D&D 5E Good music for campaigning

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I like to use Spotify for gaming music. Its easy to set up a playlist and you can just let it run in the background. For D&D, look for any fantasy themed computer game (Skyrim, Dragon Age, Divinity Original Sin, Witcher, etc) and movies (LOTR, Braveheart, etc) There are a ton of soundtracks which will spark some great ideas.

Besides D&D, I've created themed soundtracks for various other games, Star Wars, sci fi, westerns, zombie horror, a fallout-inspired game, etc.

You can even use popular music and find that it works well. My last gaming playlist was for a Princes of the Apocalypse campaign, and all the tracks are music from the mid-late '70s. Every song had an 'elemental' type or some appropriate lyrics. I just started playing it in the background and after a bit all the players picked up on it and everyone had a good laugh. (Landslide by Fleetwood Mac, Disco Inferno by the Trammps, Dust in the Wind by Kansas, The Tide is High by Blondie, and so on)

Happy gaming!


Staff member
I discovered Ludovico Einaudi a couple years ago, he has some really nice stuff. Evocative.

You might also check Mark CMG’s gaming music database; link in my sig. he hasn’t updated it in a while, but there are still many relevant threads to look at!

Li Shenron

Any suggestions and composers who are really popular out there that goes with adventuring like in D & D?

If you are looking for some music to actually use while playing D&D, I strongly suggest you to differentiate across different phases of the game... For some reason a lot of DM just think that putting on some epic movie soundtrack during the whole game is cool, but personally I find it extremely annoying as it often makes it difficult to concentrate when it matters, and it also works against narrative immersion.

I use Spotify when running the game, and I switch between different playlists I created myself. You'd better have an actual subscription rather than the free version however, otherwise the commercials can easily break the mood.

On the top of my head, I think I have the following separate playlists:

(out of game)

- A general fantasy-themed playlist that I use only before the actual game starts, to set the general mood, and then afterwards or whenever we take a break: in other words, only when we're dealing with OOC moments such as character creation, levelling up, making table arrangements, etc... This list includes mostly classic rock music tending to the progressive such as Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Yes, Queen, King Crimson, Genesis, Deep Purple, Rush, Uriah Heep, Thin Lizzy and a few more.

(during the game)

- Overland narrative including wilderness or city exploration, average social interactions, travelling, shopping and other activities during which the characters are engaged but not particularly under threat. Moderately relaxing music such as new age and ambient, mostly instrumentals: main examples are classical music, Mike Oldfield, Brian Eno and Ennio Morricone.

- Dungeon exploration. This is my favourite playlist, for which I specifically selected tense and scary songs from a variety of sources. Some examples are King Diamond and Goblins, as well as again Brian Eno, but you can easily find great picks from horror movies soundtracks. The key is however to avoid songs with a rhythmic section (so no heavy metal here).

- Battles. The easiest of the bunch, almost any epic/historic/war movies soundtrack works here, with Vangelis being my favourite, also Audiomachine. Contrary to the previous lists, this mostly features songs with a steady rhythm to give a sense of ongoing action and constant danger, neither too slow nor too fast.

- Taverns and important social interactions get their own list of vaguely medieval-sounding acoustic themes. I like using Segovia classical guitar music, Penguin Café Orchestra and some old Enya.

- Temples and holy places also get their own list, although this is by far the least used of the bunch. Enya and gregorian chants work best for these.


Can't go wrong with Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries. In the movie Excalibur they use if in the end battle and the movie Apocalypse Now uses it with a helicopter scene.


Elder Thing
I've always liked using the music of Tangerine Dream, ever since coming across the Legend soundtrack. The group has a vast and varied catalog, and most of it is great for gaming backgrounds. I'd recommend both the soundtrack above and Goblins' Club (though the soundtrack above includes two pop-vocal songs too, though they are easily skipped).

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