D&D General Songs that would make good adventures

the Jester

Like the thread title says. Post songs that would make good adventures. Bonus points for lyrics or elaboration on why you think so. Obviously, I'll start:

Abby of Synn - Ayreon

Once upon a time, as in ancient history
High upon a hill, in a shroud of mystery
Loomed the abbey, as we journeyed through the night
And wended our way towards the light.

As we entered through the gates, we heard the silent calls
There was something evil that lurked within these walls
As I relive my days in this godforsaken place
All that appears before me now... is her face...

Another man died today like the ones before
With blackened tongue and blackened finger
Within the labyrinth behind the bolted door
Lies the answer to our mystery...

Heed the book that kills - it holds an evil power!
Those who turn the leaves wither like a flower!
Well guarded by the seer inside the abbey tower.
For laughter kills the fear within...
The abbey of Synn.

We found the secret path that led us here to you
Give us the deadly book of laughter
Too many men have died for a teaching of the few
Open your heart. Reveal the mystery.

Heed the book that kills - it holds an evil power!
Those who turn the leaves wither like a flower!
Well guarded by the seer inside the abbey tower.
For laughter kills the fear within...
The abbey of Synn.

And then she came to me, like a creature from the dawn
Enchanting as the moon, radiant as the sun.
She took the boy in me, and gave me back a man
With a force I could not withstand.

The seer burned the abbey down, and perished in the fire...
We couldn't save the book. The flames were rising higher...
So many died in vain for an ancient discipline...
Laughter kills the fear within...
The abbey of Synn.

Heed the book that kills - it holds an evil power!
Those who turn the leaves wither like a flower!
Well guarded by the seer inside the abbey tower.
For laughter kills the fear within...
The abbey of Synn.

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How about a full album? When I was a teen (early 80’s) our DM made an entire campaign using the full The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway album by Genesis. It was epic - Creepy underworld, strange encounters, a race against time, chases, a stolen item (by “a super sized blackbird that sure can fly”), an attempted rescue and a finale of self discovery.
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In our campaign it was less than our manhood. Lol.
Yeah that whole sequence in the album is pretty strange, well the whole album is but that one especially. I've often pondered doing an adventure on that album or something off of Selling England By the Pound like the Battle of Epping Forest.


Here’s a Genesis song ( I’m a huge Peter Gabriel/Genesis fan as you can probably tell by now) that I have always wanted to run as a part of a campaign.

- “The Fountain of Salmacis”

From a dense forest of tall dark pinewood
Mount Ida rises like an island.
Within a hidden cave, nymphs had kept a child:
Hermaphroditus, son of gods, so afraid of their love.
As the dawn creeps up the sky,
The hunter caught sight of a doe.
In desire for conquest,
He found himself within a glade he'd not beheld before.

Where are you, my father?
Then he could go no further
Give wisdom to your son
Now lost, the boy was guided by the sun

And as his strength began to fail,
He saw a shimmering lake.
A shadow in the dark green depths
Disturbed the strange tranquility.

The waters are disturbed
The waters are disturbed
Some creature has been stirred
Naiad queen Salmacis has been stirred

As he rushed to quench his thirst,
A fountain spring appeared before him.
And as his heated breath brushed through the cool mist
A liquid voice called, "Son of gods, drink from my spring."
The water tasted strangely sweet.
Behind him the voice called again.
He turned and saw her, in a cloak of mist alone,
And as he gazed, her eyes were filled with the darkness of the lake.

We shall be one
She wanted them as one
We shall be joined as one'
Yet he had no desire to be one'

Away from me, cold-blooded woman.
Your thirst is not mine.

Nothing will cause us to part.
Hear me, O Gods!"

Unearthly calm ascended from the sky
And then their flesh and bones were strangely merged.
Forever to be joined as one.

The creature crawled into the lake.
A fading voice was heard:
And I beg, yes I beg, that all who touch this spring
May share my fate.

We are the one
The two are now made one,
We are the one
Demi-god and nymph are now made one

Both had given everything they had
A lover's dream had been fulfilled at last
Forever still beneath the lake


Limit Break Dancing
This one.

