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Music in your games


First Post
To set my new campaign apart from the standard stock, I've begun to write introductions to my adventures detailing events surrounding a group of NPCs the party will one day meet. To set the mood, I've begun to use music in the background during these brief, vague, and often dreamlike preludes. So far, I've gone for a post-rock/art-rock/surrealistic instrumental soundtrack using music from Mogwai, Slint, Sonic Youth, and Blonde Redhead.
Do you use music in your games? If so, is it "gaming music" like Midnight Syndicate or something else entirely?

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I ran an Arabian Adventures game in which I made good use of music (see list below). Typically, I'd mix a CD with a variety of moods and tempos - some for action, some for drama, and some for easy background music. I'd group them into track bundles (e.g. tracks 1-3 are background music, tracks 4-8 are action music, etc), and all I'd have to do is set the CD player to repeat a certain track bundle. When the scene changed, I could change the track bundle and the new tracks would play on repeat.

Some good listening:
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, or the Sabri brothers (Indian sounding)
Sheikh Mohammad Al-Helbawy (Egyptian sounding)
Tahir Aydogdu, and Timucin Cevikoglu (Turkish)
Rabih Abu-Khalil, The Sultan’s Picnic
Muslimgauze, Citadel, Intifaxa, Blue Mosque, and Veiled Sisters
Peter Gabriel, Passion (soundtrack to The Last Temptation of Christ)


Demon Lord
Ive used music before many times....mostly rock or heavy metal (Ozzy, Maiden, some Priest IIRC, probably some others too).

Last time I used it was for a reoccurring NPC.....one NPC the party kept running into every so often (evil guy who made their life hell).....I would cue up "Paranoid" (Ozzy) and he would appear soon after. Granted, it knocked some of the surprise out of it because they knew when they heard that song, that he was just around the corner. But...the look on the player's faces...well worth it.


First Post
Last year, the major villain was a Rakshasa who loved toying with the party; right before he would show up, I'd cue "Eye of the Tiger". Seemed, uh, appropriate.


That's Latin for "cool"
The only time I've used it was in a d20 Modern game where I would place Taichovsky's "Dance of the Sugarplum Faries" when the villian or one of his lieutennants was sneaking up on the party.

That was fun.


First Post
I remember once we used the Journey to the Center of the earth soundtrack (at least I think that's what it was called). We just had it as background music, over and over. Well anyways, the one thing that sticks out, and that still comes up with the old gaming gang , is at one point we were running for our lives from a army of orcs. And some chase music came up and wow talk about the timing. That was pretty cool.

James Heard

I use music extensively in my games, I even had, for a while though it seems to have disappeared, some sound effects of marching feet and drill calls in the distance that I managed to use to awesome effect in one of my games.

I tell you what, when the players go to meet the medusa queen and I started cueing the soundtrack from Eyes Wide Shut everyone suddenly paid a lot more attention.


First Post
Our group generally has some movie soundtracks running: Conan the Barbarian, Lord of the Rings, the D&D movie, Pirates of the Caribbean, Gladiator, etc.

Unfortunately there's an annoying tendency for the cd to be on the lightest track during combat, while the heavy combat music shows up during PC upkeep. :lol:

Yesterday I ran my first-ever session as GM. I had the sountrack from the computer game "Riven" running, because the PCs were making their way through a creepy crypt.

James Heard

sniffles said:
Unfortunately there's an annoying tendency for the cd to be on the lightest track during combat, while the heavy combat music shows up during PC upkeep. :lol:
Remote controls for your cd player (or better yet, mp3 player with folders) are your best friend.


First Post
James Heard said:
Remote controls for your cd player (or better yet, mp3 player with folders) are your best friend.

Unfortunately the GM with all the soundtracks has his stereo in another room. And I don't think he could be bothered anyway, even if it was in the room we play in. :(

I keep threatening to make a cd of just "battle" music that we can put on during combat.

Could be worse, though - since one GM got married, his wife now has the radio on and we listen to pop music during games!

Kid Socrates

First Post
We game in in the same room as my PC, or online over mIRC. Game's about 45 sessions deep so far, and we've got a TON of music. I've about 18 or 19 battle themes, different themes for each city, theme music for my NPCs, themes for the villains, some scenes that have happened have had their own themes, and then I also have mood themes, if party conversation starts heading a certain way. The count so far is 110 themes, including about 20 I have saved for later events.

Sample artists and soundtracks include: Baz Luhrman's Romeo & Juliet, Cowboy Bebop, Nine Inch Nails, Linkin Park, the Gladiator soundtrack, Chrono Trigger, .hack//sign, Rent, stuff from Metal Gear Solid 2, a Nike commercial, the Lion King, Michael W. Smith, the Matrix, Riverdance, and World Wrestling Entertainment.

So I use music pretty intensely.

I'm A Banana

We went from playing in a room with my computer (and music) to someone's basement (and no music), and I have missed it greatly. There's nothing quite as cool as having background music for your campaign...

.....of course, we've picked up an artist, so I guess I can't complain too much. :)

Generally it isn't music designed for gaming, it's collections of things. Videogame music is especially superb for this because in many instances it is designed to be on an infinite loop (and Uematsu is a frickin' musical genius. He did Final Fantasy music. He's like the John Williams of bleeps and bloops). Movie music is good, because it's designed to be talked over and be ambient.

I try to shy away from recognized songs, but I'll sometimes inject them if they're humorous or appropriate. A party barbarian once had "Hit Me Baby One More Time" as her theme song....*shudder*.
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