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Old 01-07-2008, 01:16 AM   #11
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Default Re: The RPG Soundtrack

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Old 01-07-2008, 01:55 AM   #12
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Default Re: The RPG Soundtrack

I occasionally incorporate music as inplay elements of my games, that is, the music the characters actually do listen to.

This is quite easy in my Traveller campaign, where, as they say, everything that happens has happened before on ancient Terra, including music.

A guest aboard the ship of the PCs was a female singer from a french speaking world, which sang in the voice of
Natacha Atlas . The surfers of the waterworld Sansterre listen to the Beach Boys, of course. When visiting the socialist world of Neubayern, they were greeted by a choir singing Brothers, Towards Sun, Towards Freedom. While it is unlikely this kind of music will be remembered in the 30th century, it fits the Traveller theme.

In an earlier game, I used Jim Morrison, who performed unplugged with a harp at the PCs campfire, and The Clash as NPCs.
No unconsenting english phrases were harmed during the writing of this post.
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Old 01-07-2008, 06:32 AM   #13
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Default Re: The RPG Soundtrack

Originally Posted by Rocket Man
I try to avoid the better-known themes. "Flight of the Valkyries" is very dramatic, but all too likely to get the group singing "Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit ..."
Hasn't happened yet, although I hold out hope. ;)

In fact, when players hear the opening strains of a particularly dramatic theme, they often deliberately try a harebrained and dramatic stunt designed to offer victory or death odds. When queried later, they claim that the music forced them.

Originally Posted by Rocket Man
As far as using a given song at its "Perfect Moment": I usually do just use a mix. However, if you want something more precise, that's the sort of thing that laptops and sound files were just made for. Have a selection cued up and click when needed.
Exactly. With a laptop and iTunes library with all your music, scoring each scene to perfection is just a click away. ;)
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:57 AM   #14
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I'm surprised noone else has mentioned Midnight Syndicate. I use them a lot for my games and have found it provides the perfect atmosphere for the dark games I love to run. For anyone who has never heard Midnight Syndicate, I highly recommend them, particularly their first 3 albums Born of the Night, Realm of Shadows, and Gates of Delirium.

I also use movie soundtracks like Sleepy Hollow and well, just about anything by Danny Elfman.
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:58 AM   #15
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I don't usually use music, but there's a few dramatic scenes coming up where I might well end up using it. If so, it will be the music the characters are hearing at the time. "Watch on the Rhine," "God Save Ireland," "God Save the King," and a few others are going to be coming up, if the PC's end up at the Coranation Ceremony...
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:09 AM   #16
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This would have been the theme for my Aasimar paladin...
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Old 01-08-2008, 09:59 AM   #17
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Default Re: The RPG Soundtrack

Originally Posted by GhostInTheMachine
Does anyone have advice on using music during campaigns? I mean you could easily just throw up a mix, but how do you use X song during a specific action at an unplanned time w/o screwing things up continuity wise?

I set up a quest once long, long ago with a set of songs to be played as each "turning point" explained the history of a Artifact item (minor) and told the story of the Npc questing for it. The story line was intended as a party joins up on a quest to help a knight recover the lost Artifact. A bard/magic item was to carry off the music and set the score for the story...

I still have the list somewhere...

I'd say set the music to encounters in a set linear progression to either set the mood or to set the storyline... best I can think of.
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Old 01-08-2008, 10:30 AM   #18
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Has anybody played with distorting music for good effect? I think if I ever run a horror game, I'm going to take a lot of simple classical music and adjust the frequencies just enough to make varying shifts felt but not noticed. Think 'tape player low on batteries' but subtle enough that it's not obvious.

The hope is that as the music repeatedly builds tension and release, something just feels wrong the whole time, which creates the perfect environment >=-)

Last edited by Extrarius; 01-08-2008 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 01-08-2008, 12:09 PM   #19
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Default Re: The RPG Soundtrack

We used to have several cassette tapes of music, mostly very eclectic pop and rock with appropriate themes, for different kinds of games. I think we had a fantasy-game tape, a science fiction tape and several cyberpunk tapes (lots of Sisters of Mercy, heavy and speed metal, plus some oddball dance music and electronic stuff). My wife put together a CD for a game she's been planning for about five years, but I don't know what sort of thing she went for in the tape.

I haven't run any games since I've gotten a laptop, but whenever I get around to it again, I'll be creating soundtracks for the game. My current game thoughts involve a variant of the Crimson Skies universe, and I've got a lot of modern swing for that - The Squirrel Nut Zippers, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and Royal Crown Revue - plus Synergy's "Metropolitan Suite" (even though that's intended to be for a slightly earlier period), some 20th century orchestral stuff like Howard Hanson's Symphony No. 2, plus Al Stewart's excellent Between The Wars CD. Probably I'll pick up some more period swing when I get ready to run.
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:56 PM   #20
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Default Re: The RPG Soundtrack

Thanks for the advice.

If you want to tweak with music you can get Audacity . It runs on Windows (Macs too IIRC). Pretty useful.

I've used some Electronica from the Matrix Trilogy Soundtracks. Goes great with just about everything. Viking Metal is pretty good as well. If you want good background music you can just hunt down Soundtracks from Movies. They usually have some good scores, mixes, etc.
Odds are after this is posted the thread will stop right here and stay that way for weeks until I lose track of it and it starts up again.... Thrender?

Last edited by GhostInTheMachine; 01-08-2008 at 06:29 PM.
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