When I look up at the sky, what meets my eyes?
Can I just stand by while the world dies?
A starship idling nearby, is it my time?
I crawl inside and turn the cockpit clockwise, toward the sunrise

I hear a voice in the back of my head
Screaming "this is suicide! Did you hear what I said?"
But then it fades into nothing with the rest of the light and sound

I'm on my way out!

Lift off!
The firestorm ignites
Last thoughts of a life by candlelight
Inside this speeding satellite
Halfway between the black and gray
Is no place for a life to waste away
I'll take the road with all the stakes

Today, so many moons away
I safely say that my heart's true calling was never betrayed
(Never betrayed)
Arrays of enemies await, but fears allay
We stand as one
A bond beyond the vast wave, until the last grave

The mission orders typed and lights up our screens
Ignition flights
A thousand minds move simultaneously
Into the night a fleet of firelight jet engines scream
Turn the key

This is my destiny!

Last flight!
I'd gladly give my life for one night as a justice acolyte
Light shines only for the blind
Escape the endless dream of space, black seas that I can't navigate
Locate the great Starlight Brigade

We have come so far
Beyond the most distant star
Starlight within will guide us to the other side

Lift off!
The firestorm ignites
Last thoughts of a life by candlelight
Inside this speeding satellite
Halfway between the black and gray
Is no place for a life to waste away
I'll take the road with all the stakes (Starlight Brigade)

Black knights and dark side battlecries
All die once they're in my line of sight
This fight is all I know that's right (whoa yeah)
No fate but that of which we make
Noble as the oath we undertake
We are the great Starlight Brigade!
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I don't think I've ever built an adventure around the full lyrics of a song, but I have written adventures based on the name of a song, the name of a group, or on occasion a snippet of song lyrics. Examples include:

The Soundgarden: A pair of fallen lillends kill mortals and use their bones, weapons, and armor to create a massive set of wind chimes on a cloud island.​
Black Hole Sun: A lich attempts to use a sphere of annihilation and a talisman of the sphere to destroy Oerth's sun.​
Ten Lords a-Leaping: The PCs find out ten Lords of Greyhawk have been dominated by a beholder intending to secretly rule the city.​
Disc o' Inferno: The PCs seek out an artifact (a disc of fire) on the Elemental Plane of Fire.​
Gotta Find the Queen of All My Dreams: The PCs meet up with the Queen of Dreams and begin service as dreamwalkers, helping those who have become trapped in their dreams to escape to full wakefulness.​
Birth Day Massacre: I haven't run this one yet, but it involves some major combat on the day a noblewoman is due to give birth. (I'm being a little vague on purpose in case any of my players are reading this.)​



5e Freelancer
It's a trilogy of songs, actually. All from Panic! at the Disco's Pray for the Wicked album. (Keep in mind, this is very much a rough draft version of this. If one were actually to do this, it would need some pretty substantial revisions or additions to make it a viable, fun adventure.)

First is Say Amen, where the party would have to steal the Devil's Key, some evil Mayan artifact, and fight some thieves that are attempting to steal it from them and use it for their own selfish purposes. At the end of this adventure, the party ends up getting cursed, either by the key or the cult that they're trying to keep it from, and are going to die unless they can end the curse.

Second, This is Gospel. In this adventure, the party has to try and get their curses removed by some clerics, possibly their own if they have one. It works on all of them except the person that is attuned to the Devil's Key (the only way to move the key is to attune to it, so unless the party wants to give a powerful, evil artifact to their enemies, one of them has to take the bullet for the rest of the party). This curse makes the character that is attuned to it gain one exhaustion every day, and be incapable of removing exhaustion by both taking a long rest or through the Greater Restoration spell so long that they are attuned to the Devil's Key. Eventually, the character that is attuned to the Devil's Key will die, which brings us to the last adventure.

Third and finally, the Emperor's New Clothes. In this adventure, one of the PCs has just died from the Exhaustion effect from the Devil's Key. They stay dead for 1 day, during which time the party has to carry their body around and resurrection magic fails to revive them (during this time period, the Devil's Key can be moved, so long as the body of the person it was attuned to is still wearing it). After a day has passed, the character that was attuned to the key comes back to life, as if by a Reincarnate spell, but is transformed into a Feral Tiefling, having to take the Winged option, and also recieves a Demonic Boon (Orcus version from Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes). The wings look like ash-black angel wings and the PC has dark gray skin, including their new horns and tail. The PC becomes the BBEG of the campaign and tries to meet up with the cult that was trying to get the Devil's Key. Once the party defeats the cult and their reincarnated Party Member, they attract the attention of an angel, who retrieves the Devil's Key and promises to destroy it (possibly leading to more adventures later on in the campaign, which could involve a Fallen Angel that attunes to and unlocks the abilities of the Devil's Key).


