As we all know music can be a great enhancer for any scene in a D&D game. An emotional or romantic scene is much more moving with the right track in the background and combat music keeps your blood pumping and the action tense. Finding the right songs, however, can be tough. An emotional song goes into a wild combat-centric crescendo when you don't want it to, a combat song suddenly stops in mid-note to deliver a soothing romantic tune or a nice background travelling song suddenly turns into a horror tune! That is the reality of many soundtracks that come from movies and video games; they are already set to a different pace and scene than the one you had in mind. They have swells, ups and downs, that can be really distracting when played at the table-top. Instead of bringing you into the game, it brings you out.For years this has been my major gripe with music in role-playing, and for years I've been collecting songs from video games, movies and artists to get music that I feel are free of the faults I presented above (no mid song crescendos, no mid change of theme, etc – there's a few playlists that have songs that are more varied, and if so it's labeled as such).
I never really thought about sharing it but then I saw that Spotify had a share function. Also, I saw someone else on Reddit share their music. Sweet! More music to the people!
Hopefully you will have some good use of these songs just as I have (and these will be updated as I discover more songs). The music is generally for a Fantasy setting. When the playlist is for another setting it says so in the description. So, without further ado, I present to you my Spotify playlists for role-playing games (just click the name of the playlist, it will take you to the songs).
Songs to play when the players are going about their daily business, be it travelling or exploring a new town.
Are the players travelling at night? The songs herein are not horror oriented, and while still a bit darker than daylight songs, they are here to help the feeling of travelling at nighttime.
A playlist that enhances the feeling of mystery. This is not horror, and does not necessarily convey a tense feeling (though some do). A sense of mystery is a sense of impending discovery; walking the halls of a long abandoned magicians library or strange ruins.
"Something is wrong. You can feel it, but you can't see it. You continue to explore the abandoned farmstead with your friends, expecting something to happen at any time." This is not full blown horror, but this playlists will help set a tense feeling during exploration.
This is it. Full blown terror. The players witness the horrors of the mansion, the terror of the graveyard cult or the horde of insanity that is coming for their souls. Playlist with the most disturbing music for the most disturbing scenes.
Swords, shields and courage! Charge! The most expansive playlist I've created (also includes my favourite combat track – "Town in Chaos" by Stuart Chatwood).
Combat with variation
Combat with highs and lows, sometimes with softer and longer intros. If a combat goes of for a long time, these might help to bring down the monotone feeling of constant battle music.
Do your players need to catch someone in a high speed chase? Do they need to run away from the big monster? This is the playlist for you! Can also be used for combat if your battle is really, really intense.
Music to use when players visit a tavern, inn or similar establishment.
For those funny characters!
Entering an elven forest? Setting camp under the starlit sky? A playlist used to convey a beautiful and impactful feeling.
For those affectionate moments… The beautiful playlist above can be used as romantic as well, but these are a bit more focused on this emotion.
Music to play when someone says their final words, when the heroes are defeated, etc. Music with a sense of loss. Can also be used for great effect in romantic scenes in time of sadness.
Feelings of hope and victory in the face of adversity. Great playlist for those songs where you overcome, persevere and feel hopeful. Also a great list for epic last stands and final goodbyes.
Music with highs and lows, crescendos and change of theme. Great music, but best used during carefully planned out scenes such as "DM cutscenes" or setpieces where you know the music will hit the right notes at the right time (even when the scene is player driven). Some are listed here because they are shorter, and thus also best used for small scenes (not really loop-able). I have personally used songs like "Tessa" and "This is the End – Markus" to great effect in my games, so it can certainly be done!
Songs to be used at the end of an adventure or campaign. Some of the songs have lyrics which means they will be best used as "Credits" song (talking over lyrics is generally not a good idea), when the campaign or adventure is over. Great way to keep the feel of the RPG even after the game has ended!
Music to play before the gaming night starts as the players are sitting down. Good way to set the mood!
Generic songs for use in the background whenever the players find themselves in their spaceship, exploring a space port or talking in the briefing room.
Combat, but in the far future. Can be mixed with non-sci fi settings if you don't mind the futuristic feel of most of the songs.
Modern or Sci-Fi clubs
Time to hit the club. Electronic beats and bass!
And that's it! Hope you enjoy. 🙂
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- I Asked My Players to Choose Theme Music for their Characters and they LOVED it
More about Dungeons & Dragons OnlinePost: "Music for your games – carefully chosen songs on Spotify" specifically for the game Dungeons & Dragons Online. Other useful information about this game:
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