; Sunday, 4th April, 2004 at 09:03 AM.

  5. #5
    You could also try instrumentals from console RPGs. Most have no words and I think they could work very well if used correctly.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2003
    In my old Midnight game, I had some rules for scene-setting music....

    Travelling- music- Lord of the Rings, Fellowship. The Shire music for safe places....

    Climactic battles, apocalyptic explosions and meeting a recurring demon- Carmina Burana.

    Combat- Gladiator, and War movie soundtracks. Adagio in G minor (made famous in Platoon) for a PC death.

    Horror & investigation- various horror soundtrack compilations.

    Building tension- Silence of the Lambs (long term) and Jaws (short term)

    Some thoughts,


  7. #7

    Bendris Noulg's Avatar

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    Aug 2002
    Vegas, Nevada
    Lord of the Rings Soundtracks... Between 3 albums there is a wide variety of musical "mood".

    Gladiator is simply excellent.

    Dune (Dave Lynch's version), but avoid Tracks 10 and the last Track (to much Toto comes through...), and Children of Dune (Sci-Fi Channel's version)... Both are fairly grand and epic sounding, with Dune being a bit on the dark and gloomy side.

    When dealing with "natives" and the like, I tend to pull out Micky Hart or Native American music.

    Dark City has some excellently creepy stuff as well as a track or two that are very combative.

    Hulk is actually a decent soundtrack, as are the X-Men soundtrack.

    Star Trek has a good number of excellent tracks, but they are scattered across ten albums (Klingon War Anthom!), and same goes for Star Wars (Asteroid Field from Episode V), although both have heavily-recognized "themes" that can offset the mood being set by recognition/familiarity.

    When fighting the "hordes" or some such, I tend to pull out the Slayer... Corrosion of Conformity's Echoes in the Well is an excellent mood-setter ("Listen to the battle cries of a race that knows it's dying..."), as are Judas Priest's Rocka Rolla and Rush's Bytor and the Snow Dog.

    And this list will continue forever if I keep typing...

  8. #8
    Novice (Lvl 1)

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    Oct 2003
    Soundtracks to add:
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for those Asian-flavored games. However, the music can be depressing with slow melodic tones.
    Passion: Music for the Last Temptation of Christ this is from the Martin Scorsese film. Great, great soundtrack that blends Middle Eastern sounds. Not to be absent from anyone's collection. (I've had my copy for over 12 years).
    Army of Darkness - 'nuff said
    Last of the Mohicans - great, great stuff.

    Groups to look out for
    Juno Reactor (great for Modern games as well)
    ES Posthumus ( You can't find them at the store, but download a couple of the free tracks from the website. These guys should be a staple in any gamer's library.

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