Victoria Rules
Ghosts of the Heceta Head by Lordi.

Heceta Head is a real place a few hundred miles south of here on the Oregon coast. A story goes that the lighthouse there is haunted, and the Lordi song tells of the lighthouse's original ghost being driven out by a bunch of other, nastier ghosts. Instant adventure hook! I place a similar lighthouse in my setting, its original ghost appears before the party and pleads for help, and the party (one hopes!) go and clear out the place.

When I ran this in my current campaign it was the start of a four-adventure series dealing with Poseidon's Damned (the hostile ghosts first met at the lighthouse), the third of which stole its title and a few ideas from the song Key to the Seven Winds by Nocturnal Rites.

I've long wanted to build an adventure around Sacred Heart by Dio but have yet to do so.

I was rather tickled to, in days past, legitimately be able to run Stairway to Heaven and Highway to Hel in the same campaign, though neither had any real further connection to the songs beyond the title. (and yes, Hel intentionally only has one 'L' here; the mission was to go and deal with the goddess Hel to try to retrieve a soul she'd stolen. It didn't go well.)

All these adventures are/were homebrew, if it matters.


I feel like the (sadly now defunct) band BAL-SAGOTH definetly belongs in this thread.
Their singer/writer Byron Roberts wrote entire stories into which the lyrics of their songs were embedded. Here's the lyrics to the title-track from their 2nd album, which is my favourite. Bear in mind that not all of the trxt below is actually sung, but everything is part of the song. Now, is this Fantasy? Sword&Sorcery? I'll let you be the judge.

Starfire Burning Upon the Ice-Veiled Throne of Ultima Thule

Spears agleam in the dying sun,
The blood is spilled, the battle’s won,
From the icy throne of God-King shall rule,
When nine stars kiss the moon o’er Ultima Thule.
(Old Northlander war-song, found in the ancient scrolls of Volmyr)

The final part of Voryn Helmsmiter’s journey into the Ice Realm:

Blood drips from my frost-encased sword, forming a crimson blossom upon the ice…
My limbs cold, becoming as one with the massing snows… my eyes nearly frozen closed.
For how long had we travelled? The memory grows dim, lost in the cruel, searing storm-winds. And now, at last… our quest is at an end.

With the blessings of the elders we began our journey beyond the great veil of shadowed glaciers. They spoke of a prophecy foretold; an ancient and glorious legacy, a quest for the realm of legendry lost to man since before even the Star-Lords descended…
Now, only I survive, my blood spilling to the ice, turning to crimson crystal upon the deeply frozen earth. Elder sorcery crackles and hums all about me, coursing through the sky, the snow… As grim destiny approaches with the freezing boreal gales, and this ancient prophecy unfolds…

Predication of the Elders:
Go, follow the witch-lights in the northern night sky, beyond the great silvern mountains… Let the sacred Moon-Crystal be your guide, beware the sentinels at the Caverns of Eternal Mist…

Spears agleam in the dying sun,
The blood is spilled, the battle’s won,
From the icy throne of God-King shall rule,
When nine stars kiss the moon o’er Ultima Thule.

The Testimony of Voryn Helmsmiter:

Swathed in moon-frosts, in icy winds our blazon flying,
Iron gleaming ‘neath the stars, black skies ablaze with astral fire,
White wolves (like silent spirits) haunt us, ever northwards, the ice-gem leads us, glimmering,
Powerful spells entwine the shrine of legendry, mighty gates of frozen splendour looming,
When the moon and stars shine as one upon the snows, the ancient ice-gate opens, the prophecy is fulfilled!

