Content of the article: "For DMs that Buy Games on PC, Use your Video Game Soundtracks!"
I thought to myself before last session "You know what? I own a bunch of games on Steam with soundtracks, I'm going to use them!" and well, my players loved it. I use Foundry Vtt so simply playing a song is very simple. I have playlists for combat, dungeon exploring, exploring outside, cities, and everything you can think of among other things like sound effects of a heart beating or even yells taken straight from Dragonball Z. But what is great is that I already own this professionally made music/audio in high quality. Hell, I own Baldur's Gate 1, 2, Icewind Dale, and Planescape Torment. What better music to use then from the former infinity engine games?
In the Sunless Citadel, my players came upon the gulthias tree and I had this playing and it grew louder as they approached. They stopped a ways off but they came upon a meeting with some cultists, which I tied to the overall campaign, and saw this image. As they come upon this scene then I had
. Of course not a typical D&D high fantasy track but god damn they loved it and so did I. They knew they were witnessing something important but still, alien to them.
Cue a fight between the cultists, their leader outright killed Belak displaying his strength to the players and then dimensioned door'd out of there but once my players jumped in to fight I started this
. It was different, it was fun, and it wasn't typical high fantasy fare. Sometimes we get so used to hearing something it just becomes background noise but audio can be such a great tool to pull people into your world and using your own video game soundtracks (or really any music) allows for a treat for your ears and offering something different to make your own world feel more unique. I've used music from Transistor when a bard at a tavern would play even.
And for you DMs getting your Halloween one shots ready in a few weeks, I leave you this.
But I also have to
because I LOVE this, it's uncomfortable, it's noisy and so different to anything to D&D.
The party returned the two trapped adventures, I had them stay stuck in the trees roots and were being pulled under slowly each turn with Belak being pulled first. The cleric rushed over and freed them mid-combat and I them just stand by the tree, too weak to move. My cleric's been using her downtime to do 'Religious Services' healing and such and had earned two divine favor. The two Hucrele adventures were 'saved' but they seemed off. The druid in the party had spent her downtime doing research and learned about the gulthias tree and apples also that the Hucreles would die if they destroyed the tree. I was so proud of my Cleric player, she roleplayed herself speaking to her diety of Lathander, she asked to use all her divine favor. Since he hates the undead, I said sure. She said her short monologue and
, it was wonderful and fit so well. Lathander spoke to her, I used a module in Foundry to make the scene start glowing white and he commanded the cleric to destroy the tree and he would use his divine might to free the two children and destroy the vampire soul once exposed. I know, I know, maybe Lathander wouldn't have actually bothered but meh, I was for rewarding the cleric for her thinking. A great moment escalated by wonderful music.
But yeah, get crazy with your music! Don't just use typical spotify/youtube playlists! Use stuff that sound diametrically opposed to your campaign. We tend to spend a lot of time on the visual but not the audio. I love good ambient audio and music as much as anyone else but I think different can be great. Maybe I'm talking non-sense.
TL;DR – Use music that doesn't necessarily fit to make your world feel more unique or to just add something different.
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