Say Hello to the SonicSpider, I give you the stats for such a dangerous creature at the end of the article 😉
Music can be an important part of a role-playing game session.
It helps a lot to set the mood either for an entire session or for a precise moment, for example when your players are entering into a tavern or a cold dungeon.
But music can also disturb your players or bother you. Either it is not appropriate with what your players are doing, or you can have to switch too often to get the right track, so you are less willing to improvise or listen to your players.
Here are my different advice to manage sound ambiance during your game:
- Sometimes no music is better than the wrong one, don’t feel obliged to put some
- The most important is to be able to speak, so don’t let the music become annoying
- If you want to stay attentive and able to improvise, choose a playlist as the background for the entire game
- Choose your music before the game if you want to manage it precisely, but keep in mind that you have to be ready to improvise and put your playlist aside
- You can let a player manage music if it isn’t really important to set the mood
- About sound effects, it is really a pain in the neck to manage, even with a good app, so leave them
What kind of music?
After my general advice, I will now share with you some playlists than seems good to me according to the world you are playing in.
A space opera game needs a background ambiant music allowing reverie. Your players must feel that everything is possible and that they are tiny living beings in a huge universe.
For a cyberpunk game, you need a more violent music, like minimal techno or dubstep. It has to get real the dynamism and bustle of these huge megalopolis leading the world.
An investigation about some dark hidden Gods needs some creepy music. You have to set a tense, disturbing or even morbid mood. Your players must feel that they are not in security and that dangerous threats are hidden in the dark.
Crime and Gangs
If you play a game in a mafia style, choose italian or russian mafia movies soundtracks. The mood needs to be calm, the traitors are coldly assassinated.
If you play in a modern era, for example a Grand Theft Auto like game, choose gangsta rap and trap music, you need an agressive sound. Your players are not here to negotiate but to Get Rich or Die Tryin’!
Dragons, fairies, elves, dwarfs… A lot of music are possible for a fantazy game. Try to have one for a landscape (moutains, plains, oceans…) and/or for a kingdom (elves, orcs, humans, devils…).
The demonic world is violent, cruel, bloody and bloodthirsty. It is also the kingdom of fire and lava. You need an ambiant music which is also violent and dark. Your players should feel unconfortable.
Here a good Youtube channel to have music for a special moment or a particular place.
And another for all your creepy needs.
The SonicSpider is a technological monster which paralyzes and kills its enemies with sonic waves. You can encounter it in high-security labs, military secret bases or even in the ruins of antique lost worlds.
Attributes: Agility d12, Smarts d6, Spirit d4, Strenght d6, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d10, Notice d12, Shooting d10
Charisma: 0; Pace: 10; Parry: 7; Toughness: 8 (2)
Special abilities: Armor 2, Construct, Fearless, Sensors (halve penalties for darkness, detect sounds), Wall Walker (Pace 10), Stun (-2 penalty)
Damage: 2d8 for the first target, then 2d6 for the next, then 2d4 for the third and finally 1d4 for the last.
Notes: The sonic attack ignores armor and bounces on walls which are then considered as a target. For example, in a L-shaped corridor, the sonic wave could attack and hit the first target, then bounces two times and hit the hidden second target with 1d4.