Towering, ice-encrusted forms lumber forth from the freezing mist,
(Their eyes shimmering with a fiendish, eldritch malevolence…)
Our steel is raised against their weapons of gleaming crystal, and the virgin snow is rendered crimson by bloodshed in a searing storm of slaughter.
(Wounded, dying, my flesh rent by weapons no human ever forged or wielded, I am beckoned forward by a strange, alluring force from beyond the veil of swirling mists…)

Shadows, images form in the glittering rune-carved walls of this glacial chamber; secrets frozen within the timeless vaults of eternity…
The throne of the time-lost ice realm, entwined in the mantle of such searing star-born power! This frozen, aeon-cloaked seat of immortal majesty (of an empire forged long before the vast seas rose in devouring fury)!
What shimmering swords raised in combat once sang with the glorious clamour of steel on steel? What splendid banners, billowing in the icy gales, once heralded the march of these invincible silver-clad legions to the blood-swathed embrace of epic battle? The glory of untold thousands of years past… this ethereal legacy of mighty Ultima Thule. The frozen eyes of immortal kings watch me… such dark splendour!

The Guardian of Ice and Shadow:
The grim Ice-Gods sleep in these frost-bound tombs, illumined by the caress of lunar fire, and the kiss of star-gleam from the stygian void.
All is now as was foretold in prophecy, written in the very ether of empyreal eternity…
The celestial alignment is nigh… the conjunction is at hand!

The Testimony of Voryn Helmsmiter:

And nine stars illumine the northern heavens; a vast cosmic sigil with the silvern moon at its centre. Blazing argent light fills the chamber, engulfing the hewn walls of elder ice, these ancient carvings in a time-veiled tongue (etched into the primeval ice countless aeons ago, now bathed in diaphanous incandescence by this storm of lucent stellar power; their mind-searing meaning at last becomes known to me), their cosmic secrets unfold! The ice-throne is encased by a shimmering wall of writhing cerulean flame, a lambent flame far colder than the frozen surface upon which it dances…

And then, enlightenment comes, gleaming down upon my consciousness as the bright moon gazes down upon this auroral vista. From my mind is lifted an obscuring veil, a veil induced by sorcerous arts, and I realize I have been merely a vassal of another’s twisted will, a pawn in a game which is entwined in treachery and malign aspirations to thresholds of great power. Such a traitorous web has been spun! The elders of my kingdom bow in obeisance to the vile priests of Xothan’kur, and it is their diseased machinations which have urged me here, to the very heart of the far-fabled ice realm… for they seek to usurp the power of the Conjunction, stealing the vast energies of the Ice-Veiled throne and absorbing them into their own leprous, undead bodies, perpetuating the adoration of their abhorrent liege for countless ages, liberating his vile will and enslaving the realms of the world! Aye, for generations they have plotted their actions, and I was the key to this plot, chosen from birth for this fated journey… for the blood of the ancient kings of Ultima Thule runs strong in my veins, and only once every aeon may one such as I stand before the throne during the great cosmic alignment, when the sorceries of the ancient Ice-Gods are at their peak, and rightfully wield this power unleashed! And yet I vow that the vile minions of Xothan’kur shall not prevail! Liberating the fettered power of the Moon-Crystal, I sever the tendrils of their dark conjurings, and their aspirations are at an end, their spells broken by the very power which they sought to usurp! The final vestiges of mortal life flee my body in crimson gouts, and at last I realize what the fates have spun for me, and what is carved in the very ice all about me. My destiny is at hand…

The Herald of Enlightenment:
And so, enrob’d by tendrils of starfire and the raiments of lunar mist, the immortal liege whose sceptred empire is eternity, sits enthroned and brooding over his dark realm once more.

The Testimony of Voryn Helmsmiter:
The last of my life’s blood spills to the ice, (as star-wrought destiny is at last fulfilled). Swathed in freezing flame!
The mystic wolves of the frost-moon (slowly, silently) encircle me, Their eyes are blazing azure, and their fur is whiter than the sublime snows.
Such power! I am the Chosen… the secrets of the earth and the stars are unlocked before me… I am destined to reign forever… to reign from the Ice-Veiled Throne of Ultima Thule!

I don't remember the details, but I did play in a game that the DM based on several heavy metal songs from the 80s and early 90s. He was mostly into Metallica, but there was some other stuff too. It was surprising how well it worked!

Isn't every DIO song a D&D campaign in and of itself? Better question, does anyone really know what a "Holy Diver" is?

Any Yoko Ono song, escape the lair of the wailing Banshee/Harpy with your ears intact is surely fodder for a great D&D adventure.

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